2018’s Best Games Were About Change

about X hours ago from
2018’s Best Games Were About Change

2018 has been an interesting year for me. I ditched most of my social media platforms, embraced sobriety, became a vegetarian, and in general have tried to focus on finding validation through creation and self-acceptance. As such, the process has made it difficult to see the world as anything other than a series of changing states. However, in spite of that inclination, it's easy to see that some video games have been about change this year. I could spend a fair amount of time talking about what Sony pulling out of E3 means for one of gaming’s oldest reveal-laden extravaganzas, or grapple with how the boxed product of my youth is becoming less of a sure thing as games as services continue the rise.

Instead of industry trends, however, I’ve always endeavored to make The Virtual Life about the games themselves and what they say about what it is to be human. So, for this year’s last column, I’m gonna talk about God of War and Red Dead Redemption II one more time — specifically how they tackle the concept of change to great effect.  Be warned, heavy endgame spoilers for both titles ahead.

Fallout 76 Hotfix Addresses Enemies Not Taking Damage

about X hours ago from
Fallout 76 Hotfix Addresses Enemies Not Taking Damage

Bethesda has released notes detailing a new hotfix for Fallout 76. While the notes address a handful of smaller bugs like PC client stability and a fix for a bug that allowed users to duplicate items, the final note is slightly more consequential.

According to the hotfix notes, this update, "Addressed an issue that could prevent high-damage and explosive weapons from dealing damage to enemies, or cause enemies to heal immediately after taking damage." In our editor playthroughs of the game, we intermittently ran into this issue. While we don't know the extent of incidence in the wider community, it's great to hear this bug is being resolved. 

Bethesda says that while PC players will have to complete a small download to receive these changes, console players should notice these fixes with no download required.

Meet The Unstable Wastelanders Of Rage 2

about X hours ago from
Meet The Unstable Wastelanders Of Rage 2

The characters in Rage 2 are insane, but living through an apocalypse will do that to you. Avalanche Studios has spent a great deal of time dreaming up the inhabitants for Rage 2’s chaotic post-apocalyptic world. During our recent cover-story trip to Avalanche we talked with the team about this bizarre cast and got an extensive breakdown of their roles in the world. Here’s a deeper look at some of the odd people you’ll meet during your time with Avalanche and id’s bombastic open-world shooter.

Prowley is a highly capable ranger who raised Walker (Rage 2’s protagonist). She is not Walker’s biological mom, but she raised him alongside her own daughter, Lily. Avalanche says Lily’s father was a mysterious stranger, which left us wondering if his reveal would be important to Rage 2’s story. Regardless, Aunt Prowley, Lily, and Walker were a tight-knit group. Unfortunately, Lily doesn’t have nanotechnology, so she can’t use the high-tech gear that Walker has, and she doesn’t have his powers, which sparked a friendly rivalry within the family.

about X hours ago from

The characters in Rage 2 are insane, but living through an apocalypse will do that to you. Avalanche Studios has spent a great deal of time dreaming up the inhabitants for Rage 2’s chaotic post-apocalyptic world. During our recent cover-story trip to Avalanche we talked with the team about this bizarre cast and got an extensive breakdown of their roles in the world. Here’s a deeper look at some of the odd people you’ll meet during your time with Avalanche and id’s bombastic open-world shooter.

Prowley is a highly capable ranger who raised Walker (Rage 2’s protagonist). She is not Walker’s biological mom, but she raised him alongside her own daughter, Lily. Avalanche says Lily’s father was a mysterious stranger, which left us wondering if his reveal would be important to Rage 2’s story. Regardless, Aunt Prowley, Lily, and Walker were a tight-knit group. Unfortunately, Lily doesn’t have nanotechnology, so she can’t use the high-tech gear that Walker has, and she doesn’t have his powers, which sparked a friendly rivalry within the family.

Replay – Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

about X hours ago from
Replay – Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Watch the Game Informer crew find new ways to take down targets in this look back at one of Agent 47's earliest assignments. Game Informer gave Hitman 2: Silent Assassin an 8.5 when it released in 2002, saying it is a "thinking person's shooter." In this episode of Replay we prove this quote wrong, and show that you don't need to think to succeed. You just need to fire bullets in the general direction of enemies. While we fail miserably at stealth, we do end up making good progress into the game, and even show off one of the game's more creative levels.

We spend the entire episode playing Hitman 2, and wanted to see more of it before we had to say goodbye. Let us know what you think of Hitman 2 (both the old version and the new one) in the comments section below. We'll see you again in seven days!

Replay – Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

about X hours ago from
Replay – Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Watch the Game Informer crew find new ways to take down targets in this look back at one of Agent 47's earliest assignments. Game Informer gave Hitman 2: Silent Assassin an 8.5 when it released in 2002, saying it is a "thinking person's shooter." In this episode of Replay we prove this quote wrong, and show that you don't need to think to succeed. You just need to fire bullets in the general direction of enemies. While we fail miserably at stealth, we do end up making good progress into the game, and even show off one of the game's more creative levels.

We spend the entire episode playing Hitman 2, and wanted to see more of it before we had to say goodbye. Let us know what you think of Hitman 2 (both the old version and the new one) in the comments section below. We'll see you again in seven days!

Top Of The Table – Pandemic: Fall of Rome

about X hours ago from
Top Of The Table – Pandemic: Fall of Rome

Pandemic is one of those rare board games that has breached out of the hobby market, and has at least a passing familiarity from a more mainstream game-playing public. And there’s good reason for that. The original Pandemic offers a tense and rewarding loop, in which players work together to halt the spread of disease around the world. Just a few weeks ago, that original game found itself on my list of best gateway games to invite new players into the fold.

The formula and gameplay of Pandemic is surprisingly flexible, and that means publisher Z-Man Games has been able to transition the concept over to other themes and settings, overlaying the core gameplay loop onto new ideas that have little or nothing to do with disease outbreaks. The latest and probably most dramatic of these standalone variations is Pandemic: Fall of Rome. Here, players control the leaders of the Western Roman Empire as the barbarian hordes press in from every direction. Through combat, diplomacy, and even corrupt edicts, you and your friends must hold the line. The resulting desperate scramble to save civilization is a ton of fun.

Top Of The Table – Pandemic: Fall of Rome

about X hours ago from
Top Of The Table – Pandemic: Fall of Rome

Pandemic is one of those rare board games that has breached out of the hobby market, and has at least a passing familiarity from a more mainstream game-playing public. And there’s good reason for that. The original Pandemic offers a tense and rewarding loop, in which players work together to halt the spread of disease around the world. Just a few weeks ago, that original game found itself on my list of best gateway games to invite new players into the fold.

The formula and gameplay of Pandemic is surprisingly flexible, and that means publisher Z-Man Games has been able to transition the concept over to other themes and settings, overlaying the core gameplay loop onto new ideas that have little or nothing to do with disease outbreaks. The latest and probably most dramatic of these standalone variations is Pandemic: Fall of Rome. Here, players control the leaders of the Western Roman Empire as the barbarian hordes press in from every direction. Through combat, diplomacy, and even corrupt edicts, you and your friends must hold the line. The resulting desperate scramble to save civilization is a ton of fun.