September 2020

Here's Why You Should Play Mass Effect Legendary Edition

4 months ago

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With the Mass Effect Legendary Edition just around the corner, longtime fans are finally getting their chance to play a more optimized Mass Effect experience on modern consoles. Being a massive Mass Effect fan myself, I've had more than a few people reach out wondering if the remaster would be a good reason to jump into the franchise for the first time. My answer? Heck-to-the-YES, here's why. 

A little backstory: I've been gaming for over 30 years and enjoy all sorts of genres and tales. From full-fledged single-player narratives to just shooting a few rounds in Battlefield, gaming is my life and I've experienced some amazing adventures out there. That being said, no franchise has made quite the impact on me that the Mass Effect series has and a big part of that is due to the incredible craftsmanship of the story and Commander Shepard's legacy. 

Liana Ruppert

Mod Corner: Top Most Hilarious Fallout Mods

4 months 3 weeks ago

Now that the news is official that Microsoft has acquired Bethesda, we figured this would be the perfect topic to discuss for our latest mods recommendation list! With our previous recommendation list talking about how to bring Dragon Age into Skyrim, we're now going to share some of our most hilarious picks for mods that make us chuckle in Fallout! 

When in doubt, go Taylor Swift

I don't think that's an actual saying, but it's the perfect prelude to this mod that honestly does nothing important but I love it anyway. I'm not even a Taylor Swift fan, but the idea of roaming the Wastleland with a Barbie pink Pipboy with a giant Taylor Swift face on it just brings me an uncomfortable amount of joy. 

This mod is for Fallout 4 on PC. As far as I know, it's not available on console but I have played with it on PC and it is glorious. 

You're welcome, and you can get it here

Liana Ruppert

Why You Need To Play Nier: Automata

5 months ago

In 2017, we saw the release of blockbuster titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn. Because of this, Nier: Automata flew under my radar. Nevertheless, last spring (2020) was the perfect time for me to finally traverse Automata’s desolate and beautiful open world. If someone had told me four years ago that Platinum Games’ thought-provoking action/RPG would play a large role in influencing my decision to pursue a master’s degree in game design, I wouldn't have believed them. And yet, here I am – back in school, and discovering all the ways Automata continues to influence my creative process.

Jason Guisao

Every Playable Character In Marvel's Avengers

5 months 4 weeks ago

If we've learned anything from Marvel's comics and cinematic universe, it's that the world is always expanding. New villains are always emerging and new heroes are always swooping in to stop them. Crystal Dynamics is taking this same approach with its game starring Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Marvel's Avengers launched with six playable characters, but that's far from all the heroes we'll be able to take control of when it's all said and done. Crystal Dynamics has said that all playable characters will be added at no additional cost, but additional upgrades for those characters could cost money.

Check out all the characters you can play as in Marvel's Avengers, as well as all the heroes still to come.

Ms. Marvel

Following a disaster in the opening of the game, Kamala Khan discovers new powers that allow her to grow and stretch her body in ways that help her fend off enemies and traverse the environment in unique ways. As the main character of Marvel's Avengers, her goal is to reassemble the outlawed hero team to once again save the world.

Brian Shea

Mod Corner: Dragon Age Invades Skyrim With These BioWare-Inspired Mods

6 months ago

If you're like me, the wait for Dragon Age 4 is pretty unbearable. We have justice that needs to be seen with a certain egg and taking on Tevinter is mighty enticing. While we still have a nice little wait time before we get a DA4 launch date, we figured these Dragon Age mods for Skyrim might help pass the time. 

Bethesda sure does know how to make moddable games. Both Skyrim and Fallout have arguably the biggest mod libraries out there. With so many, it's easy to find a few Dragon Age-inspired ones that take us back into the world of Thedas while not leaving Tamriel, and here are a few of my personal favorites as a massive PC gamer. 


Fenris is the broody elf that escaped slave life in Tevinter and became a loyal follower of Hawke in Dragon Age 2. Though rough at first, he eventually became one of my favorite elves in the entire Dragon Age franchise, which is why this Fenris Follower mod is a must-have in my book. 

"Fenris, a former slave in Morrowind, served the House Dres for most of his youth. His Dunmer masters forced him to endure a Daedric ritual which resulted in the unique magic markings on his skin. One day he was finally able to escape, and he ended up in Skyrim."

Liana Ruppert

Ranking Every Game In The Super Mario Series

6 months ago

With the Super Mario series celebrating its 35th anniversary, Nintendo has been particularly nostalgic, announcing Super Mario 3D All-Stars, as well as other Super Mario-related announcements and merchandise to help ring in the major milestone for its flagship franchise.

In the first 35 years of the Super Mario series, Mario and his friends appeared in hundreds of titles, but in the core “Super Mario” series, the plumber was present in just under 20 titles. Since Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker 2 are such a unique experiences that are more along the lines of a creation toolset than an actual game, we decided to leave them off of the list.

