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Video: Designing the Spartan abilities in Halo 5: Guardians

At GDC 2016, former 343 Industries game designer Ryan Darcey offered insight into the process of taking the “Spartan Charge” and “Ground Pound” actions of Halo 5 from concept to final release. …


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We Predict The Stories Of 10 Unannounced Video Game Franchises

We’re tired of waiting until a game is announced to learn more about it. We want to know what’s in store for many of our favorite video game franchises right now. Using a mix of secret journalistic sources, ancient star charts, and a predictive A.I., we’re confident that we’ve accurately predicted the plots for several of the biggest franchises in the industry. Warning: Spoilers.

Dead Space 4
Isaac Clarke thought he escaped a life of constant fear and danger when he moved to one of Earth’s remotest colonies. Unfortunately, danger continues to find him. The asteroid Isaac settled on turns out to be an ancient Necromorph burial ground. After being confronted by a strange mystical shaman in a dream, Isaac discovers that his newfound physic powers might be the only thing that will help him survive the night.

Assassin’s Creed VI: What Happened To Five?
Meet Gunnar Øybiornsson, one the few Viking Assassins. You may not be familiar with him, but he’s definitely had an impact on history. In his early years, Gunnar sailed with Erik the Red to the new world and helped discover Greenland. Later he participated in the Battle of Svolder to unify Norway under a single banner. Gunnar then traveled to China and studied under the philosopher Zhu Xi. While in China, Gunnar discovered an ancient magical pear and used it to travel through time. Gunnar eventually becomes the primary inspiration for many of Shakespeare’s plays, convinces Johannes Gutenberg to continue building his printing press, and eventually introduces John Lennon to Paul McCartney.

Pikmin 4
After being exiled from his home planet for crimes he didn’t commit, intrepid explorer Captain Olimar crash-lands on another planet full of strange artifacts. Many of these objects belong to an ancient alien mummy whom Olimar inadvertently resurrects. Fortunately, if Olimar is able to gather the seven sun shards of Shababa, he’ll be able to empower his plant army and banish the ancient alien for good.

Bully 2: The College Years
Jimmy Hopkins might be growing older, but he’s not growing up. In this sequel to Rockstar’s rambunctious open world game, Jimmy hacks into his school’s computers and fakes his grades so that he can go to the prestigious Hardforks University. Jimmy ends up being roommates with Lawrence “Cowboy” Shufflebottom, a 46-year-old liberal arts student who loves to party, but whose parents are threatening stop paying for his tuition. Things go from bad to worse when the FBI enlists Jimmy to investigate the source of a hot new designer drug, called Ambivalent, that’s sweeping the campus.

XCOM 3: Planet Alien
Humanity keeps losing to the aliens and finally gives up on trying to save Earth. They decide to send an ark full of humanity’s brightest minds to find a new home planet out among the stars. Unfortunately, guess who’s there when they arrive? Yeah, aliens! This time humanity is the invader, and they must use their wits and a limited collection of resources to fight for survival. In the end, it turns out the whole alien invasion was just a dream…or was it?

The Last of Us 2
Joel and Ellie are back, and this time Joel is infected with the mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus that has made him insatiably hungry. After he eats the last of the flour he was saving to bake Ellie a birthday cake, he realizes that he has a problem and decides to separate himself from the rest of humanity. Joel eventually encounters a group of infected that have learned to live with their disease by maintaining a diet of pure insect protein. Meanwhile, Ellie learns that her real father is still alive and he’s created a cure that might be worse that the disease.

Grand Theft Auto III: 2
Welcome back to Liberty City…again. Rockstar’s new open world period piece is ready to tear apart the early 2000s with biting culture satire. Your nameless character starts out selling overprice printed tees at the mall before making friends with an old mob boss who dreams of becoming an Elizabethan romance novelist. This aging mobster makes you an offer you can’t refuse. But you refuse it. Oddly, he’s cool with it and you remain friends. Eventually you come to manage one of his Moroccan restaurants. His first novel gets published, but he dies before he gets to see it on store shelves.

