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Shooters

Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Disney will not allow EA to break canon with Star Wars Battlefront


But I want to be BB-8!
Jan 30
// Zack Furniss
While we've known since last month that Star Wars Battlefront is going to focus on the original trilogy for this release in the series, we didn't know exactly why. An EA earnings call (via VideoGamer) has shed some light on w...
The Division photo
The Division

Ubisoft can't keep up with demand for The Division's closed beta


Some people are stuck waiting
Jan 29
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft says it "can no longer guarantee access" to this weekend's closed beta for Tom Clancy's The Division due to "unprecedented demand." "If you have already pre-ordered The Division and have yet to receive your key, we'r...

Review: Bombshell

Jan 29 // Steven Hansen
Bombshell (PC)Developer: Interceptor EntertainmentPublisher: 3D RealmsReleased: January 29, 2016MSRP: $34.99 The most surprising thing about this 2016 heir to the Duke Nukem throne is how toothless it is. The Duke's puerile shtick is beyond dated as 2011's tragedy Duke Nukem Forever might remind us, but save for a rocket launcher called the "PMS" -- haha, menstruation! -- Bombshell is tonally distinct, and instead goes for a nerfed "ooh rah" à la Independence Day. It even opens with a Fourth of July alien invasion of the White House and kidnapped president (whose American flag eye patch is, admittedly, hilarious). The result is a milquetoast lead whose repeated, constant combat barks like, "I never thought aliens would land on the White House lawn" or "You're not worth the metal you're made of" or "Die, alien scum" do disservice to a solid acting performance. Making an old-school, character-led action game with a boring character is a huge misstep. In the opening cutscene, Shelly's jeep is blown up. It's on screen and blown up in a few seconds. There are two combat barks devoted to complaining about her lost car and they're totally unearned. I forgot there even was a car until roughly the 25th mention. At one point an enemy must've fallen off the map without dying because I had to hear his robotic droning about his shield every five seconds for the next 45 minutes.  [embed]337527:62042:0[/embed] In addition to being boring, Bombshell is a bit broken. I fell through the level and died three times. Shelly got stuck in place on a couple occasions, necessitating a restart to accompany the countless times she hitched on the environment. Enemies get stuck, too, or at least some choose to lay down arms and not attack until I kill them, anyway. Sometimes the map, which is uncovered as you explore, completely erases itself and leaves you with no sense of direction. The latter was far more annoying than I thought it could be, especially given that it was coupled with archaic level design. There are three distinct areas in Bombshell, including an ice stage, because this is a video game, and they're all designed like someone cracked a sheet of glass and traced the sprawling result. There are constant dead ends, fetch quests, and side quests that actually require backtracking to turn in. The mini-map, on the other hand, is incredibly useful because the camera is kept so tight that you will regularly run face-first into bullets if you navigate by watching Shelly move rather than watching the blips on the mini-map. Apparently fixed isometric perspective shooters were also missing a huge thing all these years: platforming. Most of my deaths came after falling into a pool of water or after walking over a nonsensical hole in the ground like some Wile E. Coyote shit, like the architect of the alien home world had a debilitating Swiss cheese fetish. But it isn't just that there is platforming, it's that it is floaty and unsatisfying. One of the reasons Shelly's lines bomb (besides that they're vacuous and repeated a hundred times) is that they're so disconnected from the character in the isometric view, and similarly there isn't anything to ground or give weight to her jumps. Even her walking animation is like a hockey puck on ice. That missing weight is a big part of why Bombshell's most redeeming factors, the twin-stick-style shooting, also falls flat. The weapons (rapid-fire machine gun, shotgun, flamethrower, and so on) have little stopping power. Enemies don't seem to react when shot, but instead absorb bullets like sponges until their HP empties and they limply rag doll to the floor. The first two worlds accost you with loads of pain-in-the-ass tiny enemies that poison (damage over time) or freeze you (slow movement speed) while the last just goes full bore and sends out six Gundam-sized robots at a time. I appreciated being able to see them more clearly than the ankle-biters, but seeing giant robot after giant robot go weak in the knees after getting hit with a laser beam was almost pathetic. Also, the last level theme (it goes alien, ice, metal) looks exactly like the end of Mass Effect 2 down to the Terminator-cribbed robots. Which reminds: Bombshell has some of the worst boss fights I have ever played. Sticking to conventions, they tend to be of the three-phase fare and toss regular enemies into the mix to make things more difficult. By the last form of the first boss I was out of ammo save for Shelly's default, infinite-ammo weapon. I beat it by standing pissing distance in front of the boss and holding the trigger for a few minutes while scrolling through Twitter. The same thing happened with the boss of the ice world, which decided it just wasn't interested in attacking me during its final phase. Every once in a while, during a taut firefight that actually necessitates mixing and matching weapons (the shotgun alt fire, a stun gun, is possibly too useful), there are glimpses of a solid shooter let down by everything else around it. As it stands, playing Bombshell for more than an hour at a time is like ingesting a sedative, save for flashes of rage as you fall through the map one more time or are asked to find six more crystals. [This review is based on a build of the game provided by the publisher.] 
Bombshell reviewed photo
Dud Nukem
"It's so hard to believe this is real. It's like a video game or something." A random soldier told me this in Bombshell and it's not the worst meta dialogue in the game. Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison is quick to complain about ...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Peter Stormare returns in Call of Duty's new ad campaign


