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    We get playful with this holiday gift guide at the toys and games that will make this winter season a hit!

    FeatureChris Cummins
    Dec 11, 2017

    There are few things in life as certain as the fact that you can't go wrong with giving toys and/or games for the holidays. We've put some of our favorites this year together in a nifty holiday gift guide just for you!

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi Electronic Toy

    It feels like we are mere hours away from finding out if these guardians of Ahch-To Island/Brundleflyian fusions of penguins and pugs live up to the hype. But even if they fizzle out Snakes on a Plane-style we can't help but think that already Porgs are a success for the way that they have overcome their Ewok 2.0 roots to become a unique phenomenon of their own. We suppose what we are saying here is that, narrative strength or not, Porgs have already become a part of the new Star Wars mythos. So you may as well hop aboard the hype train and pass one off to a Star Warrior you know come Christmas morning.

    Buy the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Porg Electronic Plus on Amazon

    Playmobil Ghostbusters Ecto-1

    With apologies to Lego lovers out there, our favorite construction toy line this year has been Playmobil's Ghostbusters offerings. The various mini-figures and sets they've released show not only a clear understanding of the toyetic appeal of the license, but a general love for the characters and environments from the movie. This is nowhere as evident as with the Ecto-1 vehicle that comes equipped with light and sound features, Winston and Janine figures, and even little slime accessories that can be added or removed as play dictates. The video above shows you the Ecto-1 in action and this, when combined with the other entries in the lineup, rank among the best Ghostbusterstoys ever made. And this is not a claim made lightly.

    Buy the Playmobil Ghostbusters Ecto-1 on Amazon

    DC Collectibles Batman Expression Pack Action Figure

    Here's a fantastic gift idea from DC Collectibles: An action figure from Batman: The Animated Series that lets you change the Caped Crusader's appearance by changing his heads and capes. Just think of the fun you can have making his mood match your own. Our personal favorite? The shocked looked featured in the upper right. It pretty much nails what we look like whenever we turn on CNN these days.

    Buy DC Collectibles Batman Expression Pack Action Figure on Amazon

    Batman the Animated Series: Batcave Playset

    The closest you'll ever get to being inside the Batcave is this beautiful playset from DC Collectibles that includes everything you see in the video above and an exclusive Alfred figure from Batman: The Animated Series. The Bat Computer comes with interchangable screens and it lights up, all the better to illuminate Gotham City's various evildoers.

    Buy Batman: The Animated Series Batcave Playset on Amazon

    Star Wars Battlefront II

    Microtransaction controversies aside, Star Wars Battlefront II is still the hottest video game of the holiday season. You want it. Your friends want it. This is all very understandable. So we don't need to take up valuable Internet real estate telling you why its rad. Instead, here's what we want to know: How come nobody ever made a Star Wars mod of the classic arcade game Tapper? Think about it, it could have Wuher the bartender racing around the Creature Cantina trying to serve drinks to the likes of Hammerhead (Nagamaroo!) and Walrus Man. In the background, Han could be seen shooting Greedo. This sounds like bliss. I mean, Battlefront IIis clearly great, but 8-bit glasses of blue milk sliding down a bar? Where do we sign up?

    Buy Star Wars Battlefront II on Amazon

    Planet of the Apes Monopoly

    They did it! They finally did it! They created a Planet of the Apes-themed Monopoly. Highlighted by whimsical art from Dave Perillo (whose art is regularly featured in Gallery 1988's Crazy 4 Cult shows) brings a retro simian twist to the board game night staple that will please every ape you see from chimpan-a to chimpanzee.

    Buy Planet of the Apes Monopoly on Amazon

    Stranger Things Eggo Card Game

    Is there a better gift to give than corporate synergy? Yes, just about every possible gift, dummy! But that hasn't stopped Hasbro, Netflix, and Kellogg's from forming a Voltron Lion of cross-promotion for the Stranger Things Eggo Card Game. This Uno-esque title has players choosing one of the show's characters and try to get rid of their cards and escape from the Upside Down. Better that than the futile real-life exercise that is trying to escape new and innovative branding opportunities.

    Buy the Stranger Things Eggo Card Game on Amazon

    Kid Flash Action Figure

    Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West/Kid Flash is a highpoint of The CW's The Flash. DC Collectibles has just released a fantastic 6 3/4" action figure of the character that includes three pairs of interchangable hands. And speaking of hands, we bet you can't wait to get yours on this awesome figure, amirite ladies and germs? Hello? Is this thing on?

    Buy the Kid Flash Action Figure on Amazon

    Coolbaby Mini Console

    Since Nintendo has seemingly gone out of its way to make their HDMI-ready NES and Super NES Classic consoles available to consumers, some people are taking matters into their own hands. Meet the Coolbaby Mini Console. It looks and plays like the NES Classic, but is actually easier to get. And, oh yeah, it also features 600 different games. (Mainly modded variations of a few different titles though like the Super Mario Brothersand Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games). We don't know if any of this is legal, but we can say that these things are up on Amazon, so yeah, there you go.

    Buy the Coolbaby Mini Console on Amazon

    Super Mario Odyssey

    In the interest of fairness here's a non-dubious Nintendo-related offering: Super Mario Odyssey! The latest breakout game for the Switch gives Mario's iconic hat a name (Cappy) and magical abilities (possession!), and is an enthralling universe of its own that is bold enough to have its cake and occasionally transform it into an 8-bit retro party too. The only problem is after a game this much fun -- check out our review here -- how can Mario possibly top himself? That's a problem for another holiday season, because you'll be too busy having fun playing to wonder.

    Buy Super Mario Odyssey on Amazon

    Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Rey and BB-8 Adventure Set

    This year, Hasbro debuted their Star Wars: Forces of Destiny line, an assortment that aims to "bridge the gap between traditional action figures and dolls, opening up a new play experience for Star Wars fans of all ages and genders." It was a welcome and progressive move that showcases how the space saga exists for everybody. Helping matters further is the great design of the 11-inch figures in the femalecentric character line (which also includes Jyn Erso and Princess Leia), which faithfully captures the look of the accompanying Forces of Destinycartoon shorts.

    Buy Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Rey and BB-8 Adventure Set on Amazon

    The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31

    Even those among you who are feeling weird and pissed off (a perfectly reasonable attitude given the state of, well, everything) have to concede that pop culture-wise there has never been a better time to be alive. Just take a look at the entries on this list, it's a golden age for geekery. For example, never in our wildest dreams did we think there would be a strategy board game based on John Carpenter's The Thing. Or Big Trouble in Little China for that matter. Yet games based on these box office bombs-turned-cult classics exist. And to paraphrase the immortal Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, and if that isn't a true blue miracle, we don't know what one is.

    Buy The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 on Amazon

    Come Home, Snoopy! Colorforms

    Imagination is still the greatest plaything of all. I mean, good luck telling that to your kids if they expect a PlayStation on Christmas morning, but that cliched old adage still has plenty of truth to it. Maybe that's why Colorforms are experiencing a bit of a comeback. Throughout the year the childhood favorite has been making something of a return by reissuing a few of their classic sets, including this one based on Peanuts. Vinyl pieces that stick and lift like magic don't have much cultural currency for children in 2017, but give this to the nostalgic fortysomething in your life and watch how big of a smile you get in response.

    Buy Come Home, Snoopy! Colorforms on Amazon

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    Back in the day, the Nintendo 64 almost got a piece of John McClane.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 11, 2017

    The history of Die Hard games is...err...well, there's a reason you're probably struggling to remember many specific examples of Die Hard adaptations. Die Hardmay be the definitive action film, but developers have long struggled to capture the brilliance of that film and translate it to the world of gaming.

    While most games based on Die Hard are relatively obscure despite their pedigree, the most obscure of them all was a rumored adaptation of the game that developer Bits Studios were supposedly making for the N64. Well the rumors have turned out to be true, as the first known footage from Die Hard 64 has been made publically available by Assembler Games. The game is said to have had 24 levels over the span of three prototypes that were developed before the project was canned. If you look hard enough, you can find nine of the levels to play online.

    Aside from being a curious piece of gaming history, the following Die Hard 64 footage is a wonderful reminder that not every canceled game is a lost treasure.

    Now, to be perfectly fair, the footage you see above was taken from a working model of the game and was likely recorded relatively early into the development process. That would certainly help to explain the awful animations and sketchy sound design, but it does little to explain just how it is that a game which is clearly ripping off Goldeneye somehow overlooked the best parts of that milestone shooter.

    While ripping off GoldenEye is a tiresome claim that is far too often tossed at any console shooter released around the time of the popular N64 title, it feels especially appropriate here when you consider that everything from Die Hard 64's targeting module to the sound it uses when a character is opening a door is taken directly from Rare's Bond-based shooter.

    That's not the project's biggest sin, however. That honor is reserved for the game's seeming lack of personality. Call us old-fashioned, but we tend to expect games based on movies renowned for their personality to feature more than some generic shooter environments and pedestrian design across the board.

    Oh well. There's always still hope someone else will deliver a worthwhile Die Hard game. 

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    There's already a long list of video games to put on your wishlist for 2018. Here are the top 25 games you have to play...

    The ListsMatthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2017

    While its far too early to say that 2018 will be as great as 2017 in terms quality video game releases, 2018 is shaping up to be a fascinating year for the video game industry. While Sony and Microsoft battle for control of a rapidly approaching 4K future, Nintendo is hoping to prove that the Switch's early success will carry over into year two. Meanwhile, the PC market continues to benefit from the growing VR industry and a constant influx of indie titles. 

    Of course, the true star of 2018 will ultimately be the games. So far as that goes, there are already quite a few promising titles on the horizon. We've taken a look at all of the games that are confirmed for next year, at least as a release window, and have chosen the ones we think you need to an eye on.

    Here are the best looking games of 2018 so far:

    A Way Out

    March 23 | Hazelight Studios | XBO, PS4, PC

    Nobody outside of EA and Hazelight Studios had ever heard of A Way Out prior to E3 2017, but it ended up being one of the most noteworthy games featured during this year's show. A Way Out is a co-op action title displayed entirely through the lens of a split-screen. While the game’s early sections will focus on completing an elaborate prison break, later levels will seemingly cast both players as fugitives. 

