The Most Exciting Games Of Gen Con 2019

about X hours ago from
The Most Exciting Games Of Gen Con 2019

Tabletop gamers by the droves converge every year in Indianapolis for a celebration of the hobby at the mammoth Gen Con event. Long-anticipated games are released, expansions detailed, and thousands of players demo and play games of all types. The 2019 event has now concluded, and there's no shortage of info to learn about some of the coolest new board, miniature, card, and role-playing games.

The hundreds of projects on display mean that it’s impossible to create an at-a-glance examination of the convention. But here are a few of the new announcements, reveals, and hands-on experiences from game makers that garnered excitement over the course of the show.

The update to this article includes ten new entries to discover, which have been added at the top of the article for ease of reading. If you missed the initial write-up, there are another eight entries that were part of the original posting from last week, which you'll find below the update. 

Haven’t We Been Here Before? Video Games, Violence, And The Link That Doesn’t Hold Up

about X hours ago from
Haven’t We Been Here Before? Video Games, Violence, And The Link That Doesn’t Hold Up

An earlier version of this article appeared in Game Informer Magazine issue 301, May 2018. The article has been updated and amended to reflect recent research and events.

Sometimes the worst songs have memorable refrains – but just because you can still hum the song 20 years later doesn’t mean it’s time for a modern cover. The purported links between video game playing and real-life violent acts makes for a popular tune. It always does the uncomfortable task of distracting people from the real debate, and offers a convenient target for channeling the very real despair, frustration, and anger that arises. The only problem? It’s all bogus.

The problem of gun violence, especially as it affects our children, is painful and horrible to contemplate. But setting up the straw man of violent video games to take the fall is the same reckless and manipulative politicking that we’ve seen for decades, targeting at various times everything from comics to music to movies. The exasperated response we gamers must adopt almost feels cliché, and yet recent days have found defenders of the gaming medium having to once again state the clear verdict. Games are not the problem, and making the case that they are distracts from the actual issues.

Haven’t We Been Here Before? Video Games, Violence, And The Link That Doesn’t Hold Up

about X hours ago from
Haven’t We Been Here Before? Video Games, Violence, And The Link That Doesn’t Hold Up

An earlier version of this article appeared in Game Informer Magazine issue 301, May 2018. The article has been updated and amended to reflect recent research and events.

Sometimes the worst songs have memorable refrains – but just because you can still hum the song 20 years later doesn’t mean it’s time for a modern cover. The purported links between video game playing and real-life violent acts makes for a popular tune. It always does the uncomfortable task of distracting people from the real debate, and offers a convenient target for channeling the very real despair, frustration, and anger that arises. The only problem? It’s all bogus.

The problem of gun violence, especially as it affects our children, is painful and horrible to contemplate. But setting up the straw man of violent video games to take the fall is the same reckless and manipulative politicking that we’ve seen for decades, targeting at various times everything from comics to music to movies. The exasperated response we gamers must adopt almost feels cliché, and yet recent days have found defenders of the gaming medium having to once again state the clear verdict. Games are not the problem, and making the case that they are distracts from the actual issues.

Gearing Up For Ground War In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

about X hours ago from
Gearing Up For Ground War In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Ground War mode has been in other Call of Duty games, but this time it's different - and big. Real big. We played a few rounds on a massive downtown city map complete with skyscrapers and a bank in a 64-player soiree, with the dev team hinting that even bigger player counts were being tested. In what amounts to a domination match with five different capture points on a titanic scale, choppers and APCs were the norm over the city skylines as players converged into critical areas, forming pick-up siege and defense efforts around key locations. The steps of the city bank became one of these hot spots, where the enemy team locked shields and took a fortified position that held for quite a while – until someone on our team triggered a Juggernaut and mowed everyone down with the kit's massive gun and armor.

Gearing Up For Ground War In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

about X hours ago from
Gearing Up For Ground War In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Ground War mode has been in other Call of Duty games, but this time it's different - and big. Real big. We played a few rounds on a massive downtown city map complete with skyscrapers and a bank in a 64-player soiree, with the dev team hinting that even bigger player counts were being tested. In what amounts to a domination match with five different capture points on a titanic scale, choppers and APCs were the norm over the city skylines as players converged into critical areas, forming pick-up siege and defense efforts around key locations. The steps of the city bank became one of these hot spots, where the enemy team locked shields and took a fortified position that held for quite a while – until someone on our team triggered a Juggernaut and mowed everyone down with the kit's massive gun and armor.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 Is Not Actively Horrible

about X hours ago from
The Angry Birds Movie 2 Is Not Actively Horrible

The original Angry Birds Movie was a hit. It featured a cast full of SNL alumni and other famous comedians and it grossed an estimated $350 million worldwide. I thought it was, surprisingly, pretty solid and featured a story that ended conclusively with satisfying growth for its protagonists. It certainly didn’t demand a sequel, but here we are. Much like the previous film, most of its cast spent (or are currently spending time) on SNL, along with a collection of other talented comedians. The sequel is also, similarly, pretty solid. The Angry Birds Movie 2 is not a great film, serving mostly as a visual gag and joke machine, but if “solid” is what we can expect from video game movie adaptations in the future, then I consider that a step in the right direction.

