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Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X's next batch of DLC will be revealed during The Game Awards

DLC Gremlins: The New Batch
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
The Game Awards will air on December 3, and with it, a few reveals from some major studios. One such reveal involves WB's Mortal Kombat X, which already has new confirmed DLC, as told by a tweet from Ed Boon. I mean, everyone...
BioShock & Borderlands photo
BioShock & Borderlands

Big PlayStation Now update means 4 PS3 games you've already played

BioShock and Borderlands come to Now
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
Okay, okay, I don't want to presume. For the same reason that re-releases on current platforms are fairly innocuous (people miss stuff!), it's not at all a bad thing that five (four new) 2K games just joined PlayStation Now. ...
Monster Hunter X photo
Monster Hunter X

See how much faster Monster Hunter X loads on the New 3DS

Compared to the 'old' one
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Monster Hunter X was just released recently in Japan, and it's blowing sales expectations out of the water. It's only set for the 3DS at this time, but since the platform is now semi-fragmented by the "New" and "old" models,...
Rainbow Six: Siege photo
Rainbow Six: Siege

Here's how Rainbow Six: Siege's microtransactions work

It's par for the course
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Since Ubisoft is Ubisoft, there's been some confusion as to how the microtransaction system works in Rainbow Six: Siege. Having experienced the retail version, I'll explain. Basically, everything that comes with a gameplay ad...
Legend of Zelda photo
Legend of Zelda

Halo artist re-imagines a realistic Legend of Zelda hero

Link Larkin hair
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
It's always interesting seeing things from a new set of eyes. In this case, it's a re-imagining of Link from Halo artist Kyle Hefley, who currently works for 343 Industries, handling character designs. This art is more o...
12 Deals of Christmas photo
12 Deals of Christmas

Metal Gear Solid V is half off on the EU PlayStation Store

Just like Snake's arm
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
Putting the US PlayStation Phantom Pain price of $45 (25%) to shame, the European PlayStation Blog just kicked off its 12 Deals of Christmas and day one of deals is half off Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on either PS3 ...
The Cossacks are coming photo
The Cossacks are coming

Europa Universalis IV on sale in time for Cossacks expansion

Cheap EUIV ahead of 6th expansion
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
As we famously reported a couple months back: The Cossacks are coming, the Cossacks are coming! Well, those cock and ball sack hybrids have hit Steam as Europa Universalis IV's sixth major expansion. It will run you $20 -- n...

