#egmr » Caveshen http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:00:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 The EGMR Offensive #2: Hatred Is Better Than Uncharted http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-2-hatred-better-uncharted/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-2-hatred-better-uncharted/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167393 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel it best reflects the kind of podcasters we are. In today’s world everyone is far too sensitive and what appeases one group will undoubtedly offend another, so we say why stroll the veritable minefield that is internet discussion when we can just blow the entire place up instead? Expect mostly gaming discussion with slight amounts of off-topic content (comics, movies, and so on) and a much more structured approach to podcasting.

Please do give us feedback after listening; we really worked hard on ensuring this sort of show format catered to what listeners previously wanted. Hopefully it serves well as a replacement to the old podcast. If you’re interested on catching up on the old show, check here: eGamer Podcast.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Leave Peter Molyneux alone
  • Game-to-movie adaptations
  • Review scores
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167316 Honourable readers, it is your time once again! Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to […]

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Honourable readers, it is your time once again!

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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The EGMR Offensive #1: Banana Woe http://egmr.net/2015/02/the-egmr-offensive-1-banana-woe/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/the-egmr-offensive-1-banana-woe/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 09:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167056 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel it best reflects the kind of podcasters we are. In today’s world everyone is far too sensitive and what appeases one group will undoubtedly offend another, so we say why stroll the veritable minefield that is internet discussion when we can just blow the entire place up instead? Expect mostly gaming discussion with slight amounts of off-topic content (comics, movies, and so on) and a much more structured approach to podcasting.

Please do give us feedback after listening; we really worked hard on ensuring this sort of show format catered to what listeners previously wanted. Hopefully it serves well as a replacement to the old podcast. If you’re interested on catching up on the old show, check here: eGamer Podcast.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Brianna Wu
  • Review Scores
  • Spider-Man
  • Nvidia GTX780 woes
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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Disgruntled Feminist Frequency Kickstarter Backer Wants A Refund http://egmr.net/2015/02/disgruntled-feminist-frequency-kickstarter-backer-wants-refund/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/disgruntled-feminist-frequency-kickstarter-backer-wants-refund/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:00:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166973 One of the big issues with Kickstarter is that if you pledge money to a project, you really don’t have the greatest assurances that you will ever get back your […]

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One of the big issues with Kickstarter is that if you pledge money to a project, you really don’t have the greatest assurances that you will ever get back your money’s worth.

Some do. In fact, some get back their money’s worth and then some.

Others do not, and unfortunately this is a startlingly regular occurrence, with either delays in meeting release dates or just shoddy versions that form half-fulfilled promises from original Kickstarter projects. This is the risk you undertake when you back something on Kickstarter.

One Kickstarter backer, however, has had enough and has decided to make a video about it. See, he backed Feminist Frequency’s Kickstarter, which was created with the intention of making a documentary series highlighting sexism in gaming, entitled Tropes vs Women in Videogames. The series was originally intended to be completed a lot sooner, and with other forms of consumable media made available, but now with over $100,000 pledged it is still incomplete and only available in digital video format.

Further to that, accusations have been made regarding the unauthorised use of content from other YouTube users rather than original recordings, causing many critics of the series to ask exactly where all that money went. Meanwhile, Feminist Frequency spearheads Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh have become media personalities, appearing on a range of television shows, and meeting the likes of Joss Whedon, Stephen Colbert and more, along the way.

Check out the video above to see what this disgruntled fan thinks of the Kickstarter project he initially pledged support to. And then let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

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Here Comes A New Podcast — Got Questions? http://egmr.net/2015/02/comes-new-podcast-got-questions/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/comes-new-podcast-got-questions/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 09:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166966 We’ve been teasing it for a while now, and we’re finally ready to announce that starting this week, there will be a brand new podcast! Hooray! Last year when we […]

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We’ve been teasing it for a while now, and we’re finally ready to announce that starting this week, there will be a brand new podcast!

Hooray!

Last year when we ended the old eGamer Podcast, we had a strong following who knew what to expect each week and were happy to have it. Nonetheless, we listened to the feedback of those who… let’s say, had suggestions. And we went back to the drawing board to produce something brand spanking new for this year, with a bit more structure a lot more of what makes us at EGMR who we are.

Prepare yourselves for The EGMR Offensive, starting this week.

And as usual, this is your chance to get involved in things. Do so by scrolling down to the comments section and asking us whatever you would like. If you’d like to subscribe to the feed, you’ll find links in the podcast article, which should release on Thursday. However it’s just the old feeds so if you’re already subscribed then awesome. And definitely be sure to follow our old podcast if you’d like, using the link above.

So what are you waiting for? You’ve got questions, we want to answer them. Go!

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Half-Life 3… Unannounced http://egmr.net/2015/02/half-life-3-unannounced/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/half-life-3-unannounced/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 11:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166922 I always feel so terrible for Gabe Newell. He spearheaded the creation of one of the most beloved gaming series in all of gaming with Half-Life and as a result, […]

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I always feel so terrible for Gabe Newell. He spearheaded the creation of one of the most beloved gaming series in all of gaming with Half-Life and as a result, has become the messiah to many who worship him as a gaming god.

Naturally then, Half-Life 3 has become the holy grail of gaming.

And gamers have used every possible opportunity to poke fun at GabeN for not being able to count to three, and other such taunts. “Volvo pls”.

In the meantime, some of the more productive fans have come up with some really neat things to help ease the wait. Things like the video above, entitled Half-Life 3: Unannounced.

The video shows a bored, overweight and lonely Gordon Freeman, doing his best to live his life while eagerly awaiting the announcement of Half-Life 3, when he’ll be back in the action. While “Half-Life 3 confirmed” has become a painful joke for many gamers in the world–somehow despite some people who just don’t get it, the mind boggles–it’s great to see that content like this is being created, just so we can have a laugh at our strange predicament.

Will Half-Life 3 ever actually release? We sure hope so, and we’re quite certain it will break the internet when it does. Check out the video and let us know what you think of it.

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Braid’s Creator Is Looking At Debt In Order To Finish The Witness On Time http://egmr.net/2015/02/braids-creator-looking-debt-order-finish-witness-time/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/braids-creator-looking-debt-order-finish-witness-time/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 10:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166943 Braid is one of my favourite indie games, from a time when indie games were innocent and hearty offerings that formed a healthy, artistic alternative to triple-A. As such, Braid’s […]

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Braid is one of my favourite indie games, from a time when indie games were innocent and hearty offerings that formed a healthy, artistic alternative to triple-A.

As such, Braid’s creator Jonathan Blow is a man I deeply respect. Not just for creating one of the most harrowing and beautiful game stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, but also daring to do it more or less on his own.

Since then Jonathan Blow has been hard at work on his next game, The Witness.

Despite Braid earning millions of dollars for him, work on Myst-like puzzler The Witness has led to Jonathan Blow spending everything he earned from sales for Braid, which continue to slowly bring in revenue but not nearly enough to fund development on a new offering. It has got to the point when borrowing is now warranted.

“Braid still sells well on platforms that are thriving, but two of Braid’s big platforms were the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, both of which are sunsetting at this point,” explained Jonathan Blow. “Not so many people are buying digital games there, so the Braid income is not nearly enough any more to fund the team. I have borrowed a bunch of money to finish The Witness. So I hope when it’s done, some people buy the game.”

Truly heartbreaking, especially when there are people feeding off the finances of gamers in order to fund shoddy games that don’t do much to earn their asking price.

The Witness will be coming out on PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS, but currently has no release date. Hopefully it’ll be out this year, and the hopes are certainly high with the team.

“If there is such a thing as taking ‘too long,’ we have probably already done that,” he added.

Not nearly as long as other Kickstarted developers, Jonathan. Also, maybe you should just reverse time? Obvious Braid joke is obvious?

If you’d like to check out the full interview then feel free to click the source link below. And please, let us know if you’re keen on The Witness in the comments below.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: What About A Gaming Committee? http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-gaming-committee/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-gaming-committee/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 09:00:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166907 Or a Board of Gaming, amirite? Previously on Life, The Universe And Gaming, we discussed the concept of gamer representation. If you were paying any kind of attention, the more […]

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Or a Board of Gaming, amirite?

Previously on Life, The Universe And Gaming, we discussed the concept of gamer representation. If you were paying any kind of attention, the more pertinent issue was actually that of misrepresentation.

We as gamers have been misrepresented for far too long, especially in the media. Call of Duty has been blamed for school shootings and terrorism, Grand Theft Auto for pretty much everything including homophobia, violence, and rape culture, and of course Mario for drug usage. Seriously.

Recently though, the misrepresentation has taken a drastically different step, with people who reside inside our gaming industry being the ones who so horrendously misrepresent us, creating large problems where there were arguably smaller ones. People like Jonathan ‘#FullMcIntosh’ McIntosh and Brianna ‘Banana’ Wu who blatantly misrepresent situations for personal gain, and really, it’s all become very political… the great irony of all of it is, these two were amongst the champions of anti-#GamerGate. Remember that?

But since it seems gaming is bound for more political grounds–and the Zeitgeist, as we know, goes on despite our best wishes–it is pertinent that we discuss it, so let’s take a quick stroll back to #GamerGate and discuss why it didn’t really catch on with everyone. Make no mistake, it is still a thing and there is a massive group of gamers–male, female, of all races, sexual preferences and other forms of diversity–who continue to pressure big websites into performing ethically (oddly you’ll not hear as much about the harassment side of it any more, almost as if that was blown universally out of proportion at first), and as such sites are slowly but surely conforming to this practice. Now we get sites declaring developer relations, or explaining how they got their hands on early copies of reviews, and so on.

It has been working.

Despite all this, a lot of those who were against #GamerGate from the very start argued that it would never reach its target because it was still just a chaotic ‘pseudo-movement’ of people who couldn’t all agree on what they wanted, without much in the way of a concrete written manifesto and no leadership to speak of. Besides, perhaps, the more famous supporters of #GamerGate in the community. This is unfortunately true, and despite the best intentions of #GamerGate a lot of people immediately dismiss it as a band of babbling buffoons who are trying to bully their way to male superiority. Not so.

This was a troubling one for me, because I don’t personally subscribe to the idea of angry gamers on the internet. Indeed it just reeked of entitlement and aggression when I first saw the #GamerGate hashtag doing the rounds on Twitter. Now most people are very much over it obviously, but when I see some #GamerGaters doing the hashtag and I see their conviction, not just at proving that they’re working towards something (and not just dismissing ad nauseum) but also doing their best to disprove the accusations of harassment laid against them, I can’t help but empathise.

After all, isn’t that the theme of being a gamer?

To emphasise: Isn’t that what being a gamer has always been about?

And then I got to thinking, after a conversation with a friend last year in which it was suggested that maybe what we need is a middle ground between the industry and gamers themselves. Thus far the way it has worked is roughly as follows: Publishers finance and distribute games made by developers, who then sell to the public. The gaming media (not strictly ‘journalists’ but that’s up to you guys to decide) will create critique and discussion, or if you’re one of the more PR-friendly sites, free marketing, for these games. It is then up to the public to either consume this media and make informed decisions, or not. A lot of people choose not to.

Why? Well, for a lot of people it’s just a case of not knowing where to go to find out what they need to. Others simply don’t think of it, or are ignorant of what’s out there, and that’s fine too. But ultimately these gamers end up getting burned whenever publishers get greedy and put out broken games, blatant cash-ins, or outright lies. The media can’t help these people¹ so naturally they are left to fend for themselves, and that’s a crying shame because how would you feel if you paid money for Ride to Hell: Retribution because you just didn’t know what a complete pile of shit it was? Or De– *ahem*

So what about a committee (let’s call them a governing body since we’re getting so political²) with the sole purpose of representing us as gamers? This committee would be created by gamers, for gamers; it would consist entirely of gamers, with the representatives selected based entirely on their ability to cater for, and speak on behalf of all gamers. Who would be worthy of such a committee, you might ask? Well straight off the bat, I can think of three people. We needn’t have a ‘president’ or governor but rather it can just be a team of individuals, all with gaming’s best interests in mind. Let’s just go with my three possible choices, and let’s see what you guys think, or who else you can think of.

Total Biscuit — Some may dislike him, and really I think they more dislike his community than anything, but if this gaming governing body were to have a ‘president’ of a sort, it would have to be Total Biscuit. He might not always have entirely agreeable opinions but nobody cares more about the gaming industry than him. Nobody. He is never afraid to tackle shoddy publisher practices and will call out anyone he believes is guilty of anti-consumer practices in the gaming industry. Total Biscuit is the man gamers turn to first, when they have a problem with the state of gaming. Naturally, many gaming industry members despise him. Why is that, I wonder?

Jim Sterling — I’ve been talking about Jim Sterling for years and years; it’s funny that he’s so well-known now and a few years ago when I was raving about how great he is for the gaming industry, people scoffed and told me he was a gigantic dick and why would I ever be a fan of him. Now everyone clamours for his thoughts and gets behind anything he says. It’s almost as if nobody was paying attention to me, as per usual. Nonetheless, his Jimquisition show has been a beacon for consumer advice for a good few years now and nobody shies from a fight like Jim Sterling. Consider that Konami has had him blacklisted for years now, because of statements he made about their business practices. While his #GamerGate opinions confounded me, I will never not take the man’s gaming advice to heart.

Boogie2988 — This is a man who challenged an ‘angry feminist’ type on Twitter, someone vehemently anti-#GamerGate, and by the end of it, had that person saying that Boogie was actually a pretty decent guy. If that doesn’t speak volumes of the man, then I don’t really know how better to phrase it. Despite his… questionable Francis character (never really caught on with me) he’s been one of those guys who really cares about the human element of gaming, and wants to see gamers enjoying gaming without getting ripped off in the process. Who better to bring a humanising element to the entire thing?

Some special mention must also go to Sickboy from Gaming Anarchist who works tirelessly to defend gamers against the allegations they are faced with each day, and funnily enough, earned my respect by challenging Microsoft with their Xbox One, in a time when I was vehemently defending the same thing. Story for another day.

Perhaps you think there should be some female ‘representation’ on that list, but what I offer is just a suggestion. By all means let me know who else you’d like on this hypothetical committee.

So what would this group do for us as gamers? Well they would act as that middle man between the gaming industry and gamers themselves. They would approve or disprove of certain practices and protect the rights of gaming consumers, without them needing to visit media sites (that might lie to them) in order to make informed decisions. They would be the shield that guards the realm of gamers from the controversial and eyebrow-raising practices of this gaming industry we all participate in.

Why? Because the gaming industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and when that much money is involved you can be damn sure that the sharks come for blood–coincidentally also why ‘ethics in games journalism’ in such a big deal, in case you didn’t know–so why should we simply float there and await, when we can do our best to arm ourselves? Why can’t we have representatives who stand up on our collective behalf and say, “No! Enough is enough!” And not people who leverage gamers for personal gain without showing any interest in actual discussion or debate, but people who actively serve gamers for the betterment of all.

Or am I just too much of an idealist?

 

¹ — As media, it should be our job to cater to our readers. Not to call them names, or blatantly attack them. And certainly not to market games to them. But speaking frankly and directly to readers doesn’t yield as much views as quick Cracked-style check-list articles with clickbait titles and a healthy dose of controversy. And why cater to readers when you can suck up to distributors for future benefits including invites to big gaming events and preference when review copies come around? Come now, be better than that. Your community deserves better than that.

² — It infuriates me that there are people in this industry who get political and leverage real issues present in the gaming community, for personal gain. People like Brianna Wu who basically say things like “vote for my game on Steam Greenlight if you don’t support #GamerGate” which is admittedly a great marketing ploy but a disgusting way to take advantage of people while shaming others. Why do people like her ever get support from sympathisers? Are they blind to her hypocrisies, or just so adamantly against something that they’re okay with supporting hypocrites?

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Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Has Been Claimed? http://egmr.net/2015/02/gaming-really-represented-claimed/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/gaming-really-represented-claimed/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166888 By this point if you’ve paid any kind of attention to the gaming industry, you will undoubtedly have heard of the ‘representation in gaming’ issue. Not just who represents gamers […]

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By this point if you’ve paid any kind of attention to the gaming industry, you will undoubtedly have heard of the ‘representation in gaming’ issue. Not just who represents gamers but who is represented in the games themselves.

Last year developers the likes of Ubisoft came under fire for not including playable female protagonists in their games; before then there were other games such as Grand Theft Auto V. The topic of representation has been a contentious one in gaming.

Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly been around women. Why is it unsurprising? Well, because it feeds into the recent cultural growth of feminism and highlighting of sexist practices in the world. Sexism, of course, is a deeply rooted problem in all aspects of media, the workplace and even daily living. Rape culture is a growing problem, together with woman and child abuse. All of these are understandably serious topics of discussion. Naturally then, sexism would eventually permeate into gaming.

And it certainly is a necessary conversation to have; are games catered only to a specific audience? Some online entities would have you believe exactly that. They would have you believe that 90% of all games are for males, by males, with males in the games. That representation in gaming is a massive issue right now, and we need to stop the sexist practices of game developers. But in practice you might find that that is not necessarily true. It’s certainly true that there are many games with males in them, but what do the actual numbers say? Let’s have a look at the past year in gaming, when this conversation was at its loudest.

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Despite common online opinion, the stats seem to paint a slightly different picture. At least, not one that is nearly as dire and critical as those online entities would have you believe. Now sure, the actual roles of the women represented in these games might be up for question, but it certainly isn’t as horrendously one-sided as the popular argument goes, is it?

Personally, it has always confounded me how we can gladly purport that nearly half of all gamers are women, and then say that gaming is inherently sexist. Now, this is not necessarily the same argument, it has to be said. The argument of sexism, to me, is different to the argument of representation in gaming. Indeed the recent events in the gaming industry (#GamerGate and such) have either forgotten or ignored this, opting instead to simply fight it out.

Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said before, the topic of meaningful representation is a necessary one, but one that needs to be engaged with an element of interactivity. In other words, both sides need to sit down and talk, not just take shots at each other and purport the other to be wrong in one grand shit-flinging contest that, effectively, amounts to politicking rather than anything remotely resemblant of meaningful discussion.

The problem as I see it, is not that gaming itself is sexist, but rather that society has some deeply entrenched habits that need to be cut out. Throughout all forms of media, as well as in daily living. Like I said last year, the entire debate around sexism is not a gaming-specific issue but rather a societal one. Don’t believe me?

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I feel a key point to all of this would be learning to identify what is and isn’t sexism, and what is and isn’t a representation issue.

In South Africa we have a policy for allowing different races equal opportunities, but what it has done to the population is create discontent because someone who is qualified, worthy, and good at their job, cannot do that job because the government requires someone else to be hired instead. Let’s not allow this sort of thing to permeate into gaming.

Further, let’s not cry wolf at every moment. There is a lot of sexism in the world and even innocent gestures may be unwittingly sexist, but this is not necessarily the case 100% of the time. If you are wrong, and you are called out on that, the person calling you out (obviously depending on the words they’ve used) is not necessarily doing so because they are sexist. You’ll often hear the argument that women receive more attention for controversial articles than men; absolutely, this has been a thing since forever, when women had more Facebook friends (for example) interacting with them on a daily basis. This inconsistent treatment works both ways — I see it too often where someone wants to be treated equally but refuses to relinquish their gender advantages, you all have your own examples of what I’m talking about — and really, ideally, it should not be a thing, but it is. But I digress. That’s not the point of this.

The point to be made here is not that representation in gaming is not an important discussion to have.

It is.

But I want to stress once again, that women are not, or should not be, the only topic of representation in gaming (where are the arguments around racial representation, or LGBT representation?) and the situation is nowhere near as dire as has been claimed. Don’t operate on emotion and conjecture, but rather try and look at what is, not what you have been told is, or what you think is.

And don’t. Cry. Wolf.

Sexism is not representation, and representation is not sexism. Female gamers are already represented in games, but the point is how they’re represented. Do I think that there’s a problem right now? To an extent yes, but personally I don’t believe those calling for representation actually know what they want. Because they say they want empowered women but then they use the phrase “fighting fuck toy” so which one is it? And they want women who kick ass, but don’t want to see violence against women. You can’t have your cake and eat it; if I played a game with a male protagonist that kicked ass, chances are his ass got kicked at some point in the game too.

If the conversation is actually about equality — as proper feminism and representation should be — then can we not agree that the recent Tomb Raider game was a perfectly adequate representation of women in gaming, in much the same way that The Last of Us was? A game in which the protagonist can get his face eaten off by monsters. And why stop at ‘violent videogames’ as they say? Can I not claim Portal to be representative of women, or is that also reinforcing traditional roles of ridicule and belittlement because the empowered female is made to feel inferior by an AI? You’re welcome to decide.

Either way, let’s at least establish that representation in gaming is already a thing. It’s more about the content of that representation than anything.

Science.

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PSA: Don’t Get Sucked Into The Recent Politics Of The Games Industry http://egmr.net/2015/02/psa-dont-get-sucked-recent-politics-games-industry/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/psa-dont-get-sucked-recent-politics-games-industry/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:00:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166822 As gamers, it is important to remember that the fun is in the gaming, and therefore the critique should be related to the games. To that extent, I am quite […]

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As gamers, it is important to remember that the fun is in the gaming, and therefore the critique should be related to the games. To that extent, I am quite glad that most gamers are either not aware, or not exposed to the ridiculous amount of politics currently going on in the games industry.

And I’m really hoping we can keep it that way.

Brianna Wu is a budding game developer who has released a game on Steam Greenlight entitled Revolution 60. Previously, Brianna Wu was a strong anti-#GamerGate presence. Before that, I’m relatively certain not many people in the games industry really knew her at all.

Now that’s not to say she’s the only person who, through #GamerGate, became a household name — yes, #GamerGate is still a thing — but she has certainly been amongst the most vehement detractors, sharing death and rape threats she’s received, and calling #GamerGate supporters all sorts of names along the way. Her pariah status amongst the #GamerGate community has led to her gaining an overwhelming amount of support from anti-#GamerGate members, feminists, and feminist sympathisers, but here’s the fascinating part:

Brianna Wu gets $13,000 per month through Patreon, to make games.

That’s a staggering amount of money, isn’t it? And why? Because she’s very effectively exploited the crowd of gamers who do not support #GamerGate. Plain and simple. But here’s where it gets interesting. After releasing Revolution 60 on Steam Greenlight, Brianna Wu stated that #GamerGate supporters were trying to get her game off Greenlight, so people should vote “yes” to stop them.

Bullshit.

Why? Because a “no” vote does nothing to stop a game from publishing on Steam Greenlight, so those “no” votes count for nothing. What Brianna Wu effectively did, then, was goad anyone who doesn’t support #GamerGate into voting her game into Greenlight, and you know what? There are people who did exactly that.

Someone doesn't understand what "free market" means...

Someone doesn’t understand what “free market” means…

Apparently users opting not to support your product is not considered part of the “free market” guys.

 

Meanwhile...

Meanwhile…

It’s this sort of hypocrisy that we just don’t need in gaming. And to make matters worse, Brianna Wu straight up copped to a conflict of interest with Patreon — remember that thing about ethics in games journalism, guys? — but still she won support. Why? Because she made it political; she made it about harassment and abuse.

