Garden Warfare 2 Is Fun As Hell And You (And Your Family) Should Play It

about X hours ago from

It started when my kids and I were looking for something to play together. I flipped through my digital library for a while, and stopped on Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 for no real reason. I played it for a while when it first came out in February, but I moved on to who knows what – probably Diablo III, now that I think about it. We fired it up on a lark and jumped into some split-screen multiplayer. That was several weeks ago. Our home has been invaded.

My kids are at an awkward age, as far as games go. At 7 and 9, I don’t think they’re old enough for the vast majority of shooters, even as the genre pulls at them with its siren song. We’ve decided that they’re able to watch a lot of PG-13 movies, provided that mom and I do some research ahead of time, but they’re definitely not ready for the Call of Dutys of the world – even though they won’t stop telling us about so and so from school who is allowed to play that and GTA. 

At any rate, Garden Warfare 2 hoes a great row for us right now. It’s silly, and the violence doesn’t rise beyond pea-shooting plants or zombies who use electro-beams as improvised herbicide. When you defeat your opponents, they crumple into little heaps, not gory rag-dolling corpses. While its combat doesn’t features buckets of viscera, it’s still intense and fun.

The Sports Desk – Love, Lies & Silverware: A Football Manager Journey

about X hours ago from

Welcome to another addition of my weekly column, The Sports Desk. Today we have a very special feature written by Anthony Kyne, producer from HB Studios (The Golf Club 2), about being absolutely consumed by the soccer management simulation series Football Manager.

The game is lauded the world over, and has claimed hours upon hours from dedicated would-be managers. Kyne's tale is one of happy family memories, an imagination fired by the magic of video games, and disappointment and sweet victory – if not necessarily in equal measure. Nevertheless, it's been a journey worth taking. You'll have to read it to believe it.

Love at First SightSince way before I started making video games, actually only about two weeks after we got our first family computer, I've been in love with football management games. As much as I love the FIFAs and Pro Evos of this world and the Half Lifes and the Far Crys, nothing sucks me into a world that blurs the lines between game and reality like a football management simulation. Below is a love story that is full of ups and downs, that's hurt people and broken my own heart along the way, but it's something I couldn't live without!

Seven Video Game Characters That Took Patriotism Too Far

about X hours ago from

As Independence Day approaches, Americans are gearing up for a long weekend full of beer, hot dogs, and fingers removed by firework mishaps. While the holiday is a great time to reflect on our freedom and history, it may also be a good time to remind ourselves that our love for our country can sometimes go too far. Gaming offers an escape into the world of fantasy but can also make a commentary on our real lives. This weekend, celebrate the Fourth with your family and friends, and don’t be like these guys.

Senator Armstrong – Metal Gear Rising: RevengeanceYou may not have expected the final boss of a frenetic hack-and-slash game where you control a cyborg ninja with an electric-charged katana to be a single American Senator, but Armstrong quickly proves to be Raiden’s toughest adversary. He is an aggressive nationalist and believes only he can save the nation from its slump. Over the course of the game, Armstrong uses nuclear weapons to stir up global conflict, and admits to using war as a business strategy to improve his approval ratings and get himself into office. He claims that his heart is in the right place, as he only wants to restore America to its former glory.

Our Impressions Of The Final Fantasy XV Anime So Far

about X hours ago from

Finding it hard to endure the wait until Final Fantasy XV? We hear you. Thankfully, Square Enix has been releasing free 15-minute anime episodes to help you get to know the party members better. The anime, called Brotherhood, was announced back at the March event that revealed the game's September 30 release date, and so far two of the five episode arc have hit. (You watch on them on Square Enix's YouTube channel). As someone who loves learning about the cast, I've enjoyed watching these, but I bet you're wondering if they're worth your time. Here are my impressions so far. 

What To Expect

6 Xbox One Controller Designs To Troll Your Friends With

about X hours ago from
6 Xbox One Controller Designs To Troll Your Friends With

This year during E3, Microsoft launched a new website that allows players to design their own Xbox One controllers, complete with unique color schemes and custom laser engraving. While countless gamers are undoubtedly using the app to create some awesome-looking controllers, I figured I'd take a different approach. Here are six awful Xbox One controller designs that you can use to troll your friends.

