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Review: TowerFall: Ascension photo
Review: TowerFall: Ascension
by Patrick Hancock

TowerFall originally came out on the OUYA. I’ve played it on that console, and it was certainly a blast, so long as you weren’t the one stuck with the OUYA controller. TowerFall: Ascension brings the good time to a much wider audience, and it’s about damn time.

Matt Thorson, creator of games such as Jumper, An Untitled Story, Give Up, Robot, and co-creator of RunMan: Race Around the World is at the helm once again, so it’s no surprise that TowerFall has been highly sought after by us non-OUYA owners. Ascension has new modes, new maps, and new characters, and makes as strong a point as ever for Mr. Thorson to rename his company from “MattMakesGames” to “MattMakesPhenomenalGames.”

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SCEA CEO Jack Tretton is leaving at the end of this month photo
SCEA CEO Jack Tretton is leaving at the end of this month
by Jordan Devore

Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced its president and CEO Jack Tretton, who has been with the company since 1995, will step down as of March 31, 2014. His successor is Sony Network Entertainment International executive VP and COO Shawn Layden, another long-time PlayStation employee. He previously served as president of SCE Japan.

This departure comes as "a result of a mutual agreement between Mr. Tretton and SCEA not to renew their contractual relationship," according to an SCEA press release.

Calling his time with the company "the most rewarding experience of [his] career," Tretton said "Although I will deeply miss the talented team at SCEA and the passion demonstrated every day by our fans, I'm very excited about starting the next chapter of my career.

"I want to thank the employees, partners and customers for their tireless commitment to the PlayStation brand and, of course, to our fans who have pushed us to new heights of innovation and entertainment over the past two decades. I leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nation."

Ah, man. I always enjoyed hearing from him at E3. You couldn't help but root for the guy.

[Image source]

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Breaking New Ground: Metal Gear Solid V's Tactical approach to Open World photo
Breaking New Ground: Metal Gear Solid V's Tactical approach to Open World
by Max Scoville

Considering that the series just celebrated its 25th anniversary, it might seem a little odd that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is only the fifth game in the series. However, if you’re counting Peace Walker, it’s the sixth, and the seventh if you include Portable Ops, too. If you're counting every game with the words "Metal Gear" in the title, it's something like the thirteenth game in the series.

Plenty of other game franchises would've retired or rebooted by now (and plenty have) but somehow, this one manages to consistently reinvent itself, all the while staying within the confines of the same universe. Ground Zeroes makes some of the most drastic changes the series has seen in over a decade, while still managing to feel familiar.

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Details leaked for reported fourth and final Arkham game, Batman: Arkham Knight photo
Details leaked for reported fourth and final Arkham game, Batman: Arkham Knight
by Chris Carter

[Update #2: GameSpot has Batman: Arkham Knight coming out on October 14, 2014.]

[Update: Game Informer's new cover story has confirmed the existence of the game, as well as the platforms. Cool!]

Before you freak out -- the series is apparently back in the hands of Rocksteady. Phew. WB was all set to announce the next Batman game soon, but a GAME UK retail leak has possibly spoiled the surprise. The game is being called "Batman: Arkham Knight," and will supposedly be released on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 this year as the "explosive finale" of the franchise.

Gameplay details are sparse, but it looks like you might get to drive the Batmobile, you might be able to play as Harley Quinn in some Challenge Maps, and Scarecrow might be the main villain. Really, I'm just glad Rocksteady is back after the monumental mess WB Montreal caused with Origins

Batman: Arkham Knight [NeoGAF]

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Preview: Murdered: Soul Suspect photo
Preview: Murdered: Soul Suspect
by Steven Hansen

The last few times we've written about Murdered: Soul Suspect, the discussions centered around next gen ports. Well, that and the protagonist's unfortunate choice of head wear and other accoutrements. I mean, the fedora is somehow not the most egregious fashion choice. Wallet chain? 

But now I've gotten a chance to play and have a bunch of different things to complain about.

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Preview: Trials: Fusion is daring and really bizarre photo
Preview: Trials: Fusion is daring and really bizarre
by Alessandro Fillari

The year was 2009. Back when the Xbox 360's XBLA Summer of Games was all the rage, a small little downloadable title called Trials HD came out of nowhere and won the hearts of players. With two sequels, and several million copies sold, Trials has been a staple of downloadable gaming scene and has garnered a loyal and devout following.

Now, with another title on the way, the developers at RedLynx and Ubisoft have gone all in and made Trials: Fusion the most content rich and expansive title of the series. With over 150 developers working on the title across three different studios, Ubisoft plans to give fans and newcomers alike a crash course in making a splash with this bizarre and challenging puzzle racer.

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Review: Thief photo
Review: Thief
by Chris Carter

The original Thief was one of my favorite PC games of all time. It was unique in that it completely focused on stealth -- a mechanic that wasn't used often at the time outside of a few select games like the original Metal Gear.

It not only encouraged you to stay in the shadows, but stay silent as well, incorporating elements of sound into the core gameplay. It was stunning, to say the least. The new Thief manages to takes bits and pieces from the original franchise, but it isn't nearly as memorable.

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Pre-order Wolfenstein, get access to the next Doom game photo
Pre-order Wolfenstein, get access to the next Doom game
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

You'll get to shoot Nazi faces off in Wolfenstein: The New Order starting on May 20, 2014 in North America, and May 23, 2014 in Europe.