Let me make something abundantly clear right now: I do not condone harassment, abuse, or sexism. I simply do not. But I also do not condone behaviour like this and if you do, what is your problem honestly? I consider myself as much a feminist as a meninist, with the point being equality. Not superiority. Equality. And equality means all things being equal. Which means drawing the line at bettering yourself by belittling others. Sure, she received many horrible things. How many of those horrible things were because she instigated matters in the first place? Or is that “victim-blaming” as they say.

Exhibit A: Mansplaining

Exhibit A: Mansplaining

Here is one person’s response to the people defending Brianna Wu in the wake of Revolution 60 allegedly getting attacked by #GamerGate supporters on Steam Greenlight:

Here is the problem with your defense of Wu. You see this as one sided. The reality is that for months Wu has campaigned against GG. Now, what you have to remember is Wu had NOTHING to do with the original scandal. Nothing. The first interaction she had with GG was HER inserting herself into the conversation and accusing GG of these horrid things; saying they drove her from her home and everything. Again, no one in GG even knew who she was. Have you ever wondered how all the sudden this huge group, mostly focused on Kotaku and Gawker, and the reporters within, just happened to “jump” on a random Developer?

Use a little Occam’s razor. Or better yet, simply go back into her tweet history and look at the time line. Some of her first interactions with GG was calling it a group of sexist, misogynistic terrorists. She was then invited on 3 national broadcasts where she repeated this; it was only AFTER that, where she lied to the press about a number of issues, that GG began to link her to this torrent of terrible media that has been continually saying Gamers are terrible people.

It was AFTER this, after insulting and libeling her audience, that her game lost popularity. I don’t know sir. I don’t think it would go over well for Coca Cola if they came out and said people who drink Soda are sexist pigs, who terrorize women, on national TV. Somehow I find it unfathomable that someone who intends to exploit the market would do something like this an expect attention towards her product (Which, objectively, is not a very good product. But I don’t wish to sound insulting. I actually admire Wu for doing such a labor of love–but it’s not a stellar game. It’s a pretty obvious first attempt from a novice.)

Now, I actually work in marketing; I’m an economist by trade. So maybe the insanity of this is more personal to me. But the only strategy I can see in all this (And I assume Wu is an intelligent, rational human being) is that she is cultivating this kind reaction so she can whip up her own base into support. This is actually not an unheard of tactic in politics; in fact, it tends to be fairly effective. I’ve just never seen it used in marketing (But Kudos to Wu, it seems to be working.)

Now, you may feel like that’s assuming a lot. But ponder this. Wu, because of how you sign up for Green light, KNOWS that “no” votes can’t “brigade” a game down. Only yes votes matter. Yet her first tweet was simply about no votes winning and then she proceeded to encourage her supporters to vote to “stop GG from winning.” It’s odd that she used intentionally misleading/incorrect language, no? (Odd, or intelligent. Because it worked, you see many people in the comments of her game saying it looks bad, but they are voting to “support her against harassment).

In reality, Wu went through and plucked out the 4 or 5 bad troll tweets. Something many games on green-light get. And used them to whip up a PR campaign in order to rally her base. I commend her on her politicking; it IS excellent. But don’t be fooled, see it for what it is. That said, I did not down vote her game–I kind of admire her ability to manipulate her image.

However, assuming the market isn’t working because the market is reaction to defamation? Is just silly. Wu cultivated controversy. Saying that force is alien or against open market principles is just disingenuous. Media branding is an important aspect of doing well in a market. Your product can be amazing, but if you trash your customers repeatedly you WILL lose them. Wu, as said, doesn’t have a great product (A great effort, but not a great product). Mixing that with controversy? Well, the effects are to be expected, and they are certainly natural market forces.

However, I believe it will work out for her, because she’s convinced a ton of people of the imminent need for them to defend her freedom of expression. Like I said, kudos on her politicking. As someone who does it for a living, it’s an impressive display of narrative management.

Says it better than I ever could.

Gaming is getting far too political, with this whole “representation” thing going on right now. As far as supporting equality goes, I am fully on board with it, but when you’re part of the problem and don’t see it, yet purport that others are part of the problem and don’t see it, not only are you a hypocrite but also blatantly stupid. And it’s happening frustratingly often in the games industry.

This is the best example I can use to highlight why it’s just a really bad idea to get mixed up in all of this. It is dogfighting. It is not about constructive conversation anymore but rather about shit-flinging, and one-upping the other ‘side’ with some new revelation or conspiracy. Frankly, it needs to stop but since it likely will go on for a while, it’s best we simply step away and distance ourselves from it while refocusing ourselves on the videogames.

By all means, fight the patriarchy and push for real equality, but don’t go attacking people and trying to prove points that have already been proven ad nauseum. Let gaming be about the games, and we can all be happy together. As for the industry, I foresee permanent dividing lines, and that’s a complete travesty; it’s just awful. But that doesn’t mean we should get ourselves involved in it. I regret ever getting myself involved in it. What people like Brianna Wu are doing right now, is politicking for support. “Don’t support them, they’re horrible people, support me instead!” Despite, herself, being horrible in a different way.

Politics has no place in gaming — or shouldn’t. So let’s not encourage any of this sort of practice, okay? Pick your fights carefully; understand when it’s about sexism, representation and injustices, and when it’s just about winning supporters and shit-flinging. Gaming really isn’t in as bad a state as they would have you believe. Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Sony Online Entertainment Bought Out; Now Daybreak Game Company http://egmr.net/2015/02/sony-online-entertainment-bought-now-daybreak-game-company/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/sony-online-entertainment-bought-now-daybreak-game-company/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166642 In what will likely be the news of the day, Sony Online Entertainment has been bought out and as a result, will be rebranding (for obvious reasons) to a new […]

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In what will likely be the news of the day, Sony Online Entertainment has been bought out and as a result, will be rebranding (for obvious reasons) to a new name; Daybreak Game Company.

Responsible for a bunch of online offerings including H1Z1 and DC Universe Online, Sony Online Entertainment has mostly been in charge of Sony’s… online… entertainm– yeah you get the idea. They make multiplayer offerings for the PlayStation, but now that they’ve been bought out you can bloody well expect them on other consoles too.

Here’s the official statement in full:

Dear Players, Partners and Friends,

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies. This means that effective immediately SOE will operate as an independent game development studio where we will continue to focus on creating exceptional online games for players around the world, and now as a multi-platform gaming company. Yes, that means PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!

As part of this transition, SOE will now become Daybreak Game Company. This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players. It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward.

So what exactly does this mean for you? It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation. In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition. It also means new exciting developments for our existing IP and games as we can now fully embrace the multi-platform world we are living in.

Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together.

Thank you for your continued support. See you in game!

Is this the result of Sony’s massive losses, as declared last year? I can’t really comment on that because I haven’t been keeping track, to be completely honest. But with Columbus Nova, what’s certain is that Sony Online Entertainment Daybreak Game Company will now be a multiplatform studio, which means you can expect a whole bunch of their games to now make it to other consoles. Further to that, whatever currently exists will continue to exist.

Here are a bunch of tweets by president John Smedley, answering common questions from fans:

The question remains: Should warning bells be ringing over at Sony? Is Sony beginning to drop whatever it can afford to let go of in order to recuperate some cash? Or is this entirely unrelated and am I just being the Xbot that I am? I guess we’ll find out but in the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments. Do you play any of SOE’s games? We’d like to know whether they were worth keeping around, or if Sony made the right idea by selling up.

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EA Infographic Reveals 113 Million Hours Of Dragon Age: Inquisition… Think About That For A Second http://egmr.net/2015/01/ea-infographic-reveals-113-million-hours-dragon-age-inquisition-think-second/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/ea-infographic-reveals-113-million-hours-dragon-age-inquisition-think-second/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166415 Who knew EA does quarterly infographics? Perhaps they’re choosing to boast about this particular quarter because it’s the only one in which they released half-decent games last year. Either way! […]

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Who knew EA does quarterly infographics? Perhaps they’re choosing to boast about this particular quarter because it’s the only one in which they released half-decent games last year. Either way!

We’ll let the stats speak for themselves on this one. They seem to do an adequate job, with those staggering figures from the final quarter of 2014.

Do we really need to discuss the kinds of games Electronic Arts sell? Probably not. Do we need to discuss the kind of publisher they typically are? Again, probably not. But in a year devoid of a Dead Space, Medal of Honor, or Need for Speed title, it’s nice to see that the remaining franchises got that extra bit of effort to keep them going.

And also, it’s just a really humbling reminder that EA are one of the biggest publishers of games in the world for a reason.

One-hundred-and-thirteen million hours. In one quarter.

Click here to see the infographic in expanded form.

And click here for the latest Half-Life 3 news.

Also don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments. See, Mike? We can do news without opinions sometimes (don’t get used to it).

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Microsoft Wants To Make The Xbox One Controller Even Sexier http://egmr.net/2015/01/microsoft-wants-make-xbox-one-controller-even-sexier/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/microsoft-wants-make-xbox-one-controller-even-sexier/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 07:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166319 Is faster better though? The Xbox One controller is a beautiful controller. Not perfect, certainly — for after all nothing can be perfect — but a beautiful controller even with […]

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Is faster better though?

The Xbox One controller is a beautiful controller.

Not perfect, certainly — for after all nothing can be perfect — but a beautiful controller even with its flaws.

Even then you would have to really look at it to try and find flaws. There have been complaints in the past about the positioning of the bumpers on the controller, for example. But these are based less on the controller’s layout and more on the size and use of your hands. If you used the tips of your fingers on the bumpers you were fine, but if you used any other part then problems arose. Stuff like that.

For the most part though, the Xbox One controller is one of the best parts of the console, and in a coming firmware update Microsoft are looking to make it even better.

How so? Well the Xbox One controller currently takes around five seconds to go from switched on to ready to use, and according to Microsoft that is simply unacceptable. We’re glad they think so, given that a Kinect command is actually quicker on the Xbox One. So they’re designing a new firmware update to fix it and make the controller’s start-up faster.

That’s right, Microsoft are aiming to make their controller start up faster.

Let that sink in for a moment.

In the meantime, there’s really not much else to this piece of news but while I have your attention let’s have a quick survey of what everyone actually calls controllers.

See, Dean calls them remotes…

Or perhaps I should tell you guys the full story: Towards the end of last year on the official better-than-the-internet all-access EGMR WhatsApp group, Dean asked about Xbox 360 remotes. I thought he was referring to a media remote control, as in the thing you use to change channels on your TV. He was actually referring to a controller. Cue many hours of back and forth about what actually constitutes a remote. Eventually we agreed to disagree.

So now I ask you guys. What do you call the thing pictured above? Remote or controller? Let us know in the comments, and help settle an old argument.

I’ll never let it go, Dean.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Who Best Represents Gamers? http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-best-represents-gamers/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-best-represents-gamers/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166258 A few years ago when a brand new video game was revealed, typically by means of a game trailer, we as a community would eat it up and express our […]

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A few years ago when a brand new video game was revealed, typically by means of a game trailer, we as a community would eat it up and express our delight at the visuals, the mechanics, and the story. They might not always have told us the truth regarding what was contained in the games themselves, but we tended to respond positively to them anyway. I remember the very first reveal of BioShock: Infinite, when the player character used Telekinesis to fire a shotgun (didn’t quite make it into the final product, but still made for an awesome trailer) and we all squee’d in delight.

Nowadays, when a new trailer releases or a new game is revealed, the biggest topic of discussion isn’t the visuals, the mechanics, or the story, but rather it’s the colour of the protagonist’s skin, the gender of the protagonist, or the protagonist’s sexual preferences. In short, what representation there is in the game being revealed.

It’s a weird sort of irony in a time when many video game critics (cough cough) are citing violence against women as a massive problem in gaming, and yet calling for better representation of women in video games; what are they expecting will happen to those women in these games? Unless we’re talking about FIFA, LittleBigPlanet, or Bejeweled, there is every likelihood that a female playable character is going to subjected to the same sort of situations as a male playable character, ie. violence.

But since I’m sure we’re all tired of the representation in video games argument by now, let’s excuse this horrendous contradiction and move swiftly on.

When it comes to video games, especially recently, there is the problem of: Who exactly represents gamers as a whole?

It’s a tough one, because like any community of people, we are all very different. You get the ones who swear by the old gods and the new that the term ‘gamer’ does not exist and that there is no such thing as ‘gamer culture’, they’re just regular old people who enjoy playing games; then you get the hardcore gamers who wear the title like a badge of honour and will tell anyone willing to listen (or not) about their K/D ratio, or what difficulty they finish games on, or whatever else. In between those are a myriad other identities, but you get the point: Gaming is massive, and gamers are far too varied to be directly represented by one archetype.

Typically, the one thing we can all agree on is that gamers play games; which might sound like pleonasm but actually, as someone who spends more time writing about games than playing them, well you get the idea.

So to return to our question, who then can best represent such a varied and diverse community? Who can represent the gamer who swears by their gaming PC that cost a small fortune, or the gamer who has never paid with their own money for a single game in their life, or the gamer who pirates everything, or the gamer who buys a single game a month every month, or the social gamer who only plays with friends, or the competitive gamer who swears by their online stats, or the asshole gamer who thinks that gaming belongs to them and them only?

It’s really fucking tough to pick a specific person, isn’t it?

In 2009, a movie released called Gamer in which Gerard Butler (more like Buttler, amirite?) was controlled using nanotechnology in a twisted ‘game’ of real-life deathmatch. It was tough to watch. Actually, it was downright embarrassing to think that this was what Hollywood thought of gamers. Do you think Gerard Butler with an assault rifle is a cool way to represent gamers? Because I certainly don’t.

Then you get people like Anita Sarkeesian, who go onto shows like The Colbert Report and presume to speak on behalf of gamers the world over. And I have to say, that does not make me happy to see. But this is what permeates the mainstream and spills through into homes for families to watch and take in. This is what people come to believe of gamers. And this is quite possibly why the wrong sort of stigma is spread about gaming not just as a pastime but a lifestyle. The previously awkward-reclusive-shut-in is now the violent-minded-aggressor. And again I can’t help but think, this isn’t me.

dn17819-3_767

Now I don’t mean to sound elitist by saying all of this. I mean sure, anyone who plays games is welcome to call themselves a gamer, whether they’re the scum of the Earth or borderline saintly. I have no right to say they are not gamers just because they don’t speak for me, just like I have no right to exclude them from the gaming community because I disagree with their practices. But, and here’s where we start getting a little more heated, this works both ways. To be more specific: Nobody gets to say that because a certain group of gamers are bad apples, all gamers are bad apples. Nobody gets to tell me how to feel about my lifestyle, because they’ve deemed it so.

It’s a case of whom we choose to look at in the gaming community, as the best representatives of gaming. Let’s use a common example of feminism here, and say that there is more than one type of feminist. There is the feminist who simply wishes to see women become empowered to the point of equality with men (which in my opinion is awesome). Then there are feminists who want women to be better than men. Then there are feminists who exist simply to attack men, which is itself quite a sexist approach. One of these is the best representation of feminism, all agreed? The rest, not so much.

The problem with the mainstream is often that it’s not the most worthy candidate that shines through but rather the loudest or most flamboyant. Think here of comic books and comic book movies. Suddenly Marvel is everywhere and everyone loves them, but that’s only really because of the movies. Are Iron Man, Captain America and Thor the best representations of comic books? Invincible, Chew and Y: The Last Man might disagree (I mean, when was the last time you read a standalone Iron Man comic?). On the DC side of things, why is everything always about Batman? If he wasn’t so damn popular, maybe we could get a half-decent Nightwing movie.

Put succinctly, the popular will always outweigh the most suitable.

But who defines suitable? Like I said earlier, it’s virtually impossible given the variety on offer. So instead what happens is that the best marketers are the ones the light shines on brightest. Credit where it’s due, Anita Sarkeesian really marketed herself well when it came down to the hot topic of sexism last year, despite not being someone I would consider the best representation of gaming.

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I am not a qualified journalist. To different people that could mean different things. To some it could mean I rely more on conjecture and opinion over facts and research. To others it could mean I am less academic and more in tune with the gamer lifestyle. To the rest, it might completely invalidate my four years and two thousand articles on this website.

It’s really tough to turn to someone and say, “Hey, you know what, you’re a gamer and that’s great, but I don’t think you’re the best representation of gaming. Sure, you speak for some gamers in the world, but you don’t speak for all of us and you certainly don’t speak for me.” By virtue of the idea of representation, if we were to then take the idea representative of gaming as one from the majority, therefore providing the widest representation, should the best representative not in fact be a white male gamer? Suck it, McIntosh.

Even then, who’s to say that person represents my gaming interests? And so we come back to our initial quandary of who best represents gaming. I’ll say one thing: It’s not often I watch a gaming-centric TV show (as in, something broadcast to the mainstream viewing audience) and think to myself, “Yes, this feels like the kind of gaming personality I can get behind.”

Misrepresentation in gaming, like any facet of our lives, is something that is borderline impossible to solve without seriously hurting those who presume to currently represent us as gamers. It’s not fair on them because they too are gamers (hopefully), but at the same time we want people talking on our behalves, who have our best interests at heart and in mind. I wouldn’t want someone going onto national TV and saying that gaming is sexist; especially when anyone who actually takes a look at the stats can see that there is all kinds of gender representation in games, whether it’s the nearly 50% gender-spread of gamers themselves, or the female characters in popular videogames.

Despite what the critics might say…

representation-coverlarge

So to attempt a very difficult answer to the question of who best represents gamers, I would say anyone who speaks for gamers as a collective. As to who that is, I have some ideas for who would be best suited to the job. Personally, I don’t want someone who caters only to publishers and helps to market games on their behalf by only discussing positive elements and trying to purport that gaming is a fun activity and who cares that I’m spending thousands upon thousands of my hard-earned money for that entertainment value, and therefore deserve a return, when all I really need to do is lighten up and enjoy my gaming more. I refuse to have someone like that speaking on my behalf, but you know what? Those are the guys that the sponsors will send up to E3 and Gamescom each year. Not the hard-hitters who ask the tough questions and cater specifically to the gamers themselves, doing everything in their power to challenge authority and fight for the little guy.

I can certainly tell you whom I don’t want representing me.

In the end, the matter of who best represents gaming is a contextual one. Who is the best representation of consumer advice in gaming? Who best represents gaming to the public? Who would be your ideal candidate for gaming as a medium for education or self-enrichment? There are multiple answers to each of these, and the core focus needs to be around ensuring that the wrong people are not the ones representing us as gamers.

Put simply, it doesn’t matter too much who is representing us as gamers, but it matters a whole lot more, who is misrepresenting us as gamers.

Who do you think best represents gamers? I’d love to read your thoughts, down in the comments below.

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Nintendo “Do Not Understand Modern Gaming” — Former Exec http://egmr.net/2015/01/nintendo-not-understand-modern-gaming-former-exec/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/nintendo-not-understand-modern-gaming-former-exec/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166145 In today’s great revelation that nobody actually didn’t already know… Nintendo is not a company that makes games. I’ve said this time and time again, and I’ll repeat myself now: […]

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In today’s great revelation that nobody actually didn’t already know…

Nintendo is not a company that makes games. I’ve said this time and time again, and I’ll repeat myself now: Nintendo is a company that makes toys. Toys don’t change; their designs might change, but ultimately they are still aimed at a particular audience, and centre around certain themes. Nintendo caters specifically to its audience. They grow up, move on, and then Nintendo finds a new audience. They refuse to grow up with their audience, because they don’t necessarily have to. Everyone plays Nintendo games as a child (privileged white kids, amirite?) but not everyone plays Nintendo games as a grown-ass adult. And that’s by Nintendo’s choice. Or so my sentiment regarding the company goes.

You might see it as a company that just doesn’t understand what its place in gaming is, and I would not disagree with that sentiment either.

Former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman has had some choice words about the company since leaving. If you don’t remember who he is, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Adelman was one of Nintendo’s most important developers liaisons, who left in August 2014 and immediately complained that the company had attempted to silence his social media usage.

He also called the Wii U’s name “abysmal”, which, I mean, yeah, he has a point.

In a recent interview, he went even further by providing some rather expository commentary regarding Nintendo’s lethargic grasp of ideas and practices in recent times.

“They’re very traditional, and very focused on hierarchy and group decision making,” explained Adelman of the company’s structure. Is that racist? I can’t tell…

“Unfortunately, that creates a culture where everyone is an advisor and no one is a decision maker – but almost everyone has veto power. Even Mr. Iwata is often loathe to make a decision that will alienate one of the executives in Japan.”

According to Adelman, getting anything done involves abhorrent amounts of groundwork in order to bring different groups on board, which becomes yet more difficult for anyone out of Japan since the process must be repeated at multiple levels.

“All of this is not necessarily a bad thing, though it can be very inefficient and time consuming,” he said. “The biggest risk is that at any step in that process, if someone flat out says no, the proposal is as good as dead. So in general, bolder ideas don’t get through the process unless they originate at the top.”

And that’s not all, folks.

“The most senior executives at the company cut their teeth during NES and Super NES days and do not really understand modern gaming, so adopting things like online gaming, account systems, friends lists, as well as understating the rise of PC gaming has been very slow,” continued Adelman. “Ideas often get shut down prematurely just because some people with the power to veto an idea simply don’t understand it.”

Sounds a lot like government, hashtag politically incorrect statements.

“There is very little reason to try and push these ideas. Risk taking is generally not really rewarded. Long-term loyalty is ultimately what gets rewarded, so the easiest path is simply to stay the course.”

If you’re interested in reading the full interview, and why wouldn’t you be, definitely head on over to the source link and check it out. It’s a fascinating read.

In the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments below. Do you agree with my sentiment that Nintendo is a toymaker, not a games maker? Am I full of shit, and are Nintendo on form as always? Do you drive a now-illegal modified car? We want to know all about it.

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The Elder Scrolls Online Drops Subscriptions, Console Release Dates, And Bombs http://egmr.net/2015/01/elder-scrolls-online-drops-subscriptions-console-release-dates-bombs/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/elder-scrolls-online-drops-subscriptions-console-release-dates-bombs/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166142 Okay so we lied about the bombs… It’s been a long time coming, but finally console gamers get to enjoy what PC gamers have been disappointed with for quite some […]

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Okay so we lied about the bombs…

It’s been a long time coming, but finally console gamers get to enjoy what PC gamers have been disappointed with for quite some time now.

The Elder Scrolls Online released on PC last year to a lukewarm reception; it was billed as the quintessential MMO, the direct competitor to World of Warcraft, who could possibly build a better RPG game world than Bethesda themselves? Unfortunately, it wasn’t Bethesda’s main team that worked on The Elder Scrolls Online and the final product showed as much.

Not that the world was the biggest talking point of the release; The Elder Scrolls Online released with an initial asking price as well as a monthly subscription, which immediately dissuaded many fans of Bethesda games including myself, who simply could not afford to keep playing the game and refused to put in that much of an initial investment into the game. Since then, subscriptions have slowly dropped off.

