All posts by Ryan McNeal

The 20 Most Exciting Games Coming in 2020

Here we are, on the last leg of this console generation. It’s been a wild ride with plenty of instant classics like God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and many more. However, we’re not quite done yet and 2020 is poised to potentially be a behemoth of a year with numerous heavy hitters.

So before we begin obsessing about the new hardware looming around the corner, let’s take some time to appreciate what’s waiting right in front of us. These are some of the most anticipated games coming systems this year.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Coming off the success of last year’s smash hit Dragon Ball FighterZ, Bandai Namco is back at it with another Dragon Ball game. Rather than make a sequel to the 2.5D fighter, however, this will be a new title that will emphasize gameplay outside of fighting.

Don’t be mistaken, there will still be plenty of fighting to be had. What’s a Dragon Ball game without some good ol’ fashioned fisticuffs? However, beyond reliving the franchise’s most memorable battles, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will also focus on the life and adventures of Goku.

Set as an open world action role playing game (RPG), players will be able to travel around and explore the Dragon Ball Z universe. You’ll be free to train, hunt, eat, and form bonds with other characters. While it’s not necessarily a first for Dragon Ball games, this one looks to be promising.

Release Date: Jan 17, 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Ghostrunner

What would happen if you took the parkour and exploration of Mirror’s Edge and combined it with the combat of Dishonored? You might get something that looks a lot like Ghostrunner. Riding on the current cyberpunk trend, Ghostrunner takes place in a techno-futuristic, dystopian tower city where inhabitants must fight over scarce resources.

Developed by One More Level, the game is a fast paced first person slasher where you play as a living weapon racing against the clock to discover the mysteries behind the tower, which acts as the last bastion of humanity. Compared to their other intellectual properties (IP), Ghostrunner looks like it could end up being the studio’s crowning achievement.

Release Date: 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Last Campfire

After No Man’s Sky, what will be Hello Games next big project? While that question remains to be answered, we do know their team is getting ready to release a smaller project by the name of The Last Campfire. Headed up by the two developers behind LostWinds, this new game has apparently been in the works for a few years and will be a “Hello Games Short.”

According to the studio’s founder, Sean Murray, this new “Shorts” program will be like “Pixar shorts… a way to foster creativity and new voices in the studio.” Little is known about the game currently, but is described as an adventure story about a lost ember, trapped in a puzzling place.

Release Date: 2020 for PC

West of Dead

Ready for some fast paced action, gunslinger? West of Dead is a tense twin stick shooter where you’ll be sending the undead back to the underground. You’ll need to use the surrounding environment, tactically using cover to your advantage, in order to survive the hordes of outlaws coming after your flaming skull.

Revealed during Microsoft’s XO19 event, the game is a procedurally-driven roguelike starring a Ghost Rider-esque supernatural sheriff voiced by Ron Perlman. An open beta for the game was made temporarily available on Xbox, but has since been taken down. If you didn’t get the chance to try the beta for yourself, you’ll just have to wait until later this year to get your hands on the full game.

Release Date: 2020 for all platforms

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima is a bit of a departure for the studio best known for the Infamous franchise. Similar to what Guerilla Games did with Horizon: Zero Dawn, Sucker Punch stepped out of their comfort zone to create a new IP unlike anything they’ve made before. While details are still hard to come by, what has been shown looks breathtaking.

The story is set in Japan, during a time when the Mongol Empire invaded the country. You play as one of the last surviving samurai who is forced throw away tradition and embrace unconventional warfare in order to achieve victory over this new threat. We can expect to see this PS4 exclusive release sometime this summer.

Release Date: 2020 for PS4

Little Nightmares II

Embracing a very Tim Burton-like aesthetic, Little Nightmares was a creepy, atmospheric puzzle-platformer that was a bit of a surprise hit when it came out in 2017. Now Tarsier Studios is back with a sequel. In this new story, the game will introduce a new character, Mono, to co-star alongside the previous game’s protagonist, Six.

Together, you’ll need to make your way past various horrors in order to reach the ominous and imposing Black Tower, where the mysterious “Broadcaster” will be waiting. Little Nightmares II will take place shortly after the events of the first game.

Release Date: 2020 for all platforms

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2

You can be forgiven if you don’t remember Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. It was a deep action RPG, based on a board game, that released in 2004. Although was a commercial failure (selling fewer than 100 thousand copies) it eventually became a cult classic years after its release. The story revolved around you, a recently made fledgling vampire, who was tasked with uncovering the truth behind a relic that could spell the end for all vampires.