    We’ve played co-op games for years, but few have ever taken advantage of the concept from a presentation and storytelling standpoint quite the way that A Way Out does. The game’s split-screen style allows for both players to always influence the events of the story even when one is watching a cutscene or is otherwise indisposed. It’s a remarkably fresh take on the co-op concept that may prove to be the shot in the arm the cinematic action genre desperately needs.


    TBA | BioWare | XBO, PS4, PC

    What is Anthem? Well, it's a sci-fi shooter from BioWare that casts players into the role of a mercenary tasked with protecting a walled society beset by a variety of threats. If that sounds like a pretty generic description, that's because EA and BioWare haven't exactly been eager to share more details about what figures to be one of 2018's most high-profile releases. 

    In a way, that's what makes Anthem so exciting. We know that BioWare has been working on this game for some time, and we know that it represents a pretty dramatic departure from the studio's RPG roots. We also suspect that the game will utilize an online multiplayer element similar to the one seen in Destiny. This is the game that may very well determine whether or not BioWare will reclaim the glory of their name.

    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

    March | Inti Creates, ArtPlay, DICO Co. Ltd | XBO, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, OS X, Linux

    Koji Igarashi is the man you should thank for translating the Metroid style of gameplay to Castlevania and helping create the fabled "Metroidvania" genre. He was the driving creative force behind Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the producer of many Castlevania titles released since 1996. Bloodstained represents his long-awaited return to the genre. 

    As we recently explored, Bloodstained is a Metroidvania-style Castlevania game in every way but its name. It is Igarashi's attempt to develop the kind of Castlevaniagames that he wanted to make before policy changes at Konami made the development of such titles an uncertain prospect. Castlevania fans have been supporting this game since its debut on Kickstarter, and we can't wait to see whether or not Igarashi can deliver the Castlevania spiritual successor that gaming desperately needs. 

    Code Vein

    TBA | Bandai Namco Studios | XBO, PS4, PC

    While many developers of Dark Souls-like games have attempted to avoid that comparison whenever possible, Code Vein director Hiroshi Yoshimura has welcomed the comparison. He knows that Dark Souls changed the action RPG genre, and he hasn't tried to hide the fact that Code Vein was heavily inspired by that classic franchise. 

    However, Code Vein is much more than a flattering tribute to Dark Souls. With its anime style and outlandish storyline involving a world of vampires, Code Vein is clearly not interested in replicating Dark Souls' somber tones and vague narrative. Instead, Code Vein figures to be a fast-paced and genuinely wild take on this genre that should still be rooted in the kind of deep and satisfying combat system that this genre is known for. 

    Buy Code Vein

    Detroit: Become Human

    TBA | Quantic Dream | PS4

    Much like director M. Night Shamalayn, game designer David Cage's projects tend to either be brilliant (Heavy Rain) or bewilderingly misguided (Beyond Two Souls). His next game, Detroit: Become Human, can honestly go either way.

    Become Human is a neo-noir sci-fi thriller that tells the story of a group of androids who are trying to rebel against an abusive society and the people assigned to hunting them down. It's hard not to think of Blade Runner from that description, but Detroit: Become Human figures to distinguish itself from its inspirations through a branching narrative and its more thorough look at both sides of this conflict. It remains to be seen whether or not Cage's sometimes bewildering brand of brilliance will make this a truly special title. 

    Buy Detroit: Become Human

    Days Gone

    TBA | SIE Bend Studio | PS4

    Despite the fact that Days Gone has been one of Sony's centerpiece titles for the last two E3s, we still don’t really know all that much about the game. It seems to be about a group of survivors in the zombie apocalypse just trying to do what they can to live another day, but the exact roles of the game’s principal characters remain a source of debate.

    What we do know is that Days Gone’s The Last of Us presentation style and Horizon: Zero Dawn world design may just prove to be tantalizing enough to justify another trip through the zombie apocalypse. Days Gone’s emphasis on the power of a horde in an open-world setting is a fascinating way to ensure that the game’s zombies don’t just become bullet sponges or jump-scare devices. We look forward to seeing what other innovations Days Gone brings to the table.

    Buy Days Gone

    Dragon Ball FighterZ

    January 26 | Arc System Works | XBO, PS4, PC

    Hearing that another studio is making a new Dragon Ball Z fighting game is a lot like finding out you’re out of toilet paper. It's a potentially disastrous situation that you quite honestly should have seen coming. However, Dragon Ball FighterZ is not just another Dragon Ball fighting game, and that’s because it’s not being made by just another studio.

    No, Dragon Ball FighterZis a high-octane, beautifully rendered, pure 2D fighting game from the makers of the Guilty Gear series. With its impressive roster of memorable characters and 3 vs. 3 team system, Dragon Ball FighterZ is shaping up to be a fascinating alternative to the Marvel vs. Capcom series for those looking for a pure fighting title that emphasizes the insanity of epic encounters.

    Buy Dragon Ball FighterZ

    Far Cry 5

    March 27 | Ubisoft Montreal | XBO, PS4, PC

    Far Cry 5 is a difficult game to read. On the surface, this looks like just another Far Cry game. What that means - at least since Far Cry 3 - is a large world, co-op madness, a psychotic villain, and a variety of weapons and vehicles. Given that Far Cry 4 was admonished for adhering too closely to this system, it’s strange to see how much Far Cry 5 looks like more of the same in many ways

    However, Far Cry 5’s fascinating rural setting and emphasis on narrative may just prove to be the X-factors that elevate this title above its predecessors. While the world of Far Cry 5 is no doubt controversial, the game’s creative look at a cult whose warped sense of morals have corrupted a small town and the rebellion that results in response to their actions is the kind of new twist that makes an old ride worth taking again.

    Buy Far Cry 5

    God of War

    TBA | Santa Monica Studio | PS4

    Much like Days Gone, God of War has been one of the centerpieces of Sony’s E3 press conference the past two years, yet we still know relatively little about the game. What we can tell you is that God of War looks like a hard reboot of the franchise in terms of gameplay. The demos showcased thus far suggest that this new title will ditch the original God of War trilogy’s combo-based high octane gameplay in favor of a more methodical combat system, with a much bigger emphasis on narrative.

    The jury is still out on that approach, but what really gets us excited about this game is the way that it incorporates rarely explored aspects of Norse mythology and seemingly casts Kratos into the role of protective father. In fact, God of War feels like a brand new IP due to the number of changes made to the formula.

    Buy God of War

    Kingdom Hearts III

    TBA | Square Enix Co., Ltd. | PS4

    It hasn't exactly been a long time since we last played a new Kingdom Hearts game - the series is kind of infamous for its oddly named sequels, prequels spin-offs, and re-releases - but it has been about 13 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts II. Suffice to say, that time has only made the game's passionate fanbase even more rabid.

    Fortunately, Kingdom Hearts III is shaping up to be the Kingdom Hearts game that we've all been waiting for. This strikingly beautiful title will not only finally bring classic Disney classics like Toy Story into the fold, but it figures to improve the franchise's already great gameplay through the implementation of a better camera and a refined combat system. Dare we say that this game might just live up to the hype?

    Buy Kingdom Hearts III


    TBA | Nintendo | Switch

    While the next Kirby game certainly wasn’t the star of Nintendo’s E3 2017 showcase - how you doin' Samus? - it was one of those games that many found themselves taking a second look at when the festivities were over. Those that did may have noticed that this looks like a return to some of Kirby’s platforming roots, albeit with a very welcome upgrade in visuals.

    What really gets us excited about Kirby, however, is the way that it seems to be designed as a four-player co-op experience. Recent Nintendo multiplayer platformers - most notably Super Mario 3D World - rank among the most purely enjoyable gaming experiences of this generation, and Kirby looks to deliver more of that timeless fun.

    Buy Kirby for Switch

    Marvel’s Spider-Man

    TBA | Insomniac Games | PS4

    When we heard that Insomniac Games was making a Spider-Man game, we wiped our monocles with our monogrammed handkerchiefs and declared it “acceptable” with an exhale of dignified air. When Sony actually showcased said Spider-Man game at E3 2017, we were forced to drop our cautious pretense and simply embrace the sheer fanboyish joy of what looks like a truly fantastic Spider-Man experience.

    While there have been a few great Spider-Man games over the years, Insomniac’s take on the character is already shaping up to be the character’s greatest gaming adventure. Thanks to the innovations of the Arkham series and Insomniac’s own experience with silky smooth movement controls, this upcoming Spider-Man game may just be the one Spider-Man title that actually captures everything interesting about the character rather than simply mastering a lone iconic aspect of one of Marvel’s greatest heroes.

    Buy Marvel's Spider-Man

    Metro: Exodus

    TBA | 4A Games | PS4, XBO, PC

    If you haven't yet dived into the Metro franchise, then you've been missing out on some of the best first-person shooter experiences in years. Metro 2033 was a post-apocalyptic masterpiece that brilliantly portrayed a dark and demented end of the world scenario. Metro: Last Light was the even better sequel to that classic shooter/RPG experience. 

    We don't know much about Metro: Exodus, but we do know that developer 4A Games has fought hard to ensure that their vision for this much-anticipated sequel lives to see the light of the surface world. If they deliver an experience that is even close to what they've already achieved with this franchise, then Metro: Exodus may just end up stealing 2018 from some considerable competition. 

    Buy Metro: Exodus

    Monster Hunter: World

    January 26 | Capcom | PS4, XBO, PC

    While the Monster Hunter franchise is most certainly popular - particularly in Japan - it has arguably been some time since the series has expanded the size of its dedicated fanbase. That's largely because Capcom hasn't found much reason to tweak the franchise's formula in recent years. That has been enough to please current fans, but hasn't given those who aren't already spending their time besting a variety to towering behemoths reason to do so. 

    Monster Hunter: World represents the developer's clearest attempt at creating a Monster Hunter game that will turn nonbelievers into devotees. The core gameplay remains the same as ever - hunt down a variety of monsters using a series of incredible weapons - but World figures to be the largest Monster Hunter game yet as well as the most ambitious from a sheer technological perspective. 

