#egmr » Azhar http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Tue, 19 May 2015 09:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Arrow Season 3 Is A Series Decline, But Had Enough To Pull Through http://egmr.net/2015/05/arrow-season-3-is-a-series-decline-but-had-enough-to-pull-through/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/arrow-season-3-is-a-series-decline-but-had-enough-to-pull-through/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 07:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171113 Arrow has been a remarkable surprise thus far. The first season may have been somewhat reserved and took a while to really kick into gear, but the show moved from […]

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Arrow has been a remarkable surprise thus far. The first season may have been somewhat reserved and took a while to really kick into gear, but the show moved from strength to strength and was overflowing with confidence in its second spectacular season. It was the kind of confidence that sparked CW’s The Flash series to come out guns blazing in its debut season, totally unafraid of its comic book origins. Arrow season 3 certainly raised the bar dramatically on paper by introducing one of the most famous DC villains, Ra’s Al Ghul, who was set to be the most formidable foe Oliver Queen could face. Yes, we all know Ra’s is primarily a Batman villain, but its DC’s characters and they can do what they want with them, so enough of that.

I’ve been an avid watcher of Arrow since I took the plunge a little bit into season two, and I found myself enjoying it so much that I binge watched the entire first season in a matter of days. I had no interest in Green Arrow as a character prior to the show, but the writers really adapted it fantastically and managed to give us a character who was flawed and arguably even a really shit person before his ascension to the Arrow. It was that kind of characterisation, and the lessons Oliver Queen had to learn often from those wiser than he, that made him compelling. However despite how excited I was for season 3, it was the absence of this charm and the misuse of the primary villain that had me feeling Arrow’s third season was a decline, even though it had enough to pull through in the end.

Do I even need to put a spoiler warning here? Very well. Beware of spoilers.

To verify my opinion here I browsed through season 2 of Arrow again prior to writing this piece. The entire season builds up to Deathstroke, the ‘big bad’ of the season. The flashbacks tell his origin story, and often connected thematically to what was going on in the episode. There was a build up even to seeing Deathstroke in full costume, and the villain remained a constant oppressive presence in the season. By contrast Ra’s Al Ghul held very little presence for most of the beginning half of the season. And don’t even get me started on the flashbacks, which moved at a snail’s pace, were largely predictable and often felt very disconnected from the season itself, with only a forced bio weapon having any parallels. What started out as ways to show Oliver Queen’s five years of suffering and how they changed him into the Arrow, struggled to be relevant in Hong Kong

The season began interestingly enough with the death of Sara Lance AKA the Black Canary, and the ensuing investigation. But it was to be the beginning of Arrow season 3’s problems, as it dragged on for far too long, and left so little time to build up Ra’s Al Ghul before his eventual, disappointing five second reveal at the end of episode four. Arrow fans had been waiting since season 2 when the daughter of the demon became a consistent presence, and Ra’s Al Ghul was frequently mentioned. I won’t forget the smile that broke out on my face when Oliver Queen told Diggle “If half the stories I’ve heard about Ra’s Al Ghul are true…we’ll all pay.” But it was early days, and Arrow had already proven itself in the past, so I overlooked it. After two excellent crossover episodes between The Flash and Arrow at episode 8, the mid season finale was upon us and there was a good enough build up to arguably one of the series’ best choreographed fights, between Ra’s Al Ghul and Oliver. It was a very fitting end before the break, and it was actually the point I warmed up to Ra’s Al Ghul and thought the series did fantastically well to portray Oliver as just a kid compared to the demon, even if the eight episodes before that didn’t adequately build the villain up.

It was after the break though that I felt Arrow began its decline. My first issue with season 3 was the utterly absurd notion that Ra’s Al Ghul – the demon’s head, the freaking boss of the league of assassins, the man who has lived a hundred years (in the show) and has killed thousands of men – failed to kill a boy after stabbing him through the chest and kicking him off a cliff. While fans all assumed and anticipated the Lazarus Pit to enter the show, it wasn’t used to resurrect Oliver. Rather a couple of herbs. That bullshit aside, one of the season’s strengths was in showing Team Arrow cope without the actual Arrow, and being made to make their own decisions. It was pretty decent, even if the show was rather hasty to bring Oliver back to the team. Although there’s never a dull moment when Malcolm Merlin is around, and one of my favourite parts of season 3 was his continued involvement.

Another of my core problems with season 3 was its lack of focus, emphasis on fluff and the way Arrow was seemingly being used for too much build up. CW’s obsession with love triangles for one led to a very frustrating season with Oliver, Felicity and Ray Palmer, to the point that the once excellent chemistry between the first two completely fizzled out towards the end of the season. Too much of the season was used as build ups and setups, without actual focus on the core villain, big bad and the kind of character progression and interactions many fans have loved the series for. There was a huge emphasis on The Atom and Ray Palmer for instance, which is understandable from a business sense considering he’s not well known to the masses, there’s DC Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow is very popular, but when you combine it with Laurel’s ascension as the new Black Canary, Thea Queen’s rise to Speedy, Team Arrow’s bizarre and rushed inability to decide what they think of Oliver, and Quentin Lance’s poorly handled one-eighty on the Arrow, there was just far too much bogging the season down which gave the least amount of time to naturally build and progress the League of Assassins and Ra’s Al Ghul and the overall story.

The premise of it was there, with Ra’s wanting a successor in Oliver Queen. But Ra’s lacked the presence that Deathstroke and Malcolm Merlin had before him, and he lacked the build up and sense of threat after that fateful fight in episode nine. He also lacked the right characterisation, and began to get rather repetitive (those ancient proverbs) and like a tame bystander as the season went on. The net result of the problematic pacing was that the final three episodes of the season tried to cram a season-long story into three episodes, and it was actually depressing for me considering how much potential was buried in the rush. I remember watching the final three or four episodes wondering why none of it could have been happening weeks ago. It’s very difficult to get on board with what season 3 is selling you or feel any kind of suspense when it’s being rushed to that extent, lacked the appropriate build up and ended all too abruptly. Speaking of ending too quickly, the final fight between Oliver and Ra’s was perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the whole season for me, as it was awkwardly choreographed, lacked urgency and was over much too quickly. I’m repeating myself at this point.

I’ve been criticising season 3 quite a bit with my rantopinon here, but that’s only because the final few episodes and the actual ending to the season contained so much ‘what could have been’ had the writers exercised the same kind of quality and pacing present in the previous two seasons. However in spite of my flaws with the season, there was plenty to carry it through. It was great to see the rest of Team Arrow get to step up and make their own choices, the season gave amazing characters like Malcolm Merlin and Nyssa Al Ghul plenty of room to shine, despite its drawn out nature Ray Palmer was well-setup in the season and it was also very pleasing to see the Lazarus Pit used. A highlight for me would also be the soundtrack especially during some of those last few episodes, as Arrow absolutely pulled out some of its best tracks yet. The special effects, design and aesthetics continued to be excellent, especially more so when you’re factoring in The Atom and Nanda Parbat, the home of the League of Assassins. And I did feel the actual end to the season was strong, despite all its prior flaws.

While disappointing in many ways, Arrow season 3 does present an interesting platform for season 4, considering that a number of characters will be offloaded to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on top of other characters exiting. The fourth season may feel a bit empty or it may end up being entirely fresh with new faces, and in time we’ll hear more about that. But for a series that has surprised at almost every turn in its first two seasons, it’s a pity that it had to surprise in the wrong way in its third season. Yet in spite of that, as already mentioned, the third season had enough highs to carry it through, even if it did have a bit of a limp. The fourth season of Arrow may just be make or break as a result.

