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Episodic Content

Hella creep photo
Hella creep

Life is Strange's Warren is taking things too far


Life is strange (when you have a stalker)
Mar 26
// Brett Makedonski
Alright, dude. We get it. You're into the girl. All the nervous chatter and endless texts killed your cover. It's okay, though. She might be into you too. But, what she won't be into is finding you hiding behind bushes starin...

Life is Strange: Episode Two Achievement guide

Mar 25 // Brett Makedonski
Out of Time: Finish Episode 2: Out of Time This is the only Achievement that's earned through story progression. Just finish the second episode. It shouldn't give you any trouble at all. Field of View: Find optional photo #1 in Episode 2: Out of Time Simply take a photo of the bunny in Kate's dorm room at the beginning of the episode. Full Exposure: Find optional photo #2 in Episode 2: Out of Time In the courtyard right outside the girls’ dorm, there’s a garbage can with food in it. Take it out for a squirrel to eat. When the squirrel scurries over, take a picture. Processor: Find optional photo #3 in Episode 2: Out of Time This one takes a bit of placement. Position yourself by the fire hydrant outside of the Two Whales Diner, and look up at the giant sign above the building. Move around while looking at the sign until the prompt to take the picture pops up. Image Stabilizer: Find optional photo #4 in Episode 2: Out of Time Go around the far side of the outside of the diner so that there’s a fence between you and the ferocious dog. Snap a picture of the puppy from the safety of the chain link. Compressed: Find optional photo #5 in Episode 2: Out of Time Someone wrote “Firewalk with me” on the mirror in the diner’s bathroom. Snap a photo of it. Pixelated: Find optional photo #6 in Episode 2: Out of Time This is another slightly obscure one. There’s a school bus in the middle of the junkyard. On top of it is the number 142. Move toward it and a bit to the left until the prompt comes up to take the picture. Dynamic Range: Find optional photo #7 in Episode 2: Out of Time While on your junkyard beer bottle fetch quest, a doe will cross Max’s path. Follow it just a bit into the woods and take a picture of it. Colorized: Find optional photo #8 in Episode 2: Out of Time After again proving your superpowers in the bottle shooting gallery, take a picture of Chloe as she aims her gun at the heavens. Meter Made: Find optional photo #9 in Episode 2: Out of Time In the science room, talk to Warren about his science mixture. Neither Potassium or Sodium are the right answer; go up to Ms. Grant to find that out. Return to Warren and tell him to add Chlorine. Snap a picture of him with his new pink concoction. Resolution Revolution: Find optional photo #10 in Episode 2: Out of Time As you walk into the photography room, Alyssa will be standing in front of the window. Just like the last Achievement in episode one, take the final picture behind someone as she peers off into the distance. Lab Master: Find all optional photos in Episode 2: Out of Time This one unlocks as soon as you snap the last optional photo. Click, pop, Achievement unlocked!
Life is Strange guide photo
Point camera, earn Gamerscore
The second episode of Life is Strange has an Achievement set that falls right in line with the first episode's. Again, exploration is key, and taking some quirky photos will earn you some easy Gamerscore. The rules and p...

