<p></p><a target=’_blank’ href=’https://players.brightcove.net/694940074001/rydylbNsz_default/index.html?videoId=5991062261001′>Click here to watch embedded video</a><p></p>
<p>Released on February 17, 2011, Catherine is an odd puzzle platformer from some of Atlus’ veteran designers of the Persona series. The game’s look, pacing, and stylish user interface all scream of that RPG series, but Catherine is a much different beast when it comes to gameplay and story. Best described as “kind of like Q*bert” and “flat-out weird,” Catherine is a hard game to describe, but is damn fun, and worth a look for everyone who is looking for something new to play. </p>
<p>If you like what you see, and want to give the game a whirl yourself, it just released on <a href=”https://store.steampowered.com/app/893180/Catherine_Classic/”>Steam</a> eight days ago, and is heading to PlayStation 4 and Vita soon as a “Full Body” enhanced edition with more content, including a third love interest.</p>
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<p>Along with holiday parties, festively fugly sweaters, and tons of treats I totally shouldn’t be eating, the end of the year always brings with it a sobering realization: I work with a bunch of crazy people. That’s the only logical – and frankly generous – conclusion I can reach every year as I listen to my coworkers spout obviously wrong opinions for DAYS on end during the blitzkrieg of meetings that decide our Top 50 list. Sometimes the arguments for or against any given game are so absurd that I feel like a robot trying to process a logical paradox – all I can do is scream “DOES NOT COMPUTE!” over and over as I run out of the meeting room with sparks shooting from my ears. That’s not a joke, people – it literally happened during last year’s Breath of the Wild debate!</p>
<p>Luckily, I’ve discovered a sanity-saving workaround to the dilemma – I simply disavow the results of our year-end list completely and make my own damn awards instead. I am not bragging when I say they are without a doubt the best awards ever, because not only do I unilaterally pick all the winners (so you know they’re right!), but I also make up the categories too! So, without further ado, I present to you the second annual Not 50 Awards!</p>
<p>…and yes, I know “Not 50 Awards” would’ve been a better name for my subversive take on E3’s Hot 50 awards, but I already named those <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/funny-to-a-point/2018/06/22/the-second-annual-dubious-e3-awards”>The Dubys</a>, so just roll with it, okay?</p>
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<h2><b>Desert Island Award: </b><strong>Tetris Effect</strong></h2>
<p>I feel sorry for people who don’t get Tetris. To them, it’s just a mindless puzzle game where you endlessly drop dumb shapes into a well for no reason, and yet <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHKrhAN0qGY”>idiots won’t stop gushing</a> about it being the best game of all-time. Explaining to them how Tetris Effect takes that perfect experience and somehow makes it even perfecter would be impossible. Basically, it adds crazy visuals and music that syncs to your movements. See?! If you don’t get it, you just don’t get it!</p>
<p>Thankfully, I do get it, and I could play Tetris Effect FOREVER. So congratulations, Monstars, you made an amazing Tetris game! Not like that’s a hard thing to do. Well, unless you’re <a href=”https://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-one/tetris-ultimate”>Ubisoft</a>…or <a href=”https://www.metacritic.com/game/ios/tetris-blitz”>EA</a>…or <a href=”https://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-2/tetris-worlds”>THQ</a> – wait a minute, how do so many people screw up Tetris?!</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/88afc76a/ftapmahjong.jpg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Best Progress Derailer Award:</b> Mahjong <em>(Yakuza 6)</em></h2>
<p>Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of story-driven games? Well, I got news for you: All the BioWare and CD Projekt Red and David Cage games in the world ain’t got sh– on Yakuza. By my estimate, Yakuza 6 has roughly one BILLION hours of story cutscenes, each immaculately choreographed and voice-acted. Seriously, you can’t walk five feet in Kamurocho without triggering some ridiculous, character-building cutscene with a random stranger (usually a pervert) that ties into the Yazuka lore Sega has been building on for 15 years.</p>
<p>All that wouldn’t mean much if the story isn’t good, but guess what? It is…probably? The truth is I don’t know, because as soon as I opened up the Mahjong mini-game in Yakuza 6, I became hopelessly addicted. I know there’s a little girl with an even littler baby that I should be rescuing or something, but I can’t pry myself away from the Mahjong tables – the only time I leave the parlor is to shake down random thugs for more betting money, because I still don’t fully understand the rules of Mahjong. Actually, is it too late to change my Desert Island award?</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/9202f746/reddead.jpg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Best Catalyst For Self-Reflection: </b>Horse Rides <em>(Red Dead Redemption II)</em></h2>
<p>Last year, no criticism of a video game broke my brain more than the widespread and oft-repeated argument lodged against Red Dead Redemption II: “<i>The horse rides take too long!</i> <i>Wahhhhh!!!” </i></p>
<p>Oh, I’m sorry, you mean the horse rides through the most meticulously detailed and positively gorgeous open world ever created in the history of video games? In a game where escaping the trappings of modern society and finding your own path in a dangerous, changing world is half the effing point? You’re telling me that we all waited eight long years for Rockstar to craft its most ambitious and immersive game yet, and your main complaint is you can’t speed through it fast enough?!</p>
<p>If Red Dead’s horse rides are detracting from your enjoyment of the game, here’s a humble suggestion: Use that time to ask yourself what in the holy hell you want from a video game! To dash from one objective to the next as quickly as possible while the designer pats you on the head for being an efficient gamer? Or to lose yourself in a world and story and role that you can’t experience anywhere else?</p>
<p>Besides, it’s not like the horse rides are super demanding anyway – if you turn on cinematic mode, the horse will even steer for you! <a href=”https://streamable.com/nooru”>Not well</a>, mind you, but it’s something!</p>
