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Hayden Dingman

In Tyranny, It's Good To Be Evil

Hands-on with Tyranny's early hours

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2 years ago

Feature: Hands-on with Tyranny's early hours

In Tyranny, It’s Good To Be Evil

Evil in Tyranny [official site] is so ordinary. That’s why it's successful, I think. In a medium prone to cartoonish overexaggeration, where villains are barely more than mustache-twirling caricatures, Tyranny tells a bleaker story. It’s the evil of numbers, the evil of tax collectors and bureaucracies and negligence and “I was just following orders.” A real-world sort of evil. The type that’s much harder to…

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3 years ago

Feature: Wave your Boba Fett fists in the air.

A First Look At Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries

When last we left Galactic Civilizations III [official site], our very own Space General Adam Smith had looked out upon the twinkly stars of the heavens and proclaimed (paraphrasing), "It's good, but in need of a few expansions, maybe." And nobody defies the demands of a Space General. Which is to say Stardock just announced the game's first meaty expansion, Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries.

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Overwatch Beta Returning In February With New Mode

It's been forty-odd days since the Overwatch [official site] closed beta went offline. Forty-odd days in the desert, is more like it. While Blizzard is off "addressing player feedback" and "adjusting the balance," we're all stuck playing games that have actually released. Boring. And if you've been frothing at the mouth waiting for Overwatch's return, you'll have to tap your foot a bit longer: the…

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Heroes Of The Storm Adding Two Diablo Spellcasters

At some point, one has to wonder how many heroes could possibly be hidden inside a single tempest. I'm no meteorologist, but my suspension of disbelief is starting to strain here. Case in point: Blizzard announced two new characters for Heroes of the Storm [official site] this week, both lifted from the Diablo universe—Li-Ming the Wizard and Xul the Necromancer. They'll bring the Heroes roster…

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Undertale’s Patch Is Full of Secrets

For most games, patch notes that read "Updated on Steam to fix bugs and increase compatibility" would be a nonstarter. Ignorable. Useless. But Undertale [official site] is not most games. More importantly, Undertale's community is not like most communities. And thus Undertale's Patch 1.001 bug fixes and increased compatibilities have been picked apart over the last couple days to reveal secret spaghetti or other such…

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Sven Co-Op Now Free Standalone, Including Half-Life

Here's a bit of nostalgia for you: Sven Co-op [official site] is now on Steam. The seventeen-year-old Half-Life mod is available as a free standalone game, and—thanks to a fair bit of generosity on Valve's part—includes all of the Half-Life campaign maps. For free. That means you can head to Steam, download the game, and start playing co-op Half-Life right now. Again, for free. No…

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Payday 2 And Goat Simulator Swap Goofy Crossover DLC

Checks calendar. Okay, it's not April 1. Checks Steam. There's definitely a store page for it. I guess this is really happening. The latest Payday 2 [official site] heist is themed around...Goat Simulator. And the latest Goat Simulator [official site] DLC is themed around... Payday 2.

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Fallout 4 Mod Adds Nuclear Winter (And Other Seasons)

If patrolling South Boston almost makes you wish for nuclear winter, you're in luck—now there's a mod for that. More specifically, there's a mod to add every season to Fallout 4 [official site]. The verdant greens of spring. The warm touch of summer sunlight. The vibrant oranges of a New England autumn. And the absolute hellhole that is Boston in winter. They're all here, in…

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The Ice-Bound Concordance Is Part-Game, Part-Book

Interactive fiction has a time-honored tradition of turning boring ol' books into video games (See: Hitchhiker's Guide, Sorcery!, The Hobbit) but Ice-Bound Concordance [official site] might be the first I'm aware of to try and go the other direction and sell you one of those boring ol' books. Co-created by Aaron Reed, of Blue Lacuna fame (or fame within IF circles at least), Ice-Bound Concordance…

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Hitman Kills Full Release, Goes Fully-Episodic Instead

What is going on with Hitman [official site]? First the next outing of everyone's favorite bald assassin was pitched as a full-priced game, then some sort of full-priced/episodic hybrid, and now Square Enix announce that the new Hitman will be "fully episodic." Time to put a big ol' asterisk next to that March 11 release date.

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American Truck Simulator Gets A New Tractor-Trailer

There I was, sitting on a beach sipping a strawberry daiquiri, slowly turning my blindingly pale body to a shade befitting a sun god, when I got the call. It was Graham. "Hayden, please: We need you to come out of retirement," he said. "There's a new-ish trailer for American Truck Simulator [official site] but none of us have known how to write it up."…

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Risk of Rain Team Return With Deadbolt

When we first looked at Deadbolt [official-ish site] last year, we called the freebie "a side-scrolling version of Hotline Miami with bits of Gunpoint thrown in." A year's worth of gaming later, I'd toss Not A Hero into that comparison. Since then, developers Hopoo Games - the folks also behind Risk of Rain - have worked on expanding it into a full commercial release. Now…

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Old-School Runescape Adds Brand New Continent

Oh, Runescape. It seems like just yesterday someone lured me into your wilderness, stabbed me in the back, and took all my stuff. [Looks at calendar] Aaaaand damn it. It's been over a decade. But don't get all "Dust in the Wind" on me yet. To celebrate the game's fifteenth anniversary, Old-School Runescape (a.k.a. 2007scape) [official site] is getting a brand new continent, and the…

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Twitch Played Punch Club And Got A Girlfriend

First Twitch mastered Pokemon. Then Twitch mastered Halo. Then Twitch played and eventually (sort-of) mastered Dark Souls. With each step, each new game, the global AI known as "Twitch" learned more about humanity until in 2026 Twitch chat controlled all of the world's major elections and the global economy. But first, a bunch of them came together to get Punch Club [official site] released two…

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Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak’s First Story Trailer

Imagine you live on a planet that's entirely desert. Maybe it's Tatooine. Maybe it's Arrakis. Maybe Abydos or Korriban or Kharak. You wake up every morning. It's a million degrees. You wasted all day yesterday in Toschi Station picking up power convertors, so your moisture vaporator is on the fritz. Imagine how damn thirsty you'd be. That's about how thirsty I am for Homeworld: Deserts…

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Rainbow Six Siege Patch 1.2 Addresses Tick Rate Issue

I've been having a rollicking good time with Ubisoft's cops-versus-other-cops game Rainbow Six Siege [official site] over the past few weeks, but if you were to take a cross-section of random internet people's opinions you might think I was the only one having fun. Complaints, complaints, complaints, as far as the eye can see, and all centered around one stat: tick rate. Well you can…

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Mafia III, Doom, Homefront Release Dates Leaked

The year 2016 is slowly spinning up and retailers just can't wait to tell you when you'll be able to give them $60 for video games. Amazon France, Best Buy, Target—they care not a whit for carefully-crafted marketing plans or poorly-kept secrets. Which is to say the release dates for Doom [official site], Homefront: The Revolution [official site], and Mafia 3 [official site] maybe (probably)…

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Rainbow Six Siege Adds “Open Beta” Before Launch

Stretching the definition of "beta" about as thin as can be, Ubisoft just announced a so-called "open beta" for Rainbow Six Siege [official site] starting Wednesday, November 25. You know, six days before the actual release. That's likely not enough time to fix anything with the game if something's found to be broken. But it is a perfect opportunity for you to try the game,…

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