#egmr » Caveshen http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Our 106th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/11/106th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/106th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163201 Ever feel like as we progress as a species we become more and more sensitive to the words of others, taking far too much offence to what people say when […]

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Ever feel like as we progress as a species we become more and more sensitive to the words of others, taking far too much offence to what people say when realistically they’re just words and words can never harm you unless you let them? The great thing about words is that not only can they leave you entirely unharmed regardless of how many of them are used, but when you put them together and record them, you end up with something cool like the eGamer Podcast which will be recording episode one-hundred-and-six tonight!

And this here article is your chance to get involved in the proceedings. Use your words to ask us anything you’d like, whether it pertains to gaming, music, movies, comics, Kevin Spacey or even offensive things.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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eGamer Podcast #105: God Is A PC Gamer http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-105/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-105/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162813 Recorded: 11 November 2014 Welcome to another episode of the eGamer Podcast, which we have not kept under embargo and will be releasing to everyone without any sort of preorder […]

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Recorded: 11 November 2014

Welcome to another episode of the eGamer Podcast, which we have not kept under embargo and will be releasing to everyone without any sort of preorder incentive and with nothing at all to hide.

Topics discussed this week include AC Unity reviews, Advanced Warfare reviews, and Dragon Age: Inquisition reviews.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • What’s up with these AC Unity review scores?
  • Apparently AC fans aren’t allowed to criticise the series.
  • Are release day embargoes something we should condone?
  • Turns out Advanced Warfare is performing great!
  • Why are there never any sales figures.
  • Bungie are such nice people.
  • Just Cause 3 is confirmed!
  • Good thing Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking great.
  • EA really need to repair their reputation.
  • We run through EA’s lowest moments in recent years.
  • Who should host the VGX this year?
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is also getting mixed reviews.
  • We answer your questions.
  • There’s a Guardians of the Galaxy anime.
  • Bravado talked about SA Dota 2.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed, Libsyn or iTunes so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Release Day Embargoes Are Anti-Consumer — Why Defend Them? http://egmr.net/2014/11/release-day-embargoes-anti-consumer-defend/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/release-day-embargoes-anti-consumer-defend/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 07:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162809 Of the many things in the world that are endlessly frustrating, few come even remotely close to watching gamers defend publishers who are actively working against those very gamers. Now […]

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Of the many things in the world that are endlessly frustrating, few come even remotely close to watching gamers defend publishers who are actively working against those very gamers.

Now that might sound like a conspiracy theory but work with me on this.

Anti-consumer practices in the gaming industry are nothing new — we banded together when Ubisoft initially introduced always-online servers to singleplayer games, and again when EA tried it with SimCity, and Blizzard tried it with Diablo III; we fought united against the Xbox One’s always-online DRM as well, and we continue to fight the likes of EA regarding games such as Battlefield 4 which are fundamentally broken upon release. We fought against on-disc DLC with Capcom, and release-day DLC with Warner Bros. And yet here we are, it’s 2014, and there are important people in this gaming industry, people like Jim Sterling whom I respect and adore, who are trying to say, “Hey, release day review embargoes aren’t all bad!”

Sure. They’re not all bad. This year we got Sunset Overdrive and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with release-day embargoes (the latter for pre-orders) and they actually scored quite well despite this. But in that same regard, we also got the likes of Destiny and DriveClub — an entirely overhyped game that disappointed on release, and a game that released as a broken offering that is still in the process of being fixed a good while later.

And now we have something that takes things even further, with Ubisoft releasing Assassin’s Creed: Unity and the embargo for reviews dropping after the game has already released to the public.

That is frankly disgusting and utterly anti-consumer, and nobody in this industry should ever tolerate it.

I mean really now, if the likes of Kotaku and Polygon can actually agree on something then maybe there’s a real and sincere problem here. This isn’t helped at all by reviews for the game being quite underwhelming.

A few months ago when it came time for Destiny to release, a few of our writers discussed the idea of release-day embargoes and how they make us suspicious of games, citing the likes of Aliens: Colonial Marines as examples of games that utterly disappointed and led to many users being unable to cancel their pre-orders for the games on time, effectively making it an anti-consumer practice. We were labelled as ‘Negative Nancy’s and told that Bungie are nice guys who are only delaying the release day embargo on account of the game requiring occupied servers in order to be experienced at its best, plus people had already played through the alphas and betas so there’s that. Then Destiny released and what do you know? It was actually a disappointment.

Thing is, it’s not about being right or having ‘called it’ or whatever but rather, it’s about the fact that we pay hard-earned money (some of us) for our games and we really want to see those games give us a return on our investment. We don’t want to have to spend (in South Africa) upwards of R700 for a brand new title only to be underwhelmed and disappointed. And so we look to reviews and, in the case of EGMR, we try to provide solid consumer advice because we want our readers to be informed and make educated purchasing decisions.

And what Ubisoft has done is gone and said, “No. We refuse to let you have a clue about this game before paying for it.”

And somehow we are painted as the douchebags for cautioning against it?

As a rule of thumb, let’s try to be cautious about release-day embargoes. If the game releases and reviews turn out to be great then hey, you can still buy the game! Maybe it sells out on day one but in a few days there’ll be stock again, we promise. But if they’re not, and you’ve pre-ordered, then while you only have yourself to blame, it means you’ve effectively committed to that experience and must ride it out. Ubisoft know this, and they likely knew that Assassin’s Creed: Unity wasn’t going to get great reviews; so they put that embargo after the release date and forced all pre-orders and day-one purchases to go through. Gamers were now stuck with their purchases and in this case, forced to play through a buggy and glitchy experience, if the internet is anything to go on right now.

That in my humble opinion, is unforgivable.

But hey, “it’s the reality of game development,” amirite?

Earlier this year I said that I seriously might skip this year’s Assassin’s Creed offering. Now the only reason I’d play it is to see just how bad it actually is, and I certainly won’t be paying for it — I’ll likely just borrow from a friend who got suckered into paying for it owns it.

Allow me to have a moment to glorify BioWare and EA (for once) here, because Dragon Age: Inquisition is a solid week away and reviews for that game are already out, and wouldn’t you believe it, they’re overwhelmingly positive. Good on BioWare!

Remember that erring on the side of caution is not being negative, it’s being smart. You only lie to yourself when you defend bad business practices, and it’s not as if publishers are looking out for you or something. So please, do yourself a favour and stop that. And let’s pressure publishers into stopping this anti-consumer practice in its steps before it gets wholly out of line. Because I for one am tired of seeing this, and sure we get our Sunset Overdrives and our Call of Duty: Advanced Warfares but it’s just not enough to excuse nor justify all the other underwhelming games that gamers could, at the very least, have known about before committing to their purchases.

And perhaps this is another reminder why pre-ordering games in any context is just a wholly bad idea.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that Destiny did not have an ‘embargo’ but rather, review copies were only distributed once the game hit retail. I’ll leave you guys to decide if that’s better or worse.

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Our 105th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/11/105th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/105th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 09:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162748 Today marks three years since the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a game I gave a ‘Perfect’ rating to on our old review system. I loved it. Spent […]

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Today marks three years since the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a game I gave a ‘Perfect’ rating to on our old review system. I loved it. Spent over 151 hours playing it, in the space of around three weeks or so. Unfortunately although I acquired all of the DLC for it, I never got around to actually playing any of it, because thereafter my life got a lot more busy and when I did have time, the game was being monopolised by friends. But I digress, because this is not about Skyrim, this is about the eGamer Podcast which records its one-hundred-and-fifth episode tonight.

So, do you have any questions for us? Go ahead and ask them to us in the comments below; they can be about anything you’d like, gaming or otherwise.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Ten Hours In New York? Try Ten Hours In Battlefield 4, Skyrim And More http://egmr.net/2014/11/ten-hours-new-york-try-ten-hours-battlefield-4-skyrim/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/ten-hours-new-york-try-ten-hours-battlefield-4-skyrim/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162723 At the very basic level of economics a thing called the ‘fallacy of composition’ is taught, which says that what is true of the few is not necessarily true of […]

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At the very basic level of economics a thing called the ‘fallacy of composition’ is taught, which says that what is true of the few is not necessarily true of the many. On the internet, and specifically in these circles, you might understand this term better in practice as #NotAllMen.

Now as feminist displays of misogyny go, the video embedded above must certainly take the cake for really showing just what disgusting creatures men can be. Even if the video is an entirely framed perspective of a scenario that might not necessarily play out in other areas of just New York, let alone the entire world, and certainly is not indicative of anything other than that this person experiences ‘catcalling’ and the like — something I’m sure we can all sympathise with and be angry about.

I’ve certainly never done that, but as someone with a beautiful woman in my life, I’ve experienced my fair share of it, or rather she has and I’ve been around to see it. So of course I can relate to this sort of video, and yet even then I (and the beautiful woman in my life) don’t really see the point to this exhibition other than perhaps showing that she has a tough life. Heaven forbid she was born in equatorial Africa, amirite. Ten Hours in Ethiopia must be painful to watch.

But that’s not to disrespect the video nor discount the simple truth that so-called ‘catcalling’ is a shameful thing. Please don’t ever get me wrong on that, it just is. By all means compliment a lady (or a man for that matter), but there’s a whole lot more to someone than just their physical features, and as the internet will tell you (the very internet so vehemently accused of superficiality each day) a beautiful woman on the outside might not be beautiful on the inside. Value more than superficiality, friends. And whatever you, don’t catcall or otherwise disrespect anyone’s personal space. But I digress.

Immediately following the release of the Ten Hours in New York video which documented a woman’s travels through an area of the massive city that is densely populated (judging from the video) by latinos and blacks, other internet users decided it was time to do their own videos. What follows are a few cherry-picked (for relevance) examples of these videos… don’t worry, they’re all really short. None of them are actually ten hours long.

 

Ten Hours in Battlefield 4

 

Ten Hours in Skyrim

 

Ten Hours in Drag in LA

 

Ten Hours in NY in Hijab

 

Ten Hours in Auckland

 

Ten Hours in Warsaw as a Handsome Man

 

FunnyOrDie’s Ten Hours in NY as a Man

Perhaps the most harrowing entry was that of Ten Hours in Drag in LA… I mean if you thought sexism was bad, you just don’t know. That’s to say nothing of the woman in hijab. Oddly, the Warsaw and Auckland videos were less eventful, perhaps proving once and for all that this is an American societal problem and not– oh right, fallacy of composition, I forgot for a moment there. Before we continue, allow us to share one more video:

 

Three Hours in NY as a Male Model

And there you have it. I think we can all agree that there are certain kinds of harassment that only happen in the real world; going further, rape and murder are prevalent societal issues that have devastating repercussions and must be dealt with severely. However when you’re talking words, and just words, then there are some things that you will hear or read online that people would get killed for saying in real life. Ultimately then, if we’re just considering words, perhaps life is a lot worse as an online gamer than anywhere else in the world. You know, if we’re discounting the fallacy of composition.

What do you guys think of all these videos? Let us know in the comments below, and by all means share your own.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To Quitting Videogames http://egmr.net/2014/11/life-universe-gaming-weirdest-thing-reignited-passion-gaming-gamergate/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/life-universe-gaming-weirdest-thing-reignited-passion-gaming-gamergate/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162627 This year has been quite a tumultuous one for the videogames industry, and gaming in general. Perhaps it’s the lack of anything to play, to the point that people had […]

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This year has been quite a tumultuous one for the videogames industry, and gaming in general. Perhaps it’s the lack of anything to play, to the point that people had nothing better to do but go online and start fights, but this year has severely tested my faith in the videogames industry, and gaming in general.

If 2013 is to be considered the year of flawed masterpieces in gaming, then 2014 must surely be the year when even half-decent is perfectly acceptable and the utterly mediocre is not just highly anticipated but celebrated for being a hearty promise of something more… ironic in both its name and its long-term strategy.

Like I said, I’ve had my faith in gaming tested this year. There were times when I became very disillusioned with videogames and entertained thoughts similar to those I will mention shortly. But first let’s consider why.

At the beginning of this year I made the promise to myself (and by extension you guys, our readers) that I would stop trying to make excuses for games and blindly celebrating games just because they’re games. I would forgo all of the “but it’s just games” or “it’s about fun” or “can’t we all just play together” in favour of hearty critique and consumer advice. After all, we spend a lot of money for “just games” so why not exercise some educated thought about all of it?

To that extent, my first column of the year sought to caution against falling victims to hype and in subsequent columns I did my best to look at gaming from alternative perspectives to the plain and simple “let’s do the same thing over and over again but for a different game in a different year” principle that most other websites follow. I discussed such things as geek girls, games journalism, spoilers, game trailers and more, with perhaps my biggest column to date being one about wanting Destiny to fail.

A lot of these columns went against the grain, and the net result of this was that I attracted a lot of criticism. At times constant critique of my critique. People called my writing self-entitled, egotistical, closed-minded, anti-gamer, uneducated, ignorant, you name it I was called it. This sort of abuse, while not detrimental to my health, certainly led to a sense of disillusionment with the gaming community as a whole. I figured it was part and parcel of being a gaming writer, putting yourself out there and dealing with a vitriolic community that reacts quite negatively to being told not to be as easily celebratory of their favourite pastime and passion. As if that same passion wasn’t mine as well.

I imagine even this column will be considered whiny by this point, and that’s the amazing thing: sometimes there just isn’t any winning because unless you’re saying what readers (that’s you guys) want to hear then you are considered to be against them (you guys) when in reality that couldn’t be further from the case. I even wrote a column about forcing sides, for crying out loud! Naturally then, this led to me becoming less and less invested in my writing and while my resolve never faulted — I kept putting out controversial (somewhat) against-the-grain pieces of writing that educated some and infuriated the rest — there were times when I seriously considered quitting not just writing, but the gaming industry as a whole.

Then came #GamerGate.

Pause for effect...

Pause for effect…

Now here is where I categorically state my position regarding the entire thing: I am neither for nor against #GamerGate. I am aware that it has no form of leadership and therefore can only loosely be categorised as a movement, however I am also aware that a movement may consist of a ‘for the people by the people’ strategy. I am anti-harassment but pro-discussion. I also believe that because of the lack of structure and, again, leadership, #GamerGate cannot fully own its core focus because that is different depending on who you speak to. I do however feel that the anti-#GamerGate movement for the most part exists in two major communities: Those who seek to actively combat #GamerGate (at times using falsified information and being caught out for it), and those who are anti-harassment. Therefore, those anti-harassment folk can work together, both pro- and anti- #GamerGate, to craft a better and more easily understood ‘manifesto’ of a sort.

And I do believe that ethics in games journalism, no matter how much you satirise it, is a big deal. Why games journalism specifically? Because other industries don’t really own the same level of collusion that we in gaming do, and gaming offers a sense of freedom not offered to other forms of media. Not anyone can be a movie critic, for example, but anyone can be a games journalist. I certainly don’t have a journalism degree and I have been doing this for four years now. That is why it’s important. But I digress.

A lot of people have simply dismissed the entire #GamerGate discussion, opting out of glorifying something they feel is about harassment of women. I can’t argue with that. I definitely feel it’s quite closed-minded given that there are in fact women and minorities who are pro-#GamerGate, but then I cannot discredit the fact that there are women on the internet who are abused and harassed on a daily basis. Is it an internet-exclusive thing? Of course not, but you have to admit that internet harassment (of any kind) is not cool. I mean, just above these paragraphs I literally just discussed my own form of harassment that I’ve been experiencing for most of this year. In the past I have suffered the likes of death threats, home invasion threats and one person even threatened to open a police investigation into my family’s affairs on account of my discussing series downloaded from the internet. I know harassment. I’ve been harassed. So I cannot ever, ever discount online harassment. Nor can I discount the feelings of those who’ve been around those who’ve been victims of harassment.