Naturally then, Bethesda were forced to take some action, and so they have. Come March 17th, The Elder Scrolls Online will be a subscription-free offering.

Thereafter, on June 9th, a new release will be issued called The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (which almost sounds like a Greatest Hits cover to me) for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you’re already playing The Elder Scrolls Online on PC or Mac, your version will be automatically upgraded as well.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will feature all updates and content additions since the game released, including the new Justice and Champion systems. Previous players will be “invited back” while new players need only make the initial purchase and from then on, they will be allowed to play without paying a subscription fee.

So the question then becomes, how will the MMO stay afloat? According to our source, “special, optional downloadable content available for purchase” as well as “customization items” from an in-game Crown Store. So, you are welcome to decide how you feel about this system. It certainly works for Valve’s free-to-play offerings, so maybe The Elder Scrolls Online can pull it off as well. Maybe…

There’s also another sneaky trick they’re employing. See, regular updates and new gameplay will release for free once the game drops subscriptions, but those who continue to pay a monthly subscription will be placed into a premium membership service called ESO Plus, which will grant exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly income of crowns for use in the store, as well as access to all DLC game packs while they remain members.

If your subscription currently goes past March 17th, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the premium service until your sub ends.

What is the opposite of phallic?

What is the opposite of phallic?

“Our fans are the biggest inspiration, and we’ve listened to their feedback on the entertainment experience they want,” explained game director Matt Firor. “We know that Elder Scrolls fans want choice when it comes to how they play and how they pay, and that is what they will get. We have made numerous changes to the game over the past year, and are confident this is a game that Elder Scrolls fans will love to play.”

I have to say that it’s quite enticing. Last year I was supposed to review the game for EGMR but after the review code wouldn’t work, I gave up on it. Now, I tell you, I might just go ahead and pick it up on Xbox One when it’s out later this year. I don’t even particularly have that much time for MMOs…

What about you? Have you been holding out, and would this now convince you to take the leap? Are you currently playing it and looking forward to not having to pay that exorbitant monthly fee? Either way, this is lesson once again to early adopters to wait.

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Dying Light Mixes Mirror’s Edge, Zombies & Sensational Night-Life http://egmr.net/2015/01/dying-light-preview/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/dying-light-preview/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=141055 Full disclosure: We have had a preview of Dying Light ready and awaiting publish for little over a year now; that’s right, an entire year. With delay after delay, we […]

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Full disclosure: We have had a preview of Dying Light ready and awaiting publish for little over a year now; that’s right, an entire year. With delay after delay, we were forced to delay our preview in turn. Meanwhile, development on the game itself has been moving along at a rapid pace and what you will see releasing in a few weeks’ time is likely going to be quite different from what was originally shown nearly two years ago now. An interesting opportunity then to take a look at the dynamics of game development, and actually watch the transformation of a game over the course of two years. Yay for academic previews!

Name: Dying Light
Genre: First Person Zombie Survival Horror
Players: 1 or 4 (online)
Multiplayer: Online cooperative
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developers: Techland
Publishers: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 27 January 2014
Price: $60 / R699

First, a brief history of Techland — because it’s good to get to know the developers of the games we play, so we know what to expect from them. That way they can either deliver to our expectations or try to exceed them. Techland is certainly not the cream of the crop of gaming developers, it has to be said. Hailing from Poland (a place now somewhat infamous for producing glitchy games) the European developer has certainly had a few disappointments to its name. The likes of the terrible Call of Juarez: The Cartel — aka Kill Brown People: The Game — come instantly to mind, and much of the gaming world still hasn’t got over the way the first trailer for their other recent title Dead Island — aka Angry Racist Stereotypes Vs Zombies: The Game — blatantly misrepresented the actual content of the game itself. But they have also had a few half-decent offerings such as the now-quite-old Xpand Rally, and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.

With their Dead Island franchise ripped like the tide (heh) from their clutches and given to Yager, Techland have instead been hard at work on something not entirely different. And something, we have to say, which looks a lot more interesting than any old zombie-beat-em-up. So that’s the brief history of Techland out of the way, let’s have a look at the history of Dying Light itself. It has certainly been around for a very long time, and when it was first announced, it was a multi-platform, multi-generation offering. Since then the older generation has fallen away, leaving only the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions which will be releasing soon.

Dying Light is, at its heart, a spiritual successor to Dead Island. It will play out in the first person, and feature a zombie-filled open world for you to explore. There will also be semi-intensive RPG elements in play, allowing you to scavenge items from the game world and improve your player character along the course of the game. But Dying Light has a few neat twists to its core gameplay. For one, you are able to platform pretty much everywhere, just like in Assassin’s Creed but in the first person and with zombies so nearly nothing like Assassin’s Creed. Second, and here’s where the game’s name so brilliantly comes to the fore, zombies hulk out at night, effectively forcing you to only venture outside during the day or risk life and limb once the sun goes down.

Let’s have a look at what the game looked like over a year ago:

Not too shabby, eh? You’ve probably heard the comparisons to Mirror’s Edge styled parkour and zombies ad nauseam by now, but there really is no better way to explain the game than that. Seriously, try it. Walk up to someone who hasn’t heard of Dying Light but plays games and tell them, “It’s Mirror’s Edge but with zombies,” and watch the realisation dawn upon their face. Speaking of dawn, there’s also that little neat twist to things.

Granted it’s not new to the world of zombies, but the idea of overpowered zombies at night and the first person element could blend together to provide something truly fearful and frantic. Dead Island may have been a lot of disappointing things but there were times when it really had you on edge. Add in some Assassin’s Creed meets Mirror’s Edge platforming and you’ve got something that literally has you on the edge too. It’s all one big recipe for mayhem, and it might just make for one of the most entertaining zombie romps for a while.

But of course, that was over a year ago, and how has the game shaped up since then? Well, we’ve got quite a long watch but feel free to skip ahead, and see what Dying Light looks like now:

So we’ve got a graphical upgrade, par for the course. We’ve also got what seems like a more focussed story this time around, with a central character rather than one you can pick for yourself. We’ll allow it, for story purposes. Finally, it looks as if they’ve really done a lot to the mechanics and systems in play with the game’s mechanics. It certainly doesn’t seem anything like a pedestrian stroll where you need only turn up and automatically win. This game looks as if it’s going to take some serious time investment to get the best play experience out of it. Sweet.

Another new addition since the initial reveal seems to be multiplayer. There are two distinct types that have been revealed thus far. One of them is your standard Assassin’s Creed: Unity / Left 4 Dead / Gears of War style four-player cooperative. Basically: Shoot zombies with friends, but they can’t call it The Walking Dead because of licensing. The other multiplayer mode will be a form of asynchronous multiplayer in which players get to either be humans or zombies, and well, we’re not really sure just yet how that will work; it could be Watch_Dogs-styled invasion of another player’s game, or it could be a separate mode entirely. Watch this space?

Suspected Selling Points
  • The game offers something unique to players, with the zombie parkour experience.
  • Dead Island wasn’t the worst game ever, so there’s no reason to believe Dying Light will suck.
  • It’s the first big new-gen game to come out this year so if you’re impatient then why not?

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • Techland’s shaky past leaves a lot to be desired.
  • This game is almost guaranteed to be glitched to hell.
  • Are zombies still cool in games?

Dying Light is another chance for Techland to show that it’s ready for the big leagues. It certainly has the interest from the gaming community, so all that remains to be seen is whether it can deliver. We’re willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for having the audacity to try and mix first person platforming, niche though it is, with zombie survival. It could be a glorious mess of glitches and mediocre storytelling, but it could also be entertaining despite all that. For the moment, the only question that needs to be answered is: Does Mirror’s Edge with zombies sound fun to you? If so, what are you waiting for… besides, well, the game to release… *cough*

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Gaming Does It Again: LittleBigPlanet 3 Remixes Game Of Thrones In Style http://egmr.net/2015/01/gaming-littlebigplanet-3-remixes-game-thrones-style/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/gaming-littlebigplanet-3-remixes-game-thrones-style/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166026 Wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners… Since its release late last year, LittleBigPlanet 3 hasn’t quite been hitting the same high notes as its predecessors, but here at EGMR […]

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Wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners…

Since its release late last year, LittleBigPlanet 3 hasn’t quite been hitting the same high notes as its predecessors, but here at EGMR we try not to be overly negative, we’re a glass half full kinda site after all, so we prefer to look at it as a work-in-progress.

After all, the previous LittleBigPlanet games were so wildly successful because of the ridiculous amount of user creation on offer. Naturally then, it relies on its fanbase to make it a success.

And just like that, a few months later, we are treated to this spectacle of a video up above. Created in just over two weeks by Jamie Colliver and AAAAALEC (the new first word in the dictionary) using only LittleBigPlanet 3’s own creation tools, behold, the entire Game of Thrones introductory sequence.

Cue the violins!

The dashing duo managed to recapture the majesty and charm of the iconic (reading, Ubisoft?) theme tune by using “transitions from camera to camera” that followed a custom assigned path, effectively creating a more cinematic rendering. All we can say is, it’s bloody marvellous and a testament to the creativity of gamers… wait, are we allowed to say that about obvious copyright-infringement? Eh, it’s cool.

Check out the video above for yourself, and let us know what you think of it. Think you could do better?

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Xbox One’s February Update Brings Transparent Tiles And Game Hubs http://egmr.net/2015/01/xbox-ones-february-update-brings-transparent-tiles-game-hubs/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/xbox-ones-february-update-brings-transparent-tiles-game-hubs/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 09:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165808 February is commonly known as the month of love, which is why everyone who is alone and unhappy — as well as hipsters because being contrary is their way — […]

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February is commonly known as the month of love, which is why everyone who is alone and unhappy — as well as hipsters because being contrary is their way — absolutely despises it.

But the light in the middle of the tunnel, presuming you own an Xbox One, is that you will get a cool new update to play with when the month comes around. That’s right, Microsoft will soon be rolling out their February update for Xbox One. In fact, it has already entered the early preview stage which is how we can talk about it here today.

What’s new in the Xbox fold? Well to be honest, there’s still no Twitter image sharing which makes us quite sad, but there are a few other neat additions.

Perhaps the biggest addition in this update is the Game Hub feature, accessible for every game as well as content relating to that game (user streams, edited videos, leaderboards and so on) by clicking on the menu button and selecting the Game Hub option.

Game Hubs will be the new way of seeing which friends are playing a particular game, as well as accessing broadcasts, clips, leaderboards, VIPs and top players, and so on. It’s not going to be particularly interesting to most of us, but it’s still a really cool added extra for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

The other big change is that of custom backgrounds and tile transparency, adding a slightly better look to the overall aesthetic of the UI. The transparent tiles obviously allow for better visibility of your custom background, which you can create for yourself by going to Settings -> My Xbox -> My background, or, you know, telling your Kinect you want to change your background.

There are also some updates for TV and specifically OneGuide, although we’re not really sure how much of it will affect us in South Africa right now, although if you’re reading this from Europe then prepare for a whole bunch of new features including Live TV streaming to your smartphone, as well as TV Tuner capabilities. Maybe one day, when the SABC elects someone with actual qualifications…

In all, it’s not a very substantial update and we’re really looking forward to image sharing, but with recent updates including an announcement from the Xbox team that they are freeing up more CPU capacity for gaming, it’s looking pretty good for team green. If you bought an Xbox One, chances are you’re enjoying the hell out of it. Look forward to a little bit more on that front, soon. Who even needs a Valentine anymore?

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Let’s Have A Quick Catch Up Session http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-lets-quick-catch-session/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-lets-quick-catch-session/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165588 Is it 2015 already?! Geez, welcome back I guess. That holiday sure flew by. A lot has changed too. For one, I am now a working man with a tax […]

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Is it 2015 already?! Geez, welcome back I guess. That holiday sure flew by. A lot has changed too. For one, I am now a working man with a tax number and everything! I have my degree and I open up at least four non-gaming websites a day — albeit only because my place of employment requires as much.

Since it’s been a few weeks, and to be completely honest this day positively sprung up on me as if by time dilation or something equally ridiculous, I thought we’d spend a few hundred words catching up and discussing some of our big plans moving forward into the new year. By the way, happy new year if you’re one of those people who care about that. If you’re not then just pretend I said something positive and friendly, such as that football is a really great and not totally pointless sport, or that Dest– wait, I promised I wouldn’t make that joke this year.

Much like Marvel has had a long-term plan for their Cinematic Universe, slowly but carefully crafting a bunch of heroes before putting them together and then going from strength to strength since, EGMR too has had some long-term plans set in motion literally years ago. When I first joined the site back in 2011, we were certainly not regarded as the best or even close to the top, but in those few years we have endured a gruelling, arduous climb and we continue to do so. Despite a few departures, and more than a few times of conflict, we have done our best to keep on climbing.

Needless to say, I’m quite proud of us, and 2015 is going to be another massive year of growth for us. More than innovation, this year we are seeking to actively build on the incredible foundation that we’ve carefully, meticulously crafted in previous years, and refine on everything already in place. With a few new additions as well, of course. Now I don’t want to spoil everything so I’ll keep things vague for now. What I can talk about are things like the podcast, which is currently undergoing maintenance with an eye on a fresh, new style when it eventually releases to the public.

Or perhaps the fact that we are once again refocussing our core point of entertainment, that of gaming. We tried diverging a lot in the past year to see what you guys enjoyed and didn’t particularly care about. What we gained thereafter through Analytics was invaluable. Apparently everyone searches for Fallout Nude Mods always, but other than that it’s clear that a site that dabbles in too much will struggle to nail down a focus. As a result, we’re bringing it back to gaming. We’ll still try to do a few more geek-related things, like cosplay, comics and movie coverage. It just won’t be nearly as extensive as before, with the majority of our coverage going back to gaming.

We’ll also be aiming to give you more exclusive content and features this year, with a hearty amount of reviews coming out this month to kick things off. As always, columns will be around in full swing as well. So really it’s a massive collection of content for you, our beloved reader, to dip your gaming fingers into and enjoy.

On a more personal note, having started full-time employment this year and also looking to complete my other degree as well as secure more qualifications in my field, this year is going to be interesting to say the least. Especially when I throw in editing such things as columns, podcasts and so on. But I feel ready to accept the challenge and I am as motivated as I ever was. I’m ready to ruffle some feathers once more this year.

With that in mind, I’d like to suggest some light reading for you all, if you’d oblige me. It’s an article titled ‘If you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing anything important‘.

Please do read through it; it’s quite a quick and easy one. Last year we pissed off a lot of people, and I can assure you from having a look at our site stats, we have been making more and more of an impact. It’s a delight to see this because despite the very public decrying of our site on more than one occasion, it has never held us back nor hindered our steadfast progress onwards and upwards. Remember that this year, friends. Remember that the zietgeist knows only one direction and it will go ever on, unhindered. Because we mean business and our goals are our gospel.

We mean to stick around and be the best place to come to if you want gaming and geek related discussion. Especially if that discussion revolves around consumer advice and ensuring that the purchasing decisions you make are the best for your wallet and your time. We are unapologetic about being for gamers, always. And as far as tough love goes, nobody loves tougher than myself (um wut). Last year on more than one occasion, I had it told to me that my advice was on point and they wished they had listened. Words are given freely. It is up to you to choose how you wish to use them.

On that note, let’s have some quick-fire predictions for this year:

  1. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt will be an amazing game and easy game of the year contender.
  2. Batman: Arkham Knight will be underwhelming despite introducing a great new villain who is basically Hush.
  3. Nobody will care about The Order: 1886 after it releases but Sony will do its best to sell it as a must-have exclusive.
  4. Uncharted 4 will be delayed into 2016.
  5. Assassin’s Creed: Victory will look interesting but ultimately Ubisoft will have lost too much fan faith by this point.
  6. A new Need for Speed title will be announced.
  7. Still no Beyond Good & Evil 2.
  8. Angry feminists (also known as: the ones who harass everyone on Twitter without a hint of irony) will go too far, this year.
  9. The Xbox One will overtake the PlayStation 4 as the best overall gaming package but nobody will outwardly admit it and be allowed to get away with it.
  10. We’ll see a proper Mass Effect 4 trailer this year, and I will lose my shit over it.
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be fucking amazing, while Ant Man will surprise everyone who expects it to be Marvel’s first flop.
  12. Destiny will still be shit for 90% of the people who play it.

Let’s reconvene at year-end and see how many I’ve managed to tick off this list, shall we? In the meantime I urge you all to sit back and enjoy the show. It’s going to be a wild ride on the EGMR Express in 2015.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: The Final Word On 2014 http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-final-word-2014/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-final-word-2014/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165507 We’ve reached the end of yet another year, with all of us no doubt proclaiming how only yesterday it felt like January. Isn’t it weird how our entire way of […]

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We’ve reached the end of yet another year, with all of us no doubt proclaiming how only yesterday it felt like January. Isn’t it weird how our entire way of life has been moulded around Earth’s rotation around the sun, even though we now know that the sun itself revolves around something and that thing revolves around another thing and so on, ad infinitum. Everything is a cycle, the ending met by another beginning and like that, 2014’s conclusion will be met by 2015’s introduction.

At this time of the year it is also customary to wish good tidings upon the many religious folk who are celebrating the likes of Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Krampusnacht, Yalda, Pancha Ganapati, Hogswatch, and more, as well as the non-religious folk who are spending this time pissing off the religious folk and vice versa. That said, we can’t help but be grateful for all these end-of-year festivities for they grant us a chance for rest. A few weeks off to spend either with family and friends or, more likely, catching up on our massive accrued backlog of games from the past year (I have at least eight).

In the gaming world, it has been quite a rough and tumultuous year with a whole bunch of controversies and just sad things, but there have also been a lot of great times as well. We’d like to honour all of it using this here column, on behalf of everyone on the site.

 

Changes (not the Tupac version)

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On EGMR we have made some massive changes this year. We changed our site host. We changed our name. We changed our review system. We changed our entire way of doing things, and tried to branch out into more than just gaming. All in an attempt to be more and do more for you, our beloved readers. 2014 has been a rocky one for us as a result, causing a quite drastic shift in our reader-base as well as in the core content you will find on the site. Gone is the quick-fix style of basic news reporting. Now we try to have a proper discussion and actually ‘talk’ games but more than that, we want to ‘talk’ about anything else a gamer might have an interest in; movies, music, comics, TV series, anything really. We want to ‘talk’ geek.

Admittedly it’s not been the easiest thing in the world, having to effectively start up from scratch and endure many months of steady but slow growth, but we have soldiered on and will continue to do so next year. Because we know the kind of site we want to be and our sights are set on getting there, along with you, our adored readers. We have no intentions of slowing down so we hope that come 2015, you are with us for the great things that are coming.

And we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support, patience and understanding with us this year. We exist for you guys, and we would be nothing without you guys. We want to cut out the bullshit and present you guys with a thorough explanation of the facts, straight up, as we see them, giving you a solid platform to form your own views. We want to talk with you as your fellow gamers, not as ‘superiors’ or something equally pretentious. You make up your mind, but we’re more than willing to engage with you on the way to that decision. That is our way, and that is what we intend to keep doing. No matter how many people we upset in the process, we will always prioritise our readers because once again, without you guys we are without a purpose. Like Romeo without Juliet, or a Marvel movie without a post-credits scene.

 

A moment for the friends we’ve lost this year

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As with any year, we saw a few losses to go with the gains and this year in particular was quite harrowing for us at EGMR.

Aside from international site CVG and a bunch of others we will inevitably miss, we saw the loss of a great local website called El33tonline. They were a delightful bunch of guys with whom I was well-acquainted and although it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard anything from them, we only hope that they have all gone on to find great success in their current endeavours and hope to see them again soon.

We also saw the loss of PC Format this year, which we considered a massive blow to the local gaming scene. While there were highs and lows experienced with the ex-staff of the magazine, we nonetheless have a deep and sincere respect for all that those guys achieved and how far they took the magazine before bowing out and moving on to other things, for which we hope they too have found success.

Finally, we are still waiting to put in our bid for LazyGamer which could possibly go up for sale sometime soon and that’s possibly the greatest tragedy of this year when you consider the circumstances (we don’t mean Alessandro, guys, relax). We hope that this allows us time to catch up they find a way to keep on keeping on in the coming year, and wish them all the best as well.

A little less hopeful was the death of long-time reader and friend of the site, NeoN. His Facebook is now deactivated so sourcing a picture is difficult, but just know that this was quite possibly the biggest shock of our year, more so than any gaming-related news story. One of the truest and most honourable people ever to have visited our site (and I say that without a hint of hyperbole). I first met NeoN during my first rAge, back in 2011. Where other gamers were quite rude and wanted to be left to their playing, he introduced himself to me, showed me around the LAN area and talked to me at length about the expo after I told him it was my first time. He also complimented me on my work (which you might be surprised to learn happens very seldom) and wished the at-the-time eGamer crew all the best. A truly great person and someone whom I feel should have lived a much longer life. It really is so horribly unfair. In any case, we want to dedicate this article as well as this year’s festive season to NeoN’s memory.

To a great friend! *holds up beverage of choice*

 

On a more personal note

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At some point midway through last year I felt terrible about doing what I had always accused others of doing: Enjoying something so much that I deigned to look past its faults because I enjoyed it and therefore disregarded all criticism of it in favour of gamersplaining explaining that, “it’s really fun if you give it a chance.” I had forgotten for a moment that this amazing pastime we all share is a very expensive passion in a world where people struggle on a daily basis to put food on the table, and yet here I am complaining about people being unwilling unable to enjoy a game they paid a lot of money for. So this year I made the active decision to change the way I looked at videogames and I allowed myself to be more critical of them, for the purposes of informed decision-making. If they cost money then I, as a self-respective gaming writer, owe it not just to myself but to my readers as well, to provide some ‘consumer advice’ in order to educate readers and create some awareness of what money should be spent where.

To that extent, this year I began by cautioning restraint against falling victims to hype. Cue the likes of Titanfall, Watch_Dogs and eventually the big daddy, Destiny, and we’re left looking retrospectively at a year when hype ruled supreme and caused many a gamer to part with money they would rather not have. “If only more people had listened,” I said to myself, before remembering how nobody likes ‘Mr Always Right’ regardless of how right he always is (it’s an old saying of mine). So despite trying my level best to do everything I could to educate and inform readers, I inevitably pissed off a lot of people with my admittedly brash style of conversation, causing some friends who used to speak often to me, to no longer so much as reply to a Facebook message or tweet, so alienated are they to my person now.

We forget too easily that none of us are perfect and nobody purports to be so, but we are all learning and growing and trying to do our best, and that is why I will do my best to keep on growing and pushing boundaries but also try to find a middle ground, a diplomatic, happy place where I can still exercise active consumer advice and stimulate intellectual discussion without creating a stifling or negative atmosphere. I, like everyone else, am a work in progress. And come next year I hope to achieve that little bit more, hopefully with you all around to see it.

 

Onwards and upwards to 2015!

