What It’s Like To Be An eSports Commentator

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What It’s Like To Be An eSports Commentator

Photo credit: Samantha Hancock and Jorien van der Heijden.

In this month’s issue of Game Informer we dove into the world of eSports, detailing how players, teams, and sponsors work with each other to make sure people who excel at games like Street Fighter, Halo, and more can make a living off their skills. Here at Gameinformer.com, we’re also taking a look at some of the peripheral aspects of eSports vital to understanding the world of competitive gaming.

Fans come to eSports for the players, but commentators can make them stick around. Good play-by-play commentators and analysts can contextualize exciting moments and help newer viewers learn the games, storylines, and rivalries that transform competitive scenes from a fleeting hobby to something worth investing in long-term. 

Question Of The Month: What Was Your Favorite Shooter Of 2016?

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Question Of The Month: What Was Your Favorite Shooter Of 2016?

In issue 285, we asked readers to share their favorite shooter of last year with us. Now it's your turn to weigh in. 

The most popular responses weren't exactly a surprise, but their order was: Unlike the results of our Reader's Choice awards, id's excellent Doom reboot came out on top. Overwatch was a close second thanks to its cast of memorable characters and continual updates, while Titanfall 2's parkour antics and mech-heavy action earned the title an honorable third place.

Now it's your turn. Did one of these three games tickle your fancy? Or did another shooter steal the show? More importantly, are you still playing it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Our 5 Biggest Impressions From Playing Rime

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Our 5 Biggest Impressions From Playing Rime

Rime, an adventure game that centers around puzzle solving and exploration, was first revealed back in 2013. Since then, we've heard very little about the game and it left the spotlight until recently. With developer Tequila Works reaquiring the rights from Sony last year, and with new publishers on board, Rime is back and inching towards a May release.

We recently got a chance to play an extended demo, where we traversed through an island with varying landscapes filled with secrets and puzzles. Rime is minimalist and reminiscent of Ico and Journey, telling a vague, abstract story about a young boy who washes up on the shore of a mysterious island.

In the video below, features editor Kim Wallace and I talk about our thoughts and I share five stand-out qualities that impressed me from Rime.

What GTA Online May Tell Us About Red Dead Redemption 2

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What GTA Online May Tell Us About Red Dead Redemption 2

Several months removed from a short teaser trailer and a concise statement from Rockstar saying Red Dead Redemption 2 is “an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland,” we still have no concrete details about the game other than the fragments we salvaged from the early footage. As we wait for Rockstar to share more about its highly anticipated sequel, we can’t help but wonder what lessons the company learned from the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto Online that could be applied to the “brand new online multiplayer experience” coming in the developer’s return to the Wild West. 

The Sports Desk – A New Look At The Golf Club 2

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The Sports Desk – A New Look At The Golf Club 2

The Golf Club franchise has redefined video game golf. The first title not only created an enthusiastic community of course architects with its creation tools, it also supported that community by building on the core game with updates instead of a perfunctory yearly release. In short, it took on video game sports heavyweight EA Sports and won the round with a better product.

Now that developer HB Studios is preparing to release The Golf Club 2 this spring (PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One) we'll see if the studio can take the next step with the series, build on the first title's solid gameplay foundation without a swing HUD, grow the career mode (which was added in a post-release update for the first Golf Club), and continue to spur the talents of its course creators.

HB Studios debuted the game at E3 last year, but has been rather quiet since then. Today, however, we have a new dev diary-style trailer for the game showing and discussing its core tenets, as well as a Q&A dive into some of the details courtesy of producer Shaun West.

Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

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Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

When I decided to turn the 12.31 Super Replay into an annual event, I knew the focus needed to be on bad games. People enjoyed watching us suffer; that was the hook that stood out. We used Overblood as the foundation for the type of game we were looking for each year. Blue Stinger, Illbleed, And Martian Gothic were all games that delivered a similar stench. They were perfect selections for the annual Super Replay.

When Tim Turi left Game Informer to work at Capcom, I realized this Super Replay event wouldn't be the same without him. He played through all of these bad games, and, well, I don't think it would have been fair to continue on without him. Out of respect to Tim, we are moving away from the survival-horror angle, and are falling back on my original pitch: it needs to be a bad game period.

As it turns out, there are many different flavors of terrible video games, and I think we found another example in Sonic the Hedgehog that is every bit as enjoyable, campy, and unbearably bad as the original Overblood. The game is simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, but it's often referred to as Sonic '06. It's developed by Sonic Team for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is another failed attempt to give the blue speedster new life.

RPG Grind Time – A Beginner’s Guide To The Kingdom Hearts Collections

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RPG Grind Time – A Beginner’s Guide To The Kingdom Hearts Collections

This article was originally published on 02/01/17. RPG Grind Time is a bi-weekly column that returns every second Wednesday.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been close to 15 years since the first Kingdom Hearts game released. This actually makes me feel a bit old. Since that game launched, I’ve graduated from high school and college. The amount of time elapsed feels almost surreal. I don’t think I ever could have predicted the bumpy ride I’d be on with the series. My younger self surely never thought I'd be waiting until 2017 for Kingdom Hearts III, but here we are. 

Opinion – Resident Evil 7 Shows The Proper Way To Reinvent A Series

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Opinion – Resident Evil 7 Shows The Proper Way To Reinvent A Series

This article was originally published on 02/01/17.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I sat down in my living room to play Resident Evil 7. I had just spent the last two weeks doing multiple playthroughs of Resident Evil 4 so I could write a piece about that game’s legacy and the influence it had on the industry as a whole. Even 12 years later, I was still awestruck by 4’s innovations and how well it had aged, so I came to 7 with much trepidation, mostly due to Capcom’s strange and ill-conceived marketing campaign for the game, which lingered too long in boring mysteries and withheld information about what 7 was actually going to be until close to launch. When I learned that the game was going “back to the series roots,” I was both cautiously optimistic and skeptical.

With the exception of 4, Resident Evil has always been a series that I liked more as an idea than a game I enjoyed playing. I can understand why players loved navigating the mansions and cityscapes that comprised the first three titles, but the tank controls, occasionally tedious puzzles, and bad bad combat made them games that I played through more out of a duty to understand what place they had in gaming history rather than something that was fun to play.

Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 15 Hours

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Never Played Shenmue II? Watch Us Play The First 15 Hours

Last year, over the course of four months, we played through Shenmue for the Dreamcast in its entirety. It was an experimental video series, with an undefined schedule that allowed us to take in all the feedback for each episode by reading and responding to comments in (almost) real time. The experiment was a success! So we immediately decided (after playing through Dark Souls III, Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon, Shadow of the Colossus, and Resident Evil 4) that there was no time like the present to return to Yu Suzuki's masterpiece. For the sequel, we're playing the Xbox version that was published by Microsoft in 2002.