What Remains of Edith Finch Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com What Remains of Edith Finch RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Gone Rogue: 7 Developers Who Left AAA to Create Their Own Games https://www.gameskinny.com/biuyf/gone-rogue-7-developers-who-left-aaa-to-create-their-own-games https://www.gameskinny.com/biuyf/gone-rogue-7-developers-who-left-aaa-to-create-their-own-games Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:14:36 -0500 Allison M Reilly

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/g/mighty-aaae5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/g/mighty-aaae5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177778","description":"

A career in game development doesn't have to start with indie games and move up toward the AAA games. It can go the other way around, or touch upon a little bit of every type of game. These seven developers show that if you have the drive and the talent, you can make any type of game you want. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f57a6ffa9332b1945d4f4eaa535cfdce.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f57a6ffa9332b1945d4f4eaa535cfdce.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11814","description":"

David Goldfarb

\n

Goldfarb is best known as game director for Payday 2 and lead designer for Battlefield 3. He announced in 2014 he was leaving Overkill Software. He founded indie development studio The Outsiders, which is currently working on Project Wight, an action-adventure taking place in an alternative history. In Project Wight, players will play as creatures who are being decimated out of existence by humans. The creatures crawl on all fours, have the ability to soar through the air, and fight with teeth and claws. The game doesn't have a release date yet but is slated for a PC-first release.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/w/lawbreakers-65454.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/w/lawbreakers-65454.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177776","description":"

Cliff Bleszinski

\n

Bleszinski spent two decades at Epic Games, serving as design director for Gears of War. Bleszinski is also one of the few video game designers who've been profiled by The New Yorker and has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He's primarily known for his work on one game, but incredible work on an even more incredible game.

\n

Nonetheless, he left all that to start Boss Key Productions and launch LawBreakers, a multiplayer first-person shooter. Though the game opened with positive reviews, the title is currently suffering from a lack of active players.

\n

LawBreakers is available on Steam for $29.99.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/u/house-dying-sun-e256f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/u/house-dying-sun-e256f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177775","description":"

Mike Tipul

\n

Tipul was one of many developers at Bungie who worked on Destiny to make the switch to indie games. His indie title from Marauder Interactive, House of the Dying Sun, is a tactical space shooter with VR capabilities. The game was long in the making, first showcased in 2012 before it was finally released in November 2016.

\n

House of the Dying Sun is available on Steam for $19.99.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/p/e/open-bar-game-8ba67.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/p/e/open-bar-game-8ba67.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177774","description":"

Maxime Beaudoin

\n

Beaudoin was a software architect for Ubisoft who worked on games big and small, including Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Surf's Up, and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. He called it quits and in 2015 founded indie developer Gingear Studio with his girlfriend, Julie Lortie-Pelletier. Gingear has one mobile title to its name, a cocktail-themed puzzler called Open Bar. Beaudoin explained in a 2016 blog post why he left Ubisoft and finally made the leap to indie game development.

\n

Open Bar is available on both the App Store for $2.99 and Google Play for free.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/m/dominations-indie-mobile-0c5e2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/m/dominations-indie-mobile-0c5e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177773","description":"

Brian Reynolds

\n

Reynolds has worked on several great titles during his career. Civilization II, Alpha Centauri, Rise of Nations, and Frontierville are among them. After leaving Zynga in 2013, he revived Big Huge Games (which developed Rise of Nations) as SecretNewCo to create the mobile combat strategy game DomiNations. SecretNewCo took the Big Huge Games name back in 2013, when the state of Rhode Island auctioned off the rights. Big Huge Games was acquired by South Korean game developer Nexon in 2016.

\n

DomiNations is free to play on both the App Store and Google Play.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/926083f86e75a56d1b4ca863cfe6d8a3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/926083f86e75a56d1b4ca863cfe6d8a3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11813","description":"

Evan Rogers

\n

Rogers, the chief gameplay programmer of What Remains of Edith Finch, has been hard at work on a new game called Legendary Gary. Slated for a PC release some time early this year, Legendary Gary follows an avid gamer named Gary. Gary is trying to balance gaming with real life like any gamer, but as elements of the fantasy game he's playing gradually show up in his real life, things just get complicated.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/g/mighty-indie-22a1e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/g/mighty-indie-22a1e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177771","description":"

Keiji Inafune

\n

For nearly 20 years, Inafune was a producer and illustrator at Capcom, working on hit titles such as Street Fighter and the Mega Man series. He left Capcom to start his own game development studio Comcept. Although not the only game to come out of Comcept, the studio is best known for Mighty No. 9, a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series. Mighty No. 9 received mix reviews at best. As for Comcept, the studio was acquired by Level-5 in June 2017.

\n

Mighty No. 9 is available on Steam for $19.99.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/i/going-rogue-indie-games-8172c.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/i/going-rogue-indie-games-8172c.png","type":"slide","id":"177770","description":"

Working for a giant, well-known, international brand isn't for everyone, even if the job entails developing some of the best and most popular video games. Working on someone else's game is not the same as working on your own game, and many talented developers went on to do just that. Here are seven developers who went rogue, leaving awesome AAA projects to create their own game.

"}]]]>
The GameSkinny Community's 2017 Game of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/de4kj/the-gameskinny-communitys-2017-game-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/de4kj/the-gameskinny-communitys-2017-game-of-the-year-picks Tue, 26 Dec 2017 10:00:02 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

2016 was no slouch as far as gaming went, but 2017 was absolutely spectacular. From new systems, rebirths of old genres, and reimaginings of some of the best-known IPs, it'd be difficult for anyone to choose just one favorite game from this year. But that's what we did anyway. We asked our community writers what their top AAA, mid-tier (or AA, if you prefer), indie, and mobile games were this year, and here's what they had to say.

Thomas Wilde

As you'd expect after seeing his usual monthly catalog, freelancer Thomas Wilde chose from a broad range of games for his best-of-year picks.

Best AAA Game
Asking someone to make a choice like that in 2017 is like asking them to pick a favorite vital organ, and I haven't quite managed to play everything yet. It was even a good year for horror games. In a year where everything else about human existence seemed determined to suck, video games offered one of the best lineups of titles in maybe a decade or more, with surprisingly few outright disappointments.

My top three is some combination of Resident Evil 7, Tekken 7, and Prey, depending on the day. Tekken 7 has a disappointing set of features in its long-awaited home releases, but the gameplay there is solid and quintessentially Tekken in a way that keeps you playing for evenings on end; Prey wraps itself around you and doesn't quite let go, with a paranoid atmosphere that has you questioning your own possessions and a truly weird alternate history; and Resident Evil 7 proves less is a lot more by removing (most of) the action-movie spectacle of the franchise and getting genuine scares out of something so simple as an old man with a shovel.