Half Life 3
Just kidding, this game isn’t actually being made.

Bloodborne 2
Players take on the role of a young nurse who has traveled to Yharnam hoping to help heal the sick. She ends up falling in love with one of her victims, a young man whose nightmares drive him to feast living souls at night. At her lover’s behest, she decides to be the one who puts him out of his misery. On one cold, rainy evening she uses an arcane spell to poison his blood. His last words are “You’re more beautiful than the stars.” She holds his still body until the sun rises on Yharnam once again.

Tomb Raider: Southern Comfort
Lara continues her hunt for proof of the supernatural which leads her to the rain forests of South America where she befriends a young man who claims to be her long lost brother. Lara’s brother believes that a magical amulet can bring their father back from the dead. Unfortunately, this amulet is lost in a battle with a colony of sentient ants that are secretly working on Trinity. All seems lost until Lara befriends a hyper-intelligent dolphin who leads her to an underwater Mayan palace.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Best Cosplay From San Diego Comic Con In One Music Video

San Diego's annual comic con was last week, and people came out in droves to celebrate their fandom. To commemorate the celebration, Sneaky Zebra teamed up with LootCrate to feature some of the coolest and most interesting cosplay seen on the show floor.

Set to the tune of "The Weekend" by Allen Stone, the video features characters from video games, movies, and comic books. Check it out below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more on SDCC, check out our picks for the coolest exclusive toys and its most interesting sights.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Exploring The Best Video Game Soundtracks On Vinyl

A great game can be made even better with a standout soundtrack, and most audiophiles agree vinyl is the best way to experience the music you
love. The medium has gone through a bit of a resurgence in
popularity over the past few years, and some incredible packages have
been put together to bring some of the best video game soundtracks of
all time to your turntable. Here are a few of our favorites.

If these releases get you thinking about starting your own video game vinyl collection, you're in luck. We have partnered with Iam8Bit to give away a number of records, including signed versions of the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection, FTL, Guild Wars 2, and Dustforce soundtracks. To be eligible to win one of these records, leave a comment below telling us all about your favorite video game soundtrack!


Rocket League
This recently announced release is a great collection for fans of the insanely popular sports game. The limited edition first run of 1,000 copies features records with artwork of various tires and wheels available in game. A pre-order of the triple LP package grants you a digital copy of the full soundtrack immediately, featuring a variety of artists.

No Man's Sky
65DaysOfStatic was already an established instrumental rock band before composing the soundtrack for the hotly anticipated No Man's Sky. The group has put together music worthy of blasting while you soar around the galaxy, and is even planning a worldwide tour of the game's music. The vinyl release is planned for later this fall and features a beautiful gatefold with unique artwork.


Minecraft
There is no shortage of Minecraft merchandise available, but this vinyl soundtrack from artist C418 is something special. It features nearly all of the game's ambient music and will bring back memories of all the hours you lost in the game. The limited edition green vinyl has since sold out, but the record is easy to find on standard black wax.


Hyper Light Drifter
One of the biggest indie titles released this year, Hyper Light Drifter also brought one of the year's best soundtracks. The music comes from Disasterpeace, an experienced artist who also scored the fantastic horror flick It Follows. This 4LP collection comes in an assortment of colors and features a folding, triangular outer sleeve.


Fallout 4
When lost in the Wasteland, music on the radio is one of your only companions. This vinyl boxest, available only on the Bethesda Store, collects the game's ambient score across six records decorated with Pip-Boy decals. Also included are a number of gatefold jackets with the game's 1950s-era art.

Necropolis
Not only does this collector's edition record come with a copy of the game Necropolis, the packaging itself is a game. The maze-like artwork is designed to replicate the puzzling nature of Necropolis, and comes with everything you'll need to explore the labyrinth besides a pair of dice. The music is pressed on light blue vinyl.


