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Beware the Watch Dogs

This weekend, I had a chance to see the Watch Dogs 2 demo live at Fan Expo Canada. It’s the same demo that has been shown at E3 and floating around YouTube. Watching it live leaves a great impression and I was honestly impressed. The game looks great and they have made meaningful changes to core mechanics, including driving and NPC AI. The driving mechanic was worked on by Ubisoft Reflections (the same division of Ubisoft responsible for the Driver series), NPCs are more diverse and reactive, and they react to Marcus positively or negatively based on the game’s new mood system.

There are also all sorts of devices for you to navigate the world with and gadgets to hack into. Remote vehicles will help you circumvent obstacles and look like a lot of fun, especially for players who enjoy stealth. If you prefer to get more involved in the action, Marcus can now traverse the environment fluidly and quickly climb and leap around buildings. I walked away pretty pumped about Watch Dogs 2. But that was their goal, and that worries me.

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Best of E3 2016

Well another E3 has come and gone and we gamers are left overwhelmed by opportunities that lie before us.  I know I have already preordered six games for this fall (You can say preordering is a sham all you like but 20% off is no joke). Yes we saw a lot of fantastic stuff over the last week. I am not entirely sold on some of it, some have given me reasons to be interested but a select few really stood out. Here are my top picks for Best of E3 2016.

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In Review: Battlefield Hardline

I will be honest these days I barely pay attention to the new iterations of AAA franchises. At the end of the day not much really changes right? Despite that I almost never fail to pick them up. Partly because all my friends inevitably get it and who am I to not bend to peer pressure right? So there I was browsing my local game store and what do I find? The new Battlefield Hardline. Battlefield 4 was enjoyable so why not I say. Battlefield Hardline is visually impressive. It looks fantastic, plays very smoothly and has an interesting story but it falls short in too many areas to be a success.

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Gaming for Good

I am a writer, digital media specialist, and an intrepid explorer but when I am not working or seeking out new adventures, I am an avid gamer.  Why? Because saving the world never gets old.  I love all sorts of games but shooters are my favorite. I cut my teeth on my PC with Wolf 3D, DOOM, & Quake and today I still relax with some Call of Duty or Borderlands.  That is one of the reasons I am helping some friends out with a very cool project that takes the games we love and is putting them to good use:  helping sick kids. Headshots from the Heart is a fundraising marathon unlike any you’ve seen.

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Valuable Lessons I learned From Video Games

I am a gamer. I love my PS3 and PC, my shooters and platformers and for me there is nothing like that feeling you get from being the hero in a good adventure story.  The trouble is a lot of people discount video games as juvenile or even a waste of time. Non-gamers have trouble understanding why an adult would want to spend hours exploring a digital landscape or fine tuning your marksmanship.  They can’t understand the emotion that comes with toppling that final boss or pride of finishing your game on “impossible” difficulty or even why we “gotta catch them all”.  I won’t waste my energy trying to convert the non-gamers of the world, If you don’t get it then it probably isn’t for you, you sad sad individual, but I would like to share some things that gaming has taught me.

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I highly recommend building your own PC

A couple of weeks ago I had one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.  Wait, I said this was going to be how great building your own PC was? Well it is, when it is all up and running, you are filled with a sense of joy and accomplishment that can’t be matched by much. However it is a long rocky road to that joy.  OK the rockiness and length of the road will vary on the builder but what makes building your own rig so great is that it teaches you about yourself.

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