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Games

A History of Hup, the Jump Sound in Every Video Game

You can hear it in your head: the grunt your character makes when hopping a fence or leaping into battle. Its sonic roots trace all the way back to 1973.

Ghostwire: Tokyo Brings Japanese Folklore to the Masses

The new action-thriller from Tango Gameworks uncovers universal themes by embracing cultural specificity.

When I Left My Home in Kyiv, Stardew Valley Was a Lifeline

But in a Ukraine at war, it was also a source of gamer guilt.

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Reviews and Impressions 

Horizon Forbidden West Is a Worthy Sequel

It's an intriguing mystery with heartfelt moments. It also wants to be Mass Effect 2 so bad.

Elden Ring Is the Game of the Year

FromSoftware has reinvented Dark Souls in an open world, and the result is a triumph.

Total War: Warhammer III Is an Epic Final Chapter

The grand finale of this trilogy is a strategy masterwork that will take over your life.

Jackbox's 8th Party Pack Is Worth It For Drawful: Animate Alone

Which is good, because the rest of the pack is uneven and, at times, downright confusing.

Culture and Criticism

Video Games Offered My Son a Haven From Bullying

For lots of kids, the IRL world can be lonely. Lego Star Wars and Super Paper Mario helped my son focus and find a community.

Even the Pandemic Couldn’t Stop Button Soccer

Traditionally played with buttons and bottle caps, this Brazilian game, usually played offline, exploded on the internet when people were forced inside.

We Need to Talk About That Character in Horizon Forbidden West

The “heart and soul” of the game has been under wraps. Let's unwrap it.

Not Everyone Wants NFTs to Be the Future of Gaming

Tim Morten, cofounder of Frost Giant Studios and formerly production director on StarCraft II, doesn't see the same dollar signs some studios do.

Gear & Tips

You Have Steam Deck Questions, We’ve Got Answers

Valve's handheld isn't always the most intuitive device. Here’s how to do everything from checking battery life to connecting it to your TV, and more.

How to Find Games That Are Compatible With the Steam Deck

Not all games available on Steam play perfectly on Valve’s new console. Here’s how to tell which ones will work, and how well.
TV

Halo Is Another Carcass on the Heap of Bad Video Game Adaptations

The new Paramount+ series underestimates gamer audiences and falls into the “content-delivery” trap, losing the excitement of gameplay along the way.
ARISE

In Life, as in Wordle, Success Often Depends on Where You Start

We all have to start somewhere, but some of us have a leg up over others—even when it comes to simple games.
Bright Ideas

This Is What an RPG for Indie Movie Heroines Would Look Like

Press A to cry in your overpriced apartment, press B to run toward the sunset.
Representation

Brazil's Indigenous Gaming Scene Is On the Rise

Featuring a native Brazilian as its protagonist, Araní takes a big step toward making gaming more authentic and inclusive.
Deals

This Massive Game Bundle Costs $10 and Benefits Ukraine Charities

The collection spans hundreds of games, and donations go straight to organizations assisting Ukraine.
Casual Gamer

Elden Ring Isn’t Made for All Gamers. I Wish It Were

The celebrated game has no difficulty modes, guaranteeing it will alienate some players.
Pause

The Gaming Industry Unites to Cut Off Russia

Ubisoft, EA, Epic, Microsoft, and others are suspending business in the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine. 
Prepare to die

High-Difficulty Games Don't Have to Be Toxic

Challenging games are often associated with gatekeeping. But designers can use difficulty levels in interesting and valuable ways.
Couples Therapy

The Benefits of Gaming As a Couple—or Even With Your Kid

Playing It Takes Two with my partner was challenging, eye-opening, and also proved that playing games cooperatively is good for all relationships.
Games for All

VR Is Here to Stay. It's Time to Make It Accessible

The platform is relatively new—which means now is the opportunity to advocate for all players.
WIRED Q&A

Tabletop Game Companies Are Rushing to Snatch Up Hollywood Names

Free League Publishing has been transforming vast worlds into games: Alien, Lord of the Rings, and now Blade Runner. How does it work behind the scenes?
Deals

15 Great Deals on Gaming Gear, Headphones, and Accessories

The weather is getting warmer, but you can still stay in and play Elden Ring all weekend. 
Product Review

Valve’s Steam Deck Is a Glitchy but Promising Portable Gaming PC

This new handheld console has a lot of flaws out of the gate, but that could change over time.
Breakaway

How the Games Industry Shake-Up Could Play Out

Many devs are leaving their studios to found new ones, and indie players are getting bought up. But where will it all lead?
Casual Gamer

Horizon Forbidden West Does Open Worlds Right

It’s fun to explore, and looking at the world map doesn’t immediately lead to exhaustion. 
Cheers

From BioWare to Beer: How Greg Zeschuk Makes Dreams Come True

The studio cofounder isn't in the gaming industry anymore, but he's still building new things—and still playing games.
Jumpin', Jumpin’

A Beginner's Guide to Destiny 2

So you're ready to start playing? Oh, sweet summer child …
Game over

Google Stadia Is a Failure. The Company Should Kill It

The tech giant's cloud gaming platform faces a slew of tough questions—and few prospects of success.