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    This Week In Gaming 2-18-20


    My PC no longer starting has given me less time to finish this week's posts than I would usually take.

    Game Brain speaks with Titanfall 2 senior designer about the making of the highly praised level Effect and Cause, Dutch’s real-life mom plays through Red Dead Redemption 2, Kyle Orland on the issues with Tim Sweeney's stance on having an apolitical storefront and political creatives while it already bars certain kinds of games from sale, previews of Yakuza 7 and Bulletstorm developer's new game Outriders, Nico Deyo looks at Blizzard's long history of reusing manic pixie girl and fear of women tropes, Reid McCarter on winter in The Last of Us and the pull between optimism and survivalist pessimism, Chris Davis looks into the death and return of isometric CRPGs, Geoff Keighley to skip E3 for the first time, and more.



    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)


    Yakuza 7 has some of the best RPG combat in a long time



    I'll admit, when Yakuza 7 was announced, the first mainline game in the franchise since Kazuma Kiryu's story concluded, I was highly sceptical. Any new protagonist would have big shoes to fill, after all. And then there's the fact that it's turn-based. There's a lot to take in.


    Persona 5 Royal - Finding All 3 Will Seeds in Kamoshida's Palace


    Will Seeds are new collectibles to find in Persona 5 Royal's palaces. Find all 3 in each, to combine them and create a mysterious, powerful item. In this gameplay, we manage to locate all them in Kamoshida's with the help of the new grappling hook mechanic.

    Persona 5 Royal Preview: Story tidbits are nice, but it’s new features like Will Seeds which make a bigger difference


    If you go full Sam Porter Bridges and chug Monster out of a canteen, construct a hermetically sealed bunker to filter out all distractions, then invest in a new set of bionic eyes, you only need to take a full week off work to burn through a single playthrough of Persona 5. Make it two weeks if you want to sleep.

    Persona 5 Royal Will Change Homophobic Scenes For Western Release


    While Atlus didn’t share exactly how these scenes would be updated in response to these complaints, Advincula said asking if they would be addressed was one of the first things she did when joining the team. “That's really important to me, and I think it's really important to the community as well.”


    Final Fantasy 7 Remake - Opening Movie


    Check out the complete opening movie to Final Fantasy 7 Remake ahead of it's April 10th release. Featuring some very familiar elements and lots of brand new ones!

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake requires 100GB on PS4


    Final Fantasy 7 Remake doesn’t launch for another two months, but it looks like the game’s cover has already been printed. The back of the box recently started making the rounds online.


    Bulletstorm dev shares first gameplay details of co-op sci-fi looter-shooter Outriders


    Earlier this week Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly unveiled a brand-new trailer for its co-operative sci-fi looter-shooter Outriders, and now, as promised, it's shared a choice selection of gameplay details and videos as part of a half-hour long livestream reveal.

    20 minutes of looting and shooting through Enoch - Outriders gameplay


    Tag along as we explore Enoch in Outriders, the new game from Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly. Set on a distant planet, you arrive after Earth has been struck by a mysterious catastrophe. Before you get your wits about you, you’re attacked by an unknown substance and put to sleep for 31 years. You awaken to find that you’ve been gifted powers, but there’s little you know about what’s going on. The gameplay you’re seeing comes from Outrider’s opening mission after the prologue. It features several side-quests, boss fights, and plenty of looting and shooting.


    Meet Tyler Ronan, the first transgender triple-A video game protagonist



    While flashpoints of gender in gaming are characterised by controversy, the medium is becoming more inclusive. In recent years, character diversity has been on the rise, but there’s still a long way to go. One game seeking to be truly groundbreaking though is the upcoming PC and Xbox One game Tell Me Why, developed by DONTNOD, the studio which brought you Life Is Strange.


    Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020 - Official Release Date Trailer


    The game is headed to mobile devices on May 7, 2020, and pre-registration is available now.


    My Hero One's Justice 2 - Characters & Story Trailer


    Take a look at the latest trailer for the upcoming game showcasing Gang Orca, Seiji Shishikura, and Camie Utsushimi who join the roster as playable characters. The trailer also gives a look at Full Cowling 100% Izuku and Overhaul Ver. 2, and more.


