warcraft Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com warcraft RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Blizzard Announces BlizzCon 2019 Dates, New Ticket Option https://www.gameskinny.com/w85ru/blizzard-announces-blizzcon-2019-dates-new-ticket-option https://www.gameskinny.com/w85ru/blizzard-announces-blizzcon-2019-dates-new-ticket-option Fri, 26 Apr 2019 09:53:19 -0400 QuintLyn

It's that time again, Blizzard fans. Recently, the company announced the dates for Blizzcon via Twitter, as well as when tickets will go on sale. Blizzard also announced that a new kind of special ticket will be available to fans this year. 

As always, BlizzCon will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, on the weekend of November 1-2. 

As this year marks the 25th year of Warcraft, Blizzard has some special stuff planned, including a commemorative collectible or two. In fact, rather than doing a normal goodie bag, the company will be offering fans a choice between one of two premium statues. Players can choose between two Warcraft figures, the Orc Grunt or the Human Footman.

There's a catch, though: Interested attendees will need to decide which statue they prefer before buying tickets as Blizzard will only make a select number of statues based on interest. 

When Can You Buy Blizzcon Tickets?

Purchasing tickets will be broken into two rounds. The first round takes place on May 4, while the second round will be on May 8.

During this time, fans can purchase one of three different ticket types:

  1. The regular BlizzCon Pass
  2. The new BlizzCon Portal Pass
  3. The BlizzCon Benefit Dinner ticket, which supports charity

The BlizzCon Pass is the core ticket and will get fans into most things BlizzCon related.

For something a bit more special, the BlizzCon Portal Pass offers a variety of extras, including access to the special "Night at the Faire", which takes place on the eve of the convention. The pass also offers preferred parking, separate registration and security lines, the option to be first in line for the shows, and access to a dedicated lounge.

As is the case every year, the Blizzcon Benefit Dinner ticket is relatively expensive but it offers fans a chance to have dinner with Blizzard employees and the surplus goes to charity. This year, purchasers of this ticket will also get Portal Pass perks as well.

To reserve accommodations for Blizzcon 2019, go here

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Warcraft and Warcraft 2 Now Available on Good Old Games https://www.gameskinny.com/qsbyp/warcraft-and-warcraft-2-now-available-on-good-old-games https://www.gameskinny.com/qsbyp/warcraft-and-warcraft-2-now-available-on-good-old-games Thu, 28 Mar 2019 16:01:38 -0400 QuintLyn

Two more Blizzard classics have been added to CD Projekt Red's DRM free store GoG. Joining their ARPG sibling Diablo are Warcraft: Orcs and Human, and Warcraft 2 Battle.net Edition.

The fantasy RTS games are the precursors to the long-running MMORPG World of Warcraft and introduce players to the original races: the Orcs and the Humans.

The first Warcraft takes players back to when the two races were first fighting for Azeroth, following the arrival of the Orcs. As with all Warcraft games, players will first choose a side and then do everything they can to destroy their foes and gain control of the world.

The game is available on GOG for $5.99, and like all games on the platform, it is DRM free and features a 30-day money back guarantee.

It can be played on Windows 7 or later and features a two-player versus mode via LAN, two dozen campaign scenarios with a storyline for each side, and over 20 customizable scenarios. The GoG purchase also includes the game's soundtrack in MP3, WAV, and FLAC.

Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition is a bundle that includes Tides of Darkness and Beyond the Dark Portal. The set adds new weapons, maps including 50 custom maps  allies, and more. It also offers players the chance to take the fight to the sea and air.

Between the two editions, there are 52 new campaign scenarios, each with separate storylines specific to the two factions.

The Warcraft II bundle is also compatible with Windows 7 and higher, is DRM free, and includes a money back guarantee. It costs $9.99 and includes wallpapers and community maps.

For those who haven't played either game and would like to pick them both up, there's an option for that as well. Warcraft I and II are available as a single bundle costing $14.99, saving players around $2. 

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Creator Spotlight: GamingJewelry https://www.gameskinny.com/uq57p/creator-spotlight-gamingjewelry https://www.gameskinny.com/uq57p/creator-spotlight-gamingjewelry Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Glitchieetv

This week's creator spotlight goes to GamingJewelry, which specializes in creating sterling silver pendants based off of video game weapons. Sterling silver has always been a staple when it comes to jewelry. Add in the aspect that the items are handmade and can be custom ordered and you have GamingJewelry.

They feature a variety of weapons from a variety of games such as League of Legends, CS: GOand DotA 2. Check out some of the products below and visit their Etsy store to request a custom piece.

The Eye Pendant - DotA 2 Inspired
Karambit Pendant - Counter-strike Inspired
Leona's Sword Pendant - League of Legends Inspired
Glaive Pendant - Warcraft Inspired

What's your favorite item of theirs?

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Warcraft highest-grossing game movie of all time https://www.gameskinny.com/79ja8/warcraft-highest-grossing-game-movie-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/79ja8/warcraft-highest-grossing-game-movie-of-all-time Mon, 20 Jun 2016 11:42:07 -0400 Anthony Pelone

Rotten Tomatoes may have critically condemned the film, but gamers and the movie-going public aren't tired of the Warcraft movie. Over the past month, the movie accumulated approximately $377.6 million, becoming the most successful game movie of all time. The previous record-holder, 2010's Prince of Persia, had earned about $336 million. 

Much of the revenue has come from foreign countries, While Warcraft had a steep ticket dropoff in the US after generating $24.2 million on its first weekend (around 72.7%, with $6.5 million), it broke records in Ukraine ($233,000 for the biggest opening day ever) and is wildly successful in China ($156 million). Its success from the latter should come as no surprise, as half of World of Warcraft's current players (5 million) hail from China. 

As of now, it's been reported to have made over double its budget cost ($160 million) worldwide. While it's been reported it needs at least $450 million to break even, that's enough to consider it a rousing financial success. 

Did you contribute to the movie's $377.6 million? Let us know in the comments below! 

 

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New Merch That Proves the Warcraft Movie Just Isn't WoW - and That's OK! https://www.gameskinny.com/thm0y/new-merch-that-proves-the-warcraft-movie-just-isnt-wow-and-thats-ok https://www.gameskinny.com/thm0y/new-merch-that-proves-the-warcraft-movie-just-isnt-wow-and-thats-ok Sun, 12 Jun 2016 09:32:01 -0400 Stephanie Tang

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That's it!

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Warcraft: The Beginning isn't WoW, but we never really expected it to be, right? If you're headed out today to see it, keep an eye out for what they kept, and what they've shaken up.

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While critic reviews were largely negative, the majority of you-and-me reviewers have plenty of good things to say about it - and the dollars make the final vote. Worldwide the movie's already made $200 million before the release in the US, and opening weekend looks like it's set for takes of $70 million or more.

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Think you're going to enjoy this newest re-imagining of over two decades of nerd love? Let us know!

"},{"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/2/9/6/2962249-cloth-dsc02362-48594.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/2/9/6/2962249-cloth-dsc02362-48594.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121429","description":"

Alliance Logo T-Shirt

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Sometimes it really is the littlest things. Both logos took a little tweaking for their official inclusion in the Warcraft movie merch, but it was the Alliance side that really got a bit of a stylistic update.

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Fans have known about the style change for a while now - the image above is from the initial reveal at Blizzcon 2015 for upcoming movie merch - and Blizzard has since switched around the shirt design (the new shirts that have appeared in the Blizzard Warcraft movie section of the store are slightly different) but the logo has stayed the same and so has the price tag ($24). 

"},{"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/w/a/r/warcraft-inch-action-figure-ptru1-23621341dt-89130.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/w/a/r/warcraft-inch-action-figure-ptru1-23621341dt-89130.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121420","description":"

Lothar 6-inch Action Figure

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Poor Lothar has been criticized right from the get-go for a number of reasons - the actor chosen, his dialogue, the make of his armor, the handle of his sword, but no one can deny that all of the above follow the aesthetic that was always presented in Warcraft armor... just with a little less of the whimsically cartoony style of the games.

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The upshot of this is that Lothar's stuff is looking good and Blizzard is capitalizing on his flashy sword and shield in gorgeous-looking replicas (like this replica by WETA) and in pretty high-quality action figures like the one above. 

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These 6-inch action figure toys are looking good (certainly much better than their mini-fig counterparts!) and the detail on them is impressive considering the price. Lothar is currently on sale for $15.99 from Toys 'R' Us.

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You can also find action figures for Durotan for $15.99, Black Hand for $15.99, and Medivh for $15.99, all of which are currently down from the original $19.99 price tag.

"},{"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/j/a/k/jakks-pacific-warcraft-doomhammer-ptru1-23610285dt-2885e.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/j/a/k/jakks-pacific-warcraft-doomhammer-ptru1-23610285dt-2885e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121413","description":"

Doomhammer Toy

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This list might feel a little Orgrim-heavy, but it simply isn't complete without mentioning that you can have a Doomhammer for your very own - and at an excellent price to boot!

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Kids and full-grown adults both (who didn't expect this, though?) have been raving about this particular toy for its sheer usefulness in smashing their foes, various pieces of furniture, and in hammer duels with Thor. 

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This toy measures 16.1 x 9.5 x 6.0, only weighs 1 pound, and is currently on sale at Toys 'R' Us for $15.99. 

"},{"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/t/r/ptru1-23621258enh-07ee3.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/t/r/ptru1-23621258enh-07ee3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121414","description":"

Battle in a Box Mini-Figure Set

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Originally retailing at about $24.99, this 4-piece Battle In A Box set is currently on sale as a set for $15.99 from Toys 'R' Us featuring Alliance man Lothar and his Gryphon, and Blackhand from the Horde with his Frost Wolf. 

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It doesn't really follow game canon all that closely for Lothar to simply have a gryphon at the ready, but most fans will be happy to have these four figures all together at such a price. 

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Keep in mind that these are the cheap, tiny versions of the toys and quality doesn't appear to have been top-of-mind priority when painting them (faces particularly). Quality-wise, they're certainly not comparable to the collector's editions (or even the action figures), but you can certainly snag a lot of them for a low price.

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In this series, you can also find Alliance Soldier vs. Durotan for $7.99, Lothar vs. Horde Warrior for $7.99, Lothar vs. Garona for $7.99, and Alliance Soldier vs. Horde Warrior for $7.99. 

