Desktop Platform RSS Feed | Desktop RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network *Potential Spoilers* Battle For Azeroth: Speculation Sylvanas and Jaina Mon, 13 Aug 2018 16:23:43 -0400 GabrielKross

With World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth's launch pending, and what we know, Sylvanas has received a lot of heat from both Horde and Alliance players. Rightfully so, she has gone off the deep end a bit since Greymane thwarted her in Stormheim. Unfortunately, that means her equal in terms of deep end crossing Jaina has gone unnoticed.


Blizzard launched two Warbringers videos in prep for BfA. Sylvanas and Jaina, which clearly marks each as the frontrunners of the upcoming conflict. View those in the links if you haven't done so yet.

With Jaina, we don't really get the turmoil that we did from the end of Warlords and the beginning of Legion, but she has been on a path to the darkside for some time now. I was actually surprised that she managed not to turn to the Legion this expansion. Her video just proves her final resolve to the fight, getting a flying disco ship that is shown in the new scenario. It is a bit unusual that the Alliance frontrunner isn't the Alliance leader, but how much will Anduin be influenced by Jaina in BfA?

Sylvanas is newly arrived to the full scale crazy that these two characters embody on their respective sides. What many people who have been commenting on Sylvanas' trip down the rabbit hole seem to forget, is that her path started with Greymane's interference in Stormheim. If Sylvanas had been allowed to claim her prize in Stormheim, would she have been so crazy while on the path to BfA?

Back at the beginning of Legion, especially in the prepatch, Sylvanas led valiantly and made the hard decisions that needed to be made. Pulling out of the battle was one of those hard decisions. Unfortunately, it was misunderstood by Greymane as Sylvanas betraying the Alliance, and is most likely why he got involved with her plans in Stormheim setting her down her current path.

Who Lives? Redemptions and Reconciliations?

If there were only one questionable character, I would consider the general consensus of Sylvanas being the next Garrosh-like raid boss. However, add in Jaina and there is no way that both will die in BfA. Actually, it is highly possible that neither die. Sylvanas is likely going to step down as warchief at the end of BfA, Jaina will probably return to her people. 

There is a video on Youtube that suggests, as one option, that Sylvanas is just playing her part, making the decisions that no other warchief could ever make. As someone who has already died once, Sylvanas does not seem to fear anything in the waking world, meaning she is free to carry those burdens. It is very likely that the end of BfA will make her intentions known, that she only did what she had to do for the good of the Horde, maybe for Azeroth as a whole. There is even some hope for Sylvanas' redemption in the comic with her sisters. 

Jaina on the otherhand, already seems to be on a path to redemption, even while perpetuating her own grudge against the Horde. Her people chose a neutral stance, preparing to stand against the coming battle on their own. Jaina seems to accept their fight as her own, though in secret. It is likely that her people will discover her protection later and may forgive her past.

What are your thoughts on Battle for Azeroth? Do you think one or both of these Warbringers might die? Will there be redemption in this expansion? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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We Happy Few Memory Locations Guide Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:18:17 -0400 Ty Arthur

After years of Early Access development and a whole lot of unexpected changes, dystopian survival game We Happy Few has landed in a full release version, and its far more story-focused than the early builds indicated.

Delving deep into the lore of the game's alternate history and discovering all the unpleasant things that happened to the three main protagonists adds a whole extra layer to the game's stealth survival mechanics.

Of course there are plenty of collectibles to be found across the game, from notes to TV shows to butterflies. Finding all collectibles across the game unlocks the Remember, Remember achievement.

Having trouble tracking down some of the memory mask collectibles hidden across Wellington Wells? We've got you covered with a list of memory locations below and step-by-step instructions on picking them up!

We Happy Few Arthur Memory Mask Locations

Masks that reveal memories of the past between Arthur and his lost brother Percy tend to be found in major story locations, but they are usually just off the beaten path in an out-of-the-way spot. If you spend time exploring they aren't too hard to find, but a few are pretty cleverly hidden.

The first mask is found quite early, after being beaten by the bobbies when you flee you the pinata part.

When you enter the room with the corpse (before crafting a lock pick to activate the access hatch), look on the right side of the electronics room to see a mask near a poster on the wall.

In the destroyed church where the female wastrel tells you to tear up your suit with a rock, look for a big raised wood dais near the center. 

You should find the mask in the pulpit in the destroyed church, near a bottle of scotch. You won't be able to see the mask until actually going up the stairs into the pulpit, where it becomes visible just under the wood paneled edge.

If you don't find it the first time, note you have to return here later to give David his medals after fighting in the Headboy camp.

After crossing the Rorke͛s Drift Bridge, you can head southwest in the first large open area of the game.

Head south from Kensington Gardens (near the very center of the large open area) to find a swampy area where this section's access hatch is found.

The mask is hovering above the downed airplane found outside the dilapidated building with the electricity puzzle and the access hatch.

When you get the quest to infiltrate the military camp and turn off the power, you first have to cross the Inkerman Bridge where all the old guards are passed out or heavily drinking.

Go up the ladder on the right hand side before the area's exit that leads across the bridge to the military base. This mask is hovering near the sand bags if you turn around when you climb up to the top.

The next mask is in the military camp area and found near the locked door to the dump, directly next to the "No Dumping" sign.

You should see this one after your friend tells you to search for a hole in the fence near the dump entrance.

After talking your way onto the bridge and taking the game show quiz, eventually you get into the city of Maidenholm.

When you finally get to freely roam the city, head to the southwest side and look for a park with a giant rotating heart statue. If you haven't completed all the quests yet, there will be a marker on the map labeled "Love Birds." The next mask is above the pond at the corner of the park.

During the Finding Faraday quest, you have to talk your way into the Constabulary.

After taking the elevator and talking to the unhelpful constable in the records room, head down the hallway and enter the second door with the red button. In the same room as the "Tell Him To Fuck Off Note," check the back of the room by the wall to find this mask.

Those are all the We Happy Few memory mask locations we've found so far, but there's bound to be more, so check back soon for an update. If you've come across any others, let us know where you found them and we'll get this article updated!

Insurgency Sandstorm Beta Review: A Promising Tactical FPS When It Works Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:42:50 -0400 Victoria Banks

It isn’t easy to create an FPS that emulates realistic combat while standing out in the competitive genre. But Insurgency Sandstorm might provide players the challenge and realism they have been craving in an FP

With popular game releases such as Fortnite and Overwatch and the recent E3 announcement of games like Halo Infinite, Fallout 76, and Anthem, it might seem that new realistic military FPS games are a bit lacking in the market right now, but Insurgency Sandstorm has potential to fill that void for some players who seek classic-style realistic combat.

Insurgency Sandstorm, developed by New World Interactive, is the sequel to its indie predecessor, Insurgency, and is a tactical FPS that will be released on PC around the end of September and on consoles in 2019. With the purchase of a pre-order for $26.99 on Steam, players can experience the beta testing from August 9th-13th and August 30th.

Though it is still in beta testing, the game is creating both excitement and concern within the playerbase. Players are eager for the immersive, competitive gameplay but are also wary of the graphics, performance, and PC requirements to play.

Game Modes

So right off the bat, you should know that Insurgency Sandstorm is a game that aims for realism. The gameplay is designed to emulate real combat as close as possible, and in the beta, that combat is experienced in three online multiplayer game modes: Push, Firefight, and Skirmish.

In Push, players must capture Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie objectives before destroying Delta using enforcements. Firefight is a mode where points must also be captured, but players can only respawn if their team successfully obtains enemy territory. In Skirmishes though, players must destroy the enemy team’s cache or eliminate all opponents while capturing points to win.


These game modes can be played on the three beta maps: Refinery, Farmhouse, and Hideout.

Refinery is the more industrial map which has tight corners, multilevel buildings, and gunner vehicles. Farmhouse is a bit of the opposite with a few more open grassy spaces surrounding homes. Hideout is, in comparison, grittier with sandy hills and dilapidated buildings.

Classes and Weapons

Insurgency Sandstorm offers extensive classes including: Marksmen, Advisers, Demolitionists, Breachers, Riflemen, Observers, and Captains. Each class has an impressive range of specialties and weapons relative to his or her position (e.g. Riflemen have assault rifles, Marksmen have long ranged weapons, Demolitionists carry explosives, and so on).

Talented snipers will love the Marksman's M24 sniper rifle. It is a favorite with a wide range of adjustable optics. However, fans of more short-ranged combat will be happy to find an uzi submachine gun or security forces' M870 shotgun. The game also offers classic AK assault rifles and a collection of battle rifles, my personal favorite being FAL.

No matter preferences, players should be able to find classes and weapons that fit their play style easily.

What’s most impressive about all of these weapons and classes though is that they look and act realistically in terms of damage, scopes, and movement.

Damage and Combat

One of the strengths of the first Insurgency game that has carried over into this sequel is the realistic damage and strategic gameplay you can experience online.

Unlike some games where it can take an entire clip to kill an opponent, Sandstorm has authentic damage from gunfire. One or two well-aimed shots is all you will need to defeat an enemy, which means you should be cautious with your life as well.

The increased damage also makes a more tactical approach necessary, opposed to the run and gun method. These high stakes give the player much more satisfaction when successfully surviving an encounter and eliminating opponents.

The strategic nature of Sandstorm also means communication is key, similar to other tactic FPS games such as Siege or CS:GO. This can make the combat thrilling and intense, while also requiring teamwork and cooperation.

Sound and Audio

The sound of gunfire, explosions, airstrikes, and other attacks makes for an immersive gameplay experience and lends itself the realism Insurgency Sandstorm strives to achieve. The sound effects work well to emulate combat and provide tension to the game play.