Killing Floor 2's Return of the Patriarch update is worth the wait

Dec 01 // Zack Furniss
Killing Floor 2 (PC [previewed], PlayStation 4)Developer: Tripwire InteractivePublisher: Tripwire Interactive Release date: April 21, 2015 (Steam Early Access)MSRP: $29.99 I wish I had a video to show you, but I ran into problem after problem when it came to recording my time with Return of the Patriarch. If I can iron out those problems in the coming days, I'll upload some footage of a playthrough on Suicidal difficulty. In terms of perk balance and weapon damage, keep in mind that everything I describe here is in regards to solo play on Suicidal. In the first Killing Floor, the Sharpshooter perk used both long-range weapons (rifles, a crossbow) and dual pistols, utilizing highly-damaging headshots to kill the bigger Zeds. In the sequel, dual pistols have found their home in a new perk: Gunslinger. This is a natural transition since Sharpshooter had entirely too many guns and dual-wielding is nuanced enough for it's own perk. Having two separate handfuls of metal feels more fleshed out in Killing Floor 2, and the class's perk skills lend it a few different styles of play. The first perk skill choice is between moving faster while aiming down the sights (with reduced weapon sway) and faster weapon switch transitions. I generally opted for the second one, since once you get the feel for shooting without iron sights, you start to ignore them. Next, you have a choice between 20% more damage for Gunslinger weapons or a headshot multiplier. This largely determines your playstyle but both seem completely viable so far. Choosing the headshot multiplier is about careful selection of targets, running far enough away to find some breathing room and determine which melon to burst first. Each headshot fills an increment on a bar that appears on the screen, and a sound effect plays, intensifying with each Zed you shoot in the head. Once you reach seven headshots, a triumphant noise happens with each additional popped skull that is supremely satisfying every time. It sounds annoying when I describe it, but it doesn't feel that way in action. Each consecutive headshot adds 5% to your damage, capping off at 75%, but if you miss a shot beyond seven, it'll go back to seven. If you miss again, it'll go down one increment with each shot. I initially thought that one missed shot would bring the counter to zero, but I much prefer this system. Get ready to hate the invisible Stalkers when they block one of your perfectly lined up shots. Using the flat damage increase is much more reliable, but not quite as fun as the multiplier. Pulling off consecutive headshots and then being rewarded with an ultra-powerful damage bonus against a Scrake feels skillful and makes Gunslinger more unique. Flat damage is a sure thing, and I'd be lying my ass off if I said I didn't enjoy sprinting away and then unleashing a hail of bullets while the Zeds charged me on Hell on Earth difficulty. I'm not yet sure which perk skill high level players will choose yet, since they both have their uses. I'm glad to see choices that aren't as clear cut as past perks. Back to the other perk skills! The third tier is faster reloading or the ability to penetrate an additional Zed with every bullet. This is another hard choice, even though I would have thought reloading would be the way to go. All Gunslinger guns already pass through bodies into the monster behind them, and since Zeds tend to stack up behind one another, extra penetration helps you clear out hordes rather quickly. My feelings on this are clouded by the fact that in the build I was playing, you could reload cancel immediately after one of your two guns was reloaded. If that's patched out by the time the update is live, increased reload speed will probably be the overwhelmingly popular choice. I reached level 16, so those are the only skills I was able to try first-hand. Fourth tier is between increased stumble chance when shooting chests or increased knockdown chance when shooting sprinting Zeds in the legs. The fifth tier is limitless firing without reloading/ the ability to fire as fast as you want in Zed time (slow motion to those unfamiliar). I'd probably choose the second option for both of those, but I won't know until I play with them. Passive abilities include bullet resistance, weapon damage, move speed, and recoil reduction. You probably want to know about those sweet, sweet guns you'll be firing (I promise I'm only a gun nut when it comes to Killing Floor). The starting weapons are a pair of 1858 revolvers, nail bombs (fun for close-quarters!), and a bowie knife. While the 1858s seem a tad weak at low level, once you acclimate to their penetration, they can be effective. In a cool little touch, if you drop one of them, your free hand will fan the hammer and your rate of fire will increase. I came up with a fun little trick: when you activate Zed time, toss one gun up into the air, fan the hammer to neutralize the oncoming threat, catch the gun, and continue blasting. You will feel like a big ol' badass. Even though the 1858s can be fun, I almost always sell them immediately to get the M1911s. Their combination of speed, capacity, and stopping power make them my favorite Gunslinger weapon to use. Darting around and launching lead with these 'lil fuckers is some of the most fun I've had with the game so far. Though they aren't as powerful as the higher tier weapons, they're prone to knocking down Zeds. There were numerous occasions where I thought I had killed something, but I had simply knocked it on its ass.  Next up are the Desert Eagles. Now we're getting to the bigguns, and that's reflected in their damage potential. With the Desert Eagles, you can feel how powerful they are with both the small ring of fire that appears with every shot and the THOOOM sound effect that happens with each click. Using these, you have a chance against both Scrakes and Fleshpounds (especially with that headshot multiplier!).  