Bloodlines 2 will take place in 21st century Seattle, during a civil war for control over the city’s blood trade. Entangled in not only a feud between powerful vampire families, but also the politics of the city itself, you’ll need to maneuver your way through the noise to uncover the conspiracy that ignited the war. The sequel will be in the hands of a new developer and publisher and is said to be inspired by Dishonored, at least in terms of the combat.

Release Date: 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Half-Life: Alyx

It’s finally happening, Valve is ready to give us a new Half-Life game after all of these years. However, it may not necessarily be the Half-Life game you were expecting. Rather than deliver a third main entry to the series, Valve will be giving us a game that takes place before the events of Half-Life 2.

This pre-sequel, titled Half-Life: Alyx, will be a flagship VR game centered around Alyx and her father as they fight against the occupying alien Combine. Could Half-Life: Alyx be THE must have VR game that finally convinces skeptics to embrace VR? We’ll have to wait until March to find out.

Release Date: March 2020 for PC

Axiom Verge 2

The original Axiom Verge was a passion project for creator and developer Todd Happ, who had previously worked on games like NFL Street and the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series. The game was a Metroidvania that emphasized exploration and introduced a variety of fun and interesting weapons and mechanics.

To many who played the original, released back in 2015, Axiom Verge seemed to scratch that itch Metroid fans had been waiting for Nintendo to deliver. As of right now, this sequel has only been confirmed for the Switch, but that could change as more information is released later this year.

Release Date: 2020 for Nintendo Switch

The Pathless

From the creators of the underwater exploration game Abzu, The Pathless is a game centered around an archer, her pet bird, and a forest filled with intimidating creatures. Unlike Giant Squid Studios’ first game, The Pathless appears to lean much more into the action genre. Not much is known about the title as of right now, but judging off the trailers, it looks like it will be a beautiful, yet intense ride.

Release Date: 2020 for PC, PS4

Final Fantasy VII Remake

One of the many heavy hitters headlining this year is Square Enix’s remake of Final Fantasy VII. A renewed retelling of a classic that is considered by many to be the best story in the entire franchise. However, if you think this will be just a simple rehashing with enhanced visuals, you would be mistaken.

In addition to the higher resolution, this remake will adopt a real-time, action-based battle system. Although, if you prefer the old turn-based combat, you’ll have the option to choose “Classic Mode.” The story will also be slightly changed to not only be a better fit with modern audiences, but also to provide greater depth into every part of the story.

The demo shown at game events throughout 2019 has received a flood of glowing impressions, so it’s not hard to understand the hype behind this one. Fortunately, it appears that demo (which is estimated to be about an hour long) will be made available for the rest of us to experience very soon.

Release Date: March 3, 2020 for PS4

No More Heroes 3

Making quite the bombastic introduction at the 2019 Game Awards, the flashy hero assassin, Travis Touchdown, is back. This will be the first mainline game in the series since 2010. Taking place nine years after the events of No More Heroes 2 (NMH2), and two years after Travis Strikes Again, NMH3 will be about aliens trying to take over Earth posing as “Goddamn Superheroes.” The former top assassin will need to come out of retirement to save the planet from these superpowered conquerors.

Release Date: 2020 for Switch

Twin Mirror

DONTNOD Entertainment has been very busy lately. The studio has pumped out multiple projects—Vampyr, Captain Spirit, and Life is Strange 2—all within a two year window. Now they’re hard at work developing two new IPs expected for release later this year. One of those two titles is the narrative-driven investigation game Twin Mirror.

You play as an investigative journalist who travels back to his hometown for a friend’s funeral, only to wake up in a hotel with a shirt covered in blood. The game appears as if it will be heavily influenced by the surreal crime drama Twin Peaks. It also looks like the studio will be revisiting the idea of memory exploration, something DONTNOD experimented with in their first game, Remember Me.

Release Date: 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Last of Us Part II

Between The Last of Us Part II, Cyberpunk 2077, Ghost of Tsushima, and the remake of Final Fantasy VII, it’s hard to say what the most anticipated game of 2020 is. All four titles are expected to be game of the year contenders, lending credence to just how big of a year this will be for gamers.

Revealed in 2016, the long-awaited follow-up to Naughty Dog’s critical hit, will have Ellie in the central role rather than Joel. Set five years into the future, this sequel will see a new, hardened version of Ellie who is now living with a band of survivors. It appears the story will be even grittier this time around with co-writer Halley Gross stating,

“Ultimately, this is a story about the cycle of violence, right? But beyond that, it’s a conversation about the effects systemic trauma can have on your soul.”

This theme has been made more than evident with some of the dark and grisly trailers we’ve been shown so far. Likely to be another intense and emotional outing, this is a game that is sure to have people talking long after its release.

