Abby Russell's Top 10 Games of 2020

5 hours 34 minutes ago
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Abby Russell is a comedian and former Content Producer with Giant Bomb. Like everyone else, she is currently riding out the pandemic and streaming regularly to twitch. You can also follow her on twitter, instagram, and YouTube.

Wow! I’m finally writing a top ten list, no longer as an employee of Giant Bomb! Somehow things feel so different and yet... exactly the fucking same. It’s probably because I get paid one million dollars a word, like usual. Wait. They AREN’T paying me to write my list this year?? Fuck!

I’m not saying anything new here, but this was such a strange year for so many reasons. And my gameplay choices were no exception. Spoiler alert! Pretty much everything listed below will have some form of multiplayer interaction in it. I think that is partially due to me not being particularly enthralled by the big-name, single player games that came out this year, and partially just because I think we all had to learn new ways to socialize.

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Abby Russell

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Casey Malone's Top 10 Games of 2020

5 hours 34 minutes ago
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Casey Malone is a professional comedian and game designer. You can follow him on Twitter.

Good riddance! Right? I don’t have anything profound or inspiring to say about 2020 here, but that seems ok. We’re all sick of talking about it. I consider myself exceptionally lucky, in that I’m safe and stable during an age of pure catastrophe, and even I’m drained thinking about the past 12 months. I mean, remember when Josh Gad became completely inescapable as soon as we went into lockdown? God knows that’s been taxing for us all.

But let’s focus on the good stuff. Did the chance of a hot person seeing the inside of my apartment this year drop to 0%? Sure, I could dwell on that. But did that free me up to finally get a gamer chair? You bet my sweet ass it did. So, for a few hundred words, here’s a list of things that brought me joy last year. Who knows, you might even be on it.

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No, A Naughty Dog Artist Didn't Leak an Unannounced Fantasy Game

5 hours 37 minutes ago
Earlier this week, fans noticed that a Naughty Dog artist had posted fantasy-medieval themed artwork that was outwardly 'inspired by a new game', leading to speculation that Naughty Dog may be working on an unannounced project in that genre. The artist has now confirmed to IGN that that is not the case, and that the artwork was inspired by Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Hyoung Nam, a senior concept artist for Naughty Dog, posted three pieces of artwork under the title "The Women of North" in November, comprising a knight sitting beside a slain dragon, a shaman-like figure with a skull headdress and staff, and a green-eyed figure wearing clothes made from animal skin and bones. The pieces were posted with a caption originally reading, "Inspire from the new game. You know what I'm talking about..." After being circulated this week, some fans and media outlets speculated that the "new game" could be an unannounced Naughty Dog project. However, speaking to IGN, Nam explained, "The illustration is not for ND's next new game," and added that this was fan art inspired by and made while the artist played Assassin's Creed Valhalla (itself released last November). Nam has now updated the caption to make clear the connection to Valhalla. While some will likely be sad – after all, a dragon-slaying, medieval-shamanic Naughty Dog fantasy game actually sounds pretty amazing – let's focus on the fact that Nam's fan art was so cool, it briefly made people imagine an entirely new game. That feels like an artistic achievement in and of itself.
Author
Joe Skrebels

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Playdead’s Next Game Is Third Person & Open-World, New Job Listing & Concept Art Reveals

5 hours 44 minutes ago

Playdead’s anticipated next game will feature a markedly different design from the critically acclaimed puzzle-platformers it’s best known for. This is according to a job listing over on the developer’s website, which was spotlighted today by enthusiast video game analyst @mauroNL.

The page lists several different full-time opportunities, from programming opportunities to technical director and systems administrator positions. But it’s actually the updated blurb that is the most interesting takeaway, which now reads in part

“Our current project is a 3rd-person science fiction adventure set in a remote corner of the universe.”

While we’ve long known that Playdead’s next project was a science fiction game following some tidbits from an older version of this particular job listing page and a brief teaser, it’s only now that we’ve discovered its design.

