Opinion – Redefining Victory As Gaming Goes More Mainstream

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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.

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.

Fallout 4 Automatron DLC Impressions: All Brains And Brawn

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From Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's meaty Shivering Isles expansion to Fallout 3's numerous (and exceptional) add-ons, Bethesda Game Studios has a long history of making meaningful downloadable content for its games. Fallout 4's first DLC offering follows suit. Automatron features a wonderfully penned quest line that, while short, ends up affecting the entire Commonwealth, and adds a nice layer of depth to an already deep experience.

Once downloaded, Automatron integrates into your existing Fallout 4 playthrough, but requires the player be at least level 15 to access the first mission. As soon as a save file is loaded, your character is alerted of the impending robot war. Bethesda wastes no time throwing players into harm's way. Before you even know anything about the war, you are pulled into a battle against a powerful legion of robots. This new crop of enemies challenge you in different ways. Some robots are all about fire power, while others use an octopus-like smoke-screen ability to mask their movements. The new enemy types are in great abundance, and they all drop unique loot.

Test Chamber – The Dangerous World Of Salt And Sanctuary

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Test Chamber – The Dangerous World Of Salt And Sanctuary

Since its release last week on PS4, we’ve been exploring and enjoying Ska Studios’ Salt and Sanctuary. Daniel Tack and I sat down to take a look at my in-process playthrough of the game, and discussed the tone of the game world, the nature of its flexible character customization, and the challenge of its minion monsters and bosses. 

Join us to take a look at the gothic, undead world of the game, and decide if Salt and Sanctuary’s unique breed of action is for you. 

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 24, 2016)

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 Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 24, 2016)

This week's blogs had a lot of Assassin's Creed going on when it came to things that were overrated. Aside from that, we've an eclectic mix of topics to read about, so dig in and enjoy.

Community Blogs For March 17 – March 23:

The Greatest Video Game "Period Pieces" That Guy... writes about games that do a great job of representing the time period they take place in. I mean, when people traveled west they did get dysentery like, every other week, right? But to be perfectly serious, these games really dive into their setting and place in history. Just check out this interview I transcribed for Game Informer's Matt Miller to find out how deeply Assassin's Creed dove into pirate history. At the time I didn't even know what game was being talked about, but was excited to play it based on the depths the team went to recreate pirate history.  

10 Modern Games That Are Challenging Yet Rewarding

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The release of Dark Souls III is only a few weeks away, and with it comes an uptick in the discussion about challenge and difficulty in games. When most people talk about these factors in modern video games, they seem to equate everything to the Souls series. This can marginalize the Souls games in a way (especially when they aren’t really that punishing), but more importantly, it neglects the many other titles that still provide a good challenge in an industry that often favors mass-appeal experiences.

With that in mind, we've created a list of modern games that rival Dark Souls in terms of challenge, but also maintain a similar sense of reward and accomplishment. It's important to note that these titles are in no particular order. 

The Banner SagaDeveloper: Stoic StudioPlatform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android

Test Chamber – Disney Infinity 3.0's New Marvel Battlegrounds Playset Ruins Office Civility

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Test Chamber – Disney Infinity 3.0's New Marvel Battlegrounds Playset Ruins Office Civility

DIsney Infinity 3.0 recently launched its latest playset, which is based in the Marvel universe. Marvel Battlegrounds is an old-school brawler that lets up four player fights in Powerstone-like matches. It also breaks several of the conventions that the Disney Infinity franchise has established, and it does so in some interesting ways. Watch as Kyle, Wade, and I play a couple rounds and push our relationships to the limit.

Four players can compete, but the Infinity Base only supports two figures at a time. How does that work? We show you how to import characters into the roster one by one, which are then added to the character-select screen for the duration of the gameplay session. You can also use trial tokens, which are earned by playing the game, to test characters out before spending the cash on the physical toy. 

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Test Chamber – Who Is Linkle And How Does Hyrule Warriors Legends Perform On 3DS?

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Hyrule Warriors Legends releases on Friday, and we took a quick early look at the game to meet Linkle and see how the game performs on 3DS.

Hyrule Warriors Legends works pretty well on New 3DS, keeping up with the Wii U version of the game in some respects, but when played on the original model 3DS or the 2DS, the game takes a serious hit. In the video below, Jeff Cork and I play the game on an original 3DS noting the disparity by placing some footage from one of the game's trailers right next to it, and playing through some of the new Linkle story content.

Hyrule Warriors Legends releases on 3DS on Friday, March 25. Our review of the game will be online soon.

Over 100 New Screenshots Tell The Story Of Destiny’s Return To The Reef

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We just posted an interview with Bungie’s Ryan Paradis, the live events lead designer who has been in charge of the Destiny update coming on April 12. In addition to those details, you can now feast your eyes on a bevy of screenshots that show off the new content.

The screens below show off several new game elements. Screenshots from the Prison of Elders show off how the Taken will be joining the arena-based mode. Additional screenshots reveal a new story mission that is a part of the At The Gates quest line. New Reef screenshots show off that the abandoned quest kiosk and the Eververse Trading Company will now be accessible while visiting the Vestian Outpost social space. And new strike screenshots show off both the entirely new Blighted Chalice strike, as well as the redux version of Winter’s Run, now with the inclusion of Taken enemies.  

To keep things manageable, we've included 15 of our favorite screens in the media gallery below. Almost 90 additional new screens are available on our Destiny: The Taken King central page. Enjoy the new images! 

The New Direction For Gears Of War 4's Story

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We've touched on how Gears of War 4 is tweaking the gameplay to the beloved series, but with this feature we want to focus on the game's story and The Coalition's approach to storytelling for the new generation of Gears of War. While visiting the studio for our Gears of War 4 cover story, we spoke to Gears of War 4's creative director Chuck Osieja and studio head Rod Fergusson about updating the series' tone, avoiding character archetypes, and the goal of launching a larger Gears of War universe.

Watch the video interview below to learn more about The Coalition's ambitions and the story fans will experience in Gears of War 4.

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