Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts. The Devil in the Details July 2, 2014 The Devil in the Details Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald A Peter Crossman adventure. Little Knife June 26, 2014 Little Knife Leigh Bardugo A Ravkan folk tale. The Color of Paradox June 25, 2014 The Color of Paradox A.M. Dellamonica Ruin, spoil, or if necessary kill.
From The Blog
July 3, 2014
Gaming Roundup: Elite: Dangerous Gives You A Universe
Pritpaul Bains and Theresa DeLucci
July 3, 2014
Flintlocks and Freedom: Check Out these Revolutionary War Fantasies!
Leah Schnelbach
June 30, 2014
The YA Roundup: With News from the Capitol!
Kat Kennedy and Steph Sinclair
June 30, 2014
Queering SFF: Wrapping Up Pride Month Extravaganza (Redux)
Brit Mandelo
June 30, 2014
Change is in the Air on The Legend of Korra!
Mordicai Knode
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Thu
Jan 23 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Revisit The Last of Us This Valentine’s Day

The Last of Us Left Behind

Last year, developer Naughty Dog gave us what we considered to be the best game of 2013 in The Last of Us. The post-apocalyptic, narrative-driven PS3 masterpiece both captured and broke the hearts of gamers everywhere, leaving fans aching for a return to the ruins of its infected, ravaged world. In November, Naughty Dog showed us they were listening, announcing the game’s first piece of single-player DLC, entitled Left Behind, scheduled for release this Valentine’s Day.

(Don’t worry, no spoilers.)

[“All this time, I thought you were dead.”]

Thu
Jan 16 2014 12:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Raging Gamers Are Taking a Toll on Developers

Angry gamers raging on the internet about pretty much anything and everything are nothing new. The internet troll™ came, inescapably, hand-in-hand with the inception of the internet. And who among us hasn’t been privy to the all-too-frequent multiplayer mic outbursts on Xbox Live, PC, or PSN, which more often than not devolve into racist, sexist, or homophobic rants? More recently, the rise of Twitter and increasingly open lines of communications between game studios and their consumers have produced a new target for gamer vitriol—game developers themselves.

[Read more]

Thu
Jan 9 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: A Challenger Appears in the Console Wars

Steam Machine

Valve CEO Gabe Newell kicked off the New Year with a bang this week, as news broke across the gaming world of the impending launch of a range of Steam Machines—Valve’s entry into the console wars, with a distinctly PC-oriented twist. While Microsoft and Sony have a significant early advantage on any competitors that eventually emerge in the console marketplace, Valve’s Steam Machines manage to differentiate themselves from the two established industry giants by melding PC functionality and the power of millions of existing Steam accounts into a single new console concept.

[Meet Valve’s PC Gaming console, and find out why that label is no longer a paradox.]

Fri
Dec 20 2013 4:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Republique Represents True Advancement In Mobile Gaming

Developer Camouflaj’s episodic mobile game, Republique, is receiving rave reviews from every corner, and is garnering significant buzz as a worthy candidate to be considered the best mobile game ever, to date. The game, a stealth survivor horror effort set within a violently oppressive surveillance state, follows the attempt of one woman to break free of the constraints of her totalitarian environment.

[Tonight, I tell my own story...]

Fri
Dec 13 2013 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The Walking Dead Gets a Second Season... Again

The Walking Dead Season 2 Telltale Games

The success of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series came as a surprise to many, including yours truly, but the showers of accolades were certainly a testament to the sheer amount of polish and effort the developer poured into the games. Telltale’s near-mastery of the episodic format (gained through years of refinement) culminated in the first season of the Walking Dead games, making a second season a foregone conclusion. Let’s see what’s in store.

[“You’re either livin’ or you’re not...”]