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It’s Not Space, But Star Wars: Battlefront Has A “Fighter Squadron” Mode http://egmr.net/2015/05/its-not-space-but-star-wars-battlefront-has-a-fighter-squadron-mode/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/its-not-space-but-star-wars-battlefront-has-a-fighter-squadron-mode/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 07:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171093 Ever since the arguably disappointing Star Wars Battlefront reveal trailer, which was made so due to its absence of gameplay, players have been waiting for a sign of the real […]

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Ever since the arguably disappointing Star Wars Battlefront reveal trailer, which was made so due to its absence of gameplay, players have been waiting for a sign of the real goods. DICE has announced that it will show off the first actual gameplay of Star Wars Battlefront on June 15, which seems to be on the day of EA’s E3 conference. We have little doubt that Star Wars Battlefront will be a large part of the publisher’s keynote at this year’s E3.

That’s not all we learned, however, as DICE was eager to talk a bit more about the game in a recent blog post as well. The developer revealed a brand new game mode called ‘Fighter Squadron’.

“You could see a tiny snippet of this in our trailer where you saw the Fighter Squadron mode, where you engage in huge Starfighter battles over canyons big enough to be truly epic,” said Niklas Fegraeus, design director at DICE.

“Then, for those not in the mood for large scale battles, we have created Missions where players can, for example, take on armies of AI or test their piloting skills. All our Missions can be played either alone or cooperatively, making them perfect for some quick Star Wars action when you have a friend over.”

It may not be space battles, but hopefully it’s the kind of fun that makes up for it. In before nothing can make up for it, and everything is doomed.

Fegraeus also added that the new modes in the game will have maps that cater to their specific “experiences.”

E3 is only a month away folks, so it’s not long to go now.

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DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow And Supergirl First Look Trailers http://egmr.net/2015/05/dc-legends-of-tomorrow-and-supergirl-first-look-trailers/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/dc-legends-of-tomorrow-and-supergirl-first-look-trailers/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 07:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171035 While DC Comics is certainly lagging behind Marvel in the movie department, having yet to begin their plans for their big universe, with regards to TV series they’re knocking it […]

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While DC Comics is certainly lagging behind Marvel in the movie department, having yet to begin their plans for their big universe, with regards to TV series they’re knocking it out of the park. Yes Marvel indeed has some really good ones too with Agents of Shield, and I’m dying to watch Daredevil. It’s an awesome time to be alive for geeks like us! DC’s Arrow and The Flash clearly weren’t enough, because we’re also getting an awesome all-star team up with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.

The first trailer for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has just been released, and you can check it out above. CW said in the trailer description:

Time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter must assemble a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat to the planet…and to time itself. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is coming soon to The CW.

The series stars The Atom, who had his origin story in Arrow’s third season, Captain Cold and Heatwave – also known as Micheal Scofield and Lincoln, Black Canary (who is shown to have been revived using the Lazarus Pit in Arrow), FireStorm and Hawkgirl, a first timer for the show. They’ll face off against the immortal super villain Vandal Savage, who has been alive “thousands of years” and commands “the most powerful army the world has ever seen.” They’ll be aided by Rip Hunter from the literal future’s Time Masters, who protect history.

Based on the trailer it looks just as fun as The Flash, and knows very well that it’s a comic book. It looks to be brimming with confidence and personality similarly to The Flash in its first season, which clearly shows how far CW has come with its DC line up. I’m quite keen to give it a try based on the trailer, especially since most of these characters have already been established, and who can disagree with cameos from The Flash and Arrow themselves.

Interestingly Arrow was sporting his usual green in the trailer, which is funny considering how the third season recently concluded. But that’s writing for next week.

Right that’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. But what of Supergirl? Here’s the first look trailer, which is a full 6 minutes in length and seems to give away a heck of a lot. Although The Flash also had an equally long preview, and it turned out good! Supergirl’s official description goes like this:

It’s not a bird. It’s not a plane. It’s not a man. It’s Supergirl. In the new drama from the world of DC Comics, Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, embraces her superhuman abilities and becomes the hero she was always meant to be. This Fall on CBS.

Supergirl stars Kara, Supergirl, who as it seems from the trailer wants to stop being ordinary and hiding her powers and instead help people. Her cousin Clark Kent is referenced quite a bit, which is a nice touch, but he isn’t seen in the trailer itself. Advised against it by her friend, and rejected by the military (at first), Supergirl sets out to be the alien them Kryptonites are and do super stuff. The show seems to have a kind of cheesy and light tone, which gives it its own charm and appeal, which is a little different from DC’s other shows.

While I think the preview looks pretty decent and has some potential about it, it’s easy to see why some people would call it girly. I reject that if it’s a criticism however, because them social justice warriors are always complaining about representation and, well, here’s a superhero series trying to appeal to female geeks. Sure it can appeal to guy geeks as well, but my point is that it’s nice to see the range of comic material on offer now, both from DC and Marvel. I’ll leave you to watch the Supergirl trailer and decide for yourself whether it’s something you’ll watch yourself, but remember that target audience is important. The Flash, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl all have their own tones and styles, even if the first three are absolutely interconnected. And that’s a good thing.

Will Supergirl or DC’s Legends of Tomorrow turn out good? Who knows. But I’m keen nonetheless. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Troll Crushes Kickstarter Campaign And Dreams After “Fraudulent” €7000 Pledge http://egmr.net/2015/05/troll-crushes-kickstarter-campaign-and-dreams-after-fraudulent-e7000-pledge/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/troll-crushes-kickstarter-campaign-and-dreams-after-fraudulent-e7000-pledge/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 08:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171011 Kickstarter often is the land of opportunity in terms of crowd-funding, and we’ve heard some great stories emerge about indie developers realising their dreams. This story however is rather fucked […]

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Kickstarter often is the land of opportunity in terms of crowd-funding, and we’ve heard some great stories emerge about indie developers realising their dreams. This story however is rather fucked up and involves a little indie studio getting crushed in what seems to be a rather cruel troll attempt.

2Awesome Studio, who were running a Kickstarter campaign for a shooter Dimension Drive, have been put through a rather horrible ordeal, emotionally speaking. With their Kickstarter campaign time almost out, a backer appeared out of nowhere and pledged €7000 straight, which would have allowed the project to reach its goal.

The elation for 2Awesome Studio was short lived.

As expected they were initially excited, as were their fans.

They seemed geared up to raise their ambitions. 

Except that’s when tragedy struck and it turns out that the mystery backer who was to be their saviour actually made a fraudulent investment.

Unfortunately for 2Awesome Studio, the time ran out and the game was just under €7000 short of reaching its Kickstarter goal.

“We honestly do not know what to say”, 2Awesome’s Alejandro Santiago told Kotaku. “We are quite devastated in the team right now. It has been a roller-coaster night for us to be honest.”

2Awesome also said that the pledge, which was made a few hours before the campaign was due to close, was withdrawn by Kickstarter for being “fraudulent” with only 31 minutes left of the campaign.

“Honestly speaking it has been a exhausting month for us. We have been working really hard to make our campaign a success, and right now we are speechless, demoralized, you name it”.

A Kickstarter rep told Kotaku that the user behind the fraudulent bid has been suspended. What an absolute asshole that user is. I mean Kickstarter campaigns succeed and fail, and that’s life and the market, but this is just some fucker who wants to watch the world burn, and isn’t as cool about it as the Joker.

I’m certain there will be some who point the finger at Kickstarter. Reason being because the Kickstarter system allowed the pledge to go through despite it being fraudulent, which is something that shouldn’t happen. But let’s say that’s a shit mistake or it happens and forgive it. Still, the Kickstarter project was successfully backed and only after was the fraudulent pledge discovered. Perhaps Kickstarter should have a better system in place for this kind of thing? Perhaps they should share some responsibility here, or take most of the blame? I’m sure opinions will vary on this.

