The Best Indie Games Of GDC 2018

about X hours ago from
The Best Indie Games Of GDC 2018

Game Developers Conference features an annual convergence of some of the best minds in the video game industry, and many of them have games to show. GDC typically features a huge slate of independent games, and this year is no different. From the large GDC Play area and The Mix reception to special curated showcases hosted by Nintendo and Microsoft, there is no shortage of independent developers with exciting titles to show off.

Check out the coolest and most interesting indie games the Game Informer crew in attendance at GDC 2018 played during the conference.

Games are listed alphabetically.

An Overwatch League Player Got His Start Playing At 12 Frames Per Second

about X hours ago from
An Overwatch League Player Got His Start Playing At 12 Frames Per Second

Boston Uprising's Mikias Yohannes began gaming competitively when he was in sixth grade. He reached the Master League in Starcraft II, falling in love with most of Blizzard's work, including World of WarCraft. In his sophomore year of high school, his family fell on tough times, and Yohannes eventually became homeless. This forced him to sleep in his father's car, shower at his school's gym, and spend a lot of his time at a church to do his homework and his own hobbies. He repeated that routine for roughly eight months.

"During that time I was really looking for an escape from the struggles I was going through," Yohannes tells me. "Video games were a huge part of that escape. I would go to any place that had internet to watch a bunch of videos of StarCraft II strategies and stuff. It would distract my brain from what was going on around me. I was able to be engaged with how the game was still being played.

RPG Grind Time – The Community Is One Of Monster Hunter World's Biggest Successes

about X hours ago from
RPG Grind Time – The Community Is One Of Monster Hunter World's Biggest Successes

Toxicity and online games are almost inseparable these days. Something about working together always seems to bring out the worst in people. From an early age, society tries to prepare us for this challenge by giving us group projects and ways to handle our differing opinions. Still, you can’t deny the tension of a group setting, and the anonymity of the internet tempts people to be more brazen, including slinging insults and griefing. Through the years, we’ve watched this fester in MMORPGs and competitive games such as League of Legends and Overwatch, but something feels very different with the Monster Hunter community: it’s a welcoming atmosphere where players genuinely want to help others. 

Monster Hunter: World was the first game where the “gotta hunt them all” craze totally captivated me. I had tried previous entries but never found comfort with the controls and complicated mechanics. A few nights ago, the credits finally rolled for me on World. I defeated all the high-rank monsters, leaving me with the option to continue to rank up by fighting these baddies for cooler armor and bragging rights. I started as a complete noob, but worked my way to understanding the game, slowly learning new weapon strategies and monster patterns. 

Opinion – Sea Of Thieves Forgot To Include A Target Audience

about X hours ago from
Opinion – Sea Of Thieves Forgot To Include A Target Audience

I’ve maintained an open mind about Sea of Thieves ahead of launch. On the surface, it ticks a lot of boxes for things I might enjoy. Fantasy setting, beautiful vistas, opportunities for social engagement and cooperation with other players, and leveling and progression with multiple factions. That adds up to a lot of enthusiasm from me, and I suspect a lot of other players may be thinking the same thing. 

Perhaps that enthusiasm will prove justified. Our full review (when complete) should provide a comprehensive judgment based on everything Sea of Thieves has to offer. That's not what this is. These are my initial thoughts after one day of playing, and I have to admit to significant confusion regarding who Rare is hoping to ensnare.

Game launches are hard, and it’s unfair to judge a game like Sea of Thieves for a shaky first day on the technical side. But even overlooking the half dozen times that the game’s servers dropped for me on day one, there are some more fundamental issues that seem to be far bigger problems. 

The Best Indie Games Of GDC 2018

about X hours ago from
The Best Indie Games Of GDC 2018

Game Developers Conference features an annual convergence of some of the best minds in the video game industry, and many of them have games to show. GDC typically features a huge slate of independent games, and this year is no different. From the large GDC Play area and The Mix reception to special curated showcases hosted by Nintendo and Microsoft, there is no shortage of independent developers with exciting titles to show off.

Check out the coolest and most interesting indie games the Game Informer crew in attendance at GDC 2018 played during the conference.

Games are listed alphabetically.

New Gameplay Today – R.B.I. Baseball 18

about X hours ago from
New Gameplay Today – R.B.I. Baseball 18

Major League Baseball returns to ballparks in just a week, but if you can't wait that long to get your fix, you can get a jump start on season in R.B.I. Baseball 18, available now on Xbox One and PlayStation, and coming in April to Switch, iOS, and Google Play. This is the fifth installment in this annualized series, and it's still looking for its home run, or a triple, or, well, even a single. This series has struggled from the outset and hasn't gotten much better in the years that followed. I scored last year's game a 2 out of 10, stating it was basically a roster update with less content than the previous year's edition.

