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

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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. 

Opinion – Redefining Victory As Gaming Goes More Mainstream

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Opinion – Redefining Victory As Gaming Goes More Mainstream

Growing up, the bus ride to school served as the bragging grounds for my friends and me. I distinctly remember reveling in my accomplishment of getting through the special zone of Super Mario World, only to have my friend throw his successful completion of Mega Man 2 in my face later that week. Constantly trying to one-up each other was always fun, but the feeling of accomplishment was what made the battle most worthwhile.

This feature was originally published March 24, 2016.

I haven’t had any rivalries like that in my adult life, so when a fellow Game Informer editor challenged me to keep a record of all the games that I beat in 2016, I jumped at the chance to reignite the sense of competition that I enjoyed so much during my youth. I started off strong, beating both Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tales from the Borderlands within the first two weeks of the year, but after plowing through a couple more titles, I realized the games I’ve polished off feel different than the ones I played during my formative years.

The 10 Greatest Versus Rivalries In Video Games

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The 10 Greatest Versus Rivalries In Video Games

This feature was originally published on March 22, 2016.

The upcoming release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has us thinking about some of the memorable confrontations in gaming. We’ve chosen these one-on-one contests not just because they made for great fights, but because the conflict between the two individuals in each case defines our memory of the game. Sometimes a powerful rivalry is as potent and engaging as the most romantic of love stories or enduring of friendships. Here are our picks for the greatest video game match-ups in history.

NOTE: Most of the games on this list are older classics, but they do discuss SPOILERS about the major conflicts and characters of those games. You have been warned.

Replay – Kabuki Warriors

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Receiving the low, low score of .5 out of 10, Kabuki Warriors is one of the lowest scored titles in Game Informer history. Andy McNamara, who gave the game this abysmal rating, joins us for a look back at one of his most detested games. Kabuki Warriors was developed by Genki and released exclusively for Xbox on November 19 2001.

We dive into the game's career mode to show off its unique fighting mechanics, dance moves (yes, you read that correctly), and character trading. We also play a few competitive rounds, with Andy giving us a good look at a fighting style that made his Kabuki Warriors review famous. Does he still have the skills to hit the buttons with his...well...you'll have to watch the episode to see what Andy does, but you may want to hide the children first.

After this brief look at another horrible game from yesteryear, comes the first round of the Super Replay Showdown with matches between Jeff Cork and Kyle Hilliard, Dan Tack and Brian Shea, Jeff Marchiafava and Javy Gwaltney (named by George Lucas), and Kim Wallace, Ben Reeves, and me. If you aren't familiar with our annual Super Replay Showdown, the winner of the tournament gets to play the game of their choosing for an entire Super Replay! That's a complete playthrough of a game with our commentary and shenanigans included.

Analysis – Don’t Count On A 4K Future Quite Yet

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Analysis – Don’t Count On A 4K Future Quite Yet

Last week, Kotaku reported that Sony was planning a new version of its PlayStation 4 hardware, which could play games at 4K resolution. Before you speed over to your nearest big-box retailer and throw your wallet at a new television, however, keep a couple of things in mind. First, while a few anonymous sources have said that such a device is in the works, it’s not anything close to an official confirmation. Indeed, playing games at 4K is just one of several possibilities. But more importantly, such a console simply isn’t viable considering the current state of the market.

On its surface, the idea of running games at 4K resolutions sounds great. Right now, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 top off at resolutions of 1080p, which is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. A 4K display bumps that up to either 4,096 x 2,160 or 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, depending on which of the two standards you’re using (DCI 4K or UHD-1, respectively).