Nick Pinkerton

Nick Pinkerton

Raptr has just posted its Most Played PC Games for August 2014, a month that welcomed 3 MOBAs into the top-5 for the first time.

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The monthly top dog, League of Legends, hosted its LCS playoffs last month, helping increase its Share by 2.82 percent over July. "Share" represents gameplay time as a percentage of the total time spent on all the PC games played by Raptr members.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor—not Destiny—is my most anticipated game of September. I’m taking the road less traveled in games media by honing in on a game that, rather than offering me a horizontally-expanded refresh of its series, integrates a gameplay-enhancing system for a fresh take. Monolith Productions has prioritized the preservation of hack-and-slash combat with a Nemesis interface and engine that gives more weight to players’ battle decisions and encourages them to keep mixing up how they take control of a territory.

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I visited Monolith at their Kirkland, Washington studios and spent the afternoon previewing Shadow of Mordor's gameplay and story.

Double Fine continues to surprise with how they craft their take on various game genres. With Massive Chalice, the company has unified the turn-based strategy of XCOM and Crusader Kings with the long-term strategy elements of Civilization, looking through the genetics lens of Fire Emblem. This complex offspring of those games explores the concept of the smallest action having an impact in the longer term – a terms as long as 350 years.

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Massive Chalice Lead Animator Geoff Soulis showed us how all the pieces fit together in a hands-on demo at PAX Prime. We’ll start by overviewing Massive Chalice, then describe its classes, explain Double Fine’s flavor of turn-based combat, and tie together combat with prolonging bloodlines.

Goldeneye and Halo: Combat Evolved introduced me to PVP first-person shooters. I eventually worked up my chops enough for my friends to target only me when playing a free-for-all mode, but one day while playing Halo, my friend called me out for “screen-cheating.”

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I never heard of such a term and, given that split-screen multiplayer still puts it out there to use the whole screen space to win, I never thought of this dubious act as one that’s frowned upon. Given that he was (and still is) my friend, I instantly quit screen-cheating and never returned to form.

Far Cry 4 has had an interesting journey since its unveil earlier this year. Far Cry 4 features lush environments and gameplay ingenuity, but initially struggled to communicate why it takes the franchise into new themes and settings.

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Some of the Himalayan air has cleared between Ubisoft and the community, allowing folks like us to judge Far Cry for what it is as a game.

The 2014 game I’ve been looking forward to most is actually four games that I’ve already played before…at least that’s half of the package. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has revamped the presentation of its previous four titles starring Spartan John 117 and, in the case of the nearly 10-year-old Halo 2, it celebrates its legacy as much as it can before the release of Halo 5 Guardians next year.

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I showed up to developer 343 Industries’ PAX Prime Panel and was treated to some exciting news on the upcoming collection. Below is some developer and producer insight on how the Master Chief Collection came to be, the process of re-orchestrating Halo 2’s music and re-engineering its sound, the kinds of improvements players can expect to Halo 2 Anniversary’s maps, and more.

While walking out of the PAX Prime venue, I suddenly had a revelation about my demo with Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands.

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“Wait, these guys usually make dark games,” my internal voice informed me.

Trion Worlds announced at PAX Prime this weekend that its westernized fantasy MMORPG ArcheAge will release on September 16. “Founders,” those who have financially backed the game to get access to the alpha and beta, can begin enjoying ArcheAge on September 12.

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ArcheAge has been in closed beta since July 17 and will release an open beta from September 4-8 so that newcomers can try it out before fully committing. That said, ArcheAge is free-to-play, but it will also offer Patron subscriptions and non-recurring passes for more in-game content & bonuses.

The annually renewed Assassin’s Creed franchise has a signature approach to the open-world action genre, best known for its free-flowing parkour and death-from-above assassinations. Assassin’s Creed has evolved over the past seven years to support its core gameplay by introducing multiplayer, naval combat, deep sea exploration, and other gameplay enhancements.

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The next installment -- Assassin’s Creed Unity -- perhaps marks the most significant progression to the franchise by introducing a four-player cooperative experience. Ubisoft is taking its formula of an agile, adept assassin and multiplying it by up to four so that players can team up with their friends. As we experienced first-hand at PAX Prime 2014 in Ubisoft’s super-secret suite, this amplifies the flair and carnage to a much higher level.

We enjoyed a hands-on, co-op gameplay preview of Ubisoft's Assassin’s Creed Unity at PAX Prime. A video with impressions is forthcoming, though we were barred from direct screen capture.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 13:02

The Best Video Game Easter Eggs & Cameos

We’ve all had moments playing games when we’re deeply engrossed in a mission, quest, or achievement hunt... and then something completely unexpected comes our way. Tributes to other games (Mario references in Legend of Zelda games), intentionally unfitting dialogue (or surprise voice-overs), and creepy-beyond-creepy additions are some of the ways we remember how games surprise us and succeed with something that doesn’t belong.

ee-borderlands-minecraftA cave in Borderlands features Minecraft-style Creepers, loot, and terrain elements.

With that, we give you GamersNexus’ Favorite Video Games Easter Eggs. This brief list compiles some of the industry's best gaming easter eggs and their locations, including Duke Nukem, Gears of War, The Witcher, and more.

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