Untitled 2014-12-22

Stay tuned in 2015 because we have a lot of plans in the works. We can’t talk about all of it right now because reasons, but we can talk about some stuff. For example, we are overhauling our daily schedule and opting for a quality over quantity approach. Less news per day, but more substance to that news together with a bit more opinion in that news. It’s more actively engaging, it’s more lively, it’s a discussion, not a one-way-conversation. We’re also reworking our podcast to give you something with a little more structure, and a little more innovative thinking. Further, we’re streamlining our reviews to give you even more of what you want and less of what you could do without, with fair and functional scoring and critique.

And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, so definitely keep opening up this website if you wish to track our progress throughout. Remember that you, our readers, are the single most important beings in our collective existence and we will strive at all times to cater to you in an honest and transparent manner. If there is something you should know about then we will tell you about it. If there is some way we feel you are being unfairly treated then we will do our best to get to the bottom of it. And finally, if there is a way you feel we can improve then we are here to listen and to take your advice to heed. Please, let us know in the comments where you feel our strong points are, where you feel our weak points are, and where you think we should focus next year. Let’s work together to ensure that 2015 is a bigger, better and brighter year for us all. One with less hype and more fun, and a whole lot of lulz as well.

Here’s to less controversy (hopefully a side effect of having more games to play since after all, having nothing to play just makes everyone edgy) and more great times. From all of us at EGMR, we would like to wish you all the best for the holidays and a splendiferous new year celebration. We hope to see you real soon, when we start back up early next year. Happy holidays!

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Review: Grand Theft Auto V Is Back With A Vengeance http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-grand-theft-auto-v-back-vengeance/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-grand-theft-auto-v-back-vengeance/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164764 Visit review on site for scoring. Here at EGMR we aren’t the biggest fans of remakes of games that have only just released a few years ago. It seems like […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

Here at EGMR we aren’t the biggest fans of remakes of games that have only just released a few years ago. It seems like a cheap tactic, especially given the lack of backwards compatibility, for publishers to exploit fans with minimal effort required on the part of developers. But honestly not a single one of us here would contest the point that Grand Theft Auto V is a game that has belonged on the new generation of consoles from the moment it was first revealed.

No matter how you choose to look at it — whether it was a previous generation game remastered for the new generation, or a new generation game released early in an inferior format to capitalise on the end of an era — Grand Theft Auto V is a ridiculously beautiful game and an achievement in game-building, and you start to understand why this game took so many years to develop. At its core, Grand Theft Auto V on the new generation is the same game as Grand Theft Auto V on the previous generation; the same storyline, the same characters and the same inherent problems. However it branches out from there, with better visuals, a new way of playing the game and more. We’ll discuss all of these for you here in this review, but if you’d like more details regarding such things as the story and gameplay, check out our original review.

What’s new?

Grand Theft Auto V has quite a few new additions, and in this little section we’re going to detail all of ‘em for you really quickly.

  1. Better graphics — Including higher-resolution textures, advanced anti-aliasing techniques, improved lighting, shadows and draw distance, better reflections and weather effects, as well as depth-of-field effects. In other words, Grand Theft Auto V looks like the business.
  2. Wildlife — Meaning people and animals, the game brings an assortment of new wildlife as well as larger crowds, more traffic and an overall busier world.
  3. First Person mode — Perhaps the biggest addition, the first person perspective in Grand Theft Auto V overhauls animations, reworks gunplay and even brings interiors for cars.
  4. Additional content — These include new missions, weapons, cars, and even radio stations, as well as a bunch of new customisations for both players and vehicles.
  5. GTA Online — Player support is now up to 30 at once, together with all of the singleplayer additions (except for the animals), and more creation tools.

In all, it’s quite a bit extra. If you’re a returning player then you also have access to some exclusive perks which you can read about here, including the ability to synch your previous-gen save and continue from where you left off, with your progress intact. Thus far it has been a little hit-or-miss and many issues have been reported, but it’s still a really neat feature to have.

If you’re wondering how the first-person perspective plays, check out this video and see it for yourself:

 

Singleplayer

For the most part, the core story of Grand Theft Auto V is as it was. This goes both ways. For one, it means that it’s still the excellent 90/100 experience that we rated it last year, with all of the thrills, excitement and clever development we remember. But for another, that means it carries the same core problems that held it down before. We’re willing to forgive this because keeping the core story as it was should never be a bad thing and the year-later ‘required effort’ field in our minds has been quite smoothly filled in by all the extra additions.

So if you’re playing the new generation version of Grand Theft Auto V and expecting to be blown away by a new storyline, stick to your fan fiction. In the meantime if you’d like to play the same story — or just play it for the first time because you missed out on it before — then it’s all there for you. This is pretty much why it’s so confusing that Target Australia have only now received complaints about the game, when it has been around for over a year now. But let’s swiftly digress from that discussion. Storywise, Grand Theft Auto V is as it always was, and that’s just perfect. The new additions are therefore, all the more welcome.

 

GTA Online

As far as the online component goes, it’s a bit more of the same showing we got from previous-generation versions, albeit with a new coat of paint and some new toys.

Returning players have the option of importing their existing characters through Rockstar’s Social Club account, meaning they can keep their experience, money and earned possessions from the previous generation version. With this comes the option of redesigning their characters with the new character creation system, which is miles ahead of the previous mechanic.

Into the game, and when we said more of the same, we meant it — lobbies now support up to 30 concurrent players (so twelve tanks, eight buzzards and ten victims), as do certain Jobs. As far as content is concerned, new generation players get access to all the exclusive content previously accessible to collector’s edition players — which is a nice touch, although you might be a little perturbed if you had bought last generation’s collector’s edition only to have your exclusive content handed over now, but that’s a minor gripe at best.

Since Heists are now confirmed to be on the way in early 2015, there’s no worth to criticising that anymore, though one has to wonder why a core feature took a year and a half extra to build. Until then, however, there’s a collection of new Contact Missions and other Jobs to pull players through to the new year, and Rockstar have already started patching in new weapons and gear, like the recently released Festive Surprise pack.

The first-person mode is available in multiplayer, but fighting is simpler in third-person. Either perspective can be locked for Jobs, meaning all players will play at the same advantages/disadvantages, which goes a long way to balancing the gameplay.

Fundamentally though, it’s the same core experience with a bit more. It’s had a smoother launch, with more content and features than its previous generation version had, and that’s all it really needed to do.

 

The last word on GTA V

Perhaps the biggest point of conversation regarding the new generation version of Grand Theft Auto V is the first person mode. Sure, the exclusive content for returning players is nice but it’s ultimately just a bunch of side missions and doesn’t have any real bearing on the core storyline; it’s just more to do. And sure, it’s nice to have a prettier and busier world but we expect no less from a new generation console. Even if Grand Theft Auto V, by all rights, looks like a game that was always meant for this new generation of consoles (and PC, don’t worry we haven’t forgotten you guys, it’s coming soon).

But the first person mode is really what sets this version of Grand Theft Auto V apart from its previous generation counterpart, and really, it’s not something everyone will enjoy. Don’t get us wrong! It’s absolutely great to play Grand Theft Auto V from this perspective, but there will be as many of you who will simply try it and then go back to third person, as there will be who enjoy it and never go back. Personally when playing it, I got rather drowsy thanks to the shaky cam, and I quickly changed back. However others have reported that they tried it and loved it and now play it exclusively in the first person view. It’s still a very workable and admirable change to have made to the game and really changes it from the core experience upwards, so we’ll grant that it’s a worthy addition… but yeah, it takes some getting used to.

Over and above that, Grand Theft Auto V on the new generation, as it was on the previous generation, is an exemplary offering from Rockstar Games and a testament to excellent storytelling, game design, and player empowerment. It is fun, it is unapologetic, and it holds very little back. Playing this game on the new generation of consoles… it feels like home. An easy recommendation then, for anyone who hasn’t already picked it up. As if this was ever in any doubt.

Thanks to Bracken Lee-Rudolph for assisting with the GTA Online component of this review.

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EGMR Fun Awards 2014: Biggest Scams http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-fun-awards-2014-biggest-scams/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-fun-awards-2014-biggest-scams/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164937 People talk about selling ice to an Eskimo as a show of skill for the seller, but who ever considers the poor Eskimo who just got scammed into buying ice? […]

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People talk about selling ice to an Eskimo as a show of skill for the seller, but who ever considers the poor Eskimo who just got scammed into buying ice? As gamers we have had our fair share of buying things we don’t need, being goaded through interest in things we just could not enjoy no matter how hard we tried. 2014 has been a year of scams, and today we’re going to highlight the biggest ones. There isn’t a winner for this Fun Award because the Fun Awards have no winners, really. It’s all about what the industry tried to get away with, and got caught red-handed in the process.

The Rundown

Nobody likes getting scammed. Yet everybody, at some point, has fallen victim to persuasions that border on misleading or downright untrue. On the internet we experience things like clickbait, hype and other such methods of being scammed into believing what should otherwise be questioned at all times. While scepticism is always a great practice, sometimes you give the benefit of the doubt to something and are taken for a ride. Not cool, right? That’s why we’re using this Fun Award to get our own back. While controversies are controversial because there is a back-and-forth about it, with conflicting opinions and much debate, scams on the other hand, are just downright embarrassing for all involved. Here we’ll highlight the more outrageous scams that have permeated gaming this year, and try to take a tongue-in-cheek look behind the so-called magic.

 

The Nominees
1080p 60fps
Pictured: The Gaza Strip of gaming.

Pictured: The Gaza Strip of gaming.

In previous awards we’ve discussed why 1080p has been so controversial this year, and how many gamers have been up in arms regarding the standard. Of course, if you’re a PC gamer then you’re laughing at all of it while enjoying your 4K resolution on a PC that costs a small fortune. But here’s the thing: Regardless of the merits of 1080p itself (spoiler: It only matters insofar as your physical distance to the screen) if you paid for a system that promised 1080p gaming then nothing should stop you from getting what you paid for. Ideally, anyway. Unfortunately the likes of Ubisoft Montreal didn’t get that memo, and they dropped Assassin’s Creed: Unity to 900p in order to create “parity” on the two consoles. So all of you PS4 players who purchased the console for 1080p gaming — sorry. But again, it’s okay because unless you’re sitting closer than 9.8 feet then the differences really won’t matter all that much (Google it if you don’t believe us). Plus the differences only matter if you can see the game on the other console for yourself. So why not just, you know, not check out graphics comparisons? Either way, you paid for it so you should get it because the consumer gets what they pay for. Let ‘em know.

 

Destiny
No legendary drops? Problem???

No legendary drops? Problem???

Oh you knew this one would be here… what did I tell you guys halfway through this year? People fell hook, line and sinker for Destiny’s charms from the very first trailer. Despite the fact that it looked very much just like a barren wasteland and showed glaring inconsistencies if you spent more than a minute thinking about it, Bungie somehow managed to do it yet again by making you think Destiny was a game you wanted to own on release. It got people practically fervent, and honestly caused me to lose a few friends who vehemently disagreed with my opinions of the game, pre-release. Then it did release to the world and experienced some of the most polarising reactions on the internet, very much like the developer’s predecessor series, Halo. Overwhelming positivity, or complete disgust even when the game is still rated highly but issues are raised regarding the game. Destiny continues to scam many a gamer, who will continuously throw “but it’s so fun” at you as their first, last and only line of defence. (Against the worst scum of the universe… ahem.)

 

Hidden PC Options In Watch_Dogs
ctOS be like: "Problem, PC gamers???"

ctOS be like: “Problem, PC gamers???”

So you watched the very first trailer for Watch_Dogs and were positively blown away by the visuals and the gameplay. “There is no way this is running on anything but a high-end PC, how will this work on our consoles? It has to be next-gen.” And just like that! Then over the next few quarters, Watch_Dogs slowly dug its hole deeper, eventually releasing looking like a mere shadow of its initial showing and leaving gamers feeling more than a little underwhelmed, not entirely blown away by the digitally rendered Windy City. You could say, they had their hype levels hacked. Even the PC version seemed inferior… until you played around with the settings and discovered that holy hell, the game does look better! Why on Earth was Ubisoft hiding features that made the game look graphically better than it did on release? Nobody knows. Perhaps they were saving it for DLC or microtransactions or something. Thanks to a few modders, condemned no doubt by developers, we’ll never have to bear that sort of exploitation. No wonder Ubisoft hates PC gamers…

 

Rugby 15
It's the right image, we promise.

Pictured: A conversion-taking in action.

Here at EGMR we are massive fans of sportsy-sports, and we’ll sports all over anyone who dares to presume otherwise. Some of the worst — and therefore best — sportsysportsing we had in years was from Rugby 15, a game so atrociously bad that it actually made all those terrible Cricket games look passable. Perhaps the biggest scam of all involving Rugby 15 was how well-marketed and popular it was, nearing release. People bought into Rugby 15, or to say it a different way: Someone actually got suckered into paying for this! Perhaps they’re those ironic types, like the hipsters without scarves, or people with intentionally misspelled tattoos. I don’t know about you but perhaps in future let’s all stick to the not-at-all-unpleasant king of sporty-sportsing, FIFA. Besides, hockey is just better in every way.

 

Dom’s tuition fees
And that's just for the printing...

And that’s just for the printing…

Seriously, WTF?!

 

Halo Borderlands
The Holy Grail of gaming, or so they said.

The Holy Grail of gaming, or so they said.

Since we cannot touch on this enough, a special double-mention for the game that gamed gamers like no other this year. Oh it played us all like a new Call of Duty title, or perhaps more relevantly, like a Halo title, slowly stalking us from behind for months leading up to its release, then energy swording us in the backs and teabagging our corpses for months since. I for one am still eagerly awaiting the promised ‘Halo Borderlands’ game that made me care about Destiny in the first place. Easily a scam on its own, especially considering this year saw the somewhat-better releases of Halo: MCC and Borderlands: TPS, proving once and for all that sometimes a game is not the sum of its parts, while striking a massive blow to science after creationists took this to be a sure sign that evolution does not exist. Halo Borderlands: The Game scammed gamers by purporting to be Halo Borderlands: The Game, so much so that it was twice the scam of anything else this year. And it only cost literally trillions of human monies and a dwarf to make. Truly out of this world, but not in a good way. You could say, this game came from the moon.

 

$90 ‘microtransactions’ in AC Unity
Pictured: The reality of game development

Pictured: The reality of game development

Assassin’s Creed: Unity has a lot to feel guilty for. You’ve had the laundry list explained to you at least forty-two times already, with the likes of no playable female characters, 900p 30fps gameplay, post-release embargoes on reviews and irrefutably condemning images of an otherwise broken game. I’d like to add a few of my own bugbears from the game, including the likes of British accents despite this game being set in France and developed by French-speaking developers in a French-speaking country, the failure to include one of the most noteworthy (and coincidentally female) figures of the French Revolution in the game’s story, and the ridiculous microtransactions on offer. We can’t even call some of them microtransactions because when they cost more than the game itself, surely they become macrotransactions? It’s quite ridiculous really, and you can tell that Ubisoft has adopted the ‘mobile gaming’ approach of intentionally making some things a grind in order to coerce gamers into spending IRL money in order to achieve virtual completion; vapid completion at that. I thought we were friends, Ubisoft. No wonder Jade Raymond left…

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Super Heroes Vs Game Heroes — Quite Possibly The Coolest Video You’ll See All Week http://egmr.net/2014/12/super-heroes-vs-game-heroes-quite-possibly-coolest-video-youll-see-week/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/super-heroes-vs-game-heroes-quite-possibly-coolest-video-youll-see-week/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164587 Now, we could write up a couple-hundred-word blurb about what the above-embedded video entails, taking the time to talk it up a bit before explaining its contents. We could tell […]

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Now, we could write up a couple-hundred-word blurb about what the above-embedded video entails, taking the time to talk it up a bit before explaining its contents. We could tell you it was created by Corridor Digital and featured some popular videogame characters and superheroes, meeting in a clash of two worlds style. We could tell you it all centres around a very familiar McGuffin from a recent superhero blockbuster. We could tell you a bunch of stuff, if we’re being honest.

But really, that would be a waste of words and all you really need to know is that this video is freaking rad. So just watch it okay? Watch it in 1080p, and then share your thoughts on it in the comments below. (It’s the one and only time I’ll allow something cool to have Master Chief in it…)

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Here’s How To Share Game Clips To Twitter From Your Xbox One http://egmr.net/2014/12/heres-share-game-clips-twitter-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/heres-share-game-clips-twitter-xbox-one/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 07:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164473 We few Xbox One gamers have been a little short on the sharing capabilities. Granted, many people just ignore those game clips and videos that are shared online and it’s […]

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We few Xbox One gamers have been a little short on the sharing capabilities.

Granted, many people just ignore those game clips and videos that are shared online and it’s typically just the others who do it that are interacting with said shared content, but the PlayStation 4 has really brought social media sharing to the fore as a massive pull, with the whole #PS4Share thing.

The Xbox One has been lagging behind on that front. They are certainly working on it, but Microsoft has definitely been on the back foot in this regard. As of yet, there is still no way to taking screenshots on an Xbox One, even if there was a time when screenshots were considered silly; why they’re back in action is anyone’s guess, perhaps just hype factor surrounding a new generation of consoles and a novelty that might someday wear off.

Either way, it’s in the works for better or worse, and the Xbox One has since received the ability to upload game clips to Twitter, as a means of keeping the peace and allowing for some sharing. By “since” we mean quite some time ago, but what better time than now to start talking it up!

Watch the video above, which will explain exactly how to do that. Then go wild, uploading all your favourite clips to Twitter and watching your Follower count dwindle to nothingness faster than you can say 15GB update. Let us know in the comments if you share your gaming stuff online, and how people tend to react to it.

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Need A Reason To Feel Happy About Being A Gamer? Come Watch This Video http://egmr.net/2014/12/need-reason-feel-happy-gamer-come-watch-video/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/need-reason-feel-happy-gamer-come-watch-video/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164467 We gamers have it rough. If we’re not attacking each other, we’re busy being told that our favoured pastime is a pointless activity in self-indulgence and nobody ever got rich […]

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We gamers have it rough.

If we’re not attacking each other, we’re busy being told that our favoured pastime is a pointless activity in self-indulgence and nobody ever got rich off gaming. Also, a whole bunch of other things including violence, harassment and doxxing. It’s not the coolest time in the world to admit you’re a gamer, right?

Wrong.

It’s great to be a gamer. It’s great to be so progressive, so young. So educated, so intellectually stimulating, so privileged in a manner of speaking. So forward-thinking and innovative. Gaming teaches us so much and helps us to be so much more than we otherwise would be. We’ve all learned a thing or two from playing our favourite games. They’ve helped us improve our hand-eye coordination, overcome our fears and even taught us history.

And the very short video above, courtesy the ESL, wants us to love being gamers.

Even when we’re being told that “gamer” is a stupid term and that nobody else self-identifies in that way (sorry bookworms, and any form of fanbase attached to a singer), we still gleefully smile and embrace our passion. We still have something to play, or play next.

Let us know in the comments, what makes you proud to be a gamer.

Thanks to Haig Tait for sharing this with us.

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The Inventor Of The First Gaming Console Has Quit Out Without Saving http://egmr.net/2014/12/inventor-first-gaming-console-quit-without-saving/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/inventor-first-gaming-console-quit-without-saving/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164398 Many of you won’t know who Ralph Baer is. That’s fine, after all he’s a really old man whose contributions to gaming stretch further back then most of our lifetimes. […]

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Many of you won’t know who Ralph Baer is. That’s fine, after all he’s a really old man whose contributions to gaming stretch further back then most of our lifetimes. Let’s take a stroll through history, shall we?

Ralph Baer is the gaming equivalent of Nikola Tesla, the so-called ‘father of video games’ to many. While tinkering with the idea of playing games on television screens way back in 1966 when England still thought they could win World Cups, Baer began work on what would eventually be called the Brown Box, which got a working prototype two years later. The first ever game console was quite basic and featured the first ever game, ‘the chase game’, which had two spots on the screen and allowed players to control them using basic analogues with the aim being to catch the opponent’s spot by touching it.

The Brown Box would go on to gain licensing by Magnavox and be renamed to the Magnavox Odyssey, which is what you might recall as the first ever actual video game console. It released to the public in 1972, to folks who no doubt claimed that it’s a silly device that would gain no traction. Just like cellphones. Oh humans…

Now at the tender old age of 92, Ralph Baer has passed away, leaving behind a legacy of inventions and a quite intriguing life, including a lengthy rivalry with Atari’s Nolan Bushnell, who is also considered a patriarch of videogames as we know them today. Taking inspiration from a table tennis game Baer had created in the sixties on his Brown Box, Bushnell released Pong in 1973 and just like Apple did with their iPhone, entirely stole the show, despite blatant patent infringement.

It has been said that at his ripe old age, Baer was still busy at work inventing things, and while a lot of us have rarely ever heard his name and will probably just as quickly forget it, it’s pertinent that we take a moment — for sentiment or for gaming, you decide — to acknowledge the life of a man who pretty much hand-crafted the great pastime we all love and adore in today’s world, and the reason sites such as this exist.

Press X to pay respects.

Our condolences to Baer’s family as well as his colleagues and companions of old. Gaming has lost a beloved father, but we will endeavour to ensure that his legacy lives on. Leave your thoughts and so on in the comments below, and do check out the videos above if you have a moment.

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Capcom Doesn’t Want You Discussing Street Fighter V On YouTube — Copyright Strikes For All! http://egmr.net/2014/12/capcom-doesnt-want-discussing-street-fighter-v-youtube-copyright-strikes/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/capcom-doesnt-want-discussing-street-fighter-v-youtube-copyright-strikes/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164395 Ever hear the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?” Well we’re here to tell you that there absolutely is; Just ask Electronic Arts. Nonetheless, Capcom has decided that […]

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Ever hear the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?” Well we’re here to tell you that there absolutely is; Just ask Electronic Arts.

Nonetheless, Capcom has decided that it wants to test the boundaries of losing consumer faith by issuing copyright claims for any and all coverage of their Street Fighter V announcement. This includes the media and assets that they provided through press releases, as well as any discussion that takes place containing the Street Fighter V name even if the media is not used.

YouTube game reviewer Angry Joe took to Twitter last night to complain about the unfair copyright strikes he received, with the following tweets:

 

 

 
Other YouTubers then also took to Twitter to dispute the claim, or discuss it.

 

 

 
The official Capcom Twitter account has since made a tweet but has not responded to the tweets embedded above. Clearly, they’re not interested in having a dialogue. Our hope is that they’re just meeting and discussing what went on, internally, rather than just snubbing the people who actively work to make these distributors money. But hey, perhaps that’s just hopeful thinking here.

Either way, if you were planning on making a video about Street Fighter V, don’t. It will get a copyright claim and your channel will receive a strike and there’ll be little you can do about it besides remove the video.

What do you think of Capcom’s heavy-handed attempts at copyright control? Is it fair? Are they just being dicks? Let us know in the comments.

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Don’t Care About The Game Awards But Want To See All The Cool Trailers? We’ve Got You Covered http://egmr.net/2014/12/dont-care-game-awards-want-see-cool-trailers-weve-got-covered/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/dont-care-game-awards-want-see-cool-trailers-weve-got-covered/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164393 This past weekend saw the launch of the inaugural Game Awards, a new type of show following on from the Video Game Awards of old, and last year’s horror show […]

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This past weekend saw the launch of the inaugural Game Awards, a new type of show following on from the Video Game Awards of old, and last year’s horror show of a travesty, VGX. The aim was to create a show by gamers for gamers, featuring only the people in the industry who matter. And it was certainly a noteworthy improvement.

