From Mr. Untouchable To Goodfellas – Mafia III’s Inspirations

about X hours ago from
From Mr. Untouchable To Goodfellas – Mafia III’s Inspirations

Like quilt makers, game developers take little bits of inspirations from various sources of popular culture and history in order to weave the larger tapestry of their games. Set in a fictitious version of New Orleans in 1968, Mafia III has a rich background of influences. We spoke with Hangar 13’s creative leads about the various movies, books, and historical events that help the studio flesh out this colorful world.

Nicky BarnesDubbed Mr. Untouchable, Barnes was an American drug lord and crime boss who ran a notorious New York-based criminal organization known as The Council throughout the ‘70s. Barnes controlled most of the heroin trade in Harlem and learned how to run his organization directly from the Italian mafia. He was eventually arrested and became a government informant.

Hangar 13’s inspiration: “We wanted to show the dissolution and fall from grace of the mob, and them being exposed for who they were, which was brutal criminals,” says senior writer Charles Webb. “It nice to see this sort of de-romanticizing these criminals who seemed like noble members of their community. We keep coming back to Nicky Barnes, who’s interesting because the dude was a cool player. He cut a very striking figure. He was a criminal, but he was also a guy who snitched on his own people and left a lot of bodies in his wake.”

Unboxing Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector's Edition

about X hours ago from
Unboxing Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector's Edition

Halo 5: Guardians officially releases tonight. With all the excitement in the air we thought it'd be a perfect time to check out what's inside the Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector's Edition. Many of you who preordered this massive crate have already received it in the mail, but for those who haven't and wanna get a closer look at the goodies inside, check out the video below. I hope you guys enjoy, and see you in matchmaking!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Top 25 PlayStation 2 Games - The Games That Defined A Generation

about X hours ago from

(This article originally appeared on September 27, 2009. Today, we revisit things in honor of the PS2's 15th anniversary.)

With over 100 million units sold worldwide and a lifespan stretching far beyond any other console to date, the PlayStation 2 is the most successful video game platform of all time. As they say, a system is only as good as its games, and the PlayStation 2 provides a library fit for its 100 million players. As we compiled this list, we found hundreds of games that we would love to play again. Paring down to just 25 proved to be difficult, as the PlayStation 2 wasn’t graced by just great individual games, but entire series worthy of playing. Here is Game Informer’s selection for the Top 25 must-play PlayStation 2 games or series.

25 Disgaea seriesHow deep can a turn-based strategy game get? Disgaea shows us that they can get absurdly deep. You can customize your troops, enhance your weapons, and be treated to some big laughs with its kooky cast of characters.


24 Fatal Frame series

Read Our Early Halo 5 Impressions While You Wait For The Full Review

about X hours ago from
Read Our Early Halo 5 Impressions While You Wait For The Full Review

We’ve spent the last several days digging into 343 Industries’ latest Halo effort, and it’s already clear that the developer has opted for some major changes and advancements to the structure and gameplay of the long-running series. We’ve already played all the way through the campaign and explored multiple difficulties. We’ve also tried out the online cooperative functionality. On the competitive front, we’ve tried several Arena and Warzone matches. So where’s our review?

Multiplayer has only been available for limited windows of time over the course of just a few days. We simply haven’t played enough or advanced far enough through the progression system to offer a definitive opinion. In addition, we’re waiting to confirm that matchmaking and stability issues hold up to the large number of players that will arrive on launch day. 

The Story Of The Darth Maul Game That Never Came To Be

about X hours ago from

[This feature originally appeared in Game Informer issue #253, but we're repromoting it today with rumblings that the developer still wants it to happen. You can also find video and art from the canceled Darth Maul game by following the links]

Fear. Anger. Hate. Suffering. This is the transformative experience Austin-based developer Red Fly Studio was hoping to deliver when they were commissioned by LucasArts to create a game starring Darth Maul, the popular Sith Lord who debuted in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace.

The studio envisioned a dark coming-of-age tale, showing a young Maul forced against his will into the Sith hierarchy. “We wanted people to see him as a kid kidnapped by emperor Palpatine and tortured – physically, mentally, and emotionally – becoming this powerful Sith Lord,” says a developer who worked on the project but wishes to remain anonymous. “You got angry, you got frustrated, and you made the same mistakes he did. No one has ever seen Sith training up close. No one has ever seen how to construct a Sith from kid to adult. We’ve only seen the five-second turn: Anakin Skywalker cries a little bit, and then he’s evil.”

