Science-Fiction Weekly – What To Expect From Star Wars: Episode IX

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Science-Fiction Weekly – What To Expect From Star Wars: Episode IX

Step aside, George R. R. Martin. Rian Johnson apparently enjoys offing characters more than you do. Johnson’s apparent bloodlust resulted in a surprising number of deaths in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Supreme Leader Snoke didn’t make it to the third chapter, but now lies in three parts. Luke Skywalker is catching up on much-needed father and son time within the Force. Vice admiral Amilyn Holdo is stardust, and Captain Phasma is likely ash. Johnson even killed off Admiral Akbar, two porgs, and almost all of the Resistance. That last one is the most significant in terms of shaping the forthcoming sequel. The Resistance barely exists, and the call for help to others in the galaxy wasn't heard.

Yes, there is the kid with the broom who represents hope existing. The weight of that reveal becomes more important if vast amounts of time pass between the events of The Last Jedi and Episode IX. If little time passes, the opening scroll for the next chapter could be along the lines of "The Resistance is in desperate need of help," or "The First Order tightens its grip on the galaxy." If years pass, the opening could be "Rey is training a new generation of Jedi, and "The Resistance is taking on a new shape."

The 2017 Adventure Game Of The Year Awards

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The 2017 Adventure Game Of The Year Awards

This past year introduced a number of adventure games that excelled in storytelling, as well as pushed the boundaries of how narrative and story intertwine. Some, like Thimbleweed Park, gave adventure fans a remarkable homage to a beloved era, while others told impactful stories about mental health and coming of age, like Night in the Woods. Here are the best adventure games from 2017.

Best Narrative – What Remains of Edith FinchWhat Remains of Edith Finch tells a handful of short stories about a family that meets both grisly and untimely deaths. Its riveting narrative keep you invested, with interactive vignettes that are simultaneously whimsical and somber. Whether you're playing from the perspective of an infant in a bathtub or seeing reality and fantasy become indistinguishable from one another, these narrative moments are some of the best we've seen all year.

The 2017 Sports Game Of The Year Awards

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The 2017 Sports Game Of The Year Awards

We're approximately halfway through this home console generation, and 2017's slate of sports video games is a mix of new features, updates to old favorites, and pleasant surprises. So before we turn the page on the year and anticipate what steps forward 2018's glut of titles brings us, let's survey what we achieved in 2017.

These awards were decided upon by the entire GI staff, and while it has many of the year's expected heavy hitters, they exhibit a variety of successes and different experiences to enjoy.

Best Story Mode – FIFA 18 Alex Hunter isn't the new kid on the block anymore, but the second installment of this story mode succeeds in part because it still keeps us interested in the character and his life on and off the pitch. Alex's story conveys a mix of glitzy stardom and newfound wonder while also grounding Alex as a person within the fast-moving world of soccer. Playing as different characters at appropriate times breaks up the game schedule, which is less monotonous than last year. The mode still needs to add better context around the clubs and leagues that Alex plays in, as well as improve his progression system, but we very much look forward to the third installment in Alex's story.

Here's Why Everyone Is Talking About They Are Billions

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Here's Why Everyone Is Talking About They Are Billions

They are Billions has been steadily climbing the Steam rankings, so we decided to take a look at what sets this early-access, RTS/tower defense hybrid apart.

Ben Reeves and Kyle Hilliard called on the talents of PC editor Dan Tack who played until we were decimated by the titular billions themselves – although it take far fewer than a billion to take us down.

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The 2017 RPG Of The Year Awards

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The 2017 RPG Of The Year Awards

Last year was packed with great RPGs. We finally got to play the long-awaited Persona 5, Divinity: Original Sin 2 wowed PC players, and Nier saw a hell of a resurgence. Let’s not forget indie darlings like Pyre to Golf Story, which both combined sports with role-playing to great effect. The genre continues to grow, improve, and try new things. The trends still point to bigger worlds, choice-driven narratives, and genre blending as modern RPG staples, but more linear experiences such as Persona 5 and Nier: Automata show that these games are hardly going out of style. Since RPGs require huge time investments, they have the hardest job at hooking us for the full ride. Below are the games we thought did it best in a wide variety of areas.

