The Virtual Life – Fathers, Video Games, And The Long Road To Legacy

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The Virtual Life – Fathers, Video Games, And The Long Road To Legacy

What is there to say about my father and I? Lots, I suppose. Son of a war veteran, he spent a lot of his time being shuffled around the country as military brat, never staying in one place for too long. In the '80s, he was in Florida, trying to break the high scores on all the arcade machines. My parents met when my mother disconnected the Ms. Pac-Man cabinet so he would stop playing and give the kids behind him a turn.

I exist because of Ms. Pac-Man. What a thing.

We’re both men with ridiculous names. He’s Javy Rudolph Gwaltney the Third. I’m The Fourth. I often find myself telling strangers and new acquaintances that there won’t be a Fifth. I come from a line of men who have fought in wars, who developed chess software, who provided for the people they loved. My father wanted to settle down in a small town and build a stationary life for his family.

Arkane Knowledge: Five Reasons Dishonored Fans Will Love Prey

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Arkane Knowledge: Five Reasons Dishonored Fans Will Love Prey

Arkane Studios is a big fan of Looking Glass Studios. “I don’t think it’s a secret that with Dishonored we started with Thief in mind, and with Prey we started with System Shock in mind,” says creative director and president of Arkane Studios Raphael Colantonio. “You can call us fanboys of those games if you want.”

Like Looking Glass Studios’ classics, both the Dishonored series and Prey share a philosophy that allows players to find creative solutions to gameplay challenges. And while Prey is far more than “Dishonored in space,” here are five reasons why fans of Arkane’s other big first-person series will want to keep their eye on Prey.

Reason One: Actual ConsequencesThose who played Dishonored quickly realized their actions had consequences. Dishonored players who ruthlessly left dead bodies in their wake only added to the city's disease-ridden streets, which ultimately created more rat swarms and plague victims, which in turn fostered a deadlier environment to navigate later in the game. On the other hand, some missions were easier to complete when you could just chop off your target's head. Fans can expect Prey to adapt similarly to their playstyle.

The Most Badass Lines From Video Game Characters In 2016

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The Most Badass Lines From Video Game Characters In 2016

2016 was a great year for games, wasn’t it? Nearly every genre – shooters, sports, puzzlers, everything – had standout entries. The writing for a lot of these games wasn’t half bad either. At GI, we really enjoy one-liners. Both those that are delectably cheesy and the legitimately badass ones that cut you to the core. From testy rebukes to threats and gentle mocking, here are our favorite lines from 2016’s video game characters.

Mafia IIIMafia III goes to great lengths to show why protagonist Lincoln Clay is filled with all-encompassing fury and hunger for revenge. For all its flaws, the game still ended up having a well-written story headed by characters you could care about. And man, Lincoln can wield words just as well as he can shotguns and knives. Here are some of his best: 

“Family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you die for.” 

Why Overwatch Doesn't Need A Story Mode

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Why Overwatch Doesn't Need A Story Mode

“All right, listen up!” says the echoing voice of Soldier 76, Overwatch’s anointed dad character. As part of the intro to the new seasonal mode, “Mei’s Snowball Offensive,” the camera pans over a view of the Ecopoint: Antarctica map, as if this were an action film. ”We brought you here because you represent the best, strongest, most effective warriors we...” The camera swoops down to a shot of Mei, copping a coy smile and hiding a snowball. With a chuckle, she launches it at the screen. “You can’t be serious,” a resigned Solider 76 says. His heart-pounding action flick has been ruined.

The intro’s a little long for something players are supposed to watch every time they want to play a match of Mei’s Snowball Offensive, but it works. It’s cheeky in just the right way, like a comedy skit, and it injects some personality into the mode.

12 Beers Brewed For Gamers

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12 Beers Brewed For Gamers

A couple years ago I scoured the brewery world for video game themed beers, and only found a handful. This past week when I stumbled upon a line of Mortal Kombat themed beers at a local liquor store I thought it might be a good time to revisit the topic. I found an explosion of options for those who want to celebrate their favorite hobby while imbibing on a frosty beverage. 

8-bit Pale Ale – Tallgrass Brewing Co.Beer Advocate Rating: 86
Perhaps the most easily accessible beer on this list (at least for those who live in the Midwest), the Tallgrass 8-bit pale ale is still a Game Informer stand-by and the self-proclaimed official beer of retro gamers. This is the perfect beer to enjoy alongside a gaming session. Tallgrass also used to make a 16-Bit Double Pale Ale, but this beer is retired for the time being. Available year-round in 16-ounce cans.

Goliath Experimental Double IPA – Dangerous Man
Beer Advocate Rating: N/A
To celebrate the release of Goliath, developer Octopus Tree teamed up with Minneapolis brewery Dangerous Man to make this big, bold Double IPA. The beer earned the experimental moniker for its approach to hops, which includes the new TNT hop. This beer was a limited edition release.