"},{"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/4/1/1/411a96lsbrl-9c6d8.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/4/1/1/411a96lsbrl-9c6d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121398","description":"

Bonds of Brotherhood Graphic Novel

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While Golden's book focused on the movie canon's Horde story, the brand new graphic novel Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood chronicles the backstory from the Alliance's perspective, focusing especially on fleshing out the pasts of future King Llane Wyrnn, brave knight Anduin Lothar, and ambitious mage Medihv. 

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Unlike the Durotan novel, it doesn't have the benefit of an experienced Warcraft writer at the helm, though Paul Cornell manages to provide excellent characterization and a decent introduction to the backstory so many fans were looking for. It's unfortunate then that critics and fans alike seem largely unimpressed with the pacing, the art style, and the story. Most opinions range from poor to mediocre (although it probably doesn't help the ratings when largest e-tailer Amazon is shipping the books damaged).

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This hardcover-only graphic novel can be purchased for $14.99 on Amazon

"},{"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/5/1/6/516wr1ggnvl-58fd5.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/5/1/6/516wr1ggnvl-58fd5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121397","description":"

Official Movie Prequel Book

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Blizzard wanted to give fans, especially the ones with the deepest knowledge of the lore, an idea what they were getting into... and so they released Warcraft: Durotan: The Official Movie Prequel (available for $7.19 as a mass market paperback).

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Told from the perspective of the Orcs in a dying Draenor, Christie Golden (arguably one of the best writers of the existing series of Warcraft books) does her best to draw you into the world of the movie Warcraft, and with no small measure of success.

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As one reviewer puts it: 

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"[A]ll of the true hallmarks of orc society and culture are there: honor, strength, songs honoring fallen heroes, and much more. Most impressive are the callbacks to many of the characters, items, and locations that fans of the MMO/RTS series will recognize. Frostfire Ridge is described in detail, the properties of Fireweed and Starflower are discussed, and the hunting patterns of the legendary Warsong clan are mentioned. It is all quite fun."

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Most of the reviews for this book have been favorable, but a number of fans just can't get over the lore changes, so you'll see plenty of poor to mediocre scores for it too. 

"},{"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/o/r/g/orgrima2-d8f93.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/o/r/g/orgrima2-d8f93.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121393","description":"

WETA Orgrim Doomhammer statue

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This second Orgrim Doomhammer statue by WETA appears on this list for exactly the same reason as the first - it just looks way too good to ignore. The details on this guy are impeccable, and at $199 (preorder) you can snag him for less than half the price of the Gentle Giant version. He's slightly smaller than the first (but not by much) at 13" x 7.9" x 7.9".

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And as far as the shift in canon goes, it's not just the skin color - large parts of Doomhammer's backstory have been rewritten in order to streamline the movie canon, including making him one of the Frostwolves as a second to Durotan instead of being a leader in his own right of the Blackrock clan.

"},{"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/w/a/r/warcraft-orgrim-statue-482219-4cbe5.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/w/a/r/warcraft-orgrim-statue-482219-4cbe5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121386","description":"

Gentle Giant Orgrim Doomhammer statue

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There are a few reasons why a WoW purist might not approve of this freakishly detailed statue of Orgrim Doomhammer... but the big one may just be the price tag, which is a whopping $449 (preorder) on Gentle Giant.

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Historically he's always appeared green in Blizzard's official continuity but that's taken a bit of a turn in the movie canon. Not to say that all the Orcs are now brown, since we've seen ample evidence that there are green Orcs (Garona, as prime example) - but it's been noted that this could be a more visual way to distinguish "good" Orcs from the bad.

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Since he has a huge story arc coming up in the future, it's hard to know whether or not Orgrim's skin will suffer a sea change in a future, or if it'll be explained at all. This statue measures 8" x 13" x 13". 

"},{"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/w/a/r/warcraft-movie-poster-full-98700-635b4.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/w/a/r/warcraft-movie-poster-full-98700-635b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121432","description":"

A story never translates quite the same way when it travels from one medium to another... and in the case of over 20 years worth of franchise story development, the rich, expansive lore of the Warcraft series is just a little too big to set up, especially in a movie. Today's high expectations for fantasy movies dictate a need for a good story, rounded, 3-dimensional characters, and enough action to satiate -- and the Warcraft movie crams that and a lot of lore into 2 hours.

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Warcraft: The Beginning simply has to do its best -- and to its credit, its best has allowed the movie to stay largely faithful to the existing story and to the world. Its down-to-the-details recreation of familiar World of Warcraft areas like the Dark Portal, Dalaran, and Stormwind Keep have fans more excited than they'd first imagined. 

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June 10th marked the official release day of the Warcraft movie in the US but critic reviews have been trickling in for over a month. The movie released in several countries worldwide as early as May 26 (France). Thanks to the reviews most fans going in are pretty prepared to notice some differences.

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The canon has been streamlined somewhat (for example, humans just get to have gryphons now), and some fans just don't like that. At all. If you're one of these, the following products probably aren't for you... but man, you won't be able to argue that they're still pretty cool anyway!

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Blizzard Releases Warcraft Graphic Novel as Prequel to Warcraft Movie https://www.gameskinny.com/y3poc/blizzard-releases-warcraft-graphic-novel-as-prequel-to-warcraft-movie https://www.gameskinny.com/y3poc/blizzard-releases-warcraft-graphic-novel-as-prequel-to-warcraft-movie Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:53:29 -0400 ericafeldfeber

On June 7, 2016, Blizzard Entertainment released the Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood graphic novel. The 112-page novel is set decades before the soon-to-be released film, Warcraft. This new comic focuses on the lives of three of Azeroth's heroes -- Llane, Lothar, and Medivh -- and their alliance. 

In a fantasy-action epic set decades before the film, the young and headstrong Llane, Lothar, and Medivh embark on a mission of vengeance that will forge them into heroes . . . the kind of heroes Azeroth will need in its darkest hour.

You can purchase your own copy of Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood, today for $24.99 on either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  

The story was conceptualized by Chris Metzen, and written by Paul Cornell. Metzen has written scripts for three of Blizzard Entertainment's major award-winning media franchises: Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft. Many may also recognize Cornell's work in the popular television drama, Doctor Who. The comic also features artwork by artists Mat Broome, Michael O’Hare, Eddie Nunez, Roy Allan Martinez, Ale Garza,  and Mike Bowden. The cover art is by illustrator, Kevin Tong.

Source: us.battle.net

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Diablo 3 Director Exits Gaming Industry https://www.gameskinny.com/dpgz1/diablo-3-director-exits-gaming-industry https://www.gameskinny.com/dpgz1/diablo-3-director-exits-gaming-industry Tue, 07 Jun 2016 14:48:10 -0400 JunaeBenne

Jay Wilson, director of Diablo III, reveals he is leaving the video game industry through a tweet.

After 10 years with Blizzard Entertainment, Wilson decided to leave the video game industry and head back to his true passion, writing. Wilson served as director of Diablo III for seven years with some memorable controversial comments.

“I’m leaving to pursue my original passion, writing. It’s what I was doing when I fell into this job, and I’ve always wanted to return to it.”

An example came from his Facebook comment about Diablo’s designer, David Brevik’s, in which he called him a loser. Wilson later apologized for this comment and stated that he should better communicate what’s going on with Diablo.

Wilson later left the project in 2013 with a post on Battle.net that stated,

“I feel I have made many mistakes in managing that relationship, but my intent was always to provide a great gaming experience, and be as open and receptive as possible while still sticking true to the vision the Diablo team has for the game.”

Wilson also worked on Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor. He’s been in the gaming industry since 1999. Relic Entertainment is where he spent some time working on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Company of Heroes.

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This featurette's getting me excited for the Warcraft film https://www.gameskinny.com/gitoe/this-featurettes-getting-me-excited-for-the-warcraft-film https://www.gameskinny.com/gitoe/this-featurettes-getting-me-excited-for-the-warcraft-film Sat, 11 Jun 2016 09:40:09 -0400 Kevin S. Behan

On June 2nd, 2016, Comicbook.com released a featurette for Warcraft showcasing the movie's version of the Horde. In it we get a sight of the politics going down in Orcish society, focusing primarily on Gul'Dan, Blackhand, and Garona.

Most the advertisements had been showing off Durotan as the sole representative of the orcs. It was getting a bit boring to see the big good Orc come up to say he wants to free his people again and again, with occasional snippets of Garona showing up. I was getting worried it was just going to be a film of Durotan waxing on about the struggles of the Frostwolves while Lothar goes about being an action hero.

I'm a big fan of the Warcraft lore. Getting to see that Gul'Dan and Blackhand would be playing major roles in the film got me excited again. If these two are going to be our villains, that's fine by me.

We also get to see some of the Draenei in the film. I was afraid they'd be glossed over. Looks like this trailer was a letter to the fans who know their Warcraft history, saying 'don't worry, we're not tossing it all out for the sake of a movie'.

Admittedly I'm still not convinced this movie is going to be good. But at least I'm on board with watching it again. I'll reserve full judgement until I get to see it. Warcraft released in America on June 10th.

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Are we ever going to get Warcraft IV? https://www.gameskinny.com/usrze/are-we-ever-going-to-get-warcraft-iv https://www.gameskinny.com/usrze/are-we-ever-going-to-get-warcraft-iv Tue, 31 May 2016 05:11:57 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

Back in 2002, Blizzard Entertainment released Warcraft III. The fallout from that game would lead to a huge growth in the MMORPG field, the creation of MOBAs as a genre, and arguably a major revitalization of RTS games in general. The game had an impact, in other words.

It had an impact on me, certainly; I was a broke college student who could not afford a PC able to realistically play it, so I would scavenger for time with my roommate's PC to happily plow away at the campaign. We shared jokes and achievements in the game. When I finally got a better PC, I grabbed the game first thing, and our dorm room would feature many a night of us going back and forth, sometimes teamed up against the world, sometimes us on opposite ends, and sometimes both of us just coincidentally playing the game at the same time.

But that was nearly 15 years ago, and time has marched on. Specifically, it's marched on to World of Warcraft. But there are lots of signs pointing to the possibility that it might be time to ditch that prefix and release another real-time strategy game of orcs, humans, and the art of harvesting lumber. Warcraft IV, if you will.

The state of the world

Two big elements have kept Warcraft IV from happening: Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft. The former has been receiving more or less all of Blizzard's RTS resources to build a bigger and better RTS than Warcraft III could have ever dreamed of being, and the latter poses a big roadblock to any new games in Azeroth or accompanying environs.

