Eight Video Game Franchises That Make Sense For VR

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Eight Video Game Franchises That Make Sense For VR

No more waiting; VR is finally here. Except we are still waiting – waiting for some games that we’d really like to play with our new toys. The Rift and Vive both have some novel launch experiences, but they are a far cry from the system-selling titles that gamers are used to seeing year-in and year-out on other platforms. While you wait for the libraries on the Vive and Rift to expand, let’s dream about which some established franchises we’d like to see make the move to VR.

X-WingEve: Valkyrie has already established that space-based shooters work really well in VR, so we’d like to see the king of space shooters make the plunge. Sure, we’ve done the Death Star trench run a million times in games at this point, but VR finally allows us to relive those epic space fights as we always dreamed we would.


Burnout
Car accidents are incredibly dangerous and no one wants to actually be in one, but as the Burnout series has taught us, smashing two souped-up muscle cars into each other creates an amazing visual display. That display will be even more impressive if players could experience it in a full 360-degree environment. We also wouldn’t mind a mode where you could pause time and actually walk around these car pile-ups – from the safety of your well-insulated house. Also, we really just want another Burnout game.

Afterwords – The Elegant Challenge Of Jonthan Blow's The Witness

about X hours ago from
Afterwords – The Elegant Challenge Of Jonthan Blow's The Witness

The Witness is one of the early success stories of 2016, with critical acclaim (including our review) and encouraging sales numbers. Developer Jonathan Blow and his team at Thekla began the project in 2008, but the years of waiting have paid off for players in the form of an intriguing puzzle game unlike anything else. We chatted with Blow about creating the experience, the significance of certain puzzles, and his reaction to the whole pee-bottle thing.

This article originally ran in Game Informer issue 276.

In 2014, reports indicated that The Witness was nearing the finish line. Were there any big changes that pushed the release to 2016? Nothing really changed. “Finish line” is relative, right? I didn’t think it would be as long as it has been; I was thinking, “Oh, maybe six or eight months, we’ll have this wrapped up.” But everyone has a different interpretation. Basically, that was a time when all of the major components of the gameplay were finalized…it just maybe needed to go faster, or certain objects needed to feel better. Because it’s such a big game, this finishing took a long time. If it comes down to working on it three more months or having something be kinda crappy, I’d rather work on it three more months. There was no dramatic setback or anything.

PlayStation Vue Isn't A Cable Killer, But It Could Cut Your Bill In Half

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PlayStation Vue Isn't A Cable Killer, But It Could Cut Your Bill In Half

Sony's PlayStation Vue streaming TV service has rolled out nationwide, and it presents the exciting possibility of canceling your cable subscription and still retaining a range of channels and even cloud-based DVR functionality. What is PS Vue, and is it worth it? I tested out the service via the free seven-day trial (later deciding to pay for the month) and took a look at its particulars.

What You Need

Vue requires a PlayStation account (but you don't need PlayStation Plus); a PS4, PS3, Chromecast*, or Amazon Fire TV device; a TV; and an Internet connection. On this last point, Sony suggests a minimum connection of 10mbps, plus 5mbps for every additional stream (more on that later).

Black Desert Online: An Oasis For Sandbox MMORPG Lovers

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Black Desert Online: An Oasis For Sandbox MMORPG Lovers

If you’re looking for a dungeon-oriented, raid-centric endgame MMORPG where it’s all about getting to level cap and gearing up, Black Desert Online isn’t for you.  If  themepark-style MMORPGs where you’re getting your tickets to ride the dungeons and raids are losing their luster for you, Black Desert Online may be exactly what you’re looking for. After several years in Korea, Pearl Abyss’s sandbox-style romp comes to North America, offering a wildly different approach to the genre. The open-ended experience has a hefty focus on developing your character in ways outside of level-ups and armaments.

That’s not to say there isn’t leveling and all kinds of gear to collect; those elements are still in play, but there are no instanced dungeons or raids. Instead of bashing your way to a boss, you may opt to cultivate a network of workers and NPC allies, forming trade routes to acquire resources, developing a home that other players can visit, or just getting in there yourself and farming the next big crop of potatoes. And you must plan your actions around a dynamic weather system and a day/night cycle as well. Pro-tip: Things can get hard to see at night, so bring a lantern if you plan to roam the woods after dark.

Details On Epic’s Abandoned Vision For Gears Of War 4

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Details On Epic’s Abandoned Vision For Gears Of War 4

Epic Games created the Gears of War franchise, and the series became incredibly successful for the studio. So after wrapping up the original Gears trilogy, the company wasn’t planning on putting Gears in a box and throwing it in cold storage. While People Can Fly helped co-develop the side story that became Gears of War: Judgment, a smaller team inside Epic itself started to dream up a proper Gears of War 4. This is everything we know about what happened to that project.