Best Mid-Tier Game
I'd probably hand this one to Nier: Automata, simply for how it sticks with you. It's a deeply weird game in a way that you don't typically get out of any release, indie or not. It feels like a localized production from an alien race. Sure, at its heart, it's a simple, remarkably short shooter/brawler, but it has a lot to say about loneliness, sentience, and violence. Even in as crowded a year as 2017, it's a stand-out for how it utilizes the medium.

Best Indie Game
I got a lot out of RiME. It may flag a bit towards the end, but it's a simple, evocative, and, above all else, colorful game, with effective puzzles and a bizarre world that keeps you asking questions. It's a learning experience about atmosphere and minimalism.

Ty Arthur

Freelancer and guide writer Ty Arthur had the unenviable task of choosing from several contenders, but he managed to do so nonetheless.

There were some absolutely fabulous games this year, from the long-awaited PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn to a slew of Switch hits like Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Both Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Call Of Duty: WWII rocked it on the first-person, Nazi-killing fronts, and Friday The 13th was more fun than it had any right to be. We got some very unexpected gameplay changes from Nier: Automata and Resident Evil 7 that sort of rocked the gaming world, along with a crop of outstanding RPGs. While it doesn't quite match its predecessor,Torment: Tides Of Numenera is easy to sink a whole lot of hours into if you love classic computer RPGs, and of course Persona 5 dominated on the console front. Now onto the impossible task of actually picking the best of the best!

Best AAA Game: While any of the above-mentioned games could easily sit in this spot depending on personal preference, I'm going to have to go with Arkane's tweaking of the stealth action formula with the sci-fi/horror mashup Prey. It has everything that makes the Dishonored games great, but in a revamped setting that really messes with your head. I love the combination of RPG elements with stealth combat that rewards thinking outside the box, and just wandering around the station learning little details about the people who lived there before all hell broke loose was a pleasure, even outside the killer gameplay.

Best Mid-Tier Game: I suppose there's some wiggle room on what exactly constitutes “mid-tier” over indie, so this might be a bit controversial, but I'm going to solidly put Divinity: Original Sin 2 here in this category. That was a game that absolutely lived up to the hype, and not many titles do that. This is the sort of title that shows why crowdfunding needs to exist and that the practice actively enhances the gaming landscape. Hats off to Larian for keeping the gameplay recognizable while improving on the original game in every single way. There's a hundred different ways to approach any situation, with dozens of character builds, and I've yet to get tired of trying out different combos. If you love turn-based RPGs, be prepared to sink a hundred hours or so into this one.

 

Best Indie Game: For me, easily the best RPG of the year is a little indie excursion that came out of nowhere and absolutely bowled me over with its amazing combination of style, substance, and humor: West Of Loathing! I'm still sort of in awe over how a black and white game with stick figure graphics managed to grab me and never let go. Every element of the game is hilarious, and there's always more to discover, whether it involves demonic cows, ghost pickles, or even more absurd hijinks. Throw in a killer old-school overland map, with random encounters that easily match the best of the '90s PC RPGs, and you've got a rare gem on your hands here that delivers on all fronts. It's laugh out loud funny and keeps you hooked with solid, classic gameplay.

El Conquistadork

Freelance writer El Conquistadork's choices are equally as varied and go to show that you don't have to love everything about a game for it to be your favorite too.

Best AAA Game: Horizon: Zero Dawn. I just had so damn much fun playing this game. The setting is fascinating and unique, the protagonist is amazing, and it’s the most beautiful game I’ve seen in a long time. A close second would be Persona 5 for the simple reason that I don’t like anime, I’m lukewarm on JRPGs, and their save system caused me to lose so much progress that I would take month-long breaks between sessions just to counteract the frustration ... and yet I put more hours into it than I’m comfortable with relating. How does that even happen? And RE7 would be in there as well: strong as hell at the beginning of 2017, and still strong as hell at the end.

Best Mid-Tier GameWhat Remains of Edith Finch was the apotheosis of what walking sims have been attempting to become since Gone Home and Dear Esther. There’s a level of vast storytelling interacting beautifully with its wide varieties of gameplay and its stylistic decisions, and it left me gobsmacked.

Best Indie Game: I wasn’t completely sold on the final, horror-themed moments of Night In The Woods, but that still left it plenty of room for being the best indie game of 2017. Its artwork, soundtrack, and themes of growing up, loneliness, small-town water treading, and crimes just sucked me right into its world.

Best Mobile Game: With a game titled We Eat Blood, And All Our Friends Are Dead, you know I’m gonna have a look. Based in the classic RPG world of Vampire: The Masquerade (a personal favorite of mine), this is a spooky, text-based adventure where you play a youngling vampire trying to learn about himself without getting purged by his elders. A damn fun time.

Kieran Desmond

JTP Mentor and community writer Kieran Desmond pulled from a wide variety of genres for his GOTY picks, a reflection of just how much there was on offer this year.

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like a bunch people this year, I really fell in love with Breath of the Wild. The way the open world was set up by giving you access to a few core mechanics -- remote bombs, Magnesis, Stasis, Cryonis, and the glider -- and then just setting you loose to explore Hyrule was a stroke of genius. The subtle score and beautiful visuals only add to the "open-air" atmosphere they were striving for. I'm still playing BotW, and after putting about 250 hours into it so far, I'm yet to encounter the final Divine Beast or enter Hyrule castle -- I never want it to end.

Best Mid-Tier Game: Absolver

Absolver was a game that I followed from its announcement, hoping that it would live up to the promise of being able to dynamically learn various combat styles and customize your style as you progress. And SloClap absolutely delivered. This unique open-world fighting game takes patience and a keen eye to master, just like many traditional fighting games. Studying your opponent in order to predict their next move is a huge part of the game that, when done correctly, creates an immensely satisfying experience.

Best Indie Game: Pyre

I was attracted to Pyre because of the beautiful artwork and music from its trailer. I was also curious about its odd mix of RPG, visual novel, and sports-centric gameplay, which turned out to be an innovative and really fun combination. Every character is endearing, the overworld map and the locations are stunningly designed, and the incredibly diverse score, composed by Darren Korb (who worked on Supergiant's previous games Bastion and Transistor) is just sensational. If I were to recommend a single game from 2017, it would be Pyre.

Auverin Morrow

Erstwhile senior editor (now with Hi-Rez) Auverin Morrow took the time to drop in and leave her thoughts too.