'The Replacer'
Jan 29
// Chris Carter
Peter Stormare has entertained me for years, and is one of the greatest character actors of our time -- Fargo, Big Lebowski, Bad Boys II, Until Dawn, hell, even Prison Break -- classic performances. Now he's ba...
Duke Nukem 3D photo
Duke Nukem 3D

Duke Nukem 3D turns 20 today


[Extremely Buzzfeed voice] 'Feel old?!'
Jan 29
// Chris Carter
Want to feel old? You'll never believe which 3D Realms game turns 20 today! Duke Nukem 3D was released on January 29, 1996, two decades ago. At the time it was not only a great shooter (my favorite by far), but it also s...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft spills the beans for The Division's Season Pass


DLC is the place to be
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
The Division is an Ubisoft game, so it will have DLC. Lots of it. We all assumed this, now we know -- the publisher has laid out their plans openly before its March launch. In addition to free regular updates, there will...
Destiny photo
Destiny

You can now view Destiny's Calcified Fragment list by character


Finally!
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
After not having it since launch, Bungie has made it possible to view Destiny's Calcified Fragments per character. For those who aren't aware, fragments are small little hidden objects found in various missions -- if you...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie president steps down, new CEO announced


'Destiny is a one-of-a-kind experience'
Jan 28
// Vikki Blake
Harold Ryan has stepped down as Bungie's president.  As yet a replacement president has not been announced, although former COO Pete Parsons will be taking up a new position as CEO. Though there’s no explanations a...
Team Fortress 2 photo
Team Fortress 2

Think you're good enough to rock Team Fortress 2 competitively?


Time to prove it!
Jan 28
// Vikki Blake
Here’s your chance to prove it, boyo. Though there’s, as yet, nothing on the official Team Fortress 2 website, Valve has launched a new Steam Community Group dedicated to keeping players updated about the new beta...
Deep Silver bundle photo
Deep Silver bundle

Two of Deep Silver's best (and most different) series got bundled together


Saints Row and Metro
Jan 27
// Brett Makedonski
Two of Deep Silver's best franchises, Saints Row and Metro (some would probably throw Dead Island in there), are no longer mutually-exclusive entities. Well, not as far as consumerism goes, anyway. A Saints Row/Metr...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Black Ops III's newest zombie map has Wolfenstein vibes