Review: Life is Strange: Out of Time

Mar 25 // Brett Makedonski
Life is Strange: Out of Time (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One[reviewed])Developer: Dontnod EntertainmentPublisher: Square EnixRelease date: March 24, 2015MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) This is a tremendous step in world-building, but Dontnod did too little with the time it had in this chapter. Episode two spends entirely too long plodding about and convincing others that, yes, Max's time-rewinding powers really do exist. Despite so much screen-time given to Max and Chloe, neither Max's personal narrative nor the relationship between the two was advanced significantly from the foundation laid in episode one. Major pacing issues plague most of this installment. While the tempo has problems, Life is Strange has no difficulty reaching incredible crescendos at the drop of a hat. These are the moments that will surely make a long-lasting impression. The final act of Out of Time holds an encounter that almost the entire episode builds toward. When it happens, it's tough to swallow the raw emotion of it all, regardless of which outcome you're saddled with. But, those type of pinnacles wouldn't pierce so strongly if they weren't slowly built upon. Small interactions accumulate as puzzles are pieced together across multiple sources. Out of Time deals heavily with subjects such as drugs, sexual abuse, and debilitating depression. That'd be daunting enough in its own right, but the player's given perspective of both the victim and those who are maliciously perpetuating the gossip. It's tough to stand by and watch someone that down and out, but it's heart-wrenching to see them relentlessly bullied. [embed]289314:57864:0[/embed] Out of Time's lasting mark will be that it's the episode where choices begin to actually matter. Those aforesaid peaks in action come to a head eventually, and many decisions made (no matter how seemingly innocuous they may have been) act as the winds of change that could very well trigger a maelstrom. There's just too much gray area between good and bad for everyone's arc to have a pleasant conclusion. Dontnod has done well so far to not telegraph a clear-cut route to achieving a desirable outcome. While Out of Time has a tendency to meander (like Max herself), it hits hard in its critical moments. This episode succeeds in that it's adept at creating sincere concern for most of the inhabitants of Life is Strange. That depth is appreciated, but Out of Time felt like a giant step to the side, as we aren't much further along than we were at the end of episode one.
Life is Strange review photo
The squirrels and the birds come
I just finished episode two of Life is Strange, and I've spiraled down a playlist of Ben Folds songs. Out of Time is Kate Marsh's story, but "Kate" is too cheerful; this tale isn't about daisies, dandelions, and butterfl...

RE: Revelations 2 photo
RE: Revelations 2

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 takes Raid online by end of month


Someone to (Terra)save you
Mar 16
// Brett Makedonski
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been a solid showing from Capcom thus far. The only real snag has been the approach to cooperative play, as it's not yet available for Raid mode. That'll change within a few week's time. ...
Telltale photo
Telltale

Telltale's first original series is a TV show and videogame crossover


Lionsgate is an investor
Feb 24
// Brett Makedonski
Telltale Games has a propensity for surprising when it comes to revealing new projects. The news that it was creating a story-based Minecraft was so far out of left field, that it prompted us to wonder aloud what the nex...
Shadow Realms photo
Shadow Realms

Development on new BioWare IP Shadow Realms ceased


It will fade into the darkness
Feb 09
// Darren Nakamura
Shadow Realms had a very cool idea going for it. The tabletop RPG-inspired, four versus one gameplay reminded me of board games like Descent or Level 7 [Omega Protocol]. The modern fantasy setting seemed like a nice break fro...