Release Date: May 29, 2020 for PS4

Cris Tales

Cris Tales is a gorgeous, time traveling indie game that pays homage to Japanese RPGs like Choro Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and Persona 5. Under development by Modus Games, you join protagonist Crisbell on her journey to stop an evil empress and prevent a world altering calamity. What makes this game stand out is a feature that allows you to experience the past, present, and future simultaneously. Having this ability gives you the power to reshape the world depending on the choices you make.

Release Date: 2020 for all platforms

Resolutiion

If you were a fan 2016’s Hyper Light Drifter (HLD), you might want to give Resolutiion a look. In this new, upcoming indie you’ll play as the character Valor, a killer who is given the mission of escorting an AI to infiltrate a terrorist network. Resolutiion is an action adventure game that appears to take inspiration from HLD’s art style and challenging, close quarters combat.

Release Date: 2020 for all platforms

Cyberpunk 2077

What’s left to say that hasn’t already been said about this game? I could go on and on about how visually stunning it looks. I could ramble about the impressive amount detail and player choice shown throughout both of the lengthy gameplay reveals. I could even tell you about CD Projekt Red’s pedigree for developing excellent games. But I think it would be best to leave it at, your partner is freaking Keanu Reeves as a cyber ghost.

In all seriousness, however, there’s a reason why Cyberpunk 2077 is on everyone’s most anticipated list. The level of quality and attention poured into this game is something that cannot be denied. Not to mention, it will easily be CD Projekt Red’s most ambitious game to date, which is saying something.

Release Date: April 16, 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Outriders

From the creators of Bulletstorm comes a one to three player, drop in and out co-op shooter set in a sci-fi universe. Described as a “dark and desperate” modern shooter, Outriders puts you smack dab in the middle of a hostile alien world filled with menacing beasts.

The title of this game is interesting, considering Square Enix is currently working on an Avengers game. Despite any mention of Marvel, this game shares a name with the mindless, subservient species Thanos uses during his invasion of Wakanda. We likely won’t find out whether this is an intentional or coincidental connection until the game releases later this year.

Release Date: 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

The highly praised Ori and the Blind Forest is getting a much deserved sequel called Ori and the Will of the Wisps. This game is a challenging action platformer with Metroidvania elements mixed in. In this new adventure, you’ll be discovering the mysteries that reside beyond the forest of Nibel, uncovering secrets and revealing the truth of Ori’s destiny.

Release Date: March 11, 2020 for PC, Xbox One

Marvel’s Avengers

Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be getting any new Avengers movies any time soon. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t still get our Avengers fix. Slated for late spring, Crystal Dynamics will be bringing Marvel’s Avengers to consoles and PC. This third person action adventure game has been described as Destiny-like, having singleplayer and four person co-op, as well as regular updated content that will be delivered over multiple years. The game will feature an original story that is said to have zero ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Release Date: May 15, 2020 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

Could GTA Become a Playstation Exclusive? – The Side Questers Podcast (Ep. 4)

This week we talk about Gearbox teasing a new game, Hyper Light Drifter Dev’s new game announcement, Google preparing for a big announcement at GDC, and the rumor Sony was in talks to acquire Take Two Interactive.

You can also follow the podcast at:

https://soundcloud.com/user-764945846

https://open.spotify.com/show/5nCZ9xo…

Ryan McNeal

http://www.twitter.com/ryanmcneal24

http://www.inverse.com/user/306-ryan-mcneal

Justin Staggs

http://www.instagram.com/justbryyce/

http://www.twitter.com/RyderOfBrohan

The Most Underrated Games – The Side Questers Podcast (Ep. 3)

This week we talk about the games we think are the most underrated. We’ll also talk about the news including THQNordic’s apology, Square Enix shutting down streaming of Left Alive, Cyberpunk 2077 at E3, and more.

You can also follow the podcast at:

Soundcloud

Spotify

News:

  • 18:20 – Square Enix disables streaming for Left Alive
  • 21:57 – PlayStation Vita production has ended in Japan
  • 26:40 – Horizon Zero Dawn sells 10 million copies
  • 29:45 – Cyberpunk 2077 coming back to E3
  • 37:20 – THQ Nordic apologizes for 8chan AMA
  • 41:45 – Pokemon Sword and Shield announced

Topic of the day!