I would hope that 2Awesome Studio are able to dust themselves off after this harsh lesson about people and keep pushing for their dream. It would be the worst thing to give up after something like this. There definitely needs to be some team spirit in their studio now, corny as that may sound, and they need to push on and come back stronger. Still, that doesn’t change what a shit experience this all is.

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Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Is All Style And No Soul http://egmr.net/2015/05/assassins-creed-syndicate-is-all-style-and-no-soul/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/assassins-creed-syndicate-is-all-style-and-no-soul/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 10:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170944 You have no idea how hard it was to hold back and not spew out cynical cracks while covering the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate reveal videos and all that jazz earlier […]

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You have no idea how hard it was to hold back and not spew out cynical cracks while covering the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate reveal videos and all that jazz earlier this morning. While the internet is no doubt going to be flooded with all things Assassin’s Creed Syndicate today, I’m interested in discussing games rather than just reporting on them, so let’s do that here. On paper Assassin’s Creed Syndicate looks to be a nice mix of ‘cool’ stuff, but we know better now don’t we? The devils don’t come from hell beneath us, they come from Ubisoft. Yes, I can quote movies like a pro. Even unreleased ones.

If you gave that gameplay footage a watch, you’d have seen that it clearly looked a bit clunky, visually buggy and stiff, which most will justify as it being “pre-alpha”, and that the game will magically get a whole lot better visually five months from now. Dreams are nice I suppose. It’s also nice to believe that we live in a world where Assassin’s Creed Unity didn’t launch running like crap, even though it was pretty. Excuse my cynicism, but when I hear that nine studios will be involved in the development of the game, I don’t quite get excited so much as I get the impression that a cluster fuck is pending.

While having that many studios working on an Assassin’s Creed game is nothing new, that’s nine studios working on the single player, mind you, since the game won’t have multiplayer. While having no multiplayer is a plus in my book given that it increases the chance of the game not running like shit or having extortionate monetisation features, it also means more pressure on the single player to deliver since less content is being included in the package. And Assassin’s Creed single player campaigns have left much to desire as of late.

“The reason we are doing this is to really focus on the roots of the franchise,” creative director Marc-Alexis Cote said (via GameSpot). “That’s why all nine studios are focused on delivering this single-player experience.”

We know ‘roots’ is a meaningless buzzword, Mr Cote. You can find a new word.

Alright I got all of that out of my system. So why do I say that Syndicate has no soul?

Firstly I don’t think anyone can be blamed by feeling that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate looks more or less like a re-skinned Assassin’s Creed Unity. We’ve long reached the oversaturation point with Assassin’s Creed, yet in frustrating contradiction it remains a franchise with so much potential – on paper at least. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate seems to have a great setting, a cool character duo and a few nice new features, but throughout the entire gameplay demonstration everything screams “you’ve been here ten times before” loud and clear. It’s the inevitable problem of annual releases – the final problem. If Assassin’s Creed Revelations and Assassin’s Creed III were the points where fans started to become divided about the series, then Assassin’s Creed Unity was absolutely the point of free fall off the top of that mountain. Of course not commercially, because mass market wins, but quality-wise surely it’s an open discussion.

As a side note there were two things I really liked about the gameplay demonstration though, one of which was the new grappling hook to make traversing the world quicker and cooler, and the other was the new fist fighting system, which actually looks satisfying. However I say this given that Assassin’s Creed Unity had the worst combat in the entire series by a country mile, and given that we’ve had mechanisms to speed up travel before, like Revelations’ hook blade. I guess that says a lot.

The thing is though that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has the kind of style change that should be making me excited. It’s what I would have wanted a fair number of Assassin’s Creed games and years ago. An emphasis on brutal fist fighting, banding with thugs in shady business, a playable female assassin side by side with the main protagonist, exploring the more modern streets, being more stealthy and using nifty gadgets like the grappling hook. Yet Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has no effect. And that’s one of the biggest reasons Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has no soul for me. I literally can’t justify excitement in it. I have no assurance that it will launch in a good state after Assassin’s Creed Unity. I know that Ubisoft somehow made a mess of the French Revolution setting, despite all its historical intrigue. There has long stopped being any narrative point to these games, unless you deeply care about the protagonists’ individual journeys. The Assassins and Templars serve no great purpose and no longer even seem to even be real enemies or intellectually interesting. The modern story has become a literal joke. The gameplay overall, with the exception of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, has got worse and less fun. I know that the game is being made because of the annual release schedule, and will be released regardless of whether it’s a great game or not, functional or not or realising its potential at all. A new developer, Quebec, may be heading the project, but big changes in development teams apparently don’t lead to any noticeable changes in the game.

History, the facts as well as all sense scream at me not to get excited about Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.

Yet Assassin’s Creed unquestionably has an enormous amount of sexy style, and simply watching the debut trailer without viewing the gameplay footage will easily make you question whether this year’s Assassin’s Creed could actually be better. It’s the trap you see, the appeal to the ridiculous inner optimism we gamers have about our formerly beloved franchises. Style is attractive, and Ubisoft knows how to sell it and make it with Assassin’s Creed. But you know what? Not this time. Assassin’s Creed Unity was the last nail in that beaten coffin. I can’t justify hyping up or having a positive attitude about the game in spite of everything else, and in spite of the fact that there’ll just be another one next year, not even counting all the sundry and extra titles released alongside the main game, like Assassin’s Creed Rogue. Will I play it? Well I kind of have to if I want to have any sort of legitimate opinion on it or say in the end of year awards, and there is always that chance it comes out good. But buying it? That ship has sailed, sunk and met the stone men below. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has style. It has attractions. It has cool concepts. But the franchise just has no goddamn soul left, and all I can muster in response to the reveal is apathy. Knowing how much love I had for this series once upon a time, well, that’s just life I suppose.

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Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Officially Revealed With Ten Minutes Of Gameplay http://egmr.net/2015/05/assassins-creed-syndicate-officially-revealed-with-ten-minutes-of-gameplay/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/assassins-creed-syndicate-officially-revealed-with-ten-minutes-of-gameplay/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 07:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170940 We all knew the reveal event for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was happening this week, and last night the next title in the franchise made its global debut. I’m sure throughout […]

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We all knew the reveal event for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was happening this week, and last night the next title in the franchise made its global debut. I’m sure throughout today you will see news sources buzzing with all things Assassin’s Creed, but I’m more keen on discussing the game, which I’ll get to at a later stage. If you’re a die hard Assassin’s Creed fan, well, I look forward to your disagreement in that particular comments section. For now though, let’s take a look at what we got.

As expected we got our debut cinematic trailer, but surprisingly we also got almost ten minutes of gameplay. The game stars siblings Jacob and Evie Frye as they take on the gangs of London, hence the name Syndicate. The year is 1868, so it’s not quite The Order: 1886 but it certainly means that swords are out of fashion and fists are in. An official Ubisoft Q&A (via Dualshockers) gives us detail about the main duo, as well as confirms that both are playable, which means hooray female characters in Assassin’s Creed! And it probably didn’t take double the animations, hey?

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate tells the story of Jacob Frye, who with the help of his twin sister Evie, will help free the masses from oppression. Together they will rally and lead the underworld to break the corrupt stranglehold on London in a visceral adventure filled with action, intrigue, and brutal combat.