GOTY: Horizon: Zero Dawn, hands down.

Beautiful game, excellent combat, a truly unique environment (with awesome robo-dinos), and a badass female character who puts more emphasis on the badass part than the female part. What's not to love?

Joshua Broadwell

Your humble writer felt the need to add his choices too, because why not?

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like Kieran and countless others, this one has to go to BotW, but it was a tough choice between it and Super Mario Odyssey. The latter is excellent in its own right, but with BotW, Nintendo managed to pull off a difficult task by creating a fantastic game that also happened to be a radical remaigining of a world-famous franchise. Despite being so different, it comes across as everything Zelda games always wanted to be. Hyrule is truly a living and breathing land, with areas that look and feel drastically different from each other and characters who are actually deeply connected to each other. The combat and weapon mechanics are spot-on, and there's always something to make exploration worthwhile, even if it's just standing on top of a mountain and admiring the gorgeous view. There is also a definite sense of progression, going from everything being a struggle to feeling capable of handling challenges like that Hinox that looked awfully intimidating when Link only had five hearts. Plus, it's one of the only games (other than Xenoblade Chronicles) where my cat sits on my shoulder and watches. And that has to count for something.

Best Mid-Tier Game:Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee didn't go over very well with many at first (although we did quite like it in our review). But even with the original issues -- issues quickly fixed by the Spin 'n' Polish update -- it managed to recapture everything that made gaming great over a decade ago: bright, colorful worlds, plenty of challenges and things to do, fun and quirky characters, tight platforming, and generally just being fun to play. Being the first major 3D platformer in forever, it carried a heavy burden, and it would have been easy for Playtonic to rely just on nostalgia and hope for the best. Luckily, they didn't, and the end result is a quality experience.

Best Indie Game: Yono and the Celestial Elephants

Yono is definitely indie, since it's the result of a one-man studio. On the surface, it's a cute adventure game about an elephant trying to solve people's problems, with some Zelda-esque puzzles and combat. But underneath that, there's quite a bit more going on about the nature of life and death, reality, and the relationship between everything alive -- and dead. It's not going to tax your brain or skills, but it's more than worth spending time with.

---

And there you have it -- a host of games from across multiple genres, with enough quality and variety to satisfy almost anyone. But you, reader, are part of the community too, so sound off in the comments below and tell us what your GOTY picks are!

]]>
GameSkinny Staff's 2017 Game of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/n5275/gameskinny-staffs-2017-game-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/n5275/gameskinny-staffs-2017-game-of-the-year-picks Tue, 02 Jan 2018 17:21:18 -0500 Kat De Shields

2018 is upon us, but we can't properly usher in the new year without giving some major kudos to the games we fell in love with in 2017. For some of us, it was an easy decision. For others, it took some deliberation. From blockbuster hits for major publishers to awesome titles from smaller studios, here's the GameSkinny roundup for Game of the Year. 

Jonathan Moore - Senior Editor

Nex Machina 

 

Taking detailed notes from games of yore such as Robotron: 2084 and Smash TV, Nex Machina is a modern slant in the logical progression of all things chaos and twin-stick-shooter. Working in conjunction with Eugene Jarvis, the grandfather of the frenetic arcade shooter, Housemarque ventured into new territory while remaining faithful to the edicts that set twin-stick shooters apart from other genres in the 80s and 90s.

Nex Machina is a blast to play. With tight controls, intelligently belligerent AI, beautiful design, and interesting bosses that redefine bullet-hell insanity, it's exceedingly difficult to find another shooter that bests it. The most fun I had all year was traversing the game's labyrinthine stages (which are utterly gorgeous), unlocking its well-placed secrets, and blasting robots into the scrap heap of oblivion in some of the most glorious arcade combat I've experienced since Resogun (and perhaps ever).  

The only qualm I had with Nex Machina is that it wasn't longer, but its arcade style more than makes up for that. When you come back to a game over and over and over and over again, that tells you something -- it tells you a game is special. And in 2017, I played way too much Nex Machina, none of which I regret in the slightest. In short, Nex Machina is a masterclass in sensory bombardment without the overload -- and makes you feel as if you're truly living Running Man.

Nier: Automata

 

Nier: Automata perfectly blends genres into a whirling game-smoothie of delight. It's the hack-and-slash action RPG top-down twin-stick shooter platformer I didn't know I wanted until I finally started playing it. Somehow (some way), Nier seamlessly fuses 2D, 3D, and top-down playstyles and camera angles into a flourishing adventure of action and, at times, metered patience. It makes these genres feel naturally connected -- and subverts player expectations in all the right ways. 

On top of that, its narrative is quirky and whimsical, yet also full of emotional and philosophical resonance. Whereas I felt utter delight blasting robots in Nex MachinaNier: Automata flipped the script. These weren't blood-thirsty terminators but beings with emotion and agency -- beings I grew to care for. 

Swirling in and out of Nier's set pieces, the game's soundtrack supports that emotion and agency with character and gravitas. Where there's no dialogue, there's music to explain character progression and intent. Where there's bombastic fighting, there's sweeping melody. There aren't too many games that so elegantly synchronize story and poignancy in such a way, but Nier pulls it off beautifully.  

Zach Hunt - Editor 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 

One of my fondest gaming memories -- heck, one of my fondest memories in general -- is of first setting loose upon some mysterious land called Hyrule, unsure of what exactly I was doing or where I was going, but finding absolute joy in every moment of the original The Legend of Zelda. Like a blue candle burning away a bush to reveal hidden depths beneath, Breath of the Wild rekindled that flame within me, reminding me of why I ever started playing video games in the first place.

Everything that can be said about Breath of the Wild has already been said, so rather than justify my game of the year pick by detailing all that it did right (or how it succeeds despite some flaws), I'm going to talk about my beloved Hyrulian horse, Jomo, and about how the connection I felt with him reflected this game's unique ability to draw me into its world.

I think I was probably on my way to some Divine Beast or another when I spotted an innocent little fox that, for whatever reason, I decided needed to die. With my horseback archery skills being abysmal, I ditched my dappled steed Jomo and pursued that stupid fox down a cliffside for an unreasonable amount of time. Well, I couldn't tell you where that little sucker ended up, but I found myself a hundred feet beneath my steadfast equine buddy, whose distant silhouette towered against a darkening Hyrule sky.

Possibly the best horse photobomb ever. Screenshot courtesy of Nintendolife forums. 