Further, I too read Film Critic Hulk‘s rather humanising and frankly shameful (for the community) post about almost quitting writing for Badass Digest — although to be fair, the site’s head Devin Faraci has been at the forefront of the anti-#GamerGate argument throughout.

But here’s the thing: whereas pretty much every person I’ve spoken to regarding the #GamerGate saga has become disillusioned and disenfranchised with their favourite pastime and passion, and embarrassed for what it has done to the reputation of gaming (which in itself was only slowly going up anyway), I find myself on the other end of the spectrum.

Do you know what depresses me? When the likes of Brianna Wu actively seek trouble online by aggravating internet users and then when they find it, use it as a soapbox to glorify abuse and rape culture, and effectively vilify gamers. I could do that if I really tried, too. But the actual #GamerGate saga? Perhaps it’s the folks I interact with, or follow on Twitter, but they seem like genuinely nice people who really want to make a difference in the videogames industry. They seem like the type of people who want to do better and be better. Not the rapists and murderers the media has been painting them out to be.

Or perhaps it’s because, being from Durban, I see my fair share of actual rape and murder in the news on a daily basis, and not just fucking Oscar Pistorius.

#GamerGate has, and I say this with carefully chosen words, reinvigorated my passion for the videogames industry, and gaming in general.

It has shown me that there are people out there who do care, and who are willing to fight for what they feel is right, and no amount of media slandering or misrepresentation of their core values will sway them from that. It is people like that whom I personally look up to, and aspire to be like in my own writing. Not people who soapbox about how a website cannot be spoken to when every attempt at interacting with the site was basically just tweeting about why they’re terrible without ever engaging them in discussion (you know who you are). Not people who slyly and quietly accept gifts and favours from industry insiders and say nothing of it to their base readership. Not people who have turned ‘feminism’ into equally as toxic a term as they claim #GamerGate is. Not people who sit on their social networks and shit-fling at other sites, every chance they get. Not even people who refuse to criticise a game for fear of it ruining their reputation with publishers, developers and distributors. And certainly not developers who think they are so above it all that the entire gaming industry must answer to them.

All examples of people I’ve experienced this year.

Genuinely passionate people who know their core values and beliefs and stick to them, without attacking or harassing anyone while remaining partial to the idea that there cannot be progress if it’s destructive. It’s a shame that these people are not more celebrated or publicised, with most media instead opting to publicise harassment (even when falsified) as if that’s not always been a thing not just on the internet but everywhere in society. I truly love being a gamer again, despite what my beloved Felicia Day thinks about it, as well as many, many others.

I will continue to speak out against harassment but I will never speak out against discussion.

The Thought Police are an Orwellian concept, not an internet meme.

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eGamer Podcast #104: Volvo Pls Fix http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-104-volvo-pls-fix/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-104-volvo-pls-fix/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162335 Recorded: 04 November 2014 Welcome to episode one-hundred-and-four of the eGamer Podcast, now with a billion times more gaming talk and a moustache story. #GamerGate Topics discussed this week include […]

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Recorded: 04 November 2014

Welcome to episode one-hundred-and-four of the eGamer Podcast, now with a billion times more gaming talk and a moustache story. #GamerGate

Topics discussed this week include Dota 2’s broken item drops, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare review scores and Movember.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • So how’s those Advanced Warfare scores hey?
  • We’d tell you about The Evil Within but it would scare you.
  • Guess why Dota 2 is suddenly a broken game after a single update?
  • volvo pls fix.
  • But what on earth is that new Alone in the Dark trailer about?
  • Far Cry 4’s multiplayer looks… interesting.
  • Can a bad multiplayer offering still be fun with friends?
  • Assassin’s Creed: Unity just dropped the most interesting trailer yet.
  • Did you see that first person GTA V trailer?
  • We take a moment to get offensive.
  • So is it mice or mouses?
  • We answer your questions… or lack thereof?
  • Are you partaking in Movember?
  • The PS+ offerings in the coming months are looking pretty sweet.
  • WTF is Chappie?

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Review: Project Spark Is A Content Creator’s Dream Come True http://egmr.net/2014/11/review-project-spark/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/review-project-spark/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 14:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160549 Visit review on site for scoring. When it was first revealed to the world last year, Project Spark teased a fantastical and wondrous world in which you could create pretty […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

When it was first revealed to the world last year, Project Spark teased a fantastical and wondrous world in which you could create pretty much anything you’d like within the confines of a pre-existing game environment. Want to make a side-scrolling platformer? Go for it! Isometric beat-em-up? By all means! Third person action adventure set in the French Revolution era with elements of stealth and exploration all to the tune of tight storytelling? You bet’cha! It was freedom. Importantly, it was creative freedom. Freedom of expression. And naturally every indie-enthusiast with hopes for an Xbox One rejoiced.

And in practice, Project Spark actually delivers on exactly that although not nearly to the extent that we would have liked. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. First let’s state fully just what exactly Project Spark actually is. At its heart, Project Spark is a game for makers (and we suppose, players) of games based on the Kodu Game Lab engine that revolves around community contribution, as well as two key aspects of gaming; Play and Create. Pretty self-explanatory, we’d say? Play lets you play things and Create lets you create things. However it is here that we must start to craft finer distinctions between the two before we bring them both together. Let’s first start with…

 

Play

I’ll be honest. In all my time playing this game I never once came across anything that looked remotely like these screenshots (which are basically riffs of other games). However that’s not to say they’re actually impossible but rather, it’s just that what is initially presented to you isn’t much to write home about. Oh it’s pretty, but, it’s not that perfect!

When you choose the Play side of things, two major options are presented to you. One of them is called the Champions Quest and serves effectively as your glorified tutorial. A practice mode if you will. It presents you with four (three, plus one DLC) characters each with their own persistent levelling across multiple levels that play out as Episodes consisting Chapters. At present only Episode One of the Champions Quest is available to play, and it spans just a handful of short levels.

These teach you the basics. They’re about learning the controls, getting a grip on the visuals and basically just acclimatising to the fundamentals of playing the game. The Champions Quest plays sort of like Skylanders but with Fable-inspired visuals. It’s an isometric-y, third-person brawler with a jump button, a roll button, two types of attack and not much else. Like we said, glorified tutorial. If a character dies in battle then you get to pick another until you either run out of characters or quit out and restart. Meanwhile, characters will gain separate experience and levels, unlocking new abilities along the way. There are also various challenges to complete for bonus experience to both your character and your overall Spark level — which you can consider as your player rank that spans the entirety of everything you do in Project Spark. It’s all quite standard fare.

Now what isn’t standard fare is that over and above the Champions Quest you can play literally thousands of other ‘maps’ (used loosely) created by other users in the community as well. Indeed you need not ever create your own maps and just on user-generated content Project Spark will treat you to all sorts of genres of game, and more. A search filter allows you to select the top-rated, most-popular and even featured maps in the community. What’s interesting with Project Spark is that not only are you allowed to rate and comment on the maps created by users in the community but you can also what’s called ‘remix’ them which effectively means editing them and adding in your own stuff. So, penises for all! Which then brings us to…

 

Create

Welcome to the real meat of the game for most who will pick up Project Spark. This game has a rich and diverse editor which allows you to create entire worlds and program everything in them using what the game calls ‘Kodes’ but you basically know as program modules. You can Kode such things as AI logic, character models and even voices. Project Spark works with your controller (or mouse and keyboard on PC) as well as Kinect and SmartGlass to allow you to craft pretty much any genre of game you’d like as well as movies and more. In fact, a Linkin Park music video called Guilty All The Same was created using Project Spark (embedded below for your viewing pleasure).

You could spend hours and hours working in Project Spark’s game creation editor, and it’s all relatively easy and intuitive. A quick tutorial gets you started and the game lets you go from there. Make whatever you’d like for a single- or multiplayer experience. When you’re happy with what you’ve created, save it for your personal use or if you dare, share it to the community and await imminent plays and ratings. If you’re lucky enough it might even get featured. It’s really as simple as that. Penises for everyone!

Unlike Minecraft, Spore or LittleBigPlanet, Project Spark actually allows a much, much finer level of customisation in terms of what you can do with what you’ve created. This allows a far more personal touch to everything you make, effectively allowing you the most intricate level of control of any ‘game with content creation’ yet. You could quite honestly create entire stories in this game, if you so desired. But now you’re inevitably asking (we hope), how does it all come together?

 

In Practice…

Now while all of this sounds really great on paper, in practice you’ll find that it’s a little trickier to give a positive rating to. In practice, it’s actually let down by quite a few things. The first of those is occasional lag and slowdown. To be expected of game such as this, sure enough, but sometimes it can border on unplayable and on a new generation of gaming console this just should not exist. On busier maps, good luck even dealing with the slowdown let alone properly controlling your character. Thankfully this isn’t always the case but you can certainly see that the game needs some big optimisations.

Another issue I found with the game is the amount of DLC it’s pushing. There are entire gated areas that are DLC-only, and one of the four playable characters in the Champions Quest is also DLC. Even the option of remixing the created maps of others is a pay-only privilege, and so it’s severely restrictive in this sense. It almost feels as if Project Spark is giving you a sampler platter of the tools that could be yours for the low, low price of nine-ninety-five or some other Verimark commercial. But wait! There’s more! If you act now you get… that’s right, penises all-round! (Just… keep reading okay?)

Due it being a community-based game for the most part, Project Spark is heavily reliant on content creation to increase its longevity. Unless you’re someone who just wants to spend hours in the game engine making games, in which case great. But you are in effect at the mercy of other game creators if you’re a casual player just looking to play some cool user-created content. This has two repercussions. Firstly, it means you’re exposed to uncontrollable content. Now sure you can report a badly designed map and get those penises off your screen but sometimes, every now and again, something inevitably slips through and that’s a problem. Especially for overly paranoid parents. Secondly, it almost puts you off playing further when you’ve downloaded and started up multiple maps and found them all to be more than wanting in various areas. One really interesting-looking inFamous: Second Son inspired map was actually just a small island that allowed you to run around using some (some) of Delsin’s powers. Why? Because why not!

All of this said and done if you’re a casually-oriented player then you’re likely still going to get a lot of game out of this, and a relatively newbie-friendly game design engine as well. Something that does the vast chunk of work for you, at that. But don’t expect to grasp it immediately because you will quickly be overwhelmed by it. That is just the nature of games such as these and that’s a shame because judging by its UI and design it seems to be geared towards more casual-minded gamers, and we fear they’re just not ready for this sort of commitment. Overall then, Project Spark leaves a lot wanting even if it’s got some magical potential… just, you know, not at this point in time.

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Dorkly Has Some Ideas About The Next Batch Of Superhero Movies http://egmr.net/2014/11/dorkly-ideas-next-batch-superhero-movies/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/dorkly-ideas-next-batch-superhero-movies/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162130 Okay so it’s totally just a gaffe but we here at EGMR absolutely adore Dorkly‘s sense of humour and style of satire, so of course we were going to share […]

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Okay so it’s totally just a gaffe but we here at EGMR absolutely adore Dorkly‘s sense of humour and style of satire, so of course we were going to share this one here.

After recent announcements by Marvel which you can hear all about in our latest podcast episode together with the likes of Sony, Fox and Warner Bros (DC) pushing massive amounts of superhero content, you can bet your ass that the next few years are going to be run by the geeks. Now some are loving it, and certainly they deserve to enjoy this moment because let’s be honest, what else is making as much money right now besides those teen-book-adaptation movies that release at the end of each year?

That said, it’s also getting a bit much, wouldn’t you say? As if there’s just too much and not a lot of it can do the comic books justice. I’m very much on the side of being able to enjoy the movies but there certainly are those who would say they prefer the comic books and the movies just make a lot of cool comic books seem lame; The Wolverine anyone?

Either way, it’s another excellent contribution to the internet from Dorkly and it certainly serves to satirise the whole thing rather nice.

If you’d like an expanded version of the image then by all means click here.

And don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments, you sly dogs.

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Our 104th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/11/104th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/104th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 09:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162125 The worst part of your day must surely be having to wake up in the morning knowing you’ve not slept nearly enough. The best part of your day should therefore […]

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The worst part of your day must surely be having to wake up in the morning knowing you’ve not slept nearly enough. The best part of your day should therefore be– no, not coming home from a long day’s hard work, nor even that first bite of a meal you’ve spent all day looking forward to, who even cares about all that? The best part of your day should be listening to this here eGamer Podcast which hits episode one-oh-four tonight. God bless America!

And this here article is your chance to get involved in all the chaotic fun and frenetic action when we record later tonight. How do you do that? Easy, silly! You go down to the comments section, think up some cool questions for us, and then post them down below. What could be more difficult? Except maybe tax evasion.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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The Guardians Of The Galaxy Porn Parody Is Cumming http://egmr.net/2014/10/guardians-galaxy-porn-parody-cumming/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/guardians-galaxy-porn-parody-cumming/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161928 Not quite the fright you were expecting this Halloween? Well prepare yourselves for some cosmic bewbage that will cause galaxy-wide erections because WoodRocket.com is currently working on a porn parody […]

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Not quite the fright you were expecting this Halloween?

Well prepare yourselves for some cosmic bewbage that will cause galaxy-wide erections because WoodRocket.com is currently working on a porn parody of Guardians of the Galaxy, and the title is something to give you more wood than Groot at a nursery. (We did not just call Groot a paedophile…)

The title? Would you believe, Gnardians of the Galaxy: 50 Shades of Groot. Seriously.

Prepare to spread your orbs, whip out your infinity stones, and get hooked on a feeling, because WoodRocket.com is going into production on the Guardians of the Galaxy adult parody, Gnardians of the Galaxy: 50 Shades of Groot.

Being brought to you by the website that gave you Bob’s Boners, Game of Bones, and Orgy of Bill Murrays, Gnardians of the Galaxy: 50 Shades of Groot is looking like it could be the most entertaining genital-filled super hero team sex spoof of all time!

In honor of James Gunn’s Marvel movie masterpiece becoming the highest grossing film of 2014 domestically, and the recent announcement of the upcoming sequel, WoodRocket.com knew that now was the time to begin work on showing the world what real space genitals should look like.

Gnardians of the Galaxy: 50 Shades of Groot will be written & directed by Lee Roy Myers. “I think that Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the greatest super hero movies of all time. I am very excited to add penetration,” says Myers.

If you’ve ever heard of Axel Braun’s porno parodies, they tend to have more story and content than the actual films upon which they’re based, and they have gratuitous sex so it’s basically a win-win unless you’re actually about ethics in games journalism.

This guy, who knows, maybe he could do something that would make Ronan the Accuser want to play with his universal weapon. Or maybe he just makes us all want to sink into our cocoons. Either way, now you know what’s to cum. (Or did we make that joke already?)

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Is This What’s Wrong With Game Reviews? http://egmr.net/2014/10/whats-wrong-game-reviews/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/whats-wrong-game-reviews/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:15:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161933 In the past we here at EGMR have categorically stated what we think about videogame review systems in their current guises. We certainly adhere to them because realistically you cannot […]

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In the past we here at EGMR have categorically stated what we think about videogame review systems in their current guises.

We certainly adhere to them because realistically you cannot expect to function as a website without some form of conformity however we try as far as possible to break from the norm, using such things as our Quick Review system to break the flow of things and do stuff our way where possible.

We only recently implemented review scores after much deliberation about it.

But at its root we understand that videogame review systems in their current guises are fundamentally broken.

Cue consumer advice guru and friend of the site GamingAnarchist, who put out the video above to explain what he feels is wrong with reviews, and how he feels we can change them to better fit the gaming industry. I can certainly get behind what he’s saying, especially that of the going belief that unfavourable opinions effectively doom some developers. Of course, the onus is also on publishers to stop treating Metacritic scores and the like as the be-all-and-end-all of business decisions — after all, Destiny isn’t going anywhere despite its failings.

