Just how good is “Left Behind”?

So many games are geared towards guys that it’s understandable that many girls and women might have trouble finding games they can relate to. In a recent article in Wired, Laura Hudson explains why “Left Behind” is the videogame that finally made her feel like a human being.

Although women make up nearly half of all gamers, only a fraction of videogame characters are female, and fewer still are playable. Maybe that’s why I felt so shocked when I played Left Behind, the newest chapter of the award-winning survival game The Last of Us.

“I don’t understand how this is even happening,” I said over and over again.

I was playing as Ellie, a 14-year-old girl who must venture out alone into a post-apocalyptic world of monsters and murderers armed with nothing but a pocket knife, desperately trying to find medicine for her badly injured friend Joel. But if battling mercenaries and zombies as a teenage girl weren’t interesting enough, the half of the game with no combat at all is more compelling. After flashing back in time, you spend your time walking around a mall with your best friend Riley, talking, playing games and trying to repair your friendship after a falling out.

It’s difficult enough to find a game where a woman is the main character. Finding one where you play as a woman and have positive, meaningful interactions with other women? It’s like spotting a goddamn unicorn.

I’ve spent my entire life playing videogames, and Left Behind is the most emotionally powerful experience I’ve ever had in the medium – and not just because it let me play as a girl. After all, I’ve played as girls before. In a real way, in my real life, I’ve been playing as a girl all this time.

Read the rest of her article for some great insight on a female’s perspective. This can be a great resource for anyone developing games with female characters.

Stylish babes in games

See if you agree with this list of the most elegant and deadly femme fatales in games

Games to Look Forward to in 2014

2013 was definitely a magnificent year for the gamers of the world. Next level games such as Battlefield 4, Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, to name a few, had all the different types of gamers jumping up and down in pure ecstasy. With a year that had so much to offer, one might fear that 2014 might struggle to keep the hype and excitement alive. At the start of each new year, gamers come together, looking around nervously, wondering just what next generation game they will be able to sink their teeth into. It’s always a gamble, like on some https://www.jackgold.com/p/mobile-slots website, as to whether a game will live up to the hype, but luckily, it seems that the future looks promising. Here are three games I’m looking most forward to for 2014.

The Elder Scrolls: Online

Release date: 4 April (June for consoles)

If you’ve played any of the Elder Scrolls games, there is no need for me to remind you why this is one of the most anticipated games of 2014. Set in the same world as the previous instalments, but a thousand years before the adventures of Skyrim, this open world game moves away from the single player mode and into the thrilling territories of online. This brings about a whole new dimension in the form of PvP combat, granted you don’t take an arrow to the knee.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

Release date: 4 March

As an avid fan of South Park, and anything Trey Parker and Matt Stone are involved in writing, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that the hilarious duo would actually be writing the game too. My excitement reached a whole new level when I realised Obsidian Entertainment (creators of Fallout: New Vegas) would take the developer’s seat. Get ready for some fun shenanigans, South Park style!

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Release date: End of 2014

As a complete sucker for both third-person tactical shooter games as well as mass multiplayer role-playing games, when I read about The Division, which combines both formats, I could hardly contain my excitement. When a deadly pandemic hits, leaving the world battered and chaotic, it is up to the Strategic Homeland Division to pick up the pieces and save whatever remains, no matter the cost. This epic MMORPG will see players come face-to-face with AI, friends and other players.

By Jason Swindon

Classic hockey game from “Swingers”

“I’m going to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed for Superfan number 99 over here.” That’s the classic quote from Trent in “Swingers” as he taunts his friend Sue as they play hockey on the Sega Genesis. It’s one of the great scenes from this amazing movie and probably offers one of the best summaries of gaming in the 90s. Grantland just posted this great oral history of the making of the film and they discussed the making of this scene.