Speaking of concept art, there’s more on that front today, too, with two new and interesting images:

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Alex Gibson

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Jackie Welles Actor Wants In On Future Cyberpunk 2077 DLC

5 hours 50 minutes ago

Jackie Welles voice actor Jason Hightower wants to return for future Cyberpunk 2077 DLC and thinks it can happen if fans want it enough.

This article contains spoilers concerning Jackie's character. Plot-specific points are covered in a thin black stripe to avoid accidental spoiling. To read what is under the black lines, simply click on them to show the text below. 

In the first act of Cyberpunk 2077, Jackie Welles and V become close, no matter the life path chosen. While the pair's intro may change, the end result is the same: they're close friends, almost family. Unfortunately, those close ties weren't enough to save the character because an infiltration mission at the Konpeki Plaza goes awry with the same conclusion no matter the choice: Jackie will die

The actor says there is a way for his character to return in an epic way. "Listen, I don't want to be the one to say it. We could [make a] DLC upload of Jackie if you wanted," the actor told ExBee. "This is not everyone but, you know, for those who might want a little bit of Jackie in their ear while they're doing missions, there you go."

Author
Liana Ruppert

Kathy Rain: Director's Cut will revamp the adventure game

6 hours 5 minutes ago

Kathy in jail in a Kathy Rain: Director's Cut screenshot.

2016’s point ‘n’ click adventure game Kathy Rain is returning this year with a new, rebuilt, expanded Director’s Cut. Along with more puzzles and chat, it’ll have touched-up looks and bonuses like controller support. I quite liked it, as far as I can remember, and have forgotten enough that I’m game for another go when the revamp arrives later this year.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

What's Next For Among Us In 2021?

6 hours 7 minutes ago

Among Us is a charmingly simple "whodunnit" game that came out in 2018, then had a much-deserved second lease on life in the second half of 2020. Since its re-emergence, Among Us has escalated to become one of the biggest games out there, even nabbing a major Video Game Awards spotlight back in December. With a new map and plans of expansion on the way, many are wondering what's next for Among us in 2021? Luckily, the tean over at InnerSloth has some answers! 

In a recent developer update, the studio addressed a commonly asked question: What's next and why is it taking so long? While that seems a little sus and like something only a murderer would say, the studio answered regardless. While a detailed roadmap wasn't offered at this time, InnerSloth did mention that the team is back in full force following the holidays and that as a more concrete plan comes together, they will release a solid roadmap in an effort to continue being transparent with players. 

Author
Liana Ruppert

First look at Vietnam and its leader Lady Triệu in Civilization 6

6 hours 24 minutes ago

Firaxis has released a deep dive video revealing Vietnam for Civilization 6.

Vietnam, which is part of the New Frontier Pass due out 28th January, is led by Bà Triệu, also known as Triệu Thị Trinh or Lady Triệu. Bà Triệu fought against the occupation of northern Vietnam by the Wu Kingdom in the early 200s AD.

Vietnam's unique ability is Nine Dragon River Delta, which makes all land speciality districts only buildable on rainforest, marsh or woods tiles. Buildings on each type of tile receive either additional science, production or culture. This ability also allows woods to be planted with the Medieval Faires civic.

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Cyberpunk 2077 modders are massively improving player customisation

6 hours 26 minutes ago

In the world of Cyberpunk 2077, you can swap out your boring, run-of-the-mill human bones for an endoskeleton at the drop of a hat. It's so quick and painless, you won't even know it's happening. No, seriously: when you decide to install some cyberware at the Ripperdoc, almost nothing happens. The lack of a cutscene or appearance change for most of Cyberpunk 2077's cyberware has disappointed a fair number of players, myself included - and while visible changes appear with a couple of hand and arm mods, even these are fairly subtle. Where are the big red mechanical arms I was expecting? Why can't I have that NPC's robot legs?

Luckily, PC modders are here to help.

