Articles by Heather Alexandra

kotaku core

Can we survive Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and win ourselves some chicken dinner?

Can we survive Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and win ourselves some chicken dinner? Can we survive Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and win ourselves some chicken dinner? We’re definitely going to try and you can watch right now on Twitch. [embedded content] Staff Writer at Kotaku READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotaku core

Zelda Player Builds Ridiculous Metal Block Contraption To Get NPC To Hyrule Castle

When going on a date in Hyrule, location is everything. One player decided to take the timid priestess Paya to his favorite location in the game: Hyrule Castle. After all, nothing’s more romantic than Ganon’s evil lair. Reddit user BOOXMOWO had spent countless hours drawing enemies and friendly character far away from their designated locations when they had an idea: why not bring their favorite character into the depths of Ganon’s territory. The NPC in question is Paya, the bashful Shiekah apprentice from Kakariko Village. In an extensive Imgur thread, they outline what it took to bring her all the way across the game’s huge map. The answer is boxes. Lots of boxes. Stealing twenty crates from various enemy camps, BOOXMOWO hauled them to Kakariko Village, battling off moblins and random ninja ambushes all the while. The process took seven hours. At the village, the boxes were then arranged into an elaborate series of miniature mazes that broke Paya’s AI pathfinding and slowly but surely guided her out of the town. It made for a strange sight. The journey towards Hyrule Castle proved difficult. Paya is a flighty NPC, running away at the first sign of trouble. READ FULL STORY…


We Did A Resident Evil Escape Room And It Was Awesome

Getting locked in a room causes a lot of anxiety. Getting locked in a room modeled after Resident Evil’s Spencer Mansion? That’s downright scary. The Resident Evil Escape Experience seeks to capture all the intrigue and puzzle solving from the famous horror series. I set out to solve its secrets last night and had an absolute blast. I’d never done a room escape before and I hate haunted houses. I’m a scaredy-cat through and through, but the chance to get dropped into a real life version of Resident Evil was too much to pass up. I recruited my co-worker Gita Jackson as my partner for the experience, which will be ending a four month run in New York City at the end of the month. Responsible adults that we are, we steeled ourselves for puzzle solving by drinking a bottle of wine before arriving at a darkly lit theater, where we got locked into a room. We were given forty five minutes to find a way out. Alongside three other participants, we were also accompanied by a helper posing as an Umbrella Corporation scientist. They were there to provide some light guidance and help us if anything READ FULL STORY…

Blindfolded Speedrunner Beats Super Mario World In Under Fourteen Minutes

GIF Clearing Super Mario World in just over thirteen and a half minutes is a stellar achievement no matter what. One speedrunner took it to the next level by achieving that time while wearing a blindfold. Katun24 is a speedrunner known for titles like Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. While he normally plays through these games with all of his senses, he occasionally takes up a blindfold for some extra challenge. This usually leads to very long runs—his blindfolded run through Donkey Kong Country 2 took over sixteen hours to complete. Thankfully, his blindfolded run through Super Mario World was much quicker. [embedded content] The run followed the 11 Exit route, a category that tries to beat the game as fast as possible. Katun24 leaps and slides his way through levels, all while searching out hidden exits that will bring him to the final boss fight against Bowser in the shortest amount of time. It doesn’t always go perfectly: in one underwater level, he loses his bearings and doesn’t swim high enough to avoid sinking to his death. But the run is otherwise mesmerizing. Katun34 accomplishes in a handful of minutes what would take…


Titanfall 2's latest piece of free DLC Monarch’s Reign releases on the 30th.

Titanfall 2‘s latest piece of free DLC Monarch’s Reign releases on the 30th. It will include an all new Titan, the Monarch. It is a mid-range Titan that can upgrade itself by collecting new parts on the battlefield, hopefully combining into a massive Voltron-esque doom bot. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