Life is Strange: Episode One Achievement guide

Jan 29 // Brett Makedonski
Chrysalis: Finish Episode 1: Chrysalis This is the only Achievement that's earned through story progression. Just finish the first episode. It shouldn't give you any trouble at all. Macro Eyes: Find optional photo #1 in Episode 1: Chrysalis After Max gets up from her desk in the classroom, "Rachel Amber <3 4 Ever" is scrawled into the desk in front of her. Just take a picture of it.   Wide Angles: Find optional photo #2 in Episode 1: Chrysalis After some plot developments take place, Max will be forced to go to Blackwell Academy's outside courtyard. Directly in front of her is a statue in the center of a fountain. Walk around so you can see its face and snap a photo. Telephotogenic: Find optional photo #3 in Episode 1: Chrysalis This is the first photo that takes a bit of trial and error. In the courtyard, there will be a group of skaters. Talk to Justin. After he calls you a "poser," rewind time and tell him that you came here to noseslide. When he asks what trick you want to see, select a tre flip. Trevor attempts it and, well, things don't go great. Take a picture of him in agony. Then, maybe rewind time because that looks like it hurt. Close-Ups: Find optional photo #4 in Episode 1: Chrysalis Outside of the dormitories, there will be some football players playing catch. Next to them is Kate sitting on a bench. Across from Kate is a tree that's hiding a cute little squirrel with a can. Grab a picture to snag the Achievement. Red Eye: Find optional photo #5 in Episode 1: Chrysalis In Max's dorm room, there's a mirror on the wall next to her door. Just take a selfie for this Achievement. Focused: Find optional photo #6 in Episode 1: Chrysalis When going through Victoria's room, notice the collage of photos next to the door. Select to mess them up, and Max arranges them into an...umm..."creative" design. Snap a photo of Victoria's new decor. Zoomed In: Find optional photo #7 in Episode 1: Chrysalis After leaving the dorms, one of the jocks will spike a football and hit Alyssa in the head. Rewind time and warn her to move out of the way. The football will bounce past her and break a window. Take a picture of the damage. Focal Pointed: Find optional photo #8 in Episode 1: Chrysalis There's a giant, filthy RV in the school's parking lot. Go up to it and write "Clean me" in the dirt on the window. Snap a picture of your harmless graffiti for an Achievement. Maximum Aperture: Find optional photo #9 in Episode 1: Chrysalis This is the most nuanced of episode one's Achievements (and even it isn't too bad). Inside Chloe's house, wander into her parents' room when you're on the hunt for tools. A bird will smack into a window and injure itself. Rewind time to open the window. If you did it right, the bird will fly into the room and land on top of the large wardrobe opposite the bed. Then, when you and Chloe are in the woods walking toward the lighthouse, that same bird will be perched on top of a rock. Take a picture and bask in the warm fuzzies knowing that you probably saved that little guy's life. Light Leak: Find optional photo #10 in Episode 1: Chrysalis Right next to the lighthouse, Chloe takes a seat on a bench overlooking the bay. Simply take a picture of her from behind. Visionary: Find all optional photos in Episode 1: Chyrsalis This unlocks as soon as you find the tenth optional photo. Two Achievements for the price of one!
Life is Strange guide photo
Point camera, earn Gamerscore
It's always great when a game's Achievements exploit the mechanic or feature that the title does best. That's what Life is Strange's set does -- at least for the first episode. Almost everything in episode one can be unlocked...