Even so, the Super Mario series doesn’t have a bad entry to date, so this list proved difficult to put together in an order we all felt comfortable with. In 2018, we ranked the top 300 games of all time in our 300th issue. While that list was more about ranking games in terms of quality, importance to the industry, and cultural relevance, this list is just about our favorite games. So check out our rankings of the first 19 Super Mario games below!

Brian Shea

Epic Games vs Apple Legal Battle to Head to In-Person Trial in May

6 months 2 weeks ago
Update 03/02/2021: Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has now set a May 3 in-person trial date for the Epic vs. Apple case. As reported by MacRumors, lawyers for both sides took part in a management conference with the judge, who plans to have all possible witnesses appear in-person in the Northern California court (with health considerations taken into account for those who cannot travel). The move has been deemed important enough that it should be heard in person. "When someone walks into the United States courthouse through courthouse doors and they sit on the stand and raise their right hand, it gives them pause," Judge Gonzalez Rogers said, per Law360. "That's really different than sitting in the comfort of your house or comfort of your office, and cross-examination is different." Judge Gonzalez Rogershas stressed that health precautions will be taken in the courtroom, with details to be finalised in the run-up to May 3. "We're still working on precise format. Worst-case scenario is a full bench trial by Zoom, but it will happen," she said. [ignvideo url=""] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Update 11/11/2020: The judge presiding over the Epic Games vs.
Matt Purslow


Out Friday: Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury and New Amiibo

7 months 1 week ago
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is coming to Nintendo Switch on February 12, 2021 (see it on Amazon). It includes the full original Wii U game from 2013, plus a new expansion called Bowser's Fury. You can check out our Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury review to see what to expect from the package. In any case, it's up for preorder now. Also available for preorder are two new amiibo (Cat Mario and Cat Peach) and two re-issued Super Smash Bros. amiibo (Bowser and Bowser Jr.). These unlock special activations when scanned while playing the game.

Preorder Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

mario As usual with Nintendo games, the standard edition is all that's available. No special editions or preorder bonuses have been announced. If they are in the future, I'll add them here.
Chris Reed


Best LMG in Warzone: a guide to LMGs in Call Of Duty: Warzone

8 months ago

Best LMG in Warzone Season 6

The best LMGs in Warzone offer a very special collection of traits that few other weapons can match. High DPS and large magazines allow you to drop entire teams quickly, while the excellent damage dropoff values and low recoil of certain LMGs give you an extremely potent answer to long-range encounters. And now, there’s a new player in the field – the eminently customisable FiNN LMG.

Our Best LMG in Warzone guide will not only walk you through the stats of each LMG, but also discuss the place of each LMG in the current Warzone meta, and answer the question: is the FiNN the new best LMG in Warzone?

This guide was written by Ollie Toms and James Law.



Best AS VAL loadout and class setup in Warzone – plus in-depth AS VAL stats

8 months 1 week ago

Best AS VAL Warzone Loadout header

A new Assault Rifle seems to be pretty much par for the course at this point, with the AS VAL being the 13th, by my estimation. Still, the Warzone team are finding interesting things to do with the gun class, and the AS VAL is a solid addition to the pantheon. With its integral suppressor a default part of the gun’s kit, our in-depth AS VAL loadout guide will help you make the most of the rest of the weapon’s attachment slots.


James Law

Every New Monster Confirmed for Monster Hunter Rise, so Far

9 months ago

During a Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase today (or should I say Monster Hunter direct), Capcom unveiled a brand-new Monster Hunter title exclusively for the Nintendo Switch called Monster Hunter Rise.

It features similar action-RPG gameplay that MH fans will feel familiar with but thanks to the new Wirebug mechanic, players will be able to pull themselves toward objects for fast traversal and it can even be used to pull off combos during monster encounters.

Rise will also have brand-new monsters added to the game as well as many fan-favorites from past titles. Here are the monsters confirmed so far for Monster Hunter Rise.

Greysun Morales


Out Today: Immortals Fenyx Rising is $49.94 on Console

9 months 1 week ago
Immortals Fenyx Rising is now available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. And good news for console owners: the game is on sale for $49.94 at Amazon and Walmart. Even if you don't have a next-gen system yet, rest assured that owners of the PS4 or Xbox One version get a free next-gen upgrade within the same console family. The game, which is clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is set in a colorful world filled with Greek mythology. Typhon, the villain, has just escaped Zeus's prison and has vowed to make all the gods pay. Your job is make your way through the open-world environment and save the gods.
Chris Reed


All The Big Games Coming Out In Fall 2020

9 months 3 weeks ago

It’s fall and not just any fall. It’s election year fall. It’s two brand-new video game consoles fall. It’s tentatively stepping outside to see if everything is okay fall. We’d probably be better off staying inside baking pies and playing video games. Fortunately, there are plenty of games on the way.


Mike Fahey


(Update) Here's how to get all of the free Ash's Pikachu caps in Pokemon Sword and Shield

10 months 2 weeks ago

[Update: Codes for all eight caps are below!]

