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  1. Allegations of hostile and unhealthy studio culture at Quantic Dream, the pitch that convinced Miyamoto to back Mario Rabbids, Awesome Games Done Quick charity sets new record, Total War Three Kingdoms announced, In Search of the First Video Game Commercial, Yume Nikki added to steam with date for potential follow up project, Breath of the Wild’s life lessons for kids, first footage of Yume Nikki follow up, the topic every game dev is talking about behind closed doors, mass Twitch spammer faces criminal charges, Examining the Spectacle of Video Games and Swatting, Sea of Thieves closed beta starting soon, game designers discuss the games of 2017 and talk about the ones that were overlooked, 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) Horizon Zero Dawn leads with ten nominations for the 21st DICE Awards Nintendo Direct Mini 1.11.2018 Nintendo Direct Mini January 2018: The 5 biggest announcements Total War: Three Kingdoms heads to ancient China later this year Former Police frontman Sting will star in Where the Water Tastes Like Wine Dream Diary, 'the next Yume Nikki project,' gets a teaser trailer and countdown site The Horror Game Developer Who Disappeared For A Decade With new enemies, new loot and mod support, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is your next big co-op game Consortium: The Tower's blend of Die Hard and Deus Ex lets you sweet talk terrorists Battalion 1944's lead explains why they're making a competitive FPS set in WW2 The World Ends With You: Final Remix Coming To Switch This Year The Aserai clans rule Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's southern deserts Seedy vampire RPG Vampyr is getting a deep-dive video series BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle launches May 31 in Japan and Asia, June 5 in North America; adds DLC character Blake Belladonna Two Point Hospital is Theme Hospital's spiritual successor, and it's out this autumn How Kratos' Axe Changes God Of War's Combat Anamorphine is a heavy adventure game about mental illness Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor—Martyr adds new map, class, single player chapter The Lord of the Rings card game will scratch your itch for more Dungeon Runs Square Enix Announces Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition Dynasty Warriors 9 teases combat, horses, scroll system in new in-game footage Dynasty Warriors 9’s English Trailer Charges Through What’s New In This Open World Sequel Scribblenauts Showdown - Announcement Trailer New Gundam Breaker Builds Its Way Westward In 2018 For PS4 New Trailer for Q.U.B.E. 2 Shows Off Some of The Game’s Environments and Puzzle Gameplay Dark Souls: Remastered confirmed for PC, release date set "There is no discount" on Dark Souls Remastered for owners of the original game Dark Souls Remastered won’t have cross-play Take a hike through Monster Hunter: World’s gorgeous, alien Coral Highlands Monster Hunter World - Rotten Vale Gameplay Monster Hunter: World producer explains PC delay Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana will come to PC at the end of the month Being a nobody is better than saving the day in historical RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance Masters of Anima Will Be Fighting Evil on Switch This Spring Death Trash is a post-apocalyptic RPG filled with profanity, gore, and puke Mario Tennis Aces arrives on Switch this spring Sea of Thieves team talk improved skeleton AI in latest developer diary Rare’s Sea Of Thieves’ Closed Beta Begins January 24, 2018 CULT HORROR GAME YUME NIKKI HITS STEAM, NEW PROJECT TEASED New SNK fighting game focuses just on the heroines The Raven Remastered release date set for March Stellaris: Apocalypse - First Look Endless Space 2 teases new content, and it looks like the return of the Vaulters faction Assassin's Creed Origins patch lands tomorrow, adds new quest and map regions RimWorld’s next version will be 1.0, creator wants to close five years of development Firaxis detail Civilization 6: Rise and Fall’s ages, loyalty, governors, and more Battlefront 2 adds new Blast map and Hero ship in latest update Battlefront II Patch Nerfs Overpowered Wookiee Warriors You can try Battlefield 1’s DLC free this week, and Prise de Tahure will be free for good PUBG Devs Publish Drop Rates For New Loot Boxes Robot Cache wants to compete with Steam - using blockchains What Is Blockchain? All this time I thought that this was the blockchain. For The First Time In 11 Years, The Japanese Console Game Market Has Grown The "Don't Forgive Nintendo" Hashtag Has Turned Into Shitposting David Cage and Quantic Dream "shocked" by allegations of unhealthy studio culture Having played all of his games to see his depictions of black people, Native Americans, women, and Chinese people in them and his interviews on his new game, Cage saying, "judge me by my work" is a really bad defense even without the rest of the quote. Update: Journalist Reportedly Blacklisted Over Quantic Dream Story Prince of Persia creator wants to bring the series back, but Ubisoft say it’s “on pause” Hideki Kamiya Imagines Devil May Cry 5 with a Full Style Change Like God of War Fortnite has over 40 million players, and has achieved 2 million concurrent users "We could be the biggest game in the western world" Report: YouTube may introduce stricter vetting process for top-tier ad channels Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 finishes with more than $2.25 million raised for charity The Best Speedruns From AGDQ 2018 Canadian Man Accused Of Mass Twitch