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<h2><b>Never Wanna Hear About It Again Award: </b>Dragon Ball FighterZ</h2>
<p>Look, I’m thrilled Dragon Ball FighterZ turned out to be a great game, and I’m even more thrilled that Dragon Ball fans are thrilled that it’s a great game – everything is very thrilling and great! I just don’t ever want to hear another word about it ever again. It was like three straight years of build up and character reveals and trailers – it’s too much for non-Dragon Ball fans!</p>
<p>To be fair, I kinda did this to myself when I voluntarily <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2018/01/19/funny-to-a-point-rating-every-character-in-dragon-ball-fighterz.aspx”>analyzed every Frieza’n character in the game</a>, and I’ve been trying to push all of that arcane knowledge out of my brain ever since. For Gotenks’ sake, please don’t make a sequel!</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/40633ffd/into_the_breach.jpg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Undeserved Genius Award:</b> Into The Breach</h2>
<p>This award may sound like an insult, but it really isn’t. Despite its giant-mechs-smashing-equally-giant-bugs-to-gooey-bits premise, Into The Breach is one of the smartest, thinkiest strategy games I’ve ever played. It’s like four-dimensional chess, only with buttloads more missiles. To be honest, it’s way too smart for me, but it still makes me <i>feel </i>like a genius every time I successfully clear a level without taking any casualties. Hence, the Undeserved Genius award. In fact, creating a game that makes non-geniuses feel like geniuses is probably a sign that you are in fact a genius, which in Subset Games’ case is praise that IS deserved. Good lord, I feel even dumber after writing this – just go play the game already!</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/1f422cda/justcause4.jpg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Forget The World And Blow Sh– Up Award: </b>Just Cause 4</h2>
<p>I guess this the only logical follow-up to the last entry, but I really don’t have anything else to add; you can already <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/funny-to-a-point/2018/12/17/why-i-love-just-cause-4-in-25-absurd-videos”>watch 25 absurd videos</a> that outline my intensely stupid love affair with Just Cause 4.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/c28b5798/detroit.jpg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Low Expectations Award: </b>Detroit: Become Human</h2>
<p>You may have noticed that Detroit: Become Human was included in G.I.’s Top 50 list. You may have also noticed that Detroit: Become Human did not garner a single moment on our Top 10 Moments list, or a single character on our Top 10 Characters list – in fact, it wasn’t even brought up as a contender in those categories. If you’re wondering how a purely story-driven game can make the Top 50 without having a single standout moment or character worth championing, SO AM I.</p>
<p>Instead, the arguments in Detroit’s favor were couched in language like, “I mean yeah, the story is totally overwrought, but it’s got some interesting ideas!” and “Sure, the racial allegories were heavy-handed, but they weren’t as bad as Beyond: Two Souls’ Najavo sequence…” Is this really all it takes to make David Cage fans happy? What kind of Stockholm Syndrome are we dealing with?!</p>
<p>On the bright side, one of Detroit’s protagonists handily earned an entry on our Top 10 Dorks list, which is an award I can totally stand behind. Who says I’m not a team player?</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/fe93ca26/monhunin.jpg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Really Gotta Play More Award: </b>Monster Hunter: World</h2>
<p>First let’s dispense with the formalities: Yes, I named my cat “Kat” in Monster Hunter – what’re you gonna do about it?!</p>
<p>Anyway, I played <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2018/02/02/funny-to-a-point-10-reasons-i-m-loving-monster-hunter-world.aspx”>a bunch of Monster Hunter: World</a> when it first came out, but then Joe transformed me into a <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2018/03/02/funny-to-a-point-lets-get-real-about-realism.aspx”>Bohemian peasant</a> with the wave of his review wand, and I never quite got back to the beast-slaying action. It’s been riding high on my pile of shame ever since, earning it this year’s Really Gotta Play More Award. On a side note, this was the Not 50’s most competitive category, with close runners-up including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Red Dead Redemption II, Yakuza 6 – you know what, this is a lot more depressing than I anticipated, so let’s just move on…</p>
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<h2><b>Damn Fine Game Award: </b>Spider-Man</h2>
<p>Poor, poor Spider-Man. If it weren’t for that darn Kratos, Insomniac’s open-world webslinger would’ve easily nabbed G.I.’s Best Sony Exclusive award this year. And let’s face it – it could win the Best Microsoft Exclusive award pretty much ANY year. I originally wrote that as a joke, but then decided to test it out by looking up our <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2015/01/07/game-informer-best-of-2014-awards.aspx”>old awards</a> the year Insomniac released Sunset Overdrive, and sure enough, it won the Microsoft award – and that game was basically Spider-Man without the webs!</p>
<p>The fact that Spider-Man got completely overshadowed in G.I.’s awards is a testament to how strong Sony’s line-up is, and what a great year for games it was in general. I’m guessing that doesn’t lessen the sting for Insomniac any, though. Luckily, the Not 50 award categories are fluid, so we have no such problem! Enjoy your Damn Fine Game award, Insomniac – you guys earned it!</p>
<p>Also, I realize my choice of screenshot undermines everything I just said, but I just can’t pass up a ridiculously immature fart joke. The game is great though, really.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/85ceafeb/girlpower.jpeg” alt=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” title=”Funny To A Point – The Second Annual Not 50 Awards” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<h2><b>Girl Power Award: </b>Kassandra <em>(Assassin’s Creed Odyssey)</em></h2>
<p>Look, I know girl power is a total cliché; having a tough-as-nails female protagonist who is basically just a gender swap of a male hero isn’t innovative or progressive, and it’s not particularly good storytelling. If we really want more diverse representation in games then female characters should be more than just ass-kicking heroines – they should be realistic, multidimensional, relatable, and even flawed.</p>
