User Recreates Over 20 Real-World Roller Coasters In Planet Coaster

Planet Coaster hasn’t even been out for a month yet and users are already creating super impressive works. Take modder Joey Designs for example, who has crafted and uploaded a number of real-world roller coaster recreations to the game’s Steam Workshop.
The uploaded coasters include Dollywood’s Wild Eagle, Carowinds’ Thunder Road, and Six Flags’ X2. You can find (and download) all of the coasters here.
Planet Coaster received a score of 8.25. You can read Ben Reeves’ review of the game here.
[Source: Steam via Kotaku]
Source: Gameinformer

Opinion – Watch Dogs 2 Would Be Better Without Guns

Spoiler Warning: Some minor plot details are mentioned for Watch Dogs 2.
With a more jubilant protagonist, Watch Dogs 2 leaves behind the somber tone of the last game for a more vibrant and lighthearted experience. The 20-something hacker Marcus, who has a fondness for action films, video games, and crude humor, is a friendly jokester who spends much of his time making pop-culture references. While harmless outside of being able to create digital havoc, Watch Dogs 2 wants us to believe that he can also be a ruthless killer – and it just doesn’t fit.
Although the narrative introduces fascinating themes about technology, it’s negated by the existence of guns, creating a narrative dissonance that’s impossible to ignore. Marcus, who was unjustly profiled as a criminal by the mass-surveillance system, ctOS, wants to expose corporations and governments that abuse their power through technology. Gun-toting is inconsistent with his lighthearted and activist personality, making it difficult to get behind his cause when he’s printing guns out of a 3D printer and using hacks for his own personal gain.
This disconnect between story and gameplay is not a rare sight in video games. For example, it’s hard to believe that the friendly Nathan Drake, known for his dry humor, would mow down his villains without a second thought, or that Far Cry 3’s Jason Brody can go from skydiving with friends to initiating killing sprees. In Watch Dogs 2, narrative dissonance becomes all that more distracting, as it attempts to make a statement that is overshadowed by contradictory themes. You feel like a modern Robin Hood – a man of the people – when exposing shady corporations. The impact of these actions is less substantial when you can gun down those that stand in your way, which seems like too extreme an action for a goofy millennial savvy with computers.

In each mission, you have the choice to either play non-lethally or go in guns blazing. While you can approach missions non-lethally, it’s a much more challenging approach. Marcus’ stun gun has a slow firing rate, and it’s his only weapon that doesn’t kill. A more varied repertoire of nonlethal options would have been a valuable addition. The use of firearms is an easier option, but it doesn’t make much narrative sense, and these conflicting themes are seen elsewhere in the gameplay too.
Marcus’ distrust towards CEOs of secretive large companies is founded, but almost hypocritical as he abuses the same powers they do. From one mission to the next, you steal personal data and infiltrate private properties, which is at odds with Marcus’ values. You can stroll down the street and steal from an innocent pedestrian’s bank account with the press of a button, and in the next moment you’re righting the wrongs of a social-media giant that rigged an election. I found it difficult to empathize with Marcus, or even get behind his goal, when these blatant inconsistencies were occurring so often. 
These conflicting tones are further complicated by the existence of guns, and Marcus is surprisingly skilled with them. What’s more surprising, is that Watch Dogs 2 doesn’t need guns to be a good game. This sequel improves over its predecessor by putting hacking at the forefront of gameplay, and gunplay is the least innovative quality. Gunfights are not nearly as inventive as the hacking mechanics, which allow you to buzz an enemy’s phone to distract them, or place electrical hacking traps to knock foes out. 
I much preferred hacking my way through one area to the next. Progressing through an area solely with hacking tools can make each location feel like a giant, compelling puzzle – a confounding but fun head-scratcher as you distract and manipulate your foes. The ability to blast your way through an area with bullets seems like a cheap shortcut, and a bland one at that. While there isn’t anything wrong with the gunplay, it offers little novelty as you defeat several enemies, while hacking requires more strategy. 
It would be refreshing to see more games have a better relationship between gameplay and narrative that makes sense for the world it presents. For example, Ubisoft’s decision to ditch gunplay in Far Cry Primal made narrative sense since the setting takes place in the stone age, and it was a bold move for a series that previously centered around guns almost entirely.
Watch Dogs 2’s hacking gameplay is strong and provides enough variety that it could easily exist on its own, without gunplay. After completing Watch Dogs 2’s story, it became clear to me: Marcus is not a killer. Instead, he’s a glorified prankster, a social-media enthusiast, and a guy who spends more money on hipster clothes than he’d like to admit. He’s skilled with his powerful smartphone in hand, but he’s not the type to pull a trigger. So why give him a gun?
Source: Gameinformer

