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    If you enjoyed classic platformers like Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, you may want to check out the launch trailer for Aggelos...

    NewsRyan Lambie
    Jun 20, 2018

    With the likes of Shovel Knight and the superb Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap remake floating around, it feels as though we're in the midst of a new golden age of 2D platformers. And if you love the format of those later Wonder Boy games, which mixed light RPG elements with platforming and exploration, then you may want to check out Aggelos, a new title from a French developer called Wonderboy Bobi.

    Taking on the role of a brave knight with a centre parting, you traverse a 2D landscape, slashing enemies with your sword and collecting loot which can be exchanged for new weapons in shops. With its colourful pixel graphics and chiptune soundtrack, Aggelos looks like something we'd have eagerly bought for our Sega Master System in the early 90s, albeit with a turn of speed that wouldn't have been possible on consoles way back then.

    Admittedly, there's nothing too original going on here, but Aggelos certainly looks as though it's been made with care and affection for the games that inspired it. Besides, the bosses are great-looking, and we like the look of the hero's dash ability - a mechanic that reminds us a bit of Konami's underrated Rocket Knight Adventures.

    Aggelos is available on Steam now, and we're told that there are ports for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on the way later in 2018. More on those as we get them. Until then, here's a charming launch trailer....


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    Some of Pokemon Go's most requested features are arriving next week.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    Trading is coming to Pokemon Go

    Yes, you'll finally be able to trade Pokemon with your friends in Pokemon Go via an upcoming system update. Oh, and you'll also finally be able to actually have friends in Pokemon Go when the game's next update is released. Once you've added someone as your friend in the game through that new friend system - which can be accomplished by sending someone your trainer code and waiting for them to accept your request - you will be able to swap Pokemon. Of course, there are a few conditions you'll have to meet first. 

    The trades themselves will require you and the person you are trading with to have leveled up your character to at least level 10 and to be within roughly 100m of each other. Trades will also cost an undisclosed amount of Stardust per transaction, but the cost of those trades may be drastically reduced if you and the person you are trading with have a high enough friendship level. Actually, you'll need a high enough friendship level to swap legendary or shiny Pokemon. Such transactions can also only be completed once per day. 

    Friendship levels can be increased by performing certain activities together. As it stands, the easiest way to raise your friendship level with someone is to battle at gyms with them or complete raids, but you'll soon be able to also send gifts to someone which can also raise the friendship level between you and the receiver. In all instances, you can only raise your friendship level with someone once per day. 

    These seemingly odd restrictions that prevent you from simply sending and receiving Pokemon as often as you wish are designed to help cut down on the number of possible instances of trade manipulation. Simply put, they don't want people skirting the system and just receiving an unlimited number of powerful Pokemon when the point of the game is to catch them. 

    You can read more about trading, gifting, and friends in Pokemon Go via this blog post from the development team. Many of these features are expected to launch sometime next week. 


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    Nathan Fillion's Cayde-6 will not return to Destiny 2.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    Destiny 2 fans who hoped that Cayde-6's seeming demise in the Forsaken DLC trailer was but a flesh wound will want to brace themselves for this one. 

    "He's dead. His ghost is dead," said Bungie Principal Producer Scott Taylor (and confirmed heartless being) in an interview with GamesRadar. "We wanted to establish the tone of the game and show that we're serious about it. We also want people to process it. You'll play a mission with him, and you're not really sure when this is going to happen, or how, so the emotional experience of that would be very different if you just turned on the game, you saw it and it was all just a shock. It's actually a little more rich and interesting if you have time to sit with it and reflect."

    Prior to Taylor's statements, many Destiny 2 players felt that there was a good chance Cade-6's death was simply a marketing ploy. After all, the Nathan Fillion-voiced characters is one of the most beloved members of the Destiny universe. In fact, he offered a great deal of humor, personality, and character at a time when Destiny was largely devoid of such things. 

    Of course, that's precisely the reason that Bungie decided to kill him off. They feel that they needed players to truly hate the lead villains in the upcoming Forsaken DLC and that the best way to accomplish that would be to have said villains brutally murder one of Destiny's most beloved characters. It's a lot like how nobody really hated Game of Thrones' Ramsay Bolton until he killed the most beloved member of the Stark family, Rickon Stark. 

    "We built out from those early ideas about loss and revenge and a western atmosphere, lawless frontier and this horrible thing happening," said Taylor to Eurogamer. "It was always Cayde and it was always that idea."

    Bungie has also stated that they have plans for what to do about Cayde 6's missions now that he is dead, but they are not ready to reveal the details of those plans at this time. 


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    Disney is producing a Nintendo Switch family showdown game show!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    Nintendo and Disney are partnering up to reveal the Nintendo Switch's most surprising form yet; a family game show. 

    Starting sometime this summer, Nintendo Switch Family Showdown will air on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and the DisneyNOW streaming app. As implied by the name of the show, this series will see families do battle against in each other in Nintendo Switch games in order to win fabulous prizes. If this show is anything like classic Double Dare episodes, then it's safe to assume that said prizes will include a subscription to America Online, a lifetime of Chef Boyardee canned ravioli, and a Dodge Caravan. 

    The format of the show isn't entirely clear at this time, but based on some of the information that has been revealed, it seems that the show's challenges will include such Nintendo Switch-related tasks as finding a certain number of collectibles in Super Mario Odyssey, winning a Just Dance competition, and simply being the best at Mario Tennis Aces

    As you might expect, the games featured on this show will be of the family-friendly variety. That means no speedruns through L.A. Noire or Doom. We also suspect that this show won't mark the start of the Stardew Valley eSports scene that we've been dreaming of, but it's too early to rule out any possibilities with absolute certainty. 

    While this is obviously a slick piece of marketing on Nintendo's part, that doesn't mean that this show won't be fun for the whole family (or at least the younger members of the family). Anyone who remembers the technical disaster that was Nick Arcade will surely recall that there's something darkly amusing about the concept of a video game-based game show, and we're certain that video game technology has advanced enough since the '90s to ensure that Nintendo Switch Family Showdown feature youngsters flailing about against a green screen. 

    However, we do suspect that you're about to see a lot more 1-2-Switch on your TV than the average Switch owner is used to seeing. 


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    Is the new definition of gaming addiction just a case of public panic?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    The World Health Organization has clarified what they define as "gaming disorder," and the definition has ired some of the industry's top organizations. 

    The WHO now defines the psychological condition known as gaming disorder as "a pattern of gaming behavior ('digital-gaming' or 'video-gaming') characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences." 

    So far as diagnosing gaming disorder goes, the WHO states that "The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe."

    While the definition of gaming disorder and all information related to its symptoms and diagnosis are not yet finalized (and will likely continue to evolve over time) the Entertainment Software Association isn't happy with the fact there's a definition of the "disorder" at all.

    Representatives from the company state that they are "concerned to see ‘gaming disorder’ still contained in the latest version of the WHO’s ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community."  Said opposition includes a statement from the Society for Media Psychology & Technology which asks why gaming is being singled out in this instance rather than merely included in the general classification of dependence and addiction. 

    The concerns of those who oppose the WHO's findings seem to largely be based on their belief that the WHO is responding to a kind of new media panic similar to the "Video Nasty" era of films. Some worry that singling out games could discourage some individuals who use gaming as a coping mechanism for other established psychological disorders. 


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    Cult classic mech franchise Armored Core will live on according to an update from FromSoftware's president.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    There have been rumblings of a new Armored Core game for quite some time now, but the supposed sequel's E3 absence has left some wondering if whether that game is still in development. However, in a recent interview with GamesTalk, FromSoftware president, Hidetaka Miyazaki, confirmed that FromSoftware does plan on continuing their work on that game. 

    “In a past interview I talked about three major development lines that are in the works, but Déraciné is not one of those," said Miyazaki. "I just wanted to let some of the FromSoftware fans know that.”

    Miyazaki is referring to an old interview he gave in which he confirmed that one of From Software's ongoing projects is a long-awaited Armored Core sequel. Some fans have taken the E3 announcement of a FromSoftware VR game called Déracinéas an indication that the work that has supposedly been going into Armored Core might have been shifted to Déraciné

    However, this interview from Miyazaki suggests that Déraciné was not in FromSoftware's plans when he made his original statement and that its presence doesn't affect the work that is being done on Armored Core

    The Armored Core franchise is a series of mech action games that date back to the original PlayStation. While later games in the series were met with incredibly mixed receptions, the franchise holds a special place in the heart of many PlayStation gamers who remember it as an exciting take on the mech-based action genre that just never fully-realized its own potential. 

    Hopefully, a modern-day Armored Core sequel will take advantage of technological advancements and truly further the series' concepts. 