Jacob is a charismatic brawler and will become the leader of the notorious street gang, The Rooks. With the help of Evie, he will fight to give London back to the people. Jacob is a hand-to-hand combat expert. On his left-hand is the Assassin gauntlet with a poison dart that can takedown enemies from a distance, as well as the new all-new rope launcher, which is instrumental to crossing London’s wide traffic-ridden streets, or quickly getting to the top of the massive buildings. And of course, the Assassin’s trusty hidden blade. On his right-hand is a pair of brass knuckles. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will feature the return of multi-kills, as Jacob lavishly takes down groups of opponents at once.

Evie is a critical part of Syndicate’s story. While Jacob is more hot headed, brash and rebellious, Evie is a master of stealth. Players will be able to choose between playing as Jacob or Evie in the Open World but on the narrative path, some missions will require playing as either Jacob or Evie. We’re looking forward to sharing more about her in the coming months.

The following video is a walkthrough, so you’ll get some commentary from Ubisoft to along with it. You’ll see some new gameplay features such as the focus on fist fighting in combat, the grappling chain for faster travelling and hat power. Mostly though, it’s some more Assassin’s Creed Unity.

In case you’re wondering, the Q&A also offered up some details on the more modern side of the game:

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will take the player to the doorstep of the modern age and this modernity will reflect in core gameplay pillars. You’ll experience the advent of electricity, traffic congestion, steam-powered trains, and brawling street gangs.

Players will experience the whole new rope launcher to help them scale the tall buildings of London or zip line from rooftop to rooftop. Players can also take the reins of a horse and carriage or take the train since railways started in London in the 19th century, or even parkour on carts. Navigation has significantly improved thanks to technological advances of the era.

In London in 1868, nobody walked around narrow alleys with giant broadswords anymore. It’s the era of concealed weapons and gang fights were more common, so we altered our fight system to focus on melee weapons for close combat. We also enhanced the multi-target system to allow gamers to choose their opponent when facing a large group. The combat feels more brutal, violent and dirty.

In addition to having more crowds to blend in with, players will also have vehicles to hide in, such as carriages and trains.

In the game you’ll get to see locations such as Big Ben, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Waterloo Station, complete with a predictable ‘massive’ open world full of activities.

The video below is if you want to watch the entire premiere event which includes everything the Ubisoft team has to say about the game before the above gameplay footage is shown.

Right then. Are you excited to wear Jacob’s iconic hat?

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be out on October 23 on PS4 and Xbox One, and later in the year on PC.

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Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Doubles The Animations With Playable Female Character http://egmr.net/2015/05/assassins-creed-syndicate-doubles-the-animations-with-playable-female-character/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/assassins-creed-syndicate-doubles-the-animations-with-playable-female-character/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 07:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170900 Assassin’s Creed Unity was no stranger to controversy up until its release, and one of the reasons it fell under scrutiny was not because it omitted a playable female character, but […]

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Assassin’s Creed Unity was no stranger to controversy up until its release, and one of the reasons it fell under scrutiny was not because it omitted a playable female character, but rather because Ubisoft’s ‘iconic’ explanation of why multiplayer would have no ladies was quite silly. It basically boiled down to it requiring “double the animations”, which came in a statement from Assassin’s Creed Unity director Alex Amancio. His statement was repeatedly mocked all over the show, and fans were understandably sceptical given that Assassin’s Creed is one of the most financially powerful franchises in the industry.

The series is not without playable female characters, as in 2012’s Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, the sister game to Assassin’s Creed III, gamers controlled Aveline, who sported a cut and paste array of Connor’s animations but was most definitely a lady. But rather than stress that every player would be Arno online in Unity (because Arno reasons), Ubisoft decided to give those sorts of rubbish explanations.

Anyhow the whole ordeal landed Ubisoft quite a bit of bad publicity, so it comes as no surprise that the upcoming and soon to be officially revealed Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will sport a playable female character. We got some tidbits about the game yesterday, in case you were asleep. Now it may be a little stretch to imagine that because of the backlash Ubisoft got for Unity they’re now making a playable female assassin, since these Assassin’s Creed games are on development cycles that stretch three years or so. However the backlash for Unity did happen months before its release, so it’s quite possible anything could have happened in that time.

Nevertheless, one would imagine that Ubisoft will definitely be keen to market this playable character to right past wrongs. Here I am babbling along though and I haven’t even delved into the source of the information! Eager beaver as always, I am.

The source is actually Kotaku who seem to have some insider information from a secret squirrel or two. According to the Kotaku source Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will have two main characters, Jacob (as we heard yesterday) and Evie, who is pictured in the leaked-to-Kotaku concept art above. The source said that they’re siblings, and the pair will be heavily involved in the criminal underworld of Victorian London, where the game is set. However Jacob appears to be the primary character, as according to Kotaku the balance in story missions favour the brother 75% to 25% sister.

Syndicate apparently won’t have any multiplayer modes, but players will be able to swap between Jacob and Evie while exploring the open world between missions.

The source for Kotaku spoke under anonymity, since obviously they aren’t yet allowed to speak publicly about the game given that it’s not even officially revealed or announced yet. That said the source also reiterated what we heard yesterday about the game releasing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in October.

While we’ll probably get the usual CG trailer and some gameplay and story details at the reveal set for later today, I’m just sitting here hoping Assassin’s Creed Syndicate actually runs like it isn’t shot in the kneecap when it releases.

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New Assassin’s Creed Game Is No Victory, Stars Assassin Named Jacob Frye http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-assassins-creed-game-is-no-victory-stars-assassin-named-jacob-frye/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-assassins-creed-game-is-no-victory-stars-assassin-named-jacob-frye/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 10:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170875 Last week we got some tease shots regarding the new Assassin’s Creed game, which up until this point we believed would be called Assassin’s Creed Victory. According to new information released […]

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Last week we got some tease shots regarding the new Assassin’s Creed game, which up until this point we believed would be called Assassin’s Creed Victory. According to new information released today, Victory is not actually the official subtitle of the game, but the next game in the franchise will rather be titled Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.

Polygon confirmed the title of the game after being shown some marketing stuff ahead of the game’s full reveal, which will happen tomorrow if you’re still the type of person who gets super excited for new Assassin’s Creed games.

Based on what Polygon was shown, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate stars an assassin named Jacob Frye, who will not be searching for Charles Lee. The game takes place during the Industrial Revolution in London which is a “world they’ll have to see to believe.” At least the prior rumours of England being the setting were true then.

Oh and of course before we even see the game we know what the pre-order bonus is. Those who pre-order at GameStop specifically will be gifted with a shilling necklace replica, which is worn by the main character in the game, and is probably iconic in Ubisoft’s minds.

Personally after the abysmal state of the average bore that was Assassin’s Creed Unity, and the predictable notion that Ubisoft knew the game was in such a sorry state but released it anyway because post-launch fix of course, count me out of being excited for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.

That said, the maddening and sad part about this franchise is that it’s setting-based concept and gameplay style always opened it up to so many wonderful possibilities, but the series is always determined to never reach its potential, let alone deviate from the predictable. In before I’m just a jaded freak who can’t enjoy anything, am I right?

I guess we’ll see tomorrow in the official reveal, which will most likely be a cinematic trailer that looks better (and more improbable) than the actual game. As per the usual, I suppose. At least there will be story and gameplay details, I imagine!

