The Virtual Life – Mini Metro and The Beauty Of Rigged Games

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life – Mini Metro and The Beauty Of Rigged Games

Mini Metro is deceptive. It’s colorful, seemingly simple, a game of lines and connecting dots. It is also a game that will destroy you.

Each session of Mini Metro involves you trying to build as efficient a metro as possible across real-world cities, like New York and Hong Kong, and trying to keep the subways and train stations uncongested. If even one of your train stations becomes overpopulated by impatient passengers, the game ends. And it will end. Because you’re not good enough, kiddo. No matter what you do, the system will become too overburdened with passengers for you to fend off the annoying doomsday chirp notifying you that a station has become too crowded.

'F*** Ladders', And 19 Other Design Mantras For Arkane's Prey

about X hours ago from
'F*** Ladders', And 19 Other Design Mantras For Arkane's Prey

With our cover story on Prey, we're sharing exclusive videos and articles throughout the month highlighting what makes the game stand out. While visiting the team at Arkane Studios in Austin, Prey's creative director Raphael Colantonio and lead designer Ricardo Bare walked us through 20 key design pillars behind Arkane's games overall and Prey specifically. The team represents the design pillars with the most appropriate screenshot from around the industry, so keep your eyes peeled.

Watch the video below to learn the design principles fueling Prey and why the team despises ladders.

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Raichu Can Wear Pikachu's Santa Hat In Pokémon Go

about X hours ago from
Raichu Can Wear Pikachu's Santa Hat In Pokémon Go

As part of Pokémon Go's current holiday festivities, Pikachu is wearing a Santa hat. It's adorable, but a question surfaced – can Pikachu's evolved form, Raichu, steal Pikachu's hat?

The answer is yes, and it only took us catching a handful of Santa hat Pikachus in Minnesota's 4° weather. In the video below, you can see the Raichu with a hat in action. Pikachu will be wearing its Santa hat in Pokémon Go until December 29.

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Rogue One, Avatar, Star Trek Discovery, Guardians Of The Galaxy

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – Rogue One, Avatar, Star Trek Discovery, Guardians Of The Galaxy

Two days. That's all I have to wait until I return to my favorite universe. Two days until Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters. A few of my friends attended the world premiere last weekend, and immediately texted me with praise for the film, going as far to say "you should be really REALLY excited." Film critics are not so bullish on it, delivering mixed reviews equating to an early 79 rating on Rotten Tomatoes. My friends, however, say that it will make me appreciate Star Wars: A New Hope more, and that I should pay close attention to the quieter moments for a couple of clever cameos and ties to other Star Wars stories. They say it's  love letter to fans of the original trilogy. In previous columns and podcasts, I've voiced my concern over Disney turning Star Wars into an annual franchise. I know George Lucas dragged it through the mud with the prequels, but there's a chance Star Wars can be something special again. Yearly releases may be overkill. Then again, every Marvel film turns to gold, and I could see the same thing happening with Star Wars.

Test Chamber – Overwatch's Winter Wonderland

about X hours ago from
Test Chamber – Overwatch's Winter Wonderland

The holiday spirit is in full swing in Blizzard's FPS, with a deluge of new skins, voicelines, emotes, and more coming from special loot boxes. The fun doesn't stop with the presents, though, as players can try out an A-Mei-zing new mode where all participants play as everyone's favorite freezer in Overwatch's version of a snowball fight. With guns that only hold one lethal snowball, the air is filled with tension and fun.

Join Kimberly Wallace and Dan Tack as they unwrap a bunch of presents, see what skins they score, and take on a ton of Meis in this episode of Test Chamber!

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Test Chamber – A Full Playthrough Of Star Wars Battlefront's Rogue One: VR Mission

about X hours ago from
Test Chamber – A Full Playthrough Of Star Wars Battlefront's Rogue One: VR Mission

Earlier this month, DICE teamed up with Criterion to release a free PlayStation VR X-Wing mission for PlayStation 4 owners of Star Wars: Battlefront, and we played through the whole thing.

It's short, but undeniably cool. It begins with a close-up look at an AT-AT, followed by the opportunity to walk around your X-Wing, before placing you in the cockpit of an X-Wing to navigate an asteroid field and get into some dog fights. As with all things VR-related, it's hard to show off how engaging it is without actually having the headset on your face. That being said, Andrew Reiner and I show off the full mission for a good taste of why this free download is worth strapping the headset on for. If nothing else, it makes us want a full-fledged VR X-Wing game.

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Musical Rewind: Looking Back At Some Of The Best Game Soundtracks From 2016

about X hours ago from
Musical Rewind: Looking Back At Some Of The Best Game Soundtracks From 2016

Music in video games can be just as important as the visuals or the writing when it comes to immersing the player. The right soundtrack can set the mood to make a victory feel triumphant or a tragedy feel painful. To celebrate these achievements, I looked back at the year to round up my favorite video game soundtracks released in 2016.

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Abzu The underwater spiritual successor to Journey (also done by composer Austin Wintory) is filled with ambient music that invokes a sense of mystery and depth. The calm symphony of the beginning levels directly contrasts with the dramatic pounding beats of the game's final moments, building up an intense atmosphere before a serene calm at the end. This directly correlates to the actions the player can take during these moments, allowing the atmosphere to become interwoven with the soundtrack to create a truly immersive experience

Break The Holiday Ice With These Couch Co-Op Games

about X hours ago from
Break The Holiday Ice With These Couch Co-Op Games

The holidays are upon us, and that can often mean spending quality time with extended family and friends. But there really are only so many snowpeople you can build and cups of egg nog you can drink (i.e. one) before you’re out of things to do together.

Fortunately, there’s a great selection of video games to pick from in 2016 that actually bring family and friends closer together – specifically on the trusty old sofa. The recent crop of couch co-op titles might even be enough to interest the gaming skeptics in your family. Here are some great cooperative activities for the whole clan that don’t involve fighting each other or eating too much starch.

(Please visit the site to view this media)Overcooked
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
1-4 players

Break The Holiday Ice With These Amazing Couch Co-Op Games

about X hours ago from
Break The Holiday Ice With These Amazing Couch Co-Op Games

The holidays are upon us, and that can often mean spending quality time with extended family and friends. But there really are only so many snowpeople you can build and cups of egg nog you can drink (i.e. one) before you’re out of things to do together.

Fortunately, there’s a great selection of video games to pick from in 2016 that actually bring family and friends closer together – specifically on the trusty old sofa. The recent crop of couch co-op titles might even be enough to interest the gaming skeptics in your family. Here are some great cooperative activities for the whole clan that don’t involve fighting each other or eating too much starch.

(Please visit the site to view this media)Overcooked
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
1-4 players

The Sports Desk – Questioning The Power Of Graphics

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – Questioning The Power Of Graphics

Graphics have always been an immediate selling point for all video games, and sports titles in particular. They are an accessible entry point getting you to stop and exclaim, "I thought I was watching a real broadcast!" The advantages of a certain versamillitude are obvious, and I definitely like what great graphics do for sports titles. But is there a cost to this? And what is it getting us in the current sports games?

I was thinking about the recent HDR upgrade improvements highlighted by Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital for GT Sport. I'm sure that the game will look gorgeous like its predecessors in the franchise, a tennent of the series that has served it well. Pulling back, however: Is chasing jaw-dropping graphics starting to offer diminished returns for Gran Turismo?

When so much of Polyphony's time is spent on this component of the game when its online infrastructure has lagged behind other titles in and out of the genre, and fans have been asking questions of the game's A.I. and feature set, it bears asking if the developer could advance the series in other, nonvisual ways.