I'm in
Jan 27
// Chris Carter
I'm all in with the new zombie cast in Call of Duty: Black Ops III (headlined by Jeff Goldbum), but I'll take Der Eisendrache as well -- the newest map set to debut in the Awakening DLC. It brings back the original ...
Homefront photo
Homefront

Homefront: The Revolution has four player co-op


Gang Solves the North Korea Situation
Jan 26
// Brett Makedonski
Homefront: The Revolution's fight for freedom will be a tough one, but not necessarily a lonely one. Deep Silver revealed today that the game is sporting a four-player cooperative mode. Multiplayer cooperative has been dubbe...
Bombshell photo
Bombshell

Bombshell's sword does exactly what you'd expect a sword to do


Cut my life into pieces
Jan 26
// Brett Makedonski
The sword may be the pinnacle of tried-and-true when it comes to weaponry. The formula was perfect some 3,000 years ago and little has changed since. Sure, there have been some incremental improvements (everyone wants a Hatt...
Battlefront DLC photo
Battlefront DLC

These are Star Wars Battlefront's DLC plans


Some free, some paid
Jan 26
// Jordan Devore
Despite liking Star Wars Battlefront quite a lot initially -- far more than I would've expected, going in -- I think it has been, what? A month since I last played? That weekend bonus XP event in December is the last time I r...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny's matchmaking is getting overhauled this week


During Iron Banner
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
Destiny is getting a much needed overhaul with its matchmaking process, as it pertains to the PVP element of the game -- the Crucible. According to a post from Bungie, "more emphasis" will be placed on connection quality...
Umbrella Corps photo
Umbrella Corps

Umbrella Corps is coming in May, looks more mod than Resident Evil game


I hear it's alright
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
Capcom has revealed the release date for Umbrella Corps -- May 2016. It'll be released digitally on the PC and PS4. Can I just pause for a second to say how odd that is, despite the fact that we knew the platform and dig...
The Division photo
The Division

Beta codes for The Division just went out


Check your email
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
If you're excited to give The Division a go (you can read all about it here compliments of our own Zack Furniss), check your inboxes -- Ubisoft is sending out codes for the beta now. Of course, the actual event doesn't s...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Someone created Peach's castle in Halo 5


Brick by brick
Jan 25
// Chris Carter
Someone re-created Peach's Castle from Mario 64 in Halo 5. That's good! Due to the object limit though there's no interior. That's bad! The resourceful Bearskopff has taken to Halo 5's Forge mode to craft his own version...
Garden Warfare 2 photo
Garden Warfare 2

These are the loyalty rewards for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2


Based on your Garden Warfare 1 rank
Jan 21
// Jordan Devore
When you first play the final version of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (how'd you like the beta?), you're going to want to look out for the mailbox in the hub world -- that's where you can import your characters and pr...
Overwatch photo
Overwatch

The Overwatch beta will return with a new mode and more maps


Expected to reappear in mid-February
Jan 21
// Jordan Devore
Blizzard took its closed beta for Overwatch offline in December to pore over player feedback, tighten the balance, and continue working on new features. It will return a little later than some were expecting -- January is now...
Tom Clancy's The Division photo
Tom Clancy's The Division

You'll be able to preload The Division beta 48 hours in advance


Love this feature
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
When the PC beta for The Division is apparently going to weigh in at 26GB, you'll appreciate the fact that you can preload it. Ubisoft has confirmed that players will be able to preload 48 hours in advance, in fact, so plan a...
At least he doesn't vape photo
At least he doesn't vape

Epic's Paragon introduces a pipe-smoking Ivan Ooze


New characters unveiled
Jan 20
// Steven Hansen
There is some barrier to entry for the (wildly successful) MOBA genre. Epic's (Gears of War) shot at the genre, Paragon, is coming to consoles (PS4 and PC) and is a pulled in third-person game following MOBA principles, whic...
Bombshell photo
Bombshell

Bombshell from 3D Realms is out next week, costs $35


First in a decade from the publisher
Jan 20
// Chris Carter
3D Realms reminded us yesterday that Bombshell is the first 3D Realms game to go gold in over a decade. While the jury is still out on this rather elusive title, I'm glad they're still around having grown up with th...
Metal Gear Online photo
Metal Gear Online

Metal Gear Online's PC beta is already over, officially launches today


That was fast
Jan 19
// Chris Carter
Last we heard, Metal Gear Online's PC beta was pulled due to an exploit last week, but in the middle of researching when a fix would happen, I found out the thing already launched! According to a post on Steam from the develo...