Over the last few weeks, modders on Nexus Mods have been hard at work opening up further customisation options for players, be it the ability to change your haircut and appearance mid-game, or access some of the fancy clothes normally locked to Night City's NPCs. There's even a way to get your hands on some Trauma Team gear. But the thing that excites me the most is this: modders have created several different ways for you to visibly modify your body.

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First Borderlands 3 Arms Race Mini-Event Starts Today & Other Changes

6 hours 30 minutes ago

That’s right folks, today kicks off the Clear Skies event for Arms Race in Borderlands 3. Clear Skies will last until January 28. Today’s changes to the game are in an actual update, so you will need to do some downloading as opposed to the usual wait at the main menu for the hotfixes to apply.

For those unfamiliar with Arms Race, it is a game mode new to the Borderlands series that drops the player into a large map with zero gear or player skills and they must work within the confines of the encroaching Murdercane (pretty much the same way circles work in every Battle Royale). The player must scrounge up enough loot to guarantee survival (shields are required) while working to collect the best loot they can to then beat the mode’s boss and win.

The first mini-event, Clear Skies, begins with today’s hotfixes. During the Clear Skies mini-event, all enemies will have a chance to drop better loot and the Murdercane’s circle will take longer to close in so you have precious extra time to scavenge and explore.

The list of changes to the game are:

Author
Cameron Waldrop

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Magic: The Gathering Returns to Comics in April 2021

6 hours 33 minutes ago
If you enjoy the lore and characters of Magic: The Gathering as much as the game itself, then you'll be pleased to hear the long-running franchise is returning to the comic book arena in 2021. Publisher BOOM! Studios has struck a new deal with Wizards of the Coast and parent company Hasbro to produce a new line of Magic: The Gathering comics, beginning with an ongoing monthly series simply titled Magic. Magic's creative team includes writer Jed MacKay (Black Cat), artist Ig Guara (Ghost-Spider), colorist Arianna Consonni and letterer Ed Dukeshire. You can get an exclusive first look at the covers to Magic #1 and Guara's character designs in the slideshow gallery below: [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=magic-the-gathering-returns-to-comics-in-april-2021&captions=true"] The series opens in the realm of Ravnica, whose planet-sized city is rocked by assassination attempts against three Guildmasters, Ral Zarek, Vraska, and Kaya. The trio will be forced to put aside their differences and travel to the plane of Zendikar to hunt the assassins. Boom is teasing a climactic showdown with a major Magic: The Gathering character. “Twenty-five years ago when I was digging through the commons and uncommons bin to build my first deck, I would never have thought that one day I would be handed the reins to the Magic: The Gathering comic, but here we are!” said MacKay in the publisher's press release. “I'm extremely psyched to be digging into the world of MAGIC and all that entails, and can't wait for all of you to see what we've been cooking up for you!” “It is amazing to be able to tell a story in the universe of a game I have been playing for over 20 years! I battled the Affinity deck and watched the Phyrexian take over Mirrodin,” said Guara.
Author
Jesse Schedeen

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First 4 Figures' Gravelord Nito statue has a cloak made of a hair and that just seems right

6 hours 34 minutes ago

As far as expensive-as-hell gaming statues go, First 4 Figures' take on Gravelord Nito from Dark Souls speaks to me strictly on a window-shopping level. But I love him. I love him and his "faux hair cloak."

Folks, this 27" tall statue costs $700 – and that's the early bird price, without shipping.

If you can swing it, good for you. Discounted pre-orders are open until February 3 with an expected ship date of Q1 2022. Your Dark Souls collection – which I assume you have, because who would start collecting merch with such a high-effort statue – will be all the more imposing with Nito standing tall.

For the rest of us, hey, at least he's fun to look at. It's tough to appreciate the big lug when skeletons are nipping at your heels and you really don't want to make the trek through the Tomb of Giants again.

I'll continue to appreciate First 4 Figures from a distance... with my credit card locked up tight.