So what did I do? I looked up at my trusty horse, and I did what you do in BotW: I whistled. I whistled poor Jomo -- loyal to the last -- to a horrific suicide straight down the face of the mountain. 

Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. Part of me figured there was no way he'd hear the whistle from that distance or, if he did, that he'd surely just neigh it away as if to say, "Yeah, I don't think so. You're like three minutes from a stable full of other horses, so I'm just gonna chill up here until you decide to climb back up." But that was misguided. That was ignorant. That was murder.

I watched in terror as my once graceful Jomo tumbled down, hooves-up, dashed against jagged boulders amid clouds of that very same Hyrulian soil upon which he once so nobly trotted. Time stopped. Critters scurried. And I was left to face the consequences of what I had just done to my best friend in all of Hyrule. 

Jomo was gone for good (or so I thought at the time), and I was devastated. Sure, I had a couple other horses at the stables, but I hadn't spent hours upon hours of my life exploring with those guys. Jomo was, and would always be, my adventuring companion in this world, and moving forward would be a much slower, more melancholic exercise from there on out.

Thinking back on my many, many hours with BotW, I consider just how much will it sometimes took to turn the game off, to get some sleep, to be a real person in the real world. But the death of dear Jomo, noblest stallion in all of Hyrule, was enough of a shock to keep me from returning to my Switch for well over a week. I needed time to mourn.

The point of all this hyperbole is that certain moments in BotW reminded me -- on a very visceral level -- that video games truly are more than just interactive entertainment. The death of Jomo, and my own genuine guilt afterward, made concrete for me the idea that video games belong right there alongside literature, film, and music as having the potential to truly transform and affect us. For that reason (and a million others), Breath of the Wild is my game of the year ... and Jomo is my horse of the century.

Brian Schaaf (Rothalack) - Developer 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

I was mostly displeased by 2017's games. The games I really want to give my GOTY are not from this year. This means I have to begrudgingly give PUBG my game of the year.

The reason I can give such a broken mess GOTY is because of the design philosophy of the game and the cultural/streamer impact the game has made. It has so many whispers of where games like DOTA have come from: Pure grass roots passion and strict adherence to a design philosophy that results in a complicated game with a steep learning curve.

These types of games, in my opinion, keep the real hardcore gamer culture alive as well as prove its large market appeal. Gamers don't always want perfect, streamlined, "mainstream" games. They want passionate, well thought-out, difficult games. Blizzard, for example, likes to make games that bridge the gap between near perfectly designed games and streamlined, easy-to-learn mechanics while still maintaining a hard-to-master feel.

PUBG is a great example that if there's an idea of a game that is hard to learn from the start (and pretty much broken), it can still make Call of Duty jealous of the playerbase and wide appeal. 

Kat De Shields - JTP Coordinator & Communications Manager

What Remains of Edith Finch 

There are games that have stories in them, and then there are games that really tell a great story. As an avid writer and reader, What Remains of Edith Finch is a bittersweet narrative adventure that is beautiful in design and plot lines.

It goes without saying that the focal point of the game is the bizarre story that unfolds as Edith learns the history of her family members and what caused each of their deaths. The stories are connected in that the life and thoughts of one family member are referenced in sequences outside of their own. The narrative structure is subtly woven together in a way that gives life to the shadowy secrets Edith discovers as she walks through the house.

A theme of childhood nostalgia runs deep within the game -- from monsters under the bed, to flying kites, to seeing how high you can go on a swing set. Often, I would pause during a segment and dwell in the level of detail provided in each vignette. Though some may wave off this game as a walking sim, if you're looking for an adventure of heart and mind that lingers long after the end credits roll, you should definitely give What Remains of Edith Finch a go.

*******

 What were your Game of the Year picks? Let us know in the comments below. Happy New Year from the GameSkinny crew! We hope 2018 is a great year for growth and gaming. 

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

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

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

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

- Anthony Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]>
What Remains of Edith Finch: Exploring the Bittersweet Intersection of Death and Memory https://www.gameskinny.com/lypx8/what-remains-of-edith-finch-exploring-the-bittersweet-intersection-of-death-and-memory https://www.gameskinny.com/lypx8/what-remains-of-edith-finch-exploring-the-bittersweet-intersection-of-death-and-memory Wed, 17 May 2017 11:35:50 -0400 Kat De Shields

Created by Giant Sparrow, What Remains of Edith Finch is a beautiful illustration of the intersection between the vastness of the world around us, family secrets that lurk in the shadows, and an exploration of the way death can maintain a powerful grip on the future. A curse follows the Finch family--one that kills its members one by one. Accompany Edith, the last surviving member of the Finch family, as she unravels the mysteries of the Finch family tree.

If there's one constant emotion in this game, it's the feeling of being small -- of not knowing everything and trying to understand the true meaning lurking beneath familiar images. This is the task facing Edith as she returns to her family home on the precipice of realizing that what was once familiar as a child is now completely new as an adult. As you approach the Finch estate, the looming, piecemeal house sets the tone for the dark and surreal tales that follow.

Just looking at it makes you a bit uncomfortable. 

Gameplay That Adds to the Experience

As a first-person adventure game or walking simulator, What Remains of Edith Finch maintains a perfect balance between interaction and observation. Most of the game's controls involve walking through the maze of the Finch house and interacting with the mementos of members long gone.

The utilization of button and joy thumbstick combos to do things like turn the page of a book or pull open a door are moments that ground the player in the game. It's a lovely touch that manages to break down the "point and click" feeling that sometimes occurs with first-person adventure/walking simulators.

Finding mementos triggers interactive sequences that transfers perspective from Edith to the subject at hand, so you get sequences like the one below where interactivity peaks in beautifully surreal situations. 

Another one of my favorite sequences of the game. 

 Atmospheric Surrealism at Its Best

A theme of childhood nostalgia runs deep within the game -- from monsters under the bed, to flying kites, to seeing how high you can go on a swing set. While some of the Finch family members died in their old age, others were heartbreakingly young. The familiar tropes of childhood are threaded with things dark and unsettling to create an atmosphere that keeps you curious and slightly on edge.  

The living rub elbows with the dead in this game, as many rooms in the house serve as mini-shrines to deceased members of the Finch family. Rooms are left exactly as they were when the Finch family members passed away, and candle-lined portraits (painted by Edith Sr., the matriarch of the Finch family) are placed in the rooms in memoriam.

It’s interesting how something so bizarre is normalized, simply because it’s business as usual within a family. It makes you remember that family dynamics are miniature systems all on their own, with variances in behavior and tradition -- and it’s always interesting to learn the inner mechanics of a family unit (real or imagined). Each family member’s story has a unique edge, so there’s never a worry of getting bored with the individual narratives.