Mafia III
The collector's edition of the upcoming Mafia III comes with two 180-gram records,one featuring licensed music from the game's 1960s soundtrack and the other with the full bluesy score. This package runs $ 150 and also includes dog tags, an art book, and drink coasters. The game and its collector's edition launch on October 7.

Oxenfree
Oxenfree's tense setting was made even more unsettling by its ambient soundtrack, scored by SCNTFC. The vinyl release of the game's score is pressed on gray and purple records and features artwork on the cover and sleeves of the game's various towns and caves.

For even more classic and indie game soundtracks, continue on to Page 2.


www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Reader Discussion: Which Summer Movie Should Become A Video Game?

We’ve had some big movies hit in the last several months, including titles like Captain America: Civil War, Star Trek Beyond, The Legend of Tarzan, X-Men Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Finding Dory, not to mention upcoming releases like Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad. The summer season has for decades been a hotspot for big tentpole film releases, taking advantage of younger folks out of school and older viewers on holiday from work. But even with big ticket sales, few of those movies have made a successful transition into great video games. Maybe that’s because the best ideas just haven’t been voiced.

So, what’s it going to be? Whether from this summer or the movie blockbusters of yesteryear, which big movie deserves a new video game treatment? Maybe your favorite movie got a video game, but it was awful – how could it have been better? 

Share your movie pick in the comments below, and tell us what kind of game you hope that game developers would make based on it. We’re pretty sure all the big Hollywood producers are going to be reading your responses, and they'll get right to work on lining up a game development partnership. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Five Video Game Franchises That Lost Their Way

When do you let go of a series and stop having faith? Nearly
every franchise has its duds, but at some point bad entries aren't an anomaly
anymore, they're a trend. When fans are frequently getting burned, it's
reasonable they'd start questioning their loyalty, even if they long for the
glory days of yore. Here are five long-running series that are no longer
providing fans much reason to stick around except for blind faith that next
time things will be different.


Tony Hawk
Where it went wrong: Tony Hawk Ride (PlayStation 3, Xbox
360, Wii)

PlayStation gamers were introduced to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
way back in 1999, and the whole experience was magical. Not only were the
movements and tricks silky-smooth for the time, but the punk-oriented
soundtrack featuring bands like Primus and Dead Kennedys was top-of-the-line.
Activision took the success of THPS and ran with it; developer Neversoft
created one of the best games of the era in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. As time
went on, the series' quality gradually declined, though Tony Hawk's Project 8
did introduce some interesting new mechanics. Soon afterward, developer
Robomodo was handed the reins to the series. That's when it face-planted.

In a time where Guitar Hero and Rock Band had become
immensely popular, Activision chose to create a plastic skateboard peripheral
with four infrared sensors – one on each side of the board – and several motion
sensors. Gamers would use the skateboard just like a real one. Tony Hawk Ride was an
abysmal failure, full of awkward gameplay and frustrating issues. While its
successor, Tony Hawk's Shred, was higher quality, it sold terribly and the
franchise was shelved. If the recent debut of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is any
indication, though, maybe it should have stayed there. On Metacritic, the PS4
version has a 32, while the Xbox One fared a bit better with a 39. Ouch. Not
even by going back to its roots could the series deliver a polished and
noteworthy experience.


Silent Hill
Where it went wrong: Silent Hill Homecoming (PlayStation 3,
Xbox 360, PC)

Silent Hill wasn't just creepy; it had some truly messed-up
storylines. The games were about confronting the unknown, so much so that the
tension was palpable every time you walked around a corner. Whether it was an
unexpected jump scare or insane plot twist, Silent Hill loved to toy with your
mind. Silent Hill 2 remains one of the best offerings for playing with your
expectations, providing memorable endings based on your choices.

Throughout the franchise's early days, the focus was
creeping out players. The Room and Origins started the quality shift downward.
It wasn't until Konami decided to ditch horror for action and put you in the
shoes of a war hero in Homecoming that things really fell apart. This didn't
make it feel like you were a normal person just trying to survive and took away
much of the tension. Shattered Memories had some great ideas (especially being
psychologically evaluated according to your actions), but didn't end up making
a huge splash due to some boring gameplay and poor controls. Downpour also
tried to get the franchise back on track, but had similar results. And that
Book of Memories spin-off that was a multiplayer dungeon-crawler? Yikes.