There are some complaints about the call outs and automatic voice lines of other players and NPC’s. Characters often shout over the coms when points are captured or taken, when enemies are down or hit, and so forth. The frequency of these automatic call outs, can be distracting during gameplay, but can easily be rectified before the official game release. Otherwise, the sound effects are pretty stellar.


Another item that could use attention before the game’s release are its graphics. The biggest change between the new Insurgency Sandstorm and its predecessor is absolutely the graphics. The previous game, Insurgency, relies on Source Engine, which made it accessible on many lower performing laptops and PC’s. In fact, this is what drew in some of the fanbase for Insurgency. However, Sandstorm is on a different level.

The devs created this game with Unreal Engine 4, and there are a lot of improvements compared to the previous game’s visuals. But is it absolutely incredible? No. The graphics for this game are good and a nice improvement from the previous, but they are not outstanding. That doesn’t mean it is horrible. The game has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to graphics.

For example, some of the best qualities are scopes, which use a realistic zoom-in. Unlike some FPS games such as COD, Insurgency Sandstorm’s long-range scopes only zoom in on the scope rather than the whole screen, and dot reticles behave realistic to player movements. The scope zoom is a nice feature to the game but can be turned off if it is a struggle for the player to get used to. Another optional feature causes body dismemberment. The graphic aims to emulate true physics in combat. If players are caught in explosives, their bodies will not simply fall to the ground, but rather break apart from the blast. The physic aligns with the games goals of realism in both gameplay and visuals.

Despite the better gun graphics and bodily damage, the beta’s other graphics are overall, just ok. For example, the game has a few customization options for avatars, but in game, the character models are a bit basic. Their movements are also stiff and unrealistic. Players seem to glide across the ground when running or sliding. Likewise parts of the environment, while improved from the first Insurgency game, are sometimes bland such as vehicles and objects in the map.

This is still the beta though, and perhaps, before it’s release in September these minor graphics problems can be addressed, but what I find more of a concern than the graphics is the gameplay performance.


What's shocking is that even though the graphics don’t seem too demanding, the improvements have still negatively affected the performance. The new graphics in Insurgency Sandstorm Beta will restrict playership to those with expensive next gen tech.

In order to actually get the most out of the visuals, you’re going to need a high performing graphics card and intel core. From my gameplay experience, I imagine the final product will perform best on at the very least a GTX 1050 ti and intel core i7. After the game failed to perform on a gaming laptop, I quickly had to shift gears to a higher performing PC desktop. Even with better equipment, the higher settings dropped the FPS as low as 15 - 30. The FPS improved to 60  only when lowering the graphics qualities, but in doing so, the player will lack the realistic graphics, a goal which the developers seem to be aiming for.

Performance should be a priority for tactical FPSes that require precision, and unfortunately, many players of Insurgency Sandstorm’s Beta are experiencing issues with frame rates and playability. As someone who really appreciates the challenge and strategy Insurgency games provide, I hope this is something that can be fixed before its release.

Should you plan to purchase?

If you're a fan of tactical shooters such as CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege, or the previous Insurgency, you'll likely enjoy this upcoming game. It presents a fun challenge, strategic gameplay, and realistic fighting. Some of the minor issues should be resolved before the official release, but only time will tell. Above all else though, players should triple check that their PC's can handle the demands of this game. 

Battle for Azeroth Guide: Expert Tips for Hitting Level 120 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:21:11 -0400 Nick Congleton

World of Warcraft's seventh expansion, Battle for Azeroth, brings with it a new leveling experience and two totally new continents to level through, one for each faction. Whether you've been playing WoW non-stop for the past 14 years or you're a first-time player using your free level 110 character boost to take on the new content, you're going to need to prepare to level efficiently.

Not everyone wants to push through this new content quickly to hit the level cap, and that's perfectly fine. There are some excellent storylines on both sides for you to enjoy, and you should. Even still, preparing to quest will make the experience smoother and cut down on frustration. No one likes getting stuck, and its never fun when gameplay doesn't feel rewarding. These tips will be useful no matter how you plan on leveling in BfA.

Prepare To Level

Before you embark on your adventures through Kul Tiras and Zandalar, you're going to need to gear up. Prepare your character to level quickly by stocking up on some useful items that'll seed up the process and clean up all the end-of-expansion junk that's been clogging up your bags for months. All the experts agree, setting yourself up to level fast works.

Clean Up Your Bags

If you've been playing through most of Legion, your bags are full of junk. Questing with full bags is awful. You never have enough room for your new quest items or profession materials. It cramps your whole flow.

Clean all the junk items out of your bags. Remember that this includes any gear that you might be holding on to because it's a close item level to your main gear, follower items, and artifact relics. None of those things will be useful as soon as BfA drops.

Now's the time to get rid of your profession items from Legion too. They're not going to do you any good in Battle for Azeroth. There will be all new materials to collect, and the Legion stuff is going to plummet in price.

Everyone has those items that they're attached to. Some of those even have interesting toy-like effects. Store those in your bank. They might get made into toys at some point. As long as those things aren't in your bags, you'll be alright.

Stock Up On Useful Items

There are tons, TONS, of useful items for leveling. If you have them in your bags when you're leveling, you're going to have a much better experience.

First, consider food and other consumable items that buff your character's stats. You can think of leveling sort of like raiding. All of those raid items work well for leveling. Stock up on food with stat buffs, flasks, potions, and anything else that increases your stats. Food has the added benefit of healing you between fights, so it minimizes your downtime and speeds up the process.

Like with any new expansion, you won't be able to fly in the new zones. So any items that increase your movement speed and help you get around more easily are going to help your leveling along in a big way. The first and most important one is the Goblin Glider Kit. Plenty of the zones have a lot of high terrain, and unless you're playing a Demon Hunter, you're going to have a hard time getting down from those high places. Goblin gliders allow you to cover a lot of ground with relative ease.

Movement boosting items are also a great idea. A simple option is Bear Tartare. Eating it makes your character move faster for a short time. You can also pick up more permanent items like Gunshoes to give your character some extra speed.

Water is another obstacle that's infamous for slowing you down. If you have access to any of the water strider mounts, they can be invaluable for getting across bodies of water efficiently. If you don't, water walking potions are always good in a pinch.

Don't forget that there are some items that increase your experience gains too. The standards of coordination that are available from guild vendors increase the experience you gain from killing groups of mobs in the open world by 15%. You can't use them all the time, but when you have a large cluster, throw a standard down, and reap the benefits.

BfA introduced a new experience gem, Insightful Rubellite, that you can socket into a piece of your gear for a constant 5% experience boost. You can only use one, and they won't be available until BfA launches, but it's something to check for soon after launch.

Plan Your Route

The route you take while leveling matters. Yes, like Legion, you can start leveling in any of the new zones and choose any path you like, but there is a more efficient order. Some zones have more difficult quests and tighter clusters of enemy mobs. Level through those zones first. Legion legendary items will still have their effects through level 116. You're going to want those effects for the more difficult zones. Leveling through the easier zones at higher level is also faster because higher levels require more experience.

For Horde players, start your questing in Vol'dun. Move from there to Zuldazar. Finish leveling in Nazmir.

Alliance players should start off in Drustvar. Continue on to Tiragarde Sound. You should finish questing in Stormsong Valley.

Of course, this is a game, so don't worry if you really prefer one zone and want to start there. This is just the optimal order.

Leveling Efficiently

You've prepared your character. Your bags are clean and stocked with useful items. You have your route planned out and ready to go. It's time to level. Wait! There's actually a better way to level too.

Certain factors can play a big role in how fast you level in Battle for Azeroth. Most things are just good habits to get yourself into, and they'll help you level faster with minimal extra effort.

Turn On Warmode

Yeah, turn on War Mode. Most people are either loving that idea (rogues) or are suddenly terrified (everyone else), but Warmode comes with some massive benefits for leveling that can't be overlooked.

War Mode gives you an automatic 10% experience bump for everything. Enable War Mode, and get the extra experience. It's that simple, and it does make a huge difference.

Next, War Mode gives you access to a set of extra PvP talents. Plenty of those talents are great for both controlling mobs and pumping out extra damage. Altogether, it will make your leveling experience easier.

If you're really worried about enabling War Mode, remember that for the first few days of the expansion, everyone will be focused on leveling. The Alliance and Horde will be mostly contained to their own leveling zones and won't mix much. You can also return to Stormwind or Orgrimmar at any time to turn it off if it does become a problem for you. With War Mode, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Avoid Time Sinks

There's no shortage of distractions when leveling in BfA, or any expansion. It gets tricky, though, because those distractions have changed.

Don't run dungeons. They take too much time to queue for, and they don't reward enough experience to be worthwhile. Unfortunately, running dungeons will slow you down while leveling in BfA.

Rare mobs and treasures where always a good thing in Legion. That's not the case in BfA. The items that drop and the experience that they grant aren't worth the time they take to hunt down or kill. Treasure chests don't grant experience, and rares drop better gear at higher levels, making them a potentially invaluable source of early gear at max level. Hold off while leveling.

Bonus objectives aren't worthwhile either anymore. During both Warlords of Draenor and Legion these were an excellent source of bonus experience. That's not so anymore. Like these other time sinks, they're simply not worth the time they cost anymore.

Quest Efficiently

If you've been playing WoW for any length of time, you know how to quest more efficiently. This is just a good habit, and your map is the best resource you have in setting up optimal quest patterns.