Let's start with the second point first: as long as we're going to have World of Warcraft expansions, any storyline in a single-player Warcraft game is going to run smack into those in about two minutes. There's certainly still space for things to happen, of course - we have plenty of stories that take place off-screen between expansions - but a game like Warcraft IV would almost inevitably be would have to be a big war. We already know how the wars in the game played out, and it seems weird to think that our characters would sit one out in the present game. Either way you set it up, it's going to have trouble integrating itself.

Meanwhile, Blizzard has been focusing pretty heavily upon Starcraft 2 in the RTS arena over the past few years. What's interesting about that is that Starcraft 2 abandons a large number of the elements that made Warcraft III so iconic -- gone are hero units, most of the quests, and some of the armor/damage interdependency that made its predecessor work. That's not to say that Starcraft 2 is a bad game by any means; it's just a very different experience, and it doesn't build off its predecessor in the same way that previous Blizzard RTS games built off of one another.

Still, things have changed. The main sequence of Starcraft 2 stand-alone expansions is done with; we'll still get a few mission packs here and there, but the game itself is finished. And then there's World of Warcraft, which is steadily waving farewell to its market dominance over MMOs in general. While there's still plenty of audience for MMORPGs, WoW has shrunk from its heights of nearly 12 million subscribers to a hair under 6 million, with the company announcing that it will no longer announce subscriber numbers.

And that's without noting the fact that there is a movie premiering in the not-too-distant future; critical reviews have been sharply negative, but that doesn't mean the film isn't going to be a success or popular (only time will tell that). It could be argued that this is the perfect time to release a single-player title to capitalize on interest, catching players who might eschew the demands of an online-only title.

But there's been no word of one. And perhaps that's for very good reason.

The face of the RTS

Even though World of Warcraft's subscriptions are falling, the game still makes money. It has made money quite consistently for some time. The stated reason for no further subscription numbers was simply a matter of not disguising that -- if fewer people are paying more money and the net profits are stable, there's no reason to harp on the subscriber numbers. Investors care about money brought in, first and foremost.

And make no mistake, World of Warcraft is part of a core part of Blizzard's overall business plan. Even though its fortunes are diminishing, the game has been part of a major sea change at Blizzard. While the company's games were always supportive of online play, its last three major stand-alone releases - Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch - have all been online-only affairs that emphasize interacting with other players and feature next to no actual in-game story.

This is a noteworthy change. Part of what sold people on Warcraft III was the fact that it was a complete story -- that even if you never played a single online match you could still get a full sense of the game. You could even use quick-play maps to make your own challenges, taking on computer-controlled enemies in endless additional scenarios or playing fan-created campaigns.

Blizzard is clearly more interested, at this point, in creating online experiences that can be monetized. Which is an understandable shift, but it also means that games which don't support that find themselves a bit less appealing to the powers that be. And that's pretty difficult to do with an RTS without creeping into unfair territory; no one's going to play a game in which your opponent has access to better units, or even units that feel better.

This is on top of the fact that the competitive RTS scene is much like the competitive fighting game scene -- it still exists, but it's no longer the powerhouse it once was. Part of what led to Starcraft's immense popularity as a competitive game (especially in Korea) was the fact that one copy could easily be installed on multiple machines in a PC gaming cafe; in other words, everyone could play it. That's not the case with Starcraft 2, and the result has been that its competitive scene has struggled to really get rolling. These days, the scene that used to center around RTS play has moved on to focus on MOBAs, which (ironically) were birthed from a Warcraft III map modification.

In many ways, the environment would make Warcraft IV a harder sell. It's not an easy free-to-play sell or a buy-to-play sell, and it's catering to a scene that's moved on in many ways both big and small. There are essays to be written about how Warcraft III's map editor created genres, while Starcraft 2's more powerful editor has really just been used to recreate existing genres... but that's a very different piece. The point is that it doesn't exactly spark eagerness.

Age and decisions

Of course, the obvious response is that it would be silly to let the Warcraft IP do nothing; World of Warcraft is suffering diminishing returns, and it's old enough that it can only bring so many people into the game at that point.

Except...that argument relies entirely upon the assumption that age is the primary element that's lowering WoW's subscription numbers. Which is certainly a theory, but we're also looking at those numbers after an expansion that was panned for its structure at the level cap and a content-light patch series. The live game has been unpatched for nearly a year, compared to the better pacing in earlier years. The game has also changed its endgame philosophy significantly since the game was at its subscriber height.

Assuming that WoW's fortunes are declining due to its age requires also assuming that all of the other facts that are going into that decline aren't really that important in the long run -- something that seems a bit inadvisable. It's far more reasonable to assume that while the game isn't getting younger, it's also remarkably good at reducing the barrier to entry for new players. Players can speed through the early levels now, and a free copy of the game is being given away at select theaters for anyone who chooses to go see the movie.

Online games in general and MMOs in particular have a long tail; there's certainly no talk about League of Legends being "too old" to attract players. Many have said before that WoW's biggest failing at the moment isn't age, but its misunderstanding of its core audience and decisions that alienate players once they hit the level cap. While correcting that is difficult, it's also much cheaper to do that than to spend the time and money to develop a new RTS game in the universe. Which also carries other problems along with it.

So it won't happen?

Despite all of this, I think it's a fair thing to say that some sort of Warcraft IV is not just possible, but even likely. But I don't think now is the time for it.

As it stands, Blizzard has just launched a rather ambitious title (Overwatch) and has very recently wrapped up the active expansion development for another (Starcraft 2). That means that the company is in the middle of shifting. There's time to decide where the programmers are going next, what the next priorities are, and more importantly, what sort of game models work better or worse than others.

I have little doubt that World of Warcraft will continue for the next several years with new expansions. But if we're going to hear about Warcraft IV, it's going to be a few years down the line, and it may very well not resemble the games that we have grown accustomed to. Quite possibly it will be a half-step between Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch as well as Warcraft III, with an emphasis on individual leaders and customized armies for a small array of personalities. No continuity, just leading well-known figures from lore in battles against one another, with a buy-to-play model alongside reasonable skin costs.

Of course, that's only a hop and a skip away from what the designers have already done with Hearthstone. So perhaps, at the end of the day, that's the simple reason why we haven't gotten Warcraft IV. The world of Azeroth has plenty of stuff to mine out... but none of it needs to be deployed in the middle of an RTS. That lore can be used in more straightforward fashions that produce bigger revenue gains while the MMORPG continues along in the background.

Either that or we'll be hearing about it at the next BlizzCon. You never know.

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A look inside the upcoming Movie Warcraft The Beginning - PAX East Panel https://www.gameskinny.com/pn0jg/a-look-inside-the-upcoming-movie-warcraft-the-beginning-pax-east-panel https://www.gameskinny.com/pn0jg/a-look-inside-the-upcoming-movie-warcraft-the-beginning-pax-east-panel Sun, 24 Apr 2016 05:44:25 -0400 Cresta Starr

Warcraft The Beginning is a cinematic adventure for lovers of the books and game World of Warcraft. This film -- directed by Duncan Jones -- will offer movie goers an depth look at one of the beginning stories in the Warcraft franchise. The WARCRAFT: A Look Inside the Upcoming Cinematic Adventure panel was moderated by Michelle Morrow with hosts Duncan Jones (director) and Robert Kazinsky (actor). Here are the best questions with their answers from the panel.

How did you know where to start in the vast and rich story that is World of Warcraft? What were some of the challenges you faced doing so?

Jones said that he wanted to start at the beginning, the origin story of the first contact Humans and Orcs,  with the Orcs are fleeing their dying world of Draenor and facing extinction. In leaving Draenor, the Orcs come across the dark portal which connects Dreanor to Azeroth. Now the humans must ether share their home world with the orcs or face war with against them. Jones wanted to make it understandable for new comers and veteran fans alike. However, in order to explain the story properly and correctly, Jones said that there needed to be heroes on both the human and the orc side. It was challenging because most people see Orcs as bad.

What moment made you realize that the movie was going to be "Next Level"?

The CGI in the movie is what really took it to that "next level". Teaming up with Jeff White who did the CGI animation for the Hulk in the first Avengers movie, Jones was able to bring to life Orcs, Dwarfs and many other mystical beings from the world of Azeroth. Fans get to see them as well rounded characters making them seem more human. So, along with the writing the motion capture really gave it that push to make the film "next level".

Were there any hardships with making the film?

Duncan explained that by the time he took over as director most of the kinks were already worked out. The main issue was, again, making making the movie half about Humans and half about Orcs with heroes and villains on both sides.

How did you make the movie not seem fake?

Aside from creating deeply rich and well-developed characters, the sets were constructed outside with the motion sensors. Warcraft is one of the first movies of its kind to mix the two. Plus they had a movement coach which helped the actors become more realistic Orcs, Wizards and Warriors. All Orc actors went to "orc camp" where they learned mannerisms like how to sit, eat, move and walk. These seemingly minor details can make a huge impact on how movie goers view the animated Orcs. You can take a glimpse of the Lion's Pride inn with this behind the scenes video.

The panel ended with an exclusive extended trailer of the Warcraft The Beginning for PAX East attendees. If you just can't get enough and want to find out more you can watch the whole hour long panel here:

 

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Want your gamer child to read more? Get them these books! https://www.gameskinny.com/q80wg/want-your-gamer-child-to-read-more-get-them-these-books https://www.gameskinny.com/q80wg/want-your-gamer-child-to-read-more-get-them-these-books Mon, 07 Dec 2015 07:06:10 -0500 The Soapbox Lord

Video games are a wonderful way to tell stories and create memorable experiences; there’s nothing quite like a well-crafted yarn in a digital realm to capture your imagination. However, as much as I enjoy playing games, there is another past time I enjoy at the same level or more so than I enjoy video games: reading. While an excellent game narrative can transport you to fantastical worlds, there is nothing quite like reading an utterly captivating book and becoming lost in its world as your imagination brings it to life.

This is a list of books for the gamer in your life. Some are aimed more at children, and some will be aimed more at adults. However, gamers of all ages should be able to find something enjoyable here. Who knows? They might just become so enthralled in some of these tales they’ll forget about the games, for a short time anyway. 

This list is split in three: first, we'll look at books based on popular video game franchises; second, we'll look at books that inspired video games; third, we'll look at books that are not game-related but are likely to appeal to gamers.