45:21 – The most underrated games ever

Indie Spotlight:

53:47 – The Occupation

56:14 – Game releases

Ryan McNeal

http://www.twitter.com/ryanmcneal24

http://www.inverse.com/user/306-ryan-mcneal

Justin Staggs

http://www.instagram.com/justbryyce/

http://www.twitter.com/RyderOfBrohan

16 Games to Look Forward to in 2019

In 2018, we arguably had some of the best games to come out of this console generation. We saw a number of titles like God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Celeste, and more awe critics and gamers alike. However, it’s a new year and it’s time to look forward to the upcoming releases of 2019.

What will be the games that we can’t stop talking about this year? Will we be pleasantly surprised by an indie or will a AAA title have us struggling to put down the controller? Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to find out, but until then, here are some amazing looking games coming out in 2019.

Anthem

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If handling powerful weapons, flying around in versatile exosuits, and decimating vicious monsters sounds like fun to you, then Anthem may be right up your alley. Bioware’s newest game is a third-person sci-fi action game that places you in a world full of chaos and mutated monsters. You play the role of a freelancer (pilots who use exosuits, called Javelins, to traverse the world) and by yourself or with the help of a team of up to three others, you’ll take on the various challenges that are ever present on this untamed planet. Anthem releases for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on Feb. 22.

The Pathless

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The developers behind the mesmerizing underwater adventure game Abzu, revealed The Pathless during the 2018 Game Awards. Little is currently known about Giant Squid Studios’ newest title other than what was shown during the trailer: the main character is an archer, she has a pet bird she can use to fly, and you’ll interact with some intimidating forest beasts. Judging by the trailer, it looks like this game will be every bit as visually and stylistically beautiful as Abzu was.

Devil May Cry 5

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Capcom’s beloved spectacle fighter is back with all the glorious over-the-top weapons you’d expect from the franchise and hordes of new gruesome demons to use those weapons on. Devil May Cry 5 will take the game back to its original series, being a proper sequel to DMC4 instead of a sequel to the 2013 reboot DmC: Devil May Cry. However, according to an interview with Producer Matt Walker, the development team holds DmC in high regards and plans on incorporating the best parts from both sides of the series into DMC5. DMC5 is scheduled for release on March 8 for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

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Sayonara Wild Hearts is self-described as a “euphoric music video dream about being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200mph.” This new game, made for the Nintendo Switch, will be the first console game from the small Swedish studio Simogo.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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FromSoftware, best known for Bloodborne and the Souls games, is expanding its lineup with a new franchise, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Unlike its previous action games, Sekiro will be more of a stealth focused game that will require a strategic balance between secrecy and combat. You can expect to see this game on March 22 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Soundfall

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Soundfall is a fast-paced twin-stick shooter that manages to fuse a rhythm game with a dungeon crawler. In addition to a story-based single-player mode, it will also offer a co-op mode with up to four players. This music-driven experience will be the debut title from Drastic Games, an indie studio created by two former Epic Games developers. You’ll be able to find Soundfall on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year.

Mortal Kombat 11

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Ed Boon, co-creator of Mortal Kombat, took us all by surprise by dropping a Mortal Kombat 11 reveal trailer before reading off the nominees for best sports game at the 2018 Game Awards. The trailer showed that MK11 will give us more of that brutal and gory combat the Mortal Kombat franchise is known for. In addition to the trailer, a press release was sent out mentioning a custom character variation system. The previous game had pre-set character variations, so this new feature seems like a natural step up from that. Mortal Kombat 11 will be out on all platforms on April 23.

Inmost

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You may know Chucklefish as the publisher for games like Stardew Valley or Risk of Rain. One of their most recent partnerships is with a small Lithuania-based developer, called Hidden Layer Games, that’s working a creepy pixelated PC game called Inmost. In this game, you’ll play as one of three playable characters that each have their own gameplay mechanics and dark story that interconnects with the other two stories.

Rage 2

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Rage is a game that’s hard to remember, not because it was bad, but because it was just kind of ordinary and bland. It appears that won’t be the case for Rage 2. Going off the trailers, it seems as if Rage 2 really wants to leave an impression this time around by amping up the over-the-top violence, humor, and adding some much-needed color to the mix. Expect this one to come out on May 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Narita Boy

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Studio Koba describes Narita Boy as a “retro-futuristic pixel game,” where you play as a “legendary digital hero in an epic quest through simultaneous dimensions.” If the art style isn’t enough to grab your interest, maybe a floppy disc hoverboard, a horse made out of old computers, or cutting down enemies with a rainbow-colored techno sword will be. Narita Boy was originally scheduled for release on the Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC for 2018, but has since been delayed to December 2019.

Lone Echo II

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Developer Ready at Dawn received a heap of praise for it’s VR title Lone Echo. The game was considered a must-play experience for its incredible immersion and storytelling. Lone Echo II will be a direct sequel and will take place shortly after the events from the first game. Like Lone Echo, Lone Echo II will also be an Oculus exclusive.