Typically release date confirmations would be a story on its own, but Bethesda has sweetened the pot here as pre-ordering the new shooter will also get you access into the beta for Doom 4. Note that Bethesda is referring to it as the "next Doom game" instead of as Doom 4. A reboot, perhaps? The Wolfenstein site has a little more info regarding the beta.

Along with that the release date and the next Doom game beta is this new trailer that starts off with a bang. Literally, look at those President heads explode. Bethesda sure knows how to make killer trailers.

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The Order: 1886: Gritty, cinematic eye candy photo
The Order: 1886: Gritty, cinematic eye candy
by Dale North

Sony and Ready at Dawn have been tight-lipped about upcoming PS4 game The Order: 1886 up until now, and even with what they showed us last week, it seems that they're still just barely scratching the surface. But it's not like they didn't want to show us more, or at least that was what I sensed after hearing from Ready at Dawn. It's just that what we saw was about all they had to show.

This first showing of gameplay is what the industry likes to call a "vertical slice." This slice of The Order: 1886 wasn't quite enough to fill me up, but it did serve as a pretty tasty sampler.

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MGS V: Ground Zeroes is 720p on XB1, 1080p on PS4 photo
MGS V: Ground Zeroes is 720p on XB1, 1080p on PS4
by Chris Carter

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is arriving on a number of different platforms, and differences are bound to happen.  Because of that fact, Konami has provided a series of screenshots and information to "help you find the right version."

Here's the biggest bit of info -- the PS4 version will sport 1080p resolution with 60fps, and the Xbox One will run at 720p also at 60fps. On the 360 and PS3, they'll both run at 720p and 30fps. You can also head over to the website itself and look at some direct comparison shots.

So yeah, there you have it. Thankfully, Konami is being pretty upfront with the differences, however they came about.

Metal Gear Solid V [Konami]

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Preview: inFamous: Second Son lights up the sky photo
Preview: inFamous: Second Son lights up the sky
by Dale North

I had some concerns about the future of inFamous: Second Son last year. When it slipped from the PS4 launch window, I was disappointed, but not necessarily worried yet. It wasn't until I began to see the game in action that the worry crept in. While it certainly looked better than past series games even from early on, it didn't seem to have that effortless movement and power that you'd expect from a superhero-type game. Actually, I thought it looked a bit clunky in its first showings.

My first brief hands on was especially worrying as the control was so rough that I had to hand the controller off to someone else to even see the rest of the demo.

But my first full hands-on session with Second Son this week put my worries at ease. This is the bigger, badder, flashier inFamous that I've been wanting.

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Preview: It's four versus one in Turtle Rock's Evolve photo
Preview: It's four versus one in Turtle Rock's Evolve
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Turtle Rock is best known for creating the Left 4 Dead franchise. The series was a big hit for Valve, and after a lot of tribulation over the years -- everything from getting acquired, shut down, reformed, and losing their last publisher -- the studio is back in partnership with 2K Games to offer another engaging cooperative experience in the form of Evolve

Evolve sees four players taking on the role of human hunters, while another player is in control of a giant alien beast that gets stronger over the course of the match. This isn't going to just be a straight up shooter, as teamwork and skills are key to winning a match.

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How Paradox Interactive found success in a niche market photo
How Paradox Interactive found success in a niche market
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Paradox Interactive is best known for their hardcore grand strategy titles on the PC market. Makers of such hits as Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Magicka, and many more games, the Sweden-based company celebrated 10 years of independence since splitting off from Paradox Entertainment last month in Miami, Florida. 

Made up of seven people in 2004, Paradox now has 120 people working across four different studios, with an additional 150 other people on contract making games externally. The company has blossomed, with continued revenue growth year after year, yet with all that success Paradox has managed to keep their indie spirit and continues to put their fans first when developing games.

I sat down with Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester at their recent annual showcase to see how Paradox has found success in such a niche market, and where he sees the gaming industry heading towards.

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The problem with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' price photo
The problem with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' price
by Steven Hansen

I don't think I've ever complained a game was too short. Except Persona 4: Golden. I could have played that for another 400 hours. And I've always laughed at the ridiculous price per hour breakdown some Internet goers abide by. I found Thirty Flights of Loving to be more complete feeling in its 15 minute run time than many 15 hour games I've slogged through.

But the wild world of variable pricing models, downloads, and paying for games that don't even exist yet has complicated my more generalized, "price doesn't matter," and "quality over quantity" stance.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes -- a short prologue to the full Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain -- will cost anywhere from $20 to $40. That's problematic.

[Image]

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The best and worst games of the week - A Bravely January  photo
The best and worst games of the week - A Bravely January
by Wesley Ruscher

January has come and gone, but that doesn't mean there weren't some great games to play. Just look at all the amazing "indie" games that hit the PC this month.

We had the fruition of two KickStarter campaigns finally see the light of day -- The Banner Saga and the first act of Double Fine's Broken Age -- the quirky Octodad, and the totally rad OlliOlii on PS Vita.

There was definitely some great stuff to keep us busy this month, and February is looking just as smooth. I can't even tell you how much I can't wait to get my thumbs on Bravely Default on the 3DS. Well... I guess I just did. 

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

Call of Duty: Ghosts is one of the most disappointing games in the series' history. Although I didn't dislike it as much as Jim did, there's certainly something missing that made past games in the franchise appealing, and it's not just because the formula is getting stale.

The campaign was a bore, multiplayer didn't really bring much to the table, and worst of all, the highly anticipated "Extinction" mode was grossly underutilized. While the new map pack doesn't fundamentally fix the core problems of Ghosts, it does make it a little more interesting as a whole.

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