Rounding out the collection is the .500 "Zed Collector," a pistol-sized cannon. These are ungodly strong, to the point where shooting a weaker Zed causes it to outright explode. I am not ashamed to admit that I cackled each time a Crawler became a meat tornado due to one of my shots. Fleshpounds are rendered toothless when you surprise them with a pair of these. Even bosses go down quickly when you have something this strong. Speaking of bosses... Yay! The Patriarch is back! Though he is without mustache, it's good to see the old original boss back and "with some new tricks." His new form is hideous, and while I initially didn't care for him being so thick (why is everything thicker in Killing Floor 2?), it's grown on me as much as his mutations have grown on him. Fighting him is fairly similar to how it was in the first game: he'll use his gatling gun and rocket launcher whenever you try to flee, cloak to sneak up on you, and his disgusting chest-protrusion will latch onto you and pull you close. He can use his rockets to flush you out of cover, and the ensuing smoke trails are as beautiful as they are dangerous. Fighting him as the Gunslinger can be rough, since his hump over his head makes headshots more difficult to pull off. I've taken him down on Suicidal, and he was a tough but fair endeavor. I'm not sure how it'll be with a full squad, but I look forward to a meaty challenge. Since both the Patriarch and Hans Volter have an equal chance of spawning, teams will have to be prepared for anything. This is a welcome shake to the formula, and I think everyone's going to like coming up with new tactics instead of dealing with Hans' three phase fight ad nauseam. The only disappointment regarding the Patriarch fight is that his theme (Abandon All) has been replaced with a new, faster-paced song. It's blasphemous to say, but I actually really like the new song and think it fits the theme of a quicker, more brutal boss fight.  Two new maps bring unexpected changes to Killing Floor 2. Farmhouse is a tiny tiny tiny close-quarters map: a two-story house and barn surrounded by a cornfield makes for the perfect little skirmish. Since the area is so small, you're forced to be more mobile than previous maps, and you'll spend most of your time kiting around the yard. Since enemies can spawn in the cornfield, nowhere is completely safe, and it's a welcomely unwelcome feeling. Barricaded windows on both the house and barn can be destroyed to provide vantage points for picking off Zeds from above, giving you plenty of ways to re-enact your favorite horror films. Black Forest is the other new map, and it's much larger. It's a brightly-lit forest where there are remnants of train tracks and an old bar, and a Horzine train recently crashed nearby. Rushing rivers cascade through the wreckage, and it's all very scenic. As waves progress, the sun goes down, reducing visibility. The bar has walls that can be destroyed by way of gunfire or overzealous Zeds, which startled the crap out of me the first time. It's hard to feel safe when even walls can't protect you. When I asked the developers if they planned to have day/night cycles and semi-destructible environments in future levels, they said that nothing was currently planned, but it's a definite possibility. Even though that last map gets fairly dark, you'll now be equipped with a flashlight no matter what weapon you have in your hands. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, since flashlight attachments used to be an integral part of weapon selection. It's definitely convenient to always be able to see in dark levels (looking at you, catacombs), but it remains to be seen whether this'll be a good change in the long run.  Another welcome change is that the collectibles hidden in each level are now much less of a pain in the ass. Instead of having to find all of them, you only have to find ten per level. They still only unlock achievements, but it's more enjoyable when you don't have to scour maps for every little collectible. Plus, the new maps have themed items: little dolls in Farmhouse (a reference to the Toy Maker mod in the first game) and little Clot Mother chunks in Black Forest. There are a host of other changes in this update as well. Audio has been re-balanced and there are more sliders to customize your sound experience. The Fleshpound supposedly has new sounds, but I wasn't able to hear them all that well (I've been having speaker problems, so this is probably on my end). Berserker has been re-balanced as well, with Fortitude giving only 75 more health instead of 100, and Smash being less ridiculous, lessening the 100% bonus to hard hits going down to 25%. The main menu has also been changed to make room for the shop tab, where you can buy either costume sets for Hayato, Mr. Foster, and Constable Briar or decryption keys to unlock crates. As far as the item drops go, they're earned at the end of a battle in the results screen, so players won't sprint away and abandon their team to get a shiny new gun skin. In my 10 or so hours with the update, I've unlocked 7 gun skins and one cosmetic item. Of course, drop rates are probably different in the build I played than the one will go public, but it's still worth mentioning. I don't think the system was fully implemented yet as I didn't see any mention of conditions (such as battle-scarred or field-tested). One new character also makes his debut in this update. Oisten Jaegerhorn, a big burly Swede, is a member of a Metallica tribute band called "Metalbika." Most of his little comments involve his being in a metal band, such as saying the Siren has a bad singing voice. He's especially fun when he picks up dual revolvers and says stuff like "IT TAKES A VIKING TO HOLD TWO OF THESE" in his booming, enthusiastic voice. All-in-all, this is a hefty update that fuels my ever-burning interest to blow up Zeds in new ways. The Patriarch makes the formula less predictable, the new concepts in the maps introduce fresh ideas, and Tripwire stills knows how to make good guns go boom. The incoming map and mod support will bring even more to the plate, but I wasn't able to see them in action. I'm curious to see how the community will react to the Gunslinger, as right now, it's kind of amazing at everything. It's a trash-killing boss-murdering machine with just the right amount of friction behind every pull of the trigger. I hope that every other class gets brought up to this level, instead of Gunslinger getting nerfed.  But then again, I haven't tried Hell on Earth difficulty with a full squad. I hope to play with you all soon (couple of weeks maybe?) when the update comes out.
Killing Floor 2 photo
It takes a Viking to handle TWO OF THESE
Last week, Tripwire Interactive came under scrutiny when they introduced cosmetic microtransactions to Killing Floor 2. Many people who had purchased the Steam Early Access title felt that this showed Tripwire's true money-gr...

