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    This Week In Gaming 5-5-20


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    Graeme Mason tells the story of a gaming magazine that outlived its platform, Violet Adele Bloch on Pathologic and how disease can reveal the sickness in society, Felipe Pepe looks at what makes good RPG dungeons, Jacob Geller finds the beauty in the sounds of horror games, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla announced while another viking game halts production, FCC loses legal battle to hide IP addresses of net neutrality comments, Razbuten covers how games make use of colors to signify things about the world and why purple is the color of corruption, new composer to score Doom Eternal's DLC, Yakuza Like A Dragon coming to Steam, Archipel speaks with Final Fantasy character designer and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, 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)

     

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is Assassin’s Creed with vikings

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    Still, if the art is anything to go by, it seems that series elements of combat, stealthy assassination, and naval exploration will be returning for the next outing. A full trailer reveal of the game is set for April 30th at 11AM ET.

    Assassin's Creed Valhalla Devs Preemptively Shut Down Bullshit Concerns About Female Vikings

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    “The archaeological sources are highly debated on that specific issue,” said Thierry Noël, historian and advisor in Ubisoft’s editorial research unit, via an official Q&A. “But the fact is, and I think what’s really important, is that it was part of their conception of the world. Sagas and myths from Norse society are full of tough female characters and warriors. It was part of their idea of the world, that women and men are equally formidable in battle, and that’s something that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will reflect.”

    Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will use smart delivery on Xbox

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    It was recently confirmed that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will use smart delivery on Xbox, meaning that players who purchase a copy on Xbox One will automatically receive the game on Xbox Series X.

     

    Viking-murdering monster game Darkborn, previously called Project Wight, is on ice

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    Battlefield Bad Company 2 lead David Goldfarb has announced that Darkborn, the debut game from Swedish studio The Outsiders, is on ice.

     

    Nier Replicant is more than a remaster, features new characters, improved story and more

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    Nier director Yoko Taro has finally revealed more information about Nier Replicant, the upcoming remaster for the original Nier game.

     

    Hardspace: Shipbreaker dev diary showcases zero-g spacecraft surgery

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    Blackbird Interactive explains how it's up to players how they want to cut up derelict spaceships with powerful tools.

     

    Vampire RPG Nighthawks bares its fangs in a new teaser

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    Modern vampire RPG Nighthawks, which had a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2018, will be slinking its way out of the shadows next year. In the meantime you can get the skinny on this Wadjet Eye-published joint in a new teaser, above.

     

    Dual Universe looks part Eve, part No Man’s Sky in this new trailer

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    We’ve known for a while that Dual Universe is a hugely ambitious MMO, and each update we’ve seen over the course of its development adds another element to its scope. Developer Novaquark has produced a new trailer that pulls all this together and gives you a snapshot of the scale of Dual Universe, as well as some of the backstory and the economics underpinning the game.

     

    Dauntless - Official Rogue Elements Trailer

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    The Rogue Elements Hunt Pass is available now. In Rogue Elements, players can complete Seismic contracts to earn Hunt Pass XP and Seismic Intel, use Seismic Intel to investigate an aetheric eruption near the Maelstrom and complete all quests to learn more about what awaits Slayers in the next Escalation.

     

    Skater XL - Official Customization Trailer

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    Check out the latest trailer for the upcoming skateboarding game which will feature apparel, footwear, decks, wheels, and more from skate brands including Vans, Spitfire, Etnies, Santa Cruz Skateboards, and more.

     

    VECTORLORD - Release Date Trailer

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    In VECTORLORD you play as the titular hero as you dodge & weave through the kaleidoscopic immune system of the evil INFECTOPHAGE --- an intergalactic virus siphoning precious DELTAs from the homeworld of your benefactors.

