Was waiting for this gif. *singsong* All my liiiiiiiife
Ever since Dead Space 3 was released, Tim has been championing its merits to anyone who will listen to him. While he clearly loved the game, the reception around the rest of the office has been decidedly mixed. Tim tried to get me to play Dead Space 3 on a couple of occasions, but I told him I wasn't interested, having never finished the first installment. When it came time for him to challenge another co-worker to play it, I knew I was destined to be his guinea pig. Like it or not, it was time to step back into Isaac's space boots.
I heard Dead Space 3 was more action-oriented than the first two games in the series, but when I started playing, it still felt a lot like Dead Space. I spent the better part of a day exploring desolated spaceships, dismembering grotesque necromorphs, and jumping every time an enemy broke out of a vent directly behind me (which is still a cheap scare tactic, in my opinion). Granted, Dead Space 3 didn't come close to filling me with the same sense of dread as the original did, so that aspect of the series is definitely missing. But even though the latest installment might not be as scary, Visceral's love of horror sci-fi still shines through, and I found myself frequently stopping to appreciate the designs of the game's retro-inspired spaceships and godforsaken locations.
Dead Space 3 did take some time to get used to, however. For starters, the plasma cutter is underpowered when you first get it, taking a few shots to sever the limbs of enemies. Between that and my penchant for overlooking my stasis abilities during fights, combat took a while to warm up to. The weapon-crafting system was also poorly explained, requiring a quick coaching from Tim before I got a sense of what I was doing.
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Once I got the hang of the game mechanics, however, I had a lot of fun. After a few upgrades, my plasma cutter was slicing off necromorph limbs with ease, and finishing off foes with a cold, bloody stomp is as satisfying as it's ever been. It's clear Visceral was earnestly trying to tell a good story, and although it might not live up to something like The Last of Us, it was still better than a lot of shooters. Some of the gameplay scenarios were annoying, as were a few boss fights, but I didn't come across anything that made me want to stop playing.
Later in the day, Tim hopped online to play some of the co-op with me. To my surprise (and to the detriment of Tim's own argument), I actually enjoyed it less. Dead Space 3 is a fine co-op game, but the atmospheric tension and sense of agency I felt over the story was instantly gone. Telling a compelling story in a multiplayer setting is hard, and it's clear to me that Visceral Games failed to crack that nut. Story and atmosphere are big components of the Dead Space series, so if someone only played the game in co-op, I could see how they might walk away with a very different impression of Dead Space 3.
I managed to finish about half of the game during our day-long challenge. It's not my favorite game of 2013, but it seems like a perfectly respectable action game, and I enjoyed my time with it. How strongly I advocate for it making the list will ultimately come down to what other games are on the edge. Based on my gut, however, it would be weird for us not to include it. Triple-A action games get a disproportionate amount of grief from players; they may not tell the most compelling stories or feature the most innovative gameplay, but they tend to be polished, enjoyable experiences from beginning to end. Dead Space 3 seems to fit that bill, and I hope there's room for it on the list.
Part of the thrill of gaming is being able to step into imaginative worlds that let us make our own marks in them. In an instant, we can be transported to virtually anywhere, such as places in history or fantastical lands. Therefore, we thought we'd celebrate some of the best, as we look forward to new open world adventures with new consoles. The list below is in no particular order and is comprised of games from this past generation. The list focuses on the worlds themselves and the freedom they put at your fingertips.
Red Dead Redemption
A big part of what makes Red Dead Redemption thrive is its Wild West backdrop. The dangers of the time period lurk within; robberies constantly occur in towns and on deserted roads. Innocents often get held captive for money or worse, and it's up to you if you want to play hero. Saloons showcase some of the personality of the time with plenty of drinks, music, and gambling to go around. The competitive spirit is also alive and well as you engage in shoot-offs with other cowboys and outlaws trying to make a new for themselves. While there's plenty of action around every bend, the moments where you're just exploring the majestic backdrop riding your horse also add to the experience. However, where John Marston's journey most makes its mark is in its shifts from killing to farming, using its world to speak to the narrative's deeper dilemmas.
