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    Kingdom Hearts 3 looks to live up to an incredible legacy. Here is everything we know about the game!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    The highly anticipated third installment in the main Kingdom Hearts series has been in development since at least 2012. First announced at E3 2013, it's been a long journey for this Disney-Final Fantasy mashup. There's some indication from Square Enix that Kingdom Hearts III will finally see the light of day in 2018, but only time will tell!

    Until then, Square Enix hasn't been shy about slowly revealing some of the incredible Disney inspired worlds included in the upcoming game. From Toy Story to Monsters Inc., Kingdom Hearts 3 looks to explore nearly every aspect of the Disney universe while delivering an incredibly compelling RPG in the tradition of previous Kingdom Hearts adventures. 

    Here's everything we know about the game:

    Kingdom Hearts 3 News

    The PlayStation E3 2018 conference included a special preview of Kingdom Hearts 3 that focuses on the game's Pirates of the Carribean world. 

    Kingdom Hearts 3 Release Date 

    Kingdom Hearts 3 will arrive on Jan. 29, 2019. It's coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

    Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer

    This trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3 serves as a cinematic rundown of the stories and worlds that we've seen from the game thus far. Included is a brief look at a few new environments and what seems to be a glimpse at the sequel's basic plot. 

    The latest Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer showcases what is being referred to as Classic Kingdom. However, reports indicate that the Game and Watch footage included in the trailer doesn't pertain to an entire kingdom, but rather a collection of classic minigames featured throughout the adventure. 

    There's a new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer and it introduces the world of Monsters Inc. to the series. Check it out below:

    Additionally, Disney showed off a trailer that confirms a world based on the Toy Story films will make an appearance sometime during Kingdom Hearts 3's campaign. Characters like Woody and Buzz will also make an appearance as party heroes during your time in this new world. 

    Here are the rest of the trailers that have been released:

    This next trailer teases Rapunzel’s tower from Tangled and what looks like the streets of New Orleans from The Princess and the Frog:

    Finally, here's the very first trailer from E3 2013:

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    Insomniac's Spider-Man game is shaping up to be the best yet. Here's what we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    Insomniac's take on Spider-Man isn't just one of the PS4's biggest upcoming exclusive, it's one of the biggest titles in Marvel's new approach to game releases. Spider-Man will not be directly associated with the MCU or a particular film, but will instead tell a unique story of the studio's design. 

    Spider-Man will focus on young Peter Parker's battles against a still unconfirmed roster of classic comic book villains. As this game seems to take place relatively early into his superhero career, Parker will need to learn how to balance being the hero that NYC needs with the daily pressures of young adult life. 

    From what we've seen of Spider-Man thus far, we're expecting a high-octane superhero experience that doesn't skimp on the cinematic but also gives us the freedom we need to truly feel like we are Spider-Man. Call it a fantasy, but Insomniac looks to deliver on the seemingly impossible by gifting the world with a Spider-Man game that captures every aspect of this incredible character. 

    Here's everything we know about Spider-Man:

    Spider-Man PS4 News

    This new story trailer for SDCC 2018 gives us a much better idea of what Spider-Man's arching narrative will cover. While it stops short of spoiling the adventure too badly, it does confirm that Spider-Manis dealing with a city under siege by supervillains and citizens of the city who believe he is doing more harm than good. 

    Spider-Man's E3 2018 gameplay trailer sheds a little light on the game's full roster of villains. It ends with a tease of one Spider-Man foe that Insomniac isn't ready to show yet. 

    Spider-Man PS4 Release Date

    Spider-Man will be out on September 7, 2018. The game is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4.

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

    Spider-Man PS4 Trailer

    Insomniac has confirmed that you'll be able to wear various iconic Spider-Man outfits in their upcoming game. While we don't know the full roster of outfits Spider-Man can wear, this new trailer confirms that the Iron Spider armor that Spider-Man wears in Infinity War will be in the game. Furthermore, it seems that each Spider-Man suit will be upgradeable with custom powers. 

    Check out the announcement trailer!

    Game Informer had previously debuted an exclusive story about Insomniac's Spider-Man coming out and have released some new gameplay footage from the title to celebrate the occasion. 

    This footage reveals a great deal of Spider-Man's combat system and exploration mechanics. Spider-Man's combat will seemingly utilize a kind of multi-man system featured in titles like the Arkham games, but Spider-Man's gadgets and abilities will allow him to dispatch of the city's baddies with considerably more flair. Navigation is also bolstered by Spider-Man's inherent abilities. We don't get a full feel for how swinging around the city works, but it looks like players will be asked to target where their next navigational web is going. 

    Insomniac and Sony also showcased a trailer for Spider-Man at the Paris Games show. This preview focuses on Peter Parker's role in the story and expands the game's little mythology twists more than previous previews have done. 

    Another arrived for Insomniac's Spider-Man game at D23 2017. Check it out below:

    These trailers were preceded by the huge E3 2017 showing of the game which gave us our first good look at what we can expect from the most high-profile Marvel game in years. 

    Finally, have a look at the debut trailer that got the world buzzing about what happens when a great developer like Insomniac works on one of the most beloved comic book characters ever. 

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    Bayonetta 3 revives one of gaming's greatest action franchises. Here's what we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    Platinum Games are developing Bayonetta 3 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. The reveal trailer showcased during the 2017 Game Awards didn't show much more than same vague visual cues and the reveal of the official logo. As such, drawing any substantial information from it - such as its release date or plot details - is especially difficult and somewhat irresponsible at this early date. 

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

    Can Platinum do it again? Well, based on their history of meeting and surpassing expectations, we have a pretty good feeling that they'll find a way to live up their promises of delivering a game that raises the bar. 

    Here's everything we know about Bayonetta 3:

    Bayonetta 3 Release Date

    Bayonetta 3 doesn't have a release date at this time. The game is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.

    Bayonetta 3 Trailer

    Here's the first trailer for Bayonetta 3:

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    The strange Witchfire remains a potential sleeper hit. Here's what we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    The Astronauts, the team behind the exceptional The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, have revealed that their next project is a dark fantasy shooter called Witchfire

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

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

    Here's everything that we know about Witchfire

    Witchfire Release Date

    There's currently no release date available for Witchfire at this time.

    Witchfire Trailer

    The debut trailer for Witchfire showcases the game's dark atmosphere and enticing action. Will this game live up to the promise of is atmosphere, pedigree, and visuals?Take a look:

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    Red Dead Redemption 2 will help this console generation ride off into the sunset. Here's what we know about 2018's most-anticipated game:

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 31, 2018

    Red Dead Redemption 2 is the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van Der Linde gang as they rob, fight, and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive.

    The studio said of the game in a press release that Red Dead Redemption 2 is "an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game's vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience."

    Here's everything else we know:

    Red Dead Redemption 2 News

    Rockstar has revealed the special editions of Red Dead Redemption 2 that will be available on release day, and they include some exclusive content.

    Those that pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2 will unlock the War Horse and the Outlaw Survival Kit. If you digitally pre-order the game, you'll unlock bonus cash for the game's story mode and a treasure map that will reveal some of the hidden items in the game. 

    If you choose to splurge on the Special Edition, you will be able to access a special bank robbery mission, an additional gang hideout, a black thoroughbred horse, gameplay bonuses via wearable items, a cash bonus, a gunslinger outfit, and access to additional weapons. The Ultimate Edition comes with all of that plus more outfits, a survivor camp theme for the game's online mode, more weapons, and an online rank bonus. 

    If you're really feeling like dropping some coin, you can spend $99.99 on the Collector's Box and get a ton of physical goodies that include the box itself, cards, a catalog of in-game weapons, and six pins. There is also a reference to content that will be available first to PlayStation 4 owners, but Rockstar has not yet shared any details regarding that exclusive content. 

    However, you can find the full details of what you get with every edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 - and where to pre-order them - via this website.  

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay Preview

    The first demo of Red Dead Redemption 2's gameplay has been revealed. Click here to learn all about it!

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer

    This new Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer reveals a few new details about the story. Check it out below:

    You can check out the first two trailers below:

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Release Date

    Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released on October 26, 2018, according to a new post on the Rockstar Games website. That post also includes an apology for the game's late release, a few new screenshots, and the promise that more information is coming soon. 

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Story

    Here's the official synopsis of the game:

    America, 1899.

    The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed.

    After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Screenshots

    Rockstar has released new screenshots from the game. Check them out below:

    Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Version

    The good news is that publisher Take-Two thinks very highly of the PC market. The bad news is that they don't sound like they're preparing to port Red Dead Redemption 2 to PC when it releases next year. 

    During a recent investor's call, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff stated that "The great news is that the PC market is vibrant for us. It’s a great market for us. It’s a big market. It’s a core market in consumers that are highly engaged. It’s a predominantly digital market, which also removes friction in terms of ongoing engagement with a consumer. So, for us, the PC market as a company is very important and very exciting and something we focus on."

    That's the great news. The bad news is that Take-Two was directly asked about the possibility of Red Dead Redemption 2 coming to PC and CEO Strauss Zelnick responded by stating: "Any updates about any of our titles will come from our labels."

    That being the case, it's possible that Rockstar could decide to put the work in for a PC port, but it's doubtful that it will release alongside the game's console versions.

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    Artifcat sees Valve try to revolutionize the CCG genre. Here's everything we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    Few people expected Valve's next game to be a collectible card title based on the Dota 2 universe, but that's exactly what we have in Artifact

    Before you roll your eyes, though, you might want to use them to take a closer look at this game. Artifact isn't like any other CCG out there. Actually, it's kind of like a version of Dota 2 that you play with cards instead of with heroes and teammates. Artifact's implementation of Dota 2staples like lanes of battle, heroes, and in-game markets is made all the more fascinating by the fact that the title also boasts some traditional - albeit hardcore - CCG elements. Of course, that last part shouldn't be a surprise given that the game was at least partially designed by Magic: The Gathering creator, Richard Garfield. It will be fascinating to see what that creative team comes up with. 

    Here's everything that we know about Artifact

    Artifact Release Date

    Valve plans on releasing Artifact for Steam sometime before the end of 2018. They're also planning to release a version of the game for mobile devices sometime in 2019. 

    Artifact News

    PC Gamer has released a full breakdown of how Valve's Artifactcard game will work. It's a lot of information to take in, but here's what you need to know:

    Artifact has you build a deck of 40 cards that contains five heroes. The base game will include 280+ cards and 44 heroes. You can't have more than three of any type of non-hero card in your deck. 

    Gameplay sees you essentially play across three different boards designed to strategically resemble Dota 2's lanes. Each lane has its own mana pool, heroes, and a tower. Lose that tower, and a much stronger Ancient appears. If you manage to either kill an Ancient or if your opponent loses two towers, you win the game. 

    Complicating all of this is the presence of creeps in all lanes that heroes must battle as well as some truly in-depth mechanics that require you to manage the resources of all lanes using the same deck of cards. Fortunately, your resources are bolstered by the ability to earn gold whenever you destroy an opponent's cards and use that gold to buy items from the store that your heroes can equip. Heroes can never be permanently killed, but they can be taken out of action for a round. 

    Valve seems to be aware that this multi-lane style of CCG play creates a lot of complications, but they are embracing those complications. It seems like Artifact is mostly going to appeal to veteran CCG players or those that are willing to learn an entirely different style of game. Hearthstone this is not. 

    Speaking of Hearthstone, Valve is already planning on separating Artifact from that game by reducing the amount of randomness in matches and by allowing players to trade cards via Steam's marketplace. That last one is a huge deal as it could drastically impact both gameplay and the costs of Artifact in the long run. Indeed, Valve has stated they do not want Artifact to be a pay-to-win experience. 

    It all sounds fascinating, and Artifact might end up being extremely appealing to those who demand more complexity from CCG titles. 

    Artifact Trailer

    Here's the teaser trailer that formally introduced Artifact to the world. 

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    Anthem wants to be your next gaming addiction. Here's everything you need to know:

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 31, 2018

    Anthem is the new game from BioWare, the studio behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age. The new IP is a departure from the developer's past work in the RPG genre. In fact, Anthem isn't an RPG at all. It's described as an action-adventure game running on a "live service," similar to Destiny

    In Anthem, you play as a freelancer in a city protected by a wall from the dangers of the wild. Freelancers use special exo-suits called Javelins. There are two types of suits: Ranger, a balanced suit, and Colossus, which is basically your tank version. 

    Here's everything we know so far:

    Anthem Release Date

    Anthem will be released on February 22, 2019, for XBO, PS4, and PC. 

    Anthem Trailer

    Here's the E3 2018 cinematic trailer for Anthem

    And here's a bit of gameplay:

    Here's the first gameplay trailer for Anthem:

    Enemies showcased in the trailer include a mixture of wildlife and robots. The game will take place in an open-world environment and will feature cinematic dialogue sections, which isn't a surprise from BioWare.

    Also be sure to check out the first teaser trailer for the studio's next game:

    Anthem Details

    When EA executive vice president Patrick Söderlund hinted during an investor’s call that BioWare was working on a new IP, many fans assumed that they were working on a new PRG. However, that's not the case.

    During a recent investor meeting, EA CEO Andrew Wilson referenced BioWare’s next IP by confirming that: “At the end of the fiscal year, our BioWare studio will be delivering an all-new IP.” Interestingly, he had this to say regarding the game itself:

    "A clean-sheet design with new concepts, new gameplay mechanics, and new stories set in a unique new universe. This game has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the way people think about an action title, bringing friends together to play in exhilarating new ways. We’re very excited about the future of this new franchise and its ability to attract a large global audience."