Our bodies were all ready when Reggie Fils-Aimé walked onto the stage.

But maybe you don’t want to watch the entire thing and you don’t even care about the categories and winners because after all, nobody’s opinion is more important than your own and you don’t want to spend many hours tirelessly debating why Transistor is your game of the year, and not Dragon Age: Inquisition. Perhaps all you really care about are the trailers.

Well that’s perfect because this article has you covered. Below, every single one of the cool game trailers that featured during The Game Awards 2014. You’re welcome.

 

Tacoma

Meet Tacoma, the next game from Fullbright — makers of 2013’s indie wonder-child Gone Home. The trailer shows a female character (are you watching, Ubisoft?) exploring a lunar base called Tacoma in the first person. It’s out next year and, yeah, that’s about it for now. Cool teaser though, right?

 

Dying Light

This one’s been a while coming now, so you ought to be quite familiar with Dying Light’s first person parkour zombie fighter, with its political unrest and expansive city exploration mechanics. Techland really need to get this game out already so we can play it.

 

Metal Gear Online

Wondering where the multiplayer for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain would be? Well, here you go. In keeping with Konami’s new style of splitting up the prologue and main story of their singleplayer game, they’ve now gone and split the multiplayer as well. Watch stuffed dogs, bipedal mechs and of course, boxes in the trailer above.

 

Bloodborne

The game we’re calling Dark Souls 2.5, which happens to be very much unlike Dark Souls in execution but we just enjoy trolling that fanbase because they’re so easy; Bloodborne is the next-gen debut of From Software and swaps out the shield for firearms while placing you in a whole new setting. Do check it out.

 

Hazelight

Remember that game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons that made all of you cry for reasons I don’t know because I haven’t played it, but I presume there’s sacrifice involved at some point? Well that studio has since joined Electronic Arts, would you believe it, and they’re working on a new game. It’s called Hazelight, and like Brothers it involves you controlling two characters at once. The teaser doesn’t show much but at least it looks pretty. Hazelight: A Tale of Two Fogs?

 

No Man’s Sky

This one needs no explanation, right? No Man’s Sky is singly the most ambitious and incredible game we’ve seen in many years and with its entirely randomly-generated galaxy, it’s proving to be something spectacular. Check out the latest in this game’s progress above, and try not to feel too sorry for me being unable to afford a PS4.

 

Until Dawn

What’s this? More playable female characters? Hot damn, Feminist Frequency. Until Dawn seems to be a weird take on Saw, pitting young female characters against a mask-wearing psycho and allowing users to fight their way to safety using gesture controls. Expect this game to be called ‘Damsel Simulator’ at some point.

 

The Order: 1886

Th is is wh at it ‘s li ke wh en yo u go fr om 60 fp s to 30 fp s an d th en to le ss th an th at. The Order: 1886, ladies and gentlemen.

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The game you just know will be game of the year next year, or at least a contender (if it happens, we’ll be sure to remind you who called it first), CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3 is look positively mindblowing and we’re eager beavers to give it a go. Sooooooon… in the meantime, check out the trailer above and get eerily creeped out by wraiths in armour — because you know, they need that protection.

 

Zelda Wii U

It’s a new Zelda game, guys! Rejoice! If you’re into that sort of thing, anyway. Zelda for Wii U is expected out next year, and if you pay careful attention to the conversations, you’ll hear that Star Fox is also possibly headed out next year as well. Go be merry, Nintendo fans. Your console matters again.

 

King’s Quest

Remember King’s Quest? Perhaps this is the true test of the kind of gamer you were, growing up. Or perhaps you’re even older and this is what you remember playing in the prime of your life? There were many, many King’s Quest games and now, the nostalgia is upon us as the classic Sierra adventure title makes it return to, well, pretty much every possible platform. You’re welcome, eighties kids.

 

Godzilla

Licensed cash-in or genuinely good title? Who’s to say. There was that one game on the Gamecube that was apparently really good so maybe this Godzilla title could pull it off as well? Here’s hoping it’s a better game than the movie, amirite?

 

Before

When Peter Molyneux was still around talking up videogames and failing to deliver on promises, a game was teased on the original Xbox called B.C. and featured a tribe of cavemen interacting with their prehistoric surroundings. It never made it to release and for the most part, everyone forgot about it. That is until now, well okay kind of. Before is basically that game but without the exaggerated emotional attachments and obviously on a whole other generation of consoles. You hunt, gather supplies, deal with changes to seasons, and a bunch of other stuff. Check it out, above, and consider it a glorified history lesson.

 

Adr1ft

Did they take inspiration from my Twitter name for this game? Heh. Anyway, remember Gravity? That film featuring Sandra Bullock that everyone says you should have watched in IMAX or you missed out on something great? Well that’s basically what Adr1ft is. You’re stranded on a destroyed space station and must make your way back to Earth. Intriguing idea? You can bet your quickly asphyxiating ass it is!

 

The Human Element

Finally, we have The Human Element which seems to mash together a bunch of games into a racer / first person shooter / comedy hybrid that we can’t quite figure out just yet. Perhaps checking out the trailer will help give you a better idea of what to expect. No, there’s no Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovic combo to be found, we’re quite sad about it too.
And that’s it for the trailers found during The Game Awards. Which were your favourite, and which games are you really excited for after watching all of these? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget that you can watch the show in its entirety by clicking this blue text.

Stay in school.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Can We Stop With The Gamer-Shaming? http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-can-stop-gamer-shaming/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-can-stop-gamer-shaming/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164350 There was a time when being a gamer was considered a shamefully unflattering pastime; you were mocked and laughed at, and considered a weird, anti-social freak for loving something others […]

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There was a time when being a gamer was considered a shamefully unflattering pastime; you were mocked and laughed at, and considered a weird, anti-social freak for loving something others felt was a waste of time. Certainly not anything remotely career-worthy or beneficial.

Fast forward a bit and today we have videogames rating as one of the highest-grossing forms of entertainment, developers becoming almost household names, some games becoming so bewilderingly popular that tournaments held in their honour have some of the largest prize pools in all of sporting history. And yet, it’s still not necessarily cool to be a gamer anymore. Oh we think we’re cool; it all worked out so nicely for us geeky stereotypes, with the popularisation of glasses, sneakers, beards (for some of us), comics and videogames. But every single time we try to move up as a community, it is others in that same community that hold us back.

Often people who claim to be helping.

Now today’s column is going to loosely skirt (if you’ll excuse the pun) the fringes of a topic I try my best to stay away from… that of sexism (okay there was the one time). I just don’t feel that, as a male, I get to have much of a say on the topic of harassment or mistreatment of women. I am not a woman (which might elicit a gasp or two, I’m sure) and therefore I have no context for the way it feels to be harassed or mistreated by men or indeed other women; I hold up both hands and profess that for this topic, at least insofar as regarding women abuse, I am just not worthy. And I certainly believe this of other men too, regardless of how many articles they boast about having written on the subject. As a man, you just don’t get to tell a woman that she is or isn’t a victim of sexism, nor indeed do you have a right to question her about it.

With all of this said, I’m sure you’ve all, by now, if you’re interested enough, or perhaps you had it forced on you by an article along the lines of this one, seen the most recent Feminist Frequency video entitled 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male. If you haven’t, here you go. You’re welcome.

I originally viewed the video just a few minutes after it was released because it featured one of my favourite podcasters, along with a bunch of other guys I recognise. It was quite painful to watch, admittedly, but I took it on the chin and accepted that it was something I needed to watch for the betterment of gaming and for the enrichment of the community as a whole, so that we think and do better in future. But then I started to think about it for myself and a harrowing realisation dawned upon me, like the many literal lightbulb moments we’ve recently had thanks to Eskom (except for me because I live in an always-powered area, sorry).

That realisation is as follows: The people who are already aware of all of this do not need the video to be made further aware of this, and the people who need to listen to this are not going to listen to this.

Why is this a problem? After all, if someone takes it to heart then job done, right? Perhaps, but have you ever scolded a child for something that wasn’t necessarily their fault? They probably knew it was wrong and even felt bad about it, but you went and scolded them anyway and made them feel even worse about it. This is obviously not quite what it’s like, it’s actually a lot harsher. And especially the ‘white male gamer’ that is targeted with these sorts of videos, I feel particularly bad for: That’s right, I said it, I as a non-white gamer feel bad for white gamers. And now as a male gamer, I am made for feel bad for being a male gamer.

This is not constructive. Sure, critique exists to point things out even if it doesn’t necessarily help anyone — and actually, I quite enjoy Anita Sarkeesian’s other videos — but I encourage you to find someone who will truthfully admit to having watched that video above and done something to change the current state of gaming.

Why point out why it’s great to be a male gamer? It isn’t. I mean sure, it’s not nearly as bad as being a female gamer (although I’m willing to bet both cases have exceptions), but I assure you I’ve had my fair share of death threats online, as well as people regularly telling me they’ve fucked my mother, they’re going to kill my parents, they’re outside with snipers, and so on. I’ve been hacked and had my pictures stolen. After my now-infamous Destiny column I had to change my Xbox LIVE password thrice because of hacking attempts. I’ve run through the laundry list of abuse I’ve endured just this past year in a previous column. So it’s not as if being a male gamer is a guarantee of privilege. And yet still we are made to feel ashamed for being male gamers, as if any of it is our fault.

By all means, point out the myriad white males as protagonists in videogames but don’t point the finger at male gamers as if those design choices were ours.

Then, when we inevitably take issue with it, don’t then tell us that we don’t have a right to complain about it. Of course we do! Why wouldn’t we, praytell? Sure, about sexism and specifically the harassment and mistreatment of women, absolutely, we don’t have a right to take issue. But this is a video about male gamers and therefore, we as male gamers are allowed to have our responses to it. It is frankly base hypocrisy to tell us we’re not allowed to have a problem with being called out in this manner for things that, I can assure you, a lot of us don’t even care for, as male gamers. More so, things a lot of us cannot even change if we had the power to do so, but I assure you again, we would if we could. Nonetheless we are told that as male gamers, we’ve basically asked for it by allowing it to go on… now where have I heard that before.

This is shaming, and it’s not cool.

Someone please make this a stamp.

Someone please make this a stamp.

Nor indeed is any other form of shaming. We should not condone shaming in any manner, whether it is male gamer shaming or female gamer shaming, or indeed black gamer shaming, gay gamer shaming, Halo gamer shaming, Xbox gamer shaming or even gaming writer shaming (just kidding), because it’s just not cool of us as a community that should be united in our mutual love of a collective pastime.

Shoe on the other foot, if I created a video called ‘The 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Female’ I would be crucified for it. For pointing out that every support player on the team is willing to help, and that the nicer people in the game will jump to your aid (not that you need it) in case anyone harasses you, and so on. It would possibly end my career to commit such heresy. But it’s okay to do it for males, why? Because we’re all the problem? Now granted, yes, it’s the so-called ‘not ALL males’ once again — and I certainly don’t mean to purport that male gamers are necessarily the victims here, I mean that’s like going to an AIDS drive and screaming, “But there are cancer sufferers too!” — but here’s the thing: As much as I’m okay with talking about sexism and highlighting harassment and mistreatment (of any kind) in videogames, I just don’t see how this helps anyone. We who watch the video can’t do anything about it, and anyone who needs to learn from it… I mean at this point if they still haven’t, then why keep reminding the rest of us why we’re such terrible human beings in the process? I’m sorry I was born with a penis?

Biologically, men and women are not the same. Ethically, we endeavour to be as close as possible. Societally, this is slowly but surely happening. But why do we purport equality and then in the same stroke turn around and become exclusionary and accusatory? Why is something not okay for women, suddenly okay for men? Because it happens already? And this solves it? Shaming men will solve the ‘problem’ of scantily-clad women in videogames, how? I’m sorry but I’ve spoken to strong, intelligent and fiercely independent women who don’t see a problem with scantily-clad female characters in videogames. For them, a women is allowed to dress as they please in real life so why not portray them in the same manner? Within reason and practicality, of course. In other words: It’s empowering for women to be sexy in real life but in videogames it’s sexist and demeaning while catering specifically to the male gaze. Meanwhile, every male character is a chiselled Casanova voiced by Troy Baker. Talk about unrealistically high standards and the female gaze…

Or alternatively, this guy.

Or alternatively, this guy.

Now this isn’t a problem specific to videogames; I wholly accept that it’s society that is the issue. Nowadays with ‘curvy women’ permeating pop culture as the new sexy, you’ll find slightly larger folks shaming ‘skinny bitches’ and the ever-green socially middle-to-upper-class folks shaming anyone below them. Racially, white people are shamed for being privileged to the point that I, as a brown person, somehow feel terrible for being a white person. Meanwhile, people who choose to think for themselves are shamed for going against the grain. The list goes on. And yet even through all of our fighting over console exclusives, resolution, ethics in videogames (ha) and so on — none of them nearly as important as other things going on in the world right now — we are united in that we all love gaming and want to see it grow more and more.

To an extent I blame some select feminists for this (not ALL feminists, mind you), their undying support base of people who think they have a clue but are regularly misinformed by out-of-context framed false-positives, and indeed the small handful of (frankly idiotic) people on the internet who are continuously baited into responding to them and just end up making it worse for all of us. People say the term ‘gamer’ has become toxic thanks to #GamerGate but in some ways so has the term ‘feminist’ ultimately spawning the phrase ‘casual feminism’ to explain those occasions the shark is well and truly jumped.

On my own Twitter timeline I’ve witnessed such things as a collective hate for Bayonetta 2 even though the game was written by a female (one of the many occasions I’ve witnessed people of both sexes purport that a woman doesn’t understand sexism, or is inherently wrong about it), as well as an otherwise unassuming male who has done little else wrong at the time, being shamed publicly for having breasts in his Twitter avatar — never mind the fact that one of the people shaming him has a tumblr dedicated to nude women.

Sexy and empowering IRL; sexist and demeaning in videogames.

Sexy and empowering IRL; sexist and demeaning in videogames.

Don’t mistake me though (although I’m sure the ‘donotlink’ URLs will do their best to convey the contrary), I am fully in support of feminism done right, and I abhor sexism, racism, homophobia, and any other form of discrimination in videogames and society in general; these are all human problems that we as a species must deal with, and to an extent we are making progress. Slavery is no longer a thing, nor is the idea that women and men have set ‘roles’ to play in the household. We are making some slow but inevitable progress. Let’s not then hold that progress back by shaming and doing nobody any favours. What is the point of it, really? I dare say, for shame.

I beg of you all, please: Let us never be the type of people who criticise a particular subsection of gaming just for existing without necessarily doing anything wrong. Let us criticise only the games themselves, not the gamers behind them who might actually be on your side and so just end up feeling alienated by your words once all is said and done, to the point that they start to feel bitter and resenting, rather than supportive of your campaign. Let it never reach the point when someone feels ashamed to call themselves a gamer. Yes, there are lot of bad apples around but the sins of the few should not be enough to condemn the hopes of the many. Be the change you want to see in gaming. Yes to gaming, no to shaming. And so on.

TL;DR — Nathan Drake is a beautiful man.

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The Latest Feminist Frequency Video Wants You To Check Your Male Gamer Privilege http://egmr.net/2014/12/latest-feminist-frequency-video-wants-check-male-gamer-privilege/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/latest-feminist-frequency-video-wants-check-male-gamer-privilege/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:00:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164269 Ever play a game with a really chiselled, buff, manly man of a male character who is always able to take control and get things done, and think to yourself: […]

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Ever play a game with a really chiselled, buff, manly man of a male character who is always able to take control and get things done, and think to yourself: “Damn, that really puts pressure on me as a male to perform, both in terms of physical appearance, suave conversation skills and bravado.”? Just me?

If you don’t know what Feminist Frequency is then truly, you are especially capable at remaining in the dark. In today’s gaming culture it’s impossible to go a few weeks without hearing either that or the name Anita Sarkeesian, either in vehement support or vitriolic opposition.

Here at EGMR we have actually erred on both sides of this argument. We’ve previously highlighted the importance of her video critiques, but also criticised the way she has vilified gamers in the public eye. In truth, it’s actually quite admirable the way she manages to turn the abuse around and make it work for her, and really internet, you guys do it to yourselves by allowing those idiotic kids to spew those disgusting rape and death threats all the time.

Even if they’re just words, do we really want them to be the words we’re painted with as a gaming community?

All of that said, the term ‘feminist’ has recently become just as toxic as the term ‘#GamerGate‘ mostly thanks to what the internet has endearingly termed ‘casual feminism‘, either attacking otherwise innocent practices or entirely missing the point of being a feminist. Or both. But I digress…

The latest Feminist Frequency video comes with what Anita herself would call a “trigger warning” but for males, and is unique in that it doesn’t actually feature Anita herself; it’s also not called Tropes Vs Women in Videogames. It’s entitled ‘The 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male’ and you can check it out embedded above. Go ahead and watch it, we’ll wait.

Done?

Cool.

So yeah, that was admittedly very, very difficult for me to watch. My initial reaction to it was, “I mean I know they have a man producing Feminist Frequency videos but must they really use a man in this one? Isn’t that just spreading the message that a woman’s words won’t be taken as seriously?” But then in the video that’s exactly what they went and said, and I was left with simultaneous thoughts of, “Damn…” and “… really?”.

As usual the video released to conflicting viewpoints including vehement support and vitriolic opposition. Sometimes on the same site.

In a sense it is somewhat framed and the so-called #NotAllMen comes into play here, but that doesn’t necessarily take away from the point of the video and I would encourage every male gamer who watches this to, rather than immediately feel aggrieved by the video, consider the thoughts presented and just think about what they’re trying to say here.

Of course, that’s not to say it’s all agreeable, and yes there are absolutely ‘benefits’ that are not in our control and if they were, we would have it differently, but work with them on this one. They do have a point.

I mean, you wouldn’t go to an AIDS clinic and go “BUT CANCER EXISTS TOO!” now would you?

Let us know what you think of the video in the comments below. And remember: If you are abusive online, then you’re really just making things exponentially worse. Don’t prove the point of every person who thinks you’re just an internet troll with no sense of humanity. Don’t give ‘em what they want. Entertain these views and present your own and let’s get some proper discussion going, and if you really must feel so aggrieved that you react, why not be productive about it and make something intellectually stimulating that counters the points raised in a fair and humble manner? I promise if such a thing exists, maybe in the form of a video, we will help you to share it. You don’t even need a Kickstarter like Feminist Frequency.

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eGamer Podcast #108: Flawless Victory http://egmr.net/2014/12/egamer-podcast-108-flawless-victory/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/egamer-podcast-108-flawless-victory/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 09:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164185 Recorded: 03 December 2014 Welcome to episode one-oh-eight of the eGamer Podcast, where we discuss the real issues… like who has a headache this week, and why lightsabers are impractical. […]

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Recorded: 03 December 2014

Welcome to episode one-oh-eight of the eGamer Podcast, where we discuss the real issues… like who has a headache this week, and why lightsabers are impractical. It’s a typically zany episode that we’re going to call “iconic” because there’s Ubisoft discussion inside, oh and it’s also the last of the numbered ‘eGamer Podcast’ episodes, cue the shock and horror and so on. Listen in to find out what we’re doing after this.

Topics discussed this week include Assassin’s Creed: Victory’s leak, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, and DC Comics series.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • Guess who “has a headache”…
  • How’s that new early-access game from Ubisoft?
  • Rugby ’15 might just be the greatest game ever.
  • But how’s that AC Victory?
  • How similar to Far Cry 3 is Far Cry 4?
  • Are identical games just made for new gamers?
  • Did someone actually enjoy Call of Duty: Ghosts?
  • But Advanced Warfare is cool, right?
  • They’re actually re-shooting scenes for Avengers 2.
  • Did Aqua-Man save Superman in Man of Steel?
  • But how are the DC Comics series doing these days?
  • When TV shows spoil their own episodes.
  • We answer your questions.
  • There’s some Star Wars conversation in-between.
  • Also, first person GTA V.

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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More Tips For Newbies On Crafting, Focus, And Guard In Dragon Age: Inquisition http://egmr.net/2014/12/tips-newbies-crafting-focus-guard-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/tips-newbies-crafting-focus-guard-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164108 Previously on AMC’s The Walking Dead EGMR we gave you 10 quick tips for newcomers to Dragon Age: Inquisition, with the aim being to help out anyone who is willing […]

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Previously on AMC’s The Walking Dead EGMR we gave you 10 quick tips for newcomers to Dragon Age: Inquisition, with the aim being to help out anyone who is willing to seek it. Since then we have been inundated with requests (okay it was just a few people) for guides on, among other things, dragon hunting and crafting. Earlier today we posted a dragon hunting guide, so now all that remains is the rest of the stuff. Here then are a few more tips for newbies to Dragon Age: Inquisition, this time for crafting, focus and guard.

Let’s first establish that because this is meant for newbies, it is by no means extensive nor do we purport to have the most detailed and intricate guide on the internet. It’s a groundwork-level explanation of how these things work and if you already understand it then we have some extra links for your perusal but for the most part, you won’t need this guide. This guide is for those who are struggling to get their heads around the concepts and would prefer to have it explained a bit better; on behalf of BioWare then, let’s get underway.

Crafting

While questing through Dragon Age: Inquisition, you are going to find yourself amassing a rather large assortment of crafting materials. What are those for? Well, in Dragon Age: Inquisition, you are able to craft weapons and armour for your characters; this goes a level further in allowing you to craft modifications for your armour and weapons, so for example you can craft a dagger and then you can craft a grip for that dagger and chuck it on, for a bit of an extra bonus. All of these use crafting materials that you gather throughout your adventures, and all of these crafting materials offer different aesthetic and functional uses.

Why craft? Easy, crafting allows you to build very character-specific items and have full control over the type of bonuses you acquire, meaning you can craft items for your Warrior that either increase their overall damage, or their overall survivability, depending on how you’ve built them. Further, crafting eliminates the levelling requirements, meaning you can have some of the best items without needing to be at higher levels to equip them.

Once again, this is not meant to be an extensive guide to crafting, and if you’d prefer one of those or something that goes into further detail explaining crafting, you are welcome to look here, here, and here. However all of this said, it’s important to note that a lot of the better crafting materials are found with an element of probability so apart from hunting and killing dragons, there is no sure-fire way of acquiring better crafting materials besides just playing through the game and being vigorous in your questing.