PS4 deals photo
PS4 deals

Sony has two new $300 PlayStation bundles

Star Wars Battlefront and Uncharted
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
PlayStation 4 bundles didn't seem too prevalent or kill-worthy this deals season (though it's possible I just missed them all), but it looks like Sony is formalizing that $300 Uncharted Trilogy bundle and adding a $300 Star Wars Battlefront PS4 bundle for a couple more weeks of December. The price will hold December 5 through Dec. 19, according to the PlayStation Blog.
Activision photo

Activision reveals crowd-sourced music video results for Guitar Hero Live

100,000 videos generated
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
I'm generally not a fan of lip-sync videos, but it looks like Activision managed to round up quite a few people into their newest scheme for Guitar Hero Live. The gist is that people are tasked with creating a video for Ed Sh...
Still DoA photo
Still DoA

Tecmo disavows Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 comment, still not bringing it west

Walk back, but not too far
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
Comments made last week by a page administrator on the Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Facebook went beyond confirming the game wouldn't come west. Replying to a different inquiry on the subject, a representative wrote, "Do you know m...
Prescription for Sleep photo
Prescription for Sleep

Prescription for Sleep: Lullabies of Mana is a beautiful Secret of Mana tribute

From composer Norihiko Hibino
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
[Disclosure: Scarlet Moon Productions' Jayson Napolitano used to write for Destructoid.] Secret of Mana is one of those games that really means a lot to me. It wasn't just because I had so much fun with the co-op fu...
King's Quest Chapter Two photo
King's Quest Chapter Two

Second King's Quest chapter out December 15

Rubble Without a Cause
Dec 01
// Darren Nakamura
It's been a long time coming since the first episode of King's Quest, which turned out better than many expected. Five months is a long time between episodes, especially when competitors like Telltale are generally maintain a...
Level-5 photo

Level-5's Snack World is supposed to be the next Yo-Kai Watch craze

We'll see
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Although we already got a look at the English version of The Snack World earlier this year, it's getting ready to actually come to fruition soon. Snack is the latest "cross-media" project from the publish...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

A new fighter is coming to Pokken Tournament soon

Revealed on December 10
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Pokken Tournament currently hosts 11 characters (counting Pikachu Libre and Shadow Mewtwo), and it looks like one more will be revealed on December 10, as per the official Twitter account. I'd wager that the new character wou...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Microsoft and Square are both happy with Rise of the Tomb Raider

Neither seem concerned by low sales
Dec 01
// Laura Kate Dale
While official sales data for Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One is still not publicly available, numbers being unofficially thrown around for the timed exclusive have suggested that it's currently selling incredibly poorly....
Capcom photo

This is not a drill: Capcom trademarks Onimusha in Japan

Please be a new game
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Capcom has apparently registered the Onimusha trademark in Japan for re-use. While this may seem like nothing, Capcom noted recently it's putting a lot of eggs into the remaster basket, and this seems like an obvious can...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco Europe just opened an official online store

Buy some mugs, shirts, and art
Dec 01
// Laura Kate Dale
Hey you, European Bandai Namco fans, do you want to buy some physical stuff to do with games you like? Well, Bandai Namco Europe just launched an online store where you can buy all sorts of online goodies. To celebrate the si...
Nintendo photo

Nintendo Account launches in Japan, shows your purchase history

Here we go!
Dec 01
// Vikki Blake
Nintendo Account - the snappily-titled new account service for Nintendo - has begun rolling out in Japan. The new membership scheme will act as a single log-in for all your Nintendo stuffs, current and future, including ...
Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

Are you having trouble running Just Cause 3?

You're not alone :(
Dec 01
// Vikki Blake
According to reports on reddit, some players are experiencing significant issues with newly launched Just Cause 3. As reported by VG247, some framerate and performance issues can be resolved on PC by way of a graphi...
NX photo

Nintendo NX suppliers rumoured to be aiming to ship 12 million units in 2016

With a release of Q2 2016?
Dec 01
// Joe Parlock
We still don’t really know anything about Nintendo’s next console, the NX. It might be a handheld/console hybrid, but until Nintendo formally unveils it, it could be anything. However, if rumours published by Digi...
Monster Hunter X photo
Monster Hunter X

Monster Hunter X has outsold Monster Hunter 4G in less than a week on the Japanese eShop

That's a lot of monsters being hunted
Dec 01
// Joe Parlock
Japan likes Monster Hunter. It likes Monster Hunter a lot. The series sometimes doesn’t get the love it deserves in the West, but in Japan it’s a bona fide gaming phenomenon. Japan likes Monster Hunter so much that Monster Hunter X, which only came out a few days ago, has already outsold last year’s Monster Hunter 4G on the Nintendo eShop.
metroidvania photo

Heart Forth, Alicia is really coming along

Get outta my dreams
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The latest Kickstarter update for Heart Forth, Alicia is a lot to get through. There's been a delay -- from Q1 2016 to the second half of the year -- but rather than just give a basic explanation for the change of plans, the ...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Platinum is doing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles next

Mutants in Manhattan
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Australia's classification board has a listing for a multiplatform game called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan and, hot damn, it's developed by Platinum Games. Question is, will its scope fall more in line ...

