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Review: Dark Souls II photo
Review: Dark Souls II
by Chris Carter

My experience with the Souls series is one of my favorite memories of my entire gaming career. Playing Demon's Souls for the first time made me feel like a kid again, back when games didn't hold your hand and explain every single facet of the adventure -- leaving everything to your imagination.

Even though Dark Souls was mainly just a refinement of the formula on a technical level, it offered up all-new experiences that felt wholly unique, and raised the bar in many respects. But then something changed -- Hidetaka Miyazaki, the producer and arguably the heart and soul of the franchise left, passing the torch to Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura to carry on his legacy.

Once again, Dark Souls II remains relatively unchanged from its predecessors, and still offers up most of the same magic that you fell in love with the first two times around.

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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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Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: A House Divided photo
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: A House Divided
by Chris Carter

Clementine has been through an awful lot since meeting Lee at the start of The Walking Dead series. She's grown, she's changed, and now, she's with a new group. Episode One sought to be a buffer of sorts between the two seasons, clinging on to some old adages and themes, but now, things are really starting to pick up in Season Two.

In case you were wondering, that's a good thing from a gameplay perspective, but a pretty terrible thing emotionally. Although I'll refrain from spoiling any major plotpoints, note that there will of course be minor story details discussed below, as well as spoilers for Season One and the first episode of Season Two.

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Review: South Park: The Stick of Truth photo
Review: South Park: The Stick of Truth
by Chris Carter

It's hard to believe that I've been watching South Park for almost 17 years. I vividly remember sneaking downstairs in the dead of night, quietly turning on Comedy Central to watch Eric Cartman get probed by an alien. I still watch the show to this day.

Although it's had its ups and downs, one thing is for certain -- South Park is still topical. Odds are even if you don't watch it, you've heard about the controversial premise to an episode at least once per season. Or more importantly in this instance, you've heard the tumultuous story about the coveted South Park game, which has taken years to see the light of day.

But it's finally here, and I have to say -- it was worth the wait. Barring a few mechanical issues, it's like watching a long, quality episode of the show.

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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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Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 photo
Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
by Chris Carter

Lords of Shadow may not have been the Castlevania game everyone wanted, but I mostly enjoyed it for what it was, and that ending was to die for. It was the perfect segue into Lords of Shadow 2, which has been teased for nearly four years now as the return of Dracula -- the main man himself -- and a culmination of the Lords storyline.

Whether that wait was worth it or not hinges almost entirely on how much you enjoyed the first Shadow outing -- if it had a few extra problems added on top of it.

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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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Why Titanfall won't be my next big gaming obsession photo
Why Titanfall won't be my next big gaming obsession
by Brett Makedonski

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Titanfall is the talk of the gaming world right now. With the game in the middle of an open beta on both Xbox One and PC in preparation for its March 11 release, everyone's checking out what Microsoft views to be a system-seller for its new console. Titanfall is being received generally positively by most that have played it. Our own Hamza Aziz even said that it'll be his next big gaming obsession. I know for a fact that it won't be mine.

After playing the beta for maybe five hours and hitting the level cap, I can't see myself ever going back to it. I have no problem giving credit where it's due. Titanfall does a lot of things right to breathe some life back into the first-person shooter formula. Particularly, adding substantial gameplay across the y-axis through its use of verticality goes a long way toward making it feel like a different game than we've already played.

There were even a fair number of occasions that had me temporarily thrilled. The first time I used the mech successfully to take down several opponents was supremely rewarding. The same goes for the lives where I would rodeo to destroy many titans and rack up big points. However, these moments were fleeting. 

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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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Very Quick Tips for the Titanfall beta photo
Very Quick Tips for the Titanfall beta
by Chris Carter

I've been playing a ton of the Titanfall beta, and I think I've started to get a handle on how things work as both a pilot and a Titan.

Since a lot of readers out there have asked for a collection of tips to help them skyrocket to the top of the leaderboards, here's a quick guide on how to kick ass and fall some Titans.

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Why Titanfall will be my next big gaming obsession photo
Why Titanfall will be my next big gaming obsession
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

It was the beginning of 2013 when I finally just got tired of the competitive aspect of first-person shooters. It's been my favorite genre ever since the GoldenEye 64 days, but over the last few years I've just been losing more and more interest in them. That's not to say there haven't been some great competitive FPS games of course. PlanetSide 2, Tribes: Ascend, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Halo 4 were some of the last ones I really got into, and while they were great, they just weren't able to hold my interest for long.

And outside of playing them for the purpose of coverage on Destructoid at preview events, I didn't even touch Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4's multiplayer after they launched. Playing the preview builds was enough for me, a "been there, done that" sort of feeling.

Titanfall, though -- it's the game-changer for me. I've played it in shorts bursts at E3 and PAX, but last week I got to go hands-on for several hours, and feel confident in saying it makes me feel as if I'm rediscovering the genre like I did in the Nintendo 64 days.

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Opinion: Lightning Returns is by far the best 'XIII' game photo
Opinion: Lightning Returns is by far the best 'XIII' game
by Chris Carter

I wasn't a fan of Final Fantasy XIII.

I felt like in many ways it was a step back for the franchise, and the cast wasn't nearly as charming as Square Enix thought it was. But with XIII-2, I partially warmed up to the series, as it slowly but surely injected that classic Final Fantasy charm of old. It embraced the silliness factor, had a less confusing (but ultimately still confusing) story, and crazy bits like Mog and Chocolina only added to its allure.

Somehow, Lightning Returns has dialed it up a bit, adding in insane elements like the Lady Gaga-esque Moogle suit, more Chocolina, and a story that actually makes sense. For that reason and many more, it's my favorite of the trio.

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Review: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy photo
Review: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy
by Dale North

Finally! The story of Final Fantasy XIII is finally final with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy. But this closing act turns the trilogy on its head with brand new play mechanics and a game structure that is unlike anything seen in the previous titles. Lightning herself may be (mostly) the same, but everything else is quite different.

The third time's the charm, right?

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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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Review: The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors photo
Review: The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors
by Chris Carter

Bigby the Wolf has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's just stumbled upon two murders, everyone is judging him based on his past, and all of it is starting to take its toll. In the second episode of Wolf Among Us, Telltale does an amazing job of unloading some of that burden off to the player.

Whereas Faith showed us Bigby from afar, we've now become him in Smoke and Mirrors. This is going to be one wild ride that even Toad might not be able to handle.

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