John Breeden II, Chief Editor

As a journalist John has covered everything from rural town meetings to the U.S. Congress and even done time as a crime reporter and photographer.|His first venture into writing about the game industry came in the form of a computer column called "On the Chip Side," which grew to have over 1 million circulation and was published in newspapers in several states. From there he did several "ask the computer guy" columns in magazines such as Up Front! in New Mexico and Who Cares? in Washington D.C. When the Internet started to become popular, he began writing guided Web tours for the newly launched Washington Post online section as well as reviews for the weekend section of the paper, something he still does from time to time. His experience in trade publications came as a writer and reviewer for Government Computer News. As the editor of GiN, he demands strict editorial standards from all the writers and reviewers. Breeden feels the industry needs a weekly, reliable trade publication covering the games industry and works tirelessly to accomplish that goal.

Recent Posts

Disciples: Sacred Lands is a pleasant diversion

Disciples: Sacred Lands is the latest entry in the turn based strategy gaming arena. It comes from a Canadian company, Strategy First, which is known for highly detailed strategy war simulation games like Man of War. The game almost got delegated to the lowest shelf of the "to review" library after a quick glance. When you look at the game from a distance, it seems to be a clone of the highly successful Heroes of Might and Magic series. It’s only after you have spent a little time with the game that you realize that it is really different, and … Continue reading Disciples: Sacred Lands is a pleasant diversion

Planescape: Torment is a mixed bag

Planescape: Torment has a lot of things going for it. Unfortunately it also has a lot of things against it. These competing factors seems to be in constant battle as you play the game. The advantages outweigh the negatives, but not by much. In the advantage category is that the game uses the same engine as the hugely popular Baldur’s Gate. And with Baldur’s Gate II still pretty far out in the future, those million or so gamers who played through the game and the Sword Coast expansion pack are going to need something similar to get their fix. Another … Continue reading Planescape: Torment is a mixed bag

Carnivores 2 takes a bite out of hunting simulations

Ok, let me get this out in the open. I’m a closet hunting simulation fan. There, I’ve said it. That out of the way, if anyone thinks this makes me soft, you can find my e-mail at the bottom of the page if you want to challenge me to a game of Half-Life. I know these hunting games are mostly aimed at the non-traditional gamer and perhaps I am a bit of a 3D environment freak, but I have in the past enjoyed stalking virtual mule deer in Texas and bringing home a nice computerized 12-point buck from the woods … Continue reading Carnivores 2 takes a bite out of hunting simulations

Gamers will answer Asheron’s Call

The beauty of Asheron’s Call is difficult to describe. Having been a devoted fan of the reigning champion of online-only games, Origin System’s Ultima Online, for years, I was used to a somewhat lower standard. Play Asheron’s Call just once or twice and you will never want to go back to Ultima. Asheron’s Call was not the first online-only game to use a first-person interface, which until recently was nearly impossible due to bandwidth constraints as well as the difficulty of programming a fully interactive 3D environment. That honor goes to Sony’s EverQuest, which we reviewed just before it went … Continue reading Gamers will answer Asheron’s Call

Wild, Wild West: The Steel Assassin is on target

Anyone who has seen the movie Wild Wild West, or been a fan of the television series, can appreciate the wonderful action-packed nature of this game, and how it couples both humor and puzzle solving to make an excellent package. Those of you who are unfamiliar with either the movie or the show can still enjoy this delightful title, but it may take a few scenes – what the game calls chapters – to get a feel for the game world. The setting for Wild, Wild West: The Steel Assassin takes place a few years after the Civil War and … Continue reading Wild, Wild West: The Steel Assassin is on target

Touring Car Challenge doesn’t lose horsepower in translation

When I was first given Touring Car Challenge, one of the first products released in the United States from European-based Codemasters, I figured it had a few strikes against it right off the cricket bat. For one, the product was a simulation of British racing. And like Dr. Who and boiled beef, its not often that British games take off in the fickle U.S. market. But forget all that. Touring Car Challenge is more like The Beatles than Dr. Who. It’s an amazingly beautiful and highly detailed game that has the potential to climb the ranks of racing simulations and … Continue reading Touring Car Challenge doesn’t lose horsepower in translation

Nocturne is so good, it’s scary

Being a fan of the horror side of computer games, it was easy to get into the concept of Nocturne, which features a monster hunter named The Stranger who goes around killing werewolves, zombies, vampires and other creatures of the night. One of my favorite games of all time is called Realms of the Haunting, and playing Nocturne reminded me of it a lot. Even though Realms did not enjoy widespread commercial success, it none the less earned mine. Another type of game in the same vein as Nocturne is the entire Alone in the Dark series. All of these … Continue reading Nocturne is so good, it’s scary

Shadow Company: Left for Dead is a stealthy hit

Shadow Company: Left for Dead is a good attempt at marrying realtime strategy gaming with actual man to man combat. When I first got the Shadow Company box, I thought UBI was going to try to piggyback on the success of one of my favorite turn-based strategy games, Jagged Alliance 2 by Sir-Tech. The plot was similar enough, with the player being in charge of a band of mercenaries going out on a series of difficult missions in return for large paychecks. But whereas Jagged Alliance is turn-based, Shadow Company is a realtime game. My interest rising, I loaded the … Continue reading Shadow Company: Left for Dead is a stealthy hit

Jagged Alliance 2 is locked, loaded and ready for action

Jagged Alliance 2 gives armchair mercenaries the ability to travel to exciting places, meet new and fascinating people, and kill them. Jagged Alliance 2 is actually the third in the mercenary-for-hire series on the PC, and by far is the best one yet. I love turn based combat games, especially the ones where you can maneuver in real time till the shooting starts. This gives you the ability to wander around and explore without having to worry about your characters annoyingly running out of action points. It was this type of interface that was missing from the second game in … Continue reading Jagged Alliance 2 is locked, loaded and ready for action

MechWarrior 3 is a blast

When I reviewed MechCommander, the realtime strategy game, about a year ago I begged FASA and Microprose to make a sequel. When MechWarrior 3 came out however, I was a bit wary. I like shooters and I love real time strategy games, but I’ve never really been a fan of trying to control a giant robot from within the cockpit, as MechWarrior 3 challenges players to do. I normally feel too removed from the action, nudging my mech to do my bidding just does not seem as satisfying as picking up an MP40 and doing damage myself. But MechWarrior 3 … Continue reading MechWarrior 3 is a blast

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