    Buy Monster Hunter: World

    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    TBA | Obsidian Entertainment | PC, Mac, Linux

    Obsidian Entertainment has long been known as one of gaming's best sources for deep and intelligent RPGs. With Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian returned to the glory days of the isometric RPG experience and delivered one of the best genre experiences in recent memory. Now, they are back to improve upon their considerable previous efforts.

    With Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, it's already clear that Obsidian is ready to fix the few design flaws that prevented Pillars of Eternity from being everything that it could be. Its controls will be smoother, its story will deeper, and its world will be a rich and lively tapestry of cultures and personalities. This may be the first time that Obsidian has had the pleasure to develop a sequel to one of their own games, but it's clear that the studio knows exactly what they want to accomplish with this title. 

    Psychonauts 2

    TBA | Double Fine Productions | XBO, PS4, PC

    To be perfectly honest, the only thing we really know about Psychonauts 2 is that it is the sequel to Psychonauts. But really, that is all we need to know about Psychonauts 2. When Psychonauts was released in 2005, it was immediately hailed as one of the funniest and most original experiences that designer Tim Schafer had ever gifted the world. Given that Schafer is known for dealing solely in such experiences, it was quite the reception.

    What we really want from Psychonauts 2 is more. More wild minds to explore, more Saturday morning cartoon aesthetics, and more casual humor that grows on you the more you begin to appreciate how it serves as the backbone for the game’s gloriously weird world. It’s not often we simply ask that a sequel give us more of the same, but it’s not often such a unique game ever gets a sequel.

    Red Dead Redemption 2

    TBA | Rockstar | XBO, PS4

    What do we want? Red Dead Redemption 2! When do we want it? In a time frame that will reasonably allow developer Rockstar to find a way to somehow top the greatest western video game ever made and quite possibly the studio’s finest hour.

    Ok, that chant needs a little work, but the point is that we don’t fault Rockstar for deciding to delay Red Dead Redemption 2 to 2018, nor do we blame them for telling us relatively little about the game thus far. Red Dead Redemption was an almost perfect video game experience. In fact, Rockstar accomplished so much with that game that we doubt it even technically needs a sequel. If they’re going to give us one, though, we want to know they are able to deliver the kind of experience that makes us feel just like we felt the first time we rode into Mexico with a gut string melody lingering in the air.

    Buy Red Dead Redemption 2

    Sea of Thieves

    March 20 | Rare | XBO, PC

    At the risk of toppling the “It’s been awhile since Rare has delivered a truly great game worthy of their legacy” bandwagon, it really has been awhile since Rare has delivered a truly great game worthy of their legacy. At first, Sea of Thieves didn’t look like that game. However, its impressive E3 2017 showing has left us singing a different shanty.

    Sea of Thieves' greatest asset is Rare’s complete abandonment of “realistic” pirate culture. Instead, Sea of Thieves embraces the romanticized concepts that propelled these seafaring outlaws into the pop culture stratosphere. The highest compliment we can pay Sea of Thieves is that it looks like it will perfectly recreate the imaginary adventures we enjoyed on the playground so many years ago when the jungle gym was a ship mast.

    Buy Sea of Thieves

    Shadow of the Colossus

    February 6 | Bluepoint | PS4

    We’d be lying if we said that we haven’t thought much about Shadow of the Colossus since its 2005 debut - memories of the grand epic stand as a measuring stick for all other gaming experiences - but we never thought that we’d see a Shadow of the Colossus remake. Generally speaking, games casually, yet accurately, described as timeless aren’t candidates for remakes.

    However, the moment we laid eyes on the new Shadow of the Colossus’ stunning visual design, we immediately felt the need to jump back into this world and replay a game that could be considered the truest testament to the “Games are art” argument. If you've not played the original or need an excuse to play this game again, 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus is going to be a must-have.

    Buy Shadow of the Colossus

    Shenmue III

    TBA | YS Net, Neilo | PS4, PC

    When we first heard that Shenmue was finally receiving the third installment that most gamers figured would never happen...well, there may have been some entirely unprofessional giddy cheers. In the days, weeks, and months that have followed that reveal, we've unfortunately not been treated to many official updates regarding the game's story, gameplay features, or final visual style. 

    Still, we're talking about a sequel to a franchise that was not only revolutionary but has remained in the hearts of the many who played its first two installments. With any luck, Shenmue III will be the epic tale of kung-fu revenge and bizarre minigames that we've been waiting for. 

    State of Decay 2

    TBA | Undead Labs | XBO, PC

    The original State of Decay was a fascinating example of how true ambition can conquer all. Developer Undead Labs didn’t have much to work with when they began working on State of Decay, but they did have a vision. Their vision was an epic open-world zombie apocalypse title that focused more on survival than action or horror. State of Decay was about building something strong in a defeated world. Its blend of base building, resource management, and role-playing was intoxicating.

    While the biggest on-paper change coming to State of Decay 2 is the inclusion of co-op play, the reason we’re especially excited for this game is that Undead Labs finally has the resources and experience they need to deliver the game that they attempted to deliver the first time around.

    Buy State of Decay 2

    System Shock

    TBA | Nightdive Studios | XBO, PS4, PC

    It’s been far too long since we’ve played a new System Shock game. While you can’t deny the impact of titles like BioShock or the appeal of a game like Prey, no title in this genre has ever quite replicated System Shock’s usage of horror and suspense. While System Shock 3 is unfortunately not on the near horizon, this remake of System Shock will most certainly help pass the time.

    Developer Nightdive Studios has proven time and time again that it cares about ensuring that truly classic games are played by a new generation of gamers. The studio's love for System Shock combined with the few snippets of the game we’ve seen thus far leaves us with little doubt that Nightdive will be able to revitalize everything that makes System Shock an essential experience.

    The Swords of Ditto

    March | onebitbeyond | PS4, PC

    Never heard of The Swords of Ditto? We’re not surprised. Every E3, there is at least one game which can’t quite match the budget or graphical prowess of major titles, but ultimately ends up being one of the best games revealed at the show. Based on everything we’ve seen thus far, The Swords of Ditto may very well prove to be that game.

    The Swords of Ditto’s core mechanic involves the legacy of the game’s playable heroes. Much like Rogue Legacy, every successful and unsuccessful run through this game will leave a mark on the world. You can even quest to find the epic weapons that the previous hero left behind. What really makes The Swords of Ditto stand out, however, is its Adventure Time-esque visuals and creative co-op combat options. This is just one of those games that takes the best of what came before and binds it all together with irresistible charm.

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

    TBA | Blizzard Entertainment | PC, Mac

    2016's World of Warcraft: Legion arguably did more to revitalize the 13-year-old MMO than the last few expansions combined. Through a combination of fan-requested features and innovative new concepts, Blizzard used Legion as proof that World of Warcraft still has plenty of life left in it. Now, they look to top their considerable efforts with the release of the game's next expansion, Battle for Azeroth.

    Battle for Azeroth looks to take World of Warcraft back to its Horde vs. Alliance roots. That means a greater emphasis on PvP battles, new worlds specific to both factions, and a brand-new conflict system that incorporates elements of classic Warcraft RTS games gone by. On top of all that, you get the usual additions of fresh raids, new gear, and an even higher level cap to grind towards. This could just be the best WoW expansion yet. 


    TBA | Good-Feel | Switch

    Much like Kirby, the list of things we don’t know about Yoshi is slightly longer than what we do know about the game. What we can tell you, though, is that Yoshi’s Woolly World was one of the Wii U’s most underrated titles and one of Yoshi’s greatest adventures. The reason that matters is because this upcoming Yoshi title looks like it intends to replicate many of the qualities that made Wooly World as great as it was.

    This time around, however, the Woolly World formula is bolstered by the introduction of a new mechanic that allows players to “flip” a stage and open up new paths. It sounds simple, but if the game’s first trailer is any indication, this mechanic will force players to completely reconsider the way that they view the typical 2D platformer level. For those who lament how far Mario has walked away from his platformer roots, Yoshi may just be the classic Nintendo experience you’re looking for. 

    Buy Yoshi for Switch

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    One of the greatest action franchises in recent memory lives on.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2017

    Platinum Games are developing Bayonetta 3 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. 

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    The reveal trailer showcased during the 2017 Game Awards didn't show much more than same vague visual cues and the reveal of the official logo. As such, drawing any substantial information from it - such as its release date or plot details - is especially difficult and somewhat irresponsible at this early date. 

    What we can tell you is that Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are being bundled together and released for the Nintendo Switch. Along with all the features of the first two games, these Switch ports will feature local wireless co-op, amiibo support, and video capture abilities. These ports are expected to be released sometime in early 2018. 

    This has been quite the year for Bayonetta. The original game was released on PC for the very first time just a few months ago, and that port was met with almost universal acclaim from first-time players and long-term fans. 

    If you still haven't had the honor of being a first-time Bayonetta player, you should first know that Platinum Games' franchise is arguably the best action experience of its kind since the glory days of the Devil May Cry series. The second game in the series was released exclusively for Wii U in 2014. It was one of the most critically acclaimed games of the year and is widely considered to be among the finest action titles ever made. 

    Precedent aside, it's a bit strange to hear that Platinum Games has decided to release the next Bayonetta exclusively for the Switch. We weren't under the impression that Bayonetta 2 sold especially well (due largely to the low sales figures of the Wii U itself), so we can only suspect that Platinum feels the Nintendo Switch's early success might draw more eyes to their increasingly beloved franchise. 

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    The beloved horror franchise will live on.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2017

    On Facebook, developer Red Barrels confirmed that they are working on Outlast 3 and intend to port Outlast and Outlast 2 to the Nintendo Switch. 

    Details are scarce at this time, but the studio did confirm that they will begin work on the third game in the Outlast franchise at some point in the future. They only cryptically teased that this game will offer answers to some of the questions posed by the mysterious second game. 

    The studio also revealed that they are porting Outlast and Outlast 2 to the Nintendo Switch. They even showcased the ports being worked on via Switch development kits. The developers stated that these ports are expected to arrive on Switch at some point in early 2018. It was not announced whether or not they will be offered as part of a bundle, but given that no other Outlast bundles have been officially released, we suspect they will be treated as individual releases.

