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The Forgotten Narrative Innovation of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2 did a rather strange thing with its campaign that no other Call of Duty has, and it’s a twist that made it one of my favorite games from the last generation just for the story (that Treyarch multiplayer isn’t the only reason I have affection for Blops). Black Ops 2 has a branching plot but not in the… » 8/23/15 2:30pm 8/23/15 2:30pm

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Future’s Past Has The Worst Combat System

Back in 1994, I spent time — far, far too much time — trying to make the combat system in this game work for me; I loved Captain Picard, Commander Data, and Lieutenant Worf that much, but it’s so counterintuitive, so tedious, and so time-consuming, that it ruins the entire experience — even though it only makes up… » 8/16/15 2:00pm 8/16/15 2:00pm

Actually, Mario Is Missing Was Awesome

Praising Mario is Missing is no way to impress someone with your gaming acumen. But it’s true; I thoroughly enjoyed Mario Is Missing as a young kid. My father didn’t know much about video games, but he did know that ‘Mario’ was a signifier of quality (or, at least, it should have been). So he bought me Mario Is Missing » 8/15/15 3:45pm 8/15/15 3:45pm

A Defense Of Mario Kart 8's Unpopular Battle Mode

In video game years, Mario Kart 8 is already middle-aged yet remains virile. It maintains a healthy population of online racers over fourteen months past its May 2014 launch. By most accounts, the Wii U version of the seminal kart racer is the series’ high watermark, resplendent in its HD gloss and detail-rich course… » 8/10/15 3:30pm 8/10/15 3:30pm

God of War III Reveals Kratos For What He Is

Midway through God of War III, the buff and surly protagonist Kratos is scaling along the outside face of a building when he happens upon a man. He’s perched precariously next to a window, crying out for help. Saying nothing more than a grunt, Kratos bashes his head against the wall and pitches him off the ledge. » 7/14/15 12:30pm 7/14/15 12:30pm

The Next SWTOR Expansion Looks Like The Same Old Thing

At E3, Bioware announced a new expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, dubbed Knights of the Fallen Empire. At its start, players will be frozen in carbonite for five years and when they’re thawed out will find that something called the Eternal Empire came out of nowhere to smash both the Republic and Sith Empire… » 7/03/15 6:15pm 7/03/15 6:15pm

Some Games Should Have Fewer Features

While reading Nathan Grayson’s assertion that Batman: Arkham Knight should have borrowed Shadow of Mordor’s “nemesis” system to use with the various street toughs Batman fights throughout that game, I had a horrifying vision, one I don’t believe he intended to elicit. I imagined this gameplay system being piled on top… » 7/03/15 2:30pm 7/03/15 2:30pm

What 15 Minutes Of Playing For Honor Felt Like

I join the fray, sword in hand. I rush into the thick of battle. Amid the chaos I spot a serious threat. I wade through the carnage to him and we began to duel. Moments later, he is dead. Two more come to avenge him. I’m nervous. I know I won’t win. That’s when I realized it—For Honor has its hooks in me. » 7/01/15 12:10pm 7/01/15 12:10pm