Science-Fiction Weekly – Looking Ahead To 2017

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Looking Ahead To 2017

Many of you are likely playing the living hell out of new games obtained over the holidays, or are trying to chip away at the towering backlog that grows taller each year. After looking at what's on the horizon for 2017, my advice is to stay up a little longer each night to play more. The year ahead is looking great for science-fiction enthusiasts.

The fun (hopefully) begins in February with the releases of Halo Wars 2 (February 21) and Horizon Zero Dawn (February 28). The video game industry is in desperate need of new intellectual properties, and Horizon Zero Dawn is easily the most exciting one slated for next year. The concept of hunting robotic dinosaurs with primitive weapons is enough to make Horizon a day-one purchase for me, but intrigue also stems from how little we know about this game's story and world. The latest Horizon trailer teases a mystery deep beneath the planet's surface. I don't know much about what is happening in the forests and cities, and now Guerilla is teasing an underground? Kick ass. I'm glad that we're getting another Red Dead Redemption, but I'm more excited for Horizon, just because it's a new series and experience.

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Who Would Win: The Ultimate Video Game Character Showdown

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Who Would Win: The Ultimate Video Game Character Showdown

Gamers love debating hypothetical showdowns between their favorite characters, but there are a lot more ways to settle the score than a fight to the death. That's why we devised a series of challenges tailored to the strengths of some of our favorite video game characters. Find out who would come out on top in our ultimate quiz: Who Would Win...

Editor's note: This feature originally ran in issue 284, but has been expanded with my irrefutable logic for why I chose the winner of each competition.

Borderlands' tankiest hero certainly has some big pipes, but they're no match for Mario's O.G. rival. Donkey Kong chucks barrels like they're balled-up pieces of tissue paper, and he climbs vines so effortlessly you'd think he's weightless. But he's not weightless – he's a giant gorilla! Not only that, but the fact that Donkey Kong wears a tie – not to mention can tie a tie – proves that he's smart. Even if DK's brawn wasn't enough to best Brick in an arm-wrestling contest, he'd no doubt use his brains to psyche out his dim-witted opponent.Irrefutable Winner: Donkey Kong

10 Overlooked Gems From 2016

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10 Overlooked Gems From 2016

Every year, a slew of games fall off people's radars and don't get their due, whether it's for lack of marketing or bad release timing. Therefore, as we close out the year, we thought it'd be a great time to make a list of overlooked games to remind people of releases they might have missed. There's no denying 2016 was a great year for games; so many solid titles released that it was easy for some great experiences to get lost in shuffle. The following 10 titles are solid additions to anyone's gaming library.

Dead By Daylight (PC)Asymmetrical multiplayer games have seen mixed results, but Dead By Daylight is one of the more exciting and successful ones. The game has already become a popular streaming choice, making audiences tune in again and again to see if people can survive a murderer. Dead By Daylight is structured like a playabe horror movie, having one person play a killer trying to stop a group of four survivors from powering generators and finding a way out. The tense gameplay and thrill of surviving or sneaking up on unsuspecting victims (depending on the role you play) have provided memorable gaming moments. To learn more, read our review.

One Questline Destiny Deserves – The Cryptarch’s Challenge

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One Questline Destiny Deserves – The Cryptarch’s Challenge

Even as Destiny players have been digging into Destiny’s latest content drop, The Dawning, I’ve been increasingly noticing one frustration that plagues my day-to-day play with the game. As I noted in my impressions of the winter event, the addition of several new weapon and armor pieces is a welcome one, but it exacerbates an already frustrating problem. Vault space continues to be an annoyance for many, and the problem is aggravated by an over-abundance of loot drops, many of which are largely irrelevant for most level-capped players. 

In a typical night of Destiny play, I often find myself having to spend decent chunks of time emptying out detritus that has piled up at the postmaster, and then running back and forth to the Cryptarch to decrypt and subsequently dismantle gear. What was once an exciting “identification” analogue to classic fantasy RPGs has transformed into a mostly rote experience, which is only occasionally broken by a decent new weapon. Even for players who have done a better job of keeping their vault in check, the constant need to decrypt mostly useless items has lost its charm. 

The Pros And Cons Of The Pokémon Go Apple Watch App

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The Pros And Cons Of The Pokémon Go Apple Watch App

When Niantic CEO John Hanke announced that Pokémon Go was getting a companion app for the Apple Watch, the app was still within arm's reach of its global phenomenon status. Fast-forward three months to December, and Pokémon Go's popularity has dipped significantly thanks to waning interest from casual players, frustration from technical issues, and cold weather making it more difficult to play. Regardless, the devoted Pokémon seekers have been patiently waiting for the release of the Apple Watch app Niantic promised before the end of 2016.

With just over a week remaining in 2016, Niantic surprise-launched the Apple Watch app, marketing it as a better way to play in cold temperatures. Over the first few days of its availability, I put the Apple Watch app to the test and immediately noticed several positives and negatives about it. Check out my biggest takeaways from my time with the app below, and if you've been using the new app, leave your thoughts in the comments.

Pro: You Don't Need To Have Your Phone Out