    The one term that Wilson did not use when describing the game was “RPG.” Given that BioWare and RPG go together like Nintendo and sequels to 30-year-old properties, this comes as quite the shock. BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn later took to the studio’s blog to expand on Wilson’s comments by stating that the project is designed to “bring players together in exciting new ways” and that their ambition is to "draw upon 20+ years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends.”

    A non-RPG is certainly a departure from BioWare’s usual development territory, but given that they’ve been evolving their combat systems over the years to be more action-oriented, perhaps this is a natural evolution of the company’s design style.

    Wilson also stated that he is able to describe the game as more of an action-adventure title with RPG elements that will operate off of some kind of live service. This seems to indicate some kind of online multiplayer experience. Indeed, it seems that this delay is at least partially due to EA's desire to develop that service a little while longer.

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    Days Gone wants to send the PS4 off in style. Here's what we know:

    News Adam McDonnell
    Jul 31, 2018

    It's always great to see new franchises debut on the big stage of E3, and that's especially true when the game looks as good as Days Gone. The game comes from Syphon Filter developer Sony Bend.

    The action-adventure game takes place in the Pacific Northwest and tells the story of a bounty hunter named Deacon St. John, who must survive on a planet that's been wiped of humanity after a global disaster brings about the end of the world as we know it. Now millions have been transformed into "Freakers," zombie-like creatures that would like nothing more than to feed on Deacon's corpse. As the bounty hunter, you'll have to fight massive hordes of Freakers in order to survive.

    Here's everything else we know:

    Days Gone News

    There's a new story trailer for Days Gone that Sony revealed alongside the game's release date. Take a look at this intense preview that makes it clear the world of Days Gone wants you dead in the worst way. 

    Days Gone Release Date

    Days Gone will be released on February 22, 2019. 

    Days Gone Trailers

    The latest trailer for Days Gone expands upon our first look at the game by diving a bit deeper into the narrative that at the heart of this particular apocalypse. While Days Gone was initially compared to The Last of Us, this latest trailer actually suggests the game is spiritually closer to the Uncharted franchise. In any case, we're incredibly excited to see more of its blend of action, horror, survival, and story. 

    Check out the reveal trailer below:

    This game definitely seems to have a The Last of Us post-apocalyptic vibe to it. The world showcased in the demo appears to be as beautiful as it is chaotic, while the main character's narration suggests that there will be a strong emphasis on the story of why it is that people choose to keep surviving in this cruel land. 

    You can watch the E3 2016 gameplay demo here:

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    Battlefield 5 brings the franchise back home to WWII. Here's everything that we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    Battlefield V is the next game in the hit first-person shooter series from DICE. The game will be set during World War II as previously suggested. It's not entirely clear which theater of war the game's campaign will be set in, but some of the language the developers used suggested that it will span the globe and include quite a few stories of war. 

    Here is what we know about Battlefield V:

    Battlefield 5 Trailer

    Here's the new multiplayer trailer:

    And here's the reveal trailer:

    Battlefield 5 Release Date

    Battlefield V will be released on October 19, for Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PC.

    Battlefield 5 Multiplayer

    Multiplayer wise, Battlefield V doesn't change the series formula too much. The big new addition is a 64-player Grand Operations mode that utilizes several different play modes in order to tell a multiplayer narrative. It's essentially an expansion of the Operations mode seen in Battlefield 1. There's also a Combined Arms 4-player co-op mode that allows players to participate in procedurally generated missions. Generally speaking, Battlefield V places a much greater emphasis on squad play and encourages players to join squads. 

    Minor multiplayer changes include the ability to revive your teammates regardless of what class you're playing (and drag them to cover), the ability to tow stationary guns with vehicles, and a new prone option that lets you lay on your back. 

    It's also been confirmed that there will be no Premium Pass in the game. While that doesn't seem to discount the possibility that there might be loot boxes in the game, the Battlefield V developers did indicate that player progress will largely be earned by playing the game. Said progress includes new abilities that allow you to fortify the area of play with sandbags, walls, and other structures. Ammo conservation and weapon selection will also reportedly play a larger role in the game. Those weapons will be affected by new bullet penetration physics and the elimination of randomized bullet deviation.

    The Battlefield V Twitter account has also revealed a new mode called Airborne. The premise of this mode is that players will need to parachute onto the battlefield when they respawn. It seems that there will be an attacking team who need to take down anti-aircraft measures when they're on the ground and a defending team who are trying to keep the guns operational in order to fend off the airborne invaders. 

    Battlefield 5 Tides of War

    DICE has expanded upon how The Tides of War will work. In a new blog post, the developer describes Tides of War as a "catch-all" term used to describe Battlefield V's "true journey" through World War II. Based on their description of the idea, it seems that Tides of War will function as kind of an on-going content experience that will change every few months. For instance, the first batch of Tides of War content is titled Fall of Europe and will include special events such as multi-week grand operations and special assignments. 

    Despite the changes introduced by these events, players will be able to keep the same company (essentially a faction or guild) and complete all associated events with them throughout the entire Tides of War run.

    DICE reiterated that soldiers are fully-customizable this time around and noted that XP can be earned in multiplayer and co-op modes and then used to unlock new class specialization archetypes. It seems that new archetypes will be added to the game via Tides of War updates. 

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

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    Will Rage 2 be 2018's biggest sleeper hit. Here's what we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    Nobody was quite sure what to make of the reports that a sequel to Rage was in the works. While Rage was a fairly well-received shooter, it didn't set the world on fire or establish much of a fanbase for the franchise. 

    Nevertheless, Rage 2 is now official, and we're honestly incredibly intrigued by what we've seen of it. Developed by id Software and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios, the next Rage game looks to combine open-world wasteland exploration with the trademark quality action that we've come to expect from id Software games. On top of that is a bizarre vision of the end of the world that includes a large number of themed gangs doing battle over what precious resources remain. 

    In other words, it sounds like we're going to be getting the unofficial Mad Max game adaptation that we've been dreaming of for years. 

    Here's everything that we know about Rage 2

    Rage 2 News

    E3 2018 brought us our first look at Rage 2's gameplay. This exciting upcoming game looks to combine the shooting of Doom and the open-world brilliance of Mad Max. Take a look:

    Rage 2 Release Date

    There's no release date available for Rage 2, but it seems that the plan is for the game to launch sometime in 2019. Bethesda has promised to reveal more about the title during E3 2018. 

    Rage 2 Trailer

    The first gameplay trailer for Rage 2 confirms this surprising sequel is basically going to be a glorious love letter to the Mad Max franchise. 

    In case you missed it, here is the live-action trailer that officially introduced the world to Rage 2.

    Rage 2 Details

    Id Software boss Tim Willits informed GameStar that Rage 2 will not feature loot boxes or live service elements. 

    Actually, Willits joked about the game's novel approach to revenue by stating that players will be able to buy the game and just play it. Bethesda later confirmed to USGamer that the game will not feature loot boxes or live service elements, but there's no word on whether or not the game will feature any post-release DLC content (whether it be free or premium). 

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    The Last of Us 2 looks to live up to incredible expectations. Here's everything we know:

    News Adam McDonnell
    Jul 31, 2018

    Yes, one of the greatest games of the previous console generation is getting a sequel. Fans hoped that Naughty Dog might find a way to return to the world of The Last of Us, but the nature of the original game's ending left some to speculate that the developers had said all there was to say about the adventure of Ellie and Joel. 

    It's not entirely clear exactly what the story will be this time around, but the ominous and fearful tone of Ellie's looming threats suggest that this will be a story of revenge. The recipient of said revenge seems to be fairly obvious based on context clues in the trailer, but in the interest of not completely outlining the ending of the original game, we will not speculate on their identity here.

    Speculation is all we have as it concerns the release date for The Last of Us Part II, however. It appears that the game is still very much in development, which means you shouldn't hope to see it before late next year at the earliest. Neil Druckman, the title's creative director, took to the PlayStation Blog to clarify that the eventual release of the game could be "a ways off," and to assure fans that Naughty Dog is only making a sequel to this game because they feel they have a new story that is worth telling. 

    Well, we're sold. Here's everything we know about The Last of Us Part II:

    The Last of Us Part 2 News

    At the Sony E3 2018 conference, we were treated to a brilliant and highly cinematic - also possibly very scripted - gameplay sequence from The Last of Us Part 2. Check it out now. 

    At DICE Summit 2018, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann revealed one of The Last of Us Part II's stranger inspirations.

    "There's a show on Netflix called The End of the F***ing World, which is so well written and acted and quirky, and has been totally inspiring for some of the stuff we're doing in [The Last of Us 2]—more on the dialog stuff," said Druckmann. Given that the Netflix show is about a pair of runaway teenagers who embark upon a dark quest, we're guessing that it might have somehow influenced the equally dark journey of the main characters. However, Druckmann didn't clarify the point.

    Druckmann also recalled that The Last of Us was born from a failed pitch he once submitted to George Romero. He wanted to make a game that combined elements of ICO and Sin City while telling a story about a cop with a heart problem protecting a little girl. When the cop's heart condition kicks in, the girl would need to take care of the cop and protect him from enemies. Of course, Romero passed on that pitch. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Release Date

    The Last of Us 2 doesn't have a release date as of yet. We expect Sony to reveal that information at E3 2018. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Trailer

    A brand new trailer has arrived! Check it out below:

    Next, feast your eyes on the reveal trailer for The Last of Us Part II:

    The Last of Us Part 2 Story

    At PSX 2016, Naughty Dog director and writer Neil Druckmann shared the first bits of Last of Us Part 2 story details, including what the focus will be in the sequel. Druckmann revealed that Ellie is the star of this installment and that the game takes place several years after the original. Ellie is 19-years-old in The Last of Us Part 2

    Druckmann talked a bit about the tone and direction of the sequel's story, saying that while the original was a story about love, "[Part 2] is about hate." He also confirmed that this game will exclusively continue the story of Ellie and Joel instead of jumping to other characters.

    It looks like The Last of Us Part 2 will have a couple of connections with Westworld. It's been revealed that Halley Gross, a writer on the show, will be co-writing the game's story with Neil Druckmann, who wrote the first game. 

    Additionally, Westword actress Shannon Woodward will have a role in the game. No details on her character were revealed. Her casting was revealed in a tweet:

    It's also been revealed that Bruce Straley, who directed the first game, will not return for the sequel. Instead, Druckmann will be directing the game. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Music

    Writer/director Neil Druckmann confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer of The Last of Us' wonderful score, will also create the music for the sequel. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Poster

    In celebration of Outbreak Day - the day in The Last of Us when the world fell apart - Naughty Dog has released some promotional materials and free items related to the game. You can read a full breakdown of the announcement (which includes information regarding a new The Last of Us t-shirt and PS4 theme) via this PlayStation blog post

    However, there is one Outbreak Day release we do have to highlight. The fine folks at Mondo have teamed up with Naughty Dog and artist Kevin Tong to release a new poster that seems to be related to The Last of Us Part 2. It's a fairly stunning design that serves as a callback to the previous Mondo The Last of Us poster and an effective teaser. 

    You can buy the poster from Mondo's website starting today. 

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    Metroid Prime 4 revives Nintendo's beloved franchise. Here's everything we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 31, 2018

    After years of Nintendo dancing around fans' pleas for a new Metroid game, the studio finally decided to drop a humble reveal for one of the most anticipated games of the last ten years right in the middle of their E3 2017 showcase. What a truly Nintendo way to make such an announcement.  

    Since the announcement of this project, Nintendo has confirmed that Retro Studios will not be handling the development of this new Metroid title. Instead, they have stated that the development is being handled by a "talented new development team.”

    According to Eurogamer, that studio is none other than Bandai Namco Studios Singapore, which is collaborating with Nintendo on the new game. However, Metroid producer Kensuke Tanabe will be overseeing the development of this new title.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Metroid Prime 4 Release Date

    There is currently no release date for Metroid Prime 4. The game is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.

    Metroid Prime 4 Trailer

    On the list of games that could possibly show up at E3 2017, Metroid Prime4 ranked somewhere alongside Half-Life 3. Nevertheless, here is the first preview for Metroid Prime 4.

    Unfortunately, the reveal of Metroid Prime 4 doesn't actually tell us anything about the game itself aside from the fact that it is being worked on. However, given that most people had already given up hope that a new Metroid game would ever be released for the Nintendo Switch, we're going to go ahead and name this one of the best announcements of E3 2017. 

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    Doom Eternal continues one of the best FPS franchises ever. Here's everything we know:

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 31, 2018

    At E3 2018, Bethesda revealed Doom Eternal. Based on what was revealed at the show, it sounds like this is going to be a new Doom game rather than a remaster or a remake. The Doom team talked about how they listened to what fans asked for and added more demons, a more powerful Doom guy, and a vision of what Hell on Earth looks like to this game. 

    To be fair, that doesn't mean that this is guaranteed to be a brand-new Doom game - it's not called Doom II after all - and there is a possibility that this could retread some familiar ground. At the very least, though, we feel that this has to be some kind of expansion or some piece of previously unseen content related to Doom.

    Here's everything we know about the game thus far:

    Doom Eternal News

    Bethesda has dated the gameplay reveal for Doom Eternal. We'll finally get to see what the game is all about and what the "Eternal" means. The reveal is set for Aug. 10 during QuakeCon 2018. The reveal will be part of a special live stream about the game. 