Review: Life is Strange: Chrysalis

Jan 29 // Brett Makedonski
Life is Strange: Chrysalis (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One[reviewed])Developer: Dontnod EntertainmentPublisher: Square EnixRelease date: January 30, 2015MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) Life is Strange's first episode, Chyrsalis, is aptly named and hints at Max's transformation that the audience can presumably expect to see over five installments. She's in a transitory state -- not still a youngling, not yet a full-fledged butterfly. Instead, she's wrapped up hoping to simply survive. A hard shell is necessary because most everyone in Max's hometown of Arcadia Bay, Oregon is ruthlessly hostile. Blackwell Academy, the private school she's enrolled at (and where the bulk of episode one takes place), is filled with the clique-iest of cliques, all of them an over-the-top depiction of mainstream stereotypes. The jocks are brainless bros filled with piss and vinegar. The popular girls are mean as can possibly be. The artistic kids speak in try-hard, exaggerated prose. In almost all circumstances, secondary characters eschew any semblance of subtlety or nuance. Because Max doesn't really fit into any of these archetypes, she's excluded by almost everybody. There's an early scene where she pops in her earbuds just to walk down the hall. It feels less like an opportunity to listen to music, and more like a necessary suit of armor to protect her from incoming immature insults. There's even an anti-bullying poster along the way that she responds to by thinking "This must stop bullies dead in their tracks." [embed]285097:56689:0[/embed] That poster's actually indicative of Life is Strange's strongest characteristic: exploration. Every setting is littered with objects to interact with, should anyone want yet another tiny glimpse into the brain of Max or the culture of Arcadia Bay. There's so much to discover, but most of it's in the finer details. Occasionally those items will offer assistance in a later situation, but most of the time they're there to be the filler that gives the world depth. Always looking, after all. It's nigh-impossible to not be enamored by the hand-drawn world that Dontnod created. It has a wonderfully flawed look about it, maybe one that suitably reflects Max as a central character. The animations are similarly imperfect, with the mouth movements being the most detracting culprit. The dialogue and voice acting are a wild card, though. When they're good, they're really good; but, when they're off, they're noticeably bad. However, everything is generally charming enough to look past all that. As Life is Strange is all about exploration (self- and worldly), the gameplay has a twist that aligns nicely with that core tenet of discovery. Max learns early on that she's recently acquired the ability to rewind time. The reasoning behind this supernatural power isn't explained in episode one, but nevertheless, it allows for as much poking around as anyone could possibly want. The obvious draw to the rewind mechanic is to forge gameplay through puzzles. The earliest of these sections required Max to reverse a few seconds in order to keep her camera from breaking. Then, when she didn't know the answer to a teacher's question, she rewound after he reprimanded her in order to achieve desirable results. These are basic examples, but the first installment didn't delve into anything much beyond the most rudimentary of brain-teasers. But, the more intriguing prospect to time manipulation is to further explore. Branching dialogue options can all be chosen to see the immediate aftermath. If the effect is negative, rewind and try again. It also offers the ability to snoop without anyone knowing. For instance, a later area gave the option to look at some files, but grabbing them from a high spot would result in them spilling everywhere. Looking and then reversing until they're back at their resting place leaves Max with the information and no one else any wiser. However, all those choices that have to eventually be made might have far-reaching consequences. It's too early to tell, really. After one-fifth of Life is Strange, it feels like a love letter of sorts to Donnie Darko and, to a lesser extent, The Butterfly Effect. That's not to say it's derivative, though. It may draw inspiration, but Dontnod has crafted its own world worth trekking through. The plot that serves as the undertone to the introduction to the Max Caulfield Show is that of a missing classmate. There are fliers everywhere serving as notice of her disappearance, but strangely enough, so few people give a damn. One person who does is Chloe, Max's former best friend, who has wholly adopted the punk-rock lifestyle since Max last saw her. Once the two are reunited, it's obvious that rebellion is on the horizon. Presumably, future entries will center around finding Chloe's friend while the two learn a bit about who they are. For now, we're left with our first glimpse at Arcadia Bay, our initial look into the life of Max. It was a slow, yet well-paced initial chapter that set the table more than anything else. There's no telling where the story will go from here. But, as Chrysalis faded out, an indie song played that felt wonderfully at home in this setting, and served as a warning of things to come. It chanted "We will foresee obstacles, through the blizzard, through the blizzard." [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Life is Strange review photo
Always looking
"If I'm not looking through a viewfinder, I'm looking through a window. Always looking." Max Caulfield, the introspective protagonist of Life is Strange, spends her life searching, observing. Actually, it might be more akin t...

Life is punctual photo
Life is punctual

Life is Strange episodes will release every six weeks


An adventure game you can set your watch to
Jan 27
// Steven Hansen
Life is Strange comes out this week (January 30) on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC ($5 per episode, $20 for a season pass). Recent episodic adventure games have seen unclear stretches of empty time ...
Life is Sexist photo
Life is Sexist

Publishers wanted to change Life is Strange leads into men


Square the only one 'that didn't want to change a single thing'
Jan 11
// Steven Hansen
In the first developer diary for the upcoming Life is Strange, Dontnod (Remember Me) creative director Jean-Maxime Moris explained how difficult it was shopping the game to publishers, most of whom urged the company to turns...
Telltale photo
Telltale

Telltale Games Collection wraps up five games for $55


Considerably more expensive for non-Xbox Live Gold subscribers
Dec 23
// Brett Makedonski
Unwrapping gifts has a special feeling about it that almost everyone can identify with. Digital presents aren't as satisfying in that regard, but sometimes a package comes along that's enticing enough to warrant buying yourse...
Life is Strange photo
Life is Strange

Life is Strange releases its pent up teenage angst next month


Just the first episode, though
Dec 17
// Brett Makedonski
The introductory episode of Dontnod's Life is Strange is scheduled to bend time and break the rules on January 30. The indie-tinged five-part adventure game about all the mixed emotions of being a teen is coming to PC, ...
Borderlands photo
Borderlands

Catch a jaunty tune (and an elbow to the grill) in this Tales from the Borderlands trailer


Episode One: Zer0 Sum
Nov 25
// Brett Makedonski
Telltale titles and Borderlands are almost polar opposites. One has you constantly making tough, game-altering decisions. The other only asks that you decide between shooting everything and dying. (Hint: you defini...

