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  • 1. 1 / ISSUE 09 / JAN THE UNCHARTED TEAM UNLEASHES THE APOCALYPSE REVIEWS: THE LAST OF US TOMB RAIDER GTA ARKHAM CITY: HARLEY QUINN’S REVENGE THE LAST OF US
  • 2. PUBLISHER Helene Kristiansen helene@motion.com EDITOR Helene Kristiansen helene@motion.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Camilla Engstrøm camilla@motion.com LAYOUT/DESIGN Helene Kristiansen MARKET CONSULTANT Camilla Engstrøm camilla@motion.com ART DIRECTOR Helene Kristiansen CORRECTION Jannicke Meiningen WEB DESIGNER Anny Ideboen EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Jannicke Meiningen Copyright 2013 Motion. All rights reserved. No article or picture in this magazine may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form whatsoever without the express written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editors. All trademarks and registered trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners. Don’t Pirate Motion! SOURCES Gameinformer / Techradar / Computer And Videogames / Playstation / Trustedreviews / Metacritic / Expertreviews / Pcgamer / Tarryn Van Der Byl ADRESS Motion Norway Kirkegata 24 / 0158 Oslo PHONE 0047 815 68 090 WEB www.motion.com SUBSCRIPTION www.motion.com sub@motion.com RELEASE 8 times a year DISTRIBUTION Posten Norway EDITION 35 000 editions READERS 78 000 MMI 2013 FONT Abel / Titillium CONTACT US If you want to contact any of us in the editorial staff, you can mail us at editorial@motion.com Motion does not take responsibility for sent in material that is sent unprompted. Eventual prices that are mentioned in the magazine is onlye suggested prices, and the editorial staff does not take on any responsibility for eventual errors. Motion is being published by NKH publishing A/S CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS THE LAST OF US / 14 UPCOMING 2014 / 26 TOP 15 FROM 2013 / 20 HIMEO KOJIMA / 10 He’s the father of one of gaming’s biggest franchises, but Himeo Kojima is more than Metal Gear. One unforgettable character proves humanity is worth saving in the bleak and brutal The Last of Us. Here’s our round-up of must-have PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 games due for release this year. Looking for the best new games launching in 2014? They have given us unforgettable experiences trog- hout the years. We have gathered 15 highlights from the old consolgeneration that stretched further than we ever could have imagined. 12 6 15 REGULARS 05 EDITORS NOTE 33 GUIDE REVIEWS 14 THE LAST OF US 26 UPCOMING 2014 18 REVIEWS OPINION 10 HIMEO KOJIMA 20 TOP 15 FROM 2013 32 A GIRLS GUIDE TO GAMING 28 NO GIRLS ALLOWED HARDWARE 06 XBOX ONE 08 PLAYSTATION 4
  • 3. “It’s the most important page in the magazine,” The Editors Note sets the tone for the whole magazine; it’s my opportunity to tell you all what’s happening, where we’re at in terms of stuff, and how things got that way. I’m Motion’s new editor. My first issue has been far more chaotic than I expected, but this time of year is bad for everyone anyway, so I guess my expectations were just a little unrealistic. We’ve got a lot of fantastic content in this issue, with reviews of some of the hottest games of the year, including the two big articles: The Last of Us and an interview with the one and only Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojami. Since it’s time for a new year, with new consoles and a whole new world of games. We decided to point out the games we have appreciated in the last year. With the new consoles, there will always be those games that you never want to trade in. We will show you some of them. In addition to the last years games, we also wanted to make a tribute to this years games. As always we provide you with the guide, and a little something special from one of our guestwriters. This time it’s Tarryn Van Der Byl. Have a great one, folks! - Helene EDITORS NOTE
  • 4. 6 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 7 ONE BOX TO RULE THEM ALL It’s quiet, and it runs relatively cool. But if you’re looking for subtlety, this is not the console for you. “A WORK IN PROGRESS, THE NEW XBOX HAS LOTS OF POTENTIAL.” TEXT/ POLYGON PHOTO/ TECHRADAR entertainment were restrained by hardware created before our current age of streaming video, tablets and smartphones. So when examining the Xbox One, it may seem familiar. This is what Microsoft has been working toward all these years, effectively showing its next- generation hand as early as 2008. While the Xbox 360 was upgraded, the Xbox One was developed in parallel, but as a beginning, not an end. And despite its familiar elements and concepts, the Xbox One still manages a genuine sense of wonder, all without losing sight of the strong gaming foundation the Xbox was built on. THE CONSOLE The nicest description most Motion staff could manage for the Xbox One’s silhouette is “inoffensive”, there’s no sugarcoating the console’s lack of visual flair. Microsoft has created a system designed to blend into the other components of your home entertainment center, and it does that ... for better or worse. The console lacks the profile and space-saving considerations of the PlayStation 4 — or even the original Xbox 360. Not only is the console larger than the original Xbox 360, but the new Kinect sensor is larger than the first one. Even the massive THE XBOX 360 that exists in 2013 bears little resemblance to the console that Microsoft launched in 2005. It’s so different, in fact, that it helps to think of the company’s new Xbox One as an evolution, not of the original Xbox 360 but of the one that exists today. Over that eight-year span, the Xbox 360 underwent radical transformations. In 2008, the “New Xbox Experience” delivered an entirely new interface, customizable player Avatars, eight-player party chat and Netflix streaming, a first for video game consoles. In 2010, the first iteration of Kinect and the platform’s voice and gesture controls redefined the 360 once again. That focus on entertainment never diminished the Xbox 360’s gaming bona fides, however. Between first-party exclusives like Halo, third-party console exclusives like Left 4 Dead and timed exclusives like The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, the Xbox 360 never wanted for games. The Xbox Live Arcade program made games like Castle Crashers, Braid and Limbo into household names. Despite its investment in entertainment, the Xbox 360 was always a video game console. But there was a sense that the Xbox 360’s greater aspirations as a mainstream portal for power brick from the last generation makes a not- so-welcome return. However, given the Xbox 360’s notorious reliability problems, it’s a little reassuring that the Xbox One was given so much room to breathe. It’s quiet, and it runs relatively cool. But if you’re looking for subtlety, this is not the console for you. Lastly, unlike the Xbox 360, the Xbox One has a Blu-ray drive, meaning those of you with a soft spot for physical media won’t need to keep a second device around. That drive is partnered with a 500 GB internal hard drive, where all games are installed. While that may sound like a lot of room, a single game can occupy as much as 50 GB — and that’s before any DLC, expansions or major title updates. While unfortunately missing on day one, Microsoft has promised support for external storage after launch, a significant improvement from the expensive proprietary storage options available on Xbox 360. CONTROLLER Microsoft had the unenviable task of redesigning something that nobody thought was broken. The Xbox 360 controller was universally praised, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the Xbox One controller is familiar. Improvements have been made to the triggers, which now feature rumble motors; the D-pad, which is now a cross; and the thumbsticks, which are now smaller and more accurate. It’s a comfortable controller with a good amount of weight, and a great texture not only makes it feel more premium but ameliorates the gross, slippery feel following a long session with the Xbox 360 controller. Not all the changes are home runs, though. The new bumpers split opinions at Motion, some editors feel they’re more difficult to click than the 360’s shoulder buttons. When compared to moving the “Black” and “White” buttons on the original Xbox controller to the shoulders on Xbox 360, this modification seems superfluous at best and a detriment at worst. CONCLUSION Microsoft has insisted it has the software gamers want. But it’s also maintained that this generation is about more than that. It’s repeatedly outlined a vision for a console based around entertainment, apps and connected experiences, tied together by Kinect, which has been met with apprehension by the enthusiast audience. To be clear, Kinect isn’t a fully realized product yet. Gesture support is functionally non-existent, and there’s a lack of good examples of how Kinect can contribute to games. There are certain elements of Microsoft’s strategy that are missing at launch, like support for Twitch streaming and HBO Go. And the console’s television functionality impresses … if you watch television. But in many ways, the Xbox One’s bold direction for the future is well in place. The integration of voice controls and its media strategy are a boon to everyone, and the ability to run apps while playing games is something we now want on every gaming console we have. That it has a handful of strong, exclusive games at launch only supports its legitimacy as a gaming console and not just an entertainment hub. The Xbox One is an impressive marriage of software and hardware that raises the bar in terms of what we expect from a living-room machine. Looking forward more than it looks back, the Xbox One feels like it’s from the future. HARDWARE HARDWARE
