Top 10 Action Games To Play Right Now

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Top 10 Action Games To Play Right Now

Over the years, what defines a game as the “action” category has gotten more ambiguous than ever, as many games now include aspects of multiple core genres. However, one thing remains certain – games in this category give the player a polished, exciting experience. So, what is this list all about? This isn’t a Top 10 Action Games of All Time list or a Top 10 Action Games of a Generation list. Instead, we’re tackling this one from the angle of what’s important, what’s incredible, and what’s fantastic right now. As in today. This week. This month. So when you don’t see a Dark Souls game on this list, that’s why even though I’d recommend a fresh playthrough of Dark Souls 3 every day. This ever-shifting list aims to capture the highlights of the now and what we think you’d love to be playing this very moment. Presented in alphabetical order, this list keeps it fresh. Let’s dive in!

Cover Reveal – Marvel’s Midnight Suns

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Cover Reveal – Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Marvel is on a tear. We all know that the company has been a dominant force in comics and films for some time, but that powerhouse has recently begun to make a more significant push into the game space. Insomniacs’ two Spider-Man games are huge standouts, but last year’s Avengers title from Crystal Dynamics also offered a fun narrative campaign, and this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy from Eidos-Montreal looks to deliver a rollercoaster sci-fi epic backed by meaningful player choice. Not to mention, if you go on the marketplace of your mobile device, you’ll find several Marvel games – such as Marvel Strike Force – spread across multiple genres.

As if that wasn’t enough, next year, we’ll see the release of Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a brand-new strategy-RPG from Firaxis, the studio behind iconic strategy series like Civilization and XCOM. Firaxis’ XCOM team is working on Midnight Suns, and the team aims to offer its rich knowledge of strategy systems while exploring the darker side of the Marvel universe. Check out the full cover below by renowned comic artist Ryan Stegman. 

Destiny 2: Season Of The Lost Continues Bungie's Recent Pivot To A More Raw, Honest Form Of Storytelling

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Destiny 2: Season Of The Lost Continues Bungie's Recent Pivot To A More Raw, Honest Form Of Storytelling

Much like the first Destiny, Destiny 2 fell into a rut at launch. The game launched under the Activision helm as its publisher and while the team did include a more in-depth story as requested from fans of the first game, the endgame content and most immediate subsequent expansions did little to connect with players. Between the controversies of paywalls, consulted narratives, and a grind that didn't seem to be going anywhere, Destiny 2's future started out in a precarious place. Then Bungie separated from Activision and became its own studio once more and while unraveling influence on that scale takes time, we first saw the teams gain their footing with the Forsaken DLC, and then again with Shadowkeep. Where Bungie truly found its rhythm was with the Season of the Chosen and Splicer, weaving meaningful tales that go beyond what we've seen before within the game. Bungie explored themes only briefly touched on in the past and that decision paid off.

During the recent Witch Queen showcase, Bungie confirmed that it has seen the positive reactions from the community regarding the last two seasons and that the team wants to lean into that, eschewing the reliance on grimoires and making the story more available for all to enjoy. Season of the Lost has only just begun, but it has already shown promise for continuing on the powerful momentum gained with the previous two seasons. 

Dating Is Terrible In Boyfriend Dungeon, And Maybe That’s The Point

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Dating Is Terrible In Boyfriend Dungeon, And Maybe That’s The Point

Dating isn’t something we often talk about fondly. Sure, there’s excitement in getting to know new people and the hope that we'll all find that special someone. Still, the process is exhausting and anxiety-provoking, full of awkward exchanges and embarrassing moments. Figuring out if you’re compatible with someone takes time, and that time rarely turns into an actual love connection. That’s part of what I find really fascinating about Boyfriend Dungeon. It doesn’t romanticize dating. Every potential love interest is an imperfect being, complete with flaws and their own baggage. You simply have to decide what you can put up with.

The dating sim genre often presents picture-perfect love. The process takes an idealized form, just like we see in romance novels and romantic comedies.  A wonderful person shows up and says all the right things, and even if they make a mistake, they make up for it with some grand gesture that makes us swoon so hard that all is forgotten. In video games, we get more choice and agency in our narratives, making them a bit more personal when we decide which romance to pursue. People have their reasons for choosing one person over another. Some like pining for those who play hard to get, while others want a kindhearted soul. And sometimes, it really is just about the muscles.

5 Things We're Excited For With Destiny 2: The Witch Queen And Season Of The Lost

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5 Things We're Excited For With Destiny 2: The Witch Queen And Season Of The Lost

Bungie promised a big reveal for Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, but we got so much more than that. Not only can Guardians jump into Season of the Lost starting today, the studio also shared what the Witch Queen expansion will bring to the table, including the best darn weapon from Destiny 1 in existence. Since there is so much to discuss, we figured we'd break down our top 5 features revealed during the Witch Queen showcase. 