But for the most part, it’s an interesting thought process regarding game reviews and what we can do to make them better in the future, and avoid a lot of the drama that surrounds them.

Check out the video above and let us know what you think about all of it.

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Stephen Colbert Talks To Anita Sarkeesian About #GamerGate http://egmr.net/2014/10/stephen-colbert-talks-anita-sarkeesian-gamergate/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/stephen-colbert-talks-anita-sarkeesian-gamergate/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:30:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161924 It has been spanning mainstream media for a while now and this past week Stephen Colbert picked up

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It has been spanning mainstream media for a while now and this past week Stephen Colbert picked up #GamerGate for his own show, The Colbert Report.

Now as a political satirist, Colbert is all about making jokes and having a few shots at his guests but sometimes he can really dig into them about whatever he feels is necessary; naturally, they would have to agree to appear on the show so they are typically expectant of some shot-taking anyway. However this week when Colbert spoke about #GamerGate, most shots were fired directly at gamers of the world, with a happy audience to laugh along.

I have to say that even though it was satire, I winced whenever the audience reacted with resounding applause and cheers every time Colbert accused gamers of being cave trolls who live virgin lives with a controller in their hands, and so on. I can take a joke, but damn that cut a bit. More so the thought that all the gamers of the world were men, and all the pro-#GamerGate tweeters were men. Wrong on both accounts. But hey, satire.

I thought the world’s opinion of gamers had improved. Unmistakeably though, the recent opinion of gamers since #GamerGate has undoubtedly dropped. We’re ‘weird’ again. Worse, we’re now actively harmful.

And once again we got to watch something that was fundamentally an argument of harassment versus harassment as Colbert spoke to Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian about her stand in the entire #GamerGate ordeal, having endured the likes of death and bomb threats from “male gamers” who were unhappy with her work and wished to silence her. In the past I’ve praised her recent videos because I think they’re excellent works (regardless of whom it’s claimed actually writes them) but again it felt so framing to see BioWare’s name dragged through the mud with Dragon Age: Origins, a game that allowed homosexual relationships and fully customisable (black, white, male, female) characters but got called out because it was trying to be thematic to a certain time in our own human history. But I digress.

For her part, Sarkeesian spoke well and did her best to keep the topic to harassment of women. I guess you can’t really fault her for that, she is after all trying to do a job and while I’ll certainly agree that she milked this entire fiasco to its absolute limit, it is gamers who respond to her who are the problem because after all, someone making loud noises is nobody without a crowd to hear them, and the more abuse she gets (which by the way is just not cool, guys) the more ammo she gets to use against her abusers. So stop, okay?

Check out the video above — I made sure to find a full video that doesn’t cut out Colbert’s satirising of videogames for everyone — and see what the world thinks of us gamers, then tell us how you feel in the comments below.

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Anonymous Speaks On #GamerGate, Wants The Truth To Out http://egmr.net/2014/10/anonymous-speaks-gamergate-wants-truth/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/anonymous-speaks-gamergate-wants-truth/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:15:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161769 I’ve been threatened a lot on the internet, in my over ten years of using it. Hack threats, death threats, that sort of stuff. I never once used it as […]

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I’ve been threatened a lot on the internet, in my over ten years of using it. Hack threats, death threats, that sort of stuff. I never once used it as a platform to get support for my work online.

This is why I’m not as easily swayed by what goes on in today’s #GamerGate controversy, despite how many people whose opinions I value and trust might speak out vehemently against it and the point of the movement as a whole. Indeed the humanity of the entire ordeal has been a contentious talking point for weeks now. How can anyone be allowed to get away with making threats under the flag of gaming?

Then again, how can anyone misrepresent the source of those threats and then condemn an entire subsection of the gaming community so blindly? But I digress.

Anonymous has decided it’s time to publicly address the #GamerGate controversy. Now, for obvious reasons, the validity of the uploader and that video are entirely up in the air but we like to think that if it’s fake then the real Anonymous would be on it like white blood cells to a foreign body. They don’t fuck around.

And certainly the video above shows that they really aren’t planning on fucking around, sending a strong message about what they feel #GamerGate is about and how they intend to go about dealing with this controversy in the gaming world.

Consumer awareness is key and while a lot of folks with strong opinions have spoken out against #GamerGate’s intentions, or just entirely parodied it, rather than asserting whether or not it’s really about harassment of women or ethics in games journalism, Anonymous has plans to out the corrupt and reveal the truth.

Now I’m not much for conspiracy theories myself but as someone who takes the time to read rather than immediately condemn, and having sifted through a lot of articles and content from both sides of the argument, I have seen enough first-hand to know that neither side’s hands are entirely clean in this mess and too many people are willing to blindly side with a particular group based on how they feel, when an emotional response is exactly the wrong one to have here. But perhaps that’s just me speaking in terms of digital content and not the humans behind the keyboards.

Either way, let us know what you think in the comments.

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Women Of Nelspruit, Geek Girls SA Needs You! http://egmr.net/2014/10/women-nelspruit-geek-girls-sa-needs/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/women-nelspruit-geek-girls-sa-needs/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:30:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=159805 Are you an XX-chromosomal homo-sapien who currently resides in or around Nelspruit? If you are then you should probably note down November 1st on your calendar because Geek Girls SA […]

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Are you an XX-chromosomal homo-sapien who currently resides in or around Nelspruit?

If you are then you should probably note down November 1st on your calendar because Geek Girls SA wants to bring the coolness and totally-not-fake-ness of being a real geek girl to your town this weekend!

Head on down to The Stoep (we don’t know where that is) at 10am for the first ever Geek Girls Nelspruit meetup for some hearty conversation along the themes of sci-fi, fantasy, Star Wars, World of Warcraft and more. Remember: Women only.

Check out the image above for all the info you’ll need, and be sure to check out Geek Girls SA on Facebook, where you can interact with likeminded female gamers and respectful males in a safe and mostly healthy environment; we say mostly because Facebook is… well… Facebook.

Don’t forget to tell your friends.

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eGamer Podcast #103: Dawn Of Infinity http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-103-dawn-infinity/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-103-dawn-infinity/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161663 Recorded: 28 October 2014 Welcome to episode one-hundred-and-three of the eGamer Podcast which has an equal mix of gaming and comic book adaptation talk. We’re kidding it’s mostly the latter […]

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Recorded: 28 October 2014

Welcome to episode one-hundred-and-three of the eGamer Podcast which has an equal mix of gaming and comic book adaptation talk. We’re kidding it’s mostly the latter but in our defence, nobody asked questions this week except for our favourite parasite! Still, if comic book adaptations are your thing…

Topics discussed this week include Marvel’s phase three, DC’s TV series and Sunset Overdrive actually being great after all.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • Share play isn’t going to be a thing in SA just yet.
  • Did you know the PS4 has voice controls? Well, kinda…
  • But what are voice controls really even for?
  • Marvel has released their phase three lineup and it’s looking incredible!
  • Who has the better movie lineup between Marvel and DC?
  • David Goyer is just a dick!
  • How awesome was that Age of Ultron trailer?
  • We take a moment to talk to you about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • But how good are DC’s TV series?
  • We answer your question.
  • Cavie has something to admit about Sunset Overdrive.
  • Why don’t more people care about D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die?
  • Shit gets proper offensive.
  • Is anyone still listening?

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Our 103rd Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/10/103rd-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/103rd-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161629 Nothing in life, they say, is quite so exhilarating as being shot at without result. In our weekly piece of the internet, shots are fired and dodged on an almost […]

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Nothing in life, they say, is quite so exhilarating as being shot at without result. In our weekly piece of the internet, shots are fired and dodged on an almost by-the-minute basis. That’s why you really want to be there when we record our latest episode, episode one-oh-three, of the eGamer Podcast tonight. Well, not there at that point in time, but like, contributing to it and then being there later in the week when it’s out. You know…

In contributing, you will be doing your country and gaming a service. Know that. So go ahead and scroll down to the comments section, and get to asking us some questions. Think up anything you’d like, whether it pertains to gaming or anything else. We’re always looking to get our beloved readers and listeners involved so here is your chance.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: #GamerGate Is A Societal Issue http://egmr.net/2014/10/life-universe-gaming-gamergate-finding-middle-ground/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/life-universe-gaming-gamergate-finding-middle-ground/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:00:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161491 This is an unprecedented event in the videogames industry. Typically something happens and controversy ensues, a bunch of people fight it out for a while and the industry as a […]

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This is an unprecedented event in the videogames industry. Typically something happens and controversy ensues, a bunch of people fight it out for a while and the industry as a whole moves on from it. Typically the industry benefits from the argument and gaming is stronger for it. This is not a typical situation. It’s been well over a month now and the #GamerGate movement is still going strong.

Now there are a lot of you who still don’t understand exactly what #GamerGate is, and even the Wikipedia page is maddeningly unhelpful in this respect. Likewise the Escapist page provides some better explanations but requires solidly a week to read through in its entirety. And depending on who you ask, #GamerGate is two entirely different things.

The pro-GG crowd will tell you it’s about ethics in game journalism.
The anti-GG crowd will tell you it’s about harassment of women.

Many people think that you are either with or against the #GamerGate movement. I disagree. Only a few months ago I wrote a column on the idea of forcing sides to be picked in any situation. Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle. But that’s because I’m willing to hear both sides without immediately dismissing them. And honestly, I cannot rightly call one side wrong for dismissing the other.

On the pro-GG side, there are internet trolls who will ‘doxx’ anyone who speaks out against #GamerGate, revealing private information to complete strangers on the internet. Then there are the death and rape threats which force developers and journalists away from their homes and make them fear for their lives.

On the anti-GG side, there are those who would seek to take any situation and turn it into a misogyny argument, immediately and quite ironically dismissing the views of women and minorities that support the #GamerGate movement, and doing equally as much to make it about sexism by outright ignoring the claims laid against developers and journalists by the #GamerGate movement.

I’ve seen accusations that the anti-GG movement is responsible for faking death and rape threats in order to discredit the pro-GG movement (although I cannot necessarily call true or false). I’ve also seen first-hand, some of the so-called Social Justice Warriors who used a recent school shooting to blame misogyny because the guy who did it apparently suffered a bad breakup and was angry at his now ex-girlfriend. Fair enough, but when Jack Thompson was blaming Grand Theft Auto what did the gaming collective think of that? Throw in misogyny and suddenly it’s a valid argument? Call of Duty attackers should lead with that next time.

So you see, even the anti-GG movement has a lot to answer for. But in truth, I’m just talking about the outliers when in fact there are a lot of people on either side who make very valid and logical arguments. You just have to sift through the torrents of argument over or not it’s really about ethics and not about sexism, because really that’s what a lot of it has come down to now.

Last week Felicia Day penned a blog post in which she explained why #GamerGate had made her so fearful of gamers — although I have to say, I found the sentiment rather prejudiced because I equated it in my mind to her seeing a person of colour and crossing the road, I mean really now — and fair play to her, she poured her heart out and made my tattoos and t-shirts of a gaming variety feel like warning symbols against me and my culture. I felt terrible. But within hours her personal address and contact number were revealed online. Why? Because we just have to be dicks and prove a point?

Another website conducted research on the #GamerGate hashtag and found that a fair amount of the mentions from tweets about the movement involved the likes of Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu, with the article ultimately questioning whether the movement really was about ethics in journalism or attacks against women. After looking at the link I felt that it didn’t take into account a lot of tweets that criticised developers or journalists without actually mentioning anyone, but it was hard to deny that the likes of Intel and Mercedes were effectively attacked by users of a site. And why? Because we just have to be dicks and prove a point?

In the past few months I’ve been struggling to find a comfortable middle ground between combating misogyny and combating feigned misogyny. There were some situations in which I felt people were absolutely justified in defending themselves, and there were some in which I felt they had no ground to stand on. But sometimes it just got a bit much. For example, this article in which a person online made some tweets and then ignored responses to those tweets (granted they were retarded responses) but then decided to attack that responder based on their WoW stats, ultimately leading to, yes, sexist responses from an obviously immature and childlike person.

It’s even more frustrating when it’s a man who is trying to tell other men (and even women) that they’re wrong and evil and how dare they, and any objections or counter-arguments (no matter how valid) to their statements are met with derision or complete ignorance, because obviously I’m just trying to “mansplain” my way out of a situation, something they say without a hint of irony. Because it’s not about having a fair and valid discussion between adults, it’s about shit-flinging and fighting fire with fire, even if nobody even has a flame to begin with.

So with all of this said, it should come as a startling revelation when I say that gaming is in fact miles ahead of the curve.

Had to...

Had to…

It was a stark realisation for me one day when, while interacting with someone away from gaming, they expressed disdain at how men treat women, always expecting sex or some other reward in exchange for favours, and how there just aren’t any nice guys around. And I couldn’t help but think, “You just don’t know how big and contentious of an issue this is online right now.” The thing is, we on the internet are actually a fair bit more, let’s call it ‘wise’ than most others. At least, those of us getting into these arguments.

There is a whole other contingent of society that simply does not understand the idea of gender equality or any other kind of equality; who go onto social networks and try to ‘pick up’ people, either by flirting or going that extra mile and posting nudes of themselves. Suddenly I’m reminded that not only is the gaming community and the internet as a whole not actually that bad but actually, we’re a hell of a lot more progressive than most other communities. And suddenly I start to feel miles and miles ahead of any of my non-gaming friends who still treat women like objects and don’t understand the concept of individuality at all.

On the internet nobody cares if you’re homosexual, multicoloured or poor as fuck. If you make a decent argument then there is a chance you could be heard. If you make enough of an impact then people will take notice. In America you still cannot hope to have a seat in Congress if you’re atheist and even now there is homosexual discrimination running rampant. Online? Who gives a fuck, if you’re making good points.

I think that we spend far too long faffing over the outliers and extremists, making silly comparisons between #GamerGate and ISIS and immediately dismissing very valid arguments when what we should be looking for is a middle ground. Whereas in society it is impossible to convince someone to see your viewpoint, we in the gaming industry, like many in the field of science, are certainly capable of and really should be seeing both sides of an argument and finding a middle ground somewhere, dismissing those more drastic folk as bad apples like any other community would.

This column probably won’t change many minds because those minds didn’t come into it looking to be changed, and that’s a crying shame. Too often we go into things with an illusion of correctness and the feeling that we clearly (obviously) know better. As a result we are dismissive and combative and we seek to undermine rather than understand. If society, and in particular gaming, is to progress, then we need to get around that. To date, I’m not sure anyone has actually been killed or raped as a result of #GamerGate. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, or won’t happen, but rather that maybe a lot of the fear is, as they say, in the mind? I’ll let you guys decide how you feel about it.

From my side, I’d personally like for those who are making #GamerGate tweets about developers to perhaps do it more or just adopt a new hashtag and put the current one to bed because its image has been irreparably ruined across the rest of the gaming sphere. Right now the argument is so steadfastly focussed on proving whether or not it really is about ethics that the actual ethics talk is being drowned out and the “it’s about ethics” argument has become entirely satirised. In effect, the #GamerGate movement is doing damage to gaming rather than helping anyone. Surely the likes of TotalBiscuit and GamingAnarchist, two genuinely great Brits who make very valid pro-GG points on an almost daily basis, have to see that by now.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Review: Sunset Overdrive Overdelivers On Quality http://egmr.net/2014/10/review-sunset-overdrive/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/review-sunset-overdrive/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 07:30:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161391 Visit review on site for scoring. There is a running argument in the videogames industry that games have become far too serious and same-y, to the point that anything even […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

There is a running argument in the videogames industry that games have become far too serious and same-y, to the point that anything even slightly different from the norm would either be celebrated or shunned for standing out; those that are celebrated typically introduce some unique and fun new element whereas those shunned are simply trying too hard to make fetch happen, so to speak.