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    The best StarCraft Remastered players in the world will compete in an official Blizzard tournament in Korea.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    Blizzard has announced the formation of a Korean competitive gaming league dedicated to the remastered version of StarCraft

    The Korea StarCraft League is actually open to StarCraft players from across the world, but anyone who wishes to participate will need to travel to Seoul to compete in the qualifying games as well as the eventual playoffs and championship. 

    If that sounds like something you might be interested in, you just need to head over to this website in order to register for the competition. Those open sign-ups will run from June 15 to June 24. In order to separate the contenders from us mere StarCraft mortals, Blizzard will host a series of online qualifiers that will run from June 28 to June 29. The top 256 players from those qualifiers will be invited to participate in the on-site qualifying games that start on July 1. 

    The prize pool for the tournament is a rather modest sum of approximately $71,000. The winner of the tournament takes home about $27,000 of that pool. That's a far cry from the $1,000,000 that the winning Overwatch League team will take home. 

    However, it's not the money that's the biggest draw of this tournament. This competition marks the first time that Blizzard has hosted a self-owned and self-operated tournament for StarCraft Remastered. While the StarCraft competitive scene isn't quite what it used to be, the fact that this is a Blizzard operated tournament for the remastered version of the classic RTS should mean that the absolute best StarCraft players will turn up to take part in the proceedings. That arguably makes it the most notable StarCraft tournament in some time. 

    Live KSL play can be viewed exclusively through Twitch. Videos of the matches will then be hosted on Twitch, YouTube, and the KSL website at the conclusion of the tournament's qualifying and playoff matches. 


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    If you really want to know how much you've spent on Steam over the years, there's an accurate way to find out.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 20, 2018

    If you've ever wondered how much you've spent on Steam over the years, and you're willing to really know the answer to that question, there's a new tool out there that will force you to look deep into the void in your wallet. 

    While there are other websites that will tell you roughly how much you've spent on Steam, there's a new official Steam tool that you can download here that tells you exactly how much you've spent on games via the PC marketplace. Unlike other tools that give you an estimate on the value of your account, this one tells you the amount of money that you've spent on the service down to the penny. 

    What's really impressive is that this tool doesn't include the games that were added to your library through some kind of redemption method. That means that games you added through Humble Bundle and other services are not calculated into the total figure. 

    That does mean that you'll need to add a few dollars for outside purchases, but it also means that your number won't be inflated or deflated by games you've acquired through outside deals or through other channels. It's also possible that certain microtransactions made through non-Steam sources won't be calculated. 

    Aside from the somewhat confusing nature of the calculator's layout (it's not entirely clear what OldSpend and PWSpendare), this is a fantastic way to have a general idea of how much money you've spent on Steam over the years. My own number is a pretty paltry $750, but many of the games in my library came through bundle deals, review keys, and Steam sales. We've heard stories of some people's accounts stretching into the five-figure territory, and we're sure there's someone out there who can boast a figure beyond that. 

    So, how much money have you spent on Steam over the years?


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    All your base are belong to us! Known for Zero Wing, Toaplan made some of the best shooting games of the '80s and '90s...

    FeatureRyan Lambie
    Jun 21, 2018

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    "Those 10 years were a time of great upheaval and change for us. Starting from nothing, we steadily brought more and more titles out, and then right at our zenith, it all fell apart, like a stone you've pushed atop a hill. I have so many memories of it all." - Yuge Masahiro

    To the backwash of an urgent, bass-driven soundtrack, the helicopter strafes left and right, its missiles reducing tanks and buildings alike to smoking, glowing ruins. The enemy returns fire, sending shimmering orbs of artillery careering back down the screen. With precise timing, the attack copter's pilot weaves around the bullets, forging ever deeper through the battlefield.

    This was Tiger Heli, a hit 1985 arcade game that, for many of us in the west, marked our first exposure to the work of the Japanese developer, Toaplan. Not that Toaplan ever became a household name like Sega or Nintendo. For much of the '80s, its work was released under the banner of such distributors as Taito or Romstar. But while Toaplan's name would remain relatively obscure, its personal brand of vertically-scrolling shooting games was immediately recognizable. Whether they were military themed (Tiger Heli, Twin Hawk) or set in the future (Slap Fight, Truxton), Toaplan's games were defined by their intricate enemy attack patterns, unique weapons systems, and catchy music.

    Like so many Japanese arcade developers, Toaplan's games leaped to wider attention thanks to a string of ports to computers and consoles. Most gamers in the UK probably hadn't even seen or heard of Hishouzame, but they may have played the surprisingly decent ZX Spectrum port, called Flying Shark. Tiger Heli, Toaplan's first hit arcade game, was even more popular on the Nintendo Entertainment System. According to Steve Kent's Ultimate History of Video Games, Tiger Helisold about a million copies in the US alone.

    Then there was Zero Wing, the Sega Mega Drive shooter that, with its infamously garbled English translation ("All your base are belong to us..."), became an internet meme in the late 1990s. It's unfortunate, in fact, that Zero Wing's awkward dialogue went mainstream in a way that Toaplan's games roundly didn't. The studio's output was, overwhelmingly, marked out by its precision and attention to detail. 

    Tiger Heli provided an ideal showcase for the Toaplan style. Pitting a single helicopter against a scrolling battlefield of tanks, gunboats, and other military vehicles, its action had the kind of deliberate pace that could lull an unwary player into a false sense of security. It's when the enemies fire off their first major volley of bullets that Tiger Heli really shows its teeth: for the time, the game's obstacle courses of glowing orbs provided a deceptively steep challenge. Little wonder that Toaplan is credited with sowing the seeds for what would later become known as the danmaku or "bullet hell" shooter.

    Not that Toaplan's games ever felt cheap or unfair. Their action was pitched in such a way that, although the challenge was high, the speed of the bullets and logical design of enemy patterns meant the games always felt as though they could be beaten with practice.

    Besides, Tiger Heli also introduced an idea that helped relieve any mounting player frustration. The touch of a second button unleashed a bomb that destroyed everything within the reach of its huge burst circle -- a deeply satisfying mechanic that also added a hint of strategy to the shooting action.

    "During development we kept asking ourselves how we could make things fun, and the bomb system was what we arrived at," programmer and sound designer Yuge Masahiro once recalled. "We didn't originally intend for it to be used by players as an emergency save. We added it as an aggressive, thrilling weapon you could use to turn the tables on the enemies with a single shot." 

    If Toaplan's games were aggressive and thrilling, then that might be because the designers behind them were unfettered by the constraints of focus groups or demanding bosses. Rather than come up with detailed design documents, game ideas would often be jotted on a single piece of paper and then read out to the rest of the team. If everyone liked it, they'd make the game.

    The office culture at Toaplan was, if contemporary interviews are anything to go by, rowdy and unconventional. At least a couple of developers were into riding motorbikes. Worryingly, programmer Uemura Tatsuya once said that Toaplan was "the kind of company where someone needed bandages almost every day." Other interviews allude to late-night drinking sessions, company trips that descended into bouts of nude swimming in rivers, and days where employees would simply refuse to work and go to the local pool hall or bowling alley.

    Fortunately, though, Toaplan still managed to find time to make some of the best shooters of the '80s and '90s.

    "Since it was a development company from the start, we were able to make the games we wanted," Uemura later reflected. "In that sense it was incredibly fun. Though it might be why we went bankrupt..."

    Toaplan's casual style came from its roots as an independent developer. Beginning life in a small Tokyo apartment, the studio was formed from former members of another failing developer called Orca, a firm that made a few little-known arcade games before it collapsed in the early 1980s. A second company, called Crux, would also prove to be short-lived. Ultimately, it was Toaplan (which loosely translates to "East Asia Project") that would finally take root. 

    From its founding in 1984 to the end of the decade, Toaplan's team remained small and close-knit. Its two main programmers, Uemura Tatsuya and Yuge Masahiro, also wrote the music for their own games, which explains why the infectious, looping theme tunes were so integral to the action. Although Toaplan's first couple of games were fairly low-key (a Mahjong game for SNK and a top-down action game called Performan), Tiger Heli put the company on the map.

    Inspired by the popularity of such vertical shooters as Namco's Xevious, Tiger Heli's distinctive military theme and ferocious action set it apart from its contemporaries. Where other shooting games felt relatively austere, Tiger Heliwas brash and exhilarating. Enemies exploded in great balls of flame, leaving craters of fire and burning debris in their wake. Meanwhile, Umemura's baroque score pounded away in the background, urging the player on.