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be out in November, which is the standard release window for Assassin’s Creed games. While platforms haven’t been confirmed, assume PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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Early Preview Of The iCEnhancer Visual Mod For GTA V http://egmr.net/2015/05/early-preview-of-the-icenhancer-visual-mod-for-gta-v/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/early-preview-of-the-icenhancer-visual-mod-for-gta-v/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 08:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170872 We’ve known for a little bit of time that Hayssam Keilany is working on bringing the iCEnhancer mod to GTA 5, although development of it is still very early. If […]

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We’ve known for a little bit of time that Hayssam Keilany is working on bringing the iCEnhancer mod to GTA 5, although development of it is still very early. If you don’t know what the iCEnhancer mod is, well, it’s a huge part of the reason Grand Theft Auto IV could look so damn good years after its release. The ENB-based graphical enhancement mod is only in its pre-alpha stage as of right now, but there’s a video showing off some of the changes and tweaks it will make to GTA V on PC.

You can watch the video above, from taltigolt via Overclock3D, as well as check out the iCEnhancer Facebook page to catch some screenshots.

If you’re struggling to see the difference, even while watching in 1080p and 60fps on YouTube, then keep in mind that firstly this is the pre-alpha stage. There will most likely be more improvements and tweaks to come in future. Also bear in mind that YouTube videos are compressed by nature, so it’s always a bit tough to completely gouge out the true graphical fidelity of something.

More importantly however, one thing the iCEnhancer mod does as of right now is remove the irritating fog surrounding the city, so now you can see everything clearly. The render distance is a big thing if you like admiring everything, especially when you’re airborne. People may be divided on the slight colour change, though, as the mod gives GTA V a tiny tinge of a blue hue. I quite like it, and I can’t wait to see what GTA V looks like in future with all these enhancements, but I have seen some commentors prefer the stock graphics because of this reason.

If GTA IV and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are anything to go on though, graphical mods just continue to get better and better, and eventually we may see the same kind of ridiculous enhancements that went into these games for GTA V. Perhaps in a few years we’ll be laughing at how GTA V still matches the newest games.

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The Witcher 3 Gets First PS4 Gameplay Footage – Now’s The Time To Decide http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-gets-first-ps4-gameplay-footage-nows-the-time-to-decide/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-gets-first-ps4-gameplay-footage-nows-the-time-to-decide/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 07:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170632 This was a little surprising to me. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hasn’t particularly been a game I’ve been following daily. I loved The Witcher 2 and am deeply excited […]

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This was a little surprising to me. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hasn’t particularly been a game I’ve been following daily. I loved The Witcher 2 and am deeply excited to play the third installment, but I’ve not paid close attention and had the attitude that “I’ll play it when it’s here.” That’s perhaps why it’s a little surprising to me that the first PS4 footage is dropping in just under two weeks before the game’s official launch on May 19. Sure you expect the primary PC version to be marketed the most, but this is cutting it fine.

Anywho the gameplay revealed isn’t the most exciting of things, as it’s a five minute segment which includes plenty of free roaming and one combat encounter. But if you’re mostly interested in how the game looks and performs on PS4, then the footage is very, very telling, and will give you enough of a peek at the game so that you can make your platform decision close to the release day.

Personally, The Witcher 3 is one of those games I have to play on a PC, and wouldn’t on console. That’s because not only do I prefer the hotkeys and controls afforded to me on a PC for RPGs like it, but when a game is built primarily for a PC like The Witcher 3 and takes full advantage of the graphical capabilities, it’s almost a shame not to experience it at its best. Provided you can afford it of course, and if you’re not a PC gamer I doubt it matters to you.

That discussion aside, the game runs exceptionally well on PS4 by the looks of it. It’s totally smooth, and there’s no sign of the game taking any strain in rendering the open world, as the frame rate stayed completely fixed. The game is also damn pretty too, despite the scale of it. However the animations are a small cause for concern for me, as especially during the combat sequence it didn’t seem as comfortable as the free roaming, and particularly magic usage seemed a little clunky. Hopefully it was just the player who gave the impression, since the footage revealed is taken straight off someone playing it on PS4, and wasn’t scripted or dressed up in any way.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of 2015’s biggest game releases, and it’s hard to believe it’s right around the corner. We’ll have a review up for you as soon as we can, but I doubt you’ll need it if you’re a fan, and you’re most likely prepping for a day one purchase. That’s fine, as long as you don’t pre-order you mad bastard.

Get it fresh on May 19 on PC, PS4 or Xbox One.

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Harley Quinn Co-Creator Has Some Comments About Her Suicide Squad Look http://egmr.net/2015/05/harley-quinn-co-creator-has-some-comments-about-her-suicide-squad-look/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/harley-quinn-co-creator-has-some-comments-about-her-suicide-squad-look/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 08:00:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170599 Harley Quinn is an extremely popular character in the Batman universe, as the Joker’s bizarre partner in crime. However she hasn’t quite had the decorated 75 year history like Batman […]

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Harley Quinn is an extremely popular character in the Batman universe, as the Joker’s bizarre partner in crime. However she hasn’t quite had the decorated 75 year history like Batman and Joker, but was rather created not too long ago in comic world in 1992, by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for Batman: The Animated Series. She immediately became a fan favourite, and forms of media like Rocksteady’s Batman games only further cemented her as a star. Fun fact: did you know that the audio recordings of her in Batman: Arkham Asylum actually came from the comic “Mad Love” which depicts her and the Joker’s relationship in the Animated Series? Awesome, right?

Now earlier this week we got our first look at the entire cast of Suicide Squad, and while that was enough to ruffle some jammies, most people were dying to see Harley Quinn. I can’t imagine she disappointed!

It’s one thing what we think. It’s another what the co-creator of the character does! Polygon caught up with Harley Quin’s co-creater Bruce Timm to get his take on actress Margot Robbie’s look in Suicide Squad.

“It’s interesting,” Timm answered immediately. “It’s weird. Myself — being somebody who’s taken characters that pre-exist and putting my own spin on them in my own little universe — I’m very aware of how when a character that I necessarily created shows up in other media that they have to adapt it and do different things with it than I would do. So I’m very open to it to see what they’re going to do. I’m actually really excited. I just today, just before the show started, saw the first image of Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad movie, and I thought ‘Woah. She looks actually pretty cute!’ I was actually kind of worried I thought ‘Oh, she’s going to look really, really bizarre and skanky’ but nah, she’s not too bad. So I’m often mistaken.

While I’m still not sure how I feel about Suicide Squad, the authentic look of the cast, Batman’s involvement and Jared Leto are getting me somewhat intrigued by it all. I just hope those tattoos on The Joker aren’t actually part of his look in the movie, and to that end I’m very much looking forward to a picture in full costume.

What do you think about the cast? About Harley Quinn? If you don’t know the actress, she was in The Wolf of Wall Street and she absolutely has the personality, looks and voice for the role. Time will tell whether she’s batshit crazy though!

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Halo 5 Won’t Be A Second “Black Eye” For 343 After The Master Chief Collection http://egmr.net/2015/05/halo-5-wont-be-a-second-black-eye-for-343-after-the-master-chief-collection/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/halo-5-wont-be-a-second-black-eye-for-343-after-the-master-chief-collection/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 07:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170564 Halo: The Master Chief Collection may have been the mother of all nerdgasms for Halo fans, but it unfortunately suffered an horrendous launch which had dire consequences on its matchmaking. It […]

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection may have been the mother of all nerdgasms for Halo fans, but it unfortunately suffered an horrendous launch which had dire consequences on its matchmaking. It was nigh unplayable, and took quite a while to come right. Just another day of buying games that don’t work at launch in our gaming industry, ain’t it?

According to Frank O’Connor, the Halo franchise development director, the development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” and that was partly why things went south once the game hit store shelves. No such fate will await Halo 5: Guardians though!

Frank O’Connor spoke to Xbox Achievements about what a troublesome child The Master Chief Collection was, and how Halo 5 is a totally different beastie.

