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Watch Microsoft's Xbox E3 2014 press conference right here photo
Watch Microsoft's Xbox E3 2014 press conference right here
by Kyle MacGregor

Microsoft kicks off E3 today its annual press conference, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30am PST. It's been an interesting year since the corporation revealed the Xbox One last May, one full of surprises and reversals aplenty. 

What's next for Microsoft and the Xbox One's search for identity? Well, we'll just have to wait and see. My money's on sports, entertainment apps, and dudes with guns.

Xbox [Twitch, Xbox@E3 2014]

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Review: Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes photo
Review: Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes
by Jonathan Holmes

I'm angry that I had to write this review of 1001 Spikes, as I would have rather spent this time playing more of it. That anger makes me all the more similar to the game's titular hero Aban Hawkins. Neglected and disrespected by his famous father and stuck in the shadow of his intelligent and responsible sister, he's got every reason to be a grump. This is a man with something to prove and he doesn't care how badly he's going to get hurt in the process. He's not going to stop until he shows the world that nobody and nothing can keep him down.

Aban's story is a perfect fit for the world of hurt he runs into headfirst. 1001 Spikes is a game of endless danger, a place where eye contact with death is a near constant. The game fights you nearly every step of the way, but it always fights fair, making each small victory feel like a life affirming success. Those who can summon the bravery to risk the challenges here are bound to discover that they are capable of more than they had given themselves credit for.

For the tenacious, nothing is impossible.

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

So far in the saga that is Call of Duty: Ghosts, the fun factor of the game has increased tremendously through the first two map packs -- Onslaught and Devastation, which allow you to play as Michael Meyers and Predator, respectively. Slowly but surely Infinity Ward has been addressing concerns from Ghosts, adding in more interesting locations on top of a ton of little extras that add up over time.

Although Invasion doesn't have a gimmick as strong as say, a playable horror or action movie villain, its tricks are more spread out over the entire DLC, making for one of the best map packs yet.

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Reviews In Review: Watch Dogs, Monochroma, Wolf Among Us photo
Reviews In Review: Watch Dogs, Monochroma, Wolf Among Us
by Ben Pack

Reviewer? I hardly know her! This week's reviews in review goes out to Steven Hansen. Check out the video and all the reviews below.

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Review: The Wolf Among Us: In Sheep's Clothing photo
Review: The Wolf Among Us: In Sheep's Clothing
by Chris Carter

Telltale does a wonderful job of showing you just how tough Bigby Wolf's life really is.

He's constantly trying to do the right thing and fight his feral nature, but every so often you really can't help but rough someone up to solve the case. After all, Fabletown is a dangerous place, and every wasted second could mean a new victim or the flight of a perpetrator.

While In Sheep's Clothing doesn't give us the showdown we've been wanting since the end of the first episode, it still delivers that wonderful feeling of tension that's been sprinkled throughout the series.

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The Evil Within seems like it forgot the 'horror' in 'pure survival horror' photo
The Evil Within seems like it forgot the 'horror' in 'pure survival horror'
by Brett Makedonski

All too often, survival horror titles perform poorly in some areas, but it's somehow acceptable because that's the trade-off for being survival horror. If the experience is tense and scary, it seems like everything else is forgivable. That's a very important "if" however, because if it doesn't deliver on the horror front, you're suddenly left with a game that just performs poorly.

After having almost two hours of hands-on time with The Evil Within, it's perilously close to falling into this category.

As a disclaimer of sorts, I was thrust into two levels at varying points of the story. Chapter 4 and Chapter 8 were the two sections shown, and both were ineffective at providing any scares, any true adrenaline-pumping moments, or really anything even noteworthy. For what it's worth, maybe I was missing the context of the previous parts of the game that might give others an overarching sense of fear. As isolated incidents, they were just dull.

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Review: Watch Dogs photo
Review: Watch Dogs
by Chris Carter

What I love most about my job is that I get to test out everything in its final, ready to deliver form, free of the binds of hype. For what feels like half my lifetime, Ubisoft has been trying to convince us that Watch Dogs will change everything. It doesn't.

If you come in expecting a polished high-budget venture on par with the Grand Theft Auto series, you're going to be disappointed. But if you think of it like a more arcadey take on the open world genre, you'll have a lot more fun.

Oh, and you can totally become a giant Spider-Tank and blow people up.

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Reviews In Review: Wolfenstein The New Order, Transistor, Drakengard 3 photo
Reviews In Review: Wolfenstein The New Order, Transistor, Drakengard 3
by Ben Pack

Look, E3 is coming up soon and that means we're about to get super excited about games. Let's take a minute and be thankful for the games we have right now, ok?