    DOOM Eternal: A Tour of the Doom Slayer's Man Cave (Fortress of Doom) - IGN First


    DOOM Eternal director Hugo Martin takes us on a guided tour of the Fortress of Doom, an orbiting home for the Doom Slayer that lets you upgrade your Praetor suit, your weapons, and even hang out in the Doom Slayer's man cave (don't miss that at the 09:38 mark of the video!).

    DOOM Eternal: Accessibility and UI Customization Walkthrough - IGN First


    DOOM Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton shows off the extensive UI customization options in the new game, including colorblind accessibility options, HUD tweaks, and more!


    Empire of Sin delayed to fall 2020



    Empire of Sin, Brenda and John Romer’s XCOM-style strategy game, was initially targeting a spring release. Today, the developer announced that it’s been delayed to the fall, though without providing a solid release date.


    NBA 2K20 - Official NBA All Star 2020 Trailer


    Check out the trailer in preparation for the All-Star game featuring some players like Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid.


    The Division 2: Warlords of New York focuses on story over nostalgia


    As much as I love The Division 2, I can’t really remember what it was about. You play a group of good guys with guns and you shoot all the bad guys with guns, often while exploring some of the many famous museums, sights, and landmarks of Washington, DC.


    Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Void Edge – New Operators Reveal Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]


    Everyone is running from something. But more importantly, what are you running towards?

    Rainbow Six Siege: Void Edge Operators Gameplay Gadgets and Starter Tips | Ubisoft [NA]


    Watch Oryx, the new Defender, utilize his explosive strength to crash through walls, knock down his opponents, and climb up through open floor hatches. Then try to spot the real Iana, as the new Attacker deploys her holographic clone to deceive and distract the defending team. Learn how these new gadgets and abilities work and get some helpful tips to give you the upper hand when Iana and Oryx make their debut. Operation Void Edge is kicking off Year 5 of Rainbow Six Siege with these two new Operators along with a map rework of Oregon, gameplay updates, and more.

    Rainbow Six Siege: The Tournament of Champions - Official Cinematic Trailer


    After having gathered the greatest Operators from around the world, the Tournament of Champions is ready to begin with a tense match of 'Bomb' in this official cinematic trailer.


    State of Decay 2 will get a zombie facelift March 13 with the Juggernaut Edition


    State of Decay 2 started its life two years ago the way many zombies begin their careers: covered in bugs. Now, Undead Labs are gearing up to launch a massive update to State of Decay 2, which the studio has been steadily improving since it debuted. The ‘Juggernaut Edition’ comes out March 13, and it’s a free update that’s meant to breathe new life into the game.


    Katana Zero’s free DLC will be three times larger than expected


    More hacking, slashing, and time bending.


    Shenmue 3's Story Quest Pack DLC arrives next week


    Get ready to reconnect with a familiar face from the past.


    Epic CEO Tim Sweeney condemns loot boxes, says game companies should 'divorce themselves from politics'



    In a wide-ranging keynote at DICE, Sweeney said that it's time for the game industry to move away from both.


    Yager, the studio behind Spec Ops: The Line, is in the midst of making The Cycle, a multiplayer FPS currently in early access. The game’s alphas were held on Steam, but it’s current version can only be found on the Epic Games Store, where it will remain exclusive for the foreseeable future. Now, Yager has explained its reasoning for leaving behind Valve’s storefront and going exclusive to Epic.

    What the CEO of Epic Games gets wrong about video games and politics


    No one would suggest that the Epic Games Store should be forced to sell porn games or spreadsheet software. But whether we talk about the judgment of what counts as pornography, how its distribution should be enforced, or whether sexuality and nudity is being employed to make an artistic point, it’s all, by definition, in the political realm. And despite Sweeney's description of the Epic Games Store as "an ecosystem where users and creators can express themselves," the company has decided those users and creators can't express themselves in this particular way, regardless of any "pure quality" evaluation. That's not a controversial decision, but it is a political one in the broadest sense.