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    That wasn't all the Outlastteam had to share. They also teased that they are working on some kind of new project that takes place within the Outlast universe. Given that they also stated they didn't develop Outlast 2 with DLC in mind, it seems that this new project might be closer to a spin-off. Indeed, the studio identified the game as "a distinct experience set in the Outlast universe."

    There is no release date available for that new project at this time. 

    As many of you may recall, the original Outlast is considered to be one of the best horror games of the modern era. Along with Amnesia, it helped kickstart a new age of pure horror experiences that utilized a first-person perspective to limit a player's view.

    Outlast 2, meanwhile, was met with a decidedly mixed reception. While many considered it to be undeniably terrifying, the sequel lacked the tight structure of the original game and was compromised by some repetitive gameplay that didn't evolve the original game in too many significant ways.  

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    This adventure will focus on two documentary filmmakers exploring an ancient tomb.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2017

    Campo Santo, developers of Firewatch, have revealed that their next project is a first-person adventure called In the Valley of Gods

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    In the Valley of Gods stars two 1920s filmmakers who hit the big time after one of their projects became an unexpected hit. The problem is that they're having trouble replicating that success. That's why they're thrilled to receive information that may lead them to the Tomb of Nefertiti; a lost Egyptian tomb that is said to contain many mysteries. They decide to seek the tomb out in the hopes that it will be the source of their next major film. 

    Much like Firewatch, Valley of Gods is really a game about the relationship between its two characters. That relationship will be tested via a series of obstacles both external and personal that arise during the course of their adventures. Unlike Firewatch, the characters in Valley of Gods will remain in close proximity. 

    They'll have to stay close if they're going to finish their documentary, which actually appears to be a pretty significant part of the gameplay. As we see in the trailers, players will be required to film certain events and locations. It's not clear how that will exactly play out during the course of the game, but it seems that certain elements of the world will be altered based on whether or not you are filming them. 

    Unfortunately, it's going to be quite some time until we actually get to play Valley of Gods. The game isn't scheduled to be released until 2019. The developers have confirmed that it will launch for PC, but they also indicated they are interested in bringing the title to consoles. 

    Until then, we highly recommend that you play Firewatch if you haven't had the chance to do so already. It's one of the most beautiful and impactful video game adventures in recent memory. Its soundtrack is also worth playing on an infinite loop if you happen to be into great music and things of that nature. 

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    BioWare's theoretical sequel to Knights of the Old Republic would have been built around a major twist.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2017

    BioWare may have passed the reins of Knights of the Old Republic II's development over to Obsidian Entertainment, but that doesn't mean that they didn't have their own ideas for what that sequel might look like. 

    In an interview with Eurogamer, BioWare Austin creative director James Ohlen spoke about the big twist that BioWare had in mind for their theoretical KOTOR sequel.

    "The initial twist in the first two-page concept we had for Knights of the Old Republic 2 was you were going to be trained by a Yoda-like figure," said Ohlen. "Someone from the Yoda race. That character was going to train you in the first part of the game but then you were going to discover this Yoda figure was actually not the good Yoda you expected..."

    Ohlen went on to say that this Yoda-like figure would have secretly been training you to become an enforcer for a Dark Lord prepared to conquer the universe. Ohlen says the twist would have worked because "everyone trusts Yoda..."

    It's quite interesting that BioWare tinkered with the idea of a trainer turned traitor when that very plot point was a core element of both KOTOR II: The Sith Lords. Kreia - later revealed to be Darth Treya - begins as a friend, but she soon reveals her sinister agenda. Perhaps they passed that idea to Obsidian somewhere along the way. 

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    So why didn't BioWare ever develop that sequel? Well, Ohlem said the decision came down to practicalities. 

    "In order for a company to be successful and control its own destiny you need to own your own IP, and we didn't own Dungeons & Dragons or Star Wars," said Ohlen. "Mass Effect was something we decided we had to do instead of another Star Wars game."

    Actually, Ohlen remembers that there was some hesitation to develop a Star Wars game in the first place. He even recalls that BioWare was in negotiations with other authors in regards to an adaptation. One of those authors was none other than Game of Thrones writer, George R.R. Martin. However, Ohlen is quite happy that BioWare did end up working on the Star Wars franchise.

    "It was actually one of the more enjoyable development experiences," Ohlen says. "When we started we were like, 'We want to make the greatest Star Wars game ever made!' BioWare, we're very competitive, so at the beginning of any of our projects it's always 'we need to just blow it up!' But by the time we got to the end, we were all exhausted."

    As for whether or not BioWare will ever return to the Star Wars franchise - beyond The Old Republic - Ohlen provided only a vague reply. 

    "Could BioWare do another Star Wars game? That would be really awesome. The entire industry would love to see that, so hopefully, it happens."

    The entire interview is well worth reading as it dives into a great deal of the details surrounding the development of Knights of the Old Republic.

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    Is this a look at a new project or a blast from the past?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2017

    Dark Souls developer From Software is working on...something. At least that seems to be the message of this recently revealed teaser. 

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    Given that the teaser in question doesn't contain any real shots of gameplay and that From Software hasn't released any further information regarding what this footage is about, we're left to speculate in regards to what it is that we're looking at. 

    So far as that goes, the popular theory at the moment is that this footage is meant to tease a sequel to Bloodborne. The association there is obvious. The brief snippet of in-game assets this teaser affords us seems to showcase blood and some kind of medical or mechanical equipment. As you may know, Bloodborne dealt quite a bit with the medical applications of blood. 

    The only question is whether or not From Software is ready to return to Bloodborne after they indicated that they were ready to move on from Dark Souls. While those are two different properties, they are similar enough in spirit that it does seem to be a little odd that they might want to continue the development of that series at a time when the principal players at the studio indicated they are ready to move on. 

    That brings us to the theory which states that this footage pertains to an entirely new game. This does seem to be the most logical conclusion given that From Software has indicated that they are ready to develop new games, but it isn't often that a studio releases such a cryptic teaser for a new property. Also, the line "Shadows Die Twice" does feel like it alludes to something. 

    Others have speculated that this might actually be a teaser for a new Tenchu game - From Software has worked on that series in the past - while another theory indicates that From Software might be returning to the old Shadow Tower franchise (which was one of the spiritual successors to Dark Souls). 

    At the moment, we're going to put our money on a new property, but it's a bit too early to say. 

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    It's been one of the best years for video games ever. Here are the titles that helped 2017 achieve that undeniable status.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    Ten years after 2007 made a compelling argument for the best year in gaming history, 2017 comes along and distinguishes itself as the new number one contender for that title.

    This was a year that not only brought us a host of all-time great games but challenged veteran gamers, new players, and returning fans to ask themselves whether or not they really understood what makes this medium so special. It's been a truly special year. 

    So what is the best game of the year? We'll let you in on a dirty secret. It's not our place to say. You know the answer to that, and it's the right one whether or not anyone else happens to agree with you. Instead, we offer 15 games that must be played before you dare try to answer that question yourself. 

    But first, some honorable mentions:

    Assassin's Creed: Origins

    * Injustice 2

    * The Sexy Brutale

    * A Night in the Woods

    * Pyre

    Okay, without further ado, here are Den of Geek's 15 best video games of 2017:

    15. Darkwood

    Acid Wizard Studio | Microsoft Windows, Mac

    The highly competitive 15th spot on this list goes to a game that initially drew attention when developer Acid Wizard Studio uploaded a legal copy of it to torrent sites in an effort to combat the shady game key re-seller market.

    That move shed a little light on a game that emphasizes the darkness. Darkwood is about a man who is trapped in the woods. He must scavenge for supplies, interact with a few Lovecraftian locals, and survive the unspeakable horrors that come out at night and try to work their way into his cabin.

    What makes Darkwood special is the way that the developers manage to find the inherent horror in survival. There are few gaming experiences this year that compare to your first few nights listening to the creatures that creep outside your cabin. Your imagination grows more intense as the fuel in the generator that keeps your lights on begins to dwindle.

    Obscure, terrifying, and often downright clever, Darkwood is a horror game for pure horror fans.

    14. Nioh

    Team Ninja | PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows

    You’re forgiven if you initially wrote Niohoff as a Dark Souls clone. That was certainly the narrative that surrounded the last of the game’s many months in development. To be fair, there are many elements of Dark Souls within Nioh’s grand design.

    However, this is not one of the many games which simply copy the Dark Souls formula and apply some new aesthetics. No, Team Ninja actually managed to replicate the most difficult aspects of Dark Souls’ design - its obscurity, atmosphere, and almost puzzle-like combat system - and used them as the basis for an experience that is undoubtedly a labor of love.

    Nioh’s samurai era design is compelling enough on its own - there are not nearly enough games that draw upon that era - but the game’s combat and loot systems truly set it apart. Mastering its weapons and the various stances available requires a player to have an almost unnatural fondness for learning through failure. Finding the perfect loot, meanwhile, is as satisfying as it was in Borderlands or Diablo.

    If you go into Nioh expecting Dark Souls, you are going to find that the game will use your expectations as your demise. That’s because only Nioh is Nioh.

    Buy Nioh

    13. Thimbleweed Park

    Terrible Toybox | Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Linux, Mac

    Generally speaking, you should be wary of any game that relies heavily on nostalgia. It’s too easy for a developer to take gamers for a ride off the mere idea of “remember when?” It’s far too easy and far too common.

    Thimbleweed Park is different. Much like Shovel Knight and Owlboy, it doesn’t feel like a mere nod to the games that came before but rather a genuine and unique entry in the adventure genre. It probably doesn’t hurt that this title was developed by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, two of the men responsible for popularizing the point-and-click adventure genre of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

    This game is much more than a history lesson, though. Its a look at many of the things that are missing from so many modern games. Its writing is clever (and downright funny), its puzzles are challenging, and its characters are varied and subtle in surprising ways.

    You don’t need to be a fan of point-and-click adventures to enjoy Thimbleweed Park. However, playing it will almost certainly make you a fan of this wonderful style of game design.

    12. Resident Evil 7

    Capcom | PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

    At the risk of citing a negative when so many great games didn’t make this list, it must be said that Resident Evil 7’s final act is a bit of a letdown. Its reliance on action greatly contradicts the horror that came before.

    It’s been said, though, that a flaw is most noticeable when it impacts something truly exceptional. Make no mistake that Resident Evil 7 is truly fantastic.