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Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order photo
Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order
by Chris Carter

Along with Catacomb, Wolfenstein was one of my first FPS games. One of the fondest memories I have of my father is playing it "co-operatively," where one of us moved and the other shot enemies and opened doors.

It was one of the purest FPS games of all time, in an era where maps were more of an elaborate maze than a hallway of cutscenes. While Wolfenstein may play it safe with many modern designs that we've all come to expect, it manages to encapsulate the spirit of the genre when it was in its infancy -- fun.

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Reviews in Review: Mario Kart 8, Super Time Force and more! photo
Reviews in Review: Mario Kart 8, Super Time Force and more!
by Ben Pack

Hey, what are you doing here! There's a ton of good games that came out this week! No wait, come back and watch this video for a couple of minutes, read the article, then you can go play those games.

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Ubisoft: Far Cry 4 launching this November  photo
Ubisoft: Far Cry 4 launching this November
by Kyle MacGregor

Far Cry 4 will launch on November 18 in the United States and November 20 in EMEA territories, Ubisoft announced today. The open-world first-person shooter is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Sorry, Wii U fans.

Here's Ubisoft's synopsis:

"Taking a sharp turn away from the lush island jungles of the top-rated Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4 is set in Kyrat, an untamed region currently ruled by a despotic self-appointed king. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the achingly beautiful views; Kyrat is a wild land full of perils. Once again, players will be able to craft their own stories as they travel through this exotic open world teeming with wildlife – using their wits along with an assortment of powerful weapons and diverse vehicles."

The publisher also revealed the follow-up to Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal in association with Red Storm Entertainment and the publisher's Toronto, Shanghai, and Kiev studios. We'll have more details come E3 time.

Far Cry 4 will have a limited edition, (because of course it will) which includes a trio of single player missions featuring Far Cry 3's Hurk. To get in on that action and acquire Hurk’s harpoon gun, "The Impaler," you need only pre-order the game. Pre-order now! Sigh.

On a more personal note... YES! Far Cry is the best! I love Far Cry!

Ubisoft FY14 Earnings Presentation  [Ubisoft, UbiBlog]

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Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: In Harm's Way photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: In Harm's Way
by Chris Carter

Season two of The Walking Dead is off to a really great start so far. Unchained from the binds of the father-daughter tale of season one, Clementine is on her own, stuck between various factions, groups, and relationships.

Seeing the end of the world from her eyes has made for a significantly different season, and the last episode raised the stakes considerably. It's amazing that Telltale can keep it going yet again.

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Review: Super Time Force photo
Review: Super Time Force
by Jordan Devore

Capybara Games has been demoing Super Time Force at trade shows for years now, offering players a chance to become acquainted with its neat take on side-scrolling shooters but not enough time to truly dig in. The people hovering behind you in line have stuff to do too, after all.

Here we are, at last. We can play Super Time Force in the privacy of our own homes, spending as much precious time as we'd like to perfect runs without feeling guilty. Life is good.

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Reviews in Review: Sportsfriends, Amazing Spider-Man 2 photo
Reviews in Review: Sportsfriends, Amazing Spider-Man 2
by Ben Pack

Hey some dude in the comments said I should do this drunk so Max made me drink malt liquor. Anyway here are the reviews I reviewed last week (as well as a couple more that went up after the video).

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Dark Souls II disappointed, but I'm so ready for the next game photo
Dark Souls II disappointed, but I'm so ready for the next game
by Jordan Devore

In the weeks leading up to E3, there have been some truly interesting leaks. Headlining that list is undoubtedly "Project Beast," rumored to be the working title for the next From Software game. The next (Demon's?) Souls. The return of series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Please let this be real.

If you've seen the believable-looking images, feel free to join me in hoping this game pans out sooner than later -- that, should it be legitimate, we don't have to wait until Tokyo Game Show in September for an announcement. Having just recently cleared Dark Souls II and been somewhat underwhelmed by it, I've been thinking about why, and what I might want out of the next Souls title, Project Beast or otherwise. I'm sure you've thought about the topic before too. Let's talk it out.

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Review: Bound By Flame  photo
Review: Bound By Flame
by Brittany Vincent

What is the appeal of a role-playing game? A gripping, sometimes heartrending story that reaches into your very soul and doesn't let go? How about shallow level progression and a grind that won't quit?

Call me crazy, but sometimes I'm swept away by the promise of greatness and the allure of the completed skill tree. I just want to sweat and toil until I'm at the level cap. I want to enjoy a means to an end. Bound By Flame is that means to an end. It's rough around the edges; a discount Witcher, by many counts, but it also possesses a certain degree of playability that I find devoid in other, more polished outings. And for that reason, despite its many confusing design decisions and mechanics, I commend developer Spiders on a job medium well.

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