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2013's Most Emotional Video Game Moments

Video game storytelling reached new heights in 2013. Bombastic, AAA experiences like The Last of Us featured characters that felt true to life. Indie hit Gone Home made us feel deeply connected to a character that we never actually met. And Bioshock Infinite may have gotten our attention thanks to its incredible, fantastical setting, but it kept our attention thanks to our quiet moments with Elizabeth. Below are our picks for the most emotional video game moments of 2013.

Warning: The thoughts below contain spoilers for some of 2013′s key video game moments.

I think the most emotional moment in gaming this year is the bathroom scene in Gone Home. Upon entering the bathroom on the second floor of the house, the player discovers an audio diary from Samantha that details a moment which I read to be a major turning point in her relationship with Lonnie. As Lonnie is helping Samantha dye her hair, Samantha stares at Lonnie through the reflection of a mirror until suddenly Lonnie catches her gaze and tells Samantha that she is beautiful. It’s a moment of terror, vulnerability, acknowledgement, and as cliche as it sounds, true love. I think the reason I found it so emotional is that even though Samantha and Lonnie are characters who are very different than me, the feelings that Samantha describes are, in my mind, universal. It’s something that I think all young people experience growing up: wanting to find one’s place in the world, first love, acknowledgement from one’s peers, realizing a romance is blooming…it’s a moment that reminded me of my first relationships. I was very moved. - Sean Finnegan

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August: Osage County Review

As quickly as death can bring people together, it can split them apart. August: Osage County, the filmed adaptation of writer Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, captures that fission. Letts’ and director John Wells wrangle an ensemble of highly charged characters, zip them through the dramatic equivalent of the Large Hadron Collider, and roll camera on the collision.

In a way, they’re playing God; though toxic families exist out there in the natural world, the Westons feel manufactured, spouts of depression, anger, regret, and torment feeling clinical and anticipated. Still, when the base elements consist of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, and Margot Martindale, a spark is inevitable. August: Osage County is a failed experiment with sporadic reactions worth witnessing.

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Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse Review in Progress

The return of adventuring duo George Stobbart and Nico Collard is turning out to be one of 2013′s unexpected pleasures. The first half of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse was released on Steam and GOG.com on December 4th, with the second half scheduled for January 2014. Since both episodes are a single purchase, we’re reserving our full review and score until the second half hits, but wanted to give our early impressions of this so-far excellent fifth chapter in the long-running adventure series.

One of the biggest surprises (and possibly a decision fueled by its Kickstarter origins,) is that Broken Sword 5 is the first 2D point-and-click adventure in the series since 1997′s Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror. A regression from 3D to 2D might normally raise concerns about its overall quality or relevance to a gaming audience that demands the newest visual hotness, yet The Serpent’s Curse is a superior experience that has all the polish that often goes missing from modern point-and-click adventures (not made by Telltale). And truth be told, as an old-school fan I’m thrilled with the switch.

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Origin II #1 Review

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Wolverine’s past was still largely murky and shrouded in mystery. But motivated by the impending threat of the X-Men movies doing what the comics never did, Marvel finally greenlit Origin, the mini-series that finally revealed Wolverine’s real name and the pivotal events that shaped him into the troubled ronin and killer he is today. And thanks to House of M, we’ve seen much more about the years between Origin and Wolverine finally joining the X-Men. Some of it has been interesting; and some of it suggests that these are stories better left untold.

Ten years later, we’re finally seeing a direct sequel to Origin. Origin II picks up several years after the first left off. The man once known as James Howlett is living a peaceful, animalistic existence in the Canadian wilderness with a pack of wolves. But the recurring tragedy of Wolverine’s life is that every period of reverie is eventually broken by death and hardship, and that was clearly as true in 1906 as it is in 2013.

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League of Legends' Snowdown Showdown Mode Available Now

Riot Games has unveiled the temporary Snowdown Showdown mode for League of Legends. The Snowdown will be around until January 2nd, during which players will be able to compete in 1 vs. 1 or 2 vs. 2 duels on the Howling Abyss map. In addition, tons of holiday festivities have been added to the free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).

For those who want to show their Snowdown spirit, champions including Lulu, Singed, and Sivir all get festive holiday skins this year. You can even purchase a few Legacy Snowdown skins from past celebrations. Riot’s also spreading the holiday cheer with free seasonal sight and vision wards that look like snowmen and a gingerbread Teemo.

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Kojima Contrasts Versions of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

The Metal Gear Solid games are traditionally released on only a single platform at launch, so there’s usually no reason to wonder about which version to choose. In the case of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, there are not only different platforms to choose from, but platforms from different generations to decide between, thanks to the game coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Having been asked which version is the right one for certain people, series creator Hideo Kojima took to Twitter over the weekend to answer that very question.

“I’ve been asked which

should buy. The feel of play & impression’s similar as it’s been made multiplatform/multigen this time,” Kojima tweeted yesterday. “Sense of realism & graphics looks much better in next gen. So I’d say currentgen for those who can’t buy next gen just yet & upgrade later.”

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Umbrella Academy Will Return in 2014

My Chemical Romance singer and comic book writer Gerard Way dropped a nice little Christmas surprise for fans of his and artist Gabriel Ba’s creator-owned comic, Umbrella Academy. Way posted the following on his Twitter feed over the weekend:

So I got a really nice email from Gabriel Ba the other day, he’s an amazing comic artist who was the artist on Umbrella Academy. He was checking in to see how I was and that he was going to be finished with a project sometime next year, and we both agreed to do part 3 and 4 of Umbrella Academy, starting next year. I am almost finished with my music project and so it’s time to get back into comics. Since I announced The Umbrella Academy part 3, a lot happened and my life changed a lot, so I never got to start it, but starting next year there’s going to be a steady output of things I make. So I just wanna thank everyone who stayed a fan the past few years.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Review

Existing somewhere between the saccharine and the sublime, director-star Ben Stiller’s retelling of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an earnest, but not entirely effective fable about escaping the doldrums of daily life and seizing change. Very loosely based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber (which was previously produced for the screen in 1947 starring Danny Kaye), Stiller’s adaptation depicts the title character as a nice, but forgettable man leading a humdrum, routine life.

Walter’s elaborate daydreams involve fantasies of himself as an action hero or a romantic explorer. But in reality he’s a meek man with a life so dull that a relentlessly helpful eHarmony call center rep (voiced by Patton Oswalt) tries to help him beef up his online profile so he can get some views. Walter really just hopes to catch the attention of Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), a co-worker who is also on eHarmony.

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Out This Week: December 23, 2013

With so many new games and movies coming out, it can be hard to keep up. Lucky for you, IGN is here to help with a weekly round-up of the biggest releases each and every week. Check out the latest releases for this week, and be sure to come back next Monday for a new update.

Note: The prices and deals compiled below are accurate at the time we published this story, but all are subject to change.

Out-This-Weekdec23

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LEGO Marvel Asgard Character Pack Available Now

Traveller’s Tales announced a new character pack for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, the Asgard Character Pack.

The new DLC adds characters from Thor: The Dark World to the newest LEGO title. The new playable LEGO figures include Thor’s father Odin, Hogun, Fandral, Volstagg, Sif, Kurse, Malekith and Jane Foster.

The Asgard Character Pack is available now on Xbox LIVE, the PS Store and PC for $1.99. Additionally, the Super Pack is still available for $4.99, featuring heroes and villains such as Symbiote Spider-Man, Falcon, Thanos, A-Bomb Beta-Ray Bill and Winter Soldier.

Mike Mahardy is a freelance writer for various outlets, and is currently reading Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. To hear Mike rant, you can follow him on Twitter.

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