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Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard is bringing a few big changes to Heroes of the Storm soon

Death timers and snowball prevention
Oct 02
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm is about to get the Medic and Artanis heroes, but there's a few big changes on the way for the core game. The first adjustment is death timers. Blizzard feels like they were way too low early on in a ...
The Witcher 3 photo
The Witcher 3

Check out the main theme for The Witcher 3's Hearts of Stone DLC

Oct 02
// Chris Carter
The Witcher 3's Heart of Stone DLC is coming on October 13, and will have 10 hours of content in tow. But before it drops, you can listen to the main theme above from composer Marcin Przybyłowicz. Wild Hu...

Review: Read Only Memories

Oct 02 // Ben Davis
Read Only Memories (PC [reviewed], Mac, Linux)Developer: MidBossPublisher: MidBossReleased: October 6, 2015MSRP: $9.99 The story of Read Only Memories begins with the appearance of a peculiar robot named Turing, who breaks into the player character's apartment after their creator, Hayden, was mysteriously kidnapped. Turing decides that the player character, who is a journalist and a friend of Hayden's, is the most statistically likely to be able to help them. Thus begins the search for Hayden in the technologically advanced, cyberpunk-inspired city of Neo-San Francisco in 2064. In this futuristic setting, scientists have discovered many new ways of enhancing the human body through cybernetics as well as genetic modification, meaning it's common to see people with robotic limbs, blue skin, rabbit ears, and other such bizarre enhancements walking around as if it's completely normal. Not to mention the ROMs, robots like Turing, which are just as commonplace and are on the verge of becoming sapient, able to think and feel as humans do. As expected, anti-hybrid and -cybernetic groups such as the Human Revolution have begun to pop up warning people of the dangers of such technologies. [embed]313479:60589:0[/embed] During the player's search for Hayden, they will meet a colorful cast of strange and interesting characters and be asked to participate in some rather shady activities, sneaking around the law in an attempt to learn secrets and uncover truths. Some characters can be trusted while other cannot, but they're all able to provide leads, information, and other helpful things if the player can successfully persuade them. The gameplay largely consists of your typical point-and-click adventure mechanics, nothing really new here but it works just fine. People and objects can be interacted with by looking, touching, talking, or using an item. Interacting with the same thing multiple times might yield different results, so sometimes it's a good idea to look at, touch, or talk to someone or something more than once. There's also a wide variety of items at the player's disposal, which can be picked up and used in certain situations. There is no item combining to be done, however, and pixel hunting is not a problem since anything that can be interacted with will be highlighted by mousing over it, so many of the more annoying adventure game elements were left alone. Much of the gameplay centers around conversations and choosing dialogue options, but there are plenty of puzzle-solving sections as well. These include direct puzzles, such as looking at a map and closing off intersections in order to divert a cab back to the player, as well as more indirect puzzles like trying to find the right item to gain access to a house or figuring out how to coerce someone into giving up information. None of the puzzles are too obtuse, and some of them are rather forgiving if the player messes up at first. The story features several branching paths and alternate endings, depending on how the player chooses to interact with characters and how successful they are at figuring out puzzles. It's possible to befriend or make enemies with several of the characters, so try and decide who will be the most helpful and choose the appropriate responses. Breaking the law and causing mischief seem to be unavoidable, but how it's done is up to the player. As most of Read Only Memories involves reading text, I found the writing to be entertaining and engaging, if overly-technical at times. They did a great job of giving every character a thorough backstory, making each of them interesting and relatable with their own quirks and behaviors. I particularly enjoyed Turing's fondness for painting and the player character's strange obsession with plants. There were, however, a few groan-worthy references and an occasionally disappointing lack of variety in dialogue options. Read Only Memories originally set out to do one thing: foster the inclusion of diverse characters, especially those of the LGBT persuasion. Thankfully, the end product is much more than just that. The characters' sexualities and gender identities, which include plenty of gay and straight, trans- and cis-gendered individuals, are revealed in a natural way or left up to the player's imagination. Meanwhile, we have a story built around mystery and intrigue, with topics of crime, technology, and politics taking the forefront of the discussion in the lives of these characters who just happen to be a certain way. Personally, I felt the LGBT themes were handled appropriately and naturally without being too heavy-handed, but I'm sure some will disagree with me. I would recommend Read Only Memories to anyone who enjoys point-and-click adventure games, as it's an excellent addition to the genre, borrowing many of its key elements while ditching some of the more obnoxious ones. It's also a great choice for anyone who is looking for more diversity in their video games, as it does a wonderful job of promoting inclusion without making it the sole focus. Plus, there's an awesome, adorable little robot friend to hang out with, and who doesn't want that? [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Read Only Memories review photo
Cyberpunk chic
MidBoss, the team behind the LGBT-centric gaming convention, GaymerX, has been having quite a successful time lately. After reaching its Kickstarter funding goals at the end of 2013, the team has been hard at work creating it...

Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Shadow Jago is still coming along for Killer Instinct

Check out the changelog
Oct 02
// Chris Carter
Remember Shadow Jago? He's turning into much more than just a skin for Killer Instinct, and thanks to the Community Fund efforts, he's going to be a full-on character in the future. For starters, he's going to be faster than ...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider $30 Season Pass outed on Amazon

Another mystery pass
Oct 02
// Chris Carter
It seems as if every Season Pass these days is a mystery pass. That is to say -- you probably shouldn't buy it until you know what's in it. Having said that, Rise of the Tomb Raider is the next game in a long line of AAA...
Batman: Arkham Knight photo
Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight back on sale for PC later this month

Are you gonna buy it?
Oct 02
// Vikki Blake
Warner Bros. has confirmed that Batman: Arkham Knight will be back on sale for the PC later this month. The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight was withdrawn back in June when the game was deemed unplayable. A post ...
Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

Check out Just Cause 3's 400 square mile map

Will you explore it all?
Oct 02
// Vikki Blake
The latest Just Cause 3 developer diary reveals the game's immense, 400 square mile map. The video details the game's expansive territory of the Mediterranean island of Medici and offers sneeky peeks across the lan...
Minecraft photo

Someone's porting Pokemon Red to Minecraft

Look at this nice wooden axe I made!
Oct 02
// Joe Parlock
I built a house in Minecraft once. It was the sweetest house you’ve ever seen, and it made everyone who knew me jealous. Through careful architecture and planning, I carefully stacked dirt block on top of dirt block, un...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Laura is Street Fighter V's newest challenger

Oct 01
// Zack Furniss
Earlier today, Capcom confirmed that Zangief would be returning to Street Fighter V with the standard introduction video. Now it looks like Famitsu may have jumped the gun and unveiled a new character before Capcom was r...
Rocket League photo
Rocket League

Good defense, guys

He said sarcastically
Oct 01
// Brett Makedonski
Old, stodgy, wrong sports broadcasters like to yell that defense wins championships. If that's true, then this team is the 2008 Detroit Lions of Rocket League (for you non-sports folk, that means they're god-fucking-awful, which you could probably tell just from watching the GIF). How Not to Defend a Goal [reddit]
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Zangief can't seem to keep his mouth closed

What a goof
Oct 01
// Jordan Devore
You saw Zangief's Street Fighter V introduction trailer. Now let's look at a bunch of pictures of him with his mouth agape and one incredible shot in which he has the flesh tone of a hotdog. This game makes for a pretty good gallery.

Soar the island-filled skies of Worlds Adrift

Oct 01 // Jordan Devore
[embed]313407:60583:0[/embed] There's Spider-Man-style swinging at 7:15. Ship construction, which is done by hand, starts at 10:50. Williams demonstrates flying at 19:20 and even alone, without the threat of other players, it looks terrifying. Then again, he clearly knows how to grapple and isn't afraid of plummeting to his death. Lastly, you can take photos (including selfies!) and frame them. See that at 23:20.
Worlds Adrift photo
But watch out for pirates
Bossa Studios (Surgeon Simulator, I am Bread) is making an open-world MMO about building airships, flying them to floating islands, and screwing over others (probably). You interested? The developers were in town, so we sent Rey to take a look at that game, Worlds Adrift, and he put together this in-depth video with narration provided by designer Luke Williams.

Humble photo

Humble Monthly is like Loot Crate for PC games

A digital blind box
Oct 01
// Brett Makedonski
Decisions, man. They suck. Everyone always wants you to be an adult and bathe and make judgment calls on important things. Like, just decide for me and everything will work out, probably. Humble's taking that approach with a ...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

It's too early to pay for the Fallout 4 Season Pass

We don't know what's in it
Oct 01
// Jordan Devore
Bethesda opened pre-orders for the Fallout 4 Season Pass today, but hold up for a minute. We know it's $29.99, and that the game's first DLC is expected to roll out in 2016. We also know that there won't be platform-exclusive...

