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Open World Agoraphobia: Too Much Game?

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  The past few weeks have seen the release of at least four large-scale, open world games: Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and the re-release of Grand Theft Auto 5 on current gen consoles and PC. Add to that Sunset Overdrive (another open-world game) and the latest World of Warcraft expansion, and gamers are looking at dozens–if not hundreds–of […]

Opinion: ‘Far Cry’ is the hero the FPS genre needs

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Monkey Hunting in Far Cry. It’s mid-afternoon. I’ve been scouring the mountainside for what seems like days looking for an Assam macaque so that I can finally craft that wallet I’ve had my eye on. “One has to be around here somewhere,” I say to myself as I glance at the in-game map which shows […]

From pandas to Warlords, a return to ‘Warcraft’

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A new World of Warcraft expansion lies before the millions still logging into to Azeroth every day, and after a lengthy hiatus I’m only mildly surprised that I have several max-level characters parked outside the Dark Portal and ready to join the fight against the Iron Horde. I’d played WoW almost continuously since a year […]

For Glory: ‘Super Smash Bros.’ played 1 on 1 is not the Smash you know

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From a competitive perspective, being dismissive of Super Smash Bros. is easy. The franchise has long been thought of as the brainless-yet-fun party game to be whipped out at gatherings when potential players may not be regular video game players. Just about anyone can grab a controller, jump into Smash, and be hurling fireballs–and your opponent’s […]

How ‘Shadow of Mordor’ taught me to respect my enemy, even in Middle-Earth

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At the outset of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the framework of  a basic revenge tale appears to be in place. A destroyed family, a faceless and evil army of interlopers, and a murderous man of malign intent set on a destructive course of rampage and revenge. These are the standard tropes seen time and again […]

Nintendo played the staggered ‘Super Smash Bros.’ release perfectly

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Nintendo’s announcement that the recently launched 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. sold over 2.8 million units worldwide (which has been just over a weekend’s time here in the U.S.) puts on display, once again, the power behind the franchise. Even more, it acts as a testament to Nintendo’s ability to play its hand perfectly […]

Hunting Orcs in the Shadow of Mordor

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One of the things that’s separated Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor from the rest of the video game pack this fall has been the stories people have been sharing about their most memorable orc hunts. Whether it’s the one that got away, or the one who just kept coming back for more, or even a captain […]

The Girl’s Got Game: Female Let’s Play-ers of Note

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The popularity of “Let’s Play” streams on Twitch or YouTube videos has exploded in the last few years. It’s not hard to understand why; LPs, especially those live on Twitch, provide the vicarious experience of playing a game (sometimes new and unfamiliar) and being part of a like-minded community. Add to the mix a skilled, […]

Four Ways for WildStar to Improve

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With solid combat, new mechanics not seen in the genre before, unique art style, and humor all its own, it’s easy to see why people are in love with Carbine’s new MMO, WildStar. Despite Carbine being on the ball with content updates, there are plenty of aspects where the game could stand to improve and […]

Opinion: Can AAA games make effective social commentary?

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Flash back with me, if you will, to June 2012: Ubisoft had just wrapped up a stellar E3 with its debut trailer for Watch Dogs, Microsoft had yet to find themselves in the midst of a firestorm of negative press over their initial reveal of the Xbox One, and Edward Snowden was soon to make […]

Hook, Line and Sinker: Why Games Grab Us (Part 1)

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Recently, the fine gentlemen over at the Gamers With Jobs podcast had a discussion about commitment to gaming. Specifically, what makes one commit many hours to a specific game, and what thoughts and feelings arise about how those many hours were spent. As the credits rolled on my fourth complete playthrough of Dark Souls 2, and the […]

Think Games are Too Easy? Try These.

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It’s hard to argue with the assertion that overall, games have gotten easier. Well, let’s qualify that statement. As video games have become one of the primary consumer entertainment products, concessions have been made to make games accessible to the widest possible audience. Whether it’s a glowing breadcrumb trail, an extended tutorial, or a fail […]

Give it a Rest: Three Genres in Need of a Makeover

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Show of hands: who played the first free month of Elder Scrolls Online and then called it quits? Thought so. Ok, who played an hour of Watch Dogs and wondered why it just wasn’t called GTA VI? Wow, that many? Who jumped into Titanfall expecting the next big thing, but getting just more of the same thing, just with […]

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