    Doom Eternal Trailer

    Check out the announcement trailer:

    Doom Eternal Release Date

    No release date has been set for Doom Eternal. The game is expected to arrive for XBO, PS4, and PC. 

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    Over 30 years later, Bubble Bobble is still incredibly addictive.

    FeatureRyan Lambie
    Aug 1, 2018

    What’s the greatest co-op videogame of all time? Portal 2? Gauntlet? Left 4 Dead 2, maybe? For me, Bubble Bobblehas to rank somewhere near the top of the list. A single-screen platform game where dragons blow bubbles and hooded enemies respond by rolling giant cookies along the floor, Bubble Bobble is still one of the best two-player arcade games ever.

    Bubble Bobble’s enemy-nobbling mechanic appears to have its roots in Universal's seminal 1980 coin-op, Space Panic, where aliens are killed by first digging a hole, waiting for the enemies to fall in, and then bashing them while they’re trapped. Bubble Bobble gives this idea a bouncy new twist; this time, you blow bubbles, which encase enemies on contact, and then rush up and jump on them - thus bursting the bubbles and finishing off anything unlucky enough to be stuck inside.

    The addition of wobbly, floating bubbles adds an air of unpredictablility to the Space Panic formula. Bubbles will rise up out of reach if you’re too slow to burst them, leaving an enemy dangling in mid-air until they escape (which leaves them charging around the screen in a crimson rage). Alternatively, you can use your bubbles as a temporary platform by holding down jump and bouncing on top of them - a technique that becomes vital to master on later screens, some of which seem expressly designed to leave you trapped. 

    Taito had dabbled in the platform genre before, and the largely forgotten 1983 arcade game Chack ‘N Pop - later ported to Japanese home systems like the Nintendo Famicom - could be seen as Bubble Bobble’s prototype. Chack ‘N Pop also has you bounding around a single screen killing enemies, but this time the death mechanic involves a kind of hand grenade-type weapon - a far less memorable device than Bubble Bobbles soapy-mouthed dragons. It’s easy to see Chack 'N Pop’s influence on Bubble Bobble, though, and some of the collectible items and enemy sprites were lifted wholesale from that earlier game.

    Bubble Bobble was created by Fukio Mitsuji, the Taito designer and artist who also made the arcade games Volfied, Syvalion, Halley's Comet (later ported to the Famicom and Sega Game Gear as Halley Wars) and the even more obscure Commando clone, LSA Squad.

    Mitsuji's plan was to make a game that couples could play together - a concept which seems to have informed its mix of boisterous action and cute graphics.

    "Back then, women were rarely seen in Japanese arcades," Mitsuji later said in a video interview for the Taito Legends game compilation. "So I thought bringing more couples would help solve this issue. That's why I designed cute characters and included cooperative play in Bubble Bobble."

    Visually, Bubble Bobbles an evolution of Pac-Man, with its colourful characters straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon - like the ghosts in Namco’s coin-gobbling classic, the enemies in Bubble Bobble have their own individual behaviours, though advances in processing power meant that Mitsuji could make them look and act more radically different than Pac-Mans boggle-eyed ghosts. On one level you’d attempt to capture a small army of clockwork robots; in another you’d encounter Drunks, little hooded figures which throw empty beer bottles, while still another introduced laser-firing Space Invaders - a nod to Taito’s own coin-op hit. 

    Bubble Bobble’s colour and variety placed it in a different league from most other games released in 1986. There’s a sense of restless creativity to Bubble Bobble. Mitsuji could have simply fallen back on the then-rare co-op mode and bubble-blowing concept and let the rest of the game design itself. Instead, he keeps piling in extra ideas and unpredictable secrets: it’s hard to think of another arcade game from the period with quite so many different items to collect.

    Bursting bubbles with letters in them - which together spell out the word EXTEND - results in an extra life. Collecting an umbrella will let you skip a few levels. Pick up a red cross and you’ll be able to breathe fire. There are dozens of other weapons and score-boosting items besides - offing a whole chain of enemies at once will sometimes cause a giant apple or jewel to plop down in the middle of the screen, for example. Then there are secret rooms, full of treasure and coded messages, and hidden bonuses which will appear if you have two equal digits in your score.

    The wealth of things to collect on each level does much to hide the fact that Bubble Bobbleis actually quite unfair at times. Early levels are a breeze, but later stages seem expressly designed to relieve your pockets of coins as quickly as possible. While you don’t necessarily have to complete all 100 levels thanks to the those stage-skipping items mentioned earlier, getting to the end reveals a further twists: you have to complete the game with a friend before you can see Bubble Bobbles “good ending" - and then, to get the "true ending", you have to complete the game again in the even trickier Super mode.

    Despite the fangs lurking beneath Bubble Bobbles fluffy exterior, it remains the epitome of a feel-good game. Its music is sprightly and hummable (though admittedly quite repetitive after a while), its tiny characters utterly adorable.

    Bubble Bobble wasn’t exactly ubiquitous in British arcades, but it was just about inescapable on home systems. Most of the conversions were extremely good, even if they couldn’t necessarily cram in all the frills from the arcade originals. One of the best appeared on the Sega Master System, which retained the colour, two-player mode and jolly atmosphere of the coin-op Bubble Bobble, albeit with a bit of sprite-flicker picked up along the way. 

    After 1986, Taito continued to turn out some of the best platform games outside Nintendo. Rainbow Islands, Mitsuji's 1987 sequel to Bubble Bobble, replaced bubbles with magical, enemy-killing conveyor belts and vertically-scrolling levels. The NewZealand Story was a saccharine platform-shooter where you could steal flying vehicles from enemies (it was also incredibly hard). Then there was Liquid Kids, a kind of Bubble Bobble-New Zealand Storyhybrid. And Parasol Stars, a superb sequel to Rainbow Islands which appeared on the PC Engine and home computers but didn’t, for some reason, come out as an arcade machine.

    The common factor in all these games is that Bubble Bobbles dragons failed to make an appearance. Both Rainbow Islands and Parasol Starspresented the characters in their human guise - Bubby and Bobby - since the end of Bubble Bobble saw them transformed once again into ordinary kids. That all makes sense from a story-canon sort of perspective, but are a pair of kids in dungarees really a match for a pair of bubble-blowing dragons? Well, no, not for this writer.

    Taito suddenly saw sense in the 1990s and brought the dinosaurs back for the arcade game Bubble Symphony (1994), which also came out on the Sega Saturn, and Bubble Memories (1996), which remained an arcade exclusive. Then there was Puzzle Bobble(1994), the long-running colour-match series which was, criminally, renamed Bust-A-Movein many territories. To date, it's spawned nearly 30 sequels and spin-offs, which could fill an entire article by themselves.

    The dragons also made reappearances in the iffy Bubble Bobble Old And New for the Game Boy Advance which is worth buying solely for the port of the 1986 original - the rejigged new version, which took place over scrolling stages, is best described as forgettable.

    Mitsuji left Taito in the early 1990s, and sadly never returned to the series and characters he helped to create. Instead, he started teaching game design, and created the platform puzzle game Magical Puzzle Popils for the Sega Game Gear. It was a small yet delightful little game, but went largely unnoticed due to the Game Gear’s slow sales. That game also proved to be Mitsuji's swansong; in 2008, the designer died at the tragically young age of 48.

    Bub and Bob are far from household names these days, but you can see signs of their lingering affection hiding here and there. Taito recently brought out a pair of plush dragons which look uncannily like the characters originally drawn by Mitsuji back in 1986. It’s proof that, even though the game itself is gradually receding into history, its celebratory, cheeky sense of fun still lingers - more evidence, surely, that it's one of the very best two-player games ever made.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    From the iconic trilogy to the forgettable PlayStation 2 era guys to the new blood, here's a complete Mortal Kombat roster ranking.

    FeatureGavin Jasper
    Aug 1, 2018

    Presenting, the definitive ranking of Mortal Kombat characters! I’m counting everyone, with only a few exceptions. Here are the criteria...

    - It has to be an actual Mortal Kombat character and not a guest fighter. That means no Freddy Krueger, Kratos, Jason, Predator, or anyone from the DC Universe.

    - Dark Kahn doesn’t count for the same reason.

    - It has to be someone who was playable in the one-on-one games. I’m not going to get into boss characters from, say, Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero or Mortal Kombat: Special Forces if that's all they've appeared in.

    - I’m lumping alternate versions of characters together. No reason to split Human Smoke and Robot Smoke.

    - Similarly, I'm not counting Tri-Borg as being a single character. He's more of a Voltron of existing characters.

    Also, I’m ranking these based on style, storyline, and personal preference. Not over who has the better infinite combos and all that jazz. Just be warned: there will be spoilers!

    You can watch a video breakdown of our top 5 right here, but keep scrolling for details on all 73 (!) Mortal Kombat characters!

    Let’s get it started with the worst of the worst.

    73. REIKO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 4

    It’s one thing to be lame. It’s another to be built up as something exciting, only to be anything but. Reiko was introduced in Mortal Kombat 4 as Shinnok’s general. In actuality, he was just a reworked Noob Saibot given a different design in order to have more original characters in the game. In the arcade and Nintendo 64 versions of the game, his ending would simply show him running into a portal. That was it. How mysterious.

    Then in the PlayStation and Dreamcast versions of the game, we got to see the full ending. He went into the portal where he then put on Shao Kahn’s helmet. OH SNAP! Reiko is Shao Kahn?! I mean, it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but that’s still a big deal! Then Midway swept it under the rug and said he wasn’t Kahn. He was just wearing the mask. Um...good for him.

    Reiko is like opening the biggest gift at Christmas only to see you got a pair of used socks.

    Reiko appears as a major villain in the Mortal Kombat X prequel comic, where they build him up as a threat, only to have him die a humiliating death and show Havik as the true main villain. In the game's story mode, Earthrealm and Outworld start out in decent relations due to the "Reiko Accords." It's probably a treaty based on them coming together in agreement that Reiko is the worst.

    72. HSU HAO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    The bulky Hsu Hao was created for two reasons: 1) They came up with the Red Dragon organization as a rival to the Black Dragon, and Midway needed Red Dragon to catch up. Just having Mavado wasn’t enough, so they came up with another, lesser member of the group. 2) Since Kano’s laser eye was so cool, they figured it was worth expanding on with other body parts. Hsu Hao was given a laser heart.

    In Mortal Kombat X, Kano has the same laser heart. Hao is completely redundant and is ultimately forgettable. Makes sense that they killed him off immediately in the Mortal Kombat X comic.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat Trilogy (PlayStation)

    In a time when Midway was abusing the hell out of their color scheme ninja party, they introduced Chameleon, a male ninja who constantly changed colors and move sets.

    Unlike his female ninja counterpart from the Nintendo 64 version, Khameleon, Chameleon didn’t have anything resembling a storyline. This wasn’t until appearing in Armageddon(which he originally wasn’t going to until fans got on Midway’s case), where he got the most generic ending/explanation ever.

    70. MEAT

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 4

    Meat was one of the lamer concepts for a hidden character. He was just a bloody skeleton model used as an unlockable player skin. No moves or gestures of his own. Just a costume.

    With Armageddon, they gave him some backstory. Meat is an escaped experiment created by Shang Tsung with no sense of identity. So yeah, he’s just a gross, bloody dude.

    69. JAREK

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 4

    Rather than use Kano in Mortal Kombat 4, they just grafted his entire move set onto a really ordinary-looking stand-in named Jarek. Jarek was the last remnant of the Black Dragon organization, who, unlike Kano, sided with Earthrealm against invading forces. Other than Kano’s moves, Jarek lacked anything interesting that Kano brought to the table.

    He was a major part in the most hilariously bad Mortal Kombat ending, though, but more on that later.

    68. TANYA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 4

    Yet another Mortal Kombat 4 character who was just an example of, “Eh, we need more new characters. Let’s just alter an existing one.” Tanya was different enough from Kitana that that wasn’t a problem, but since then, she’s been a one-dimensional villain whose only quality is betrayal. They never came up with anything interesting for her to do.

    Tanya is in Mortal Kombat X as DLC, which sticks out as a sore thumb among two popular guest characters and an obscure name that fans have been wanting to see more of. Seriously, who was excited at all about that part of the announcement?

    Tanya does show up in story mode, but still brings nothing interesting.

    67. DAIROU

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    Chances are your response to this is less, “How dare you rank Dairou so low!” and more, “Wait, who the hell is Dairou again?” This bland-looking mercenary is part of the whole Chaosrealm vs. Orderrealm subplot in Mortal Kombat: Deception that didn’t go anywhere. Dairou came from the realm of Seido, where order rules all, and was a prison guard. He found out a prisoner killed his family and went against the rules by exacting revenge. Since then, he became an outlaw with no regard for what Seido represents.

    Not the worst backstory, but nothing was really done with it. He was just a pawn for Darrius (who in actuality killed Dairou’s family and pinned the blame in order to twist him in the right direction), and he looks so unbelievably generic. Give him a mask or spikes or a fannypack or something!

    66. LI MEI

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    Li Mei was nearly as forgettable as Dairou, only distinguished by her ridiculous outfit of a bandana and underwear. Li Mei was a villager enslaved by Shang Tsung and Quan-Chi who was used as a guinea pig by having her soul shoved into an undead soldier’s husk of a body. That was undone, but it ultimately corrupted her by the next game.