Let’s explain the various concepts of crafting using a few images. These attributes are mostly interchangeable between armour and weapons so pay no attention to the type of crafting we’re doing in the images — we basically just Google-searched some images because the Xbox One does not have image share just yet, unfortunately.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

  1. Here you are presented with the potential crafted rating of the armour. The lowest rating is based on the use of Tier 1 crafting materials and the highest rating is based on Tier 4 crafting materials. This rating is also dependent on what Tier of armour you are crafting. In our example we are crafting a Tier 2 head gear for the Warrior class. Typically this is shown just below the list of items and a good rule of thumb would be to only craft Masterwork items because they have better ratings than regular crafting schematics and for the most part you can get away with the loot you pick up from questing.
  2. Here you see what crafting items are required, as well as how much of each. In our example you require 3 metal crafting materials for your Armour rating, and 7 cloth crafting materials for the Defense rating. We’ll get to what the ratings actually do a little below, but before you can craft any item it’s important to look at at this area to determine to type of items you’re crafting. For example if you’re crafting a dagger, you might want more Utility slots, but Armour would be better suited to having Defense slots. Some have multiple slots of the same thing, whilst others even have a Masterwork slot. Pay attention to what slots are required and how much of a particular type of crafting material is required.
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

  1. When you’ve picked your weapon to craft, you are then tasked with filling the various available slots, as explained above. To do so, select a slot and it will then present you with a list of available crafting materials based on that slot. In our example, you’re filling the Damage slot with a required 8 metal. Thus you are directly affecting the Damage rating of a weapon, so you must look for a crafting material that maximises its damage.
  2. Here you will see how much of a particular crafting material you have available for use. If you don’t have enough, you obviously won’t be able to use that particular crafting material. In our example, we have 10/8 Onyx, meaning we have 10 Onyx available, and 8 will then be used, or is what’s required, leaving 2 Onyx available after crafting.
  3. Now here is the meat of most of your decision-making, because different crafting materials offer different bonuses. Of most importance here is the Tier, because that directly affects how much of a gain you will get from using those materials. Notice also that there are various attributes labelled here; in our example we have Primary, Utility, Offense and Defense, as well as the type of crafting material, in this case Metal. Now each of these attributes will offer different bonuses, such as a bonus to attack or a chance to stagger, depending on the slot used. There are also a wide range of other bonuses depending on the crafting material used. Remember previously we had a look at what slot we were filling? In this example it’s damage, so you pay attention to specifically the Primary rating, however if it’s Utility then you look at the Utility rating, and the same for Offense and Defense. Only the slot you are filling matters for the attributes of your crafting materials. If we were filling a Utility slot, we would only look at the Utility bonus instead.
  4. Lastly, this is where the final crafting bonus will show up. Now, remember how you need X amount of a particular crafting material? Let’s use our example but instead pretend it was a Utility slot we were filling, meaning the crafting item attribute would be +1 Strength. Now since we’re using up 8 of that Crafting material, it would stand to reason that we would gain a +8 to Strength on our final crafted item, if we were using the Utility slot. This is basically how it works then. The amount of a particular crafting item used is multiplied by the bonus for that particular slot’s attribute. This works across all crafting items and all slots, although is slightly trickier with different Tiers; just remember that a higher Tier means a better bonus and you’ll be fine there.

And that’s about it for crafting. The best advice we can give you is to just keep on hunting dragons and before long, you’ll be able to craft the best items in the game. There are also Inquisition perks in Cullen’s tree that allow you to acquire easy rare Masterwork crafting schematics, so definitely check those out as well.

Click to educate

Click to educate

Guard, Barrier & Avoiding Damage

In Dragon Age: Inquisition there are no heal spells available to you. This is offset by the inclusion of an entire Magic-based tree that uses the Barrier spell, which effectively grants you a temporary second health-bar that must first be destroyed before you can take actual damage to your health. This is a great system in practice that only really requires you to have a support mage in your team with a levelled Barrier skill-tree; not asking too much granted that this is a tactical RPG. Barrier is a bread-and-butter requirement for any party so there’s really not much to be said here.

Much trickier is the Guard element, which is specific to Warriors and grants you yet another health bar albeit not a temporary one. This one is what you’re going to want on your tank at all times because it’s effectively another, stronger health-bar that doesn’t wear off like with Barrier, but stacks with Barrier to provide you effectively three levels of health. You can read the following guide on generating Guard as well as a rather lengthy essay on the lack of healing options if you so desire. But all you really need to know here is, there are a bunch of ways to gain Guard and ideally you want your Warrior to have as much Guard as possible at all times, because it means that enemies attacking them basically never get a chance to damage weaker characters in your party. To this extent, it’s a good idea to put a level into War Cry to ensure enemies are always attacking your Warrior.

Avoiding damage can therefore be done quite effectively using these two methods, but there are also a few other ways to do it. One of these involves the upgrading and use of basic potions, such as Healing and Regeneration potions. They are vital to your survival in more difficult fights and can save you in many awkward situations. It’s imperative that you upgrade specifically the Regeneration potion because it is the single best potion in the game. There is also a Healing Mist grenade that you can acquire, which is an AOE heal that you can throw during fights, as well as the Rock Armour potion which you can put onto your tank to ensure they stay alive even longer.

The second method of avoiding damage involves simply not allow the enemy to hit you. You can do this in one of three ways:

  1. The first and most obvious way is through the use of abilities such as Evade for Rogue characters, which allow you to simply not be there when the enemy attacks. You could also disable the enemy using a myriad of abilities. The best method of avoiding a lot of damage is your basic crowd control of group disable and damage combination. The easiest way to use this is with the Rift Mage specialisation, and one of your party members, Solas, happens to have exactly this specialisation. Use those abilities to pull enemies together, then disable them, then nuke them for a billion damage. Using this method, you can wipe out entire waves of attackers without them ever loosing so much as an arrow in your direction.
  2. The Pitch Grenade is your best friend in cases of bigger enemies with many resistances because it slows enemies down to a crawl and when upgraded, allows for a full ten seconds worth of stun. Ridiculous really. This also allows you to use hit-and-run tactics, so you can ‘kite’ enemies by hitting them and then running around them, then repeating as they try to turn around really slowly, and so on until dead.
  3. Finally, as a last resort, use your ranged attacks to pick off harder enemies. Tell your party to hold position further away from an enemy, then run just into attack range, pop off a few hits and run away, then re-engage once the enemy loses interest and runs away from you. Rinse and repeat for ‘maximum rat tactics’ to slowly whittle down the health of bigger enemies.

With all of these in mind, you should do great at avoiding any and all forms of damage and if you’re still in need of assistance, perhaps try the tactical view or just ask us here.

Focus on the good abilities

Focus on the good abilities

Focus Abilities And How They Work

Finally we come to Focus abilities. These are unlocked as part of story progression when you are initially granted the Mark of the Rift ability, which comes with its own skill tree that we recommend you immediately invest a skill point in to level it up. Once you do, other party members will gain specialisations that grant them their own Focus abilities. These are the closest thing to super abilities in the game, and allow you to do some crazy things once you’ve built up enough Focus.

Focus works in two ways. Every party member builds Focus together, meaning if Varric and Cassandra attack my target, we all get a small Focus gain based on our total damage dealt. But every party member has their own Focus meter, meaning that once it has sufficiently built up, if I used Varric’s Focus ability then Cassandra’s Focus ability would still be available for me to use. Thus, this allows effectively four potential Focus abilities to be used at once if so desired. Focus is gained either by directly dealing damage or by equipping items that provide bonuses to Focus.

Focus abilities also have Tiers to their power; they start off at Tier 1 and then using Inquisition Perks along Cullen’s path, you can gain further Tiers up to 3, which unlocks just ridiculously overpowered levels of those Focus abilities. Remember to use these sparingly because they can easily sway an otherwise difficult fight and so you really want to have them on hand for those moments, however you need not use all of them at once and you can just as easily use a particular Focus ability based on the type of enemy you’re fighting. The best Focus abilities we’ve found are those of the Reaver and Templar specifications, although the Champion and Necromancer specialisations are also pretty sweet.

 

Go Forth & Pwn

Hopefully this guide has helped a bit more in educating you on the intricacies of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s various features. If you’d like, you can also check out the following link for even more tips. Don’t forget that you can, at any point in time, scroll to the Attributes page in your Character Record section to view the various attributes and what they mean for your characters.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is as much what you put into the experience as what you get out of it, and we’re happy to help that along. If you have any more questions regarding these and more, be sure to ask us in the comments and we’ll be happy to help you out.

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One Gamer Takes ‘Photorealistic’ To New Levels With AC Unity And Paris IRL http://egmr.net/2014/12/one-gamer-takes-photorealistic-new-levels-ac-unity-paris-irl/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/one-gamer-takes-photorealistic-new-levels-ac-unity-paris-irl/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164071 A few days ago while browsing Twitter, a random account was retweeted showing a very interesting assortment of pictures which consisted held-up images of a familiar videogame to the backdrop […]

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A few days ago while browsing Twitter, a random account was retweeted showing a very interesting assortment of pictures which consisted held-up images of a familiar videogame to the backdrop of an actual city. Then the articles began to flow…

It’s always intriguing playing the Assassin’s Creed games and discovering a more-or-less historically accurate representation of a world once lived; whether it’s the Crusades-laden Europe, or Renaissance Italy, or even that other game people keep insisting was bad but some (such as myself) didn’t particularly mind. However in previous games the cities presented to players were not designed to scale, meaning they weren’t 1:1 direct representations of their real-life inspirations.

This was not the case with Assassin’s Creed: Unity, where a to-scale version of Paris was faithfully digitally recreated with the hopes of showing exactly what the French Revolution would have been like, in terms of geography and community. While the final product might have been a catastrophic failure in some areas and a flawless victory in others, it has been somewhat universally agreed that the city of Paris is beautifully recreated in the game and is a marvel to behold.

But why take that statement at face value?

One gamer decided to make some real-life comparisons with the actual city of Paris, France from 2014, and the 1700s-imagined Paris from Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Now, obviously there are some differences where modern structures took the place of certain historical buildings and the old was replaced by the new (much like relationships) but for the most parts… well, have a look at the pictures yourselves in the gallery below. Pretty damn impressive, right?

It’s quite amazing to behold, and even more amazing to think about. For one, it’s just the fact that some of those buildings are upwards of three hundred years old. How many buildings around your area can boast such an astounding age? Then there’s the other thing to think about, that Ubisoft went into that much detail regarding the city of Paris. You’ve probably heard the stories of them flying out designers who spent over a year in France just mapping out and designing the game’s city landscape. It’s incredible.

Of course that didn’t save the final product from everything it was criticised for, nor did it stop Ubisoft from doing a horrendous thing with their release-day embargo bullshit, but it’s still a fascinating and downright applause-worthy level of effort and intricacy. We salute you, designers of Ubisoft. And you, random gamer who decided to do this little photo project. Even you, tumblr… maybe.

Let us know what you think of these images in the comments below. Also, which is your favourite location in AC Unity for those who’ve played it?

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Our 108th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/12/108th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/108th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 09:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164002 Is it that time of the week already?! Geez like, is it that time of the year already?! We’re already in December and now, tonight, we’re going to be recording […]

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Is it that time of the week already?! Geez like, is it that time of the year already?! We’re already in December and now, tonight, we’re going to be recording episode one-hundred-and-eight of the eGamer Podcast. You’d think we’d take a break to play games or something!

By now you must surely know the drill, right? Think up some cool questions for us, post them in the comments below, profit maximally? That’s all you really need to do and that’s how we want to involve you, our beloved readers and listeners, in the way we do our weekly show. Side note: Isn’t it so cute how everyone has a podcast now? Remember who did it first, kids. But anyway, questions! You have them, we want to hear them!

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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Quite Possibly The Coolest Way A Gamer Has Dealt With Rape Threats http://egmr.net/2014/12/quite-possibly-coolest-way-gamer-dealt-rape-threats/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/quite-possibly-coolest-way-gamer-dealt-rape-threats/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163947 In recent months death and rape threats have become a hot topic on the internet. Of course, this is nothing new for the internet, with such threats having been around […]

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In recent months death and rape threats have become a hot topic on the internet.

Of course, this is nothing new for the internet, with such threats having been around for many years now, regardless of what the more aggressive feminists might tell you about #GamerGate. Indeed over the years there have been many ways in which (typically) female users of the internet have suffered harassment online, with the likes of blogs, reviews and opinions on websites such as these and even social media accounts having suffered abuse from online users who either feel aggrieved in some way, are simply angry trolls, or just wish to be little cunts on the internet.

In the past websites had been created to name and shame these horrendous creatures, the likes of Fat, Ugly or Slutty as well as the Instagram account ByeFelipe, highlighting with examples, just how bad some women (again typically) have it. This is a far better, more focussed, name-and-shame way of dealing with things even if it doesn’t really address the topic of anonymity on the internet.

Unfortunately anonymity on the internet has led to many anti-harassment campaigners unfairly accusing other internet users who mean no actual harm, of being abusive themselves or abuse sympathisers because they dare to point out that not every person on the internet has an agenda when they approach someone else. The so-called #NotAllMen hashtag was created to make fun of just this sort of thing. This will likely take a bit longer to be solved and there are still some problems to work through but when anonymity is taken away, suddenly you have very real ways of fighting back against abusers.

Cue Australian (eww) videogame reviewer Alanah Pearce, who decided to take matters into her own hands after yet another rape threat on the internet. She fought back in the coolest way, sending a Facebook message to the mother of her attacker with the quoted words used by said attacker. Here’s what she had to say:

“A while ago, I realised that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren’t adult males… It turns out that mostly they’re young boys and the problem is they don’t know any better, so responding to them rationally didn’t resolve the situation. And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable.”

So Pearce identified the family of one of her attackers and engaged in the following dialogue:

Or if you’d prefer that in text form:

“Hi Anna, I don’t know you, but I was wondering if [blanked-out] is your son?”

“Yes he is. Why?”

“I have never met him before, but he sent me a concerning message to my public Facebook page today that I was wondering if you might be interested in discussing with him.” *screengrab*

“Omg, little sh*t. I’M SO SORRY. YES I WILL TALK TO HIM!”

This is just one example of the four mothers she’s messaged thus far. A pretty neat way of dealing with harassment, all things considered, wouldn’t you say?

Let’s touch on something Pearce said, which I feel is particularly relevant to a lot of the recent arguments I’ve got into on Twitter: These are typically kids who do this, not adults. When you deal with these kids who are harassing everyone, there’s no real talking sense into them because they’re not at a level of maturity yet to have a proper conversation. In other words, it’s pointless. In this respect, it’s both frustrating and utterly futile to append those same opinions to someone who is capable of having a mature, proper conversation.

This is, in my opinion, why a lot of the #GamerGate movement has failed to have the impact a lot of people desire for it (which isn’t to say it hasn’t had its fair share of impact). People incorrectly assume that anyone on the “pro-GG” side of things (or indeed anyone who points out that an online threat is rarely ever a sign of actual intent) is automatically a rapist, murderer and hacker who will post their details online, or at the very least condones such behaviour.

Not true. Alas, it’s too common online to simply disregard an opinion that disagrees with our own rather than trying to have a conversation about it, regardless of the conflict with our own views. Our screens afford us a luxury in allowing us to dismiss the thoughts of others because they’re just names on a screen and not humans in our presence, but they are in fact human beings with likes, dislikes, fears, aspirations, interests and a whole bunch of other things just like you.

To Pearce, sharing these threats with the parents of her attackers is her way of bringing that more human element to the internet, something I feel we can all aspire to:

“It was just a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it’s not okay to be sexist to women, even if they’re on the internet,” she says, “that they are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that.”

We salute you… even though you’re Australian. Also, as a side note, has anyone else noticed how many female gamers on the internet have blue or purple highlights in their hair? Just me? Eh, anyway, let us know what you think of this awesome way of dealing with a shitty thing in the comments below.

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Review: Dragon Age: Inquisition Is A Crowning Achievement In Storytelling http://egmr.net/2014/11/review-dragon-age-inquisition-crowning-achievement-storytelling/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/review-dragon-age-inquisition-crowning-achievement-storytelling/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163751 Visit review on site for scoring. To say that this review is a daunting one would be like saying RPGs are mild time-sucks, which is to say, quite an understatement. […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

To say that this review is a daunting one would be like saying RPGs are mild time-sucks, which is to say, quite an understatement. But this review is a daunting one. Mostly because it’s actually not that daunting at all. You see, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a pretty straight-forward game: It’s one of the best on offer this year, it’s a stellar RPG experience and realistically you won’t regret your purchase. So what’s left to say besides buy it and experience the rest for yourself? Apparently, a lot, because first of all this is a Dragon Age RPG we’re reviewing and those deserve a certain level of attention to detail. And second, look at who’s doing the review? (Disclaimer: This is a joke for the regulars. Ask about it.)

In the interests of fairness then, we find ourselves in need of a certain level of attention to intricacy. That is, we need to break down every aspect of this game and get into the minutiae. If you’ve come for an easy opinion of the Dragon Age: Inquisition regarding whether or not to buy it, you should already have it buy now: Buy it. But if your needs stretch further than simple consumer advice and you’d like to know, well, more, then by all means read on.

A journey of a hundred hours begins with a character

BioWare games do a really neat thing where they take your choices from previous games and implement them in their current ones through imported save files. So for example you import your save from Dragon Age: Origins into Dragon Age II and voilà, your choices from the first game have affected the world in the second game (we’ll get to this in a bit). This can obviously be very tricky when considering the new generation of consoles, more so since BioWare’s threequel is not built on the same engine as the previous games. Thus, a new method for save importing has been created in the form of Dragon Age: Keep, which you can think of as an interactive save file creator, allowing you to set every pertinent choice from the previous two games and then export a save file that can be imported into Dragon Age: Inquisition. A pretty neat way of handling it, all things considered.

After a lightning-fast five minute install and a relatively small ~200MB update (this is astronomically quick and tiny respectively, by Xbox One standards) Dragon Age: Inquisition was up and running, and from there it was a quick matter of logging into the Dragon Age servers using Electronic Arts’ Origin ID and then importing the save that was created in the Keep. From there, starting a new game and selecting the difficulty (which is the standard easy, normal, hard and nightmare) took you straight into character creation.

To say that character creation is extensive would be a gross underselling of the sheer freedom you are given here. Gone is the forced human character. Here you get four races to choose from (Human, Elf, Dwarf and for the first time, Qunari) as well as the returning three classes of Mage, Warrior and Rogue. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, your racial choice doesn’t matter as much and mostly comes down to personal preference, aside from very minor perks. Classes differ in terms of available skill trees, armour and weaponry as well as unique abilities: A Mage can energize bridges and torches, a Warrior can bash in walls and a Rogue can pick locks. Doesn’t really count for much in the long run so again, mostly down to personal preference. Then the character customisation screen comes in and allows you a wide array of configuration options for crafting the perfect character to your tastes, including a choice of either an American or British voice, which we found quite neat for some reason.

Upon completion of character creation some introductory story events occur and you’re immediately carried off into the world of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Immediately noticeable to you should be two things, now trademarks of a BioWare game: The traditional dialogue wheel has made a return, allowing you a set number of options along a radial wheel that will likely end with you regularly picking a particular option (for example, the top one) and hearing voiced responses that only vaguely sound similar to the text response you chose. And the traditional pause menu, also allowing you a set number of options along a radial wheel including the likes of your Journal, Codex, Inventory, Quest Map and more. Nothing anyone who has played a BioWare game has not seen before.

 

It’s Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings meets The Witcher

Let’s get the story stuff out of the way, hopefully without any spoilers. Yes okay, it’s quite cliché to call Dragon Age: Inquisition a bold and risqué amalgamation of Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings and The Witcher… but it is. It just is. In the first Dragon Age we saw Ferelden plunged into darkness as the world stood on the brink of cataclysm under threat from the Blight, whereas in the second Dragon Age we got a more personal story regarding a particular character and their life and times in the city of Kirkwall. Dragon Age: Inquisition steps things up in massive ways by taking ongoing conflicts from the previous games and giving them centre stage. Rightfully so.

The Mages and the Templars have reached the point of war. The Chantry (think politics meets religion) has called a Conclave to meet and discuss things in order to achieve peace. This is quickly interrupted by a massive breach opening up in the sky followed by the death of the head of the Chantry, the Divine. You, meanwhile, are found passed out at the scene of the crime. You don’t know how you got there, but you have a mark on your hand that makes people think you had something to do with it. Cue returning characters from previous games, Cassandra and Leliana, to invoke The Inquisition — a mostly above-the-law, order-restoring task force of sorts — together with a bunch of other characters including you, thanks for that mysterious mark you bear, with the aim of finding out just what on Thedas happened and how to stop the increasing number of rifts created by the breach in the sky, which has torn a hole between the physical world and the Fade — think Dante’s Divine Comedy meets an acid trip — resulting in demons pouring through. But that’s just the beginning of the tale…

In truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition uses its storytelling a lot better than what can be explained here with words. It just has to be experienced to be fully believed. If we could rate this game on its story, it would be a perfect 100 and we would all be happy. BioWare have taken some massive strides forward in storytelling, perhaps borrowing heavily from the likes of George R. R. Martin and CD Projekt RED by presenting players with a plot that is anything but straight-forward while chock-full of brutally difficult decisions to contemplate. In that respect, Dragon Age: Inquisition offers some of the best examples of true player choice; there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice but rather a bunch of equally difficult choices that leave you spending many stress-filled moments agonising over the correct decision and then agonising further over whether or not you made the right (or best) decision after all. We stand up and applaud BioWare for the daring way they’ve chosen to approach this story, and to say more would be to edge towards spoiler territory. If you’re really interested, check back in a few weeks and we’ll have a spoiler-filled story discussion but for the moment, just know that this story is full of political intrigue, true character growth and world-changing decision-making around every corner. This is a story that stands near-unparalleled amongst games from recent years, and deserves every bit of praise that it gets.

Away from the main quest, there are a myriad of side quests to get involved in. Some are deep and extensive and yield long-lasting rewards for your Inquisition whilst others are simply fetch-quests and the like. It should be noted that dragons have made a triumphant return to form, with quite a bit more flying about than in previous games. For the first time in any RPG we’ve played, we got the feel that BioWare wants players focussing on the main quest. Especially since more side quests open up in the surrounding areas of the game as you progress through the main story and very little is actually locked off to you later, meaning no annoying point-of-no-return like in previous games. As for those places that are locked off due to story reasons, you can easily find a merchant who will sell you the codex entries you might have missed from those areas. To that extent, we heartily recommend you get out of the Hinterlands at the beginning of the game and play as much of the story as you feel like, before you start side-questing. Trust us on this one, it makes for a far better overall experience of the game. You’ll know when the game wants you to go side-questing.

One of the strongest aspects of the Dragon Age games has been its supporting cast and Dragon Age: Inquisition is no different. Depending on the save you’ve chosen to import, a wide array of returning characters form part of your progress through the main quest, but there are also new characters who are equally entertaining and diverse, making for yet more difficult decisions given that you’re only allowed to take three of them along on each quest. Oddly, this is then offset by a standard BioWare issue that involves the mixture of near-perfect voice-acting with that dialogue wheel’s keen ability to create dissonance with actual conversation. To explain what we mean, let’s take an example: You have three dialogue choices. One of them is a quite emotionally charged option whereas the other two are quirky or blunt. You pick the emotional option in between the other two and watch your characters move from bawling to blaspheming to bantering all in swift motion, and honestly it’s quite jarring. It feels wooden, as if the preselected responses are exactly that. It just… doesn’t quite flow like it should.