First 4 Figures' Gravelord Nito statue has a cloak made of a hair and that just seems right screenshot

Author
Jordan Devore

Microsoft Flight Simulator – Greater Moncton Airport Review (Aerosoft)

6 hours 40 minutes ago

Aerosoft just released Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport (CYQM) for Microsoft Flight Simulator, developed by Stairport Sceneries.

As the busiest airport in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, CYQM offers a great mix of activities for flight simulation enthusiasts.

It hosts airliner traffic, a lot of cargo hauling. and one of the most well-known flight schools in the country for general aviation, the Moncton Flight College.

Available on Aerosoft’s own store for about €18 including VAT, it comes with its own installer as is the publisher’s standard, which means that installation is relatively painless. The package even includes a complement of relevant charts.

If you’d like to see what the airport looks like in detail in Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can check out the in-depth flyover video below, showing the airfield from every angle, every weather condition, and at night.

On the other hand, the second video below showcases an ILS approach to runway 29.

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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New Civilization VI Video Is All About Vietnam and Its Leader Bà Triệu

6 hours 42 minutes ago

Today Firaxis and 2K Games revealed a new video of the upcoming DLC package for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

We get to take a deeper look at the new civilization, Vietnam, and its leader, fiery 3rd-century national heroine Bà Triệu.

You can check the video out below.

We also hear about Vietnam’s features, its Voi Chién unique unit, and its unique district, the Thàn, and Bà Triệu’s own ability “Drive Out The Aggressors.”

More information about the DLC can also be found in yesterday’s video.

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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Here's our first look at King of Fighters 15's Meitenkun in action

6 hours 50 minutes ago

SNK has released a gameplay video for King of Fighters 15's sleepy pillow-lover Meitenkun.

The video below is much better than last week's Shun'ei gameplay, which was so packed with jump cuts it was hard to get a good idea of how the character works.

The Meitenkun gameplay, however, gives us a decent look at his moveset and combos. As in King of Fighters 14, Meitenkun is a sleepy young fighter who always holds a pillow. He's sort of like a drunken master archetype - except instead of being pissed, Meitenkun is just knackered.

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This $1000 ring lets you propose the Skyrim way

7 hours 1 minute ago

A photograph of two Ritual of Mara rings, with knotwork inspired by Skyrim's Amulet of Mara.An Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim screenshot showing an Amulet of Mara.

When you want to marry an NPC in Skyrim, you propose using an Amulet of Mara. In real life, you can now buy an official 10-karat gold ring based on the amulet’s design. For $1000, you can make your proposal hella Skyrim. I have previously heard of at least one person proposing with a custom ring based on the amulet, and one who proposed with an actual replica amulet.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Frogwares shares more on investigatory adventure Sherlock Holmes Chapter One

7 hours 3 minutes ago

Frogwares is currently beavering away on Sherlock Holmes Chapter One - the latest entry in its well-regarded deduction-focussed adventure series - and as it works toward a PlayStation, Xbox, and PC launch later this year, the developer has shed a little more light on what's in store.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, as we learned when it was announced last year, serves as a prequel to Frogwares' earlier Sherlock Holmes games, rewinding the clock to Holme's days as a fresh-faced, 21-year-old in order to chart the events that would lead him to a life of sleuthing.

Chapter One marks a deliberate shift away from the fog-shrouded London streets of previous games, with its third-person, open-world investigatory action taking place on a sunny, Mediterranean-inspired island - riddled with class divides and corruption - as Sherlock, with the help of best friend Jonathan, investigates the death of his mother.

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Get To Know The Zany Cast Of Disgaea 6 In This New Trailer

7 hours 3 minutes ago

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is coming exclusively to Switch this summer (in the west at least), and NIS released a new trailer running down the absurd cast of characters players can expect to meet. If for some reason you had any doubts Disgaea 6 would be any less silly than its predecessors, the game's colorful band of heroes should quickly dispel any reservations. 