  • 5. 8 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 9 SHARING IS CARING Developers had to work harder to harness its potential, and it was expensive to manufacture, ultimately raising the barrier to entry on all fronts. sell 3D TVs, or Blu-ray discs or any other corporate mandate. It’s a gaming console, a clear message that Sony has been quick to repeat. That focus has resulted in a console that’s better positioned than the PlayStation 3 was in 2006 to compete in an expanding turf war for the living room. But that same focus has also kept Sony from taking the kinds of chances that make generational leaps so exciting. THE CONSOLE The PS4 is Sony’s most attractively designed piece of hardware. It’s a beautiful system, with a sharp, slightly angled profile accented by a light bar that acts as a console status indicator. On the back, PS4 has gone digital-only with HDMI/ optical ports, and no analog audio or video outputs. Weappreciatetheinternalpowersupply—itsounds like a small thing, but it’s one less object to sit on the shelf next to or behind the PlayStation 4. Players who want to game privately on their consoles might be temporarily annoyed at the absence of Bluetooth headphone audio support for the PS4 at launch. Despitetheseproblems,Sonynailsthefundamentals with the PS4 hardware. The half-gloss, half-matte finish is a pleasant visual compromise. It’s a grown- IN THE seven years since the introduction of the PlayStation 3, we’ve seen our gaming consoles transform into living-room hubs through constant evolution and software updates. Those updates weren’t always smooth – though on PS3, they were always happening – but it’s easy to see just how far the platform has come. Meanwhile, the designers of the PlayStation 4 were taking notes and designing a console that, feature by feature, sought to address the failings of its predecessor. The PS3 was notoriously difficult to program for, thanks to its proprietary silicon. So the PS4wasbuilttobedeveloper-friendly,withafamiliar, PC-like architecture. The PS3 was announced with a bizarre, boomerang-shaped controller, and launched with the rumble-free Sixaxis controller before settling into the never-great DualShock 3 controller. So the PS4 comes with the DualShock 4, inarguably the best controller Sony’s ever made. And the PS3 launched at an abnormally high price point, costing $200 more than its competition. So the PS4 carries a far more aggressive price, asking $100 less than the competition this time around. While Sony in 2006 was focused on driving adoption of the Blu-ray standard, envisioning another home media boom that never quite materialized, Sony in 2013 has no such distractions. The PS4 isn’t built to up machine, designed more like a stylish DVD player than a gaudy video game console. It’s a small, attractive system, and one that also happens to pack more powerful hardware in its diminutive frame than any other console. It’s an impressive technical achievement. It’s also compact enough to fade into your entertainment center without being distracting or ostentatious, and we appreciate that it retains the PS2’s and PS3’s ability to stand vertically. Those of you with frisky pets or children may want to invest in the vertical stand, sold separately, for some added stability Oh, and it will charge controllers over USB while in standby mode. Finally. CONTROLLER We can say this unequivocally: The DualShock 4 is the best controller Sony has ever made. Now that the PlayStation 4 and a new console generation are upon us. The sticks were too close together, too squishy; the triggers weren’t triggers; those of us with bigger hands had difficulty using the controller for very long. Sony has solved every one of these problems with the DualShock 4. Its sticks are farther apart, with semi-concave pits in the middle designed to hold the tips of your thumbs in place. The shoulders feature actual concave triggers with pull similar to an Xbox 360 controller. The controller is just a little heavier, just a little bigger. It’s much more comfortable to hold over long periods of time. Making even die-hard DualShock 3 haters on the Polygon staff converts, the DualShock 4 is the most immediately apparent improvement offered by the PS4. While Sony has seemingly done nothing to expose or surface it, the DualShock 4 also introduces refined gyroscopic and accelerometer- based motion control. THE PS4 is Sony’s most attractively designed piece of hardware. It’s a beautiful system, with a sharp, slightly angled profile accented by a light bar that acts as a console status indicator. On the back, PS4 has gone digital-only with HDMI/optical ports, and no analog audio or video outputs. We appreciate the internal power supply — it sounds like a small thing, but it’s one less object to sit on the shelf next to or behind the PlayStation 4. Players who want to game privately on their consoles might be temporarily annoyed at the absence of Bluetooth headphone audio support for the PS4 at launch. This is offset somewhat: the PS4 can broadcast all game audio (and voice chat) to the audio/mic jack on the DualShock 4, which is compatible with all headphones and mobile headsets using 1/8 inch audio adapters — though enabling game audio output on the DualShock 4 disables all audio via HDMI and optical out. Despite these problems, Sony nails the fundamentals with the PS4 hardware. The half-gloss, half-matte finish is a pleasant visual compromise. CONCLUSION The PS4 hints at plenty of other possibilities. Local network play via the PS Vita has an enormous amount of potential. The PlayStation App and even the Playstation Camera may provide opportunities for developers to broaden the appeal of the PlayStation 4 beyond the hardcore audience it currently seems so intent on courting. But the PlayStation 4’s focus on gaming, and only gaming, is undermined by a distinct lack of compelling software. That failing is sure to improve better games and more of them will appear on the PlayStation 4, but right now, this is a game console without a game to recommend it. Early adopters of the PS4 this fall are buying potential energy. We’re just waiting for a place to spend it. “THE PS4 IS SONY’S MOST ATTRACTIVELY DESIGNED PIECE OF HARDWARE.” TEXT/ POLYGON PHOTO/ TECHRADAR HARDWARE HARDWARE
  • 6. STRONGER THAN METAL He may be the father of one of gaming’s biggest franchises, but Himeo Kojima is much more than Metal Gear.
  • 7. 12 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 13 REGARDED as one of the top game designers in the industry, Hideo Kojima has taken a decidedly cinematic approach with his games, most notably the Metal Gear Solid games that began on the PS one. After years of false starts, that most movie-ish of video games is finally coming to the big screen. An announcement at Konami’s Metal Gear 25th Anniversary confirmed that Columbia Pictures are committed – with the help of superhero movie producerdejourAviArad-tobringingtheadventures of Solid Snake and his cardboard box to life. But with over 20 games, some truly bonkers plots, and creator Hideo Kojima’s notoriously complex vision to choose from, it’s going to be a tough job creating a coherent action flick that lives up to the bad-assery of its material. STORY Think back to a time before girlyboy emo protagonists, homoerotic vampire sword fights, and the clunkiest dialogue this side of Darth Vader’s “I don’t like sand” chat-up line (see: Raiden’s Metal Gear Solid 4 whineathon about how it rained on the day he was born), and the Metal Gear series was relatively straight-forward. If you’re attempting to introduce a whole new audience to the franchise (while still staying true to the original fans), you’re going to have to strip all that back to focus on a solid, coherent and simple story - which is why Hollywood should use the original Metal Gear Solid as its key inspiration. Even to this day, it stands strong as one of the best action games ever, and that’s down to Kojima’s then- uncluttered storytelling and artistic vision. When a genetically enhanced renegade special forces unit, FOXHOUND, takes over a remote Alaskan island - with the nuke-wielding mech robot Metal Gear Rex hiding on it - it’s down to cigar-smokin’, box-lovin’, grizzled secret soldier Solid Snake to save the day. Not only is every hero and villain immediately iconic, but the character and stunt design lends itself to a series of set-pieces that would be just as ace on the big screen as they were originally - snow-covered sniper shootouts, tank fights, helicopter attacks, super-fast sword-wielding ninjas, and a blockbuster finale featuring giant mech attacks and a stunt-filled jeep chase. Throw in plot twists galore, a pseudo love interest, and the whole brother vs brother/clone angle, and you’ve got a plot that straddles the line between Hollywood action blockbuster and loopy, sci-fi riddled ridiculousness with surprising panache. DIRECTOR Much as we love him, even the most diehard of Metal Gear fans would admit that while his vision has made the video game series what it is today, handing creator Hideo Kojima the directorial keys would be a cinematic disaster. Sure, everyone likes to joke about how each successive MGS is more an ever-lengthening interactive movie than a proper game, but just think about this; while he may be able to brainstorm (crazy) genius plot twists and stylish action sequences, it also takes him around 72 hours’ worth of cutscenes to tell a story. So where does that leave us? Kojima’s expressed interest in Christopher Nolan taking the reigns, and considering that Christian Bale was once being lined up to play Solid Snake, that seems like an easy - if entirely improbable - win. A more realistic, if potentially polarising choice, would be The Wachowskis. Erratic quality aside, they’d nail MGS’ array of incredible action set-pieces, and they certainly enjoy tinkering in tales focusing on morally-bleak, sci-fi skewed worlds. And if you want to go really left-field, then how about Clint Eastwood? This is a man who’s more than a little familiar with grizzled, super-macho ‘me against the world’ heroes, and his increasing descent into grumpy old man OAP age could imbue Snake and his bleak future with a worldly, reflective and very dry sensibility. Crazy as it sounds, he even makes more sense than your generic portents of directorial doom Paul W. S. Anderson and Michael Bay, as whoever steers the good ship MGS will have to appreciate that it’s a genre more inherently focused on stealth than kabloomy SFX. While plot, character development and proper actorly types are all well, good and important to a MGS movie’s success, there’d be uproar if some distinctly iconic, and fanboy pleasing odes to the video games weren’t included. If the finished product doesn’t have Snake sneaking around in a cardboard box, giant mecha robots, some sneaking through airvents, infra-red goggles, the Alert Mode (!) sound, codec conversations galore and - of course - someone melodramatically screaming SNAAAAAAAAAKE whenever they can’t get hold of him, then they’re going to have a hard job winning the fans - and us - over. BORN Hideo Kojami August 24, 1963 Tokyo, Japan NATIONALITY Japanese OCCUPATION Director of Kujami Productions Screenwriter Vice president of Konami Game director Game producer YEARS ACTIVE 1986 - Present Hideo Kojima is a Japanese game director, writer, producer and designer originally employed at Konami. He is the director of Kojima Productions and was promoted to Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment in early 2011. His previous positions include being vice president of Konami Computer Entertainment Japan. He is the creator, director and writer of a number of successful video games, including the Metal Gear series of stealth games and the adventure games Snatcher and Policenauts, and he also produced series such as Zone of the Enders, Boktai and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Kojima is consistently named by fans and industry experts alike as being one of the most influential and innovative video game directors and writers in the industry. Newsweek named Hideo Kojima as one of the top ten people of 2002. In 2008, Next-Gen placed him seventh in their list of “Hot 100 Developers 2008.” In 2009, IGN placed him sixth in their list of top game creators of all time. HIDEO KOJAMI TEXT/ IGN PHOTO/ OUTCAST “I DON’T LIKE BEING THOUGHT OF AS ‘THE METAL GEAR GUY’” HIDEO KOJIMA HIDEO KOJIMA
  • 8. THE LAST OF USOne unforgettable character proves humanity is worth saving in the bleak and brutal The Last of Us.
