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Gearbox Boss Thinks Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store Exclusivity Will Change Gaming

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford thinks that the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal will be the start of a massive change in the gaming industry, according to a series of tweets the president of the company fired off into the void over the course of this past weekend. Pitchford is no stranger to lengthy speeches—anyone familiar with the Borderlands 3 reveal event at PAX East just under a month ago will know that the Gearbox boss has a penchant for saying what’s on his mind.

Borderlands 3 was the center of controversy when it was announced the game would be skipping Valve’s Steam platform for the first six months of its release, with publisher 2K Games deciding to enter into an exclusivity deal with the fledgling Epic Games Store. It’s a big get for Epic, a company with more than enough money to fund a successful digital distribution platform that simply needs major games to choose its service. For Borderlands 3, however, it was a decidedly more middling affair—while some people had no issue with the decision, some decided to review bomb Borderlands 2 while attempting to protest a move that was inexplicably being called unfair.

Related: Borderlands 3 Is An Epic Games Store Exclusive, Releases This September

Pitchford began his weekend tweetstorm by reminding fans that, while he apparently has “some influence” on the process, the choice of Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity ultimately fell to 2K Games. He also wasn’t shy in acknowledging that the Epic Games Store is lacking a number of the features that players find appealing about Steam, but Pitchford then suggested Epic’s roadmap for its online store, while already enticing, was likely not even the entirety of features that will be added over the coming months. With all the caveats out of the way, Pitchford began to illustrate why he believes Steam is no longer the future of gaming, and why Borderlands 3 could be the catalyst in changing the game industry as we know it:

To be fair, Pitchford was not attempting to assert that it was solely the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal that would bring about these changes. Rather, the Gearbox boss was insistent that having major releases like Borderlands 3 as early adopters of Epic’s platform would help bolster it during its most vulnerable periods after launch, helping to establish a legitimate competitor for Steam faster. Essentially, Pitchford is making the extremely compelling argument that competition in any business sector leads to a better environment for consumers, and as Valve scrambles to appeal to developers considering leaving the platform and Epic places a high priority on customer satisfaction, that assertion already seems to be coming true. Of course, in true Pitchford fashion, he couldn’t resist a little dig:

The “brigade” he’s discussing is likely the attempt at tearing down Borderlands on Steam, so it’s fair play to a man whose franchise, which is noted for its high quality and innovative approach to shooters, has been unfairly attacked by those upset with the digital distribution landscape.

As much as Pitchford’s thread can sometimes lose a bit of focus—it’s a lot of tweets all at once—it makes some excellent points about why the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal is probably a good thing for gaming overall. Creating competition will give digital distribution platforms incentive to pass savings on to consumers while constantly tweaking their features and, given what a toxic hellhole Steam has become when it comes to curation policy, it’s hard to imagine things getting worse as a result. We’ll wait and see, but for now, Pitchford’s impassioned speech has made yet another compelling case for the Epic Games Store, even if suggesting the inclusion of Borderlands 3 in its offerings will be a historic turning point in gaming is a pretty bold prediction.

Next: Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Source: @DuvalMagic



2019-04-17 07:04:07

Cody Gravelle

10 Impossible Dark Souls Cosplays That Seemed As Hard As The Games

The Dark Souls series probably have some of the most memorable bosses in gaming because any player who has come across them will surely associate them with some intense emotions. Sometimes it can be fear due to their design, other times they inspire awe, but most of the time, they induce rage – enough to reduce a grown man to a bawling infant.

For that matter, bosses and characters throughout the three Dark Souls games are so memorable as to warrant some cosplay love. The problem is, their designs can be downright alien, freaky, or too cool to even consider imitating. Still, that’s not a problem for the most creative and most resourceful of cosplayers who, like Dark Souls games veterans, have triumphed and overcome the challenge of doing it.

Here are 10 of the seemingly impossible Dark Souls cosplays that were made possible.

RELATED: The 5 Best (and 5 Worst) Dark Souls 2 Bosses

10 NAMELESS KING FROM DARK SOULS 3

via: JolyGram

Not quite impossible for a regular cosplayer, right? The Nameless King is the most difficult boss in Dark Souls 3, and in a sea of difficult bosses, that’s saying something. Here’s a commendable attempt to cosplay the Nameless King.

Throw in a wig or some white pompoms and voila, you would think that you can imitate heavy metal incarnate, but no. It’s not the appearance that makes the Nameless King near impossible to cosplay, it’s the company. You see, the nameless king also has a pet giant crow/dragon who is a huge part of the boss fight, both literally and mechanically. Without Storm Crow-san, he’s only half as badass.