    The immediate success of Tiger Heli allowed Toaplan to move from its cramped apartment to a dedicated office in Shinjuku, where the firm began work on an almost unbroken run of minor classics. Tiger Heli was followed by Slap Fight in 1986, a sci-fi shooter with an elaborate weapon system (cheekily cribbed from Konami's Gradius) that offered a startling array of ways to kill unsuspecting aliens. Kyuukyoku Tiger (or Twin Cobra), released the following year, offered a turbo-charged update on the Tiger Heli theme, with another tiny helicopter going to war against an army of tanks and planes. Then came Tatsujin (or Truxton) in 1988, Daisenpuu (Twin Hawk) in 1989, and Same Same Same(Fire Shark) that same year. 

    Each game offered a unique twist on the Toaplan template, from the startling skull-faced bomb attack in Tatsujin to the awesome flamethrower weapon in Same Same Same. Most of them were ported to the Sega Genesis -- largely because the console hardware was so similar to the arcade's -- making them some of Toaplan's most widely-played games.

    Not everything Toaplan made in the late '80s was a classic, though. Wardner no Mori and Demon's Worldwere solid yet fairly forgettable platform games, while Get Star, a kind of scrolling beat-em-up released through Taito, was a commercial failure. All the same, Toaplan kept putting out games at a remarkable rate, with small teams of five or less completing a title within a span of about six months. This way, they were able to produce two or even three games per year.

    With no corporate hierarchy to speak of, development at Toaplan was lively and sometimes chaotic. Rather than plan ahead, programmers would often just sit and experiment, creating a rough prototype with a controllable player ship. To this the designer would gradually add and test other elements, from new weapons systems to enemy attack patterns.

    "There was never any systematic, organized method for [game development]," Uemura later admitted. "It was always totally disorganized." 

    From that creative foundry came all kinds of unexpected game ideas. Zero Wing, for example, wasn't even created with the goal of releasing it - instead, it was intended as a training project that new employees could contribute to and see how a game could come together.

    "[Zero Wing] was created as a training project for our new hires," Uemura recalled. "At that time we didn't have any plans to release it commercially. But the decision to release it commercially made it a much more practical learning experience for the new developers, I think. On the other hand, the stage design and characters were rather cobbled together, so the world of the game was kind of a mess."

    Zero Wing, along with the earlier Hellfire, was a rare foray into the world of horizontally-scrolling shooters - a subgenre that nobody at Toaplan seemed to particularly like. Indeed, while Toaplan often dabbled in other genres, from Bubble Bobble-style platformers (Snow Bros) to puzzle games (Teki Paki), it was its vertically-scrolling blasters that shone the brightest. As the early '90s dawned, such titles as Dogyuun, Fixeight, and Grind Stormer (or V-V) pushed the template established by Tiger Heli and Slap Fight into ever more hectic arenas.

    Ultimately, it may have been Toaplan's lack of genre diversity that led to its downfall. By the early '90s, arcades were dominated by one-on-one brawlers. As Street Fighter II exploded, the kinds of shooters Toaplan was making were becoming increasingly niche, enjoyed by the hardcore following who could keep up with their rising difficulty but falling out of favor elsewhere.

    By 1994, Toaplan had gone bust -- the unfortunate victim of a competitive and rapidly-changing industry. The brief spike of excitement surrounding Street Fighter II sparked a new golden age for arcade owners, but it would prove short-lived. The increasing popularity of consoles meant that more and more gamers were staying home. Game design itself was rapidly moving away from the quick-fix style of arcade games, designed to be played for a minute or two, and towards experiences with more depth. Street Fighter II may have delivered a blow to the 2D shooter, but it was the likes of Wolfenstein,Doom, and Quake that knocked the genre out of the ring, at least in the west.

    Batsugun, released in 1993, was Toaplan's official swansong. But with its startling waves of colorful enemy lasers, Batsugun was also the beginning of a new era: that of the bullet hell shooter. As Toaplan broke apart, its former employees went off to found their own studios, and many of them continued to experiment in this increasingly berserk and niche field. Cave, founded in 1994, released the likes of DoDonPachi, Espgaluda, and Akai Katana. Gazelle didn't last long, but survived long enough to make the extremely good Air Gallet(1996). Eighting produced the likes of Battle Garegga, Amed Police Batrider, and 1944: The Loop Master.

    The bullet hell shooter has its own army of devoted fans, but it could be described as a different genre entirely from the tough yet approachable games that Toaplan was making in its heyday. As Japanese gaming celebrity Takahashi Meijin once told the magazine Shooting Gameside, "I wish they’d designate them as another genre or something. Make a distinction between 'shooting games' and 'dodging games.'"

    For those 10 glorious years, however, Toaplan created some of the greatest shooting games ever made. In a genre crowded with clones and knock-offs, their games felt distinctive, exciting, and fresh. Most of all, they felt rewarding and approachable where so many shooting games before and after seemed overly punitive or plain boring. Their games, although seldom cutting-edge from a technical standpoint, were made with evident care -- from the truly bizarre aliens in Tatsujinto the sublime music inTwin Cobra to the wealth of hidden items in Slap Fight, they were full of style and personality.

    Fittingly, Toaplan's final game, Batsugun, has title that translates to "extraordinary" in English. If you loved shooters in the '80s and '90s, Toaplan was most certainly that.

    Thanks to the fabulous Shmuplations for its wealth of translated interviews. If you love Japanese videogames, it's a trove of information and history.


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    From a talking puppet to a Legend of Zelda expert, here are the top 25 streamers you should be watching this year!

    The Lists Jason M. Gallagher
    Jun 21, 2018

    Later this year, Twitch will launch its take on a reality show with its Stream On competition, a program designed to help up and coming streamers make playing video games their full-time job. But if you're currently searching for the next big broadcaster on Twitch, you don't have to wait for a reality contest to start hitting that follow button. 

    Your friends at Den of Geek have collected a list of 25 of our favorite up and coming streamers that we feel are worth a watch. From outrageous personalities to expert gamers, we've picked a variety of excellent streamers for your viewing pleasure.

    Most of the streamers on this list are currently under 100,000 followers (with one exception), the majority are under 50,000, and there are even a few who are just starting out.

    So the next time you're clicking through different streams complaining that you can't find anyone to watch, take a look at this list and see if any of these rising stars are online. And don't forget to follow Den of Geek's own Twitch channel!

    Here are the top 25 Twitch streamers to watch in 2018:

    TigerWriter

    When people talk about what qualities make for a good streamer, "high energy" is often near the top of the list. TigerWriter is the perfect example of this adage, as the man just never lets up. It's not uncommon to tune in and find him headbanging or dancing along to whatever crazy loud song he's playing while a variety of crazy-looking videos and memes flash across the screen. Tiger is a variety streamer, and he's decent enough at most games he tries, but it's his larger than life personality that keeps earning him new followers.

    Bennyfits

    New streamers are always trying to find a way to separate themselves from the rest of the pack but Bennyfits has taken things to a whole different level by giving life to a puppet on each and every stream. That's right, there are no human beings here, just Bennyfits, a puppet that can and will absolutely destroy you in Overwatchand a variety of other games. He's basically Cookie Monster, but instead of cookies, he loves headshotting noobs.

    Ozon3Tv

    Paladins doesn't have quite the same following as Overwatch, but if you're looking to get into a different team-based shooter, Ozon3Tv can help show you the way. He's actually a former Grandmaster at Overwatch who jumped ship for the Hi-Rez Studios-led game, and his skill clearly made the transfer successfully. Ozon has grown his following by staying very active with his chat while also throwing in the occasional giveaway.

    Takarita

    Takarita is most comfortable running through World of Warcraft with her hunter, but she sometimes jumps around to a variety of different games on her "strum." She brings in viewers with her ultra-friendly personality and seems to take a lot of pride in showing off her cooking skills as well.

    Bloodyfaster

    Bloodyfaster is a self-described singer, computer engineer, and the "World's Okayest Gamer." When she's not singing on stream or running through the latest horror game, she also finds time to generate some good karma by using her stream to raise money for good causes.

    Daigothebeastv

    If you're looking for a new fighting game pro to follow, we recommend Daigothebeastv, who can really bring the pain in Street Fighter V. If you love Japanese culture, Daigo's stream will bring it to you in spades as the Tokyo-based streamer's channel is often filled with fans from his home country.

    Darbian

    Darbian has been speed running on Twitch for years, but he exploded into the mainstream last fall, when he broke his own world record for one of the most beloved video games of all-time, the original Super Mario Bros. Since then, Darbian has kept at it, steadily growing his stream with each new speedrun. Darbian also holds world records in other games, including Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels.

    Johnnystonehs

    There are no shortage of popular Hearthstone streamers on Twitch today, but if you're looking for quality play from someone who is still somewhat under the radar, Johnnystonehs might fit the bill. Johnny loves talking strategy with his stream and will frequently explain his card choices to viewers, making it the ideal stream for someone learning to play like a pro. He even offers a paid coaching service for both Hearthstone and poker to those looking to get serious about their card games.