Gears of War became something of a flagship for Epic Games. The first entry released almost a decade ago, and quickly became the fastest selling title of 2006. Gears of War 2 fared even better, selling more than two million copies on its first weekend, while Gears 3 pushed the series past 1 billion in sales, becoming the second Xbox franchise to ever hit that milestone (the first being Halo). According to The Coalition, Gears fans have played more than 2.3 billion hours of Gears of War’s multiplayer – logging in 22 million hours on Gears of War 3 in January of this year alone.

It’s hard to ignore the fact that Gears of War is a popular brand, and Epic would have been foolish to not consider making a Gears of War 4. Unsurprisingly, the company did begin work on a Gears 4, but that project likely looked a bit different from the one that The Coalition is now working on.

The Best Stardew Valley Mods (So Far)

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The Best Stardew Valley Mods (So Far)

Stardew Valley has barely been out for a month and its passionate community is already creating useful, creative, and utterly bizarre mods for the game. Here are some of our favorites. Be sure to read the installation notes for each of these mods before you install them because the process for some of them is more than a teensy bit complicated.

CJB Cheats MenuNot patient? Wanna succeed in Stardew Valley and get on the fast track to building your open-range empire. Why not cheat? CJB's cheat menu is a simple mod that lives up to its name, essentially functioning as a trainer for the game and giving you a menu of cheats and shortcuts, like letting you kill enemies in one hit or controlling the weather. You can watch the whole thing in action as well as step-by-step instructions for how to install it here:

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Unboxing The Newest Kingdom Hearts Riku Figure From Play Arts

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Over the next weeks, new Kingdom Hearts figures from Play Arts are debuting. We recently looked at the new Halloween Town Sora, so this week we're giving Riku his time to shine.

This is the grown-up version of Riku, so naturally he's a bit taller than the Sora figure, measuring at W 3.15” x D 2.6” x H 9." Riku comes out a little later than Sora, releasing on April 15.

On the box Riku looks ready for action, but let's see what happens when we open it...

Making Max Payne – How Hong Kong Kung Fu And Family Photo Shoots Built A Noir Thriller

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Quantum Break, the next game from developer Remedy, is right around the corner with an April 5 release date. Ahead of the studio's next big story-driven third-person shooter, we're looking back at the game that put the Finnish studio on the map – Max Payne. We spoke with its writer and reluctant Max Payne model, Sam Lake, all about how the game came together. This feature originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Game Informer magazine.

Max Payne was not the first game to come out of Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment, but it became the developer’s first major success and set a standard and aesthetic style for the studio moving forward. Max’s overwrought noir dialogue, dark tone, story focus, and third-person shooting with an unconventional hook have been translated into staples of Remedy games, even up to its upcoming Xbox One game, Quantum Break, which we featured on our cover in December 2015.

Afterwords – The Elegant Challenge Of Jonthan Blow's The Witness

about X hours ago from
Afterwords – The Elegant Challenge Of Jonthan Blow's The Witness

The Witness is one of the early success stories of 2016, with critical acclaim (including our review) and encouraging sales numbers. Developer Jonathan Blow and his team at Thekla began the project in 2008, but the years of waiting have paid off for players in the form of an intriguing puzzle game unlike anything else. We chatted with Blow about creating the experience, the significance of certain puzzles, and his reaction to the whole pee-bottle thing.

This article originally ran in Game Informer issue 276.

In 2014, reports indicated that The Witness was nearing the finish line. Were there any big changes that pushed the release to 2016? Nothing really changed. “Finish line” is relative, right? I didn’t think it would be as long as it has been; I was thinking, “Oh, maybe six or eight months, we’ll have this wrapped up.” But everyone has a different interpretation. Basically, that was a time when all of the major components of the gameplay were finalized…it just maybe needed to go faster, or certain objects needed to feel better. Because it’s such a big game, this finishing took a long time. If it comes down to working on it three more months or having something be kinda crappy, I’d rather work on it three more months. There was no dramatic setback or anything.

Top 10 Fourth Wall Breaking Moments

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When games break the fourth wall, it allows for a deeper sense of interactivity that no other medium comes near to accomplishing. These moments can include acknowledging the presence of the player, self-aware mind tricks, and clever commentary on video game tropes. Games like Pony Island dabble into metafictional territory by being a video game inside a video game, and others like EarthBound reach out to the player on a personal level to help defeat a boss battle. Breaking the fourth wall is by no means a new concept, and several games have tackled it. This list aims to single out the more memorable moments that we believe are handled in a way that is skillful, and many times comical, way.

Honorable mentions: The Beginner’s Guide (the narrator speaks directly to the player, but not much of a “wall” is put up in the first place), the Tomb Raider II shower scene, and Jak 3.

Spoiler warning: If you haven’t played these titles, read at your own discretion.