Books based on video game series

Halo series

The Halo series is a science-fiction shooter series that has been running since 2001 with no signs of slowing down. Halo made waves for having a far-reaching and ambitious story as compared to most other shooters of its time. Given this emphasis on narrative in the series, book adaptations were inevitable. There are several entries in the series with only one book, Halo: The Flood, being an adaptation of a game’s story while the rest expand upon the Halo universe. Fans of the series will undoubtedly hungrily devour more information on their beloved Master Chief, and the struggles humanity face in this universe.

A Parent’s Take

The Halo series has been rated M for Mature, with the exception of the recent Halo 5: Guardians and the spin-off Halo Wars. The series is without major gore, and players only encounter mild profanities such as “damn.” In some books, there is some adult content like violence and some scattered strong profanity, but not an overabundance - and rarely more than the games do. I doubt the other books have much problematic content, but the ones we've reviewed were pretty much fine.

Notable Titles

Warcraft series

The Warcraft franchise has changed quite a bit over the years. What started as a strategy game evolved into an MMO juggernaut that has continually dwarfed the competition for over ten years. The games are known for their strong narratives and memorable characters that fans have grown to love over several games. The books for this franchise are unique compared to other game adaptations. One series follows the Warcraft strategy series while the other books deal with the ever-popular World of Warcraft. With nearly twenty novels, there are plenty of choices for Alliance and Horde alike.

A Parent’s Take

All of the games in the Warcraft universe are rated T. There is your typical fantasy violence, some mild cursing, and various minor offenses. Otherwise, expect some well-written fantasy narratives!

Notable Titles

There are countless other books based on games; far too many to mention here. For those interested, more exhaustive lists can be found here and here. Now onto our next category! 

Books that inspired games

The Witcher series

The Witcher is a series of action-role-playing games set on delivering a mature experience for older players. The third entry in the series launched in early 2015 to much acclaim. The games are based on a series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. With the release of the first The Witcher title, players outside of Poland clamored for a translation, which came not long after the game’s release. Any fans of the games or dark fantasy, in general, should find plenty to enjoy here.

A Parent’s Take

The Witcher games are rated M for good reason. Gore, mutilating monsters and humans alike, copious amounts of harsh language along with plenty of sexual innuendos, sexual situations, and even digital nudity await those who plunge into Geralt’s dark world. These games are most certainly not aimed at the kiddos. If your kid has played the games, don't expect much more to shock them as the books are aimed at the same older audiences as the games are.

Notable Titles
Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a Russian post-apocalyptic novel that finds the remnants of humanity fighting for survival in the ruined metro (subway) tunnels underground after a nuclear war decimated the surface of Earth. Humans wage war against radiation, harsh environments, mutated monstrosities, fellow humans, and other impediments in this unforgiving world. 

An eponymous game based on the novel released in 2010 with a sequel that followed in 2013. The novel has since spawned an official sequel along with giving birth to a book franchise that the original author, Dmitry Glukhovsky, has overseen.

A Parent’s Take

Both of the Metro games are rated M. The games have some intense violence against human and inhuman enemies, plenty of language, and the last title, Metro: Last Light, even had some digital nudity. Like The Witcher, expect the books to be similar in content.

Notable Titles
Alamut

The Assassin’s Creed series has several inspirations, but this 1938 novel by Vladimir Bartol was possibly been one the biggest influences on the game. The plot follows Ibn Tahir, a young soldier who joins a garrison held by the Ismalis at a fortress named Alamut. The fortress is led by the charismatic Hassan, who may or may not be deceiving his troops to manipulate them. Tahir is sent to assassinate a vizier who reveals Hassan has been deceiving his troops (sound familiar yet?).  Tahir confronts his leader who reveals his life motto: “Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted.” Disillusioned Tahir is sent on a global odyssey while Hassan attempts to cultivate his power.

A Parent’s Take

Most of the games in the Assassin’s Creed franchise have been rated M, usually for violence, some vulgar language, and blood. As this novel was written in 1938, it doesn't have much that will shock young adult readers but the themes may be a bit much for some.

 

Books gamers will like (but are not directly related to gaming)

Artemis Fowl series

Artemis Fowl follows the exploits of Artemis Fowl, who just so happens to be a genius and world-renowned criminal at the age of twelve. Young Artemis discovers fairies do exist and seeks to capture one in order to obtain a lucrative ransom. What follows is a series of misadventures for readers young and old alike.

As the series goes on, the characters grow and experience major trauma. While the later entries weren’t quite as strong as the earlier ones, I wholeheartedly recommend this series to everyone. This is one of those rare series that may be aimed at younger audiences, but contains plenty of meaty content for older readers as well. I have read the entire series at least three times now, and I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough for me to share these with her.

A Parent’s Take

The series has plenty of action, though nothing ever gets bloody and characters rarely die. There is plenty of swearing in the fairy tongue (which can’t be translated due to how offensive the words are) and “damn” may be used twice over the entire series. There is some crude humor with one character’s abilities revolving around his flatulence, but it is never gross or over the top. There shouldn’t be too much here to find fault with.

Also, if you’re a fan of audiobooks, I cannot recommend these enough. The reader is one of the best I have ever heard and manages to do a distinct voice for each character on top of a great narration.

Notable Titles
The Old Kingdom series

Garth Nix may be more known to modern readers as the author of the Keys to the Kingdom series, but I want to shine a spotlight on his under appreciated The Old Kingdom series. The series follows a young girl named Sabriel, who goes looking for her father after receiving a strange message from one of his undead servants. Sabriel’s father is known as “Abhorsen,” a magician who fights necromancers and undead creatures in an attempt to keep peace in the kingdom. An old evil is manipulating events and threatens to awake, and it’s up to Sabriel and her talking, surly cat companion to find her father and stop the evil.

A Parent’s Take

While there is some fantasy violence, parents should note there are plenty of undead and other nightmarish creatures found within these pages. While nothing is too scary for younger readers, sensitive ones might find Nix’s descriptions of these creatures a tad much. Besides that, I cannot remember a single curse word or anything else to give parents pause. The series is also available in audiobook form as read by the always-terrific Tim Curry, which is an excellent listen.

Titles in the Series
The Bartimaeus Sequence

The Bartimaeus novels follow the exploits of magical apprentice Nathaniel and the five-thousand-year-old djinni Bartimaeus, whom Nathaniel summons to do his bidding. The first novel revolves around the unlikely duo perpetrating a petty theft that quickly evolves into a more serious threat than either could have anticipated.

The books are characterized by the witty banter of Bartimaeus and his relationship with the young and vain Nathaniel. Their bond evolves as the books progress and Nathaniel changes from an unlikable, haughty twerp to a person the reader can actually care about.

 A Parent’s Take

One of the cores of the Bartimaeus universe is summoning demons, afrits, and other magical beings to do one’s bidding. As such, there are lot of otherworldly beasties and nasties in the series. There is no adult language, and the violence is sporadic and rarely intense. There shouldn’t be too much here to keep younger ones away, and the books are excellent enough for older readers to enjoy as well.

Titles in the Series
Mistborn series

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series launched with one hell of a debut set in a fully-realized world begging for more stories to be told. The books follow Vin, a thief who scrapes by in a crew of rowdy thieves. Vin comes to discover she has powers she can use by “burning” metal scrapings she ingests. Vin becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the oppressive dictatorship of The Lord Ruler, a seemingly omnipotent being who has been alive for hundreds of years.

The world is extremely fleshed out in the first book alone, and the themes of slavery and dictatorship in a high fantasy setting make for a different type fantasy novel. This one also has a great audiobook reader.

A Parent’s Take

I have only read the first title in the series, but there was not a lot of content I would say warrants a warning flag. The biggest thing may be the themes of slavery, oppression, government, and evil the novel presents. There is also a sizeable cast of characters and things to keep up with; the series might be better suited for older readers.

Notable Titles
The works of R. A. Salvatore

Few modern fantasy authors have had the success or popularity of Mr. Salvatore. Salvatore is most known for his works set in the Forgotten Realms universe, which is from the world of Dungeons and Dragons, and the character Drizzt Do’Urden. Salvatore has fourteen series set in the Forgotten Realms universe alone, not counting his other series or other works. Needless to say, most fans of fantasy games will probably enjoy something Salvatore has written.

A Parent’s Take

The titles are all appropriate for most ages, as long as you are ok with a bit of violence and some beasties straight out of D&D's Monster Manual. There is very rare profanity or sexual content and most of the titles are about overcoming various obstacles such as bandits and ice dragons in order to reach goals. There is some fantasy violence, but nothing grotesque or gory.

Notable Titles
Works by John Scalzi

John Scalzi burst onto the scene with Old Man’s War, an excellent sci-fi tale of an army that only recruits from the older population of Earth. While he has continued the series, he has written several other books that are just as good as his debut novel.

Scalzi’s novels are usually filled with smart-aleck characters, witty dialogue, and imaginative narrative cores. Doubtless, most people reading this have read one of his books or heard of him by now. If you haven’t, I highly recommend checking some of his works out.

A Parent’s Take

I have thoroughly enjoyed most of Scalzi’s books I have read, but I must caution parents - These books are aimed at older readers. There is enough profanity here to fill a Quentin Tarantino movie, plenty of blood, guts, and detailed dismemberments, on top of some sexual situations and issues only older readers can relate to. That said, if you can get past these issues, you’ll find some great books for your teen's collection.

Notable Titles
The Dresden Files

Harry Dresden is a wizard-for-hire practicing in modern-day Chicago. Needless to say, he leads an interesting life. The Dresden series is essentially a neo-noir saga following a down-on-his-luck wizard in lieu of a gumshoe. While the trappings and archetypes of noir pervade the books, the focus on a wizard in modern times and Jim Butcher’s take on magic keeps things fresh.

There are also plenty of interesting characters, including wise-cracking femme fatales, trolls, fairies, vampires, and countless other magical beings. There are over 15 novels in the series, and each can serve as a jumping on point thanks to Butcher reiterating some major concepts for newer readers without becoming annoying for veteran readers.

A Parent’s Take

Like any good noir, there are crimes aplenty in the world of Harry Dresden. Besides the crimes, there is a fair amount of language and a good deal of violence. There are also some nasty denizens of magic floating about that might be a bit scary for the younger ones. I recommend this one for the older kids.

Notable Titles
Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise has been running strong ever since the release of A New Hope in 1977. The franchise has become one of the most beloved in nerd and mainstream culture. With the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens looming ever closer on the horizon, a new generation will grow up with Jedis, Sith, and the Force.

