Watch Us Play The First Hour Of Divinity: Original Sin II

about X hours ago from
Watch Us Play The First Hour Of Divinity: Original Sin II

The first Divinity: Original Sin was a throwback to the best RPGs of a bygone era. Absurdly detailed customization, dialogue paths, and co-op play made for one of the most exciting entries in the genre to date.

Editors Dan Tack, Andrew Reiner, and myself are all fans of the original and were eager to jump in and see what kind of bizarre, unique characters we could create and play with in the sequel. Watch the video below to see how the robust character creator, choice system, and strategic combat have evolved since the first entry.

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The Virtual Life – Celebrating The Stubbornness And Complexity Of L.A. Noire

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life – Celebrating The Stubbornness And Complexity Of L.A. Noire

Warning: Minor Spoilers For L.A. Noire Ahead.

L.A. Noire released in the summer of 2011. I was just starting to dip my toe back into video games after being away for years. My brother and I went 50/50 on a copy of Team Bondi's ambitious open-world game and then spent a week playing through it. I distinctly remember not liking the game at all my first time through. It was clunky. I didn't like that I couldn't run over pedestrians or the skew toward detective work over shooting. And I especially didn't like protagonist Cole Phelps, an unlikeable boy scout-type drowning in self-righteousness. That said, I did fall in love with exploring Bondi's presentation of the infamous city, examining everyone and their routines, and soaking in the atmosphere. But for 21-year old me, who craved shooting digital bad guy after bad guy, I found the whole experience to be pretty dull and disappointing.

SMASH CUT to three years later. I'm in grad school. I've become a much more patient person and have started playing games that fall out of the shooter/action/RPG mold. I've even started writing about games on the internet for some reason (because I'm a fool). I decide to give L.A. Noire another whirl. Why? Because I'm in grad school and L.A. Noire is three bucks. What else am I going to do?

The Blade Of Galadriel: Meet Shadow Of War's Elven Assassin

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The Blade Of Galadriel: Meet Shadow Of War's Elven Assassin

Middle-earth: Shadow of War's Talion is a far less isolated version of the character from Shadow of Mordor. In addition to the continued back and forth with the wraith of Celebrimbor, Talion interacts with NPC characters much more frequently, and they play a much larger role in the story and overall experience. Side characters not only fight alongside Talion in story sequences, but they even have side-quest lines centered around them.

Be warned that this article contains some spoilers on the first act of Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

One of the main characters Talion interacts with in Shadow of War is the Blade of Galadriel, Eltariel. This elegant assassin has been charged with combating the Nazgûl, a group of sinister ringwraiths who serve as Shadow of War's boss fights, to keep them within Mordor and prevent them from spreading to Middle-earth. Since the ringwraiths keep coming back, she's been at this task for millennia. Thankfully, she's blessed with the ability to track the Nazgûl.

Is Fortnite's Battle Royale Mode More Than A PUBG Rip-off?

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Is Fortnite's Battle Royale Mode More Than A PUBG Rip-off?

This morning, Epic Games' Fortnite got a new Battle Royale mode that borrows heavily from Player Unknown's Battlegrounds and other games of its genre. I was immediately curious to try it out, because as a huge fan of PUBG, a 100-player shooter with structure building and destruction was the most unexpected and enticing release of the week.

I was put-off by just how obviously some of the gametype's features were lifted from Battlegrounds, but there may be enough in here to get me curious about the future of the mode as Fortnite exits paid early-access and becomes free (what?) in 2018.

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Destiny 2, Echo, Star Wars, Star Trek

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Destiny 2, Echo, Star Wars, Star Trek

In Ultra Ultra's upcoming science-fiction game, Echo, you are not just the protagonist – you also play the role every enemy. How is this possible? Describing that exactly will be difficult, as the answer unfolds in several ways. The easiest to grasp is you play as a character named En, and every enemy is a clone of her. From what I understand, you won't see any other humans in this game. They all look exactly like you, and the only differentiating factor between the clones is a red cube (called simply "The Cube") fastened to your En's back.