As such, Lewis’s story is one of the most impressive portions of the game. With one thumbstick, you control the movements of Lewis in his adventurous imagination. With the other? Your blood-covered, blue glove slices off fish heads. The sequence is genius in its extended metaphor of a wandering mind -- it's a metaphor you’re actually playing. Eventually, the slicing of the fish heads fades to muscle memory (as it does for Lewis) and you, the player, also become lost in the land of your imagination. This sequence is definitely worth playing twice, because it’s loaded with overlapping symbols.

A scene from Lewis's story.

Once you complete the game, there is an option to replay certain areas in an episodic fashion. Though the game is a short three or four hours to complete, I recommend replaying some of those sequences. Even broken apart from the larger narrative, each character’s story is a powerful experience on its own.

Throughout the game, I couldn't help but notice that What Remains of Edith Finch is a wonderful ode to the various forms of telling a story -- be it a journal, news clips, photographs, notes and letters, flip books, or even the game itself. (Or maybe it’s just my insane love of the art of storytelling.)

It goes without saying that the focal point of the game is the bizarre story that unfolds as Edith learns the history of her family members and what caused each of their deaths. The stories are connected in that the life and thoughts of one family member are referenced in sequences outside of their own. The narrative structure is subtly woven together in a way that gives life to the shadowy secrets Edith discovers as she walks through the house.


Everything tells a story...

The Soundtrack Is the Cherry on Top

What Remains of Edith Finch has a gorgeous soundtrack that is worth buying on its own merit. The orchestra-based OST is a beautiful pairing with the visual aesthetic and narrative -- more so because there are key moments when it is activated. Most of the time, you’re treated to the sound effects of an old house full of secrets. During the character sequences, the soundtrack matches the mood to perfection (and sometimes the orchestra is abandoned completely). While playing, I found myself lingering to absorb the music and soak in the feeling it evoked. Milton’s story is one of the most beautiful pairings of sight and sound I’ve seen in a game.  

The Skinny on What Remains of Edith Finch

You will love this game if:

  • You enjoy surreal, atmospheric settings 
  • You love a damn good story that lingers after you hear it
  • Enjoy episodic adventures where it all ties into a larger story

You may not like this game if:

  • You're a button-mashin' action junkie
  • Stories that leave lingering questions irritate you
  • You can't take the time to play it all the way through in one sitting (3-4 hours)

TL;DR: What Remains of Edith Finch is a story-rich, first-person adventure game that is sure to satisfy any gamer looking for an experience that can be completed in one sitting, but will linger in mind long after the end credits roll.

What Remains of Edith Finch is available for purchase on Steam, and the PlayStation store for $19.99.

Editors Note: The developer provided a review copy of this game. 

]]>
2017 Game Releases That Are Perfect For Storytellers https://www.gameskinny.com/xs3pi/2017-game-releases-that-are-perfect-for-storytellers https://www.gameskinny.com/xs3pi/2017-game-releases-that-are-perfect-for-storytellers Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:09:49 -0500 Rob Kershaw

There are some incredible games coming out this year running the gamut of genres and focuses. But for me, storytelling will always take priority. The way developers and writers continue to offer up new, inventive, and exciting ways to tell a tale never fails to impress -- and for the coming year there seems to be an abundance of creativity that story fans can eat up.

While it would be easy to pick out some bigger releases to highlight the upcoming influx of epic, sweeping narratives -- such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, Torment: Tides of Numenara, or Ni No Kuni 2 --  I'd instead like to focus on some of the slightly less well-known titles that I'm looking forward to playing. Each of them approaches storytelling in a different way, but whether through aesthetic, exploration or the choices you make, they are all looking to deliver their message in a unique fashion. 

Tokyo Dark

Release Date: TBA 2017

 

Fans of noir and anime could be in for a treat with Tokyo Dark, a side-scrolling point-and-click set in downtown Tokyo. You play as Detective Itō, searching for her missing partner and uncovering a macabre mystery that threatens her own mind. 

A unique system tracks your choices -- monitoring your sanity, professionalism, investigation, and neurosis, then opening or closing options dependent on your state of mind at any point. With eleven possible endings, the potential replay value of this crime thriller is impressive.

Tokyo Dark followed up a sterling Kickstarter campaign with a strong showing at last year's EGX that left me eager for more. The decision to delay its original October 2016 release may have been wise -- it's already looking polished, but a few more months ironing out those final bugs certainly won't hurt. 

Tacoma

Release Date: TBA 2017

Fans know very little about the next game from the creators of Gone Home. The similarities are there, but the setting is completely different. You arrive on an abandoned space station in 2088, and have to figure out exactly what happened. Where is everyone?

Unlike Fullbright's first indie darling, which had an absence of other characters, in Tacoma you'll actually be able to observe some of the station's crew whose earlier movements and actions are replicated through polygon avatars. By discovering and manipulating items, listening to the crew's conversations and exploring your environment, you'll try to make sense of the situation. Like Gone Home, there'll be no weapons and no fighting; story is front and center.

Having just watched Passengers (I enjoyed it, even if the critics were divided), I'm incredibly excited about the prospect of mooching about a similarly outfitted high-tech space station, and nosing into the crew's personal lives. The overarching mystery is an added bonus, and the world-building elements are placed primarily in your hands. The more you search, the more you'll be able to piece together the backstory. Not every item will be essential to the plot, but it all adds to a fully rounded narrative experience. Hopefully Fullbright's sophomore title will build on the foundations which made Gone Home a delight to play.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Release Date: TBA 2017

Another mystery, this time split into short stories which each focus on the death of a member of the Finch family. As Edith, the last remaining family member, you play through her eyes as she relives the final moments of each of the Finches. 

Developer Giant Sparrow isn't afraid of taking a progressive approach to storytelling, as their first title The Unfinished Swan demonstrated. Their follow-up may not have the same stylized aesthetic, but the events that occurred in the house look to be delivered in a wonderfully dreamlike manner, imbued with a cinematic quality.

It's difficult to say how the story will play out, or how much agency the player will have. However, it's been suggested that the stories will morph from the mundane to the surreal, and offer different control systems as you play through them to their inevitably morbid conclusion. Can hope and wonder spring from death? Hopefully, as we discover alongside Edith what happened, the final outcome won't be as gloomy as we might fear...   