     

    Looks like Yakuza: Like A Dragon is coming to Steam

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    The next game in the Yakuza series appears to be coming to Steam. Yakuza: Like A Dragon – the official Western title of the seventh game in the series – has appeared in the Steam database. That hints that we’re getting a release date announcement outside of Japan soon, and that PC players might not have to wait quite so long for the port this time around.

     

    Tale of Ronin Will Be a Humanist, Psychological Samurai RPG from Dead Mage

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    With the RPG Tale of Ronin, Dead Mage, the team behind Children of Morta, is tapping into universal human uncertainties. As the title implies, the game is about a ronin — a masterless samurai — and a quest that will explore the internal conflicts of a warrior whose sense of purpose has been upended.

     

    A Day In The Life Of Grounded

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    Video Producer Leo Vader walks through one in-game day playing Grounded, Obsidian's miniature survival sim, launching to Xbox Game Preview on July 28.

     

    Port Royale 4 launches September 25, PC closed beta available now

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    Closed beta includes all tutorials, the complete Spanish Campaign, and the complete Free Mode.

     

    The Last of Us Part 2 leaked online

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    Update: Sony identifies responsible party; confirms it was not a member of Sony or Naughty Dog

    The Last of Us Part 2 Development Wraps With a Message From Neil Druckmann

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    "No matter what you've seen, or heard, or read, nothing compares to playing this thing from beginning to end."

     

    Here's your first look at Lord Of The Rings: Gollum

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    Some of the very first screenshots from Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum have appeared on the internet, and it looks fairly decent. The image above is one of the better ones to get a look at how the titular cave gremlin will look, and he sure does look like Gollum. The developers said previously that this iteration of him wouldn’t look like he does in the movies, but I dunno, I think he definitely has a resemblance to the movies’ take on the character. Just a bit more frog-like.

    Where are all the idyllic Lord of the Rings games?

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    How game designers are missing the point with all these grimdark Lord of the Rings adaptations

    Does Anyone Actually Want to Play a Lord of the Rings Game About Gollum?

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    The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is being billed as a next-gen showcase for PS5 and Xbox Series X, but there's just one problem.

     

    Population Zero - Official Launch Trailer

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    Check out the launch trailer for Population Zero, the "exploration survival multiplayer game" that launches on Steam for PC on May 5.

     

    C&C Remastered is looking good, and comes with a treasure trove of rediscovered FMV

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    Command & Conquer and Red Alert are back in June, with redone 4K graphics and lots of fun extras.

     

    Röki is a lonely adventure steeped in snow and Scandinavian folklore

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    As the LudoNarraCon festival draws to a close later on this week, I was keen to try a few of the demos and see which upcoming narrative-focused games I'll be sinking into over the next year. Röki instantly caught my eye, with its snow-capped mountains, eerie structures, and a tiny character exploring an unknown, wintery world. It's a harsh environment, littered with secrets.

     

    Jessika is a Her Story-style FMV mystery about a young woman's suicide—or murder

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    Dive into Jessika's online life to discover the real circumstances behind her untimely death.

     

    Dying Light - Hellraid DLC Teaser

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    Check out the ominous trailer for upcoming Dying Light DLC, Hellraid.

     

    Mortal Kombat 11 is getting new story DLC

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    According to a tweet from Playstation Brazil, some singleplayer story DLC is coming for Mortal Kombat 11. MK11 has received a lot of typical beat 'em up updates—new characters and such—but it's particularly exciting to know there's more gory melodrama coming to those of us to would rather test our mettle offline.

     

    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Zangetsu and Randomizer update launches May 7 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, late May to early June for Switch

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    Play through the game once again, this time as Zangetsu.

     

    After deadline issues for Doom Eternal's OST, a new composer will score its DLC

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    Mick Gordon, the composer behind both id Software's Doom (2016) and this year’s followup Doom Eternal, officially isn’t working on Eternal’s DLC and the reason for the split is a bit of a complicated affair at the center of a recent Reddit post from id's Marty Stratton.

