Test Chamber – Divinity: Original Sin

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Test Chamber – Divinity: Original Sin

Join Daniel Tack and Kyle Hilliard as they show off the first few encounters in Divinity: Original Sin.

Larian Studios merges the old with the new with a classic RPG style and a tantalizing turn-based combat system with a heavy emphasis on elemental combinations. Will you talk to rats to learn dungeon secrets? Sneak around massive ogres and dead gods? Argue with your friends about how to handle a town murder? Or just go crazy and try and take on every NPC you see, good or bad – the choices are yours!

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Interview: Hector "OpticH3CZ" Rodriguez Of OpTic Gaming

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Interview: Hector

[photo by Brett Kramer, all rights reserved]

As owner of OpTic Gaming, Hector “OpticH3CZ” Rodriguez is an eSports jack-of-all-trades, guiding his team’s efforts both as game casters and high-stakes Call of Duty tournament players. We recently spoke with him about his work and overall vision for OpTic.

This article originally appeared in issue 254 of Game Informer.

Should Titanfall Have Been Free-To-Play?

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The competitive free-to-play online multiplayer environment plays host to a number of huge titles, from League of Legends and Dota 2 to World of Tanks. With Titanfall’s lack of single-player content and focus on multiplayer, would it have benefitted from a content and monetization model similar to leading free-to-play models to keep players engaged and coming back for more? Has the online environment become one that requires many small content updates as opposed to larger chunks of DLC and microrewards that keep players chasing currency and cosmetics?

While players unlock various weapons and loadout options in Titanfall, the cycle of ranking up to start back at zero seems like a rather outdated concept when we look at the current environment of multiplayer online only titles.

Players appear to want consistent account level progression that goes beyond a simple number or gilded nametag; they want some form of reward for every match played, whether it’s working toward a new cosmetic upgrade, a functional unlock, or even just the chance to get a random reward after each play session. This structure is par for the course for current free-to-play frontrunners, that incentivize each game or match with some kind of permanent reward.

Divinity: Original Sin Livestream

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Join PC Editor Daniel Tack as he navigates the new world of the old-school RPG with Divinity: Original Sin. Larian Studios' latest title embraces a turn-based but never boring combat system and complete freedom in an open-ended adventure that's shaping up to be something really special for RPG lovers of all types. The stream will go live at 2:30 CT and Dan will be in chat to answer your questions and comments! Check out the stream here!

PS1 RPGs That Should Be On PSN

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PS1 RPGs That Should Be On PSN

The PlayStation Store’s “classics” section has been a great way to reunite with games from your past. Games that I thought I’d never get to experience again, such as Xenogears and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, have surfaced through the store. As an RPG fan, I’m always eagerly awaiting an announcement of my favorites to be available through PSN. While the RPG selection is solid, some notable games aren’t on the store, and that’s disappointing. Here are the missing PS1 RPGs that I hope eventually find their way to PSN

Suikoden II

Far Out: Reflections On The Far Cry Series

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Video game series rarely stay the same over the decades. As a brand ages, it evolves. Far Cry is a perfect example. Crytek’s original shooter had players using their surroundings to lay traps and stalk opponents through a lush archipelago, but the series has grown into a larger open world experience where players hunt animals, level up, and craft gear. While the original Far Cry titles were generally well-received, the release of Far Cry 3 took the popularity to new heights. The team at Ubisoft Montreal joins us as we look back at how the series had to evolve over the years to find its style.

Far CryReleased in March of 2004, the story of the original Far Cry followed Jack Carver, an ex-special forces operative who runs a private boat charter. After he is hired out by a reporter to travel to an uncharted, Micronesian island to study its little-known World War II ruins, Carver quickly uncovers a secret mercenary outpost and a series of unusual lab experiments that have turned primates into an army of crazed brutes.

The original Far Cry was praised for its advanced A.I. and organic gameplay, but some of the more memorable aspects of the title were its stunning visuals.

Should The Term "Survival Horror" Die?

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Should The Term

I’ve always considered myself a big survival-horror fan, but the more I thought about it, the less I understand what the term “survival horror” even means – especially in this day and age. I had a conversation with Game Informer’s resident horror expert Tim Turi to find out what exactly we think survival horror is, if it’s even a genre that still exists today, and whether or not the term should be shot in the head and burned so it doesn’t come back. 

Harry: With Evil Within coming out soon, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what everyone seems to mean when they talk about “survival horror” as a genre. It seems that, especially in recent generations, nobody can quite agree on what it means to be a survival horror game. Whenever a game with horror elements like Dead Space or Resident Evil comes out, some people think it’s a good example of a survival-horror game, and others say it isn’t “horror” enough or it isn’t “survival” enough, etc. So I wanted to talk about survival horror and what role it still has in gaming today.

Six Nintendo DS Games That Aren’t Games

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Six Nintendo DS Games That Aren’t Games

Both the 3DS and Vita are home to more than just games thanks to their virtual download shops. The two handhelds took a cue from smart phones and recognized there is a market for more than just games on a miniature computer you can carry in your pocket.

Before the age of online stores for downloading games and apps on video game handhelds, however, Nintendo experimented with the idea of non-games on a gaming platform and released some interesting DS “games” with the full retail treatment.

ElectoplanktonCreated by popular Japanese artist Toshio Iwai, Electroplankton looks like a game, and even comes packaged in the same box as a game, but offers a much different experience. It’s a simplified music creation tool with a relaxing aesthetic. There are no levels, or even goals. Instead, players (or creators) manipulate elements of the screen to create music.

Devil’s Third Interview – How Itagaki's Violent Shooter Landed On The Wii U

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Devil’s Third Interview – How Itagaki's Violent Shooter Landed On The Wii U

Yoshifuru Okamoto describes himself as producer on Devil's Third, but he also serves an important role as Tomonobu Itagaki’s drinking buddy and bodyguard. We spoke to him at E3 about Devil's Third, a casualty of THQ's collapse which is now a Wii U exclusive. It's the first game Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive director Itagaki is releasing with his new studio, Valhalla Games, and we asked how the the violent shooter ended up as a Wii U exclusive.

What’s the story behind Devil’s Third? Is there context for the multiplayer?

The setting for the game is the near future – it could happen even five minutes from now.  You may have seen in the single-player trailer, the main character has some interesting Japanese elements to his design. Some of that comes from the fact that we have worked on lots of ninja games and his fighting style mirrors that. I know that since he’s bald and wearing sunglasses he doesn’t look like a ninja outright, but a lot of the fighting you see in the game comes from that original concept.

Replay – Super Castlevania IV (Guest: Kumail Nanjiani)

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This week we're taking a look at the Super Nintendo's first stab at Castlevania – a game that took perhaps too much advantage of the new hardware's Mode 7 scaling graphics.

Andrew Reiner, Tim Turi, and myself are joined by special guest, comedian Kumail Nanjiani. He's a huge video game fan, and a Super Castlevania IV expert who understands the importance of putting morals before your mission to destroy Dracula.

Alongside stand-up (you can find his latest special Beta Male here), you might recognize Kumail from the HBO comedy Silicon Valley or IFC's Portlandia. Kumail also played Reggie in Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season Two and has a new show coming to Comedy Central starting July 23, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. You can also find Kumail on his newest podcast, The X-Files Files where he and assorted guests are revisiting every episode of The X-Files, and the video game podcast The Indoor Kids, which he co-hosts with his wife Emily Gordon.