  • 9. 16 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 17 THE DOWNFALL of civilization redefines moral boundaries. No longer do labels like thief and murderer mark you as a criminal; everyone must steal,mustkill,mustdowhateverittakestosurvive. Paper-thin alliances link individuals together for mere flashes, their connections severed once their mutual needs are met. Life is bleak, brutal, and exhausting. Tomorrow doesn’t exist when the stench of death lingers like a fog and hope was extinguished years ago. There is only today; there is only right now. Morals? Morals won’t put food in your mouth or a roof over your head. Morals are for the weak. And you’re not weak. One night the heart of society beat loud and strong; the next it was silent. The outbreak happened so quickly that there was no quarantine plan in effect. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, dead, or worse. Maybe they became one of the infected. The virus spread through major cities and suburbs, and the military, with all of its training and weapons, was powerless to stop the epidemic. Joel is just one man amid a sea of people whose lives have been destroyed by the infection, but who still cling to life. Though he never asked for such power, he now holds the key to saving the world. Ellie remembers them. In her remembrance of the past, she exhibits a strength of will that most adults have lost. Ellie is both strong and vulnerable, smart and naive, and her humanity provides the impetus to push you through to the bitter end. Ellie’s maturity and resiliency make her an invaluable companion, but her worth lies much deeper than her endearing personality. She could be the savior humanity has been waiting for, and Joel has the privilege of escorting. You travel through infested forests, dilapidated houses, and unnerving sewers, with Joel providing the brawn and Ellie the heart to brave the many dangers that stand before them. Confrontation is a last resort. Infected swarm with terrifying ferocity, clawing and snarling as they seek their next meal. The uninfected are just as deadly. With diplomacy not an option, they pursue and flank, firing high-powered rifles or swinging deadly axes, undeterred that they are trying to slaughter a middle-aged man and a young girl. Death is fast and bloody, so you slink through the shadows, staying out of sight to live another day. COMBAT However, combat in such a violent land is inevitable. TheLastofUsturnsthecrumblingruinsofaformerly healthy world into the landmarks of unceasing war. Filter the world through the lens of dystopia, and ordinary objects take on a new meaning. Overturned tables and file cabinets provide a modicum of cover; broken windows allow for a quick escape. The zombies’ movements are a confluence of contrasting images. Their staggered gait lulls you into believing they are slow, weak. But once they JOEL Joel is introduced the night society falls. He stays out late and works questionable jobs, all while his daughter waits patiently for his return home. He’s distant, physically and emotionally, which makes it difficult to empathize with him. His actions are often repulsive, as inhuman as the zombies he must fight. The door to his heart is sealed shut. The Last of Us shines a light on the nastiness that only surfaces in humans who have nothing to lose. Rather than overcoming these limitations, Joel is crushed by them. He’s unlikeable to his very core, a man who spits out angry words and appears to harbor even more sinister thoughts that remain unsaid. He kills because everyone must kill. But he kills with such fury that it disgusts even those who are used to this violence. Joel, already accustomed to a life of brutality and focusing on his own needs, has partnered with a woman of a similar disposition. Tess is a badger let loose from a cage. To cross her path is to sign your own death warrant. She, like so many of the characters in The Last of Us, has a one-note personality that allows little room for a more nuanced interpretation. Her independence and smell fresh meat, their movement is blindingly fast and exact. Their heads snap to attention with unsettling, insectile speed, and the unholy guttural noises that issue from their throats sound like the song of humanity’s death. So you kill them, bashing them with a two-by- four with all your strength and pummeling them into a lifeless mess on the ground. When grabbed from behind, you shove a shiv into your attacker’s neck, the force of your blow causing the makeshift weapon to snap in half. A close-range shotgun blast tears zombies to shreds, but there’s no time for celebration. They keep coming, eager to quell the threat that stupidly revealed itself. Such confrontations are nerve-rattling, and yet there’s a hollowness to these encounters. No one wants to die--even a virtual death is unwelcome--but The Last of Us refuses to punish failure in a manner befitting the harshness of its world. Become overwhelmed and you quickly perish, but with checkpoints only a few seconds apart, the danger of expiring never dissuades you from recklessness. The biggest problem with combat in The Last of Us, however, is how often it breaks its own rules. Mutated zombies called clickers have finely tuned ears that hear your quietest movements. And yet, your companions speak all too loudly near enemies or stand blithely in the open, all while the grotesque monsters obtusely ignore them. In certain sections, locked doors cannot be interacted with until the threat has been eliminated, forcing you to act violently even though an evasive approach seems possible. In other places, a gang of savage monsters ruthlessness are thrust to the forefront; empathy and humanity are nowhere to be found. Such flimsy characterizations erect an emotional barrier for the firstfewhoursofthisadventure.Thepostapocalyptic world is not interesting enough on its own to draw you in. Without any sympathetic characters to latch on to, you are left with little attachment to this pack of selfish animals. ELLIE That changes once Ellie joins your party. Unlike Tess and Joel, Ellie is easy to relate to. In this world of constant danger, she is scared. Scared to be ambushed by a zombie without a guide to protect her. Scared to meet a person who would rather kill her than talk to her. And her fear is not just for her own life. All of her loved ones have died or departed, so she’s scared of losing someone else. Yet unlike so manyothersinthisworld,Ellieisnotruledbyherfear. She talks like a girl in search of normalcy, whistling or humming during quiet moments, fantasizing about swimming lessons, and laughing about the problems that used to haunt girls before the outbreak. Boys? School? Problems that seem pitiful when your stomach has been growling for days and you have watched a zombie kill your best friend, yet waits patiently for you to open a door to freedom, and watches ambivalently as you close it securely behind you. The Last of Us sets rules and then ignores them, removing you from the experience as you question the underlying systems. HUMANS Healthy individuals are a bigger threat than the prowling infected. Military units and paranoid gangs hinder your escape to freedom. Humans are more predictable than zombies, so you don’t have to be scared that they’re going to unexpectedly change direction. However, with guns at the ready, they can kill you just as quickly, and from a long distance away if you’re not careful. Problems do exist that lessen the thrill of the fight. Your enemies are not the sharpest people around. Hide behind a corner and snap some poor sap’s neck, leaving his lifeless body on the ground. When the next guard walks up, you might expect him to sound the alarm upon seeing his friend. But he often doesn’t care, and so you kill again. Other times, you may be dramatically strangling a man only a few meters away from a living guard, and yet you remain unseen. TOP LEFT Trees are as prevalent as zombies after the apocalypse. BOTTOM LEFT Fight for your life or wind up dead. TOP RIGHT Alcohol is more valuable as a flaming weapon in this world. BOTTOM RIGHT Property values have plummeted. FAR RIGHT Joel is well versed in various ways to kill a man. “THE VIOLENCE NEVER FEELS GRATUITOUS. IN THIS HARSH, BARBARIC WORLD, IT’S FIGHT OR DIE.” TEXT/ COMPUTER AND VIDEOGAMES PHOTO/ CONCEPTARTWORLD REVIEW REVIEW
  • 10. 18 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 19 LAST YEAR’S Tomb Raider is arguably one of the best games ever released during the last generation of consoles. If you enjoy adventure games, sally forth and obtain a copy. You’ll be sorted for pretty much an entire weekend. Excitement defines the actions of an adventurous archeologist, no matter how reluctant you might be to bear arms, and you see this chaotic lifestyle through the eyes of perpetual survivor Lara Croft. Her life is one of bloodshed and misery, strength peppered with pain, and as she overcomes every crushing setback, she learns what kind of person she truly is. Such endeavors are so fantastical that her story of emotional growth is often overshadowed by the wildly unrealistic events, but the overwhelming beauty of the island is so gripping, and the exploration so expertly designed, that you become invested in Lara Croft’s incredible journey. ADVENTURER TO KILLER Her shift from wide-eyed adventurer to full-fledged killer makes sense, and that’s precisely why it’s so A BATMAN’S work is never done. He may have dealt with the Penguin, Hugo Strange, the Joker, and the other supervillains who plotted schemes within the open-air megaprison of Arkham, but in the wake of those events, a new threat has arisen. For reasons that need no explanation if you’ve played through the story of Batman: Arkham City, Harley Quinn has it out for Batman in a big way. Harley Quinn’s Revenge gives you a decent excuse to return to the immensely satisfying combat of Arkham City, and lets you play as Robin in a narrative context (as opposed to challenge rooms) for the first time. But unfortunately, this downloadable content feels restrictive in comparison to the original game, and it ends with a weak final confrontation that makes this a disappointing note on which to bring the Arkham City story to a close. Like the original game, Harley Quinn’s Revenge jumps between characters, but it adds a new narrative twist by jumping back and forth in time. You begin as Robin, who has ventured into a shipyard that has been taken over by Harley Quinn and her thugs. Chatter between Robin and Oracle establishes that in the two weeks that have passed since the events of Arkham City, Bruce Wayne has seemed depressed and unwilling to talk about the lives that were lost. The concept of Batman coming a bit unhinged and struggling with his emotions is exciting, but Harley Quinn’s Revenge never develops it. It serves no purpose here other than to plant a seed in your brain about what condition Batman might be in when a sequel rolls around; within the context of this DLC, it just resonates with untapped potential. As a former exclusive on the PlayStation Vita, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation arrived in time for the 2012 holidays as a promising system seller for Sony’s fledgling handheld. While it fell short of its lofty goal, Liberation was nonetheless an impressive showcase of possibilities for open-world play on the portable platform. Now that it has been released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Assassin’s Creed fans uninterested in the Vita can now experience all of the franchise’s 18th-century storylines. Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD delivers what you would expect in upgraded visuals. And if you’re hoping for the exact same gameplay that Vita owners experienced, you get that as well, even though it includes Liberation’s original bugs. The foundation upon which the Pokemon series stands is firm and unyielding, meaning that catching critters and taking them into turn-based battles is its very essence. Pokemon X/Y--the first of the main series to make it onto the 3DS--is the same Pokemon experience at its core, which means it’s a compelling adventure driven by complex rock- paper-scissors-like gameplay and a charming cast of hundreds of creatures to capture. Pokemon X/Y’s foundations are surrounded by a scaffolding of new features that build upon its gameplay fundamentals. You will love the new ability to tinker with each individual pokemon’s base stats, for example, and some gameplay frustrations have been ironed out to create a more enjoyable experience for old- school players and newcomers alike. uncomfortable. We’re forced to put ourselves in her shoes, question how we would respond to attacks on our lives, and wonder if we’d be able to fight when it would be so much easier to surrender. Smart pacing ensures that there is plenty of time to examine what transpired in that last deadly fight. So you scavenge for a while, explore the environments, and then face five minutes of chaos and screaming before you’re once again left by yourself. As smartly as Tomb Raider handles its rare forays into combat, it does a poor job of showing death. Lara is tortured in such sensational ways that it’s downright gratuitous, as if the game is reveling in her torment. TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ RADCREW “A NEW BEGINNING FOR LARA CROFT THAT DOES JUSTICE TO ONE OF GAMING’S MOST ICONIC CHARACTERS” REBORN REVENGE PS3 XBOX 360 PC CRYSTAL DYNAMICS TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ COMICVINE PS3 XBOX 360 WARNER BROS 8.0 GREAT 6.0 FAIR GRAND THEFT AUTOPS3 XBOX 360 ROCKSTAR LIBERATION PS3 XBOX 360 UBISOFT POKEMON X/Y 3DS GAME FREAK WHEREdoyoubegintalkingaboutGrandTheftAuto V? Do you start with the vast, varied, beautiful open world? Do you start with the innovative structure that gives you three independent protagonists you can switch between? Or perhaps you dive right into the game’s story problems, or its serious issues with women. Grand Theft Auto V deserves accolades for its innovative triumvirate of antiheroes, its many and varied missions, and the sprawling depiction of Los Santos and the hillbilly outbacks. There is something missing in GTA V that makes the game less engaging than the sociopathic sandboxes of GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas, the two GTA games that will perpetually be my measuring sticks for the franchise. What is missing most of all is a solid sense of place. Both Vice City and San Andreas reveled in nostalgia. San Andreas evoked the early 1990s in a similar way. San Andreas’ theme was not as developed as Vice City’s, but the game still depicted a recognizable time and place in its grim cartoon look at Los Angeles--with sidelong glances at LA County, San Francisco, and Las Vegas--during the explosion of rap and the racial tension that saw a good chunk of SoCal go up in flames after the Rodney King verdict. Both San Andreas and Vice City seemed like real places. Rockstar’s biggest achievement in these games was in creating places that you wanted to visit. This devotion speaks to Vice City’s power to invade my waking thoughts. Long after the game’s release, I would go for long drives around town, listening to the radio and indulging my inner hooligan in a rampage or three. The same is true of San Andreas, although the allure of the ‘80s theme usually won out before I got the San Andreas disc into the system. Rockstar hasn’t forgotten how to do this sort of thing. I liked visiting the faux West of Red Dead Redemption just as much as I did Vice City, and still load up the game to ride around the lonely prairie. TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ RADCREW 8.0 GREAT 6.0 FAIR 8.0GREAT TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ OPERATION RAINFALL TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ RADCREW REVIEW REVIEW
  • 11. 20 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 21 Entertaining highs and frustrating lows punctuate a Castlevania game that--in an effort to redefine the series--loses its identity. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a game of contradictions. Its lead character, Gabriel Belmont, finds himself equipped with great combat abilities and more than enough special skills to combat the forces of evil and avenge the death of his love. But for the player, it’s almost overkill--a good portion of Belmont’s unlocked special skills are only truly necessary when solving environmental puzzles. Similarly, Lords of Shadow is an astoundingly beautiful game filled with expansive views of a broken world dotted with solemn waterfalls; sinister forests; and decaying, ancient cities. But, you won’t be exploring much of these locales because the game is very strict about where you can go and how you can get there, delivering only an illusion of freedom conjured by a combination of invisible walls and platforms just out of reach. As these and other facets of the game continually butt Have you daydreamed of tossing poop at the people you hate? Then you know where you can shove The Stick of Truth: right into your console’s disc drive. Let’s get super cereal, shall we? South Park: The Stick of Truth is the closest there is to an interactive South Park film. It nails the animated television show’s look, its humor, and its obsession with the human anus. If you come to The Stick of Truth for the South Park-ness of it all--for Cartman’s aggressive profanity, for Butters’ good intentions, for Randy Marsh’s masturbation addiction--then you’ll enjoy 10 or so hours of hysterical, offensive, gross buffoonery. Does the phrase “anal beads” make you giggle? That limited play time is a consideration, however. Of course, even if you love South Park, 10 or 11 hours of listening to Cartman call you a douchebag could prove tiring. Nevertheless, given developer Obsidian Entertainment’s pedigree, you would rightfully expect a certain amount of systemic depth, or perhaps an epic- length quest loaded with narrative choices. As role-playing games go, however, The Stick of Truth is notably light on, well, everything. It’s light on challenge: on medium difficulty, combat is a cakewalk, entertaining to watch but rarely engaging your mental faculties. (If you were hoping to turn your brain off and laugh at abortion jokes, you might see this as a mark in the game’s favor.) It’s also light on depth: if it weren’t for the profanity, cartoon genitalia, and the sight of a grown man engaged in gentle coitus with a farm animal, you might have retitled The Stick of Truth as Baby’s First RPG. As for choice, the game asks you to make very few narrative decisions, and the one that most obviously masquerades as a game-changing opportunity is quickly thrown away and rendered moot. No mystery remains unsolved when Yoshi’s nearby. Mario’s dinosaur companion leaps into the heart of labyrinthine locales, ferreting out the many secrets that pepper these colorful lands. Skillful challenges are kept to a minimum in Yoshi’s New Island. Rather than performing dexterous feats of skill, you instead take a methodical tour of each delightful land. It’s an approach that separates Yoshi’s New Island from many platformers out there, but sadly there are missteps in the execution that lessen any excitement. Straightforward level design demands neither clever puzzle solving nor quick reflexes, and a dearth of new ideas makes the many obstacles and enemies feel predictable. Yoshi’s New Island is at once pleasant and forgettable, proving that charming aesthetics can only gloss over middling design for so long. Before he became a plumber and brought momentary peace to the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario was nothing more than a baby in distress on the back of a dinosaur. Yoshi proves here that he’s every bit the hero that the diapered companion he carries with him is; just don’t expect him to move like Mario does. Dinosaurs are heavy creatures, so Yoshi isn’t quick on his feet, but he does have other talents. Chief among them is his ability to momentarily hover to reach distant platforms. Extend jumps to carry your prodigious weight to out-of-the-way areas or to land right on the head of a roaming koopa troopa. Hovering is a necessary way to traverse this colorful world, but it’s sadly just utilitarian. Without the smooth grace of his more acrobatic counterparts, Yoshi’s hovering dulls the excitement of mid-air exploits. heads, it becomes clear that Castlevania is largely a mishmash of mostly incongruous ideas taken from some of gaming’s finest moments. And it’s those very same moments--previously seen and played in other games but well executed here--that ultimately define the game but sadly strip it of an identity to call its own. That isn’t to say the game fails in giving these moments context within the Castlevania universe as constructed by Lords of Shadow. In fact, the story does a reasonable job in setting things up and explaining why Gabriel Belmont fights massive titans, as well as hordes of werewolves, zombies, vampires, and other mainstays from the vintage horror assembly line. TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ PLAYSTATION “IT’S JUST UNFORTUNATE SO MUCH OF IT COMES FROM OTHER GAMES AND NOT AN ORIGINAL SOURCE.” “YOSHI’S NEW ISLAND IS AT ONCE PLEASANT AND FORGETTABLE, PROVING THAT CHARMING AESTHETICS CAN ONLY GLOSS OVER MIDDLING DESIGN FOR SO LONG.” CASTLEVANIA SOUTH PARK PS3 XBOX 360 PC MERCURY STEAM TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ P3 XBOX 360 PC OBSIDIAN ENT. 7.5 GOOD DARK SOULS 2PS3 XBOX 360 FROM SOFTWARE YOSHI’S NEW ISLAND 3DS GAME FREAK How much of your humanity are you willing to give up for even the slightest chance of victory? Dark Souls II asks this question of you at every turn, encouraging you to press onward in spite of imminent death. And with each death, you lose a little of your humanity and become more hollow. Your maximum health slightly diminishes each time as well, eventually sinking to 50 percent of its full value, and yet as each sliver of humanity is sliced away, you heed the call to move onward. Eventually, you overcome the obstacle that stood between you and victory--that quartet of gargoyles swarming you on a rooftop, that arachnoid demon plunging poisonous pincers into your flesh, that disgusting mound of meat that defies description. You have triumphed! But your gain does not come without sacrifice. You have sworn, you have gasped, and you have sweated. You have forfeited your own humanity so you might collect the souls of the damned. Like Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls before it, Dark Souls II is not just a fantasy role-playing adventure, but a cloud that hangs heavy over your head whenever you so much as think about it. These modern classics developed by From Software have rightfully earned a reputation for being brutally difficult, but their beauty is derived not solely from difficulty, but also from dread. Dark Souls II is not a survival horror game in the normal sense, but few games can make you this afraid to peer around the corner, while simultaneously curious as to what awaits you there. Death is so very beautiful in this game, for it comes at the hands of amazing beasts and warmongers: hulking armored knights, shimmering otherworldly invaders, and tendrils that rise out of black pools of poison. Sure, each death punctures your heart, but one of Dark Souls II’s many gruesome pleasures is discovering new ways to die. TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ OPERATION RAINFALL 9.0 GREAT 5.0OKAY TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ VOOKS REVIEW REVIEW 8.0 GREAT