“Halo: The Master Chief Collection is definitely a black eye for us,” he began. “We’re not going to rest on our laurels or hide from the mistakes we made. However, I will say that the nature of The Master Chief Collection – you’ve got five different game engines, you’ve got five different studios working on it, you’ve got 343 working on putting it all together – the footprint and complexity was outrageous.”

When you put it that way, it does seem like a real headache to even think about creating that thing. O’Connor further said that many of the issues players faced on launch day were not found in testing, and as a result caught the developers by surprise.

“Halo 5 is being made by a completely different team. It’s a singular product. It was built from the ground up for this new technology, rather than being sort of dragged kicking and screaming from 2001 and forced and shoehorned into a 2014 console. So the problem spaces are still very challenging but they’re radically different. I think the beta is already a decent first step, in a retail environment, showing that we don’t have the same problems.”

There’s always a justifiable reason for publishers to capitalise on older games when new consoles release and bring sequels to games from the last generation, and there are instances where it’s very convenient for consumers and rids them of the need to hold onto last generation’s consoles. Contextually we’re always debating each individual case and discussing whether they’re worth it or not, and we’ll continue doing that as incredible armchair commentators. Wonderful life, and so forth.

At least in Halo 5’s case, there was good reason for that Master Chief Collection, and I don’t think it quite reflects what will end up happening with the new game. I have little doubt that at least on a technical level Halo 5: Guardians will be on par with its predecessors, so fear not peasants.

In before it’s broken at launch and you sue me.

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What Are You Getting For The $40 Arkham Knight Season Pass? Batgirl For One! http://egmr.net/2015/05/what-are-you-getting-for-the-40-arkham-knight-season-pass-batgirl-for-one/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/what-are-you-getting-for-the-40-arkham-knight-season-pass-batgirl-for-one/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 07:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170497 Last week we discovered that the season pass for Batman: Arkham Knight would cost a huge $40, which together with the game means you’ll be making a $100 purchase if […]

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Last week we discovered that the season pass for Batman: Arkham Knight would cost a huge $40, which together with the game means you’ll be making a $100 purchase if you’re so inclined. In that article I discussed the prices of other season passes of various contexts and pointed out that Arkham Knight is a single player only title, which makes it a bit of a stretch to ask for a $40 extra buy in especially when there’s no knowledge of what you’ll actually get for that kind of money.

Turns out I wasn’t the only human with that sensible complaint, and after much public resistance and questioning Warner Bros. has stepped out to talk about the content that will be included in the season pass, which itself is a six-month plan. Writing on Facebook, the publisher said the season pass content will add “more narrative, more missions, more challenges and more characters and vehicles” built especially for a post-launch release. While for obvious reasons the publisher couldn’t detail everything included in the season pass, we were given an overview.

Below you’ll find a summary of what you’ll get in the season pass. Spoiler: there’s Batgirl!

  • Batgirl: A Matter of Family
    An all new prequel story expansion in an entirely new location where you play as Batgirl for the very first time in the Arkham series – check out the first render of Batgirl.
  • The Season of Infamy
    Play as Batman in all new story missions featuring legendary super-villains invading Gotham City, with new story arcs, missions and gameplay features.
  • Gotham City Stories
    Play as Batman’s key allies in narrative missions extending their storylines, from both before and after the events in Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Legendary Batmobiles with Themed Tracks
    Drive the most iconic Batmobiles from Batman’s 75-year history, on custom-built race tracks, each themed to that Batmobile’s specific era. Every Batmobile will be drivable across every race track.
  • Crimefighter Challenge Maps
    Engage in a series of new challenge maps utilizing the unique play styles of Batman and his allies.
  • Character Skins
    A variety of skins from across the eras for Batman, Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman.

Call me a jaded a-hole, but even with these details I’m still not getting the desire to splash $40 on the unknown. The Batgirl and Season of Infamy add-ons seem legitimately interesting, but if this entire season pass costs $40, then what will the individual DLC packs cost? Personally though that’s a future problem, because I’m the type of gamer who can’t give a damn about any post-launch content until I experience what’s actually on the disc.

Than in itself, however, is part of the discussion surrounding all this emphasis on DLC before the game has even launched. Someone in an online forum pointed out that many people want to finish their games quickly and then trade them in or sell them to get back some of which they spent or acquire other games. By emphasising that there will be new content after release before the game is out, it gives gamers some incentive to hold onto the title for longer. I can see the idea behind the argument, but it overlooks the fact that publishers (not developers) won’t really care whether you finish the game as long as you make that $60 initial buy-in, and the main reason for emphasising post-launch DLC before launch is simply and obviously to get people to make the $40 season pass buy in before the game is out, so the publisher scores an awesome $100 before they’ve even released the game. Maximising profits, and such.

Yes, I may be a cynical one, but by all means, tell me I’m wrong. Although it’s your money, so do with it as you wish.

Rocksteady, the guys and girls we actually love here, apparently wanted players to experience the content packs “even though they didn’t fit into the storyline of Batman: Arkham Knight”. They’re basically expanding their Arkhamverse, and seem to have a hell of a time doing it.

There’ll be more on these packs as they get closer to release. Do you feel better though after they’ve been detailed? Are you more excited? Or are you still uncomfortable with it all?

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So Is Captain America A Virgin? Chris Evans Tackles This Philosophical Question http://egmr.net/2015/04/so-is-captain-america-a-virgin-chris-evans-tackles-this-philosophical-question/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/so-is-captain-america-a-virgin-chris-evans-tackles-this-philosophical-question/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170409 Captain America may be the leader of the Avengers, but he’s also the man who had his testicles frozen for close to 70 years. If you didn’t know that, you […]

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Captain America may be the leader of the Avengers, but he’s also the man who had his testicles frozen for close to 70 years. If you didn’t know that, you probably didn’t watch Captain America: The First Avenger or read up on any of the back story. Since he was a bit of a scrawny shrimp in the original movie, prior to his super-soldier-because-science transformation, we didn’t really see Captain America really be a hit with the ladies. I mean, we saw Black Widow face attack him for a cover in Winter Soldier, but other than that the Captain has been too busy to save the world to unfreeze his frozen potato.

Why is any of this relevant? Well, because while you’re wondering whether or not you stumbled on the type of blog that debates Twilight, the actual Captain America, that is actor Chris Evans, is off tackling this hugely philosophical question about the Captain’s apparent lack of happy fun time.

“It’s funny when you think about it – he’s probably a virgin,” actor Chris Evans told Entertainment Weekly about Captain America’s romance. “He’s probably a virgin! I don’t know when it would have happened.”

“He was on tour. That’s true,” Evans replied when reminded that the Captain went on tour with the USO. “Maybe one of those [dancing] girls blew his mind. [Laughs] He’s probably just a good guy He was probably holding out for Peggy Carter and he’s a little more old-fashioned in that sense.”

“These are a lot of things that I think are giant conflicts, but they’re also very personal conflicts. He’s a very human guy. That’s why I like him.”

Having just watched Avengers: Age of Ultron, I can confirm that Steve Rogers is still forever alone. But hey! Maybe he has found inner contentment!

Or perhaps we can start calling Captain America the “90-year-old virgin”.

Although who really cares, whenever the Avengers happens all the heroes miraculously seem to lose their significant others, so they’re just rentals anyway.

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Here’s What You’ll Need To Run Wolfenstein: The Old Blood On PC http://egmr.net/2015/04/heres-what-youll-need-to-run-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-on-pc/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/heres-what-youll-need-to-run-wolfenstein-the-old-blood-on-pc/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 07:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170404 The cat is out of the bag for the PC requirements of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. While Wolfenstein: The New Order was not the most gorgeous game ever created thanks to […]

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The cat is out of the bag for the PC requirements of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. While Wolfenstein: The New Order was not the most gorgeous game ever created thanks to its rather dull art direction, it was certainly a looker and made some technical decisions which required some meat out of your PC. The Old Blood doesn’t seem exceptionally demanding on the graphics card front, but for some reason it goes a little far with its recommended specs in terms of a processor, asking for a Core i7.

