An Exclusive Tour of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' Revendreth

about X hours ago from
An Exclusive Tour of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' Revendreth

For this zone, the team was trying to tackle the question of: “What would WoW Translyvania look like?” It takes the form of a gigantic gothic castle sprawling over a misty forest and a curious pit. Carriages, floating vampiric aristocracy, gargoyles, and little Igor-style gravedigger minions called dredgers mill about. The zone is colossal, so my guided tour through the realm of sinners – who can still be redeemed in some form – took me through each of the castle’s five wards.

The entryway itself is suffering disrepair, as are the buildings and structures across the castle grounds. This is a problem that many of the Shadowlands zones have, as no new souls are coming in due to everyone being routed to the Maw. The castle proper looms over the zone like an oppressive titan, towering over the Village Ward where players enter and can get the lay of the land. Sin stones, gravestones with the soul’s crimes listed upon it, litter each pathway. Souls sent here can etch these sins off their stones over time as they prepare for the afterlife, but the Venthyr’s methods are often horrific and torturous. While the Venthyr may have an important purpose in the Shadowlands, with their task of preparing tainted souls for the afterlife, you can’t help but think these vampiric, bickering aristocrats have a serious streak of sadism.

Building Stronger Communities

about X hours ago from
Building Stronger Communities

Ever play an online game and feel your blood pressure rise over complete frustration with poor sportsmanship, or even worse felt your anxiety spike due to harassment and bullying taking place right before your eyes?

A game is only as strong as the community that supports it, but what happens when a few bad apples disrupt the flow and prevent others from having fun? Most gamers have a story where they’ve experienced griefing or team-killing, or even worse had another player verbally insult them in a way that goes well beyond “trash talk.” In fact, a recent study by anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label reported that 57 percent of the young people it surveyed experienced bullying online while playing games; even more alarming was 22 percent said it caused them to stop playing. Instead of drawing people to games, are more people turning away from them due to these unpleasant social interactions?

Building Stronger Communities

about X hours ago from
Building Stronger Communities

Ever play an online game and feel your blood pressure rise over complete frustration with poor sportsmanship, or even worse felt your anxiety spike due to harassment and bullying taking place right before your eyes?

A game is only as strong as the community that supports it, but what happens when a few bad apples disrupt the flow and prevent others from having fun? Most gamers have a story where they’ve experienced griefing or team-killing, or even worse had another player verbally insult them in a way that goes well beyond “trash talk.” In fact, a recent study by anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label reported that 57 percent of the young people it surveyed experienced bullying online while playing games; even more alarming was 22 percent said it caused them to stop playing. Instead of drawing people to games, are more people turning away from them due to these unpleasant social interactions?

Google Stadia Reviewed – Against The Stream

about X hours ago from
Google Stadia Reviewed – Against The Stream

By the mid-2000s, Blu-ray felt like the future of media. Blu-ray video looked incredible and offered cleaner picture and sound quality than previous media formats. “Surely,” we thought, “the technology that comes after Blu-ray will look even more impressive!” But then something strange happened; as streaming services like Netflix took off, more and more of us ditched physical media in favor of the cloud. Streaming didn’t offer the same level of fidelity as Blu-ray – or sometimes even DVD – but it was good enough. More importantly, it was convenient. The desire to watch anything anywhere outpaced our desire for image quality.

Now it’s 2019, streaming services have come a long way, and tech goliath Google thinks it has figured out how to Netflix the gaming industry. The tech is surprisingly functional, but its ability to upturn the industry will depend largely on its ability to implement its grand blueprint. Sadly, Stadia’s current design is missing several important pillars.

Google Stadia Reviewed – Against The Stream

about X hours ago from
Google Stadia Reviewed – Against The Stream

By the mid-2000s, Blu-ray felt like the future of media. Blu-ray video looked incredible and offered cleaner picture and sound quality than previous media formats. “Surely,” we thought, “the technology that comes after Blu-ray will look even more impressive!” But then something strange happened; as streaming services like Netflix took off, more and more of us ditched physical media in favor of the cloud. Streaming didn’t offer the same level of fidelity as Blu-ray – or sometimes even DVD – but it was good enough. More importantly, it was convenient. The desire to watch anything anywhere outpaced our desire for image quality. 