    So at least her betrayal was more organic than Tanya’s every waking moment. Still, she’s hard to care about and her cameo in the new game is completely forgettable.

    65. SHUJINKO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    God, I hate Shujinko.

    On the surface, the gimmick of an old man who could do the attacks of much of the cast due to years of wanderlust and training is pretty cool. Unfortunately, they explained this through Deception’s Konquest Mode, which proceeded to depict our main hero as one of the most gullible, susceptible dumbasses in video games. No matter what someone told him to do, including villains, he would blindly do it without a second thought.

    Not only did he unleash the Dragon King onto the realms through decades of questing without questioning, but then he stepped on Scorpion’s toes. This game touted Scorpion as the new marquee hero character, only to say, “PSYCHE!” and put Shujinko in his spot. No thanks.

    64. MOKAP

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    Well, that joke didn’t age well. Mokap was included as a hidden character in Deadly Alliance, based on Carlos Pesina, who did the game’s motion capture.

    Mokap is the guy responsible for doing the motion capture for the CGI in Johnny Cage’s movies and is constantly wearing the mocap balls on his outfit because of it. He didn’t really work well as a comedy character because the game did little to differentiate any of the characters in terms of personality, so he didn't do anything silly outside of wear his motion capture uniform.

    He’s no Dan Hibiki is what I’m saying.

    Mokap did have his moments in Deception’s Konquest Mode. Not only does he walk around like a doofus, practically BEGGING you to punch him out, but at another point, if you do punch him, he’ll crouch down and yell, “OW! MY BALLS!”

    RELATED ARTICLE: A Guide to the Secret Characters of Mortal Kombat


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat Trilogy (Nintendo 64)

    The female catch-all ninja may not have the variety of her male counterpart Chameleon, but at least they put some semblance of effort into her character. She had a bit of a storyline about being part of Reptile’s endangered race and is the only honest chance at bringing his people back to prosperity.

    She’s still forgettable and became little more than a footnote in the franchise.

    62. ASHRAH

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    Ashrah is a character with promise. A demon born in the NetherRealm, her conscience got her in trouble with Quan-Chi and while trying to escape assassins, she came across a heavenly sword that purified her soul based on how many demons she killed. Her whole thing became about ironically earning salvation through outright slaughter.

    There was nothing special about her “female Raiden” design or play-style that grabbed anyone, so she faded into the background. With a new coat of paint, she might become worth revisiting in a new run of games, but otherwise...meh.

    61. FUJIN

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

    First appearance (fighting game): Mortal Kombat 4

    Fujin has a good foundation. Why should Raiden be the only heroic god fighting for humanity? Fujin is the God of Wind and has a unique enough look along with a crossbow that shoots energy blasts. That’s pretty cool. Too bad they couldn’t come up with anything for him other than Raiden’s sidekick. Mortal Kombat 4 set it up that he’d be taking Raiden’s place, but then Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was all, “Nah.”

    Even Rodimus Prime got a better deal than this guy.

    60. HOTARU

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    In the battle between order and chaos, order tends to be the more boring, but Hotaru has just enough of a cool factor from his insect-like samurai armor to at least break into the top 60. Otherwise, all he really has going for him is his zealot-like behavior in following Onaga. A man who worships order sounds like he could be almost admirable, but then he goes and follows a demonic dragon man because he’ll put all of reality under his thumb and therefore create order.

    But yeah, he’s still plenty vanilla once you get past that.

    59. JADE

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    Jade gets to show up in modern games because she was in Mortal Kombat II, but she doesn’t really bring anything to the table. She’s Kitana’s friend who happens to look just like Kitana, but usually more tan. The most she did was decide not to kill Kitana when Shao Kahn told her to.

    Even her Armageddonending was boring as hell. The most they could do for her was, “She wanted all evil to go away and it did. Hurray!”

    Not only did they decide to just graft her trademark attacks onto Kitana in Mortal Kombat X, but the game seems to completely ignore her ever existing outside of that. All the victims of Sindel show up as Quan Chi's undead soldiers except for Jade for some reason and I didn't even notice until someone pointed it out well after the fact.

    She gets to at least break the top 60 due to being such a rad secret character in her first showing.

    58. TAVEN

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

    As a debuting protagonist character, Taven at least had a leg up above Shujinko. I mean, Taven was another failure, but at least that wasn’t his fault. Plus Taven’s campaign led to him mainly fighting the other kombatants while Shujinko merely did whatever they asked of him like a doof.

    Showing up in a game based around including every single playable Mortal Kombat character, Taven’s generic design didn’t do him any favors.

    57. DRAHMIN

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    Drahmin is like a collection of cool concepts that doesn’t make for much of a sum. The basic backstory is great. He was an ancient warlord in Outworld predating Shao Kahn and Onaga who died and went to Hell, where he suffered for so long that he completely lost his mind. He wears a mask that keeps his mindless rage in check. His arm is a metal club. He’s constantly covered in flies.

    Put it all together and he doesn’t quite pull it off. His buddy Moloch does a lot more with less.

    56. DAEGON

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

    Daegon has the same problems as his brother Taven, but the twist in his backstory at least allows him to rank higher on the list.

    Meant to team up with Taven and help defeat Blaze when necessary, Daegon woke up from his slumber years earlier and became a bit corrupt. He killed his parents and started up the Red Dragon organization, intending to kill Taven when the time was right.

    A good start, but there was nothing especially magical about the character that makes me ever want to see him again.

    55. BO’ RAI CHO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    It’s hard to believe that you can make a character so embarrassingly lowbrow for a game series about over-the-top murder porn, but here you go.

    Bo’ Rai Cho is Liu Kang and Kung Lao’s master, retconned into the story with a pretty great explanation: he probably could have taken out Goro and Shang Tsung in the Mortal Kombat tournament back in the day, but he’s from Outworld and that would only count in their favor. The best he could do was train a worthy Earthrealm student to do the job for him.

    To liven up the sage master trope, Midway decided that Bo’ Rai Cho needed to be a fat, drunk guy who farts and pukes all the time. He’s basically a Shaw Brothers Boogerman, and the gag wears thin after the third time you use his puke attack.

    After Mortal Kombat X, I moved Bo' Rai Cho up the list a bit because I rather like the loudmouth, friendly way he was portrayed in the game's story. When he keeps his bodily fluids to himself, he grows on you.

    54. KAI

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 4

    Kai probably should be lower on the list, but I don’t know. I kind of like him. Maybe I’m distracted by his cool tiger stripe tattoos. Maybe it’s how his look and fighting style felt fresh in Mortal Kombat 4 because all the other new characters were completely derivative. Kai didn’t really find a worthwhile spot in Mortal Kombat lore, especially after his position as “Liu Kang’s friend” was usurped when Kung Lao was brought back in Mortal Kombat Gold.

    Still, I'm ranking him over those others because of the concept art for his almost-inclusion in Deadly Alliance. Look at how badass this redesign is:

    Why they didn’t go with that in Armageddon, I have no idea.

    53. BLAZE

    First appearance (background): Mortal Kombat II

    First appearance (official): Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    Blaze is kind of adorable for how much of a reach he is. Someone saw a tiny, burning Liu Kang in the background of Mortal Kombat II and figured, “That is most definitely a character you can fight somehow!” Then that rumor transformed into a secret character in Deadly Alliance who didn’t resemble Liu Kang at all, but was completely on fire. Then he somehow became the end-all end boss in Armageddon.

    Too bad Blaze never had any actual character to him. He was always just a walking plot device.

    52. KUNG JIN

    First Appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    I think the sly, subtle moment between Raiden and Kung Jin where they reveal that Kung Jin is gay is really sweet, well done, and very welcome. I even like the idea of him being the silver-tongued member of the new generation of heroes who sympathizes with the poor and hungry driven to thievery. It’s just that there’s nothing else to hang your hat off of after that.

    In a game where they introduce so many new characters, Kung Jin is without a doubt the most boring. Look at his friends. You have the gun-toting, sassy military girl. You have the psychic ninja with barbed arm whips. You have someone with machine gun arms. Then there’s just the guy with the bow and the plain appearance.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    Yeah, Nightwolf never did anything for me. He seemed to be there because throwing a Native American into your fighting game series was the in-thing to do back in the '90s. Other than his green laser weapons, Nightwolf was the most ho-hum member of the Mortal Kombat 3 cast. He did at least get more interesting over time, earning some points for being the one to take down Sindel when she went all John Cena on a huge chunk of the cast.

    That almost makes up for how lame he was on the Defenders of the Realm cartoon. Remember when he’d power up after his pet wolf jumped into his chest? What the hell was that about?

    50. MOTARO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    I can’t fault Midway’s logic. They did a massive, four-armed sub-boss. Then they did a better-looking version. Where else do you go other than four-legged?

    Motaro added a nice wrinkle in the mythos with a rival centaur race against the Shokan race, but ironically enough, he didn’t have the legs to be more than a one-shot sub-boss. When they gave him only two legs in Armageddonbecause they couldn’t be bothered with programming a whole new body type, it just made him all the more laughable.

    It’s no wonder Raiden killed him in the reboot with so little fanfare.

    49. NITARA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    “Let’s toss in a vampire,” wasn’t the worst idea Midway had, and Nitara’s own side-story in Deadly Alliancewas interesting. Coming from a realm of vampires that had been merged with Outworld, Nitara was hell-bent on separating it. While her mission is rather righteous, she’s still a dishonest trickster who uses people like pawns, and there’s the whole “surviving on the blood of others” thing that comes with being a vampire. They never did anything of interest with her after Deadly Alliance, and she was easily forgotten.

    Also, I never got why she wore sleeves to go along with her leather bikini. Maybe she just has sensitive arms.

    48. SKARLET

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 9

    Skarlet is female Ermac in just about every way, although they never outright say that. She’s a red ninja who was originally just an unfounded rumor that later became an actual character.

    As Ermac is Shao Kahn’s soldier made up of the souls of dead warriors, Skarlet is made up of their blood. While there’s something kind of lazy about having someone be “Blood: The Character,” Skarlet’s introduction is kind of badass.

    Before being released as DLC, she was shown chained up in Shao Kahn’s arena. Did she do something wrong? Was she a punished hero? Nope! She’s just such a dangerous asset to Kahn that he’d rather keep her chained up with intent to let her loose only if he’s desperate.


    First Appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    Gun arms are awesome. The fact that Jacqui can choose between shotguns, machine guns, and pulse cannons is even better. She has some fun spirit to her at times and she’s fun to play as, but she doesn’t stand out nearly enough.

    They’ll really need to give her something better to do in the next game, since her role in story mode is to get into generic fights meant to pad out the plot and randomly fall in love with Takeda.

    46. TREMOR

    First Appearance (game): Mortal Kombat: Special Forces

    First Appearance (fighting game): Mortal Kombat 9

    First Appearance (fighting game, fully playable): Mortal Kombat X

    Tremor owes a lot to his long-running mystique. Yeah, he's not really that great, but there's so little of him given to us compared to how engaging an idea he is that you can't help but ask for more. He started out as a boss in Mortal Kombat: Special Forces in 2000 and despite being the worst Mortal Kombat game of all time (not counting unfortunate ports of otherwise good games), fans had been bugging Midway/NetherRealm to put him in a proper game for a decade and a half since. Then he got a briefly playable moment in the PS Vita version of Mortal Kombat 9's Challenge Tower, which only made the fans more restless.

    Finally, he showed up as DLC in Mortal Kombat X.

    So who is Tremor? Tremor is a brown-clad Lin Kuei ninja (later redesigned to have stone flesh) who left his clan in order to join the Black Dragon for reasons never truly explained. Unlike Sub-Zero and all the other male ninjas who share the same body type, Tremor is super buff and physically imposing to the point that he’s considered to be the Black Dragon’s answer to Jax. He can even match him in causing earthquakes by punching the ground. There’s a lot of mystery to the character waiting to be unraveled.

    45. SMOKE

    First appearance (human): Mortal Kombat II

    First appearance (cyborg): Mortal Kombat 3

    Smoke is a lot like Jade, only more interesting, and I’m not talking about their secret character connection. Smoke had a similar storyline in the Mortal Kombat 3 games as Jade in that he was sent to go capture/kill his best friend and turned against it. Smoke is ranked higher because 1) he was a robot, automatically making it cooler, and 2) he went against his programming and did the whole “Remember who you are!” trope.

    After that, Smoke stepped down and became a lackey for Noob Saibot, giving us the unique Noob-Smoke tag team character in Deception. I really liked his long-haired redesign in the reboot.

    44. DARRIUS

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    With the Orderrealm vs. Chaosrealm storyline going on in Deception, Darrius was a nice wrinkle.

    On the surface, he was a good guy. He lived in the realm of Seido and grew disgusted with the oppressive order, choosing to start a revolution. Considering how extreme guys like Hotaru are, that would normally paint Darrius as sympathetic. Instead, he’s also a complete scumbag. While he’s a self-proclaimed revolutionary, he’s done some terrible, back-handed stuff to prove his point and get followers, which could definitely use some expanding.

    He immediately fell into Mortal Kombat obscurity, but I feel he’s worth revisiting down the line.

    43. KOBRA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    One character type that always shows up in Mortal Kombat games is the down-to-earth fighter. As much of a space case as Johnny Cage is, he’s the outsider that we identify with who is blown away by this ridiculous world of sorcerers and four-armed gorillas. Same deal with Stryker.