Review: Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster

Jan 18 // Chris Carter
Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: CapcomPublisher: CapcomReleased: January 19, 2016MSRP: $19.99 Zero begins with a rather interesting setpiece: a moving train. Rebecca Chambers, a member of S.T.A.R.S., is sent to investigate crimes in the Arklay Mountains -- conveniently located (and thus, linked) near Raccoon City and the original game's mansion. Here she meets Billy Coen, an alleged murderer and ex-Marine, and starts an "unlikely" partnership. You can probably tell from the setup that the tale is a pastiche of cheesy horror not unlike past games, but it's done just as effectively as before. Sure, the story never really makes much sense, even after the final credits roll, but you'll have a good time while you're along for the ride. Rebecca and Billy have a fun dynamic that is extended throughout Zero. The former can combine herbs and story-related chemicals, and the latter can take more of a beating and move heavy objects. It's not an original concept even for the era it was released in, but it works. This is mostly because of the "zap" partner system that allows both characters to be on-screen at the same time. You can opt to have your AI partner attack or stay idle, which is great if you don't want them wasting ammo. Swapping is as easy as pressing a button to start a second-long heartbeat transition to the other character. You can also control the AI with the right analog stick, which comes in handy for moving them out of harm's way. This idea is used in many different ways that chop up the game's pacing for the better. In some zones, Rebecca and Billy are split, working separately to exchange key items with one another through special devices like service elevators. In other areas, they're working in tandem to solve those wonderful box puzzles, where Billy is moving cubes and Rebecca is operating a device of some sort. Given that so many of Resident Evil's puzzles feature solutions born out of just one avatar, I like that Capcom went with something different here. There's another huge difference when it comes to Zero and all of the games before it: item management. In the past, players would mostly store their items in a magical gamey storage box of sorts, where you could access your armory and inventory wherever a box was located. Now, you can place items on the ground and store them anywhere on the map, no questions asked (well, outside of the single room item limit, which is inexplicably still in this remake). For instance, if you want to split a few typewriter ribbons off a stack of 10 and place them in a save room, you can. The same goes for weapons and herbs, or any key items you may pick up. [embed]332496:61804:0[/embed] Items now show up on the map, so there's no guessing as to where you put them. It's a more challenging system, for sure -- you don't have the infinite box to rely on, and sometimes you'll have to run through gauntlets of enemies if you happen to stash a key item and are required to run back for it. Its use does start to grate mid-way through the game, as it can get rather tedious to juggle everything. The mechanic isn't really re-used, but it helps cement Zero's unique identity (for better and worse) along with zapping, and the level designs mostly accommodate it. This is an old-school Resident Evil game at heart, back when "survival" was still a key factor of the series. Zero features limited ammo, save ribbons, and a lot of decision making, mostly in regards to inventory management. This is especially true given the zapping, because at any moment one character may be forced to fight a boss without the help of another, so ensuring that both cast members are fully equipped is key to your success. In terms of the actual "Remaster" moniker, a lot of the technical details are the same as before. The visuals and framerate have been updated, there's a new non-tank modern control method available, and you can swap between 16:9 and 4:3 resolution (even on consoles) -- but the cheesy FMVs remain untouched. Capcom really could bring back every entry pre-Resident Evil 4 just like this and I'd be happy. Thankfully though, it's slightly more than just a straight touch-up due to the addition of Wesker mode. In this special gametype only found in the remake (that's acquired by beating the game once), Billy is shoved to the side in favor of Wesker, who operates as Rebecca's partner throughout the game. This mode is meant to be silly. Wesker can use his superhuman powers he's flaunted since Code Veronica, including the ability to quickly dash across the room, and use a special energy attack to pop zombie's heads off. He can also mix herbs and doesn't have many limitations. They didn't go the full mile -- Billy is still present in cutscenes, as is his voice -- but it's a meaty enough change.  All of the old unlocks are also present, including additional costumes, weapons, and the Mercenaries-like "Leech Hunter." The latter is a mini-game of sorts that tasks players with escaping a modified version of the Research Center, and gets tougher as you play it. It's not as memorable as some of the true Mercenary modes in other games, but it's worth clearing at least once and should adequately test the mettle of series veterans. As a whole, Resident Evil Zero isn't one of my favorite entries, but with the amount of care that went into this remake, like Resident Evil HD Remaster before it, I'm really coming around. In fact, just get both if you don't have them already. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Resident Evil 0 HD review photo
Welcome, Wesker
For whatever reason, I didn't end up completing Resident Evil Zero back when it was released in 2002 -- in fact, it took me 10 years to truly dive into it. I think it just flew under the radar, but thankfully Capcom has opted...