    Tim Sweeney's Full DICE 2020 Talk


    Watch the full video of Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney' DICE Summit talk. Topics range from loot boxes to cross-platform play and games involving politics.


    Geoff Keighley skips E3 for the first time ever – “I just don’t feel comfortable participating”


    In a statement to The Washington Post, Keighley adds that “Based on what’s been communicated to me about the show, I just don’t feel comfortable participating.” He also says that “E3 needs to evolve and I have lots of ideas around that” – but for now he’s taking a “wait-and-see” approach.


    Steam’s going global – January’s top new releases include a host of non-English game


    Steam is synonymous with PC gaming for many players, and while the PC market is as profitable as it’s ever been, much of the platform’s worldwide success comes from games that aren’t on Steam and are barely recognised in the West. Steam’s been growing in worldwide popularity in the past few years, though, and now a substantial chunk of the platform’s top releases include non-English games.




    Sources: YouTube’s Deal With Activision Blizzard Valued At $160M



    YouTube’s media-rights deal with Activision Blizzard Esports is valued at around $160M USD over three years, according to people briefed on the terms of pact, part of the broader new strategic partnership between Google and the video game company. Google and Activision Blizzard announced the new partnership late last month just before the start of the Call of Duty League (CLD) season.


    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)


    Geneforge 1 - Mutagen


    The groundbreaking indie cult classic returns remastered at last! Totally open role-playing fun with your own army of mutant monsters.


    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)


    Out now! Making a masterpiece in Wireframe #32



    Yes, it's Wireframe time again: a fabulously fantastical issue 32 is available in stores and online from today, the 13 February. You'll be able to buy the magazine at your local supermarket or independent newsagent in the UK, or you can order a copy, subscribe, or even download a magical - and best of all, free - PDF from this very site.


    The Unpredictable Challenges Of Gaming With Cerebral Palsy



    The world of video games should be one without limits. Sadly, this is often not the case. As a lifelong gamer who also happens to have cerebral palsy, my own experiences with video games have been both helped and hindered by their mechanics.


    Dutch’s real-life mom plays through Red Dead Redemption 2



    Jessica Hoffmann Davis, educator and champion of arts in education, is the 75-year-old mother of Dutch van der Linde’s actor


    Not-so-Dead Cells: Why maintaining an archive of your game is good for both you and your players



    Which Dead Cells is the real Dead Cells? Is it the Dead Cells we here at Motion Twin released on Steam Early Access back in May 2017, a rough sketch of the game to come? Is it Dead Cells as it existed on August 6, 2018, when we celebrated our 1.0 release? Is it the Dead Cells that exists today, more than a year after that so-called “finished” version?


    Black History Month: Where Are Our Black Gaming Journalists?



    Journalism has never been diverse, and correcting the issue requires figuring out what the problem is in the first place.


    Huddled Together



    Winter is a horrible time in The Last of Us. Its two main characters, Joel and Ellie, having travelled westward across most of a zombie-wracked, apocalyptic version of the continental United States, are stalled in their journey after a fight goes wrong and Joel ends up impaled on about a foot of rebar. Snowflakes begin falling from the sky as Ellie leads him, limping and nearly fainting, to safety, away from the university campus that an hour ago was vibrant with the sunlit reds, yellows, and oranges of fall and is now overcast as the beginning of a winter dusk sets in. Joel’s face is ghostly white. His stomach and lower back are stained with blood. He blacks out and Ellie, a 14-year-old left to care for a grown man twice her size, is forced to drag him away and figure out a way to keep him alive. For the first time in the game’s story, their roles have reversed—their tiny group dynamic of protector and protected flipped the other way around. She’s alone with what she’s learned, left to figure out how to survive a hostile world filled with monsters and monstrous people just as the snow begins to set in.


