Uncharted 4: A Photo Journey

Uncharted 4 launched last week to incredible critical reception. If there’s one common theme among reviews, it has to be that Uncharted 4 is absolutely gorgeous. During my playthrough, I was frequently taking screenshots using the game’s photo mode. These are some of my favorites.

Warning: there are location spoilers for the whole game in this post. Only continue if you’ve beaten Uncharted 4 or are okay with being spoiled on locations!

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Review: Ratchet & Clank (2016)

For the last fourteen years, Sony has been releasing Ratchet & Clank games. Over that time, the series has spanned five consoles, contained single player and co-op campaigns, and even experimented with tower defense elements and online multiplayer. It’s clear that Insomniac has not been afraid to take risks with their beloved duo. However, what Ratchet & Clank (2016) represents is more return to form than experimentation; a re-imagining of the heroes’ origin story tailored for a 2016 audience.

But what relevance does a traditional, single-player Ratchet & Clank campaign have in an industry continually moving towards online multiplayer experiences? Turns out, quite a bit…

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Assassin’s Creed Movie – Trailer Impressions

Video game movies have been around for decades now. With some huge successes out of the Tomb Raider, Need for Speed, and Resident Evil franchises as well as some notable box office flops like Super Mario Bros. and the more recent Ratchet & Clank, it’s hard to tell how well a new film is going to do early on. But, if there was one promising thing about Assassin’s Creed before its trailer dropped, it’s that Ubisoft’s own Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is the highest grossing video game adaptation of all time. Clearly they know how to successfully adapt their IP into film.

But can Assassin’s Creed live up to that same legacy?

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State of the First Person Shooter

Brendon and I are back with another Casual Conversation!

Today, we’re taking a look at the increasing diversity in first person shooters. In 2016 alone we’re seeing shooters inspired by MOBAs, a rebooted classic, an expansion to the popular RPG Destiny, and two juggernauts going head to head with Call of Duty Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1.

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Toys-to-Life: A Bubble About to Burst?

Disney announced yesterday that it will no longer be publishing console games, bringing its popular Disney Infinity series to an abrupt end. As part of the news, Disney also announced that Avalanche Software in Utah will be closed permanently.

Avalanche Software has been working exclusively on the Disney Infinity IP for the last five years or so. With the studio shuttered and the IP shelved, it begs the question…if a successful franchise like Disney Infinity can’t stay viable in the current market, are we about to see the bubble burst for all Toys-to-Life games?

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Are all Delayed Games “Eventually Good”?

“A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” These are the words of world-famous game designer Shigeru Miyamoto referring to the delayed launch of the Nintendo 64, a delay that allowed him to realize his vision for Mario 64.

In more recent years, this philosophy is becoming more common in the industry. We’ve seen a number of high-profile games affected by delays in the name of completing the creators’ vision. Just a few recent examples include Watch_DogsThe DivisionBatman Arkham Knight, and this week’s Uncharted 4. In these cases, the delays seem to have had a positive impact. Watch_DogsThe Division, and Arkham Knight all have large open worlds with a variety of side tasks while Uncharted 4 is a completely polished experience by all accounts that makes the most of the PS4’s power.

So delays are always a good thing then? Not quite.

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What Does Crash Bandicoot Look Like in 2016?

For a while now, rumors have been circulating that Sony is working on a new Crash Bandicoot game. There’s one major problem with this though…as of right now, Activision officially owns the IP. According to some cyber sleuthing though, that may not be the case anymore…or at least Activision may be preparing to sell the license. This article isn’t about the logistics behind getting a new Crash Bandicoot game made, though.

Now let’s be clear up front that I’d love a return to the Wumpa Islands. Crash Bandicoot 1-3 are some of my favorite games of all time and they get played pretty often in my house. With that said, the series’ gameplay elements are decidedly part of a bygone era. While the mechanics were always tight and the characters always charming, Crash Bandicoot games are no longer aligned with an industry pushing for more open worlds and richer storytelling. So if Crash is to make his triumphant return, one question has to be answered first…

What is a Crash Bandicoot game in 2016?

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Uncharted Fortune Hunter: Mobile Abyss?

Uncharted 4‘s review embargo was lifted early yesterday morning, commanding widespread media attention. Strangely enough, Sony chose that time to stealth release a new Uncharted game. No, not Uncharted 4, This game is Uncharted Fortune Hunter. Available on Google Play and the App Store, it’s a free-to-pay puzzle game in the same vein as Lara Croft GO and Hitman GO that’s worthy of your attention.

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EA and Star Wars: What Comes Next?

Tomorrow marks three years since Disney and EA announced their multi-year partnership, allowing EA to exclusively produce Star Wars games. Since the announcement, EA has released Star Wars Battlefront for PS4/XB1/PC and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes for Mobile and they have continued to support Star Wars The Old Republic through expansions. Each of these come with their own set of caveats, though. Battlefront lacks a story driven single player component, Galaxy of Heroes is a free-to-play mobile title with microtransactions, and The Old Republic requires a subscription fee to access its new expansions.

I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t the kind of output fans were hoping for when the partnership was originally announced. Star Wars is the kind of endless universe that allows for an incredible amount of creativity in story telling. Developers could use creative license to expose a new conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, explore the life of an ordinary citizen thrust into an extraordinary situation, or even put us in the shoes of a bounty hunter looking to make a name for him or herself.

Luckily, the list of upcoming Star Wars projects at EA is only growing. Unluckily, the details surrounding these projects are scarce…

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PAX East Impressions: Move or Die

Move or Die is unequivocally chaotic. Whether you’re playing alone against bots or against opponents online, it’s the kind of game that can keep you hooked for hours. Where it really shines though, is with three friends by your side playing against one another locally.

I had a chance to check out Move or Die in those exact circumstances at PAX East last month and said at the time that it was my game of the show. After some reflection, I stand by that declaration. If that on its own doesn’t sell you though, here’s what the game is all about…

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