The Division photo
The Division

New York's hippest borough axed from The Division's launch


[Twirls mustache passive-aggressively]
Jan 18
// Brett Makedonski
Jay-Z's gonna be pissed. Brooklyn goes hard, but not as far as Ubisoft's next Tom Clancy game is concerned. In fact, it doesn't go at all. In an interview with The Examiner, developer Massive Entertainment reveals that t...

Review: The Bug Butcher

Jan 18 // Jordan Devore
The Bug Butcher (Mac, Linux, Windows [reviewed])Developer: Awfully Nice StudiosPublisher: Awfully Nice StudiosRelease: January 19, 2016MSRP: $7.99 When I close my eyes, I now see aliens splitting apart into smaller aliens, again and again, until there is nothing left. I can picture exactly how they will move; when they'll strike. Clearly, this game has seeped into my mind. It only took a few short hours. As the titular exterminator, you're called into a research facility to clean up an infestation of creepy crawlers. Each of the 30 levels has the same basic premise -- "the only good bug is a dead bug!" -- but varying stage hazards, gimmicks, and enemy types keep the action engaging. Even after going back through most of the levels several times now, I'm yearning for more. It's all so very satisfying, and the scoring system and character upgrades further incentivize repeated playthroughs. I'll happily oblige. Every alien has a distinct look and movement pattern, but there are constants. They always enter the screen from above, telegraphing their descent so you aren't caught off guard. This is a game that rarely, if ever, feels "cheap." The majority of the bugs bounce around, touching down for a split second before going airborne again. Others hover from side to side, or stick to the ceiling. One pest crawls on the ground, waiting to pounce like a Facehugger. After taking enough damage, most will split into smaller beings that can quickly fill the room if left unchecked. This is important because, crucially, you can only shoot straight up. Positioning is everything. [embed]334931:61897:0[/embed] You'll have to keep an eye out for items that temporarily boost your damage or speed, and weapons like a laser beam, lightning gun, or rocket launcher. None of these last long, but they all pack a hefty punch and are enjoyable to wield. By keeping your combo up, you can also earn one-time-use abilities to, say, become invincible or freeze every alien in place if you're in a bind. Vanquished bugs litter the floor with coins, and there's a score-based, end-of-level payout. In the main Arcade mode, you can buy passive perks and permanent upgrades to make any weapons or abilities you might encounter mid-battle more useful. (To be clear: you always begin levels with your standard machine gun. Which is fine! It's quite good.) You're only able to equip a single perk at a time and, between the three choices, I prefer the one that lets you take a hit without dropping your combo. There's also Panic mode, playable alone or with a friend in split-screen, in which you try to survive for as long as possible. You can keep fighting until you're either out of health or out of time. For me, it's invariably the former. I have no problem scrambling to grab time extensions, but in doing so, I become too reckless. At any point, it's possible to pause the action to buy upgrades for your current run. Unlike in Arcade mode, these purchases aren't persistent across levels. The Bug Butcher gets chaotic, but rarely is it frustrating. Even when the screen is packed with enemies, you still have this overall awareness of where you should be standing, and when. The difficulty curve is spot on. It does a stellar job of making you feel mostly in control -- and, at times, over-powered -- without letting you sleepwalk to victory. You'll have to work for those high scores. I loved the responsive controls, and that's a big factor when examining an action-heavy game like this, but the presentation is also commendable. The art and sound design play pivotal roles. Bugs are squishy, just as you'd expect, while power-ups serve as a visual and auditory jolt of energy. The thumping electronic soundtrack is unrelenting, further helping to keep you in The Zone. If there's a major complaint to be made about The Bug Butcher, it's that there simply isn't more of it. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
The Bug Butcher review photo
Do your part!
When I first heard about The Bug Butcher last year, I thought it looked like a nice modern take on the bubble-popping shooter Super Pang. But I held off. I have a regrettable history of playing games in Steam Early Access onl...

