Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 19, 2014
“WCKD is Good,” But The Maze Runner is Bad
Natalie Zutter
September 18, 2014
Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast
Natalie Zutter
September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
Ryan Britt
September 15, 2014
Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1
Tansy Rayner Roberts
September 13, 2014
If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
Chris Lough
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Thu
Apr 10 2014 2:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Return to Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online

Gamers everywhere have been jonesing for a return to the continent of Tamriel ever since the launch of Skyrim. This week, many a prayer was answered by Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios as the new Elder Scrolls-based MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online, launched to much fanfare. How does the new multiplayer adventure stack up to its single player predecessors?

[Those pesky Daedric Princes are always up to no good.]

Sun
Apr 6 2014 10:00pm

Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 1: “Two Swords”

The longest winter is finally over and with spring comes the fourth season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Fans lucky enough to score tickets to a New York-area fan event got to see “Two Swords” a full two weeks before the official air date. Plus some bonus Hodor time. But after the lines and surprise guests, what people really came to see was how such cultural landmark television was going to come back from last year’s infamous Red Wedding.

Major spoilers for the episode after the cut, book spoilers are also fair game in the comments. And some very NSFW quotes. Be warned.

[Why Westeros needs a KFC...]

Thu
Apr 3 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The Creator of The Longest Journey Enters Horror Gaming with Draugen

Draugen

Way back in 1999, developer Ragnar Tørnquist and a small Norwegian studio named Funcom released a little point-and-click game called The Longest Journey, which gained repute as one of the best adventure games of all time, driven by one of the most memorable female gaming protagonists ever. In 2012, Tørnquist launched his own independent studio, Red Thread Games, with the intent of revisiting the universe established in The Longest Journey and its sequel, but in between, he and his team found the time and resources to fund Draugen — an upcoming horror mystery game that looks to be part Alan Wake, part Amnesia, and part Gone Home.

[“The sea is calling.”]

Wed
Apr 2 2014 1:00pm

Knights of Badassdom: Verily Dost This Movie Suck

Picture this: San Diego Comic-Con, July 2011. Director Joe Lynch premieres a hilarious trailer for his upcoming LARP-horror comedy Knights of Badassdom starring Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister, True Blood’s Jason Stackhouse, Firefly’s River Tam, Community’s Abed Nadir and Steve Zahn. Steve Zahn pretty much always plays Steve Zahn in fantastic style.

[A Review]

Thu
Mar 27 2014 4:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Plant the Seeds of Revolution in Assassin’s Creed Unity

Developer Ubisoft launched their first trailer for the next Assassin’s Creed game this week, titled Assassin’s Creed Unity. Under development for over three years, Unity is the first AC game designated as next-gen only. Any details beyond the brief teaser shown in the trailer are scarce, but let’s see what we can glean about Ubisoft’s latest offering.

[“Let them eat cake!”]

Fri
Mar 21 2014 9:30am

A Spoiler-Filled Review of Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 1: “Two Swords”

The longest winter is finally over and with spring comes the fourth season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Fans lucky enough to score tickets to a New York-area fan event got to see “Two Swords” a full two weeks before the official air date. Plus some bonus Hodor time. But after the lines and surprise guests, what people really came to see was how such cultural landmark television was going to come back from last year’s infamous Red Wedding.

Major spoilers for the episode after the cut, book spoilers are also fair game in the comments. And some very NSFW quotes. Be warned.

[Why Westeros needs a KFC...]

Thu
Mar 20 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Virtual Reality, Finally Within Reach

PS4 virtual reality

The big news coming out of this week’s Game Developers Conference stemmed chiefly from Sony’s official announcement of their entry into the virtual reality ring with their very own VR headset, codenamed Project Morpheus, which they hope will become PS4’s killer app down the road. If early reports are accurate, the new hardware shows a lot of promise, but Sony’s not the only player on the field.

[“This is the key to a new order. This code disk means freedom.”]

Thu
Mar 13 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dragon Age: Inquisition Patrols the Skies This Fall

Dragon Age Inquisition

Fans of BioWare’s Dragon Age franchise have a lot to look forward to later this year as the series returns to gaming screens everywhere via the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition. The story-focused medieval fantasy RPG series is, along with Mass Effect, one of BioWare’s flagship franchises, and Inquisition marks the developer’s first foray into next-gen consoles. So what can we expect from BioWare’s latest?

[“This is the world we’re trying to save.”]