    Okaydrian

    If you're looking for a late-night stream to relax to, Okaydrian might have what you need. He's a variety streamer who made a name for himself by trying to give his viewers a little education about different terms and concepts found within the games he plays. For example, if he's playing a sci-fi game that mentions a particular scientific concept, Okaydrian will actually pause the game, look up the concept, and give his viewers a full rundown of what it really means. He's also gotten in good with Twitch, thanks to his hosting skills at various conventions across the country.

    Zeenigami

    Zeenigami has grown his channel to 30,000+ followers primarily through finding a mobile game that no one else was really streaming called One Piece Treasure Cruise. He now streams other games, like League of Legends and Diablo 3, but his initial success with One Piece is a great lesson for new streamers. It might take a new streamer a while to find a niche worth pursuing, but if you can find a way to bring value to your channel that can't be found anywhere else, you'll soon be on your way towards building a new career for yourself.

    EXBC

    The IRL section of Twitch has really taken off over the last year, and there are now Twitch streamers who only broadcast in IRL for the most part. EXBC fits this description, as they are a married couple who happily stream their adventures in South Korea to an audience around the globe. Heosu and Esco stream everything from their latest bite to eat to their entire trip to a local amusement park. Viewers seem to get a kick out of this up close and personal view of the couple's world that lets fans feel like they're almost right there with them.

    Zilea

    Zilea (aka Fabian) is a former pro at World of Warcraft PvP who took home an arena title at BlizzCon 2009. He's since moved on from WoW and dedicates his stream entirely to Hearthstone. His stream has grown in popularity thanks to his frequent Skype calls with friends and viewers, although the fact that he is so open and accessible has caught the attention of the occasional troll… but that's just part of the fun.

    FrostPrime_

    FrostPrime_ plays a lot of League of Legends, but he's been able to grow his stream to 20,000 strong by jumping around to many smaller niche games, bringing his sense of humor and sarcastic wit along with him. Frost has also managed to grow a significantly larger fanbase on YouTube, where he makes fun videos inspired by League.

    TheJakeParker

    Jake has built a small fan base for himself mostly through Destiny 2 and Fortnite. But no matter which game he plays, he never stops talking. Talking to the chat, talking to the in-game NPCs, or just talking to himself. His ability to always have something to say keeps viewers interested and is must-watch material for anyone looking to learn how to build a successful stream from scratch. It's also why a stream with only a few thousand followers was recently featured on the front page of Twitch.

    Thorlar

    Thorlar has been streaming daily for just over a year and has built a large and still growing following due to this consistency. Thorlar's overall presentation is something new streamers should pay attention to, as he uses a variety of graphics to spruce up his surroundings. Thorlar is a proud variety streamer and that includes plenty of games from generations gone by.

    Sowz

    Sowz got his start with DayZ but now jumps around to multiple other games within the survival genre, stating that he "loves the random interactions" that come with the territory. Sowz places a priority on interacting with his chat, often encouraging conversation and debate. Sowz still maintains a full-time job out in the real world, but has a countdown timer on his page so that his fans know exactly when he will log on next.

    Affinity

    If you followed World of Warcraft's hardcore raiding scene some years ago, you probably already recognize Affinity. The streamer was once part of the super hardcore Blood Legion guild, regularly pushing for World Firsts with every new content patch. Today, things are a bit more casual for Affinity in Azeroth. He plays other games too, like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. This former raider just recently decided to go full-time on Twitch and seems to be making the most of it, putting in 8 hours or more each day like clockwork.

    Mackenseize

    You'll realize just how clever "Mackenseize" is as a nickname once you read the paragraph about epilepsy in her bio. The streamer was diagnosed with a seizure disorder as a teenager but has managed to make a full-time career out of Twitch, calling it the "opportunity of a lifetime." While the rare on-camera seizure can be scary for her fans, Mackenseize has always managed to push through, streaming a wide variety of games to her passionate community while also working with the Epilepsy Foundation to raise awareness of this "invisible disability."

    TheMexicanRunner

    TheMexicanRunner is a hardcore speedrunner with an affinity for classic games. He's currently working through "NESMania," a quest he created to defeat every single officially licensed game from original Nintendo Entertainment System. When he's not getting his retro on or making an appearance at Awesome Games Done Quick, you can see him playing more modern titles like Cuphead.

    SimCopter1

    SimCopter1's Twitch story is a case of just being in the right place at the right time. He says he got started in 2014 after an internship ended and suddenly found himself a Twitch Partner within just a few weeks after his initial streams managed to luck into some crazy viewership numbers. He's since grown his follower count to north of 50,000 while playing a wide range of PC games like FTL and Stardew Valley.

    KatContii

    Kat is one the many streamers who have been riding the PUBG train in recent months and her positive attitude is often a breath of fresh air within a community that is sometimes known for its toxicity. She often teams up with other female streamers before heading into battle. Her "Girl Squad Friday" stream is a popular recurring event.

    Aurateur

    If you're looking for a new Nintendo streamer to add to your list, you should start by taking a look at Aurateur's amazing skills at Super Mario Maker. He also regularly streams Mario Kart 8 and other Nintendo titles, such as Zelda and Pokemon. It's not all Nintendo all the time though, as Aurateur is also known to kick back and have some fun with his viewers with a game of Jackbox from time to time.

    CohhCarnage

    If you're a big fan of Persona 5 or trying to learn more about Kingdom Come: Deliverance before jumping in, CohhCarnage has been our favorite streamer in both respects. With more than 77 million total views, what entices gamers to tune in is the down-to-Earth nature of his streams. Here's someone who just enjoys playing games.

    Linkus7

    As the username implies, you're likely to get a large dose of Link and Zelda in Linkus7's channel. This young streamer prefers to speed run most of his adventures in Hyrule, and he's not shy about jumping around to multiple different games throughout the franchise's storied history. When he's not off defeating Ganon, you can also find him trying to be the fastest gamer alive in a variety of Mario games.

    AdamKoebel

    Adam first made a name for himself in the gaming industry as the co-designer of Dungeon World, and his streams often feature a heavy dose of Dungeons & Dragons chat. He'll sometimes just log on to play the latest big release though, always interacting with his chat while maintaining a chill vibe.


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    Everything you need to know about Gears 5, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jun 21, 2018

    Gears 5 is coming to Xbox One with its most intense story yet. The game centers on Kait Diaz, a supporting character in the last installment. She takes center stage as she embarks on a new adventure deep into Swarm territory. At her side is Del as well as series mainstay Marcus Fenix. 

    The last game ended on a cliffhanger, leaving plenty of room for a sequel to continue to explore the adventures of J.D., Kait, Del, and Marcus. Interestingly enough, J.D. is doesn't seem to have much of a role in the debut trailer. Perhaps he'll have a side story with his dad? 

    If you're wondering why we're not calling the game Gears of War 5, it's because the "of War" has been officially dropped by The Coalition for this installment. It was confirmed by The Coalition head Rob Fergusson in a tweet, explaining that it made sense to shorten the title now that the Gears of War franchise has multiple products on the way, including the Gears Pop mobile game and Gears Tactics for PC

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Gears 5 Trailer

    The first trailer for Gears 5 has arrived. Check out the trailer below:

    Gears 5 Release Date

    Gears of War 5 is coming in 2019. It's coming to Xbox One and PC.


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    Call of Duty's United Front DLC will take players to some of the most infamous battlefields of the war.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 21, 2018

    The next Call of Duty: WWII DLC Pack will take players to Stalingrad and some of WWII's other major battlefields. 

    When the United Front DLC is made available first for PS4 on June 26th, it will add multiplayer maps to the game based on the battles of Stalingrad, Market Garden, and Monte Cassino. The Stalingrad map looks like it might be the star of the show. This map looks to recreate the area that hosted one of the largest battles in WWII. In-game, it's highlighted by two bases located on opposite ends of the chaotic city. 

    The Market Garden map, meanwhile, sees players battle in the Netherlands while the larger war wages around them. Finally, Monte Cassino takes you to an Italian village at the foot of a mountain that has certainly seen better days. 

    The next DLC release isn't all multiplayer maps, though. It will also introduce a new War Mode mission called Operation Supercharge. This mission is based on the Second Battle of El Alamein which marked an important turning point for the war efforts in Italy. The Allied team will be required to airdrop into Tunisia and make their way through a Nazi-occupied village. Before the battle is over, you'll need to blow up a bridge and capture some Axis fortifications. 

    Nazi Zombie fans will be happy to know that this DLC will introduce a new campaign that features four new heroes who are tasked with defending the final pieces of Emperor Barbarossa's sword. The campaign will take place across three unidentified locations. 

    Overall, United Front looks to offer quite a bit of content. In any case, it should hold Call of Duty fans over until the unnamed fourth and final DLC pack for the game releases sometime later this year. 