Man of Medan

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After the success of Until Dawn, everyone was excited to see what Supermassive Games would do next for the franchise. Unfortunately, there’s no information about a proper sequel to Until Dawn. The good news, however, is that Supermassive will be working on a series of other standalone cinematic branching horror games they call The Dark Pictures Anthology. Man of Medan will be the first entry in the Anthology and it looks to be exactly what fans were hoping for. Unlike Until Dawn, Man of Medan will be a multiplatform title and will be available for Xbox One and PC.

Days Gone

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Days Gone is a PS4 exclusive that’s an open world zombie apocalypse game set in the Pacific Northwest. You play the role of Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter who will need to use his guns and his brain to survive threats both zombie and human alike. The most notable features of Days Gone are the massive hordes of “Freakers” that can come after Deacon at any given moment, the dynamic weather system, and the ever-changing hazards in the world. Days Gone has an April 26 release date.

Control

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Control is Remedy Entertainment’s new mind-bending sci-fi action adventure game. In this story, you are part of an elite secretive agency based in New York called the Federal Bureau of Control. Control has been taken over by an otherworldly threat and it’s up to you and your new found powers to solve the problem. Combat involves not just shooting, but also using your powers to turn the entire surrounding environment into your weapon. Control will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Yoshi’s Crafted World

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Yoshi is back for another adventure and this time he’ll be making his way through a world that looks like it was made in an arts and crafts store. Yoshi’s Crafted World‘s cardboard cutout diorama-like world is a new art style for the series, but that not the only important change. This new game will also introduce a perspective-shifting feature that will shake up the traditional left-to-right side-scrolling gameplay. Yoshi’s Crafted World is a Nintendo Switch exclusive expected to land on March 29.

Gears 5

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Kait Diaz will be the star of this newest iteration of the Gears of War franchise. With the help of JD and Marcus Fenix, you’ll be tasked with uncovering the origins of the Locust. Revealed back at E3 2018, the trailer showed that this game will not only offer a wide variety of distinct locations, those locations will also be full of color. A pleasant change from the persistent grey tones that plagued the previous games. Gears 5 will be playable on the Xbox One and PC.

Floating on Cloud 9 – BioShock Infinite Review

BioShock Infinite is a game that has been divisive since it was released. It seems there are many people who are high on it and a similar number of people aren’t as high on it, but still applaud it as an accomplishment for Irrational Games. So, was the highly-anticipated Bioshock Infinite able to reach the lofty expectations many fans had put on it?

Not only does it live up to the expectations, but it actually manages to surpass it. Sure there’s some fun combat and special power-ups to use, but that’s not where this game shines. What makes BioShock Infinite an exceptional game is its story and its ability to handle different topics and issues in a way that has rarely been done in games before. It touches on a variety of topics like nationalism, politics, and ideology, but the way it handles much more difficult issues like racism, religion, sexism, xenophobia, and poverty is what makes this game captivating.

Welcome to Columbia, a deceptively utopian city in the clouds. Columbia is a city that’s comprised of a cluster of floating islands governed by a man named Zachary Hale Comstock. These flying land masses are a technological marvel that is modeled after a perverted vision of America that never existed. Comstock’s moral beliefs shape Columbia to its very core and as such, most citizens of Columbia idolize Comstock to near godly levels.  

Columbia is no simple rehashing of the underwater city of Rapture; it is something completely different that has a life of its own. The city is so important to the story that, in a way, it could be considered a character itself. At first glance, Columbia gives the appearance of an actualized utopia, but beneath its breathtaking exterior lies a city marred by publicly demanded racial purity, political dismay, and revolution.

In Bioshock Infinite, you assume the role of Booker DeWitt, a private investigator and veteran of the U.S. Calvary. Booker is indebted to the wrong people and has been given one last chance to clear his debt. For the debt to be forgiven, Booker must travel to the floating city of Columbia, retrieve a girl named Elizabeth, and deliver her to an unspecified group in New York. The job almost sounds too easy given the gravity of Booker’s situation, but once you step foot on Columbia, you find out that this mission is more than Booker bargained for.

The plot is strong and expertly executed. Columbia has a society that wants to keep its racial purity, but at the same time, it’s in desperate need of immigrant labor to maintain its way of life.  The immigrant laborers of Columbia – and anybody who sympathizes with them – are seen as trash by Columbia’s society and are ostracized as a result. This oppression has created a strong resentment toward the original inhabitants of the city. Tensions between the two groups could be described as a pressure cooker that’s teetering on the edge of exploding.

