In The Name Of The Tsar Impressions – Battlefield 1 At Its Best

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In The Name Of The Tsar Impressions – Battlefield 1 At Its Best

Nearly a year removed from its release, Battlefield 1 is still going strong. This past July EA reported that more than 21 million players have enlisted in the World War I shooter, and a steady stream of new maps and game updates has kept fans on the frontlines. This week, the game received another wave of reinforcements in the form of the In The Name Of The Tsar expansion.

Set along the Eastern Front, the expansion focuses on battles between the monarchies of Austria, Germany, and Russia, as well as the Bolshevik revolt that pit Tsar loyalists against the rising tide of communism. Featuring five new maps, two new Operations, five new vehicles, thirteen new weapons, and one new game mode, In The Name Of The Tsar is the biggest Battlefield expansion ever.  

In The Name Of The Tsar launched alongside a Battlefield 1 balance update that dramatically improved general gunplay, making weapons more lethal across the board. The alteration is immediately noticeable, allowing you to take down multiple enemies with one clip more frequently during ambushes, making weapons like SMGs and LMGs more viable. The welcome change rewards patient movement and tactical approaches to hot zones and rightfully punishes the Leeroy Jenkins battalions prone to recklessly charging across no man’s land. Battlefield 1 has never played better.

See How Much Borderlands Changed By Reading Our Original 2007 Cover Story

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See How Much Borderlands Changed By Reading Our Original 2007 Cover Story

10 years ago to the day, Gearbox and G.I. teamed up to reveal the developer's RPG shooter hit, Borderlands. Join us for a look back at our original story, complete with an updated cover from 2K.

A lot about Borderlands changed between our initial 10-page cover story reveal and the final release, to the point where you might not even recognize the game from our 2007 cover. Borderlands' most obvious and oft-discussed transformation was the art style, but a lot of other elements that former G.I. editor Bryan Vore discussed in the original cover story changed as well, from A.I. characters that you could customize and command, to procedurally generated loot caves. Brick, the punch-happy melee character, hadn't even been planned yet, and Roland and Lilith went through some major design changes as well (interestingly enough, Mordecai remained almost exactly the same).

What didn't change, however, was the core concept of Borderlands: mashing up the intense, fast-paced action of the first-person-shooter genre with the endless loot and progression of RPGs. The story spends a lot of time spelling out what that experience would and wouldn't entail – a reminder that the now commonplace "shooter RPG" subgenre wasn't really a thing back then.

Five Reasons You Should Check Out Localhost

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Five Reasons You Should Check Out Localhost

Localhost, a bite-sized indie game where you try to persuade computers to destroy themselves. I enjoyed it for its grim atmosphere and the surprisingly complex themes it tackles in its brief playtime. Given that Localhost is a shortish indie title that you can find over at Itch.io as part of the platform's growing library of weird and interesting games, we decided to talk about why you should give it a go.

The Concept Is Well ExecutedLocalhost is strong from the get-go. You play a network administrator who's supposed to wipe some hard drives. The problem is that the hard drives talk back. The four drives all embody very different personalities. Some of them are angry, some are sick, and others are lonely. You have to convince them to unlock their drives so you can destroy them. You have conversations with each of them, trying to understand their motives and anxieties and what they want from life. For the most part, the writing is strong, making every conversation feel riddled with tension and despair, so it's never a boring experience even though you're essentially just navigating conversational trees.

The Soundtrack Is Aces
No, seriously. Localhost is a gloomy game and the music that plays in the background, with a tune for each A.I., perfectly fits the despairing tone. The little soundtrack is fantastic little, with steady beats drowning in a sea of synth.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (September 7, 2017)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (September 7, 2017)

This week we get edited video game screenshots, a finished month of blogs, and a call back to an intense boss fight. Let's read!

Community Blogs For August 31 – September 6:

31/31 Day 31: What Comes Next Writing every day when it isn't your job can be tough, but that's exactly what Haley Shipley did throughout the month of August (well done!). But now what? Well, for Haley, it means putting down the pen and heading to graduate school, which is good. She wants to help people through writing and video games. And as for leaving for Denver, my cousin lives there and loves it – you will too! We can't wait to see your writing come back. Good luck!