    Kobra is what happens when you decide, “Wait, why do they all have to be heroes?” A martial artist who became too obsessed with brutalizing people, Kobra got recruited into the Black Dragon and was welcomed into the ridiculous world of sorcerers and four-armed gorillas. Kobra is Evil Johnny Cage, which makes it a shame that they’ve never really interacted. And I guess they won't, since Erron Black admitted to offing him at some point.

    Of course, he’s also a blatant knockoff of Ken Masters. So much that the programmers just called him “Ken Masters” in early builds of Deception, which got awkward when a gaming magazine saw that and reported that Street Fighter’s Ken was going to be in the new game.

    42. SHEEVA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    After Goro and Kintaro hit the scene, Boon and the rest wondered, “Where the ladies at?” and made a female Shokan warrior. Sheeva’s status in Kahn’s party is a cool dynamic. Goro and Kintaro have already failed in the prior two games. Shao Kahn’s new #2 is Motaro, part of the centaurs, the Shokan’s natural enemy. Yet Sheeva’s still on the payroll as Sindel’s bodyguard.

    While she’s busy protecting Sindel and regularly pulling out her own atomic wedgie, Sheeva’s unaware that her race is being wiped out by her very own boss, punished because her own predecessors got their asses kicked. Of course, when Motaro got killed off so early on in the rebooted version of the story, and Goro and Kintaro were still hanging around, Sheeva became just another grunt.

    The best thing about Sheeva is her ending in Mortal Kombat 9, where Earth’s governments allowed her to rule over Australia, a jab at Australia’s infamous censorship policies.

    41. KIRA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    If Kobra is Evil Johnny Cage, then his cohort Kira is Evil Sonya Blade. With both Sonya and Kano not in Deception, it was a decent idea to create a character with a mix of their moves.

    Kira came off as a bit easier to take seriously than “Not Ken Masters,” but what really made the two of them great was their relationship as expanded on in their Armageddonendings. Being the counterparts to Johnny and Sonya, they also share the same love/hate relationship, only it’s darker. Both of their endings have the winner gain ultimate power, show emotion for the other, and then get stabbed in the back for it.

    Those two deserve each other.

    40. RAIN

    First appearance: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

    Rain was pretty dumb up until Armageddonand Mortal Kombat 9, where he became an egomaniac.

    In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the TV shows, and movies, Rain was just the dude who betrayed everyone and joined Kahn’s side. Starting with Armageddon, Rain started showing personality as a power-hungry jerk who believed that he was owed everything because he was the greatest fighter and was the son of a god. This transitioned well into his Mortal Kombat 9 ending where he killed Shao Kahn for his perceived lack of respect. Raiden thanked him and called him a great hero before pointing out that Rain was the son of the Edenian god Argus. Rain took that as, “All right! That proves I’m great! To show how great I am, I’m going to destroy Earthrealm. Thanks, Raiden!”

    Thanks, Raiden. Dumbass.

    Rain makes a few appearances in Mortal Kombat X as Mileena's advisor. Naturally, he's out to stab her in the back. Of all the non-playable opponents, he's the one most deserving to be reintroduced onto the main roster.

    39. MAVADO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    The Red Dragon was one of the better ideas for expanding the Mortal Kombat lore. So far, all the Black Dragon gave us was Kano, Kano’s knockoff, and the gasmask guy who no longer wanted anything to do with them. It made sense to move on, and they gave us the Red Dragon, the rival group led by an anti-Kano villain who was a calculating and cold assassin. Mavado got added cool points for his bungee hook attacks and the very idea that he outright murdered Kabal for completion’s sake and stole his badass weapons.

    Mavado fell down the totem pole when they stopped caring about the Red Dragon in Deception(temporarily killing Mavado off in the process) and then decided to retcon him into second-in-command to Daegon by the time Armageddonrolled around.

    38. FERRA/TORR

    First Appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    Master Blaster from Beyond Thunderdome rules, so I was completely on board when they decided to introduce a knockoff in Mortal Kombat with a play style very reminiscent of Chang/Choi from Capcom vs. SNK 2.

    Ferra/Torr is great, though only exists as Kotal Kahn’s funny-talking muscle without the dignity of being a boss character. The duo is a bit paper-thin at times, but at least their symbiotic species is the most original new race the series has introduced in years. Their ending shows how their lifespan works and it’s honestly kind of tragic.

    Anyway, I hope to see more action from them in the future.

    37. FROST

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    With Sub-Zero’s attempt to rebuild the Lin Kuei and give it legitimacy, adding Frost to the cast was a nice touch. The young protégé went through a tragic downward spiral through the games due to her ego. She went from being self-centered to greedy and power-hungry to completely insane, soon driven only by her desire to kill Sub-Zero. Not because she was outright evil, but because her own faults led her to mental illness.

    The new, altered timeline shows that Sub-Zero and Scorpion have been able to make their peace, but Frost opposes it. I'd like to see them continue with that point of view in the future.

    36. ONAGA

    First appearance (mentioned): Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    First appearance (in-game): Mortal Kombat: Deception

    After Shinnok was a bust, and Deadly Alliance’s idea for a final boss was “two less-than-impressive guys one after the other,” it was refreshing to see them go with someone genuinely ominous. While only referred to as “The Dragon King,” Deadly Alliance’s story dropped plenty of hints that Onaga was going to be a major force to deal with in the sequel. Then he made his first official appearance by clowning the combined might of Raiden, Shang Tsung, and Quan Chi without breaking a sweat.

    He would never be nearly as cool as Shao Kahn (his former advisor, who killed him with treachery years ago), but he was the right villain for what the series needed at the time.

    35. SHINNOK

    First appearance (mentioned): Mortal Kombat Trilogy

    First appearance (in-game): Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

    First appearance (fighting game): Mortal Kombat 4

    Shinnok should have been awesome. The endings for Mileena and Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat Trilogy built him up as this Satanic ender of worlds. Then he showed up in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, which made him look like a jester as played by a guidance counselor.

    It didn’t help that in Mortal Kombat 4, he didn’t have any cool boss-like qualities to him other than being able to steal moves. He was just a lazy Shang Tsung. It wasn’t until Armageddonand Mortal Kombat 9 that they were able to make him seem like an actual threat.

    Shinnok ends up jumping up the list a bit because of his depiction in Mortal Kombat X. Although he isn't the end-all/be-all villain that Shao Kahn and Onaga were portrayed as, he was pretty fun as a hybrid of Emperor Palpatine and Loki, especially when he goes into an angry rant at being sucker-punched by Johnny Cage. Still looking like kind of a weenie at times, he at least has the terrifying Corrupted Shinnok final form to fall back on.


    First Appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    Takeda’s character design might be a little too try-hard for my tastes without being able to thrive on his own merits. He looks cool and I absolutely love his more futuristic ninja weaponry (which in turn makes the Shirai-Ryu look smarter than the Lin Kuei for knowing the right way to embrace technology), but for a guy who is the forgotten son of Kenshi and the prized pupil of Scorpion, Takeda isn’t good enough to step out of their shadows. He works best as an accessory to Scorpion, finally giving him some semblance of family and helping to give him closure.

    As mentioned earlier, his romantic exploits with Jacqui are there for the sake of scratching off a trope checkbox.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Sonya is the weakest of the original seven characters. The first lady of Mortal Kombat fits right in the line of awkward outsiders and unfazed adventurers. On one hand, the whole Outworld invasion concept is so alien to her, but on the other hand, she’s dedicated to hunting down a drug cartel run by a man who looks like a battle-damaged Terminator.

    As an individual, Sonya doesn’t have much going on, but she’s more defined with her rich relationships with Jax, Kano, and Johnny Cage. Her tendency to be a wet blanket hits critical in the new game, making it completely surprising that Johnny's ego wasn't the reason for their divorce. Then again, a lot of that is forgiven for that scene where she goes to town on Quan Chi and crushes his nuts.

    Just like how Johnny would have wanted it.

    Sonya was cut out of the Special Forces video game, and I can’t tell if that works for or against her on this list.

    32. JAX

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    Jax was cool as hell in his first couple of appearances, playing the super-strong army dude who would charismatically break your face. He’s also a victim of some hilarious irony, as the man known for ripping off arms in Mortal Kombat II would have his arms replaced with cybernetic limbs in the sequel.

    After Mortal Kombat 3, Jax’s flame began to die down, even if his Mortal Kombat 4 ending is memorable for all the wrong reasons.

    I was going to have Sonya above Jax until seeing his story in Unchained, the PSP upgrade of Deception. It’s incredibly badass.

    Like the others killed in Deadly Alliance, he’s resurrected and mind-controlled by Onaga to be his soldier. Jax is freed from the mind control, but remembers the horrors of his actions, so he’s pissed. Then the ending had Shujinko narrate that having everyone’s abilities wasn’t enough for him to stop Onaga, but then Jax marched over and killed the Dragon King purely because he was so goddamn angry. He killed him by taking one of the artifacts that powered Onaga and shoved it straight through the monster's forehead. That rules!

    You know what else rules? Putting out cigars on your metal hand. Also, being reskinned as Carl Weathers in Predator.

    31. SAREENA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

    First appearance (fighting game): Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition

    Sareena showed up in Mythologiesas a demon underling of Quan Chi. She is essentially the anti-Scorpion in that Sub-Zero chose not to kill her when given the chance, and it ended up having a positive outcome. She aided him against Quan Chi and then asked him to help her leave the Netherrealm.

    Shinnok seemingly killed her, but as explained in the Deadly Alliance Game Boy Advance port Mortal Kombat: Tournament Edition, she was able to reform and escape from the realm. From there, she was an ally of the second Sub-Zero and tried to be a better person, despite her demonic origins. A way better redemption story than they tried with Ashrah, Sareena exists as the original Sub-Zero’s one moment of humanity snowballing into something meaningful.

    30. HAVIK

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deception

    With Mortal Kombat 9 trying to ignore most of the post-Mortal Kombat 3 characters, it was no surprise that Havik, the Cleric of Chaos, was still thrown in there as part of Noob Saibot’s ending. While the whole Orderrealm/Chaosrealm subplot never quite caught on, Havik is strong enough to exist on his own.

    He’s a perfect chaotic neutral to throw a wrench in everything. He saves Kabal’s life, but convinces him to turn back to being evil. He wants to stop Onaga from ruling the realms, but as a means to resurrect Shao Kahn because he liked his style as a conqueror. Havik’s the ultimate wild card in the Mortal Kombat lore and really deserves to get more play.

    RELATED ARTICLE: The History of Mortal Kombat Comics

    29. SINDEL

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    Sindel had a major role in Mortal Kombat 3, and the very idea of being able to play as Shao Kahn’s Queen was a novel one. She remained a relatively boring fixture in the series from there on, but then the reboot happened, and we got that scene in story mode with Sindel’s rampage.

    Seriously, if you type “Sindel” into YouTube’s search bar, one of the top suggestions is, “Sindel kills everyone” and with good reason. Sindel takes a respectable leap up the ranks because holy shit that scene.

    28. REPTILE

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Reptile deserves nothing but respect for being the first secret character in fighting game history, but I feel he’s lost his edge from game to game.

    In the first Mortal Kombat, he’s the holy grail of AI opponents. Then in Mortal Kombat II he’s shown to be a literal reptile with creepy reptilian attacks and Fatalities. In the games that follow, he starts devolving and no longer becomes much more than a throwaway villain. Setting him up as the host for Onaga in Deadly Alliance was an inspired twist, though, and I love his bandaged ninja redesign from Shaolin Monks.

    Reptile becomes endearing in Mortal Kombat X, where for once he's loyal to someone who doesn't treat him like dirt on his heel.

    27. SEKTOR

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    At first, Sektor and Cyrax were interchangeable outside of armor color and what kind of explosive device they liked more. As the games went further with Mortal Kombat Gold and Tournament Edition, we started to see some real contrast.

    Cyrax was an honorable warrior, but Sektor was a straight-up jerk. He insisted upon being turned into a cyborg and presumably didn’t even need to be given any programming. While Cyrax, Smoke, and Sub-Zero were reluctant and horrified, Sektor relished being a robotic killing machine, eventually even starting his own Lin Kuei offshoot to force more ninjas into becoming robots in the hopes of world domination. That’s messed up.

    Oh, and those noises he made in Mortal Kombat 3 were awesome.

    26. QUAN CHI

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm

    First appearance (game): Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero

    First appearance (fighting game): Mortal Kombat 4

    The true evil mastermind of the Mortal Kombat universe, Quan Chi is always three steps ahead of everyone else, while rarely ever taking the center stage. While he suffers from the writers trying to make him a little too slick and smart for his own good, it only makes it more pleasing when he finally gets his just desserts (go see Scorpion’s Mortal Kombat 9 ending for proof). The guy is just completely hateable, making it no surprise that NetherRealm Studios decided to include him in the reboot despite not actually appearing in the original trilogy.

    Richard Divizio as Quan Chi as Alec Baldwin as Robert Deniro is something that will never get old.

    I bet Noob Saibot does a mean Ray Liotta.

    25. MOLOCH

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    Moloch was boss. I mean, literally he was a boss, yes, know what I mean.

