Free To Play Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Free To Play RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network New UR Units Headline War of the Visions' Anniversary Celebrations Wed, 24 Feb 2021 12:03:32 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix is celebrating War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exviusfirst anniversary early with special summons, returning rare units, and more. The developer and publisher also announced a special WOTV anniversary broadcast on March 20 at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST, with details of even more anniversary bonuses in store.

UR Vinera and UR Viktora receive a winter makeover for a limited time. Vinera is an earth-affiliated Pugilist and dishes out big damage with her Snowball Fight limit break attack, while Viktora, the water-based Sniper, hits enemies twice and may blind them with her Winter's Reward limit break.

The celebrations also introduce the acquisition quest for Creysse, a new Gunner/Viking MR unit, and reward players with the necessary materials for enhancing her. The new Vision Card Marilith is available through summoning and, if obtained, grants players the Esper Marilith with its powerful Slash attack.

From now until March 2, players get a variety of daily login bonuses, including a UR-guaranteed Unit Summon Ticket A and up to 2,100 Visiore, and that's alongside a daily MR+ guaranteed summon x10. Both of these are Part I of the WOTV first anniversary celebrations, with more bonuses and rewards coming as the birthday bash continues. 

Halloween 2020's UR units, Rairyuu and Little Leela, are making a comeback, also for a limited time. The War of the Visions first anniversary livestream will air on YouTube.

Balthier Headlines Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia 3rd Anniversary Events Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:41:35 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is three years old, and Final Fantasy XII's Balthier has a new gun and outfit to celebrate. From now until March 1, Square Enix has several other anniversary events planned, including login bonuses, special missions, and even a few sales.

Balthier's new weapon is Sirius (XII), and it's obtainable in a banner event live until February 16. Apart from looking snazzy, Sirius (XII) grants Balthier the Tides of Fate attack that hurls a massive wave at all enemies. There's also a new Balthier costume based on Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions available for purchase and a Golden Kactgun skin bundle that turns any character's guns into golden cactaurs.

Logging in through Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia's third-anniversary celebrations earns a slew of rewards, including EX Tokens, burst tokens, draw tickets, and more.

Every player's first multi-draw during the event is free, and players can spend the event's Draw Tickets to earn even more daily free multi-draws Square Enix promised several multi-draw banners to spend that draw on, including EX weapons for all 141 characters.

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is offering discounts on different Gem packs through the celebration event, along with special Chocobo Panel missions with new rewards, half SP costs for Summon Trials quests, and double rewards for Cycle Quests.

Celebrate the New Year miHoYo Style in Genshin Impact 1.3 Update Fri, 22 Jan 2021 16:50:23 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Developer miHoYo announced Genshin Impact 1.3 will release February 3, 2021, bringing with it a new festival, a new character, and plenty of chances to earn more rewards.

Genshin Impact 1.3 revolves around the ancient Lantern Rite festival celebrating the new year. In addition to helping prepare for the festival through various quests, players can take part in the main event itself and a brand-new tower defense game called Theater Mechanicus.

Xiao the Vigilant Raksha makes his debut in Genshin Impact 1.3. He's a five-star character who wields a polearm for his main weapon and uses powerful elemental attacks that drain his health with every use. Players may also choose a free four-star character from Liyue as part of the event.

The Lantern Rite Festival offers plenty of additional rewards for Genshin players too. 10 Intertwined Fates are available for free as part of a daily login bonus, and players can earn over 1,600 Primogems and other resources. Stay tuned for more. 

MiHoYo Says Genshin Impact Will Get Updates Every 6 Weeks Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:20:38 -0400 GS_Staff

Genshin Impact, the new free-to-play action roleplaying game from MiHoYo, is set to get regular updates every six weeks starting in November, according to the developer. 

MiHoYo said in a recent blog post that the development team is hard at work on every version of the game: PC, PS4, and mobile. Post-release updates and patches are commonplace and expected for just about every game these days, but MiHoYo's future rollouts for Genshin Impact won't just focus on squashing bugs and making back-end technical tweaks. 

The updates will also bring new in-game events — and even new regions. At least according to the current roadmap.  

Dear Travelers,

We are always experimenting with different optimization methods to bring you better content, and even now, the development of multiple versions is proceeding simultaneously to ensure that content will continue to roll out in a stable manner.

In future versions, we will combine the unique cultural and calendarial features of in-game regions with dates in the real world to host unique events in Mondstadt and Liyue. (e.g. Ludi Harpastum and the Windbloom Festival in Mondstadt, or Lantern Rite and the Moonchase Festival in Liyue).

The first update (Version 1.1) is scheduled to release on November 11 and will feature the Unreconciled Stars event. Future updates include:

Version 1.2, which is scheduled to arrive on December 23 and "unveil the Dragonspine area and its related event." Version 1.3 will arrive in February 2021 with the Lantern Rite event. 

Genshin Impact has been wildly popular since its release in late September, with "17 million downloads on mobile alone," according to news reported on by GameRant. The game had more than 4 million pre-registered players ahead of launch. 

We've had quite a good time playing Genshin Impact over the past several weeks. While it does share some aesthetic similarities to Nintendo's Breath of the Wild, it "does quite a bit to differentiate itself from BotW and carve out its own identity." 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Genshin Impact. If you're playing the game and running into trouble, consider taking a look at our growing guides page for the game

[Souce: MiHoYo, GameRant]

Genshin Impact Review: A Much Bigger Impact Than Expected Fri, 09 Oct 2020 17:25:06 -0400 George Yang

Genshin Impact has made quite the impact since its release on September 28. Of course, the game garnered attention mainly because of the similarities between its art style and the art style of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildGenshin Impact also borrows quite a few mechanics from Breath of the Wild, including its stamina meter, climbing mechanics, and enemy outpost structure. 

However, Genshin Impact does quite a bit to differentiate itself from BotW and carve out its own identity.

Genshin Impact Review: A Much Bigger Impact than Expected

Genshin may adopt the same open-world structure as Breath of the Wild, but it has more direction. Its story quests and side quests are tracked in the menu and feel more MMO than adventure game, something that contrasts with Breath of the Wild’s laissez-faire design.

There’s an individual leveling system for characters, as well as an Adventurer Rank, which can be increased by opening treasure chests and completing various tasks throughout the world such as quests and dungeons. The higher a player’s Adventurer Rank, the more the game opens up.

The storyline introduces you to many different characters, but it only seems like the first few you meet join your party permanently, with no strings attached. That's important because a fifth character can join your party temporarily during certain story segments before leaving when the encounter is finished.

Another aspect that makes Genshin Impact stand out from other JRPGs is its gacha system.

For the uninitiated, the gacha system here is essentially a gambling system where players “wish” for a drop that can provide them with new weapons and even new characters. For example, the extra fifth character that typically joins your party during a story mission usually only joins permanently if you’re lucky enough to pull them from a wish.

While the Wish system is surprisingly non-intrusive at first, it can lead to some insidious problems. The four characters you receive initially are relatively average performers compared to those unlocked through the Wish system. Further, with a few exceptions, the only way you can get the other characters is through the Wish system. 

Normal for gacha games, you can use real-world money to purchase Wishes as well, granting you more chances to unlock items and characters, but the gambling nature of the gacha system can take an addicting turn as you progress through Genshin Impact.

Each character has inherent abilities that can only be upgraded with special material, and this special material seems to only manifest when you pull a duplicate character. And that character is then converted into said material, putting a premium on certain pulls. 