9 DANCER OF THE BOREAL VALLEY FROM DARK SOULS 3

via: photos.alphacoders.com

Beautiful, enigmatic, and will probably take a dozen failures on average before she is defeated. The Dancer of the Boreal Valley is one of the most treacherous bosses in Dark Souls 3. She constantly delays and mixes up some of her attacks, making her moves quite hard to evade. The fight with her is a dance players need to learn or they will die… many times. However, what makes her truly hard to faithfully cosplay is her posture.

RELATED: Game of Thrones Author Working on New Game With Dark Souls Developer?

The Dancer has long limbs and usually walks like a contortionist on steroids which would make even Samara from The Ring look like a child by comparison. Good luck maintaining that posture without subjecting your neck and back to torture. Still, props to cosplayers for managing to make that armor!

8 ALDRICH DEVOURER OF GODS FROM DARK SOULS 3

via: DeviantArt

Aldrich was one tragic boss in Dark Souls 3 as he used to be a humanoid character in the original Dark Souls. Now, look what he’s become. Apparently, he got devoured and assimilated by that… thing. For that reason alone, cosplaying Aldrich is hard with all the black ghastly dried goo thing which doubles as the skirt. Nevertheless, we have this.

Thank goodness for wedding gowns and goth dyes. Did we also mention that Aldrich is one of the most difficult bosses of Dark Souls 3? At the very least, the cosplayer slayed him in their portrayal.

7 PRINCES LORIAN & LOTHRIC FROM DARK SOULS 3

via: Twitter/Terra Mantis

As you might have guessed, this royal duo from Dark Souls 3 is also a royal pain in the butt to defeat. In fact, they are also among the top most difficult bosses in Dark Souls 3. Still, fighting them somehow instigates guilt due to the fact that Lorian is a crippled zombie and his younger brother Lothric is lethargic. Despite that, Lorian acts as both Lothric’s protector and carrier.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is Better than Dark Souls (and 5 Why It’s Worse)

Such a regrettable brotherly bond must also be reflected in cosplays, hence we have stuff like this.

It’s quite obvious which is the hardest part of this cosplay. One cosplayer will have to murder and sacrifice their knees for the sake of brotherly love.

6 SIEGMEYER/SIEGLINDE OF CATARINA FROM DARK SOULS

via Redditor Durp0012

There are many words and monikers you can use to describe Siegmeyer: Onion Knight, Thicc Bro, Big Boi, etc. However, “friend” will suffice. Of course, he’s not a boss in Dark Souls, but rather, the bravest (or most foolhardy) adventurer you will encounter. Despite facing nightmare-inducing horrors, he is still pleasant to chat with and his armor and voice gives off those laid-back uncle vibes.

Replicating such qualities in cosplay is easier said than done, but here we are.

It’s not just Siegmeyer’s armor that’s hard to copy, one also has to be a pleasant conversationist and of course, be a bit “munchy in the middle” so to speak. His daughter, Sieglinde, also wears the same armor.

5 EXECUTIONER SMOUGH FROM DARK SOULS

via: ds.reactor.cc

Despite being clad in thick steel, Smough is no knight in shining armor. Also, despite his radiant rolls, he is by no means as cuddly as Siegmeyer. Smough is actually quite notorious, being part of the dynamic duo boss of Dark Souls. He and his comrade, Ornstein, separate the boys from the men with their golden tag-team of death.

RELATED: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: 3 Quick Tips For Beginners

What does make a Smough cosplay difficult to pull off is the impossibly huge belly… and the impossibly huge hammer he wields which is supposed to be nearly as big as him. Still, cosplayers refuse to accept defeat.

Nailed it.

4 HAVEL THE ROCK

via: Etsy

To top off our consecutive fat dudes in fat armor cosplays, here’s one of the most immovable objects in Dark Souls. The dragonslayer Havel would have given Dwayne Johnson a run for his money. This miniboss probably deserves “The Rock” as a moniker better; his whole armor and shield are made from rocks and his huge mace weapon is actually a dragon’s fang. No matter how much you hit this guy, he just won’t budge.

Sadly (and understandably), no actual rocks were used by cosplayers.

That means you can’t just go around kicking a Havel cosplayer hoping for them to shrug off your blows.

3 GRAVELORD NITO FROM DARK SOULS

via: rebloggy.com

If there ever was a “most horrific” boss design award for Dark Souls, it would have gone to Edgelord– sorry, Gravelord Nito or as the game community regards him: Big Papa Nito. It’s still a big mystery what (or which) Nito really is in person. Is he one of those skellies? Or are they a group of corpses who have decided to call their antisocial social club Nito?

