the walking dead

Skybound Games Hires Original Devs to Finish The Walking Dead

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It’s been a tumultuous time for The Walking Dead and Telltale Games fans (and much worse for the developers). In September Telltale Games shut down all game production and laid off the majority of their employees. This happened just days before the release of the second episode of the final season of The Walking Dead, leaving it half-finished.

Skybound Games, owned by Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) swooped in to save the game. It’s taken a few weeks to iron out the details, but Skybound has officially announced they are picking up the pieces to finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season, including using the original developers.

“After Telltale shut its doors, the game was, unfortunately, unable to be worked on and hence the release dates of Episodes 3 and 4 have been delayed,” the announcement states. “But, we’re excited to let you know that many of the talented, passionate team members who originally worked on the game are resuming development efforts today!”

The final two episodes of the four episode game will be delayed due to the transition. Previous Telltale Games have been pulled from digital stores as well, though Skybound reassures they will be back soon. If you previously purchased the full season pass for The Walking Dead: The Final Season, it will still work for the remaining episodes. Release dates for episodes three and four are coming soon.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season is the fourth episodic adventure game in Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. The original was a critical and commercial success, catapulting Telltale into the public eye. The sequels were not as well received, and Telltale had floundered in trying to recapture that 2012 success. The Final Season is meant to finally end Clementine’s story, a journey that has been six years in the making.

The Walking Dead adventure games are rated M for Mature.

Pixelkin 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Gaming Families

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When the most popular game on the planet is free to play on every available platform, including phones, what’s a parent or relative shopping for games to do?

Despite its popularity, Fortnite isn’t the end all of video games. This year saw huge new franchise releases in a variety of genres, such as Assassin Creed Odyssey, God of War, Dragon Quest 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Digital gift cards such as the Nintendo eShop gift card make easy and effective gifts (and fine stocking stuffers) as indie games continue to fill the in-between gaps, including Dead Cells, Celeste, Two Point Hospital, Moonlighter, and Octopath Traveler.

And 2018 marked our first full year with the Switch, adding dozens of high quality indie games as well as first party releases such as Super Mario Party and Pokémon Let’s Go. Nintendo is also the only major game company truly thinking outside the box with the release of the Nintendo Labo kits.

Below you’ll find links to our 2018 gaming gift recommendations, organized by system and age rating: Young Kids (under 10), Kids and Teens (10-16), and Mature Teens (17+).

For the first time this year we’re also adding a board game category, recognizing the rising popularity of tabletop games for kids and adults of all ages. In an age of increasing reliance on digital distribution, opening a physical board game for the holidays would make for a very satisfying gift.

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forza horizon 4

Pixelkin 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Xbox One

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There’s no doubt that Microsoft and the Xbox One have stumbled a bit this generation. In sports there’s the concept of the rebuilding year. The current season may be lost, so it’s time work on getting things together for the future.

This year has been especially tough as some of the year’s biggest games – Spider-Man, God of War – are only available on PlayStation 4.

Yet Microsoft hasn’t sat idly by. They’ve acquired a number of big-name studios this year and are clearly invested in nurturing and developing quality first-person content. The future of the Xbox brand shines bright. In the mean time, enjoy our list of recommendations.

 

Younger Kids

LEGO DC Super-Villains

The LEGO games are often the best cooperative family games around, though the quality can vary from game to game. The superhero genre fits together with the LEGO style beautifully, especially when TT Games can craft an original story around it. LEGO DC Super-Villains is unique in starring your own super-powered, customizable figure as they join forces alongside a cast of comic favorites.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Overcooked 2

Even if you’re not a fan of Iron Chef or Great British Bake Off, you can find a lot to love in this delightfully charming cooperative cooking game. Each level in Overcooked 2 features a kitchen filled with zany hazards and traps as you and up to three others race to chop veggies, bake ingredients, and toss each other dishes across rivers and through portals. Easily one of the best co-op games of the year.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Sonic Mania Plus

How well do those classic 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog games hold up today? Incredibly well, if Sonic Mania is any indicator. Released last year, Sonic Mania is a love letter to old-school 2D Sonic games that should delight fans young and old. The new Plus version includes the Encore DLC, adding two new playable characters, four player multiplayer, and a new Encore mode that remixes levels in challenging new ways.

Also available on: PlayStation 4, Switch

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Fully 3D action games were still in their infancy during the PlayStation 1 era, but one little purple dragon made a name for himself, because, who doesn’t want to play a flying, fire-breathing dragon? Today Spyro is best known for his starring role in the Skylanders franchise but the Spyro Reignited Trilogy (developed by the Skylanders team) is a worthy trip back to Spyro’s roots, bundling all three 3D platformers in a glorious HD overhaul.

Also available on: PlayStation 4

 

Older Kids & Teens

Burnout Paradise Remastered

One of the best racing games of the previous generation of consoles finally got an HD remaster earlier this year. Burnout Paradise features an open-world city filled with cars, races, jumps, takedowns, and secrets. Starting up a race is as simple as revving your engine at an intersection. The remaster also includes the excellent Big Surf Island DLC which adds an entirely new area.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4

Dead Cells

For years indie games have filled the niche of 2D action-platformers in a variety of formats and styles. With a cool neon art style, tight controls, and clever level design, Dead Cells may be the peak of the genre (read our review).

