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2:00 PM on 08.18.2014

Some quick thoughts on League of Legends' Braum and Gnar

I've been covering every new League of Legends champion for over a year now, but ever since Braum dropped, I haven't had the chance to really get in and play as many ranked games as I would have liked due to a few other ...

Chris Carter


Updated! Panel details revealed:

Hironobu Sakaguchi Reflection: Past, Present, Future of RPGs

The father of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has announced his PAX Prime 2014 panel where he will discuss his history developing role-playing games, along with revealing more about his new RPG, Terra Battle. Find out more info at PAX Prime website.






Rediscover a Lara Croft you already know in Temple of Osiris photo
Rediscover a Lara Croft you already know in Temple of Osiris
by Brett Makedonski

Which Lara Croft do you prefer? Crystal Dynamics has two versions of her, splitting the iconic character into distinctly different properties. The recent Tomb Raider reboot and the scheduled follow-up Rise of the Tomb Raider paint Lara in a survivalist light -- someone that's fighting for her life more than anything else. That's all well and good, but you can't fault anyone that favors the other Lara; they're probably just used to her.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris continues what 2010's Guardian of Light began -- getting back to the Tomb Raider roots with a star that had no problem mowing down anything in her path to find more treasure. She’s brash, she’s ruthless, and, (ideally) she has a few friends helping her.

Guardian of Light is highly regarded by most -- an isometric, top-down twin-stick shooter that was a delight to play. With few complaints from the fans, Crystal Dynamics knew that Temple of Osiris wasn’t an effort that it’d necessarily want to revamp, but rather just improve. The two levels that we played at gamescom 2014 indicate that it's certainly poised to do just that.

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Review in Progress: Firefall photo
Review in Progress: Firefall
by Chris Carter

Firefall is a game that has seemed to get a lot of press over the past few years, often for the wrong reasons. Whether it's word of troubled staff, protests, or delays, most Firefall news isn't good news.

But alas, as we all know, the true test of a game's strength is how it plays on its own merits, when it's fully released. After testing it out for a few weeks I can safely say that Firefall hasn't blown me away, but it has laid a decent foundation to build upon in the future.

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Here are Destructoid's top ten games from gamescom photo
Here are Destructoid's top ten games from gamescom
by Brett Makedonski

Gamescom is the largest videogame trade show in the world. Sound like a big deal? It absolutely is. Hundreds of thousands of people cram together in a convention center that's massive, but doesn't feel even close to huge enough. Need a frame of reference? This is the crowd in the main hall on Thursday -- what's supposedly the least busy of the three days it's open to the public.

Reciprocating the scale of the event is the size of the games that publishers have on display. That was the theme at gamescom 2014: Big. All the biggest titles are here, and given how close we are to the holiday launch season, they're looking the most polished that we've seen them yet.

In no particular order, these were Destructoid's top ten games of gamescom 2014, as explained by Dale North and myself.

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Both Metal Gear Solid V entries are coming to Steam photo
Both Metal Gear Solid V entries are coming to Steam
by Chris Carter

[Update: Konami has confirmed this news live at its gamescom conference. No release dates were given.]

For years, Metal Gear Solid fans have been asking director Hideo Kojima if and Konami would bring the games to PC. Traditionally the series has been a mostly console-only affair, but with Metal Gear Rising we saw that maybe the publisher was changing its mind in regards to the platform.

Well, if a listing on the official UK Konami site is to be believed, both Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain will be coming to Steam. When the former is arriving isn't quite known, but the latter will likely launch alongside of the console versions, if not slightly after.

This is great news for PC fans who have always wanted to give the series a go. Ground Zeroes is also perfect Steam sale material if you're on the fence.

Konami UK [Konami via NeoGAF]

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Life is Strange is a world you'll want to lose yourself in photo
Life is Strange is a world you'll want to lose yourself in
by Brett Makedonski

Gamescom is a noisy, crowded mess. Shoulder to shoulder with patrons that didn’t seem to care what they bump into, I trudged my way to my next appointment. As I stepped through the door to the meeting room, something unexpected happened. I was teleported from a loud convention center to a rebellious teenager’s room.

Seated at the foot of a twin-sized bed, I took in my surroundings. The top of a makeshift television stand housed a half-smoked joint, while a pair of dirty Converse rested underneath. Posters of influential punk rockers littered the wall, all askew. “Fuck” was scrawled on almost everything, but especially a tattered American flag.

I wasn’t in Germany anymore. I was in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. More specifically, I was in Chloe’s safe place -- the only spot in the world where a misunderstood teenage girl can be herself. I was inside the world of Dontnod’s newly announced Life is Strange, and it was a wonderful place to be.

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Command a tiger that can turn invisible in Far Cry 4 photo
Command a tiger that can turn invisible in Far Cry 4
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Far Cry 3 had some pretty wild moments. Like, remember when Vaas was dancing around on the stripper pole? Good stuff. Far Cry 4 will have some crazy segments as well, but these are a little more grounded to the core of the game. 

Scattered around Kyrat are hidden tankas that, once discovered, allow the main character to meditate and travel to Shangri-La to relieve the life of a legendary warrior. You'll be transported to a surreal world with floating islands and you are equipped with only a bow and arrow to take on the enemies of these environments. 

Oh, and you have a tiger that you can command to attack others. The tiger can also turn invisible. 

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Dragon Age: Inquisition plays like a solid mix of Origins and Dragon Age II photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition plays like a solid mix of Origins and Dragon Age II
by Chris Carter

I wasn't very happy with Dragon Age II.

Whereas Origins was a glorious return to old-school RPG sensibilities, Dragon Age II played like an action game that took place in the same universe. I liked the sequel for different reasons, but it felt like a wasted opportunity as it attempted to juggle some of the RPG elements from Origins while having some faults of its own, like re-used environments and a lack of scale.