Review: Just Cause 3

Nov 30 // Patrick Hancock
Just Cause 3 (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: Avalanche StudiosPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $59.99Release Date: December 1, 2015 Reviewed on: Intel i7-4770k 3.50 GHz, 8GB of RAM, Geforce GTX 970, Windows 10.  Just Cause 3 once again follows the exploits of Rico Rodriguez on a quest to liberate a region from a corrupt dictator, settlement by settlement. This time Rico has access to Medici, a nation under the control of Sebastiano Di Ravello. Medici is about the same size of Just Cause 2's Panau, which is to say it is huge. One big reason why Medici is a sought-after nation is due to its resource of Bavarium, a super-resource that allows for all sorts of militaristic applications. While I'm sure most players are not coming for the plot, the writers do a great job to keep the player entertained with the cast of characters involved. Rico has a handful of allies that aid him and the rebels throughout the campaign, and each character is great. Sure, they're essentially B-movie caricatures, but they're lovable caricatures. Despite the urgency and political turmoil constantly woven into each action Rico undertakes, his allies always seemed to put a big grin on my face. A lot of this comes down to two three things: the writing, voice acting, and animations. Again, the overarching narrative isn't going to blow any minds, but the moment-to-moment dialogue between the few important characters is consistently wonderful. Best of all, each voice actor delivers lines in a casual and believable way, something that is helped by realistic accompanying animations. No, there's no Bolo Santosi, but not every game is perfect. [embed]322878:61303:0[/embed] The bulk of the experience involves blowing the shit out of anything and everything. In order to take down Di Ravello, Rico must go from location to location, destroying everything owned by the evil dictator. It just so happens that about 95 percent of those items are highly explosive! When entering an area, whether it be a military base or a settlement, a list of destructible objects appear on the left side of the screen and it is the player's job to take them out. As less and less objects remain, they become more and more visible on the game's map, preventing the player from searching forever for that one last thing. The most useful tools at Rico's disposal are his grappling hooks. Not only is it possible to grapple onto a surface and travel straight to it, but Rico can use it to attach two separate items and pull them together. In Just Cause 3, it is possible to have up to six grappling hooks at a time. Six! This means twelve items can be linked to each other in a number of ways, and they can all converge on each other at once. Anyone who has played the previous game knows just how ridiculous that sounds. Okay, so there's explosives and grappling, but those aren't even the best mechanics, all things told. Movement in Just Cause 3 is easily the most fluid and beautiful system I've ever used. Seriously, I have never enjoyed moving around an open world as much as I have in Just Cause 3. There are three systems that mesh together: the grappling hook, the parachute, and, most importantly, the newly-acquired wing suit.  There's a lot of verticality to Medici, which makes flying around with the wing suit an absolute thrill. Plus, with the grappling hook available, it's possible to glide almost indefinitely at high speeds. I rarely used a vehicle to get around at all, since it was often slower and way less entertaining. The exception is when traveling over a large amount of water, since there is nothing to grapple onto and pull Rico along. Other than the campaign missions and settlements to liberate, Medici has random events, challenges, and collectibles. The random events might be to help tow someone's car to a gas station, or to prevent a group of friendly rebels from suffering the fate of a firing squad. There aren't too many varieties, but the distractions are quick and the rewards can easily be worth it. Some of the challenges are the standard "maneuvering a vehicle through rings," but others perfectly show off the game's mechanics and carefree attitude. Perhaps my favorite is a very Burnout-esque challenge that has players drive a car with a bomb strapped to it to a desired location only to jump out at the last moment to create chaos. The twist here is that, like Keanu Reeves in Speed, if the car goes below a certain speed, the bomb will explode. It's not as strict as the movie, but if a player goes too slow for too long, the challenge is failed. Others, like the wing suit courses, are also great and help hone specific skills. Players are awarded up to five "gears," depending on performance. Think of them like star ratings. Acquiring gears in certain challenge categories go towards unlocking new upgrades in those areas. For example, performing well in the Speed challenges gives Rico more upgrades for his explosives. Many of the upgrades make things simply better or more useful, like adding explosive charges, but some are more play-style driven. Players can turn these upgrades on and off at will once they are unlocked. For those looking to get more gears in challenges, keep this in mind; it is way easier to get a high score at the end of the game than it is at the beginning due to upgrades. Since this is an open world game in 2015, there's a smattering of collectibles strewn throughout Medici. I'm not one to care about them, but