A Way Out Director Josef Fares On Designing Games As Their Own Medium

about X hours ago from
A Way Out Director Josef Fares On Designing Games As Their Own Medium

When Josef Fares and Starbreeze released Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons in 2013, fans and critics alike praised the game, but expressed bafflement at the strange story of a rising star in the film industry suddenly pivoting to design video games. The Lebanese-born director has a compelling biography both behind and ahead of him, having fled the Lebanese Civil War as a child and winning film awards alongside his brother, Fares Fares. After winning the Nordic Council Film Prize for his 2005 film Zozo, Josef Fares directed his attention to a narrative game about controlling two brothers with separate analog sticks with Starbreeze, which we described as "akin in spirit to arthouse games."

Now, Fares and his studio Hazelight are working with Electronic Arts on A Way Out, a story of two men meeting up in and subsequently escaping from prison. It is, in many ways, a ridiculous experiment in narrative gaming, forcing players to only play it co-op in either local or online permutations, to the point where the game comes with extra copies to gift to a friend. You can read our brand new impressions of the game here.

The Sports Desk – Discussing MLB The Show 18's Road To The Show Mode

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – Discussing MLB The Show 18's Road To The Show Mode

MLB the Show 18 developer Sony San Diego has released new info about the upcoming title's Road to the Show mode. The mode puts gamers in the shoes of a mid-level prospect for an MLB franchise who must work his way up into the big leagues – complete with a narrator telling your tale. Along the way, you may be moved to a new position, train with teammates, and interact with coaches via a conversation system.

The game features a new player archetype system and attribute caps, so naturally, we wonder how much freedom players will have to shape their characters compared to past years. Sony San Diego says you can change your player archetype if you move your position, which hopefully allows some flexibility in making your player more well-rounded if you want.

Watch Brian Shea and I discuss what's in the mode, where it could go, and what we hope gets addressed this year.

Super Replay – Killer7 Episode 2

about X hours ago from
Super Replay – Killer7 Episode 2

At the end of our Replay Civil War, it all came down to you to choose the next Super Replay! Our Overblood Facebook group ended up choosing two games through a tie: Killer7 and Godhand.

You chose well. Killer7 is my favorite game of all time, for reasons I will fully elaborate on in the near future. The short version, however, it's that it's the closest video games have gotten to being a David Lynch film. It benefits from being played alone in near silence, so you can fully process its wild, surreal moments, cool characters, and ambiguous plot.

In fitting with its themes, we decided to take Killer7 very seriously, as Andrew Reiner, Joe Juba, Leo Vader, and I focus only an the artistry of Killer7 and never talk about anything else and make absolutely zero jokes. Enjoy!

Richard Garfield, Skaff Elias, And Valve On Balancing, Community, And Tournaments In Artifact

about X hours ago from
Richard Garfield, Skaff Elias, And Valve On Balancing, Community, And Tournaments In Artifact

Art Credit: Robbie Trevino.

Earlier this week, I had the chance to play and watch others play Artifact for a few hours at Valve’s HQ in Seattle. To learn how the game works both from a mechanical and financial perspective, head you can read my write-up here.

Before any of that, however, Gabe Newell gave a presentation about the company’s history, the purposes behind each of their games, and what they hope to do with Artifact. It’s an illuminating look at the company, and I recommend you watch it

Replay 300 – Super Metroid

about X hours ago from
Replay 300 – Super Metroid

In celebration of Game Informer's 300th issue – which contains a huge 300 Greatest Games of All Time list – Replay is taking a look back at some of the top games that made that prestigious list. The first game is selected by Game Informer's editor-in-chief, Andy McNamara. Andy has been at Game Informer since issue 1, dating back 27 years ago. He wanted to play Super Metroid, a game we've already played to death in a Super Replay. For the sake of 300, we had no qualms in revisiting this game for a more focused conversation about this important (and awesome) game.

