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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes the shooter looter to the moon photo
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes the shooter looter to the moon
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is official. The latest entry in Gearbox's shooter looter takes place between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2, hence the Pre-Sequel moniker. The new game is based on the Borderlands 2 engine as well, and will be sticking to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

You'll be able to play as one of four new -- yet familiar -- characters as you work for Handsome Jack during his rise to power. Oh, and a majority of the game takes place on Pandora's moon. And you get jet packs. And laser guns. And ice weapons. Oh my.

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Preview: Armello combines board games, trading card games, strategy RPG play photo
Preview: Armello combines board games, trading card games, strategy RPG play
by Dale North

I met League of Geeks' Trent Kusters at GDC a few weeks back. We just missed each other at Bitsummit just a week before, but I'm glad we were able to finally meet up as I would have missed seeing a really cool game. 

Kusters' elevator pitch: imagine a game that mixes Magic the Gathering and Final Fantasy Tactics...

I stopped him before he could finish and told him that this game sounds right up my alley. Like, right up my alley.

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An early look at the PC version of Dark Souls II photo
An early look at the PC version of Dark Souls II
by Alasdair Duncan

How many times have I died in Dark Souls II now? 12, 14... 16?

Truth is I've already lost count of how many times I've taken a blade to the chest or an arrow to the face. Whenever I think I'm making progress, something takes me by surprise and I'm back to square one but I have to persevere, I need to keep pushing on. I have to learn about the enemies, their patterns, their routines. 

I swear I'll make it out of the tutorial area at some point.

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Huge open world and endless customization define The Crew photo
Huge open world and endless customization define The Crew
by Casey Baker

The developers of The Crew have an unusual take on their new IP that features fast cars, deep customization, and miles and miles of the United States to traverse across and race within. Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections insist that despite its trappings that would suggest an open world racing game in the same vein as the latest in the Need for Speed series or Forza Horizons, The Crew is actually an MMO RPG.

When first presented with this concept at a recent Ubisoft event, I was a little skeptical that a racing game could be classified as such, given that it doesn't necessarily involve giant monsters and upgradeable weapons, and certainly bears no fantastical setting. However, after getting an hour long hands-on with the new game and witnessing the number of ways that this separates itself from its ilk, I could definitely see how it could be deserving of this different classification.

In The Crew, your vastly upgradeable and customizable car is your weapon. The giant monster you perpetually battle is the road, in several different kinds of events and spanning a seemingly large storyline across five enormous regions of the United States.

And like all MMO RPG's, The Crew is so much better with friends.

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Grey Goo aspires to get to the roots of the real-time strategy genre photo
Grey Goo aspires to get to the roots of the real-time strategy genre
by Brett Makedonski

The real-time strategy genre has undergone quite the transformation throughout time. Seemingly gone are the days where games require that you focus on strategy, often replaced by experiences that reward combat ability and quick clicking. Petroglyph Games aims to right this with Grey Goo -- a title that will try to put the "S" back in RTS.

The way that Petroglyph intends to do this is by forging the most balanced game that it possibly can. Grey Goo will put equal parts emphasis on economic management, base-building, and strategic combat. Over-reliance upon any of these three facets won't necessarily result in sure victory; it could just as easily result in sure failure.

If that sounds complicated, that's because it might be. However, Grey Goo won't necessarily overencumber the player with weighty mechanics. Everything's relatively straightforward and basic as far as commands go, most of it mapped to the mouse and QWERT keys. Again, it's the actual strategic approach that's going to trip most people up.

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SOMA is underwater horror with flashy monsters & average crabs photo
SOMA is underwater horror with flashy monsters & average crabs
by Steven Hansen

When I see the name SOMA, all capitalized as Amnesia developer Frictional is wont to stylize, I think of my dentist. Because that's its name. And it's not a scary thought. I never had frightening associations with dentistry, even when it was around the corner from where I lived in a dingy office above a fruit stand (before it relocated to the nicer SOMA area).

But I have little explanation or forethought for that anecdote. SOMA's underwater origin -- it was previously assumed to be set in an abandoned space station -- was also, "decided [on a] whim during a meet-up," between Frictional's co-founders.

It was a good whim. The ocean is a terrifying, unexplored place, particularly in games. It's not all Ecco the Dolphin down there. There are goblin sharks, damn it. And James Cameron putting around in his deep sea submersible. And the creepy, bioluminescent things that doomed SOMA's world like belief in laughable Randian philosophy doomed Andrew Ryan's.

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To Leave is one of the neatest games I played during GDC photo
To Leave is one of the neatest games I played during GDC
by Steven Hansen

GDC is full of neat games. There are sentai management sims. Body building cats. Hyper Light Drifter. But one of the neatest games I played during GDC is To Leave, which creative director Estefano Palacios says is the first indie game out of Ecuador. It's definitely the first one coming to PS4 and Vita. (Incidentally, check out the promoted cblog from last year, Gaming in Latin America).

Sony discovered the 12 person team's game as part of its Latin America, Incubation Program and has been "instrumental" in getting it exposure, flying Palacios out to GDC to rep the game, and technology, giving the team dev kits.

Palacios discovered me, hustling to take advantage of his good fortune, while I shambled, eyes glazed over, trying to remember where I was going and where I had been. I'm glad he did, because chatting with him and playing To Leave perked me right up.