Sunset Overdrive has fallen into both of those categories prior to its release. On the one side it looked like incredible fun, but on the other we questioned its novelty factor and wondered whether it would last through its duration. The short demonstration of the game that we got did no favours for this argument but now at last we can finally say that we were categorically wrong to think it would not stand the test of its playtime. We can finally say for certain that Sunset Overdrive is actually an excellent Xbox One exclusive.

Will it sell consoles? Probably not, because let’s be honest, one really great game does not a good console make. But it’s certainly a little extra incentive if you were hoping to be swayed in one way or the other. Let’s talk about why this is so, shall we?

The first thing you need to know, since light travels faster than anything else, is that Sunset Overdrive is a gorgeous title that really takes full advantage of its Xbox One platform, presenting a beautifully crafted world that mixes realistic visuals with colourful and highly saturated environments that create this air of cartoon-like punk flair. The game looks like what an eighties surfer might think a game released many decades later might look like, and that’s really the best way we can describe it.

From the get-go you’re thrown pretty much right into the thick of things as you get off a train and stumble straight into what is effectively the tutorial but is also the protagonist’s — and by extension your — first experience of Sunset City, which has been plunged into chaos. Let’s back up for a minute. You are an employee of FizzCo, a company that has manufactured the energy drink Overdrive, and is about to launch it to consumers. Once they start trying it out, their bodies morph into abominations known as OD and all hell breaks loose. You barely make it back to your apartment and are then saved by a guy who gives you a gun and teaches you how to traverse Sunset City.

Admittedly the beginning of the game started off quite slowly and confusingly, practically throwing you into the mix without much in the way of explanation or rationalisation for why you’re there and what you mean to achieve by being there. At that point I was ready to call Sunset Overdrive a hype-baiting, mediocre experience. But then it started to pick up and pick up and pick up some more and it just kept picking up and the story became something I can only describe as well worth any form of time investment, spoilers notwithstanding. I loved it. In fact, I still love it.

What’s really awesome is that Sunset Overdrive is under no illusions about what type of game it’s trying to be. It’s trying to be the type of game that is aware that it’s a game. In that respect, Sunset Overdrive is very self-aware, positively shattering the fourth wall at every opportunity and creating a world in which the real-life player is basically mirrored by the in-game player. And at times it’s in the silliest ways such as characters pointing reference to ‘floaty arrows’ and ‘weird blips on the map’ and so on. Even such things as in-game announcers that are commenting directly to you as the player, as much as they are to your character. We adore a game that is not afraid to call itself what it is, and Sunset Overdrive really pulled it off in just the classiest manner.

The real meat of this game is navigation and traversal and so as a direct result, it’s going to take you some time to get to full grips with all of the parkour elements on offer here. There are rails to grind, walls to run across, cars to bounce over and more. You mix these together for maximum effect but also to generate style points, which have their own bonuses attached such as granting powerups during fights. While it’s quick to pick up, it will definitely take a while for you to really master.

The mix of open world traversal and combat makes for a nice blend of action and exploration while mostly feeling seamless and smooth, however it must be admitted that sometimes it can get very clumsy; at least until you’ve properly got all of the button presses down. In a way this is a form of coming to grips with the game and we’d rather have that over something you could instantly start and win at. Thankfully while coming to grips with this system, if you should die (and you will die a lot at first until you do) you’re not as severely punished for it as you might think. The game typically respawns you somewhere near where you’ve died, and in new and comical ways each time. For example, a coffin comes up from the ground or an alien ship ejects its abducted cargo and so on. It’s silly and stupid but at the same time entertaining, which has the crazy effect of eliminating the frustration of dying. That in itself is quite the feat, it has to be said.

Your in-game character may be male or female, and you may customise such things as hair, facial features, clothing and so on. It’s irrelevant really because at any time you can change every single aspect (including gender) of your character, if you so desire. Using money you pick up from destroying crates or killing OD, you can purchase and unlock more clothes, which range from underwear to hats to pretty much every other aspect of clothing you can think of including some truly bizarre ones. Interestingly the game has no restrictions on gender-based clothing, meaning you could if you desired wear a bikini as a male character. We think that’s a nice touch.

Besides money there are also Overdrive cans which are also acquired through killing enemies and can be used to purchase ammo, or acquire new weapons. Each weapon is suitably hilarious and comes with its own pop-culture references. Weapons are strong against particular types of OD and can be used in combinations for maximum effect. Further, using a weapon will level it up the more you use it, which allows it to be ‘upgraded’ by creating and equipping Amps, which you can think of like Perks in Fallout. Once you reach a certain style level, they activate. You can make more Amps by picking up collectibles strewn across the map and then ‘cooking’ them. Some of the better Amps require you to play a quick form of wave defence first.

On the note of collectibles, there really are a lot in this game. Just a stupid amount, really. You can purchase collectibles maps using Overdrive cans but holy hell, you are going to be spending an age just acquiring the collectibles. And with good incentive since they can be traded in for cool Amps. Besides the Amps, you also get Overdrives, which are similar in that they grant bonuses but whereas the Amps are only activated at particular style levels, the Overdrives are passive bonuses that are always present once equipped. Unlike Amps, which are created, you can only unlock Overdrives using Badges, which you earn by simply doing things. Grind on rails a lot and earn a Grind Badge, which you can then use to unlock a Grind Overdrive. It’s a little confusing and overwhelming at first, but trust us when we say that it’s this level of extensive intricacy that makes Sunset Overdrive such a deep and engaging game to play.

There are various side quests strewn across the map and while most of these are effectively clichéd fetch quests, escort missions and other things you’d find in other games, they’re still quite entertaining in that they’re typically always done differently here. Now we can’t say this was always the case but certainly a lot of times there were twists and turns and what seemed like a standard, arbitrary, run-of-the-mill quest turned into something entirely different.

In doing these quests and the main story which once again picks up after a slow start, you will meet various factions in Sunset City of all sorts of variety from preppy college kids to samurai warriors to LARPers, each of which will have quests for you to perform, over and above all the collectibles and ambient questing. But that’s not all! There is also a set of weekly challenges which will be updated by Insomniac each (you guessed it…) week, and there’s even a broadcasting thing in-game called Sunset TV, which the developers will be using to communicate directly with players.

As if that isn’t enough, there is also a cooperative mode called Chaos Squad which allows you to invite a bunch of your friends to play through various missions including a Night Defence mode. Playing through co-op unlocks a bunch of items for you to take back to your singleplayer story, and the more you play in co-op, the more you unlock for your singleplayer. The result is a lot of cooperative hours because all that sweet loot, man.

In all, Sunset Overdrive has really delivered on what we as fans have been expecting from it. It’s entertaining and memorable and while we’d never recommend a single game that could justify a small-fortune-level purchase, we can say that it’s currently the best you can get on Xbox One in terms of a fun and lasting gaming experience. It’s got a lot of game within it and really, that’s all you need.

But even then, Insomniac weren’t content to simply stop there. No. You get the humour and you get the cool methods of exploration, but none of it is forced onto you, and you still get more out of the package as well. If you don’t want to grind and bounce everywhere, you can fast travel. If you don’t want to do the main story, you can just do side quests. If you don’t want to kill enemies, you can just run right by them. There is choice here in the game and even death has little consequence. Typically not a good thing but here, it just works.

Sunset Overdrive is quite possibly one of the best games we’ve played this year and it’s refreshing to see a game actually live up to its hype. Goes to show that sometimes a developer actually can deliver and they don’t need millions of preorders, a popular console or a $500 million budget to do so.

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Head On Down To The Sci-Fi & Horror Day At T-Fest In Trenchtown This Saturday http://egmr.net/2014/10/head-sci-fi-horror-day-t-fest-trenchtown-saturday/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/head-sci-fi-horror-day-t-fest-trenchtown-saturday/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161357 If you’re situated in Cape Town and looking for something to do tomorrow, you should probably check out the latest in ZombieGamer’s series of T-Fest events, once again hosted at […]

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If you’re situated in Cape Town and looking for something to do tomorrow, you should probably check out the latest in ZombieGamer’s series of T-Fest events, once again hosted at Trenchtown.

This time themed around Sci-Fi and Horror, perhaps because Halloween (?), the ZombieGamer folks who have pushed eSports on consoles like no other entity this year in South Africa, will have a wide range of attractions for you to head on over and check out. Here are the details for the event:

Date: Saturday 25 October 2014
Time: Event starts at 1pm and runs until around 7pm (If you’re still having a good time, feel free to stick around)
Where: Trenchtown, 92 Station Road, Observatory, Cape Town
What: T-Fest Sci-Fi and Horror Day
Cost: Free entry to the event.

Attractions will include gaming, cosplay, a market and more. If you’d like full details of what to expect then click this text if you please.

Another great event from ZombieGamer and one CTers should definitely check out. So go, okay. Just go. I wish I could…

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eGamer Podcast #102: Abusive Gaming http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-102-abusive-gaming/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-102-abusive-gaming/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160832 Recorded: 22 October 2014 Welcome to episode one-hundred-and-two of the eGamer Podcast which is almost entirely the most controversial episode yet. Basically just because it’s like anything else on the […]

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Recorded: 22 October 2014

Welcome to episode one-hundred-and-two of the eGamer Podcast which is almost entirely the most controversial episode yet. Basically just because it’s like anything else on the internet right now. Cue feminists.

Topics discussed this week include Hatred the game, Feminism in games and Driveclub’s broken servers.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • What is Hatred and why is it so offensive?
  • Is feminism important regarding games such as GTA V?
  • We take a moment to consider #GamerGate.
  • So Driveclub is still completely broken…
  • Has the the Xbox One begun to surpass the PS4?
  • The Call of Duty news is a daily reality.
  • Why must games media abuse its consumers?
  • We answer your questions.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Xbox One November Update Brings Custom Backgrounds, Profiles, Sharing And More http://egmr.net/2014/10/xbox-one-november-update-brings-custom-backgrounds-profiles-sharing/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/xbox-one-november-update-brings-custom-backgrounds-profiles-sharing/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160817 You know what’s great about being an Xbox user besides the cheaper games, cheaper subscription to online services, comfortable controllers with infinite battery life, motion and voice controls and ability […]

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You know what’s great about being an Xbox user besides the cheaper games, cheaper subscription to online services, comfortable controllers with infinite battery life, motion and voice controls and ability to use my console as a multimedia device when I’m not feeling like playing a game? The updates.

The Xbox very rarely requires system updates and when it does, they typically bring massive improvements that can change the way you use the console. Or at least make it a better experience. Take for example the November system update for Xbox One which is looking to change the dashboard experience a bit by offering a few things. Check out the video above, or just read this entire passage that I’ve just copy-pasted off Major Nelson’s blog for you guys:

  • Show Who You Are – Some of the most requested features being released this month include the ability to customize your Xbox One background and showcase and share some of your favorite achievements and game clips.
    • Custom Backgrounds – The #1 fan-requested feature is making its initial debut for preview members. For the first time, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background. You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road.
    • Gamer Profile – You can now share your location and bio as part of your profile. You can set these options on your Xbox One console and use Xbox One SmartGlass to browse to other people’s profiles and check out their showcase items. Additionally, you can now select a set of showcase items that are displayed when other gamers look at your profile on an Xbox One console. You can use Xbox One SmartGlass or Xbox One console to add or remove up to six game clips or achievements that will be displayed in a carousel format.
    • Tweet about your Favorite Game Clips – You can now share your favorite Xbox One game clips with your followers on Twitter. Use the Share button on any game clip you have created and select Twitter to compose the Tweet.
  • A New Way to Watch TV – With new Live TV and Twitter integration, you can discover new shows to love and see what people are saying on Twitter about shows in real-time.
    • Live TV Trending – Starting today for preview members in the U.S., Canada and the UK, a new tab will be available in OneGuide that displays the top 20 most watched TV shows, with the list filtered down to the shows that are currently available to you based on your OneGuide settings. The Live TV Trending list is updated by the minute, so you can easily discover shows that are popular with other viewers. The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Twitter – Live TV trending first and Xbox – Live TV Trending second. You can tune to a specific show by pressing the A button.
    • Twitter TV Trending – New this month in preview, you can see what Live TV is trending based on the highest number of tweets. Twitter TV Trending will initially be available to preview members in the U.S.
    • Xbox TV Trending – The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Twitter trending first and Xbox – Live TV Trending second. Xbox – Live TV Trending is based on the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show in each country, pulled from anonymous data collected at a national level.
    • Tweets in MiniGuide – See the actual tweets for the Live TV shows in real time and quickly find the Twitter #hashtag to join the conversation.
    • Recents and Favorites in MiniGuide – MiniGuide has been updated to include your favorite TV channels in a combined Recents and Favorites area and MiniGuide can now be activated via voice by saying “Xbox Select – MiniGuide” while watching TV.

 

  • Store improvements and SmartGlass updates – We are also excited to roll out these cool features:
    • Store improvements – The Store pages on Xbox One have been improved to enable you to more quickly browse and find content. The navigation buttons were moved to the far left so you can find them easier. You can also more quickly find game add-ons, perform store specific searches and recommendations are more prominently displayed. Finally, store categories have been standardized so you can easily see the top items in each query at a glance.
    • Friends’ Game Activity on SmartGlass – You can now see a list of your friends that have played a given game within the Xbox One SmartGlass experience.
    • Games with Gold & Deals with Gold on SmartGlass – For gamers with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can browse “Free Games with Gold” and discounted content with Gold and initiate download of the content to your Xbox One console from your mobile device.
    • SmartGlass Store Improvements – We added a new section for Apps to make it easier to find and download apps for your Xbox One, as well as adding a Coming Soon filter for Games and Add Ons to make it easier to see upcoming Xbox One releases sorted by anticipated release date.
  • Internet Explorer updates – There are a few improvements Internet Explorer available this month:
    • Snap IE – From the Address Bar in Internet Explorer, you can now easily snap from a full screen experience and move Internet Explorer into snap mode.
    • Featured sites – Now, Internet Explorer will show a number when something is newly-added to featured sites. Newly-added sites will also display a badge until you launch them or seven days have passed since the site was added to the Featured list.
  • Updates to the Preview dashboard app – We’re gamifying the Preview dashboard. Here are some new features we are adding:
    • My Stats – If you are in the Preview program, you will now earn points for providing feedback, including points for completing Quests, Surveys, Quick Poll questions, and rating the update. These will be shared in the Preview dashboard under My Stats. The more points you get, the more you level up, and the more rewards you’ll earn. Keep checking back for special bonus point opportunities.
    • Leaderboard – We’re also adding a leaderboard that shows how you stack up against your friends based on the points you have earned. If you don’t have friends in the Preview program, we’ll show how you stack up against others in the program. Keep checking back – more things are coming to the My Stats page soon.