    Blizzard's Long History of Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls and Fear of Women



    This method of creating female characters and motivations says something about how the developers think of women’s role in their stories. Not only is victimization a key component in these women’s lives, but a factor in their eventual turn towards hate, revenge and anger. Torture and stripping them of control is a catalyst by which their transition from “innocent” to “evil” occurs. It mirrors how victims are often portrayed in fiction and viewed in real life: as broken in some fundamental way, and all too ready to turn around and hurt others. Their pain is something others fear, a potential wellspring of further evil.


    How I became an arms dealer in Escape From Tarkov



    Forget combat, Escape From Tarkov's player-driven economy is where the real fun is.


    Tony Hawk’s Underground gave us gaming’s best villain



    He doesn’t want what you have — he wants you to have nothing


    It Seems A Playable Xbox Build Of StarCraft Ghost Has Leaked


    Here’s something I didn’t expect to see today: New gameplay footage of StarCraft Ghost. The third-person shooter had a rocky and well-known development history before being officially canceled by Blizzard, something confirmed back in 2014. Now an early Xbox build seems to have leaked out and popped up online.


    Fundamentals of Game Animation Fluidity


    Continuing this mini-series looking at The Five Fundamentals of Video Game Animation, as proposed by Jonathan Cooper in his book:

    Please consider supporting the channel through Patreon to help improve the quality of research, editing, footage capture, animation and overall production of each episode: www.patreon.com/DanRoot


    The Making of Titanfall 2’s ‘Effect and Cause’, Revealed by Respawn Entertainment Senior Designer


    Titanfall 2’s stellar time travelling level, Effect and Cause, is arguably one of the most memorable gaming moments of the 2010’s. I sat down with senior designer, Jake Keating, to hear about the level’s creation and the biggest challenges he and the team faced making ‘Effect and Cause’ a reality. Many thanks to Rick Grubel from Respawn who filmed the interview with Jake.


    All the Shovel Knight Games Explained


    Become a PATRON to unlock more videos https://www.patreon.com/noclip

    David D'Angelo (Yacht Club Games) breaks down each of the Shovel Knight games, their influences and design goals.


    The History of World in Conflict


    Please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVMERS

    In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved. After butting heads with the United States for over four decades in proxy wars and crises around the globe, the Communist state had found itself besieged by a mixture of economic stagnation and social unrest, and decided that a brighter future awaited it as a democratic nation. It was a quiet end to a conflict many had believed for years was going to culminate in a nuclear tempest that would have torn the world asunder. But what if history had gone differently? What if the Soviet Union had refused to go quietly into the night, and made one last ditch attempt to conquer the rest of the world on the eve of its demise? This was the premise of World in Conflict. A real-time strategy game conceived by Swedish developer Massive Entertainment, World in Conflict tasked players with defending the United States and Europe from a surprise Soviet Invasion in 1989.


    Exploring the Music of Golden Sun


    Join me as I take a dive into the musical world of Golden Sun, where a smart mixture of classical and rock sensibilities swirl together to become more than the sum of their parts. Much like the peanut butter and jelly that work together to grace your toast each morning, composer Motoi Sakuraba uses these musical influences to create a completely new musical personality for the Golden Sun series that's still just as compelling today as it was 20 years ago.

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory


    You need to play The Cat Lady


    This 2012 adventure game bounces between reflections on mental health and sweet, sweet revenge murderin' in a gorgeous melancholic world.


    Roadblocks (In-Gaming)


    For the record, you really don't need the Time Savers in NFS: Heat. They exist for the reason they did in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Extra Footage Provided by Clu & BoogerHookMcGee

    Support the Channel at: https://www.patreon.com/raycevick


    The Death and Return of Isometric CRPGs | A History of Isometric CRPGs (Episode 8)


    This episode looks at what killed the isometric CRPG, what happened during the dark ages, and how the genre returned in 2014.

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/CDavis_Games


    Things I missed from previous weeks


    Video game development in Iran: Limited tools, front companies and a specter of war



    January 3 was a regular workday in Isfahan, Iran, for indie game developer Mahdi Bahrami. Then he read the news. Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani had been killed in Baghdad by an airstrike authorized by United States President Donald Trump. That’s when Bahrami’s normal day dissolved into fears for his loved ones and his livelihood.


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