The 11 Worst Things That Happened To Us In XCOM 2

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It’s possible that XCOM 2 is harder than Firaxis’ last alien invasion. Thanks to a lot of clever thinking and a little bit of luck, we were able to overcome the odds and send those little green men packing, but our success in XCOM 2 didn’t come without a cost. We lost a lot of good soldiers and for a while things looked pretty bleak. The Game Informer editors share their alien horror stories from the front lines of XCOM 2.

Don't miss our review of XCOM 2.

Facing The Psychic HorrorsI was on a facility raiding mission (to knock back the Avatar counter) and Captain Jeff Cork was well-protected behind heavy cover. My scout ran into a pod of enemies, two Archons and a Gatekeeper. Due to dark events enemies had both poison ammunition and extra armor pips, but that’s irrelevant to what happened next. The Gatekeeper simply flew up next to Jeff Cork and hit him with a tendril-psi attack that only did 8 damage (not lethal by any stretch, given my armor and health pools at this point in the game), but it still instantly killed and zombified him. Thanks, XCOM 2. – Dan Tack

Opinion – Stop Selling Unfinished Games

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Opinion – Stop Selling Unfinished Games

A title's release day feels like a definitive moment. Development is finished and the public can experience the creators' vision. But that's more and more not the case as post-launch patches, DLC, the games-as-service model, and free updates continue to define a game after it comes out. Extending the experience – especially when it's free – is nothing to complain about, but what are we to think when the initial, release-day content itself was lacking from the start? We're seeing cases where games attempt to right launch-day wrongs by adding content later that arguably should have been there in the first place, a practice I hope doesn't continue.

To point out just a pair of examples: Star Wars Battlefront came out with 13 maps spread over four locations, leaving gamers wanting more. This foundation is being built up upon throughout this year, with two additional planets, maps, heroes, and more features. Considering the title's gameplay isn't super deep, had the maps shipped with the game to begin with it would have at least given players more to chew on instead of them quickly growing tired of the same locations.

Test Chamber – Taking The Challengers Of Street Fighter V For A Spin

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Street Fighter V, the latest entry in the fabled fighting franchise, hits next week. Our copy just came in, so we decided to check out the characters that are new to the franchise, and look at how some of the returning fighters have changed.

Join Dan Tack and myself as we face off over the course of several matches in Street Fighter V's versus mode. During that time, we look at most of the characters on the Street Fighter V roster, including all four of the newcomers. You can check out the video below.

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We Break Down The Highs And Lows Of Firewatch

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Campo Santo's new game Firewatch released on PlayStation 4 and PC today, letting players experience life as a seasonal park-service employee in Wyoming. There's more to the game than that description, as we highlight in our latest episode of Test Chamber. Check it out and see Henry and Delilah's burgeoning friendship, and get a sense of the game's leisurely pace. 

If you've been following the game's development, you've already read about Firewatch's opener, including Kim's preview. Rather than show that again, we skipped past the first day's events – which include a run-in with some skinny-dipping, fireworks-exploding teens; a mysterious figure with a flashlight; and a trashed station – and jumped to the game's second day. Jeff Marchiafava and I take a hike through the woods, investigate some power lines (Henry has a job to do, after all), and spend plenty of radio time with Delilah. We don't go into any spoilers in this Test Chamber, since we wanted people to experience the story themselves.

For more on the game, read my review.

Watch The Life And Many Deaths Of Unravel's Yarny

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Move over, woolly Yoshi – ever since his E3 debut, players have been pining over Unravel's crimson-stringed protagonist. But is the adorable yet vaguely demonic-looking Yarny worth your time? Find out in this comprehensive episode of Test Chamber.

Kyle, Reiner, and I put Yarny through his paces by tackling one of Unravel's mid-game levels, which happens to be full of bulldozers and toxic sewage. Kyle does his best to come up with creative new ways to burn and pulverize poor Yarny, while Reiner and I discuss the Unravel's many pros (and a few cons).

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Single Player Is Dead, Long Live Single Player

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At 2011’s European Game Developers Conference, industry veteran Mark Cerny rattled gamers’ cages when he told a room full of journalists he believes “the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years. Right now you sit in your living room and you're playing a game by yourself – we call it the sp mission or the single-player campaign. In a world with Facebook, I just don't think that's going to last."

Cerny’s prediction placed single-player gaming’s death at the end of 2014. These comments were said at a time when a good majority of developers were going out of their way to include multiplayer components into games. Even the strongest of the narrative driven adventure series (like BioShock, Singularity, Batman: Arkham, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Uncharted) invested significant development resources into multiplayer integration.

Gamers were flocking toward games like Call of Duty and Battlefield primarily for their multiplayer experiences. That was the “it” factor of the time. Multiplayer was king, and most publishers wanted in on the action. Stacked up to these juggernaut releases, a single-player shooter on its own seemed somewhat incomplete, no matter how good it was. That fallacy hung over the industry.

Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Comedy Writers Behind Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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One of the most consistent things about the Lego games from TT Games is the comedy. The developers in England have become masters of creating funny games, whether they're original stories or gag-filled film adaptations. While visiting TT Fusion for our March cover story on Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we spoke with the game's lead story designer Graham Goring and cutscene director Phil Gray talk about the process of turning Star Wars: The Force Awakens into a comedy. The duo break down their working relationship with Lego and Lucasfilm and also explain why certain scenes in the film were especially difficult to Lego-fy.

Watch the interview below to learn about the writing process for the Lego games and how they are handling that one scene.

Warning: The video contains the most spoileriest of spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Nintendo and AlphaDream Talk Mario, RPGs, And More

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Nintendo and AlphaDream Talk Mario, RPGs, And More

Game Informer recently had the chance to chat with both AlphaDream and Nintendo about not only the recently released Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam but about the Mario & Luigi series as a whole, as well as Paper Mario. Akira Otani, the producer of Paper Jam, answered our questions on behalf of Nintendo while Shunsuke Kobyashi, the game's director, answered for AlphaDream.

Game Informer: How inspired by the Paper Mario games was AlphaDream when it started making the Mario and Luigi games? Did they communicate much with Intelligent Systems when creating this new game?

AlphaDream: While we referenced all of the Paper Mario series games during production of this title, the title we were influenced by the most was definitely Paper Mario: Sticker Star. This is because we wanted to base the game on the latest data. We of course received advice and supervision from Intelligent Systems during production. We think that this is one of the reasons that we were able to refine our depiction of paper elements and better express the "paper-like" design in this title. If you look closely, you can see a white border around the paper characters, right? This did not exist in Sticker Star, but we think that this design makes it easier for the player to understand that "this is a paper character!"

Five Big Games To Play Instead Of Watching The Big Game

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Five Big Games To Play Instead Of Watching The Big Game

Today, an important football game will be played. Many will have their eyes on the game, but not everyone is a football fan. Much like today’s big game, these games within video games aren’t large in physical size. Rather, they play important roles in the context and stories in which they exist making them big, important games.

If you don’t plan on watching the big game this weekend, but want to join the inevitable work conversations surrounding it on Monday, you can play one of these big games. You may not be able to talk about the big game, but at least you will be able to talk about a big game.

Final Fantasy X – BlitzballFrom Final Fantasy X’s opening cutscene, it is apparent that Blitzball is an important part of Final Fantasy X’s worlds, and more importantly, of protagonist Tidus’ life. The game is played throughout Final Fantasy X’s multiple worlds as a means of distraction from the ever-present danger of Sin. It is the means by which Tidus meets and makes friends with what eventually becomes his party, and moves the story along at a few crucial moments. You can even build a team of Blitzballers to participate in tournaments.