Articles by Chloi Rad

5 Changes E3 Desperately Needs to Make in 2018

E3 needs to be comfortable, safe, and fun for public and industry attendees alike. By Chloi Rad E3 opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 23-year run last week. Gamers who had only dreamed of attending the massive trade show event could finally walk the show floor themselves, be among the first in the world to demo the biggest upcoming games, and maybe even meet a few of their heroes. While there’s no doubt many first-time attendees had fun, a lot of them also had to face some of the Electronic Entertainment Expo’s less glamorous realities: absurdly long lines, overwhelming crowds, overpriced food, the awful heat, the utter lack of places to sit and rest, terrible swag, and this year, something relatively new — the feeling that no one was really prepared for their arrival. The spike in attendance lead to problems that event organizers were clearly not prepared for. Game developers, publishers, press, and PR who have to attend E3 as part of their jobs were wary of the problems that an extra 15,000 people could bring to the event, and for the most part, they weren’t wrong. Unlike last year’s crowd of 50,300,…

GAMING NEWS

Metal Gear Survive Doesn't Understand the Series' Strengths

“Survival action” and zombies replace tactics and espionage. By Chloi Rad No one really asked for Metal Gear Survive. The base-building, wave-based co-op survival game is a major departure from the tactical espionage action that has earned the series such critical acclaim over the years, and without a riveting story directed by Hideo Kojima and team’s unique brand of weird, it just doesn’t feel right. But even with my fangirl gripes, my 30 minute session with this odd spin-off’s four-player co-op wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be — it just wasn’t very interesting. This admittedly early build still felt a little unbalanced and stiff, but the squad dynamic and loadout customization have the potential to create some fun multiplayer moments. I just can’t shake the feeling that other Metal Gear games, including Metal Gear Online, have already nailed most of these same elements, but better. Metal Gear Survive suffers from an identity crisis. Metal Gear Survive’s story wasn’t featured prominently in our demo, but it might be important to understand the context of why you’re building bases and shooting zombies. Immediately after the events of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, a wormhole READ FULL STORY AT…

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7 Games Like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Whether they’re as good as PUBG is up to you… By Chloi Rad PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has found massive success since it hit Steam Early Access on March 23. While the concept of a battle royale isn’t new, Battlegrounds’ refined, no-nonsense approach to the free-for-all, last-player-standing-style survival shooter has earned it immense fame and fortune among enthusiasts of the genre. But this Arma mod-turned-standalone isn’t the only option for survival game fans looking to pit their skills against others. Several mods and standalone games have come before and after (some even made by the creator himself), though how active each community is varies from game to game. Whether you’re new to the genre, a huge Battle Royale fan curious about the rest of the genre, or simply don’t like PlayerUnknown’s approach and want an alternative, here are seven games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. DayZ: Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battle Royale Interested in seeing where it all started? Before Brendan Greene was making bank on Battlegrounds, he was known as the lead designer on DayZ: Battle Royale, an Arma 2 mod for the popular open-world survival mod DayZ. After DayZ went standalone in December 2013, Greene began work on PlayerUnknown’s Battle READ FULL…

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1,000 Game Developers You've Probably Never Heard Of

Gaming has gotten bigger, but it’s never abandoned its small, weird, freeware roots. By Chloi Rad The best games are trash. That’s what Steve Cook, the man behind an ongoing effort to compile 1,000 video game makers into a single Twitter thread, believes. Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry, but the medium’s reach goes beyond the mechanical workings of gaming as a business. Before popular military shooters were launching massive annual sequels and big-budget franchises were getting even bigger-budget movie adaptations, video games were small, new, weird digital treasures shared on internet bulletin boards and floppy disks. Video games used to be “punk” — and, if you know where to look, they still are. I enjoy getting lost in things and contemplating what the **** I just played. Cook, who goes by moshboy online, has dedicated his time over the years to curating “trashgames,” an effort he describes to me as “wandering through old abandoned ruins, looking for things that other people somehow missed.” His use of the term “trashgame” is one of endearment — an unconditional acceptance of a side of gaming the mainstream neglects and discards. To me, it also feels like a READ FULL STORY AT…

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Early Access Review

Share. A shooter that’s as invested in creating a smart, nuanced survival experience as it is fun, action-packed combat. By Chloi Rad Even though PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is still in Early Access, it’s already a groundbreaking online shooter. Each game starts the same way, but its remarkable ability to feel like a fresh new adventure every round has kept me coming back for hours on end. It manages to approach the Battle Royale-style death match made popular by games like DayZ with relative simplicity, without sacrificing the essence of the hardcore survival sim, creating a tight, focused, and no-frills experience that places it leagues above the competition. Battlegrounds wastes no time putting you right in the middle of the action, as up to 100 players join a server and pick their moment to jump out of a plane and parachute onto a large 8×8 km island. Even this first act is a critical decision and must be part of your strategy: jumping early lets you hit the ground first, giving you a jump on the competition, but may also place you farther from the center of the arena where the fighting must inevitably funnel towards. Jumping late might give you some…