Review: The Beginner's Guide

Oct 01 // Darren Nakamura
The Beginner's Guide (Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Everything Unlimited LtdPublisher: Everything Unlimited LtdReleased: October 1, 2015MSRP: $9.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit The Beginner's Guide opens on a de_dust-like Counter-Strike map with Wreden narrating. It isn't Wreden narrating to save money on a voice actor or Wreden narrating the in-game story. Davey Wreden is narrating as Davey Wreden, telling a story about his personal life. He was once friends with another game designer named Coda. Ever since meeting at a game jam, he had been fascinated with Coda's work. Most of the games are short, five to ten-minute affairs involving walking and philosophical musing. All were built in Source, but the art styles vary. Coda never released his games publicly, but Wreden hounded him to play each one upon completion. What we play through is Coda's entire body of work, presented chronologically. All the while, Wreden offers insight about game design, from the nuts and bolts of the tools used to the deeper symbolism of a particular segment, whether it was intentional or unintentional. [embed]313130:60582:0[/embed] Unlike a lot of these narrative-focused games, which allow the player to passively experience the story, absorbing or ignoring as much as desired, it's the kind of experience that demands intellectual engagement. I mean that literally; Wreden explicitly asks the player to send him critical analysis, providing an email address toward that end. There is exactly one puzzle in The Beginner's Guide, and it is repeated a few times. It involves two doors and solving it requires an irreversible step. When solved, the entrance is sealed and the exit is open, providing only one possible path: forward. Wreden's interpretation of this puzzle involves a symbolic closure of the past, marking something as "complete" and putting it out of mind. While I was playing through, my mind went to thoughts about having to take risks in order to progress and the idea of finding comfort in familiar things.  The structure provides a strange sense of immersion only a few games can manage. I am not the avatar of the character in these environments navigating through them; I am the guy sitting at his computer, playing a game while another guy talks to me about it. The story being told is a history that took place in the real world, and together we are piecing together the deeper meaning behind these weird art games. The roundabout immersion is ironic in a way. Normally making it clear the player is just someone playing a game adds a layer of disconnect. Since the reality matches with the premise in The Beginner's Guide, it actually drew me into the meta-narrative even more closely. I realized about halfway through just how emotionally invested I had become. I found myself marveling at Coda's creations just as Wreden had done before me. I spent time reading every note posted in one section even after being told I didn't have to. I wanted to understand the person who made these just as much as Wreden. I was grateful for his aid when it came to surpassing the intentionally frustrating or impossible barriers. I had to see it through to the end. And then, just as my emotional investment hit its peak, the revelatory climax rolls in. Maybe Coda isn't the enigma Wreden paints him as. Maybe he just wants to be left alone. Wait, maybe he wouldn't want me playing his games. Maybe I'm violating his personal space by participating. Maybe I'm an asshole for doing things against someone else's wishes. Maybe I'm a bigger asshole for writing a whole review about it. My involvement as just the guy sitting at his computer playing a game is non-negligible at this point. I've been thinking about this game a lot for the past 36 hours. It demanded I think about it, at first only superficially, but later more substantively. I mulled over a lot of questions when I should have been sleeping. I continued thinking right when I woke up. I think I dreamed about it in between. I won't spoil with the explicit questions here, but I'm sure we will be talking more frankly soon. On the surface, The Beginner's Guide is a game about game design and critical analysis. Digging deeper, it provides a window into the mind of a man I might not have fully understood otherwise. It does all of this in a way only a video game could. More than anything else, it has caused me a lot of introspection, a feat few games ever achieve. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Beginner's Guide review photo
Start here
The Stanley Parable is famous for its fourth wall-breaking narrative, taking the maligned "walking simulator" genre and showing how effective it can be in the hands of a capable designer. When writer Davey Wreden surprise-ann...