Today during this morning's special Pokémon stream, The Pokémon Company unveiled a new promo for Sword and Shield. Naturally, it involves Pikachu.

From here on out, special Pikachu will be distributed for Sword and Shield, tailored around the idea of it being "Ash's Pikachu" with eight different hats. The first one is available today, with more coming later "through various means." If history is anything to go by, codes doled out during tournament streams and the like are a safe bet.

To get the first rat, enter "P1KACHUGET" into your copy of the game.

To unlock the second version, use: "1CH00SEY0U."

A third version has been released: "P1KAADVANCE."

As well as a fourth version: "V0LTTACKLEP1KA."

And the fifth version: "P1KABESTW1SH."

And the sixth: "KAL0SP1KA."

Here's the seventh: "ULTRAP1KA."

And the eight: "K1NP1KA1855."

There's even going to be a full website for it! It's not live at the time of publication, but The Pokémon Company says more info will be available here. You can also take a look at the array of hats below.

(Update) Here's how to get all of the free Ash's Pikachu caps in Pokemon Sword and Shield screenshot

Chris Carter

Xbox Series X back-compat tested: up to double the performance in the most demanding games

10 months 3 weeks ago

UPDATE: Sometimes, we just can't leave well enough alone. I returned to Xbox Series X to take a look at more Xbox One and Xbox One X titles running under backwards compatibility, as Microsoft releases more games to journalists in its preview programme. It's an opportunity to check out some of Xbox One's most challenging games, including one of the most CPU-limited games of the generation - Just Cause 3. Can the power of the Zen 2 CPU architecture rid an excellent title of its terrible performance problems? The answer is yes. On top of that, we look at games like Ark: Survival Evolved and Assetto Corsa Competizione - the hardcore driving simulation that fails to impress mostly because of its performance issues.

On top of that, we take a look at games that don't benefit so much from the new machine - mostly owing to them already being well optimised for the performance targets they have - Red Dead Redemption 2 being a good case in point. However, this does mean that some big opportunities for genuinely transformative experiences don't happen. So, Batman: Return to Arkham is still limited to 30fps in Arkham City while Arkham Asylum retains its baffling 45fps frame-rate cap. Clearly, it's still the games that have unlocked frame-rate modes that benefit most: The Evil Within 2 delivers a night and day improvement, while The Vanishing of Ethan Carter can finally be enjoyed at a locked 60fps at native 4K resolution.


PS5 Launch Games - Specs and Resolutions

10 months 3 weeks ago
See which games you'll be able to play the day you get your PlayStation 5 - including first and third party games, as well as the PlayStation Plus Collection.
Brendan Graeber


CoD: Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer Review in Progress: Beta Impressions

10 months 3 weeks ago
[Editor’s Note: We’re kicking off our review in progress of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer mode with impressions of the first Alpha weekend and now the extended Beta period from our reviewer, Simon Cardy. Given that we have yet to see the breadth of content that will be available at launch we certainly won’t be drawing any conclusions just yet and won’t be issuing any scores until we do, but this is where you’ll find his ongoing thoughts on Cold War’s mechanics, maps, and modes as they evolve into the final multiplayer review at or soon after launch on November 13.] Progress! On the whole, Cold War’s multiplayer is a more balanced and smoother gameplay experience in the Beta when compared to the uneven Alpha from last month, with tweaks to movement and weapons going a long way. The new map and modes that have entered the mix don’t all hit as well as I’d like though, and that further drives home the point that the Black Ops series is at its best when sticking to its core, stripped-back principles. The most welcome change from the Alpha has been the noticeable nerfing of snipers. It’s great to be able to run 10 yards across the dunes of the Satellite map without being picked off by one of many waiting marksmen. Sniper rifles are now only one shot kills if a headshot or upper torso bullet lands, which instantly gives a better balance to the class. This has led to fewer snipers on the battlefield and thus naturally encourages a more run’n’gun approach to matches, and that suits Cold War’s map design much better. Armada has quickly become my favourite of the maps due to the number of different flanking routes available. Moving around the multiple hulking ships is a more fluid experience thanks to ziplines feeling snappier and consistently more responsive when triggering.
Simon Cardy


Review: Mafia: Definitive Edition

11 months 1 week ago

This story takes place a long time ago and most video games don't age like fine wine. The rare, great ones do but most don't. The ones that are merely good have a shelf life before they turn. Playing an open-world shooter from 2002 leaves about the same taste in your mouth as chewing the bubblegum that came with 1950s baseball cards.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is a prime example of how those good games can have great foundations. A lot of all-timers like Final Fantasy VII, Link's Awakening, and Resident Evil 2 have gotten the remake treatment lately, and no one is surprised when they're excellent the second time 'round. Mafia, which had to live in GTA III's shadow back in 2002, gets its first chance to be truly excellent in 2020. 

Review: Mafia: Definitive Edition screenshot

Brett Makedonski