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Nominees for 2017 Game Awards Revealed

The list of nominees for the 2017 Game Awards has been revealed. This is also the first time that fans can vote on games, before the awards show reveals the winners on December 7th. Check out the full list of nominated games below:

Game of the Year

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Game Direction

  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Narrative

  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Art Direction

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Score/Music

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)

Best Audio Design

  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Performance

  • Melina Juergens, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (as Senua)
  • Laura Bailey, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (as Nadine Ross)
  • Claudia Black, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (as Chloe Frasier)
  • Brian Bloom, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (as B.J. Blazkowicz)
  • Ashley Burch, Horizon Zero Dawn (as Aloy)

Games for Impact

  • Please Knock on my Door (Levall Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm (Deck Nine/Square Enix)
  • Bury Me, My Love (The Pixel Hunt/Figs, ARTE)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)

Best Ongoing Game

  • Warframe (Digital Extremes)
  • Rainbow 6: Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)
  • Grand Theft Auto Online (Rockstar Games)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)

Best Mobile Game

  • Super Mario Run (Nintendo)
  • Old Man’s Journey (Broken Rules)
  • Monument Valley 2 (ustwo games)
  • Hidden Folks (Adriaan de Jongh/Sylvain Tegroeg)
  • Fire Emblem Heroes (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

Best Handheld Game

  • Poochy and Yoshi’s Woolly World (Good-Feel/Nintendo)
  • Monster Hunter Stories (Marvelous/Nintendo)
  • Metroid: Samus Returns (MercurySteam/Nintendo)
  • Ever Oasis (Grezzo/Nintendo)
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

Best VR/AR Game

  • Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft)
  • Lone Echo/Echo Arena (Ready At Dawn/Oculus Studios)
  • Farpoint (Impulse Gear/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom)

Best Action Game

  • Prey (Arkane/Bethesda)
  • Nioh (Team Ninja/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (MachineGames/Bethesda)

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Role Playing Game

  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Ubisoft San Francisco/Ubisoft)
  • Final Fantasy XV (Square-Enix Business Division 2/Square-Enix)
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Larian Games)
  • NieR: Automata (Platinum Games/Square Enix)
  • Persona 5 (Atlus)

Best Fighting Game

  • Tekken 7 (Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Nidhogg 2 (Messhof Games)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite (Capcom)
  • Injustice 2 (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Arms (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Family Game

  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Sonic Mania (PagodaWest Games + Headcannon/Sega)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft Paris + Milan/Ubisoft)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)

Best Strategy Game

  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (Fire Axis Games/2K)
  • Tooth and Tail (Pocketwatch Games)
  • Total War: Warhammer II (Creative Assembly/Sega)
  • Halo Wars 2 (Creative Assembly + 343/Microsoft Studios)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft Paris + Milan/Ubisoft)

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • Project Cars 2 (Slightly Mad Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PES Productions/Konami)
  • NBA 2K18 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
  • GT Sport (Polyphony Digital/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • FIFA 18 (EA Vancouver/EA)

Best Multiplayer

  • Fortnite (Epic Games)
  • Call of Duty: World War II (Sledgehammer Games/Activision)
  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
  • Destiny 2 (Bungie/Activision)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG Corp.)

Most Anticipated Game

  • The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Red Dead Redemption II (Rockstar Games)
  • Monster Hunter World (Capcom)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • God of War (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Independent Game

  • Pyre (Supergiant Games)
  • Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)
  • What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory)

Best Student Game

  • Meaning (Hariz Yet; DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore)
  • Level Squared (Kip Brennan, Stephen Scoglio, Dane Perry Svendsen; Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Impulsion (Hugo Verger, Rémi Bertrand, Maxime Lupinski; IIM – Institut de l’Internet et du Multimédia)
  • Falling Sky (Jonathan Nielssen, Nikolay Savov, Mohsen Shah; National Film and Television School)
  • Hollowed (Erin Marek, Jerrick Flores, Charley Choucard; University of Central Florida – Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy)
  • From Light (Alejandro Grossman, Steven Li, Sherveen Uduwana; University of Southern California)

Trending Gamer

  • Steven Spohn (AbleGamers)
  • Mike Grzesiek (Shroud)
  • Guy Beam (Dr. Disrespect)
  • Clint Lexa (Halfcoordinated)
  • Andrea Rene (What’s Good Games)

