Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

@seamoosi

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.

USG Game of the Year 2020: Hades Isn't Just About Escaping Home, But Rebuilding It

This Greek myth feels like the culmination of everything Supergiant Games has created thus far.

Blaseball Made the Eternal Weeks of 2020 Bearable

From humble beginnings came a tale of peanuts, necromancy, hellfire, and community.

Cyberpunk 2077's Phone Needs a Silent Mode

V needs to turn on their voicemail box.

The Callisto Protocol Could Carry the Spirit of Dead Space, Even Within the PUBG Universe

Striking Distance is bringing sci-fi horror to the PUBG universe.

These Are the Movies and TV Shows to Watch Before Playing Cyberpunk 2077

From Akira to Dredd, there's a lot to watch before Dec. 10.

Starting Screen | Baldur's Gate 3's Early Access Is Making My GOTY List Very Difficult

It's hard to make a list when so many games are in flux.

Umurangi Generation Is a Beautiful Portrait of the End of the World

This photography sim dives deep into modern struggles.

Starting Screen | Astro's Playroom is Sony's Perfect Answer to Nintendo Nostalgia

These little bots make for one heck of a pack-in.

Starting Screen | Mass Effect Should Give Andromeda a Second Chance

The future of Mass Effect shouldn't jet away from the Andromeda galaxy just yet.

Hearthstone Is Playing the Hits As It Revamps the Way Players Earn Their Cards

Blizzard wants to make free progression less inscrutable and intimidating.

Fire Emblem's Limited Time Launch Is Part of a Worrying Trend For Nintendo

After the success of 3D All-Stars, this new trend is starting to feel uneasy.

Baldur's Gate 3 Players Keep Finding New, Inventive Uses For Gravity

Pushing the limits of Baldur's Gate 3's physics never gets old.

Lucifer Within Us Turns Solving Mysteries Into a Timeline

The devil's in the details.

Starting Screen | Blaseball Just Had Its Most Bonkers Playoffs Yet

The cultural event of Blaseball only continues to escalate.

Star Renegades is a Hodgepodge Of Systems That Somehow Works in Harmony

There are a lot of meters, but it all somehow clicks.

With Launch Behind It, Riot is Already Looking Ahead to Valorant's Next Decade

Valorant Game Director Joe Ziegler talks new modes, player feedback, and being willing to disrupt the meta.

How Blaseball Became a Collaborative Sports League of Peanuts and Hellfire

A surreal sports sim rose from the ashes of sports. Now we can't get enough.

USG Game of the Month: Necrobarista Is an Electric Story About Letting Go

Our Game of the Month for July 2020 is a moving tale at the edge of the afterlife.

Scarlet Nexus's Developers Talk About Bandai Namco's Next-Gen RPG: "Action Elements are a Must"

The "brainpowered" action game isn't losing its narrative roots in the process.

Bloodlines 2's Developers on Next-Gen, Immersion, and Seattle in the World of Darkness

Hardsuit Labs isn't winding up to miss the mark.

Tangles and Snips: How Two Brothers Went From Flash to Nintendo and Apple

How chance connections helped these brothers continue making the things they enjoy.

Siren's Song: WayForward on Shantae's Evolution, Smash Bros., And the Future

Shantae co-creator Matt Bozon tells us what a new generation might hold for the chipper genie.

A Former My Little Pony Fighting Game's Journey From Cease and Desist to Evo Online

How a dedicated team and a series of miracles led to Them's Fightin' Herds.

Inside the Wild, Sometimes Shady World of Animal Crossing's Trading Sites

Players are chasing illustrious profits through trading sites.

How Fan Feedback Inspired and Helped Build Command & Conquer's Remastered Collection

It was "almost more like a Kickstarter campaign than something from a major publisher."

Why Video Game Rivalries Can be Beautiful

How a rivalry cemented my love of fighting games, and a friendship as well.

Remember When... NBA Jam Played Favorites in the Bulls vs. Pistons Rivalry?

There was a reason those buzzer-beaters bricked, it seems.

Without Tours to Go On, Some Musicians Are Taking to Minecraft

American Football, Hana, and the organizers on why Minecraft offers a viable alternative to live shows.

Valorant Isn't Trying to Appeal to Everyone

Valorant's take on the genre is anything but diluted, and that's a good thing.

Glen Schofield on Going From Dead Space and Call of Duty to Being Given "Carte Blanche" in the PUBG Universe

The former Sledgehammer head's studio is building a PUBG experience with narrative at the forefront.

Gears Tactics Eschews XCOM Comparisons By Embracing the Brutality of Gears

Tactics with the carnage and momentum of Gears.