<p>All that said, I’m totally giving Kassandra a great big Girl Power pass this year, because as it turns out, Spartan-kicking soldiers off cliffs and humping your way across Greece is <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/funny-to-a-point/2018/10/12/my-big-fat-greek-assassins-creed-odyssey-photo-tour”>SUPER FUN</a>. If you played through Odyssey with Alexios as your protagonist, you win this year’s You Chose Poorly award.</p>
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<h2><b>F— Yarny? F— YOU Award:</b> Unravel Two</h2>
<p>If you’re unaware of the backlash over the original Unravel, let me get you up to speed. Unravel was made by a small indie studio called ColdWood Interactive, but since EA published the game – and EA is obviously an evil megacorporation that’s run by Satan – the adorable protagonist and heartfelt message about the connections we make in life were clearly just a manipulative ruse to make more money. I mean, it’s impossible that anyone at EA could’ve just seen the game and thought it was a project worth supporting without some dark, ulterior motive that takes advantage of gamers, right? This is EA we’re talking about!</p>
<p>Or you could ignore all that noise and just enjoy the damn game. That’s <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/games/unravel/b/playstation4/archive/2016/02/08/unravel-review-game-informer.aspx”>what I did</a>, and ended up finding a touching little platformer with some interesting physics-based mechanics and puzzles. Unravel 2, which landed with a thud this year that a yarn doll isn’t even capable of making, added co-op into the mix, which elevated the puzzles to a whole new level. I played through Unravel 2 with my wife and it was one of <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/2018/12/24/our-favorite-moments-of-the-year”>my favorite gaming moments</a> of 2018. If you want to deprive yourself of that experience over your misguided hate of a corporation, I feel sorry for you. Everybody else should try it out.</p>
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<h2><b>Best One Night Stand Award:</b> Call of Duty: Black<s>out</s> Ops 4</h2>
<p>I’m not a huge battle-royale player, but I tried out Black Ops 4’s new Blackout mode one night shortly after release, once again for the <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/2018/10/26/funny-to-a-point-my-first-10-call-of-duty-blackout-matches-analyzed”>enlightenment of this column’s readers</a> (YOU’RE WELCOME). I had a blast, and actually did surprisingly well, landing a second-place finish in my last match. I also haven’t gone back to it since. I still have Black Ops 4 installed on my PS4 and want to put more time into the game, but ultimately I’d be okay if I never get back to it. Sometimes one night of intense fun in a video game is enough. I don’t really have a joke here, it’s just plain true.</p>
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<h2><b>Best Open World Award: </b>Red Dead Redemption II – BY FAAAR</h2>
<p>This totally seems like it should be a real category in the Top 50, but somehow it’s not! Red Dead faced plenty of competition this year, from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s sprawling take on Greece, to Spider-Man’s massive rendition of Manhattan. And yet, as much as I love those games, they’re not even close to the level of depth, detail, and interactivity of Red Dead’s remarkable vistas. So stop trying to fast-travel through them already! Sheesh!</p>
<p>Other than Red Dead’s lack of <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/funny-to-a-point/2018/10/12/my-big-fat-greek-assassins-creed-odyssey-photo-tour”>giant naked statues</a>, its open world is just perfect.</p>
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<h2><b>Irrational Fear For A Sidekick Award:</b> My Beautiful Horse <em>(Also Red Dead II)</em></h2>
<p>Sure, Palicos are adorable cat companions, but I feel absolutely nothing when a giant monster stomps mine into a pancake. Atreus? He can get his prepubescent butt kicked off a cliff for all I care – I’m not his <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2018/04/27/funny-to-a-point-10-fatherly-lessons-from-kratos.aspx”>horribly unqualified father</a>. When it comes to my beloved horse in Red Dead, however, I will <s>park</s> hitch her up a mile away from any mission objective that seems like it could be even remotely dangerous. In fact, I have literally dismounted and put Arthur in the line of gunfire to protect her before!</p>
<p>Part of my irrational concern for my four-legged soulmate comes from not really understanding how Red Dead’s horse mechanics work – if my horse dies, will she respawn back in the stables? Or will she gallop her way to horsey heaven? I don’t know how it works, and I never will, because my horse is never going to die! Arthur isn’t the only one bonding every time I feed her, pet her, and braid her stupid hair!</p>
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<h2><b>Best Role-Playing Game Award: MOAR </b>Red Dead!</h2>
<p>This actually is a real Top 50 award category – I simply disagree with the group of contestants. We officially named Assassin’s Creed Odyssey the best RPG of 2018, which I absolutely supported and still do. However, if we want to talk about actually inhabiting a character and <i>playing a role</i>, Red Dead once again completely blows every other game out of the water.</p>
<p>I went into Red Dead wanting to be the bad guy, a black-hat outlaw who shoots up train coaches and robs banks and guns down the sheriff in front of the whole town while I twirl my moustache because that’s what bad guys do for some reason. Instead, I’ve spent countless hours lugging hale bales around camp and saying howdy to every passing stranger like a yokel, because that’s what FEELS right for the character I’ve transformed into.</p>
<p>Occasionally, my immersive cowboy fantasy is complicated by the fact that missions sometimes force you to do bad things – another complaint I’ve seemed lodged at the game. However, that criticism fails to recognize that Arthur is also uncomfortable with his actions, but doesn’t really have a choice either. In other words, I’M FEELING THE SAME EMOTIONS IN REAL LIFE AS MY CHARACTER IS IN THE GAME AS WE BOTH STRUGGLE WITH THE ACTIONS WE’RE FORCED TO DO. That’s <i>insane</i>, and way more affecting than doling out stat points or leveling up gear in what we traditionally think of as an RPG. Can we just get rid of genres entirely at this point?</p>