Best Esports Game

  • Rocket League (Psyonix)
  • League of Legends (Riot)
  • DOTA 2 (Valve)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard)

Best Esports Player

  • Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi (Team Liquid, DOTA 2)
  • Je-hong “ryujehong” Ryu (Seoul Dynasty, Overwatch)
  • Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovac (FaZE Clan, Counter-Strike: GO)
  • Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David (SK Gaming, Counter-Strike: GO)
  • Lee sang-hyeok “Faker” (SK Telecom 1, League of Legends)

Best Esports Team

  • Team Liquid
  • SK Telecom 1
  • Lunatic Hai
  • FaZe Clan
  • Cloud 9

Best Debut Indie Game

  • Slime Rancher (Monomi Park)
  • Mr. Shifty (Team Shifty)
  • Hollow Knight (Team Cherry)
  • Golf Story (Sidebar Games)
  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Best Chinese Games

  • Monument Valley 2(《纪念碑谷2》) (ustwo)
  • jx3 HD(《剑网3》重制版 (Kingsoft Corporation)
  • Gumballs(《不思议迷宫》) (QcPlay Limited)
  • ICEY(《艾希》) (FantaBlade Network)
  • King Of Glory(《王者荣耀》 (Timi Studio Group)

Fans can click here to cast their votes. Check out the announcement trailer for the 2017 Game Awards below:

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Tekken World Tour Finals Coming to San Francisco

Bandai Namco has announced that the Tekken World Tour Finals tournament will be held outside of Japan for the first time in the history of the franchise. This year, on November 12, 16 of the best Tekken 7 players will compete at the City View at Metreon in San Francisco, California.

The double-elimination tournament will start at 12:00 p.m. PST and go until one player takes home the $50,000 prize purse. The tournament will be streamed live on twitch.tv/tekken. Additionally, tickets to view the event in-person can be purchased by clicking here.

Tekken 7 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Check out a trailer for the game below:

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PUBG Creators Considering Action Against Fortnite

While Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t the inventor of the battle arena game mode, they have most certainly put it on the map. Recently, the first “challenger” to the game emerged when Epic Games announced that Fortnite Battle Arena, a game mode within Fortnite would be released as a free to play game starting on September 26. As a response, it looks like PUBG developer Bluehole has some concerns about how closely Epic’s game is following their model.

Bluehole executive producer and vice president Chang Han Kim issued the following statement earlier:

“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game. After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”

“We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press. This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”

Kim followed this statement by later saying:

“The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”

The creator of PUBG, Brendan Greene has also gotten involved. He issued the following statement on Reddit:

“Other companies will, of course, enter the marketplace, but I would just hope they put their own spin on the game mode and not just make a carbon copy!”

Although Fortnite may be the first game to take a crack at the battle arena game mode following the success of PUBG, they certainly won’t be the last. It will be interesting to see where Bluehole takes this, not just with Fortnite, but other games going forward.

Keep it tuned to Proven Gamer for updates!

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G4C Student Challenge Expands into Pittsburgh and Dallas

Games for Change (G4C), the leading advocate of games for social impact and learning, has launched the second annual G4C Student Challenge in New York City, Pittsburgh, and Dallas.

The national G4C Student Challenge is a game design competition that  invites public middle and high school students to create digital games about real-world issues impacting their communities.  Through the Challenge’s hands-on game design program, students develop 21st-century skills by prototyping digital games and engaging in humanities research and civic problem solving.

“Game design is a proven way to engage students in STEM learning and computer science,” says G4C President Susanna Pollack. “We believe that games are also a powerful tool to drive social change, reflect on history, and get kids interested in civic issues. Cities and public schools are participating in the Challenge to empower underserved students to build skills and problem solve in their neighborhoods.”

Building on its successful 2015 pilot program in collaboration with the NYC Department of Education, G4C is enhancing the program to include two additional cities (Pittsburgh and Dallas) in the 2016–2017 school year. The program is being implemented through a consortium of national partners, including Mouse and Institute of Play, and local partners in each city (The Sprout Fund in Pittsburgh and Big Thought in Dallas) with generous support from the Best Buy Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust.