Group your quests. After you arrive in a quest hub, take a look at your map. You'll probably see that you'll have groups of quests clustered together. Pick a cluster of quests and complete them all at once. Then, turn them all in at once. Always set your hearthstone to your current quest hub to cut down on travel time.

It's also important to remember to abandon quests that are giving you a hard time. There's no need to complete every quest. There are more than enough quests in any zone to level you up.

Do Your War Campaign

This isn't 100% necessary while you're leveling, but it will help you a lot when you reach max level. The War Campaign is a central part of Battle for Azeroth. It's tied to a lot of your max level progress and is used to unlock key points of the expansion. You'll be fine if you wait to do the campaign at max level, but doing it while you level will save some time in the long run.

Grab Two Gathering Professions

This one also isn't strictly necessary. If you love your character's professions, keep them. If you don't really care and just want to make some gold, pick up two gathering professions like mining and herbalism.

You gain experience from gathering crafting materials from the nodes in the open world, and those materials are worth a significant amount of gold, especially early in the expansion. Having gathering professions will help you get off to a good start financially in any expansion.

Manage Your Reputations

Reputation, like the War Campaign, is extremely useful at max level. You need to have at least a friendly reputation with each of the leveling factions from each of your factions zones when transitioning into max level content to unlock world quests. This isn't a huge deal. Just make sure that you level in each of the three zones to hit this minimum requirement.

Also, each of these factions offers a decent item level cloak with an honored reputation. Consider leveling one of them up to get access to that item at max level. It'll get you off to a better start.

Don't Vendor Questing Gear!

Finally, don't vendor any of your green or better gear. Battle for Azeroth introduced scrappers in each factions major city. These scrappers allow you to trade unwanted gear for crafting materials. You can sell those materials for way more gold than you'd get from vendoring the gear. Crafting materials are going to be key in BfA's Warfronts. The scrapper is going to be a big part of BfA, and it's good to get a head start while questing.

You don't need to follow all of these tips. Level however is most comfortable for you. Even if you follow only a handful of these tips, though, you will have a faster and more enjoyable experience. That's what's most important here. Enjoy the experience. Battle for Azeroth has exceptional leveling content. Make the most of it.

The Biggest Moments From QuakeCon 2018 Saturday Showcase: Fallout 76 Reveals! Sat, 11 Aug 2018 14:18:06 -0400 Ty Arthur

Yesterday brought us that long-awaited Doom Eternal gameplay footage, along with news about ESO and Rage 2, while today QuakeCon continues into the weekend with a highly anticipated Bethesda panel.

The big draw today is more detailed info on the genre-hopping Fallout 76, which has some fans very nervous and others quite excited for the change in style.

Did you miss the panel? We've got the rundown on the biggest moments and most shocking Fallout 76 reveals below!

QuakeCon Fallout 76 Reveals

After the E3 reveal, today members of the Fallout 76 team re-iterated that all characters in the game are players (not NPCs or bots) which leads to an experience they describe as 80% what you are used to, and 20% radically different.

If you weren't stoked about the game before the panel, you may still be in that same camp afterwards. While answering fan questions, Todd Howard from Bethesda seemed to have balked at saying this is the right game for Fallout fans. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Other elements of the panel should pique your interest more, however; like confirming that private servers and mods will be a part of the finished game. In other words, if you don't like the vision Bethesda has come up with here, someone else will fix it down the line.

It was also confirmed that characters can acquire mutations from radiation, which may offer new abilities at the cost of stat penalties. One called Bird Bone for instance lets you jump higher than normal but lowers your strength.

We got a glimpse of the new photo mode for changing field of view and getting snapshots of events in game. You will want to take advantage of that feature, as players can change character attributes -- even gender and hair -- on the fly in the game at any time.

As an online game, there are many changes to the Fallout formula. There's no more targeting specific body parts in VATS anymore, with Perception giving an increase to hit and making it easier to find other players.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats now have a limit of 15 instead of 10, and each stat has a pool of perk cards with associated point costs. New cards are picked when leveling up, and those cards can be powered up to higher levels with higher costs.

Charisma curiously remains a stat in this online-only game, but Charisma perks are now used for increasing the abilities of teams, rather than unlocking dialog options, since there are no NPCs.

With hundreds of cards and no level cap, it seems like there will be a ton of customization options. 

Much of the panel was dedicated to talk of anti-griefing, and all the problems that come with online survival games. Here's the basics you need to know:

  • The first shot fired at any other player is an invitation to fight, with very little damage dealt.
  • Double cap rewards are offered to kill someone who previously killed you, so other players will seek revenge.
  • If you kill someone who doesn't want to engage, you are flagged as a murderer and have a bounty on your head. The bounty is taken from your own supply of caps, so there's a penalty for griefing.

The Fallout 76 beta is coming to Xbox One players first in October, then to other platforms later, and the full game drops November 14th, 2018.

What did you think of the panel, and are you looking forward to trying out Fallout 76? Let us know in the comments below.

Don't forget there's still time to jump on the QuakeCon sales over at Steam and other digital platforms! Absolutely everything Bethesda-branded, from their in-house developed games to anything they have published, is available at deep discount all weekend long.

How to Run in Madden 19 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:05:02 -0400 Ashley Gill

As ambitious as Madden 19 is, it's easy to forget the bare basics when you're shuffling through all those modes. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be playing Ultimate Team mode than thinking about how to play the game.

My friends seem to be in the same boat, but it seems that some have been asking how to run in Madden 19. As you probably know, you run by default, but you want to get some real sprinting action in there to get past the defense and into the endzone.

So this is for you, guys. Here's how you sprint:

  • On PS4, hold R2 while moving
  • On Xbox One, hold RT while moving
  • On PC, hold L-Shift while moving (although you should just be using a controller, honestly)

Easy enough, right? Not so fast there, my friend. There are two more things to keep in mind and that is player speed.

The first, since it's more important to Madden players, is that Turbo seems to work a bit differently this time around. In most situations, it appears that you should avoid Turbo behind the line of scrimmage. In Madden 19, Turbo shouldn't be your first option because the new mechanics will actually make you run slower in the long run. 

Wait until you hit the open field to turn on the jets. The best way to use Turbo is when running straight ahead or after you've made a cut and have fewer defenders in front of you. If you see an open gap you need to get to quickly, use the right-stick to guide the RB there instead of using the left-stick plus Turbo. 

The second thing to think about is speed, which is shown as SPD in-game. The higher a player's speed stat is, the faster they will run on the field. Don't be surprised if your running back or wide receiver can't run as fast as a safety or cornerback.

If you're looking to run as a quarterback, that can be a bit trickier since you have to get outside the pocket and pull the ball down after you've dropped back to pass. Here's how to do just that. 

To get outside the pocket, you have to get outside the tackles. Once you get outside the tackles, you'll need to pull the ball down so the QB can run. 

  • On PS4, hold R2
  • On Xbox One, hold Right Trigger
  • On PC, hold L-Shift

So it's similar to running from the snap, but with the added necessity of dropping back and moving to the left- or right-edge of the tackle box. 


That's about all one can say on running. It is pretty simple! Be sure to check out our other Madden 19 guides here on GameSkinny.

QuakeCon 2018 Friday Showcase Recap: Quake Champions, Doom Eternal, and More! Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:59:30 -0400 Ty Arthur

For id Software and Bethesda fans, QuakeCon is probably a bigger deal than E3, and the 2018 edition hasn't been a let down so far with its reveals, announcements, and exclusive trailers.

The Doom Eternal trailer is of course what everyone wanted to see, but major news arrived even before that anticipated reveal, with the Quake community managers revealing that Quake Champions is now free to play permanently. If you haven't tried it out yet, jump on Steam and give it a go!

Below we've rounded up all the info you need to know if you missed the first day of QuakeCon. Don't forget that Bethesda is also celebrating the festivities with all their releases on deep discount at the usual places like Steam, GOG, etc. so now is the time to pick up anything you don't already own.

QuakeCon Elder Scrolls Online

If the audience reaction and Twitch comments were any indication, most people weren't exactly stoked to have to sit through the ESO announcements before getting to Doom.

For those who love exploring Tamriel in an MMO however, there was plenty to get excited about. All new werewolf-themed dungeons are due to arrive in the Wolf Hunter DLC for Elder Scrolls Online coming Monday, August 13th to PC.

Console players will sadly have to wait a bit longer, with the DLC arriving August 28th on PS4 and Xbox One. If werewolves aren't your favorite, you'll get to delve into Argonian culture with the Murkmire DLC this fall as well.

Although there weren't any specific details yet, we also discovered new in-game events are slated to arrive later this year, with greater rewards if more players take part at the same time.

QuakeCon Rage 2

If you want open world mayhem with loads of weapons, then the Rage 2 trailer will have gotten your blood pumping!

We discovered today there will be no in-world load screens and saw a sneak peak of the many factions to fight against, from the Shrouded to the Goon Squad.

Much of the trailer focused on vehicular combat in particular, with convoys of enemies clearly playing a large role. Fans of the first game will also be quite pleased to know the wingstick is returning, with a few upgrades. You can expect Rage 2 to land in the Spring of 2019.

QuakeCon Doom Eternal

it was very clear this is what people were really at QuakeCon for, going nuts when that Doom logo appeared after a very tepid response to the ESO reveals.

We got that first Doom Eternal teaser at E3, but it's been radio silence since then. While it was a cool teaser to be sure, it didn't really show us anything about how the game will play.That issue has officially been rectified at QuakeCon today.

It's clear Hell has left Mars behind and made its way to a shattered earth. Destroyed skyscrapers and broken concrete make for some interesting level design that has a much different aesthetic than the previous Doom entry. 