    In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the game’s opening hour is an arguably flawless example of narrative-based gaming. Seeing the dread that has befallen your wife and wandering through the Baker family’s dilapidated home triggers memories of some of the best horror experiences of the last 50 years.

    Resident Evil 7 was criticized for picking up the remnants of P.T. while running away from the Resident Evil“formula.” What it really is, though, is the clearest look at the future of AAA horror gaming that we’ve seen in years.

    Buy Resident Evil 7

    11. Hollow Knight

    Team Cherry | Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac

    There are many things that might draw you to Hollow Knight. Its visuals, its music, or maybe its incorporation of Dark Souls elements into the Metroidvania genre.

    The one thing that all of those elements share, though, is there complete lack of ability to prepare you for the game itself. There have been indie Metroidvania game since the franchises that bore that genre its name have faded away, and many of them have actually been quite good.

    Few of them, though, understand that the appeal of this genre isn’t in familiarity but rather the thrill of discovery. Each new area of Hollow Knight possesses some kind of incredible quality that encourages you to dive a little deeper into the game’s mysterious and often hostile world. It can be as grand as a boss battle or as small as a new song.

    Hollow Knight is the rare game that manages to make you feel like your years of experience in gaming were worth it because they help you delve a little deeper into this endless pit of design brilliance.

    10. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

    MachineGames | Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

    At a time when the very notion of narrative-based gaming feels under attack from the forces of change, Wolfenstein II comes along and reminds us that there is no substitute for a great video game story.

    While there were other video game stories in 2017 that made better use of the medium - more on that later - few stories this year were quite as ruthlessly entertaining as Wolfenstein II’s. It has always been the most remarkable and rare of pleasures to experience a narrative that manages to entertain as well as strike emotional chords. This is something that Wolfenstein II does time and time again with seeming ease.

    No...not ease. That implies a lack of effort or devotion. The fact that Wolfenstein II is able to take us to the atmosphere of absurdity before bringing us crashing down to the raw grounds of humanity is a quality that is only achieved through a concentrated creative effort.

    Wolfenstein II’s story isn’t great because you get to audition for Hitler’s film on Venus, deal with the emotional trauma of your abusive father making you murder your dog, or reconstruct a party through the memories of hungover guests. It’s great because it manages to string together all those things and turn these moments into a truly great adventure.

    Buy Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

    9. Persona 5

    Atlus, P Studio | PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

    Persona 5 is so anime that it hurts. That lone aspect of the game may turn some people away from it. If it doesn’t, the game’s strict JRPG mindset and almost 100+ hour possible runtime might do the trick.

    You’d be a fool, though, to think you know what Persona 5 is just from looking at it. Indeed, the game is one of the most remarkable series of surprises in recent memory. Mind you, we’re not talking about plot twists and character revelations - though there are plenty of those - but rather the way that Persona 5 manages to not treat a single design element as standard.

    This is a game where the menus come alive with spirit and song. A game where the simplest combat attacks have been expertly choreographed. Persona 5’s mission in life is to ensure that you become tongue twisted when talking about your time with it.

    Buy Persona 5

    8. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

    Bluehole Studio Inc., PUBG Corporation | Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

    PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is ugly. More than ugly, it’s incomplete. It’s an often frustrating technical mess that requires a great deal of tolerance and patience from nearly all of its 20+ million players.

    It is also the one game from 2017 that we simply cannot stop playing. In a story devoted to Knights of the Old Republic II, we suggested that focusing on what was missing from that game is the surest way to blind yourself to the elements that make it a masterpiece.

    The same is true of PUBG. Few games this year can possibly recreate the thrill of dropping into a PUBG game and desperately trying to outwit, outgun, and outrun your 99 opponents. Each new PUBG match feels like a narrative unto itself.

    It’s a setup that we’ve seen before in other games. However, none of those other games come close to matching the subtle brilliance of PUBG’s design. This is a multiplayer game that provides a feeling of having experienced something quite special that we rarely see outside of expertly crafted narratives.

    Buy PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

    7. Nier: Automata

    Platinum Games | PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows

    Please do not hold it against those who have played Nier: Automata but seem unable to describe what makes it so great. It's a question that requires you to process an experience that doesn't seem to have been made for the benefit of those who want a clean piece of entertainment that is easily digested.

    Nier: Automata begins as an action JRPG that is almost frustratingly familiar. This tale of old robots and the modern androids that replace them doesn’t break new ground immediately after the ribbon has been cut.

    However, it’s not long before Nier begins offering ideas that are not only relevant to the modern trends of society but relevant to the very nature of humanity. Said ideas unfurl slowly over the course of a long story that takes its time to deliver a clear and devastating message. Remarkably, that unbelievable story is complemented by a combat system that joyfully reminds us of Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising.

    Wait...that’s not quite right. We didn’t get to talk about Nier’s bullet hell segments, incredible multiple endings, and fantastic upgrade system. That’s the thing about discussing Nier. It’s a game that only becomes more brilliant as you attempt to unravel it. 

    Buy Nier: Automota

    6. Divinity: Original Sin 2

    Larian Studios | Microsoft Windows

    There is something disheartening about the fact that the gaming world didn’t come together to celebrate Divinity: Original Sin 2 in a “buy the world a Coke” kind of moment.

    After all, Divinity is a Western-style RPG that arguably perfects the concepts pioneered by studios like BioWare. This is a digital Dungeons and Dragons type of experience that overwhelms its players with a daunting amount of possibilities.

    Create the character you want down to their motivations. Embark upon a quest so dynamic that it ensures you most memorable moment may come in the form of an encounter most other players will never see. Participate in the best co-op swords and sorcery experience since those tabletop RPG nights.

    Perhaps the gaming world has truly moved on and there is just not the market for this kind of RPG experience. That’s the only possible explanation for why millions of us aren’t holding hands and singing this near-perfect game’s existence.

    5. Horizon Zero Dawn

    Guerrilla Games | PlayStation 4

    We weren’t excited about the idea of Guerrilla Games creating an open-world adventure. The Killzone games were occasionally brilliant but undeniably flawed. Open-world titles, meanwhile, have been growing more and more stagnant for years.

    What we didn’t anticipate was the way Guerrilla Games would use the open-world format to truly create a world. Not a series of vistas and landmarks mind you, but a world that is filled with lore just waiting to be discovered through both conversation and exploration.

    That would be enough of an accomplishment, but Guerrilla Games also had to go and engineer a combat system that makes you feel like you are a simple human in a world of technological monstrosities. Your bow and arrows only succeed when they are accompanied by your cunning.

    It’s a shame the word masterpiece has been used so liberally over the years because it perfectly describes what Guerrilla Games has crafted in Horizon Zero Dawn. Instead, we’ll just say that playing this game leaves you with no doubt that you've just experienced a classic. 

    Buy Horizon Zero Dawn

    4. Cuphead

    Studio MDHR | Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

    Cuphead is a labor of love the likes of which the gaming world is only occasionally treated to. Over the course of seven years, two brothers and a small team of contributors set out to handcraft an experience that paid tribute to both old-school 8-bit platformers and the animation style of the 1930s.

    Their almost eight years of work resulted in a game that can theoretically be beaten in around eight hours. During those eight hours, though, you will experience every bit of love, talent, and dedication that went into those years of work.

    As a platformer, Cuphead is a glowing tribute to a time when games were expected to be maddeningly difficult and filled with memorable multi-stage boss encounters. As a piece of pure art, Cuphead excels at celebrating the style of a time gone by without ever once taking for granted what it is that makes that style so visually compelling.

    Throw in a jazzy soundtrack that you’d listen to for pleasure were it not for the fact that it reminds you of the game’s imposing bosses, and you have a title that has already captured the hearts of millions and will likely continue to do so for years to come.

    Buy Cuphead

    3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    Nintendo | Wii U, Nintendo Switch

    If there is one lesson that life teaches the most adventurous among us, it’s that you must be able to find happiness when you don’t know what you are doing or where you are going. Happiness found from walking a safe, pre-determined path can be denied with the slightest of missteps.

    Breath of the Wild is a game that inspires those who may not consider themselves to be adventurers to go out and have an adventure. It doesn’t matter that you’re not sure where you are going when you first start playing or what any of this has to do with the Zelda franchise.

    No, the only thing that matters is that you’ll be in awe from the moment that you step out of that cave and gaze upon the game’s remarkably open world. From there, you may find that you are happiest when you’re trying out a new recipe, exploring a hostile new area, or breaking your best weapon and being left helpless.

    You haven’t gone crazy. You’re just learning to love something unexpected because it is more than you imagined. In this case, it's a Zelda game that reinvents the very notion of a Zelda game while retaining the very soul of the legendary series. 

    Buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    2. What Remains of Edith Finch

    Giant Sparrow | PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac

    What Remains of Edith Finch is going to be written off as a walking simulator by many who throw that label around like a badge of shame. To them, we simply caution that doing so will deprive you of one of gaming’s greatest stories ever.

    This exploration of a “cursed” family’s individual misfortunes plays out like several different games rolled into one. Each of those stories relies on brilliant interactive elements that utilize the nature of interaction to create genuine empathy and feelings of understanding at a time when such things are disturbingly hard to come by.

    The best video game stories are those that can only be told through the medium of gaming. That means that the story must somehow use interactivity to provide a unique experience. The idea is simple, but only gaming's greatest creative minds have been able to actually accomplish such a tremendous feat. 

    We’d like to tell you that What Remains of Edith Finch will kickstart some golden age of storytelling that will forever change the way we look at video game narratives. However, it's hard to honestly say that this game's accomplishments can be replicated. 

    Buy What Remains of Edith Finch

    And the Den of Geek Game of the Year is...

    1. Super Mario Odyssey

    Nintendo | Nintendo Switch

    The best game of one of the best years in video game history must be more than great. It must be the kind of experience that somehow manages to capture the best of the years that came before with the bright promise of the future.

    It sounds impossible, but Super Mario Odyssey’s resume for that position can be found on the smile that its mere mention summons on the face of those who have played it.

    In many ways, some of which are quite overt, Odysseyis a celebration of the Mario games that came before. What it really is, though, is a glowing tribute to the same smile that the original Super Mario Bros. brought to the faces of those who first played it so many years ago.