Not stopping to look and embrace Sleeping Dogs' Hong Kong is hard. From high rises to billboards, the city has a pulse and plenty to get wrapped in, such as cockfights, karaoke, drag racing, and more. Whether you're making a drug bust or just exploring a serene temple, Sleeping Dogs shows both the beauty and ugliness of Hong Kong. The city is flooded with tourists and desperate merchants, who also add personality to the populated locale. Sleeping Dogs brings Hong Kong right to your fingertips and lets you lose yourself in its atmosphere and activities, making it one memorable destination.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The snowy Nord homeland of Skyrim is enough to give you a chill during exploration, but where it stands out is in how its realism overlaps fantastical elements like a created language of the dragons. Skyrim has a rich history that entices you to explore more, whether it's chatting up NPCs for insight or finding hidden places that reveal its secrets. Its treasures locked within are an adventurer's delight and a loot lover's dream. Not to mention, Skyrim also lets you have a stake in its land; you can build homes in multiple places and marry. Not many games can entice people to dedicate over 100 hours, but Skyrim provides enough content and intrigue to prolong the experience.
Assassin's Creed II
While the Assassin's Creed series has taken us to many locales, nothing can compare to the first steps you take in Assassin's Creed II's Italy. The majestic architecture is breathtaking; as you ascend rooftops and towers, the beauty takes over as you make your way through popular cities, such as Venice, Rome, and Florence. This is a stark contrast to the violence you commit as Ezio along with his assassin kin. Exploring different regions and landmarks may be the premiere highlight, but the side activities that play off the assassin theme also make for compelling content. Like helping a young Leonard da Vinci before he hit his stride with inventions, racing fellow citizens, using your eagle vision to find prime targets to take down, and locating hard-to-find glyphs.
Saints Row: The Third
Steelport's vibrancy and liveliness make it cross between New York and Las Vegas, but where Steelport becomes its own is the ridiculous antics that can occur during your ventures. How many places actually let you use a giant purple *** as a weapon, or would applaud you for using a fart in a jar to stink out the enemy? Your next step could also have you streaking or busting people at an S&M house. That's just scratching the surface of what you encounter in the world of Steelport, activities like Prof. Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax (shooting mascots has never been so fun), playing in traffic in insurance fraud, and riding a flaming ATV also keep the fun going. Unpredictability also runs through it; you never know when a rival gang is going to show up...or a zombie infestation. A day in Steelport is like living out an episode of your favorite comedy relief show… a much needed break from your everyday life, which makes its world so damn entertaining.
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We were just kids. That’s the reality. We were frightened little kids. So you got all this responsibility that’s foisted upon you and you’re expected to be perfect. I went through media training, and I hated it. They’d teach you how to change the subject, whenever you were asked an uncomfortable question, by saying something like, “Oh, that reminds me of my dog! I have a great story about my dog!” Playing dumb is the best way of getting out of anything. We also had a strategy for who would take which kinds of questions. If it was a serious question, Nick would answer it. If it was lighthearted, Kevin would. Nick and I took questions related to our music and explaining what certain songs meant. We even did a Good Housekeeping story with our mom where we were wearing these horrible pastels. It makes me cringe just to think about it.
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xbox one is stupid outside of gender roles.
I’m not really psyched for the Xbox One, but this is one of the best commercials I’ve seen in a while.
I enjoy reading the youtube comments. So many guys being pissing into the air about the female being the dominant one.
From what I got out of this, the XBOX One is showing that, with ownership of the xbox, you get power to command and control - it recognizes voice commands and faces. The boyfriend obeying her was a part of that theme - because she owns the xbox, she has control.
“I hope THIS CONSOLE FAILS!!! What a bunch of feminazi BS to appeal to women, Xbox doesn’t care about true gamers anymore, they want to appeal to the family/ casual gamers… They’re pulling a Wii, and they probably will crash and burn with this console… They’re trying to get lots of people to buy this and for the hardcore community to get them sales for their games… YOU CAN’T APPEAL TO EVERYONE!!!”