The Division photo
The Division

This is how big the map in The Division is


But is it big enough for you? (TWSS)
Jan 18
// Vikki Blake
If you’d been wondering just how big The Division’s post-apocalyptic world is going to be, I have some news for you. YouTuber Arrekz has shared a new video which details the borders of the shooter’s playgrou...

The sweet annihilation of Nuclear Throne

Jan 17 // Nic Rowen
Nuclear Throne is about mutants and freaks obliterating each other in a fucked up biohazard of a world over a supposed seat on a likely meaningless throne. It's about winning the right to lord over a dead world. It's about twitch reflexes, the honing and sharpening of the most mechanical and merciless of gamer reactions. That dead-eye arcade stare that comes from quickly identifying the most pressing threat and eliminating it as quickly as possible with minimal resource usage. It's about repeating that process about a thousand times, trying to get ever so slightly better at it every time you try. It's about dying, quickly and cheaply. It's about a health bar that is so fragile as to be essentially meaningless. Bullets that gouge three pips of health out of a bar of eight and don't even have the decency to make you flicker for a second. One-hit kills from bosses. One-hit kills from mutant sewer rats. One-hit kills from cars accidentally exploding too close, the clumsy use of a plasma cannon, or getting a little too curious about a mysterious crystal. It hardly matters, most games of Nuclear Throne take anywhere between five and fifteen minutes. Another try is just a click away. Nuclear Throne isn't a game about learning from the mistakes of the past, it's about doubling down on them. Fucked up the planet with nuclear hellfire and warfare? Well, guess we better slaughter each other by the dozen to fight over a fancy chair. Get killed by a random grenade? Mash that "retry" button to jump right back in and eat another one. Die immediately trying to figure out how to play as Melty, the incredibly squishy pile of walking goo? Play as him another 20 times in a row until it's late and your eyes sting, and you know you'll hate yourself in the morning. To me, Nuclear Throne is the game I turn to when I'm not in the mood to learn from my mistakes, when I'd rather wallow in them. When I want to pile them on top of each other again and again until I can make myself a comfortable pile of failure to sit on. I've read that Luftrausers, Vlambeer's previous game, was made while the team was angry. That the fury of having one of their other games ripped-off in the Apple marketplace and the long, bitter process of trying to resolve that issue crept its way into Luftrausers and became the black core of its angry heart. That the unrelenting aggression of both the enemies and the player (motivated by a strict score-attack combo system to keep fighting at all costs) was a result of how they felt at the time. It's not hard to extend the logic and imagine how those feeling influenced the rest of the game. The ultra minimalist design, the obsession with cutting out every superfluous element of the game, reveals a design team wasn't just uninterested in niceties, but hostile to them. One of the iconic ship abilities in Luftrausers is a suicide bomb that triggers a skull-shaped nuclear explosion when the player dies, clearing out every enemy left on the screen. It's pure schadenfreude -- they might as well made the nuclear cloud a middle finger. In many ways, Nuclear Throne seems just as angry. It's hyper-aggressive and utterly merciless. The kind of game where you are expected to die. Failure is the default state and winning is the rare, precious exception (and all it does is toss you back into an even harder NG+). The game is hostile to the player, with disorienting screen shake accompanying every explosion, dick-bag cheap shots from off-screen enemies, monsters