    Super Mario Odyssey is a bountiful series of moments that remind us that our love for gaming stems from the idea that we play games for fun. No other title released this year manages to invoke that almost mythical idea and turn it into a glorious reality that we can escape to whenever and wherever we please.

    Buy Super Mario Odyssey

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    BioWare and Obsidian’s Old Republic games are ripe with cinematic potential. Here’s why we really want a film adaptation...

    Feature Rob Leane
    Dec 13, 2017

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK. It contains spoilers...

    Lucasfilm recently announced that The Last Jedidirector Rian Johnson is developing a brand new Star Wars trilogy. This new triumvirate of Star Wars movies will be "separate from the episodic Skywalker saga" that has dominated the franchise’s cinematic output thus far.

    Millions of fans suddenly cried out in anticipation, declaring that BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) games would be the perfect blueprint for a new Star Wars film trilogy. That’s despite the fact that Lucasfilm has clearly stated that Johnson’s trilogy "will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored." Johnson himself subsequently confirmed that, as much as he loves the games, they won't be the source for his upcoming films.

    Set within the ancient history of the Star Wars universe, there have so far been three games in theKotORseries: the addictive RPG Knights of the Old Republic, which came out in 2003; a direct sequel dubbed The Sith Lords, which landed in 2004; and finally The Old Republic, which debuted in 2011, a sort-of sequel which moved the series into the MMO arena.

    But what is so great about the KotOR games? Why are they so ripe for cinematic adaptation? Even though Johnson is probably working on something completely different with his trilogy of movies, it’s still worth taking a couple of minutes to reflect on how wonderfully KotOR could fit into the filmic landscape....

    The Focus

    When the first KotOR game came out in 2003, the cinematic branch of the Star Wars saga was muddling its way through the prequels. The latest installment was Attack of the Clones, which explored Anakin Skywalker’s backstory by revisiting Tatooine and showed Obi-Wan uncovering the Clone Army of proto-stormtroopers. Clones also featured CGI Yoda doing backflips and the Sith briefly showcasing their Death Star plans. Essentially, this was a time when Star Warsmovies were obsessed with looking back, teasing popular elements that fans had already seen in the Original Trilogy.

    Perhaps this is why KotORbecame so popular. While the movies were cashing in on nostalgia, BioWare decided to explore something else entirely with an expansive and original RPG. The firstKotOR game takes place approximately 4,000 years before the rise of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, providing plenty of space for the writers to tell a whole new Star Wars story.

    This is not a game about fathers and sons, masters and apprentices, or even Rebels and Imperials. The main villain is Darth Malak, who, at the start of the game, has already amassed an armada of Sith and soldiers to destabilize the Old Republic and scatter its Jedi contingent. The amnesiac player character wakes up aboard a Republic Ship, which is under attack from Malak. And from here, a truly unique narrative unfolds.

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    The Freedom

    After the initial altercation on that aforementioned Republic spaceship, the player is paired up with a pilot named Carth Onasi. Together, they escape the ship and end up on a city planet named Telos. This planet is under Malak’s control and swarming with Sith, which immediately creates a sense of tension unlike anything in the prequel movies. The player and Carth quickly work out that they aren’t the only outcasts on this planet: the revered Jedi Bastilla Shan is also knocking about, with the Sith forces hot on her heels.

    From this point onwards, now that you’ve learned the controls, the training wheels are off. There's a real sense of freedom, as the player is offered multiple ways to navigate every conversation, every mission, and every moral dilemma. If you want your character to be a bad guy, you can be horrible to people and learn dark side skills like Force Lightning. You can choose to find a sneaky way to achieve your goals, or you can embrace bloodletting and kill a bunch of people.

    Obviously, the established narrative structure of movies doesn’t work like this. The original KotOR experience was different for each player because the game was so vast and choice-based. To be turned into a movie, you would need a screenwriter or two to hammer out one canonical chain of events. It’s impossible to translate the exact KotOR experience into film.

    However, with the right writers tackling said script, an element of unpredictability and narrative freedom could remain. The protagonist of theKotOR movie could be an enigma, flitting between light and dark, with his true motivations – and his past - initially being unclear to the viewer. After decades of sinister Sith and righteous good guys, an unpredictable central character is exactly what the Star Wars film franchise needs.

    The Familiarity

    Since the Disney takeover, it has become increasingly apparent that the Star Warsfilm franchise still owes a huge debt to George Lucas’ original vision. Filmmakers have tried to veer away from the established tone: Gareth Edwards shot Rogue One as a gritty handheld-camera war movie, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller attempted to bring their loosey-goosey improvisational comedy skills to Solo. But, in both cases, Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy reined things in and brought in a safe pair of hands (Tony Gilroy for Rogue One and Ron Howard for Solo) to finish the project in a more traditional Star Wars-y way.

    It seems safe to assume, then, that any new Star Wars films – including Rian Johnson’s upcoming trilogy - will need to match the established tone of the wider franchise. Moving away from the Skywalker story is a big leap in of itself, so you wouldn’t expect Lucasfilm to throw the baby out with the bath water and ditch lightsabers, space battles, and dodgy wipe-based editing transitions as well. These are the things that make Star Wars, and they will need to remain in some form.

    This is another reason why KotOR fits the bill for cinematic adaptation so perfectly. It may have all-new characters and a position in the (non-canon) timeline far removed from the original films, but KotOR still has an opening crawl, parps of John Williams’ music, a baddie with robotic upgrades, lightsaber duels, space battles, snarky droids, and big twists. It still feels like Star Wars, even though so much is fresh and unfamiliar.

    After saving Bastilla on Telos and taking a brief visit to the Jedi Academy on Dantooine, the player character is given his main mission: to visit numerous planets and learn more about the Star Forge, a powerful weapon in Malak’s arsenal, the location of which is unknown. This may not be a mission to destroy a Death Star or a Starkiller Base, but the similarities are sufficient to make KotORfeel like it takes place in that same universe.

    The Characters

    If Lucasfilm turned KotOR into a film or three, there would be plenty of familiar elements to draw audiences in, and enough new stuff to stop them from getting bored. That’s a real sweet spot, which could make Lucasfilm and Disney a lot of box office dosh.

    The central mission to learn about and locate the Star Forge takes the player to some familiar worlds (Skywalker home planet Tatooine and Wookiee world Kashyyyk) as well as some new ones: Manaan, which is inhabited by grumbly fish people; Korriban, home of a Sith temple; and Rakata Prime, a tropic planet which bears similarities to Rogue One's Scarif.

    Across this journey, the player adds more characters to his party. The game makes the most of the fact that Jedi and Sith both exist in the open at this point in the Star Wars story: as well as Bastilla, who feels the pull of romantic love and the dark side, despite her extensive Jedi training, you can also recruit Juhani (a slave who became a Jedi and briefly fell to the dark side), and Jolee Bindo (a "gray" Jedi who abandoned the Jedi Order to live in neutrality and exile). The player character is also Force sensitive, and is constantly presented with chances to embrace the dark side.

    KotOR did a great job of expanding what it means to be a Force user. Rather than just showing Jedi as goodies and the Sith as baddies, it explores the idea that any character can fall to the dark side and that living in the middle is also an option. Given that The Last Jedi explores the "the balance" of the Force, it seems like writer-director Rian Johnson is interested in similar themes.

    Other characters in your party include Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo (who loves telling war stories and encouraging dark choices), the sarcastic assassin droid HK-47, the trusty assistant T3-M4, a Twi’lek teenager named Mission Vao, and her Wookiee chum Zaalbar. It’s an interesting group of characters, which could translate winningly into live-action cinema.

    In terms of villains, as well as Malak, the player character clashes with gang lords, bounty hunters, tribe leaders, scaly politicians, and various Sith apprentices while travelling the galaxy in search of clues. This was a brilliant expansion of the Star Wars character roster, and a film adaptation could serve a similar world-building purpose.

    The Structure

    There are a couple of ways in which KotOR could be adapted into a film trilogy. The first game is so vast, taking tens of hours to play through, that it could be split into three films. The protagonist wakes up with amnesia at the start of the first film and finally defeats Malak at the end of the third one. In between, you could show the main character training to be a Jedi before journeying the galaxy in search of clues, and getting into numerous scrapes along the way.

    If the screenwriters peppered a few encounters with Malak into each of the three films, Lucasfilm would end up with a new Star Wars trilogy with a structure similar to the original movies. The main character goes from zero to hero over the course of three films, and ultimately defeats the big bad on board his evil space station. The new locations, characters, and status quo (an ancient war between the Jedi and the Sith) would still provide plentiful new material.

    However, the KotOR game series showed another way of making this into a three-part story experience. The original player character defeated Malak at the end of the first game. The second game, The Sith Lords, focused on a new main character known as The Jedi Exile, who met a new set of supporting players and unravelled a wider Sith conspiracy. The first game’s hero is nowhere to be found in the second game, having gone into hiding for reasons unexplained.

    All became clear in a tie-in novel, Revan by Drew Karpyshyn, in which the Jedi Exile manages to locate the first game’s protagonist – after the events of The Sith Lords - and stumbles into yet another Sith conspiracy (even wider than the previous two Sith conspiracies). The two heroes fight side by side, which is a nice moment of fan service for long-time followers of the KotOR series. The MMORPG The Old Republic followed on from this encounter and allowed fans to learn more.

    If Lucasfilm really wanted to branch out and tread new ground, this would be one way to do it. Rather than showcasing one hero’s three-film quest to defeat one main villain, the KotOR film trilogy could pit two protagonists against an ever-shifting roster of Sith enemies. The first film could cover the events of Knights of the Old Republic, the second one could tackle The Sith Lords, and the third film could bring both heroes together like in the Revan novel.

    This would certainly be a less conventional film trilogy than the turn-the-first-game-into-three-films approach. And, if it were executed well, the third film’s team-up element could garner a lot of hype. Crossovers are a hot currency in Hollywood at the moment, after all.

    However, The Sith Lords, Revan, and The Old Republic are all somewhat divisive in the KotOR fandom. Plus, none of these stories are canon anymore, which means that Lucasfilm might be hesitant to bring them back in their complete form. If Lucasfilm does want to turn the KotOR franchise into a movie trilogy, the studio would need to cut out a lot of stuff and streamline the story.