As players progress into later stages of the game, I can see the urge to spend real-world money to get better items and characters increasing. I anticipate that more characters will be given away as part of future events, but that remains to be seen. 

Genshin Impact’s combat system is a standout, offering real-time action similar to Ys, but playing most like 2017’s Tokyo Xanadu. You can have one character out at a time but can also switch between a party of four at will, playing into the game's elemental system where individual element types can be combined into unique attacks.

For example, using a fire elemental attack sets enemies ablaze. If you switch to a character that deals Electro damage, both elements will cause an Overload, which deals Pyro elemental damage over a wide area.

It’s a great system that encourages players to think tactically about what kinds of attacks they’re using and adds a lot of variation to Genshin Impact’s moment-to-moment gameplay.

Primarily a single-player experience, Genshin requires an always-online connection since it is a free-to-play game with microtransactions and daily events. Players can also participate in co op with up to four other people, with the choice to play solo or with friends an appreciated one. 

Genshin Impact is incredibly beautiful. Its Asian-inspired cities and colors are quite a sight to behold, made more impactful by the sheer scale of the environments. Exploring and uncovering more of the map is always fun to do as you venture out to find new secrets. However, some of the character designs are a bit off.

You’ll undoubtedly get used to the main cast and how they look, but overall, they aren't distinct enough, with some looking like nothing more than generic anime characters.

Your main character, the Traveler, doesn't pop out or have any defining quirks compared to other gender-neutral protagonists. It doesn't help that the Traveler is a silent protagonist, either.

Though it would have been nice if the playable characters had more unique designs between them, like those in the Tales of series, some characters, like Lisa, shine through due to their personalities. Her flirtatious nature stands out whenever she's on-screen.

The full English voice acting here is incredibly impressive as well. All of the main characters deliver their lines well and don’t sound out of place for the world or genre. 

Genshin Impact Review — The Bottom Line

  • Very fun action-oriented gameplay
  • Breathtaking visuals make the world a pleasure to explore
  • A free-to-play game with an impressive scope
  • Seemingly harmless at first, the gacha system could eventually lead to some potential gambling issues
  • Technical issues are present, especially in the PS4 version
  • Character designs could have been more unique

Genshin Impact can struggle to perform on the PlayStation 4 Pro. In its bigger cities, and even in some cutscenes, there’s visible lag. Sometimes, pop up issues occur as well, where enemies don’t appear on screen unless you get very close to them.

Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be a way to remap any controls, which is pretty disappointing. Add to that a somewhat messy UI, there is no glossary to look up pop up tips or tutorials after they've disappeared, and Genshin Impact isn't perfect. 

However, it is certainly much better than I was expecting, and I don’t think it’s fair to call it a Breath of the Wild clone. After all, we’re past calling first-person shooters Doom clones.

It’s a baseline comparison, but Genshin Impact’s unique blend of gameplay, gorgeous environments, and lighthearted story, along with a gacha system found in many Chinese mobile games, provides an experience that might feel new to western audiences.

So while it's held back by technical hiccups and level gating in Adventurer Ranks and a gacha gambling system, Genshin Impact is still an enjoyable time.

KartRider: Drift Closed Beta Hands-On — Frantic Kart Racing Fri, 12 Jun 2020 14:14:52 -0400 Gabriel Moss

If you've been waiting for a Mario Kart-style racing game to appear on a non-Nintendo platform, you might want to check out Nexon's upcoming free-to-play kart racer, KartRider: Drift.

We got a chance to check out the latest closed beta for KartRider on Steam this past week, which helped us get our bearings and a taste for how this new racer plays in motion. Here's what we think about it so far. 

KartRider: Drift Closed Beta Hands-On — Frantic Kart Racing

From the 45 minutes I spent in the KartRider: Drift closed beta, I can think of one word to summarize my experience: smooth. My time was far smoother than I would have expected from a free-to-play kart racer on Steam.

With an Xbox One controller in-hand, I found the game's handling, steering, and drifting mechanics almost as responsive as I'd expect from the controls in a quicker-paced combat racer like WipEout.

And, while its art-style is a bit generic, I found that when the graphics are maxed out and the rubber is burning, KartRider has some truly robust visuals that make the experience all the more delightful.

Each track is designed with a unique theme, and there is a remarkable variety between the 16 different available tracks. You can customize your kart as well: there are character skins, kart decals, paint jobs, license plates, and similar things that you can change in and out to your heart's delight.

KartRider will be free-to-play upon release with a daily rewards system (and presumably a cash shop?). It will also have a handful of different gameplay modes, though I was only able to try the Time Trial mode in the beta. In typical fashion, it had me set my own best time and then compete against a ghost version of myself. However, I noticed that there was also a set of really comprehensive tutorials ranging from Beginner to Advanced.

In regards to multiplayer, I didn't see a multiplayer mode inside of the closed beta. That said, Nexon claims on KartRider's Steam store page that several multiplayer modes are coming with the racer at launch, including local split-screen and cross-platform online multiplayer modes.

My experience with the KartRider: Drift closed beta was a bit short, but we should have more details on KartRider at some point in 2020. The racer is slated to release on the Nexon launcher, Steam, and Xbox One at some point in 2020, though we don't have any further details as of yet.

[Note: A copy of KartRider: Drift was provided by Nexon for the purpose of this hands-on preview.]

The Elder Scrolls: Blades Exits Early Access, Arrives on Nintendo Switch Thu, 14 May 2020 13:24:24 -0400 Daniel Hollis

The Elder Scrolls: Blades has left early access and has hit the Nintendo eShop as a free download. The news comes straight from Bethesda. 

For those unversed, The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free-to-play spin-off of The Elder Scroll RPG series and sees players building and upgrading a town by taking on an assortment of quests and tackling roguelike dungeons. You can see the launch trailer below to get a better idea of the game's mechanics:

The launch of the Nintendo Switch version coincides with the release of the latest 1.7 update to the game as well. According to Bethesda, additions include:

  • New quests in a gauntlet-type mode: Brand new quests have been added, including one that is similar to The Elder Scrolls: Blades PvP mode.
  • Arena rewards and guild leaderboards: The leaderboards have been reset and all players who already ranked will receive gems, health potions, and chests based on which arena they've reached previously.
  • A free gift: Players will receive a brand-new decoration the next time they log in.

Players of the mobile version are able to pick up where they left off on the Nintendo Switch with cross-progression between the two versions. All players have to do is simply link their account on both platforms.

For new players, the Nintendo Switch version also offers a Quick Start Edition, which gifts players 30,000 Gold, 2,000 Gems, building materials, the exclusive Sylvan Fountain decoration, and rare gear once owned by the Bloodfall King. All of this is bundled in one package for $14.99.

You can download The Elder Scrolls: Blades on the Nintendo eShop now or download the update on mobile devices. 

For more news on The Elder Scrolls, including The Elder Scrolls 6, be sure to keep your eyes on GameSkinny!

Amazon's Free-to-Play Shooter Crucible is Coming This May Tue, 05 May 2020 13:10:01 -0400 Daniel Hollis

Today, Amazon has announced that their free-to-play shooter, Crucible, is coming to Steam on May 20.

For those unversed, Crucible is a competitive team-based shooter developed by Relentless Studios. A multiplayer experience with a roster of 10 playable characters at launch, each sporting their own unique abilities and weapons, the game features both human and alien combatants.

The aim is for teams to traverse "a dangerous planet" in the search of Essence, which in turn amplifies players' powers and abilities.