A new game needs new ways to kill, and we weren't disappointed there, with major upgrades and modifications to the Slayer along with a slew of new weapons.

If you missed some of the classic creatures, we got advance looks at concept art for monsters from the early games re-imagined in modern graphical style. Of course there are now even more ways to tear apart demons, with the Destructible Demons system letting you hack apart and blow off specific parts of each creature before they die.

The gameplay looks to still be as fast and frantic as ever, with loads of ways to execute zombies and demons. The biggest reveal wasn't on the weaponry or creature models though, but on how Doom is changing to be a larger universe where players can now invade each other's playthroughs.

Anyone will now be able to take control of a demon and invade another player's campaign. You could even team up for a Slayer hunting party of demons chasing down a poor Doom Marine.

What do you think of the changes to the Doom universe, and are you looking forward to playing Doom Eternal?

Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to come back tomorrow for the roundup of Saturday's festivities, where we can expect to see a whole lot more on Fallout 76!

How to Celebrate in Madden 19 (with Signature Celebrations) Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:12:32 -0400 Jonathan Moore

One of the best feelings in Madden 19 is ripping off a big play and scoring on your opponent. And the best way to show them you're better than them is to rub it in with a stylish celebration. 

Unlike the NFL, which seems like they simply hate any type of post-touchdown jamboree, celebrating and taunting has always been a Madden staple. That continues to be so in the franchise's latest installment. Things haven't changed all that much from Madden 18: you'll still need to input three buttons at the same time in order to showboat down the field. 

To celebrate in Madden 19 on the Xbox One, hold RT + LT + A and you'll high-step down the field and into the end zone just like Deion Sanders. 

To celebrate in Madden 19 on the PlayStation 4 (PS4), hold L2 + R2 + X

To celebrate in Madden 19 on the PC, hold L-Shift + K + H. But really, you should just be using an Xbox One controller instead.  

However, there are some new, signature celebrations that you can do with your team and other players on the field once you score a touchdown. Here's how to pull them off per EricRayweather: 

  • Push right-stick up: Team celebration
  • Push right-stick right: Spike the ball
  • Push right-stick left: Dance
  • Push right-stick down: player-specific celebration
  • Push right-stick in (button press): swag celebration

Like Madden 18, you can celebrate anywhere on the field. However, it's best to celebrate when you know you're about to score: showboating in the open field is likely to get you tackled. Taking a huge hit can dislodge the ball, turning a taunt into bitter disappointment. 

You don't want to be the guy that fumbled the ball just outside the goal line. It's nice to taunt, just do it at the right time. 

If you want to celebrate but also make sure you get into the end zone, you can also hold LT + X on the Xbox One and L2 + Square on the PS4 to perform a dive toward the pylon. Just make sure you're close enough to the goal line to cross the plane or your opponent will have another chance to stop you short. 


Showboating is part of the game. But you don't want to give your opponent reason to have his own celebration. Armed with these tips, you'll both dominate the field and taunt when it matters most. 

Make sure to check out our other Madden 19 guides

Note: Big thanks to EricRayweather for providing info on the signature celebrations. Make sure to check his YouTube for some great captures of these in-game taunts and showboats. 

Dead Cells Guide: How to Defeat All Bosses Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:38:56 -0400 Sergey_3847

Currently, there are four bosses in Dead Cells that drop some amazing rewards when killed. Each of the four bosses requires different tactics, so there is no universal approach towards all of them.

If you want to know the most effective ways of killing all four bosses in Dead Cells, then follow our guide below for all the tips and tricks. You will learn about their vulnerabilities, which can be used to quickly deal with all of them.

The Concierge

You will encounter the first boss at the Black Bridge. Although, it's not that hard to beat Concierge, it would be still good to know what to expect from his side.

The Concierge is rather slow and his most powerful attack is probably the Fire Strike that sends a wave of fire over the ground. Also, don't stay too close to him or he will use Shout, which can stun you.

The best strategy against Concierge is to use Heavy Turret and grenades. At the same time you will need to move a lot and dodge his attacks. When you see an opportunity, throw a bomb at him and let the turret do the rest.


The alternative first boss can be encountered in the Insufferable Crypt, which can be accessed through Ancient Sewers, if you already got 3 boss cells. The whole fight will take place on platforms and in four phases.

During the first phase you need to dodge its laser beam that shoots from the eye. As for weapons use a whip or a spear that can deal burning damage, which is especially effective against Conjunctivius, including grenades.

The second phase starts after you put it down to 75% of health. This is when it starts letting out its first tentacle from beneath the ground. Use shield to parry it or just dodge.

The third phase starts at 50% of health. The same types of attacks repeat, but with an additional tentacle. And the final phase is the most dangerous one, which starts at 25% health with three tentacles that move really fast.

It's going to be really hard to dodge and parry all three of them, so just watch out for the patterns on the ground and jump onto the platform. If you can hit Conjunctivius in the process, you should put him to zero rather quickly.

The Time Keeper

The third boss in the game resides in the Clock Room at the Clock Tower. This boss is extremely fast and she uses teleportation, so it's going to be really hard to dodge her attacks. The fight consists of three main phases.

Each of the phases starts after the Time Keeper looses a third of her health. All of her attacks consist of a sword attack, a shuriken throw, a hook pull, and a teleportation. If you can adjust your attacks to her patterns, you will easily kill her.

Use Ice Grenades to freeze her and then hit her as she stands still. Also make use of Infantry Grenades or any other grenades you have unlocked. They will help you reduce the life total of the boss.

As for the weapon, it's better to use long range weapons, such as bows or crossbows. It's also a good idea to stay away from the boss as far away as possible, because if her hook catches you, it can deal a lot of damage. So stay away from it is well as you can.

Remember that each phase adds additional sword combos and shurikens to her attacks, so be aware of it the lower her life total gets and keep the pressure going.

The Hand of the King

The final boss in Dead Cells can be encountered at the Throne Room. Just like the previous boss The Hand of the King has three main phases and two transitional ones, where you will fight hordes of elite zombies.

In the first phase his two main attacks are dash and slash that can be easily dodged. But then he will throw bombs at you, which you can escape by jumping over his head and staying behind him.

Since this boss is immune against any types of freeze effects, better use fire and poison damage. The best weapon for this fight is Explosive Crossbow that shoots fire explosives that deal a lot of critical damage from a distance. Fire Brands is another great choice of weapon for burning damage.

During the second phase, after you've cleared the first wave of zombies with the help of Heavy Turret and Double Crossb-O-Matic, in addition to his other attacks and bombs The Hand of the King will summon deadly explosive banners. You need to destroy them or they will explode and deal a lot of damage to you.

Since the arena where you will fight the final boss is very small, you will not be able to effectively escape the explosions. So take care of those banners and hopefully, you will survive for the third and final phase.

In the third phase the boss will add a hand slam that can be easily dodged by jumping on top of the platform. Just keep an eye out on his hand, and when it starts glowing, use it as a signal to retreat. As soon as the wave dissolves, go back down and finish him off!


Each of the four bosses will drop some excellent rewards, such as weapons and gear, which can be used to kill stronger enemies. That's it on how to defeat all four bosses in Dead Cells, but be sure to check out other related guides at GameSkinny!

How to Fix FPS Problems in Monster Hunter World PC Fri, 10 Aug 2018 09:59:23 -0400 Sergey_3847

If you've taken the plung with Monster Hunter World on PC, one of the very first things that you want to do is to make it look as good and run as well as possible. This means that your game must run at 60 FPS at the very least.

However, there can be some hurdles to hitting that. In case you're having trouble adjusting the game's graphics settings to the optimum values for your system, you can follow our guide below for the best tips to setting up your game in the best way possible.

Optimal Graphics Settings for Monster Hunter World

Step 1: Set a Frame Limit

You can change your graphics settings in the game menu, under the tab "Display." It is highly recommended to change two options here:

  • Set "Screen Mode Settings" to "Borderless Window"
  • Set "Frame Rate" to "60"

The second option is especially important. Do not set it to "No Limit". If you do, you will experience some serious frame drops. But by limiting it to 60 FPS, your game will run smoothly.

Step 2: Advanced Graphical Settings

After that, open the "Advanced Graphical Settings" from the same menu. Here you will see lots of options. These are the recommended ones to change:

  • Turn off "Volume Rendering Quality"
  • Keep "Shadow Quality" at Low or Mid depending on your system
  • Set "Anti-Aliasing" to "FXAA"

These are the optimal advanced settings for Monster Hunter World on PC, but the most important one is the Volume Rendering, which should be turned off at all times. Otherwise, you will lose a lot of FPS.

Step 3: Rollback to Old Drivers

If you're using Nvidia graphics cards, then you might want to rollback to an older version of the drivers: 398.36. The new one is not optimized and will result in some visible FPS drops in Monster Hunter World.

Here you will find the links to the correct version of the Nvidia driver:


With these few, simple steps, you will be able to set up optimal graphics settings for your game and fix any FPS problems you're having.

For other Monster Hunter World guides at GameSkinny, check out the links below:

Yakuza 0 PC Review: It's as Good as Ever Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:46:16 -0400 Ashley Gill

Both the Yakuza fanbase and sections of the PC community have been asking for Yakuza on PC for a long time. And for a long time it seemed impossible, a pipe dream for those interested in the series without a PlayStation-line console.

There are a few times in life when dreams do come true. In this instance that's thanks to Japanese publishers' increased focus on the PC market. The line between console exclusives and the PC space is little more than a blur today.

