How Shadow of War Was Inspired by Inglourious Basterds

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When Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was released in 2014, developer Monolith Productions realized something surprising: The best players had the worst experience. This was because of the Nemesis System, which expected players to die now and then so it could personalize their interactions with the many orcs and Uruks. The players who didn't die missed out on that key feature.

This was just one of the many details Monolith wanted to address for the sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War. I sat down with Director Michael de Plater for a deep dive on the upgraded Nemesis System, the stories he wanted to tell, and how he made the player the one thing the orcs of Middle-earth fear. Check out the latest episode of IGN's Expert Mode:

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Nintendo Labo Impressions, Pokemon, New Hardware Rumors, Sega AGES on Switch, and more! - NVC Ep 404

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Weeelcooome to episode 404 of our weekly Nintendo show and podcast, Nintendo Voice Chat. This week, the NVC crew finally gets their hands on Nintendo Labo!

As always, you can watch NVC here on IGN and on our YouTube channel (subscribe and hit that bell! It gives fairies wings!) or listen to it on your commute in audio format. If you enjoy the show, share it with other Nintendo fans, leave us a comment, and give us a thumbs up or leave us a review! If you prefer audio over video, please subscribe to NVC on iTunes or your podcast service of choice. You can also download and listen to the Latest Episode of NVC Right Here.

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Darwin Project Battle Royale Goes Free-to-Play

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Scavengers Studio's battle royale game, Darwin Project, is going free-to-play on Steam beginning today, April 20.

Darwin Project was released on Steam Early Access and Xbox One Game Preview in early March for $15 USD. However, according to Scavengers Studio, there weren't enough players in certain regions to fill the servers. "We want the game to reach as many players as possible," the studio wrote, "so we decided to release Darwin Project for free sooner than we anticipated."

The pricing change is currently reflected on Steam, though the Xbox One version is still listed at $15 USD. When asked whether or not the console version will be going free-to-play as well, Scavengers Studio told IGN, "We'll have more to share about Darwin Project on Xbox One soon."

Hearthstone Director Ben Brode Leaving Blizzard to Start New Company

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Ben Brode, game director for Blizzard's wildly popular card game, Hearthstone, is leaving the company to start one of his own.

Brode made the announcement in a post on the Blizzard forums, where he told fans "after 15 years at Blizzard and almost 10 years working on Hearthstone, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to embark on a new journey" before continuing, "man, that was a hard sentence to type."

Brode says he is leaving the massive game developer to help start a new company.