The Sexy Brutale

Release Date: TBA 2017

As a kid, I loved Infocom's text adventures. They were witty, intelligent, and meticulously crafted pieces -- each with a unique voice that told a captivating story. One of my favorites from their catalog was Murder, which cast you in the role of a detective at a dinner party as you moved from room to room, and interacted with guests before the titular event took place. Subsequent playthroughs saw you go to different rooms, follow different people, and try to work out who committed the crime, how they did it, and for what reason.

With The Sexy Brutale, Tequila Works and Cavalier Game Studios appear to have crafted a visual version of that text adventure, set at a masquerade ball. There are a couple of twists though: multiple people are being murdered, and a Groundhog Day MacGuffin means you can rewind the day and try and save them all. Each person you save will grant you powers that will allow you to save more people. 

Working out how to stop their demise will be tricky -- you play a frail priest, so you'll need to rely on your wits rather than physicality. If a hunting rifle (a potential murder weapon) is too heavy for you to pick up and hide, why not swap out the live round with a blank one? It's unclear at this stage whether there will be multiple approaches to stopping each guest from snuffing it, but I'm very keen to see how the time-travel element can be utilized in driving the narrative forward.

Gorogoa

Release Date: Q1 2017 TBC

Gorogoa is the most unique entry in this list, since it contains no dialogue or language at all. The story is told purely through visuals, hand-drawn and meticulously detailed, and tells the tale of a boy searching for a monster who may or may not have divine powers. 

The game is a succession of four different tiles, each depicting an image. By moving the tiles around, you can form linked pictures which interlock and then activate. The narrative is presented through the animated sequences which are triggered whenever you correctly discover how these images are linked. It sounds complicated, but a quick look at the trailer below reveals a unique and beautifully designed mechanism for storytelling, with the artwork invoking shades of Studio Ghibli. 

It's part jigsaw puzzle and  part room escape, but the gameplay is incredibly mellow. And with the reliable Austin Wintory handling music duties, it may be one of the most relaxing gaming experiences you'll have all year. Designer Jason Roberts has been working on Gorogoa for over half a decade, but we may finally be closing in on a release this spring. 

All in all, it looks like a great year for story-driven games.

Personally, the most exciting thing about 2017 from a storytelling perspective is that these games are merely a small selection of what the industry has to look forward to. The big RPGs on the horizon (Valkyria Chronicles and Dragon Quest XI to name a few) will no doubt hit the headlines, but I've historically found the smaller titles such as Brothers and Year Walk to be far more affecting. So to have such a wide selection of potentially stellar games to choose from is wonderful. Regardless of where your priorities lie though, there's no doubt that it's going to be a good year for narrative gaming.

Which story-driven games are you most looking forward to playing in 2017? Let me know in the comments below! 

]]>
10 PS4 games you need to play in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/ekg6u/10-ps4-games-you-need-to-play-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/ekg6u/10-ps4-games-you-need-to-play-in-2016 Tue, 05 Jan 2016 12:52:10 -0500 Curtis Dillon

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/d/5/dd588d23db886d0dcaf44673f2610845.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/d/5/tiny_dd588d23db886d0dcaf44673f2610845.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97997","description":"

And that's just 10 of the biggest PS4 games coming in 2016. There's quite a bit of diversity on that list, from giant open-world RPG's with mech dinosaurs to an intimate tale of a boy and his bird-dog, and everything in between. The year starts with Firewatch on February 9th, and then comes the exciting return of Ratchet & Clank, and then the monumental final chapter of Uncharted in April. We don't know many release dates beyond that, but we're sure to get some in the coming weeks and months. And you'll find all that news here on GameSkinny.

\n

There are tons more games coming to the console this year, not to mention the very exciting launch of the new platform, PlayStation VR. All in all, 2016 promises to be the biggest year for PlayStation in quite some time, if not ever! But until then, be sure to check out our list of the best-reviewed games of 2015, as well as the worst reviewed games.

\n

What game are you most excited for? Do you think 2016 will be the best year for PS4 yet? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to GameSkinny!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/c/8fcbac73233ba89c03cba6a0dc147187.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/c/tiny_8fcbac73233ba89c03cba6a0dc147187.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97871","description":"

Horizon Zero Dawn

\n
Release Date: TBA 2016
\n

What else could it have been? Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games is one of the most exciting new IPs we've seen in years.

\n

Guerilla Games worked on the Killzone franchise from about 2003 to 2013. Killzone: Shadowfall was a launch game on PS4, but truth be told the studio began working on Horizon Zero Dawn back in 2011, just after Killzone 3 released. Horizon is a far cry from the Killzone series, in just about every way.

\n

The game is an open-world RPG set 1000 years after the apocalypse, and nature has all but reclaimed the Earth. You play as Aloy, a member of a tribe who must hunt and salvage the remains of machines that resemble dinosaurs. Sure it sounds like something a 10-year-old came up with but that is in no way a bad thing; this game looks and sounds incredible.

\n

Horizon Zero Dawn is scheduled for release in 2016, most likely a fall release. We're hoping this game doesn't get delayed, and it shouldn't considering it will be well into its five-year development by then. This is easily one of, if not the, most exciting things 2016 has to offer!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/e/e9e06e85befbc37b771c7dfafb4adf2a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/e/tiny_e9e06e85befbc37b771c7dfafb4adf2a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97873","description":"

Firewatch

\n
Release Date: February 9
\n

Firewatch is the first game from Campo Santo and features the truly mind-blowing art direction of Olly Moss. In Firewatch, you play as Henry, a volunteer fire lookout in Wyoming, shortly after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. Henry's tower is ransacked while he is out patrolling and he must search the forest for clues, and his only interactions are with his supervisor via Walkie-Talkie. You choose what you say, or don't say, to the supervisor, which in turn affects your relationship with her.

\n

Running on the Unity engine, and under the art style of the amazing Olly Moss, Firewatch is one of the best looking games ever. Moss has become famous for his great Star Wars posters, as well as countless others, but he also made the box art for Resistance 3 - one of the best box arts ever. The dialogue tree in the game is said to be influenced by Telltale's: The Walking Dead, while the walkie-talkie aspect is inspired by Bioshock.

\n

Firewatch is a very interesting game that should be a joy to play through. It takes the evolving dialogue trees of Telltale Games and mixes it with the puzzle-solving of classic adventure games, as well as offering semi-open world exploration. The best part is, we don't even have to wait long for Firewatch, it releases on February 9th!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/c/2/4c26896cbf6152e4cbee6995fd7202a4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/c/2/tiny_4c26896cbf6152e4cbee6995fd7202a4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97872","description":"

Hellblade

\n
Release Date: TBA 2016
\n

Hellblade is from Ninja Theory, the same team that brought you Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC, and worked on some Disney Infinity 3.0. Ninja Theory is a very talented studio that thrives in creating unique, colourful worlds, with fascinating characters.