RELATED: 9 Hilarious Dark Souls Memes That Will Make Players Say “Same”

Regardless cosplayers have found a way to make some neat-O attempts of Nito cosplays.

Even a Gravelord needs its daily dose of suntan from time to time while looking fashionable in a winter coat.

2 KING JEREMIAH FROM DARK SOULS

via: Funny Junk

King Jeremiah is one of the biggest non-boss anomalies in Dark Souls. You see, he’s a king, but he probably disliked cookie cutter crown designs, so why not pile up some cloth on your head as high as you can while still being functional in combat? The first time you meet him in-game, you’ll probably bust a gut since he sticks out like a sore thumb with “sore” being an understatement.

One look at that headpiece and you’d think it would intimidate cosplayers, but no…

It’s a giant egg whisk for those of you wondering how they pulled that off.

1 SIF THE GREAT GREY WOLF FROM DARK SOULS

via: DeviantArt

Without a doubt, Sif is one of the most unique and unforgettable bosses in Dark Souls. He is actually the loyal pet companion of Knight Artorias who died heroically while single-handedly holding off apocalyptic forces. Despite his master’s death, Sif has chosen to protect Artorias’ legacy… until you show up and kill the honorable sad wolf even as he limped from the injuries you inflicted.

Being a good boy, cosplayers and dog lovers who have played Dark Souls have chosen to honor Sif’s courage and loyalty with this.

Unwieldy sword? Check. Murderous gaze? Check. As an added bonus, you get to be judged by a condescending husky.

NEXT: Dark Souls Creator: Battle Royale Game ‘Definitely’ A Possibility



2019-04-17 05:04:24

Sid Natividad

Borderlands 2 Was Suddenly One of Steam’s Most Played Games

Borderlands 2 has seen a big boost in popularity on the Steam store, becoming one of the most played titles according to some analytical data. This is something of a strange development considering the game was the recent attack of review bombs on Steam due to Gearbox announcing that their upcoming Borderlands 3 would be an Epic Games Store exclusive until 2020.

Borderlands 2 originally released in 2012 and instantly became one of the most popular games in the world. With sales north of 13 million copies sold worldwide, it’s also the most successful game ever for publisher 2K. Its long-awaited sequel, Borderlands 3, was officially revealed at PAX East earlier this year and, should it follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, could prove to be one of the biggest games of the modern era. Still, it looks like Borderlands 2 isn’t ready to go quietly into the night, as the game recently saw a huge boost in players on Steam just months away from the release of Borderlands 3.

Related: Borderlands 3 Won’t Have Troy Baker Back, No One Seems To Know Why

According to GitHyp, which analyzes video game statistics and data, Borderlands 2 was one of the top 5 most played games on the Steam store last week. While it has remained in the top 50 most played games on the store, averaging around 10 thousand concurrent players for years now, its numbers recently shot up to around 60 thousand concurrent players. For comparison, Borderlands 2‘s highest numbers ever on Steam were 124 thousand concurrent players back in September of 2012.

There are a few potential reasons for Borderlands 2‘s sudden boost in popularity. Perhaps the most obvious is Gearbox’s announcement of Borderlands 3, nearly seven years after the release of Borderlands 2. But there’s also the fact that the game was just lowered in price by nearly 75 percent and the release of remastered graphics (completely free of charge) for The Handsome Collection (which packages both Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel together). While these are certainly contributors, it’s still mighty impressive for such an older title to see a 500 percent increase in players, whatever the outside factors are.

Of course, there’s another reason that players could be flocking back to Borderlands 2 in large numbers: the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity outrage. Gearbox’s CEO has defended the move in spite of the growing concerns and complaints by consumers. Perhaps this is the player base showing Gearbox that they’re more than content to play Borderlands 2 until the exclusivity clause ends in 2020. While there’s no way to be certain either way, it’s clear that the game is still popular even years after its original release. It’ll be interesting to see if Borderlands 3 can have similar success when it drops later this year.

More: Borderlands 3 Trailer Teases Return of Fan Favorites

Source: GitHyp


2019-04-17 04:04:21

Corey Hoffmeyer

Epic Games Store Doesn’t Want To Be A Steam Clone

Epic Games boss Tim Sweeney has once again shared his thoughts regarding the Epic Games Store using Twitter, this time to discuss the future of the platform while also using Valve’s Steam digital distribution service as a point of comparison. Although the Epic Games Store is still relatively new, the burgeoning platform has been a major point of discussion in recent weeks as Epic continues to lure major developers away from Steam with timed exclusivity deals.