New Halo 5 Update Adds Weapons, Updates Forge, And More

Halo 5: Guardians is getting another huge content update called Monitor’s Bounty. On December 8, players can download a free update that includes new armor, skins, and weapons along with an option to join in-progress custom games, an eSports-esque Observer Mode, the ability to gift purchasable-only REQ packs to other players, and the “biggest Forge update ever seen in a Halo game.”
Everything in the update is free except for the Voices of War REQ pack, which is $9.99 and features Spartan Buck, 031 Exuberant Witness, and Yabda the Merciless as multiplayer announcers.
Since it is one of the bigger updates, 343 will reveal the rest of the features on December 7, which will includes details on Forge, Canon Fodder, Warzone, and the Arena Matchmaking Playlists. For a complete rundown of the revealed details, read the post on Halo Waypoint.
[Source: Halo Waypoint]
 
Our TakeI love the trend of supporting a game well after its release. More and more games are doing it, and it’s a good way to keep and reward a community.
Source: Gameinformer

Infinite Warfare Cosmetic DLC Supports Call Of Duty Endowment

For years, the Call of Duty series has raised money for veterans through its Call of Duty Endowment, which helps to pair veterans with civilian jobs. Today, you can download the Courage Pack for Infinite Warfare, which adds new cosmetics to your game while raising money for the foundation.
The Courage Pack is available to download for $4.99, and it includes new weapon and accessory camo, a reticle and emblem, and an animated calling card – all in the endowment’s official colors. Activision says that all of the publisher’s proceeds will go directly to the foundation.
For more on the Call of Duty Endowment, take a look at our earlier video feature about how the franchise helps veterans.
 
Our TakeRegardless of what you think of the series, Activision is certainly giving back to the people who inspire those games.
Source: Gameinformer

Update: Persona 5 Navigation Character And Supporting Cast Revealed

Update: Another pair of videos came out today detailing Futaba Sakura, the hacker who will help the main party traverse the various dungeons. There’s also an interview with her voice actress, Erica Lindbeck,  which you can view down below.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Original Story: Atlus released three trailers today to give fans a peek at some of the NPCs you’ll encounter while playing through Persona 5. These characters will help the protagonist with some of the essential RPG services, such as like healing and weaponry.
The first trailer shows off the gruff weapons dealer Munehisa Iwai, who will sell you “airsoft guns” at his shop called Untouchable. Getting in his good graces will secure you discounts, a wider selection of weapons, and customization options for whatever he sells you.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Fighting demons can be a painful experience, but the underground doctor Tae Takami will help patch you up if you help with her experiments. These trials are beneficial to the player as they unlock stronger health potions and consumables to use while dungeon crawling.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Life in the big city would be pretty difficult without a home, so it’s lucky that Sojima Sakura takes the protagonist in at the start of the game. If you help him run Cafe LeBlanc he’ll teach you how to make coffee and curry, which help restore mana while the Phantom Thieves are out fighting demons. This character has the same voice actor as the bartender from Catherine, and will even drop facts about coffee in a similar fashion.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
If that wasn’t enough Persona 5 to whet your appetite then you can check out the first 40 minutes of gameplay or the recently released story trailer.
[Source: Atlus via Persona Central]
Source: Gameinformer

