Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Prepare For Battleborn’s Release With Our Exclusive Content Hub

Battleborn is out in just a couple days, and a great way to prepare for the release is to look back at our exclusive content hub from our August 2014 cover story.

Click here, or the banner below, to check out our collection of videos, features, and interviews surrounding Battleborn. These include our hands-on preview, an interview about why Gearbox went forward with Battleborn instead of Borderlands 3, and how the development team approaches comedic sci-fi.

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Battleborn releases May 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out a trailer here.

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Exclusive Whispers Of The Old Gods Preview: Hearthstone’s Biggest Minion

Hearthstone's upcoming Whispers of the Old Gods expansion promises to shake things up when it drops in late April/early May, and today we have a few amazing cards to share with you, one of which is the biggest minion in Hearthstone history – a massive 30/30 monster that can kill an unarmored full-health hero in a single blow. Of course, getting this titan on the tavern table will be no easy task, but you never know what can happen as players find new ways to clone and tinker with the dangerous Blood of the Ancient One.

Hearthstone lead designer Ben Brode offered us some insight on Blood of the Ancient One and The Ancient One, but first let's take a look at the cards themselves.

While the conditions to get The Ancient One on board may be daunting, that is an unbelievable amount of power – almost a caricature of Hearthstone brute strength, and a dangerous win condition. Ben Brode answered a few questions for us about these upcoming cards.

GI: Can you provide insight into how these two cards were designed?

BB: Blood of the Ancient One – We wanted to give players who like crazy deckbuilding challenges a chance to see if they could get off a truly crazy combo.  It's not easy to sneak two 9-cost minions into play at once, but it seemed like a fun opportunity for creative deckbuilders to explore.  We also knew we wanted massive horrible monsters in Whispers of the Old Gods, and trying to find a way to include a 30/30 minion was a fun challenge for us.  If you can get it to go off, you have a good shot at ending the game.

What do you feel the competitive prospects are (if any) for these cards? 

Blood of the Ancient One is more of a fun deckbuilding challenge with a great story moment than a card that we think will dominate high-level tournaments, but we've had a lot of fun playing the card internally.  I'm excited to see what strategies players will discover for summoning the Ancient One!

How do these two cards fit in with the flavor of the set? 

The Old Gods, even while chained beneath the crust of Azeroth, led massive armies and empowered fearsome generals.  The Ancient One was vanquished long ago, but it's hard to keep the minions of the Old Gods down, and with enough of its blood, you can herald the return of the Old Gods' greatest creation!

How do you feel about creating what is essentially Hearthstone’s biggest minion to date?

Pretty good and pretty scared.  The Ancient One will take a decent amount of planning and setup to pull off, but when it happens, it’s going to be pretty scary.

 

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Prepare For Quantum Break With Our Exclusive Content Hub

With Quantum Break releasing in a couple days, now is the perfect time to look back on our exclusive content that we revealed in December with our cover story.

Click here, or the banner below, to be directed to our features, videos, and more on Quantum Break. We asked creative director Sam Lake 100 questions, rummaged through Remedy's warehouse to find Max Payne and Alan Wake relics, and dedicated a special edition podcast to the game.

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Be sure to also read up on our review, and watch our Test Chamber for gameplay footage. Quantum Break arrives on Xbox One and PC on April 5.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Prepare For Quantum Break With Our Exclusive Content Hub

With Quantum Break releasing in a couple days, now is the perfect time to look back on our exclusive content that we revealed in December with our cover story.

Click here, or the banner below, to be directed to our features, videos, and more on Quantum Break. We asked creative director Sam Lake 100 questions, rummaged through Remedy's warehouse to find Max Payne and Alan Wake relics, and dedicated a special edition podcast to the game.

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Be sure to also read up on our review, and watch our Test Chamber for gameplay footage. Quantum Break arrives on Xbox One and PC on April 5.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

An Exclusive Interview With The Actors Behind Gears Of War 4

With the announcement of our April cover story on Gears of War 4, we also revealed the actors that will be playing the game's three playable characters. In this feature, it's time for the actors to talk about their experience working with The Coalition on Gears of War 4. While visiting the studio, we sat down with Liam McIntyre (JD Fenix), Eugene Byrd (Del), and the prolific Laura Bailey (Kait), to discuss the excitement and pressure of bringing the characters for the next generation of Gears to life. If you're looking to learn even more about the new characters in Gears of War 4, check out our story from earlier this month.

Watch the video interview below to learn how JD's voice will compare to Marcus' and more.

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To learn more about Gears of War 4, click on the banner below to enter our hub of exclusive content.