The game itself is 38GB in size as well, so it’s not the biggest download you’ll make either, since Batman: Arkham Knight will clock in at 55GB.

Below you’ll find the PC specs for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.

Minimum

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500 @ 3.3 GHz / AMD FX-8320 @ 3.5 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / AMD Radeon HD 6870 (1GB VRAM)
  • Hard Drive: 38 GB available space

Recommended

  • OS: 64-Bit Windows 7/Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 / AMD FX-8350
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon R9 280 (3GB or more VRAM)
  • Hard Drive: 38 GB available space

If you are here to lead, but not to read, then I offer you this handy picture which tells the story as well.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

When you’re looking at games like Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and eventually Star Wars: Battlefront (PC specs not revealed yet), Wolfenstein: The Old Blood isn’t too demanding, except for that processor perhaps. The minimum are easy though!

Did you enjoy the previous Wolfenstein game enough to want this one? Can your PC deal with its drama?

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It’s Surprising How Few People Finished The Order: 1886 http://egmr.net/2015/04/its-surprising-how-few-people-finished-the-order-1886/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/its-surprising-how-few-people-finished-the-order-1886/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 13:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170075 The troublesome topics of appropriate game length and gamers’ penchants for not actually finishing games has long been around in our industry. At last year’s GDC it was established that only […]

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The troublesome topics of appropriate game length and gamers’ penchants for not actually finishing games has long been around in our industry. At last year’s GDC it was established that only about a third of players actually finish the games they play, while the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes sparked discussions surrounding shorter games and whether people actually complete them.

Well it turns out that shorter games may not actually hold the answer either, because the statistics once again paint a rather alarming picture, and this time with a very unlikely suspect, namely Ready at Dawn’s inoffensive shooter The Order: 1886. While it wasn’t the best of games it sold very well, had lots of public attention and was unfortunately far too short a game, with players capable of finishing it in two sittings. Yet, that didn’t seem to encourage people to actually finish it.

CramGaming decided to investigate The Order: 1886 and discovered that, according to the PS4 trophy rarity tracker, it has seen a lowly 40% of its players obtain the campaign’s final trophy, “A knight No More”, which is given to those who complete the game. Despite the extremely short length of the game and lack of multiplayer to divert attention from the campaign, people just weren’t encouraged to complete the game. At the time of The Order 1886’s release there weren’t a ton of games around to get on PS4, so it’s not as if we can easily dismiss it as people just moving on to other games. Even so, however, if you’re paying $60 for The Order: 1886, a seven hour game, and you only end up playing it like three or four hours, that’s quite eyebrow-raising.

The-Order-1886-A-knight-No-More

You would have thought, however, that with the game being that short a higher number of players would be motivated to complete it, but it doesn’t look that way. There are alternative explanations, such as people buying the game, giving it a shot and wanting to return it for a full refund before the time period to do so expires. I suppose we could also factor in those who played offline and as such didn’t have their trophy information synced. Nevertheless, The Order: 1886’s length certainly didn’t help much in terms of getting people to complete it.

For some other interesting stats, CramGaming compiled a list of other PS4 Game completion stats:

Killzone shadow Fall – Complete level ‘The Savior’ and prevent the escalation of a new war – 21.8%

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes – Clear the Ground Zeroes Mission 66.9% / Clear all missions – 10.1%

Outlast – Finish the Game – 20.2 %

Knack – complete all chapters 23.7%

The Last of Us Remastered – complete the game on Easy – 39.7% / On Normal 30.5%

Infamous Second Son Finish the Game with Good Karma – 49.2 / Finish the story evil Karma – 26.9%

Assassin’s Creed Unity Complete Sequence 12 – 34.7%

Resident Evil Remaster finish the game on very easy or higher – 30.5 / on normal 12.1%

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Sizable Timed Discounts Inbound For PS4 And Xbox One Locally http://egmr.net/2015/04/sizable-timed-discounts-inbound-for-ps4-and-xbox-one-locally/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/sizable-timed-discounts-inbound-for-ps4-and-xbox-one-locally/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 11:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170067 Ster Kinekor Entertainment has announced that at the start of May 2015 it will drop the recommended retail price of the normal PS4 bundle to R5,299, for 72 hours. That […]

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Ster Kinekor Entertainment has announced that at the start of May 2015 it will drop the recommended retail price of the normal PS4 bundle to R5,299, for 72 hours. That means for this weekend you’ll be able to get a PS4 for around R500-800 less. And the world kept spinning, am I right?

“For a limited period of 72 hours, take advantage of this deal and grab the most powerful gaming system from your local participating retailer between the 1st and 3rd May 2015,” said Ster Kinekor.

The current retail price of the PS4 is anywhere between R5,799 and R6,000 at most online stores, while the current recommended retail price is R5,999.

According to Ster Kinekor participating retailers include:

  • BT Games
  • Makro
  • DionWired
  • Game
  • AnimeWorX
  • Toys “R” Us
  • CNA
  • Incredible Connection
  • Game4u
  • Takealot.com

Will you be rushing out to get one? Not so fast, my friend, as Microsoft isn’t about to be left out!

Microsoft South Africa and Prima Interactive have also stepped up to announce an Xbox One special for this weekend, lasting 1 to 3 May. Xbox One, determined to do better, is allowing its Limited Edition White Sunset Overdrive bundle to go for R5,299, which is around R1,000 reduction in the recommended retail price.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds better than the PS4 deal, since there’s a good game in there too.

Furthermore the Xbox One Standard Edition, if you prefer black, will also get a price drop but only of R300, putting it down to R5999. Included as part of the bundle is either Forza Horizon 2 or Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Microsoft announced participating retailers, and gave the obligatory “stocks are limited” warning:

  • BT Games
  • Makro
  • Incredible Connection
  • CNA
  • Dion Wired
  • Game
  • Toys R US
  • Takealot
  • Musica
  • Games4u
  • Animeworx

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Do You Think Batman: Arkham Knight Is Ripping You Off With Its $40 Season Pass? http://egmr.net/2015/04/do-you-think-batman-arkham-knight-is-ripping-you-off-with-its-40-season-pass/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/do-you-think-batman-arkham-knight-is-ripping-you-off-with-its-40-season-pass/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170033 Do you see what I did with that headline? I’m not telling you that Batman: Arkham Knight is ripping you off with its $40 season pass, I’m merely subtly suggesting it! Am […]

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Do you see what I did with that headline? I’m not telling you that Batman: Arkham Knight is ripping you off with its $40 season pass, I’m merely subtly suggesting it! Am I not the most clever asshole who ever existed? Either way, Rocksteady I have mad love for you, but maybe you have to ditch Warner Bros, bro. They’re a bit questionable.

Rocksteady has today announced a DLC Season Pass for Batman: Arkham Knight which aims to give players content for six months after the game launches. There’s also a digital only premium edition of the game which includes the Season Pass and will probably cost you like $100. The issue is that the Season Pass on its own is $40, so you’re paying for all that six months of content from the get go. The content itself will add Batmobile skins, challenge maps, alternative character skins and new race tracks to the game, detailed fully below.

The Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass

Today, we’ve officially announced the first details of our Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass. The Season Pass will get you a variety of brand new content including story missions, additional super-villains invading Gotham City, legendary Batmobile skins, advanced challenge maps, alternative character skins, and new drivable race tracks.