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    Do you miss the Burnout series? Danger Zone 2 and Dangerous Driving might just fill the void.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 21, 2018

    Three Fields Entertainment, a studio helmed by Fiona Sperry and Alex Ward (two of the founders of Criterion Games), has announced two new games that will likely please fans of the Burnout series. 

    The first, Danger Zone 2, is a sequel to the 2017 game, Danger Zone. For those unfamiliar with the original game, Danger Zone is basically an expansion of the crash mode featured in classic Burnout titles. Much like the original versions of that mode, Danger Zone asks players to create the biggest crashes possible using a variety of power-ups and good old-fashioned vehicle-on-vehicle carnage. 

    This upcoming sequel looks to retain the core carnage of the original game, but it will expand upon the basic gameplay of the 2017 title with all the usual sequel niceties. That means more vehicles, more ways to maneuver your vehicle into devastating scenarios, and all kinds of new crash possibilities. One fascinating feature this sequel brings to the table is the addition of many locations based on real-life roads. said roads include the highways, freeways, and autovias of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. All told, there are 26 single-player levels that take place across 17 locations. 

    Danger Zone 2 is expected to be released in July for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. 

    The studio's other game, Dangerous Driving, is a bit different. It's more of a traditional course-based racing game that feels like more of a spiritual successor to more of the things that the Burnout series was trying to achieve. That means that races will be complemented by boosting, takedowns, and those famous Burnout-style crashes. Three Fields'Alex Ward describes it as a return to the kind of arcade racing games that he is "most passionate about."

    Dangerous Driving is set to be released sometime during the winter for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, but there's no exact release date available for the game at this time. We should know more about it later this week. 


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    There are plenty of great games coming out in 2018! Here are the 25 best games you have to play this year...

    Feature Den of Geek Staff
    Jun 21, 2018

    While the jury is still out on whether 2018 is as great a year as 2017 in terms quality video game releases, it definitely is one of the most fascinating years in gaming history. 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 it through a full life cycle this time. 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 this year, even it's just a release window, and have chosen the ones we think you need to keep 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 focus on completing an elaborate prison break, later levels 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.

    Buy A Way Out

    Assassin's Creed Odyssey

    October 5 | Ubisoft | XBO, PS4, PC

    We may be back to yearly Assassin's Creed installments. Just a year after AC Origins put the time-traveling action-adventure series back on the map, the franchise is going to ancient Greece. There's an even bigger emphasis on RPG elements this time around. Assassin's Creed Odyssey will introduce branching quest lines, dialogue trees, and even multiple endings. Players will even be able to choose whether to fight for Athens or Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.

    While it would be easy to call AC Odyssey more of the same, the demo we played at E3 2018 showed a refined experience. The game has taken everything you loved about Originsand improved it, from the combat system to the role-playing elements. Oh, and there's a Spartan Kick ability that'll make you feel like Gerard Butler, so...

    Buy Assassin's Creed Odyssey

    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

    TBA | Inti Creates, ArtPlay, & DICO | XBO, PS4, PC, Switch, Vita

    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. 

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

    October 12 | Treyarch | XBO, PS4, PC

    Any other year, we'd probably be saying that the new Call of Duty game is more of the same, but things are a bit different with Black Ops 4. There's a lot of new in this year's installment, including a brand new Zombies campaign that pits four time-traveling warriors against supernatural forces. You'll be able to travel to ancient Rome for the zombie-filled gladiator games or fight off the horde on the Titanic. And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

    This year's edition will also feature a battle royale mode and is making a few changes to its traditional multiplayer mode. Black Ops 4 is shifting its approach to multiplayer, which will lean a bit closer to a hero shooter experience like Overwatch. We played the multiplayer at E3 and were impressed with it!

    Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

    Code Vein

    September 27 | 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

    May 25 | Quantic Dream | PS4 | Review

    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 latest game, Detroit: Become Human, is a wonderful new addition to his list of trademark interactive experiences.

    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 distinguishes itself from its inspirations through a branching narrative and its more thorough look at both sides of this conflict. This is a truly special title

    Buy Detroit: Become Human

    Dragon Ball FighterZ

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

    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 wasn't developed 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 a fantastic fighting title that emphasizes the insanity of the anime's epic encounters.

    Buy Dragon Ball FighterZ

    Fallout 76

    November 14 | Bethesda Game Studios | XBO, PS4, PC

    Bethesda is mixing things up with the next Fallout game. Unlike the epic single-player installment of the past, Fallout 76 is an online multiplayer title that takes place mere decades after the nuclear war that left the planet a scorched wasteland. With a focus on combat and base-building, players will have to interact with each other and work together to rebuild society into the strange communities we've visited in past games. 

    Like other survival RPGs, your best bet is to team up with other players to build bases and grow in strength. But beware, there will be other survivors who will want to take you down, whether it be by assaulting your base or...blowing it up with a nuclear weapon!

    Buy Fallout 76

    Far Cry 5

    March 27 | Ubisoft Montreal | XBO, PS4, PC | Review

    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

    April 20 | Santa Monica Studio | PS4 | Review

    The thing that has always separated masterpieces from great games is the feeling they inspire. Granted, that’s not a fair metric, but when you play a game that is truly special, you just know it. It goes beyond logic, classification, and even reason.

    Well, God of War is a masterpiece, even if it’s a game that sometimes feels like its sacrificing tangible greatness for the chance to inspire a feeling. Play God of War from its incredible opening to its emotional conclusion and you’ll soon find that it’s incredibly difficult to talk about the things that make this game’s story so special without potentially ruining it for others. Perhaps the same can be said of many other games, but God of War is special in the way that it slowly unfolds the layers of its story through moments that are large in the grand tradition of epic God of War adventures and small in ways that we’ve never seen from this series.

    Buy God of War

    Hitman 2

    November 13 | IO Interactive | XBO, PS4, PC

    IO Interactive's episodic reboot of the Hitman series was a big surprise. A departure from the more linear Hitman Absolution, Hitman went back to open-ended levels and the plethora of ways to kill your target that made the early installments so popular. It was a shame, then, when Square Enix decided to drop IO from its lineup of first-party studios and put the future of the Hitman series in limbo. 

    Luckily, WB Games has come to the rescue for Hitman 2, a more traditional release that will feature tons more levels and targets for Agent 47 to take down however he sees fit. We played this one at E3 and got to snipe a race car driver while wearing a flamingo suit!

    Buy Hitman 2

    Marvel’s Spider-Man

    September 7 | 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

    Mega Man 11

    October 2 | Capcom | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

    The most recent numerical Mega Man games were actually just retro - NES - Mega Man titles improved by some modern design sensibilities. While those games were amazing, they're not quite what we wanted. No, what we really crave is a Mega Man game that retains the spirit of those classic titles, but ultimately feels like a new experience. 

    Mega Man 11 looks to deliver something eerily similar to that ideal experience. Its re-imagined art style triggers bad memories of Mighty No. 9, but the footage of the game revealed thus far suggests that Capcom is serious about bringing classic Mega Man gameplay into the modern age. There's always going to be room on our digital shelves for a well-made 2D action title, and Mega Man 11 figures to be just that. 

    Buy Mega Man 11

    Monster Hunter: World

    January 26 | Capcom | PS4, XBO, PC | Review

    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 of 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 is the largest Monster Hunter game yet as well as the most ambitious from a sheer technological perspective. It's also a lot of fun!

    Buy Monster Hunter: World

    Overcooked 2

    August 7 | Ghost Town Games | XBO, PS4, Switch, PC

    We absolutely loved the first Overcooked. It's fast-paced multiplayer levels that pits players against hungry and demanding customers make Overcooked an instant indie classic that's not to be missed, especially if you have friends who appreciate an excellent couch co-op game. 

    While Overcooked 2might be more of the same, the saying totally applies here: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The sequel promises more recipes and diabolical obstacle courses, which is all we really need. Overcooked 2 should definitely be on your list!

    Buy Overcooked 2

    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

    April 3 | Obsidian Entertainment | PC

    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, Obsidian fixes the few design flaws that prevented Pillars of Eternity from being everything that it could be. The controls are smoother, the story is deeper, and its world is a rich and lively tapestry of cultures and personalities. This is an Obsidian sequel worth checking out!

    Buy Pillars of Eternity II

    Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee

    November 16 | Game Freak | Switch

    Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee is a bit of a hybrid title that combines all of the things you love about the classic handheld Pokemon games and the mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go. It also brings things back to basics with an emphasis on catching Pokemon and battling trainers. All 151 Generation 1 Pokemon will be available at launch, so you won't need to get both versions to catch em all.

    The game is also fully interactive with Pokemon Go, which means that you can transfer Pokemon you've caught in the mobile game to the Let's Go games. And with the Poke Ball Plus peripheral, which allows you to control your avatar with one hand, the experience is more streamlined than ever before. 