fractal phase

An Arcade Shooter That's Anime As Hell

GIF Meka On is a “run-and-gun-and-sword-and-weeb-and-zoom-boom-fwoosh mecha brawler” available on PC, Mac, and Linux. Players guide a giant robot through endless waves of enemies. It’s a delicious slice of arcade fun, full of explosions and laser swords. Anime as all hell, it’s a perfect Indie Pick. I have a special place in my heart for giant mechs. There’s just something about them that’s inherently cool. Meka On (stylized as メカ-ON!) doubles down on the mystique and excitement of giant mech combat, streamlining it into a satisfying twin stick experience. Armed with a sword and blasty laser cannon, all you have to do is survive as long as possible. Waves grow larger and larger, and there’s even a dangerous and adorable boss bunny to defeat. GIF Meka On is a prototype, but it exudes a lot of style. Fractal Phase also designed another Indie Pick, the flashy arcade flight game Sky Rogue. Meka On follows a very similar road map: take something cool (planes in Sky Rogue, robots here), create a solid core gameplay loop, and add a bit of charming flair. Fractal Phase excels at capturing a clear feeling of time and READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

act3 games

God Of War 3 Art Director Surprise-Releases Indie Narrative Game

The Fidelio Incident is a narrative game, out now on PC, designed by former God of War 3 art director Ken Feldman and the team at Act3 Games. With a gorgeous game world and genuine sense of mystery, it manages to tell a compelling story, but it works a bit too hard to impress. The Fidelio Incident is about a man named Stanley, who is involved in a plane crash that leaves him and his wife Leonore stranded on separate sides of a mysterious island. Stanley sets off to rescue Leonore, kicking off a struggle that mixes survival narratives with magical realism and even hints of crime drama. Strong world design is the glue that holds The Fidelio Incident together. The barren island’s windswept tundras and furious hail make for one of most oppressively hostile game worlds I’ve ever navigated. The world is gorgeous but deadly. Players trudge up massive ridges, rushing from heat source to heat source so they don’t freeze. Large ice lakes demand careful steps lest they crack and shatter. The cold and the challenging environment limits the amount of exploring that can be done, but the constant threat of cold makes this limitation READ FULL STORY…


Battlefield 1 DLC Adds Female Soldiers

Battlefield 1‘s upcoming DLC In The Name Of The Tsar will open up the Eastern Front with the addition of the Russian Army. In doing so, it will bring an underrepresented group to the battlefield: women. Who will kick your ass. In a tweet yesterday, the official Battlefield Twitter account confirmed that the Russian Army’s scout class would be represented by members of the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death. The Women’s Battalion was initially formed as a propaganda initiative to raise morale. They were commanded by Maria Leontievna Bochkareva and fought most prominently during the Kerensky Offensive, Russia’s final offensive campaign of the Great War. With an estimated 6,000 Russian women combatants in World War One, their addition to the multiplayer campaign makes sense in spite of commenters who object to their historical immersion being broken. Advertisement “[You’re] kidding me,” one Twitter poster said. “Barely any women fought.” Adding women soldiers fits with Battlefield 1’s tone, which included a single player campaign featuring African American soldiers from the Harlem Hellfighters infantry regiment, a woman Bedouin protagonist, and soldiers from various fronts across the world. World War One was, as the READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Players Are Turning Battlegrounds Into A Zombie Nightmare

GIF In Battlegrounds, players engage in a battle royale where they must scavenge weapons and gear, sneaking around to kill each other until only one of them is left standing. A new community-created game mode, popular with streamers, pits one squad against countless ravenous zombies for that turns the tactical shooter into a full- blown horror game. In “Zombie mode,” four players team up to fight an entire server that’s completely unified against them. Everyone else pretends to be a raving zombie, often , armed with nothing but crowbars, machetes, frying pans, and their fists. Zombies do not sneak, like a normal player would: they rush down on the squad by the dozens in a frenzy. Squads, meanwhile, arm themselves with whatever scavenged goods they find in an attempt to fend off the horde. The result is a terrifying bloodbath, as you can see in this video by jackfrags. Jackfrags is not alone in showcasing the new mode. Streamers like StoneMountain and PsiSyn has also managed to pull off massive zombie hunts. The sheer spectacle of a zombie match initially seems at odds with Battlegrounds’ overall tone. The game tends to eschew constant streams of violence READ FULL STORY AT…