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Forza Horizon 4

The racing genre hasn’t been terribly prolific in recent years. Thankfully with the release of Forza Horizon 4, we’re pretty sure you won’t need much else. The Forza series didn’t need much fixing when it came to racing, card handling, and real-world licenses. Instead we get welcoming new features like a well-integrated online racing world and a dynamic weather system that affects road conditions.

Also available on: PC

Jurassic World Evolution

Even if you’re not a big fan of the recent Jurassic World films, Evolution is a fantastic theme park sim from the makers of the also excellent Planet Coaster (and a wonderful successor to 2003’s Operation Genesis). Splice genomes to breed dinosaurs, build proper enclosures, and keep them happy for your guests. The dinosaur AI is deep enough to be consistently entertaining and when things go wrong it’s running and screaming in all the right ways (read our review).

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4

Mega Man 11

One of the most prolific platformers in gaming, Mega Man enjoyed a triumphant return to prominence this year with the well-received Mega Man 11. The action is colorful and fast as the Blue Bomber once again battles a series of themed robot masters, acquiring their powers along the way. Different difficulty modes ensure a wider range of players can enjoy the classically-inspired gameplay.

And if you’re nostalgic about the old Mega Man games, the Mega Man Legacy 1 + 2 Collection serves all your needs.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Monster Hunter World

The Monster Hunter series finally gets the love it deserves thanks to Monster Hunter World. The portable gaming series has been rebuilt for home consoles and the behemoths have never looked better. Add in more streamlined concepts and abilities for a new crowd and full online co-op and you have the recipe for Capcom’s best Monster Hunter game yet. A must-buy for action game fans.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4

SoulCalibur VI

Move over superheroes and ninjas, it’s time for the true weapons-based warriors to shine. SoulCalibur 6 is another stellar fighting game to add to the championship belt. As a reboot it also makes for an excellent jumping on point for series newcomers. It includes bonus character Geralt from the Witcher series, as well as the ability to design your own fighter.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

The once exciting (albeit expensive) toys-to-life genre has all but died, save for Ubsoft’s very late but surprisingly competent sci-fi entry. Starlink uses toys to customize your spaceships, but they’re probably the least exciting aspect, as the game itself lets you zip around planets completing quests, dogfighting enemies, and engaging with fun characters.

Also available on: PlayStation 4, Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Valkyria Chronicles presents an intriguing combination of RPG, tactical-combat, and third-person action set in an alternate Earth during World War 2. Take turns directing troops on the battlefield, line up shots in your crosshairs, then enjoy their banter in between battles. Although it’s the fourth game in the series, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a stand-alone story featuring its own cast of young soldiers.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

 

Mature Teens

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey builds upon last year’s Assassin Creed Origins and leans even further into the RPG genre, including dialogue choices, romance-able NPCs, and multiple endings. For a series first you can also choose to play as either a male or female sibling, both fully voiced, fully realized characters within the hand-crafted world of Ancient Greece.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4

Banner Saga Trilogy

The Banner Saga trilogy reached its conclusion this year with the release of Banner Saga 3. The series is known for both its intricate turn-based tactical combat and its bleak, emotional story-telling that forces you to make tough decisions while facing the end of the world in this Norse-inspired strategy game. All three games are excellent, and included in the bundle.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Dark Souls Remastered

The original Dark Souls practically invented a new subgenre of action game with obtuse, challenging, but very rewarding gameplay. Develop your preferred weaponry and playstyle as your journey through a darkly gothic world. The original has been given a graphical face-lift and includes the Artorias of the Abyss DLC.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Divinity: Original Sin 2

One of the best PC RPGs last year is one of the best console RPGs this year. Divinity: Original Sin 2 has everything you want in an RPG: great characters, a huge world with tons of choices, an intriguing story, and a deep, meaningful combat system that plays like Chess with Fireballs. Even better: it supports up to four player multiplayer co-op (online and local) and a full editor to create your own campaigns.

Also available on: PC, PlayStation 4

Red Dead Redemption II

It doesn’t get much bigger than a Rockstar Games release. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel that takes place 10 years before the original, but this long-awaited sequel is light-years ahead of any other open world game, and its world-building depth and ridiculously detailed production is guaranteed to astonish. The story easily lasts over 50 hours, and the multiplayer mode Red Dead Online is coming later this year.

Also available on: PlayStation 4

overwatch

Play Overwatch for Free All Thanksgiving Week

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If you’re staring down the barrel of a week-long holiday this Thanksgiving, Blizzard has at least one suggestion. Overwatch will be free to play beginning November 20 until November 26 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The Overwatch Free Trial includes access to four game modes, all 19 maps, and all 29 heroes, including the recently added gunslinger Ashe. New Accounts will be able to level up, earn loot boxes and gain new skins, sprays, poses and other rewards.

Since progress is tied to your account, any progress made during the free trial will carry over if you decided to purchase Overwatch after the free trial period has ended. Trophies and achievements are disabled during the free trial, however.

Note that playing Overwatch on consoles requires Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscriptions.

For players who link their Twitch and Blizzard accounts, you can earn special limited Ashe-themed sprays during the free trial period.

To access Overwatch on PC during the free trial you’ll need to download the Blizzard Battle.net app, create a Blizzard account, and install the game. For PlayStation and Xbox, simply search for Overwatch in their respective stores and download the Free Trial version.

Console players will be able to pre-load the Overwatch Free Trial now.

The Overwatch Free Trial begins Nov. 20 at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern.