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France is about to enter the first round of their elections and it’s really close. Normally we’d maybe report the result and then we’d move on. This time it’s different. The upcoming French elections could determine the future of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world.

Why is it important?

Right now, you may be asking yourself how the French elections could have any real impact on anywhere but France? Well, as with most problems in Europe now it comes down to Brexit, or more precisely, the very real possibility of the French following the British out of the door.

These French elections are widely being regarded as a bellwether for France’s relationship with the rest of the European Union. Two of the top candidates are die hard Eurosceptics. Should either of them win, there is the very real possibility that France might leave the EU, making the break up of the bloc all but certain.

How do they work?

The French presidential elections are fought in two rounds. There are currently eleven candidates vying for the presidency. They will all face off in the elections on the 23rd of April. If, as predicted, nobody secures an absolute majority then the top two candidates will face off on a second election on the 7th of May.

Who are the main contenders?

There are five main contenders who could go into the second round, we’ll list them from left to right.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Parti de Gauche (Left party)


Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s style has won over many voters – credit Getty Images

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the most left leaning candidate with a shot at the presidency. He is Perhaps most famous for his holographic performances. Once a supporter of European Federalism he now argues that France should leave the European Union due to its inability to deliver democratic change.

In previous French elections his acerbic style put off potential voters, he only managed to win 11% in 2012. Now he has refined his approach, rather than insults he has focused upon making fun of his opponents and it works. Mélenchon has managed to connect with  voters and his new approach has won him many supporters, especially young supporters.

He wants to reform French democracy, taking power away from the President placing an emphasis upon the constituent assembly. He also wants to reduce the voting age to 16 and wipe out homelessness. Mélenchon’s foreign policy would involve withdrawal from NATO and the IMF and he would seek to join the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. Mr Mélenchon also wants to renegotiate the EU treaties to force the European Central Bank to answer to political rather than monetary interests.

Critics claim that Mélenchon’s doesn’t have a plan to pay for his proposals and that his ideas are unworkable in practice and risk damaging the economy. Despite those claims he has struck a chord with voters and is in with a shot at winning.

Benoit Hamon, Socialist Party

French Election

Benoit Hamon has struggled in the polls since his primary victory – Credit L’Indépendant

Despite a decisive victory in his party’s primary race, the “French Bernie Sanders” has struggled in the polling so far. This is in a large part due to competition from Mélenchon and the current President, François Hollande’s abysmal approval ratings.

Hamon looks the part and he has some pretty interesting and forward thinking proposals. These including legalizing cannabis, taxing the wealth robots create at the expense of jobs for humans, a proposal for basic income to provide a boost to low earners and a serious push towards using renewable energy.

Despite looking the part and having interesting policies, Hamon remains an outsider and it looks like he will struggle to make it into the second round.

Emmanuel Marcon, En Marche (On the move)

French Elections

Emmanuel Marcon’s has won many followers with his fervent style – credit BFMTV

Only 39 years old, Marcon has a real shot at becoming the youngest president France has ever had. He is pegged as one of the two most likely candidates  to make it into the second round. This is especially surprising as the investment banker has never held elected office in the past.

Marcon’s En Marche movement is “neither right nor left” and he is by far the most centrist of all of the candidates. He was economic advisor to President Hollande before becoming the economy minister in 2014. His policies faced stiff opposition from the left leaning members of the governing socialist party but were very popular with French businesses.

Staunchly Pro EU Marcon’s policies focus around giving French business a boost. On top of massive corporation tax cuts he also wants a €50 bn public investment plan to cover job training, a shift to renewable energy and infrastructure improvements. He also wants to cut unemployment to 7% and ban under on under-15s using mobile phones in school

Marcon’s critics claim that his centrist policies won’t motivate voters if he makes it to the second round, which could risk handing the election to Marine Le Pen.

Francois Fillon, The Republicans

French Elections

Francois Fillon’s campaign has been rocked by scandal – Credit New Yorker

when Francois won his centre-right party’s nomination for the presidency he was almost immediately pegged as the front-runner in what most people believed would be a straightforward race. That all changed when his campaign was embroiled in scandal. There are allegations that Fillon’s wife and his two children received public funds for doing little to no work. Despite the set-back Mr Fillon has refused to drop out of the race.

Fillon’s policies are primarily focused upon cutting expenditure and encouraging French patriotism. If elected he plans to scrap the wealth tax, remove half a million public sector jobs and require parents receiving state aid to sign contracts to stop their children engaging in behaviour “disrespectful of the values of the French republic.” Filon’s foreign policy is broadly pro-Russian and he wants EU sanctions against Russia lifted.

His campaign may have been rocked by scandal but he has made a recent comeback in the polls, so I wouldn’t count Fillon out yet.

Marine Le Pen, National Front (FN)

French Elections

Marine Le Penn has become a favorite to win the first round, despite the FNs past – Credit The National Interest

Marine Le Pen is widely regarded as the most controversial of the candidates. When she took leadership from her father in 2011 she bought the widely reviled FN out of the fringes and into the mainstream. She came third in the presidential elections in 2012 and bought her party massive electoral gains in the 2015 regional elections.

Before Le Pen took the reigns from her father the FN was widely regarded as an extreme far-right party. Her father was dragged into court on multiple occasions for holocaust denial and Le Penne herself has made deeply questionable statements. In 2010 she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France.

Le Pen’s stance has significantly softened since then and she has worked hard to present a more conciliatory tone and make FN appear like a party of governance. So far, it seems to have worked, her message of France First has really struck a chord with disaffected French youth and Le Pen seems likely to make it into the second. Even so most analysts think it unlikely that she will go on to become France’s first female president.

Le Pen’s policies are deeply nationalistic. She has even go so far as to call for a complete moratorium on legal immigration until a new system is put in place. Le Pen has also called for the automatic expulsion of all illegal immigrants and the closure of “extremists” mosques. Her economic policies would focus on making companies consider French citizens first for social housing and jobs as well as fixing the retirement age at Sixity.

Like Fillon, Le Pen’s policies are broadly pro-Russia and she would like to see an end to the sanctions imposed by the European Union. Le Pen would also seek a renegotiation of the EU treaties with a referendum on EU membership.

It remains to be seen whether Le Pen has truly manage to erase her party’s toxic reputation in order to win the election.

So who will win?

At this stage the election has become very difficult to call. Most analysts believed that Le Pen and Marcon would face off in the final round. Recent polls put it at a four ray race between Fillon, Le Pen, Mélenchon and Marcon. As with the American election and Brexit, the French elections are proving to be deeply unpredictable.  We may well end up seeing Mélenchon and Marcon face off or Le Pen and Filon, as originally predicated, it really is too close to call.

Whatever the result, the outcome will be a good indicator for the direction Europe is headed in and the implications will likely be felt for years to come.

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.


5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster




Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.

First time available on modern hardware

As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.

The visuals look better than ever

Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.

Quality of life improvements

While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.

Triple Triad

The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.

The game is awesome

While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?

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10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019




10 Huge Games Still Coming 2019

2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.



A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.

Borderlands 3


It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.

The Outer Worlds


Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.

Luigi’s Mansion 3


It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.

Death Stranding


If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.

Pokemon Sword & Shield


At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.

Shenmue III


If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.

DOOM Eternal


id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.

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5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference




Microsoft E3 2019

Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.

New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020

We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…

Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett

The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.

Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves

It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.

FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced

This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.

Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West

It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”

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