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About Stu Strock

Stu lives for action-oriented and narrative-driven games. Forever changed after playing Metal Gear Solid as a boy, he tirelessly searches for those perfect gems that blend addictive, open-ended gameplay and an unforgettable story. His turn-ons include infinite-ammo bandanas and inventive boss battles.

Awesome Con 2014: a celebration of nerds in a city of straight laces

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Washington D.C. is known for many things, but gamers, comic buffs, and cosplayers are not traditionally among them. That perception shifted last year, when D.C. got its own nerd convention, Awesome Con. This year, Awesome Con grew dramatically from the previous year, filling much of D.C.’s massive Mt. Vernon Convention Center. This increase in size […]

Gaming outside the box: expanding next-gen games through companion content

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I’ve previously discussed the novelty of “Paper Trail,” a free batch of Infamous: Second Son DLC that engages players inside the game and out by way of browser-based investigative sessions. It’s a smart source of variety for the otherwise formulaic Second Son, but much more interesting is how it fits into the new trend of interacting with our games outside of […]

The best part of ‘Infamous: Second Son’ is free DLC “Paper Trail”

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Down the rabbit hole Infamous: Second Son is a downright gorgeous game, and fun to boot, but players looking for a game that makes strides to take the Infamous formula further will be disappointed. Second Son does very little that its predecessors did not, aside from featuring an arsenal of flashy new powers. One activity sets Second Son apart from the competition, […]

Review: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

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A sliver of something great. Release Date: March 18, 2014 (US), March 20, 2014 (EU), March 21, 2014 (UK) Genre: Stealth-Action, Sandbox Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Developer: Kojima Productions Publisher: Konami ESRB Mature MSRP: $19.99 (last-gen digital), $29.99 Metal Gear Solid is back after years of anticipation, but, for many, anticipation is […]

Review: Strider

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The Hiryu we deserve. Release Date: February 18, 2014 Genre: Sidescroller, Platformer Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC Developer: Double Helix Games, Capcom Osaka Publisher: Capcom ESRB E 10+ MSRP: $14.99 Though many contemporary gamers have probably never played the original Strider, its protagonist Strider Hiryu has developed cult status, and has […]

‘Outlast’ uses misdirection to lure us into moments of terror

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[Disclaimer: This article discusses specific portions of Outlast. Plot spoilers have been kept to a minimum, but gameplay spoilers are present.] Recently, the indie horror Outlast began scaring console gamers witless, after it made its way to the PlayStation Network. Our own review looked on the game favorably, especially as a freebie for PlayStation Plus members. Outlast uses a […]

Review: The Wolf Among Us, Episode 2

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Less huff, more puff Episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us hit the ground running with a grisly murder in Fabletown and introductions to a cast of disillusioned Fables. As Sheriff Bigby Wolf, we began investigating the murder of a Fable named Faith, followed several leads, and ended up with a tough choice between suspects. Episode […]

Review: Outlast (PS4)

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Camera obscura. Release Date: February 4, 2014 Genre: Survival Horror Platform: PlayStation 4 Developer: Red Barrels Publisher: Red Barrels ESRB M MSRP: $19.99 Indie developers have recently breathed new life into the survival horror genre by returning to the core concept of survival. Games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent bring back the fear by creating scenarios in […]

Review: OlliOlli

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The daily grind. The PlayStation Vita is quickly coming into its own as a portable indie machine, a fact that makes it an attractive machine despite its relative lack of AAA titles. In keeping with this trend, OlliOlli brings another unique slice of retro pie to the handheld. It blends the simplicity of a side-scrolling browser […]

3 Triple-A genres screaming for the roguelike treatment

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As a genre, the roguelike has taken off in the indie world. Defined by procedurally generated worlds, minimal player constraints, and punishing difficulty, roguelikes change the way modern gamers play by forcing them to live—or die—with the consequences of their actions. Permanent death is often the light at the end of the tunnel for player characters, […]

Review: Terraria (PS Vita)

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Just one more block… After capturing the hearts of PC, console, and mobile gamers alike, Terraria has finally made its way to the PlayStation Vita. A deceptively deep title, Terraria combines the sandbox exploration and creation of Minecraft (though in one fewer dimension) with the side-scrolling depth of action found in titles like UnEpic and the Metroid series. Get ready to […]

Review: LEGO Marvel Superheroes

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Excelsior! Release Date: October 22, November 15 (PlayStation 4) Genre: Action-adventure Platform: PlayStation 4 Developer: TT Games Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment ESRB E 10+ MSRP: $59.99 Few brands can claim to be as recognizable as LEGO, which has been a major factor contributing to the success of the LEGO video games. Combined with the […]

Review: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (PS4/Xbox One)

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Crew over Creed. The history of the Assassin’s Creed series has been a long one. Not only has the series seen a multitude of installments across several platforms, but as works of historical fiction the games have taken us to places and times spanning almost 1000 years of human history. Despite this apparent range, Assassin’s Creed is […]

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