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Hands-on with Ultra Street Fighter IV's Decapre photo
Hands-on with Ultra Street Fighter IV's Decapre
by Ben Pack

Earlier this week I got to spend some time with Ultra Street Fighter IV, Capcom’s fourth and final iteration of the original 2008 game. My demo was presented by professional fighting game player turned Capcom employee Peter “Combofiend” Rosas, who walked me through the fifth and final new character, Decapre, as well as the other changes of the version.

The game features five new characters, including four adopted from Street Fighter X Tekken. These characters are Hugo, Elena, Rolento and Poison. The first two characters are meant to play like their versions in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and the later two are more similar to their SFxT versions.

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Krautscape is a racing game where you make your own path to victory photo
Krautscape is a racing game where you make your own path to victory
by Brett Makedonski

Practice makes perfect in racing games. "Sight reading" a new course (so to speak) might turn out okay, but any perfectionist will spend hours learning the every nuance of every track in order to shave precious seconds off their times. But what if that weren't an option? What if the racetrack wasn't a static entity?

That's what Krautscape has going on. One of the many defining characteristics of this indie racer is that the leader procedurally generates the track. As you pass through the gates that mark the building points, different lanes dictate different directions to send the action.

That's a unique concept for a game, but not enough for developer Mario von Rickenbach. That's why the vehicles can also fly. That's right, if you don't like the way that the track is going, find a place to soar off the edge and take the lead away. Pick your spots wisely though, because a miscalculation could end up in a supposedly savvy move putting you even further behind.

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LEGO Minifigures Online is an MMO that anyone can jump into photo
LEGO Minifigures Online is an MMO that anyone can jump into
by Brett Makedonski

Let's face it: massively multiplayer online games can be intimidating for some people. Between the incredibly nuanced systems that some titles tout, and the tales of time and dedication required to "properly" play a game, it's not exactly an inviting scene. It's tough to fault those that shy away from the genre altogether.

Funcom's out to make an accessible free-to-play MMO, and it's got the world's most beloved toy brand behind it. LEGO Minifigures Online is a game that's technically aimed at children, but it's plenty reasonable to expect a more mature audience will find a certain cathartic thrill, too.

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Arkham Knight has the right playground for Batman's new toys photo
Arkham Knight has the right playground for Batman's new toys
by Brett Makedonski

Rocksteady Studios has found itself in a somewhat precarious position with Arkham Knight. The team's two previous installments in the series are so universally revered that it begs the question "What can it do to live up to, and surpass, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City?" Rocksteady's opted to take the path of increasing the scope of everything and changing the formulaic approach to some of the series' conventions. It remains to be seen how well it'll work.

Arkham Knight is the first in the "Rocksteady Trilogy" (this term kept coming up, presumably to distance themselves from Arkham Origins) to give Batman free rein of Gotham City. The plot device driving this iteration is that Scarecrow has threatened to release a fear toxin so the entirety of the city has been evacuated. Well, except for all the thugs, criminals, and super villains that refuse to leave. They'll be Batman's punching bags en route to finding Scarecrow.

If this version of Gotham City sounds like semi-familiar territory, that's because it kind of is. The cynically analytical might say this walled-off playground full of baddies smacks of Arkham City with skyscrapers. The optimist might suggest that this added verticality is a welcomed progression for the series.

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Chariot is a great indie platformer with one royal hook photo
Chariot is a great indie platformer with one royal hook
by Brett Makedonski

[Update: Frima Studios has reached out and informed us that it miscommunicated its statement about not being able to clear the game solo. The game can be beaten singleplayer, but only about 80 percent of the optional paths are accessible without a cooperative partner.]

Of all the titles on display at IGN's independent games mixer at GDC, I couldn't help but be intrigued by one in particular. It was kind of tucked away in a corner, but that didn't mean that it wasn't getting its share of traffic. That's because it immediately looked cute, colorful, and challenging -- three criteria that certainly help indie games flourish. At first glance, it seemed like the kind of game that could win your heart in an instant.

The game in question is Chariot, a co-op platformer by Frima Studios. Chariot's centered around a princess that's out to take her recently deceased father to the resting place of his choosing. She does this by lugging his casket through perilous ancient caves in an effort to please him.

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5:00 PM on 03.25.2014

Zombies Monsters Robots is ridiculous, cheesy, and so much fun

Hey you, what if I were to tell you about a free-to-play shooter that has you fighting against zombies. Not impressed? Well, I don't blame you. Zombies are kinda all over the place now. Fine, what about a free-to-play shooter...

Alessandro Fillari

11:00 AM on 03.25.2014

Obsidian's Armored Warfare takes a spin at the tank genre

Obsidian is probably the last company you'd expect to make anything like Armored Warfare, a free-to-play MMO tank shooter. It's certainly different than anything the company has brought us in the past, that's for sure. I got ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

9:00 AM on 03.25.2014

Skyforge has the potential to be the next big MMO

There's something about Skyforge that's kind of unbelievable. It's an MMO that's doing away with the multi-server issues by having millions playing together on one server, visuals are highly detailed putting in on-par with cu...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing photo
Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing
by Brett Makedonski

With all the cool tech demos and innovative ideas on display at GDC Play, it's a bit surprising that a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer is one of the most worthwhile things to check out. But hey, good games are good games, and that's exactly what Monochroma look like it is.

At first glance, Monochroma invites comparisons to Limbo. Hell, executive producer Burak Tezateser said as much as soon as the demo started. For good reason too: the color scheme made up of hues of black and grey, the small boy protagonist, the unsettling environments -- it all positively smacks of the style popularized by Playdead. However, Monochroma has enough going on that it doesn't need to use these comparisons as a crutch.

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