Best Narrative: Persona 5

Super Replay – Vampire Hunter D Episode 2

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Super Replay – Vampire Hunter D Episode 2

Our playthrough of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 is the most successful Super Replay to date. One thing became abundantly clear: You love watching us suffer while playing broken games. From the comments I read, a good number of you expected we would play another Sonic game for the annual 12.31 Super Replay. As tempting as that idea was, we decided to flip the script again, and do something completely different. Playing a survival horror game without Tim Turi still feels wrong. Playing another Sonic game just feels wrong, period. So we decided to turn our sights on the anime crowd, a pocket of loyal fans Replay hasn't mocked enough.

The one game that bubbled to the surface was Vampire Hunter D, a little-known PlayStation relic that launched on September 25, 2000. Developed by Victor Interactive Software and published by Jaleco, Vampire Hunter D is a game about a powerful talking hand that is attached to a vampire. I don't want to give away much more than that. The only other thing I will say is, we're having a terrible good time playing it. As always, we hope you enjoy this year's pick. It's unexpected, I know, but that's how these 12.31 Super Replays should be.

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The 2017 Shooter Of The Year Awards

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The 2017 Shooter Of The Year Awards

Given that 2016 was a landmark year for shooters with standouts like Doom, Battlefield 1, and Overwatch, 2017 had big combat boots to fill. I think you can argue that the year more than held its own. 

Whether you were looking for a cooperative romp, competitive firefights, or a story-based campaign, 2017 had you covered. Ghost Recon Wildlands put the dormant Tom Clancy brand back on the map with a fresh take on open world tactics. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus made us smile, laugh, and stare in wonder with its schizophrenic story and pulse-pounding action. Whether you rolled, solo, as a duo, or in a group, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds proved to be the most addicting shooter of the year, racking up more than 30 million players in less than a year despite it being a rough early access experience for most of the year.  

Studios also supported prior releases extremely well in 2017. Overwatch had a steady stream of new heroes, maps, and seasonal events. Rainbow Six Siege continued its improbable rise. Battlefield 1's expansions kept players coming back to World War I. 

Replay – Silent Hill 4: The Room

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Replay – Silent Hill 4: The Room

Apartment life isn't quite what you would expect in Silent Hill. Kitchen's are filthy, telephones aren't plugged in, and ominous, giant holes randomly appear in bathroom walls. On this episode of Replay, we dive into Silent Hill 4: The Room's opening moments, and show off just how dangerous diseased dogs can be. We don't make much progress, but we do get far enough to show off how combat and exploration work. We're also really good at counting, as you'll soon see. The Room released for Xbox and PlayStation 2 on September 7, 2004. A PC version was released at a later date.

Our second segment takes a look at a weird cooperative game on Super Nintendo. Just figuring out how to play cooperatively requires a manual. If this discovery isn't reason alone to watch, I don't know what is. Enjoy the episode, folks!

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What The Heck Is This? Episode 17

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 What The Heck Is This? Episode 17

We cover a lot of big, well-known games here at Game Informer. Thanks to these efforts, you (hopefully) know all about the next big franchise, or the highly-anticipated new game from that notable indie developer What about those random games that fly under the radar? The one among the dozens that release every day on Steam? Or that Xbox One game with the weird title? This new video series is an attempt to highlight those games – for better or worse.

We see these type of games all of the time. The game that we look at and say, "What the heck is that?" This is our chance to play them and decide, on the spot, if we want to keep playing them, or move on to to something different.

In episode 17, we we try to build a functional dinosaur theme park with $1 million in Mesozoica. We also explore a very dangerous house in Kitten Madness.