You Can Now Build A Charmander At Build-A-Bear

Build-A-Bear now has options for those of you who like fire lizards more than bears. Build-A-Bear’s new pre-built Charmander stuffed animal costs $61 and comes with a Great Ball hoodie, Lucario hoodie, a “6-in1” sound chip, and an exclusive Pokémon trading card. Trainers wanting to build their own at physical stores have to wait until December 8.
The make-your-own version of Charmander will cost $28 and the Great Ball hoodie will go for $12.50, according to GameSpot. The Lucario hoodie and sound chip are exclusive to the online shop.
Charmander joins Pikachu and Eevee in the Pokémon section at Build-A-Bear. While Charmander isn’t in Pokémon Sun or Moon, you can read our review of it here.
[Source: Build-A-Bear via GameSpot]
Source: Gameinformer

Science-Fiction Weekly – Dreadnought, Prey, Transformers: The Last Knight

I attended PlayStation Experience this past weekend, and had the opportunity to play a 5v5 match of Dreadnought running on PlayStation 4. Dreadnought was announced way back in 2014 as a PC exclusive, but like a starship firing up its engines for liftoff, it took a considerable amount of time to come together, and didn’t hit beta status until April of this year. The official release date for both the PC and PlayStation 4 versions remains a murky “2017,” but after just one match, I can confidently say you want to put this one on your radar. Dreadnought is doing something different in the multiplayer space, and could be a nice palate cleanser next year.
When I was waiting for my match to begin, a sense of dread washed over me, as I watched another group of players battle it out. From afar, the game looked incredibly boring. The starships were barely moving, and I couldn’t decipher many strategies being deployed other than firing swarms of missiles. It looked like a game picking away at health meters and hoping your salvo hit truer than your enemies’.
When it was my turn to play, that feeling of dread intensified in the opening seconds of play. Of the five ships available for play (many more will be available in the final game), I picked the largest one, the Monarch, I believe. It looked the closest to a Star Destroyer from Star Wars, and, well, I think many of us has had the fantasy of standing at its helm.

The first shot of gameplay is quite cool, and does a nice job of establishing Dreadnought’s immense sense of scale. All five of my team’s starships are sitting stationary close to a planet’s surface. Much like any multiplayer shooter, our first task is to move onto the battlefield to engage the enemy. The hulking ships are slow to move, but the roaring sound of the engines is awesome, as is the colorful blast of energy that propels the ships forward. The terrain is mountainous, shades of vibrant whites and greys, with some kind of base positioned within one of the mountains. A representative on hand from developer Yager tells me to stay low or suffer the consequences. Our brigade flies low over a mountain, almost looking like snakes scurrying up a hill.
Our faster vessels, which include a smaller unit that looks something like a Millennium Falcon, is the first over the peak, a move that is signaled by a series of flashes on the horizon – a few enemies with eager trigger fingers have opened fire upon the vessel. I have no option in joining the fight at this point, given just how slow my starship is. From my viewpoint, I see the opening exchanges of the battle unfold, and it’s an impressive sight. Two of our starships, which fall into the destroyer class, are living up to their namesake, and are unloading volleys of rockets at the enemy. The trails of fire and smoke are impressive, as are the ripples of explosions on the enemy hulls on the receiving end. Both ships sustain damage, which appears to be quickly fixed by another smaller vessel that is shooting a green beam to heal them.
My first contribution to the war efforts, which is to be the first team to 100 points, borders on near disaster. I get caught in a bad spot between two enemy vessels, and maneuver the wrong way at first, trying to spin to the left when I should have gone right to get behind the cover of a mountain. I take on significant damage, and the Yager employee watching over my shoulder, laughs, and then yells “shields up!” He tells me that I just need to swipe right on the PlayStation 4’s touch pad. I do this and an energy wave passes over my ship, I lose a considerable amount of energy (which replenishes over time) in the effort, but it saves my vessel, and gives me the time I need to finish my evasive maneuvering.