Note: The Xbox Design Lab does not save custom laser engravings to controller templates, so you will have to manually add them yourself if you decide to purchase one of these designs. But really, don't purchase them. 

Design #1: The Plain JaneThe Plain Jane is the clear choice for the professional troll – after all, what better way to negate the thoughtful gift of designing and giving your friend a customized controller than making it look like an exact copy of the normal Xbox One controller? Your bed bud will be thrilled to know you shelled out nearly twice the price of a normal controller to tell them how boring they are – a message driven home by the "YOU ARE BORING" laser engraving. Stylish!

10 Things You May Have Missed In Inside

about X hours ago from

Playdead's Inside is a game that demands analysis the moment you finish it. I completed the game and published my review shortly before release, but in the following days, I have found myself continuing to play it, analyzing specific moments, and generally just trying to uncover every secret or detail I can. Below you will find some of my discoveries.

It's worth noting that page one of this feature is generally major spoiler-free, though it is still recommended you finish the game before diving in. Page two, however, is full of spoilers, so avoid that like the plague if you haven't completed Inside.

Early in the game, in the corn field, it is possible to find a secret darkroom room that houses one of the lamps necessary for unlocking Inside's alternate ending. There are pictures hanging from the ceiling, and if you wait in the room for awhile, one of the photos will develop. The GIF above shows a sped-up version of that wait. The picture is of a point later in the game, where you find a collection of the mindless creatures in a cage suspended over a gap between two buildings.

Should You Play Street Fighter V’s New Story Mode?

about X hours ago from
Should You Play Street Fighter V’s New Story Mode?

In February, Street Fighter V launched with strong gameplay mechanics, but not a ton of content. Over the past few months, Capcom has been balancing and adding modes, characters, and stages. The June update (which actually hit on July 1), was the most significant update yet. Not only did it finally implement the currency shop so that players could buy DLC with either Fight Money earned through playing or Zenny purchased with real money, but it brought with it two new characters and improved matchmaking. The biggest addition, however, is the cinematic story mode called "A Shadow Falls." I played through the new story mode in its entirety to give you an idea of whether it's worth your time or not.

A Shadow Falls is the first cinematic story mode to appear in the Street Fighter series. The many games of the Street Fighter series to this point have explained the narratives through different methods. At launch, Street Fighter V used illustrations with voiceover, which wasn't exactly action-packed. This new cinematic approach is a vast improvement, but it's not perfect.

10 Downs With A Madden 17 Designer

about X hours ago from

There is a lot going on with the new Madden, from gameplay to new ways for casual fans to get into the game, and what better way to take it in than sitting down with one of the people responsible for the game? We talked with designer Clint Oldenburg – a former NFL lineman – about details big and small for the title.

Eight Tips For Surviving And Hunting In Dead By Daylight

about X hours ago from

Despite fan backlash over DLC, Evolve had some pretty great ideas about how to shake up multiplayer gaming. If its legacy is experiences like Dead by Daylight, we can count ourselves lucky for Turtle Rock and 2K.

We’ve been playing Behaviour’s horror movie simulator, which tasks four players with surviving a frightful encounter with one of three different supernatural serial killers. The goals are simple. 

As the survivors, you need to find and power a number of generators, locate the exit, and get the heck out. While you’re sneaking through junkyards, corn fields, and abandoned mansions, there’s a monstrous murderer on your tail.

Liked That? Play This – Thematically Similar Horror Games You Might Have Missed

about X hours ago from

Horror is ambiguous – largely in part because it can affect so many facets of our minds. There is violent horror that makes one feel uneasy, psychological horror that preys on our fears and insecurities, and supernatural horror that plays with our fear of the unknown in the afterlife, just to name a few. We looked at today’s popular horror games to find a few games you may have missed similar in tone.

Did You Like The Last Of Us?

The Last Of Us does an excellent job of making its players feel uneasy. Alongside telling a story that tackles the human condition, what it means to live, and what it means to live with loss, the game also makes players deal with some of gaming’s hardest-to-watch moments. The way an enemy begs for his life right before Joel shoots him; the way touches of humanity slip from Runners’ mouths when beaten; the way Joel and Ellie have to desperately hide from those stalking them, is troubling and hard to watch. The Last Of Us’ portrayal of the means some will go for survival is, frankly, scary.