PAX'S Co-Founder On The Game Industry's Best And Worst

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PAX'S Co-Founder On The Game Industry's Best And Worst

At PAX West 2017, I talked with Penny Arcade legend and PAX co-founder Jerry Holkins aka Tycho Brahe about his favorite games, the phenomenon of PAX, his favorite developers, and the gaming landscape of the last decade. Chatting with Holkins was a blast, and I hope you enjoy it too – read on for some surprises!

GI: Let’s start off hot, what’s your favorite Penny Arcade strip of all time?

JH: There’s so many. So many strips like thousands of strips now and it’s like I can’t claim to like all of them equally. So which is the one I want to leave all my wealth to? There’s one from a very long time ago about the Earth having been taken over by a space-faring race of malevolent dogs called the Caynid (sp?) and I have a soft spot for that one. But there are so many I could name…The dark truth is that generally speaking I forget a strip as soon as we’ve done it, I’m always thinking about the next comic.

A Video Tour Of Destiny 2's More Robust Endgame

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A Video Tour Of Destiny 2's More Robust Endgame

One of the biggest issues with Destiny 2 at launch was the lack of a meaningful endgame. After beating the main story line in the games original incarnation, players were doomed to grind the same limited number of Strikes over and over again in order to prepare themselves for the first raid. It was a slog, honestly. Destiny 2 does a lot of alleviate that problem.

Ben Reeves and I took a quick tour of everything there is to do in Destiny 2 after you beat the main questline and decided to film it. Between Strikes, Post-credits questlines, Patrols, Lost Sectors, The Crucible, and more, you should have a pretty clear, varied path to the raid when it hits next week. You can also spend some of your hard-earned cash on Bright Engrams, but we're not totally sure they're worth it.

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Opinion – Tacoma Takes Interactive Storytelling In A Promising Direction

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Opinion – Tacoma Takes Interactive Storytelling In A Promising Direction

Because of their interactive nature, video games open up unique possibilities for storytelling. The player directly impacts the action, which introduces an enthralling kind of agency. Tacoma, an adventure game from the makers of Gone Home, takes this ideology a step further. It opens new pathways for video game narrative by reshaping concepts from an interactive theater production.

Tacoma’s space station setting is far from unique in the realm of science fiction, and despite a captivating story, it hits familiar beats. But that’s not what makes Tacoma stand out. Instead, it’s how Tacoma tells its story that is most fascinating. Taking heavy influence from immersive theater productions like Sleep No More, Tacoma puts the player in a more passive role where they act as a fly on the wall – and it works wonderfully. 

You spend your time watching holographic simulations of a crew who inhabited the space station a few days prior, before destruction hit. These holograms appear as simplistic colored blobs, and you watch them undergo their daily lives as they visit the gym, phone loved ones back on Earth, and bicker amongst each other when perilous events unfold. Despite appearing as vague blobs, these holograms feel like real people, and I was strongly invested in their plight.

What You Need To Know About Destiny 2's Microtransactions

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What You Need To Know About Destiny 2's Microtransactions

You won't be able to access Destiny 2's Eververse Trading Co. storefront until you reach level 20, but once you do, you might be tempted to expand your wardrobe and augment your weapons rack by purchasing bright engrams using real world money. Suriel Vazquez, Ben Reeves, and Leo Vader explore Destiny 2's microtransaction system and talk about whether or not its a fair to all players.

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RPG Grind Time – SNES Classics I'd Love To See Remade

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RPG Grind Time – SNES Classics I'd Love To See Remade

It’s no secret that the 16-bit era was influential in shaping me as an RPG fan, especially games on the SNES. Secret of Mana ranks highly on my Best-RPGs-of-All-Time list. It was one of the first games that affected me with its storytelling, and I’ll always share a special bond with my grandpa over playing it. That’s why I couldn’t be more excited for a remake. I know a lot of fans have trepidation with remakes. What if they don’t capture the essence of the original, or make changes for the worse? Those are valid concerns, but I enjoy being able to experience my favorite games with a fresh coat of paint and some tweaks, especially as technology continues to improve. It also allows a younger generation who missed out on the originals a chance to experience these classics – often with refinements that make them more user-friendly. With the Secret of Mana remake official, it got me thinking of other SNES RPGs I’d love to get the same treatment. Here are my top three.