Sweeney previously made headlines for defending the need for the Epic Games Store’s exclusivity deals, which gamers had criticized as greedy or exploitative. Sweeney argued that launching a brand new digital distribution service into Steam’s monopolized market dictated the need to create incentives try it; he also later suggested that, should the time come where Epic feels secure in its platform’s place in the industry, he hoped they could do away with exclusive deals altogether. The Epic Games boss has attempted to maintain a clear dialogue with those who have concerns over the direction of the company’s storefront, and to his credit, it has helped clarify potential misunderstandings before they’ve occurred.

Related: Valve Keeps Getting It Wrong, And It Doesn’t Care

Sweeney’s latest post isn’t nearly as controversial as defending the largest point of contention for his new service. Instead, Sweeney took to Twitter to discuss how he envisions the Epic Games Store developing in the future. There were quite a few tweets discussing it, but the most important ones seemed to be those that were obviously using Steam as a point of comparison, something that’s likely unavoidable for Epic at the moment. Take a look:

Sweeney also discussed how the company will host other people’s content, particularly forums:

Clearly, the Epic Games Store is working hard to differentiate itself from its competitor, and Sweeney handles it with class. In discussing the roadmap of what Epic is planning, Sweeney simply dismisses the ideas that won’t be at play, like Steam’s trading card system, while also highlighting what’s coming, like gifting and achievements. One of the recurring themes that Sweeney mentions in these tweets is also the distinction that developers will be given a lot of tools and options that they can either choose to implement or ignore; forum integration and online support ticketing aren’t mandatory, but could provide helpful support to developers who need it. Sweeney also stated that PC & Mac versions of games would be distributed together with one purchase, and that the storefront would support M-rated games.

The Epic Games Store still needs some work. It’s a glitchy service sometimes, and its presentation is bare bones. But the priority on making developers feel comfortable and giving them a bigger cut of profits is a worthy one that Sweeney is more than happy to lean into, and as more AAA games begin to jump ship onto the fledgling digital distribution platform, it’s fair to wonder if the Epic Games Store will soon make like Fortnite and completely dominate its area of interest.

Next: Ex-Valve Employee Says Steam Was Killing Gaming Before Epic Games Store

Source: @TimSweeneyEpic



2019-04-12 01:04:55

Cody Gravelle

Ranking The Fallout Games, From Worst To Best

Fallout is the classic action/RPG franchise that lets players have fun salvaging for supplies in a bleak, hopeless nuclear landscape, but which is the best Fallout game? The original Fallout was the spiritual successor to a game called Wasteland and casts players as a survivor who must venture forth from the safety of their fallout shelter to explore the dangerous world outside.

That same basic setup could be applied to almost any entry in the Fallout series, but along the way, the franchise would develop its own distinct identity. From Nuka Cola to the Pip-Boy and Ron Perlman’s somber narration, the Fallout series promises players a vast, open-world landscape to get lost in – and barely survive encounters with roving mutants and Deathclaws.

Related: Why Fallout 4 Survival Mode Is The True Way To Play The Game

Let’s revisit the main entries in the series – apologies to Fallout: Pinball and Brotherhood Of Steel – and see which is the best Fallout game.

6. Fallout 76 (2018)

While Fallout 76 was met with a very mixed response due to buggy design, the departure in gameplay and other controversies surrounding its launch. It’s not an awful game overall, but it is extremely flawed. Fallout 76 is an online, multiplayer shooter, and allows players to band together to explore the wasteland. Aside from this core change, the gameplay is still very recognizable, mixing action and exploration but it feels somewhat lifeless compared to other entries. The lack of in-game NPCs also makes the world feel smaller and less interesting.

5. Fallout (1997)

The game that kicked it all off, Fallout is a solid top-down, turn-based RPG title. Players only familiar with the more recent entries might be shocked by how different the series used to look and play, but Fallout still originated all the key tropes of the franchise, from the retro-futuristic design to the story branching dialogue. The original is somewhat dated in design now, however.

4. Fallout 2 (1998)

Fallout 2 came out a year after the first and build on its foundation to make a stronger game. The sequel established the unique sense of humor of the series and is crammed with bizarre easter eggs and gags. It’s also more colorful and generally more entertaining. That said, a rushed production led to some annoying bugs, though the vastness of the game world makes up for this.

Related: Fallout 76 Survival Mode Beta Begins

3. Fallout 4 (2015)

Fans had to wait a long time for the arrival of Fallout 4 which is one of the most ambitious entries in the whole franchise. The game is the best looking in the series to date, featured much-improved combat mechanics and power armor added a new tactical element. The story mechanics took a hit, however, with the dialogue options being simplified and the narrative overall isn’t as interesting as other entries.

