Cold Wind April 16, 2014 Cold Wind Nicola Griffith Old ways can outlast their usefulness. What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole.
From The Blog
April 19, 2014
Announcing the 2014 Hugo Award Nominees
April 18, 2014
Wings Gleaming Like Beaten Bronze: Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky Trilogy
Liz Bourke
April 17, 2014
Gaming Roundup: PAX East Edition
Pritpaul Bains and Theresa DeLucci
April 16, 2014
Victorian-era Magical Societies, Telepathy, and Interplanetary Space Travel
Felix Gilman
April 13, 2014
Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Theresa DeLucci
Showing posts by: Pritpaul Bains click to see Pritpaul Bains's profile
Nov 7 2013 3:00pm

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Last week saw the release of one of the season’s most anticipated games—Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag launched, and the inner pirate in every gamer around the world rejoiced. But as we all know, expectations are one thing, and fulfilling them is another matter entirely. So did Ubisoft’s latest offering live up to the hype? Let’s see what the gaming-verse had to say.

[Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen...]

Oct 31 2013 2:00pm

As many of us prepare for an evening full of candy and horror movies, or perhaps a night of drunken, costumed debauchery, we here at wish to humbly offer up a third option: the horror video game. The genre has come a long way over the years, and while it’s true that horror is an intrinsically personal and somewhat variable experience, at this point in time there’s a little something out there for everyone. So, what better way to spend the Halloween Edition of the Gaming Roundup than with a list of our favorite scary games?

[Don’t startle the Witch...]

Oct 25 2013 11:00am

Batman Arkham Origins

In his early years, Gotham’s Dark Knight occasionally came across as a brash, raw, and aggressive protector (especially evidenced throughout the Legends of the Dark Knight arcs). Warner Bros.’ Batman: Arkham Origins is an attempt to recapture this era of Batman—the early years, if you will. Despite some early trepidation due to the fact that the franchise was moving away from original developer Rocksteady and into the hands of relative newcomer, Warner Bros. Games Montreal, everything we’ve seen and heard regarding the game thus far indicates that Arkham Origins is a worthy successor to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

[Become the hero Gotham deserves...]

Oct 18 2013 3:30pm

Mass Effect 3 launched a year and a half ago, and with it came an (admittedly controversial) official end to the tale of Commander Shepherd, intergalactic hero extraordinaire. That said, any Alliance soldier with a good head on their shoulders could tell you that it’s only a matter of time before BioWare returns gamers to the Mass Effect universe, and this past week, we learned a little more about what the franchise’s next offering might look like.

[Tentatively excited and curious: humans, what’s next for Mass Effect?]

Oct 10 2013 3:00pm

Gabriel Knight

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers was one of the best point-and-click adventure/puzzle games of the 90s, if not beyond. A compelling mystery about a New Orleans bookseller investigating a series of occult murders, Gabriel Knight might not have stood the test of time graphically, but Jane Jensen’s witty, twisted script and challenging puzzles resulted in an eminently replayable game, even today. And we haven’t even mentioned the superb voice acting by Tim Curry as the title character and Mark Hamill before his Batman days.

So imagine our delight when Jensen announced a remastered Gabriel Knight 20th anniversary edition releasing in 2o14.

[Gabriel’s mini-stereo isn’t exactly high-fidelity. Then again, neither is he.]

Oct 3 2013 3:00pm

Half Life 3 Valve

Just a few short weeks ago, the gaming world felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Half-Life 3 fans cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Valve voice actor John Patrick Lowrie had let it slip in an interview that, to the best of his knowledge, Half-Life 3 was not in development, and so gamers everywhere broke out their torches and pitchforks and stormed Valve’s virtual front gates, decrying the developer’s apparent neglect of their flagship franchise.

Well, a lot has changed since then.

[“They’re waiting for you, Gordon. In the test chamberrr.”]