Still, it’s not enough to take away from the mostly interesting characters — who now have far more ‘random banter’ moments during questing — and there’s certainly a character for everyone here. Particularly Dorian is a surprise standout, although we’re sure everyone will have their own favourite. Plus, can you really criticise wooden conversations when one of them turns into an actual full-blown song? Remember, kids: If a game sings to you, it immediately wins.

 

Welcome to National Geographic: Thedas

Dragon Age: Inquisition is a massive, massive game. It has ground coverage. Mileage. Whichever you’d prefer. Not just in terms of the staggering amount of exploration on offer, because yes it’s absolutely large in that respect as well, but also in terms of just how many quests there are. Make no mistake, it could take you months of playing to get through all of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s content, unless you powered through it non-stop in which case, may we have your life? There’s a lot to do here, in a large area. Is it Skyrim large? Perhaps. It can’t really be worked out that way because Dragon Age: Inquisition has ‘locations’ as part of the World Map. We can say that the world is a lot more diverse, ranging from lush forests to bone-dry deserts to snowy tundras to rained-out coastlines, some areas changing up as you go along. There are massive outdoor and indoor areas on offer here, and you’re going to spend many, many hours joyously lost in this world.

Amazingly one of the best features, unprecedented for BioWare, that have made exploration that much better, is the addition of a jump button. Yes, that’s right, with a single addition BioWare has transformed world exploration as you know it, for this series. We’re not even kidding about that. Over and above that, the Frostbite 3.0 engine presents a jaw-droppingly beautiful game not just in terms of visuals but also in terms of sound quality. This game looks and sounds the part, and you’re going to find yourself, more than once, gaping in awe at this game’s splendour. As expected, perhaps? Either way, it’s a great thing to see something this astoundingly gorgeous and well-presented, and it affords wanton exploration that much more appeal.

In Dragon Age: Inquisition, as a leading character in the Inquisition itself you are granted access to the War Room table, which is effectively a map of Thedas split into two halves, namely Orlais and Ferelden. Think of like a tactical map, filled with little pins for points of interest. In this tactical map are two types of pins: Some of them are basic operations which you may charge agents of your Inquisition to undertake; they’ll take some time (although thankfully they work in real-time, meaning even when the game is off) but will be handled offscreen and yield you rewards. The other type of pin is that of unlockable areas, which could be either side or main quest areas; these are unlocked using Power, which you accrue simply by completing objectives ranging from discovering new areas to solving puzzles to questing to closing rifts using that mark we mentioned earlier that’s on your hand, and more. There’s just far too much to do in each area and you’ll spend entire days in a particular place. Suffice to say, there are many, many areas to unlock along the course of the game. And even more in the way of operations.

To aid in exploration, you are now able to fast travel from pretty much anywhere you’d like, with the use of the Quest Map. There is also a handy trail along the Quest Map which shows your path travelled, allowing you to retrace your steps should you get lost. Finally, making a debut in the Dragon Age series is the addition of mounts. That’s right, at some point after playing through a bit of story the game will allow you to explore on horseback. This has the benefit of significantly speeding up your exploration of areas while having a drawback that you may get ambushed while on your horse, and you really don’t want that. Still, it makes for a refreshing addition especially given just how large some areas are. Just walking from end to end in some of these areas could take hours, but on horseback it’s a lot easier. A welcomed addition then. Oh and if you end up in Val Royeaux, do visit the merchant selling the mystery box and thank us later.

 

But how’s your role playing?

Naturally the meat of any role-playing game is the actual gameplay. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of your time questing, when you’re not engaging in ridiculous amounts of dialogue. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare have seen fit to try and do what they did with the Mass Effect series; whereas the first game was for the hardcore RPG player and therefore difficult for newcomers to the series, the sequel was a lot more fast-paced and simplified, favouring action over strategy and effectively alienating a large amount of the fanbase. Thus the threequel serves as a delicate middle-ground balancing act between the previous two games. With this in mind, some design choices are understandable if not agreeable and for the most part, Dragon Age: Inquisition is very intuitive and easy to master as a result of this hybridisation of action and tactics.

For the most part — at least on consoles — you control your characters from the third person perspective. On the Xbox One version your character can attack using the Right Trigger, jump using A and then use a variety of abilities with the face buttons (X, Y, B) and the Right Bumper, while pressing Left Trigger allows access to further abilities. Pressing the Left Bumper brings up a wheel of options that allow for potion usage as well as party commands such as Disengage, Hold Position and the ability to summon your mount. Clicking in the Right Stick will send out a search wave that highlights loot and hidden items, extremely handy for questing. The D-pad allows quick access to the Quest Map while also allowing you to switch active control between party members, while pressing the Back button (on old controllers, we’re not really sure what to call it on the new controllers, Options maybe?) will flip the game into Tactical mode which then switches up the controls and lets you press A to attack while Right Trigger advances play. It’s typically a matter of personal preference which you prefer to use but sometimes Tactical mode really saves your bacon, especially during particularly challenging fights, of which there are many depending on the difficulty (read: dragons). It’s all quite fluid and easy-to-use, and is explained well enough to you at the beginning even if button presses will take a while to acclimatise to, especially given how many there are in this game. More than once, trying to change to Tactical mode resulted in accidentally consuming a potion. We’re not really sure why… blame Andraste.

Your character gains two types of experience in this game. The regular kind of experience — the one we’re familiar with — is gained via completion of quests as well as through kills and codex discoveries. Enough experience levels you up and gives you a skill point to spend on abilities in various skill trees based on your class. All quite standard fare for any RPG, yes? Notably for the first time, Dragon Age: Inquisition automatically assigns attributes to your character as you level up. This is mildly forgiveable since items now grant extra attributes aplenty. The skill trees themselves are in Dragon Age II’s form of overly simplified and if there is anything to be said about them, they don’t really allow for the same level of customisation as the original game. A definite disappointment for anyone looking to spend hours picking skills and working out sexy combinations. Also of note is the removal of any form of Heal spell in this game, replaced instead by an entire skill tree that revolves around the casting of Barrier. This has the effect of making potions important again, but it is sorely missed during longer spells of exploration. Alongside potions are the likes of grenades and tonics, all available to be crafted by the player after collecting an assortment of herbs. Weapons crafting is also available and is about as extensive as you might imagine by this point; not only can you create weapons and armour but you can create custom upgrades for further bonuses.

The other type of experience you accrue is called Influence, which you can think of as Inquisition experience. That’s right, your Inquisition levels up! You gain Influence by completing quests and acquiring key objectives, as well as by completing operations. Levelling this up then grants you Inquisition Perks (not like that) which are minor bonuses to your entire game, such as extra inventory slots, bonus experience for research, rare items and more. However if you feel it’s easier and you’re too impatient to do it the normal way, you can find a merchant later on and simply buy Influence. Yes really.

Later in the game you’ll unlock specialisations, three per class, which offer your character the chance to branch out a little. This is a returning feature from the first Dragon Age, and like in Origins you will have to ‘achieve’ these specialisations rather than have them unlocked from the get-go. Each of the playable characters will unlock one of the specialisations, at the very least allowing you to try them out by spec-ing them — don’t worry, you’re allowed infinite re-specs for enough gold — and seeing how they play. This is a welcomed return for the series, although if we’re being honest it’s a little disappointing to see that those specialisations are reused for other characters, rather than giving entirely unique skill trees to each member of your death squad team like with Dragon Age II. Also, blood magic is entirely gone, which makes complete sense for the first time given the game’s narrative, and yet, it is sorely missed for its potency and plain fun factor. Tears, man.

Also noteworthy is the complete removal of tactics in the game. At the very basic level you can configure potion usage per character, as well as select which abilities each character should use more or less frequently, or not at all. That’s about it, though. Say “Maker be with you” to telling your heroes exactly what spells to use at what moment in fights. A little disheartening for the more hardcore RPG fanatic who wants that level of control over AI but for the newcomer to the series, perhaps they might not even notice that it was there at all? Either way, you can still play the game in two ways: Configure abilities based on which you would prefer your party members to use, or disable all of them and use them manually in fights. The choice is yours.

 

A note on the excellence of the continuity

We said we’d come back to this so let’s take a moment to talk about just what an amazing experience Dragon Age: Inquisition is for fans of the series who are returning for their third outing. Unfortunately newcomers might not feel as much emotional attachment to characters and thus a lot of the returning characters and cameos will go entirely missed. This is a crying shame. We truly sympathise with newcomers as they no doubt look around awkwardly while others are foaming at the mouth at a particular story event. BioWare has assumed full prior knowledge in Dragon Age: Inquisition and as a result, really throws you into things from the beginning. We’re going to respectfully bow in admiration of this level of risk-taking because let’s be honest, how frustrating is it to play the third game in the series and have to learn everything over yet again? None of that here in Dragon Age: Inquisition; you’re simply told the basics and let loose on the world. And you know what? They dared to go there. They finally dared to actually address a conflict that has been quietly building in the background across two games. They gave us what we wanted. How many other developers have done that, of late?

In a way you’re left wondering whether they had planned this all along; Dragon Age II told a far more personal story with Hawke, and thus a lot of fans of Dragon Age: Origins were left wondering what happened to the Hero of Ferelden, or Morrigan, or pretty much anyone else from the first game. Save for a few small cameos, the sequel had little and less of anyone while telling its own personal story through that framed narrative that worked for some but failed for most. Perhaps an unexpected boon from that is that Dragon Age: Inquisition, as a result of having all those saved cameos from the previous game, is chock-full of them. This is probably why Mass Effect 3 was considered devoid of reappearances when in fact both sequels in that trilogy shared the spoils. Here entire missions will centre around returning stalwart characters, and you’ll find more than a few familiar faces in your adventures. This is excellent fan service from BioWare and we cannot help but commend it. Even in the game itself, the progression shows through character interactions and along the course of the game, through the ‘random banter’ you’ll experience while questing, characters make mention of things that have gone on while you’ve played the game. A plus, BioWare. Well played.

 

A comprehensively pedantic list of minor niggles

Unfortunately, Dragon Age: Inquisition is not a game without issues. Here is a list of random questions based on minor bugbears we experienced throughout the game, compiled in point form for your reading pleasure:

  • Why can’t you pause during a cutscene?
  • Why are character animations so awkward at times?
  • Why do characters clip so terribly, even during cutscenes with their default clothing on?
  • Why is there minor slowdown whenever your character enters Haven?
  • Why does audio sometimes lag or cut out? Is this a headset issue?
  • Why are there so many unnecessary Requisition orders?
  • Why is the world so static? Why don’t NPCs move when you try to walk into them?
  • What happened to racial conflicts? Does everyone suddenly get along now?
  • Why are character attributes automatically assigned when you level up?
  • Why do enemies of the same level/class as you take far more hits to down?
  • Why is the mini map so simple as to confuse?
  • Why don’t story missions scale to your current level?
  • Why does Spirit Mark cause some quests to become unable to complete?
  • Why do your party members get in your way so much?
  • Why do cutscenes sometimes halt and take ten minutes before proceeding to the next dialogue?
  • Why do potions sometimes get used up without being replenished?
  • Why is there so much glimmer on lips?
  • Why do eyes appear sunken whenever characters aren’t looking directly at the screen?
  • What is actually the point of approval in this game?
  • Why don’t party members share experiences sometimes?
  • Why is jump mapped to the same button as interact?

All of this said, the fact remains that BioWare have done a stellar job with Dragon Age: Inquisition and based on it being an RPG of all things, we’re willing to forgive some of the minor niggles in the interest of the overall experience. However we cannot give it Carte Blanche either. It’s a shame because the storytelling and adventuring on offer in this game make for a perfect-ten experience. Unfortunately that perfect experience is marred by the oversimplification of skills, the dissonant dialogue wheel and the typical RPG-esque glitches which, in today’s day and age, we feel we cannot simply ignore. Too many games these days release in this state, would it be fair to call Dragon Age: Inquisition an RPG and let it get away? Thus, a slightly lower score than it truly deserves.

One final note that should be made in BioWare’s favour is that Dragon Age: Inquisition has far too much potential for monetisation, and yet they pay it no interest. Were this Ubisoft or Activision, there might have been many microtransactions either to speed up the completion times for operations, or to gain you some extra Influence. As it stands, all ‘cheats’ are handled in-game using currency you earn as the player. Commendable, especially since this is technically an Electronic Arts game and we still haven’t forgotten that stunt with Dead Space 3’s microtransactions. Oh and one more thing: There’s a multiplayer mode, if you care about it. It’s cooperative and not nearly as fun as the story mode and you really don’t have to care about it.

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Tales From The Borderlands Quietly Releases With A Launch Trailer http://egmr.net/2014/11/tales-borderlands-quietly-releases-launch-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/tales-borderlands-quietly-releases-launch-trailer/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163778 It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Tales from the Borderlands. Indeed it’s been something of an afterthought amongst the four massive titles developer Telltale Games has been […]

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Tales from the Borderlands.

Indeed it’s been something of an afterthought amongst the four massive titles developer Telltale Games has been working on recently, the others being The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Game of Thrones. Seriously how is such a small developer able to handle so much at once?

Here at EGMR we’re massive fans of the Borderlands series and we really enjoy the writing, the humour and everything else associated with ‘Diablo with guns’ or to use more recent equations of gaming, “Destiny minus Halo”. Thus when the Tales from Borderlands episodic series was announced, we were giddy with anticipation. But then news of the game slowed down and we all but forgot about it for a while, with only a sliver of a reminder each time we saw any news from Telltale.

Telltale meanwhile have been talking up their Game of Thrones episodic series which they’re promising will release this year.

So you can imagine our surprise when we saw reviews for this game releasing, as well as a launch trailer for it. Like, “Is it that time already?”

Very much under the radar then, the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands has released on PC via Steam, as well as PS3, PS4, and Xbox One in North America, with the Xbox 360 version releasing on the 3rd of December. This is also when the game will hit European markets, meaning when it ought to be available for us locally. Of course, Telltale Games have been a bit of a problem for us in the past with regards to local releases, but hopefully that will not be an issue on the newer generation of consoles.

Tales from the Borderlands is set on Pandora and follows the events of Borderlands 2, telling the story of Rhys and Fiona, a Hyperion employee and a con artist respectively. Each episode will be priced at £3.99/$4.99 with no current price available for local markets on account of it not being on the local stores just yet. We’ll update with a price when that’s available to us, but expect the same price as episodes of The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us when those were out. Hardly anything at all really.

Will you be picking this up? Is Tales from the Borderlands something that interests you? Are you happy to see Telltale Games doing such awesome series now? This and more in the comments.

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eGamer Podcast #107: Dragon Age Is Wow/10 http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-107-dragon-age-wow10/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-107-dragon-age-wow10/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 09:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163759 Recorded: 26 November 2014 Welcome to episode one-oh-seven of the eGamer Podcast where we’re all in love with the new Dragon Age game and we want to tell you about […]

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Recorded: 26 November 2014

Welcome to episode one-oh-seven of the eGamer Podcast where we’re all in love with the new Dragon Age game and we want to tell you about it. Also: other stuff.

Topics discussed this week include Dragon Age: Inquisition’s greatness, Far Cry 4’s safeness and Mockingjay’s lameness.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • Where is everyone?!
  • We have an unsuspecting guest on the show!
  • But how awesome is Dragon Age: Inquisition?
  • We share some of the weird bugs we’ve experienced with the game.
  • What about Far Cry 4?
  • Kudos on their alternative ending’s cheekiness.
  • Meet Dom and Dommer.
  • How about an epic digression?
  • Tales from the Borderlands is out, did you even know?
  • You guys need to start playing Telltale games.
  • The Binding of Isaac makes an appearance.
  • Someone went on a man-date.
  • Who’s going to watch or has already watched Mockingjay: Part One?
  • The third Hobbit movie has us all so conflicted.
  • There’s a Steam Sale happening right now!
  • But that Origin Sale!
  • We answer your questions.

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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Xbox Has Its Own Black Friday Specials Online http://egmr.net/2014/11/xbox-black-friday-specials-online/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/xbox-black-friday-specials-online/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163771 Americans, hey? Who knows why they do what they do. Black Friday for example has become a day of rampant consumerism and capitalist exploitation, and this is before Christmas! A […]

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Americans, hey? Who knows why they do what they do. Black Friday for example has become a day of rampant consumerism and capitalist exploitation, and this is before Christmas!

A lot of online retailers have begun to observe the Black Friday sales practice as well, reducing their wares for the purposes of a one-day-only mad rush. Microsoft is a very American company and they are never ones to miss out on an opportunity. That said, they’ve announced their own Xbox LIVE sale to commemorate Black Friday, with a whole host of titles on offer for super cheap. There’s even a promise of more titles to be announced at a later time — at which point we’ll update this article — for discount on the weekend.

All of the discounts listed will remain that way until December 1st, naturally. Check ‘em out:

Xbox One

  • Defense Grid 2 – Xbox One Game (50% off)
  • Strider – Xbox One Game (50% off)
  • Need for Speed Rivals: Complete Edition – Xbox One Game (35% off)
  • Peggle 2 – Xbox One Game (60% off)
  • EA Sports UFC – Xbox One Game (67% off)
  • NBA Live 15 – Xbox One Game (45% off)
  • Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition – Xbox One Game (40% off)
  • Angry Birds Star Wars – Xbox One Game (75% off)
  • Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Xbox One Game (60% off)
  • Rayman Legends – Xbox One Game (50% off)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Xbox One Game (30% off)
  • Sniper Elite III – Xbox One Game (40% off)
  • Project Spark Champions Quest Play Bundle – Add-on (40% off)
  • Killer Instinct Ultra Edition Season 1- Add-on (50% off)
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Xbox One Game (50% off)
  • Forza Motorsport 5 Game of the Year Edition – Xbox One Game (40% off)
  • Forza Motorsport 5 Car pass – Add-on (25% off)
  • Warframe: 75 Platinum – Add-on (33% off)
  • Warframe: 170 Platinum – Add-on (30% off)
  • Warframe: 370 Platinum – Add-on (50% off)
  • Warframe: 1000 Platinum + Mod – Add-on (30% off)
  • Warframe: 2100 Platinum + Mod – Add-on (30% off)
  • Warframe: 3210 Platinum + Mod – Add-on (30% off)

Xbox 360

  • F1 2014 – Games on Demand (33% off)
  • Strider – Games on Demand (50% off)
  • DmC – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • Resident Evil 4 – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • Bound By Flame – Games on Demand (50% off)
  • Contrast – Arcade (60% off)
  • Final Exam – Arcade (50% off)
  • Super Time Force – Arcade (40% off)
  • Slender: The Arrival – Arcade (50% off)
  • Sniper Elite 3 – Games on Demand (40% off)
  • Brothers – Arcade (67% off)
  • Titanfall Season Pass – Add-on (75% off)
  • Prototype 2 – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Amazing Spiderman 2 – Games on Demand (79% off)
  • Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition – Games on Demand (50% off)
  • LA Noire – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Red Dead Redemption – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Games on Demand (33% off)
  • Trials Fusion – Arcade (50% off)
  • Valiant Hearts – Arcade (50% off)
  • Persona 4 Arena – Games on Demand (50% off)
  • State of Decay – Arcade (67% off)
  • Magic 2015 – Arcade (50% off)
  • Gears of War 3 – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Gears of War 2 – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Gears of War – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • RAAM’s Shadow – Add-on (66% off)
  • Gears of War 3 season pass – Add-on (75% off)
  • Lancer Complete Launch Collection Skin – Add-on (66% off)
  • Launch Weapon Skin Collection – Add-on (78% off)
  • Battleblock Theater – Arcade (50% off)
  • Batman Arkham City – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Injustice Gods Among Us – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Skyrim – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV – Games on Demand (33% off)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z – Games on Demand (60% off)
  • Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • Bulletstorm – Games on Demand (85% off)
  • Burnout Paradise – Games on Demand (80% off)
  • Crysis – Games on Demand (85% off)
  • Fight Night Champion – Games on Demand (85% off)
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – Games on Demand (85% off)
  • Mirror’s Edge – Games on Demand (80% off)
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit – Games on Demand (85% off)
  • Skate – Games on Demand (80% off)
  • Skate 2 – Games on Demand (80% off)
  • Skate 3 – Games on Demand (80% off)
  • Hitman Absolution – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Hitman HD pack- Games on Demand (80% off)
  • Just Cause 2 – Games on Demand (67% off)
  • Borderlands – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Borderlands 2 – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • SoulCalibur V – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Bully – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Midnight Club LA – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Max Payne 3 – Games on Demand (75% off)
  • Max Payne 3 R* Pass – Add-on (75% off)

Head on to your locally-relevant Xbox Store and have a look at what the actual pricing is, but these are the percentage reductions for each listed offering. Don’t forget also that the egregiously irrelevant and the radically redundant Red Faction Guerrilla and Volgarr the Viking are currently free to download for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers as part of Games with Gold, on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One respectively.

Will you be partaking in the Xbox specials? Let us know in the comments.

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Activision Does Not Want You Seeing Glitches In Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare http://egmr.net/2014/11/activision-not-want-seeing-glitches-call-duty-advanced-warfare/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/activision-not-want-seeing-glitches-call-duty-advanced-warfare/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163714 Ever wonder why you never see Call of Duty games playable at rAge even though they’re typically just shy of release by then? The easy answer is that Activision are […]

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Ever wonder why you never see Call of Duty games playable at rAge even though they’re typically just shy of release by then?

The easy answer is that Activision are superficial, vain bastards about their flagship franchise, which boggles the mind because let’s be honest, if Ghosts survived the onslaught of bad game reviews and still went on to sell as well as it did, they could put out Blackwater-meets-Bodycount: The Cartel and it would still sell like hotcakes. Nonetheless, daddy Acti wants gamers to see only the best sides of their Call of Duty games.

Meanwhile, gamers are posting videos on YouTube of glitches in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and just like another game, they’re hilarious and we all enjoy them and we move on with our lives. But Activision says no, and they’re going to be taking a tough stance towards these YouTube videos as a result of their vanity.

The publisher has issued copyright strikes on any YouTube videos of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that show glitches or cheats that exist within the game.

Let that sink in for a moment…

It’s got to the point when Machinima, one of the largest networks on YouTube and one constantly in the wars regarding underhanded dealings, has been reportedly issuing warnings to partners that urge them to “be careful” with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare videos.

“Activision is being particularly vigilant about their Call of Duty videos lately; issuing strikes on videos showing glitches. If you post videos highlighting these glitches, your channel may be liable to receive a copyright strike so please be careful,” read the email.

Meanwhile, Activision responded with a follow-up statement claiming that its actions against Advanced Warfare videos are no more aggressive than usual, as if that’s the point…

“Occasionally, some folks post videos that promote cheating and unfair exploits,” said the publisher. “As always, we keep an eye out for these videos – our level of video claims hasn’t changed.”

But Activision, we live in a different world to previous years and now if you do that sort of thing, you look as if you’re trying to hide the truth about your game. Mind you, a lot of sympathisers will probably say that they’re just trying to ensure people see the best version of their product so fair enough, and to those people I say: So you mean not the version people are paying money for?