Nioh Review in Progress

So far, a consistently engaging action RPG with smart combat and impressive bosses. By Chloi Rad Nioh owes a lot to Dark Souls. You hear that phrase a lot these days, but in this case, it’s more accurate than usual — from its demanding but rewarding combat to its labyrinthine levels full of thrilling danger and secrets, the influence of FromSoftware’s action RPG series undeniably forms the foundation for Team Ninja’s latest endeavor. But Nioh also boldly carves out its own space in the genre, asserting its unique identity with a gracefully layered combat system that allows for just enough customization to determine your own style while still adhering to the interesting constraints of its stamina-based framework. A welcoming variety of foes to face, clever bosses to take down, problems to solve, and secrets to find makes every step in Nioh’s long journey consistently fresh and surprising. Even at 30 hours in, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what Nioh has to offer, namely its online features, challenging Twilight missions, and of course, the remainder of its campaign — an amusingly strange tale of a Westerner caught in the midst of warring clans and supernatural threats in…

GAMING NEWS

Everything You Need to Know About the Nintendo Switch

The Switch will hit stores on March 3, 2017 at $299.99 USD. By Chloi Rad The Nintendo Switch conference gave us plenty of new information about Nintendo’s upcoming system, as well as first- and third-party games headed to the platform. Here’s everything that was announced at the Nintendo Switch event. Nintendo Switch Price, Release Date, Specs, and More A release date and price for the Nintendo Switch were finally announced. The Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3, 2017 simultaneously in Japan, the US, Canada, “major European countries,” Hong Kong, and “other territories” at a suggested retail price of $299.99 USD. (That’s 29,980 yen, if you care!) Besides the Nintendo Switch console itself, the system comes with the L and R Joy-Con controllers, Joy-Con wrist straps, the Joy-Con grip, the Nintendo Switch dock, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. There is one model with gray controllers, and another model with one neon red and one neon blue, which will be the same suggested retail price. The Pro controller is sold separately. Check out our Nintendo Switch pre-order guide for everything you need to know to secure your Nintendo Switch early. The Switch has 32GB of internal READ FULL STORY…

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Battlefield 1 Review in Progress

Share. The crude, archaic charm of World War I’s weaponry lends unique personality to Battlefield’s already strong first-person shooting. By Chloi Rad Battlefield 1’s formula for large-scale, objective-driven warfare is as intense and theatrical as ever against the haunting, archaic backdrop of World War I. Its single-player campaign is a pleasantly surprising anthology of small, human stories that do a good job capturing the tone of the era and showcasing some of its most iconic weaponry and vehicles. But it’s the exhilarating multiplayer that most strongly capitalizes on the potential of this old-school arsenal, bringing a number of subtle changes that keep the combat balanced and smart while still allowing for the hallmark chaos that makes Battlefield such a fantastic first-person shooter series. The Battlefield series has not been known for the quality of its single-player campaigns in recent years, but Battlefield 1’s campaign is a pleasant surprise. Its objectives are simple, but it still does a good job of showcasing some of the era’s most iconic weaponry and vehicles. “ Battlefield 1 is interested in telling the human stories of World War I. Rather than restricting itself to one time, place, and character, Battlefield 1’s vignette-style approach to single-player…

GAMING NEWS

Battlefield 1: Everything You Need to Know

From October 2014 to now. By Chloi Rad Battlefield 1 was officially announced this May, meeting many fans’ anticipation for a large-scale military FPS set in the under-explored setting of World War I. In the five months since its reveal, EA and DICE have revealed more about its multiplayer, given fans a chance to sample some of its launch maps and game modes, and even given us some glimpses at its interesting new spin on single player. With the highly-anticipated shooter on the way later this month, we decided to round up all the Battlefield 1 news, trailers, previews, and clips we’ve published so far to tell the story of Battlefield 1 up until now. Here’s everything you need to know about Battlefield 1. A New Battlefield: Early Speculation and News Back in October 2014, CEO Andrew Wilson said the “next entry” in the Battlefield franchise would arrive in late 2016 — one of the earliest official mentions of what was, at the time, referred to as Battlefield 5 by both fans and analysts. A month later in November 2014, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen announced that the new Battlefield would return to its military roots after Battlefield Hardline’s focus on…

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Thumper Review

Share. An abstract horror game couched in the intensity of rhythm action. By Chloi Rad Thumper is one of those game that stays in your head long after you’ve put it down. It’s a horror game disguised as rhythm action, a high-speed trip through an abstract hell full of imaginative cosmic entities and set to the beat of a sinister orchestral score. Its surprisingly sophisticated one-button control scheme makes it invitingly accessible while still allowing for a ton of tricky, precision-based maneuvers, and it’s all executed with intense physical brutality and speed that adds an exhilarating violence to your every action. Thumper manages to do a lot with very little input, making it both extremely easy to pick up and difficult to master. This is a tempting combination that demands replaying, in part because of how nuanced the rhythm-based gameplay becomes later on. The first level does a fine job introducing you to the most basic mechanics, which lay the groundwork for the gradually intensifying and increasingly interesting layers of obstacles that build up over each of its nine stages. Using a DualShock 4, you tap X to make your little chrome space beetle press, or “thump,” glowing rectangles on…