We’ve already been acquainted with Zed, our attitudinal zombie hero(?) who can die and resurrect repeatedly, which actually raises his strength. Now players can meet Bieko, Zed’s decidedly friendlier sister, their companion Cerberus, the self-centered Princess Melodia, among others. My favorite is Piyori Nijino who is a Prism Ranger. That’s pretty much all you need to know because Prism Rangers rock, so this makes Piyori the best character by default. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Author
Marcus Stewart

Hitman 3 tech review: the Glacier Engine shines on next-gen consoles

7 hours 6 minutes ago

Traditionally, the cross-gen period - the awkward transition from one set of consoles to the next - hasn't really worked out. There's the sense that the next-gen versions aren't necessarily everything they could be, while the software served up to owners of the older consoles often verged on the unplayable. But as move from PS4 to PS5, from Xbox One to Xbox Series, it's clear that we're seeing something very different this time around. IO Interactive's Hitman 3 shows that cross-gen can actually work out just fine, and there's the feeling that prior generation consoles are being pushed closer to their ultimate limits, while simultaneously, massive gains are achieved when playing on PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Of course, Hitman 3 is a game with additional interest for us, because IO's excellent Glacier Engine has evolved, bringing impressive new features into the technology - while at the same time back-porting those innovations to the entirety of the Hitman trilogy. It's to IO's credit that with each Hitman release, and with each iteration of Glacier, existing content has been ported to the latest game, benefitting from the engine upgrades. It's doubly useful for Hitman 3 played on a next-gen console because the baseline improvements are so profound, it's effectively both a new game and a next-gen remaster of the older releases.

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Cancelled BioWare project Revolver shown in concept art

7 hours 9 minutes ago

Previously-unseen concept art from cancelled BioWare project Revolver has been posted online by artist Matt Rhodes.

Revolver, a spiritual successor to Jade Empire, was never officially announced. Bits and pieces about it surfaced over the years, before BioWare finally went into detail on the game in its recent 25th anniversary book.

Set in the near-future, the project was designed to spread BioWare's trademark narrative and character-driven efforts across a more open-world and action-heavy setting. Huh, sounds familiar.

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Apex Legends Season 8 Launch Trailer Teases New King’s Canyon in Explosive Cinematic

7 hours 12 minutes ago

A Stories From the Outlands video was released earlier this week to introduce Fuse — the newest Legend that’ll be joining the Apex Games on Feb. 2. Today’s launch trailer teases his abilities while giving a quick preview of what to expect in Apex Legends Season 8, Mayhem.

Walter “Fuse” Fitzroy makes his cinematic debut in front of the other Legends in this trailer when everything goes wrong. The ship he descends on starts to fire cannon in every direction, threatening the surrounding spectators.

Thanks to some quick thinking, Fuse is able to bring it down with the help of his golden grenade from his Story From the Outlands, which seemed to have an EMP effect.

Soon after, multiple sections of King’s Canyon start to literally explode, changing the terrain in preparation for Season 8 of Apex Legends.

Check out the chaotic Season 8 launch trailer below for yourself below to get a quick look at what’s to come next month:

Author
Ethan Anderson

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Puzzle Quest 3 announced, free-to-play coming to PC and mobile

7 hours 21 minutes ago

Puzzle Quest 3 is in development, publisher 505 Games has announced.

This is a brand new free-to-play entry in the popular puzzle-RPG franchise, and the first game released by 505 after it bought Puzzle Quest developer Infinity Plus Two. The teaser trailer is below:

According to the official blurb, Puzzle Quest 3 returns to its origins, "recalling the deep RPG mechanics and signature heroic storylines that made the original a standout hit within the Match-3 category".

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Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Gets New Screenshots Revealing God of Destruction Toppo DLC

7 hours 21 minutes ago

Today Bandai Namco revealed a new gallery of screenshots showcasing the upcoming Legendary Pack 1 DLC.

We get to see another new character included in the DLC on top of Paikuhan/Pikkon, and it’s God of Destruction Toppo.