     

    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's new update adds NG+ and challenge mode for veterans

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    May the 4th is not yet over so there’s still some Star Wars Day 4th to be with you. EA have announced and released a free update to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order that focuses on the veteran force users among us. The new update brings a new game plus mode for those that have finished the campaign and special NG+ challenge mode for fighting against waves of enemies.

     

    Nintendo to close 3DS and Wii U eShop in 42 countries

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    A recent announcement from Nintendo Support has confirmed the imminent closure of the limited Nintendo eShop for the 3DS and Wii U systems across a whopping 42 countries.

     

    Epic Games Store adds local pricing for Canada, Australia, and more

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    The evolution of the Epic Games Store continued today with the addition of regional currency support for Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

     

    Over 85,000 games made available for free to NHS workers

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    Dozens of game companies partner with UKIE and Keymailer to support front line staff

     

    Dr Disrespect's Shtick Takes A Dangerous Turn Into Spreading Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

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    Dr Disrespect, who I’m beginning to suspect might not be a licensed medical professional after all, decided to voice his thoughts and feelings about the virus that has so far taken over 65,000 lives in the U.S. alone. He did this as an expression of solidarity with Elon Musk, who has spent the past week e-cosplaying as the wrong character from Deus Ex while arguing for an end to self-isolation and propping up the views of known conspiracy hucksters. But Doc ended up going much further than the billionaire.

     

    PewDiePie Signs Exclusive YouTube Live-Streaming Deal

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    PewDiePie will be live-streaming exclusively on YouTube under a new pact.

     

    FCC loses legal battle to hide IP addresses of net neutrality comments

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    The records could reveal if the FCC leaned on fraudulent comments to push through its repeal of net neutrality rules.

     

    INDIVISIBLE DEVELOPERS DIDN'T KNOW THAT THEIR GAME WAS LAUNCHING ON NINTENDO SWITCH TODAY

     

     

    Esports

     

    EVO Cancelled

     

    Top Smash Player Uses Fake Name In Online Tournament

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    Justin “Plup” McGrath has long been considered one of the best Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the world, and currently holds the #8 spot in the most recent rankings. He and a few of his friends thought it would be entertaining to enter last weekend’s Rona Rumble as FortniteFred42 via another friend’s account.

     

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

     

    What makes a good RPG dungeon?

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    A look at 11 great video game dungeons

     

    The story of Your Sinclair

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    By the early 90s, the ZX Spectrum appeared hopelessly outdated. The Commodore Amiga and Atari ST were appreciably better computer alternatives, while those with a pure penchant for video games would shortly be able to get their hands on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, if they hadn't already invested in a Sega Mega Drive. In terms of graphics and sound, all of them were ridiculously better than the Sinclair machine. I wasn't really playing on my 128k +2 Speccy much as I looked on enviously at Mega Drive screenshots of Strider and Golden Axe; but what I was still doing was consistently reading Your Sinclair each month, often to the scorn of friends and family. "Why are you still reading that?!" they would clamour. "Because," I'd reply with a tone of calculated indifference, "It's funny."

     

    The Shareware Scene, Part 2: The Question of Games

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    In one of the last interviews he gave before his death, shareware pioneer Jim Button said that he “had written off the idea of shareware games” prior to the beginning of the 1990s. At the time, it seemed a reasonable position to take, one based on quite a bit of evidence. While any number of people had tried to sell their games this way, there had been no shareware success stories in games to rival those of Andrew Fluegelman, Jim Button, or Bob Wallace.

     

    Creative Assembly boss: “This is not how I imagined my first month as studio director”

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    Gareth Edmondson on how COVID-19 has changed the studio, and what comes next for the Total War developer

     

    Inside Minecraft Dungeon's Journey From a Zelda-Inspired 3DS Game to an Approachable Dungeon Crawler

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    Mojang prepares to deliver its first spinoff for the multi-million best-seller Minecraft.