2. Fallout 3 (2008)

Bethesda Softworks took over the franchise with Fallout 3 which introduced a first-person perspective and a bigger focus on combat. This brought players into the scorched, post-nuclear landscape like never before, though some fans have lamented the changes the game made to the saga. Fallout 3 can be frequently buggy, but the scope of the open-world, variety of missions, side quests and the colorful characters that can be encountered make it an enthralling, classic RPG title.

1. Fallout: New Vegas (2010)

Fallout: New Vegas features the best narrative and characters of the entire franchise, and combined the improvements introduced in the third game while playing homage to the original titles. The game takes place in the Mojave desert, where players control the revenge-seeking Courier. The gameplay is just as in-depth as previous Fallout titles, but New Vegas does a fantastic job with the atmosphere of the world too, with players encounter more complex characters and factions. This one of the many reasons fans feel New Vegas is the best Fallout game.

Next: Best Games You Can Get On Steam


2019-04-05 12:04:30

Padraig Cotter

Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store Exclusivity Has Gamers Pretty Mad

Borderlands 3 is the latest game to become a target of a subsection of the gaming community thanks to its Epic Games Store exclusivity. A number of Steam loyalists have been review bombing, criticizing, and negatively discussing games that have chosen to opt in to Epic Games Store timed exclusivity deals.

The Epic Games Store was only announced at the tail-end of last year during The Game Awards 2018, but it has quickly gained steam in the interim. One of the digital distribution platform’s first major coups was getting Metro: Exodus to jump ship mid-pre-release period, an act that not coincidentally also spurned on the first real outrage reaction from some of the PC gaming community. The debate has, for some reason, continued to rage on about whether or not the Epic Games Store is a healthy addition to an online market that was previously almost entirely monopolized by Steam. The Epic Games Store also takes a significantly smaller cut from developers for hosting their games, making it an attractive platform for studios.

Related: Borderlands 3 Is An Epic Games Store Exclusive, Releases This September

Earlier this week, developer Gearbox Studios and publisher 2K announced that Borderlands 3 would be an Epic Games Store exclusive for six months following its release, and the response from some fans has been notably vicious. The backlash surrounding that announcement has been characterized by Steam fans using social media and gaming forums to post negative responses to the decision, including images that supposedly showcase why Borderlands 3 should be on Steam instead of the Epic Games Store. Tweets like this one have become popular amongst those who are against the decision:

The backlash has been so noticeable that the CEO of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford, took to Twitter to provide more context on why the studio decided to go with the Epic Games Store; or, more accurately, why the studio didn’t really have a say at all:

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear like Pitchford’s explanation managed to sway those who have been adamantly looking for ways to tank Borderlands‘ reputation as a result of the studio’s perceived slight against Valve and its supporters. A tweet following Borderlands 2‘s review reputation on Steam had some troubling revelations:

These criticisms aren’t entirely unfounded. The Epic Games Store has had some issues with its services during the first few months of its launch, and Epic Games is actively looking to add more features as they become needed. It’s very much a fledgling digital distribution platform that has things that need to be ironed out as it grows, and that can be jarring when compared to Steam’s service, which has been refined over many years.

Still, crusades like this hardly seem fair. Ultimately, the Borderlands 3 situation tells outsiders a lot about what the gaming industry’s landscape currently looks like, and little of it is pretty. Fans are willing to defend a digital distribution service that has come under heavy fire for a number of troubling policies in the past simply because they might need to download a different installer and launcher to play Gearbox’s newest title. On top of that, it’s yet another reminder that user-based reviews are becoming impossible to trust online, as one small decision from a studio can end in a crusade from angered consumers that tanks its games’ scores.

More: Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Source: Twitter (2, 3) (via Comicbook.com)



2019-04-05 03:04:55

Cody Gravelle

The 10 Best Board Games For A Road Trip

Road trips need preparation above all else so that you can relax and leave the rest of the journey up to chance, discovery and surprise. Remember the three S’s: Snacks, Safety, and Stuff to do. For the latter, these ten board games are fun activities for late nights, stops at diners and long days at the side of the road with flat tires (fingers crossed that one isn’t necessary).

Road trip games need to be highly portable and grab-able and take up as little space as possible so that you’re left with plenty of room for skis, picnic baskets, tents, and friends. Luckily these ones meet all those criteria.

10 Magnetic Backgammon Set with Carrying Strap

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This carrying case can be slung over your shoulder as you run to the beach, forest or an unexplored cave. The magnetic features prevent loss of pieces and pollution of the natural wonders you may discover on your trip. They also allow for play while in a moving vehicle, as things won’t slide back and forth and lose your place – so this can be whipped out on a long bus ride or in the backseat of a party van.