for those who do, Just Cause 3 has your back. If anything collectible is nearby, a small radar blip appears on the bottom of the screen that increases in signal strength as the item draws near. In addition, liberating a province (usually made of three to seven settlements) pinpoints the locations of these hidden items on the map. The biggest thing to realize while playing Just Cause 3 is it is mostly up to the player to keep things interesting. Liberating settlement after settlement does get stale, especially because they're essentially identical to one other, just with different layouts. Always using the same weapons to destroy the same objects gets old quickly. If players aren't inspired to get creative with their destruction, it's easy to get bored. The game gives the players all the tools needed to keep things fresh, but provides no tangible incentive to do so, therefore any such incentive must be intrinsically motivated. My recommendation is to keep doing challenges. By completing challenges and unlocking new upgrades, players will naturally want to play around with those upgrades. Well, what better way to test them out then when liberating a settlement? It would have been appreciated if various weapons had their own challenges, which would push players into switching it up more often. The story missions spice things up with some different objectives, but even those tend to repeat and feel "samey" after a while. Occasionally story missions will be locked, forcing the player to liberate more provinces or specific settlements before progressing. There's usually a canonical reason given for this, but it can easily lead to the player feeling burnt out. Liberating two or three provinces means going through about 15 settlements in a row. That's....a lot, especially considering how similar each one is to any other. Again, I'll offer some advice. Liberate settlements as you travel around. See a settlement? Blow the shit out of it and free those people! This will leave random settlements already completed, which means when you are forced to do so, it's much less tedious. Another way to help break the monotony is to call in Rebel Drops. These allow Rico to ask for some presents like vehicles, weapons, and explosives, to be dropped right in front of him. They are limited, but the system is much easier to understand and operate than the previous game's black market. If the feeling of staleness is creeping up, call in a rebel drop containing any assortment of items, and find the best way to use them in tandem! Visually, Just Cause 3 looks great, especially in motion on PC. The visuals are highly customizable with the standard graphical options expected on the platform. I ran everything at "Very High" and got a constant 60 frames-per-second... once I turned the motion blur off. I experimented with many different settings, and the lack of motion blur easily yielded the best performance. I did have some rare instances of artifacting, but was never able to actually reproduce them intentionally. I also ran in to a terrible glitch where Rico was performing the "dammit I got hit" animation every three-seconds, preventing me from doing, well, anything. A quick restart fixed the issue and I never saw it again, fortunately enough. Then, there's the issue with signing in to the Square Enix servers. The first thing the game does upon booting it up is to log in to the servers. The game is not always-online, but wants to connect to show players leaderboards for a variety of categories. These are things like longest time in a wing suit or most consecutive headshots. If a player loses connection, it pauses the game immediately and tries to reconnect. If it can't, the player can elect to go into offline mode. Great! Offline mode sounds wonderful. Except it tries to reconnect all the damn time. After a short while of being in offline mode, whenever the player checks the map, pauses the game, or initiates a challenge, the game will try to reconnect to the servers. The result is a constant view of the connection screen - either disconnecting or attempting to reconnect. This makes the game nigh unplayable with a spotty Internet connection. If that worries you, a solution on PC is to play the game through Steam's "offline mode." I can only hope there's an easier solution down the road. The enjoyment players get from Just Cause 3 will come from exactly how they approach the game. Those looking to fly around and blow up just about everything in sight will be elated with one of the most fluid movement systems in any game and the gorgeous explosion visuals that really pack a punch. As bizarre as it sounds though, blowing everything sky high can start to feel tedious after a while without proper motivation.  I'm sure you'll be seeing a ton of animated GIFs of Just Cause 3 for a while to come, due to all of the wacky things that can happen within the game. It truly is an insane, explosion-filled romp through a beautiful nation chock-full of cheeky humor. It provides some of the best open-world tools ever. This is definitely a case of "it is what you make of it," and for those with intrinsic motivation to make it the best will be greeted with just that. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Just Cause 3 Review! photo
The best Spider-Man game yet
While driving down the New Jersey parkway for Thanksgiving, I began to notice a lot of water and radio towers perched high above the trees. "Wow, I could easily blow them up or tether them to the ground and bring them down," ...