Developer Major League Baseball Advanced Media is talking a bigger game this year. This includes redesigned stadiums, character models, and the additions of Franchise mode and home run derby. In this New Gameplay Today, we take a look at several of these features and give our early impressions of what players should expect.

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Surviving Mars, Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse, Tesla Vs. Lovecraft

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – Surviving Mars, Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse, Tesla Vs. Lovecraft

Gaming's digital marketplaces are flush with new science-fiction experiences this week. If you're in the market for a twin-stick shooter that pits heavily armed mechs against angry llamas that explode into bloody smears, there's finally a game out there for you – and this will likely be the only one you will ever see. Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse is developed by RogueCode, and is readily available on Xbox One X and Steam.

I vested about three hours into this odd, yet mildly humorous take on the end of days, and had a good time with it. The premise is that a greedy corporation called Llamazon has gained too much power, and some of its workers have splintered off to form a rebellion named the Llaminati. They're sending a legion of llamas to take down Llamazon, starting in Santa Llama City. Yes, Llama is used as much as possible, and the puns are usually pretty good.

You are tasked to curb the Llaminati's uprising, which is pouring out onto the city streets. Thankfully, you're doing it from the fortified position of a mech that looks a little bit like ED-209 from Robocop. This powerful vehicle can wield two weapons which you can switch mid-mission when new weapons drop alongside the ability to dart forward and leap high into the air. When the lands, any llamas under it are squished. I think I dropped onto 15 at once.

Billiards Gets Weird In Quirky Indie Pool Panic

about X hours ago from
Billiards Gets Weird In Quirky Indie Pool Panic

Let's be honest – most billiard video games are as exciting and vibrant as the bedraggled green felt of a dive-bar pool table. In the real world, pool is one of the best parlor games, but something is lost in translation when you're breaking balls, lining up shots, and putting English on the cue ball digitally. Sim-style recreations may come up short, but that's not to say someone couldn't reinvigorate the game to make it more appealing.

Enter Adult Swim Games' latest title, Pool Panic. Developer Rekim's self-proclaimed "world's least-realistic pool simulation game" embraces absurdity in a way that reminds me of the best minigolf courses and feels comfortable in upending your expectations about what a billiards game should be. I had a chance to play the cartoonish, whimsical game and came away intrigued. 

Breaking Down Game Informer’s 350+ Covers By The Numbers

about X hours ago from
 Breaking Down Game Informer’s 350+ Covers By The Numbers

We are currently celebrating our 300th issue, but thanks to myriad alternate covers, we have actually printed just over 350 different images on the front of our magazine. Here are just some of the patterns and oddities we’ve noticed looking back on our own history.

Breakdown By PublisherFirst, all the publishers who have only had one cover. Publishers Accolade, Black Isle, Blizzard, BMG Interactive, CD Projekt Red, D3 Publisher, Electro Brain, Epic Games, Fullbright, Hello Games, Kaneko, Malibu Interactive, Ninja Theory, Psygnosis, Tecmo, Vivendi, and Working Designs have each had one Game Informer cover. There is also the odd case of Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was co-published by Microsoft and Square Enix.

989 Studios, Atari, GT Interactive, Hudson Soft, Infogrames, Interplay, MTV Games,  and Valve are each able to claim two Game Informer covers. Deep Silver and Disney Interactive have each had three covers.

Should You Play Assassin’s Creed Origins: Curse Of The Pharaohs?

about X hours ago from
Should You Play Assassin’s Creed Origins: Curse Of The Pharaohs?

I’ve been extremely impressed with Ubisoft’s commitment to consistent new content drops for Assassin’s Creed Origins. After releasing a lengthy core game back in October, we’ve seen several smaller events, as well as a story expansion set in the Sinai Peninsula, and the surprisingly deep and rewarding Discovery Tour mode, which turned the game into an educational tool. 

The third major expansion just released last week, and it takes us to Thebes, the Valley of the Kings, and the strange happenings of the Curse of the Pharaohs. Based on my playtime, it’s a heftier batch of gameplay than many might expect, with many hours of new zones to explore, quests to complete, and enemies to fight. If you’ve been following along with the game’s expansions up to this point and enjoying the ride, there’s plenty more of what you like to be found here. However, after so many dozens of hours of the Origins gameplay loop, Curse of the Pharaohs also feels like it might be the moment when fatigue and over-familiarity with core systems begin to take their toll. 

Here’s what you can expect if you dive into the adventure.