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<h2><b>Dumbest Call Award:</b> NOT Red Dead II?!! <em>(G.I. Staff)</em></h2>
<p>If you saw my list in the <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/2019/01/09/game-informer-staff-shares-their-top-10-games-of-2018″>Editor Top 10s</a> this year – or just noticed the trend of these last few made-up awards – you probably guessed that I didn’t agree with our <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/2019/01/08/game-informers-best-of-2018-awards”>Game of the Year pick</a>. And in some ways I get it. God of War is a masterpiece. I love the direction Santa Monica Studio took with Kratos, and everything from the writing and voicework to the gameplay and level design are all topnotch. Really, you could shout praise about God of War at my face all day long and I wouldn’t complain or disagree with you.</p>
<p>But the sheer ambition and scale of Red Dead is simply on a whole different level, and I’ve genuinely never played another game like it. Sure, the game had some <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=affiR_Vdu7A”>horrific, spontaneously combusting-horse glitches</a> when it first launched, and there are the <strong>*throws up in mouth*</strong> pacing issues people have complained about. But it still feels like Rockstar set a new benchmark for video games in 2018, and I don’t see it being topped anytime soon.</p>
<p>Also, I got to be a cowboy, dammit!</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/36ymsasobbI” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2><b>GOTY Award: </b>Pure Farming 2018</h2>
<p>And finally, the category we’ve all been waiting for! This year’s illustrious Goat Of The Year Award is quite the trip…a trip of goats that is! See, that’s what a group of goats is called – you know what, never mind, just look at all those adorable baby goats! Pure Farming 2018 wasn’t really on my radar before, but now that they’ve added free goat DLC, it is clearly a game with goats! Congratulations, little cuties, you did it!</p> 繼續閱讀
<p><img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/15/754e1eb5/mostanticipated2019_5_horror_v2.jpg” width=”800″ height=”450″ alt=”” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” /></p>
<p>The horror genre went into hiding in 2018, but is poised to return in a big way this year, beginning with the release of Resident Evil 2 on January 25. The year ahead is chock-full of new intellectual properties that are delivering suspense and gore through unconventional narrative directions. From ancient Nordic horrors to disappearances in Roswell, gamers have plenty of interesting scares coming their way. In assembling this anticipated list, we looked at over 40 horror games slated for 2019, and narrowed it to the nine that we believe look the most promising.</p>
<p><em>Note: Entries are listed in alphabetical order.</em></p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/dDIwU6jVYeU” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>Apsulov: End of Gods</h2>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
<p>Whenever you dig up an artifact that defies logic, you have to ask yourself why it was buried in the first place. In Apsulov: End of Gods, a horror game from Angry Demon Studio, you uncover something a device that aims to bring destruction to Midgard (the human realm). Described as a “future viking horror game,” Apsulov blends Nordic mythology with science fiction, and pushes the player to prevent an ancient horror from destroying the world and perhaps reawakening the Nordic Gods.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/M0Y1o6nlQjs” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>The Beast Inside</h2>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
<p>A cryptanalyst discovered a clue from a murder that occurred more than 100 years ago, and now finds himself hunted by what appears to be the same killer. He must piece together this murder from the Civil War era to end the current threat. To do this, players will control two characters, one set in the past and one in the present, within a small open world where every item is interactive. Given one of the character’s professions, solving puzzles and deciphering codes is a huge part of the game, but you’ll also have a gun that can deal with the threats that emerge. The Beast Inside is currently just listed as “coming soon” from developer Illusion Ray Studio.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/1M8wgoflQBg” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan</h2>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC</p>
<p>Supermassive Games, the studio behind the excellent choice-driven slasher game Until Dawn, has numerous horror stories to tell and plans to release them as an anthology. The first story, which looks to be designed similarly to Until Dawn from a gameplay perspective, is called Man of Medan. Set in the South Pacific, a group of four young Americans and their boat’s captain stumble upon a World War II vessel and decide to investigate it. They don’t like what they find, but end up being trapped on the vessel due to a storm. They need to figure out how to escape before the boat’s occupants cut them down.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/UeMtj6CuXPE” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>Layers of Fear 2</h2>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
<p>Drawing inspiration from the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Bloober Team’s Layers of Fear sequel will have more of a classic film quality to it, but will still focus on art and making players second guess what they are seeing. Narrated by Tony Todd, who was Candyman in <em>Candyman</em>, Layers of Fear 2 doesn’t have a release window other than 2019, nor platform listings yet, although it’s a safe bet it will be on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Those answers may come tomorrow at the game’s PAX South panel.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ezz0mCM7DY8″ width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
<p>The original Pathologic assumed immediate cult-classic status when it released in 2005. The game was buggy and ugly to look at but its ambitions, casting you as a group of characters trying to prevent a plague from decimating a small town, were astonishing for the time. Its village had NPCs who went about their own schedules, timed quests, a ridiculous amount of branching paths, and an unspeakably bleak and horrific atmosphere. With Pathologic 2, which is a remake of the original game, perhaps developer Ice-Pick Lodge will deliver on the bold innovations of the first game with a needed facelift to creep out a whole new generation of gamers.</p>