Thu
Mar 6 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Arkham Knight Puts You In The Driver’s Seat... Of The Batmobile

Batman Arkham Knight

In many ways, developer Rocksteady Studios revolutionized modern superhero video games via their conception of the Batman: Arkham series. Their work spans the first two games of the series (the innovative Arkham Asylum and Arkham City), and presented gamers with a darker Bruce Wayne, tight storylines, memorable villains, and innovative combat/exploration gameplay. This year, Rocksteady will develop what is suspected to be their final Arkham game (though undoubtedly the series will live on through other developers) in Arkham Knight—a game that seems poised to build on the legacy of Asylum and City.

[“In death, I will love you forever...”]

Wed
Mar 5 2014 11:00am

Before They Played the Game of Thrones—Updated for Season 4

HBO’s blockbuster series Game of Thrones is often recognized for its fantastic ensemble cast, which keeps replenishing its ranks every season. Last year, we met the Queen of Thorns, Mance Rayder, some Tullys, some Reeds, and mercenary bad-boy Daario. But there’s plenty of room for more new faces after the Red Wedding.

As the fourth season nears, let’s take a look at some of the actors stepping into Westeros for the first time. Proving that networking at the BBC is great for one’s career, a number of these new actors have already worked with each other and the existing Thrones cast. Get a glimpse of the exciting and sometimes embarrassing pasts of Oberyn Martell, Ellaria Sand, The Queen of Thorn’s oaf of a son, a Wildling or two, and mercenary bad-boy Daario. Again.

[A UC Sunnydale student, a Frost Giant, and Sherlock’s big brother...]

Thu
Feb 27 2014 3:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Kill A Friend, Save The World in Gods Will Be Watching

Gods Will Be Watching

It seems that gaming and moral dilemmas have undergone a unique sort of marriage lately. Most games of yesteryear were content to focus on the simple choices, if any at all—good, bad, you’re the guy with the gun. But recent years have forced gamers to ponder their in-game decisions a little more thoroughly.

Games such as the Mass Effect and Walking Dead series, Heavy Rain, MGS, The Last of Us, and even the Bioshock and GTA franchises have ascribed heavy moral consequences to in-game choices that in some cases directly impact your playthrough. A Norwegian high school is using The Walking Dead games to teach ethics. Falling into this vein of video games is upcoming indie effort Gods Will Be Watching—a dark, difficult point-and-click adventure premised on forcing you to make difficult choices as often as possible.

[How far would you go?]

Thu
Feb 20 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Dark Souls II Tries to Tell You It Isn’t About Death, Lies

Dark Souls 2

When developer From Software launched the original Demon’s Souls back in 2009, it became a surprise hit—a dark, beautiful game hailed as a throwback due to its steep difficulty and penchant for killing gamers thousands of times over but keeping them crawling back for more. The game’s sequel, Dark Souls, made death even more prevalent, downright reveling in the player’s gory demise. In an age where challenge in mainstream video games is increasingly rare, From’s Souls franchise is a prominent and noteworthy standout. So what can we expect from the next installment, Dark Souls II?

[This isn’t about death... except it is.]

Thu
Feb 13 2014 5:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The Creators of Left 4 Dead Take an Evolutionary Multiplayer Leap

Evolve

The original Left 4 Dead brought us murderous zombie multiplayer mayhem polished to a sheen and on a scale gamers had never before experienced. The simple premise of a team-based survival horror game jam-packed with so many zombies that even Serious Sam sat up and took notice had a universal and lasting appeal—one that led to an equally successful sequel and whispers of a third game in-development over at Valve. How could Turtle Rock Studios, the creators of Left 4 Dead, possibly follow up their own act? Let’s take a look at Evolve.

[Happy hunting...]

Thu
Feb 6 2014 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: The Thief Reboot Steps Out Of The Shadows

Thief Reboot

Fifteen years ago, Looking Glass Studios and Ken Levine (a key contributor to such gaming classics as System Shock 2 and the Bioshock franchise) took a risky step by developing and releasing Thief: The Dark Project—an unconventional stealth-based steampunk PC exclusive that used light and sound as core gameplay mechanics to promote non-confrontational combat in an FPS market saturated with spray ’n pray splatterfests. The game was a hit, and its surprise success spawned two sequels—the last of which launched in 2004. The series then went (aptly) dark for nearly a decade... until last year, when Eidos Montreal and Square Enix officially announced a new entry to the franchise that will effectively reboot the series.

[What’s yours is mine...]

Mon
Feb 3 2014 6:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Explore an Open World Mordor in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor

Video game forays into Tolkien’s Middle-earth have generally met with mixed success over the years. The MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online and its numerous expansions are generally considered the cream of a somewhat limited crop, though perhaps a reasonable argument could be constructed for the simple hack-and-slash appeal of EA’s movie tie-in trilogy. This past week, however, brought to light a new hope for those of us who prefer our Middle-earth fix in an offline format. Meet gaming’s latest entry into the Tolkien-verse: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

[“Run, you filth...”]

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...”]