disguised as ammo boxes -- the kind of tricks you'd expect to see in something like I Wanna Be the Guy. But it's also a whole lot of fun. Nuclear Throne celebrates nihilism. It finds the joy in self-obliteration. Every aspect of the design speaks to a willful disregard for safety, a rejection of self-preservation. While ammo and health are precious commodities, half the weapons you can pick up are more dangerous to you than they are the enemy, and the rest gleefully waste ammunition. Suicidal choices like the disc gun with it's bouncing buzzsaw blades that are 100% guaranteed to ricochet back at you, radiation grenades that leave dense clouds of toxic smoke for you to walk into, blood sledgehammers that gamble health for a more powerful swing -- madness in a game where you're always a hair's breadth from death. There is dumb shit like the triple and quad machine guns, which flood the screen with firepower while evaporating your ammo reserve in the blink of an eye. Great fun for about seven seconds or so. Or Y.V's “Brrrpt” upgrade that lets him fire a weapon four times per trigger pull combined with something like the “precision” crossbow. Completely wasteful, entirely satisfying. Nuclear Throne seems like the kind of game the War Boys from Mad Max would enjoy. Then you have the little details. The loading screen messages that alternate between poignant and asinine, constantly pointing out how pointless and nihilistic the situation is only to laugh at it. The grotesquely cute design of the characters, little monsters you can't help but love. Chicken, an avian-samurai so committed to carnage that she'll keep fighting for a few seconds even after losing her head. Or my personal favorite character, the Robot, who's special ability is that he can devour spare guns to restore health and ammo. He is a being that literally subsists on violence, but that doesn't stop him from being cute as a button. I play a lot of different games for many different reasons. There are some games that I play for the story, or the world, the Fallouts and Dragon Ages of the world. I like fighting games and multiplayer first-person shooters to test my skills against other players, and MOBAs as an excuse to play with friends. But you know what? Sometimes I'm not in the mood to go scavenge around for copper wire or perform fetch quests for peasants. Sometimes the last thing I would want to do is go online and put up with trash talking morons or try to put on a happy face for my friends. Sometimes at the end of the day I'm tired and sad. I don't have the energy to invest in some 80 hour RPG or the focus to deal with online bullshit. I just want to blow everything up. I want to get killed. I want to do it over and over again until I feel like all the bile and frustration of the day has been expunged. That's a valid reason to play games as well. As the industry moves further into huge triple A multiplayer titles and massive open-world adventures, and many indies become increasingly story driven and emotional charged, I feel like that desire for mindless, cathartic, healing obliteration is getting lost in the shuffle. It makes me thankful for Nuclear Throne and its sweet embrace of annihilation.
Nuclear Throne photo
I DEMAND A CROWN
It may not seem like it, but most post-apocalyptic narratives are fundamentally optimistic. They might be set against a godforsaken backdrop of radioactive fallout with roaming packs of cannibalistic thrill-killers, but beyon...

EDF Mission Pack 1 photo
EDF Mission Pack 1

Earth Defense Force 4.1 has some new missions


The first DLC level pack is out
Jan 15
// Jordan Devore
Unsurprisingly, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is getting extra missions post-release. The first DLC pack, Time of the Mutants, released this week on PlayStation Network. It's $9.99 for 26 levels. A second...

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