Three game modes will be available at launch:

  • Heart of the Hives: Two teams of four battle giant bosses scattered across the map, in the hopes to harvest their hearts. The first to three wins.
  • Harvest Commander: Two teams of eight must capture and hold harvesters across the map.
  • Alpha Hunters: Eight teams of two fight for survival to be the last team standing.

Christoph Hartmann, vice president at Amazon Games, said in a Crucible press release:

In Crucible, every match is different, and players’ choices really matter. Every opponent, team, and mode poses unique dangers, and no two matches are the same, so players must constantly adapt to everything the world and the other teams throw at them.

We’re excited for players to join the hunt in just a couple of weeks, and we can’t wait to hear what they think of it.

Crucible will join the ranks of other F2P shooters, such as Apex Legends, Planetside 2, and Fortnite, and it is one of many games Amazon has in the works, with a Lord of the Rings MMO currently in development as well. Those interested can wishlist the game now on Steam.

Be sure to check GameSkinny for more Crucible news and information as it comes in!


Monster Super League's New Event Charges $700 For One Character Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:00:09 -0400 Adamo Umbra

As many will know, free-to-play mobile games are often under fire for being loaded with microtransactions — real money expenditures that players are frequently encouraged to engage with if they want to continue playing these titles. Monster Super League is one such mobile game, and while I have never had an issue with its microtransactions before, the game's latest event has changed that for me.

This new event, called Monster Super Mileage, features one particularly egregious offering. That is its Merlin character, which is available for $700. Yes, you're reading that right — if you spend $700 you will receive one single character in Monster Super League.

To make matters worse, there is no detail provided on the character, which may mean purchases will receive an Evolution 1 Merlin. To briefly explain, there are three evolution levels in the game, with Evolution 1 being the weakest, and players need characters in multiples to evolve them further. 

If players that buy the character through this new event due indeed receive an Evolution 1 Merlin, that means that they will need 14 more of them to get to Evolution 3. As such, I think it's safe to say that an Evolution 1 character is simply not worth $700.

For that matter, nothing in this event is worth the amount of money being asked, but there's also something else going on here: Monster Super Mileage only lasts eight days. This means that you can't just put some small amount of money in every month and build up to what you want — instead, you'll have to pay the entire amount now if you want to get the reward.

With all of this said, it's understandable that the community's response to the event has been mostly negative. Personally, I haven't a clue why 4:33 Creative Labs, the developer behind the title, is even trying to pull something like this off.

While it may have little impact on the average player, the fact that the company is trying to charge $700 for a digital character, in its weakest form, is absolutely ludicrous. Only time will tell how far 4:33 attempts to push these ridiculous microtransactions, but this behavior needs to be called out now before it becomes an even bigger issue.

3 Free-To-Play Games That Get Loot Boxes Right Wed, 06 Mar 2019 12:58:43 -0500 Adamo Umbra

Ever since the disaster surrounding EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2, loot boxes have been a much talked about topic in the general media. Discussions about their legality, and morality, have begun to occur outside of the gaming community, and government officials have even started to regulate the use of loot boxes.

For the uninitiated, loot boxes are virtual containers that provide randomized rewards. They are often sold, for real world money, as a means to further monetize video games, and they have come under fire as a form of gambling that preys on those with addiction and minors. That is, their random nature can entice players to purchase many in order to increase their chances at getting a desired item.

Despite the negative response to loot boxes, publishers, like EA and Activison, have been pushing them into video games for years now. That said, I do not think loot boxes are inherently evil. Instead, it's the way they're commonly used in paid video games that is the problem.

On the flip side, there are a number of free-to-play games that handle loot boxes correctly — I am going to outline three of them here. To note, this is not meant to encourage players to accumulate massive microtransactions in these games. Instead, these are games that employ loot box strategies worth considering before investing your time and money into other games.

World of Tanks Blitz 

You might have heard of Wargaming's World of Tanks — it's a popular free-to-play game. However, you might not know World of Tanks Blitz, the mobile version of the game that is available on Android, iOS, the Windows 10 store, and Steam.

While we're not here to discuss the game's quality, a quick summary of Blitz, as compared to its PC counterpart, is that it's more beginner friendly and focused less on pay-to-win. It is also obviously smaller and features shorter matches.

With World of Tanks Blitz being a free-to-play game, Wargaming did have to find a way to monetize it with in-app purchases. Specifically, you can buy gold, which can be used to buy premium tanks and a premium account, or you can convert it into credits and free experience. While some of the premium tanks can be better than their tech tree counterpart, the difference isn't too great as of now, and these vehicles are not guarantees of victory.

Wargaming also decided to join in on the loot box bandwagon, but I can truly say that real money transactions are completely optional in World of Tank Blitz. This is because the developers made the smart decision to keep them separate from progression, as loot boxes offer no in-game advantages here. Additionally, you receive free containers on a timer, which can provide you with experience and credit boosters along with gold or premium tanks.

Just to let that sink in, Wargaming not only introduced loot boxes to generate extra revenue but also took the opportunity to provide fans with free timed containers that give them access to items they would have paid for in the past. This helps cut down the grind, through boosters, and it actively improves the experience.

This is the first time that I can say that loot boxes actually helped a game, rather than destroyed it. The fact that they are 100% optional is a big part of that.

 Goddess Kiss

Before going into the loot boxes in Goddess Kiss, it is important to establish the gacha genre. In Japan, there are vending machines, called gacha, that dispense random toy capsules for a certain amount of money. For some, the goal is to collect a full set of toys.

As these machines are very popular, Japanese developers have made video games, known as gacha games, which are about collecting as many characters as you can, with the hope of obtaining the full roster. These games are often just money pits, but I beg to differ when it comes to Goddess Kiss.

This free-to-play mobile game, developed by Flero Games, features a premium currency called diamonds. While you can pay real money for diamonds, you also earn them, at a good pace, every day. Ultimately, you can use them to purchase premium treasure, the game's take on loot boxes. 

Yes, like a typical gacha game, you are being encouraged to spend money, but you aren't strong armed into doing so. Goddess Kiss also offers an alternative, which allows you to buy some characters, through events or shops, directly without the randomness of loot boxes.

Additionally, if you do decide you do want to spend money on diamonds, there are deals available. For example, you can buy a subscription that gives you €100 worth of diamonds, over 30 days, for only €5. 

Also, PvP isn't a big part of the game. This means that it is less important to compete with whales that have purchased a lot of loot boxes, and you only need patience to participate in PvE, which is balanced for free players.

Loot boxes are successful in Goddess Kiss because you are freely supplied with everything you need to get through the game. They can offer extra pilots, medals, and costumes that aren't available otherwise, but it is all very honest and generous for a gacha game. 


Moving away from mobile games, we have a AAA quality, free-to-play game from Digital Extremes: Warframe. This is an MMO-lite looter shooter that is super addictive. It has become quite popular due to the large amount of content that it offers and its fair microtransactions.

What you might not have considered is that the relics in Warframe function a lot like loot boxes in that they provide a random reward. However, you obtain them purely through farming, and the items they contain aren't exactly required to win — you can certainly go through the game's content without collecting them.

They can provide better versions of weapons and warframes, but, while the prime weapons are generally better, prime warframes are only slightly better than what is available without relics.

Nothing in Warframe is behind a paywall, and relics are in no way predatory. The only real way to get them is through hard work, which is something that many players will appreciate. Additionally, the microtransactions are mainly for cosmetics, which is understandable in a free-to-play game.