Ludwig: Wayne Gretzky’s head bleeding was the hardest thing to shoot in the whole movie. We finished up and we had the camera for another 72 hours before we had to return it. So we had to shoot an insert of a TV screen where one of them makes Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed. We’re in the editing room with the TV set and we’re playing that game and the editor can’t make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed and then I can’t make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed, Doug can’t make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed. And we’re shooting this for a couple of hours and we can’t do it. So we called up Jon in the middle of the night, it’s like one in the morning, and he comes over and he can’t do it. And finally we had to call Vince and get Vince over there at two in the morning. Four and a half hours after we started, he gets Wayne Gretzky’s head to bleed.

One of the reasons this film became such a huge cult classic on video is that it truly captured the midset of young men, particuarly men in their twenties. It was about chasing girls, cool night spots, slick clothes, video games, gambling in Vegas and so much more. The road trip to Vegas was another critical part of the movie. These were not the kind of guys that be happy to play bingo of course. They wanted action in Las Vegas, even if they were broke and some of them were clueless about the basics of blackjack, which led to another classic scene in the film.

But for many guys, even those who aren’t gamers, the Gretsky video game scene is still one of the most memorable in the film.

If You Need Me, I’ll Be in My Trailer

With Gamescom starting this week, the world of video games is starting to get hit with the usual tech show barrage of trailers. While I prefer good old fashioned gameplay demonstrations and hands-on previews, trailers offer a high level of entertainment value, if nothing else. However, if you pay close enough attention, you can sometimes cut past all of the stylized cuts and unnecessarily enhanced graphics to actually tell something about the game underneath.

With that in mind, here are five of the biggest trailers from the week, and what, if anything, we can take away about the games they represent from them.

Remember Me

Analysis: While I’d like to have a beer with the designers of “Remember Me,” as they’ve clearly watched “Blade Runner” and played “Deus Ex” as many time as I have, I just don’t trust Capcom as much as I used to. This is a slick debut for “Remember Me,” and cyber punk noir games will always be welcome, but it does have the misfortune of going up against the similarly themed, and soon to be released, “Dishonored.” And right now, “Dishonored” is looking better. Unless Capcom has something more in mind than the “me too” looking third person action on display in pieces here, I’m just not that excited right now. It also doesn’t help it shares a name with a Robert Pattinson movie.

Star Wars 1313

Analysis: Ok, let’s assume that Lucas Arts is obliged to churn out a new “Star Wars” game every year until the end of time. Let’s also assume that “Battlefront 3” isn’t going to happen (and believe me, it’s not). If that is the case, then I’m at least happy they are considering options in the “Star Wars” universe outside of the usual suspects of the series. However, is this a game that really needs a teaser like this? Is anyone just so jacked up for the next “Star Wars” game that a one minute and thirty-four second trailer, with about 4 seconds of gameplay in it is going to make them rush to their computer and set the hype pyre ablaze? I doubt it. At this point, until Lucas Arts has something more substantial to show, the vague chance that this game might not suck, and actually be original is the best thing they have going for them. They don’t need to ruin that with more of these generic trailers.

Crysis 3 – Multiplayer Hunter Mode

Analysis: I had zero interest in “Crysis 3” before this trailer, and now I want nothing else. This looks highly reminiscent of “Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory’s” Spy vs Merc gameplay, in that it combines two different styles of play into a unified concept. The multiplayer in that game is highly underrated and virtually unduplicated to this day, and it’s about time someone re-explored it. Also, this looks like the “Predator” game we were never going to get, which makes me more excited than I feel I can freely admit. If it can even come close to combining those two things together into a cohesive, balanced multiplayer experience, I might have to allow myself to actually use the word ‘epic.’

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Analysis: First of all, “Can’t you tell where I must unleash this awesome power” is now going to be exactly where I tell every cab driver I’d like to go. Second, how long was he sitting in the back eerily glowing before the driver asked him where he wanted to go? Was the driver hoping he’d just disappear the next time he looked? Finally, as far as debut trailers go, if you’re going to avoid showing gameplay, this is about the best way to go. “Tekken” was always at its best when it was just having fun, and this is a fun trailer. If Namco doesn’t try to screw with the formula too much, and sticks with that loose and easy motif, I’d say the time is right for the next King of the Iron Fist Tag Tournament.