\n

Enter Hellblade. This game was revealed back at Gamescom 2014 and is being described as an "independent AAA" game. And independent it really is; you can watch a series of developer diary videos from Ninja Theory on YouTube that give you amazing insight into game creation and Hellblade itself. Check out that link if you want to know more about the game, and are interested in the creation process.

\n

Hellblade is the story of Senua, who is trapped in a "hellish underworld" which is manifestations of her own broken psyche. Senua is mentally ill and the game reflects that in a way that few others even attempt to. It's a very stylised, dark and beautiful game, with much more close, brutal combat than Ninja Theory's previous titles. Watching the dev diaries you can see the incredible visuals the studio is striving for, which will hopefully be realised in the final product - due for release on PlayStation 4 sometime in 2016.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/2/0/720556b5df45b442cd319fc05af89bac.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/2/0/tiny_720556b5df45b442cd319fc05af89bac.png","type":"slide","id":"97864","description":"

No Man's Sky

\n
Release Date: June 2016
\n

If there's a single 2016 game with higher expectations, loftier ambitions, and the biggest chance of failure, it's No Man's Sky. Now I'm not being negative or a downer - I'm very excited for this - it's just that this game has insanely high expectations surrounding it.

\n

Coming from a team of 12, 12, people at Hello Games, No Man's Sky is a procedurally-generated universe that you explore using your upgradable ship. There is an almost infinite amount of planets in the game, all of which can be visited and with no loading to boot! You will find alien planets, filled with bizarre creatures, rare resources, and exotic fauna and flora. Off of planets, you can trade resources for supplies, which help you venture further into the universe, or you can get yourself a badass ship and just bully others. This is a game all about options and potential.

\n

The thing that worries me most about No Man's Sky is that it's being made by Hello Games, the team behind Joe Danger. Now I'm not knocking the team, or Joe Danger (best on Vita btw), but to go from a small game like that, to the biggest game ever, is a gargantuan task for 12 men and women. That being said, nothing they've shown so far has given me reason to worry, and the fact that Sony are so behind it make me think it really must be everything it claims it is.

\n

And if that's the case we could be looking at one of the coolest games ever made and a universe that will be explored for years, maybe decades, to come.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/b/4/5b44de24059d9d944ee498e124bfa3e0.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/b/4/tiny_5b44de24059d9d944ee498e124bfa3e0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97865","description":"

The Last Guardian

\n
Release Date: TBA 2016
\n

Of all the games without specific dates on this list, this is the one I really wish had a date. We're all well aware of the development hell that surrounded The Last Guardian, and so a concrete release date would give us a lot more faith that this game might actually be released. That being said, I highly doubt Sony would have re-revealed the game without knowing it is near completion.

\n

It's hard to disassociate The Last Guardian with its 5-year disappearance, although it's interesting that nobody brings that up about Ni-Oh. The Last Guardian is the spiritual successor to Shadow of the Colossus, which in turn, is a spiritual successor to ICO. Those two games, from genius creator Fumito Ueda, are some of the most beloved in all of PlayStation history, so it's no wonder that fans were supremely excited about The Last Guardian, and extremely disappointed when they thought it dead.

\n

So, it was with open arms that the PlayStation community welcomed back The Last Guardian at E3 in June. The game was re-revealed with a gameplay demo that showed a nice section that should represent the moment-to-moment gameplay of the entire experience. Much like What Remains of Edith Finch, we know surprisingly little about The Last Guardian but, hopefully, we hear some news, including a release date, very soon. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/1/6/d163cfd13b0e4d5d6264932e7ea031fe.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/1/6/tiny_d163cfd13b0e4d5d6264932e7ea031fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97875","description":"

What Remains of Edith Finch

\n
Release Date: TBA 2016
\n

If you need only one reason to be excited for What Remains of Edith Finch, it's the simple fact that it is being made by Giant Sparrow, the developer of The Unfinished Swan. The debut game from this very young studio was an incredibly unique experience about a young boy, whose mother has died and he follows her unfinished swan painting into an empty canvas. It's a very beautiful game in which you throw paint and water to unveil the world and guide your way. Easily one of the best PlayStation exclusive indie titles.

\n

Since The Unfinished Swan launched, Giant Sparrow has been hard at work on What Remains of Edith Finch. The game is described as "a collection of short stories about a cursed family in Washington State." You play as Edith, who returns to her family home and relives the memories of her family members who all tragically died.

\n

What Remains of Edith Finch looks like Gone Home but more stylised and with a few horror elements. It's a striking game that is overflowing with mystery and intrigue. Giant Sparrow has been fairly secretive when discussing and showcasing the game, which seems like the best way to keep this game interesting.

\n

No specific release date as of yet but Giant Sparrow has been working on What Remains of Edith Finch for about 3 years, and this is 2016, so official news should be arriving any day now!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/4/c/44ccbdb1414b36111468de8b381d4844.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/4/c/tiny_44ccbdb1414b36111468de8b381d4844.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97869","description":"

Ratchet & Clank

\n
Release Date: April 18
\n

The Ratchet & Clank series both peaked and regressed during the PS3 era. With the second trilogy - Tools of Destruction, Quest For Booty, and A Crack in Time - the series reached new heights of awesomeness. But as quickly as it rose to prominence (again), the series began to dwindle due to games like All 4 One and Full Frontal Assault. It seemed like Insomniac lost sight of what Ratchet & Clank was.

\n

A few years away and the impending release of a movie has seemingly refreshed Insomniac's view of the series, and they're wisely bringing it back to basics in 2016. The new Ratchet & Clank started out as a simple remaster but during development, Insomniac decided to take it further and expand the original classic into a much bigger title.

\n

Ratchet & Clank is being marketed and treated by Insomniac as a brand new game. Even though the story beats will be mostly the same, the "re-imagining" will feature bigger and more open worlds to explore, Clank-focused gameplay, strafing, ship-flying sections, and plenty of zany new guns - including the Pixelizer, which turns enemies into 8-Bit versions of themselves. Throw in the incredible, movie-like visuals on display and you've got yourself a back-to-basics Ratchet & Clank that is a must-play.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/1/3/113ddbfad125678e8e7e19877eab12d3.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/1/3/tiny_113ddbfad125678e8e7e19877eab12d3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97870","description":"

Ni-Oh

\n
Release Date: TBA 2016
\n

Ni-Oh is an action role-playing game that we don't know a whole lot about. Amazingly, this game was actually first announced in 2004, by Koei Tecmo, and it was titled Oni. The game was then re-titled Ni-Oh and scheduled for a 2006 PS3 launch. It missed the launch date and wasn't heard from again until 2009, when it revealed to be still in development but no longer by Koei Tecmo, it was under the tutelage of Team Ninja.

