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Tag: Video Games (1-10 of 74)

EW discusses the derivative-yet-original brilliance of 'Shadow of Mordor'

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While plenty of The Lord of the Rings games have been released, few have taken so much mind-share of the industry as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has—and the game hasn’t even come out yet. The game promises an interesting spin on the third-person action genre, which has recently been dominated by games like the Batman: Arkham series—which is published by the same company as Mordor, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Mordor comes from Monolith Studios, however, who are no strangers to J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. The studio has aimed to make a game fun enough for both die-hard Tolkien fans and players who may have only gotten around to Peter Jackson’s film adaptations.

So is Mordor a good, or even great, game? EW‘s Aaron Morales and I, who have both played a sizable chunk of the game, shared our thoughts on the journey so far. While neither of us has finished the game, we’ve made enough progress to discuss what makes this trip into Middle-earth so special.

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'It can't be for nothing': EW revisits 'The Last of Us'

Video games are often praised for their potential to expose players to experiences they would never otherwise have from perspectives they would never consider. But too often the opposite is true: Mainstream video games are often about you. They strive to make you feel powerful and accomplished; like your $60 purchase was worth it. Rare is the game that asks you to consider things outside of yourself, uncomfortable things that will leave you feeling more hollow than accomplished by the end.

The Last of Us, one of the most celebrated games of 2013, is one of the few mainstream games to even attempt this. (Other notable examples: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Bioshock and Spec Ops: The Line.) And it was met with near-universal acclaim. Set 20 years after a pandemic based on the very real and super-creepy cordyceps fungi has turned much of mankind into infected zombies, it’s the story of an old smuggler named Joel and a 14-year-old girl named Ellie, who are forced by circumstance to travel across the ruined country together. Somber and beautiful, it’s The Road by way of The Walking Dead, and yet somehow managing to be something more.

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Ubisoft announces 2D 'Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China'

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Ubisoft already has not one but two Assassin’s Creed games planned for release, with Assassin’s Creed Unity for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. So, Ubisoft’s announcement of a season pass for Unity–a bundle of downloadable content available for purchase that will be released following the game’s launch–was no surprise.

The inclusion of an all new Assassin’s Creed spinoff game as part of that season pass, however, was an unexpected addition.

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British Museum to be re-created in 'Minecraft'

Players of the build-what-you-want game Minecraft have specialized in re-creating the locations of famous fictional worlds. From Westeros to Middle-earth, there’s no shortage of well-known locals to explore. So why not create real-world locations?

That’s probably the question the British Museum in London asked before launching a project to have players rebuild the museum and its exhibits, brick by Minecraft brick.

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'Playable Teaser' trailer reveals the brilliance behind the horror game

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Coming out of last month’s Gamescom, a small horror game called P.T., or The Playable Teaser, stole the spotlight. Downloadable for free on the PlayStation 4, the game came with virtually no warning or explanation. Instead, it let players exploreand be horrified bythe game for themselves.

P.T. initially presents itself as a simple affair, set in the hallway of an average-looking house. Players start at one end and walk through the hall to a door that seemingly leads to a garage. But that door instead opens back into the hallway. In each subsequent loop, the hallway changes, and the story of a gruesome double murder comes into focus. There’s plenty of creepy imagery, a seemingly random puzzle to solve, and more than a few jump scares to satiate any horror fan. (I played with friends who screamed so loudly, my neighbors knocked on our wall to quiet down.)

The game’s mysteries were quickly solvedit turned out the game was actually a teaser for the upcoming Silent Hillsbut the brilliance of P.T.‘s scares and simplicity are still a marvel. Now, its creators have given players a chance to see the game’s even more bizarre origins.

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'Disney Infinity 2.0': Anything your heart, or imagination, desires

Disney Infinity 2.0 made me feel eight years old. And I mean that in the best way possible.

There’s a certain magic to playing with toys when you’re young. Action figures spring to life in your imagination, and pieces of furniture transform into the sites of epic battles. A hallway can become a racetrack, a chair a mountaintop, and all it takes is a couple plastic figures to create a spark of inspiration.

Infinity 2.0 lets players create whatever they can imagine, and the spark this time around is bringing together the Mouse House’s vast catalogue of franchises and some of the most famous superheroes in the world, Marvel’s Avengers. By creating a cohesive art style and setting players loose in the game’s Toy Box mode, Infinity 2.0 is a brilliant package for kids looking for a creative outlook—and it can satisfy an older crowd, too.

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'Bloodborne' continues to look terrifying, definitely has blood

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Maybe you’ve heard of From Software. It’s a studio famous for games with the word “Souls” in them. If you ask anyone about these games, they’ll probably describe them in one word: “hard.” (Or two words, provided there’s an expletive in there. People have strong feelings about these games.)

While that’s true—Demons’ Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls II are far from easy—reducing the games to their difficulty sells them short. The Souls games are experiences—there’s nothing quite like them anywhere else. And Bloodborne, From Software’s latest game, looks like it’ll continue the trend. It also looks absolutely terrifying. READ FULL STORY

'Final Fantasy XV' has a gorgeous new trailer, might actually come out

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Final Fantasy XV has been through a lot. First announced way back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII (don’t ask), FFXV has been the Moby Dick of video games for both fans of the Japanese Role Playing Game genre and developer Square Enix.

After eight years of waiting with almost no word on the status of the game, it’s easy to get jaded. And then an amazing new trailer comes out and everything is exciting again.
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The makers of 'Borderlands' are back with another crazy genre mashup

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On paper, Battleborn—game development studio Gearbox Software’s big follow up to its successful Borderlands series of games—might sound like the studio is repeating itself. After all, Battleborn, like Borderlands, is a first-person shooter that freely grabs interesting ideas from other genres and repackages them into something with a distinct style and personality.

But that’s not very fair.

Games can be a lot like sandwiches—while technically, every sandwich is simply “bread with stuff in between,” there is a world of difference between a Monte Cristo and a PB&J, with plenty of room for experimentation in between. Similar to how the vast and interesting world of sandwiches can be terribly wronged by our desire to label everything, video games deserve a little bit more than a few genre descriptors. But don’t worry, the genre descriptors are coming.

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'Destiny' makes over $300 million in its first week

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Over $500 million worth of copies of Destiny were shipped to stores in anticipation of the game’s release last week. And with today’s newly announced sales figures, it looks like Bungie’s latest franchise is off to an impressive start.

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