<p>A standalone prequel is available as a demo that you can download <a href=”https://store.steampowered.com/app/505230/Pathologic_2/”>here</a>.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/vXv5n9K5prw” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>The Peterson Case</h2>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC</p>
<p>A family has gone missing near Roswell, New Mexico, and you are a detective who has been called in to figure out what happened to them. Investigating their house may sound like a great place to start, but it could spell your end. The house is crawling with unnatural things, including ghosts, living symbols on the walls, and perhaps even proof that we are not along in this universe. The good news: You have a pretty good idea of what happened to the family, which also happens to be one of the greatest discoveries of our time. The bad news: You’re probably going to die or disappear in this house, just like the family.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”true” href=”https://players.brightcove.net/694940074001/rydylbNsz_default/index.html?videoId=5969069817001 “>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>Resident Evil 2</h2>
<p>Release: January 25<br />
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC</p>
<p>A remake of the 1998 PlayStation game, Resident Evil 2 reunites gamers with Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who find themselves trapped in Raccoon City at the height of a zombie outbreak. While much of the story and locations players visit will seem familiar, the gameplay and puzzles have been completely reworked, including a much-needed over-the-shoulder targeting system. After spending <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/preview/2018/12/04/revitalizing-a-classic”>hours playing it</a>, <em>Game Informer</em>’s Imran Khan says, “I went into the Resident Evil 2 remake looking to recapture that same feeling, but found that Capcom wasn’t trying to recreate a moment-in-time with the horror revival as much as they were trying to recontextualize it.”</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/zEy2rUEC1gM” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<h2>The Sinking City</h2>
<p>Release: March 21<br />
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC</p>
<p>Developer Frogwares has a long history of making Sherlock Holmes investigation games, but is now turning its gaze to the works of H.P. Lovecraft for the studio’s next game, The Sinking City. Set in Oakmont, Massachusetts, in the 1920s, and seen through the eyes of investigator Charles W. Reed, players must figure out why the entire city is going mad. We all know the answer has something to do with Cthulhu, but Reed doesn’t, and you’re going to need to help him keep his sanity as he explores an open world that is flooding. Much like the Sherlock Holmes games, you’ll be interrogating people and studying the environment to find clues. The game also features combat and action sequences.</p>
<p></p><a target=”_blank” allow=”autoplay” allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”” href=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/erVPt_T_u7M” width=””>Click here to watch embedded video</a>
<p>Release: 2019<br />
<p>Described as first-person stealth/horror, Unholy takes a mother named Saidah through the last city of a dying planet to locate her missing daughter. Players will have to determine how they approach each scenario, either with stealth or taking out the guards that stand in your way. Developer Duality Games says that each play style has its own consequences. We don’t know what this means yet, but it could tie into the need to keep Saidah’s physical and mental health in check. She could go insane if you play your cards wrong.</p> 繼續閱讀
<p><img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/17/e577a8ef/mk11_screenshot3_1547683260.jpg” width=”800″ height=”450″ alt=”Mortal Kombat 11″ typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” /></p>
<p>The Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/2019/01/17/heres-everything-from-the-mortal-kombat-11-reveal-event”>lived up to its name</a>, laying bare a number of new details. The biggest remaining mystery is who’s filling out the character roster. NetherRealm has revealed a number of characters, old and new, that will be unleashing a bevy of punches, kicks, and gruesome finishers with. We imagine in the weeks to come we’ll find out more as well. We’ll update this list with every fighter revealed.</p>
<p>For now, here’s who we know will be in Mortal Kombat 11 (and some folks who are probably on the way).</p>
<h2 class=”subhead-aside”>Confirmed Fighters</h2>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/26bbcae6/scorpion.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
Scorpion has been the most recognizable character in the series since its inception. Of course Scorpion’s in it.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/4ac68def/raiden.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
Raiden’s here, seemingly still corrupted by Jinsei following the events of Mortal Kombat X.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/a3749675/sub-zero.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
The other popular ninja is also here and it looks like he’s got a nice, nasty callback to his infamous spine-pulling fatality from MK II.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/29f22ca7/geras.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
A new addition. We don’t know much about him, except he seems to <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/2019/01/17/new-character-geras-revealed-for-mortal-kombat-11″>like sand</a>? Well, ok then.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/f20c5e73/barakka.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
Folks were not happy you couldn’t play as Baraka in the last installment but have no fear: everybody’s favorite…ugh…sword arm ghoul thing is back. Yeah!</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/ae3ab148/liu_kang.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<p><strong>Liu Kang</strong><br />
Liu Kang sneakily makes a brief gameplay cameo in the gameplay trailer, getting beat down by Raiden.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/17/b8647adb/mk11sonya.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<p><strong>Sonya Blade</strong><br />