With the massive success of the franchise, it should come as no surprise there are a plethora of books. Seriously. There are a ton of books in the series as you can see by looking here. Just take your pick for the gamer in your life.

A Parent’s Take

With rare exception, expect these books to match up with the content of the films: essentially, a great deal of sci-fi action, heroic journeys, and coming of age stories in a galaxy far, far away - but nothing that would keep the younglings at bay.

Notable Titles

Just scroll down this list and take your pick.

 

Obviously, there are countless other books gamers might find enticing. This is just scratching the surface on the wonderful world of books. If you have any favorites you would like to share, please do so in the comments below!

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The full Warcraft movie trailer is up and it is stunning https://www.gameskinny.com/w6gqv/the-full-warcraft-movie-trailer-is-up-and-it-is-stunning https://www.gameskinny.com/w6gqv/the-full-warcraft-movie-trailer-is-up-and-it-is-stunning Fri, 06 Nov 2015 09:29:20 -0500 QuintLyn

After what seems like ages of waiting, fans everywhere are finally getting  a full look at the first official Warcraft trailer. The reveal of the full trailer took place today as part the opening ceremonies at Blizzard's annual fan convention, BlizzCon. 

To introduce the trailer, Blizzard invited Duncan Jones to the stage -- along with an entourage of cast and crew. Jones spoke briefly about his love for the Warcraft before airing the trailer. It was an excellent choice on his part as the trailer definitely spoke for itself.

After the reveal, the trailer immediately made available globally via YouTube and the film's website.

Warcraft Poster

The movie -- a joint project between film production company Legendary and game company Blizzard -- tells the story of he original meeting of humans and orcs in the Warcraft universe. Starring Travis Fimmel (Vikings) as Auduin Lothar, and Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four, Prince of Persia), and directed by Duncan Jones (Moon), the film features an impressive cast as well as highly detailed CGI and motion capture.

Also appearing in Warcraft are Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) as Medivh, Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol), Dominic Cooper (Captain America, Agent Carter) as King Llane Wrynn, Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption) as Blackhand, Robert Kazinsky (True Blood) as Orgrim, Daniel Wu (Europa Report) Gul'dan, Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Lady Taria, and Ben Schetzer (The Book Thief) as Khadgar.

Warcraft begins when the orc race comes to Azeroth after fleeing their dying world only to be met by the humans. The two races find themselves in a battle for control of the planet.

Fans can expect a more intimate look at the lives of the main characters, including an emphasis on their families and the impact the ensuing war has on them personally. 

Originally announced in 2006; it has taken a decade for the project to finally make it to the big screen. Warcraft premieres in theaters everywhere on June 10, 2016.

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Warcraft movie teaser trailer released, full trailer arrives Friday https://www.gameskinny.com/dv5yw/warcraft-movie-teaser-trailer-released-full-trailer-arrives-friday https://www.gameskinny.com/dv5yw/warcraft-movie-teaser-trailer-released-full-trailer-arrives-friday Tue, 03 Nov 2015 07:58:52 -0500 Robert Sgotto

Our first look at the Warcraft movie in motion is here!

While we wait for the full trailer to be released on Friday, Blizzard decided to give us a small teaser.

The teaser gives us a closer look at main characters like the human Anduin Lothar, the orc chieftan Durotan and orc warchief Ogrim Doomhammer. 

The Warcraft movie is due for theaters on June 10 2016 in the United States and June 16 in Australia.

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Blizzard MIGHT work on new Warcraft RTS once finished with Starcraft II https://www.gameskinny.com/ndd8q/blizzard-might-work-on-new-warcraft-rts-once-finished-with-starcraft-ii https://www.gameskinny.com/ndd8q/blizzard-might-work-on-new-warcraft-rts-once-finished-with-starcraft-ii Wed, 12 Aug 2015 07:12:37 -0400 Austin Widmyer

Fans of the Warcraft series were delighted to hear that there may be hope for the RTS franchise. In a statement made at GamesCom 2015, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void producer Tim Morten had this to say:

"It’s very rewarding for us to hear that there’s demand out there for more RTS content in the Warcraft universe so once we’re done with Void I think we’ll get together as a team and talk about what would inspire us to work on next. There’s no question, though, that we’ll consider Warcraft, StarCraft, or even new ideas. Anything is possible."

It has been twelve years since we last got a Warcraft RTS. Ever since World of Warcraft came out and become such a hit, those who preferred the RTS to the MMO began to give up hope of ever seeing a proper Warcraft RTS ever again. This statement, however, at least gives us hope that somewhere down the line, there will be another Warcraft game. That is more than we can say for some series (looking at you, Half-Life).

This makes us wonder about the current state of Blizzard's cash cow World of Warcraft. The most recent expansion has failed to retain many of the once-subscribers to the MMO. In fact, some unpopular features have been driving players away.

It is no secret that WoW's subscribers have dropped to 5.6 million, the lowest it has ever been. Could Blizzard be teasing a possibility of Warcraft IV in an attempt to win back the favor of their fans? We will have to see in the years to come.

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5 Reasons Warcraft IV should happen (and 3 reasons why it probably won't) https://www.gameskinny.com/nlcqj/5-reasons-warcraft-iv-should-happen-and-3-reasons-why-it-probably-wont https://www.gameskinny.com/nlcqj/5-reasons-warcraft-iv-should-happen-and-3-reasons-why-it-probably-wont Thu, 06 Aug 2015 12:39:26 -0400 David Fisher

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And there you have it! While Warcraft IV seems to be further away than ever, it is still a dream to some. It may very well remain a dream forever until Blizzard announces something in the future. Hopefully, one day Blizzard will hear our prayers and at least give us a remake of the old games. Until then, dream on fellow Warcraft RTS enthusiasts! I'll see you on battle.net!

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What about you readers? Do you think Blizzard will ever give us a new Warcraft RTS? Do you think Warcraft IV will be released too late to gather interest? Would Starcraft: Ghost have a greater chance of being released than Warcraft IV? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

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Why It Won't: It Might Be Too Late

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Many fans have already gone out of the way to create their own Warcraft IV mods in Starcraft II and standalone clients. While they are by no means perfect, and most of them simply reuse the same game balancing from Warcraft III, the fact that they exist could seriously hurt sales. The reason that this could happen is simply because many players might find Warcraft IV to feel too different - visually or mechanically - from Warcraft III. It wouldn't be the first time either since Starcraft II still gathers a lot of criticisms from Brood War fans to this day.

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If that wasn't bad enough, Blizzard is losing a lot of their map editing crowd to DotA 2. With Valve's new Hammer modding tool and Steam Workshop, Blizzard's stalling for a new Warcraft game is only going to hurt them in the long run since many Warcraft III games have been remade for Valve's DotA 2 client already.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/8/1/781ea7ea68e931dad65326dc7e6d91a6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/8/1/tiny_781ea7ea68e931dad65326dc7e6d91a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77910","description":"

Why It Should: World Editor

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Blizzard is really missing out by not providing fans with a new world editor. While Starcraft II's map editor is great, it isn't Warcraft. Modern MMOs found their roots in Warcraft III's world editor, not because Starcraft: Brood War lacked a map editor, but because the lore and diversity of units allowed for the creation of a variety of games in a fantasy setting.

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The quirkiness of certain units or characters made it accessible, and allowed for mini-games that you simply could never create in Starcraft. Sure, we have Zerg Soccer or Auir Chef in Starcraft, but Warcraft III had the Dodger of Sheep and Warchasers. I'm pretty sure we all know which mini-games were better...

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Why It Won't: World of Warcraft's Lore

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As much as Warcraft III was great for its lore, World of Warcraft does lore that much better. In fact, World of Warcraft's lore has become so expansive that deciding upon a storyboard for a Warcraft IV is pretty much impossible. With new heroes and villains added with each new expansion, and many more released even between patches, it's almost impossible to think of something that could fit into Azeroth that hasn't been done already.

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Also, until World of Warcraft sees its last players close its doors, Warcraft IV would have to make sure that all events in the game were canonical with the massive world of the MMO. While it is difficult to maintain a consistent world as big as Azeroth and its surrounding realms, keeping two games consistent with that same lore would be a feat that no developer would want to face - even if they are a level 110 Death Knight.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/7/e/d7ef8caa4f9765b4d4c4a3379df87ecd.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/7/e/tiny_d7ef8caa4f9765b4d4c4a3379df87ecd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77912","description":"

Why It Should: Heroes of the Storm

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Heroes of the Storm proved one thing about Warcraft's audience: they want more hero-based RTS. While I don't have the numbers on Hero sales, the number of Warcraft heroes you can find roaming about the unranked Quick Match lobbies should be evidence enough that players want to play as their favorite heroes again. People want to smash the living daylights out of hordes of creeps, just like they did in Warcraft III. It's a simple fact of life.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/2/8/82886fc6f6ce796e925cbfbf170ae695.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/2/8/tiny_82886fc6f6ce796e925cbfbf170ae695.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77904","description":"

Why It Should: Learning About our Heroes

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While World of Warcraft has built up a sizable amount of lore, ultimately it will never be able to tell stories the same way that Warcraft III did. I'm talking about the heroes themselves: Jaina, Arthas, Illidan, and Sylvanas all of whom originated from the 2003 RTS game. World of Warcraft has since gone on to kill Arthas (over and over) and Illidan (over and over) but at the end of the day the character development of the heroes we follow just doesn't match that of the RTS games.

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If Blizzard wants to develop our heroes, stop sending us on raids and fetch quests. Give us a new RTS that makes us love them all over again, one that will drive new World of Warcraft players to pick a race because they like the characters, not because they want the best stat gains or buffs.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/a/8fab277f35379e12a01e00d028dbfac4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/a/tiny_8fab277f35379e12a01e00d028dbfac4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77907","description":"

Why It Won't: Balancing Races

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While other RTS games tend to have 10 different races with different perks, Warcraft III had 4 different races with entirely different units. This means that every single unit has to be rebalanced, every hero needs to be put in check, and every structure has to have the right amount of health. It's a big job, and it's one that Blizzard probably doesn't want to handle again.

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Starcraft II is still getting rebalance patches for Wings of Liberty now and then. What makes us think that we're ever going to get another Starcraft II with heroes and another race thrown in? It's depressing and sobering reality, but it's the truth.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/7/3/e73ea545b99de4d8ab311331d296c859.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/7/3/tiny_e73ea545b99de4d8ab311331d296c859.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77891","description":"

Why It Should: Diversity of Gameplay Strategies

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One of the great things about Warcraft III: Frozen Throne was that it had four different races to choose from: the Human Alliance, the Orcish Horde, the Night Elf Sentinels, and the Undead Scourge. Each race had various pros and cons.

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For example, the Humans were your basic RTS race. They had simple divisions between your worker units, your soldiers, your air support, and your siege weapons. They also had various towers for defense, allowing them to "turtle" their way through to the late-game.

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The Orcs were similar in gameplay, except they focused more on aggressive units. Their "pillage" ability also allowed their warriors to gather resources by damaging enemy buildings.

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The Undead were a strange race who were infamous for taking advantage of dead enemy units, as well as combining their wood-gathering unit with their basic attack unit. This gave them an advantage over other races in the sense that they could attack earlier and defend easier.

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Meanwhile, the Night Elves were able to gather wood without disturbing the trees. They also had a focus on specialist units that had many spells, as well as a focus on ranged soldiers that could keep away from advancing melee warriors.

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Having four races - each with unique units - created a diversity in strategies that the RTS genre simply hasn't seen in a long time. As much as Starcraft has its own 3 races to choose from, let's face it: there's always going to be Marine-Marauder rushes, and Protoss death-balls until the day Starcraft II dies.

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Why It Should: Warcraft III Had a Unique RTS Style

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For those who have never played Warcraft III it would appear to be like any other RTS. However, the game is much deeper than your average Macro/Micro gameplay that we see in Starcraft and other RTS games.

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In Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, players were given the choice of 4 heroes, and were allowed to summon 1-3 of them depending on the level of their Town Hall (or other home-base, depending on race). Each hero had a specific role and had select abilities that were unique to them. By participating in battles, heroes would gain levels, making them stronger than the average unit. They could also gain valuable inventory items that could turn the tide of battles at any moment.

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This was a feature unique to the Warcraft series of RTS games, and it is one that players sorely miss. While we can easily get our quick-fix for hero-based RTS gameplay by returning to Warcraft III from time-to-time, ultimately we would like to have a newer and more polished game than the old 2003 release.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/0/b/c0badf9a372d992f2a6380a05d305304.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/0/b/tiny_c0badf9a372d992f2a6380a05d305304.png","type":"slide","id":"77889","description":"

After World of Warcraft: Legion's announcement, it seems that anyone's hopes and dreams for a Warcraft IV real-time strategy game are just about dead. Despite age-old rumours of a new RTS, Blizzard has pretty much confirmed time and time again that they can't fathom the possibility of cranking out a new Warcraft RTS. With almost 12 years since the last installment, I think that we can safely say at this point that it just isn't going to happen...

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So I decided: I should get angry and tell Blizzard why they should make one anyway!

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As such, I've compiled here a list of 5 reasons why Warcraft IV needs to happen - and 3 reasons why it probably won't - so let's get our peons and peasants ready and dig in!

"}]]]>
7 Great Games and Series with Amazing Lore https://www.gameskinny.com/kz1dd/7-great-games-and-series-with-amazing-lore https://www.gameskinny.com/kz1dd/7-great-games-and-series-with-amazing-lore Thu, 06 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 David Fisher

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And there you have it, 7 great games for those of us looking to get immersed in a whole library of lore!

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This is where I turn it to you guys: what games would you have added to this list? Do you disagree or agree with what's already here? Do you play games that have great lore even if they are lacking in gameplay? Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments section below!

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Five Nights at Freddy's

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Those of you who have been on the internet anytime between August 8th, 2014 and the present day knew that this game would be in this list, and for good reason. As if the millions of let's play videos, and the hundreds of Five Nights at Freddy's themed music tracks weren't enough, the mad speculation and theory building behind the game's lore puts this game on top.

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Five Nights at Freddy's does everything a horror game should: scare people with a mix of suspense and jumpscares, make the protagonist relatable (i.e.: you working in a part-time job), and provide a sinister backstory behind what is otherwise nothing more than your everyday killer.

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Perhaps the best part about this game is that the lore is near invisible. Through the calls with the "Phone Guy" we learn almost nothing about why these animatronics are after our blood, the only obvious one being that we supposedly look like an endoskeleton outside of its suit. However, by looking at magazine clippings on the walls, or playing hidden minigames in the sequels, we learn that Freddy & Co. are possessed by the spirits of dead children. What's more, a security guard killed them, known to fans as the "Purple Guy".

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Sort of makes us wish our protagonist didn't take up the first security guard job that showed up, huh?

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As much as I would love to rant on about all the crazy theories surrounding this game, there's no better place to look for them than online. If you want to learn more about this game's lore, the Five Nights at Freddy's Wiki, or the Game Theorist series on the Five Nights at Freddy's lore are great places to start.

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The Elder Scrolls Series

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The Elder Scrolls is the Lord of the Rings of the gaming world. With 6 games under its belt, and almost 10 expansion packs shared among them, The Elder Scrolls is perhaps one of the largest video games in terms of world building.

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Skyrim alone has some of the most interesting lore in its two main quests: the battle between man and dragons, and the battle between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks.

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With the battle between man and dragon you have an entire political background ranging from the dominance of man by dragon, and the eventual uprising with the aid of the Dragonborn. Then you have the link between The Blades - a group who acted as royal guards in Oblivion - and an ancient society of dragon slayers.

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Meanwhile, with the Stormcloaks and the Imperials you learn a lot about the political landscape of Cyrodil. Gone are our impressions of the Imperial Legion being this team of "good guys", and in comes the image of the Legion being a bunch of oppressive power mongers. The flipside, however, is that the Stormcloaks are a bunch of radical racists who want nothing more than to liberate Skyrim of anyone who is not of nordic descent.

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If that's not enough for you, how about you take a look at the hundreds of books in the Elder Scrolls series? I'm not talking about physical books, I'm talking about in-game texts. These books range from harlequin romance and erotica, to holy texts and scientific knowledge of the world. For example, did you know that Nirn - the name of the world in The Elder Scrolls - is a geocentric planet? That means that the sun and the stars orbit the planet. On top of that, night is not a result of the lack of sun, but rather the blackness is the plain of Oblivion itself blocking out the heavens. Cool, huh?

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Like Majora's MaskThe Elder Scrolls has also cultivated its own groups of theorists who have argued everything from who the true gods are, to whether or not the "Dragonborn" is the same person in a different body each time.

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For its impossibly complex backstory and sizable collection of lore, as well as its ability to spark the minds of theorists, The Elder Scrolls series could possibly take the spot of being the greatest game for lore in history.

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Pokemon

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Some readers might be confused as to why Pokemon made this list, but there is method to my madness.

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Let's start with the basics: Pokemon literally gives you a book of lore at the very start of the game. In fact, your job as a Pokemon Trainer is to acquire more lore, so that the professor of lore can have more lore to share with other professors who are discovering lore. Is that too much of a mouthful? Well let's simplify it: your Pokedex is the guide to the Pokemon universe.

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That's right. Your job this entire time as a Pokemon Trainer was to do exactly what Bioshock was doing with its audio books: gather lore. The Pokedex is perhaps one of the most interesting lore books in the history of gaming in that it provides information on every single creature you capture, and each installment of the series provides players with something new. What is even more interesting, however, is that the Pokedex - particularly in the older titles - has some very dark secrets about Pokemon.

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For example: did you know that Duskull gets kicks out of watching children cry? Or how about that Yveltal pretty much kills everyone the second it dies? How about that the Pokemon world itself is actually Earth? We can find this out through Delibird's Pokedex entry where it tells us that it helps people climb Mount Everest!

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A lot of backstory is told through NPCs and books as well. Through the lore we can discover that our rival in the 2nd generation of Pokemon was actually the son of the Team Rocket Leader, Giovanni. We also learn in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that the 1st through 3rd generations of Pokemon take place in an alternate universe, explaining the reason why the remakes exist. The amount of stashed away world lore combined with the Pokedex makes the Pokemon series' world seem deceivingly simple.

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The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

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While most of its lore isn't exactly "hidden" per se, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask does a good job of sparking speculation in its players. The reason? Even by fantasy standards, Majora's Mask is a mindbend that makes no coherent sense without looking at the game through a literary lens.

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Take for example the "Link is Dead" theory. Just like the name implies, the "Link is Dead" theory surrounds the possibility that Majora's Mask is actually a game about a dead Link. After venturing into the Lost Woods without a fairy, Link is turned into a Stalfos, for this is the fate of all Hylians who venture through its labyrinth. This theory has been supported from various fronts, ranging from Ocarina of Time's Link being the Hero's Spirit from Twilight Princess, to the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief symbolized by each region, to even the reused character models that are prevalent throughout the game.

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Another theory that is popular with Majora's Mask surrounds the origins of the mask itself. Some theorists have considered the possibility that Termina is not a separate world, but rather a form of the Twilight Realm. According to this theory, Majora's Mask may have been created by the Twili before their banishment to the Twilight Realm.

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The theories aside, Majora's Mask also hides a lot of its lore in the game itself. For example, due to the game's constant revolving around three days, Majora's Mask ensures that players cannot discover all the lore in one playthrough. By traveling to different areas at different times of day we can learn everything from the results of Anju and Kafei's love, to Romani being put into a stupor by Cremia during their final hours so she will not feel the pain. The game's dark undertones cast a shadow over many of its themes and backstory, forcing players to constantly reset the clock to find out more.

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Blizzard Entertainment Universes

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Blizzard is an interesting company when it comes to lore. While each universe has its distinct genre, their worlds are carefully thought out. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Blizzard was the pioneer of commercial fantasy and sci-fi in video games when it comes to lore.

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Take for example World of Warcraft. Originally starting as an RTS game, Warcraft has managed to captivate the masses with bundles upon bundles of deep lore. Almost every single character you meet in the RTS or MMO games have relationships to at least two other characters, and those characters can have even further relationships to others. With enough perseverance one could possibly link a random NPC to the Lich King. Towns and kingdoms have rich backstories as well, with some dating back to the earliest games in the series.

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Starcraft similarly has great backstory behind its characters, and its planets. Everything has a purpose, and it is a prime example of mythopoeia gone wild. Even units have their backstories, and while the backstory might not be about Joe Doe doing this or that, every unit has a purpose for its existence from the Zergling to the Terran Goliath.