Majestic Nights should be taken away in an unmarked van for its own good

Nov 13 // Nic Rowen
Spy lingo is a tricky thing to write. You have to nail it, or it just sounds like a bad SNL sketch riffing on Watergate. To give you an idea of how Majectic Night's handles its conspiracy fiction, the game starts with ripping off a scene from Justice League Unlimited, a cartoon. Set your expectations accordingly. The writing goes downhill from there. Lots of hush-hush doubletalk that never seems to come to anything and spy slang that is obnoxiously outdated even for the '80s. The weak writing is a major problem since talking to people is the bulk of the game. You control the requisite retired super spy, John Cardholder (seemingly a nod to The Venture Bros.), who is scouring the seedy underbelly of 1980s LA to find a movie director (heavily implied to be the real source of the famous Kennedy assassination Zapruder film footage) for reasons never fully explained. "Scouring" in this case mostly means bouncing between one highlighted person or another and clicking through dialog options that barely seem to matter. Since Majestic Nights drops you into its world with no context or history to go by, but everyone seems to know Cardholder, all of these exchanges are basically guessing games. I'm not sure you can even fail, though -- click enough options and eventually you'll get your way. There are a few occasions that let you get down and dirty like a real spy, but after a few minutes with Majestic Night's action scenes, you'll be dying to get back to the stilted dialog. There is a wishy-washy stealth system that rewards you for staying in the shadows, some horrendously awkward gun play, and the game claims it has a cover system, but every time I attempted to use it, Cardholder just tried to rub his face through the wall until I disengaged. Majestic Nights could use more time in a smoke-filled room working on its cover story. There may be an interesting game buried somewhere in there, and I still like the atmosphere (the synth-heavy soundtrack is fantastic), but right now it just feels unfinished. This is one agent you can leave stranded in the field and not lose sleep over.
Majestic Nights photo
Reeducation is in order
I dig espionage stories. Faceless government agents running amok, corporate interests dominating the nation's politics, scruffy retired spooks pulled in for "one last job"; I eat that stuff up. So I was excited when I heard a...

GoT photo
GoT

Telltale's Game of Thrones is all about the trees, man


Five playable lumberjacks
Nov 11
// Brett Makedonski
Telltale's outlined the plot for the SIX episodes of its take on Game of Thrones, and wow, it sounds like the best lumberjack simulator in years. There are a whole bunch of trees (motherf*cking IRONTREES), and you have to dec...
D4 sale photo
D4 sale

D4 is on sale, so everyone should buy it immediately


Deez discounts do discontinue
Nov 04
// Brett Makedonski
Hey, you! Yeah, the person that owns an Xbox One and is staring confusedly at the guy yelling at them over the Internet! I'm talkin' to you! D4's on sale for Xbox Live Gold members, so you should probably go pick that up righ...
Dreadnought photo
Dreadnought

This Dreadnought video shows you how to actually play Dreadnought


There's very much a right and wrong way
Oct 16
// Brett Makedonski
As I learned at PAX Prime, actually knowing how to play Dreadnought is half the battle. It's an enamoring idea to rush in with the quickest ship and fire until either you or your target is dead. If that's your approach,...
The Walking Dead photo
The Walking Dead

Both seasons of The Walking Dead shamble to PS4, Xbox One this month


That's a lot of heartstring pullin'
Oct 02
// Brett Makedonski
Telltale's confirmed that seasons one and two of its hit adaption of The Walking Dead will be making their way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later in October. Season one will get a physical release on October 14. A week...
Dreamfall Chapters photo
Dreamfall Chapters