Yoshinori Ono Reflects on Street Fighter 5: “We Re-Learned the Importance of Listening to Our Players”

An interview on the lessons learned from Street Fighter's latest entry.

Granblue Fantasy: Versus' RPG Mode is a Missed Opportunity

The single-player campaign can't square up with its excellent foundation.

The Amnesia: Rebirth Interview: "Only Releasing a Game Every 5 Years Takes a Toll On You"

Frictional Games on revisiting Amnesia, lessons learned from Soma, and the studio's future.

In Wake of GDC's Postponement, Devs Band Together For Relief

Independent developers and publishers are finding the best way forward after GDC is put on hold.

Floppy Knights is a Cheerful Tactics Game About Deckbuilding and Floppy Disks

This blend of cards and combat isn't all doom and gloom.

House of the Gundead Fits the Chaos of Enter the Gungeon in an Arcade Cabinet

The Enter the Gungeon spin-off makes a number of risky genre moves, but is better off for it.

Kerbal Space Program 2 Devs on Why Development Was Brought In-House

At PAX East 2020, we catch up with the developers at the newly formed studio behind Kerbal Space Program 2.

Two Decades Later, There Simply Can't Be Another Marvel Vs. Capcom 2

How smack talk and superheroes created a scene that can't seem to be replicated.

World of Horror Is a Delightfully Frustrating Struggle to Survive

This Ito-inspired roguelike is unlike most others you've played.

To All the Video Game Characters We Never Got to Romance

We still love you, even if the game won't let us.

The Rod Fergusson Interview: How Gears of War's Studio Head Earned His Reputation as the "Closer"

"They build the games. I just try to give them a path."

How Mass Effect 2 Made Garrus More Than Just Another Squadmate, And Created an Iconic Character in the Process

On Mass Effect 2's 10th anniversary, we remember how Garrus became one of the Normandy's most vital crew members.

Garden Story is an Adorable Sim That Combines Zelda and Talking Grapes

It's a cozy game about building communities.

Eric Van Allen's Top 10 Games of 2019: The Head and the Heart

Murder Hogwarts, class of 2019.

2019 Was the Year of Auto Chess Fever

It's far from a flash in the pan, though.

How Westwood's Long-Lost Blade Runner Adventure Game Landed on GOG [Update]

It took years of searching and Scumm work.

"We Had to Make the Chicken and the Egg at the Same Time:" A We Happy Few Postmortem

How Compulsion Games found itself in stormy weather.

For Axiom Verge's Creator, the Switch Was a "Natural Platform" For the Sequel

Thomas Happ answers our most pressing questions about today's announcement.

Tekken Wasn't Supposed to Be a Fighting Game, But 25 Years Later It Stands Tall

Devs recall how a tech test and late nights led to the king of 3D fighters.

The Guilty Gear Strive Interview: Why a Cult Favorite is Starting From Square One

The goal of Strive is to make everyone feel like a "newcomer."

USgamer Holiday Gift Guide 2019: For the Traveling Gamer

If your special someone is always on the go, here's some ideas to make those delayed departures sting a little less.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves Turns 20 Today—Here's a Glimpse of the Sequel That Never Quite Happened

It might literally be sitting in a file folder somewhere.

How Guildlings Went From a Satellite-Level Management Sim to Social RPG

"We had no idea we were making a JRPG until we were almost at full JRPG."

The Biggest Game Awards 2019 Snubs and Surprises: Disco Elysium and Outer Wilds Miss Out

Some indie darlings are up for smaller awards, but not the major one.

We Need a Mass Effect Remaster for More Important Reasons Than Nostalgia

Shepard's legacy should outlive their consoles.

Death Stranding's Stealth Gameplay Has Shades of Metal Gear Solid, But Not the Whole Picture

Sam's sneaking missions can still be fun, even if they don't quite measure up.

On Its 10th Anniversary, Dragon Age: Origins is Better Than You Remember

Dragon Age: Origins was willing to eschew Mass Effect's infamous moral binary for something deeper.

The Making of Afterparty, the Indie From Hell

We talk with one of Night School's co-founders about life, drinking, and whether the devil has Wi-Fi.

Four Months Later, Auto Chess' Successors Are Rewriting the Genre

Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords are trying to ensure auto chess isn't a flash in the pan.

How a Rookie Speedrunner Revitalized Dragon Age: Inquisition by Beating It in Under 30 Minutes

One discovery changed the run entirely, and revitalized the scene along with it.

Blizzard's Overwatch Team Says the Nintendo Switch Port Has Been "Eye-Opening"

Bringing the hero shooter to Switch took more than just a visual overhaul.