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Exclusive Interview Dives Deep On Destiny Spring Update

Bungie is rolling out info about its Destiny April Update through a series of three live streams, the first of which just concluded. Ahead of the stream, we were able to ask some questions of Ryan Paradis, the live events lead designer who has been in charge of preparing the update, and he provided additional detail about what’s on the way. If you missed the live stream, or you want to learn a little more about what you can expect, dive on in.

This week’s content reveals zero in on new activities, so we’ve focused on those in our questions. Specific details about gear, Crucible updates, and other facets of the Destiny experience won’t be explored until later. Read ahead to learn more about the April Update’s story, what you’ll be doing as you aim to hit the new light cap of 335, changes to King’s Fall, a major update to Prison of Elders, and more. 

What is the goal for the April Update? When you began development on this new content, what were the most important objectives for your team?

Our goal with the April update was to hit a few different fronts. We have a lot of fans who fell in love with exploration on the Dreadnaught, with our Strikes, and with the Prison of Elders, but they’ve moved past them. We wanted to revitalize some of these favorites, and at the same time provide new challenges and rewards. As the Live team has done in the past, we wanted to provide awesome new vanity items for players to both express themselves better, and to look like the badasses they truly are. 

Another thing that was really important for us to accomplish with this update was to provide players more choices in how to become more powerful. The raid is a great endgame option, because it’s challenging, requires tons of coordination, and features our most complex mechanics, but for players who aren’t routinely raiding, we wanted to provide viable endgame gear upgrade options in Prison of Elders, Strikes, the Court of Oryx, and Crucible activities.

What’s the top-level story idea for the April Update? How does the new story content dovetail from the events of The Taken King release?

The focus for the April update is on the Reef and what’s going on there after the devastation. While they’re beaten, they’re not down for the count, and Variks will be guiding you through the update. Although Oryx is dead, the Taken are still as strong as ever, and Variks is tasking you to stop them from resurging. The new story is intended to provide a small continuation of the Taken King storyline, and dovetail into our new Strike and Prison of Elders content.

Will there be new Grimoire cards to acquire? 

With everything we’ve added in this update, there are of course new Grimoire Cards to further expound on the deeper lore of Destiny. I don’t want to spoil any of the new lore, but there are new grimoire cards for some of the new activities, some of the gear you’ll encounter, and even some bosses you’ll be fighting. We know how passionate the fans are about the lore we put in the Grimoire, and wanted to make sure to scratch that itch with this update, too.

What’s the concept behind the Blighted Chalice strike? 

Variks is going to leverage your particular set of skills to track down a new Taken threat. The Blighted Chalice Strike is the conclusion of that questline.

King’s Fall is being updated with gear that goes up to light value 330. Are these the same pieces that were previously available in the raid, but at a higher level? Or are there new gear pieces/weapons? Have the King’s Fall fights themselves changed at all? Will this version of King’s Fall (with 330 gear) be a third difficulty?

With the increase in overall light, both current difficulties will be adjusted to provide additional challenge and commensurate rewards. The Challenge Modes will still be available, but we aren’t adding a third difficulty tier, or any new encounters. 

How will Court of Oryx change? Can you tell us anything about any of the new bosses or fights that Guardians might encounter there? Is the highest level fight still triggered with an Antiquated Rune?

With Court of Oryx, Guardians will continue summoning enemies with existing runes. No changes there. We have boosted the drops coming out of the Court to better prepare Guardians for the other challenges we’ve setup in this update, though.  

Next Page: Learn about the big changes coming to Prison of Elders.


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Exclusive Reveal: Meet The New Cast Of Gears Of War 4

Gears of War 4 is set almost 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3,
which means that players will be introduced to a largely new cast.
Thankfully, developer The Coalition has assembled a capable cast of voice actors whose resumes include an impressive list of video game and television work. Come meet
the three new vocal leads for Gears of War 4.

JD Fenix
JD Fenix is the
primary protagonist in Gears of War 4, and the son of legendary war hero Marcus
Fenix. JD is an idealist who ran away from home at a young age to join the the
COG militia only to go AWOL after a classified incident that players will learn
more about during the game.

Played by: Liam
McIntyre who is best known for his work as the male lead in the Starz series Spartacus. He also recently
played the Weather Wizard on the The CW show The Flash.

McIntyre on JD: "It's
kind of terrifying, because I get to be the lead in a new era of Gears, which
is unbelievable, amazing, and exciting. I'm the legacy, because my dad is Marcus
Fenix. JD's a soldier and a bit of a freedom fighter, and in his heart he's a
bit of a renegade. He's different from Marcus, but he's still that heroic
archetype.