  • 12. 22 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 23 15. CoD 4: Modern Warfare The single-player campaign is over in a flash, but the high quality of that campaign and its terrific multiplayer options make Call of Duty 4 a fantastic package. It took awhile, but Infinity Ward finally got the message that World War II is played out. With modern times and international affairs becoming more and more, shall we say, interesting in recent years, the 1940s just don’t carry as much weight as they used to. Perhaps that’s why Call of Duty 4 has a new subtitle, Modern Warfare. By bringing things into a fictionalized story that still seems fairly plausible, the developer has made a much heavier game. 15WE’LL NEVER FORGET The games you should have played before Playstation 4 and Xbox One is launched. They have given us unforgettable experiences troughout the years. We have gathered 10 highlights from the old consolegeneration that stretched further than we ever could have imagined. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 14. METAL GEAR SOLID 4 Metal Gear Solid 4 is an awe-inspiring synthesis of dramatic storytelling and entertaining gameplay. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the most technically stunning video game ever made. It’s also a fine example of storytelling prowess within its medium, combining gameplay and narrative so slickly and beautifully that it’s impossible to extricate one from the other. It’s likely you will emerge awestruck from your first play-through, wishing the experience would continue yet nonetheless satisfied with its conclusion. It’s difficult not to sound hyperbolic when discussing MGS4 because every part of its design seemingly fulfills its vision, without compromise. There is no halfway. 12. JOURNEY Mysterious desert adventure Journey is an uncommonly enthralling experience. In simplest terms, Journey is a third-person, sporadically two-player adventure in which you travel through a desert towards a mountain. By the alchemy of developer thatgamecompany’s skill and vision, it is also unique, exciting, mysterious, and utterly lovely, with mesmerising landscapes and stirring music. It deploys more ‘gamey’ elements than any of the developer’s works before it, and does so successfully, while maintaining the feel of an evocative, interactive art piece. Three hours long at most, it’s concise but not overly short, its cycle of emotional highs and lows best experienced in a single sitting. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 13. FIFA 12 Distilling the world’s most popular sport into a video game isn’t an easy task. Aside from capturing the atmosphere of the game--the satisfying thump of boot on football, the on-pitch dramas created between player and referee, and the ferocious roar of the crowd as the ball sails into the back of the net--there are other considerations too. Some players want to manage their teams. Others want to live out their dreams of football stardom. Still others want to put their skills to the test against the best in the world, all the while clamouring for as realistic an experience as possible. FIFA 12 lets you do all of these things and more. A new tactical defending syst If you’re a longtime FIFA player, then the changes to defending in this year’s game might come as a bit of a shock. A new tactical defending system has been implemented that drastically changes the way you play. em, player impact engine, and head-to-head seasons are just some of the excellent new features it offers. But it’s the new EA Sports Football Club that’s the real draw, bringing with it an addictive levelling system that pits you against the world’s players, keeping track of your own progress and that of your favourite team too. Not only is FIFA 12 the best game in the series, it’s also one of the most exciting, accurate, and complete sports games around. 10. FAR CRY 3 Far Cry 3 is a delightful and harsh tropical wonderland, crawling with wildlife and threatened by the pirates and drug runners that disrupt its peace. The troubled paradise you explore is colorful and wild, enticing you to investigate its ravines and discover new ways to enjoy the open-world playground sprawling in front of you. This is a game that ignites the desire to complete every last challenge and check out every last icon on your map. You gradually journey across the entirety of two sunny and sinful islands, hunting for rare game, speeding medicine to needy communities, and skinning sharks so that you might craft new wallets with their hides. Far Cry 3 is an excellent game, marred mainly by some irritating design elements and an inconsistent story that often defaults to generic “tribal” cliches to make an impact. When the story leaves those cliches behind for deeper territory, however, it does manage to communicate ideas of substance. It takes many hours for its themes to come together in a coherent way--yet in certain aspects, the incoherence makes sense. As protagonist Jason Brody, your initial quest to rescue your friends from a chaotic and truly frightful pirate named Vaas turns into a personal journey blurred by drugs, and fueled by the desire to follow a new and exciting spiritual path. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 11. ASSASSINS CREED II “Nothing is true; everything is permitted.” We learned this adage in the original Assassin’s Creed, and Assassin’s Creed II carries on the tradition beautifully, inspiring you to rethink the conspiracy at the heart of the series and to reconsider what you should expect from a sequel. Developer Ubisoft Montreal has addressed almost all of Assassin’s Creed’s flaws by filling its follow-up with fresh and enjoyable mission types and layering on new and mostly excellent features, while still retaining the joy of movement and atmospheric wonder that characterized the original. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 15 GAMESPOT/HDWALLPAPERCORNER GAMESPOT/COLLIDER GAMESPOT/EA GAMESPOT/P3GAMESPOT/NOWGAMER GAMESPOT/FAR-CRY.UBI 14 13 12 11 10 TOP 15 TOP 15
  • 13. 24 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 25 8. BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY We have never felt more comfortable with a cape and a mask, then when we played Batman in Arkham City. Not just have the story and script quality from the upper shelves, we also got a big open world to wonder about filled to the edges with riddles The Riddler had left us. We still remember the good feeling we got when we received the last Riddler-trophy, months after the launch. The next few weeks we roamed the city hunting for green questionsmarks. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 9. GRAND THEFT AUTO IV Stepping off a boat in the shoes of illegal immigrant Niko Bellic as he arrives in Liberty City at the start of Grand Theft Auto IV, you can tell immediately that Rockstar North’s latest offering is something quite special. Yes, this is another GTA game in which you’ll likely spend the bulk of your time stealing cars and gunning down cops and criminals, but it’s also much more than that. GTAIV is a game with a compelling and nonlinear storyline, a game with a great protagonist who you can’t help but like, and a game that boasts a plethora of online multiplayer features in addition to its lengthy story mode. It’s not without some flaws, but GTA IV is undoubtedly the best Grand Theft Auto yet. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 6. DISHONORED Dishonored’s engrossing world and intoxicating interplay of supernatural powers make it a game you’ll want to play more than once. Dishonored is a game about many things. It’s about revenge; armed with deadly weapons and supernatural powers, you seek vengeance upon all of those who orchestrated your downfall. It’s about a city; the plague-ridden industrial port of Dunwall is lovely to behold, exciting to explore, and seething with secrets. It’s about people; an array of vibrant characters await you, and as you get to know them, you are drawn further into their intrigues, hopes, and heartbreaks. But above all, it’s about choice. The incredible variety of ways you can engage or evade your enemies makes Dishonored impressively flexible and utterly captivating. You play as Corvo Attano, former bodyguard to the empress and current death row inmate. The prologue chronicling Corvo’s crime not only inflames your desire for revenge, but also sparks your affection for a vulnerable character. These dual fires foreshadow the choice you have to make each time you encounter an enemy: do you walk the bloody path of brutal vengeance, or take the nonlethal high road and rise above the violence that suffuses the city? Your actions have small, yet tangible consequences throughout your quest, and it’s up to you to decide what kind of retribution you want. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 7. BIOSHOCK INFINITE BioShock Infinite is a stupendous game, portraying a beautiful and broken city that will absorb your every waking thought. What drives a man of God to wash away the sins of his past, only to blacken his heart with a multitude more? How far can a freedom fighter be pushed before virtue and righteousness are replaced by a lust for vengeance? What does a privileged society do when the foundation of its prosperity is shaken? BioShock Infinite dares to explore these heady themes and many more, giving you glimpses at just how the seemingly smallest of decisions can forever alter our realities, and our hearts. As an agent provocateur in the fantastical floating city of Columbia, your actions bring turmoil and strife to an ostensibly idyllic landscape. It’s immensely fun to stir up trouble, and even more engaging to see how boldly BioShock Infinite portrays a society torn asunder. You’ll be haunted by this thematically devastating adventure, and indeed, its phenomenal final minutes, which are bound to be discussed and dissected for some time to come. It starts with a lighthouse. As former private investigator Booker DeWitt, you enter this lighthouse knowing that you have been hired to retrieve “the girl”--but who this girl is, and who hired Booker, remain a mystery, if not to Booker, than at least to you. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 5. THE ELDER SCROLLS: OBLIVION The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is simply one of the best role-playing games ever made. This is a rare and remarkable achievement--a huge, open-ended, complex, detailed role-playing game that’s fun to play and a pleasure to behold. Oblivion not only delivers everything that earned the Elder Scrolls series the devoted loyalty of a huge following of fans, but also significantly improves on the weaknesses of its 2002 predecessor, Morrowind. Morrowind earned recognition for being one of the best role-playing games in years, but the immersive and long-lasting experience it provided wasn’t for everyone. Oblivion is hands-down better, so much so that even those who’d normally have no interest in a role- playing game should find it hard to resist getting swept up in this big, beautiful, meticulously crafted world. The Elder Scrolls series is known for its sheer size and depth. These are games that you could lose yourself in, spending hours exploring a fantasy world, traveling for miles, or just looking for minutiae, such as rare plants or hidden treasure. Oblivion lives up to this pedigree, putting you into a massive, cohesive, highly immersive world. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 GAMESPOT/HDWALLPAPERIMAGES GAMESPOT/TEENGAMERSNETWORK GAMSPOT/WALL.APLHACODERSGAMSPOT/XMEDIA GAMESPOT / WALL.ALPHACOVERS 9 8 7 6 5 TOP 15 TOP 15