Get ready to break some more necks. Sonya featured prominently in the gameplay trailer.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/d0dab809/skarlet.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
Skarlet’s back for the first time since Mortal Kombat 9 and unveiled a gruesome fatality centered around her blood magic specialties. </p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/881aef5a/shao_khan.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<p><strong>Shao Kahn</strong><br />
Yep. One of the cheapest, most infuriating bosses of all time is back. This time as a preorder bonus.</p>
<h2 class=”subhead-aside”>Unconfirmed Fighters</h2>
<p>NetherRealm has not confirmed these characters as playable fighters. However, they can be seen during trailers in non-gameplay cinematics. So we’re listing them here with appropriate caveats.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/17cdd21c/screen_shot_2019-01-18_at_11.32.07_am.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<p><strong>Cassie Cage</strong><br />
We see a woman we’re 99 percent sure is Cassie Cage get what looks like a fighter intro. No confirmation yet from NetherRealm.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/86be0270/kung_lao.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
<p><strong>Kung Lao</strong><br />
Kung Lao is seen prominently in the gameplay reveal trailer but only in cinematics. It’s likely we’ll play as him but no confirmation from NetherRealm on that front.</p>
<img src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/prod-media.gameinformer.com/styles/body_default/s3/2019/01/18/1847f3ee/kronika.png” typeof=”foaf:Image” class=”image-style-body-default” />
Kronika shows up as a menacing figure in the game’s story and gameplay trailers. She’s probably the antagonist and, given the series’ history with regard to big baddies, will likely be a playable roster character.</p>
<p>Check back for more roster additions as NetherRealm reveals them. For more on Mortal Kombat 11, read this <a href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/interview/2019/01/17/ed-boon-talks-mortal-kombat-11s-variations-changes-and-roster”>interview</a> we conducted with series co-creator Ed Boon.</p> 繼續閱讀
This week Mobile World Live was the only industry publication invited to a media interview …
Fighting games had a marquee year in 2018, as a mix of fantastic callbacks, fun single-player modes, and outstanding tournaments kept the genre a bigger talking point than it’s been in a long time. And for the first time, we’re giving fighting games their own genre awards! Here are our picks for which games moved the genre forward or redefined old ground throughout the year.
Best Roster: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Fitting and balancing 74 playable characters into a single game is an incredible feat no matter how many franchises you’re pulling from, which makes Ultimate’s roster of Nintendo and third-party characters hard to beat. Add to that a number of changes made to characters who played similarly to others (Link’s conversion to his Breath of the Wild rendition is fantastic) to further distinguish everyone, and you have the largest and best collection of characters in fighting game this year, and possibly ever.
Best New Character: Geralt (Soulcalibur VI)
Geralt gives Link a run for his money as the best guest character in the Soulcalibur franchise. Geralt fits right along with the rest of the cast of the sword-based fighter, and the way his various two swords and signs are integrated into his fighting style makes him a distinct character without feeling unintuitive or gimmicky.
Best Graphics: Dragon Ball FighterZ
The over-the-top anime look of Dragon Ball FighterZ is a huge part of what it makes it work. Beyond the better-than-you-remember renditions of every character, the way each match ends up looking like a light show without diluting the impact of individual hits is truly incredible, and gives fight an empowering feel that begs you to keep playing.
Best New Mechanic: Super Dash (Dragon Ball FighterZ)
The Super Dash gives every new player a fun, go-to option whenever they might be thinking about what to do in a match, breaking the stalemates and easing up on the lack of direction that can come from learning a fighting game. It’s a great tool that not only reinforces that Dragon Ball FighterZ wants you to get in there to mix it up, but also provides a bridge to learning how different approach options play off each other as you realize can’t spam the move to win every match.
Best Combos: BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
Though you can see some of Cross Tag Battle’s flashy two-at-once combos in other games (we hardly knew ye, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite), Arc System Works’ other tag-team game this year introduces a number of smart deviations that make mastering your two-person team’s most synergetic moves in training mode a rewarding and creative challenge, all while keeping the execution side of things manageable.
Most Accessible: Footsies
If you’re looking for a game to teach you the fundamentals of fighting games without bogging you down in jargon, Footsies is your game. You have two attacks and can only move back and forth, emphasizing everything you need to learn fighting games; spacing, timing, and executing the right move at the right time.
Best Tutorial: Under-Night In Birth: Exe Late[st]
Under-Night In Birth’s awkwardly-named latest expansion, Exe:Late[st], currently has the most thorough learning course the genre has to offer. There’s still quite a lot of jargon to ingest, but through an hours-long training course (make sure to take breaks), Late[st] teaches you strategies and best practices that carry over into other games, and it’s all explained well enough that you understand why you’d want to perform an option-select, not just that they exist.
Best Single-Player: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Ultimate’s meaty story mode, World of Light, is content to let your fists do the talking, and it works wonderfully. It imbues every fight with gaming nostalgia in smart ways without slowing you down with some long-winded, overdramatic plot, which makes it much easier to enjoy the fact that you’re fighting Zero Suit Samus role-playing as The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3 as Kirby infused with the spirit of Ricky, the kangaroo from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages.