The movie begins with Bird Island’s Red (Jason Sudeikis) and pals Chuck and Bomb (Josh Gad and Danny McBride) living as famous heroes continuing their war with Piggy Island and its leader, Leonard (Bill Hader). The war has evolved into harmless pranks, but a new threat appears when a third island, Eagle Island, starts launching giant meteoric balls of ice at the other two islands in an effort to take them over. The birds and the pigs decide to form a cooperative team to combat the new threat, and things move on from there.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 Is Not Actively Horrible

about X hours ago from
The Angry Birds Movie 2 Is Not Actively Horrible

The original Angry Birds Movie was a hit. It featured a cast full of SNL alumni and other famous comedians and it grossed an estimated $350 million worldwide. I thought it was, surprisingly, pretty solid and featured a story that ended conclusively with satisfying growth for its protagonists. It certainly didn’t demand a sequel, but here we are. Much like the previous film, most of its cast spent (or are currently spending time) on SNL, along with a collection of other talented comedians. The sequel is also, similarly, pretty solid. The Angry Birds Movie 2 is not a great film, serving mostly as a visual gag and joke machine, but if “solid” is what we can expect from video game movie adaptations in the future, then I consider that a step in the right direction.

The movie begins with Bird Island’s Red (Jason Sudeikis) and pals Chuck and Bomb (Josh Gad and Danny McBride) living as famous heroes continuing their war with Piggy Island and its leader, Leonard (Bill Hader). The war has evolved into harmless pranks, but a new threat appears when a third island, Eagle Island, starts launching giant meteoric balls of ice at the other two islands in an effort to take them over. The birds and the pigs decide to form a cooperative team to combat the new threat, and things move on from there.

The Madden 20 X-Factors & Superstars Guide

about X hours ago from
The Madden 20 X-Factors & Superstars Guide

Madden 20 introduces powerful X-Factor players and Superstar abilities only available to select players. Superstar abilities are always on, meaning players with the Shutdown ability, like Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey, always have an increased chance of disrupting receiver catches. X-Factor players, however, must activate their X-Factor by meeting specific gameplay goals. For instance, for Adam Thielen to earn his Double Me X-Factor that increases the chances of him winning an aggressive catch against single coverage, he first must catch two 20-plus yard passes. Once the X-Factor is turned on, it can be turned off, and the conditions for this are similarly prescriptive. Odell Beckham Jr. falls out of the zone and his X-Factor turns off when you don’t target him on consecutive plays.

Both X-Factors and Superstar abilities can be very useful, but some are definitely handier than others. Some aren’t even used by any players at launch, and others might be more helpful to some users depending on their play style. Conversely, if you’re playing against an opponent with these abilities, you’re going to want to know what you’re going up against.

The Madden 20 X-Factors & Superstars Guide

about X hours ago from
The Madden 20 X-Factors & Superstars Guide

Madden 20 introduces powerful X-Factor players and Superstar abilities only available to select players. Superstar abilities are always on, meaning players with the Shutdown ability, like Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey, always have an increased chance of disrupting receiver catches. X-Factor players, however, must activate their X-Factor by meeting specific gameplay goals. For instance, for Adam Thielen to earn his Double Me X-Factor that increases the chances of him winning an aggressive catch against single coverage, he first must catch two 20-plus yard passes. Once the X-Factor is turned on, it can be turned off, and the conditions for this are similarly prescriptive. Odell Beckham Jr. falls out of the zone and his X-Factor turns off when you don’t target him on consecutive plays.

Both X-Factors and Superstar abilities can be very useful, but some are definitely handier than others. Some aren’t even used by any players at launch, and others might be more helpful to some users depending on their play style. Conversely, if you’re playing against an opponent with these abilities, you’re going to want to know what you’re going up against.

20 Characters We Want To Play As In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

about X hours ago from
20 Characters We Want To Play As In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order has no shortage of heroes. With over 30 characters pre-loaded and DLC on the way, Marvel fans should at least have one character they’re excited to play. That said, we’re never satisfied. Nintendo confirmed that the DLC from this point on will pull from the Marvel Knights, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. Those are some pretty deep wells, so we have some ideas for characters from those groups (and others) that we would like to see join the alliance. Here’s the list of characters we’d like to see playable in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3.