     

    Adventure, Humor, and Humanity's Utter End: The Enduring Appeal of Mega Man Legends 2

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    It's not hard to understand why Mega Man Legends 2 still has a small but enthusiastic fanbase.

     

    Blizzard co-founder believes accessibility has made World of Warcraft less social

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    Mike Morhaime chatted about the industry, MMOs and what he's been up to since Blizzard.

     

    The Forever War

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    Id Software’s DOOM series has a long history, evidenced not only by its in-game lore but in the impressive breadth of its release catalogue. We’ve been blasting apart imps, chainsawing pinkies, and skewering cacodemons since the early nineties. Back in those years when its creators still had their baby fat, wore their hair glamorously long, and kept themselves permanently fitted in acid washed jeans and flannel, the game was a fresh contender on the scene. Now, thirty years later, despite successive attempts to reinvent the series, DOOM feels old and grizzled, a veteran of many wars, countless sorties against the bright reds and browns of the demonic horde.

     

    The neverending quest for Absolver's ultimate martial art

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    How players have made the most of Sloclap's unique build-your-own combat system

     

    Pathologic and the Morality of Illness

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    Early on in Ice-Pick Lodge’s 2019 release Pathologic 2, your character, Artemy Burakh, dreams of his childhood home by a pair of railroad tracks. In each room of the house, there’s a crowd of familiar-looking people, but they each blink out of existence, replaced by black-suited, white-masked Tragedians, frozen in space and time as if they were never able to move.

     

    Subverting Expectations and Misogyny in Yes, Your Grace

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    Yes, Your Grace begins with a wedding, put into play to avoid another wedding. A Radovian bandit king is bringing an army to claim your — King Eryk’s — oldest daughter’s hand. War is coming, you’re promised that, but marrying her off to a young prince takes care of two birds with one stone. The King promises you armies against Radovia, and your daughter Lorsulia is no longer free to marry. Unfortunately at the wedding, tragedy strikes: The King is murdered, and until a culprit is named, there will be no armies. Your daughter and her new husband Ivo immediately leave, and you must prepare for war.

     

    Let’s Chill – Jedi Academy and the Lost Art of Casual Play

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    It’s late at night and you’ve been chomping on some generic corn chips and store-brand soda, you got off work 5 hours ago and it’s the weekend. A lot of your friends are into games that you find a little too stressful like Operation Flashpoint or Starcraft 1v1s, you think those games are fun but only when you don’t take them seriously. You love star wars though, and when you found a cheap copy of Jedi Academy at the local game store it seemed like a fun buy. Once you made your way through the singleplayer campaign and got a feel for the combat, you dived into some multiplayer.

     

    A Late Game Boss Fight Shows Final Fantasy VII Remake At Its Best

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    Final Fantasy VII Remake’s combat kit-bashes the series’ role-playing battles with the hefty action of a game like Monster Hunter World. Part action, part tactics, it usually works even if some camera woes mess things up from time to time. One fight later in the game—a fight that wasn’t in the original 1997 classic—highlights everything good about the Remake’s combat.

    Cloud Threatens Gender Norms Through Way More Than Cross Dressing

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    I didn’t play the original Final Fantasy VII, but it was such an important game that I couldn’t help be aware of its mythos. I knew the characters, the key plot points, the themes… it was something of a ‘Bruce Willis is a ghost’ sort of game.  The most significant thing that I knew was that Cloud crossdressed for a mission. I was unaware of the context of the mission, but in the aftermath of playing the Final Fantasy VII Remake, I discovered the original mission was deeply problematic. Loaded with homophobic imagery, the mission poked fun not only at Cloud’s crossdressing, but at the queer folk in the Wall Market in general. While the 2020 version keeps the humour, it comes from Cloud’s own discomfort and Aerith’s gentle teasing, rather than at the very idea that a person should challenge gender norms through their clothes, behaviour or interests.