Thankfully, Warframe is getting the praise it deserves, but, unfortunately, some developers and publishers haven't been taking notes on its approach to loot boxes and microtransactions. Hopefully, more players focusing on free-to-play titles like this one will eventually force the hands of the larger companies.


These are three completely different games that all have unique approaches to using loot boxes well. As I said before, I don't think loot boxes are inherently bad, but when they're used in paid video games for uncapped profit, they often become problematic. If we want to solve that issue plaguing games, we just have to stop buying predatory loot boxes — it's that simple.

Apex Legends Character Ability Guide Fri, 08 Feb 2019 01:09:41 -0500 Kenneth Seward Jr.

Apex Legends is the only battle royale game that has hero shooter mechanics, featuring characters, called "Legends," with unique abilities. This means that combat is more than just finding weapons and shooting one another, with some characters acting as great scouts and others playing more supportive roles, offering up heals and defensive gear drops.

All of the characters are viable in the right hands, and, because of this, some players may want a general character guide. That way, they can learn about what characters are best suited for any given situation.

The Legends


Bangalore is your typical soldier, the possibility of an interesting backstory notwithstanding. She can be a great asset when it comes to dishing out punishment, but her passive and tactical abilities lean towards surviving a bad encounter rather than putting up a straightforward fight.

  • Tactical Ability: Smoke Launcher
    Bangalore can fire a high-velocity smoke canister from her shoulder cannon, creating a wall of smoke on impact.

  • Passive Ability: Double Time
    Taking fire while sprinting makes Bangalore move faster for a brief time.

  • Ultimate Ability: Rolling Thunder
    Bangalore can call in an artillery strike that travels slowly across the ground.

As you can see, her skillset is mostly built for survival. Tossing out a smoke grenade before dashing around a corner, is a good way to lose pursuers, and her Rolling Thunder ability can cause havoc among those who choose to chase her down. Hiding the strike in a cloud of smoke can also lead to multiple downed opponents.

Though her abilities (sans the Ultimate) are tailored for defensive maneuvers, she can use them offensively as well. Popping her smoke and running towards an enemy, while wielding a shotgun, has often turned the tables in a fight. I mean, if she’s getting shot anyway, why not make the best of bad situation?


Bloodhound is a tracker with abilities reminiscent of the trackers from Evolve – that old Turtle Rock shooter. Thanks to his keen senses, he’s able to spot hidden danger and hunt down unsuspecting prey using their footprints.

  • Tactical Ability: Eye of the Allfather
    Once activated, this ability allows Bloodhound to briefly see hidden enemies, traps, and clues throughout structures directly in front of him.

  • Passive Ability: Tracker
    Bloodhound is able to see the tracks left behind by rival players.

  • Ultimate Ability: Beast of the Hunt
    This ability enhances Bloodhound’s senses, allowing him to move faster and highlight any enemy he sees.

Bloodhound’s role on the team shifts between assassin and scout. When heading into a new area, it’s often wise to scan the area using Eye of the Allfather, especially if he notices lingering footprints, as no one wants to walk into an ambush while searching for loot.

That said, enemies can see his scan, alerting them to his presence. He’ll have to make sure his team is ready to fight before surveying an area.

When the bullets start flying, his Eye of the Allfather can help keep him one step ahead of an enemy, as it’s hard to flank someone who can see through walls. Chasing down rivals is also easier with his Ultimate; not only does he move faster than everyone else, their bodies glow red. Getting the drop on someone who thinks they’re hiding is the perfect way to close out a fight.


Caustic is one of the more interesting Legends. By that I mean he is a bit sadistic; he enjoys testing his deadly gasses on unsuspecting “specimens”…

  • Tactical Ability: Nox Gas Trap
    Caustic can drop up to six canisters that releases deadly gas when shot or triggered by enemies.

  • Passive Ability: Nox Vision
    Caustic can see enemies through his gas.

  • Ultimate Ability: Nox Gas Grenade
    Covers a large area in Nox gas.

Caustic likes to set traps in hopes of poisoning foes. While he enjoys such practices, his ability to manipulate the area around him is also priceless in a prolonged fight.

Setting up some traps near entrances or around loot, preferably out of sight, can help soften up intruders, and, if things turn hairy, Caustic can cover an entire room with gas using his ult. This can hinder his allies, as the gas makes it harder for them to see, but the pros outweigh the cons.

His enemies will suffer the same effects as well as take damage over time – dropping the gas grenade right before going down can keep Caustic from being killed. Again, his control of an area is what makes him a threat in close quarter battles.


This giant of a man is the team’s support. He has multiple shields that protect himself, and others, from attacks, and, like all Legends, Gib also packs a punch.

  • Tactical Ability: Dome of Protection
    Gibraltar can throw down a dome-shield that blocks attacks for 15 seconds.

  • Passive Ability: Gun Shield
    When Gibraltar aims down sights, his deploys a gun shield that blocks incoming fire.

  • Ultimate Ability: Defensive Bombardment
    Gibraltar calls in a concentrated mortar strike on a marked position.

Like I said, Gibraltar is mainly used as a support (even for himself). His gun shield is great for one on one showdowns, especially when he crouches, as the shield only protects a small portion of his body. Going low helps in hiding most of him behind it.

His dome-shield is where it’s at though. Whether he is pinned down by sniper fire and needs a few seconds of breathing room, or he’s looking to revive a downed ally without taking damage, the shield is there for him. He can’t shoot through the shield and enemies can run inside, but it can be helpful in a pinch.

Gibraltar’s mortar strike is great too (as long as he doesn’t blow himself up). Of course, it’s typically used when he’s become fed up with being on the receiving end of punishment.


Lifeline is also a supportive character, even more so than Gib. She is great at reviving allies, can heal everyone (including enemies), and has a direct link to an emergency supply drop. She’s basically a humanitarian with guns.

  • Tactical Ability: D.O.C. Heal Drone
    Lifeline can summon her “Drone of Compassion” to auto heal nearby players.

  • Passive Ability: Combat Medic
    Lifeline quickly revives downed teammates while protected by a shield wall. She also uses healing items 25% faster than everyone else.

  • Ultimate Ability: Care Package
    Lifeline can call in a drop pod full of high-quality defensive gear.

Like her code name implies, Lifeline is the lifeline of the group. Her quick revives are great at getting teammates back in the fight, and her shield makes sure she doesn’t get shot while doing it.

She can also actively heal everyone; calling up her drone to improve a dwindling health bar is always a clutch move. As long as there aren’t any enemies around to mooch some health that is.

While her ultimate ability isn’t offensive in nature, it’s still pretty great. Being able to call in a drop pod, carrying armor and such, is certainly helpful. This is especially true when teammates are resurrected, as Lifeline can have armor waiting for them when they rejoin the game.


Mirage is a trickster, able to “psyche out” rivals using holographic decoys and a cloaking device. It can be hard to pin down his location or finish him off after knocking him down…

  • Tactical Ability: Psyche Out
    Mirage sends out a holographic decoy to confuse enemies.

  • Passive Ability: Encore
    He automatically drops a decoy and cloaks for five seconds when knocked down.

  • Ultimate Ability: Vanishing Act
    Mirage deploys a team of decoys to distract enemies before cloaking.

Mirage’s kit is somewhat self-severing, and his abilities act as a means of getting him out of hot water. That said, they can be used in conjunction with other players — it’s possible to toss out a decoy to lure enemies into a kill zone for instance.

This goes double for his ult; sending out a bunch of clones can help when trying to revive someone, when trying to flank, or when needing a quick exit from a firefight.