Then P.T. got our hopes up when we saw Kojima's vision for a
new Silent Hill, getting people more excited than they had been for the franchise
in a long time. Sadly, Konami canceled the project in its messy divorce from
Kojima, causing a great deal of disappointment and anger from those who had
renewed interest in Silent Hill. Konami still may do something with the
franchise, but it doesn't hold the same promise. Now that company has shifted
its focus, the next Silent Hill is more likely to be pachinko or mobile
related. Yeah, we don't blame you if you've lost all hope. 

Sonic
Where it went wrong: Sonic: The Hedgehog 2006 (PlayStation 3,
Xbox 360)

Sonic has always been all about speed – the Mario competitor
showed exactly that starting with Blast Processing on the Genesis. For the most
part, the blue blur has done himself well as long as he's been in 2D – and even
his initial transition to 3D in Sonic Adventure was decent. All of that
goodwill was lost with the release of Sonic The Hedgehog in 2006. The 15th
anniversary celebration was not well received  currently holding a 43 on
Metacritic.

Despite dipping into other genres, including RPGs and racing
games, Sonic hasn't regained his same level of speed and fun. These days, it
feels like the best you can hope for is something passable, such as Colors or Generations,
but you're usually getting something as dreadful as Sonic Boom. Every time a
new entry is launched, Sega promises this time will be different, but we
have yet to see a recent entry compare to Sonic's glory days. That's why it's
hard to not be skeptical about the latest announcements  Sonic Mania and an untitled
new Sonic game helmed by the Sonic Team.

Star Ocean
Where it went wrong: Star Ocean: The Last Hope (Xbox 360,
PlayStation 3)

The Star Ocean series enamored fans with its deep combat,
sci-fi settings, and amazing levels of customization. While the earlier entries
remain cherished, things started to go downhill with Star Ocean: The Last Hope,
which starred generic action hero Edge Maverick and a slew of other annoying
party members. This is when the series started to get boring and lose its
appeal, but it only got worse with the latest entry. Star Ocean: Integrity and
Faithlessness
 feels like the final nail in the coffin with its lack of
captivating characters, humdrum gameplay, and horrendous A.I. It's a shame
because fans of tri-Ace's earlier games, like Star Ocean: The Second Story and
Valkyrie Profile, recognize that, while flawed, these titles provided a unique
experience rarely seen elsewhere. Unfortunately, Integrity and Faithlessness
only proved that the innovation tri-Ace is famous for is waning. Fans have
every right to be skeptical as to whether or not the series can be special again.

Metroid
Where it went wrong: Metroid: Other M (Wii)

The Metroid series has rightfully earned a legacy for being
one of the best shooter/platformer hybrids around. Between the excellent
exploration and non-linear progression, Metroid made you look forward to every
new finding. Metroid has remained cherished, even inspiring many developers to
use it as inspiration for games like Axiom Verge and Ori and the Blind Forest.

For the most part, Metroid fans haven't had it all the bad.
Despite initial concerns, Retro's three Metroid Prime games were all
top-quality, interesting, and, most importantly, fun. Since that trilogy,
though, we've only seen two new games, and one of them is the much-derided
Metroid: Other M. Team Ninja created some competent game systems and a great
atmosphere, but failed miserably when it came to characterization. Samus Aran
is one of the most well-known female characters in gaming, but she was
characterized as submissive and passive – two things she had never been
before. Ultimately, the game sold to
less than Nintendo's expectations. Fans have been patiently waiting for a new
game to return and take the crown, but the only one on the horizon is Metroid
Prime: Federation Force
, a co-op FPS for the 3DS – not exactly what the
audience wants. For now, fans are looking elsewhere to get the 2D Metroid
experiences they crave, but that's not to say that if Nintendo announced a new
actual Metroid game instead of a silly offshoot, we wouldn't be over the moon
with excitement.