     

    Yoshitaka Amano - his universe, on paper

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    A portrait of Yoshitaka Amano, the character designer & illustrator legend behind the Final Fantasy series. We take a look at Amano's universe and career, his beginning as an animator for Tatsunoko Production, his shift as an illustrator and his involvement with Final Fantasy and his more recent towards the fine art scene.

     

    Blips 6: Conspiracies! Street Brawls! Spaceships! Old Books?

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    A Tale of Lost Potential - Tales of Zestiria Analysis - Part 1: An Environmental Problem

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    This is part 1 of an in-depth analysis on Tales of Zestiria. This first part breaks down the nature of the world and level design.

     

    How They Remade the Mako Reactor Theme from Final Fantasy 7

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    Completely remaking a game from the ground up over 20 years after the original release leads to some really fun comparisons between the two, especially when comparing the music. Final Fantasy 7 Remake's Mako Reactor theme garnered a little bit of criticism online for being so different in tone from the original piece - in this video I aim to outline why that is and why it's a good thing.

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

     

    Why Do Horror Games Sound So Beautiful?

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    but i have seen
    death’s clever enormous voice
    which hides in a fragility

    Support me: https://www.patreon.com/JacobGeller

     

    The Color of Corruption

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    I have been thinking a lot about the use of colors in games, so I wanted to make a brief little piece on one of my favorite colors, purple, and how in games, it often is used as the color of corruption.

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

     

    The Worst Game I Enjoy?

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

     

    Something Rotten: A Max Payne 3 Miniseries | Episode 3

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    Episode 3 of a Max Payne 3 Retrospective in 5 parts. This episode covers chapters 7-9 of the game. This is a video version of the podcast "Something Rotten," available on the Game Query podcast feed. Featuring Blake Hester, Jacob Geller, and AJ Moser

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

     

    How Nintendo changed SMB2 Mario for Mario Maker

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    Take a drink every time I say "Mario" and finish your drink every time the 'Mario' counter is wrong.

    I've taken a break from taking a break from video making to make this quick video while it was on my mind.

    PATREON: www.patreon.com/DanRoot

     

    Total War Warhammer 2 Review

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    Total War Warhammer 2 is a game I've played far too much of in my free time. Now with nothing but free time, it's time to be productive about it.

    Support the channel at: https://www.patreon.com/mandaloregaming

     

    Good Design, Bad Design Vol. 9 - The Graphic Design of Animal Crossing, Resident Evil 2, and More

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    It’s Good Design, Bad Design Vol. 9! Let’s talk about some great and some terrible graphic design in video games. Today we’re talking about bad lobby UX, UI improvements in a remake, alert fatigue and interruptions, an overhaul of a map in a different remake, and we'll check in with Tom Nook about everyone’s favorite bad menu system in a good game.

    Support Design Doc on Patreon to get early access to new episodes, and hear a behind the scenes podcast! Go Here: https://www.patreon.com/designdoc

     

    The (Controversial) History of L.A. Noire

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

    Hundreds of video games launch annually, each unique in their own right. Yet, so few stand out; fewer still prove groundbreaking enough to leave an indelible mark on the industry. In 2004, the Sydney, Australia-based Team Bondi embarked on a lengthy development journey to craft such an experience. Studio founder Brendan McNamara longed to create a game to rival the likes of Rockstar Games’s Grand Theft Auto franchise. From McNamara’s perspective, producing something so ambitious unfortunately necessitated unmitigated sacrifice.

     

    Dead Cells Developers React to Multiple Speedruns

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    Dead Cells is known for its frantic, exhilarating gameplay. Mix that with the insane abilities of the speedrunning community, and it's quite a sight to behold. Watch as three key members of the development team for Dead Cells watch and react to not just one, but two incredible playthroughs of their game from speedrunner: Evian. First, Evian blasts through the game with a completely fresh save file, then he kicks it up a notch by then completing a run on the hardest difficulty Dead Cells has to offer. Ride along with Motion Twin as Evian shows us all how it's done!

     



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