Pathfinder is Apex Legends’ true scout. Need to get up to an out of reach ledge to survey the area? Send out his grappling hook. Want to bring the squad along as well? Send up a zipline.

Getting around the map is a cinch with Pathfinder on the team. Of course, his abilities have other uses as well…

  • Tactical Ability: Grappling Hook
    Pathfinder can grapple up to high places.

  • Passive Ability: Insider Knowledge
    Upon climbing a survey beacon, Pathfinder can reveal the ring’s next location.

  • Ultimate Ability: Zipline Gun
    Pathfinder creates a zipline for everyone to use.

Pathfinder’s mobility is unmatched. Not only can he get to hard-to-reach places, he can also make it so his team can follow him. Furthermore, being able to know where the ring is headed ahead of other players is a boon, as planning ambushes during the final moments of a match is that much easier when you know where everyone is going.

What’s interesting about Pathfinder, besides everything I just mentioned, is his ability to grapple opponents. By targeting them with his grappling hook, he can pull them towards him in the same fashion as Overwatch’s Roadhog. This is great for closing the gap, snagging fleeing enemies, and/or pulling them from an elevated position to remove their high ground advantage.


Wraith is Apex Legends’ ninja. With her ability to manipulate the void, she can seemingly be everywhere and nowhere in a manner of seconds. She also hears a voice that warns her of danger, because, why not?

  • Tactical Ability: Into the Void
    Wraith can reposition quickly through the safety of void space, avoiding all damage.

  • Passive Ability: Voice from the Void
    A voice warns her when danger is near.

  • Ultimate Ability: Dimensional Rift
    Wraith can link two locations with portals for 60 seconds, allowing her entire team to use them.

Wraith can be tricky to use. That said, in the right hands, she can take down an entire team.

Her Into the Void ability lets her move quickly around while avoiding damage, maybe after being warned by the voice in her head. This is great for repositioning herself when caught in the open or escaping the blast radius of an explosive. It’s also good from chasing people down.

Her ult is only useful in certain situations though. This is because anyone can use her portals, regardless of what team they’re on.

That said, it is good for scavenging an area, and it’s possible to place one portal in a safe place and another near a loot drop. This allows Wraith to pop back to her team after snagging some items, or, better yet, she can have enemies follow her through the portal and into her team’s awaiting bullets.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully, this basic break down of Apex Legends’ cast of characters will help you in the coming matches. If you’re looking for a slightly deeper dive, feel free to check out our tier list and stay tuned for more Apex Legends guides. 

More Changes Come to Eternal Card Game Ranked Play Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:47:29 -0400 William R. Parks

Only a week following the release of Into Shadow, Eternal's latest campaign, new balance changes have been implemented that promise to further alter ranked play.

"The ranked metagame is currently in a pretty good place," the release notes state, "but we are making a few changes to improve balance and to diversify some of the play patterns and card choices among top decks."

This time around, "changes" means nerfs, and they are as follows:

Auralian Merchant: Now 0/4 (previously 1/4)

Channel the Tempest: Now 9PPPP (previously 8PPPP)

Icaria, the Liberator: Now 8FFFJJJ (previously 7FFFJJJJ)

Predatory Carnosaur: Now 7TTT, 7/7 (previously 6TTT, 6/6)

Additionally, 24 other cards have been adjusted. While these changes almost exclusively affect Eternal's draft format, there is an additional nerf here that impacts current ranked play:

Vital Arcana: Now gains 2 health (previously gained 4)

The single deck most impacted by yesterday's nerfs is Temporal Control, a true control deck that plans to draw cards and stall the game until the opponent's soul has been sufficiently crushed and they concede.

This type of play-style can be extremely frustrating to play against, as it often leads to very long, grindy games, and I would not be surprised if Dire Wolf Digital is specifically targeting Temporal Control following complaints from the community.

Full playsets of Auralian Merchant, Channel the Tempest, and Vital Arcana are staples in Temporal Control, and these nerfs will definitely have an impact on the deck. However, I certainly believe that it will remain a viable, if not strong, choice for the foreseeable future.

The changes have splash damage outside of Temporal Control as well.

Since its release, Auralian Merchant has been considered the best of the Merchant-cycle, and the full four copies are featured in almost all Time decks. Channel the Tempest has also been ubiquitous, acting as the finisher-of-choice for many Primal-based control and midrange decks.

Both cards still seem playable, but a reduction in their power level will definitely open up some space for other cards as players begin assembling new decks.

The nerf to Icaria, the Liberator has a broad impact as well. Since her printing, Icaria has been one of the most powerful finishers in the game, and an Icaria on seven-power (or five with a Bulletshaper in play) is often unbeatable.

This has lead to a slew of midrange decks with casting Icaria as their game-plan, and it will be interesting to see just how much the one additional power will matter to these decks.

With this change and Into Shadows' printing of Azindel, Revealed, it looks like Dire Wolf feels that eight-power is the right spot for game-ending creatures to sit.

With so many new cards and changes in flux, aggressively-slanted Combrei decks seem like the clear choice for ranked play. Perhaps the strongest deck immediately preceding the release of Into Shadow, none of yesterday's nerfs directly affect it, and it is perfect for punishing new decks that have not been finely tuned.

Full patch notes, including all draft changes, are included in this post.

Information on the new promo card and avatar included with this patch are available on Dire Wolf's website.

Hyper Universe Review: The Lights Are On, but No One's Home Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:12:45 -0500 Anthony Merklinger

Developed by Nexon for the North American market, Hyper Universe is a free-to-play 2D action MOBA wherein two teams, chosen from an eclectic cast of over 40 characters, clash for the sole purpose of destroying their opponent’s base.


Nexon wedges into the saturated MOBA universe with two side-scrolling, mechanically identical arenas: the futuristic Delta Station and medieval fantasy Dragon Refuge. The uninspired approach to PvP combat, combined with recycled navigation tactics (e.g. ladders, teleports, springs, and dashes), dominates the look and feel of Hyper Universe, but fails to drown the extensive roster that offers a playing style (and aesthetic choice) for every gamer.

While no two characters feel the same, the cast, regardless of role, wields an arsenal of six unique abilities, including an ultimate, that can be activated by pressing A, Q, W, E, and R to fire off a series of devastating combos, or lack thereof, to forge through enemy defenses toward the Final Defense Turret. The key orientation can be a bit awkward, especially for those used to clicking or using W, A, S, and D to move; however, key binds can be edited in the user settings, and players can also opt to use a game controller.

The graphics in Hyper Universe aren't too shabby

Ability execution is seamless and complemented by a cooldown timer. The interface is predominantly free from obstruction, though upgrading equipment with gold collected from downing enemies seems to put an unreasonable onus on players to have a working knowledge of the various stat improvements. More competitive players can preset several equipment configurations, though they are restricted to one per match.

Unlike other MOBAs where teams may rely on brute strength, Hyper Universe encourages social strategy to complete objectives; lone players are primarily unable to charge lanes without a teammate’s support. It’s apparent some classes require nerfing, as unbalanced characters may experience gross respawn times that, when combined with a player detracting from the map’s main objective, all but guarantees defeat.

Connecting to the HyperNet does pose an issue. Players queuing for regular or AI matches are paired regardless of experience or level, with some wait times exceeding 30 minutes. Stepping away from the computer, even briefly, can cause some to miss the 10-second ready check, resulting in a requeue. The community is exceptionally small, so the odds of entering a match are entirely dependent on peak playing hours (unless you organize a custom match). With the absence of a central storyline, players are left with testing new kits in Training Mode, as doing so in regular PvP is ill-advised.