\n

Presumably, Team Ninja began development from scratch, because the game looks quite different than it did in 2006. The visuals in the two PS4 trailers thus far are incredible, and the protagonist looks a lot more like Geralt of Rivia, than he did in 2006. Despite the development hell that Ni-Oh endured, there is a lot of reasons to be excited. First and foremost, it's being made by Team Ninja, the people behind Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, Toukiden, and Hyrule Warriors. Ni-Oh is perfect for Team Ninja.

\n

The game follows a Samurai in 16th century Japan, during the Warring States period, and is loosely based on real-life people and events. The game will have a fascinating story because the blonde-haired protagonist, William, is based on real-life William Adams, who was the first ever Western Samurai.

\n

And another reason to be excited is that this has been hailed as Team Ninja's "take on the Souls series." This is pretty evident when watching the trailers, in which combat is heavy, brutal, and fairly realistic. It will also feature big boss battles with characters of Japanese mythology. It's Dark Souls meets Ninja Gaiden, meets Onimusha....' nuff said.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/6/7/b67dfbc7b8a1c62d376cc9a43c45ceb3.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/6/7/tiny_b67dfbc7b8a1c62d376cc9a43c45ceb3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97868","description":"

Street Fighter V

\n
Release Date: February 16
\n

Landing Street Fighter V as a PlayStation (console) exclusive is a huge deal for Sony. Unlike Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One, this game is guaranteed to bring players to the PS4 because it has a die-hard following. The game also allows for cross-play between PS4 and PC gamers, similar to Rocket League. This was a very smart coup.

\n

But business aside, Street Fighter V looks like another excellent entry in the series. Street Fighter IV received critical acclaim, and so the newest iteration has a lot to live up to. But based on the revealed characters, gameplay tweaks, and DLC plan, have so far made fans very happy.

\n

The game will feature 16 playable characters at launch, with a further 6 to be released throughout 2016. The roster includes four new characters to the franchise; Necalli, F.A.N.G, Laura and Rashid. All DLC characters can be purchased via real money, or in-game currency earned through playing - a popular, gamer friendly initiative.

\n

Xbox One has had the fairly niche success of Killer Instinct, which has an old-school fan-base. 2015 saw the release of Mortal Kombat X, which was a massive success and brings in tons of more casual fighting fans. However, 2016 will see the release of the "purist's" fighting game, Street Fighter V, only on PS4. Tekken 7 will also be a console debut on PS4, presumably in 2016. So, fighting game fans have really only one destination in 2016: PlayStation 4.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/c/8/dc88016d81de0b530188e6d19ef7c818.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/c/8/tiny_dc88016d81de0b530188e6d19ef7c818.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97862","description":"

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

\n
Release Date: April 26
\n

While this is probably the most anticipated game for PS4 owners, for good reasons, we're all acutely aware of it and it's coming relatively soon - hence, it's high placement in this list.

\n

Uncharted 4 is the alleged end of Nathan Drake's adventures. We obviously have no idea how the game will end, thus the story of Drake, but Naughty Dog is definitely suggesting our hero may meet his demise. However that seems unlikely; the Uncharted series is rarely that serious and dark in tone, and it's a series in which the heroes always make it out alive. I don't think anyone wants this series to end with Drake's death.

\n

Regardless of ending, though, the game looks unbelievable. Just like it did the last generation, Naughty Dog is pushing the limits of the PS4 in terms of graphics. The water, the mud, the sunlight, and, of course, Drake and his clothes, all look mind-blowing. Naughty Dog is also throwing in some new features, including driving, a rope for climbing/swinging/killing, and much more open areas.

\n

There's a reason the Uncharted series is as beloved as it is, and the fourth installment looks set to take its place at the top of the mountain. A way too early prediction: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is a serious 2016 game of the year contender here. We cannot wait.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/e/1/9e15b5b176c781fa94e626aea7017d54.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/e/1/tiny_9e15b5b176c781fa94e626aea7017d54.jpg","type":"slide","id":"97861","description":"

2016 is going to be a banner year for the PS4. Last year Sony had some fantastic games in Bloodborne, Rocket League,  and Until Dawn, but its big fall release, Uncharted 4, was delayed to 2016. That left the latter half of last year a little barren on the exclusive front, which proved to be a fairly inconsequential problem given the mass of high-quality, highly-anticipated third-party games. Not to mention the fact that Microsoft's big exclusives all but failed to equate to sales.

\n

So the delay of Uncharted 4, and the overt quietness of Sony on the exclusive front, has led to 2016 becoming a massive year for the PS4. As of now, January 2016, there are over 120 games scheduled to release on PS4 this year. How many of those actually get released is a question I cannot answer, but the number is sufficient enough for me to say good times are ahead for Sony's record-breaking platform.

\n

This list will showcase the top 10 games coming exclusively to PS4 in 2016. The games on the list all look amazing and should finally put an end to the nonsensical argument that the PS4 "has no exclusives." Sure there are tons of games that didn't make this list, and it really wasn't easy to choose, but these 10 highlight the insane depth of diversity and quality coming in 2016. So let's get to it!

"}]]]>
Watch The New Trailer for What Remains of Edith Finch https://www.gameskinny.com/y2dlc/watch-the-new-trailer-for-what-remains-of-edith-finch https://www.gameskinny.com/y2dlc/watch-the-new-trailer-for-what-remains-of-edith-finch Tue, 26 May 2015 11:25:15 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Upcoming PS4 game, What Remains of Edith Finch, has received a new trailer, check it out below.

The game takes place in a the Finch family home where you play as Edith, the daughter who has returned home. Edith must navigate the mysterious old house, unlocking rooms as she progresses, and figure out what happened to every member of her family, all of whom have died. 

Developer Giant Sparrow described the game as a "collection of short stories," each of which shed light on the mysteries surrounding the family. What Remains of Edith Finch is reminiscent of Gone Home and Dear Esther.

What Remains of Edith Finch was revealed at Sony's PSX event in December last year, and is the second game from Giant Sparrow - the developer behind the wonderful The Unfinished Swan.

Giant Sparrow have confirmed a gameplay demo for E3 2015, so remember to check GameSkinny on the 15th for all the coverage.

]]>