Ultimately, I don't blame fans for wanting to see something
they once loved to be great again, but that's a hard feat when a franchise has
gone so off course. It's impossible to point one specific thing or length of
time you should give a series to get back on track before you put your foot
down. However, it's also important to set your expectations. Be realistic. Be
skeptical. Hope for the best, but don't forget that you've been burned before.

What franchises have
given up on and why? Let us know in the comments below.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

South Park Creators Discuss Their Experiences With Video Game Development

During the South Park 20 panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the focus was keenly placed on the first 20 years of the beloved South Park television series, as well as the upcoming 20th season. At the same time, however, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been working on a game, a sequel to the 2014 hit, South Park: The Stick of Truth. The Fractured But Whole moves things away from the fantasy genre of The Stick of Truth and instead focuses on the recent superhero craze. They took a brief segment of their 2016 SDCC panel to discuss minor details surrounding the upcoming Fractured But Whole and South Park games.

On the success of the Warcraft episode of South Park

Trey Parker: [We make episodes on] s— that we know and that's why some of those episodes it's just honest because we are those dudes.

Matt Stone: With Warcraft in particular, I remember half of our office was playing it. You'd go by computer screens and it was either South Park or Warcraft. Those episodes, like Warcraft being a good example, are something that when we did it we were like "We're going to do this weird geeky thing that we're into and maybe our office is and people are into, and it turns into the biggest… one of the most loved episodes. Those are great because we come from that culture too… the Comic-Con culture. And to be able to put it in our show and screw around with it… and Warcraft, like they helped us make the show! The people who made Warcraft. It was awesome.

On why Matt and Trey didn't work on video games prior to The Stick of Truth

TP: We wanted it to look like you were in an episode of South Park, and that technology was not there until the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation. So they would do those cheesy… you know, we have these old South Park games where they would do these cheesy 3D polygon junky games and we just hated that. it wasn't until [...] we could make it look like you were in an episode… we knew we wanted it to be story-driven. That's why we always talked about it being an RPG. I grew up and RPGs were my favorite. I was playing Ultima and Ultima II… that was my s—. And I was big into D&D. I think 5th Edition is f—ing awesome and I'm totally back into it now. When you're making a game like that, it's really fun because you're the DM and you're anticipating. Instead of anticipating what four people around the table are going to do, you're anticipating what the video game audience is going to do but still preparing in the same way. That's why it's really fun just in terms of writing, because it's more like D&D. I was always the DM since I was like nine-years-old and I think it's what helped make me a good storyteller because I'm anticipating, "Okay, they'll really laugh at this" and "Then we'll do this and that will be really dramatic," "Then they'll probably do this," but then having to "Oh my God! They didn't do that? They went over here? I've gotta improvise! I've gotta think fast!" So I think it really shaped what I was going to end up doing.

On the process of making a story for a video game

TP: We finally found this company in Ubisoft that kind of thinks the way we do and this is not like a… we don't have to kiss their ass at all, but we really finally found a company that's like, "You know what? This isn't as good as it could be. Let's work on it some more." Which is always our attitude. They knew up front with Stick of Truth, and they really learned from Stick of Truth that we're all about writing, looking at it, changing it, looking at it again, changing it, and looking at it. That's really what's happening with those six days of South Park; everything's changing and being rewritten and rewritten and rewritten until the last minute, so you know, it really sucks when we call into San Francisco and we're like "Oh remember that whole level? We're cutting that," and they're like "Oh f—!" because they'd been working on it for three months. We have to be a little more careful and try to say "Okay, these are things we need to keep," but it's still a sculpting process.