None of the Hyper Universe characters feel the same

There are four servers — North America, South America, Europe, and Asia — that players will be asked to choose ad nauseam. Victims of recurring lag will have their character replaced with an AI when disconnecting from the server, which, for better or worse, will impact the match’s results, as well as your performance history.

The odds and ends: Hyper Universe’s achievement and crafting systems are forgettable. Playing characters and completing story-based objectives, such as adding them to your roster or winning a series of matches, unlocks text interactions that fail to bring the intensity of the game’s combat system. With no central playable thread to hold the lore together, interactions fail to hold any real significance. The incentive to completing story achievements is to stock up on in-game currency that can be used to buy new hypers and equipment.

Players can grind for crafting materials to make skins, equipment, equipment slots, emotes, and emblems, or skip the hassle altogether and purchase the desired items using cash directly. But with such long match queues, it begs the question: why spend the money on something I may not be able to use?

Graphics & Sound

Hyper Universe unjustly maintains relevance on the back of its roster, which overall lacks a genuine diversity. The character models, packed with a trove of inspired skins, are not indicative of their intended meta, or are otherwise wholly clichéd; however, where the hypers lack refinement, the game makes up for in polished combat arenas. Transitions are smooth, abilities are executed clearly and believably, and enemy bosses, such as the Dragon, are particular standouts.

Hyper Universe characters often rely on cliched tropes

The soundtrack is limited but maintains the upbeat, battle-inspired, futuristic tone Hyper Universe sets out to achieve. Sound effects mirror their animations in degree and quality.

Replay Value

Nexon’s foray into the MOBA genre with Hyper Universe is far from revolutionary. The gameplay is enjoyable, but it lacks the stamina to hold up against its competitors. While the mechanics, arenas, and soundtrack may devolve into a passive, albeit comfortable, numbness, players will return to wreak havoc each week with their favorite hyper. The game’s strongest selling point is that it remains free to play. Implementing any subscription service will surely erase whatever remaining players populate its servers. Only new maps, a compelling storyline, and iconic heroes will allow Hyper Universe to realize its fullest potential.   

Hyper Universe is available on Steam. You can watch a trailer for the game below: 

Nintendo Announces Fire Emblem Heroes 1 Year Anniversary Events Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:06:43 -0500 ThatGamersAsylum

In celebration of Fire Emblem Heroes' upcoming one-year anniversary, Nintendo held a live event detailing some of the additions and events that will be happening over the course of the next month or so. Fire Emblem Heroes is the mobile edition of the long-running turn-based strategy series that features smaller maps and gacha mechanics. 

Starting Tonight

There will be a new Legendary Hero available, namely, Ike: Vanguard Legend. He will also have a "role to play" in the Mini-Tempest Trial that starts at the same time.

Starting February 2nd

Fire Emblem Heroes Hero Fest ad

  • Hero Fest Banner featuring four powerful heroes with a base 5% chance to be obtained:
    1. Nephenee
    2. Brave Ike
    3. Brave Lyn 
    4. Sigurd
  • First-anniversary login bonus (not specified what the login bonus is, but probably orbs, like usual)
  • Double EXP and SP event (not specified how long this lasts)
  • Special Daily Maps for 25 days in a row. Each Map has normal and hard options that reward orbs upon completion. There's a total of 50 available orbs.
  • First-anniversary present of 50 orbs
  • A Hero Rises Voting Event will allow everyone to vote for the most "popular" hero. At the end of the event, everyone will obtain a five-star version of this hero for free.

Starting February 4th and going forward

There will be special maps made by the devs. I guess technically all maps are made by the devs, but it's implied that these maps will be like previous maps that had the player going against the devs' own teams. 

Starting February 8th

Image of FEH GHBs

There will now be a Daily Grand Hero Battle Revival rotation. Grand Hero Battles have been  reoccurring, limited special events during which you can obtain powerful heroes by beating powerful maps. There will be associated quests as well. There will be seven featured "heroes" (most of whom are actually villains):

  1. Ursula
  2. Michalis
  3. Narcian
  4. Xander
  5. Navarre
  6. Robin
  7. Lloyd

There will also be Special Training Maps in the Special Maps section. These maps will feature enemy reinforcements with five different variants:

  1. Bows
  2. Magic
  3. Melee
  4. Ranged
  5. Workout (presumably used to get SP, which is used for hero abilities) 

New Mode: Tap Battle Illusory Dungeon Mode

Enemies come from the right side of the screen, and you defeat them by tapping them with the proper timing in a borderline rhythm game manner. There will be 20 stages with 5 floors each, 100 floors in total. This event will last for two weeks, from February 8th to February 22nd. However, the game merely hints at the reward you will obtain after completing all 100 floors.


Overall, there are some intriguing events being added in the next month. In particular, I am interested to see how the Illusory Tower event is received by the larger fan base. I'm also curious whether this is supposed to be a tone setter for the next year, or whether this is filler content since the 1-year anniversary is coming on the heels of the large 2.0 update from only a month or two back. That being said, I can always appreciate extra orbs being thrown my way. And I look forward to some of the other changes in the near future.

MMO Rift Launches Lootbox-free Server This Spring Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:28:15 -0500 Alberto C.

MMO Rift announced on Thursday that they plan to launch this Spring a brand new server called Rift Prime that will be characterized by the absence of lootboxes. The game transitioned from a subscription to a free-to-play model back in 2013 and introduced widespread microtransactions, including the now infamous lootbox model.

The official announcement stated that the decision came after having, "...paid a lot of attention in discussions [...] regarding business models in the MMO and games industry as a whole..." and goes on about how the introduction of a subscription server has been often requested in the past.

The new server will also distinguish itself by dynamic level adjustment (also sometimes called level scaling), dungeon loot scaled to characters, profession caps, trans-server participation awards and progressively unlocked content.

Rift was released in 2011 and transitioned to the F2P model two years later after a dwindling subscriber base. Some of the game's most distinguishing features include the dynamic world event's similar to what we have later seen more widespread in games like Guild Wars 2and by heavily changing the traditional approach in MMOs by allowing all classes to perform at least two of the tank-healer-dps roles.

7 Free to Play Indie Games On Steam, iOS and Android Sat, 06 Jan 2018 10:00:02 -0500 ReadyPlayerPaige


Double Action: Boogaloo


Have you ever wanted to play a game where you feel like you’re Jason Statham? Well, Double Action: Boogaloo gives you that type of gameplay. Developed by Double Action Factory, this game brings you closer to the action as this game is multiplayer first person shooter. The cool things about this game is that it also feature some parkour, which makes you feel even more like a stunt double in movies. So go head over to Steam and download Double Action: Boogaloo.




Are there any other indie games that belong in this category? Post your comments below and stay tuned for more free games.



Zombie Defense 


Are you ready for some Walking Dead style gaming? I you are a fan of that show or other zombie games, this game is just for you. Zombie Defense is all about strategy and survival. Use your recruits to annihilate zombies from different standpoints and try to make it through each wave of challenges as the game gets harder. This game would make great basic training should a real zombie apocalypse ever happen. Zombie Defense is free to play on Steam


Brain / Out 


Get locked and loaded in Desertkun's online multiplayer game. Grab as many guns as you can to defend yourself against your enemies. Take 'em out and upgrade your weaponry. Not only does the game tell you how many enemies you killed, it also lets you know who sniped you so you can get them in the next match. Respawn and do it all over again. Shoot em up in BRAIN / OUT available on Steam. 