If you’re in the Xbox One preview program then you should have all of these features and updates already. However if you’re like me and aren’t a complete hipster then you can look forward to all of these changes in November. You may now proceed to tell me what a fanboy I am in the comments below. Also if you’re looking forward to any particular change that will come in the update.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Promises A Better RPG Experience Than Destiny http://egmr.net/2014/10/preview-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/preview-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:30:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160360 Here at EGMR we believe in equal opportunities and fair representation for all. Therefore, Dragon Age is a particularly important series of games because it is, in our opinions, the […]

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Here at EGMR we believe in equal opportunities and fair representation for all. Therefore, Dragon Age is a particularly important series of games because it is, in our opinions, the only fair representation of dragons in the gaming sphere. Too often are dragons misrepresented and discriminated against and Dragon Age pioneers the correct way of handling these matters. #DragonGate2014

Name: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Genre: Dragonism
Players: 1
Multiplayer: Online co-operative
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Developers: BioWare
Publishers: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 18 (US) / 21 (UK) November 2014
Price: $70 (Xbox One)

In all seriousness, I’m a massive fan of the Dragon Age series but I think that goes without saying for anyone who reads this site often enough. Inquisition is the third iteration in the Dragon Age franchise, and will be releasing next month after a few very painful delays. Today we’re going to take a look not just at Inquisition in its current guise, but also the history of the Dragon Age series and how we got to this point in time. Starting at the beginning, with:

 
Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins released at a golden opportunity during a barren period in the RPG world. Nothing else was out that played similarly and so it dominated its genre. It only helped that the game itself was pretty rad as well. Origins broke ground in doing what no other party-based RPG has managed, and introduced genuinely charming and memorable starting characters with Alistair and Morrigan; instant fan favourites. Origins also introduced the idea of grey-area choices with neither choice necessarily being the ‘good’ one but rather each decision reflecting the type of character personality you wanted to have.

Origins brought with it a strong strategic element that required gamers to pause and make tactical decisions in combat, including character placements, crowd control and even move orders. The game included a method for creating automatic tactical executions but for the most part required micro-management. Many fans of the old Balder’s Gate series were immediately won over, although some found it too complex and demanding. Which is a shame because it really was a great game. I gave Origin six full playthroughs including one in which I did all the DLC.

 
Dragon Age II

Slightly more polarising was the sequel to Origins; whereas the first game allowed you to create a character from a variety of ‘races’ Dragon Age II presented you with a preexisting human character called Hawke, and then allowed you pick the class and gender of your character only. The idea was to create a faster-paced, more personal narrative that serve the overarching story of a champion being born amidst a time of turmoil in a faraway land.

To some extent it succeeded but BioWare failed to adequately deliver on various fronts and ultimately led gamers to no longer trust cinematic trailers because they just lied through their teeth. The game was faster-paced but at the loss of almost all tactical and situational control, requiring you to mash buttons rather than strategically issue orders (on lower difficulties). Further, the game world was very copy-paste and led to a lack of incentive to explore. The framed narrative of the story was liked by some but most preferred the less personal, more world-shaping story of the first game and in the end the sequel was regarded as a step down from the first game. I gave DAII three full playthroughs including one in which I did all the DLC


 

Cue Dragon Age: Inquisition and immediately you can see where they have done their homework and looked to fix things: There are now early gameplay trailers out. Which immediately tells us, okay, we know that BioWare are not half-assing this game the way they did the last one. One might argue that the last one was rushed out before it was ready due to publisher pressure. Whether that is true or not, Inquisition’s delays also mean that it has been allowed ample time to be created and tweaked to perfection; a masterpiece in the making then? We sure hope so!

Dragon Age: Inquisition brings back a few things from the first game, including the pause-and-play tactical gameplay that requires you to think strategically and issue orders to your team in order to come out victorious in skirmishes. It also brings back the character creation mechanic and allows you to be things other than human this time around, adding in the extra ‘race’ of Qunari, to go with Elf, Dwarf and aforementioned Homo sapiens spp. There is also a much larger world and story this time around, just like in Origins.

A strong emphasis has been placed on the player’s choices, which is ironic because, you know, Mass Effect 3 and all that… Your player character will have to make some tough decisions and your party characters will be affected by those decisions; some leading to fallouts and others leading to friendships or even romances depending on how you choose to play your game. Exploration then factors into this because your choices will lead to ‘liberating’ certain areas that then become free to explore. Think of an amped up version of the viewpoints from Assassin’s Creed, but with a slightly more forceful approach.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is trying to do what Origins did, with a story that spans a land much larger than the first game’s setting of Ferelden, in the fictional world of Thedas. BioWare have strongly hinted at the game being set in the land of Orlais, but we do know that it’s going to be a massive open world that will look stunning and varied, you know, powered by Frostbite 3 and all.

Following from the story of Dragon Age II, an all-out civil war has begun between the mages and templars; quite possibly the most interesting political story that you’ll find this side of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. You are an Inquisitor and your task is to create a strong party of characters and investigate. That’s really all you need to know about the story right now.

As to the rest of the game, we know that Inquisition will have a multiplayer cooperative mode that pits four players as a team against… we’re not sure what just yet. There hasn’t been much revealed about this mode other than that it is separate from the singleplayer, but if the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer is anything to go by then it’s going to be gooood. Meanwhile, a few new characters have been revealed over on the BioWare blog but the biggest returning character thus far has undoubtedly been Morrigan. You know, if you’re into her… (I know I am.)

 

Suspected Selling Points
  • A return to roots for the series means excellent CRPG gameplay.
  • A sprawling and beautiful open world to get lost in.
  • Political intrigue and powerful decision-making.

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • It could end up being as formulaic as the last one.
  • Is it just too ambitious at this point?
  • Can you just smell the gated DLC areas?

Dragon Age: Inquisition could well be BioWare’s apology letter for the failings of Dragon Age II and even Mass Effect 3; it looks like a strong and solid offering thus far and is honestly the only (read: the only) game that I’ve looked forward to this year. The only one. That might be because I’m a fan of BioWare games but surely there’s reason for that given how much I get accused of being tough on everything else… right? Maybe they’re a great series of games or something? Time will tell and very soon we’ll see if Inquisition stands up to the test.

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Review: D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die Delivers Delicious Depravity http://egmr.net/2014/10/review-d4-dark-dreams-dont-die/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/review-d4-dark-dreams-dont-die/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:15:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158251 Visit review on site for scoring. “Look for D.” No, that’s not a sexually suggestive come-on but rather the final words of Peggy, the wife of protagonist David Young in […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

“Look for D.”

No, that’s not a sexually suggestive come-on but rather the final words of Peggy, the wife of protagonist David Young in D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (from here on, simply D4). See they were happily going about their business one day and suddenly, they weren’t. Following a traumatic and dramatic death in which she muttered those final words before fading away into the [insert relevant post-life belief here], David vowed to find her killer and make him pay but also to bring her back. How? Well where Peggy died (I’m sure someone will take issue with this) David acquired the ability to travel into the past.

Again. How? Glad you asked. Using mementos, which are little trinkets of intrinsic value to their owners, David can enter and investigate the past. In doing so, he hopes to not just find out what happened but also to entirely change the past. While doing so, the guilt of her death and the trauma of losing her wracks him with grief and starts to affect not just his persona but his sanity. The result? Probably one of the most downright bizarre games you will ever play.

And that’s really the best way to describe D4 if you were asked to do so in a single word: Bizarre.

D4 plays out very much like a Telltale Games game, such as The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us. There’s an overarching story that spans multiple chapters presented in an episodic format, however each ‘episode’ contains its own story as well. In D4 those episodes are all contained within the actual game and it is rather called ‘season one’ with each ‘episode’ basically being a separate case for David to investigate. Each episode will then also contain an intro and outro credits sequence and the result of this is a very cheesy nineties cop drama type of feel which is emphasised further by the Boston setting complete with believable accents and colloquialisms for authenticity.

Like Telltale’s games, the gameplay is mostly point and click. That’s not to say it’s entirely so, because there are also some quick-time event sections, but for the most part you will be surveying a scene and trying to solve problems based on what you can interact with. It’s a bit more robust in that you have some freedom of movement through a level, and levels play out both in the past and the present (we’ll come back to this), but the overall gist is there. Think of a Japanese-styled Telltale game and you’ve got a better idea of what to expect.

Visuals are handled in a cel-shaded manner that is stylised and uses a lot of accenting. The result is something that looks immediately familiar, once again, to anyone who has played a Telltale game. Controlling the game is a matter of choosing between using your Kinect or, as I very gratefully discovered many hours later, your Xbox One controller. The motion controls and gestures work well enough using Kinect 2.0 although being seated in certain positions does have the adverse effect of confusing the Kinect and resulting in choppy controlling of the game. Further, it just gets really tiring after a while since you will literally be using your arms to point and click. Where it gets a lot more fun is during conversations where you simply speak responses, or during the QTEs where you’re basically going crazy in front of your Xbox One, and somehow being recognised by that magnificent device. All of this said, it’s still advisable to just stick with the controller. You’ll be able to play for much longer that way, without worrying about sore arms or wonky controls.

The story plays out mostly through narration and exposition by David, who is joined by a colourful cast of characters including Amanda, who is for all intents and purposes an anthropomorphic cat. In the present, David is a broken man who lives alone in his apartment but for Amanda who just ‘moved in’ one day (but doesn’t speak) and his detective friend who basically takes care of him and helps with providing clues for investigation. Upon presentation of a clue, David then ‘dives’ into the past and investigates, uncovering clues through a myriad of means.

In the past, there are yet more colourful characters to interact with, some recurring, others not. They can present you with optional secondary case that play out like mini-games, or just present more exposition and fluff. Interacting with them and any other object will consume stamina that must be replenished by eating food, found throughout levels. If you run out, you will pass out and wake up at the present. Don’t worry though, because you can traverse between the two tenses at any time from the menu.

Further to your stamina bar are two other bars, including health and vision. Health only really matters during QTEs where you lose one point of it each time you fail a QTE button-press. Some consequence for failure then. And vision is basically your ‘detective mode’ in D4, consuming a point and allowing you to sniff out clues and points of interest like a bloodhound. Or sleuth, perhaps. All of these can be replenished manually, if you so desire, by purchasing items from either Amanda in the present or her cat persona in the past (seriously), and you can also buy clothes, beards and other items. You can even buy gifts for the other characters, although I never quite ascertained why other than base altruism. Completing secondary cases will unlock clothes and other items for your perusal.

In fact there’s actually quite a lot to be done in this game, over and above the main story. There are letters and case documents and evidence pieces and a whole bunch of things to find and read through, in the game. If anything, D4 is an exercise in excess, given the amount of content it provides you. A very welcome addition to this sort of game because it really sucks you into its crazy world as a result. And sure, you might try your own predictions of the outcome of the story and declare the mystery solved but trust me, no.

If there is any real criticism that I could have of D4, it’s that I don’t understand why it’s being marketed as a Kinect title. I mean, you can use your controller, and you should use your controller because honestly, it’s just less painful that way. After an hour playing this game my arms were sore; maybe that’s a reflection of my lack of fitness but maybe I want to relax when I play murder mysteries? It just seems like a pointless exercise in motion controls and I’m honestly relieved they put in the controller support.

Thankfully the story and setting make up for it. If you’re not one for Swery-type games (or anything by Suda51) then you’re probably going to be playing this game with a permanent look of befuddlement but anyone else ought to be entertained. And then some. Because D4 genuinely is an entertaining experience. It says a lot that while playing it, I really did not want to stop playing it, even when the need to use a toilet occurred, or indeed the call of Dota came. That ought to say a lot for just how immersive and refreshingly different D4 is. And with much, much higher production values than Deadly Premonition, it has an adequate platform for showing you just how crazy a game can get when not held back by a restrictive publisher and allowed to take some risks. For that, D4 has our respect, and a stellar rating to boot.

Little-known fact: time is the fourth dimension. Neat, right?

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Our 102nd Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/10/102nd-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/102nd-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:00:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158142 Full disclosure: This article was done two weeks ago before we even left for rAge 2014 and it was significantly different to what you’re reading here. But then we recorded […]

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Full disclosure: This article was done two weeks ago before we even left for rAge 2014 and it was significantly different to what you’re reading here. But then we recorded a rAge special and that necessitated the moving of questions into this week; you know, since last week’s podcast had already been recorded by the time Tuesday came around. Thus, this is now the questions article for episode one-oh-two of the eGamer Podcast a week later. And without the rAge theme.

You know the drill by now, but for those new to us it’s quite simple: Just think up some cool questions for us, whether it pertains to gaming or not, and then ask it in the comments below. That’s it.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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Bring Your Own Lightsaber To The Star Wars RPG Day Hosted By Geek Girls SA http://egmr.net/2014/10/bring-lightsaber-star-wars-rpg-day-hosted-geek-girls-sa/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/bring-lightsaber-star-wars-rpg-day-hosted-geek-girls-sa/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:15:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=159796 Durbanites, geeks, lovers of boardgames and Star Wars, your time has come at last! Geek Girls SA is hosting a boardgame (sorry, tabletop!) session to the theme of the Star […]

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Durbanites, geeks, lovers of boardgames and Star Wars, your time has come at last!

Geek Girls SA is hosting a boardgame (sorry, tabletop!) session to the theme of the Star Wars RPG over at the Unseen Shoppe in Westville, this coming weekend. Everyone is welcome along, and you can check out more information either using the image above or the Facebook event, which says the following:

Girls and Guys join us for a Geek Girls SA event at The Unseen Shoppe in Westville Durban. Come learn how to play or show us your skills in a galaxy far, far away.

Go ahead and join that event and then show up when the date arrives, to indulge in some Star Wars tabletop goodness. *waves hand*

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rAge 2014 Roundup & Highlights — It’s The Last One, We Promise http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-roundup-last-one-promise/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-roundup-last-one-promise/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 14:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160318 Welcome to the very last word on rAge 2014, in which we’ve rounded up every single article of coverage that we’ve done for the event, all in one easily available […]

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Welcome to the very last word on rAge 2014, in which we’ve rounded up every single article of coverage that we’ve done for the event, all in one easily available piece of the internet just in case you either missed something and don’t want to go back and look, or just want to see what else we did besides what you’ve already read thus far. You have been reading our coverage thus far, yes?

Before we round-up all the relevant coverage, let’s first take a stroll through our thoughts by asking the eight members of the team who attended this year for a few words about rAge 2014 in its entirety. Here you go:

AG wrote: rAge is an annual excuse to focus on nothing but geeky pleasures and this year enabled that wonderfully. The highlight was not only the dearth of new games to see and feel – Sunset Overdrive, AC: Unity and Dying Light in particular – but also simply being surrounded by like-minded people. People whom I could engage with in discussions on comics, gaming, TV and movies. For me, that’s what rAge is about. That and sweating inordinately. Also, enough hugs to keep a support group content.

Adam wrote: rAge this year was much better than last year’s and we got such a great variety of games on show. It was great to be working with such a dedicated team at EGMR and getting the chance to meet everyone in person properly was brilliant at rAge. It was a genuinely fun experience and this year the indie games, from my perspective, truly knocked it out of the park. The home_coded stand showed off the best of local dev talent. However, my favourite game of the expo had to be Far Cry 4. The game really developed on the foundations laid down in Far Cry 3 and built upon them.

Bianca wrote: Though rAge was eventful as always, there are only a couple of things that made this one special to me. It was the first time I was attending as press, so I got to see the press room and do a super fangirly interview for the first time. I also wielded two lightsabers and did my first group cosplay. I met the guys from EGMR who accepted me with open arms and awesome badges, and I challenged Cavie to a dance/sing-off where I was publicly shamed when I learnt he dances like a black man.

Bracken wrote: While I enjoyed Dying Light and Evolve the most overall out of the games at the event, my gaming moment of the event has to go to the ending of the Far Cry 4 demo. After opening my gameplay by picking off the guards on the edge of the fortress we were tasked to clear, and then sneaking into the fortress itself, I was discovered by a particularly troublesome NPC. After picking up an assault rifle, a sprint back up to the walls and a brief stint on the fixed mortar, most of the enemy reinforcements were cleared out, except the hateful clown in the helicopter (not a literal clown, more like Azhar). The next minute or so would have made an excellent running montage as I made for one of the few accessible roofed buildings in the compound to avoid death-from-above Charlie in the chopper and, luckily for me, found a grenade launcher mounted on the wall. It didn’t end well for the helicopter, and as flaming debris dropped from the vehicle, which was also starting to lose altitude, the screen faded to black – Fortress Liberated. As always, the social aspect of the expo was great and it was awesome to meet people who I’ve interacted online with at the event. It was a very busy weekend to be sure, and one of the highlights of my year.