Kait Diaz
Kait Diaz was
born and raised outside of the walled city-states protecting most of
humanity. Her parents were leaders of this group of Outsiders, but her father
died tragically years ago. Kait isn't familiar with how the COG works, but she
is a capable survivalist who forms a quick friendship with JD.

Played by: Laura
Bailey, who is an accomplished voice actor, with roles
as Kid Trunks in Dragon Ball Z, Spartan Olympia Vale in Halo 5: Guardians, and
Jaina Proudmoore in World of Warcraft, among others.

Bailey on Kait:
"What's interesting about her is that she grew up as an Outsider, so she's been
away from this military environment that the boys grew up in. It's fun to do
her dialogue because she approaches it from a different place. She has a less
technical approach to everything she does because she's never experienced
anything like this. She's a great entry point into this world, because she
doesn't know everything about it either."

Delmont "Del" Walker
Delmont "Del" Walker
is another ex-COG soldier. Del was an orphan who became friends with JD at
boarding school. When JD ran off to join the Army, Del followed his lead. Unfortunately,
Del was also involved with the classified incident that sent both of them
running out into the wilds of Sera, seeking refuge among the Outsiders. Still,
Del remains deeply loyal to JD.

Played by: Eugene
Byrd, who recently played Marcus "Boomer" Boone in last year's shooter
Battlefield Hardline. He also appears as a recurring cast member on
television shows like Arrow and Bones.

Byrd on Del: "Del
is cool. I had to play up the nuance because the friendship between him and JD
meant a lot, so getting to know [Liam McIntyre] and actually becoming friends
with him helped us play together. I think Del wasn't a clean slate, so I had to
give him a bit of a backstory, but then we were able to evolve it. We're
actually building it while we're doing it."

Our Gears of War 4 coverage doesn't end with our sizeable, 14-page
cover story
. Return to our hub throughout the month for more information
on the new weapons and enemies, the history of The Coalition, and a
roundtable with the game’s voice actors. You can access the hub by
clicking on the banner below.

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The Top 10 PC Exclusive Games

In the last few weeks, we’ve been highlighting our choices for some of the best games to play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U. In many cases, those lists saw crossover between consoles, with games like Fallout 4 appearing on multiple lists. We’ve opted for a different approach with PC, where many of the platform’s most striking games can only be played if you own a gaming computer. As such, our PC list includes only current PC exclusives.

A huge number of games deserve praise for their excellent PC releases, but if the game came to mobile or console, we’ve opted to leave it off the selections below. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Diablo III, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Hearthstone would all be strong contenders, but those and many others can be played in some form on other platforms, so they are not included here. 

We’ve also tried to account for the fact that many PC games have long lives that stretch far past their initial release.  As such, we’ve opted to consider any game with an active and engaged community of players over the last five years, even if the original release predated that time period. Great older PC exclusives, like Wasteland or EverQuest, didn’t make the cut, as those communities simply aren’t as active as they once were. 

So, without further ado, check out our current selections, along with excerpts from our original reviews Note that in several cases, these reviews pre-date later expansions or improvements to any given game.

We also invite you to offer up your own selections for the best PC exclusives in the comments below! 

10. Heroes of the Storm

“Heroes of the Storm succeeds like so many other Blizzard titles by taking what makes a genre great and distilling things down to the fun, and it does so with plenty of charm and character. With quick and action-packed games, Heroes of the Storm is accessible to new players, but with enough depth that to ensure that you are still learning new ways to use your abilities in different situations and battlegrounds after hundreds of games. As with many games in the genre, Heroes of the Storm is best experienced with friends.” – Daniel Tack

To read the full review and learn more, click here.

9. Undertale

“At first glance, Undertale is a retro RPG that feels similar to the seminal classic Earthbound – but it’s so much more than that. It is the culmination of many meticulously crafted moving parts that come together to create something magical. The music, dialogue, characters, and combat system make every encounter unique; after finishing the game, I wished I could experience it again for the first time.” – Daniel Tack

To read the full review and learn more, click here.

8. Starcraft II 

“I've never spent so much time with an RTS without popping a vein in frustration over unit AI or pathfinding – none of those issues have appeared here at all. The gameplay is all StarCraft all the time, but with the benefit of a decade of iteration to improve it without sacrificing the pacing and impeccable balance that are its soul. This is a sublimely engineered game with a simple, elegant core design and all of the rough edges ground away.” –Adam Biessener

To read the full review of the initial release of Wings of Liberty and learn more, click here, or check out our reviews of Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void.