If you had asked me whether I thought the Yakuza series would be making its way to PC a few years ago, I'd probably have scoffed and taken offense due to the naivety of the question. Japanese publishers didn't port to PC, and when they did, it wasn't exactly done well. Plus, the chances of such a niche series making its way over here? Psh, yeah right.

It's 2018 now and Yakuza is on PC. Heck, a whole lot of other series I never thought would make it off console are now getting PC ports -- and not bad ports, either. These aren't coming out in the same states Deadly Premonition and Dark Souls got so carelessly released in. No. These are quality ports on par with their console versions -- or even better.

What a time to be alive.

Yakuza 0 is the first game in the series to make its way to PC, and what an appropriate choice on Sega's part. 0 is the place to start if you have never touched the series before.

There may be some confusion about the naming-slash-numbering of this series, so let's lay it out: Yakuza 0 is a prequel to Yakuza Kiwami, which is a remake of the original PlayStation 2 game. There are five additional games after Kiwami, with the latest being Yakuza 6 on the PlayStation 4.

For a first timer, 0 is the place to start. It gets all the pieces set, all the characters fleshed out, and prepares you for the never-ending trials and tribulations of just being Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima.

Part of what makes this series so unique and so beloved by fans is its unique hybrid of yakuza movie-style storytelling, relatively smooth beat'em up combat between entries, and absurd minigames and side content. Despite being a prequel, Yakuza 0 has all those things in spades.

Here, cutscenes are frequent, often long, and dramatic, with the story quality being on par with standard yakuza-theme feature film. Betrayal, revenge, and honor are all key parts in the genre and especially here in the Yakuza game series.

Combat is not an especially complex beast and, for most, will present little challenge. You spend a great deal of time in combat (you can't avoid chinpara forever) but outside of boss fights, it's a quick and dirty ordeal.

You can button mash your way to victory in combat, but you're better off making use of potential weapons in the environment or getting the hang of the wide range of Heat Actions available. It's significantly more fun if you get into combat's intricacies but if you're here for the side dish more than the main course, you don't have to stress much about beating people up.

Speaking of the side dish, it's always my personal main course. You can't have a Yakuza game without the silly side missions and mini games, which are ultimately what keep a number of fans returning to this series that seems so lost in time. Sure, the story is always great -- but there's so much more to do than watch cutscenes and rush through the story.

Though side missions are often humorous and one of the bigger draws to the game, the wealth of mini games found in the series is the real MVP for me.

Gacha machines to pluck up stuffed animals, classic Sega arcade games such as Out Run and Super Hang-On, fishing, miniature car racing, hostess dating, dancing, gambling at a Western or a Japanese-style casino -- this list is very small compared to the full list of mini games you can get yourself wrapped up in here in Yakuza 0.

The transition to PC from PlayStation 4 has been relatively smooth and it is a commendable effort by Sega to finally bring this sprawling and distinctly Japanese drama to a platform Japanese developers are just now taking seriously.

The game is capable of reaching 60fps at 4K, which is a first for the series provided your rig can handle it. As with just about every other recent PC release from Sega, it does come with Denuvo anti-tamper DRM. If that's a dealbreaker for you, well.. that's just how it is.

This series' debut on the PC seems to be a resounding success. One that past me would have punched present me for even suggesting, but a success nonetheless.

If you missed out on the Yakuza series thus far, for whatever reason, now is probably the best time to jump onto the bandwagon. Yakuza 0 is a little dramatic, a lot of weird, and a ton of fun. There is no better time to give it a shot than the present.

You can buy Yakuza 0 on Steam for $19.99.

[Note: The developer provided the copy of Yakuza 0 used in this review.]

Monster Hunter World: How to Skip Cutscenes Thu, 09 Aug 2018 14:40:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

If you're tired of sitting through some of Monster Hunter: World's more intrusive cutscenes, you've come to the right place. While you can't skip story cutscenes, you can skip those that deal with monster capture, the smithy, and eating, just to name a few. 

There's no automatic way to do it, but the manual method isn't all that difficult, either. Whether you're playing the game on PC, PS4, or Xbox One, all it takes is a simple button or key press to keep things moving.

When one of the non-story cutscenes begins, press: 

  • "Esc" on PC
  • "Share" on PS4
  • "Menu" on Xbox One

That's it. Now you're back doing what you do best: monster hunting. Now, if we can only skip those pesky story cutscenes everyone's ranting about ... 


If you're looking for more tips, tricks, and strategies for Monster Hunter World, be sure to check out our growing list of 50+ Monster Hunter World guides while you're here. 

IGN releases video apology over review plagiarism Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:32:51 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

For those not in the know, IGN recently published a review for the indie title, Dead Cells, which was ultimately found to be plagiarized.

The site's reviewer, Filip Miucin, gave the game a 9.7, praising it for its gameplay, among other things. However, Miucin's thoughts were not all his own.

Youtube channel Boomstick Gaming released a video review of the game a week before IGN's review went live. And it wasn't long before the similarities were noticed.

In his own video, Boomstick Gaming's reviewer, Deadite, accused Miucin of plagiarizing his review, with many of their points and analyses sharing near identical wording.

After the accusation, IGN took down the review for further investigation. Yesterday, IGN released a statement on the issue, saying that they have parted ways with Miucin and apologized to their readers, Dead Cells' Developer Motion Twin, and Boomstick Gaming.

Today, the news outlet issued a video apology, with editor Brian Altano presenting it, saying very much the same thing. 

Since the incident, Boomstick Gaming, which had only 11k Subscribers before the event, has now started a Patreon and is currently at 45k subscribers. One of their content creators, Alex, was interviewed by Forbes about the situation,. saying that he had "no knowledge of any of my other content being used by anyone else online."

IGN, meanwhile, will be re-reviewing Dead Cells by another one of their reviewers.

Since Miucin's firing, Kotaku received a tip that showed Miucin plagiarizing Nintendo Life's review of FIFA 18. Miucin reviewed the game on his Youtube Channel and was not a part of IGN at the time of the video's release.

Before Miucin's firing, Youtuber Dreamcastguy also discussed the topic, mentioning that he knew about the situation and had spoken to Miucin. He was told by Miucin that he was under a lot of stress while working at IGN, though Dreamcastguy didn't go into any specifics. 

9 Best Weapons in Dead Cells and How to Get Them Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:07:34 -0400 Sergey_3847


Cluster Grenade

  • Base Damage: 42/252
  • \n
  • Cooldown Time: 16s
  • \n

Cluster Grenade is even more brutal than Heavy Grenade. It splits into six mini-bombs, and each of those deals 42 points of damage for a total of 252 points of damage. The result is fascinating to say the least!


This weapon drops from Slashers that reside in the following areas:

  • Old Sewers
  • \n
  • Ossuary
  • \n
  • Prison Depths
  • \n
  • Graveyard
  • \n



That is all for the best weapons and how to get them, and look for other Dead Cells guides at GameSkinny!


Heavy Grenade

  • Base Damage: 70
  • \n
  • Cooldown Time: 15s
  • \n

Now it's time to talk about more crude weapons, but no less effective in dealing with large numbers of enemies. That's what grenades are good for! This heavy type of grenade deals so much damage that you will forget about other weapons for some time.


It drops from Bombardiers at the Clock Tower, but be careful with Shield Bearers who can kick back the grenades with their shields.


Nerves of Steel

  • Base DPS: 125
  • \n
  • Critical Hit Damage: 241
  • \n

Nerves is a very flexible bow that can be charged before firing. The more you charge it, the harder it will hit. But don't think that it takes a long time to charge it -- only in 0.5 seconds it will be fully charged and deal critical damage.


The blueprint can be found at The Ramparts and only at a certain time. Go to the far right of the location and jump onto an invisible platform, which will appear only if the last tower doesn't open the exit  to the next stage yet.


Explosive Crossbow

  • Base DPS: 127
  • \n
  • Critical Hit Damage: 254
  • \n

This crossbow deals damage in the form of explosive bolts that spread damage in a radius of 4 units upon contact. Although the bolts are rather slow, if they hit, the critical damage is guaranteed.


The blueprint to the Explosive Crossbow can be found in the Promenade of the Condemned, a second area accessible only after the Prisoners' Cells. There you need to find three gardener keys for the locked doors using the Spider's and Belier's Runes, which will drop after killing elite undead archers.


Marksman's Bow

  • Base DPS: 104
  • \n
  • Critical Hit Damage: 311
  • \n

If you're more of a tactical type of player and want to kill your enemies from a distance, then having a bow or a couple is the best choice. Probably the finest bow in the game is Marksman's Bow that deals critical hits every time you shoot from a certain distance.


The blueprint for this weapon can be found behind the Timed Door at the Ossuary, which closes approximately after 8 minutes. If you manage to get there in time, you will also get two scrolls of power.


Frantic Sword

  • Base DPS: 137
  • \n
  • Base Combo Damage: 235
  • \n

Here's a sword for those who are on a survival plan. This means that Frantic Sword hits harder the lower your life total is. The sword activates at the point below 50% of health pool and starts dealing devastating blows to every attacker.


This weapon drops from Kamikaze, a bat-like creature that explodes on contact. Kamikaze can be found in the following areas:

  • Toxic Sewers
  • \n
  • Old Sewers
  • \n
  • Prison Depths
  • \n
  • Fog Fjord
  • \n
  • Graveyard
  • \n
  • Forgotten Sepulchre
  • \n

War Spear

  • Base DPS: 149
  • \n
  • Base Combo Damage: 142/306
  • \n

This spear is very similar to AOE in its nature. It deals progressively more damage, if it hits several enemies at the same time, which makes it highly effective against a horde of attackers.