Marco wrote: This year was my second outing to the Mecca of SA gaming and technology, and I enjoyed this one a shedload more than the last one, a trend I hope that continues for future rAges. I was more grounded this year, a bit more focused and a bit more in tune with how things happen at rAge, i.e. everyone loves and hugs each other in person and hates each other online (#BlameCav1e2014). I got to converse with some really cool people at rAge, but my tech highlight was seeing the overclockers I’ve admired and overclocking set-ups behind the insane 3DMark scores they’ve submitted online. The entire expo was just a much ‘funner’ place, and I’d like to think it’s because we are past the Next-Gen War that engulfed rAge last year. This year we actually got to see what games look like being run on PCs and not simply PCs emulating consoles. Game-wise, Evolve was by far the highlight for me, simply because it’s been too long since we had a genuinely fun co-op game to build on. Even though people often say, “After 5 months people won’t be playing it,” I say that those people have too much money and are part of the problem for driving this unsustainable gaming bloat. Build a fun game and people will come and stick with, and Evolve felt very fun to me. Till next year.

Marko wrote: If I can be quite honest, I wasn’t really excited for any of the games this year at rAge. Sure, there were good games, but I’ve seen so much media for them already that I didn’t really care. For me, the highlight was meeting new people and even some old friends. I’m not very social and it was a nice change of pace to interact with so many wonderful people. Getting randomly stopped by strangers asking if I’m that guy never got old and some passionate hugs were exchanged. If I had to choose a game that was the highlight, it would have to be Evolve. The tension and amount of fun in that game was so good when played with these other EGMR bastards.

Rudolf wrote: rAge is that one time a year I am able to go to a location and see an array of stuff I like. Very insightful, ain’t it? We’re able to play games that aren’t on store shelves yet, we can buy games or any other thing for that matter as long as it is geek-related, nay, related to formidable forms of entertainment. Don’t forget seeing and meeting other people who share the same passion as yourself. Sure, there are a few personal stand-outs for the occasion, but dismissing the rest would be criminal. I was only there for a singular day, but the whole expo was a highlight for me. It’s overcrowded and the ideal nightmare for a claustrophobe, but there are games, so all is forgiven.

I guess that just leaves me? I quite enjoyed rAge this year; for one it offered me the chance to meet one of my all-time favourite writers and the reason I wanted to become a writer; Tarryn van der Byl. My word I fangirled… I also got to meet a developer who works with Jade Raymond, another inspiration of mine, so again, fangirled. And a CD Projekt RED developer and I got to talk about The Witcher 3 where once again, fangirled. It’s stuff like that that made rAge — which for all intents and purposes is a job when you cover it as press; I seriously did not get more than an hour of game time the entire weekend — such an absolute blast despite the tiring nature of coverage, and made this year in particular a highlight. The Megarom and Xbox stands were absolutely amazing although it puzzled me to see just how dreary and unimaginative the Ster-Kinekor stand was, despite having a massive pull with Mortal Kombat X; seriously why do people even like the PS4? But I digress, all in all this year was magnificent and it was especially refreshing to see all the other sites smiling and talking and just getting along with each other; that was glorious for me because despite all the critique and serious-business about consumer advice, at the end of the day it’s just games and we are just gamers. And I loved that.

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Here’s a full list of all coverage for the rAge event.

 

Games

Far Cry 4 Is A Familiar Dose Of Madness
Bloodborne Will Make Your Soul Dark
Mortal Kombat X Makes Violence Beautiful
LittleBigPlanet 3 Has My Vote
Splatoon Is Colourfully Chaotic
The Order: 1886 Is An Arsonist’s Dream
Batman: Arkham Knight Looks To Be Running Out Of Ideas
Dying Light Climbs Above The Chasing Pack
The EGMR Team Naturally Selects Evolve
Sunset Overdrive Is Wacky Fun But The Novelty Might Well Wear Off
Assassin’s Creed: Unity Is Not More Of The Same And That’s Great
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Is More Of The Same And That’s Great
NBA 2K15 Is Familiar And Exceedingly Pretty
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Literally Goes Beyond Gotham

 

Galleries

The Cosplay Was Strong With This One
The Sights And Sounds As Well As A Few Funny Smells
Gape At These Meticulously Detailed Figurines

 

Interviews

We Chat To One Of The Producers On Assassin’s Creed: Unity
We Find Out Why You Should Be Interested In Evolve
We Find Out What Makes Project CARS Tick
We Discuss Far Cry 4’s Explosions And Elephants
We Discuss Sex, Story And Open Worlds With The Witcher 3
Call Of Duty Clan F34R Adept Have A Word With Cavie
DeMoNiK Tells Us About The DGC
A Wild Trebzz Appears!

 

Tech

Tech @ rAge
We Speak Logitech And eSports With Rob Anderson

 

Indie

Indie @ rAge
We Chat To The Various Indie Devs At rAge

 

Podcast

eGamer Podcast: rAge 2014 Special

 

Other

Abyssal Pixels: Gamers Are Still Capable Of Compassion
Do Gaming Championships – Winners And Prizes
Thabo’s rAge 2014 Surprise Selfie Collection
Derpcast Videocast Spectacular

We hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as we enjoyed covering it, and we look forward to bigger and better next year.

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rAge 2014: Call Of Duty Clan F34R Adept Have A Word With Cavie http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-call-duty-clan-f34r-adept-word-cavie/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-call-duty-clan-f34r-adept-word-cavie/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:45:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160308 Well, this is awkward… On the Saturday of rAge 2014 I strolled down to the LAN area and found myself in what can only be described as a dungeon of […]

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Well, this is awkward…

On the Saturday of rAge 2014 I strolled down to the LAN area and found myself in what can only be described as a dungeon of delicious, with all sorts of gaming going on everywhere; while doing so I was accompanied by friend of the site Glenn Alexander who just so happens to be the manager of a certain F34R Adept clan.

Remember them?

Thankfully the dudes were really great sports about it and in fact told me that they saw the humour in that article; I was honestly quite glad that a few months later we could all laugh about it… you know, like I initially intended. I guess it tells you a lot about the state of eSports in this country, that so many people reacted with furious vitriol and anger yet the involved parties saw the humour and were none the worse for it. In fact, they even told me that they got more coverage from that than they ever had before. Neat, right? I guess, thanks overly-sensitive local eSports community.

In any case, we decided to do a quick interview and I asked them about such things as Call of Duty, eSports in general and of course the DGC in which they were participating. I think you’ll find from the video above that they’re a bunch of really nice guys. And that kid, man… holy shit he’s talented!

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rAge 2014: We Discuss Sex, Story And Open Worlds With The Witcher 3 http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-discuss-sex-story-open-worlds-witcher-3/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-discuss-sex-story-open-worlds-witcher-3/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:15:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160288 There are few games that we at EGMR love more than The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on its way, we were eager […]

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There are few games that we at EGMR love more than The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on its way, we were eager as beavers to get talking about the game with one of CD Projekt’s own.

We really love CD Projekt RED and getting to personally speak to Communications Manager Fabian Doehla (sorry for the misspelling in the video) at rAge was an absolute honour. Watch our interview above together with Marko Swanepoel where we ask Fabian about what you can get up to in the third game in the trilogy — and yes, we go there.

Our sincere apologies for the sound quality in the video which was due to last-minute audio hitches that were out of our control. Still, we hope it’s mostly audible to you and if not, perhaps consider how lucky you are to be alive in this day and age and not during the times of the bubonic plague.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releases February 24th on Xbox One, PC, PS4 and Pornhub. Do check it out…

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rAge 2014: Derpcast Videocast Spectacular http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-derpcast-videocast-spectacular/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-derpcast-videocast-spectacular/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:30:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160278 Last week at rAge 2014 we thought about recording a videocast for you guys; you know, a podcast but with footage as well. We quickly realised that not only would […]

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Last week at rAge 2014 we thought about recording a videocast for you guys; you know, a podcast but with footage as well. We quickly realised that not only would it have been massive since we recorded everything in 1080p, but it also would not have been appreciated by our large contingent of audio-only viewers.

In any case, the video above was what we recorded prior to deciding against doing a videocast. Since we thought it was quite hilarious we figured we’d share it with you guys. It’s the perfect way to wind down on a Friday and if you really want a podcast then we’ve got you covered there as well. Check it out and let us know what you think of Bianca’s laugh.

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rAge 2014: A Wild Trebzz Appears! http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-wild-trebzz-appears/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-wild-trebzz-appears/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160285 Here at EGMR we are massive fans of the internet parasite that is Zhameer ‘Trebzz‘ Hashim. And last week at rAge 2014 we got a chance to meet and share […]

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Here at EGMR we are massive fans of the internet parasite that is Zhameer ‘Trebzz‘ Hashim. And last week at rAge 2014 we got a chance to meet and share some words with the man.

There’s also a cameo appearance from another reader of the site (and writer for another) Sahil Lala, so that’s two Indians in one video!

Watch it above as they tell us more about the expo and what they liked, disliked and want to do to our badges.

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rAge 2014: DeMoNiK Tells Us About The DGC http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-demonik-tells-us-dgc/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-demonik-tells-us-dgc/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:15:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160281 rAge 2014 can be a very tiring event depending on which side of the entire expo you find yourself; gamers merely attending the expo might come in for a few […]

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rAge 2014 can be a very tiring event depending on which side of the entire expo you find yourself; gamers merely attending the expo might come in for a few hours and then depart with a few badges and some stuff they really couldn’t afford but bought anyway. Exhibitors meanwhile, would have spent days prior and will spend at least a day after, assembling and then disassembling stands.

When you’re involved in eSports, it’s a whole other tale. Think late nights and early mornings, and we really mean late nights. Some of the games played during the DGC at the rAge LAN went all the way until 2am. And people like former EGMR writer Richard ‘DeMoNiK’ Sjoberg, now writing for Telkom’s Do Gaming website, were there all throughout, covering every event as it happened.

We caught up with him and asked him a few questions about the DGC, which you can check out in the video above.

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eGamer Podcast: rAge 2014 Special http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-rage-2014-special/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-rage-2014-special/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:15:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160271 Recorded: 11 October 2014 Welcome to a special episode of the eGamer Podcast — we’ve held off on our regular show for one week only while we discuss the biggest […]

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Recorded: 11 October 2014

Welcome to a special episode of the eGamer Podcast — we’ve held off on our regular show for one week only while we discuss the biggest gaming and tech expo in South Africa: The Oscar Trial

During our rAge 2014 special we’ll be discussing our favourite games, the best and worst stands, as well as everything you could have seen if you were there. You were there, weren’t you? We’ll be back to regular viewing (listening) next week!

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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PSA: The Actions Of The Bad Should Not Invalidate The Intentions Of The Good http://egmr.net/2014/10/psa-actions-bad-invalidate-intentions-good/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/psa-actions-bad-invalidate-intentions-good/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160075 Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the world? Not ‘Like and Share’ a post on Facebook in order to cure cancer, but genuinely make a difference starting […]

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Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the world? Not ‘Like and Share’ a post on Facebook in order to cure cancer, but genuinely make a difference starting with yourself?

Sometimes it’s quite easy to make a difference in the world since, as chaos theorists will tell you, every single action you ever make will have some consequence. Sometimes words aren’t enough, and you need proper actions. But in the case of the internet and the things you do online, those are words and in those cases, words are enough.

So let’s talk about #GamerGate.

At this point in time nobody can call themselves an authority on the matter and in many ways, nobody should. After all, the entire thing started for the wrong reasons but then the right reasons were brought in along the way and what followed was a smorgasbord of discussion from both sides and then some. What you really need to know about it right now is that people are actively campaigning to stop it.

Thing is, like any campaign, it’s wrought with just the worst sorts of people. Both the #GamerGate movement and the anti-#GamerGate campaigners (who are using #StopGamerGate2014 as their hashtag) and even the #NotYourShield crowd have been going at it for a while now, and the thing is, each and every side has people who make very valid points, but also some who just don’t.

The problem is that what permeates into mainstream media is mostly the negative and so it’s just those bad apples whose voices are heard. Today I’d like to share a few examples of such, using some tweets. Observe:

 

 

 

 

And the pièce de résistance…

 

So you see, there are bad apples on both sides and just because they are in fact bad apples, should not immediately invalidate the things they’re saying. As a brown person, I can still get behind the idea that there are middle-aged white males who care equality and ethics and want to have a mature discussion about it. And as a hopefully objective writer I can also get behind not wanting such things as rape and death threats to ever happen.

But here’s the great swinger: How much of it is true and how much of it is artificially engineered to push invalidation of the other party’s point?

Unfortunately we might never know because of the vitriol of the entire thing, from both sides of the argument. Both parties have very valid reasons for having their stance but those who have a good point to make are being entirely washed out by those who are just being complete tools. And we, as a community, eat up the negativity while dismissing or not even seeing some of points people are trying to make, between all the noise.

And yes, the bad is absolutely still there whether or not the good is, but if we are capable of seeing both sides then we immediately do one better than those people who are simply abusive without anything positive to offer, and maybe we can get a positive result out of a very tumultuous sort of controversy.

If there is nothing else that I achieve in writing for this website, let it be that I encouraged readers to see all sides of a story. Don’t just take it at face value and decide to either support or denounce the claims being made. Try to read up a bit more and find out what others are saying as well. Don’t be like those guys in the tweets above who just end up looking like idiots to anyone with half a brain. We on the internet at least, should know better than that.

And this is me encouraging all of us to stop and think. Please. For the good of the internet.

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rAge 2014: Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Is More Of The Same And That’s Great http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-assassins-creed-rogue-thats-great/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-assassins-creed-rogue-thats-great/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158905 One of the problems with creating a really cool concept in a game is that you can’t really know for sure just how much it’s going to be milked and […]

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One of the problems with creating a really cool concept in a game is that you can’t really know for sure just how much it’s going to be milked and at what point gamers are going to get over it, until it becomes blatantly obvious to everyone. In the case of the Assassin’s Creed games AC3 brought a sailing mechanic that took the series by storm and now with Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, quite possibly Ubisoft’s final foray into the now-previous-gen console market, that mechanic is once again playing a starring role, as we got to check out during rAge 2014.

If you’re not interested in this write-up and just want to know about the gameplay then this link contains all the gameplay found in the demo so hit that up first, then maybe come back here if you’d like. A lot of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue will be immediately familiar to the gamer; the naval controls and intense seafaring warfare mixed in with the jungle-gym-like climbing and platforming along more-and-more-unrealistically-set climbing areas (such as the masts of sunken ships which perfectly form a line that can be traversed). It’s instantly familiar and it’s great.

The new character and partial setting — at least for the gameplay demonstration — are also the first really intriguing aspect for quite some time in the series; what would happen if an assassin went rogue? That’s what the game is trying its best to portray for us, and while we can’t speak on story we can at least speak on the location of the demo being the Arctic tundra which displayed the Northern Lights in their full glory. It was beautiful and captivating and while the final product is probably going to be more of the same, meaning tail missions for everyone (!), we can’t help but adore it for specifically that reason.

The naval aspect has not been done to death just yet and Rogue certainly offers a fresh perspective that has been teased in both the ‘Americas’ games thus far, AC3 and ACIV; hopefully this one provides yet more elaboration on what life is like on the other side of the coin. Watch this space.

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rAge 2014: Assassin’s Creed: Unity Is Not More Of The Same And That’s Great http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-assassins-creed-unity-thats-great/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-assassins-creed-unity-thats-great/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:15:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158899 Perhaps the weirdest thing about playing something you’re used to playing but quickly realising that it’s just not how you remember it, is having to re-learn everything you think you […]

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Perhaps the weirdest thing about playing something you’re used to playing but quickly realising that it’s just not how you remember it, is having to re-learn everything you think you know. That was what playing Assassin’s Creed: Unity at rAge 2014 felt like when we finally got a chance to go hands-on with the game.