The leather finish gives this game a mature feel, and when it’s zipped up it isn’t obvious that you’re carrying a toy with you – so you can still look cool in front of everybody at the gas station.

9 Connect 4 Grab and Go

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This is a portable, compact version of the nostalgic and addictive classic game of Connect 4. Trays at the bottom of the grid hold pieces for when you don’t have enough table space and the trays fold up onto the playing grid when your game is finished, keeping everything safe and organized.

This is a great Grab and Go game for families with small children, and easy to pull out in a tent or van for rainy day distraction. The game is simple: one player is yellow, one is red, and both are trying to connect four tokens of their color in the grid (while blocking their opponent’s attempts at the same time).

8 No Thanks! Card Game

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This is a 20-minute bidding and bluffing game for 3-7 players. Each person pulls cards with points – but with this game, you want to avoid points as much as possible. Chips allow you to skip pulling a card (saying, “No thanks!”) and keep your total as low as possible. This was one of Board Game Geek’s top 100 family games and is perfect for on-the-road gameplay.

Because the cards and chips are loose, it’s best used during a stop on your voyage, as opposed to playing on a bus or a backseat, trying to balance everything as you ride. This is fast-paced and the perfect length for a rest stop break to refresh before returning to the wheel.

7 Love Letter

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This is a 2-4 player game and comes in an easy to carry pouch. Gameplay is only about 15 minutes, so it’s a great game to fit in during a coffee stop or right before dinner. In this game, players take on the roles of lovesick princes, vying for the attention of a princess locked in a tower. The objective is to get your romantic letter mailed successfully and delivered to the princess, before anyone else’s, and to deflect the other players’ letters in favor of your own.

Choose between powerful and weaker cards, to avoid becoming a target but still remain in the race. This is a fun fantasy game with simple rules and uses a deck of only 16 cards, so the action of the game itself is compact and road trip-worthy.

6 Mr. Jack: Pocket Edition

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Mr. Jack comes in a little, compact box and is easy to store with limited real estate in your trunk or backpack. It uses 2 players only, nice for a one-on-one road trip with a loved one or best friend. Gameplay is only 15 minutes long and you’ll be able to finish your game before your fries arrive at the roadside restaurant. This is a deduction game where investigators try to eliminate suspects until they find the true identity of Jack the Ripper.

One player hides from sight and the other chases them down in this fun, easy-to-learn game of cat and mouse. The game takes place throughout the creepy streets of late 1800s London, sure to strengthen the theme of adventure and suspense on your highway journey.

5 Hive

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This game has no board, and pieces can be carried in a portable pouch during your travels. As the pieces are played, they create the board (otherwise known as ‘the hive’), and each player is designated light or dark tokens. The players battle to be the first to capture each other’s Queen Bee, by surrounding them with pieces of their own color.

Players use blocks to prevent the opposition from surrounding their own queen, and beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, and soldier ants appear on the tokens, each with their own characteristics and moving abilities. This is a simple game, fast to pick up and with a short game time of 20 minutes. Hive is essentially an easy version of chess, with no board and plenty of bugs.

4 Zombie Dice

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The thought can cross your mind when coasting along desolate roads that if the zombie apocalypse were to happen, this is the car you’d use to travel to abandoned Walmarts and warehouse shelters. Dice games are tiny and easy to transport anywhere – they can even be shoved into your dash before embarking on a 16-hour car drive.

Zombie Dice can be stored inside the cup that it comes with, and works for players aged 10 and up (who are comfortable with a creepy zombie apocalypse theme). Simply roll the dice and collect as many brains as you can while avoiding shotguns. The dice come with three levels of difficulty – green is easiest, yellow is medium and red is difficult, for those with the biggest braaains of all.

3 Mastermind

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One of the simplest but most entertaining strategy games of all time, Mastermind has two players take turns creating and solving codes, made up of colored pegs arranged into holes on a board the guesser can’t see. This is an easy deduction and logic game, with over 2000 possible code combinations.

Codemakers give clues to the guesser, using strategies like multiples of one color and empty peg holes to throw off their reasoning. The pegs fit snugly into the holes and the board is compact, so this game could be played on the move or roadside, whenever the urge strikes to test your code-cracking capabilities.

2 Mancala

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The set is real wood and folds easily for travel. Mancala is one of the world’s oldest, longest played games and thought by some to have existed in Ancient Egypt. The gameplay uses small stones placed into pits in the wooden board and is a fun, light strategy game for two players.