Sep 26 2013 4:30pm

Baby Video Games

A few short months ago, the FTC released a detailed report discussing the success (or lack thereof) of various retailers in enforcing age restrictions on different forms of media, including video games, movies, DVDs, and music. Surprisingly (that is to say, surprising only if you attach any weight to the frequent, tired media refrain of blaming games for all that is wrong with the world), the FTC reported that not only are video game retailers the best at enforcing age ratings, but they have been the best for a fairly sustained period of time.

So where does it all break down?

[Read more...]

Sep 20 2013 2:15pm

Happy GTA V week, everybody! As it turns out, we managed to wrest ourselves away from Los Santos just long enough to bring you the week in gaming, but surprisingly enough, the story that most caught our eye this week wasn’t the launch of one of the most anticipated games of all time—rather, it has to do with a game that never was. A few days ago, leaked concept art and some early footage of Turok 2—a game cancelled before it was even announced back in 2009—emerged, leaving us wistfully thinking of what might have been, and reflecting on the present fate of dinosaurs in video games.

[“I... am... TUROK!” The only line of dialogue in the original. Seriously.]

Sep 12 2013 3:30pm

Happy GTA V launch week! Or, as thousands of Americans across the country know it, the week leading up to a mysterious, synchronized, incapacitating illness that strikes swiftly and suddenly on launch day. As the game’s release nears, developer Rockstar has steadily increased the flow of information and gameplay details. Accordingly, the past few days have brought us further updates on gameplay, budget, and movie deals. Get ready to play what might well be the most expensive game ever made.

[“Why did I move here? I guess it was the weather...”]

Sep 6 2013 12:00pm


PAX Prime rolled through Seattle this past weekend, and brought with it a bevy of gaming news on upcoming indie efforts and blockbusters alike. While there were no announcements or reveals of a major nature, PAX provided an opportunity for developers to show some more of the substance behind their already-announced efforts, which is certainly good news for fans of mechs, pirates, and dragons.

[Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Titanfall, Elder Scrolls Online, and more...]

Aug 29 2013 5:00pm

Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo made a few waves this week by announcing the impending launch of the 2DS, a budget version of their current handheld, the 3DS. The 2DS is fully compatible with all 3DS and DS games, but differs from the 3DS in a few major ways—it drops 3D support and ditches the 3DS’s clamshell design, essentially taking on the form factor of a fully-extended 3DS without the ability to fold. Predictably, the internet masses issued forth a wave of displeasure (as internet masses are wont to do upon the announcement of, well, pretty much anything). However, in the case of the 2DS, there may be a few legitimate reasons for skepticism.

[Come meet the portable that no longer wants to be portable...]

Aug 22 2013 5:00pm

Grand Theft Auto V Online

As GTA V’s launch date inches closer, Rockstar Games chose last week to provide gamers with a full preview of the multiplayer experience that awaits them in the studio’s next inevitable megahit. And wow, they did not disappoint. The studio made an active choice to separate the single-player portion of GTA V from the multiplayer that comes packaged alongside—accordingly, the single-player and multiplayer aspects of GTA are separate entities, set within the same GTA universe. This is also the reason that Rockstar is unlocking GTA Online a few weeks after GTA V goes online—to maintain a sense of separation between the single-player game and the multiplayer component. Let’s take a look at the new GTA Online trailer and see what it has to offer online gamers.

[All this and Dragon Age: Inquisition news...]

Aug 16 2013 2:00pm

Kingdom Hearts Remix

The first Kingdom Hearts game launched 10 years ago to an excited but curious gaming audience. It was certainly a significant move off of Square Enix’s usual take on JRPGs—between their decision to alter core gameplay to reflect more of an action-adventure approach and their collaboration with Walt Disney, which populated an RPG world with famous Disney characters, the game was a step outside the box for the developer that paid off in a big, big way. So it comes as little surprise that Square Enix is refreshing their hit with an HD remix. Let’s take a peek.

[“The Heartless consume the careless...”]