War Spear can by obtained by killing Hammer, an enemy that resides in the Prison Depths. However, the chance of him dropping the spear is rather low, so try again and again until you get one.


Giant Killer

  • Base DPS: 150
  • \n
  • Base Combo Damage: 400
  • \n

There is probably no better weapon in Dead Cells for killing Elites and Bosses than Giant Killer. But unfortunately, getting one is currently almost impossible, and most players will probably never see it in their stash.


It can be received only by completing Daily Runs, but the chance of getting one is incredibly low due to the random nature of the rewards. But if you manage to get one, you will be blessed with one of the most powerful weapons in the game.


Symmetrical Lance

  • Base DPS: 168
  • \n
  • Base Combo Damage: 305
  • \n

The Symmetrical Lance is almost a perfect weapon that can be obtained at the end of the game, after defeating the final boss -- The Hand of the King. The best part about this weapon is its ability to trigger critical hits right after you kill two consecutive enemies.


The hits are so brutal that dealing with the rest of the attackers wouldn't be a problem, since each next attack will stack damage. Also, if you manage to maintain your life total at 100%, Symmetrical Lance will deal +50% more damage as a result.


Dead Cells has finally left Early Access and can now be fully enjoyed as a complete game. Many things have changed since the launch of the game, including some new weapons that have been added during all the previous updates.


If you're a new or a returning player, then you might want to check out some of the best weapons that the game can offer. As you know each weapon requires a blueprint, and in this guide you can also read tips on how to find them.


Although, it's not an easy task to obtain all of these weapons, but if you don't try, you will never know!

Interview with Christopher Ekins Of Indie Shmup Risk System Thu, 09 Aug 2018 12:36:40 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Recently, a new demo for the ambitious shmup Risk System was released by developer Newt Industries. With each update, the title boasts new mechanics not seen within the genre. So, to get a real feel for the bold indie title, we got sat down with Chris Ekins, the game's leader developer -- and half of the developer studio.

We got to talk about what's under the hood for the arcade shooter, as well as look inside the more intimate side of indie game development and its set of unique hurdles.

GameSkinny (GS): When/how did the name Risk System pop into your head for this title? 

Chris Ekins (CE): Risk System became the name by means of being a descriptive working title that never ended up changing, similar to Monster Hunter. The game's systems were all to be about rewarding the risk you take. So the name just ended up sticking.

GS: Can you pinpoint when you realized you wanted to develop your own games?

CE: Playing the original Sonic The Hedgehog in second grade. I used to draw out levels on paper that I'd have my friends "run through" via moving a finger across the page. When they'd encounter an obstacle, I'd hold up the paper to a classroom window so the traps drawn on the other side would become visible.

I didn't immediately commit to game development as I dabbled in visual art, animation, and music into my 20s. I started teaching myself the programming end in 2010, 2011.


GS: Were there any specific games you looked at as inspiration for it? Those within the genre? Those outside of the genre?

CE: The primary inspirations for Risk System are actually Crazy Taxi and Burnout Takedown. Both games used narrowly missing collisions, risk reward systems in scoring, which I wanted to see applied in other places. I kept the focus of Risk System on movement and improv tied to offense. The closest shmup inspirations would be Einhander and Ikaruga.

There are other shmups that use grazing mechanics, but they're very adherent to all other genre conventions. At the same time, universal binary movement and alternate fire modes are meant to de-emphasize the need for defensive movement. Because of this, making a game with an emphasis on movement, stunts, and offense is unexplored territory in the genre.

GS: Game development can be rather stressful. When during development, what activities do you participate in to offset that stress?

CE: I'm really bad at self care. I know I need to do better as I've been sick for a good 30-40% of Risk System's development time. When I finally do give in to not working on something for a bit, I like to watch speed runs, play Monster Hunter, or write music on my phone.

GS: You're a skilled multi-talented artist and game developer. What other hobbies/skills did you incorporate interchangeably when developing?

CE: First, that's really kind of you, thank you. I write the music for the game and create the sound effects as well. I also contributed some voice acting and built a portable recording booth out of PVC and old blankets to get a fairly noise-free area to work in.

GS: With your latest demo, the music selection changed. Shmups generally use grand, soaring music. Can you explain why you decided to go a different route?

CE: My first approach to the music was almost more like a sci-fi mecha/anime score. It sounded good in isolation or passive listening but it didn't really hype anyone up the way I thought it would while playing. I rewrote the soundtrack to be more techno/industrial/euro beat/poppy to give the game the kind of pulse you'd find in a racing game.

I also used FM synthesis via Deflemask to create a sound font that was like a hi-bit Genesis/MegaDrive. People have enjoyed the new soundtrack a lot more than the old one, and have had very favorable comparisons to music, which I then went home and got the chance to listen to.

Note: The prior demo featured music which was more ambient in nature. The music is now more pulsating. The change is to emphasize a feeling of engagement instead of passivity.  

GS: Recently, you implemented more quality of life features. Can you explain further why and how important it was to have this as an option?

CE: Once I realized that games could be made more accessible, I had to try. The very subject came on my radar when I saw halfCoordinated's speed runs. Once you're aware of that world, you find yourself trying as best you can to make things more accommodating, so more people can experience your work as intended.

The control customization took a very long time due to the age of the engine the game has been constructed in. Currently, I'm working on how to make the game playable without looking at the screen.

Audio-only play was impossible for the first version of the game. This was due to the engine having a limitation on how sounds can be assigned a stereo field position. Now we're porting the game to a more modern engine as we complete it, so we're trying to implement all the measures we drafted up to make it possible.

Some sizable speed bumps have been hit, though. Also, it's looking like if it is going to be possible for this game, we're going to have to do it as a separate mode. A mode where all collisions are calculated differently (circle based) to work with our sonar system and the enemies will be invisible as to not create hit box dissonance. Other quality of life feedback that we're implementing is from live events or from our comments.

Note: halfCoordinated is a speedrunner that plays games one-handed because of hemiparesis. He's an advocate/consultant for gaming accessibility and a consultant. 

GS: From the ace pilot, her commanding officer, and more, all the characters appear to be women. Even in 2018, an entire female cast is rare. Were there any particular influences that inspired the story? Shows, books, etc?

CE: There are two male characters in game, boss three and a background character in the game's endings, but otherwise, the cast is predominantly women.

Absorbing the works of Kenichi Sonoda as a child probably had a great deal to do with me not even noticing that the game was almost entirely populated by women. The Phantasy Star series, in particular, and other JRPGS in my youth, had a wealth of well-realized and engaging female characters. That sort of set a standard for me, that I wouldn't realize wasn't the norm in a lot of places until well into my teens.

I think I just happened to be born at a particular time with a particular make up of friends growing up and into adulthood that these choices didn't feel very deliberate.

I feel I must acknowledge the fact that I am a man regularly writing stories and making games with women as the main characters. Though there are many women in my life I can run ideas by and defer to/ask for advice, I'm writing from a belief of universality that doesn't always 100% square up with our lived reality. Everyone in Risk System has the same potential for emotional depth, desires, and faults, as well as the potential to be heroic or a villain regardless of gender.

I tend to write stories in worlds that are much less sexist so this universality of being can exist unimpeded, even though these worlds can still speak to some truth or ill of our own world. The setting of Risk System is kind of like the submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, something not yet fully realized at the time of writing but entirely possible and which allows for the story to be told.

I acknowledge that this can be seen as problematic as the world in Risk System doesn't have institutional sexism or racism built into it, so in that way, it doesn't resemble our own world. My hope is that in presenting a world such as [this], that is absorbed where it makes sense to players. In that way, my submarine analogy is more apt.

Ending A of the game also carries with it some subtext on the subject. I won't get into specifics. I want people to be able to feel it on their own and how it may apply to them when they reach it.

GS: The subject of game difficulty is touchy. It either scales, is ruthless from the start, or requires trial and error. How would you describe Risk System's approach?

CE: The approach for Risk System isn't to make the challenge a matter of basic survival but of pushing toward mastery. Risk System wants you to become an ace. Death leads right back into a retry so players don't lost emotional momentum/focus.

Just surviving isn't terribly difficult but playing well is a challenge and one the game pushes you toward. As long as you're having fun and experimenting/taking risks, you're going to get better.

GS: Anything about game development you think would surprise people? 

CE: The toll it takes on you physically. I work a separate full-time job and often have to sacrifice sleep in order to get work done. This isn't out of poor time management but literally having no choice as everything else I have to do to support myself financially takes up so much of any given day -- and if I had a healthy sleep schedule, Risk System wouldn't be out until 2027.

GS: Any idea on a release window?

CE: That's tough. I absolutely believed it would be out two or three months ago, but illness and working on accessibility options have pushed things back a great deal. Soon. Not too much longer.

Bonus question: What's your favorite game to wind down with?

CE: At the moment, Monster Hunter Worldthough I haven't had time to play for a few months now. Phantasy Star 4 and Phantasy Star Online are both games I like to relax with, too, but currently I don't have any consoles to play them on hooked up.

We'd like to thank Newt Industries for their insight and helping to fuel our excitement for a release soon. Fans of shmups and challenging games can check Risk System's newest demo here.

Red Dead Redemption 2: Rockstar's Follow Up to a Last-Generational Great Looks Primed to Deliver Thu, 09 Aug 2018 12:33:02 -0400 RobertPIngram

There is no shortage of anticipated games dropping in 2018, but no other game can match the hype surrounding Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2, set to release October 26.