The first part of Dreamfall Chapters arrives on October 21


This is the first of five upcoming chapters
Sep 30
// Alasdair Duncan
We've known for a while that the upcoming Dreamfall game from Red Thread would be split into five chapters but now we have word that the first one, entitled Reborn, will arrive on October 21. I'm hoping that the studio will ...
Extrasolar photo
Extrasolar

Extrasolar Season 2 is being funded through Kickstarter


Season 1 still available for free
Sep 09
// Darren Nakamura
I do not envy Lazy 8 Studios with the balancing act it has trying to market Extrasolar. By revealing too little, only a relatively small demographic will ever try out the exoplanet rover simulator. By revealing too much, a t...

I didn't think Dreadnought's hulking ships could be as fun as they are

Sep 04 // Brett Makedonski
Going into a hands-on session at PAX Prime, I was really only equipped with the information that our own Darren Nakamura outlined in his preview from E3. Turns out that was enough because it looks as if I may have played the same build as him. At the very least, the same five ships were playable (Dreadnought, Corvette, Artillery Cruiser, Tactical Cruiser, and Destroyer), and I only played one map a couple times. I started off as the Corvette. The developers said this was predictable. New players tend to favor maneuverability and speed over what the other classes have to offer. I zoomed around for a while thinking that Dreadnought was a slow-paced space shooter. Nothing offensively bad, but nothing really special at the same time. The game didn't really open up until the developers actually showed me how to play. Selecting the Dreadnought (new ships can be chosen anytime after death), I listened and executed as they gave me the step-by-steps to excel. Turns out, Dreadnought's exponentially more satisfying when you play it correctly. As we picked an unfortunate opponent, I fired a tactical nuke at them, used a warp ability to get alongside them, diverted my energy to offensive abilities, shot my broadside cannons at them, and then spun around to focus my secondary weapon on finishing them off. Suddenly Dreadnought was kind of fast-paced, but only because I was smart about it (or rather, the developers were). I was barely moving, but there was a ton going on, even if the other player likely had no clue what was happening. The thing is, once you get into this mindset, it's relatively easy to consistently play with this sort of style. Once the game's in the wild and everyone figures out the optimal way to play, it's going to be interesting to see how the elite players separate themselves. Will they adapt and form new strategies? Or, will they simply be quicker and smarter about when and which combat scenarios they get themselves into? The five-versus-five multiplayer is only one component of Dreadnought, albeit quite a large one. Yager Development told me that it built the game with multiplayer at the forefront of its mind, so it's reasonable to assume that single player will incorporate a lot of those tenets. As it's a free-to-play game, there's going to be some sort of monetization model, but Yager was unwilling to talk about it apart from "it won't be pay-to-win." You could tell that the team was more interested in finally getting the game into players' hands rather than talking business. And, a lot of players did get to check it out at PAX. From what I saw, the line to demo it looked consistently busy. You have to wonder how many of those people walked away understanding what Dreadnought's aim is, and how many thought it was just a boring, slow game. The truth is, it's anything but the latter, you just have to know what to expect.
Dreadnought preview photo
Like a chess match in space
A very specific connotation pops into your mind when you think about spaceship fighters. Your brain's flooded with thoughts of dogfighting ships zooming around, barrel rolling, and flipping end-over-end to fire unceasing spac...

Walking Dead S2 photo
Walking Dead S2

This is it: Final trailer for The Walking Dead Season 2


Also, staggered release dates
Aug 21
// Steven Hansen
This will spoil season 2 for you up to this point. If you're not caught up (like me), don't watch. Otherwise, get excited about "No Way Back," the final episode in season 2 of The Walking Dead. Can it live up to the first season's strong finale? "No Way Back" hits PC/Mac and North American PS3/Vita on August 26; Xbox 360 and European PS3/Vita on August 27; iOS on August 28. 
Dreamfall Chapters photo
Dreamfall Chapters

Dreamfall Chapters is now a timed PS4 'console exclusive'


