It's rare that GN Editor Steve and I are able to play games at trade shows, and even rarer that we enjoy them. Alas, following-up on our Nosgoth coverage, it's time we played Human Head Studios' Minimum, published by Atari.

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Named for the game's minimalistic styling, developers Human Head Studios aimed to make a twitch-shooter with borrowed MOBA mechanics. The result is a 5v5 third-person shooter with dialed-back MOBA lane/creep aspects and, despite the seemingly odd combination, we think it works.

After our “where did RTS go?” discussion with Pat Pannullo, former Tiberian Sun designer and current Grey Goo Lead Designer, we got a hands-on play session with the upcoming RTS. Grey Goo – conveniently “GG” – seeks to bring the genre back to its more “beer and pretzels” origins of the 90s and early 00s.

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The game still hosts a very real potential for a competitive scene, but it's specifically built to be an input-simplified RTS; the team wants to avoid the complexity of StarCraft – a game that uses heavy unit abilities, structure abilities, macro, micro, and meta play – and instead bring the focus back to core real-time strategy mechanics, the meta game, and epic battles. The resulting product is a game that scales to high competition just as well as it scales to casual LAN play (and Grey Goo does offer LAN), giving players a clear arc of progression if the desire to compete increases.

Command & Conquer may not have been the definitive “first” game in the RTS genre, but it was a milestone in gameplay and mechanics that paved the way for future titles. The 90s and very early 00s saw the rise of “strategy” as a genre, with RTS championing its market dominance. In a very similar fashion to the present-day flood of MOBAs, early RTS and campaign strategy once comprised what felt like the majority of popular titles.

rts-wallAbout 25% of my RTS collection, ordered chronologically and then by series.

Command & Conquer was just a small piece of that. We saw the arrival of Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Empire Earth, Shogun: Total War, Ground Control, and the sleeping giants that spawned a decade of games – Warcraft and StarCraft; campaign games also grew, with large thanks to Civilization, Rise of Nations, Galactic Civilizations, and Hearts of Iron; city builders like Zeus, Poseidon, Caesar, Settlers, and Pharaoh also carved out a niche in the overarching “strategy” marketplace.

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.

The Best Video Game Easter Eggs & Cameos

Written by Tuesday, 19 August 2014 13:02

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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