In the second segment, we focus on a game that didn't make the list, but should have, according to Andy. In true Replay fashion, this look back at yesteryear is not what Andy expected. Enjoy the show. Enjoy the 300th issue. We'll be back in seven days with another 300 themed episode, this time with a pick from yours truly.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Top Of The Table – Rising Sun

about X hours ago from
Top Of The Table – Rising Sun

The more I play board games, the more I gain an appreciation for a concept you might call unity. These are the nebulous elements that tie a game together, weaving its theme with its mechanics, art with game design, and component pieces with gameplay flow. When done right, a highly unified game experience feels elegant and evocative, transporting players into their roles and objectives, and helping every element contribute to a sum that is greater than the constituent parts. 

Rising Sun is a game of clan warfare in ancient feudal Japan for three to five players, with its honor-driven gameplay amplified by magic, monsters, and constant shifting alliances and internecine strife. I like a lot of things about Rising Sun, the new game from CMON, designer Eric M. Lang, and artist Adrian Smith. But among all the things I like, the thing I love is its unity of purpose; everything in the game contributes to a singular vision, a magical escape into a world of Japanese legend, in which honor and clan alliances hold equal power to demonic Oni and godlike Kami spirits, all while feeling steeped in the tea ceremonies and epic battles that define our collective imagination of ancient Nippon.

Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak Is A Curious, But Entertaining Diversion

about X hours ago from
Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak Is A Curious, But Entertaining Diversion

Year Three of Rainbow Six Siege kicked off with a bang this week, driving back players to the game in record concurrent numbers thanks in part to a new cooperative component called Outbreak. This wild departure for the Rainbow Six franchise introduces a supernatural threat to the tactical shooter that feels more like a Left 4 Dead expansion than anything tied to the Tom Clancy universe.

A dramatically divergent offering, Outbreak doesn't do anything to bring back the old-school Rainbow Six fans who long for the carefully planned missions and measured tactical engagements of the past. With its adoption of G.I. Joe-style hero characters and now a full-on zombie-outbreak theme, it's clear Ubisoft is comfortable evolving the series away from its military-sim roots and moving more toward the comic-book end of the entertainment spectrum. 

Victrix Pro AF Impressions – A New Contender Emerges In The High-End Gaming Headset Market

about X hours ago from
Victrix Pro AF Impressions – A New Contender Emerges In The High-End Gaming Headset Market

A great headset can make or break multiplayer experiences. We've all been in competitive matches where a teammate's background noises like a baby crying drown out everything else you can hear, or been knifed in the back by a sneaking soldier when peering out a building window toward an objective while using a chintzy pack-in headset that comes with a console that didn't alert you to their presecnce. That's why such a strong market has developed offering quality gaming headsets. 

New features in high-end headsets has largely stagnated in recent years, but a new contender has emerged boasting hardware expertise and armed with years of collected data from the best esports players about how they'd like to see the technology improved. Victrix's first offering is the Pro AF ANC, a $300 headset available for pre-order now that applies best-in-class thinking to comfort, quality, microphone performance, and even noise canceling. 

Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak Is A Curious, But Entertaining Diversion

about X hours ago from
Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak Is A Curious, But Entertaining Diversion

Year Three of Rainbow Six Siege kicked off with a bang this week, driving back players to the game in record concurrent numbers thanks in part to a new cooperative component called Outbreak. This wild departure for the Rainbow Six franchise introduces a supernatural threat to the tactical shooter that feels more like a Left 4 Dead expansion than anything tied to the Tom Clancy universe.

A dramatically divergent offering, Outbreak doesn't do anything to bring back the old-school Rainbow Six fans who long for the carefully planned missions and measured tactical engagements of the past. With its adoption of G.I. Joe-style hero characters and now a full-on zombie-outbreak theme, it's clear Ubisoft is comfortable evolving the series away from its military-sim roots and moving more toward the comic-book end of the entertainment spectrum. 

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 8, 2018)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (March 8, 2018)

Another week of blogs welcomes us all into March, the month that sounds like it should be ushering in spring. But here in Minnesota, we got dumped on with a lot of snow, so I guess that means it is time to get cozy with some blogs!

Community Blogs For March 1 – March 7:

Interview: Shape Of The World Creator Stu Maxwell Rebekah Lang gets things started (welcome back, Lang!) with an interview. It's super insightful, especially if you have any interest in game development, and of course, Shape of the World. I found it especially interesting to read about how the color palette was chosen.