Aug 9 2013 2:00pm

Free to Play gaming roundup

The free-to-play (or f2p, or freemium, as may suit your fancy) business model has been kicking around the gaming industry for a number of years, but it has never before achieved the level of prominence it enjoys today, and its influence only seems to be trending upward. Major titles including DotA 2, League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Hawken, MapleStory (whose enduring success over the past several years can probably be considered the f2p gold standard) and the recently f2p-converted Star Wars: The Old Republic and Everquest have all experience varying levels of success by going f2p. While the (admittedly situational-based) financial viability of the model will keep it afloat in gaming for years to come, especially in the MMO genre, there remains a core group of gamers fundamentally opposed to this growing trend. Why? Let’s take a look.

[Click to complete this microtransaction.]

Aug 1 2013 2:00pm

When we first learned of an official Firefly MMO announcement happening at Comic Con, our inner Browncoats got the best of us—visions of a reunited crew, space piracy, and ship warfare in an MMO-verse danced in our heads, despite best attempts at checked enthusiasm. Then, the announcement came, and well, it pretty much checked all our enthusiasm for us. Fortunately, Firefly Online wasn’t the only gaming news coming out of Comic Con. Our very own Theresa DeLucci walked the floors and returned with tales of pirates, ships, ancient Rome, and cunning hats.

[Pirates, male booth babes, and a son of Rome ahead!]

Jul 19 2013 11:00am

Lost amidst the influx of recent news about Sony and Microsoft’s latest console offerings was the quiet launch of the Ouya—a Kickstarter-bred $99 open source console aimed squarely at Indie-land and gamers looking for a cheap console option. And, of course, to throw down an early gauntlet to the $400 PS4 and $500 Xbox One. Well, okay, that last part might be a little overly ambitious, but there are certainly more than a few things to like about the newest player on the console scene.

[Diversity drives innovation...]

Jul 11 2013 2:00pm

As GTA V’s fall release date nears, Rockstar has slowly begun to ramp up the hype for their latest entry into the industry’s most iconic sandbox gaming franchise. While prior teasers have introduced us to the game’s three (!) protagonists, this week marks the first time we’ve been given actual gameplay footage to view and squee over. So what will you be able to do in GTA V? The answer to that seems to be everything, and more.

[Start booking your time off work now, folks...]

Jun 28 2013 4:00pm

Nintendo Consoles

A few weeks ago, a flurry of commentary from developers and gaming pundits alike reignited an oft-recurring debate since the early-2000s—whether or not Nintendo is on its way out as a hardware manufacturer. This week, Nintendo fired back (via Shack News), explaining their side of the story and why it makes sense for the company to continue making hardware so long as they continue making games.

[The power of blockbuster IPs compels you!]

Jun 27 2013 2:00pm

The Last of Us

A few years ago, developer Naughty Dog became a rising star in the third-person action-adventure genre with the launch of their Uncharted franchise. After the release of Uncharted 3, Naughty Dog opted to take a break from their wildly successful, established franchise in order to pursue a new IP. In what is essentially the PlayStation 3’s swan song, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has given the rest of us what can very nearly be described as the perfect game—and a pinnacle title for the console—from both a technical and artistic standpoint.

[The Last of Us puts the “fun” in fungus...]

Jun 20 2013 2:00pm

Perhaps it had to do with common sense finally prevailing in Redmond. Perhaps it had to do with the massive public internet shaming that resulted from Sony’s and Microsoft’s respective E3 press conferences. Or, most likely, perhaps it had to do with the fact that the PS4 was demolishing the Xbox One in terms of pre-order sales at retailers around the globe. Whatever the cause, we learned yesterday that Microsoft has decided to reverse its initial decision to have the Xbox One launch with online checks, games locked to accounts, and used game fees—thus somewhat narrowing the gap between themselves and Sony, who has been laughing all the way to the bank throughout this entire fiasco.

[But has the damage already been done?]