This ad is ridiculous.
It falls into the same old trap of thinking that in order to make a girl a “gamer” you have to make her hyper-masculine.
Excuse you, do you see the highlights in her hair? Her dress? Those silver shoes? Her beautiful-ass face? That is NOT the image of a hyper-masculine woman. We’d be seeing a lot more plaid and sweatpants if they were trying to make her masculine. She drinks beer, yes. She expects to be obeyed, yes. Those are not purely masculine traits.
And the comments continue to become more violent and disgusting toward the woman, and insulting toward Microsoft.
What do you think?
I think that the sheer vitriol is almost enough to make me want to buy an Xbox, just to terrify and frighten the fedora-wearing douchebro crowd.
Fortunately, the Xbox is pricy and I don’t want the Kinect watching me sleep, so it won’t happen, but still.
Delicious, delicious mantears.
Dear Gamers: If you want people to take you seriously and stop treating you like you’re all immature children, stop behaving that way.
Novelist error messages.
“It never takes longer than a few minutes, when they get together, for everyone to revert to the state of nature, like a party marooned by a shipwreck. That’s what a family is. Also the storm at sea, the ship, and the unknown shore. And the hats and the whiskey stills that you make out of bamboo and coconuts. And the fire that you light to keep away the beasts.”
—Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
And for all these reasons, I’ve decided to scalp you, and burn your village to the ground.
It's Thanksgiving — which means it's time to be thankful for morons who attempt to fry their own turkeys. Here it is: The very best of the biggest Turkey Fryer Fails we found on the internet. Be safe!
Ung. Beautiful man
Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version)
We'll give the turkey a little break this week as we approach Thanksgiving. The gaming world is filled with a number of avian companions and foes that we can focus on instead. In the effort to broaden the conversation beyond bone-in or boneless, here are 12 notable winged creatures and our thoughts on how they might go over as the main dish.
Mordecai's lightly feathered companion is the hunter's best friend and secret weapon. Bloodwing's a great tool for distracting enemies, and it can even provide valuable healing effects with the proper skill trees active. Mordecai is unfortunately better at tracking and defeating enemies than he is at naming best pals and secret weapons. "Bloodwing" is actually the name of the creature's species, which is effectively the same as naming a dog "Dog." And yes, we know that since Bloodwing is from another planet it's not technically a bird. This is our list, however, so it counts.
What would it taste like?
Probably not great. Bloodwing looks like he's part lizard, so we'd expect him to be simultaneously stringy and rubbery. Imagine a gamier version of a store-brand, skim-milk string cheese, and you're on the right track.
Songbird (BioShock Infinite)
Songbird is a big, scary creature that acts as an overprotective guardian to Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite. It's a melding of man and machine, but it has wings – clearly making it a bird for the purposes of our list. Did we mention that we're not zoologists? We aren't. Look at him, though. It's totally a bird, right?
What would it taste like?
Whatever it tastes like, it ain't going to be great. We'd expect that there are tubes filled with hydraulic fluid and other nasty things coursing throughout this dude's body, so you'd need to be careful carving it. Keep a bottle of ketchup nearby.
Cutrus (8 Eye's)
The NES game 8 Eye's starred a guy named Orin and his falcon, Cutrus. The pair had to navigate a post-apocalyptic world and retrieve eight gems from eight castles across the world. Cutrus proved to be an invaluable ally, and players could send him out to rush enemies. No, it was nothing like Borderlands.
What would it taste like?
According to some New Orleans Saints fans, Falcon tastes just like Dolphin. That could be a sports thing, though. Realistically, Cutrus probably tastes like chicken, seasoned with a healthy shake or two of regret.
Birdo (Super Mario Bros. 2)
People have been arguing about Birdo's sex for decades now. The more pressing concern for the purposes of this list is: Is Birdo a bird? Let's see. Pink. No visible wings. Shoots eggs from fleshy snout. Is named "Birdo." Sounds like a bird to us.
What would it taste like?
Cotton candy, but not in a good way.
