Searching For Half-Life 3

about X hours ago from
Searching For Half-Life 3

In the months following the publication of my “Fall of the Empire” feature, I wanted to write more stories about the inner workings of video game development studios. While that article sadly chronicled the demise of LucasArts, my investigative work uncovered dozens of interesting side stories, many of which have never been told. In my search for another dive into a company, Valve and Nintendo showed the most promise, but neither presented an easy entry point. Both studios are closed-off and mysterious, the video game equivalents of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory. We rarely see what goes on behind their doors, yet they both continue to be leaders in the video game industry, and for dramatically different reasons.

Watch Yakuza 0's Creepiest And Strangest Side Activities

about X hours ago from
Watch Yakuza 0's Creepiest And Strangest Side Activities

I've been playing Yakuza 0 for review, and while I'm not ready to share my final impressions, I wanted to show off some of the game's strange – and seedier – missions. Join me as I walk video producer Ben Hanson through a few side quests, fights, and activities. Warning: This one is definitely rated M.

There's a wacky tone that permeates many of the game's side missions, but several of them stopped me in their tracks for just how weird they got. I captured footage from three of those missions, and was excited to share them with Ben Hanson. We dive right into things with a mission focused on a soft-spoken dominatrix who doesn't seem to have what it takes to succeed in the S&M industry. Thanks to my help, and an inexplicable appearance from a group of children, I teach her the finer points of humiliation. We highlight a couple more missions, between glimpses of the game's activities including fishing, winning prizes at claw machines, and gambling.

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The Virtual Life – Breathing Life Into The World With A Dark Room

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life – Breathing Life Into The World With A Dark Room

A Dark Room begins quietly. There are no graphics to speak of. No characters in view, no sounds. Only two sentences: The fire is dead. The room is cold.

Why are we in this room? The game doesn’t explain and, truth be told, it doesn’t really matter, does it? I think most of us have been in this type of room before – physically, emotionally, and mentally. The room is more than a room. It’s capital-Z zero and all the horror that goes along with that digit.

I gave up a lot when I moved to Minneapolis for this job. Friends, relationship, comfort, burned a few bridges, the whole nine yards. I know other people who have made sacrifices as well for their careers or for loved ones. They paid the cost, whatever it was. Life savings. Divorce. Health. There’s a certain level of terror about hitting rock bottom and finding yourself in free-fall but there’s also a thrill as well – the realization that anything can happen now.

Can We Figure Out Who Owned This Mysterious Old Memory Card?

about X hours ago from
Can We Figure Out Who Owned This Mysterious Old Memory Card?

We hope you're ready for something weird. One thing I've always wanted to do is to take advantage of Game Informer's gigantic vault of games, buy a used memory card from a pawn shop, and load up 20-year old saves from a variety of games in an attempt to piece together the original owner's life. Thankfully, Jeff Cork is equally weird and willing to join me on this adventure. So please join us as we become memory-card archaeologists, piecing together this digital relic of a person from the late 1990s by popping in old games and loading up saves from the most potentially revealing games.

Watch us uncover the mysteries of this PlayStation 1 memory card and learn a thing or two about the mysterious original owner.

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10 Predictions For Nintendo Switch

about X hours ago from
10 Predictions For Nintendo Switch

After a tight-lipped reveal in October of last year, Nintendo has remained quiet on its upcoming platform, the Switch. Shortly after releasing a three-and-a-half-minute trailer that showed off several features and teased a few more, Nintendo announced that more would be revealed - including the price tag and release date - in mid-January 2016.

That time is now upon us, so as Nintendo gears up to tell us more about its system it is supposedly launching in two months, we look at what we anticipate will be announced. Check out our predictions for the Nintendo Switch and let us know your predictions in the comments below.

Release Date Stays In March

Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Wars: Episode VIII, Rebels, Thor: Ragnarok

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Wars: Episode VIII, Rebels, Thor: Ragnarok

This week's editorial is starting on a strange note, but I feel it's something we all need to discuss. I'm beginning to think movie director Zack Snyder has homed in on my childhood and wants to destroy everything that I loved. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one of the worst movies I have ever watched. I'm not exaggerating here. I struggled to get through it, and wondered how a film could miss the mark by such a wide degree, especially given we're in the golden age of awesome superhero films. Warner Bros. recently released an image from Snyder's forthcoming Justice League film, and it looks great from this pulled-out angle.

Seeing all of these characters together in a big-budget film is something I never thought would happen (anything with Aquaman is a long shot, after all). Now let's see what happens when we zoom in on The Flash...

WHAT. THE. F---... Seriously, what in the blazes is going on with this costume design? Are those wires all over his body? It looks like a pile of random parts I'd expect to see at Watto's junkyard. We often joke about video game characters being overly designed with trinkets and scars all over their bodies, but this is just madness. Stop, Zack. Please for the love of all that is nerdy, stop!

A Spoiler-Filled Discussion Of Final Fantasy XV's Finale

about X hours ago from
A Spoiler-Filled Discussion Of Final Fantasy XV's Finale

Final Fantasy XV finally released at the end of November, and several editors here at Game Informer have now invested 50 hours (or more) into the experience. We've seen the credits roll, but we also still have questions. 

Join me, Andrew Reiner, Kyle Hilliard, and Brian Shea as we discuss what happened in the ending, as well as major developments along the way. We talk through the characters, their motivations, and how Final Fantasy XV draws inspiration from other games in the series. We speculate about the meaning of certain elements, and laugh at others. You can see it all unfold in the video below.

As always, be warned: spoilers follow!

Blizzard Gives Us A Revealing Tour Of Overwatch's Oasis Map

about X hours ago from
Blizzard Gives Us A Revealing Tour Of Overwatch's Oasis Map

Needless to say, we love Overwatch. While Blizzard released a quick video fly-through of its newest map Oasis, we wanted to learn more about the evolution of its design. We Skyped in Overwatch's lead writer Michael Chu and assistant game director Aaron Keller as we walked around the control map's three points to learn more about Blizzard's map design philosophy and the story team's vision of this sci-fi take on Iraq. If you enjoy this type of deep dive, let us know in the comments below!

Watch the video below to learn more about the Oasis map than you could possibly imagine.

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Super Replay – The Worst Sonic The Hedgehog Ever

about X hours ago from
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.

The Year Of The Shooter: How The Genre Came To Rule 2016

about X hours ago from
The Year Of The Shooter: How The Genre Came To Rule 2016

This article originally appeared in Game Informer issue #285.

For many, 2016 will be remembered as a year filled with turmoil, world-wide anxiety, and grief over the deaths of talented artists. However, in the world of video games, perhaps what would best epitomize this year is the number of quality shooters that have emerged in that short span of time. It’s rare to have a year where this particular genre has this strong of a foothold, the last being 2004, which saw the release of Half-life 2, Halo 2, and Far Cry among other quality first-person shooters.

This year’s releases ran the gamut from colorful, accessible multiplayer-only games to grim, story-driven experiences taking place on the blood-soaked battlegrounds of The Great War.