The difficulty in describing Echo comes from the artificial intelligence that drives the doppelgangers. Every action you make is reflected by them, but not immediately. Rolling blackouts also double as updates for the clone A.I. After a blackout, if you vault over a ledge, grab an item, and step into water, when the next blackout hits, the enemies will learn how to do these things. They will forget them if you don't use the again before the next blackout. Make sense?

Tooth And Tail Is An Indie RTS With A Great Sense Of Style

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Tooth And Tail Is An Indie RTS With A Great Sense Of Style

Tooth and Tail is the newest game from the creator of the indie heist hit Monaco. This unique take on RTS allows players to lead a revolution with an army of flamethrowing Boars, mustard gas-lobbing Skunks, and paratrooper-puking Owls.
Dan Tack and Ben Reeves take a whirl through the game’s opening chapters and talk about the simplified controls and charming characters before checking out the multiplayer offerings.

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Here Are 57 Fun, Family-Friendly Words To Yell When You Get Mad In Destiny 2

about X hours ago from
Here Are 57 Fun, Family-Friendly Words To Yell When You Get Mad In Destiny 2

Destiny 2 has been a blast to play since it released last week, but as in any game, players have had their fair share of frustrations when faced with a tough encounter. In these moments, it's easy to catch oneself wondering, "What can I exclaim right now to vent my frustrations?" With so many words to choose from, it can be tough to know you're using the right one. To help, I present this list of work-safe, fun, and stress-relieving phrases for your future reference.

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For more nuanced thoughts on Destiny 2, check out our discussion on the latest episode of the GI Show.

The Sports Desk – Sports Story Modes' Inevitable Finale

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – Sports Story Modes' Inevitable Finale

Story-based modes are all the rage these days, and I'm thankful games like Madden, FIFA, and NBA are including them. They not only give us something different to experience, but they are well done, too. While these story modes expand the horizons of these games, the possibilities are not limitless. Enjoy these stories now, because it won't last.

The bubble will burst – not because the quality or the willingness isn't there – but because I believe video game sports stories are self-limiting. They are entrenched in a mythical environment of these sports and conform to our perception of them. Comeback kids, nostalgia-tinged odes to the game, grinders ascending to the big leagues, triumph over adversity, etc. These are understandable stories we've seen many times over in books, films, and real life. When I imagine what these story modes are going to be like after years of iteration, I don't think there are enough of them in the sports storybook canon to support the form in the long term. Besides, they are always going to be limited by the need to be grounded in reality. Unlike other video game genres, for example, you can't go off in fantastic directions like super powers or whatnot.

Extended Hands-On Impressions With Middle-earth: Shadow Of War

about X hours ago from
Extended Hands-On Impressions With Middle-earth: Shadow Of War

As you have likely already seen, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is on the cover of this month's issue of Game Informer. To get as full of a picture of the game as possible, a team of GI editors flew out to the offices of Monolith to not only meet with multiple key members of the development team, but also play several hours of the game.

Following our lengthy gameplay session, senior previews editor Matt Miller and I sat down to discuss our overall impressions of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. You can read our conversation below, and for more on the game, be sure to visit our coverage hub.

Matt: Brian, you and I recently returned from a lengthy visit to Monolith, where we got to play several hours of a near-final version of Shadow of War. Top-level thoughts? What did you think of what you played?

The Beauty Of Destiny 2 Captured In Screens

about X hours ago from
The Beauty Of Destiny 2 Captured In Screens

From this point on, the conversations surrounding Destiny 2 will likely be about raids, exotics, and shaders. One thing that isn't recognized enough is just how damn gorgeous the game is. That beauty is so pronounced it can be distracting. I don't know how many times that I was hit by moments of sensory overload, not just from the number of enemies that would swarm the screen, but by the amount of detail included in the environments. This is one of those games where I would periodically stop dead in my tracks to take a complete scan of what was around me. Often, every angle would produce something spectacular to look at, whether it was the detail included in a city or how beautifully framed the galaxy is in the sky box.

Below is a gallery that highlights just a small taste of how beautiful this game is.