    The oni beast fit the Goro role in Deadly Alliance and brought some utter brutality that hadn’t been felt in a Mortal Kombatboss since Kintaro. It was pretty impressive too that they pulled it off while skipping away from the whole Shokan/centaur party and going with something completely new and different. Considering one of Quan Chi’s pre-fight intros in Mortal Kombat X shows him casually carrying around Moloch’s disembodied head, I guess we won’t be hearing from him anymore.

    That’s too bad. The guy palmed a wrecking ball for crying out loud.

    24. BARAKA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    In the early days of arcade fighting games, there was this unwritten quota that your game needed to have some kind of token freak character. Street Fighter had Blanka. Samurai Shodownhad Gen-An. Mortal Kombat had Baraka.

    Looking like Nosferatu went through the Weapon X program, Baraka fit the evolved atmosphere of Mortal Kombat II perfectly. When the series got more outlandish, his novelty started to fade, outside of the always-fun Wolverine arm blades gimmick. He ended up in Mileena’s shadow and became nothing more than just another member of the rogues’ gallery, but during those first couple years of existence, he was the coolest thing about the series.

    23. D'VORAH

    First Appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    I said that there would be spoilers, so here’s the big one: D’Vorah kills Mileena in Mortal Kombat X. It’s rather perfect, especially in the way that D’Vorah does her in with a kiss. Despite being girl-on-girl, it’s gross as hell and is in no way erotic. It’s like Mileena passing the torch to the new, grotesque, backstabbing female villain.

    D’Vorah is a great new addition to the roster and is filled with all sorts of creepy surprises. Her various bug-based attacks, the way she’s always petting a larva that she keeps in her own stomach for safe-keeping, her tendency to describe herself as “this one,” and so on. She loses some charm once she’s depicted as just another follower of Shinnok, but at least she has her ridiculous ending with her Shinnok/bug babies running amok to make up for it.

    22. LIU KANG

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Liu Kang sucked for a long, long time. A Bruce Lee knockoff whose story was that he always won and Kitana wanted to jump his bones.

    Midway realized how repetitive that was and killed him off at the beginning of Deadly Alliance, which was such a shocking moment and direction. Then he came back as a shambling zombie, which was just super. With the reboot, Liu Kang’s monotonous road to heroism took a nasty derail when he became completely insane and fed up with Raiden’s utter buffoonery, cursing Raiden’s name as he died in the god’s arms.

    Liu Kang and Shang Tsung’s non-canon endings in Mortal Kombat 9showed how far his distrust of Raiden would have gone, as Liu killed Raiden for the status of Protector of Earthrealm and became such a tyrant that Bo’ Rai Cho had to train Shang Tsung to stop him as a lesser evil. While that may not have come to pass, the canon path is just as sinister.

    As of the end of Mortal Kombat X, a demonic Liu Kang rules Hell alongside Kitana. Intriguing...

    21. KUNG LAO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    Kung Lao had the most stylish moveset, and his constant desire to redeem his ancestor’s loss was always a great source of inspiration when it came to generic hero types. In Deadly Alliance, they centered his story around avenging Liu’s death, but once he failed at that and they brought his buddy back anyway, they threw them into a friendly rivalry that was featured in various games.

    Liu Kang or Kung Lao? Come on, bro. Kung Lao’s magic razor hat always trumped Liu Kang’s turkey voice, so putting him one spot above seems about right.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    Stryker was an unintentional joke in Mortal Kombat 3, looking less like a guy who would try and save the world and more like Randal from Clerks. He gradually became better over time, mostly due to being voiced by Ron Perlman on the Defenders of the Realm cartoon and that hilarious moment in the Armageddonintro where he sucker punched Mileena and cheesed it.

    He really became something worth caring about in the reboot, where he came off as a likeable, disgruntled, smart-ass who seemed to have a better handle on his unorthodox cop weapons. His own win pose was him throwing a grenade onto his opponent and glaring at the player while ignoring the splatter. Stryker suddenly became the man.

    I should also mention that his ending in Mortal Kombat 9 is the funniest thing. Poor Johnny.

    19. KITANA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    When they introduced the female ninjas in Mortal Kombat II, Kitana became one of the breakout stars of the series, easily having more meat on her character than Sonya ever did.

    She's a highly skilled assassin who has been alive several millennia, and only when the stakes are at their highest does she realize that her entire life is one big prank/conspiracy. While she’s a major victim of Shao Kahn’s treachery, Kahn becomes a victim of his own hubris. He could have snuffed her out as a child and probably should have. Instead, he chose to raise her as his prized assassin and make an evil clone out of her, never caring enough about how that could blow up in his face. And it totally did!

    It is pretty funny to me how, after Kitana embraced being a princess, she went back to wearing a mask for no reason other than how it was iconic. Personally, I always liked her simpler Mortal Kombat II look the best instead of how elaborate it got in later games.

    Kitana's ending in Mortal Kombat X, which looks to be canon, is wonderful. Had Raiden not gone back in time to stop the events of Armageddon, Kitana would have eventually stopped Shao Kahn at the cost of Earthrealm being completely destroyed. Kitana gets a vision of this and the knowledge makes her furious at Raiden. I know we like to joke about Raiden being a screw-up, but it really shows how far gone the undead Kitana's become when she can ignore the deaths of billions in order to be mad at Raiden for ruining her success and happiness.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Man, if any character was hurt from the move from sprites to computer-generated models, it’s Shang Tsung. The soul-eating shape-shifter was such a great villain, able to attack you with the repertoire of almost everyone in the game. A schemer who would posture at one moment and then beg and plead at Shao Kahn’s feet the next, he was the perfect second banana to Kahn’s dominant personality. His appearances in the first two games were the best, but it went downhill when he suddenly became thong-wearing Alice Cooper in Mortal Kombat 3. That was a strange phase.

    Shang goes higher up the list because of the great job Mortal Kombat X does of building him back up as a major villain. He has a notable presence in various endings (Erron Black, Johnny Cage, Cassie Cage) and makes his return during Ermac's. It's a delightful swerve, considering Ermac's story pointed at the return of Shao Kahn instead.

    17. KANO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    The Bullseye of Mortal Kombat, Kano is a special kind of scum, and the series is better for him existing. Even while his copycat, Jarek, was willing to team up with the good guys to stop the greater evil, Kano constantly offered his hand to invaders without thinking twice. He would sell out humankind for the sake of power, survival, and probably for a laugh.

    It’s fitting that he’s the cockroach of the series in that when you think he’s gone for good, he creeps back in and shows that he simply won’t die. He’ll be taken off the board or even be considered dead every other game, but comes back slimier than ever.

    The dude’s design is completely top-notch, and outside of him having a headbutt, I like that it took three games before they decided, “He has a metal implant taking up a third of his face with a glowing red eye. We should probably do something with that.”

    He probably wouldn’t rank quite as high if not for Trevor Goddard’s rocking performance in the first movie.

    16. KINTARO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    Sure, he was just a knockoff of Goro and has virtually no story to speak of outside of the recent retcon that he was the one who mutilated Kabal, but separated from that, Kintaro is just plain better. As great as Goro was when Mortal Kombat hit the scene, he also had kind of a Gumby/ClayFighter thing going on.

    Kintaro’s design, model, and animation were leagues better, plus he made for a better gaming experience. Not to mention he came across as faster, tougher, and seemingly hit a hell of a lot harder. He’s a damn solid boss.

    Unfortunately, he's still trumped by Goro having NetherRealm behind him while Kintaro becomes increasingly obscure.

    15. GORO

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Before Scorpion became the poster boy of the series, Goro was the true icon of Mortal Kombat. He gelled well with the game’s digitized actors gimmick. You had all these real people to fight when suddenly – oh shit – here comes an eight-foot-tall monster with four arms made of stop-motion animation who shows up to kick your ass before the game can even go back to the ladder screen to show your next opponent.

    What was impressive was that he was the boss everyone cared about despite not being THE boss. Shang Tsung was the big villain behind it all that you fought last, but it didn’t matter because compared to Goro, the game treated Shang like an afterthought.

    Goro best represented the alien nature of Outworld, especially in the first game when it took place in Earthrealm and had minimum otherworldly craziness. Goro’s a lot like Baraka in that his staying power dwindled from game to game no matter how many times they tried to remind you of how cool he used to be. At least Goro got special treatment over the years, being an added character in the home ports of Mortal Kombat 4, the Gamecube port of Deception, and the pre-order bonus for Mortal Kombat X.

    Originally, I had Goro below Kintaro on the list, but he's so great in Mortal Kombat X. For the first time in years, they really have a good grasp on how to make him work. That apparently includes tearing random dudes in half in the middle of conversations.

    14. KOTAL KAHN

    First Appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    Kotal Kahn at the very least represents a great idea: why do all the rulers of Outworld have to be complete monsters? Make no mistake, Kotal Kahn is no hero. He has people publicly executed for committing acts of desperate thievery and his lack of intent in challenging Shinnok paints him as a coward. But he’s still honorable, is a fairly strong leader, actually cares for his allies, and will do anything to protect his planetary kingdom. He’s essentially Mortal Kombat’s version of Black Adam and Namor.

    Kotal’s painted in a better light in the Mortal Kombat X comic where we see that his journey into Earthrealm centuries ago led to him becoming recognized and worshipped as the Mayan god of war and sacrifice, something that fits well into his appearance and fighting style. He also has the most badass fight against Goro, where he rides in on a T-Rex, fries Rain by summoning an intense sun beam breaking through the clouds, tears Goro’s arms off, and then refuses to kill him because that would be a greater insult.

    His ending in Mortal Kombat X suggests the main plot of the next game and I hope that’s the direction they’re going in. Kotal Kahn defending his world against Earthrealm in Mortal Kombat is a million dollar idea.

    13. CYRAX

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    Cyrax is what Smoke should have been. He started off as interchangeable with Sektor in Mortal Kombat 3, but got the more haunting ending where he was beaten up by Sub-Zero, reprogrammed to kill Shao Kahn, and then malfunctioned and got lost in the desert, buried up to his neck in sand. Rather than just move on, they used that to give Cyrax a redemption arc where Jax and Sonya rescued him and helped him remember his humanity.

    Cyrax became a Special Forces agent up until his death in Armageddon. Then the reboot happened and showed that much like Sub-Zero and Smoke, Cyrax also opposed the whole “turn everyone into robots” concept, which came off as more tragic because he was alone and his capture and transformation were only alluded to.

    12. KABAL

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat 3

    If Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that being covered in respirators doesn’t hurt your stature as long as you’re ominous and mysterious enough to offset the fact that you can keel over at any moment.

    When introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, Kabal was the absolute definition of anti-hero. He had the striking appearance filled with mystique, the many scars, the sweet hookswords, and the evil-turned-good backstory. It just sucks that they chose not to really do anything with him for a while after that. He should have been in Mortal Kombat 4 or at least Gold.

    Then they stealth killed him and brought him back as a villain again, which kind of ruined him. Then again, considering his history, it does say a lot that Kabal’s main quality is his complete lack of conviction. Even Kano will act proud of who he is. A man with no spine is dangerous in his own way.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    Finally, they did it. They introduced a new main hero character who is actually likeable.

    Cassie is the best of both worlds between her parents. She has Sonya’s military leadership and access to all sorts of fun government weaponry, but with Johnny’s swagger, sense of humor, and tendency to hit people in the junk. Similarly, she follows up Johnny’s autograph signing Friendship by doing a Fatality based on her doing a selfie. Usually something like that would come off as too corny and forced, but they go so over-the-top with it, to the point of showing a Facebook knockoff page with scrolling comments from other kombatants, and it’s one of the true highlights of the new game. Sonya’s exasperation that Cassie is online friends with Kano is amusing to no end.

    Cassie is everything you’d want out of a good female protagonist and it’s wonderful that NetherRealm was able to hit the potential on such a fun character design. Adding to that, her ending shows her killing Shujinko and that in itself gets her ranked above Kotal at the very least.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat X

    Erron Black is the Boba Fett of Mortal Kombat. He gets punked out in the main story, but he’s still this mysterious and menacing mercenary bastard dressed in an outdated outfit. Everything about him just oozes cool.

    He’s nigh-immortal as payment for assassinating a would-be Mortal Kombat contender back in the 1800s. He was kidnapped by Tarkatans back during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, but killed them all and chose to remain in Outworld as a gun for hire anyway. He wears a mask purely for style points. Not only does he use outdated – yet effective – Wild West weaponry, but also sand grenades and a sword fashioned out of a Tarkatan arm (which may very well be Baraka’s if you look at the chronology).

    Yet nothing beats Erron Black’s X-Ray attack where he literally has a bullet with your name written on it. How fitting that the breakout character from Mortal Kombat X would be #10.

    9. RAIDEN

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    I could basically just explain Raiden’s spot in the top ten with Christopher Lambert saying, “The fate of billions will depend upon you, heh heh heh... Sorry,” in the movie, but I might as well go on.

    Originally introduced as a one-dimensional villain, Raiden was retconned into being Earthrealm’s go-to mentor character in Mortal Kombat II. Despite having a presence in nearly every game, they’ve done a fantastic job keeping him fresh. He wasn’t in Mortal Kombat 3 or Ultimate, which only hyped him up for Trilogywhere they just used his sprites from Mortal Kombat IIand added a lame new move. He took center stage in Mortal Kombat 4and by Deadly Alliance, his leader shtick was starting to get a little tired.