The Gigantic List Of All Rock Band 4's Available DLC Tracks

about X hours ago from
The Gigantic List Of All Rock Band 4's Available DLC Tracks

Rock Band 4 makes the leap from last generation to the modern consoles with a massive catalog of existing Rock Band DLC, most of which is compatible with the latest game. That amounts to over 1,700 tracks, which can make finding your favorite song a pain when sifting through digital storefronts.

To ease the search for good music, we’ve compiled every DLC track currently available in a more organized format. As new songs are added, we’ll update the article. 

For those curious if Rock Band 4 is worth the price of admission, check out our review. Speaking of price, each DLC track costs $1.99.

Submit Your Questions For Our Mafia III Podcast

about X hours ago from
Submit Your Questions For Our Mafia III Podcast

Our month of Mafia III coverage is coming to a close next week, and now that we're almost done sharing all the details we gathered from our trip to developer Hangar 13 in Novato, Calif., we want to open up the floor to our readers. Do you have a question about the combat, narrative, setting, inspiration or another aspect of Mafia III? Now is your chance to ask it. 

Post your questions in the comments section below. We'll be talking to creative director Haden Blackman next week for a special edition podcast, and we'll use the best reader-submitted questions during our conversation.

To learn much more about Mafia III, click on the banner below to enter our hub of exclusive content that will be posted throughout the month.

Star Wars Characters Who Deserve Their Own Spin-Off Game

about X hours ago from
Star Wars Characters Who Deserve Their Own Spin-Off Game

A few months ago, we asked readers a simple question: What Star Wars character deserves their own game? Obvious picks like Boba Fett and a wide variety of Darths dominated the list, as well as a surprising swell of interest in R2-D2. Since then, Star Wars has remained on the forefront of our minds thanks to the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront and, of course, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Players get to take on the roles of iconic characters from the universe such as Han Solo and Emperor Palpatine in Battlefront, but we're expanding the scope. What Star Wars characters would we like to see star in their own games? We've compiled some of our favorites, as well as some ideas on what kinds of experiences they'd be well-suited for. 

There are plenty of actual Star Wars games on the horizon, including Battlefront and the upcoming Disney Infinity 3.0 playset based on The Force Awakens. And although Visceral isn’t providing any details, the studio is working on another game based within the universe. Our own Andrew Reiner seems to think it’s a Han Solo game, which is certainly something that fans have been asking for. In the meantime, here are some ideas we've had, including a few that fans have probably not been asking for.

The Legend Of Zelda’s Weird (And Sometimes Bad) Offshoots

about X hours ago from
 The Legend Of Zelda’s Weird (And Sometimes Bad) Offshoots

The Legend of Zelda is one of video games’ darlings. It has set many gameplay standards and created numerous innovations for video games over the course of its tenure, and is cited by many as being their favorite franchise. The series isn’t perfect, however, and a few disappointing or just plain bad offshoots with the Zelda name on them have made it into the wild. Thankfully, even the duds do little to tarnish the Zelda legacy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about them.

Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, And Zelda's Adventure

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Don’t Hate Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Just Because You Hated AC Unity

about X hours ago from
Don’t Hate Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Just Because You Hated AC Unity

The knives were out for Assassin's Creed Unity, some justified and some not, leaving many with a bad impression of the game. Regardless, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is not only a new experience separate from Unity in several ways, but it's definitely a step up in many departments. If you didn't like Unity or are worried about its impact on Syndicate, don't let last year's game interfere with your enjoyment of Syndicate.

Here are some key areas where Syndicate improves on Unity's feature set and makes Syndicate worth checking out. For more on the game, take a look at Joe's review and be sure to check out his 10 spoiler-free tips for players.

The Fast Flash of a BladeOne of the deserved criticisms of AC Unity was that combat wasn't very fluid as you tried to strike multiple foes. This wasn't helped by Unity's propensity to drop frames and its revised approach to combat. Syndicate's contribution to the series' fights improves Unity's multiple issues.