The World's Fastest Titanfall 2 Gauntlet Speedrunner Has Only One Opponent: Himself

Cash Mayo is pushing what's possible in the Gauntlet, even if his only competition is himself.

Supergiant's Greg Kasavin on Hades' Development and Why Epic Games Store Was the "Obvious Choice"

Supergiant's new approach to Hades' development has paid off.

Thinbloods and the Politics of Living Forever: An Interview with Bloodlines 2 Writer Cara Ellison

We talked love, loss, and lots of blood with one of Bloodlines 2's writers.

Haven is an RPG Where You Control Two Star-Crossed Lovers at the Same Time

It's a wonderfully fresh take on video game romance.

GreedFall Is a Slow but Satisfying Burn for Fans of Old BioWare: Review Impressions

Spiders' tale of colonial tension is, so far, compelling.

In the Pokemon-Style Combat of Bravery Network Online, Words Hurt Just as Much as a Claymore

The Gloam Collective is changing up turn-based team combat.

10 Years Ago, Batman: Arkham Asylum Showed Us That Superhero Games Could Be More

Nothing before could capture the Dark Knight quite like Arkham.

Teamfight Tactics vs Dota Underlords: The State of Auto Chess Now That the Dust Has Settled

The big question isn't who's next, but what's next?

Blaming Video Games For Gun Violence is a Tired Old Song

We've been here before, and it's never worked out.

How Tekken 7 Rose to the Top of Competitive Fighting Games

Modern Tekken is all about the storylines.

What to Read, Play, and Watch Before Playing Wolfenstein: Youngblood

What one Youngblood dev thinks you should brush up on before going Nazi hunting.

The Final Splatfest May Be Over, But Splatoon 2 Players Aren't Ready To Say Goodbye

How Splatoon lives on is in the community's hands now.

It Took Several "Crappy Prototypes" For Furi Developer To Get To Haven

A change in pace was not easy, but it was much needed.

Meet the Creators Behind Awesome Overwatch Workshop Creations Like “Last Man Bouncing”

For some, the Workshop is "one of the best things to happen to Overwatch."

Sea of Solitude is a Deeply Personal Project For One Developer

This fantastical adventure is based on a real story.

After Playing a Bunch of Dota Underlords, Valve's Effort Feels a Little Too Safe

Underlords takes the tried-and-true Valve approach, for all that entails.

Spiritfarer is a Calming Management Sim About The Afterlife

Like Animal Crossing, but about helping the deceased find peace before moving on.

Youngblood's Producer On Telling a Coming-of-Age Story in the World of Wolfenstein

How a few hand signals and two young leads shifted MachineGames' view on the series.

Adding Dash To Doom Eternal "Broke the Game For Quite a While," Developers Say

Why Doom Eternal's developers are calling it their Evil Dead 2.

How the Z-Axis Changes Trials of Mana's Remake

A change in perspective opens up new doors for the Seiken Densetsu 3 remake.

Gooigi Adds a Gooey New Dimension to Luigi's Mansion 3's Puzzles

We get to know Luigi's Mansion 3's creepiest new character.

Tales of Arise's Producer on the New Look, Speedy Combat, and Winning Over Western Gamers

The theme of Arise is an evolution of old traditions.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Makes You Fear Both Monsters and the Cold

Freezing Weather is another beast entirely in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.

Shenmue 3 Feels Like a Modern Dreamcast Game

For better or worse, the latest Shenmue game doesn't stray far from its deep roots.

The Pokemon Sword and Shield Interview: "We Knew at Some Point We Weren't Going to be Able to Keep Indefinitely Supporting All of the Pokemon"

We talk to Game Freak about the battle potential of Dynamax, the decision to narrow the number of available Pokemon, and the move into a new era.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Drops the Iconic Weapon Triangle. Here’s What That Means for the Gameplay

We go hands-on with much-anticipated Switch version of the classic tactics series.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's Dynamax Adds Dramatic Flair to Gym Battles

Pokemon are living large on the Nintendo Switch.

Bleeding Edge Didn't Leave a Good First Impression

Bleeding Edge is so forgettable, I almost didn't write this up.

How Blocking Solved the Lightsaber Problem in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

There's actually a major gameplay issue with the lightsaber, but Respawn figured a way to solve it.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Demo Showcases AT-AT Vehicle Sequence

EA has revealed more of Respawn’s Star Wars game during a second demo.

I Hope Weird Nintendo Shows Up To E3 2019

In a conference filled with sequels and remakes, I'm looking for a curveball only Nintendo can throw.

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