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It took our Bitcoin mining rig two weeks to spit out the solution to 'what is the hardest GOTY award to be mad about,' but our unscrupulous power consumption was worth it. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the first uncontroversial Game of the Year award we've given in years. We finally did it! Of course it couldn't last, though. After just a few days of basking in positive reinforcement, we also published awards for PUBG and Destiny 2, prompting questions such as: 'Are you drunk?' The answer is: probably. But we must press on. The end of the year is for awarding awards, and no number of incredulous reaction gifs and all caps emails can stop us. So before calling it quits, we grabbed a handful of rejected award ideas from our award box (after paying our office manager $1.99 for the key) to bring you the 2017 Looties, our other GOTY awards. Best Mass Effect Game Winner: Mass Effect: Andromeda However you feel about Mass Effect: Andromeda, you have to admit that it's the best Mass Effect game that released this year, and at least the fourth best Mass Effect game of all time. Not too shabby! —Tyler

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In the wake of its latest Aberration expansion, Ark: Survival Evolved has now launched on the Windows 10 Store as an Xbox Play Anywhere game.  Much like other games that have walked similar paths—like, say, Fallout Shelter and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard—this means PC players who access Ark via the Windows 10 Store can now join their Xbox counterparts on the same servers as friends or as foes.   "Tied to the players’ Microsoft account, Ark survivors can now pick up their adventure where they left off," explains a statement, "switching between their Xbox One and PC while taking their saved progress, Gamerscore, DLC, and achievements with them." In his review earlier this year, Ian Birnbaum described Ark's post-Early Access release as "a bloated, grindy mess, but so packed with options that a better game is hidden inside it."  Check out Ian's thoughts in full

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Originally due in October, Ark's Aberration expansion lands today—bringing with it an new underground biome, dozens of alien-like dinos and over 50 new craftable items.  Despite not being much of a cave guy, Chris appeared to enjoy his hands-on time with Aberration last month, as he traversed its inhabitable and hazardous underground world where sunlight is apparently deadly. In turn, you should expect earthquakes, environmental pitfalls, ziplines, wingsuits, climbing gear, and, obviously, a cast of fantastically terrifying creatures.  Here's a look at some of that in video form:  And if that wasn't enough to contend with, developer Studio Wildcard warns we should "Beware the ‘Nameless’: unrelenting, Element-infused humanoids, which have evolved into vicious light-hating creatures, and the Reapers, massive alien monstrosities which can impregnate foes to spawn their offspring." Chris bills the latter process as a "rather messy chest-birth to a squirming worm grub" that's equally gross and fun. I'll take his word for it.    With new challenges and over 50 new craftable items to tinker with, Aberration provides plenty to get on with. Speaking

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I recently got a chance to play around in an early build of Ark's second expansion, Aberration, which takes place in a series of underground biomes and introduces new movement systems like wingsuit gliding, rock-climbing, and ziplines. Originally planned for an October release, Studio Wildcard has announced that Aberration will now arrive on December 12. Along with the new environments, and the new tools to get around in them, Aberration will of course arrive with new dinosaurs (or are they aliens?) such as the Rock Drake, which can glide, stick to walls, and become nearly invisible. There's also a hideous queen monster that can lay eggs inside you, causing you to give a rather messy chest-birth to a squirming worm grub. Gross! But fun. The Aberration expansion will be priced at $20, and can also be purchased as part of the Ark season pass, which includes Scorched Earth and an as-yet unspecified third expansion. Ark itself is currently 50% off in the Steam store.

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Yesterday I had the chance to speak with Doug Kennedy, CEO of Studio Wildcard, the company responsible for Ark: Survival Evolved . Needless to say, that game’s heady brew of dinosaur riding and tree punching has been a remarkable success–and ranks among the few survival games to leave its stint in Early Access.  But it hasn’t been without controversy. The release of Scorched Earth, Ark’s first major expansion before the game had launched proper, was a sticking point among its playerbase, as were other factors such as the game’s price increase when it finally hit 1.0. But generally speaking the game is being played and enjoyed–it’s sold a whopping 11 million units across all platforms, which can hardly be attributed to player ambivalence. On Early Access With all that in mind, would Studio Wildcard use Early Access again? With the notable exception of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds , Early Access projects have struggled to meet the profile and success of titles like Ark–as well as others such as DayZ and Rust, which

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