It's still hitting PC first
Aug 15
// Chris Carter
Dreamfall Chapters is the latest project to arrive in, well, a chapter-like format. It will consist of five episodes, which will launch on the PC first later this year. But developer Red Thread Games has some news in reg...
Remember Me photo
Remember Me

Remember Me dev teams with Square Enix for Life is Strange


Life is beautiful, too
Aug 11
// Steven Hansen
Remember Me developer Dontnod has announced the game it is working on in conjunction with Square Enix, Life is Strange. The episodic, hand-drawn adventure game is coming to PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.  It ...
The Wolf Among Us photo
The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us isn't crying wolf with this accolades trailer


Look at all the nice things people said
Jul 25
// Brett Makedonski
The first season of The Wolf Among Us may be over, but there's still one more trailer to indulge in. The quotes included in Episode 5's accolades trailer are technically only about Cry Wolf, but they seem pretty universal as far as the season goes. Tour de force? Genuinely moving? One hell of a ride? Yeah, that sounds like The Wolf Among Us in a nutshell.
The Wolf Among Us photo
The Wolf Among Us

There will be a retail version among us of The Wolf Among Us


PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One
Jul 15
// Brett Makedonski
You'd be pretty hard-pressed to find many that don't like Telltale Games' The Wolf Among Us. In fact, one of the most often expressed complaints about it is that people don't like having to wait for the next episode to releas...

Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf

Jul 08 // Chris Carter
The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: July 8, 2014 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) / TBA (iOS)MSRP: $4.99 (Each Episode) [As is the case with all my Telltale reviews, there will be no spoilers or specifics for the current episode (outside of new character introductions), although events of previous episodes will inevitably be discussed.] Cry Wolf picks up immediately after In Sheep's Clothing's conclusion -- in the inner sanctum of The Crooked Man behind the curtain. The same Crooked Man who seemingly set all of the events of Wolf in motion, and who we only got a mere glimpse of in the penultimate episode. The good news is -- you don't have to wait long for revelations. In fact, some secrets are immediately revealed, setting the tone for a rather fast-paced episode that doesn't screw around or waste time. The rest of the dark realizations will unfold over the course of the tale, but the pacing is pretty spot-on throughout, sprinkling a good amount of action scenes on top of confrontations and a few inquisitions. Fans who enjoyed the pure detective elements might be a little disappointed until the very end, but this is a finale after all, and there is a lot that's expected in terms of excitement -- which it delivers. Unlike some scenes in past episodes, every event in Cry Wolf has a point to it, whether it's to contribute to the overall plot, give us some character development, or deliver some plain old fun. There's hardly any downtime -- hardly any time to catch your breath from the get-go. [embed]277522:54723:0[/embed] One boss fight in particular is a very fun battle that's unlike anything in the collective of episodes so far -- it also happen to feature one of the most terrifying and unique character designs Telltale has dreamed up to date. The action has always ramped up in terms of showing off Bigby's abilities, and this one blows the roof off. Cry Wolf's diverse feel is also accentuated by a chase scene that's unlike anything we've seen so far. Also, the time is over for choices that "may or may" not influence something later. Although you still have your "[x] will remember that" prompts even near the end just for impact, said impact happens immediately, and there's no wondering or hoping that your choice will matter somewhere down the line. In terms of past choices finding a way back to the finale -- they do pop up in a satisfying way, but don't expect too much in terms of actually overhauling the episode's final moments. The real question for any finale is -- "is it satisfying?" -- and I think Cry Wolf passes that test. It gives us a good villain worth confronting, an incredibly tense final set of choices, and a narrative that wraps everything up nicely. Some of your favorite characters might not get more fanfare than others, but there's at least a nod to the supporting cast. Although I would have liked to have seen a little more from a few people in particular, I wasn't disappointed by what I was shown. I don't want more Wolf Among Us -- I need more. It delivers a tone unlike anything Telltale has given us before, and really shows us how they've matured as a studio. The series has also influenced me to read Fables, the source material for Bigby's adventure, just so I can pass the time and hold out hope for a season two. If you're listening, Telltale, find a way.
Wolf Among Us finale photo
A satisfying ending
The Wolf Among Us has been one hell of a ride. Although Tellltale's The Walking Dead managed to craft a grimdark world worth seeing time and time again, Wolf has a more nuanced take, with larger-than-life fairy...