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Diablo has also made sure that each game fits in with the last installment, sometimes retconning details such as the Warrior from the first game being the Dark Wanderer from Diablo II. Similar to Warcraft's web of characters, the Dark Wanderer can be linked to King Leoric, who can be linked to Diablo and so on.

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All of these games have spawned entire wikis filled with hundreds of entries, the likes of which take days to read through. With Heroes of the Storm acting as a non-canon mash-up of all Blizzard heroes, I would not be at all surprised if somebody found a way to prove the game is actually canonical. Maybe they could start with Diablo in Starcraft II, Tauren Marines, or the Hydralisk found in Warcraft III?

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Metroid Prime Trilogy

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Those who have read my Metroid Prime Rewind Review will know that Metroid Prime is great for lore. Similar to Bioshock, Metroid Prime feeds lore to players through the use of the Scan Visor. This allows players to pretty much learn anything they could possibly want to know about anything they see.

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What does this animal do to survive? Scanning...

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How does this plant live in magma? Scanning...

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How much health does this energy capsule heal? Scanning...

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I wish I was exaggerating, but Metroid Prime pretty much lets you scan everything. The best part is that Retro Studios put a serious effort into explaining the existence of absolutely everything in the game, something that most Metroid games leave up to the player.

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Furthermore, the scans also allow players get information on the planets themselves. By scanning dead aliens (or humans) as well as scriptures and so on, Samus has access to the entire backstory of each game - sometimes including info from past titles.

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Bioshock Series

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Bioshock has some interesting lore... for those who are out to look for it. While the lore in this game isn't particularly "hidden", it does require you to look for it in the form of audio diaries. What is hidden, however, is the backstory of Rapture and Columbia. Everything from the fall of Rapture, to the development of vigors and plasmids are all revealed through these audio diaries. This is simply something that could not be done without awkward plug-ins to the main story.

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Lore... Lore is what makes an interesting story into a great one. Lore is what makes fanboys out of players. Lore is what builds a video game's world into something more than a button masher. Lore is what compels players to dig deeper into a game to find out new information that a casual playthrough will not reveal. If you have yet to guess it, lore is what we will be looking at today.

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These seven games may not be the only games with great storylines; however, these games had the ambition to do more than just present us with a face-value story. They are games that have given us interesting stories, or maybe just interesting gameplay, but have also snuck in some interesting little factoids about the game's world that players have to rather unlock or search for in order to learn.

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Like the great mythopoetic authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis, these games have created immersive worlds that are interesting on the surface, and yet they still have much more to present for the ambitious Easter Egg hunter or completionist.

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Without further ado, let's take a look at these 7 great games with impressive worlds fueled by lore!

"}]]]>
Blizzard @ Gamescom 2015: new heroes and new battleground for Heroes of the Storm https://www.gameskinny.com/13ki6/blizzard-gamescom-2015-new-heroes-and-new-battleground-for-heroes-of-the-storm https://www.gameskinny.com/13ki6/blizzard-gamescom-2015-new-heroes-and-new-battleground-for-heroes-of-the-storm Wed, 05 Aug 2015 05:22:46 -0400 Ainyan

Blizzard has announced three new Heroes, one from each of its most familiar franchises, and a new battleground for its popular MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, at Gamescom 2015.

Kharazim

First into the Nexus is the Diablo 3 monk, Kharazim. The first support class from the Diablo universe, Kharazim brings a mixture of offensive and defensive moves to the battlefields of the Eternal Conflict. A melee hero, he is a master of the ways who can take one of several paths via tallent choice; Iron Fists grants bonus damage, Transcendence allows him to heal himself with a few well-placed strikes, while Insight grants a balance between offense and defense.

Rexxar

From the Warcraft universe comes Rexxar. The half-orc, half-ogre Beastmaster whose heroic actions have earned him acclaim from the Horde and Alliance both can now be found standing his ground in the Nexus.

Joining this ranged warrior is the familiar hulking form of his companion, the bear Misha. Like the pets of the hunters of the Warcraft universe, Misha is integral to Rexxar’s gameplay, charging in to harass his enemies and deflect blows meant for her master while the massive hero unleashes devastating ranged attacks.

Artanis

Artanis, leader of the Protoss, comes from Starcraft, the first melee warrior from that particular universe. Although details are slim, he’s promised to come with some heavy-hitting melee and will likely be able to take quite a beating in the lanes.

With the worlds of Nexus overrun by Heroes and enemies, it’s only fair that the three newest additions bring with them a new battlefield upon which to fight. Joining the lineup in the Nexus is the Infernal Shrines, a Diablo-themed battleground. True to its name, the Infernal Shrines contains three shrines that teams must activate, which will summon a Punisher to fight for them.

The trick to this map is that each Punisher will spawn with one of three random affixes from the Diablo universe - Arcane, Frozen, or Mortar - and wil the closest lane as well as actively seek out enemy Heroes.

With three new Heroes and another new battleground, the Eternal Conflict event just got a little bigger. More information on these new additions to the Nexus, as well as other plans for Heroes of the Storm, will be available Friday, August 7th, at 9am PST live from Gamescom.

For those unable to attend, these and all other Blizzard announcements will be simulcast on the Blizzard Livestream.

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Is the Warcraft movie going to suck? https://www.gameskinny.com/jrzzi/is-the-warcraft-movie-going-to-suck https://www.gameskinny.com/jrzzi/is-the-warcraft-movie-going-to-suck Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:53:19 -0400 CallSignDriver

It's strange to imagine, but Warcraft fans have been clamoring for a Warcraft movie for over a decade. Way back in 2008, filmmaker Uwe Boll (responsible for the top four entries on our "10 worst movies based on games" list) tried to get his hands on the franchise, but was swiftly denied. According to Boll, this is what developer Blizzard Entertainment had to say on the matter:

We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you. Because it’s such a big online game suc­cess, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongo­ing income, what the com­pany has with it.

Though Boll is likely paraphrasing Blizzard's response, the logic behind the statement is the same. Now that World of Warcraft has become a globally recognized phenomenon, any film made based on the franchise has the burden of acting as the game's most influential advertisement.

Since 2010, WoW's subscribers have dropped from 12 million worldwide to only 7.4, recovering momentarily for the launch of Warlords of Draenor, only to drop even further after the hype subsided. A good Warcraft film could help Blizzard dig themselves out of this hole. A bad one might dig it deeper.

It was simple for Blizzard to say no to a Warcraft cash-in in 2008, when WoW was still on the rise. Now that World of Warcraft is dwindling in popularity, it's easy to imagine that Blizzard might settle for less. Between questionable marketing materials, an abundance of cg, and the film's relatively unknown director and cast, it would appear that Blizzard is taking a huge risk on their multi-million-dollar WoW ad.

Back in May, we recieved our first look at Warcraft's computer-generated orcs through still images of Orgrim Doomhammer (one of which can be found at the top of this article). While Orgrim is looking absolutely raw in these stills, the same cannot be said for Anduin Lothar and Durotan, seen in the exclusive Comic-Con posters found above.

When I first saw these images, I felt like there was something off about them--like promotional materials for a SyFy original feature. After checking the reddit discussion, I was glad to find I wasn't alone.

Comment from discussion Two Official 'Warcraft' Movie Posters.
Comment from discussion Official posters for WARCRAFT movie are here.
 

Anduin looks like he's an extra from Stardust, and Durotan looks like a gorgonite from Small Soldiers. This is bad promo art, especially considering that the stills of Orgrim are of such better quality, but now that I've seen it I can't help but be somewhat concerned.

Apart, these two posters look a little silly, if not hastily prepared. Side-by-side, however, they clash horribly. How well can we expect the live-action and computer-generated elements of the film to look together on-screen?

If you haven't already seen the leaked Warcraft test footage for yourself, make sure to check out my play-by-play recap. Something I didn't mention in that article was the whining criticism of a member in the audience, who didn't seem to get it.

I'm already not interested. It's just one big computer. This is Avatar.

While the guy's tone was admittedly cringeworthy, I can't say that I completely disagree. Blizzard's cutscenes are fantastic, and I've heard fans say for years that they would watch a movie of them if Blizzard would just put it together for themselves. Now, however, I'm not sure if that's enough.

Sure, these visuals look good, but do they look photorealistic enough to stand beside live-action characters without looking like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In spite of the audience member's cynical comment, Avatar is actually an excellent example of this done correctly, but Avatar had a budget of 237 million dollars. Warcraft is estimated to have a little under half that. 

So whose job is it to make this work? Though director Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) is no Peter Jackson, he's far from alone in his quest to bring the Warcraft story to life. Producers on the film include individuals such as Nicholas Carpenter, Chris Metzen, Michael Morhaime, and Paul Sams, all of whom have worked on actual Warcraft games in the past.

Accompanying them to set my CGI fears to rest are the talented artists of Industrial Light & Magic, whose resume includes films such as Pacific Rim, Transformers, the Pirates of The Carribean films, and yes, even Avatar. If anyone can make it work, it's these guys.

Verdict: Probably not, but only time will tell.

It's easy to get worked up and anxious that something you're anticipating isn't going to meet your standards, especially when you're a part of the gaming community. If you're concerned about the Warcraft movie being lame, calm down. Between the solid writing seen in the leaked trailer and Industrial Light & Magic's confirmed CGI prowess, it looks like Warcraft is following a recipe for success. Here's to hoping that once that success is crafted, it doesn't stagnate at the auction house.

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Play-by-play of leaked Warcraft movie footage; includes Durotan, Gul'dan, and Garona Halforcen https://www.gameskinny.com/4wug7/play-by-play-of-leaked-warcraft-movie-footage-includes-durotan-guldan-and-garona-halforcen https://www.gameskinny.com/4wug7/play-by-play-of-leaked-warcraft-movie-footage-includes-durotan-guldan-and-garona-halforcen Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:29:14 -0400 CallSignDriver

Whoever was in charge of preventing leaks at this year's Comic-Con is bound to be looking for a new job. Between Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Deadpool, and now Warcraft, it's like they weren't even trying.

At least in the case of Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, DC went ahead and released the high-quality trailers to the public, rather than have fans criticizing the film over some potato-quality footage. Meanwhile, the Warcraft leak has come and gone, leaving fans with little other than speculation.

As of writing this article, there are still a handful of sites that have yet to remove the leaked Warcraft test footage, but they won't be up for long. Fortunately for you, we've got the scene-by-scene recap.