Berserk Studio developed something that is very different from any other strategy game. Though it has elements of Clash of Clans in it, Zombidle creates its own space in the market. Use your zombies to destroy towns and villages and build a massive army. Doing so allows to earn more skulls and gems for powerups and get more zombies. Who would've of thought you would build your own army in HELL of all places? Check out Zombidle for free on Steam.




Frogmind's game won Apple's Game of the Year in 2013 along with a slew of other awards. Badland is one those games that is very unique and creative, especially for a game that lets you play up to 4 players on a tablet.  Fly through Badland lands, teleport through portals, avoiding obstacles, and flying along with other birds in a hand-drawn environment. It is available on PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox consoles, and Badland 2 is available for iOS and Android.






Dan the Man


Recognized as one of the "Best Games for 2016", Halfbrick Studios' Dan the Man is an action platformer that will take you back to arcade days. With more than 10 million downloads, players get a chance to kick ass and take names in this brawler. Think of an edgy Super Mario.The combat system and characters, particularly Dan himself, are entertaining, and the story will have you laughing out loud. If you want to check out Dan the Man, get it for free on iOS and Android. 

Crossy Road

Considered to be one of the best indie games made for mobile,Hipster Whale's Crossy Road has brought in more than $10M worth of profit over the chicken that crossed the road. It took the gaming world by storm and inspired many spinoff games, including Disney Crossy Road. With 3D graphics and pixelated characters, the game is charming. Another cool feature of the game is the creative levels and the ability to earning more characters using coins and unlocking new levels. If you haven't given this game a spin yet, it's well worth the minute it takes to download. Crossy Road is available  for free download on iOS and Android devices.


Without a doubt, indie dev is taking over the market. From Steam, to iOS and Android, to consoles, indie games are making their mark in the video game industry. If you're new to the party, here are some great games to start with, if not, perhaps you'll revisit an old favorite. Stick with me as I take you through some indie gems that are definitely worth checking out.

Warface Gets New Battle Royale Mode Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:00:50 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Fifteen armed participants and only one winner. The prize? Staying alive. To claim it, there is only one choice: scavenge your surroundings, find a weapon, and fight for your life. But do it fast. The battleground constantly shrinks, converging every contestant in one location for a final shootout. The last man or woman standing wins. This is the premise behind the Battle Royale game mode, which is now part of Crytek`s free-to-play FPS title, thanks to its latest update. The publisher made the announcement through a video (above) uploaded on the official YouTube channel of Warface

To fit the gameplay style of Battle Royale, developers built the largest PvP map in the game`s history and placed over 70 different weapons on the battlefield for you to discover and upgrade your equipment. However, the location of each gun is random, meaning that you need to handle a different arsenal in every match. Apart from the firearms you find in the map, there also are supply drops, which provide better gear, but they grab the attention of other players. Should you expose yourself and go after the supply drops? It is up to you to decide whether the risk is worth the reward. 

The location chosen for Battle Royale in Warface is the Mojave Desert, USA. This choice makes sense, considering the goal of the developers. According to a press release issued by, "Crytek has painstakingly crafted the Battle Royale mode to combine the special atmosphere of its survival warfare with Warface’s original gameplay." Moreover, this location has the benefit of featuring large open areas, while also containing small buildings, thus giving you a vast number of tactical possibilities. These facts bode well for the future of Battle Royale in Warface, but the number of titles featuring this mode continues to increase, which leaves a question begging for an answer. 

Why Has Battle Royale Become Popular?

This game mode exploded in popularity after PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) became available, as evidenced by its record of most concurrent players on Steam, set on September 16th, after reaching 1,349,584 users. Other games, including Fortnite and now Warface, have implemented this game mode, but why are players so attracted to it? On November 1st, the YouTube channel Extra Credits uploaded a video that answers this question. Read the conclusions in the paragraphs below. 

First, it is important to understand the type of experience that Battle Royale creates. Some players may reckon that it focuses on action because its core gameplay mechanic consists of shooting. This logic, however, is incorrect, according to Extra Credits. As the YouTube channel says, the Battle Royale mode is a "multiplayer thriller," and the secret for its success lies in a single word -- suspense.

To understand this conclusion, it is crucial to comprehend what a "thriller experience" means. "It aims to put the audience in a heightened state of adrenaline," states Extra Credits. However, contrary to most online shooting game modes, Battle Royale builds adrenaline through suspense and hooks players with an almost overwhelming amount of apprehension. To accomplish this objective, it employs thriller storytelling techniques, which consist of the following four items:  

1- Clear stakes

2- A continuous sense of threat

3- Time pressure

4- Escalating danger

If you have played any game featuring the Battle Royale mode, you can probably recognize these four traits. It contains clear stakes, as you know that your life is on the line. On top of that, you feel a continuous sense of threat, because, thanks to the size of the map, it is impossible to be 100% aware of your surroundings. Therefore, there is always the chance of you being on the crosshair of another player, who is just waiting for the right opportunity to take you down. You also have time pressure, as the map constantly shrinks.

Finally comes the escalating danger. As the area gets smaller, so does the distance between players, meaning that every second you spend alive increases the chance of encountering an enemy. With these four elements, Battle Royale became a success, using thriller storytelling techniques to build suspense and create an experience that leaves you sweating with tension. But there are other factors that play a significant role in the popularity of this multiplayer game mode.

A Big Payoff:

If you survive through most of a Battle Royale match, the moment to face the remaining soldiers will inevitably arrive. If you triumph over the enemies and become the lone survivor, you will experience "fiero." The author and game designer Jane McGonigal describes this term in her New York Times best-selling book Reality is Broken: Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change the World

"Fiero is what we feel after we triumph over adversity. You know it when you feel it -- and when you see it. That’s because we almost all express fiero in exactly the same way: we throw our arms over our head and yell."

What Jane McGonigal calls "fiero" is described by science as your reaction to dopamine. This is the neurotransmitter responsible for you feeling pleasure upon achieving a desired outcome. It is important to observe that you receive more dopamine for getting what you want when you anticipate the reward or event. Therefore, activities that provide you with anticipation tend to be more engaging. This is the conclusion of the psychologist Jamie Madigan in his book Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People Who Play Them:

"It turns out that what really excites us is not so much the loot as it is the loot drop. And, if you want to get really specific about it, it's the anticipation of the loot drop."

Jamie Madigan comments on the use of anticipation to increase your satisfaction when obtaining new loot, but the principle applies to Battle Royale as well, because expectancy is a crucial part of the experience. When the end of the match starts to draw near, you see the player count drop. Once you realize that you have a real chance of winning, you start to build anticipation, as every enemy neutralized gets you a step closer to your goal -- one by one.

When you finally win, you reach your desired outcome, which gives you dopamine, making you feel happy. Anticipation boosts this effect and causes an abundance of this neurotransmitter. In other words, it causes "fiero.” Of course, it is possible to have this effect with other online game modes, but Battle Royale is a unique experience. It combines anticipation with thriller storytelling techniques, thus becoming a multiplayer thriller, as explained by Extra Credits. It is all a mind game. 

A Changing Game:

The last factor that contributed to the rise of Battle Royale is the fact that you can only expect the unexpected, thanks to the randomized nature of the weapons that spawn on the map. In one round you may find an assault rifle, while you may discover a shotgun in another. This fact prevents you from using a dominant strategy. Matthew O. Jackson describes this term in his Stanford research paper A Brief Introduction to the Basics of Game Theory:

"A dominant strategy for a player is one that produces the highest payoff of any strategy available for every possible action by the other players."