On how The Fractured But Whole is letting them do things they've always wanted to do

TP: With The Stick of Truth, we felt like we had a game in our heads. We had a game that we wanted to do, and just because it was our first time making a game and we went through all these things and were like "That's not quite what we wanted." And that's why we're like "Let's do another one!" And a lot of people around us were like "You're going to do another video game?" We really don't at all… I think right now Fractured But Whole is around 200 pages and we've written every page ourselves. It's not something where we say, "Yeah, just use the thing and go do it!" We are literally writing on it every day and have been since the last season ended. You know, we're hoping that… and I also know that the day before this comes out, I'll be like "No! This sucks!" But that's just how it is.

On the old South Park games and why they sucked

MS: Yeah. The old, old Nintendo 64 games? Yeah, those weren't good. We had nothing to do with it. They just weren't good games.

TP: That's why we stopped! That's when we were told, "Okay, you have a hit show, so now what we do is we take your thing and we give it to a company and they make a game!" We were like "Oh cool!" And so we're like… the game's done and we've played it and we're like, "Well this is dogs—!" So then we finally said we're not doing that anymore and they were like, "But you don't have to do anything!" and we're like, "No, that's that point! We don't do anything." That's when we really said until we do the game ourselves, we're not going to do another game, and that's why it took so long for Stick of Truth to happen.

For more from Matt and Trey on South Park: The Fractured But Whole, head here.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Video: Designing the audio for Inside, a game that listens

At GDC 2016, Playdead audio wizard Martin Stig Andersen describes various approaches to feedback loops between game and audio that have resulted in an atmospheric experience for Inside players. …


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Weekend Warrior – Beating The Heat With Some Good, Old-Fashioned Video Games

Sitting in a cool basement playing video games sounds like the best way to beat the heat, especially in the midst of a summer that's proving to be a sweltering one here in Minneapolis. Although going out on some Pokémon Go searches is tempting, most of the GI crew is sticking to the indoors of our homes or heading to movie theaters this weekend, presumably as close to some AC as we can get. From games to movies to Ben Hanson throwing some bean bags around, here's what we're up to this weekend.

Kimberley Wallace (@kstar1785) – I'm thinking of going to see the new Ghostbusters this weekend. I'm not one to see movies the first week they come out just because of the crowds, so here's hoping the second week isn't too busy. I'm also planning on finally finishing Inside and then starting up Zero Time Dilemma. It's about time for both of those! I also need to finish Stranger Things. I love it so far!

Haley MacLean (@haleyfaxer) – Not much gaming wise planned for this weekend, but I hope to try out Ana a little more in Overwatch (and not have 5 people on a team playing her at a time) and play some more Prison Architect, which has been fun so far. I also want to go on a Pokéwalk or two, but hope that bug that messes up Pokémon distances is fixed soon! Besides it's my birthday tomorrow (23 on 23!) and hopefully I'll do something fun for that.

Mike Futter (@Futterish) – This weekend I’m planning on playing some Evolve Stage 2 with friends. If we need a diversion, we’ll pop over to Superfight, which just came out of beta on Steam. I’m also planning to get in some time with some recent fighting game acquisitions. I finally picked up Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. I’m also going to work in some more Zero Time Dilemma.

Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – My wife and I watched the first two episodes of Stranger Things together, but then she stayed up all night finishing it without me, so she'll be rewatching it with me this weekend. I also hope to spend some time with Ana in Overwatch and go to the zoo to catch some Pokémon. Maybe see The BFG?

Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – This weekend I’m going to be out at my lake place, which means a lot of throwing bean bags around a lawn and playing arcade games. I’m really hoping to spend more time with Darkstalkers; I recently discovered that game and I just think it’s cool as all hell. Other than that, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the Pokémon Go experience is like in rural MN. I’m hoping to crush some gyms with my Golduck. Alright, have a good weekend!

Have any fun plays this weekend? Let us know what you'll be up to and what games you'll be playing down below!

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Video: Dipping into Ink, 80 Days’ narrative scripting language

Inkle cofounder Joseph Humfrey takes the stage at GDC 2016 to explain how the studio’s open-source narrative scripting language Ink works, and how it was used to create games like 80 Days and Sorcery!. …


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