The first Resident Evil games were my favorites. With comically bad dialogue like the now infamous "Jill sandwich" meme, tension built on scare tactics, gore and the thrill of a shotgun blast, simpler was better, or at least more fun. As soon as the franchise started to take itself too seriously, I stopped paying attention. So when Capcom decided to make the video game horror franchise into a stage play, I feared it'd either steer straight into closed-space melodrama (i.e., actors trapped in a room; one has a dark secret) or that it'd simply have little to no relevance to Resident Evil. So, with trepidation, I went to see Biohazard: The Stage (the series' title here in Japan) when it opened for a limited one-week run right before Halloween. Was I going to be bored to tears? Despite an unnecessarily fashionable Tyrant and a severe lack of blood, I was hooked for all two-and-a-half hours of it. And that even included a pop-dance interlude.

Lara Croft is basically a superhero. She leaps with the power of someone bitten by a radioactive kangaroo, climbs sheer rock faces like her hands are coated in glue and spontaneously zip-lines down hundreds of ancient, convenient ropes like she's strolling down to Starbucks on a Monday morning. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, players will most certainly die a few times, whether in firefights with hordes of gunmen, while running across a rapidly crumbling sheet of ice or jumping across gigantic crevasses. What's incredible (and absurd) is all of the times Lara Croft survives.

The first piece of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched into orbit in 1998 and two years later, its first occupants arrived. It's currently the largest artificial body orbiting the planet and much of it's devoted to testing aspects of living in space. When astronauts aren't busy exercising, eating or working on David Bowie covers, they're knee-deep in an endless array of experiments and observations. We've gathered a sampling of those projects to see just what they've been working on over the years in their orbital laboratory.


Trying to save a few bucks by purchasing offbrand cables? We've all done it -- but there's something you should know about new USB Type-C connectors popping up on cellphones (Nexus, OnePlus), laptops (Macbook, Pixel), tablets (Pixel C) and even Apple TV. The reason why they can charge so many devices, is their ability to transmit currents up to 3A, which could be 50 to 100 percent more electricity than older standards. That's why Google engineer Benson Leung has been putting various USB-C cables sold on Amazon to the test. He worked on both of Google's recent Pixel devices that use the new cable to charge, and found that many of the cables advertised as Type-C aren't actually suited for use with the laptop. They might not be wired properly to charge a laptop, or they don't accurately identify the power source -- something that could damage your laptop, USB hub or charger.

The new, simply titled Need for Speed (out this week on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) is as close as you're going to get to an art-house, video game version of The Fast and the Furious. The series has had players recreating cop chases from movies since 1998's Hot Pursuit, but this is the first time the game actually feels filmic. It isn't going to stand toe-to-toe with Microsoft's Forza series or Sony's ill-fated, but gorgeous Driveclub because it doesn't have to -- visually, they aren't even competing against each other. NfS doesn't run at 60FPS like Forza Motorsport; it doesn't feature those meticulously detailed cockpits either. What's more, car models aren't nearly as detailed as Driveclub's. But whatever NfS lacks in "perfection," it makes up for with killer arcade-like handling and a visual style guided by a clear aesthetic: Make a racing game that looks like a movie shot on film.

I am not a good basketball player. I am average at best, which is ironic for someone who loves Jordan sneakers. Still, that doesn't keep me from playing the sport recreationally, even if I end up making a fool of myself most of the time. But because I love watching NBA and NCAA games on TV, I enjoy hooping every now and then to pretend I'm the closest thing to Tim Duncan since Anthony Davis. The sad truth, though, is shooting just isn't my forte. That's part of the reason I wanted to take the Wilson X connected basketball for a spin. Launched in September, it promises to improve your scoring skills by keeping track of valuable performance data, including how many shots you're making or missing and your most efficient spots across the court. It is supposed to be the basketball of the future.


It could be argued that Atari's 1980 arcade classic Battlezone was the first virtual reality game. In a simple duel of tanks, players looked through a small opening in the cabinet to maneuver their lumbering vehicle, firing at a single enemy and avoiding being struck by projectiles. The game's wireframe design was graphically simplistic, but stenciled in thin green lines on the horizon was a single object that drew the attention of fans: an erupting volcano. Rumors swirled of a secret route that would lead players to the volcano's crater where a castle lay awaiting brave explorers. "Of course, none of this was true," Atari engineer Lyle Rains pointed out in Van Burnham's 2001 book Supercade. But that didn't stop the dreamers. In one case, a fan even wrote to Atari to tell the company he'd reached the mythical castle.

After decades of speculation, developer Rebellion, best known for the Sniper Elite series, is rebooting Battlezone for Sony's PlayStation VR and taking players into the heart of the volcano.

Until Dawn Rush of Blood

"When we announced this, we saw a 50/50 split among the fan base," said Simon Harris of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, Supermassive Games' recently announced virtual reality shooter. The title, which debuted at Paris Games Week, is an extension of the PlayStation 4 exclusive released last August. The reason for the mixed reaction? Although its predecessor is an intense interactive drama, Rush of Blood is an on-rails arcade shooter (think House of the Dead or Time Crisis). Fans of the original want more drama, more Until Dawn, and this clearly isn't more of the same. But after playing a brief session of Rush of Blood and talking to Harris about the studio's plans, I'm convinced Supermassive knows what it's doing.


Sony hasn't worked out how to explain Dreams, the new title from LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway creator Media Molecule. Its debut at E3 was exciting but enigmatic, with a focus on player-driven creation and animation mechanics. At Sony's Paris Games Week press conference on Tuesday, the studio showed off a little more of Dreams. But it still wasn't clear how exactly what was shown on screen would work in practice -- we've seen a lot of creation tools, but not a lot of gameplay. Luckily, Media Molecule took some time after the event to talk us through its grand vision for Dreams. And, despite the confusion, it most definitely will be a game.

This article contains spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

Halo 5: Guardians is not the Halo you remember. It's a different kind of game altogether, something that more closely resembles a modern first-person shooter that focuses on multiplayer rather than a strong solo experience. This isn't the first time that's happened, but it is the first time in 11 years that a new Halo campaign feels like a massive step backward compared to its predecessor. Microsoft-owned studio 343 Industries is capable of better than this and proved as much with its killer freshman effort, Halo 4. But instead of addressing what it got wrong with that installment (e.g., an unexplained main villain) and doubling down on what it did right (e.g., an emotional storyline and constantly varying gameplay), the team fundamentally altered how a Halo campaign works to horrendous results.

When Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman, first demoed Wild, the PlayStation 4-exclusive game set in a lush Neolithic world of ancient tribes and animals, it was generally met with raves. After nearly a year, however, gamers actually want to know how it plays. At Sony's Paris Games Week event, Ancel replied in the best way possible: By showing you could ride a freaking bear. In Wild, you can also take control of animals and play as them, summon spirits and walk (or swim) around the vast open world. But before any bear-riding happens, you'll need to get savvy about your environment. As Ancel explained in his charming French accent, "For hours and hours at the beginning of the game, you will be killed by the bears."

One car; fashioned from chrome alloy, exposed suspension and steampunk dreams. Another? See-thru turquoise-hued glass, white spiderweb frameworks, and a hydrogen-powered heart. Toyota's concept cars take very different creative routes with the humble automobile. The more rustic "Kikai" is an attempt to draw out the literal inner beauty of cars, showcasing mechanical parts that aren't usually seen. Tires and suspension take pride of place, while a tiny window in the floor the carriage lets passengers see what's going on underneath the car. Then there's the FCV Plus...