  • 14. 26 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 27 4. ALAN WAKE Killer storytelling and creative demon slaying make the haunting Alan Wake one for the books. Darkness is a powerful force. Not knowing what lies beyond the safety of the light can be absolutely terrifying to those with an overactive imagination. But fearful fantasy turns deadly in the bucolic town of Bright Falls, Washington, where the whispering shadows hold untold horrors that reach out from the darkness. Alan Wake spins into an intensely atmospheric psychological thriller that bends the barrier between reality and fiction until it snaps, delivering a chilling story-driven experience without leaning too heavily on schlocky gore. With a beautifully updated graphics engine and free pack-in downloadable content that fills in some of the gaps left by the original’s cliff-hanger ending, the PC version is worth the long wait. For successful big-city writer Alan Wake, a much-needed vacation to the remote countryside turns nightmarish as he is beset by demonic beasts and haunted by a malevolent paranormal presence that seeks to destroy him. When Wake’s wife goes missing from their lakeside cabin retreat, he sets out into the dark woods to find her and winds up a protagonist in his own horror novel--one he doesn’t remember ever writing. PC / XBOX 360 3. BEYOND: TWO SOULS A tale of ghostly intrigue. There are spirits all around us. Are they ghosts or demons? Malevolent or nice? What matters is not their nature, but rather how we react to their presence. In Beyond: Two Souls, Jodie’s life is colored by an invisible force who never strays from her side, and we follow her down a volatile path in which her identity is constantly in flux. Those around her grapple with the existence of these entities, trying to use them to fulfill their own selfish needs with little regard for the ramifications of their actions. Jodie is the one link between the human race and the mysterious apparitions. And through the struggles that she undergoes, you examine the fragility of human nature and develop a strong bond with the beleaguered protagonists. Aiden has been a part of Jodie’s life as long as she can remember. An invisible entity, he hovers nearby, connected to Jodie although with aspirations all his own. You view the world through the eyes of both characters, switching between them with the push of a button. As Jodie, you move like a human does, inspecting items, walking through rooms, and talking to people. Your actions are restricted, giving you only a modicum of different objects and people to interact with as you’re continually ushered down the story’s path. PLAYSTATION 3 3. SKYRIM The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the big, bold, and beautiful sequel you hoped for and is sure to bewitch you for countless hours. The province of Skyrim might be frigid, but the role-playing game that takes place within it burns with a fire few games possess. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you take up arms against dragons, and your encounters with them are invariably exciting--yet depending on where your adventure takes you, such battles may not even represent the pinnacle of your experience. A side quest that starts as a momentary distraction may turn into a full-fledged tale that could form the entirety of a less ambitious game. Yes, Skyrim is another enormous fantasy RPG from a developer that specializes in them, and it could suck up hundreds of hours of your time as you inspect each nook and crevasse for the secrets to be found within. If you know Bethesda Softworks’ previous games, you might be unsurprised that Skyrim is not a land without blemish, but rather harbors any number of technical glitches and frustrating idiosyncrasies that tear open the icy veil that blankets the land. Many of them are ones Elder Scrolls fans will probably see coming, but they’re ultimately a low price to pay for the wonders of a game this sprawling and enthralling. Prepare for many sleepless nights to come. PLAYSTATION 3 / XBOX 360 / PC 1. THE LAST OF US Adolescents have it particularly tough in the zombie apocalypse. Everyonearoundthemisobsessedwithsurvival--whichiscertainly understandable--but every ounce of a teenager’s instincts is pushing him or her toward goofing off. The psychological toll of burying your most basic desires must be exhausting. Left Behind presents this unique point of view through Ellie, the extraordinary heroine from The Last of Us, and it’s hard to resist laughing along with her when her childlike nature is on full display. Don’t expect this prequel to ignore the dark cloud that hovers ominously overhead, though. By examining Ellie’s plight through the lens of such a bleak existence, we grow ever closer to her, and realize how devastating one’s life in such a world would be. Riley sneaks into Ellie’s room before the sun rises, pouncing upon her sleeping body while mimicking a hissing neck bite. Obviously terrified that an infected is eating her alive, Ellie tosses Riley to the ground before pulling a knife from beneath her pillow. Jokes aren’t PLAYSTATION 3 quite as funny when there are monsters lurking. We soon learn that these two best friends had a falling out a month back, and while Ellie is going through training in a military school, Riley has joined the rebel Fireflies. Grievances quickly forgotten, the two risk punishment from their superiors by sneaking into the dangerous city they call home. Watching these two characters interact is heartwarming. As they try on masks in a Halloween shop, their joy is infectious, and I was nodding along with Ellie when she remarked how much junk people used to buy. Such bric-a-brac must be difficult to understand if you live among people who cherish only the bare necessities. GAMESPOT/GEMATSU GAMESPOT/HDWALLPAPERS GAMESPOT/TECHNOBUFFALO 4 3 2 1 TOP 15 TOP 15 TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ GAMEMODDING
  • 15. 28 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 29 THIEF / FEB 25 Sometimes, Thief makes you feel...well, like a thief. The stars align, you’ve gathered some courage, and you swoop in to snatch a patrolling guard’s coin purse unseen, and then swipe a goblet from under his nose. You sneak away, grin, and silently congratulate yourself for your unquestionable skill. Emphasis on the “silently” part, of course; any good thief knows it’s best not to trumpet your accomplishments. Other times, the illusion is shattered. You hide in the shadows while watching an alerted guard walk continuously in place against a pillar, or staring as he pirouettes with several of his comrades. DARK SOULS 2 / MARCH Dark Souls is one of the toughest, most brutal adventure games we’ve played. It punishes every mistake, mocks you with every death screen and laughs at the notion of difficulty levels. Fans of the first game were adamant that the sequel would somehow be easier, diluted down or more friendly for newcomers, but having recently tried the game’s opening hour at a preview event, we can put those complaints to rest. Dark Souls is back, and it’s tougher than ever. In the first Dark Souls, you could only be invaded by other players if you were in human form. You typically spend most of your time as an undead, only becoming human when you acquire specific items or complete certain tasks. For Dark Souls 2, there’s always a chance of being invaded, no matter what your state. THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT / TBA 2014 There’s a creature in the woods slaughtering villagers. The elders want to appease the gods in the hope that it will move on. The leader of the village’s young upstarts disagrees, and wants you – a professional monster slayer – to bring him the beast’s head for a bag of gold. What do you do? The best fantasy RPGs serve up the juiciest dilemmas, and the Witcher series has form for throwing up quality let’smake- a-cuppa-and-think conundrums. Slaying the monster seems like the obvious option here, but if The Witcher 3 is anything like its predecessors things are going to get complicated fast. ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE / APR 4 Set a millennium before Skyrim and around 800 years before Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls Online takes in nearly all of Tamriel, not just one continent as with previous games in the series. The Elder Scrolls games have historically been epic adventures, filled with quests, locations to explore and characters to meet, but they have also been strictly solitary experiences. Bethesda is looking to change that with The Elder Scrolls Online, the first in the series to add other players to the mix. You don’t start off on the green plains of Cyrodiil or the cold mountains of Skyrim, however; you begin the game in Hell, or one of the realms of Oblivion to be exact. Daedric Prince Molag Bal has taken your soul as a sacrifice as he attempts to pull all of Tamriel into his realm. Luckily for you (and the rest of the world), your fellow captives have a plan to escape, and prevent Moalg Bal from achieving his goal. It’s once you make your way out of Oblivion that the game begins proper, letting you loose on Tamriel to either complete the main story, or more likely explore and meet up with friends to take on quests as a group. WATCH DOGS / APR - JUN In the modern uber-connected world, Chicago has the nation’s most advanced and integrated computer system – one which controls almost every facet of city technology and maintains critical information on all of the city’s residents. You assume the role of Aiden Pearce, a notorious hacker and former thug, whose criminal past lead to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those people who have hurt your family, you will be able to monitor and hack all who surround you while manipulating the city’s systems. Use the entire city of Chicago as your personal weapon and exact your signature brand of revenge. HERE’S OUR round-up of must have consolegames due for release this year. Looking for the best new games launching in 2014? With the Xbox One and PS4 having arrived late last year, many of the most hotly anticipated games for both next gen consoles are set to land in 2014, providing more compelling reasons to make the upgrade. It’s time to live in the now, and to think about all the games in front of us. It’s not all about next gen, either, as there are plenty KEEPS GETTING