    Deceptionsuddenly reinvented him. He died and was reborn as a corrupt parody of himself. No longer a compassionate god with the heart of a human, he instead became cold and merciless, wiping out anyone he deemed a threat to Earthrealm. He went back to his classic self in the reboot, which painted him as the biggest screw-up. It was hilarious! He kept trying to change history and nearly every time, he just proceeded to make things worse. In fact, here’s Mortal Kombat 9summed up.

    Accidentally killing off most of the cast? You better believe that’s a paddlin’!


    First appearance (as Sub-Zero): Mortal Kombat

    First appearance (as Noob Saibot): Mortal Kombat II

    Bi-Han is the older Sub-Zero and the one to appear in Mortal Kombat and his own spin-off game. While Mythologies: Sub-Zero was pretty mediocre, the storyline was actually quite good and reminds me a lot of Vincent Vega’s downfall in Pulp Fiction.

    Sub-Zero did a mission that blew up in his face, and when he tried to make things right, he was told by a higher power that he was capable of being a good person if he strayed away from his life as an assassin. He chose not to and his sins caught up with him. Had he gone away from the Lin Kuei, he would have not only become something more, but he wouldn’t have been killed by Scorpion, much like how if Vega had left the life of crime behind like Jules did, he wouldn’t have been shot dead on the crapper.

    Noob Saibot represents the dark sickness that comes from the cycle of violence. As explained in the reboot, by giving into his thirst for vengeance, Scorpion unleashed something horrible onto the world. Interestingly enough, the two have never had any interaction despite their relationship and how they were both on Quan Chi’s payroll at the same time (say what you will, Quan’s fantastic at management). Regardless, Bi-Han makes for a great foil for Scorpion and the other Sub-Zero.

    7. KENSHI

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

    Without a doubt, the best design to come out past the original trilogy, and I can’t imagine too many would disagree with me. With a look that feels like Solid Snake mixed with Daredevil, Kenshi showed up in Deadly Alliance as a completely fitting warrior with some serious staying power.

    The blind swordsman is dedicated to exacting revenge on Shang Tsung for tricking him, removing his sight, and feasting on the souls of his ancestors. He’s more than a man of vengeance, though, as he’s also a member of the Special Forces and honorably works towards their ends.

    Despite being revealed as a good buddy of both Sub-Zero and Scorpion, Kenshi is far from a Mary Sue character. In fact, in his first appearance, he canonically gets his ass handed to him by Mavado and spends the next game healing from his injuries. His ending in Armageddon is also a bit of a downer.

    6. ERMAC

    First appearance: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

    Originally a false rumor, Ermac first made an official appearance in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 as a ninja with telekinetic attacks who had zero story. Really, his ending was a lame thing about how he only beat up Shao Kahn to prove he existed. Wonderful.

    In Trilogy, they finally gave him an identity as a being made entirely of warrior souls that Shao Kahn had collected over the years. That made him unique enough, as one of Kahn’s enforcers, but Ermac didn’t really come into his own until Deadly Alliance (where he was mentioned, though not actually in the game) and Deception, where he broke the bonds of Kahn and became the series’ new, wise mentor character, replacing the darkened Raiden while sporting a sweet, red mummy/ninja outfit. They also made him powerful enough to take on Kung Lao, Kitana, Jax, Sonya, and Johnny Cage all by himself.

    NetherRealm added to his concept in the reboot. It was revealed that not only was Ermac the one responsible for Jax needing metal arm replacements, but – in a really ingenious twist – of all the souls residing in Ermac, one of them is King Jerrod, Kitana's father. That’s why without Kahn controlling his will, Ermac’s more heroic. Jerrod is the dominant personality.

    5. MILEENA

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    Mortal Kombat gets some well-deserved guff for the way the female characters are over-sexualized, but I always thought it was pretty funny of them to focus the male gaze on the monster-faced woman. Really, back when Deceptioncame out, they released an official image of a topless (albeit covered) Mileena, and in Mortal Kombat 9, the reward for completing Challenge Tower is an outfit where Mileena wears some strategically-placed bandages with her ass hanging out. Yet at the same time, she’s facially nightmare fuel. While having Kitana and Sindel walk around in bathing suits is cheesy, there’s a creepy, succubus-like feel to it when it’s Mileena.

    Despite being defined by her jealousy of Kitana and her relationship with Baraka, Mileena finds a way to outshine them both. She’s playful, entitled, psychotic, and completely unpredictable. Despite her bloodthirsty nature, and the fact that she was created to be the ultimate killing machine, Kitana’s Mortal Kombat 9 ending shows that even Mileena has the potential to do good. Especially when you move her away from Kitana, Mileena has a freaky charisma to her that would make nearly any story direction an interesting one.

    4. SHAO KAHN

    First appearance: Mortal Kombat II

    When they announced Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, everyone talked about how silly a matchup it was, but not me. I knew the reason why these two worlds would collide: there is nobody in the realm of fiction more fitting a counterpart to Darkseid than Shao Kahn. Piss off, Thanos. You don’t even rank.

    Shao Kahn the Konqueror is such a wonderful villain. A barbarian sorcerer pimp who will stop beating the everloving hell out of you just to tell you how much better he is. I already mentioned his hubris in Kitana’s entry, but really, his only downfall is that he’ll give you the slightest chance to win by stopping, pointing, and saying, “You weak, pathetic fool!” And yet, he’d still probably take you out with a magic sledgehammer to the skull.

    There’s a reason why Kahn keeps being brought back to the forefront and why he immediately came back in Mortal Kombat 3 instead of trying to replace him with a bigger threat. Simply put, you can’t get better than Kahn. They peaked too early.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Until recently, the Mortal Kombat games have done a weak job expressing personality in its fighters in-game. Especially in the first game, we got a Fatality, a win pose, and the animated clip of each character during the bio screens when nobody was playing the game.

    Sure, Scorpion had his, “GET OVER HERE!” but it’s not like it really meant anything to the character. Johnny Cage, though? He pumped his fist, pulled out his sunglasses, slipped them on, and posed with his arms crossed. With that and his legendary split-punch attack, you KNEW that he was a tremendous-yet-loveable douchebag. He would keep that going throughout the series.

    Cage owes a lot to Linden Ashby’s performance in the movie, which gave a perfect idea of what he should be. While a goofball character, I’ve always loved the bittersweet storyline going on when they put him in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, where Johnny knew that destroying Kahn would ultimately cause his own death, but was determined to take him out anyway.

    Regardless, we didn’t get peak Cage until the reboot, where his douchiness went completely critical: the glasses breaking during his new win pose, the fact that he has “JOHNNY” tattooed on his chest and “CAGE” on a belt buckle, the fact that he starred in a movie called Ninja Mime, his cheesy one-liners meant to woo Sonya...Cage went from pretty great to greatly great.

    Mortal Kombat X shows that Johnny ages like fine wine. His many, many pre-match conversations make him all the more lovable.


    First appearance: Mortal Kombat

    Swerve! No, Scorpion isn’t #1, but it was close. It’s neat how such a secondary character became so likeable that no matter who they put in the main hero role, he was the one that everyone considered the true icon of the franchise. He was only missing in one fighting game, Mortal Kombat 3, and they were able to sell an upgrade mostly based on, “Hey, this one has Scorpion in it!”

    Scorpion is all-purpose. He can be good, evil, somewhere in-between, but he’s always got that badass aura. No matter how gullible he gets, he’s still a fire-spitting, demon ninja from Hell. Mortal Kombat X finally gave him closure on the revenge front and took away his flaming skull by making him human again, but it's okay because his new beard is pretty righteous.


    First appearance (as Sub-Zero): Mortal Kombat II

    First appearance (as Cyber Sub-Zero): Mortal Kombat 9

    In that DC crossover, they were very protective of Batman. Anyone could beat up Superman because they had an in-game explanation for that. Batman, though? He’s only human, but he’s the greatest human warrior there is, so nobody should be allowed to beat him in the story mode. At least nobody from a visiting reality where all people do is fight.

    The second Sub-Zero, Kuai Liang, was the one Mortal Kombat character allowed to kick Batman’s ass. Then in his ending, Sub-Zero went on to don a cape and become the Batman of the Mortal Kombat world. Why? Because Sub-Zero is the best Mortal Kombat character.

    There’s so many great things about Kuai Liang Sub-Zero. The fact that his first official appearance is in the Mortal Kombat II comic, where he steps out of a high-tech aircraft piloted by ninjas, only he’s wearing a 3-piece suit with sunglasses, and he’s handing out Lin Kuei business cards.

    In Mortal Kombat 3, he’s so disgusted by the thought of being turned into a robot that he stops wearing his classic duds and instead becomes Henry Rollins with red paint over his eye. The whole idea that he tried to take over the Lin Kuei and turn them into an entire ninja clan of good guys. The fact that he started dressing up as the Shredder for kicks. Knowing that Luke Perry voiced him on the cartoon. That whole thing in Mortal Kombat 9 where, as Cyber Sub-Zero, he single handedly saved a bunch of soldiers from Kano, Goro, Kintaro, and Ermac, and the soldiers were all in awe about how rad he was.

    All of that, and Sub-Zero had easily the best ending in Mortal Kombat history.

    Agree? Disagree? Should Jarek have been in the top 10? Sound off in the comments below!

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

    Gavin Jasper is disturbed by the amount of Sub-Zero/Elsa shipping fan art there is on the internet. No, really. That is a thing. Follow him on Twitter.

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    World of Warcraft's latest event has some fans worried about the Battle for Azeroth expansion.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Aug 1, 2018

    A major event has shaken the World of Warcraftcommunity ahead of the release of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. 

    The War of the Thorns event saw the Horde and the Alliance clash once more. This time, though, famous Warcraft character Sylvanas Windrunner led the Horde into battle. For those who may have never heard of her, you just need to know that Sylvanas was once a high elf who became corrupted and went on to lead a faction of the undead. Now that she leads the horde, she's taken the war to Northern Kalimdor, the land of the Night Elves. 

    As you can see in the video above, Sylvanas and the Horde take no prisoners. In fact, they've even destroyed one of WoW's most iconic visuals, the fabled World Tree. Remarkably, this is just one of several such events that will happen before the release of the upcoming expansion.

    It was a devastating moment that should have united WoWplayers everywhere as they prepare for Battle for Azeroth. However, the circumstances of this event have divided the game's fanbase. 

    See, there are some players who aren't happy with the way that this event was seemingly engineered entirely for shock value. Until this point, Sylvanas Windrunner has been more of an anti-hero who strode a thin moral line. This attack turns her - and the horde - into fairly basic villains. In fact, the situation is reminding many players of a dark time in Warcraft lore when the Horde was little more than a band of stock villains. 

    While it's tempting to call this a case of fandom and "M' Lore!," there's actually more to it than that. Given that the Battle for Azeroth expansion is supposed to recapture the spirit of the Horde vs. Alliance conflict, Horde players are a bit upset that the fascinating and complex Horde vs. Alliance conflicts of the past have seemingly been watered down. 

    We'll see whether future events bring back some moral ambiguity. 

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Explore the mysteries that abound in a world of absolute horror in The Sinking City, a game that mixes H.P. Lovecraft with L.A. Noire.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Aug 1, 2018

    The Sinking City takes place in the fictional city of Oakmont, Massachusetts during the 1920s. Lovecraftian deities have wrecked havoc on the area and have left the town of Oakmont largely underwater. Despite the inconvenience - and the sudden presence of fish people who roam the city - some human citizens remain trying to make the best of a bad situation. You play as a private investigator who soon finds himself caught up in a web of conspiracies.

    The Lovecraftian elements of Sinking City are obvious and entirely unabashed. While few Lovecraftian creatures have been name-dropped thus far, the game's monsters are most certainly inspired by both Lovecraft and the creations of H.R. Giger. Additionally, there seems to be an insanity mechanic in place which can affect how the player's character sees the world. Anyone familiar with the GameCube classic Eternal Darkness should have an idea of how sanity can affect the game's world.

    While the Lovecraftian elements of the game are deeply embedded into its every dark corner, The Sinking City is actually more of a defective title in the style of L.A. Noire. That means that players will often receive requests and assignments that require them to investigate, interview, and ultimately solve the case. Unlike L.A. Noire, there are very few objective markers in the game or other clear points of direction. Instead, you'll be required to pick up on context clues and certain pieces of dialogue in order to understand where you should go next in the process of your investigation.

    Put it all together and you've got a taut mystery thriller bolstered by certain horror elements that compliment the underlying noir story quite well. If that sounds too much like we're describing a particularly fine wine, just imagine a scarier version of L.A. Noire with tighter gameplay and you'll know why we're so excited about this one.

    Here's what we know about The Sinking City

    The Sinking City News

    The latest trailer for The Sinking City features a few brief glimpses at the title's mysterious gameplay. Check it out:

    The Sinking City Release Date

    The Sinking City is currently set to release on March 21, 2019, for PC. 

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

    The Sinking City Trailers

    The Sinking City, the game that combines the kind of '40s murder mysteries seen in L.A. Noire and the world of H.P. Lovecraft, has a new teaser trailer. 

    The trailer above doesn't dive into the details of The Sinking City, but that seems to be the point. This title from Frogwares Game Development Studio, the studio responsible for many recent Sherlock Holmes games, is seemingly built around a thick layer of mystery and intrigue that will surely unravel as players explore this intriguing upcoming release. In case you missed the game's official reveal, check out this developer diary. 