Tips For Playing Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is the newest installment in the popular tactics game series. Whether you’re a fresh faced rookie or a war weary strategist, there’s a few things you should know if you want to conquer the battlefield. Choose Your Difficulty Level Wisely You can pick one of two difficulty levels as well as play with or without permadeath. I recommend hard mode, which ups the stakes a little bit. Fire Emblem Echoes is already a tricky game but the added difficulty makes for far more interesting battles. It’s Okay To Play In Casual Mode One of Fire Emblem’s big hooks is that allies that die on the battlefield stay dead. This is my preferred way to play and I highly recommend it. If that seems a bit daunting though, it’s perfectly fine to play in Casual Mode, where your units simply retreat. Choose what’s most fun for you and your personal tastes. The important thing is to enjoy yourself. Don’t Forget About Mila’s Turnwheel No matter what mode and difficulty you are playing on, you will have access to Mila’s Turnwheel. This magical item allows you to rewind your actions if you make READ FULL STORY…

dark souls

The Surge Is Like Dark Souls Except You Can Dismember Everyone

GIF The Surge is a futuristic action game in the vein of Dark Souls that pits players against a host of robots and power-suit-wearing goons. It’s fun to bash on zombies but even better to cut their limbs off to steal their loot. Item acquisition in Souls-like titles tends to be abstract. You wail on a zombie or demon for a bit and if you’re lucky, they drop a shiny pick-up that could be any number of things. It’s a dice roll whether get a new weapon or not. In Dark Souls, the small, ethereal bag of loot that falls to the ground is mysterious. In the Souls-ish Nioh, the colorful burst of multicolored drops feels in tone with the game’s energy. But The Surge (out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC) takes another route that might be the best attempt yet at making loot feel meaningful. In The Surge, you have the ability to focus attacks on certain body parts. Continue to attack a specific limb and you can trigger a powerful finishing move to slice them off your foes. It’s more than an exciting bit of blood and mayhem; it’s also how you READ FULL STORY AT…

kotaku core

Red Dead Redemption Is All About Failure

Red Dead Redemption released seven years ago today and remains a triumph. The tale of John Marston’s failure might be Rockstar’s finest story. SPOILERS AHEAD A spiritual sequel to 2004 shooter Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption traded curated levels for a vast open world. The wild west setting was distinct, full of warm sunlight and boundless plains that made it exciting to navigate. But it wasn’t the gunfights, the horses, or the various side activities that made the game great. It was the story itself. Seeking to rescue his wife and son from the clutches of the government, former outlaw John Marston sets out to take down members of his old gang. The first thing he does is get shot right in the chest as he tries to negotiate their surrender to the government. Advertisement It’s a moment that sets the tone for the entire game. Red Dead Redemption often appears humorous and bombastic but the core is somber. Its people are fragile, protagonist flawed, and world ruled by failure. Nothing lasts and Red Dead Redemption’s strength comes in the acknowledgement of that fact. It starts when John hunts down a READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

heathers indie pick

A Platformer That Leapt Out Of A Sketchbook

GIF 2 is an experimental platformer by hubol that seeks to combine curiosity and platforming. Full of wild visuals, tense boss fights, and cute mini-games, it’s a playful experience that’s a perfect choice for this week’s Indie Pick. One of the things I appreciate most about 2 is the scope. There’s a genuine sense of adventure that is heightened by the fact that the game has plenty of rooms to explore and collectables to find. It would be very easy to limit players to a series of completely linear challenges but 2 often has splitting paths. Missing a jump isn’t that big a deal in 2. You might miss screw up only to find that a pit is not a death trap but actually a new space to explore. It is a game about discovery and surprise. There’s no need to worry about peak performance when mistakes unlock as many new challenges as success. Advertisement This freewheeling sense of level design marries well with a audio and visual design that turns the world into something resembling the wild, crayon-drawn worlds that leap from children’s imagination. I’m always a fan of READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotaku core

Phantom Dust Is Still A Great Time (And Totally Free)

Phantom Dust is a 2004 action game that mixes Magic the Gathering deck building and frantic arena brawling. A free remaster was released yesterday for Windows 10 and Xbox One. Heather and Chris collect magic spells and slash their way to a few victories in this archived stream. Advertisement Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Phantom Dust straddles a line between punk aesthetics and magical fantasy. While the game does offer a single player mode, the big draw is multiplayer. Players can face off to hurl magic at each other in team battles or free-for-alls. Phantom Dust is strange to play. Various orbs dot the battlegrounds. Collecting these orbs grants abilities with distinct effects. You much pick up magic to conjure a fiery sword or erect an iron barrier to block incoming attacks. Each ability costs “aura” which can be obtained by picking up white orbs. You need to move quickly to grab what you need. Advertisement The catch is that you only have four ability slots and picking up a new ability or aura orb means overwriting at least one of your current spells. Matches are all about READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!