    Warning: don’t read any further if you don’t know the big twist from the first KotOR game...

    The first KotOR game is most deserving of a big screen adaptation. And there’s one main reason for that: the massive ruddy twist that turns the game on its head around the halfway point.

    I’m talking, of course, about the revelation that the player character is Darth Revan, Malak’s best mate and former master, who fell to the dark side at the same time as the metal-mouthed big bad. Bastilla helped wipe Revan’s mind shortly before the game kicked off in the hope that this would turn the powerful Force user back to the light.

    I was at secondary school when the first KotORgame came out, and this twist was an incredibly hot topic of conversation. But back then it was just Star Wars geeks and avid gamers that knew about it. If KotOR became a cinematci event, millions more people would get to experience this immense rug-pull moment.

    Again, adapting this element of KotOR into the medium of moviemaking would take some work. It worked so well in the game because you had been playing as that character for hours before the twist. You were a Sith Lord, and you didn’t even know it. To make this work on the big screen, Lucasfilm would need a script that presented its amnesiac protagonist as both enigmatic and likeable. Viewers need to be invested in the character for the Revan twist to mean anything.

    Arguably, to pull this off, it would take more than one movie, so I’m leaning towards the option of the first KotORgame being split into three films. The first film could establish the main character as a hero worth rooting for, only for the second film to strip that away with the Revan twist (deployed around the same time, and with as much emotional heft, as "I am your father" in The Empire Strikes Back).

    This would leave us with a third film where Revan faces off with Malak, and the viewer isn’t sure whether Revan is on the light side or the dark at this point. An unpredictable final act like that, surely, would make this a movie trilogy worth watching.

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    This atmospheric horror shooter looks stunning.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    The Astronauts, the team behind the exceptional The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, have revealed that their next project is a dark fantasy shooter called Witchfire. There's no word on its release date or which platforms it will be available for, but there is a teaser trailer for the project.

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    Details are still sadly scarce at this time, but what we can tell you is that The Astronauts are going for a very dark, very gritty vibe with this action title. Actually, there's more than a touch of Dark Souls in the game's visuals and overall design aesthetics.

    Players will be able to combat the numerous evils that plague these digital lands with a combination of firearms and magic. It seems like you'll mostly be relying on your guns, but magic will at least be available to you as a power-up option if not a full-fledged combat method. 

    What really makes us excited about this game, though, is the fact that Vanishing of Ethan Carter so happened to be one of the most impressive atmospheric games in recent memory. It was criticized for being a walking simulator, but the reveal of Witchfire made it clear that the team behind that gem have taken what they've learned from their work on that game and converted it to a full-on action experience. 

    Of course, it probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the studio is adept at making a shooter. After all, the studio's founders used to work for People Can Fly (the studio behind Painkiller, Bulletstorm, and Gears of War: Judgement). Each of those shooters was famous for their dark tones and intense combat. We're not sure if the intense combat is going to make the transition here, but we fully expect this to be a gorgeous game that just overwhelms you with little design details. 

    We'll share more information on this game as it becomes available.

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  • 12/13/17--14:29: World War Z Game Announced
  • Remember World War Z? It's game form!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    While it's a little late to the party, there is a new game based on World War Z in the works. 

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    From what we can tell, this game seems to be based on the book or the general property rather than the World War Z film. That's probably for the best given that the film made some pretty serious departures from the original content. It also wasn't very good.

    This adaptation of World War Z will be helmed by Saber Interactive; the team behind Quake Champions and TimeShift. It's described as a four-player co-op action game (no word on whether four players will be required) that requires players to navigate a series of major locations across the globe and escape the zombie hordes. 

    Escape seems to be the word of the day here. As it stands, it seems like this game will emphasize survival and evasion through things like traps and utilizing environmental elements to your advantage. This doesn't seem to be exactly like a Left 4 Dead type experience where you just blast through hordes with your other survivors. Instead, there appears to be more of an emphasis on pure horror and strategy. 

    Of course, that's all a bit speculative at this early point considering that we really haven't seen actual footage from the game. However, Saber Interactive did state that the missions themselves will heavily emphasize the "unique survivor stories" of your companions and that there will be action set-pieces here and there. So while it walks like Left 4 Dead, and talks like Left 4 Dead, we're going to guess that this game will find ways to distinguish itself from that legendary franchise. 

    As for when that will happen, there's no word on this game's release date. However, we do know that that World War Z will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC when it does hit shelves.

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    Can you survive the post-apocalyptic winter?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    The survival genre grows by one as the recently formed THQ Nordic has revealed a new survival game called Fade to Silence

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    According to the game's Steam page, Fade to Silence sees players assume the role of a man named Ash who has been thrust into the role of leader following an unidentified apocalyptic event. Said event seems to have turned Ash's corner of the world into a winter wasteland. It's up to Ash to ensure that he and his part somehow manage to survive. 

    At the point, it seems that the game places much more emphasis on survival than it does on action. While there are enemies in the game (some of which appear to be unnatural) your main goal is to collect the resources needed to keep everyone alive. For instance, gathering wood will allow you to start a fire in your camp, but it can also be used to craft some crude tools and weapons.

    You may want to opt for the fire, though, as the cold weather is actually described as Ash's greatest enemy. It's not entirely clear how that is going to work at this time, but it seems that there will be some kind of temperature system that will track the effect the cold weather is having on Ash and his companions. Said companions include a team of wolves that can pull Ash around on a sled. 

    As for the combat, it seems to be surprisingly in-depth for this kind of game. Developer THQ Nordic has already emphasized the game's melee combat system and the way that it will require players to manage several techniques. Of course, you'll probably need more than a pocketful of skills and a pointy stick to best some of the game's more intimidating foes. 

    As it stands, Fade to Silence is expected to debut for Steam Early Access on December 14, and it will remain in that state for a period of about eight months. It should then receive a full release in time for August 2018. 

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    You'd think you feel less scared with friends, but this trailer argues otherwise.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    The designer of Payday and Payday 2, Ulf Anderson, has started a new studio called 10 Chambers Collective. His first project will retain Payday's four-player co-op gameplay but will add an element of horror that only exists in Payday when someone screws up the vault drill. 

    Here is the debut trailer for GTFO.

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    GTFO is described as a "terrifying 4 player co-op game for hardcore FPS players." It sees a team of four scavengers explore various locales in an effort to extract valuable artifacts. Standing in their way are some truly horrifying monstrosities that seem to be quite keen on eating human beings when they get the chance to do so. 

    We're not sure what's behind the miniature resurrection of four-player co-op shooters, but this one does feature a few elements that have us undeniably intrigued. Not the least among them is that awesome synth soundtrack that played over the game's debut trailer. 

    However, it's really the design of the game's monsters that deserves the most attention. This isn't the usual army of zombies but a series of utterly bizarre creatures. Actually, it feels like there might be a hint of Starship Troopers in the design of the enemies and the style of action. 

    That trailer also showcases a few gameplay hints that suggest this will be a rather deep action experience. For instance, it appears that players can set-up basic defenses when things go wrong and access a kind of x-ray scouting device that provides a brief glimpse at what lies ahead.

    Also of note is the way that GTFO incorporates story into the missions. Your crew of scavengers clearly know each other well and seem to make quite a few references to prior events and the current situation via in-game dialog. 

    GTFO is set to release on PC sometime in 2018. 

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    Bungie has implemented a series of fixes, but do they address the real problem?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    Bungie is apologizing yet again for Destiny 2 design decisions that have sparked mass outrage from the game's community. 

    If you haven't been keeping up with Destiny 2, you first need to know that the recent Curse of Osiris DLC actually prevents some players who haven't purchased the DLC from accessing content that the game shipped with. Namely, the prestige versions of the game's Raid and weekly Nightfall strikes are no longer available to vanilla Destiny 2 players because Curse of Osiris raised the level cap required to play those.

    That's especially damaging in the case of the Nightfall rotation. Those who haven't purchased the Destiny 2 expansion will not be able to access certain weeks of Nightfall content if the rotation pulls a strike that is exclusive to that DLC. 

    Ina blog post, Bungie has admitted that this decision was a mistake on their part. 

    "With Curse of Osiris now live, it’s clear that we’ve made some mistakes with how we have handled content access," said Bungie. "We would like to talk through the reasoning behind our decisions so far and what we are committed to changing moving forward."

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    Basically, Bungie is going to drop the prestige Leviathan Raid level requirement back to 300. This will allow all players to access it and unlock any associated achievements with that raid. Trials of the Nine, meanwhile, will only be available to Curse of Osiris players when it "features a Curse of Osiris map." Otherwise, it will be available to everyone. This will also allow all players to access achievements associated with that mode. 

    However, The prestige Nightfall content will remain exclusive to Curse of Osiris. While Bungie is tinkering with the idea of adding a third difficulty setting, they state that the current raised level cap associated with that mode is in-line with their intentions regarding its future. Normal Nightfall events, though, will be available to everyone. The same goes for time-limited events.

    While this addresses the immediate issues with the game, it remains to be seen whether Bungie is able to implement changes that truly address vanilla Destiny 2 player's concerns regarding being locked out of meaningful content. 

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    TWO Harry Potter mobile games in development? Was there a licencing sale?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    We already told you about developer Niantic's upcoming Harry Potter AR game, but it seems that's not the only mobile return to Hogwarts in the works.

    Developer Jam City has announced that they are working on a new Harry Potter mobile game called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Unlike Niantic's app, this mobile game will play out like an RPG. 

    Specifically, it will ask you to create a character, embark upon a journey that spans several years at Hogwarts, and "participate in all of the magical classes and activities they have come to love like Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Duelling Club, and more." The game will also reportedly feature many of the professors from the books, but there's no word on whether Harry and the gang are going to make an appearance at this time. 

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    There's also a great deal of mystery surrounding how the game will actually play. We fill safe in saying that isn't going to be an incredibly deep RPG experience, but there are some questions concerning whether or not this game will be a collection of class-based minigames or a fully-fledged story complete with combat, character building, and all that good stuff.