I then catch one of my attackers in a similarly awkward movement phase, and light him up, first with my standard rockets, which are initiated by holding LT to lock on and RT to fire, and then a huge rocket salvo with one of my special attacks mapped to the face buttons. The game’s controls are incredibly intuitive, giving the feeling you are manning many stations on a starships bridge at once. Shields, more power to engines, and round after round of ammunition can all be fired off with just one click of a button. Basic movement is handled on the analog sticks, and rising and descending are mapped to R1 and L1, meaning you can quickly descend should you want to duck behind cover, something I did often.
I quickly got into a groove, and found it to be an immensely satisfying multiplayer experience. Our match lasted about 15 minutes, we won by a good 40, and I put up a respectable eight kills with just one death. It feels great to watch a huge enemy ship explode under the weight of your awesome arsenal. The question that looms is: Does this type of multiplayer experience have legs? I had a blast manning a starship in one multiplayer match, but is this something that will be as fun as controlling a foot soldier in a Call of Duty or Battlefield game? If Yager and co-developer Six Foot can add variety and systems that bring longevity, Dreadnought could be something special. Time will tell. The project of customizing my own starship with weapons and vanity items (which will be in the game) is a promising start.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Now that I’ve buttered you up with something good, let’s take a look at the first trailer for Michael Bay’s forthcoming film Transfomers: The Last Knight. Don’t blink when you watch it! Soak it all in. Doesn’t look too bad, does it? I was impressed with the trailer, but it doesn’t sync up with the report that a good portion of the film will take place in Camelot with King Arthur and Merlin protecting an artifact. Perhaps that story will just be used as backstory, as will be the quick shot we see of World War II. If that’s the case, I have a better feeling about this film. I haven’t enjoyed much of this series, outside of the opening moments from the FIRST Transformers film, but maybe they can get it back on track. Maybe.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
And I know we’re bombarded you with Prey coverage, but you absolutely need to check out the nine minute demo to see why we think this game is a great candidate for a Game Informer cover. The game looks like it’s going to be good fun, allowing players to experiment with a wild range of weapons as they combat an even wilder threat.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
That’s going to do it for this week’s Science-Fiction Weekly. It’s a light week on content, but it’s filled with two exciting things (and something else from Michael Bay). I’ll be back in seven days with the beginning of my end of the year coverage for science-fiction gaming. I hope to see you then.


Source: Gameinformer

Test Chamber – The Four Extreme Sports Featured In Steep

What are you going to do with all the majestic, snow-covered beauty of the European Alps? In the latest Test Chamber, editors Matthew Kato and Brian Shea take a tour through Steep, and some of its many things to do.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the game is filled with challenges, points of interest to find, and friends to meet. Take a look at how seamlessly the game puts all its activities together, and the many dangerous situations to encounter.
Steep is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
For more Test Chamber, click the banner below, or check out our hub.

Source: Gameinformer

Legendary Entertainment Signs Will Ferrell For eSports Movie

The same film studio that brought Inception and the Warcraft movie to life has set its sights on the world of eSports. Will Ferrell, best known for his roles on SNL and Anchorman, will be the main character of this untitled movie.
The script was written by the same writers for Spongebob Squarepants 3, with Will Ferrell taking on a similar character as his one in Talladega Nights. Evil Geniuses and Fnactic also seem to be in talks to appear in the film.
There is no current release date for the film.
[Source: Dot Esports]
 
Our TakeWhile it isn’t strange to see studios courting the idea of romanticizing the idea of eSports, this casting pick is. I think I’ll stick with watching either Video Game Highschool or The Street Fighter for my eSports dramas.
Source: Gameinformer

Blizzard Hints At Holiday-Themed Overwatch Event Next Week

Blizzard has invited players through Twitter to a seemingly winter-themed event slated to begin on December 13 in Overwatch. Through Blizzard’s past holiday events and the snow-covered King’s Row map in the tweet, this likely points to a winter holiday (and probably New Year’s themed) event for Overwatch.
Although Blizzard has not confirmed anything, dataminers have dug up the leaked holiday theme music and what characters will likely get holiday-themed skins, emotes, and highlight intros (which have been accurate in the past).
It is also likely that this update will coincide with the reworked Symmetra from the Public Test Region, which we liked quite a bit.

You’re invited! pic.twitter.com/MQZPZOW4Y1
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) December 6, 2016
[Source: Blizzard on Twitter]
 
Our TakeAs someone who loves Overwatch, I can’t wait to dive back in and get some holiday loot boxes. I just hope I actually get some good holiday skins instead of coal.
Source: Gameinformer