Players take turns scooping up and placing a stone, trying to capture stones and win the game. It is easy enough for ages 6 and up, but the counting and strategy is still challenging enough for older players. Whether this is to have on-hand for youngsters while on a family trip, or for late nights on an epic camping trip with your sweetheart, the bare bones design and pieces are soothing for a late night after a long drive.

1 Rush Hour Traffic Jam

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The pieces of this 1-player logic game fit into the board, so they won’t be sliding around or falling out when you’re rushing to your next destination (or stuck in a stop-and-go jam). This is a puzzle-solving game for ages 8 and up, with 40 challenges that range in difficulty from beginner to expert level.  The solo player slides trucks and vehicles blocking their path out of the way, to eventually reach the board exit with their own little red car.

It comes with a game-go bag for storage, and is a great option to have on-hand for solo road trips when you have tired eyes and don’t want to be staring at your phone on your break. It’s also great for a little one accompanying you in the passenger seat, or can be passed around a group as each person solves the puzzle.

NEXT: The 10 Best Board Games Under $20, Ranked

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2019-04-04 08:04:22

Amanda McQueen

The Borderlands Games Are Getting Major Updates Next Week

Veteran Vault Hunters and franchise newcomers who are hyped for Borderlands 3 but can’t help but find the older Borderlands titles a little too harsh on the eyes are in luck, as remasters of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition are giving the original games a major graphical update. Best of all, they’ll be releasing simultaneously less than a week after their reveal.

For those wanting to rediscover why Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series is one of the most lauded looter shooters out there, or simply for those looking to get their genre fix on the lead-up to Borderland 3‘s inevitable launch after its grand unveiling yesterday at PAX 2019, the upcoming visual overhauls of The Handsome Collection and the first Borderlands will bring the aged titles up to today’s 4K standard. Beloved by the gaming community for its raucous sense of humor, unique art style, and engaging gameplay loop, Borderlands fans have been given quite a lot to get excited about over the past 24 hours.

Related: Anthem Needs To Learn From FFXIV And Tear It All Down

Trailers for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Ultra HD and Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition can be found below, and they demonstrate the impressive upgrades made to the original BorderlandsBorderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, all of which now support 4K textures and a number of additional visual improvements. Releasing on April 3, improvements present in The Handsome Collection Ultra HD, already previously available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, will be provided to current owners of the original Handsome Collection at no additional charge. Meanwhile, Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition is making its current-generation console debut, but current PC owners of the game will similarly be able to upgrade to the remaster for free.

In addition to being enhanced for the 4K-capable Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, these re-releases will contain the entirety of the three games’ large libraries of downloadable content, including Borderland 2‘s critically acclaimed Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage and Tiny Tina‘s Assault on Dragon Keep. Considering the amount of content on offer in each product and that The Handsome Collection currently retails at $60 while console versions of Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition have been listed at $30, these remastered editions will be a fairly cost-effective way of experiencing everything the franchise has to offer so far. Sadly, neither The Handsome Collection nor Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition will come with Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands, meaning that the choice-driven take on the series will remain locked out of the exclusive 4K party.

Somewhere along the road between The Division 2‘s repetitive excellence and Anthem‘s glaring missteps, fans of looter shooters may no doubt be feeling some sense of fatigue, disappointment, or both with respect to the genre. However, the overwhelmingly positive response to the rapid-fire reveal of these remasters and Borderlands 3 points to the possibility that Destiny-inspired shared world looter shooters are lacking in what players love most about Borderlands: good, old-fashioned co-op fun and oh-so-many guns.

More: The Division 2: 20 Hidden Locations Only Experts Found

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Ultra HD and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC this April 3.

Source: Borderlands


2019-03-29 07:03:21

Phillip Tinner

Exclusive: Project Nova Status Update From CCP Games

In October 2018 we had the opportunity to finally get hands-on with CCP Games’ long-in-development first-person shooter Project Nova, a game that’s meant to be the spiritual successor of sorts to DUST 514. Set within the EVE Online universe but serving as a standalone, next-gen PC shooter, the game hadn’t been playable for the media or public since EVE Fanfest 2016 – and that old version, known at the time as Project Legion, was in reality a different sort of prototype.

Project Nova, built on Unreal Engine 4, was meant to launch as a playable alpha in late 2018 until CCP Games announced that they were going back to drawing board with it. We’ve not heard anything official since, until we spoke with CCP Games Senior Community Manager Paul Elsy, known as CCP Falcon.

Related: CCP’s Project Nova Goes Back to the Drawing Board (Again)

At CCP’s fan-focused EVEsterdam event this past weekend, the first stop on a series of events around the world under their EVE Invasion Tour, Elsy explained to me that “Nova’s in the incubator. We’ve learned some exciting things with it. It’s super cool. We’re just seeing where to go from there, basically.”