The buzz around the prequel is so high it has even scared many of the biggest publishers around into moving dates of their normally-predictable releases to avoid being caught in its wake.

Although Rockstar has been relatively tight-lipped regarding information on Red Dead Redemption 2, what has been released, and reports from early playtime with the game, point to another game entry that will leave players coming back for more.

In other words, Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to take everything you loved about the original and make it better, all while incorporating some fun new mechanics.

A New Face Takes on History

The last Red Dead (which was a spiritual successor to Red Dead Revolver), told the story of John Marston, a man trying to make good on his past as an outlaw. Although it is a thoroughly compelling narrative, once more taking on the role of John in the prequel could only be a letdown. Any deviation from the established backstory of Red Dead Redemption would feel unsatisfying at best.

Luckily, it looks like Rockstar found an elegant way around the problem.

Take the Reigns With a New Character

Red Dead Redemption 2 still puts you in the boots of a member of Marston's old crew, the van der Linde gang, but instead of playing as John, you take on the role of a new character, Arthur Morgan. While Arthur's lack of a presence in the original doesn't bode well for his fate, it's a great thing for you as a player. There's no established path for how Arthur behaved, leaving you free to enjoy the open world elements of the game however you prefer.

Learn More About John Marston's Past

Although the gameplay for Red Dead Redemption was no doubt stellar, what put it over the top was its incredible storytelling, especially in regards to Marston. With John as an NPC, players will get a more thorough look into John's pre-Redemption life.

It seems likely we will even get to take part in the mysterious Blackwater Massacre, the formative event in John's life and the cause of which was left deviously vague throughout the first game.

Taking Skills to a New Level

Redemption was chock full of fun mechanics which players adored, and Red Dead Redemption 2 looks set to take those elements and make them even more engrossing. For example, when hunting animals, Arthur has the option to strap the prey onto the back of his horse instead of merely skinning it. It's a small addition, but one that enhances immersion and heightens the game's realism.

Oh, and speaking of horses, your interactions with your ride will be ramped up this time around, too. With a stronger relationship between you and your horse, it will be interesting to see what new mechanics might wait for us just over that sun-soaked horizon.

Heists are Here

The original Red Dead Redemption wasn't the last time Rockstar had a certified smash hit on its hands. In September of 2013, they dropped Grand Theft Auto V and its popularity continues to this day.

One of the most beloved features in GTA V were (are) the game's heists, where players controlled a team of criminals looking to make a big score.

When you're making a game about a gang of Wild West robbers and have heists in your track record, you'd be insane not to include them, and sure enough, Arthur and the rest of the van der Linde gang will have their own heists to tackle. If you're not excited at the thought of robbing a speeding train, or holding up a town bank, you're fooling yourself.

The Prettiest Wild West Yet

Pretty graphics aren't everything in a game, but they're not nothing either, and fans should be drooling over the chance to explore the open world of Red Dead Redemption 2.

You should always be cautious about assuming everything in a trailer is in-game footage and not generated cut scenes (or vertical slices), but it's clear from the first looks at the game that Arthur will be exploring a truly stunning expanse. When you combine Rockstar's proven track record of making their maps interesting to explore with stunning visuals, you get one heck of a good time.

Honor Among Thieves

The honor system in Red Dead Redemption tracked the overall merit of John's actions. Bring a bounty in alive and you get points. Bring him in dead, you earn fewer. Kill a lawmen and you lose them.

The sum of all of your actions then determines how people within the world view you and react to your actions. Think The Good Place before there was The Good Place.

Of course, this system is back for RDR 2 and it promises to have even more nuanced applications. Many encounters in the game will yield a range of possible resolutions for Arthur, each with its own unique results on how you are perceived. Fans of the first game should be stoked to see an already great system being made even better. 

Provide for Your Camp... or Don't

Red Dead Redemption 2 will also feature a camp system, with Arthur capable of providing for Dutch and the gang's needs to keep everyone happy. Put down the pitchforks and blazing torches, because Rockstar already heard you. "Managing settlements? Oh, awesome! I can't wait to meet this game's Preston Garvey!"

To say that the settlement system in Fallout 4 arrived to mixed reviews is an understatement, but fans need not worry about it in RDR 2. While hunting to provide for your camp is always an option for youit's not mandatory. You don't have to spend every session dealing with a punch of grumpy gunslingers. 

There's more content there, but it's not forced on you. 

There's a Whole World Waiting for You

John Marston's story wasn't the only brilliant storytelling piece Rockstar has delivered to fans in the past. Simply riding out into the wilds and seeing where the road took you was always a surefire way to come across something interesting to engage with.

With the power of newer consoles, there's one consistent change in open world sequels -- larger maps. You'll have more to explore and more to play. It's hard to argue with a game giving you more bang for you buck.

Online is Coming

Although Grand Theft Auto V was already a smash hit with its solo play options, it became a true juggernaut with online play. You can count on Rockstar supporting RDR 2's online mode with the same fervor as GTA V for a very simple reason -- it turns out companies enjoy making money hand over fist. 

Rockstar has constantly supported GTA V's GTA Online with new content and tweaks, which has lead to a fantastic and fresh experience for gamers. With a game that players don't want to put down comes financial rewards for the publisher, so there's no way Rockstar has any intentions other than to dive into the online experience for Red Dead Redemption 2 with the same fervor.


Simply put, Red Dead Redemption 2 sits atop the heap of anticipated releases for a reason. There's no good justification not to think that it's going to be an unbeatable experience for gamers.

So, what do you think? Are you counting down the days for Rockstar to release it into the wild, or are you able to see the cracks in the facade everyone else is missing? Let us know in the comments.

We Happy Few Release Review: A Stealth Survival Diamond In The Rough Thu, 09 Aug 2018 09:50:18 -0400 Ty Arthur

An entire book could probably be written on the winding road that was the development path for We Happy Few -- a game that at one point was hilariously on our list of most anticipated titles of 2016.

Now, finally seeing full release in the summer of 2018, the game's launch version is a drastically different experience from our early alpha impressions two years back -- and that's actually a very good thing.

With refined stealth mechanics, a bigger emphasis on story, and a huge, lush world to explore, We Happy Few offers a little bit of everything.

What Should You Expect?

We Happy Few began life as a crowdfunded and proudly indie title without any corporate overlords, and then suddenly, things shifted gears as Gearbox entered the picture as publisher late in the game's development cycle.

There have been price changes and DLC additions that saw fan outcry, along with major UI and game mechanic overhauls to smooth things over with that same playerbase. The game was banned in Australia and then re-approved in Australia. First it was horror-focused, then survival-focused, then story-focused, then a mixture of all three.

In short, it was anybody's guess as to what we would be getting with the end product. Those who took part in the Early Access betas have seen the game change radically from its earliest stages, and there are still more changes in store with the launch version.

What we're getting now is a game with an incredibly distinctive and unique art style, coupled with a world you won't find in any other title out there right now.

Here's the TL;DR on the story: bad batches of the happiness-inducing drug Joy have been shipped out, and anyone who takes the tainted pharmaceuticals can no longer experience the effects of normal Joy. They become Downers forever, no matter how much Joy they take, and this plague of sorrow is actively destroying a society that was already decaying from within.

The core of the game involves switching between stealth, combat, and problem solving as you seek out different ways to fit in or sneak around depending on what area you are exploring.

You can slum it with the dregs of society eking out a sad and hungry existence, or try to fit in with the "proper" folk in the city, who may actually have it worse.

Different core abilities distinguish the three main characters as they traverse this dystopian world. Arthur, for instance, is sarcastic and repressed -- like a proper Englishman -- but he's also very unassuming so no one notices him if he just sits down and reads the paper (which is quite helpful for escaping angry mobs).

A free roaming mode is slated to arrive not long after launch, so you'll have a reason to keep playing after finishing the story segments for each character.

Like in games such as Dishonored, you will frequently be tasked with finding different ways to approach an area, from disguising yourself to creating distractions, helping out local residents, or just simply busting in and swinging your deadly umbrella with wild abandon.

Wait... a deadly umbrella? You better believe it. The developers absolutely nailed the right atmosphere here, balancing British humor with horrifying dystopian ideals.

Much of the open world exploration feels like a new twist on Far Cry with a big dash of Fallout, from the decaying landscape to the item crafting. I have to wonder just how much the impending Fallout 76 is going to end up feeling like a re-tread of We Happy Few's survival mechanics, especially with this game arriving a few months ahead of time and having been in development for so long.

Some Rough Spots To Iron Out

Despite an extended development time and the addition of AAA publisher oversight, We Happy Few's original indie nature does stand out in some ways, like an extremely long load time to initially generate the open world.

As has become expected at this point with major new releases, the game's Steam achievements are also bugged all to hell, popping at random when you haven't actually unlocked them yet or failing to pop when they should.

Some of the animations could also use additional smoothing. Remember back in the Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 days when the main character skinned an animal, but sometimes the knife and hands weren't quite lined up with the creature's stomach? That's how most of the animations end up here, from picking locks on the ground (where you somehow sink five feet into the dirt momentarily) to using a jimmy bar on open air five feet from your target and somehow the box still magically opens.

The Bottom Line

Those rough spots shouldn't deter you from We Happy Few, however, because this is frankly one of the most satisfying blends of game styles to arrive in a long time.

This was originally supposed to be a horror game, but that aspect didn't get as much press as all the survival elements were added in. I'm very pleased to report the darker elements have made a roaring return, and there are some incredibly creepy moments here in the finished product.

From suicides to mad doctors to a pervasive dread as you realize there are very few children anywhere, WHF doesn't skimp on the more messed up story content.