Tue
Dec 10 2013 10:30am

Gaming Roundup: Try Your Hand at the Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Telltale Games

This year’s edition of Spike TV’s Video Game Awards aired this past week, giving gamers a sneak-peek at some major new upcoming franchises, as well as the opportunity to debate the merits of the network’s 2013 award choices. One of the night’s biggest announcement came from Telltale Games, as the game developer confirmed that they acquired the rights to produce a series of games coming in 2014 based on George R. R. Martin’s ASOIAF universe, and likely serving as complementary content to HBO’s Game of Thrones television series.

[You win or you die...]

Thu
Nov 21 2013 12:00pm

Gaming Roundup: EA Discusses the Future of Star Wars

Star Wars

Earlier this year, we learned that EA, for better or for worse, had assumed control of the Star Wars video game license from Disney, ensuring the franchise’s near future in the gaming-verse. This week, we learned a few more details about one of the largest IP deals in gaming history, including its duration and EA’s intended direction for Star Wars games going forward.

[“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid...”]

Fri
Nov 15 2013 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: New Tricks from Naughty Dog

Game developer Naughty Dog is no stranger to making waves in the PlayStation world, having pioneered the PS3’s flagship franchise in the Uncharted series and one of the console’s best games of all time in The Last of Us. Last night’s PS4 All Access exclusive let us in on the developer’s latest projects, and fans of both of Naughty Dog’s hit franchises will be very, very happy.

[Something old and something new...]

Thu
Nov 7 2013 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Walk the Plank With Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

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...]

Thu
Oct 31 2013 2:00pm

Gaming Roundup: A Celebration of Video Game Horror

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 Tor.com 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...]

Fri
Oct 25 2013 11:00am

Gaming Roundup: Arkham Origins Explores Batman’s Early Years

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...]

Fri
Oct 18 2013 3:30pm

Gaming Roundup: In Which BioWare Talks New Mass Effect

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?]

Thu
Oct 10 2013 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Jane Jensen Revives Gabriel Knight

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.]

Thu
Oct 3 2013 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Half-Life 3 Exists, Doesn’t Exist, Then Exists Again

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.”]

Thu
Sep 26 2013 4:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Do Game Ratings Work?

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...]

Fri
Sep 20 2013 2:15pm

Gaming Roundup: In Which The Cancelled Turok 2 Leaves Us Pining for New Dinosaur Games

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.]

Thu
Sep 12 2013 3:30pm

Gaming Roundup: The Most Expensive Game Ever Made Nears Launch

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...”]

Wed
Sep 11 2013 9:30am

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay: Worldbuilding Done Right

Movie tie-ins are almost universally the bottom feeders of the gaming world.

Hungry studios looking for a return on their investments seek out any and all opportunities to make extra money through licensed merchandise, like the nostalgic pangs you get when you remember your favorite childhood Star Wars lunchbox—companies looking to turn a profit net some worthwhile pop culture detritus. Video games are not often one of those things. Typically slapped together for a low budget under a tight deadline and with little serious thought to concepts like, you know, gameplay and design, most tie-in titles are critical and commercial flops.

[But there is an exception to the rule...]

Mon
Sep 9 2013 10:00am

Riddick’s Rebirth is Rather Messy

Riddick Vin Diesel

Fans of Vin Diesel’s best-loved character Riddick have been waiting nine years for the promised sequel to 2004’s Chronicles of Riddick and its predecessor Pitch Black (to say nothing of the top-notch video game installments). We’ve perked up at any offhand mention of a new movie in interviews and taken heart in teasing messages posted by Diesel himself on his personal fanpage. Now, at last, Riddick is back in a new adventure that is more of a series reboot than a proper continuation of the intergalactic convict’s story.

Stripped down literally and figuratively, Vin Diesel and director David Twohy deliver one of the stranger examinations of machismo dressed in sci-fi trappings in recent memory. After waiting so long, so patiently, I had a lot of feelings watching Riddick. There’s some good, some disappointing, and some frankly really, really disturbing.

Spoilers after the cut.

[You can’t please everyone, but you don’t have to offend either...]

Fri
Sep 6 2013 12:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Pax Prime 2013 Edition

PaxPrime

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...]