Assassin’s Creed III Naval Warfare Trailer

Analysis: As I mentioned, it’s going to take a concentrated effort for the next installment in the “Assassin’s Creed” series to suck. Ubisoft has proven they’re not scared to explore new ways to expand and improve “Assassin’s Creed,” and while the results have been mixed in some cases, I see no harm this naval gameplay could cause the franchise. Plus naval combat in this time period is rarely explored, and so far this game looks to actually be doing the idea right instead of treating the concept as an afterthought. As for the trailer itself, it features that perfect mix of style and intrigue that you expect from the series at this point, and keeps the well-oiled hype train this game is running well on track.

Goldeneye 007 Facility Challenge with a steering wheel

One gamer attempted a chunk of James Bond action using a steering wheel.

Some old and (mostly) broken LoL mechanics

I would never expect a decent LoL article to come out of a radio station, but I suppose as games gain traction in the media we’ll start seeing some decent content everywhere. A Grand Rapids station put together a quick list of 10 old mechanics in League of Legends that were (mostly) broken. It’s an interesting look back at the game if you haven’t been playing for more than 6 months, especially since the post includes video.

I’ll say my favorite “remember when” from this list is the old brush system. Dear god. Riot was one brush-crazed company back in the day. That shit was everywhere. Innervating Locket was also an interesting item, though several strong characters made it ridiculously broken. I didn’t mind it terribly much on Gragas, mostly because AP Gragas is so much scarier than pure tank Gragas. Locket Udyr though? That was broken. Pair Udyr, Sona, and Gragas, get them all to buy Locket and you have one unstoppable push comp. As annoying as it was to see that comp played, I have to say, it added some flavor to the game.

Head over to the WGRD station for the rest of the article.

Lee Sin finally catching a nerf

They say a watched pot never boils. I say a watched developer never makes overdue changes. Stop watching, people, and Riot just might make a few changes. It looks like Lee Sin is finally going to get a decent nerf in the upcoming patch. It isn’t huge. It’s isn’t tiny. It is a moderately-sized nerf that could actually slow down his jungling and hurt his damage a little bit. I know, I can hardly think of anything to say.

In the patch preview, Morello categorized the Lee Sin nerfs thusly: “We want Lee Sin players to build damage to get damage.” A revolutionary concept. I’m just happy to see one of the longest-standing top-tier junglers finally get a light tap to the genitals. He’ll still be strong, but he won’t be quite so easy.

For the rest of the patch, Jax is getting some new survivability on Counter Strike and Riot is changing the critical chance mastery into attack damage per level. I’m actually really happy about that second change. I’ve had several games in which an opponent — sometimes even an AP carry — gets an early two crits in a row and just screws me out of lane. Nice to see that kind of stuff disappearing.

The next champion is…Sejuani?

Riot has used the same formula for new champion releases for quite some time now. They release a champion sneak peek, usually in the form of a comic, and follow up with an ability/lore reveal and finally a champion spotlight. This week they skipped the comic entirely and just dropped an art spotlight on us. People seemed a little confused at first, but since it’s a chick riding a boar, I think we can probably forgive the change of pace.

You can see Sejuani’s model in the spotlight above. I have to say, I like the concept. First off, she has a flail. I know, I can hardly believe it’s not a sword either. Also, she’s riding a giant tusked pig. Again, pretty awesome design. I have to wonder what her skills will be like, though. Some early “leaks” suggested she would be a tanky DPS (shocking, right?) with significant initiation and slowing skills. This part I’m not nearly as excited about.

From the looks of things she should be out next week. Keep your eyes peeled this weekend for her lore/ability announcement. I would assume Riot will give us that much prior to her launch.

Machinima’s “All Your History” series covers the MOBA scene

I was really happy to receive this video from a friend today, particularly because it fits so well with the slight content shift you’re going to see at the site. Both DotA 2 and League of Legends have their roots in a game that was originally developed as a map mod for Blizzard’s Starcraft. While this video from Machinima doesn’t cover the history in full detail, it does give a nice overview of one of the fastest growing segments of the video game industry.

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