BETTER DESTINY / SEPT 9 Set in the remote future, Destiny thrusts players into the roles of Guardians of the last city on Earth, who traverse the ancient ruins of our solar system from the red dunes of Mars to the exotic jungles of Venus. Able to wield immense power, players battle humanity’s enemies and must reclaim that which was lost during the collapse of mankind’s Golden Age. In a story-driven universe, Destiny’s saga unfolds through grand tales and sweeping adventures by immersing gamers in a bold new world filled with cooperative, competitive, public, and social activities, all seamlessly connected. Destiny incorporates Bungie’s trademark grand scope, sci-fi storytelling and adventures with visceral first-person action gaming that takes place in a burgeoning, cinematic universe. Additionally, Destiny delivers a unique social gaming experience to consoles by offering players a connected, living world that they can explore, combined with vibrant social spaces where they can congregate and celebrate achievements, and share remarkable adventures grouped with friends or solo. TITANFALL / MAR 11 Is there any game out there as hotly anticipated as Titanfall? Probably not. Sure, you’ll find a lot of people excited about Dark Souls II or Bungie’s Destiny, but there’s a buzz about Respawn Entertainment’s debut that we haven’t seen for a while. In a way, it’s being seen as the game that might do for the Xbox One and this console generation what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare did last time around: redefining the multiplayer shooter for new hardware and new times. The fact that Respawn’s Vince Zampella helped design the pivotal CoD is a factor, and in fact you can check out the team page and find numerous artists, developers and designers who worked on Modern Warfare and its sequel. Titanfall is also a key game for Xbox One and Microsoft’s vision of next-gen gaming. While not quite an Xbox One exclusive – it’s coming to PC and (eventually) Xbox 360 – Titanfall is a potential system seller. If it can just bring a portion of CoD’s fanbase over to Xbox One, then it might help Microsoft catch up with Sony’s lead in the next-gen console race. THE ORDER: 1886 / TBA 2014 You haven’t seen graphics like this before. At least, not running in real-time. Ready At Dawn has gone stark- screaming-crazy with the levels of fidelity in just about everything you see in The Order 1886. From armour glints and hair swish to cloud… cloudiness. Our first, enthralling look at The Order’s fictionalised version of Victorian London – infused with a Tesla-fueled industrial revolution – has been established beautifully because every element feels that bit different to other games. It’s exactly the tingle of excitement a new IP should deliver – the promise of a world worth exploring. of big games still slated to release on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and more indie games are making their way to PSN and Xbox Live. Sony and Nintendo continues to show great support for the 3DS and PS Vita with Yoshi’s New Island and new Oddworld games for the Sony handheld among the titles to look out for. PC gamers will not be forgotten about as Valve’s army of Steam Machines battle for living room space and we cross our fingers that a consumer- ready Oculus Rift VR headset will be available before TEXT/ TRUSTEDREVIEWS TEXT/ OFFICIALPLAYSTATIONMAGAZINE PHOTO/ NERDYBUTFLIRTY TEXT/ TRUSTEDREVIEWS PHOTO/ TITANFALL TEXT/ METACRITIC PHOTO/ DUALSHOCKERS TEXT/ EXPERTREVIEWS PHOTO/ ALPHACODERS TEXT/ EXPERTREVIEWS PHOTO/ OPERATIONRAINFALL TEXT/ METACRITIC PHOTO/ FANSIDED TEXT/ PCGAMER PHOTO/ PCGAMER TEXT/ GAMESPOT PHOTO/ ROCKPAPERSHOTGUN the end of the year. If you are wondering which standout titles will eat up most of your spare free time, we’ve hand picked the 10 games we are most excited about playing in 2014. Finally , that beauty is relative, as is this editorial, so just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. UPCOMING 2014 UPCOMING 2014
  • 16. 30 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 31 NO GIRLS ALLOWEDUnraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys.
  • 17. 32 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 33 “Would it be fair for all the girls to buy princesses and the boys to buy superheroes?” she says, smacking her right hand to her head in exasperation. “Girls want superheroes AND the boys want superheroes!” POWER OF MARKETING Not every 4-year-old is as critical as Riley Maida. Most adults don’t give a second thought to the way their local department stores are laid out or how things are sold to them. But there are few marketing accidents in retail. The aisle Maida stood in was not accidentally saturated in pink. It’s no accident that most video game retailers plaster their walls with promotional posters for action games, shooters and war games. Long before a video game hits retailers, the marketing machine is already well in motion. Before games like Call of Duty, Madden or Grand Theft Auto are even made, marketers are working with game developers to determine the game’s content, how they’ll represent it, who they’re making it for and how they’ll reach that audience. Most of the time, they know exactly which market they want to capture before they even start considering game ideas. Many of the decisions about what gets green-lit and what doesn’t are based on hard data and analytics. Marketers know who plays which games, how big the audience is and what they’re hungry for. Like the pink aisle, there is little to no prodding in the dark. Most marketers will explain that trying to target a general audience in one campaign is a bad idea. It dilutes the marketing message. People want things that have been designed just for them. A product is more than just a product; it carries meaning and often a promise — a promise that we’ll look better, feel better, have more fun and improve our lives in some way. WE MADE THE GAMES WE WANTED In these early days of game development, video games were made by small teams, oftentimes only two or three people. At Atari, one developer often handled the game’s writing, coding, design and art. Video game studios were predominantly male, largely a by-product of men far outnumbering women in the field of computer sciences. Carol Shaw was the first female developer Atari hired. She is best known for designing and programming River Raid for the Atari 2600 at Activision. She says never got the sense that the games she made were for one gender or another, and there was never a mandate from higher-ups to target a certain audience. When she interviewed for the job, she didn’t believe she was at any disadvantage because she was a woman, nor did she feel that video games were the realm of men. Lori Cole, who co-wrote and designed Sierra’s Quest for Glory series, recalls that some of the earliest video games she played were so simplistic that there was nothing gendered about them. “Those games weren’t exactly female-targeted, but it was guys who were making them, and they were trying to make what they could with this technology, so I don’t think it was a case of the games being designed for guys. They were just designed by guys.” Many of Sierra’s audience were women in their 30s. They were by no means the majority. “We received the silliest letter ever from this guy who was calling Roberta a feminist for wanting to have a female as a main character.” We passed it around the company and everybody at Sierra was laughing at this guy for being upset because we had a female main character. “We didn’t see this as a problem. In fact, we had several games that had female leads. Nobody thought it was an issue.” THE 90’S SHIFT In a magazine advertisement for the Atari game Millipede (1982), a young girl stands in front of the arcade machine with her hands on the buttons, her face visibly excited by the action on the screen. An older woman, presumably her mother, stands beside her, hand on her shoulder, equally excited, a little bit awkward. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, video games appeared to be growing up alongside the young players who had latched onto the medium at the time of the Game Boy. Games and consoles were getting more sophisticated. Titles like Wipeout, Tomb Raider and Gran Turismo showed the world what video games could offer. It showed what video games could offer men. When it conducted market research during the ‘80s and ‘90s, it found that more boys than girls played video games. When it conducted market research during the ‘80s and ‘90s, it found that more boys than girls played video games. The ads made no distinction between different genres of games being for different people. Girls have always played video games, but they weren’t the majority. In wake of the video game crash, the game industry’s pursuit of a safe and reliable market led to it homing in on the young male. And so the advertising campaigns began. Video games were heavily marketed as products for men, and the message was clear: No girls allowed. THE EXCEPTIONS, THE PROBLEMS First-person shooters, action games and sports games have been popular among boys ever since the early ‘90s. In 2012, the three categories combined were responsible for 58.8 percent of video game sales in North America. But not everyone buys the idea that games have become the realm of males. Bogost believes the reason why so many people outside of video game culture think games are for young boys is because of moral panics — one of the most effective forms of marketing available. In recent decades, when video games have appeared in the news, it’s often been bad news. A FUTURE FOR EVERYONE When Romero’s daughter Maezza was 8, she returned home from school with a story. Maezza had told her classmates that when she grows up, she wants to be a game designer. A kid in her class turned around. “Girls don’t play games,” he said. “Fortunately, my daughter had a great response, she said to the boy, ‘My mommy makes games.’ That the concept of “girls don’t play games” exists even among children in schoolyards today has less to do with the actual numbers of players as much as it has to do with an idea that was heavily circulated from the ‘90s through television commercials, magazine ads, video game box art and the media. Back in Newburgh, N.Y., wide-eyed and frustrated, Riley Maida paces back and forth in the aisle. “Why do all the girls have to buy princesses?” she asks. “Some girls like superheroes; some girls like princesses. Some boys like superheroes; some boys like princesses. So why do all the girls have to buy princesses and all the boys have to buy different-colored stuff?” We hear her father’s voice behind the camera: “That’s a good question, Riley.” “MAYBE OUR PERCEPTION OF THE PROBLEM IS THE PROBLEM, RATHER THAN THERE ACTUALLY BEING A PROBLEM,” “SHE KNEW NOT MANY WOMEN HELD BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S DEGREES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, BUT SHE HELD BOTH. SHE WAS QUALIFIED TO DO THE JOB, AND THAT WAS THAT. “ TEXT/ POLYGON PHOTO/ POLYGON OPINION OPINION A few aisles over, in the video game section, unlike in the toy aisles, you won’t find an expansive selection of video games for boys and an equal selection for girls. Most “girls’ sections,” are lined with fitness titles and Ubisoft’s simplified career simulation series. As for the boys section, there isn’t one. Everything else is for boys.