    If we had to guess, we'd say that this game is going to be a simplified experience designed to appeal to the various age brackets that make up Harry Potter's global fanbase. However, there is always hope this might be...well, that it might an actual game. 

    There's no release date for this mobile app available at this time.

    We'd be lying if we said that there's been a definitive Harry Potter game released to date. The closest that we've come is Quidditch World Cup and the Lego Harry Potter series. The EA games based on the series have ranged from "pretty good" (Chamber of Secrets) to "burn it with fire" (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1). 

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    Following some disappointing revenue figures, Nintendo is looking to change things up.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    Nintendo is looking to produce more mobile games based on their properties are looking for more mobile developers to partner with as part of that process.

    This news comes to us from The Wall Street Journal who have stated that Nintendo's current mobile revenue has fallen short of the company's expectations. Alongside possibly raising the price of their mobile games (perhaps like they did with Super Mario Run), Nintendo is looking for new mobile developers to help them convert their franchises to the mobile arena. 

    It's not actually clear who Nintendo is reaching out to as part of this process. However, one name that has reportedly been tossed around is developer GunHo Online; the developers of the Puzzle & Dragons series for the 3DS. Outside of that studio, there are no other credible names being tossed around the rumor mill.

    What we do know is that Nintendo is interested in a true partnership and aren't looking to acquire studios outright. 

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    One other thing the report does point out that is important to note is that Nintendo isn't necessarily concerned with the amount of money their mobile games make in terms of pure revenue. Instead, their primary interest is to have their mobile games draw attention to their core franchise titles. For instance, they've already reported that Animal Cross: Pocket Camp has helped increase the sales of other Animal Crossing games for 3DS and consoles.

    That makes sense, but you do have to believe that Pokemon GO may have created some unrealistic expectations regarding how much revenue Nintendo-based mobile titles can generate over a long enough period of time. You may recall that GO brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in a relatively short amount of time. Subsequent Nintendo apps have been popular, but not quite as popular as that title was at its peak.

    There's also some debate regarding whether or not Nintendo will encourage the development of new games exclusively for mobile devices that aren't directly associated with their existing properties. 

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    Survive's single-player looks far more involved than we would have thought.

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Dec 13, 2017

    Metal Gear Survive is a very different type of Metal Gear game. Gone is the "Tactical Espionage Action" gameplay style ushered in by series creator Hideo Kojima. Instead, this game is a cooperative action-adventure game where players team up to fight a horde of zombies...

    It's not as surprising a direction as you would think, if you consider that there have always been supernatural elements in the Metal Gear series. That said, Metal Gear Survive makes the supernatural it's main focus.

    While the game isn't part of the Metal Gear Solid series, it does take place between the events of Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. The trailer opens with the assault on Mother Base that put Big Boss in a coma. Those who don't die in the Mother Base attack travel through a wormhole to an alternate dimension where the survivors must fight off weird crystalline zombies ("living biological threats," according to Konami). Yes, that's a sentence I just wrote.

    The game features four-player online co-op, although the game won't stray too far from the series' traditional stealth gameplay. New weaponry will also be introduced to combat creatures and lethal environments as well. Spears and crossbows will be two such weapons. 

    "Metal Gear Survive will offer a fresh take on the series’ famed stealth elements, but within a unique co-op setting that is designed for a truly engrossing multiplayer experience," said Tomotada Tashiro, European President for Konami Digital Entertainment.

    We previewed the game at E3 2017 and didn't really love this new take on the series. Hopefully, Konami has taken the time to fix the issues we found with the experience. 

    Here's everything else we know:

    Metal Gear Survive News

    There's a new video preview of Metal Gear Survivethat provides quite a bit of new information about the game's campaign mode. 

    While this video makes it abundantly clear that this story is separate from MGS V's - it's more of a spin-off - it's also clear that the campaign will retain certain elements of that game. For instance, you'll still have to organize a base and gather supplies. 

    Actually, gathering supplies will be quite difficult as your base is surrounded by a poison cloud that requires you to wear an oxygen mask. When you run out of oxygen, you'll need to return to the base. 

    The campaign will offer a variety of main and side missions that reward players with various new items, crafting recipes, and survivors. Of course, the main gameplay seems to revolve around defending your base from attacks and ensuring that it can support itself even when you're out on a mission. 

    We have to admit that the game looks kind of interesting. If Survive didn't have the Metal Gear Solid name - and the baggage that goes along with it - it might actually be seen as a pretty compelling standalone experience. 

    Metal Gear Survive Release Date

    Metal Gear Survive is expected to release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on February 20, 2018. 

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    Metal Gear Survive Trailer

    Konami took the stage at TGS 2016 to introduce the first 15 minutes of gameplay footage for Metal Gear Survive, a spin-off of the main series that involves zombies, alternate dimensions, melee weapons, and co-op gameplay. Yes, this is a very different experience from what fans have come to expect from the franchise. Time will tell if it's an ultimately successful shift in gameplay. Check out the footage below:

    Also attending TGS to promote his first post-Konami game, Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima nixed any lingering hopes that he might have helped develop Metal Gear Survive before his departure from Konami in 2015. "That's nothing to do with me!" Kojima said, according to a report on IGN.

    "The Metal Gear games are about political fiction and espionage," Kojima observed. "Where do zombies fit in with that?"

    Yoji Shinkawa, the artist and designer who gave the Metal Gear games their distinctive look, added, "If I had worked on that game, it would have mechs in it."

    Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Metal Gear Survive doesn't exactly have the seal of approval from its creator. What impact that'll have on its popularity remains to be seen; that Survive appears to lack Kojima's trademark oddness - and, yes, Shinkawa's giant mechs - may prove to be a bigger turn-off for the series' legion fans. You can take a look for yourself at Survive in action below.

    Konami released a debut trailer for the game at Gamescom 2016. Watch it and try not to fall out of your chair:

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    The sequel to one of the saddest games ever looks just as devastating.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 13, 2017

    To The Moon, the 2011 indie RPG from developer Freebird Games, is finally getting a sequel. Here's the real teaser trailer for Finding Paradise:

    Fortunately, it turns out it's not going to be the game teased in this mock trailer recently released by the game's development team:

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    That brilliant parody preview of the upcoming sequel suggests that To the Moon 2, referred to there as "2 The Moon," will feature more action than ever before, more loot boxes than ever before, and a classic sci-fi storyline involving space cults or some such thing. 

    Of course, none of that information is real. While there is a sequel to To the Moon set to release on December 14th - its actual title is Finding Paradise - it will not feature guns, loot boxes, or silly sci-fi plots. 

    That's all well and good, but there are still several questions that remain regarding what this sequel will actually feature. If you never played 2011's To the Moon...well, you need to drop everything and fix that right now. While To the Moon's classic JRPG-style gameplay isn't exactly revolutionary, the real star of the show is the game's heartbreaking narrative. In fact, some consider To the Moon's tale of two scientists who try to help a dying man achieve his greatest desire to be the greatest story in video game history. 

    The only problem with the game's story is that it doesn't necessarily lend itself to a sequel. Instead, it seems that this game will focus on the adventures of Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts who use a machine to give dying people the chance to relive their lives from the start. Wile this game is described as To The Moon's second chapter, the only connection that we see thus far is the starring role of the two doctors. 

    Given that To the Moon featured the kind of creative talent that cannot be considered a coincidence, we eagerly anticipate seeing what the Finding Paradise team has up their sleeve that we will most certainly be borrowing to wipe our tears with. 

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    Star Wars Battlefront 2 finally reveals how Luke Skywalker found Ahch-To and the first temple of the Jedi.

    News John Saavedra
    Dec 14, 2017

    This Star Wars Battlefront II article contains spoilers.

    Star Wars Battlefront II introduces a plethora of new characters in a story campaign that bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. But while the game mostly focuses on Iden Versio and her elite unit of Imperial operatives, Inferno Squad, a few fan-favorite characters pop up for a quick cameo. 

    Luke Skywalker gets a rare post-RotJappearance about a third into the game. The fact that he's playable in the campaign at all is exciting enough, considering that we've barely experienced any new stories about Luke that explain why he's exiled himself on Ahch-To before The Force Awakens. We know the short of it: Luke chose isolation on one of the islands of the distant planet after his nephew, Ben Solo, turned to the dark side and slaughtered all of the students in Luke's new Jedi Order. He's been hiding out ever since, due to his failure to keep Ben out of Supreme Leader Snoke's clutches and save his students. 

    But everything we've seen from The Last Jedi thus far reveals that there's more to Ahch-To than that. While we're informed that Luke went searching for the first Jedi temple in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi's trailers flesh out why this temple is so important to Luke. It may very well contain the oldest chronicle of the Jedi Order and the galaxy as a whole in the form of the Journal of the Whills, a book that's been teased in many of the promos released thus far. It is speculated that the chronicle holds secrets about the Jedi that convince Luke that the Order must end once and for all. 

    We'll soon find out for sure what that book is all about when The Last Jedi hits theaters on Dec. 15. Until then, Star Wars Battlefront II has at the very least answered a pivotal question as to how Luke found the temple on Ahch-To in the first place.

    There's a level in the story campaign where you play as Luke, who's come to the bug-infested planet of Pillio. Something on the planet has called out to him through the Force, and Luke wants to find out what it is. After a run-in with Imperial stormtroopers and an imperiled member of Inferno Squad, Del Meeko, Luke discovers what's been calling out to him: a hidden vault belonging to the late Emperor Palpatine. 

    While Meeko is tasked with destroying the vault before the Rebellion can get their hands on anything in it, Luke takes one mysterious relic with him: a compass. It is implied that this compass is what eventually leads Luke to Ahch-To to discover the deepest secrets of the Jedi. 

    This also sets up another interesting precedent: Emperor Palpatine knew about Ahch-To and presumably about its secrets. So why didn't he have the compass destroyed when he had the chance? Leaving the task up to the remaining Imperials after his death seems like a dumb idea. Regardless, at least we know more of the intricacies of Luke's situation at the end of The Force Awakens. We assume The Last Jedi will address more of Luke's post-RotJ journey and give us the full picture. 

    For now, enjoy demolishing your enemies as Luke Skywalker in Battlefront long as your willing to cough up the cash to do so

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