Deals photo

Cyber Monday deals for Wii U and New 3DS XL

Spartan but servicable
Nov 30
// Dealzon
We stretched our robot eyes as far as the nanolayer allowed, but there just weren't as many Nintendo Cyber Monday deals this year compared to years past. (Or maybe they've always been a slight letdown.) On the Wii U side, the...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront's Jakku DLC looks like a good start

Casualties aplenty
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The first wave of free Star Wars Battlefront DLC debuts tomorrow for players who pre-ordered the game, while everyone else can get it a week later on December 8. As we've heard a few times now, the Battle of Jakku is made up ...
Splatoon photo

It's burgers vs. pizza in the newest Splatoon Splatfest

Like there's a choice
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
I love the forced extremes of the Splatoon Splatfests -- it's one or the other. In this case, it's a no-brainer choosing pizza over hamburgers. I mean, what culture doesn't love pizza? It utterly surprised me during my first ...

The Goon needs a video game, and so do these comics, too!

Nov 30 // Stephen Turner
The Goon What’s it about? The Goon runs a protection racket out of a Depression-era port town with his partner and only friend, Franky. It’s easy money until the zombies show up, and The Goon has to face the demons of his past in order to protect the sort-of-innocent. Did I mention the giant talking lizard, roller derby girls, and even a man made of wicker? Yeah, that happens along the way, too. How would it work as a game? You could easily set it up as a co-op brawler, where The Goon and Franky fight, shoot, shank, wrench, and quip their way through the zombie hordes, before tackling the more serious issue of werewolves, burlesque house killers, and Lovecraftian parodies. Think Hellboy: The Science of Evil, but more fun. Why isn’t there a game, then? It’s all about timing. Whereas the similar Hellboy broke the glass ceiling with a movie, during a time when obscure comics were worth a risk, The Goon hasn’t had the same chance. Years after its announcement, The Goon movie is still stuck in development hell and creator Eric Powell is currently slowing down his output, opting to do mini-series runs instead of monthly issues. So, in a way, the heat has died down on what is otherwise one of the best comics around. Fell What’s it about? Detective Richard Fell is maverick cop with plenty of book smarts and an ego to bolster it. But after he gets his partner seriously injured, Fell is transferred to Snowtown, a crime ridden burg where madness prevails and the good rely on magic to protect them. The more methodical and cynical Fell figures it's down to him alone to clean up the streets, even if it means being just as violent as the criminals he's chasing. How would it work as a game? I adore detective games, but unfortunately most punish you for not following the developers’ train of thought. Act too clever or arrive at the same solution from a different angle and you’re slapped on the wrist for not sticking to the script. Phoenix Wright and L.A. Noire were notorious for this, while Hotel Dusk and Heavy Rain were far more forgiving, allowing you get back on track with a roundabout line of questioning. The idea of Fell being too smart for his own good (and at times, to his own detriment) perfectly falls in line with the player's own inventiveness. So having a game where you're free in drawing your own conclusions, but having to know when to hold back information or lay it all down for the best sentencing would make for an intense balancing act; one that credits the player for being smart on their own accord. Why isn’t a game, then? Fell was short-lived at 9 issues long, released sporadically over 3 years (2005-2008). It’s probably too much of a risk for such a dead comic, and Warren Ellis is either too busy rocking out with Grinderman (Edit: Not the same Warren Ellis!) or writing another book to check his emails. Stumptown What’s it about? Dex Parios is the sole proprietor of Stumptown Investigations, a P.I. agency based in Portland, OR. She’s perpetually stubborn, witty in the face of danger, and not afraid to get into a fight. She’s also damn good at solving mysteries, which is pretty useful as she’s in deep with the casinos, has to look after a brother with Down syndrome, and owns a Dodge that needs repairing on regular basis. But as much as she needs the money, she never gives up on a client and her cases usually shine light on the darker side of Portland; the one all but forgotten in the midst of a hipster boom. How would it work as a game? I wasn't a fan of Life is Strange, but that’s really down to me wanting a straightforward neo-noir set in the Pacific Northwest than a Donnie Darko homage with bad dialogue. However, its point and click/choice-and-consequence gameplay perfectly suits Stumptown and Dex herself (brilliantly written by Greg Rucka, a man who understands solid female characters). In the comics, she’s constantly strong armed by client compromises and her own addictions, so it would be nice to see a game where a modern day white knight is bent out of shape as loyalties to one person has a knock-on effect to others. Plus, the episodic nature would be ideal for standalone cases. Why isn’t it a game, then? The straightforward detective game is a rare beast. It has to have a gimmick to work, to keep the player engaged and allow a broad audience to win. I’d love to see a no-frills experience happen, though, and the Portland backdrop has currently