It’s not because it’s a drastically different game but rather because of two things. One of them is the 1:1 rescaling of Paris, which adds a surreal sense of verticality to the game and creates buildings and a world that just looks taller and larger than anything prior games ever boasted. The other thing is the new platforming mechanic which feels reminiscent of the climbing from the first few Assassin’s Creed games in that you hold down RT and A in order to free run, but this-time you also get the ability to do it downwards. Free-run up with A, free-run down with B. It certainly takes some getting used to at first.

Such was our experience with the game, which showed off a few new additions such as what can only be described a flashback kills (where an assassination tells you a bit about the victim’s background) as well as lockpicking, a new form of eagle vision and more. Most notably perhaps is the newly reworked combat system which, for the life of me, I could not quite figure out. The mission in the game actually allowed for multiple approaches in a return-to-roots for the series that allowed you to either approach from up high or from the gritty ground level, which granted me options I had missed from more recent games in the series.

Opting for the up-high option to get to my target, I attempted an air assassination and was stunned when Arno killed the guy next to my target, which started a massive brawl that I ultimately lost because I had no idea of how the new controls worked, and any attempt to run away led to me clumsily climbing up half-walls and pillars only to be shot down in the attempt. Assassin’s Creed: Unity certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it is going to take a few tries to master, especially if you’ve played recent games and have become accustomed to a certain style of playing.

Although all of that said, it’s looking quite solid and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in French Revolution Paris. Women or otherwise.

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rAge 2014: Sunset Overdrive Is Wacky Fun But The Novelty Might Well Wear Off http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-sunset-overdrive-wacky-fun-novelty-might-well-wear/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-sunset-overdrive-wacky-fun-novelty-might-well-wear/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:15:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158893 Who even needs cover mechanics and reloading when you have the zany craziness that is Sunset Overdrive. Insomniac’s third person open world shooter is geared around having a good time […]

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Who even needs cover mechanics and reloading when you have the zany craziness that is Sunset Overdrive. Insomniac’s third person open world shooter is geared around having a good time and at rAge 2014 we got a chance to finally go hands-on, and our experience has been… well, mixed.

At first Sunset Overdrive is hilariously good and while it took a few minutes to get used to the parkour-style navigation and platforming of the game area, while simultaneously shooting enemies and trying to avoid all incoming damage, once we finally got into the swing of it we quite enjoyed the little nuances and blatant potshots at other games that follow checklist-styled game mechanics. Sunset Overdrive is certainly something fresh and new, and that’s great and we love it. If you’d like to have a look at gameplay then by all means click here.

Thing is, and here’s where it gets a bit controversial (you might say), it was just a short level but even then the humour started to feel a little flat as one kept playing. Bulletstorm suffered from a similar thing where once you saw a few things you’d basically seen all of it, and Sunset Overdrive certainly has an uphill climb to prove itself as something with proper longevity and some lasting entertainment factor.

This might confuse some readers who’ve claimed me to be an Xbox One fanboy but the simple truth is that I cannot, given what I’ve played, rightly recommend Sunset Overdrive as a must-play Xbox One exclusive. It’s certainly unique and is definitely something that will attract users to the console. But insofar as whether it’s something that you should buy an Xbox One for — the way some claim The Last of Us is a PS3 pusher — I cannot say for certain, right now.

Then again perhaps this is just old code and in fairness it’s an out-of-context and short gameplay demonstration rather than anything that might actually be in the final product. More a working example than a polished exhibit of entertainment. Hopefully. Right now while I will certainly say that it’s exquisitely entertaining for the first ten minutes, that humour needs to last and it just isn’t at this point in time. But let’s wait and see, shall we? Our full review of the game will be out later this month when it releases. Wait for it.

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Razer Adaro Stereos Headset: Because Green Cabling http://egmr.net/2014/10/razer-headset-green-wiring/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/razer-headset-green-wiring/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:15:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154012 Headphones, hey. Those large clam-like things that go around your ears and provide sound to your cerebral cortex. Ugly buggers, but so practical and handy. Remember all those old tech […]

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Headphones, hey. Those large clam-like things that go around your ears and provide sound to your cerebral cortex. Ugly buggers, but so practical and handy. Remember all those old tech magazines you used to read, that would present you with a mind-boggling array of figures and details down to the very minutia, leaving you absolutely spoiled for information regarding a new pair of headphones? Well, we’re not doing that today. Absolutely not. I refuse.

See, we’re a (mostly) gaming website with a focus on (mostly) gamers and their tastes; none of us here are sound engineers but at the same time we think that’s a better thing because while a sound engineer can break your brain with figures and statistics, we can at least tell you about something within the context of gaming, as gamers. In other words, is this particular pair of headphones a decent fit for the average Joe gamer?

Well here’s the thing: the Razer Adaro Stereos Headset is very much a great pair of headphones… it’s just not, you know, that much of a decent fit for the average Joe gamer. And in this here review we’re doing, my first ever headset review, we’re going to go into exactly why this is the case; but from the perspective of videogames. If that’s agreeable with you, then by all means follow the links below to read more. Also, check out this unboxing I found on the internet:

 

Are you ready for this jelly?

Page 1: Introduction: Green Day
Page 2: Technical Specifications: The Thin Green Line
Page 3: The Headset Aesthetic: Lean and Green
Page 4: Build Quality and Comfort: Less Hulk, More She-Hulk
Page 5: Audio Performance: Green with Envy
Page 6: Conclusion: A Green Letter Day

Continue Reading on Page 2: Technical Specifications: The Thin Green Line

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Digital Be Damned http://egmr.net/2014/10/life-universe-gaming-digital-downloads-damned/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/life-universe-gaming-digital-downloads-damned/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:00:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158145 The promise of digitally distributed gaming has always been an alluring one. You come home tired from work and don’t want to expend yet more time and energy driving to […]

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The promise of digitally distributed gaming has always been an alluring one. You come home tired from work and don’t want to expend yet more time and energy driving to a nearby shopping mall (sometimes entirely out of your way) just to fetch a new videogame. Worse still, you don’t want to then be told that it is sold out and have to drive home disappointed and unsatisfied like a third date with a prude.

Sure there are online retailers and it’s always better to have a physical copy on hand but the advent of digital distribution has meant that the only storage space you require is a hard drive and your games will always be available to you, wherever you go, as long as you have internet and a hard drive to save it all on. Steam has done this, and extremely well at that. It’s convenient and it’s easy and it just works.

On the console side of things, we have digital downloads available to us but there is one massive drawback to it. See, unlike with Steam where games are relatively affordable and sales happen often, on console we get no such thing*. In fact, we get worse because some games alarmingly cost more in digital format than they do as physical retail copies. Sounds kinda silly, doesn’t it?

If we had to break down what goes into a physical copy, we would have the discs themselves together with burning of data onto them, as well as case, printed cover, game manual and whatever else goes into the box. Then there’s the distribution (logistics, effectively) and of course any further fees to get it to retailers across the world. On the digital side, almost all of this is cut out and instead replaced with a bandwidth fee for downloading from the file repository, and perhaps licensing for such things as the server itself, security for the server and maybe paying Microsoft or Sony to have the game listed. Is that where all the extra costs come in?

In which case, why doesn’t it affect the PC market as much unless Valve is just a lot less pricy with games listing on Steam? Possible, although even then some games are not actually listed for much cheaper on there. Perhaps then, it really is just a case of pricing to a point at which gamers will still pay for the product because of the convenience offered.

Let’s take a practical look at the current state of digital downloads using this MyBroadband article that compares digital download prices between Xbox One and PS4. I’m going to use that table to create one of my own here in this column, but I’m going to also consider the prices for retail copies as listed on the BT Games website.

Game PS4 Digital Price PS4 Physical Price Xbox One Digital Price Xbox One Physical Price
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition R749 R569.90 R599 R525
Watch Dogs R899 R599.90 R649 R599.90
Minecraft R279 R279.00 R169 N/A
Fifa 15 R899 R699 R599 R699
Child of Light R149 N/A R149 N/A
Destiny: Digital Guardian Edition R1,149 R765 R1,199 R755
Wolfenstein: The New Order R899 N/A R1,019 R699
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor R899 R699 R699 R699

 
Poor PS4 gamers, amirite? Immediately you notice the stark differences between the physical and retail prices of some games. Wolfenstein: The New Order, for example, is staggeringly expensive. Bewilderingly expensive. Outrageously expensive. On digital, anyway. On physical it’s adequately priced. Likewise for Destiny, although we imagine that digital version probably has some extra DLC for the asking price. Strangely, some Xbox One games are priced better on digital than they are in physical… so I guess we have the Xbox ZA team to thank for that.

Had to.

Had to.

Now another thing that must be factored into the equation besides pricing is bandwidth. After all, a physically purchased game will maybe require some installation and an update but a digitally downloaded game does not already have content on the disc, so to speak, and therefore must be downloaded, installed and updated. Now this isn’t too bad when you consider smaller games that are maybe 5GB or so, but you’ll find that with the advent of next-gen gaming and texture resolutions, sound files and so on getting larger and larger, we find ourselves with games that average 15GB, going all the way up to a whopping 50GB in order to download. Call of Duty: Ghosts, pictured above, is one such game. Another is Forza Horizon 2 which is a 45GB download.

All of this is to say nothing of the absolutely pornstar-massive size of updates that must then be downloaded thereafter. Some updates are larger than full game installations. Dead Rising 3’s initial update is a mind-boggling 13GB large. 13GB! For a mostly singleplayer but sometimes cooperative zombie killer! Although fair enough, these are not limited specifically to digitally downloaded games since game updates occur on physical retail copies as well unless you stay offline.

Effectively though, unless you are on uncapped and don’t mind the bandwidth consumption, you’re effectively forced offline to avoid these massive patches which, mind you, really add up if you play more than two games in a short space of time. And by uncapped, we mean true uncapped, not that Telkom/Mweb bullshit where after 100GB they hard-cap you or severely throttle your line and force you to use something else instead.

With all of this in mind, it’s an easy conclusion that right now we South Africans are just not ready for the digital world. Sure uncapped and decent line speeds are becoming more commonplace but this next-gen gaming thing is really fucking us over. You either need to get a massive storage device for your downloaded games or deal with having to re-download 45GB-large games in order to facilitate being able to play more games because of the limited install place. And since you’re forced to install games, there is no way around this besides buying more storage or deleting currently installed games. And the games releasing continue to get larger and larger and larger…

It’s getting a bit much, wouldn’t you say?

* Okay that’s not entirely true, because we do get some sales. But I must emphasise: Some. And not always what we actually want. Rarely with games we haven’t already played, either.

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EGMR At rAge 2014 — The Full Achievements List http://egmr.net/2014/10/egmr-rage-2014-full-achievements-list/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/egmr-rage-2014-full-achievements-list/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:15:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158439 If you’re lucky or rich enough to find your way to Joburg’s Northgate area this weekend then chances are you’ll be in attending at South Africa’s premier gaming expo, rAge. […]

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If you’re lucky or rich enough to find your way to Joburg’s Northgate area this weekend then chances are you’ll be in attending at South Africa’s premier gaming expo, rAge. The 2014 edition of rAge promises to be something special and it’s been a massively tiring and exciting time just preparing for it.

If you are going to be in attendance at rAge 2014 then it’s highly likely that at some point you’ll stumble upon one of us. If that is the case, you had better say hello or else. Better yet, why don’t you take the opportunity to unlock a few achievements?

Following from last year’s article of this nature we thought we’d do an updated 2014 version of the list of achievements to unlock at rAge 2014. Think of them like a bucket list or set of challenges for you if you manage to find us at rAge 2014. Try to get as many as you possibly can and who knows, maybe we might give the closest person to completion something to take home?

For the achievements list we’re once again keeping it relevant to our writers, and we’ll have a few returning achievements from last year as well as a bunch of new ones. Ready?

50G Be more emo than AG.
50G Let AG dislocate your shoulder, or make him laugh.
50G Be taller than Marko.
50G Let Marko punch or stroke you, your choice.
50G Debate Cavie regarding a BioWare game.
50G Win an argument against Cavie.
50G Gaze longingly into Rudolf’s orgasmic eyes.
50G Tell Rudolf what you think about BioShock: Infinite
50G Get into a convoluted tech-related conversation with Marco.
50G Stroke Marco’s beard.
50G Battle-rap with Adam.
50G Let Adam sing you the song of his people.
50G Have a better afrikaans accent than Bianca.
50G Accuse Bianca of being Peloma.
50G Call out Bracken on his CoD fanboyism.
50G Play against and defeat Bracken at FIFA.
50G Out-awkward any member of EGMR.
50G Play a game, call it shit and then hug an EGMR member.
50G Quote a podcast reference to us.
50G Find Peloma.

 
Try to unlock as many as you can, and let us know when you’re done, how many you managed. Good luck, and we’ll see you there.

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eGamer Podcast #101: Open World Parity http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-101-sound-test/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-101-sound-test/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 09:00:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158378 Recorded: 07 October 2014 Welcome to episode one-oh-one of the eGamer Podcast, with a whole new intro and a bunch of other stuff. And lots more gaming talk because reasons. […]

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Recorded: 07 October 2014

Welcome to episode one-oh-one of the eGamer Podcast, with a whole new intro and a bunch of other stuff. And lots more gaming talk because reasons. Hopefully you’ll like it? We’re hoping to shape up and do a lot more gaming talk in future. Let us know in the comments how you feel about this.

Topics discussed this week include Shadow of Mordor’s open world, Ubisoft’s PR troubles, and Gotham.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • AG and Azhar are sharing a penis metaphor.
  • Shadow of Mordor’s open world is so good that it dulls the story.
  • The Catch-22 of open world games.
  • Which open world games do the open world really well?
  • Who’s doing the PR over at Ubisoft?
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity is at 900p, umadbro?
  • Yeah that’s right, we’re talking about Assassin’s Creed again.
  • Recent Far Cry games have such cool antagonists.
  • Will Arkham Knight be The Joker again?
  • Have you been watching Gotham?
  • DC’s series lineup is looking good but is it too much?
  • Why won’t people watch The Originals and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
  • Just how bigoted is the world right now?
  • What’s up with all these shots being fired at eGamer these days?
  • We answer your questions.
  • Come to rAge 2014!

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Ubisoft Creates Debate With AC Unity By Trying To Avoid Debate http://egmr.net/2014/10/ubisoft-creates-debate-ac-unity-trying-avoid-debate/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/ubisoft-creates-debate-ac-unity-trying-avoid-debate/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:15:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158338 Never one to let other publishers spend too long in the spotlight, Ubisoft has decided that it is time Activision stepped down and Destiny took a back seat because they […]

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Never one to let other publishers spend too long in the spotlight, Ubisoft has decided that it is time Activision stepped down and Destiny took a back seat because they are now back and breaking news about Assassin’s Creed: Unity, this time about something we have argued both for and against here at EGMR — console resolutions.

Ubisoft has opted for parity between the console versions of Assassin’s Creed: Unity by locking both versions at 900p and 30FPS, citing CPU limitations as the main reason.

Speaking of AC Unity’s Xbox One and PS4 versions, here is what Ubisoft’s Vincent Pontbriand had to say:

We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff. Technically we’re CPU-bound. The GPUs are really powerful, obviously the graphics look pretty good, but it’s the CPU [that] has to process the AI, the number of NPCs we have on screen, all these systems running in parallel.