Now it’s 2019, streaming services have come a long way, and tech goliath Google thinks it has figured out how to Netflix the gaming industry. The tech is surprisingly functional, but its ability to upturn the industry will depend largely on its ability to implement its grand blueprint. Sadly, Stadia’s current design is missing several important pillars.

Standing Up

about X hours ago from
Standing Up

When Manveer Heir left BioWare in 2017 after working on the Mass Effect franchise as a senior gameplay designer, he was burned out. He had been making games for a dozen years, putting in the time during crunch and enduring the wrath of Gamergaters for his beliefs. Like he had done at times during his career, he contemplated walking away from making video games entirely, but he knew he wasn’t done yet.

Heir took some time off in New York figuring out his next move, and reconnected with a deep-seated ambition to form his own video game company – a dream he held since he was in the 10th grade when he drew up his own business plan.

In order to craft the kinds of stories he wanted to tell and address some of the issues he experienced in the video game industry, Heir founded his own studio. Heir’s experiences with the Mass Effect franchise and companies the size of Electronic Arts exposed him to systemic problems that interfered with his goal of surfacing stories of characters of color and different backgrounds created by diverse developers. Read more...

Standing Up

about X hours ago from
Standing Up

When Manveer Heir left BioWare in 2017 after working on the Mass Effect franchise as a senior gameplay designer, he was burned out. He had been making games for a dozen years, putting in the time during crunch and enduring the wrath of Gamergaters for his beliefs. Like he had done at times during his career, he contemplated walking away from making video games entirely, but he knew he wasn’t done yet.

Heir took some time off in New York figuring out his next move, and reconnected with a deep-seated ambition to form his own video game company – a dream he held since he was in the 10th grade when he drew up his own business plan.

In order to craft the kinds of stories he wanted to tell and address some of the issues he experienced in the video game industry, Heir founded his own studio. Heir’s experiences with the Mass Effect franchise and companies the size of Electronic Arts exposed him to systemic problems that interfered with his goal of surfacing stories of characters of color and different backgrounds created by diverse developers. Read more...

A Spoiler-Filled Review And Discussion Of The Mandalorian

about X hours ago from
A Spoiler-Filled Review And Discussion Of The Mandalorian

Disney+ is here, and so is the first episode of The Mandalorian, the highly anticipated live-action television series set in the Star Wars universe. Since it's the only thing we can talk about in the office today, the Game Informer crew decided to share their thoughts with you in a roundtable discussion that breaks down the plot points, action, and all of the tasty spoilers. Don't watch until you've seen the episode. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the topics we dive into in the comments section below. Thanks for watching!

A Spoiler-Filled Review And Discussion Of The Mandalorian

about X hours ago from
A Spoiler-Filled Review And Discussion Of The Mandalorian

Disney+ is here, and so is the first episode of The Mandalorian, the highly anticipated live-action television series set in the Star Wars universe. Since it's the only thing we can talk about in the office today, the Game Informer crew decided to share their thoughts with you in a roundtable discussion that breaks down the plot points, action, and all of the tasty spoilers. Don't watch until you've seen the episode. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the topics we dive into in the comments section below. Thanks for watching!

Going Big

about X hours ago from
Going Big

Since Pokémon’s debut, the mainline series has existed solely on handheld devices. Being able to adventure in the world of Pokémon while being anywhere in the real world is enticing, but fans have long clamored to see the series deliver a mainline console RPG. However, developer Game Freak was reluctant to create a game that players couldn’t take with them. The release of the hybrid Nintendo Switch changed everything.

Now, unrestrained by the traditional limitations of dedicated handheld devices, Game Freak sets out to make what it considers to be the ultimate version of Pokémon. We traveled to the team’s Tokyo headquarters to learn the inspirations behind the various additions and advancements of Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Walking into the unassuming Carrot Tower in Tokyo, you would never guess the creators of the highest-grossing entertainment franchise in the world were just a couple hundred feet above you. After a short elevator ride and a stroll through a plain, twisting hallway, a door opens to a conference room and you’re suddenly presented with the rich history that has been made here. Lining the walls of the conference room is every game, every soundtrack, and hundreds of figures from the world’s largest entertainment juggernaut.