If you felt the same way, Inquisition may be for you.

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BioWare announces modern fantasy story-based 4 vs. 1 multiplayer RPG Shadow Realms photo
BioWare announces modern fantasy story-based 4 vs. 1 multiplayer RPG Shadow Realms
by Darren Nakamura

At the EA press conference today, BioWare announced its next project, Shadow Realms. Jeff Hickman, the Studio General Manager discussed its inspiration in old school pen and paper role-playing games, before elaborating on how that applies to the videogame.

Set in a "modern fantasy" world, the heroes form teams of four to do battle against the forces of the Shadow Lord, who controls a range of evil creatures. The result is an online role-playing game with asymmetric multiplayer.

Of course, BioWare throws in its own twist, where story remains a significant component of the gameplay. The studio plans to release content for Shadow Realms episodically, so the community can experience the progression of the story as it evolves together.

Shadow Realms is scheduled to release for PC "late next year," but it is currently playable at gamescom, and interested parties can sign up for the alpha at ShadowRealms.com.

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Review: Call of Duty: Ghosts: Nemesis photo
Review: Call of Duty: Ghosts: Nemesis
by Chris Carter

Look, $50 is a lot of money for a Season Pass in a first-person shooter. If it was just comprised of 16 maps alone, no matter how good they were, it probably wouldn't be worth the money for all but the most diehard of FPS fans.

But thankfully, Infinity Ward has made amends for the rather bland core package of Call of Duty: Ghosts, and the Nemesis map pack is no exception. In addition to four solid maps, there's another chapter of Extinction, the developer's out-of-this-world take on Treyarch's zombies.

Because of these packs, I'm actually a bit more excited for Infinity Ward's follow-up in two year's time.

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Father of the Wasteland: How to trust your fans and revive a classic photo
Father of the Wasteland: How to trust your fans and revive a classic
by Alessandro Fillari

Take a moment and think about your dream game. You've probably been thinking about this for awhile. It's always in the back of your mind. Whenever you see new a title promising to do what your dream game does, you wonder if it can possibly reach it. Your dream game, it feels fleeting and impossible, but the joy and wonder it evokes is still real and raw. 

Suddenly, you've been given the chance to make you dream game real. Friends look to you and hope you won't screw things up. Now you've got strangers invested in it. With so many people now following you, watching you, wanting you to make your game, it puts an enormous amount of pressure on you. 

Sounds nerve wracking, right? This is all too real for Brian Fargo and his development studio inXile Entertainment. Two years after an enormously successful Kickstarter for Wasteland 2, they're quickly approaching the time for its release. We were invited to meet Fargo during his press tour for the game. During our talk, we learned just how much inXile and the creator are putting on the line with this revival of a classic post-apocalyptic adventure.

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Review: Gods Will Be Watching photo
Review: Gods Will Be Watching
by Alasdair Duncan

Gods Will Be Watching is a tough game. It puts the player in positions that they'd rather not be in and asks them to make difficult choices. In order to succeed at a mission, you may have to do unthinkable things, betray your morals, and become a monster just to survive a little longer.

It's also tough in another sense: the game is bloody hard. 

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Titanfall's Frontier's Edge DLC is another okay, yet underwhelming map pack photo
Titanfall's Frontier's Edge DLC is another okay, yet underwhelming map pack
by Chris Carter

Titanfall was a good game for what it was -- a fun, but not revolutionary shooter. It didn't change gaming (or even the genre) forever, and some players abandoned it weeks after launch, turning many playlists into desolate wastelands. It was Unreal Tournament lite with mechs, basically. The end.

So far, the DLC hasn't measured up to the core game, but there are still two more packs to go. Today the second map pack titled Frontier's Edge drops, alongside of a very cool free update that brings a (non-microtransaction filled) store into the mix called the "Black Market."

The Black Market is actually a cooler add-on than the paid DLC.

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Review in Progress: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas photo
Review in Progress: Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas
by Chris Carter

When many Warcraft fans hear the name Naxxramas, it conjures up memories of late nights and pizza, while taking on the tough-as-nails raid in World of Warcraft (or as I know it, Naxx). It was one of the most enjoyable areas of the franchise lore-wise, as it focused on some of the more nefarious villains in the series' realm.

Archlich Kel'Thuzad returns as the big bad in Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas, but you won't be able to fight him right away. Yep, that's right, each "wing" of the DLC will unlock over the course of five weeks, and although the first wing is free, each wing will cost in-game currency or real money.

It's an interesting way to deliver DLC, and so far, it's more than enough to get me back into Hearthstone.

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Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins
by Chris Carter

The last episode of The Walking Dead was probably my favorite one yet -- and that's including all of Lee's tale from the first season. Clem has made the switch from tough to full-on badass depending on your choices, and it's clear that she is fully a part of some of the horrific life-or-death choices in the world.

Clem can no longer hold onto her innocence and fall back on her young appearance -- at this point, many decisions have been made that cannot be taken back, and the rest of the group is starting to notice it. That hook right there is what makes Amid the Ruins such a great tale, even if it doesn't have the same wow factor as its predecessor.

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Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King photo
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King
by Chris Carter

2014 has been very good to me, but Dark Souls II is one of my favorite games of the year. Many debates have raged on as to whether or not it's as exceptional as its predecessor (Demon's Souls is better than both), but having played it prior to launch without any hints or guides, I heartily enjoyed getting lost in its labyrinthine tunnels and deadly arenas.

The Crown of the Sunken King DLC expands that goodness by about five to ten hours depending on your skill level, and even if it's one of the less remarkable levels in the game, it's still worth playing.

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