Students will design games around the following three themes, each supported by partners that provide research assets, workshops, and subject expertise:

  • Local Stories & Immigrant Voices – supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): Games that explore the unique history of local immigrant experiences through the lens of the student’s own experience;
  • Climate Change – supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA): Games that explore the local effects of climate change, and aim to raise awareness and change the behavior of people in each city;
  • Future Communities – supported by Current, powered by GE: Games about how smart technologies and infrastructure can improve urban life and empower citizens, with participation from the city governments in NYC, Dallas, and Pittsburgh.

A consortium of humanities partners and scholars is providing city-specific content and expertise for the NEH  Local Stories & Immigrant Voices theme, including the New York Historical Society, Brooklyn Historical Society, CUNY American Social Histories Project (NYC); Humanities Texas (Dallas); Heinz History Center and Pittsburgh Kids (Pittsburgh).

“The Games for Change Student Challenge offers a wonderful chance for students and educators to explore the possibilities of meshing STEM and humanities learning in engaging, innovative ways,” explains NEH Chairman William Adams. “The theme that we are sponsoring, Local Stories & Immigrant Voices, will encourage participants to work with an accomplished group of humanities scholars and institutions to dig deep into history and culture and design games that feature the people, places, and stories that shape their world. It is, in every sense of the word, a groundbreaking program, and NEH is thrilled to be a part of it.”

Students can work either individually or as a team of up to four to create a digital game to submit to the competition, which is open to all middle and high school students in city public schools.

As part of the Challenge program, a select group of 20 teachers in each city will receive professional development to run game design courses at their schools using a curriculum developed by the national curriculum partner Mouse, with student mentorship provided by professional game designers. The Best Buy Foundation is delivering program and volunteer support so underserved teens have access to technology and the skills that enable them to enter the job market for the first time. The Best Buy Foundation aims to open the door to opportunity with technology training and tools that transform teens from consumers to creators — a new generation of engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, and dreamers.

G4C has also added a new component to the NYC Challenge program: a series of four hands-on game making events, or Moveable Game Jams. Supported by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, the Game Jams will each be hosted in a different NYC borough and focused on a Challenge theme, with activities facilitated by organizations leading the way on coding, STEM learning, and game development. The first Game Jam will be held on October 15th at the Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx. More information and student registration is available at  http://bit.ly/MakeGamesOct15.

A jury of top game developers, civic leaders, and social innovators will evaluate submissions and select the winners in May 2017. Prizes, which include career development opportunities such as internships, job shadowing, and mentorships, will be presented at an awards ceremony at a cultural institution in each city. Three Grand Prize winners will be flown to NYC and presented onstage at the 14th annual G4C Festival in 2017.

The 2017/18 G4C Student Challenge is currently in the early planning stage with an aim to bring the program to more cities and schools.

For more information on participation or partnerships, visit http://www.gamesforchange.org/studentchallenge/  or email studentchallenge@gamesforchange.org.

Check out this video for more about the 2016 competition:

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Square Enix Unveils Final Episode of Final Fantasy XV Anime at Tokyo Game Show

This past weekend at Tokyo Game Show, SQUARE ENIX® revealed the final episode of BROTHERHOOD FINAL FANTASY XV™ detailing the events that set the stage for young Noctis, his family and his friends. The episode also features an epic battle that Noctis takes on ten years later against the massive snake-like monster, Marilith.

The BROTHERHOOD FINAL FANTASY XV anime series delves into the extraordinary friendships between Crown Prince Noctis and his three comrades, and provides the backdrop to the adventure players will set out upon in the FINAL FANTASY® XV game.

All five episodes are now available through the official YouTube channel.

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TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION INCURSIONS UPDATE NOW AVAILABLE

Today, Ubisoft® announced that the first content update for Tom Clancy’s The Division™ is now available for all players on Xbox One, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. As part of the post-launch plan to keep players entertained after the main story arc is completed, Incursions is the first of two free updates. Incursions is comprised of new activities, features and items that continue to build upon the gameplay experience.

NEW ACTIVITIES
·         New Incursion – Falcon Lost: Developed specifically for squad play, players team up with the Joint Task Force in an epic fight against the Last Man Battalion and their new deadly weapon.
·         Dark Zone Supply Drops: Players need to be on the lookout for air supply drops in the Dark Zone from Division command. These global events provide non-contaminated gear that are ready to use and don’t require extraction.
·         Assignments: Tackled alone or with other agents, these lucrative timed assignments will offer players additional rewards.