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The desire for change guides these oppressed individuals to form a group called the Vox Populi, and their resentment fuels an inevitable, violent revolution. By the time Booker arrives in the city, Columbia is already at the tipping point. Booker and Elizabeth prove to be the catalyst that will change Columbia forever. As Booker and Elizabeth make their way through the city, you will see the very untethering of Columbia’s foundations.

Everything looks great in this game: the graphics are sharp, the scenery is breathtaking, and the environments are vibrant and brimming with color. BioShock Infinite has an almost Disney-like aesthetic to it; everything during the happier moments seems beautiful and whimsical. A perfect example of this is when you and Elizabeth wind up on a beach. The moment the music hits Elizabeth’s ears, she begins dancing almost like a Disney princess. If you were to cut this moment out and insert it into something like Beauty and the Beast, nothing would seem out of place.

The voice acting is superb, and you can tell that each notable character puts real feeling into each spoken word. This greatly helps the player to become fully immersed in the game.  Courtnee Draper, the voice of Elizabeth, gives an astounding and memorable performance that draws you into every moment. Every emotion Elizabeth emotes is believable, and it’s this believability that makes it much easier to form a bond with the character.

When it comes gameplay, movement through the level feels very fluid. Combat is great and the tear system – combined with the skyline – creates fun and dynamic firefights. Most of the battle areas give the player the freedom to choose how they want to confront enemies, whether that be up close, mid-range, or long-range. The addition of special enemies, like the handyman, the crow, and the motorized patriot, forces you to actively change the way you normally attempt to dispatch enemies. The fact that the game continually forces you to change your combat strategy keeps fights from feeling stagnant and repetitive.

In Infinite, you are given special consumable powers called vigors. Vigors will send you on scary, drug-like hallucinations when first taken, but in return, you are given vigorous powers (pun intended) that you can use to decimate your foes. Vigors, when used in combination with the variety of weapons available, the surrounding skylines, and extra-dimensional tears, allows you to creatively tip fights in your favor.

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Overall, this is a great game that does many things right, but unfortunately, there are also a few things it gets wrong. Each gun should have their own distinct feel in order to give the player a reason to want to use different weapons. The Vox repeater and machine gun fail to do this, as the two guns feel so similar that it’s hard to tell one from the other. Another problem is that all the guns (except for the sniper rifle) feel weak; they just don’t seem like they do as much damage as they should.

There are also a few noticeable issues in the game that could’ve been easily fixed before the game’s release. For instance, you may occasionally find that you are unable to pick up certain items like lockpicks or food. Finally, there is a minor flaw with the AI who are supposedly non-immediate threats. These particular AI were too quick to draw their guns. There were times when one would approach an area where non-immediate threats would say something like, “I’ll give you to the count of three,” but end up shooting at you anyway.

When it comes down to it, Infinite is one of those great, rare games that is unlike anything before it. It has an incredible story that begs to be told and the gameplay to accompany it. You would be doing yourself a disservice to pass up the opportunity to play this groundbreaking game.

Rating: 9/10         

This review is based on a retail copy of the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock Infinite developed by Irrational Games and distributed by 2K Games.

The Best Trailers of E3

It wouldn’t be E3 without some good trailers and this year we saw some that were absolutely jaw-dropping. From expected big name titles like Cyberpunk 2077 to surprising smaller titles like Sable, these were the best trailers from the show.

Sea of Solitude

PS4/Xbox One/PC

Last year, Electronic Arts introduced us to A Way Out via their EA Originals program, a program where EA assists smaller sized independent studios with their development efforts. This year, the EA Originals program and developer Jo-Mei Games brings us Sea of Solitude. Sea of Solitude is a game that focuses on how loneliness effects each of us and has the power to turn us into monsters.

Control

PS4/Xbox One/PC

During the PlayStation press conference, Sony surprised the audience with a trailer for Remedy Entertainment’s newest game Control. Control seems to build upon the time-bending game mechanics seen in the studio’s last game Quantum Beak.

Cyberpunk 2077

PS4/Xbox One/PC

CD Projekt Red has been extremely tight-lipped about Cyberpunk 2077. So tight-lipped that we’ve only received tidbits of information here and there since the game was announced. In fact, we haven’t seen a new trailer for the game since 2013. That lengthy stint of radio silence for such a highly anticipated title – and the striking visuals – may explain why Cyberpunk‘s newest trailer was all anyone could talk about at E3 this year.

