Gaming

Assassin’s Creed 4 “Pirate Heist” Trailer

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Assassin’s Creed 4 “Pirate Heist” Trailer

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is a flashy departure from the rest of the series, and the latest trailer is no exception. The “Pirate Heist” trailer frames the latest entry in Ubisoft’s history-spanning saga of Assasins, Templars, and the historically-significant bystanders caught in their struggle as a straightforward heist-flick.

Of course, the time and place are fantastic fits for precisely this sort of “band of badasses” tale, and pirate connoisseurs can spot several legendary names in the best traditions of the Assassin’s Creed series. Will this shift in genres give the series new sea legs?

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Review – Plants vs Zombie 2: iOS

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Review – Plants vs Zombie 2: iOS

The world of gaming is certainly filled with various genres, but none caught me more by surprise then Tower Defense. It was a name I heard kicked around the internet, usually connected to German music videos. That was when someone introduced me to Plants vs Zombies, a great introduction into the world of tower defense. I was immediately hooked, and played the crap out of the title.

Now with the sequel debuting on the iOS I figured it was time to give this Free-to-Play tower defense a much needed play through. How does Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s about Time hold up? How does the F2p affect the general game-play?

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[Review] Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

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[Review] Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the most impressive, terrifying cult hits in PC history. With a miniscule budget and none of the advantages that a huge development or publishing house can provide, Amnesia became a fan favorite almost immediately after its launch, terrifying critics and gamers alike.

 

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Low-light? Check. Creepy Church? Check. Crucified Pig? Ch . . . wait, what?

 

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs bears a heavy burden in terms of expectation, and tragically, it does not do so with great skill or grace.

 

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To Timidly Go: Are Sci-Fi Film Tropes Holding Back Sci-Fi Gaming?

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To Timidly Go: Are Sci-Fi Film Tropes Holding Back Sci-Fi Gaming?

With souped-up graphics and processing power, Playstation 4 and Xbox One will bring us one step closer to truly “cinematic” video games. But could game developers’ long quest to emulate silver-screen cool actually limit the creative potential of next-generation console titles?

This question came to mind after the recent burst of publicity for Destiny and Titanfall, two of the “most anticipated” next-gen games. They are also both science fiction titles — a gaming genre that leans especially heavily on Hollywood-derived tropes.

A quick glance at the current console era shows just how often such games mimic cinematic sci-fi — and how limiting that approach can be when designers with a blank virtual slate fall back on the constrained conventions of film.

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[Game-play Impressions] Grand Theft Auto V

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[Game-play Impressions] Grand Theft Auto V

 

Let’s be honest: odds are, you’re going to play this game.  You probably either already have it or have schemes to obtain a copy.  It’s Grand Theft Auto – the franchise that put open world sandbox titles on the map.  I’m not going to bandy words or go into a long diatribe about the nuances of the narrative, the gritty comic-book stylings, or the phenomenal tech behind the game.  We’ll simply be providing sound-bite sized impressions of the title into a live-feed here over the first several hours of game-play.

 

So come on in and check out PG’s live impressions of GTA V!

 

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Killer is Dead and shallow absurdism

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Killer is Dead and shallow absurdism

Criticizing any Suda51 game for not making sense is a dangerous business. Surrealist, deliberately bizarre narratives are the eccentric developer’s stock in trade. And Killer is Dead’s jumbled mishmash of vague globe-trotting assassination narrative, well-worn eclectic gameplay, and decidedly jarring neon aesthetic is too deliberately incoherent – studiously so, even – for mere accident.

Making this little sense takes effort. And deliberately thumbing one’s nose at artistic conventions has a long and proud tradition in other mediums. Killer is Dead, like several other entries in Suda51’s oeuvre, invokes absurdist artistic movements such as Dadaism and Surrealism in its casual disregard for verisimilitude and its bizarre, almost tauntingly self-aware attitude.

Unfortunately given these high ambitions, KiD only mimics absurdist forms. Its shallow deconstruction fails to compensate for average game-play, forgettable cast, uncomfortable sexism and a completely incoherent narrative. Killer is Dead is a testament to literary techniques not always surviving the transition between mediums.

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[Review] Total War: Rome II

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[Review] Total War: Rome II

 

Total War: Rome II is the latest in a string of stellar strategy real-time-strategy titles from the incredibly talented and much-lauded developers at Creative Assembly, and it’s no surprise that it’s a brilliant piece of work. The Total War franchise has a reputation for deep strategic and tactical game-play, and incredible depth and replay value. Rome II certainly delivers on this front – but it suffers from some technical issues that mar the overall experience.

 

Still, Total War: Rome II is easily one of the deepest and most satisfying tactical experiences in its category.

The scale of combat in this title is just incredible.

The scale of combat is just incredible.

 

 

Overall – 7.8

 

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Starcraft Universe releases first multiplayer raid encounter for Kickstarter

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Starcraft Universe releases first multiplayer raid encounter for Kickstarter

With their Starcraft Universe Kickstarted headed into its final days, Upheaval Arts has an enticement for prospective donors: its first, entirely free multiplayer content released to the public.

Starcraft Universe: Final Testament is a “complex boss raid, tailored towards hardcore fans of MMO raiding.” This boss encounter is the first multiplayer content released for Starcraft Universe. Players don’t need to buy Starcraft II to play Starcraft Universe; the free starter bundle for Starcraft II will suffice.

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[Preview/Beta Impressions] Insurgency

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[Preview/Beta Impressions] Insurgency

New World Interactive‘s Insurgency is an Early Access Title available through Steam, currently in Beta. New World Interactive has stated their intent to create a ”community driven development experience,” and to bring about an “indie revival of the tactical shooter genre.” I have to admit that I find it hard to imagine a world where any part of the FPS genre needed any sort of resurgence at all, but I enthusiastically dove into Insurgency‘s beta test, waded through several hours of its class-based tactical shooter combat, and have emerged with the following resounding reaction: meh.

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