  • 18. 34 / ISSUE 09 / JAN JAN / ISSUE 09/ 35 Sony’s console stand with a whole eight processors, a blu-ray player and a strong graphic card from Nvidia. It can also promote the free internetaccess through Playstation Network. Microsoft’s console was first out with the last generation, and add on the good, exclusive games it can also promote with a superior networkservice. PLAYSTATION 3 XBOX 360 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 LAST OF US GRAND THEFT AUTO V GENRE ADVENTURE / DEVELOPER NAUGHTY DOG / PUBLISHER SONY / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER ROCKSTAR / PUBLISHER 2K GAMES / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER ROCKSTAR / PUBLISHER 2K GAMES / SCORE 10 Unlike the Uncharted series, The Last of Us has its roots in survival-horror, so engaging hostiles head-on is something you’ll probably not want to do very often. Both characters are extremely vulnerable, and their strengths lie not in their ability to fire a gun, but in stealth. GTA 5 is expected to be the last game from Rockstar. Instead of playing one character, you’ll experience the stories of three main characters for the first time ever in a GTA game, and experience San Andreas like never before. GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION BEYOND: TWO SOULS BIOSHOCK INFINITE WATCH DOGS DUST 514 SLY COOPER: THIEVES IN TIME METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE PUPPETEER This time around, the developers say that they’ll be giving Kratos a personality beyond “murderous psy- chopath” to allow players to empathize with a much more human character. That doesn’t mean Kratos can’t still brutalize everything he encounters, though. The game is set to tell the story of Ellen Page’s character, whom we’ll follow throughout her entire life and grow to empathize with instead of being told that she’s someone we have to care about. To be sure, the game will offer a brave, new approach to storytelling. You play the role of Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent who takes on a contract to retrieve a mysteri- ous young woman named Elizabeth. Like the first Bioshock, the game is a social commentary on modern day America and the ideologies that stir within it. Set in the modern day, the game is expected to play much like the Assassin’s Creed series, but sees the protagonist endowed with the ability to hack and twist technology to his whim as he strikes fear into the hearts of evil men who’ve escaped—or operate within—the long reach of the law. As a massively multiplayer first person shooter, you’ll be tasked as one of the countless soldiers dis- patched by your spacebound counterparts to take over planets and military installations with the support of spacecraft from EVE Online. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the fourth entry in the beloved Sly Cooper franchise, which sees players taking on the role of a sly fox who also happens to be a thief. Rather than being yet another stealth-heavy title, Revengeance is an attempt to infuse 3rd person action into the franchise by having players chop shit up, which also happens to be the game’s main draw—using a sword to chop shit up with precision. In the game, players assume the role of a boy named Kutaro who’s been turned into a puppet. Puppeteer offers a unique control scheme in which the left analog stick is used to control Kutaro, while the right stick controls a ghostly cat named Yin Yang. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 GRAND THEFT AUTO V GEARS OF WAR: JUDGMENT GTA 5 is expected to be the last game from Rockstar. Instead of playing one character, you’ll experience the stories of three main characters for the first time ever in a GTA game, and experience San Andreas like never before. Judgment is set before the first of the first trilogy. Together with Kilo Squad, Cole and Baird must survive through the events of Emergence Day and deal with the Locust as they threaten the extinction of human- ity on the planet Sera. BIOSHOCK INFINITE BATTLEFIELD 4 DEAD SPACE 3 TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTERCELL: BLACKLIST WATCH DOGS TOMB RAIDER INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE You play the role of Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent who takes on a contract to retrieve a mysteri- ous young woman named Elizabeth. Like the first Bioshock, the game is a social commentary on modern day America and the ideologies that stir within it. More than just a yearly upgrade, the game will come with a host of improvements to the way its maps are set. This, and a dedicated single-player campaign will be part and parcel of the next-gen Battlefield 4 experience. Dead Space 3 is set to offer the return of Isaac Clarke as he braves an alien planet in search of the source of the Marker, which threatens to doom humanity. He’s not alone this time around, and is supported by the likes of John Carver, an officer who’s as invested in ending the Necromorph outbreak as Clarke is. The high-tech counterterrorist outfit must deal with something called “The Blacklist”, a plan of escalating terror attacks throughout the world. It’s up to Sam Fisher and his team to stop the terrorists before the countdown launched by “The Blacklist” reaches zero. Set in the modern day, the game is expected to play much like the Assassin’s Creed series, but sees the protagonist endowed with the ability to hack and twist technology to his whim as he strikes fear into the hearts of evil men who’ve escaped—or operate within—the long reach of the law. Far from being the jewel thief/dinosaur hunter/world adventurer of the previous games, Lara Croft is in- stead cast as a young woman who survives a plane wreck on a remote and uncharted island somewhere in the Pacific. Rather than being yet another stealth-heavy title, Revengeance is an attempt to infuse 3rd person action into the franchise by having players chop shit up, which also happens to be the game’s main draw—using a sword to chop shit up with precision. Each of the characters within Injustice will be defined by their superpowers and the gadgets they use defeat to one another in mortal combat. The stages of the game are based on iconic locations within the DC Comics universe. From the makers of Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit comes a new adventure game starring the talents of Juno actress, Ellen Page. Beyond is set to be one of the most emotional experiences ever delivered in a videogame, according to its creator, David Cage, who sees videogames as a new medium for storytelling and not just for relieving boredom for those with an attention deficit. Injustice: Gods Among Us is an attempt to do for DC’s superheroes what the Arkham series of games did for Batman. Coming from the makers of Mortal Kombat, Injustice will pit hero against hero, and villain against villain in an over-the-top and new take on the DC Comics universe. Each of the characters within Injustice will be defined by their superpowers and the gadgets they use defeat to one another in mortal combat. BEYOND: TWO SOULS INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US ANBEFALT ANBEFALT If you’re a girl reading this, it’s probably because you’ve heard about video games from your boyfriend or the nice guy you’re totally friendzoning right now, or maybe you’ve decided you want to become one of those hot new “fake geek girls” that are all the rage right now – and as everybody knows, girls are all into fashion, right? Exactly. Anyway, whatever your reasons for putting your next shoe shopping trip on hold, I’ve put together this helpful guide based on my very own extensive experience as a girl gamer to get you started. Gaming is hard, and being a girl playing games is even harder because of periods and compulsive texting and not being able to conceptually visualise 3D objects and other gross girl things, so pay attention. This one is really, really important. It’s completely natural for guys to be gamers because they’re biologically hardwired to be competitive and pretend to shoot each other for points, but it’s obviously very suspicious for girls to be gamers because we always have ulterior motives for everything. I mean, you and I both know that the real reason we’re playing games is for attention, but it’s a good idea to keep this to yourself. Remember, there are no girls on the internet without compelling evidence to the contrary. Make sure to keep a selection of recent photos of your boobs to show as proof when the demands start. The demands will start. If you win a game, it’s because you’re “good for a girl” Congratulations, you’re the exception to the rule that girls are bad at games. It might also be because you’re fat, ugly, and/or a slut, just because. If you lose a game, it’s because you’re a girl. Congratulations, you’re the rule. It might also be because you’re fat, ugly, and/or a slut. Don’t take it personally, though, because it’s just a joke, and if you don’t laugh it’s because girls don’t have a sense of humour. Oh, and speaking of which… Get back in the kitchen and make some guy a sandwich. LOL. I’ve heard this joke several times a day, every day, for the last five years or more and it just gets more hilarious every time. Isn’t it hilarious? It’s so hilarious. If you think you’ve got it bad, it’s because that’s just how it is and guys have it just as bad or even worse anyway. So what if you have to put up with insults jokes, speculative commentary about your appearance and sleeping arrangements, and unsolicited photos of other players’ dicks — guys get called names that call their sexual orientation into question. That’s so much worse, and besides, it’s nobody else’s fault you can’t take a compliment. Jeez. TEXT/ TARRYN VAN DER BYL THE GIRLS GUIDE TO GAMING GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER PCFE GAMES / PUBLISHER MICROSOFT / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER SANTA MONICA STUDIO / PUBLISHER SONY / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER IRRATIONAL GAMES / PUBLISHER 2K GAMES / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION-DRAMA / DEVELOPER QUANTIC DREAM / PUBLISHER SONY / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER EA DIGITAL ILLUSION CE / PUBLISHER EA / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER IRRATIONAL GAMES / PUBLISHER 2K GAMES / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER VISCERAL GAMES / PUBLISHER ELECTRONIC ARTS / SCORE 10 GENRE ADVENTURE / DEVELOPER UBISOFT / PUBLISHER UBISOFT / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION-ADVENTURE / DEVELOPER UBISOFT / PUBLISHER UBISOFT / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER CCP SHANGHAI / PUBLISHER SONY / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION-ADVENTURE / DEVELOPER CRYSTAL DYNAMICS / PUBLISHER SQUARE ENIX / SCORE 10 GENRE PLATFORM / DEVELOPER SANZARU GAMES / PUBLISHER SONY / SCORE 10 GENRE FIGHTING / DEVELOPER NETHERREALM STUDIOS / PUBLISHER WARNER BROS / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER PLATINUM GAMES / PUBLISHER KONAMI / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER PLATINUM GAMES / PUBLISHER KONAMI / SCORE 10 GENRE PLATFORM / DEVELOPER SCE JAPAN STUDIO / PUBLISHER SONY / SCORE 10 GENRE ACTION / DEVELOPER UBISOFT / PUBLISHER UBISOFT / SCORE 10 With each edition we grant you a personal letter from the outspoken and totally honest, Tarryn van der Byl. TARRYN VAN DER BYL GUIDE FORUM Following several years of latency was Grand Theft Auto V finally launched on 17 September. The day before had GR review jubilation in the comments... Dayum! This must then be too good to be true to judge. /SOMMERSTAD97 Good review but think you should get back to the game when you have clear and poor your head out of the cloud hype . Well, I‘ve already bought it , said review affected me so much. But one thing is for sure, when looking forward even more. At 0:00 it happens! /DARK SAMUS NEMESIS Got the game today and must say I totally agree with the reviewer. Long live the rockstar! Thanks for this review. It was a joy of reading. /BERNT_A
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