Sable

Xbox One/PC

Revealed during the Microsoft press conference, Sable is a stylish, desert-filled open world made by indie developer Shedworks. The game is about a young girl named Sable who sets out on a pilgrimage to meet new people and cultures. Legend of Zelda fans may be happy to hear that Sable was influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

PS4/Xbox One/PC

Back in December, From Software gave us an extremely brief teaser that showed us a strange, bony object with a bloody spool of thread in the middle. Many people believed this was a teaser for Bloodborne 2. However, after Sunday, we all learned it was actually shot from a brand new action adventure title named Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

The Sinking City

PS4/Xbox One/PC

The creepy and mysterious The Sinking City is a Lovecraftian horror game that takes place in the flooded city of Oakmont, Massachusetts. You play as an investigator trying to get to the bottom of what’s causing this disaster. The Sinking City comes out for PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One on March 21, 2019.

Ghost of Tsushima

PS4

Ghost of Tsushima may very well be the most beautiful looking game at the show this year. However, this game didn’t impress simply because it was pretty. The intriguing stealth mechanics and unique combat system also managed to catch the eye of many viewers. This will be one of those games that may convince people to get off of the fence and buy a PS4 Pro.

Session

Xbox One/PC

Skate fans had high hopes that there would be a Skate 4 announcement at E3 this year. While these fans didn’t get the Skate 4 confirmation they were looking for, Sessions could be the next best thing. Sessions will be an exclusive for the Xbox One and is scheduled to launch in 2019. Early access is slated for later this year.

The Last of Us Part II

PS4

It could be fair to say that The Last of Us Part II was the most anticipated game going into E3 and the nearly 12-minutes of gameplay presented during Sony’s press conference did not disappoint. Given what was shown, it seems that Naughty Dog has managed to improve upon the already engaging combat from the first game. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a release date.

Tunic

Xbox One/PC

Among the indies shown during Microsoft’s press conference was an interesting-looking isometric adventure game called Tunic. Although noticeably Zelda-like in appearance, the game still manages to maintain it’s own charming mystique. You can expect to see this title sometime later this year.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

PS4/Xbox One/PC

Honestly, this trailer was so well done that it should be turned into a full-length movie. While there wasn’t any actual gameplay to be seen, the trailer did confirm that both Jade and Payj will be back in this sequel. This reveal left some people understandably confused as we were told last year that BG&E2 is supposed to be a prequel to the events of the original game.

Transference

PS4/Xbox One/PC/VR

Announced back in 2017, Transference is a psychological thriller from the minds at SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montreal. The game is centered around the Hayes family and a failed experiment where the father attempted to upload his wife, son, and his own consciousness to the cloud. This first-person narrative mystery can be played traditionally on consoles or in VR for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or PSVR.

Devil May Cry 5

PS4/Xbox One/PC

Capcom revealed the newest entry to the main Devil May Cry series in the only way it knows how, with flashy and over-the-top action. According to the game’s director,  Hideaki Itsuno, Devil May Cry 5 is not a reboot or spinoff, it will be a direct sequel and will take place seven years after the events of DMC 4.

Gears 5

Xbox One/PC

Gears 5 is the next installment in the Gears of War franchise and will be focused on protagonist Kait Diaz. The most notable thing about this trailer was the variety and look of different locations within the game. The trailer showed off some new jungle and arctic environments that were full of color, a departure from the ever-present grey tones of previous games.

Spider-Man

PS4

Sony ended its press conference with an impressive looking gameplay trailer of Spider-Man. What was shown during the trailer was nothing short of thrilling. Seeing Spider-Man swinging, punching, and thwiping his way through all forms of danger looks incredibly fun. The only bad thing about this trailer is that it makes it so much harder to wait for its September 7th release date.

 

 

 

 

The Most Anticipated Games of 2018

It goes without saying that 2017 was a remarkable year for games. In fact, some argue that it may even be one the greatest years of gaming, period. Although last year was jam-packed with hits, 2018 may have the potential to be even better. Here are some games you can look forward to in 2018.

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Crackdown 3

After a few delays, Crackdown 3 was scheduled to be the must-have exclusive Microsoft needed to help sell its Xbox One X at launch, but all of that changed when its release window was pushed back into 2018. The game is said to be extremely ambitious and “pushes the technological envelope with immersive true 4K gameplay.” Will Crackdown 3’s open-world, action adventure gameplay be enough to get people interested in the Xbox One again? Only time will tell.

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Yoshi 

Mario’s hungry dinosaur buddy, Yoshi, is making a comeback in 2018. In this new adventure for the Nintendo Switch, you’ll be guiding Yoshi through a cardboard cutout diorama-like world – a new art style for the franchise – that can switch between foreground and background perspectives. Nintendo believes this perspective shifting feature will add a brand new twist to traditional side-scrolling gameplay. The game has yet to be given an official name, but for right now, Nintendo is simply calling the game “Yoshi.”