Minecraft: Story Mode photo
Minecraft: Story Mode

Meet the cast of Minecraft: Story Mode with this trailer

'I'm a PC'
Oct 01
// Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode officially kicks off on October 13 with its first episode The Order of the Stone. Though we previewed it recently at PAX Prime, there haven't been any trailers for it since the teaser back in July. With ...
RPG Maker MV photo
RPG Maker MV

The next generation of RPG Maker arrives this month

You can make the next Corpse Party!
Oct 01
// CJ Andriessen
RPG Maker, that RPG creation tool you say you're going to use to make the greatest role playing game ever but then don't, will see its next iteration launch on October 23 with RPG Maker MV. At $80 you can create the next gre...
Deus Ex photo
Deus Ex

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's awful pre-order program canceled due to fan demand

Oct 01
// Chris Carter
Recently, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was dated, and Square Enix proceeded to launch a pretty bad pre-order campaign for it. It was called "Augment Your Pre-order," and basically, it unlocked tons of gated content if enough peop...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege beta extended until October 4

Double down this weekend
Oct 01
// Vikki Blake
If you've been having difficulty joining the Rainbow Six Siege beta (*cough* which is everyone *cough*), I bring good news -- the beta is being extended until October 4, 2015. The extension also heralds a Double Renown e...
Unbox photo

I like the look of this 3D platformer about, uh, boxes

Self-delivering cardboard boxes
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
If we can be bread, we can be anything. Looks like sentient boxes are next. I don't pay much attention to what's happening on Steam Greenlight these days, but the occasional game still rises from the depths and onto my radar....
Original Sin 2 photo
Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2 cleared all of its Kickstarter goals

$2 million raised
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
In the final days of its Kickstarter, Divinity: Original Sin 2 only had two stretch goals left -- one for a Shapeshifting Mask, the other for a Game Master mode. Both are happening. The crowdfunding campaign came to a close w...
Home Free Kickstarter photo
Home Free Kickstarter

Control an abandoned dog in the city in action-RPG Home Free

Control your tears watching the video
Sep 30
// Darren Nakamura
The first few moments of the Kickstarter trailer for Home Free bring up sad memories of the Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark," which I apparently cannot even read the Wikipedia entry for without getting misty-eyed. Dogs, man. ...
Ark: Survival Evolved photo
Ark: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved adds tundras, swamps, and giant frogs

Exciting new places to die in!
Sep 30
// Nic Rowen
ARK: Survival Evolved has added some variety to its tropical, Jurassic Park-with-no-guardrails, vibe in its latest update. Two new biomes, including a snow covered, mountainous tundra filled with huge direwolves and towering ...
Black Ops III story photo
Black Ops III story

Hope you enjoy this Black Ops III story trailer, last-gen players

Because it's all you're getting
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
Call of Duty: Black Ops III will have multiplayer and the usual star-studded Zombies mode on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but no campaign -- it's too "ambitious" for last-generation hardware. If you want Christopher Meloni (and who doesn't?), you'll need to play on PC, Xbox One, or PS4.
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4's latest trait video is for the silver-tongued devils

Have it your way
Sep 30
// Brett Makedonski
Continuing along out Sesame Street-themed letter bent, "C" is for "Charisma" in the latest Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. video. That might mean persuading others to do your bidding, or simply persuading them to not stick a f...
Artanis photo

Artanis has been datamined in Heroes of the Storm, check out his abilities

He sounds like a beefier Zeratul
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm has only begun its content updates, as we have a whole host of skins, mounts, and characters coming up. The Support-based Medic Lt. Morales is set to debut soon, and after that, the Warrior Artanis. W...
Freedom Planet photo
Freedom Planet

Freedom Planet finally has a new Wii U release date

This week
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
Freedom Planet has had a rocky porting process to say the least. Just before launch recently, developer Galaxy Trial caught a major bug, and delayed the release a few times to an unspecified date. Now, we know that the g...
Witcher 3 photo
Witcher 3

The Witcher 3's 1.09 patch will include PS4 performance fixes

Minor stuff
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
If you're sick of hearing of The Witcher 3, you're going to have to deal with it for quite a while longer, as CD Projekt Red is in overdrive mode with this game, even months after launch. In addition to a ton of swift patches...
Armikrog photo

After multiple last-minute delays, Armikrog is finally out today

Unlocking on Steam shortly
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
Armikrog has had a rather rough past month, dealing with a few small delays before its original launch date. But now the last-minute bugs have been fixed, and it's set to unlock on Steam shortly. Caitlin is working on our review as we speak. It's only out for PC right now, but PS4 and Wii U versions are also planned for a later date. Armikrog [Steam]
MGSV save bug photo
MGSV save bug

New Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain save-killing bug affecting PS4 users

If you use multiple SEN accounts
Sep 30
// Steven Hansen
Given that no one reads the overbearing startup messages for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, let me point out a worthwhile one. Konami has identified "cases" of a new progress-killing bug affecting PlayStation 4 users. ...

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