Dreadnought's huge spaceships are a fairly untapped idea, but still feel familiar

Jun 18 // Darren Nakamura
Before jumping into a team deathmatch, the five ships available in the E3 build were introduced. Though all ships in Dreadnought are meant to be big, they do still run a range of sizes. The titular Dreadnought was likened to a Star Destroyer, an enormous capital ship that can take and deal immense amounts of damage. On the other end of the spectrum is the Corvette, which was compared to the Millenium Falcon; it is easily the fastest of the ships on display here, but still several times larger than a single-pilot fighter. However, what that all translates to in game terms is a fairly standard class-based multiplayer setup. The Dreadnought is your tank and the Corvette is your scout. Also on display were the Destroyer, an all-around combat ship, the Artillery cruiser, a long-range damage dealer, and the Tactical cruiser, which was essentially a healer. Though only five ships were shown, more are planned for the future. There will eventually be more classes of ships, as well as different ships within a class, each produced by three different in-game manufacturers. In the couple games we were able to fit into the session, I got to try out the Tactical cruiser and the Artillery cruiser. Both handled similarly: They are smaller and less armored than the Destroyer or the Dreadnought, but still take some time to get where they need to be. The movement is tank-like, where ships can move forward and backward or they can turn, but they cannot strafe. Additionally, as airborne vehicles, they can ascend or descend. All of the movement, thrusting, reversing, turning, ascending, and descending is appropriately slow. It can be a little jarring for those more accustomed to fast action, but it makes sense and it sets up a different pace for the way battles play out. Thankfully, one of the features that all ships have is the ability to divert power between subsystems. Diverting power to thrusters will make your ship move more quickly, and diverting it to shields will increase the amount of damage that can be absorbed. Additionally, certain special abilities, like the Tactical cruiser's enhanced repair beam, drain energy. This focus of energy cannot be sustained indefinitely; once the meter runs out, the ship must resume normal operating conditions while it recharges. Each of the different classes of ships has a set of four special abilities to use. In addition to its powered up repair beam, the Tactical cruiser could self-repair, for instance. The Artillery cruiser has a nearly invisible cloaking ability, as well as a siege mode, which increases damage output, but decreases mobility and makes it more susceptible to damage. Though we only got to try out team deathmatch, there are three modes planned. The second one discussed was team elimination, which was described as taking the deathmatch gameplay and slowing it down even further, creating an even more tactical experience. The third game type was not portrayed in detail, but one of the developers described it as a unique game that that fits into the universe. He said that the team took what they learned with how the battles changed when transitioning from deathmatch to elimination, and built the third game mode with those fundamental ideas in mind. Though we were shown a simple, ten-player deathmatch, Dreadnought is not solely a multiplayer affair. Yager reported that it would also include a single player campaign, with episodic content. Additionally, it is planned as a free-to-play title. Yager would not discuss the details of how it intends to monetize the game, but the developers on hand did mention that progression through the ranks would be horizontal, cutting down on more experienced (or wealthy) players having access to strictly better gear. The developer intends to avoid a pay-to-win setup. Dreadnought is set to release on PC initially. There are no official plans to release on additional platforms yet, but the developer did mention that it has a build that is playable with a gamepad, so the ability to branch out onto consoles is there, should the opportunity arise. This is a strange beast in my brain right now. Its pacing is sure to turn off players who prefer faster action. It is not a game about dogfighting so much as it is about moving as a team, maintaining strategically advantageous positioning, and using abilities effectively. With its standard class archetypes and huge ships, it plays almost like an MMORPG dunked in molasses. And yet, I still feel compelled to check it out when it releases. I am not even sure that I really enjoyed my time with it, but I am sure that I want to spend more time with it to find out.
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Like Team Fortress 2, except with hulking, massive spaceships
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