The test footage opens with a crackling green thunderstorm, looming in the clouds above Hellfire Peninsula. This is the world of Draenor, home of the Orcs, a proud race of warriors and shamans, divided by tribes and clans.

Marching across the wastelands are the red-skinned orcs of the Frostwolf clan. The orc in front is Durotan, leader of the Frostwolf orcs. Beside him is Orgrim Doomhammer of the Blackrock clan. "Stick together," Durotan commands.

A horn announces their arrival as they approach. Several other tribes have already gathered in this place. "Drakka," Durotan says, addressing a member of his clan. "Find us a place to camp." Drakka is Durotan's wife, who is pregnant with his child.

"Open the gates!" the other orcs cry out. The Frostwolves enter the camp. "Their skin..." Doomhammer remarks, "...it's green." This is unusual for the Frostwolves, as red is the natural color for orc skin. Something has happened to these orcs. Something has changed them.

"All I know is our planet is dying," Durotan replies. "We need food. We need water."

There is hammering in the background. These green orcs are building something. Cut to the camp at night, where Durotan is meeting with a chieftain of the green orcs. "It is a path to a new world," the chieftain explains.

"You believe this?" Durotan questions him.

"I believe in Gul'dan," he replies. Gul'dan is a former shaman of the Stormweaver clan, now a powerful Warlock, the first of his race. "His death magic has made me powerful," the chieftain replies. "You'll see."

Cut to Durotan, lying beside his wife. "I've thought of a name," Drakka remarks. Durotan grips her hand gently. "Well, keep it to yourself, wife. I'll choose a name when I meet him. Or..." He seems to consider the alternative.

"Oh?" Drakka scoffs. "And how will the great Durotan name his son... if I do not travel with him?"

Durotan sits up. "A son?"

Cut to the Frostwolves marching towards the other orcs, who are gathering en masse around the finished structure. It is the Dark Portalan enormous doorway glowing dimly with green flame. A female orc watches in chains, but is pulled away by another. "Move, half-breed!" the slave-driver commands. Her name is Garona Halforcen. The other half being Draenei.

"Death...life..." a hooded Gul'dan chants, striking the foot of his staff against the steps of the doorway with each word.

"Do you hear it?" he begins, addressing the horde of orcs before him. "The beat of a thousand hearts–a thousand slaves for a thousand warriors." He motions to the cages at the foot of the doorway, each containing a prisoner captured during a previous expedition. "Living souls are the key to this portal; I need prisoners, not corpses."

The orcs begin to cheer and roar to Gul'dan's rallying words. "Empty their villages and towns, their cities. Bring me fuel for the [fountain?], and make room for the horde!"

Gul'dan turns to face the portal and throws out his arms, absorbing the souls of the captured prisoners and channeling them into the glowing doorway.

An image appears across the shimmering surface of the portal. It is the world of Azeroth, home of the humans.

The green orcs stampede wildly towards the portal, charging through with reckless abandon. In contrast, the Frostwolf orcs Durotan and Drakka wait calmly at the precipice. "Let me go first," Durotan requests. She nods with approval. Durotan slips through the portal, followed closely by his wife.

Share your thoughts

What's your first impression of the Warcraft test footage? If you managed to find the leak yourself, what did you catch that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments below. For a more in-depth analysis and critique of the Warcraft film so far, check out my follow-up article.

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15 Brilliant Video Game Tributes From DeviantArt https://www.gameskinny.com/u7r05/15-brilliant-video-game-tributes-from-deviantart https://www.gameskinny.com/u7r05/15-brilliant-video-game-tributes-from-deviantart Tue, 23 Jun 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Ainyan

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Fan Art is Our Expression of Love for Video Games
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Video games have traditionally been a rich source of inspiration for artists. The vivid visuals and in-depth story lines of many video games help spark the imagination, and artists often put their talents to good use, creating beautiful works of fan art in tribute to their favorite games. Many of these artists display their work on DeviantArt, a social networking site dedicated to offering artists a place to exhibit, promote, and share their work with a like-minded community.

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This slideshow is only a tiny sampling of the immense talent available on DeviantArt, so if you like what you see, please, visit the website and discover more awesome artists like these.

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(Final slide by the author: Mass Effect Companion Wallpaper - by Ainyan42)

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/d/0/dd0c98b314c66e9460bbb3d72d84a6cf.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/d/0/tiny_dd0c98b314c66e9460bbb3d72d84a6cf.png","type":"slide","id":"68089","description":"
Destiny by Guzzardi
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Destiny by Guzzardi depicts a lovely watercolor piece of a Titan, Hunter, and Warlock, as well as their weapons, from Bungie's Destiny

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/0/8/608dfb2b4333afb28041d3e27b6dccaa.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/0/8/tiny_608dfb2b4333afb28041d3e27b6dccaa.png","type":"slide","id":"68104","description":"
Maiev Shadowsong by Nyogtha-Art
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A picture of Maiev Shadowsong from Blizzard's Warcraft series so well-rendered by Nyogtha-Art, Illidan must shudder in fear to see it.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/f/8/2f8e8928ecad0bef961823b64b666672.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/f/8/tiny_2f8e8928ecad0bef961823b64b666672.png","type":"slide","id":"68100","description":"
Zelda: Links Reforged by ChasingArtwork
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Link and Dark Link from Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series appear ready for anything - except, perhaps, pointy chickens, in ChasingArtwork's Zelda: Links Reforged.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/1/5/9151f70ca0aa663b964d8c1f0ae23850.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/1/5/tiny_9151f70ca0aa663b964d8c1f0ae23850.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68086","description":"
PSC - Geralt and Triss by aimo
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PSC - Geralt and Triss by aimo is a well-rendered personal sketch card featuring Geralt of Rivia and Triss Merigold from CD Projekt RED's The Witcher series.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/3/d/53d2900f0bbfbfa44b6f8266686266ca.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/3/d/tiny_53d2900f0bbfbfa44b6f8266686266ca.png","type":"slide","id":"68096","description":"
Nimzana's Portrait Commission by Shalinka
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Nimzana's Portrait Commission by Shalinka proves that in Blizzard's World of Warcraft, cow eats you. Commission of Nimzach's Tauren Death Knight.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/1/7/a17f14b8c82bc5e17032befc9f502e7b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/1/7/tiny_a17f14b8c82bc5e17032befc9f502e7b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68084","description":"
Marushi by AvannTeth
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A splendid commission of Marushi's blood elf hunter and two of her pets from Blizzard's World of Warcraft, created by AvannTeth.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/3/7/5379a6e71ff9c3f397686523620e98d6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/3/7/tiny_5379a6e71ff9c3f397686523620e98d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68083","description":"
League of Legends - We Shall Protect by ffSade
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A powerful piece depicting many of the support champions from Riot Games' League of Legends, ffSade's League of Legends - We Shall Protect pays tribute to those unsung heroes who stand behind us and hold us aloft.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/6/2/d621e62aa360f1ce409f5653517c2c15.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/6/2/tiny_d621e62aa360f1ce409f5653517c2c15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68087","description":"
Warcraft X Diablo by GENZOMAN 
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A clever piece depicting Tyrael, Angel of Justice and a Night Elf hunter from Blizzard's Diablo and Warcraft universes. Let's just hope that Tyrael doesn't mistake the elf for a succubus, yes?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/c/d/3cd2484fa0d72813a4aaa69a8fafc4ec.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/c/d/tiny_3cd2484fa0d72813a4aaa69a8fafc4ec.png","type":"slide","id":"68091","description":"
For Shame by Centchi
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What a shocker - Raichu from Pokémon has been misbehaving! For Shame by Centchi captures this sulky pocket monster mid-shaming.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/9/8c91dc41f83c35f3d357cb7b79e07b8d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/9/tiny_8c91dc41f83c35f3d357cb7b79e07b8d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68078","description":"
Isn't he Ad-AURA-ble and Mew... too? by ItsBirdyArt
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Pokémon so adorable, you can't just have one. Baby Riolu is wearing a hoodie of his evolution, Lucario, in Isn't he Ad-AURA-ble, while Mew dons a onesie tribute to his genetically altered sibling Mewtwo in Mew... too?, both by ItsBirdyArt.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/f/c7f0a449bc93bcc4472463275ed33998.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/f/tiny_c7f0a449bc93bcc4472463275ed33998.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68081","description":"
Kaidan and Jane Dancing Away by ladywinde
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Kaidan Alenko and the artist's Commander Shepard (female) from BioWare's Mass Effect series share a dance at an Officer's Ball in this fantastic, fantasy-like piece.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/8/a/28ab064dbf3f9e50df7790609a3a89d4.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/8/a/tiny_28ab064dbf3f9e50df7790609a3a89d4.png","type":"slide","id":"68095","description":"
Messing With Garrus by JulianneKnight
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What has been seen cannot be unseen. Clearly, hammers were modeled after Turian heads. At least, that is what I took away from this comic featuring Mass Effect's Commander Shepard messing with her Turian companion, Garrus.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/6/9/9693d7b7b120c82e99107e01218e4226.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/6/9/tiny_9693d7b7b120c82e99107e01218e4226.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68076","description":"
Goodnight by meonlyred
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Kaidan Alenko and the player's version of Commander Shepard (female), characters from BioWare's Mass Effect series, sleep on the couch. Fighting Reapers sure takes a lot out of you.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/3/0/c30b1715e0e066b6a1646fa91a0551f5.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/3/0/tiny_c30b1715e0e066b6a1646fa91a0551f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68075","description":"
Following Cullen by FalseSecurity
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An adorable piece of Dragon Age's Cullen followed by a mabari puppy just looking for someone to love, Following Cullen is sure to tug at your heartstrings.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/3/0/630b34525df6e8659005371f8e0435af.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/3/0/tiny_630b34525df6e8659005371f8e0435af.jpg","type":"slide","id":"68073","description":"

Fan Art Is a Tribute to Visual Media

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Fan art has been around as long as media has - from artists' renderings of scenes from books, to expanding the universe of a movie or video game. The imaginations of many a creative mind have been sparked by a random scene or conversation that simply begs them to take it one step further. Here is a collection of fifteen works from artists on DeviantArt which have captured the essence of a video game (or games) in stunning tribute to the inspiring work.
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Dragon Effect by AndrewRyanArt
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We'll start with an epic piece spanning not one, but two award-winning games by BioWare: Mass Effect and Dragon Age, depicting the crew of the Normandy as they would appear on Thedas: Dragon Effect by AndrewRyanArt

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