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Dead Island: Riptide Review

Lifeless

Dead Island: Riptide Screenshot

HIGH The new character's hand-to-hand fighting style is a hoot.

LOW Watching zombies infinitely spawn, clown-car style out of a tiny wooden shack.

WTF It's got the jankiest menu system ever created. How was this approved?

Only one of Infinite Endings

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the problems with stories that use the concept of multiple universes is that the word "multiple" doesn't even begin to describe the scale of existence. Consider, for instance, the universes in which I just reached through the internet and handed you a cookie (hope you like pistachio sandies!). Now, in the context of known physical laws, this is an extremely unlikely event, so much so that if you were to try to write out the probability by putting down a 1 and writing zeroes in front of it, you could go the whole lifetime of our universe without ever reaching the decimal point.

BioShock Infinite Review

Schrödinger's Dunk

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

HIGH The classic revisionism of the Hall of Heroes.

LOW The lazy, pointless, and offensive "equivalence" narrative that opens the second half of the game.

WTF I've been finding machine-gun rounds in pickle barrels the whole game, but there's no ammo in this armament crate?

The Book of Unwritten Tales Review

Like a Tall Glass of Lukewarm Water

The Book of Unwritten Tales Screenshot

HIGH Expansive, detailed environments.

LOW Getting a fetch quest from magical, talking, invisible termites.

WTF How can zombies, ghosts, and ghouls exist in a world where death is explicitly stated to never occur?

Extra Credits: Word Choice

Extra Credits adds to a previous discussion on exposition in games. GLaDOS fans will probably enjoy this episode... Professor Fitz Quadwrangle fans, not so much.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 89: A Fallout Sojourn

Our first off-week adventure takes us into the land of Fallout. A lively debate on Fallout 3 versus Fallout: New Vegas gets top billing, and then we compare the Fallout of today to the Fallout of the past, and try to find out if the old spirit still lives, Featuring Richard Nak, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Tim "The Gambler" Spaeth, and Darren Forman.

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Dark Preview #2

Dark Screenshot

Kalypso Media recently invited GameCritics to take a second look at the upcoming vampire-themed stealth game Dark, from Realmforge Studios. It was originally covered by Brandon Bales, but it's been a while and we were interested in seeing how it's progressed.

Extra Credits: More Than Exposition

Extra Credits talks about the "exposition dump." What is that, you ask? The "exposition dump" is one of the easiest ways with which a developer can tell a story, explain a game world or explain a game world's rules. Even lauded game designers like Hideo Kojima use this method to tell a story—and why not, if Metal Gear Solid's success is any indication, there are few repercussions for overusing it. Thankfully, there are examples of doing the opposite and being rewarded for it. The Half-Life series, Fallout 3 and Journey are examples of doing it right.

Consoleation: Learn from Adam Orth's mistake

Adam Orth Tweets Image

What a day Adam Orth had. What was thought to be a relatively benign conversation on Twitter has blown up to a worldwide fiasco leaving Orth's employer, Microsoft, with a damaged public image and leaving Orth under siege by press and message board posters. More than 50 websites have linked Orth's comments about "always being online" to the persistent rumor that Microsoft's next platform will indeed require a constant internet connection to work.

Sparky's Games of PAX East 2013

Guacamelee Screenshot

I typically go to a lot of panels at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East, but this year relatively few of the offerings interested me (and some of the interesting ones were on simultaneously). So, I spent a lot of time on the show floor. The only major publisher I really visited was Ubisoft, where I learned that Might & Magic X will be coming this year and has a huge, wasteful UI. I spent most of the rest of my time in the Indie Megabooth and environs, both because this is a more efficient use of time and you're more likely to actually see the games and talk to somebody interesting there.

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