Spamming Faces Criminal Charges The dinosaur that will save children from sexual abuse Spanish government approves $7.8 million grant for indie devs AUSTRALIAN GAME DEVELOPERS MARCH ON, GENERATING $118.5M IN SPITE OF LIMITED RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT Switch emulator announced, made by team behind Citra 3DS emulator Esports News Over 400,000 viewers tuned into the Overwatch League on its first day No Overwatch League Team Signed The Game's Most Notable Female Pro To Their Roster 'No Girls Allowed': Dissecting The Gender Divide in Overwatch League Overwatch Player Uses Doomfist To Obliterate Pharah And Mercy From Orbit My Hunt For The Mysterious Man Or Machine Controlling The Blizzard Arena's Light-Up Halo Last Night's Dallas-Seoul Game Showed How Fun Overwatch League Can Be ESL announce $50,000 PUBG Invitational at IEM Katowice Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) Breath of the Wild’s fantastic life lessons for kids We Should Take the World Health Organisation's Classification Of Gaming Disorder Seriously Keiichi Tanaka explores the history behind Nintendo’s now-legendary “MOTHER”—a tapestry woven from the words of Shigesato Itoi and the ingenuity of Satoru Iwata. Polygon’s 2017 Year in Review: video game essays from designers, authors and critics Ken Levine on Zelda and the terrifying need to demolish the old to make way for the new Playing BioShock Infinite in the age of Trump is unsettling, but not for the obvious reasons Mario + Rabbids inspired the creative director of XCOM to reevaluate the genre PUBG helped me learn to meditate Wolfenstein raises the question: When did punching Nazis become controversial? What big publishers can learn about representation from small games The minds behind Uncharted and Firewatch talk candidly about surviving in the games industry Devs answer: What were the overlooked gems of 2017? Indie developers on the trials and triumphs of making Switch games Walking Heavy is a stealth game about English gangsters that's flown under the radar The alchemy of Remedy The topic every game dev is talking about behind closed doors : The cost of doing business The 10-year making of Iconoclasts Shattered Realms Developers Talk About Bringing Fighting Game Complexity To Brawlers How InnerSpace's creators made their disorienting flying game playable Are arcade shooters really dead? In Search of the First Video Game Commercial Examining the Spectacle of Video Games and Swatting Shadowhand's creators discuss their position at the crossroad of 'core' and 'casual' games Classic Tools Retrospective: Tim Sweeney on the first version of the Unreal Editor How well does Assassin's Creed Origins capture history? We asked an Egyptologist Invisible limbs and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - the gruesome secrets of Dead Space 'Suckin Dick While My Man Plays 2K': When Video Games Meet Sex How One Of Horizon Zero Dawn’s Most Powerful Scenes Connects Aloy's Childhood With Her Future Ultima Underworld and the freedom to make bad choices Floor Kids - Rhythm and Creativity | PostMesmeric Super Mario Odyssey - It's No Masterpiece The pitch that convinced Miyamoto to back Mario Rabbids - Here's A Thing John Gonzalez on Writing Horizon Zero Dawn - Extended Interview
  2. Game: Beyond: Two Souls Age Rating: 16+ Genre: Interactive Drama, QTE(quick time events) Developer: Quantic Dream Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Game Director: David Cage Lead story writer: David Cage Played on: Playstation 3 Overview Beyond: Two Souls lets you live and experience the story of Jodie Holmes, a girl who has been linked with an entity named Aiden since the very first moment she was born. The game follows her life over a span of 15 years and lets us experience all the choices she made and the consequences she faced. STORYLINE AND CHARACTERIZATION Quantic Dream has created a reputation for itself with games like Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain. And Beyond Two Souls does a 100% job in keeping up with this reputation. Quantic Dream has always aimed at marrying gameplay with cinematic storytelling and with Beyond, it has reached a new peak. Storytelling isn’t about telling a simple story in a complicated way, but rather its the art of narrating a complicated story in a simple, elegant and beautiful way. And David Cage seems to be a master of storytelling. The story of Beyond: Two Souls is unique; its the story of a girl, Jodie Holmes, linked with an entity named Aiden, since her birth. Stories like this always risk getting too un-familiar with gamers but the story is narrated in such a smooth way that you ease into the flow without any hesitation. The storyline takes place over a span of 15 years, showing different phases of Jodie’s life which helps the player get more familiar with the character, understand her and see through her eyes. You watch her grow in front of your eyes, see her make choices and face the consequences. The storyline is vastly branched and hence every choice that you make as Jodie plays a crucial role in deciding the fate of Jodie. With almost 25 different endings, the importance of the choices you make is further amplified. And the amazing performances put forth by the star studded cast which included the likes of Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe help breathe new life into the characters. The performances by the cast are very strong; seeing them flinch and smile, cry and sulk, tear and stutter is simple wonderful. The amazing graphics further help the game to directly connect to the gamer. Coming to the