been refreshing mysteries in the media from Backstrom to Cold Weather and even the police procedural elements of Grimm. Look, I'm just obsessed with going to Portland at the moment, okay? DMZ What’s it about? The near future: America has been torn apart by a second Civil War. Manhattan is now a demilitarised zone, with its poorest citizens trapped in a Westernised No Man’s Land. Reporter Matty Roth enters the zone to get the scoop of a lifetime, but ends up becoming the news as the DMZ heads towards revolution. How would it work as a game? The Walking Dead and This War of Mine have both shown there’s an audience for moral choices and tough decisions. You could go either direction for DMZ, either as a Telltale adventure or as a survivalist scavenger hunt. Much like The Goon, this one writes itself with a rich lore without you knowing every little detail to buy in. Why isn’t it a game, then? Eh, This War of Mine already exists and does an excellent job of highlighting war from a civilian perspective. Plus, The Division, which is basically all the action parts of DMZ in one condensed package, is on the way. Got to love Ubisoft for taking existing IPs and tweaking them enough to pretend it was their idea all along; see also: Watch_Dogs and Person of Interest. Girls What’s it about? Petty bitterness and primal urges threaten simple common sense when a town is invaded by identical naked alien women who just want to procreate. Trapped in a giant dome, a battle of the sexes erupts between its human cast. Their very survival depends on telling the men to keep it in their pants. Guess how that turns out. How would it work as a game? Girls would be controversial as a video game, but played right, it wouldn't be anything more shocking than what Catherine achieved with its sexual dilemmas. Video games shine when they’re allowed to be reflective of player interaction, even throwing back excuses for our Machiavellian nature. There’s a scene in The Walking Dead: Season One’s finale, where Clem’s kidnapper goes over the choices Lee has made, and at times, breaks the fourth wall. Think about it: Did you really save Carley over Doug because she had the gun, or because she was a potential love interest? Imagine a game like Girls having the same “don’t bullshit me” attitude as you doom a whole town with your virtual dick. Why isn’t it a game, then? It’s a comic about naked alien women and the men who take advantage of them. Stark naked lady bits and all! As much as I’d love a game like Girls, it’s probably not going to be on Steam any time soon. 100 Bullets What’s it about? Several wronged people across America are given an offer by a mysterious old man named Agent Graves: One untraceable gun, 100 spare bullets, and a carte blanche for revenge. Some buy into it easily, others chew over the morality of it all, but those who impress Graves end up being taken under his wing and into a conspiracy that's integral to the country's violent history. How would it work as a game? Despite the snappy title, 100 Bullets is more of a hardboiled thriller than an action series. It's a saga where every pull of the trigger has a far reaching consequence, where loyalties shift, and just about every character struggles to see the bigger picture. When the violence does happen, it's the end result of some messy choices and the gory outbursts are nasty periods at the end of every chapter. As a game, 100 Bullets would work best as a cocktail of third person shooting and tailored choices, much like Blues & Bullets. It would make for some nail-biting decisions and morality plays, where killing someone actually means something, good and bad. Why isn't it a game, then? Well, it's not like someone hasn't tried already. Personally, the cancelled game had it all wrong from the start. Yes, Cole Burns is probably the second famous character of the series, but that doesn't make him a good fit for a shootbang protagonist. He's actually the kind of shit stirrer you'd find on an episode of The Apprentice. Also, making 100 Bullets a generic third person shooter just takes the depth away from, in my mind, one of the best comic books ever made. Criminal Macabre What’s it about? Cal McDonald is a junkie private eye and monster slayer for a bunch of ghouls living in the L.A. sewers. He's a total badass, and this is before he gets wings. How would it make a good game? Despite the umbrella title, The Cal McDonald Mysteries are usually solved with a lot of guns and even more painkillers. I can almost see a Max Payne-meets-Constantine shooter with moments of crime scene investigation and crazy demon boss fights. But mostly crazy demon boss fights. Why isn’t it a game, then? Cal's creator, Steve Niles, worked on F.E.A.R. 3, and I'm guessing that terrible game has scarred him for life. That, and as much as I love the series, it would have to be a stellar third person shooter to be remotely successful; something that's gone the way of the B-tier developer. Crossed What’s it about? Post-apocalyptic, rape and murder nightmare fuel, one that makes The Walking Dead look like a camping trip. Forget making any decisions, you’ve already been buggered and God knows what else. How would it work as a game? I don't know, try asking uber-fan and Community Manager, Occams Electric Toothbrush, because he's a sick son of a bitch. Why isn’t it a game, then? Because as I've already said, our Community Manager, Occams Electric Toothbrush, is a sick son of a bitch. Right, enough about my choices, what comic would you like to see made into a game?
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