NEW FEATURES
·         Trading: As one of the community’s most-wanted features, loot trading has been added to allow players to share items within the same group by simply dropping them from their inventory.
·         Gear Score: Now players can size up fellow agents and gauge the power of items by comparing gear scores.

NEW ITEMS
·         Gear Sets: By completing challenging activities in Manhattan, players can collect and wear new gear sets to unlock powerful bonuses and stats. Find the set that best suits your playstyle:
–       Tactician’s Authority – Enhances electronics and support capabilities.
–       Striker’s Battlegear – Provides bonuses for assault capabilities.
–       Sentry’s Call – Enhances marksman capabilities.
–       Path of the Nomad – Provides bonuses for lone wanderers.

In addition, today marks the debut of Operation ISAC, the in-game video series that delivers weekly assignment to players every Tuesday at 11am UK time. Each episode will offer missions and intel needed to help players take back New York.

As the industry’s best-selling new game franchise to date, Tom Clancy’s The Division takes place weeks after a devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City on Black Friday. One by one, basic services fail and in only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, an autonomous unit of tactical agents leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, is activated to save society. Team up with other players to investigate the source of the virus, protect civilians from dangerous factions, and reclaim the city from the overwhelming turmoil.

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Gunscape Review

Gunscape is a first person shooter and world building hybrid combining familiar elements of Minecraft and contemporary shooters such as Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. Solid gameplay mixed with an easy to use level creator makes for a fun game that allows players to jump right in and create single player, co-op, and multiplayer deathmatch arenas or full length campaigns.

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Gameplay and level creation are key in Gunscape, but it also comes packed with a meaty campaign if you are not interested in creating your own. Although the story (or whatever you want to call the narrative during the campaign) is quite forgettable, (if you can even figure out what is going on) Blowfish Studios compiled a slew of levels showing off just what Gunscape is capable of while also playing to the nostalgia of old school first person shooters. There were shades of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and even Turok. Not to say Gunscape is trying to imitate other games, but I appreciated the nod to old school games that paved the way for this genre.

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There’s quite an arsenal in Gunscape as well as plenty of enemies to do battle with. From creepy little dead girls and zombies all the way to Nazi-esque soldiers and dinosaurs, variety is on the menu. Each of the eight chapters are comprised of several short missions that can be completed very quickly, and truth be told, there isn’t any real depth to what is going on in the game. The majority of my time in Gunscape was spent playing with the level creator. It is simple, quick, easy to use, and has plenty of items and blocks at your disposal all while allowing up to eight player split screen for a fun and faced paced experienced. If you are looking to just create a small deathmatch arena, or a large scale multilevel maze with bases on each end for your teams to occupy and do battle, you can with ease. You can also string your levels together to create your own campaign and share them for you and your friends to enjoy.

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Graphically this game isn’t really that impressive, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for by giving you a world to build and explore without having to mine for hours. Gunscape is intentional with its 90’s first person shooter feel from guns and enemies to the music in each level. If you are looking for a fun block building experience where you can battle up to 8 players locally and run a saw blade through a dinosaur then this is a great game for you. If you are looking for a cinematic experience with great dialogue and in depth story telling then I would look somewhere else. With Gunscape the barrier to entry is minimal and the replay value is high. I would recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of older first person shooters and fans of world and block building.

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PROVEN SCORE 7/10

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Thoughts on the Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Beta

The Plants vs Zombies: GW2 Beta went live this weekend, and Tricky and myself had the chance to engage in it’s addicting, coop based, tower defense meets third person shooter multiplayer that fans enjoyed about the first one.  As soon as the opening cinematic starts rolling to the tune of Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, you are immediately immersed in the world of Plants vs Zombies, as the cinematic showcases some of the games new characters that are available such as Rose, a magic wielder capable of hilariously turning her foes into goats, and Super Brainz, a close quarters, high flying Bizarro of the PVZ universe, as well as many more.

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Once in the beta,  you will see vast improvements to the interface, for the standard menus have now been replaced with a “Backyard Battleground” where players spawn at their home base depending on which side they chose (plants or zombies, obviously) and can freely explore the battleground if they so choose even when they are not engaged in combat.  While at home base, players can choose which side they want to fight on, customize/choose their characters, purchase “stickers” which can be used to aid in combat,  engage in PVP multiplayer, challenge themselves to complete quest provided via message board, as well as many other features not provided in the Beta.