Best Indie: Pocket Rumble
Pocket Rumble keeps things simple and light, but doesn’t slouch on strategic depth. Its throwback, pixelated look lets you forget it was made by a small team, and it’s fun enough that you won’t quit after your first few matches, making it perfect for some light, casual rounds with friends.
Best Comeback: Soulcalibur VI
After a lull in popularity following the tepid response to Soulcalibur V and a few years out of the limelight, Soulcalibur is back and better than it’s been in long, long time. Between bringing the roster back to their more iconic selves and a number of new mechanics that make fights more lively without sullying what made the series so newbie-friendly in the first place, Soulcalibur VI brings the series back with aplomb, restoring its place among the fighting game greats.
Best Fighting Game: Dragon Ball FighterZ
Although it had some tough competition, Dragon Ball FighterZ was the perfect mix of old and new. Its blend of eye-popping visuals, solid cast of iconic characters (with just the right number of Gokus), and combat that’s as empowering as it is intricate make it a fighting game with something for everyone. And while fan service is all too common in fighters, dedicating itself to a single series lets FighterZ make deep cuts that count, making this an effusive joy that’s also the best fighting game of the year.
Bandai Namco has released Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition today, which provides a visually enhanced version of the decade-old JRPG. More importantly, it’s now available on PlayStation and Nintendo hardware in North America, as opposed to the Xbox 360-only version that was originally released. Reiner and Kim have fond memories of the game, and they share their enthusiasm with Leo and me.
We start this one of at, well, the start, so this episode is fairly heavy on cutscenes. There is some action, though, so you’ll get to see some of the game’s combat. The Definitive Edition adds a pair of playable heroes, as well as some new tunes.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is available today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
I sat down with Game Informer’s Jeff Cork to see if we could recreate the battle royale experience on paper. This idea … 繼續閱讀
Third- and first-person shooter fans can always rely on a steady stream of reinforcements coming to their preferred genre, and 2018 was no different. Many of the familiar franchises we expect to see on an annual or bi-annual basis returned, but the most welcome trend of the year was the diversity of experiences these games offered. With tactical skirmishes, cooperative sci-fi stand-offs, modern-day open worlds, historical settings, nostalgia-driven shotgun fests, and an explosion of battle royale games among the ranks, you could argue that 2018 was one of the most eclectic years in recent history.
From this embarrassment of riches, we had the tough task of isolating the peak performers for our 2018 Shooter Awards. Here are the winners:
Best Campaign: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Cayde-6’s series of unfortunate events may have grabbed all the headlines, but the Forsaken campaign is successful for more than just story reasons. The open-ended structure allows guardians to hunt down the Barons any way they see fit, the missions have more craftsmanship on display than previous entries, and the story delivers memorable set pieces. Best of all, the campaign bleeds perfectly into Forsaken’s enhanced endgame.
Best Setting: Far Cry 5
Far Cry typically takes us on globe-hopping journeys to exotic locales, but the fifth entry doesn’t suffer for staying home. Rural Montana is packed with curious people to meet, but the real star is the picturesque landscape begging to be explored. Pulling out your binoculars to survey the peaks and valleys around you, Hope County beckons you to soak in your surroundings. Enjoy these moments of peace and reflection while you can, because no matter how far off the beaten path you may be, we guarantee a white peggie pickup truck is right around the corner ready to bring the fight to you.
Best Character: Ashe – Overwatch
This jack-of-all-trades gun-for-hire comes to the fight with instant pedigree. As the head of the Deadlock Gang, Ashe was once McCree’s boss. Her rifle is effective in both mid- and long-range firefights, but her sidekick B.O.B. is the real attention grabber. When Ashe activates her ultimate, this A.I.-controlled butler/bodyguard effortlessly locks down control points, smoking anyone who dares walk into the area. Rival players know to proceed with caution when she yells, ”B.O.B., do something!”
Best Graphics: Battlefield V
You can always count on the technical wizards at DICE’s Stockholm headquarters when it comes to gorgeous visuals, and Battlefield V is no exception. DICE may have gone back to the past with the World War II setting, but its eyes were locked on the future when it comes to graphics. As the first game to release supporting DXR ray tracing, the implementation comes with some obvious framerate costs, but the visual fidelity of real-time light reflections on water, mirrors, and windows looks quite impressive. This feature isn’t worth the performance cost in competitive multiplayer, but turn it on in War Stories and enjoy the cutting-edge graphics.
Best Sound Design: Insurgency: Sandstorm
Battlefield has dominated this category for years, but this year we have a newcomer on the frontlines. Insurgency: Sandstorm takes a page from the old-school Battlefield playbook to create a riveting war experience. Hearing the footsteps of approaching enemies as you hunker down at a control point waiting to open fire builds an extraordinary amount of tension, and the satisfying THWACK of gunfire really drives home the point that one shot from these deadly modern-day weapons will end your life.
Best Soundtrack: Battlefield V
Composers Johan Söderqvist and Patrik Andrén delivered a memorable score for Battlefield 1, but this new composition is their best work yet. Equal parts somber and uplifting, the score works well whether you are playing the more serious-minded War Stories or jumping into the multiplayer mayhem. If you want to hear a sample, check out the remarkable “Flute Theme.”
Best Weaponry: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Destiny’s sci-fi setting affords Bungie’s designers the opportunity to create some amazing weaponry. With death bringers like the Wish-Ender and One Thousand Voices, the Forsaken expansion continues in this tradition. The best exotics in the game may be a pain to earn, but their prowess makes the journey worth it.
Best Gunplay: Destiny 2: Forsaken
At this point, we should just rename this category The Destiny Award, because it’s been years since a rival studio has seriously competed with the satisfying feel of Bungie’s varied and powerful arsenal. Whether you are pulling off devastating sniper shots from afar or melting foes with a penetrating fusion rifle, nearly every gun begs you to pull the trigger to see what happens.
Best Service: Fortnite
When Fortnite’s battle royale started taking off, Epic Games saw an opportunity to do something special and grow the community to unprecedented levels. To help fuel its ambitions, the company made the tough call to cancel projects like Unreal Tournament and Paragon so the entire studio could focus on delivering a steady stream of new content for its blockbuster hit. We saw the fruits of that decision play out in 2018, as no other game could keep pace with the frequency and quality of the Fortnite content drops.
Best Skins: Overwatch
Many shooters have interesting hero cosmetics that lighten the mood and let players showcase their personalities, but no one does it better than the Blizzard artists working on Overwatch. The studio delivered new and interesting looks for its incredibly deep roster all year round. The Halloween skins, in particular, won over the Game Informer offices in 2018.
Best Progression: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Whether you are playing zombies mode, competing online in traditional multiplayer, or fighting to be the last person standing in Blackout, developer Treyarch keeps you engaged with well-designed progression systems. The Black Market system found in Blackout and PvP was particularly interesting, giving players quests to earn access to the attractive cosmetics, gestures, and emblem stickers available in each season’s supply steam.
Best Map: Fortnite
Rather than create a series of new battlefields over the course of the year like most multiplayer games, Epic went another route with Fortnite, adding interesting new locales into the pre-existing map. This organic approach to content development kept the experience feeling new throughout the year, and delivered several memorable moments where a location like the meteor crash or Loot Lake became the centerpiece of conversation.
Best Cooperative Multiplayer: Destiny 2: Forsaken
Destiny always leans heavily into cooperative gameplay with its missions and raids, but Forsaken amplifies this approach with the new “PvEvP” Gambit mode. This hybrid space finds the sweet spot between the classic PvE and the more punishing competitiveness found in Crucible. Surviving invasions from rival guardians in this mode requires your squad work closely together. In addition, Bungie developed two raids – Last Wish and Scourge of the Past – to test high-end teams.
Best Battle Royale Mode: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
This may be a controversial pick for those who spend dozens of hours a week with PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds or Fortnite, but no battle royale mode delighted the Game Informer staff more in 2018 than Call of Duty’s Blackout. The excellent pacing cuts down the foraging and amps up the action, and the gambit of whether or not to venture into the zombie zone for the better gear creates an interesting risk-reward scenario. The fun gadgets and deadly vehicles further add intrigue to tense play, making it hard to stop saying, “just one more round.”
Best Competitive Multiplayer: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
You could spend hundreds of hours in Blackout mode alone – the praises of which we just sang. On top of that phenomenal experience, Black Ops 4 also has a compelling playlist of core modes like Domination, Control, and Kill Confirmed if you need a palette cleanser. These modes clearly take a back seat to battle royale, but they are still a great place for experimenting with weapons, trying operator mods, and enjoying classic run-and-gun play. Combined with the battle royale centerpiece, Black Ops 4 offers the most compelling competitive multiplayer suite on the market today.
Best Innovation: Fortnite’s Map Evolution
Of all the innovations we expect to see mimicked by future shooters, the Fortnite map evolution stands on the top of the list. This map is always changing, never stagnant; Epic Games did a phenomenal job of keeping its battle royale fresh with map alterations throughout the year. Some were purely cosmetic, like Moisty Mire adding a film set, but others like the Desert added to the Fortnite lore and created new gameplay centerpieces for season content. We’d love to see developers of other shooters think actively how they can improve (or merely freshen up) their own maps on a regular basis.
Best Nostalgia Ride: Dusk
Sometimes you want to take a bloody stroll down memory lane and eviscerate enemies with shotgun blasts in a 486-era blocky corridor. New Blood Interactive’s Dusk scratches that primordial itch for those of us who grew up playing Doom, Duke Nukem, and Quake. Forget narratives, leveling, and set-piece moments – this game is all about the glorious shooting.
Biggest Disappointment: Overkill’s The Walking Dead
Landing a license the pedigree of The Walking Dead, we expected Starbreeze and Overkill to build on the success of Payday 1 and 2 and deliver a compelling and addictive cooperative shooter. What we did not expect, however, was a regressive disasterpiece that can’t even stand up to the level of its predecessors. This game is a flaming dumpster fire on all levels, which unfortunately makes us very skeptical about the prospects of Payday 3.
Shooter of the Year: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Yes, it sucks that Treyarch walked away from single-player campaigns. We hope they return in future Call of Duty games, because no one does set pieces like the collection of Activision studios working on this franchise. But when you tally up the increased depth of zombies mode, the addictiveness of Blackout mode, and steadiness of the competitive multiplayer experience, we still think you get more than your money’s worth with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. In a year packed with interesting shooters, this one stole our hearts and became our favorite of the bunch.