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    Darksiders 3 finally returns in this much-anticipated sequel. Here's what we know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 31, 2018

    Darksiders 3  will cast players into the role of a mage named Fury who uses a whip and magical abilities to fight various forms of evil. Fury is a member of the franchise's Four Horsemen and is described as "unpredictable and enigmatic." The first two Darksiders games featured two other members of the mythical Four Horsemen (War and Death), so this character description does seem to fit the design of the series. 

    The sequel is an "open-ended, living, free-form game" that will require players to use Fury's skills in order to defeat the seven deadly sins. The product description and various screenshots also make note of the game's retention of the franchise's signature art style. 

    The history of the Darksiders franchise has always been fascinating from a development perspective. It was originally conceived by THQ as a hack-and-slash action/adventure title with gothic horror elements. The second game expanded upon many of the elements the first title established but mostly served to give players more of the same. 

    Both Darksiders games received a good deal of acclaim from those who played them but were always seen as fundamentally flawed experiences that exhibited more potential than they realized. When THQ shut down, Darksiders was still seen as one of their most valuable former properties. That's hardly a surprise given just how much the franchise's fans love these games. 

    With the franchise now in the hands of THQ Nordic, it will be interesting to see if they are able to fully realize the potential of the game's formula. 

    Here's everything else we know about Darksiders 3:

    Darksiders 3 Release Date

    Darksiders 3 will be released on Nov. 27, 2018. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, and PC. 

    Darksiders 3 Trailer

    Darksiders 3 is officially coming! Here's the first trailer for the game:

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    The Evolution Championship Series will be punching faces all weekend. Here's a look at the games involved.

    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Aug 2, 2018

    Since the early 00s, the Evolution Championship Series has been like the Olympics of one-on-one fighting games. The three-day event will return once again and take place August 3-5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

    Formerly called the Battle by the Bay, this will be the seventeenth official Evo tournament (not counting the recent Evo Japan). As usual, the roster of games has been revealed with a little over half a year before showtime.

    Several games will return for another year. Several games will be replaced with upgrades or have some DLC added. But there's also a couple games that get cut completely due to new blood. This year especially, since they've gone from nine games to eight.

    Now, before I get to the games we will be getting in Evo 2018, I have to mention the biggest news: there will be no Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

    The two-on-two X-Men-less fighter isn't even getting one year to disappoint before fading into obscurity. It's simply off the table to begin with. That is kind of insane! Keep in mind, every single American Evo has had a Marvel vs. Capcom game in it up until this point. Only the very first Battle by the Bay didn't and that was in 1996 when Marvel vs. Capcomwasn't even a thing yet!

    And there we are. Over the three days, thousands of fighting game players from around the world will be playing these eight games on various feeds, whittling down the numbers until it's clear who’s the best via double elimination tournaments. Of those games, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition will get the high-profile finals on Sunday.

    So let’s take a closer look at what we have to look forward to...



    First Year: 2018
    Replacing: Street Fighter V
    Game Type: 1-on-1, best of 3 rounds
    Number of Participants: 2484
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-10pm Friday, 8am-12pm Saturday (/CAPCOMFIGHTERS)
    Pools, Round 2: 12pm-4pm Saturday (/CAPCOMFIGHTERS)
    Semi Finals: 4pm-8pm Saturday (/CAPCOMFIGHTERS)
    Finals: 7:30pm-10pm Sunday (/EVO)

    Despite its crossover brother falling to his doom, Street Fighter Vtends to succeed quite a bit at Evo. Not only was it the final game of the last two years, but it also got featured on ESPN2. The game evolves by design as Capcom decided to just keep adding DLC content instead of releasing a brand new game with the same assets plus a couple extras.

    Regardless, they still released Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. It's a free upgrade to people who already own the original and it ushers in even more new names, alterations in balance, and now the ability to choose between two V-Trigger buffs for each character. Once again, we're set to have the granddaddy of the fighter genre get top billing.


    First Year: 2017
    Game Type: 1-on-1, best of 3 rounds.
    Number of Participants: 629
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-4pm Saturday (/EVO4)
    Pools, Round 2: 4pm-6pm Saturday (/EVO4)
    Semi Finals: 6pm-8pm Saturday (/EVO4)
    Finals: 8am-10:30am Sunday (/EVO)

    The absolutely beautiful Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- was introduced to Evo back in 2015 and made enough of an impact that its follow-up Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- replaced it a year later. The upgrade Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2hit in 2017 and much like its predecessors, it's a feast for the eyes. Last year saw a very unique Top 8 where none of the players used the same characters.

    In a year with more Arc System games than any other company, this will probably be Guilty Gear's last showing, but it will certainly be worth watching.


    First Year: 2015
    Game Type: 1-on-1, 2 lives, 6 minute time limit
    Number of Participants: 1354
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-8pm Friday (/EVO3)
    Pools, Round 2: 12pm-4pm Saturday (/EVO3)
    Semi Finals: 4pm-8pm Saturday (/EVO3)
    Finals: 8pm-10pm Saturday (/EVO)

    Smash 4 is making a fourth appearance. Last year saw DLC addition Bayonetta win the whole ball of wax. While it didn’t set the world on fire, the game was a bit easier to watch than its elderly brother. At least in my opinion. Mainly because the rounds are half as short. Smash 4rounds have two character stocks while Melee does four stocks.

    This will easily be its final showing as the Switch sequel is on its way.


    First Year: 2007
    Game Type: 1-on-1, 4 lives, 8 minute time limit
    Number of Participants: 1351
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-8pm Friday (/EVO2)
    Pools, Round 2: 8am-12pm Saturday (/EVO2)
    Semi Finals: 12pm-4pm Saturday (/EVO2)
    Finals: 10:30am-1:30pm Sunday (/EVO)

    Despite some major reluctance on Nintendo’s part, Meleewas re-added to the Evo roster in 2013 due to a charity auction that raised nearly $95,000. It ended up getting huge support, both in terms of players showing up and viewers watching it online, so it has since become an Evo staple. All this despite the game being from 2001.

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    Even with Smash 4 around, Meleestill gets a lot of play due to its insane fanbase. While it's a very divisive addition, Meleepretty much pays the bills with its huge following. It's like commercials: you just have to put up with them. Last year, Meleedidn't get to make the big stage on Sunday, annoying its players. This time, they'll return to the promise land while Smash 4 sits on the sidelines.

    TEKKEN 7

    First Year: 2015
    Game Type: 1-on-1, best of 5 rounds.
    Number of Participants: 1538
    Pools, Round 1: 4pm-10pm Friday, 8am-4pm Saturday (/EVO5)
    Pools, Round 2: 4pm-8pm Saturday (/EVO5)
    Semi Finals: 8pm-10pm Saturday (/EVO5)
    Finals: 1:30pm-4pm Sunday (/EVO)

    Tekken 7 was released just a month before Evo 2017 and yet the game has been part of Evo since 2015. It was the damnedest thing where it was out in the Japanese arcades, so they just used the Japanese arcades in the Evo tournament. They did it again in 2016 with the upgrade Tekken 7: Fated Retribution.

    Now that it's been out for a year internationally, it's a more even playing field. Since last year, there's been a couple names added as DLC, so the real change will come from how the competitive scene has taken to the game over time. Once again, it's all about evolution.


    First Year: 2017
    Game Type: 1-on-1, two life bars
    Number of Participants: 363
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-2pm Friday (/EVO5)
    Semi Finals: 2pm-4pm Friday (/EVO5)
    Finals: 12pm-4pm Saturday (/EVO)

    The NetherRealm games have been gradually been getting accustomed to the competitive fighting game scene. They bounced between Mortal Kombat 9, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat X, and then Injustice 2. Last year's showing ended a little flat, but it was still sort of huge because player Sonic Fox FINALLY lost a tournament. That guy's relentless with NetherRealm fighters.

    The game has had more time to breathe and more DLC has bulked up the roster. Hopefully the Top 8 is nothing but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe one Hellboy.

    Either way, don't expect any Injustice 2after this year, as the amount of participants is pretty damn scant.


    First Year: 2018
    Replacing: BlazBlue Central Fiction
    Game Type: 2-on-2, tag team
    Number of Participants: 1178
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-4pm Friday (/EVO4)
    Pools, Round 2: 4pm-8pm Friday (/EVO4)
    Semi Finals: 8pm-10pm Friday (/EVO4)
    Finals: 4pm-8pm Saturday (/EVO)

    BlazBluehas regularly been one of the under-the-radar games at Evo and last year's show announced this upcoming tag game that mixes BlazBlue's roster with Persona 4 Arena and RWBY. The game just came out in June, so it'll be a very raw debut year. Its success is up in the air, but it's been accepted as a pretty damn fun tag fighter.

    Then again, the most entertaining part of the game is that even months before release, it got a spot instead of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.


    First Year: 2018
    Replacing: Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, King of Fighters XIV
    Game Type: 3-on-3, tag team
    Number of Participants: 2575
    Pools, Round 1: 8am-10pm Friday, 8am-12pm Saturday (/EVO1)
    Pools, Round 2: 12pm-4pm Saturday (/EVO1)
    Semi Finals: 4pm-8pm Saturday (/EVO1)
    Finals: 4pm-7:30pm Sunday (/EVO)

    And here's the true main event of Evo. The holder of the hype. The game that labeled Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite obsolete the moment it was announced. While BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle features plenty of reused assets, Dragon Ball FighterZ is the one game on Evo 2018's list that truly feels fresh and brand new.

    Newly released, Dragon Ball FighterZ is pretty widely enjoyed and Arc System Works' quality shines through. Sure, we may not get a Marvel vs. Capcom game this year, but we will get another frenetic six-man tag fighter like all the other years. It's just by a different company with a different set of licensed superheroes shooting lasers.

    Still, while I've focused on Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's snubbing, I have to note that it's a bummer to see King of Fighters XIV getting the shaft too. I wish it had one more year in it, but the numbers last year were dire as hell, so there you go.

    Speaking of other fighting games, there will be some side tournament action. For 1pm-10pm Friday and 10am-10pm on /EVO7, as well as 4pm-8pm Saturday on /EVO2, there will be showcases for games such as EX Fighting Layer. Sadly, there isn't a concrete schedule for these at this time.

    Gavin Jasper sighed upon realizing that King of the Monsters got passed over yet again. Follow him on Twitter!

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    The Evolution Championship Series is starting up this weekend. Here are all nine EVO 2018 streams in one place!

    NewsGavin Jasper
    Aug 2, 2018

    Editor's Note: Make sure to check out our stream schedule and our guide to the 8 games of Evo 2018!

    The Evolution Championship Series begins this weekend. So many fighting games to watch, so little time. Well, comparatively, because the whole thing is three days long.

    There are eight main games: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Tekken 7, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Super Smash Brothers for Wii U, Blaz Blue Cross Tag Battle, and Injustice 2. There's also a couple streams of secondary tournaments going on too. Over the first couple days, we get the pools and semi finals of each game while Saturday gives us the finals for Injustice 2, Blaz Blue Cross Tag Battle, and Super Smash Brothers for Wii U.

    Sunday will feature the finals for the five remaining games.




    8am-6pm: The Jump Off
    6pm-8pm: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Exhibition
    8pm-10pm: SoulCalibur VI Exhibition


    8am-12pm: The Jump Off
    12pm-4pm: Injustice 2 Finals
    4pm-8pm: Blazblue Cross Tag Battle Finals
    8pm-10pm: Super Smash Brothers for Wii U Finals


    8am-10:30am: Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 Finals
    10:30am-1:30pm: Super Smash Brothers Melee Finals
    1:30pm-4pm: Tekken 7 Finals
    4pm-7:30pm: Dragon Ball FighterZ Finals
    7:30pm-10pm: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Finals



    8am-10pm: Dragon Ball FighterZ Round 1 Pools


    8am-12pm: Dragon Ball FighterZ Round 1 Pools
    12pm-4pm: Dragon Ball FighterZ Round 2 Pools
    4pm-8pm: Dragon Ball FighterZ Semi Finals



    8am-8pm: Super Smash Brothers Melee Round 1 Pools


    8am-12pm: Super Smash Brothers Melee Round 2 Pools
    12pm-4pm: Super Smash Brothers Melee Semi Finals
    4pm-8pm: Evo Featured Side Events



    8am-8pm: Super Smash Brothers for Wii U Round 1 Pools


    12pm-4pm: Super Smash Brothers for Wii U Round 2 Pools
    4pm-8pm: Super Smash Brothers for Wii U Semi Finals



    8am-4pm: Blaz Blue Cross Tag Battle Round 1 Pools
    4pm-8pm: Blaz Blue Cross Tag Battle Round 2 Pools
    8pm-10pm: Blaz Blue Cross Tag Battle Semi Finals


    8am-4pm: Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 Round 1 Pools
    4pm-6pm: Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 Round 2 Pools
    6pm-8pm: Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 Semi Finals



    8am-2pm: Injustice 2 Round 1 Pools2pm-4pm: Injustice 2 Semi Finals
    4pm-10pm: Tekken 7 Round 1 Pools


    8am-4pm: Tekken 7 Round 1 Pools
    4pm-8pm: Tekken 7 Round 2 Pools
    8pm-10pm: Tekken 7 Semi Finals



    6pm-10pm: The Jump Off


    12pm-6pm: The Jump Off



    1pm-10pm: Evo Featured Side Events


    10am-10pm: Evo Featured Side Events



    8am-10pm: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Round 1 Pools


    8am-12pm: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Round 1 Pools
    12pm-4pm: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Round 2 Pools
    4pm-8pm: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Semi Finals

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