“We’re taking your feedback seriously and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is getting better because of it,” said Sledgehammer Games of Advanced Warfare after releasing a patch last week that optimised connectivity, as well as fixed various issue with multiplayer and Exo Survival.

Little-known fact for anyone who likes the song All About That Bass, in which Meghan Trainor sings about loving your body and not being ashamed of being larger than others: In the music video she originally hated the way it looked because it made her look, in her opinion, unattractive, so she had the entire thing re-cut. Not necessarily relevant to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare but my word the world is obsessed with vanity, even when claiming not to be.

Have you encountered any glitches in Advanced Warfare yet? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t worry, Activision can’t file copyright claims here.

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Limbo Launches On Xbox One For Free To Early Adopters http://egmr.net/2014/11/limbo-launches-xbox-one-free-early-adopters/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/limbo-launches-xbox-one-free-early-adopters/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163712 Remember Limbo? It’s only the game that, for me at least, kicked off the entire indie gaming buzz when it released a few years ago. It was atmospheric and creepy […]

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Remember Limbo? It’s only the game that, for me at least, kicked off the entire indie gaming buzz when it released a few years ago.

It was atmospheric and creepy and beautiful as a result. A real gamer’s game, meant more for conveying tone and evoking emotion than telling any kind of deep, intricate story with a complex narrative full of twists and intrigue and betrayal. Limbo simply existed, and it was loved for it.

And now the indie classic (are we allowed to call it that?) has launched on Xbox One, following a Korean Game Rating Board classifying it last month. And guess what? It’s free if you’re an early console adopter. Finally some gratification for you folk! As for the rest of us? Well… not just yet.

“We’re looking forward to launching Limbo on Xbox One,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “As a thank you to our earliest adopters, fans who played their Xbox One the first weekend of launch received early, free access to the game. Limbo will also be available for purchase via the Xbox Game Store soon.”

Now that is how you do early incentivising. But we’re certain someone will spin this into anti-M$ propaganda at some point.

Of course in South Africa we didn’t even have the console on initial release so it remains to be seen whether we’ll get it here or not, but either way the general release of the game is scheduled for early 2015, which means that some time soon it will be in the Xbox Store for you to download and enjoy yet again, but with… uhm, next-gen visuals? We’re not really sure why it’s on Xbox One to be honest but it’s just cool if more people get to enjoy it.

Since its 2010 release, developer PlayDead has gone from strength to strength in the dark, eery 2D puzzle platformer world, and another early 2015 release of theirs will be Limbo follow-up Inside. Do check it out when you have a chance. In the meantime, let us know if you’ll be picking up Limbo for Xbox One, in the comments below.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Discussion — Preferred Party Members http://egmr.net/2014/11/dragon-age-inquisition-discussion-preferred-party-members/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/dragon-age-inquisition-discussion-preferred-party-members/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163708 We’re busy at work on our Dragon Age: Inquisition review but in the meantime, we thought it was pertinent to discuss preferred — and ideal — party setups, given the […]

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We’re busy at work on our Dragon Age: Inquisition review but in the meantime, we thought it was pertinent to discuss preferred — and ideal — party setups, given the wide array of interesting and powerful characters available to players in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Ideally you always need one of each type of party member, so for example a Rogue, a Warrior and a Mage. In Origins, you typically had a support Mage and an offensive Mage, one to heal the team and one to cause utter devastation. In Dragon Age II you could choose to either follow that route or add in an extra Rogue to take advantage of the immensely overpowered new skills on offer in that department.

Now personally, I’m quite old-school about my setups. The first party member I always pick (besides myself of course), is a tank. Unless my character is a tank of course. The next I pick is a damager, and finally I pick my support Mage. In Dragon Age: Inquisition the lack of healing spells makes you more reliant on potions, thus there’s less emphasis placed on support mages (although Barrier is an awesome spell) and more emphasis on a single tank that can suck up damage while the rest of the team obliterates enemies.

Then apart from just powers and abilities, you also want colourful and entertaining characters to play alongside, almost ‘companions’ in a way. To this extent you want someone who will keep the banal exploration of areas entertaining and exciting.

In my first playthrough I went with my tried and trusted dual-daggers Rogue build. Admittedly I should have rather gone two-handed Warrior but I digress. Then I added in stalwart returning characters from previous games, Cassandra and Varric. Finally I closed off my party with Dorian, who might not be as good at a supporting role as Vivienne for example, but is a lot more entertaining and can cast my favourite spell in the game: Walking Bomb. Using this configuration of party members, I let Cassandra run in and taunt enemies while I stealth in behind the biggest enemy on the field and start having at it, while Varric handles the rest and Dorian, well, casts spells really. I trust my Mages.

So with that said, what are your preferred parties? Who do you go everywhere with, and who would you be lost without? Let us know in the comments section. Try not to add spoilers.

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Our 107th Podcast Records Tonight — Ask Us Things http://egmr.net/2014/11/107th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/107th-podcast-records-tonight-ask-us-things/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163694 Dragon Age. So much Dragon Age. Inquisition. Grey Wardens. Chantry. Templars. Mages. Tactical View. Close the rifts. Harvest the plants. Craft the weapons and armour. Fill the requisitions. Do ALL […]

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Dragon Age. So much Dragon Age. Inquisition. Grey Wardens. Chantry. Templars. Mages. Tactical View.

Close the rifts. Harvest the plants. Craft the weapons and armour. Fill the requisitions.

Do ALL the things.

Oh, right, podcast. Tonight. Episode one-hundred-and-seven. eGamer. Questions. Ask in the comments. Anything you’d like.

Must… play… more… Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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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10 Quick Tips For Newcomers To Dragon Age: Inquisition http://egmr.net/2014/11/10-quick-tips-newcomers-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/10-quick-tips-newcomers-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:00:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163616 Technically we’re all newcomers to Dragon Age: Inquisition, but you know what we mean… Dragon Age: Inquisition released to the world last week and has been getting stellar reviews thus […]

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Technically we’re all newcomers to Dragon Age: Inquisition, but you know what we mean…

Dragon Age: Inquisition released to the world last week and has been getting stellar reviews thus far. Our own review is in the works so look out for that soon, but in the meantime we thought it was pertinent to present a few quick and easy tips for newcomers to the series who are looking to get the best out of their Dragon Age experience. Too often in the past we’ve seen newcomers to the series quickly overwhelmed by the mechanics and left wondering just what the fuss is about.

Indeed I myself initially gave Dragon Age: Origins a pass after a few hours of playing it because it was so overwhelmingly complex. Thankfully Dragon Age: Inquisition is not as overwhelmingly complex, although there are certain things it takes for granted you already know. Not necessarily the case, right? Thus let us take a few minutes to share with you, some quick and easy tips for dealing in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Can you literally even.

  1. This is an important one: Leave the Hinterlands! As with any RPG it’s completely understandable if you want to ignore the main story and just do other things for a while. We have done so as well, but Dragon Age: Inquisition presents possibly the first time when you’re actually encouraged to play through the main story. At least, for a while… just, you’ll know when it’s safe to do side quests but until then try to ignore them for the most part, okay? Seriously. You can always come back to them another time since there’s no point-of-no-return in this game, reportedly. Thank us later.
  2. Some quests require you to have a certain amount of ‘Power’ and this effectively requires you to go out and do some side-questing. Don’t stress too much about it, for the most part the ‘Power’ rating won’t even be an issue and if you really have to, this is where it’s okay to head back to the Hinterlands, complete a few quests and then return to the War Room. Remember that you can gain ‘Power’ by doing literally any side quest. Your best bets are rifts, camps and requisition orders since they’re all quick and easy.
  3. Picking the best party members is key for your experience, and really helps you avoid much trouble. Since this game offers no dedicated healer, the role of the mage is significantly less important here although having someone around to cast Barrier is still recommended. Ideally you want one rogue, one warrior and one mage at the very least. Then you’re free to pick the last one as you please, or to taste depending on which character you like. In previous games two rogues worked best but here you’re welcome to have two warriors or two mages as you please.
  4. When picking your party members, do also leave some consideration for combinations. For example, a rogue might be able to put characters to sleep and then say a mage has a spell that causes extra damage to enemies that are asleep. Read the skills you level up and note what combinations are possible, to maximise the effectiveness of your party, and if your current party isn’t working well together then don’t be afraid to switch out.
  5. On the subject of levelling skills, if you find yourself running out of stamina/mana a lot then don’t be silly and skill more actives, rather skill passives because those don’t require any stamina/mana and just work automatically. If there aren’t any passives left then upgrade the actives you already have. Then once you’ve got a few levels and your stamina/mana isn’t as much of a problem, consider more active skills.
  6. It’s important to collect every possible herb you stumble across, and you might consider levelling one of Leliana’s Inquisition perks that allows you to harvest a bit more per herb. Early on, you’re going to aim for upgrading those potions. At least one level of healing upgrade to health potions, and as many as possible to regeneration potions. The regeneration potion is your single greatest asset in this game, during and after fights. Treat it with love and respect.
  7. How does one upgrade potions? Easy, silly! Explore your map. Specifically your base. Explore all of it, and be sure you speak to everyone regularly. Select every conversation option and ensure there’s nothing left before moving on. Yes it will take long (literally hours) but it’ll be worth it, and you’ll also find that your base tends to have a lot of extra stuff, such as armour and weapon crafting, potions upgrading and more. Explore!
  8. During fights it’s important that you maintain situational awareness throughout. You need to know what’s going on. You don’t necessarily need to live your life one tactical view at a time but you do need to pay attention to such things as health bars, stamina/mana bars and who is getting attacked by what. Character placement is important. Pause if you have to, go into that tactical mode, ensure always that the tank (warrior) is the one taking all the hits while your ranged teammates are further back.
  9. Learn how to prioritise your targets. Focus your fire on either the weaker but more devastating enemies (mages and demons) or anything else that would allow you an easier time. Sometimes it’s better to just let your party handle the big enemy while you pick off the rest. Other times you’re going to want to kite your enemies and draw their attacks away from weaker teammates.
  10. To that extent, it’s important for you to familiarise yourself with the ‘tactics’ and ‘behaviour’ settings in the Character Record, for all your party members. If you spend a little time in there configuring them, it allows you to basically never need tactical mode because they’ll always do exactly what you want them to, meaning you can relax a bit more during fights.

Remember: Save often, and keep at least three different saves at a time. You never know when you’ll need to reload from a particularly bad decision or something.

If you’d like some more tips then be sure to check out Kotaku‘s tips which we found a bit more generic and therefore applicable to most RPGs, plus a few tips that are absolutely relevant to Dragon Age: Inquisition, such as that one about the lip shine… *shudder*

If you’re playing the game and you’d like help with anything then by all means ask us in the comments and we’ll do our best to offer assistance. Be sure to also look out for our review which should be out real soon. Promise.

UPDATE: Here it is.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Ubisoft Could Learn A Lot From BioWare http://egmr.net/2014/11/life-universe-gaming-ubisoft-learn-lot-bioware/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/life-universe-gaming-ubisoft-learn-lot-bioware/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163572 Quick column this week because I really want to get back to playing Dragon Age: Inquisition. This game is spectacular, and it’s basically the reason for a somewhat-last-minute, night-before column […]

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Quick column this week because I really want to get back to playing Dragon Age: Inquisition. This game is spectacular, and it’s basically the reason for a somewhat-last-minute, night-before column which breaks from my recent tradition of planning a column for at least a week before writing one out. What do you mean really? Yes really. Seriously… No, I’m not kidding.

Thankfully this week’s column basically entered my mind and wrote itself last night (at the time of writing) when while playing through Dragon Age: Inquisition’s truly epic storyline, feeling all sorts of gratified, I realised that I had seen this sort of thing before but the feeling throughout was different; it was one of frustration and annoyance. What am I talking about, and why am I being so intentionally vague? Mostly just to fill space but also because it’s a cool build-up to the titular statement:

Ubisoft could (really) learn a lot from BioWare.

I remember first playing Dragon Age: Origins and thinking to myself, this is a truly massive game with just so much to do and so much potential for expansion. It’s not just a fictional creation but a fully imagined ‘world’, that of Thedas. Now this isn’t new, of course. In other series we have the likes of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls and so on continuing stories through sequels that are set in different parts of the same created universe. But it was a point of interest for me because this world presented very real and serious conflict, not just territorial but also political. And my mind immediately wandered to all that it could be.

Fast-forward a few years and despite what criticisms people continue to lay at the feet of Dragon Age II (my ‘leave Dragon Age II alone’ YouTube video was flagged for inappropriate content), what it did spectacularly well was serve as what we now understand to be a bridge between the first game, Origins, and the third release which dropped last week, Inquisition. People are calling this third game the best yet, and I’m inclined to agree but I’m holding out on a proper opinion until I’ve at least finished the story, but more on this in a bit. Dragon Age II presented the ongoing conflict in the game between the different factions, and really nailed home just how much animosity and contempt there was in this fictional world of Thedas.

See there are basically three big factions involved. The Mages are magic-users who have a connection to the Fade which you can think of as an amalgamation of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory (for Dante fans) altogether, but Mages are susceptible to demonic influence as a result. The Templars exist to keep mages in check and ensure that they don’t cause widespread destruction, but Templars are addicted to Lyrium as a result. The Chantry is basically a beefed up version of real-life churches but with political power and influence, but are not inherently ruling orders since there are still kings, queens and empresses in this world. The thing is, Mages and Templars hate each other.

Sound familiar? It should, because we’ve seen it before, kind of.

Cue Assassin’s Creed, with coincidentally Templars and Assassins, who also hate each other and have a lot of animosity and contempt towards each other. In fact they’re basically warring factions. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the Mages and Templars are also at war with each other, to some extent. Now whereas every subsequent Assassin’s Creed title has sought to ask questions but skirt around answers, it would seem that Dragon Age is willing to do both of those and more.

Then again, Ubisoft can only really make one game in recent years, can’t they? Think about it. Massive open world setting, some sort of revenge plot to carry the story, lots of betrayal and twists, a bunch of insignificant collectibles, a story that amps up but towards the end, has a tease of a sort, a somewhat unsatisfactory cliffhanger or something similar. And it’s not just Assasin’s Creed, either. Far Cry 3 (I can’t speak for 4 just yet) might have had you trying to escape an island but by the end of it you were just getting your revenge on a dude for killing your friends. Watch_Dogs had you getting revenge against the Man for killing your family. Even their upcoming racing game (I’ll repeat: racing game) The Crew has you getting revenge for your brother who was murdered in front of your eyes.

Meanwhile, BioWare have presented an interesting and deep backstory to their warring factions and told you, “Look it’s not just territorial, nor is there a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ side, it’s just a whole bunch of people each with their own aspirations and intentions, who find themselves in conflict with other sides and while the intent is to maintain peace and order, the execution results in chaos and anarchy. Go handle that shit.”

Fucking A.

And it’s not just Dragon Age, either. They’ve done this with Mass Effect too, albeit there the terms of conflict were around the use of Biotics, AI and of course racial (special? (species-al?)) boundaries. Dragon Age crafts a high fantasy setting like few others, where the root of the entire conflict is not the point of the story but rather the real meat of it. You empathise with the Mages or the Templars and you want to see order restored, but in actual fact you’re doing that while also trying to do other things, manage relationships and keep everyone happy. Make a decision and watch how some support you while others are disappointed by you. It’s tough and it keeps you honest, but best of all, it’s rewarding and infinitely gratifying.

I don’t remember the last time I played an Assassin’s Creed game and felt gratified.

Oh but the intrigue is there! Haytham Kenway showed us a whole other side of Templars, and Edward Kenway showed us that some may choose the kind of people they wish to be. But ultimately there was never any resolution other than Assassins are the Deus Ex Machina of their own story, with a slew of cliffhangers and unfinished stories to goad gamers into buying the next game. Meanwhile, BioWare carefully, quietly crafted a massive and sprawling epic around two games, one of which wasn’t even that well-received, and brought it together with absolute aplomb.

I was blown away by what I’ve played thus far in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Just when you think you know what’s going on it throws a curveball at you and forces you to deal. Just when you think you’ve picked a side and are happy with your choice, that side goes and does something to make you question whether you should be proud or regretful of your decision. Just when [goes on for a while] is why this game is bae.

But I guess this is what happens when you know what you’re doing, and aren’t just throwing massive teams into projects and hoping it works. Like throwing shit at a wall and hoping something will stick. “Maybe they’ll like this one?”

I have a lot of love for the Assasin’s Creed series and the Dragon Age series, and I sincerely believe that Ubisoft should look to studios like BioWare and even CD Projekt RED, and have a look at how real political conflict is handled. No need for silly McGuffins in the storyline (looking at you, Apple from Brotherhood), nor indeed spinoff titles showing the other side of things. Just have the (excuse potential sexism here) balls to take a conflict and go, “But what if it all went to shit and you came in tasked to fix all of it?”

I’ll say one thing: I’m enjoying myself far more playing Inquisition’s story, than any of the Assassin’s Creed games. Unfair comparison to make? Let me know in the comments.

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It’s Time For Another Round Of Marvel Vs DC: This Time, Characters http://egmr.net/2014/11/time-another-round-marvel-vs-dc-time-characters/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/time-another-round-marvel-vs-dc-time-characters/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163445 In the battle between Marvel Comics and DC Comics, each has its fair share of supporters. Whether you’re talking about Abnett’s cosmic storylines or Grant Morrison’s Superman arcs, there are […]

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In the battle between Marvel Comics and DC Comics, each has its fair share of supporters. Whether you’re talking about Abnett’s cosmic storylines or Grant Morrison’s Superman arcs, there are the hardest of hardcore fans. Even those folks who only like Marvel because of the movies, or DC because they have Batman t-shirts. There are fans of both franchises everywhere!

Here at EGMR we appreciate the healthy competition offered by the rival comic book franchises and in the past we’ve discussed their differences, both in terms of strengths and weaknesses. We think it’s great that two great comic book giants exist (sorry Image fans) and we’re looking forward to seeing where things are going on their cinematic fronts.

But just for today, we found — through Ms Take-a-shot herself — a really cool artist’s rendition of various Marvel and DC copycat characters. It’s quite a long image so check it out here:

aKgv6R3_700b

Remember that it’s not about who did it first, or who did it better. More that both franchises have such similar characters. Also perhaps worth noting is that a few of either franchise’s more popular characters are unmatched by their competitor. Can you think of any other characters that might be missing from here? I can immediately think of Wolverine and Bronze Tiger. Comments section, go!

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eGamer Podcast #106: Assassin’s Greed Impunity http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-106-assassins-greed-impunity/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/egamer-podcast-106-assassins-greed-impunity/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163315 Recorded: 18 November 2014 Welcome to episode one-oh-six of the eGamer Podcast which now bleeps out everything offensive, resulting in basically an hour and a half of bleeping. Since that […]

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Recorded: 18 November 2014

Welcome to episode one-oh-six of the eGamer Podcast which now bleeps out everything offensive, resulting in basically an hour and a half of bleeping. Since that doesn’t make for the greatest of entertainment we’ve opted instead for just a few of the more offensive stuff. You know, all things in moderation. Bleep! With that in mind, enjoy the fearsome foursome (we’re working on a better name) discussing all things gaming and movie (that we care about) in this jam-packed episode, and let us know in the comments if you like our bleep effect.

Topics discussed this week include Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s pros and cons, Far Cry 4’s positive reception, and Interstellar’s mix of awesome and disappointing.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • We’re doing introductions now? Dafuq.
  • What’s good and what’s bad about AC Unity.
  • Still listening?
  • Azhar shares his belated thoughts on Sunset Overdrive.
  • How are Far Cry 4 reviews so positive?
  • Are we back in 2012, with AC second place to Far Cry?
  • But why is India hating on Dragon Age?
  • We take a moment to hate on India on Dragon Age’s behalf.
  • Will GTA V’s first person mode be controversial?
  • The stark difference between real-life and videogame violence.
  • Find out what we thought of Interstellar (minor spoiler warning).
  • We answer your questions.

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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Want Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition On PC For $4? Get It Here http://egmr.net/2014/11/want-injustice-gods-among-us-ultimate-edition-pc-4-get/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/want-injustice-gods-among-us-ultimate-edition-pc-4-get/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163415 By now you need no introduction to Injustice: Gods Among Us; it’s been a sterling offering since release and has only got better with more characters added to it, and […]

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By now you need no introduction to Injustice: Gods Among Us; it’s been a sterling offering since release and has only got better with more characters added to it, and the Ultimate Edition is, as you can expect, the best available version of the game. And now that it’s on PC, you’re encouraged to partake in the action if your gaming platform of choice happens to have a certain Steam app installed.

The guys over at Bundle Stars have a flash sale currently running which you can find through this link, for Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition on PC. At current, it is a massive 80% saving resulting in the current price being just $4. Not at all bad, right?

Perhaps the best part is that the Ultimate Edition includes all DLC charcters as well as a bunch of other unlocks just for purchasing that version, and you can have it right now if you’d like. But you have to be quick since the Flash Sale ends tomorrow. Need more information about the game? They’ve got you covered:

About the Game
What if the world’s greatest heroes became its biggest threat? See what happens when heroes collide!

When the Joker commits his most heinous crime and wipes out Metropolis – and everyone Superman loves, including his unborn child – the Man of Steel decides enough is enough and establishes a new world order. Batman and a few others stand opposed to this new regime, and the lines are drawn for epic battles like never seen before in a fighting game.

“An exciting, unique-feeling fighter…the real reason to play is the thrill of harnessing the god-like powers of some of the most overwhelming figures in the comic realm.” IGN 8.2

Please note: This title is not available in Russia & CIS territories. This item can not be purchased in Bahamas, Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Moldova, Republic of, Hungary.

Features:

  •     A robust roster of DC Comics Super Heroes and Villains
  •     Master the god-like powers of each character
  •     All-new fighting gameplay from beat ‘em up masters NetherRealm
  •     Uncontainable battles in iconic environments
  •     Minigames and multiplayer modes support your role in the epic story

Featuring six new playable characters, over 30 new skins, and 60 new S.T.A.R. Labs missions, this edition packs a punch. In addition to DC Comics icons such as Batman, The Joker, Green Lantern, The Flash, Superman and Wonder Woman, the latest title from the award-winning studio presents a deep original story.

Heroes and villains will engage in epic battles on a massive scale in a world where the line between good and evil has been blurred!

You may visit the game’s Steam page for more information or check out the system requirements here:

OS: Windows Vista or later
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 2.8 GHz
Memory: 2GB
Hard Disk Space: 21GB
Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800 GTS or AMD® Radeon™ HD 3850
Direct X Version: 10

Requires Steam account and Steam client.

Supported Languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese-Brazil, Russian

Now of course, PC gamers are quite spoiled for cheap games especially when Steam Sales come around, so maybe this $4 will elicit a response of, “Meh, I’ll wait for it to be $2 on Steam.” If so, fair enough. But if this game is up your alley and you’ve not yet purchased it, and you don’t also mind spending the $4 then hey, we feel it is our civic duty to at least let you know about it.

DC Comics! *ding*

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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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