The random weapon spawn ensures the lack of a dominant strategy, thus keeping players from exploiting a single modus operandi. This ensures that the experience continues fresh, because you constantly need to change your style and adapt to the different firearms that you pick up from the battlefield. With a vast map containing a plethora of areas to explore, you will be able to play the Battle Royale mode for a long time before it becomes tiresome.


The popularity of the Battle Royale game mode is undeniable. To ensure that new and innovative ideas make their way into the video game industry, we must understand what makes the current ones compelling. Using the analysis from Extra Credits and the authors mentioned herein, it is possible to shed some light on why Battle Royale became a success.

Using thriller storytelling techniques, it deploys the four factors necessary to craft an experience that leaves the audience on the edge of the seat. On top of that, Battle Royale also provides great satisfaction once you conquer the battlefield, giving you dopamine after several minutes of anticipation in heart-stopping tension.

These two factors, combined with gameplay that changes every match due to the different weapons you find, ensure that a game of Battle Royale will have you hooked, whether you are playing PUBG, Fortnite, Warface or any other game that includes this feature. If you wish to experience Battle Royale with graphics powered by the same engine that brought Crysis to life, make sure to sign up today on Warface's website. 


Newest Five Night's At Freddy's Game Released, Disguised as Free Arcade Game Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:35:38 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Once again showing his spontaneity, creator of the Five Night's At Freddy's series, Scott Cawthon, has released the newest game in the franchise on Steam. Called Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, the game appears to be a free-to-play arcade spin-off -- but is something entirely different.

While the trailer and first few minutes of gameplay show off a simple pixelated game revolving around making pizzas and feeding them to children, the real game shows its face quickly, and the true Five Nights At Freddy's experience begins, albeit fairly different this time around. 

The player is still expected to fend off nightmarish, animatronic animals and last five night's at the eponymous Freddy's -- but this time with completely new mechanics and in a brand new environment. These new gameplay elements include the removal of the traditional timer in favor of numerous small objectives, resource and money management, and personalizing and maintaining your own Fazbear brand restaurant in between watching monitors and fearing for your life. 

Similar to the welcomed change found in Five Night's At Freddy's: Sister Locationthe changes and additions to gameplay found in Pizzeria Simulator keep the FNAF format familiar, yet fresh. Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator is available now on Steam. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Pizzeria Simulator as it develops. 

Bluehole's Fear Realized as Fortnite Reaches 20 Mil Players Before PUBG Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:43:09 -0500 bazookajo94

Some of the most relatable memes on the internet are the ones that start, "Man, sure is nice minding my own business," followed by a vague mention of some juicy dish, or "hot goss" as the kids call it these days, paired with a picture of someone clearly not minding their own business. Apparently there's a lot of people in the market for the next big controversy-- even those in the video game industry.

One such controversy is the feud happening between game developers Bluehole and Epic Games over their respective battle-royale type games: Fortnight and PUBG. In a previous GameSkinny article, the merits of both games are detailed along with the possible fallouts and legal actions Bluehole could take on Epic Games, ending on an ominous "time will tell which company comes out on top" note.

In short, PUBG was the first big battle-royale game on the block. But Fortnite came along, with their aptly named F2P mode: Battle Royale, and disrupted the whole market. With such similar mechanics, PUBG's developers were none too pleased.

Despite Bluehole's PUBG and its largely Chinese demographic-- though, according to PC Games News, many of these accounts are suspected of being fake and mainly used for farming-- Epic Games's Fortnite has reached its 20 million player mark. Though there are no specific statistics stating that the majority of the 20 million are playing the game because of its battle-royale mode, since the mode is free-to-play without having to own the main game (which does cost money), doubtless many players entered the ring because of this. 

On the other side of the arena, PUBG only has about 10 million players actively playing, but just as people are prone to seek out gossip, they are more likely to get a game that says "Free" rather than "$30," regardless of content and quality.  

Bluehole feels cheated, no doubt, and their press release criticizing Epic Games has garnered a lot of attention. They feel conned, stolen from, and now they're losing a battle they didn't think they had to be a part of, with only half the audience as another game that's almost exactly the same, but which released months later. And what if Fortnite makes its way to China? What will happen to PUBG's demographics then? Will they have loyal fans, or will they be abandoned?

All of this being said, PUBG hasn't had its official release yet. It's still in early access. Come December when it officially releases and the statistics could change. Come December and Fornite gamers could want more of the battle-royale style and eventually venture into buying PUBG if they haven't already. 

Regardless of what happens, I can't escape the feeling that Bluehole is handling this wrong. Not to be the bearer of contrite expressions, guys, but if you want people to play your game, remember that you catch more flies with honey. Then again, no publicity is bad publicity, right? Oh no. What have I started? 

In my eyes, the great thing about video games is that if it's good, people will buy it, whether it's free or $60. Sure, free games garner more downloads (tell me you've never heard the term "free pizza" and didn't immediately hunger for pizza--even if it's Dominoes), but if enough people say, "Yo, this game is fun," others are going to be like, "Yo, maybe I should check out this game that people say is fun." 

PUBG might be feeling the heat right now, but 10 million players isn't anything to sneeze at, and the players still have the opportunity to praise the game before December. Once the drama dies down, perhaps both games will be able to stay on the market and be talked about as fun games with an intense game-mode instead of fun games with tense publicity and allegations associated with their titles.

6 Android Games That Will Get You Through Thanksgiving Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:00:10 -0500 ReadyPlayerPaige


Will these games keep you satisfied? Post your comments below and Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

6. Dan The Man 

Dan the Man is a funny beat-em-up game with an interesting story. Kinda the same story of Super Mario, but different. Customize your character, increase your fighter skills, and take on the biggest bosses. Become your inner ninja and be the man. Be Dan The Man.


Download Dan The Man now!

5. UNO & Friends

There is nothing like playing a classic game of UNO. If you've played this game, then you should know the rules. However, if you never played UNO before, it's pretty simple. Play cards that match the color or number, skip a player, reverse the turn order, change colors, or make a player draw cards. Fun game I promise you.


Download UNO & Friends now!

4. Minion Rush: Despicable Me

Ah, there is nothing like spending a thanksgiving with our favorite little yellow minions. In Minion Rush, you get to explore new cities, wear funny looking costumes, complete challenges, earn power ups, and yes....BANANAS!!!.  


Download Minion Rush: Despicable Me now!

3. Crossy Road

One of the most popular endless runner games on the market, there is no doubt that this game can get you through a thanksgiving. Run through the endless field and avoid getting hit by cars, jump on logs, and earn coins to unlock new characters in the game.


Download Crossy Road now!

2. Kung Fury: Street Rage

One of the funniest short films on YouTube and successful Kickstarter campaigns becomes a video game. Kung Fury: Street Rage. Play as Kung Fury as he takes down his enemies with the help of his friends in an old school style of gaming. With simple controls this game is a whole lot of fun.


Download Kung Fury: Street Rage now!



1. Sonic The Hedgehog (Free)

There is nothing like playing a classic Sega game on your android device. Sonic The Hedgehog is a little blue character that can run fast, spin dash, and is out to save the world against Dr. Robotnik and his evil machines. Grab the rings and enter the special level and grab the gems to unleash Super Sonic.


Download Sonic The Hedgehog now!




Are you having a tough time getting through a holiday feast and need some games time to occupy your time? No need to fear, we got the best games to do that for you. Let's list 6 Android Games To Get You Through Thanksgiving.