At the same time as the DLC (which is now slated for a Spring 2021 release), a free update will bring Janemba’s CC mascot and five new Hero Colosseum figurines as follows:

  • Toppo (God of Destruction)
  • Pikkon
  • Janemba
  • Gogeta (Super Saiyan 1)
  • Vegeta (SSGSS)

You can find the screenshots below. Incidentally yes, the DLC is titled “Legendary Pack 1” which likely means that it’s not the last. That’s pretty impressive for a game that is over four years old.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is currently available for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. If you want to read more about the game, you can check out our review.

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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Resident Evil Village is out May 7 and that includes PS4 and Xbox One

7 hours 23 minutes ago

During this afternoon's Resident Evil showcase event, Capcom announced a May 7, 2021 worldwide release for Resident Evil Village. That includes not just PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, but also the getting-on-in-years PS4 and Xbox One. Capcom "worked hard" to pull off the simultaneous launch.

If you're picking up the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 versions, you'll be able to upgrade to the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S equivalent at no extra cost. A PS5-exclusive combat-free demo, Maiden, is coming today, followed by a new, "separate" demo that's hitting "all platforms" later "this spring."

"Maiden was originally designed as a visual demo that would allow you to explore the inside of Dimitrescu Castle, but it evolved to include a short story and puzzle solving," said producer Peter Fabiano. "Maiden is not the name of any person, but instead it symbolizes the protagonist, a girl who's trapped in Dimitrescu Castle." Standalone but related demos are one of my favorite parts of this series.

I'm stoked to pick up where the insanity of Resident Evil 7 left off, but with even more strangeness.

As for the new packed-in multiplayer game, Re:Verse, it's going to face an uphill battle based on the chaotic PvP footage that aired today. Jack Baker versus Leon Kennedy versus Hunk versus Nemesis in the Raccoon City Police Station sounds entertaining on paper, but making that work in practice – especially when fans would prefer Mercenaries as a side activity? – yeah, that's a hard sell. Again.

Author
Jordan Devore

Nvidia RTX 3070 vs 3060 Ti: how do they compare?

7 hours 33 minutes ago

A photo of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders EditionA photo of Zotac's Twin Edge edition of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card.

Nvidia’s new RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti GPUs may still be impossible to get hold of right now, but if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your graphics card recently and aren’t sure which one to go for when they eventually come back in stock, then you’re in the right place. To help you decide which graphics card is the right one for you, I’ve put together some handy benchmark graphs to show you exactly how they stack up in all of today’s biggest and best PC games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K.

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Author
Katharine Castle

The Electronic Wireless Show podcast episode 125: the best sneakings in games special

7 hours 34 minutes ago

Two grizzled guards looking at the player in Dishonored 2 with some alarm. They appear to have been surprised by the player, who is holding a big stabby knife

Welcome once again, gentle listener, to the Electronic Wireless Show podcast. This week’s episode demands that you tread carefully and quietly, in case you disturb Nate, or awaken the Ken Loach he has trapped in a shipping container in his garden, for we are discussing the best sneakings in games. Our favourite stealthy-me-dos.

We also bring you a long tangent about zoos, a brief discussion on the wonderful lack of complexity in the baddies in Indiana Jones, and a lot of anger at Matthew because he likes banging on the glass at aquariums because he is a monster. Nate threatens to bury him in the desert. Also, there’s all the aforementioned Ken Loach stuff, which goes on a long time. Plus, I bring you a Cavern of Lies that becomes, alas, a Cavern of Sadness.

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Author
Alice Bell

You Won’t Get a New GPU for a While. So Why Not Dig up Some of These Less Demanding, Underappreciated Games?

7 hours 34 minutes ago

Nvidia and AMD have released top-tier graphics cards for the next generation of gaming, but you can’t get them anywhere. Trump’s tariffs have raised prices even further this year. And while NVIDIA just announced yet another card—the affordable RTX 3060—I wouldn’t expect to get one of those anytime soon either. So…

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Whitson Gordon on The Inventory, shared by Gabe Carey to Kotaku

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