We were quickly bottlenecked by that and it was a bit frustrating, because we thought that this was going to be a tenfold improvement over everything AI-wise, and we realised it was going to be pretty hard. It’s not the number of polygons that affect the framerate. We could be running at 100fps if it was just graphics, but because of AI, we’re still limited to 30 frames per second.

Amazingly, the decision was taken to “avoid debates and stuff” but the exact opposite has resulted. This morning the Twitterverse was flooded with tweets around the so-called #PS4noparity hashtag, with irate gamers firing off shots at Xbox One, Ubisoft and of course next-gen gaming as a whole.

Now we here at EGMR certainly don’t discount that 1080p as a promise to console gamers is important; you don’t get to make promises to gamers and then not deliver on them once purchases have been made. Aliens: Colonial Marines is now infamous for lying to gamers about what it was. Console manufacturers ought not to get away with that. But that is where our support ends, and while we fully support upset PS4 gamers who feel they deserve the full extent of their console’s capabilities, that is the limit of our sincerity on this matter.

There is no reason, for example, to fire off shots at the Xbox One. There is no reason also, to then accuse PS4 gamers of finding something to fight about after being disappointed by the PS Plus price hike last week. Furthermore, this is not a #Gamergate issue at all.

For us this is purely about a developer not realising just how much time and effort development of a game required, and then talking up a bunch of words and hoping they stick, hilariously creating the very thing they tried to avoid. And for that, Ubisoft, we can’t help but commend you. You hear a lot about all the free PR that publishers get from gaming websites, but it takes a special sort of publisher to promote their games almost entirely through negative publicity. AC Unity (which I keep seeing as a-cunt-y) is probably going to sell like hotcakes now… as if it wasn’t going to be one of the biggest releases of the year already. Who even needs a marketing department?!

But what do you guys think? What are your thoughts on the resolution? As PC gamers, you probably feel quite chuffed right now because this has been happening to you for years… but of course, console gamers make a much, much louder noise and love using those hashtags. Hashtag resolutiongate has reached its next stop and it seems to be AC Unity. Already, Ubisoft are talking about patching in 1080p at a later date. Here at EGMR we feel that post-release patching of something that should have been in the game already is quite silly, but then this is the gaming industry.

It’s unfortunate how the entire issue is being misrepresented as a PS4 vs Xbox One problem when actually, it is more likely Ubisoft’s fault for trying to develop an overly ambitious game with some unrealistic goals when they could have just put in a few more months of work to present the quality they had originally aimed for, but then we’ll probably never know if that’s true or not; we can only speculate based on what we can see and how we’ve learned to interpret developer commentary.

Go ahead and tell us what you think in the comments. And expect more from us on this latest controversy as it develops.

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Our 101st Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/10/101st-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/101st-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158139 One-oh-oooonnnneee! *cue barks* Oh come on, you know that song. Don’t act as if you didn’t sing along to it when it played on TV. [regathers self] Ahem. So. Tonight […]

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One-oh-oooonnnneee! *cue barks*

Oh come on, you know that song. Don’t act as if you didn’t sing along to it when it played on TV. [regathers self] Ahem. So. Tonight we’ll be recording episode one-oh-one of the eGamer Podcast (sorry about that last one) and it’s going to be a big one because it’s the week before rAge 2014. Hype!

This here little article is your chance to get involved. Ask us questions about anything you’d like, and also let us know if you’ll be attending rAge this year. If not, is there anything you’d like us to do while we’re there? Let us know in the comments okay.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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The Destiny Honest Game Trailer Fails To Disappoint http://egmr.net/2014/10/destiny-honest-game-trailer-fail-disappoint/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/destiny-honest-game-trailer-fail-disappoint/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:15:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158137 After an alpha, a beta, a review embargo, a loot cave, post-release patching and upcoming DLC, Destiny has been getting more coverage than a royal baby, and now the game […]

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After an alpha, a beta, a review embargo, a loot cave, post-release patching and upcoming DLC, Destiny has been getting more coverage than a royal baby, and now the game I wanted to fail has got its very own Honest Game Trailer.

That’s right, the guys over at Smosh Games have released a brand new Honest Game Trailer for the most hyped game since, well, ever. Check it out in all its excellence above and let us know what you think. (It pretty much echoes my sentiments that this is the Halo sequel Bungie never got to make.)

Also, let us know if you’re still playing this game and if the alpha, beta and review embargoes did anything to help that experience. In your opinion.

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Steam Client WebHelper Gives A Legit Reason To Blame Lag If You’re Bad At Dota http://egmr.net/2014/10/steam-client-webhelper-gives-legit-reason-blame-lag-youre-bad-dota/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/steam-client-webhelper-gives-legit-reason-blame-lag-youre-bad-dota/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158006 Volvo pls fix Have you recently been playing Dota 2 or some other online game that uses Steam and experienced intermittent lag for an extended duration? You might have had […]

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Volvo pls fix

Have you recently been playing Dota 2 or some other online game that uses Steam and experienced intermittent lag for an extended duration? You might have had the issue I recently had, where the Steam Client WebHelper process just mutated and replicated into a laggy, resource-hogging mess.

See what happens is, for absolutely no explicit reason Steam will start up multiple processes of steamclientwebhelper.exe which then consume resources, slowing down your game and importantly, your internet connection. Closing most of these processes (but not all because that closes Steam for some reason) quickly resolves the problem but Steam will eventually start up more processes.

That, friends, is virus-like behaviour.

After having to deal with this for a few days, I took to Google to find out that I’m not alone with this issue. There is even a Reddit thread that was started to try and understand exactly what the Steam Client WebHelper is.

A user on the Steampowered forums posted the following:

The latest Steam update completely devastates my system.

1) Why does this newest piece of junk client launch over two dozen steamwebhelper.exe processes, each taking up about 50MB of resources, adding up to the gigs after only minutes of use?!

2) Why do these exe processes continue to run after you close the window? (For exmaple, start watching a trailer and go to another page, you will hear the trailer continue to play because the idiots at Valve didn’t notice the web helper does not end itself after the page is closed)

3) Why is the Flash player not included with Steam? If they knew half of what they should, Steam and Valve would not be a bunch of morons forcing us to use HTML5 video which clearly uses three to four tims the resources Flash does. If Flash is bad software, then HTML5 Video is a wretched satanic computer curse in comparison…. it’s a nonstarter and a piece of junk.

In its current state I cannot even run Steam. In only minutes is takes over the computer. Before launching a game you need to spend a good five to ten minutes killing all the prcoesses that are literally hogging up 80% of your system resources. If you do not do this everytime you launch a game, the game will run at about half of its potential performance.

Valve, you have completely screwed us over. This latest update shows utter contempt for us and our systems. You spend a decade locking us into your network and pull this bait & switch on us, turning your client into unusable garbage.

In this state, I can actually safely say EA’s terrible Origin is actually a better piece of software than this horrible terrible unusable version of Steam.

Powerful words, and absolutely spot on. So what’s going on here? And how isn’t it affecting everyone? I’m not on the Steam Beta feed, which means I’m supposed to be getting the stable versions of Steam. But those on the Beta feed are getting better performance out of their Steam than I am, and I’m left closing ridiculous amounts of steamclientwebhelper.exe in Task Manager.

At present it seems the only temporary hack would be to use Local Security Policies to deny the application from starting up in the first place. But that just seems counter-productive to navigation in Steam. Perhaps the problem is related to the Chrome-inspired Chromium web browser that Steam utilises, which creates multiple processes in order to utilise multiple cores.

Has this problem happened to you, and have you found a fix for it? Looking through Google, and the various links it gave me, it seems users are just finding short-term solutions to the problem and waiting for Valve to fix the problem. Steam itself has been updating like crazy of late, and so too have some games including Dota 2. Hopefully it comes right because honestly it’s getting quite annoying to have to deal with, now.

If you have experienced this issue, please comment below and also let us know what system you’re running it on. For example, I’m on Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Fully up-to-date.

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eGamer Podcast #100: “But I Just Had A Poop” http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-100-just-poop/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/egamer-podcast-100-just-poop/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157957 Recorded: 01 October 2014 Welcome to episode one hundred of the eGamer Podcast — that’s right, guys. One hundred episodes! We made it! Achievement unlocked, etc. Thanks for sticking with […]

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Recorded: 01 October 2014

Welcome to episode one hundred of the eGamer Podcast — that’s right, guys. One hundred episodes! We made it! Achievement unlocked, etc. Thanks for sticking with us through the derps and controversies and the slight (by Sony standards) gaming chatter. We’d love to have you around for a hundred more. In the meantime…

Topics discussed this week include Windows 10, PS Plus price hikes and Shadow of Mordor reviews.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • It’s episode one hundred, biches!
  • Destiny might be worth playing again.
  • What happened to Windows 9 for them to skip ahead to 10?
  • The ‘every other Windows’ theory.
  • Speaking of hipsters…
  • We just recount the old running jokes.
  • Shit gets all Podtoid for a moment.
  • Guess who got accused of ‘shaming’ this past week.
  • An alternative version to Anaconda.
  • So this PS Plus price hike, hey?
  • We share all our cancelled plans for episode 100.
  • What’s up with these faulty Xbox Ones?
  • Have you seen Shadow of Mordor reviews?
  • We answer your questions.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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Meanwhile, On October’s Games With Gold… http://egmr.net/2014/10/meanwhile-octobers-games-gold/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/meanwhile-octobers-games-gold/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:15:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157933 If you’re a Microsoft faithful and you therefore own either an Xbox One or an Xbox 360, brace yourself for an interesting month of gaming with October’s Games with Gold […]

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If you’re a Microsoft faithful and you therefore own either an Xbox One or an Xbox 360, brace yourself for an interesting month of gaming with October’s Games with Gold offerings.

First up on Xbox One, Crimson Dragon will still be available for you but will be joined with ID@Xbox offering Chariot, from Canadian developers Frima.

On Xbox 360 for the first half of the month you will have Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and for the second half of the month you’ll get Darksiders II.

Old games by now, sure, but two exquisitely fun and solid offerings… and unlike the PS Plus subscription that some can no longer afford, although they got those games ages ago even if they don’t actually really own it, these games are absolutely 100% yours to own, whether your Gold subscription is renewed or not. So, that’s a thing!

Don’t spend too long arguing about which console is better on the internet, or you might miss out. Go over to the LIVE Store and download these free offerings right now! And make a note on October 16th to get Darksides II as well.

That’s better, Xbox…

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The PlayStation Plus Price Hike Is Not “For The Players” http://egmr.net/2014/10/playstation-plus-price-hike-players/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/playstation-plus-price-hike-players/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157868 Say what you will about their methods, the local PlayStation South Africa team have really stepped up their game (so to speak) following the release of the Xbox One by […]

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Say what you will about their methods, the local PlayStation South Africa team have really stepped up their game (so to speak) following the release of the Xbox One by offering a slew of PlayStation 4 bundle specials under the branding “For The Players”.

You might say they have taken it directly to Microsoft and entirely overshadowed the local release of the Xbox One with their specials and right now, at least online, the PlayStation 4 contingent is going strong. But PlayStation SA have released an email that is going to utterly destroy a lot of that goodwill, and it relates to the excellent PlayStation Plus service.

Due to various market conditions, the price of your PlayStation Plus subscription is going to rise slightly. On 01/10/2014 the price of a 12 month subscription will rise from ZAR489.00 to ZAR749.00.
If your PlayStation Plus account is set to renew automatically you don’t need to do anything. You won’t begin paying the new rate immediately on 01/10/2014; instead you will start paying the new price from your first renewal date after 01/10/2014.

So that’s a massive 50% increase. And if you’re on the 3-month subscription then the price will be rising from R145 to R219, which is an even larger relative increase. Audaciously, the email title actually says “increase slightly” because apparently in PlayStation terms, slightly means a fucking lot.

Now, why is this such a big deal? I’m hearing a few of the PS4 hardcore going, “But Cavie, you just hate the PS4 so why are you even reporting on this news?” Here’s why it’s such a big deal:

On the PlayStation 4, you cannot play multiplayer games without PS Plus. Furthermore, all those ‘free’ games you’ve been downloading and enjoying, where Sony promised that as long as you renew your subscription then they’re yours to play for as long as you’d like? Well if you can’t afford to renew your subscription then all the ‘free’ games you acquired through PS Plus will no longer be accessible, at least until you renew. Which effectively forces you, as the paying customer, to pay for the product in order to keep what is yours.

The problem with monopolies, ladies and gentlemen.

But don’t take my word for it. Nor another’s. Rather let one of our PlayStation 4 fans talk to you about it at a later stage once we’ve got some comment from PlayStation SA, as well as ascertained whether this is a local-only situation or something that will affect gamers worldwide. Are PS4 fans now paying the price for those bundle specials, or is there some deeper reason for this price hike? If it is worldwide, is it because of Sony recently reporting another year of massive losses?

Either way, with the insane local pricing on digital downloads, the sizes of those downloads, and now the price hike on PS Plus, the PlayStation 4 offering is not looking quite as locally viable anymore. (But watch the Sony faithful defend it anyway, amirite.)

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Xbox One And PS4 Go On Special For One Night Only http://egmr.net/2014/09/xbox-one-ps4-go-special-one-night/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/xbox-one-ps4-go-special-one-night/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:30:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157858 Last week during the Xbox One’s official South African release, the PlayStation 4 went on special here and we told you all about it. Naturally then, it’s only fair to […]

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Last week during the Xbox One’s official South African release, the PlayStation 4 went on special here and we told you all about it.

Naturally then, it’s only fair to tell you when a special is happening on the other console… you know, the one that actually released last week. In the interests of fairness then, Kalahari.com is having a special on their standalone Xbox One console.

It is currently listed at R5,999 and includes everything you’d find in the box including the wireless controller with batteries, the helicopter voice-chat headset and an HDMI cable, together with the Xbox One itself and accompanying power brick. There don’t seem to be games included but this is no real matter given that Xbox One Games with Gold and other free online offerings will sort you out while you decide exactly what games you’d like to purchase with your money. After all, not everyone enjoys Forza 5 and FIFA 15.

Should you opt for games then the option does exist for a massive Xbox One bundle as well.

But that’s not all!

Because Kalahari are actually doing a special on the PS4 as well. The console with the controller has been reduced, perhaps tactically, we can’t really say for certain, to R100 less than the Xbox One bundle which packages the same story of just the console and a controller and not much else on the games side, but this time for a cool R5,899. Perfect, once again, for if you’d like to purchase just the console and then choose your games carefully while utilising the PlayStation Plus offerings.

Personally I’d rather go with the current BT Games deals on the Xbox One and PS4 because they seem to offer a bit more for your hard-earned money.

Still, a novel attempt at creating some sales from Kalahari and definitely the cheapest current options to acquire either console. So definitely check them out if you’ve been waiting for the prices to drop to around R6000 or lower. Just remember that the prices revert at midnight, so if you’re going to be making a decision then it will have to be made tonight. Chop chop.

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Our 100th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/09/100th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/100th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157809 Achievement unlocked – 100G – 100 Episodes That’s right everyone. Pop the sparkly and don the darkly (uhm) while your usual EGMR crew as well as a few special guests […]

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Achievement unlocked – 100G – 100 Episodes

That’s right everyone. Pop the sparkly and don the darkly (uhm) while your usual EGMR crew as well as a few special guests get together to record episode one-hundred of the eGamer Podcast tonight… three digits, guys! How epic, right? Or, you know, absolutely pathetic. Depends on how you’re looking at it. All we can say is, it’s funny how every other site is doing podcasts and stuff now, hey?

Now is your chance to get involved in the swing of things. Use this article. Ask us questions. Anything you’d like! Scroll down to the comments, post your questions, go crazy.

Then be sure to check out either the site, our Libsyn page, iTunes or our RSS feed later in the week for the podcast, which will have all the answers and more. Tell your friends!

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