The bulk of the showcase centered around Witch Queen and the seasons that it will encompass, though there were some 30-year celebrations thrown in as well! The Witch Queen will be a new campaign that aims to bring the narrative full circle when reflecting back on the lore around the Hive god and her siblings in their bid for power on Fundament, the Hive home world. With Mara Sov's return and Osiris being... hmm, you know - Season of the Lost will lead into the new expansion, continuing on the incredible storytelling that truly hit its stride with Season of the Chosen and Splicer

So what are we most excited about with Witch Queen and Season of the Lost? Let's dive in!

Inside The Mind of Tim Schafer

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Inside The Mind of Tim Schafer

Tim Schafer likes Star Wars. But as far as he’s concerned, Lucasfilm’s video games were the company’s greatest creative output. In the early ’80s, George Lucas’ burgeoning computer division explored a few forms of entertainment outside of the movie industry. In 1984, the company released a sci-fi-inspired sports game called Ballblazer as well as a primordial first-person shooter set in space called Rescue on Fractalus! To Schafer, these games were a revelation. The video game industry, on the whole, seemed almost magical.

“I was there at the beginning,” Schafer says. “I remember my dad bringing home a Magnavox Odyssey, the first home arcade console ever and just being so fascinated with it. Sometimes it feels funny to explain to people why it’s exciting to see things moving on a screen. I’m trying to talk to my daughter about it. She’s grown up with smartphones, and I’m like, ‘No, you don’t understand. TV was controlled by other people, and then you could make dots move on it!’ It was so fascinating.”

Crush 40 Guitarist Jun Senoue Talks The Band's Creation And The Evolution Of Sonic Music

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Crush 40 Guitarist Jun Senoue Talks The Band's Creation And The Evolution Of Sonic Music

The early Sonic games were renowned for their music, so when the sound changed from its more traditional video game-style fare as heard on Genesis and Sega CD to the hard rock music that floods the soundtracks of modern Sonic games, it was a big risk. However, Sega was able to effectively usher in the modern era of Sonic music thanks in large part to Crush 40, a band fronted by vocalist Johnny Gioeli and guitarist Jun Senoue. Gioeli, a longtime rock veteran, has fronted several bands including Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell, while Senoue began working on Sega's sound team on games like Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sega Rally 2.

While fans of the modern era of Sonic games are familiar with the band's many tracks, which include beloved songs like "Open Your Heart," "Live & Learn," and "Sonic Heroes," new or lapsed fans had an excellent excuse to dive into the sounds of Crush 40 during last month's Sonic Symphony 30th Anniversary concert (you can watch the whole thing here). Following the positive reception of that virtual performance, we reached out to Senoue to learn more about his time working in games, the formation of Crush 40, and the band's biggest hits.

The Next Metroid Should Take Inspirations From Indie Games

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The Next Metroid Should Take Inspirations From Indie Games

In 2009, Chair Entertainment and Epic Games released Shadow Complex, a side-scrolling platforming adventure about a man named Jason who explores a massive underground complex, slowly acquiring high-tech gear that turns him into a one-man army. I was absolutely stoked to get my hands on the title because of one word the developers used when talking about their inspirations. That word: Metroid.

At the time, Shadow Complex felt like something fresh and new because, in 2009, games in the vein of Metroid were a rarity. That is no longer the case. In 2021 alone, we’ve seen titles like Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights, Grime, Greak: Memories of Azur, Narita Boy, Astalon: Tears of the Earth, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch, and Axiom Verge 2, all of which take some inspiration from Nintendo’s classic series. And – oh yeah – Nintendo is releasing Metroid Dread in October. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the games that cite Metroid as an inspiration.

This colossal influx of Metroid-like games is an incredible boon for fans, but I worry about what this means for the franchise that started it all. The indie boom over the last decade has allowed designers and small teams to create rich and inventive spins on Metroid’s formula, but can Nintendo keep up with the innovation?

Using EA Sports UFC 4 To Predict How UFC Tournaments Would Play Out In 2021

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Using EA Sports UFC 4 To Predict How UFC Tournaments Would Play Out In 2021

In 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship burst onto the scene, pitting masters of different martial arts disciplines against one another in a bracket-style tournament. The UFC has evolved and grown in a multitude of ways in the nearly three decades since that first event in Denver. Still, with other major promotions like Bellator and the Professional Fighters League experimenting with bracket-style tournaments, many fans wonder what would happen if UFC returned to its roots and hosted its own. We decided to find out for ourselves, using the best tool at our disposal: EA Sports UFC 4.

Using the current official UFC rankings found on the promotion's website, I constructed eight-person tournament brackets featuring the highest-ranked fighters of each weight class (aside from women's featherweight, since there are no official rankings and EA Sports UFC 4 only has two active fighters from that division). The seeding is based on current ranking, though for some high-profile fighters who are in the process of changing weight classes (like Jon Jones or Cody Garbrandt), I had to plug them in where it made the most sense. I then watched every fight as the A.I.-controlled combatants duked it out. Each fight was scheduled for three rounds, except for the championship fight at the end, which could go five rounds.