The exploration and survival elements easily take front and center, however. What you end up with is the open world exploration of something like Fallout or Far Cry, a simplified and refined version of the survival mechanics from Ark, and the creepy, distinctive style of a game like Alice: Madness Returns.

Simply put, We Happy Few is dreary, grim, darkly humorous -- and a hell of a good time.

No Man's Sky NEXT Salt Refractor Guide Wed, 08 Aug 2018 16:58:54 -0400 Ty Arthur

Its a whole new No Man's Sky experience with the arrival of the NEXT update, and whether you are just jumping in now or have been playing the whole time, there are probably some updated mechanics to the game that will leave you scratching your head.

From finding hermetic seals to fix your ship to crafting objects like the salt refractor, much of the game's challenge is in figuring out how to find or build specific components.

Can't figure out where to get the salt refractor while exploring the furthest reaches of space? We've got you covered with a quick guide on exactly where to look!

Craft A Salt Refractor

Blueprints for salt refractors are typically found at manufacturing facilities. After finding the blueprint, you can craft your own salt refractor by using 50 chlorine.

To make that much chlorine, first craft a portable refiner and then place normal salt in the intake to refine the sale into chlorine (don't forget you can also take advantage of the portable refiner bug for infinite resources).

Due to the randomized nature of planets, you may have to search around quite a bit to find that much salt. On many planets, salt is often found underwater instead of above ground and can be mined from minerals or collected from deposits.

Buy A Salt Refractor

When the random generation works against you and you either can't find the refractor blueprint or the required salt to refine into chlorine, you may be able to skip all that hard work and just buy a refractor.

You are again at the mercy of the game's randomized nature here, but salt refractors are often available to purchase at these locations:

  • Galactic trade terminals
  • Docked space station ships
  • Tech merchants at outposts

	 Can't build a refractor? Try to buy one from the galactic trade terminal market!

Where did you finally manage to build or buy your refractor? Let us know in the comments section!

Still need help finding any other materials or figuring out how to escape your starter planet? Check out other No Man's Sky guides at GameSkinny here:

Go Back to Oldschool: 8 Best Retro Games Currently on Steam Wed, 08 Aug 2018 11:04:49 -0400 Allison M Reilly


When I first played Myst, I didn't get very far and didn't fully understand what I was supposed to do. But that didn't mean I didn't understand that Myst is a beloved point-and-click adventure game and is an experience every player should try to have at least once.


Don't expect a lot of hand-holding with this game; the mystery of Myst runs deep, and it's puzzles are some of the best in any game, old or new. 


Buy Myst on Steam of $5.99.




This slideshow is clearly not exhaustive, but there's certainly something for everyone, whether you're looking for a little nostalgia or want to play a title you didn't a chance to as a kid.


Which retro game do you want to play the most? Let us know in the comments!

Disney's Aladdin

In the movie, Aladdin just wanted to stroll around the block with Abu and his stolen bread. Disney's Aladdin, however, is no stroll. That lava wave can stay underneath the desert where it belongs.


Video games based off movies usually don't do well, but Aladdin is an excellent game. It's a good 'ole 2D side-scrolling platformer with strong attention-to-detail. It's difficult, but not too difficult.


The game sticks to the plot of the movie but fills in what's missing without twisting the story.


Buy Disney's Aladdin on Steam for $9.99.


Insaniquarium may not be the most top-of-mind retro title, but it's a fun, casual title with tons of fish. The game is a combination of puzzles and resource management. Players must manage money and food resources to keep the guppies alive.


Bosses come periodically to eat the guppies, so players must fend off the boss and protect as many fish as possible. If you're looking for a retro title you can play in short bursts, Insaniquarium is it.


Buy Insaniquarium on Steam for $4.99.

Bubsy Two-Fur

Bubsy Two-Fur is actually the first two games of the Bubsy series: Bubsy in Claws Encounters with the Furred Kind and Bubsy 2. The games got a lot of hype in the '90s, but the series lay dormant for decades until a new release in 2017.


Many people aren't aware of the bobcat hero, even with the new release, unless you played the games as a child. But there's no better time than today to start familiarizing yourself.


Buy Bubsy Two-Fur on Steam for $4.99.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 doesn't look like much today, but the game was incredibly fun back in 2002. Sure, it's not the first title in the franchise, but Tycoon 2 isn't too much different from the original RollerCoaster Tycoon.


Yet, considering management and construction simulators are all the rage lately, playing through Tycoon 2 can make it easy to appreciate how far the genre has come in the past 15 years.


And if playing the game on Steam isn't your fancy, know there is an open-source re-implementation of the game called OpenRCT2, which includes multiplayer support, auto-saving, and bug fixes.


Buy RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 on Steam for $9.99.

Earthworm Jim

This SNES classic is only available on Steam as a bundle with two of its sequels: Earthworm Jim 2 and Earthworm Jim 3D. The original game, Earthworm Jimis a '90s run-and-gun platformer with slapstick humor and creative characters. It's too bad the franchise hasn't seen much attention since, well, the '90s.


Fortunately, three of the four games are live on Steam for new fans and nostalgic gamers alike.


Buy the Earthworm Jim Bundle on Steam for $19.99.

Rise of Nations

The historical real-time strategy game that's not Age of Empires IIRise of Nations is the superior title, in my opinion. Why? Because Rise of Nations has more variety with air battles, seven ages of progression, and more types of resources to scout and use.


I also appreciate that I can be a nation like the Nubians and rewrite history as I conquer the world in modern tanks. For me, Rise of Nations is much easier to learn than AoE and is a great game for any RTS-noob.


Buy Rise of Nations on Steam for $19.99.

Tomb Raider 

Yes, the original Tomb Raider (and the entire rest of the franchise) is available on Steam right now. There in all its resplendent glory, Tomb Raider comes complete with clunky controls and clunky landscapes.


All of that aside, the original Tomb Raider shines because it's mentally stimulating without being overwhelming. There's space to take the environment in and think about your next steps without having to speed through levels or an ambush of enemies.


The version on Steam is the original MS-DOS version that did not have save crystals, so do not make the same mistakes I made.


Buy Tomb Raider on Steam for $6.99.


With brand-new games launching every day, there's no better way to spend your time than to play a game that's 25 years old, am I right?.


Fortunately, you don't have to use an emulator or search eBay for the original cartridge to go "old school" if that's something you're looking for. Plenty of retro games are available on Steam, both in their original form and their slightly-updated versions.


Here are eight retro titles you can get on Steam right now.

Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic Roman Faction Guide Wed, 08 Aug 2018 09:57:16 -0400 Fox Doucette

In Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic, picking Rome means picking the faction with the worst starting position in the game.

On the other hand, if you can survive into the midgame, you'll get an ever-expanding series of advantages over your opponents. These advantages that make the game easier the longer you play until eventually, you're just plain unstoppable.

So how do you best get past those Rome's earlygame hurdles? It's not simple, but neither is it terribly difficult once you get to grips with it. This guide will show you what to look for. 

Step 1: Protect Your Home Province

With Rome, you start the game controlling the province of Roma, which includes the Eternal City and the port of Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber River. You also start in the middle of a war with Veii to the north, and you will soon be at war with the Volsci to the south. 

Luckily, you'll also start with a few troops that will form the core of your first legion, but there are two important things to do before heading off to battle. 

First, pass the Bread & Games edict. The +4 boost to food and public order will ensure you don't starve right away.

And second, upgrade your barracks in Rome to get access to the Roman Swordsmen.

Step 2: Hold Off the Enemy While You Prepare For War

After completing Step 1, keep recruiting Roman Swordsmen into your legion, using whatever force mix suits your combat playstyle in the Rome II basegame. The same rock-paper-scissors mechanic with swords, spears, ranged units, and cavalry applies as always.

Keep your army within reinforcement range of Ostia, and don't worry if the enemy shows up and starts causing trouble in Rome itself. In this campaign, Rome must lose two siege battles before it falls. Meaning if the enemy shows up, they're going to get bogged down; you then swing your legion north and cut them to pieces with no penalty at all to the capital itself.

All the while, you should be tech-rushing toward Tactical Training for the combat boosts to your troops and for the Level 3 barracks you'll need as you move forward.

Step 3: Break Out And Kill Veii

Once your legion is strong enough, it's time to attack.

First, hit the capital of Veii so that they don't have access to their best troop recruitment, then swing south and mop up their port city of Cisra.

This will both give you a boost (since you control two provinces, fulfilling the first campaign objective and earning a minimum of 3,300 gold) and allow you to focus your attention on those pesky Volsci.

Finally, get a trade agreement and non-aggression pact with Tarcunae to secure your northern border.

Step 4: Prepare the Steamroller

You'll still want to stay close to Rome at this point in the game. After you conquer the Volsci for that third province, fight mainly defensive wars while you tech up; this both prevents a civil war and multiplies your advantage for later in the game when things heat up again.

Tech-wise, the Reforms of Camillus should be your midgame goal. It grants the best endgame units early.

Step 5: Divide Et Impera

Form temporary alliances with people you want to kill later; declare war on people you want to kill now. Whatever it takes to make sure your legions are fighting in only one direction at a time, do so.

Next, make sure no one in your own faction gets powerful enough to upset the apple cart. Keep an eye on those Politics and Character screens, just like in the basegame.


Not much more to do after that but simply win the game. Roma vita et ad victoriam, Imperator! Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more tips on the Total War: Rome II Rise of the Republic expansion. If you're looking for tips and tricks for getting started and what factions are the best to start with, check out this guide