    Buy Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee

    Red Dead Redemption 2

    October 26 | 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

    Shadow of the Colossus

    February 6 | Bluepoint | PS4 | Review

    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

    Shadow of the Tomb Raider

    September 14 | Eidos Montreal | XBO, PS4, PC

    Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the climactic chapter of Lara Croft's Origins trilogy. This time around, you get to play as a seasoned Lara, who's become the fierce explorer she was always destined to be. This means she has a whole new bag of tricks, including the ability to instill fear in her enemies by stealthily hunting them down one by one, and she can even use camouflage to make herself virtually invisible. 

    The story takes Lara to South America, to the old Mayan ruins, as she searches for an ancient relic. But when she discovers that the evil organization Trinity is also chasing the artifact, Lara must rac to get to it first. This is a cinematic experience you won't want to miss. 

    Buy Shadow of the Tomb Raider

    SoulCalibur VI

    October 19 | Project Soul | PS4, Xbox One, PC

    It's "only" been about six years since the release of the last major SoulCalibur game, but it somehow feels like the wait has been even longer than that. Perhaps that's because it's been a little while since we last received a SoulCalibur game that feels like it captured the spirit of the fighter at its best. Recent SoulCalibur titles have been fine, but the magic hasn't quite been there. 

    This latest entrant into the franchise looks to restore that magic by returning to the series' staples. Frantic weapon-based gameplay, a diverse cast of memorable characters, and a variety of modes all figure to make a glorious return in this fighter that may very well inspire fans old and new to pick up their favorite instruments of death and to battle once more. 

    Buy SoulCalibur VI

    State of Decay 2

    May 22 | Undead Labs | XBO, PC | Review

    State of Decay 2 is full of organic and memorable moments that will keep you invested in this zombie-infested world. The game might give you goals to complete, but everything from that point on, from how you get there to the enemies you’ll face, is up to you.

    Anyone who played the first State of Decay will be familiar with the basic gameplay here. Combat, driving, and looting haven't changed dramatically. Of note is how rare it is to encounter more than 3-4 zombies at once compared to the larger crowds of the first game. This is more like a good episode of The Walking Dead in terms of tone than a zombie slaughter-fest like Dead Rising 4.

    Buy State of Decay 2

    Super Mario Party

    October 5 | Nintendo | Switch

    What's not to love about a new Mario Party game? This time around, you can even play with friends on the go, as this installment takes advantage of the Switch's full mobile capabilities. Of course, you can still play this one in your living room. Still not impressed? Super Mario Party is the first installment to have an online multiplayer mode, which means you can challenge players from around the world in any of the game's 80 minigames. 

    This is the Switch party game we've been waiting for. With Mario Kart 8, Super Mario Party, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo's current console might become the best couch multiplayer platform ever!

    Buy Super Mario Party

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    December 7 | Nintendo | Switch

    Holy jumping Mario, Nintendo is already working on the Nintendo Switch's Super Smash Bros. title and are planning to release it in 2018! That announcement caught many fans off-guard as Smash Bros. figured that Nintendo might stick with Super Smash Bros. Wii U for a little while or even just port that game to the Switch. Instead, this is a fresh title for the Switch that features every character from past Smash Bros. games!

    We have no doubt that this Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be a great game - most Smash Bros. titles are - but we're really excited to see how this game will take advantage of the Switch's many features. 

    Buy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

    August 14| Blizzard | PC

    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. 

    Buy World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth


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    The creator of the Crackdown series and two of the studios who worked on Crackdown 3 have left the project.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 21, 2018

    Dave Jones, the creator of the Crackdown series, and developer Reagent Games are apparently no longer working on Crackdown 3

    This news comes from an interview that Matt Booty, head of Microsoft Studios, gave to Polygon in which he confirmed that Microsoft Studio is no longer working with Reagent Games or Dave Jones on the continuing development of the next Crackdown game. Instead, the studio is "just working with Sumo [Digital] right now."

    Believe it or not, this story gets even weirder and potentially worse for Crackdown 3. So far as anyone can tell, developer Reagent Games has quietly closed its doors long ago. Nobody from the company seems to be returning phone calls or emails, only a few people on social media still refer to themselves as employees of the company, and the studio's Twitter account hasn't posted anything since January of last year when it asked for software engineers to apply to work on Crackdown 3. Polygon reached out to one of the few people who still listed Reagent as an employer, and one person confirmed that they indeed no longer worked at the company. 

    If the seemingly silent shuttering of one of the lead developers of Crackdown 3 isn't worrying enough, there's also the matter of Cloudgine's involvement - or lack thereof - in the continuing development of Crackdown 3. Cloudgine and Reagent are separate companies, but they were both founded by Dave Jones. Cloudgine's technology was supposed to be the basis of Crackdown 3's amazing destruction physics, but comments from Microsoft have led some to believe that Microsoft and Sumo Digital are no longer working with that technology. Booty refused to directly comment on whether or not the Cloudgine technology is still being used in Crackdown 3

    This whole situation is bizarre and a bit worrisome. While Cloudgine was acquired by Epic, there was no indication at the time of that deal that the acquisition might affect the development of Crackdown 3. Now, nobody is entirely sure how much of the work that went into the game in recent years is still in the final product. It's possible that Crackdown 3 may have suffered a serious shift in design sometime during the development process. 

    Crackdown 3 is still scheduled to be released in February 2019. 


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    A new, free-to-start Pokemon game called Pokemon Quest is now available on the Nintendo Switch. Here's what you need to know about it!

    News John Saavedra
    Jun 22, 2018

    There's a lot of Pokemon coming your way. Back in May, Nintendo announced that both Let's Go Pikachi and Let's Go Eevee, the Switch's versions of the Pokemon Go mobile phenomenon, are coming later this year. There's also a new, core Pokemon RPG coming to the Switch in 2019

    But if you're hankering for a new Pokemon experience right now, Nintendo has also just released Pokemon Quest, a RPG from Game Freak, the series' main developer. The game is now available to download on the Switch and is coming to iOS and Android devices on June 27. 

    Here's the announcement trailer:

    The game takes place on Tumblecube Island and features "Pokexels," blocky versions of your favorite pocket monsters. For now, only first generation Pokemon are featured in the game.

    At its core, the game centers around battles and leveling up your Pokemon, not unlike the handheld RPGs. The only difference is that trainers don't have direct control of their Pokemon. They move freely around Tumblecube and will also battle on their own unless you tap the touch screen to make them perform certain moves. Gone is the turn-based combat as well, replaced by an attack meter that depletes as your Pokemon fights. 

    There's also a base building mechanic that allows you to attract new Pokemon to your team by cooking recipes that can be used as bait. (Cooking yellow curry attracts yellow Pokemon.) Trainers can then pick a team of three Pokemon to take into battle in the wild. 

    “Players will be able to personalize their Pokemon and develop a strong bond with their Pokemon friends while battling their way through the adventure,” said Shigeru Ohmori, director at Game Freak.

    You can personalize your Pokemon by finding Power Stones on the map that grant them special stats. There are also other treasures to find.

    While Pokemon Quest is free at its core, there are microtransactions for players interested in buying additional perks and helpful items. The content packs range from $4.99 to $17.99. 

    Here's a breakdown of the content packs, courtesy of Polygon...

    Expedition Pack - $4.99

    - Cooking pot: Increases the number of dishes you can cook at the same time by one.
    - Poké Ball Model: Increases the number of PM Tickets received as a service for members by 20.
    - Perfect Pair Statue: Increases the maximum battery charges by one.

    This DLC also includes the following one-time bonuses:

    - PM Tickets +100
    - Lv. 1 Nidoran♀ with a special move
    - Lv. 1 Nidoran♂ with a special move

    Great Expedition Pack - $9.99

    - Cooking pot: Increases the number of dishes you can cook at the same time by one.
    - Great Ball Model: Increases the number of PM Tickets received as a service for members by 30.
    - Eevee Arch: Increases the maximum battery charges by one.
    - Lapras Pool : Doubles the chances of attracting multiple Pokémon with your cooking.

    This DLC also includes the following one-time bonuses:

    - PM Tickets +100
    - Lv. 1 Lapras with a special move

    Ultra Expedition Pack - $17.99

    - Cooking pot: Increases the number of dishes you can cook at the same time by one.
    - Ultra Ball Model: Increases the number of PM Tickets received as a service for members by 40.
    - Pikachu Arch: Increases the maximum battery charges by one.
    - Gengar Balloon: Doubles the drop rate of all ingredients.
    - Snorlax Lounger: Doubles the Exp. received from expeditions.