The battleground is separated into three layers; plants on one side, zombies on the other, and the actual battlefield in the middle.  After prepping for battle, players can then raise the flag in the middle of the field, then they are tasked with defending it from hordes of the opposing team.

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One of the biggest complaints about the first installment is the lack of offline play.  Popcap is fixing this problem. Players can now take the fight offline, with the ability to play split screen coop!  I personally enjoyed the beta, and believe that this installment will do the series justice. With so many options available in this beta, the games humorous dialogue, colorful world and addicting gameplay, I was hooked as soon as I launched it.   Whether you are team plant or team zombie, players will have to wait and see if the game holds up to the hype as they hash out their differences when it releases later this year.

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Predictions for the 2015 Game Awards

Live on December 3rd, 2015, Los Angeles hosts the 2015 Game Awards, and gamers and media journalists alike are licking their chops in preparations to see their favorite games win the awards they deserve. Although it is a controversial topic that most Game Awards are given to the most recent Triple A title to be released near November or December, there is no doubt that 2015 made up for the semi-barren 2014 year of gaming with block buster hits such as Bloodborne, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Fallout 4. Below is a list of my predictions for the 2015 Game Awards.

Most Anticipated Game

My Personal Vote: The Last Guardian
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As a huge fan of Shadow of the Colossus, I have wanted to play this game ever since I first saw screenshots in my issue of Game Informer years ago; yet, like many gamers, I have had to endure the games delay time and time again until the small spark of hope that was this year’s E3 when a trailer was shown showcasing some gameplay elements between the boy and his bird/dog companion.

What I think will win: No Man’s Sky
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Although this entire category is completely subjective to the Gamer’s personal preference, it’s no secret that No Man’s Sky has been on everyone’s radar as the most anticipated game. With a roundabout release date of June, 2016, gamers and Sci-Fi junkies will be soaring through space and discovering countless planets in no time. Although, I can’t help but wonder: Why is Dark Souls 3 not on this list?

Best Multiplayer

My Personal Vote: Rocket League
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This game managed to draw me in with two things I am personally not invested in: Car games and soccer. And it worked! Combining the two for some competitive 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 bumper car sports was the most fun in a multiplayer game I have had in long time. And the best part: I downloaded it from PSN for free!

What I think will win: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
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As beloved as the Halo franchise is, I do believe BLOPS3 will take home this crown. The week of its release, Activision announced that not only did the FPS juggernaut rack in $550 Million in its first three days of sale, but it also had the highest player engagement with more hours accumulated on their online multiplayer than any other COD title in the franchise. The COD train keeps on rolling.

Best Fighting Game

My Personal Vote AND what I think will win: Mortal Kombat X
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NetherRealm Studios brings it once again in their latest installment with one of the most iconic fighting games in history. Mortal Kombat has always taken very bold steps in its directions, and this title is no different with its introduction of new characters, stylish and polished fighting game mechanics, it’s first-person interactive Krypt mode for plenty of unlockables, and of course, the fatalities. It’s enough to keep even non-fighting game enthusiasts coming back for more. It will be interesting to see how this title matches up with the “King of Fighters” Street Fighter V when it releases in February of next year, but for now it is uncontested and reigning champion in 2015.

Best Shooter

My Personal Vote: Star Wars Battlefront
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The long awaited Star Wars: Battlefront has made its triumphant return. Although I have only spent a total of maybe 10 hours in the Beta, the full version of the game is sure to be a contender for best shooter due to its engaging atmosphere and nostalgic sound effects. Any small complaints fans may have with the game is sure to fix itself in time, (much like previous EA titles such as Battlefield 4) creating what may very well be the 2015 Shooter of the year. And besides; WHO DOESN’T LIKE STAR WARS?!

What I think will win: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
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It seems we live in an age where “Shooter” and “Multiplayer” go hand and hand. This is especially true with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. With its vastly growing popularity in its multiplayer, it seems COD:BLOPS3 also has some other tricks up its sleeve, not only giving us yet another fast paced, thrilling single player, but Zombie mode considered one of the best to date, adding even more replay value to Activision’s flagship franchise.