characterization, the characterization in this game is very strong and detailed. Jodi Holmes is just the type of female protagonist the gaming world needed right now; strong, independent and non-stereotypical. Her personality is very defined. Not only Jodie, but each and every character has been designed carefully with a lot of detail and depth which is another plus side of this game; the side characters hold their own and aren’t over-shadowed by the dominating presence of such a strong lead character, which has been seen in many recent games like GTA V and The Last Of Us where gamers failed to appreciate the presence of the side characters due to such towering lead characters. Overall, Beyond delivers a story of a kind in a spectacular manner with characters that live and breath. GAMEPLAY Given the genre, the gameplay options are limited. Beyond: Two Souls is a heavy narrative and hence depends only on the choices that Jodie has to make. Hence the scope of gameplay variety is restricted but Quantic Dream has done a good job in making best out of literally nothing. THE GOOD QTE doesn’t always sound fun but Beyond uses QTE as its basic gameplay element and yet makes it interesting as there is a lot of variety to it. The game has a lot of gameplay than expected and the developers made sure that it doesn’t get too repetitive by allowing the player to play both as Jodie and Aiden. Further, Beyond can be played by two players, each controlling Jodie and Aiden respectively which gives a whole new split screen experience. Also, Quantic Dream found a perfect way of merging fight sequences with QTE in a spectacular and refreshing way. The game is fast paced for most of the time and it keeps you on the edge of your seat, with your fingers hovering over the buttons, waiting for the on-screen prompts to appear. Overall, the gameplay elements are very satisfying and QTE has never been more fun. Another good thing about this game is there is n ‘death’. As in you don’t die and re spawn if you don’t succeed in a mission. Instead not doing something right will affect your storyline and might result in missing whole chunks of the game. As there is no ‘death state’ , the story goes on in one way or another keeping the experience intact and immersive. THE BAD During the night sequences, the lighting doesn’t seem good enough; you can hardly see whats going on. The camera is very restricted which is frustrating at times. Also, character movement seems quite restricted and kind of breaks the immersion. The fight sequences and the slow mo sequences are cleverly designed but are really hard to get a hang of. Another low point was that, Beyond is game which plays along according to the choices you make; hence the curiosity of ‘what would happen if I had done that?’ is always there. But unfortunately, the chapters are quite long and the idea of playing through it all again ( with absolutely no chance of skipping the cutscenes) just to see a different consequence which doesn’t last more than a few minutes is very tiring and not attractive. And although Beyond boasts of a high replay value with almost as many as 25 different endings, it is not practically possible to actually play through all of them. The game is rather long and there are only a few key choices that actually affect the ending in a major way; hence the re runs end up being repetitive and boring except for a few changes here and there. It seemed like a cheap way to force the gamers to spend more time on the game than needed. To sum it up, Beyond does have a high replay value but its not appealing. GRAPHICS AND ENVIRONMENTS Beyond: Two Souls is a masterpiece, when it comes to graphics. The graphics in this game is ‘beyond’ description. The amount of detail in the characters or the environments is mind blowing and is reason enough for buying this game. Each and every freckle, every smile and every muscle twitch is shown in a very realistic, organic and detailed way. The graphics in this game do a really great job of further pushing the power of the narrative. In short words, these graphics are a treat to the eyes. The environments too, have been very carefully designed and are interactive to a very good extent. The game takes place in different locations and each environment has been perfectly designed not only to look natural and organic but also to reflect the mood of the game. MUSIC The music isn’t that great but it is isn’t boring either. You can sit through it without having to stuff you ears with cotton. FINAL VERDICT Beyond: Two Souls is an amazing game with mind blowing graphics and a very appealing and convincing storyline. The chance to decide the fate of the character through the choices we make further increases the importance of the narrative. However, the highly publicized replay value of this game is rather un-feasible which is a very big letdown given the expectations from the game. Also, the small technical inconveniences mentioned, like the cameras and character movement could have been very easily rectified. The game is highly recommended for gamers who like story driven/ narrative based games. Afterall, Beyond is more of a narrative media than a game. It is also a treat for all the ‘high quality graphics’ enthusiasts. But, gamers who enjoy the gameplay aspects of any game might not find it playable. The only reason it is a 7 and not a 9, is bcoz Beyond had a lot of replay value in it, with so many different consequences and different endings, yet it fails to entice the gamer to come back for a re run, given its quite-a-big gameplay length and repetitive gameplay elements. MY SCORE: 7/10