    This DLC also includes the following one-time bonuses:

    - PM Tickets +100
    - Lv. 1 Snorlax with a special move


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    2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for gamers. Here are the best video games that you need to know about.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 22, 2018

    Get ready, because 2019 is shaping up to be a special year for video games. While it's always possible for a year to take us by surprise in regards to how great it is for gaming or how bad it ends up being, you can generally tell when you're going to have a marquee year.

    In the case of the formidable 2019, we get the feeling that it might be the last full year of the current console generation. Considering that the final years of consoles are often their best, there's plenty of reason to believe that 2019 is going to be the final, victorious bow for this generation's best developers. 

    Besides, a quick look at the best video games coming out in 2019 reveals a variety of titles that rank near the top of our most-anticipated games. From beloved RPG developers branching out into online shooters to the return of one of the greatest horror games ever made, 2019 is loaded with the kind of games that make you grateful to be a gamer. 

    First, though, we must share a brief explanation of our choices. While we're just as excited as you are about games like Ghosts of Tsushima, Cyberpunk 2077, Halo Infinite, and The Last of Us Part 2 -- and fully believe that they will rank amongst the year's best video games -- there is currently no confirmation that those games will be released in 2019. As such, we are limiting this list to games that are currently scheduled for a 2019 release date. 

    With that out of the way, let's take a look at the best video games of 2019:

    Anthem

    February 22 | BioWare | PS4, XBO, Windows

    BioWare’s Anthem is the studio’s most talked about game in years, even if it’s not always being talked about for the reasons that BioWare and EA would like. Questions of microtransactions and originality still surround this title a year after it was first announced. 

    Yes,Anthem is certainly a departure for the house that RPGs built, but everything that developer BioWare has shown of this Destiny-like online experience suggests that this online multiplayer experience is exactly what they needed to get back on track. Can this online shooter learn from the mistakes of its predecessors and deliver the ultimate sci-fi shared world experience?

    Buy Anthem


    Battletoads

    TBA | Rare | XBO

    We were starting to think that we’d never get another Battletoads game given that it’s been over 20 years since we’ve last received a proper Battletoads title, but Rare is returning to the franchise that most people remember as one of the hardest games on the NES.

    This new Battletoads might feature a slightly different art style and other modern improvements, but we fully expect it to be largely familiar to fans who have been waiting years for another co-op brawler from this beloved, and undeniably bizarre, series.

    Buy Battletoads


    Crackdown 3

    February | Reagent Games, Sumo Digital, Ruffian Games, Cloudgine | XBO, PC

    It's been almost eight years since we last heard from the Crackdown series. There was a time when Microsoft's hidden gem open-world title provided a breath of fresh air to the subgenre. Its outlandish, superhero-like gameplay afforded players the chance to just go wild in a metro setting. The open-world genre -- and the world at large -- has changed quite a bit, though.

    In order for Crackdown 3 to make the same impact that Crackdown protagonists make when they jump off the city's highest buildings and crash onto the streets below, it's going to have to invoke the casual gameplay of the first two Crackdown games while finding a way to advance the game's style just enough to make us feel that old joy of galivanting around a superhero sandbox.

    Buy Crackdown 3


    Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course

    February | Studio MDHR | XBO, Windows

    We’d have a hard time arguing with anyone who calls Cuphead the Xbox One’s best exclusive title. Studio MDHR may have had to delay the game a few times, but the final product proved to be a gorgeous nod to both the era of 2D action titles and those classic animated adventures of the ‘30s and ‘40s.

    We won’t have to wait nearly as long for our next taste of Cuphead. The Delicious Last Course may end up being the only Cuphead DLC release, but this massive second helping of Cuphead action should be enough to satisfy fans of the base game. With an entire new island to explore and more incredible bosses to fight, The Delicious Last Course should prove to be a must-have.

    Buy Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course


    Days Gone

    February 22 | SIE Bend Studio | PS4

    Days Gone remains the anomaly of what could be the PlayStation’s 4 final lineup of exclusive games. This post-apocalyptic open-world game has been shown at several Sony events in the past, but delays have pushed the game into the realm of doubt in the minds of some Sony fans.

    Despite those delays, Days Gone remains a promising experience. The star of this game seems to be its truly hostile open-world, which features all manner of monsters and men trying to end your already troubled existence. Days Gone may have slipped from the 2018 release schedule, but don’t let it fall off your radar.

    Buy Days Gone

    Devil May Cry 5

    TBA | Capcom | PS4, XBO, Windows

    The Devil May Cry series is generally regarded as one of the godfathers of the 3D action genre, but it’s been quite some time since we’ve gotten a new game from the franchise. Even Ninja Theory’s brilliant re-imagining of the Devil May Cry concept wasn’t enough to satisfy the series’ hardcore fans.

    Devil May Cry marks the franchise’s return to Capcom and, hopefully, a return to form for a series that was once known for its brutal difficulty and absurd cinematic set pieces. The action genre has evolved quite a bit since Capcom last delivered a proper Devil May Crygame, but we have the feeling this franchise is ready to reclaim the genre throne.

    Gears 5

    TBA | Coalition | XBO, Windows

    Gears of War 4 was a fascinating turning point for the Xbox exclusive franchise. While the game retread the same pure shooter grounds that its predecessors once walked, it also planted seeds for a deeper, more personal story than we’re used to seeing from Gears of War games.

    Gears 5 looks to continue the advancements of the previous title by focusing on a much more intimate story about a band of soldiers trying to complete a mission of revenge and redemption. This game will likely be one of the Xbox One’s final major exclusives, and it could embody the same hope for the future that Microsoft and the Xbox brand have.

    Buy Gears 5


    Kingdom Hearts III

    January 25 | 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 it 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 Storyinto 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

    Metro Exodus

    TBA | 4A Games | PS4, XBO, Windows

    Those who have played the Metroseries know that it is one of the most atmospheric and clever first-person shooter franchises of the modern era. The problem is that it always feels like not enough people have actually played these incredible games.

    Metro Exodus wants to expand the notoriety of these cult classic games by expanding the Metro world itself. While Metro Exodus isn’t exactly an open-world game, this upcoming shooter will expand the scope of the Metro concept by delivering the largest and most intriguing take on the series' fascinating look at the end of the world.

    Buy Metro Exodus

    Nioh 2

    TBA | Team Ninja | PS4

    Nioh proved to be one of the most surprising games of 2017. Many worried that the beleaguered Team Ninja was foolishly trying to capitalize on the popularity of Dark Souls and would end up delivering a copycat that took years to make. What we got instead was a confident action-adventure RPG that stood tall on its own merits.

    While we doubt that Nioh 2 will try to reinvent the original, we’ll gladly settle for more of the game’s compelling mythical world, fluid action, and fascinating weapons system. Nioh 2 may not surprise as many people as the original, but it should be just as great as the 2017 sleeper hit.

    Buy Nioh 2

    Rage 2

    June | Avalanche Studios, id Software | PS4, XBO, Windows

    We’d be lying if we told you that we spent sleepless hours hoping for the announcement of a new Rage game. The original Rage was a largely forgettable game that capitalized on a largely forgettable era of shooters. It wasn’t the kind of game that people build fan conventions around.

    Rage 2, though, is shaping up to be one of the surprising sequels in recent memory. Granted, that’s because its mere existence is somewhat surprising, but everything we’ve seen of the game thus far suggests that Rage 2 will combine the best of several popular action games to produce something that’s ultimately kind of special.

    Buy Rage 2

    Resident Evil 2 Remake

    January 25 | Capcom | PS4, XBO, Windows

    Rumors of a remake of Resident Evil 2 date back to the release of the Resident Evil remake for GameCube. In fact, we’ve heard about this game for so long without actually seeing it that we forgive anyone who started to feel like there was no chance this remake would ever actually be released.

    Against all odds, though, Resident Evil 2 Remake’s debut at E3 2018 managed to meet just about every expectation that we’ve assigned to the project over the years. This 2019 title is a true love letter to the horror classic.

    Buy Resident 2 Remake

    Session

    TBA | Crea-ture Studios | Windows, XBO

    Fans of skateboarding games -- or extreme sports games in general -- haven’t exactly had a lot to be thankful for in recent years. The decline of the mainstream appeal of extreme sports has also led to a decline in the amount of quality extreme sports games on the market.

    That’s a big part of the reason why Session has captured the imagination of many. This modern-day skateboarding game seeks to revive the dual-analog controls of the Skate series while introducing an expanded video capture system that encourages you to raise your notoriety by sharing your best moves with the world.

    Shenmue III

    TBA | YS Net, Neilo | PS4, PC

    When we first heard that Shenmue was finally receiving the third installment that most gamers thought would never happen...well, there may have been some entirely unprofessional giddy cheers. In the years that have followed that reveal, we've unfortunately not been treated to many 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 many gamers. With any luck, Shenmue III will be the epic tale of kung-fu revenge and bizarre minigames that we've been waiting for.