Best Score

My Personal Vote: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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Music has always been a big deal to me. The more epic the score, the more I want to dive into the game. If the score is good enough to get stuck in my head, then take what already may be an epic adventure, and throw in a hint of nostalgia that will ring in my mind forever. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt easily captivates me this way. Whether I’m riding through the hills of Skellige enjoying the subtle, ambient chant, or simply listening to the lyre and flute resonate out of my speakers on my PS4 theme.

What I think will win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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Hideo Kojima is a huge 80’s music fan, as so am I, and since the game takes place in the 80’s, it was only appropriate for there to be 80’s music involved. Sneaking into a base to rescue a soldier listening to Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” or destroying waves of tanks while being serenaded to Billy Idols “Rebel Yell” has never been more fun.

Best RPG

My Personal Vote: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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Among the nominees, I truly feel this title takes all the great elements we love about Role Playing games and injects them with steroids. With over 200 hours of gameplay, fast-paced, strategic combat, and Dragon Ageesque moral choice driven storytelling, it’s no shocker why this game is on the list.

What I think will win: Fallout 4
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Despite all the controversy over Bethesda’s track record of releasing games with multiple day one glitches and bugs, gamers have once again stepped out of the vault, strapped on their Pip boy, and have started exploring the vast wastelands of Boston.

Best Action/Adventure Game

My Personal Vote: Rise of the Tomb Raider
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For anyone who had never been a Tomb Raider fan, like myself, the resurrection of the series by Square Enix is sure to change your mind and deserves a place among the award ceremony. With gripping combat, tomb exploration and a beautiful retelling of the protagonist Laura Croft, it’s enough to make even the best Uncharted titles blush.

What I think will win: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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As a giant Metal Gear Solid fan myself, I was glad the series could finally get the recognition it deserved, but under the circumstances of Kojima leaving Konami resulting in what fans and even the creator himself have labeled an “unfinished product” is not exactly what I had in mind. This game took the gaming community by storm, not only resulting in what could possibly be the best MGS launch in its history, but also sparking players’ interests enough to even go out and purchase and finish the MGS: Legacy Collection before MGSV: The Phantom Pain would even hit shelves.

Best Developer

My Personal Vote: CD Projekt Red
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What seemed like an overly ambitious project (no pun intended), this small development company founded in 1994 in Warsaw, Poland have created the massive RPG we know and love today known as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Who I think will win: Bethesda Game Studios
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Talk about perfect timing. Bethesda releases the fourth installment (second installment actually developed by them) of the Fallout series just in time for the award ceremony. I do believe that voters will vote for Bethesda and Fallout4 based on not only the game’s content, but also when it was released and it’s relevancy in our recent memory. I feel that many games will get overlooked due to this premise. Speaking of which, our last category is GOTY.

Game of the Year

My Personal Vote: Bloodborne
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If there was one game I could persuade an Xbox gamer to buy a PS4 for, it would be From Software’s Bloodborne. Considered by some as the killer app for the PlayStation 4, this is a game that is not only fueled by its dark, beautiful atmosphere, but also by the players’ experience with the game. The difficulty can be trying at times, as death can result in a loss of Blood Echoes (essential in leveling up your character and purchasing items), but it can also be very rewarding when you finally take down that boss you have struggled with the last few hours presenting you with a nice shiny PS4 trophy and a checkpoint to continue your descent into the Gothic depths of Yharnam.

What I think will win: Fallout 4
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With an almost overwhelming library of games to fill the 2015 roster, Fallout 4 may very well take home the prize for GOTY. As a Bethesda fan myself, I have personally seen their work with the Elder Scrolls entries a la Oblivion and Skyrim and even Fallout 3, so it is no surprise to me that Fallout 4, even given its recent release has made this year’s GOTY nominees and may very well take home the crown. But my only hope is that its release date will not be the driving force behind the votes that will be issued towards this title. If we take a step back and look around, 2015 was truly a great year for gaming, and these titles and their developers truly deserve recognition for their hard work.

MIA

-Best Shooter: Rainbow 6: Siege
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Although the game is being released only two days before the ceremony, I found it very surprising that this game did not make the list for best shooter, or even best multiplayer game.

-Most Anticipated Game: Dark Souls 3
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With the diehard fan base of the “Souls” series, and Bloodborne being nominated for numerous awards, I found it puzzling that this game did not at least make the list for most anticipated game. If it had, it would have made my decision in this category that much more difficult, competing with the likes of The Last Guardian and No Man’s Sky.