I asked if it’ll be a major departure from what we played at EVE Vegas in October before it was decided upon to be reworked.

“I don’t think so. The core gunplay is there, but it’s about figuring out what is the wider purpose?”

The core gunplay is what Game Designer Steven Clark emphasized to me back in 2017 when CCP Games, while not showing Project Nova at the time, confirmed at their EVE Fanfest event in Iceland that they were committed to the game, to the shooter experience first and foremost, and weren’t going to rush it. CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar reiterated the same to me in 2017 and twice again last year. One of the benefits of the player feedback from each version they’ve sent, and from the acquisition of CCP Games by Pearl Abyss, is that the company is focused on the long-term, the community, and quality so there’s no rush to put out something just to have an EVE-based shooter on the market.

From the vague details we’ve learned however, it seems it’s Project Nova’s gameplay meta being worked on, what modes will make the game worth playing, etc.. When we interviewed Project Nova devs in 2018 at EVE Vegas, the modes discussed were basic objective modes and PvP squad and team based modes for up to 32 players. Perhaps that wasn’t enough.

What we played was visually impressive (the videos above and below showcase the sniper and assault classes we tried), but the AI and movement felt dated for something that would be playable to the public a few weeks later. Players couldn’t mantle, climb or lean, when other modern shooters are all pushing boundaries on these fronts, and the objective-capturing involved stopping the momentum and combat for players, which seemed counter-inuitive in a co-op or competitive action title. Still, there was potential here because the gunplay felt strong.

What was playable involved only three classes, each with a unique weapon, but none of the subclasses, additional weapons, or mods described to us were available in the pre-alpha demo. There wasn’t much there so we’re curious if these issues will be addressed and what the standout modes or gameplay will be in an era where large-scale battle royales with an emphasis on movement and more dynamic gameplay are the top trending games in the genre – a mode however that Hilmar tells me they wouldn’t be chasing after.

More: How CCP Games Plans For EVE Online’s Long-Term Future With New Tech

Source: CCP Games


2019-03-27 03:03:13

Rob Keyes

PlayStation Livestream To Reveal New Games (& More)

A PlayStation livestream called State of Play has been announced by Sony. The broadcast, which will take cues from Nintendo Directs and Inside Xbox events, will announce a slew of new information according to the company, and will take place on Monday, March 25, 2019 at 5pm EST.

Company-sponsored livestreams have become a staple of the video game industry recently, with both Nintendo and Xbox using the broadcasting platforms they’ve built to announce major game releases, new trailers, and other important information. It’s always seemed odd that Sony has been reticent to join its two competitors with a PlayStation livestream in the same vein as a Direct, especially since the company will be skipping out on E3 2019 entirely this year thanks to a lack of major games to show.

Related: New PS5 Details Hint At Console That Learns From Players

According to Sony, fans of the PS4 can expect “new trailers, new game announcements and new gameplay footage.” Sony has also already indicated that the State of Play stream will not be just a one-time thing, and that the even will return several times throughout 2019 with more news announcement for fans of the PlayStation console. The first State of Play PlayStation livestream will take place on March 25, 2019 at 2pm PDT/5pm EST, and is likely to focus primarily on games we already know are closing in on 2019 releases like Days Gone, although there will likely be a few surprises, too.

2019 has been something of a quiet year for the console industry’s leader in sales, which is a major factor in Sony’s decision to skip this year’s E3. The only major exclusive for the PlayStation 4 that’s definitely arriving in 2019 is Days Gone, and after that, other exciting titles like The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding might not even arrive before the calendar year is over. With all that uncertainty swirling around the tech giant, an announcement like the State of Play PlayStation livestream likely means it will have at least one unexpected and major announcement to help create some excitement.

That’s big for a brand that’s felt largely stale since the end of 2018 saw the company still riding the high of Spider-Man and God of War, even if it feels like one new game announcement won’t do much compared to the announcement of Google Stadia or Microsoft’s E3 2019 plans, the latter of which is steadily growing in renown and is rumored to be another industry-changing presentation. It’s also nice to see Sony catch up to Microsoft and Nintendo’s information sharing formats, which have been proven successes for some time now. Even if State of Play’s first go isn’t as exciting as some of the other things happening in the industry, hopefully it has enough personality and connection with fans to make it a worthwhile endeavor and something that will continue PlayStation livestreams in the future.

More: New Sony Patent Hints At PlayStation 5 Backward Compatibility

Source: PlayStation Blog


2019-03-22 11:03:38

Cody Gravelle