7. Path of Exile

“Path of Exile’s loot collection and combat looks and plays like others in the genre, but its innovations have widespread effects separating it from the competition. Its multiplayer longevity is difficult to predict, but as a campaign-driven action-RPG, Path of Exile succeeds.” –Kyle Hilliard

To read the full review and learn more, click here,  or a more recent review of Path of Exile: The Awakening.

6. Pillars of Eternity

“Making a game broadly accessible and appealing often results in something easy and simplistic. Pillars of Eternity is proof that role-playing games can be engaging and challenging no matter the player, and embrace complexity in storytelling and gameplay without sacrificing a wider audience. Obsidian’s crowd-funded return to the RPGs of yesteryear is a triumph; its rich cast of characters, myriad upgrade options, and story-filled quests are the equal of any modern genre entry, and a suitable successor to the games that engendered it.” – Matt Miller

To read the full review and learn more, click here.

Next Page: Our picks for the top five PC exclusives you can play right now.


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Exclusive: Path Of Exile Ascendancy Occultist Class Revealed

Path of Exile, the popular free-to-play action/RPG from Grinding Gear Games, will be getting a brand new expansion next month. The Ascendancy expansion launches on March 4 as the fourth major update, and adds 19 new character classes including the newly announced Occultist. We talked with Grinding Gear about the new features and improvements to the game in Ascendancy, and got some insight into the changes that classes like the Occultist bring to the table.

In Path of Exile, each of the core classes has three available ascendancy classes. The Witch, for example, will now have three different choices you can make which will provide a specific set of ascendancy skills. The Occultist is one of those three, and focuses on dark magic and chaos damage. She’s not limited to those, however. Get a breakdown of the Occultist in the trailer and gallery below.

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“At face value she’s really good if you want chaos damage, so she’s the obvious choice for people using that set of skills, but she does other interesting things too,” said managing director Chris Wilson. “Because you only choose some of the skills from your ascendancy classes, if you’re not interested in chaos damage then that’s okay. She has other powerful things: Vile Bastion, for example, is something that makes her energy shield a lot more effective since it regenerates as she kills enemies. It’s a completely different playstyle that lets you stay in combat the entire time rather than having to pace yourself. So even if you’re not playing a chaos Occultist, there are still plenty of ways that it augments an existing Witch.”

The new expansion will also introduce the all-new Trials of Ascendancy and the randomly generated Lord’s Labyrinth. Players will face Emperor Izaro, creator of the labyrinth, a number of times and he will change based on their past decisions. Each time the labyrinth is completed, players will receive a new enchantment that can be placed on one of their items. Traps are a big part of the labyrinth, so players will have to be quick if they want to survive to see those rewards.

“In the past, Path of Exile had some technical issues that made it hard to pinpoint exactly where the player was with this high internet latency and stuff going on,” Wilson said. “We managed to solve that in around July of last year with our 2.0 release, and that means that we can really use mechanics that we previously couldn’t. Having traps that you have to dodge, like spikes that go up and down walls, whirling blades that fly past you and so on. We’re able to do that with enough precision now to create puzzles and trap rooms around that. This is the first expansion where we really get to flex the new capabilities that we have there.”

Ascendancy can be played alone or cooperatively, but multiple players will need to combine their talents to deal with traps and monsters at the same time. Newer players can also look forward to an upcoming challenge league that will allow them to jump into Path of Exile on an equal footing with veterans.

Path of Exile is currently available on PC as a free download. You can read our review of it here, as well as our review for the previous expansion here.

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Check Out Exclusive New Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Screens

A few days ago we announced that TT Games' return to Star Wars was our next cover-story game. Today, we're showing off some new and exclusive screens from the game, highlighting new and familiar faces (and places).

Take a look at the gallery for some shots from the upcoming game. You'll recognize locations including Jakku and Starkiller Base, along with heroes Rey, Finn, Han Solo, BB-8 and Chewbacca. You might notice a few moments from The Return of the Jedi in there, too. While the game features levels based on The Force Awakens and also some extra missions that canonically expand on the new movie's fiction, TT Fusion is also going back to Jedi in a special mission that features some of that film's biggest sequences.

As I wrote in the 12-page cover story, one of the most striking things about revisiting events from Return of the Jedi is seeing just how far TT Games' has come over the years. The battle against Emperor Palpatine was fairly boring in the original game, but it definitely gets its due in the new one.

Look for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens on June 28 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita, and PC.

Be sure to come back to the site throughout the month for more exclusive features, interviews, and video content.

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