    Skull and Bones

    TBA | Blue Byte, Ubisoft Chengdu, Ubisoft Singapore | PS4, XBO, PC

    Sea of Thieves gave us a taste of sharing the pirate life with our friends, but it ultimately left us feeling like there were better adventures somewhere out on the high seas. Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones offers an interesting alternative to Rare’s playful pirate adventure.

    If you blend the online elements of Destiny with the pirate lifestyle seen in Black Flag, you’ll get a taste of what Skull and Bones aims to offer. Can it live up to the promise of its pedigree, or will this be another pirate video game that walks the plank after just a few weeks?

    Buy Skull and Bones


    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

    TBA | Respawn | PS4, XBO, PC

    Here’s what we know about Jedi Fallen Order. It’s being developed by Respawn (the fine folks responsible for the Titanfallseries), it will take place between Star Wars Episode III and IV, and it is currently set to be released in 2019.

    You might say that’s not enough information to form any kind of opinion on this project, but in a world that is maddeningly devoid of quality Star Wars games, Jedi: Fallen Order has enough going for it to give us hope that this game might actually deliver the kind of Star Wars experience we so desperately crave.

    Buy Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order


    Tom Clancy's The Division 2

    March 15 | Massive Entertainment, Red Storm Entertainment, MORE | PS4, XBO, PC

    The original Divisionwas a fascinating online game that came along and briefly captured the imaginations of millions before being buried under some bad design decisions and a frustrating lack of updates. The team behind The Division 2 is well-aware of the original game’s shortcomings. As such, the developers have set out to ensure that this sequel will be bigger, story-driven, and more accommodating to groups of players. Will those changes be enough for The Division 2 to fulfill the original's full potential?

    Buy Tom Clancy's The Division 2 


    Trials Rising

    February | Ubisoft, RedLynx | PS4, XBO, PC, Nintendo Switch

    The Trials franchise is one of those strange series that either leaves no impression on those who play it or instantly converts them into diehard fans. There’s very little middle-ground for this trial-and-error franchise.

    Trials Rising is shaping up to be the first Trials game that openly recognizes that divide. For those who did not fall in love with previous Trials games, Rising offers a tutorial system designed to help you understand how this intentionally frustrating game works. Meanwhile, long-time fans will benefit from the input that some of Trials’ most diehard players shared with the developers when they were designing the game’s courses.

    Buy Trials Rising


    Wolfenstein: Youngblood

    TBA | MachineGames | PS4, XBO, PC

    Wolfenstein II was one of those games that we couldn’t help but fall in love with. Despite its flaws, the game’s story, characters, and outlandish scenarios elevated it to a level that many FPS games can only hope to reach.

    While Youngblood isn’t the direct sequel to Wolfenstein II that we’re waiting for, it is an interesting spin-off that adds co-op action to the incredible alternate history universe of the rebooted Wolfenstein series. We’ll gladly bring a friend along for another trip through developer MachineGames’ epic series.

    Buy Wolfenstein: Youngblood


    Yoshi Switch

    TBA | Good-Feel | Nintendo Switch

    The list of things we don’t know about Yoshiis 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 that this upcoming Yoshi title intends to replicate many of the qualities that made Woolly 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 Switch


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    Epic is aware that shotguns and buildings rule Fortnite, and they're ready to change that.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 22, 2018

    Epic is concerned that Fortnite games are just boiling down to "just build lol," and they're prepared to make some pretty drastic changes to the game to do something about it. 

    In a post on the Fortnite blog, Epic addressed some aspects of the Fortnite metagame that have become a bit of a running joke. Namely, the company echoed the concerns of many Fortnite players that most Fortnite games ultimately boil down to two players trying to build the biggest fort possible while exchanging shotgun and rocket blasts. In order to combat those repetitive strategies, Epic is considering a series of nerfs and even the possibility of reducing the impact of crafting. 

    "Currently, the superiority of shotguns, rockets, and uncapped building are such a dominant play style in the final circle that most other strategies are being drowned out," said Epic. "We have made a few changes recently -- and will continue to make more -- to give you options to counter other players in combat, especially in the late game. We are exploring changes to weapon balance and resource economy, like e.g. resource caps."

    Epic's goal with these potential changes is to ensure players are able to "find Victory Royales through multiple strategies," instead of just being the player who builds the biggest walls and has the most shotgun ammo. 

    The idea of resource caps in Fortnite sounds like an easy solution to the annoyance of watching players build a fort to the sky in order to win the majority of matches, but not every Fortniteplayer is thrilled by the idea. One of the elements that separate Fortnitefrom its battle royale competitors is its extensive crafting system and the metagame of trying to build as you shoot. A significant cap on available resources could hinder the impact of that genre innovation. 

    Hopefully, Epic will reveal more information about their proposed changes soon. 


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    The first season of The Witcher might be shorter than anticipated, but the show's writer claims that's not a bad thing.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 22, 2018

    Netflix has begun production of a series based on author Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher books. The upcoming Netflix series is not directly related to the CD Projekt Red video game franchise aside from the similarities that the two will naturally share. 

    That fact adds a slightly humorous twist to this announcement when you consider that Sapkowski recently spoke out against the artistic merit of the Witcher game saga by calling into question the medium's ability to properly tell such a grand story. Before that, Sapkowski also admitted that he chose not to take a percentage for the adaptation rights, which he later came to regret when the series went on to gross over a billion dollars. 

    Apparently, the author has worked out a much better deal for the Netflix series, as he spoke quite fondly about the upcoming adaptation in the official press release

    "I'm thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of my stories," said Sapkowski. "...staying true to the source material and themes that I have spent over 30 years writing. I'm excited about our efforts together as well as the team assembled to shepherd these characters to life."

    While The Witcher games do take some liberties with the source material, this series should feature quite a few familiar faces and storylines. We should know much more once the cast is in place.

    Here's everything we know about The Witcher TV series thus far:

    The Witcher Release Date

    The WitcherTV series could hit the air as early as 2020, according to showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich:

    The Witcher Story

    Here's the synopsis from Netflix:

    "The witcher, Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts."

    The Witcher Episodes

    Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher will reportedly start with an eight-episode first season. Lauren S. Hissrich, a writer working on the adaptation, confirmed the eight-episode first season on Twitter while addressing concerns that eight episodes aren't enough. Hissrich states that the smaller season allows the team to produce "tight, action-packed" episodes that are free of lagging story moments. She also states that the decision is not representative of any lack of faith in the series or any other financial concerns. 

    The episodes will each be about an hour long - though Hissrich claims there might be a little variation in each episode's runtime - and that the show is being filmed in Eastern Europe. However, it seems that most of the episodes haven't been formally written as of yet and exist only as ideas. 

    The Witcher Crew

    To run the series, Netflix has brought on Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, writer and executive producer for other successful Netflix properties Daredevil and The Defenders. Hissrich joins the previously announced producing team of Sean Daniel (The Mummy) and Jason Brown (The Expanse).

    Tomek Baginski, the man who directed the cinematics for the Witcher games, will also be involved with the project.


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    Did the Westworld development team copy and paste Fallout Shelter's code?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 22, 2018

    Bethesda is reportedly suing Warner Bros. over allegations that the developers of the Westworld mobile game is based on code stolen from Fallout Shelter

    This information comes from TMZ who claim that they have received documents that confirm that Bethesda is not only suing for a share of the Westworld mobile game's profits but have requested that Warner Bros. remove the recently released Westworld mobile game - it just launched for iOS and Android yesterday - from the market. 

    You might think that this whole thing is just a simple matter of Bethesda being upset that someone released a pretty shameless rip-off of Fallout Shelter that features Westworld characters instead of assets from the Fallout universe. However, it seems that Behaviour Interactive (the studio that developed the Westworld mobile game) was previously contracted by Bethesda to work on Fallout Shelter. Bethesda believes that Behaviour essentially copied an pasted the code that they used for Fallout Shelter. 

    That's a serious allegation that goes well-beyond two games being relatively similar. If you're wondering how Bethesda discovered that Behaviour used the same code for Westworld that they used on Fallout Shelter - besides the many, many gameplay and visual similarities between the two titles - it appears that Bethesda spotted several bugs in the Westworld game that were also present in the early code for Fallout Shelter. Anyone who has successfully copied their friend's homework in the third grade is surely shaking their head in furious curiosity over how such an obvious mistake could be made. 

    At this time, Warner Bros., Behaviour, and Bethesda have not issued official comments regarding this lawsuit. If it is proven that the Westworld game uses copied code, though, then the best that Warner and Behaviour can hope for is that the Westworld mobile game is simply pulled from digital marketplaces. 

    We'll bring you more information on this matter as it becomes available. 


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