Beat (Mega Man 5)
Mega Man was accompanied by a little friend named Beat starting with Mega Man 5. Players could call on the creature to attack enemies, which he'd do presumably using his sharp metal beak. This is how birds work in video games, apparently.
What would it taste like?
He's a robot, dummy! You're going to chip your dang teeth doing that!
Sitting in a backpack while your friend does all the work? Kazooie knows what's up. Sure, she helped his bear buddy out by flying around so they could reach platforms, but Kazooie was generally a passenger.
What would it taste like?
Fried chicken. Banjo's backpack would be a perfect Shake N Bake vessel.
An adorable 11-week old lion cub named Karis had a very exciting day playing in a pile of autumn leaves that her keeper swept into her enclosure at the Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Scotland. This proved to be a very wise decision on her keeper’s part, as she seems to have had the time of her life frolicking around in the pile of leaves .
photos by Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
via Daily Mail
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games aim to create worlds brimming with adventure. They pit hundreds of players against each other. Epic is their undertaking, and sometimes they deliver. While a dedicated fanbase proves plenty of love exists for the genre, I want something different.
A few months after World of Warcraft’s launch, a friend pitched me the idea of the MMO. “Picture an RPG with hundreds of other people in one huge explorable world.” Growing up on PC role-playing games, I was an easy sell.
As the game downloaded and the anticipation built, I imagined what an online role-playing game would be like. I pictured completing exclusive quests that were only available to my character. I would enact change on a living world. People would recognize my avatar. Caught up in the hype of the new type of game, I envisioned a completely different game.
World of Warcraft finishes its installation and I leap in head first. The stunning intro cinematic plays. I fly through the character creation screen – I spent the previous night planning out exactly what race, class, and name I would choose. The game finishes loading and I notice something’s wrong. Five other Orc Shamans surround me. One looks identical to me. Players crowd around a reclusive quest giver. Enemies fade in and out of existence. I watch the quest that I’ve supposedly finished tackled by dozens of other people, and I realize that I’ve accomplished nothing.
I played World of Warcraft (and other MMORPGs) for years. They are fun, but nothing measures up to what I envisioned for the genre. The forefront of MMO marketing was faction warfare and massive PVP battles. Developers continued improving on the massively multiplayer part of the genre, and not what I cared about: the role-playing.
It’s simple in concept, but undoubtedly challenging in execution; I want MMO developers to bring the scale back a bit. Make it smaller – smaller maps, fewer players. Make it more personalized – better quests, greater consequences, and a world that is permanently changed by and for each character. In other words, I want a tailored multiplayer online role-playing game.
Imagine playing with just one of your friends. You log in. You’re prompted to complete a quest like any other MMO. The objective asks you to retrieve a sword (courier quests never get old). When you show up, the sword isn’t there. You ask around the quest giver and he says your friend beat you to the punch.
Maybe that’s the end of the quest-line, or maybe that one quest opened up a whole new set of quests that your friend missed. Your friend could join factions and complete their questline. The opposing (not necessarily warring) faction could shun your friend and leave their quests open to you.
Player choices would take on a whole new role. Your consequences would be consequences for your friend as well. Picture saving one NPC over saving a town – your friend returns to a burned down village. He’s missed out on some quests and probably has vowed his revenge. In a game like this, player versus player would allow players to assume the role of a villain, or a troll. By adding another agent of change into an otherwise single-player experience, PVP would greatly influence each playthrough.
I’m not a game developer. I can imagine that creating a dynamic and pervasive online world would be extremely difficult, but it’s possible. Aim small. Replace the typical MMO scale with something more intimate – maybe just two to four players with a story arch that is finite. A story I would want to revisit again and again with friends.
The problem I have with the current state of MMOs is as a result of the game accommodating the barbarian horde that is the internet. I want the experience I have with tabletop RPGs and my favorite single-player RPGs. I want quests that end, bosses who stay dead, and a world that changes because of me (or another player). I want my friend to see the effect I’ve made, and in turn I want to see what my friend has done. On the cusp of a new generation of gaming, I’m hoping this change of gameplay could become a reality.