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God of War

After a long successful career of killing Greek gods, Kratos has decided to take his god killing talents to the realm of Norse mythology. This time around, however, Kratos is no longer the rage-filled murder machine he once was. In a departure from the previous games in the franchise, this new entry will introduce us to a more mature, fatherly Kratos who possesses a greater degree of emotional depth. In addition to location and personality changes, the tone of the story is expected to be darker while combat will be more intimate but just as brutal.

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Spider-Man

There have been plenty of Spider-Man games, but sadly, not near enough good ones. Hopefully, Insomniac Games will be able to buck that trend with their new Spider-Man game, which will be an exclusive for the PlayStation 4. Each trailer since its reveal at E3 2016 has looked promising, placing an emphasis on improvisation, unique environmental interactions, and other intriguing mechanics. It’s probably safe to say that many Spidey fans are eagerly waiting for this new web-slinging adventure.

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Blood & Truth

Blood & Truth is an exciting new action first-person shooter for the PSVR. From the same team that brought us The London Heist, Blood & Truth is a game that’s inspired by action movies like John Wick. Complete with a full story, big set pieces, and realistic movement, London Studio wants this to be the must-have VR game people have been waiting for.

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Vampyr

Dontnod Entertainment is best known for its narrative-driven Life is Strange series. However, many people forget that the studio’s first game was a sci-fi action adventure game called Remember Me. So it’s unsurprising that many people were surprised when Dontnod announced that its next game would be an action role-playing game called Vampyr. In Vampyr, you step into the shoes of Dr. Jonathan Reid, a Victorian-era surgeon and researcher, who has recently been turned into a vampire. By picking and choosing your victims, you’ll help shape the fate of London’s future.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

At this point, it seems like Rockstar Games has mastered the Spaghetti Western genre. Red Dead Redemption 2 welcomes us back to the Wild West as players take on the role of an outlaw by the name of Arthur Morgan. Arthur Morgan is a part of the Dutch van der Linde gang, the gang John Marston (protagonist from Red Dead Redemption) tried to escape from. Despite its title, RDR2 will be a prequel to the previous game in the series.

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Cyberpunk 2077

Announced back in 2012, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open world RPG under development by CD Projekt Red. The game temporarily took a back seat to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but now has the studio’s full focus as they go full steam ahead with its development. Aside from a few developer diaries and various statements, CD Projekt Red has kept mum on the project for the most part. What we do know, however, is that this title will supposedly be the studio’s most ambitious game to date. That’s pretty impressive considering CD Projekt Red’s pedigree.

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Firewall Zero Hour

If you took the strategic and quick-thinking gameplay of Rainbow Six Siege, then put it in virtual reality, you’d essentially have Firewall Zero Hour. Although details about the game were scarce after its reveal at PlayStation Experience last December, this 4v4 VR tactical FPS looks like it could be a promising addition to the PSVR line up.

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Detroit: Become Human

Any game with David Cage at the helm is going to garner attention, and Detroit: Become Human has been no exception. Developed by Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human has stirred up early excitement with its compelling choose-your-own narrative gameplay set in the city of Detroit in the near future. Through the divergent lives of three androids, you’ll discover what it means to be human from the outside perspective of a machine.

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Anthem

Bioware’s A-team has been hard at work on their next big hit, an online action RPG that has drawn comparisons to the likes of Destiny. Not much is known about the title yet, but there was a lot of excitement surrounding the reveal trailer last year. After the whole loot box fiasco with Star Wars Battlefront 2, hype for Anthem has cooled down a bit to a cautious optimism as many gamers have some lost trust in Electronic Arts. This game looks promising, so hopefully, it won’t be bogged down with the same microtransaction problems that plagued Battlefront 2.

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Transference

If you’re into psychological thrillers and own – or plan to own – a VR headset, this may be just the experience you’ve been waiting for. Made by Ubisoft and SpectreVision (founded by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah, and Josh C. Waller), Transference lets players dive into the corrupted memories of a fractured family in order to discover a concealed truth. The game is described as a dark, thrilling mystery that contains multiple branching narrative paths which are determined by the choices you make.

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Octopath Traveler  

Nintendo has been on a roll lately with titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Snipperclips, and more. They’ll look to continue that success with a new game called Project Octopath Traveler. This unique looking JRPG will feature eight different playable characters that will each have their own branching paths and distinct stories. To achieve the game’s striking art style, the developers used a mix of CG, pixel art, and what they call “HD-2D” visuals. Like many of the games on this list, we’re still waiting on a firm release date.