Additionally, all of our Season Pass content will be delivered regularly for six months post-launch, providing more reasons to jump back into Gotham City throughout 2015.

The Season Pass is priced at $39.99 (US), £32.99 (UK), €39.99 (EU), $59.95 (AU)

The Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition

For those of you pre-ordering digitally, you’ll also have the option to pre-order the Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition. This edition combines Batman: Arkham Knight and the Season Pass into one easy pre-order package.

Please see your platform’s digital store for pricing on the Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition.

Let’s discuss this for a little bit then, shall we?

People aren’t crazy about season passes to begin with, often because of the way they’re sometimes advertised before we’ve even seen a game or know enough about it to make an informed decision. That’s just business being business, you may say, but that doesn’t mean you have to respect it or care for the practice. I’m not particularly a fan of the “oh it’s optional, so it’s harmless” argument, especially when it enables publishers to start pushing $99 microtransactions in a triple A game. Yes, I’m looking at you Assassin’s Creed: Unity, you vile thing.

Allow me to make one thing clear, however. A recent check on Steam has shown me that Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Dark Souls II and BioShock: Infinite have season passes priced at $24.99, $24.99 and $19.99 respectively. We made a bit of a deal out of Destiny’s $34.99 expansion pass. Pushing the absurdity range would be Call of Duty: Black Ops III, which has a ridiculous season pass costing $49.99. That leaves with Batman: Arkham Knight being the cruel upper middle child. I don’t think you ever want to be called “worse than Destiny” hey?

I’m not an expert on what season passes should cost, I mean I don’t particularly buy them. I dislike the practice since it’s paying for content you have no idea about, and throwing down your money first in the hope that it could be worth it, on top of the base $60 game. A bit too much uncertainty to pay for in my books.

My concern is that Batman: Arkham Knight, unlike the other titles barring BioShock: Infinite, is predominately a single player game, and splashing $40 on uncertainty for future content absolutely seems a little crazy. I would happily listen to reasons why you feel this may be worth it or justified, since I’m ever ready for discussion, but to me it seems like Warner Bros being Warner Bros.

Do you think this season pass is a rip off? Are you okay with season passes as they’ve been lately? Yes I know they’re optional and you don’t have to buy them at all, but perhaps we can have a more consumer-focused discussion than that.

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It’s Not You Xbox One, It’s Me… http://egmr.net/2015/04/its-not-you-xbox-one-its-me/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/its-not-you-xbox-one-its-me/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169967 The Xbox One took a bit of a while to get to South Africa, and after a lot of fortunate circumstances I was able to afford it a year after […]

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The Xbox One took a bit of a while to get to South Africa, and after a lot of fortunate circumstances I was able to afford it a year after I had bought a PS4. In the last generation I had a PS3 and a gaming-ready PC, where most of my playing was done thanks to Dota 2, and as a result I missed out on a handful of Xbox 360 titles which caught my eye. While I’m not quite fanatical about Gears of War, Halo or Forza, the game Alan Wake certainly had me pining for an Xbox 360, although I was absolutely fortunate in that regard when the game made its way over to PC as well. This generation I was determined to own both consoles for two reasons. The first would be to eliminate all biases and be objective about the consoles going forward, and the second reason was obviously to play the games I would otherwise miss out on, so that I could enjoy the new generation to the fullest.

Less than a year later, however, I’ve grown distant from my Xbox One and have actually decided to sell it. Yet, you may be surprised to hear that it’s no fault of the console itself.

I have now spent more than enough time with both machines features and games-wise, having played Killer Instinct, Dying Light, Sunset Overdrive and Assassin’s Creed Unity on Xbox One, and the likes of Bloodborne (obviously), Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, DriveClub, Infamous: Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall, Resogun and other such titles on PS4. I have honestly enjoyed my time with both consoles, and it’s been an extremely educational and refreshing experience to have both at my fingertips, and be fortunate enough to remove biases or unfounded opinions about either machine in comparison to the other. In other words, owning both consoles has made me love both consoles, praising and criticising each fairly, yet remaining happily divorced from the console war.

However, faster than I had anticipated, the consoles are reaching what I refer to as a ‘features equilibrium’. When Xbox One and PS4 each launched, there were jarring feature differences that could be selling points on their own. For example, the save state function on Xbox One and the share functionality on PS4, both of which I actually adore. In recent updates, the Xbox One improved its sharing capability while the PS4 picked up the suspend and resume feature. Barring compliments like the Kinect and Vita, consoles do gravitate towards offering similar features. Yes the PS4 may also boast Share Play, but unfortunately in South Africa our internet upload speeds are not capable of handling it, so it’s a moot point in this particular market. Either way this is normal on consoles as they compete, and it’s part of a process that drives the battle to come down to the three most important aspects of console gaming, which would be exclusives, personal preference and friends.

You may love Xbox as a brand, but if every single one of your friends owns a PS4 it’s going to be a lonely road. You may think PS4 is the business, but love the controller of the Xbox One far more. You may want Gears of War, Halo and Forza and stuff the rest, and that’s perfectly fine. All that truly matters in consoles is exclusives at the top, personal preference and your peers, especially if you’re an online player. Perhaps a fourth component would be ‘vision’, in terms of whether you want just a gaming console in the PS4 or something a bit more lifestyle and entertainment-oriented as well with the Xbox One. Your circumstances and wants are a big driver in this decision.

In my time with both consoles, certain revelations dawned on me. While my history with the PlayStation and personal preference of it will always create some intrinsic bias, it was exceptionally easy to enjoy playing on both consoles. Despite being fully aware of and easily capable of noticing the differences in resolution and frame rate – where I always stress the latter is actually relevant to gameplay while resolution isn’t – no game I played on Xbox One was less enjoyable. When I played on Xbox One I gave no thought to PS4 (except when I missed that lovable share function…) and when playing on PS4 I gave no thought to Xbox One (except when I missed the Kinect voice control navigation…), so coexistence is certainly possible. In other words both consoles are great to play on. There are flaws and pros of both, but continued updates will iron out kinks and improve the playing experience anyway.

The main point is that despite what the internet may try to convince you of, there is nothing terribly wrong with either console, and both are respectably on par in your day to day gaming for the average player. This is coming from someone who only wants to play games, and largely doesn’t care about features beyond that. If being able to love both consoles makes me an “Xbox apologist” or “spineless sludge monster” or whatnot, I’m kind of fine being that since I’ve actually owned and experienced both and have well-justified reasons for my opinions on both.

So if the Xbox One is such a nice console, why am I selling it? That could be explained rather simply.

  • Due to my personal preference, I would play multi-platform games on PS4 given the choice.
  • I’m not crazy about the Xbox One’s three biggest franchises, that being Halo, Gears and Forza. I can comfortably exist without them, and was rather looking forward to the Sunset Overdrives, Quantum Breaks and such on the console.
  • My gaming preferences have been with PlayStation exclusives historically (last generation), and presently after Bloodborne.
  • The biggest reason: after seeing Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC Ultra requirements and games like Battlefront being torn apart because their “in-engine” trailers aren’t representative of the game on console, but most likely on PC with max settings, my desire to upgrade my PC has grown ever stronger, especially since mine is years out of date.
  • Last gen I got the most enjoyment out of gaming on PC and PS3, and this combination together with my personal preference of PlayStation means there will only be a handful of games on Xbox One I end up desiring. This is further an issue as numerous Microsoft exclusive games like Rise of the Tomb Raider (not confirmed yet, but I assume it will be soon after its Xbox launch), Titanfall and extremely recently the interesting D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die end up on PC in any case, so having an upgraded PC will give me access to a large slice of games not available on PS4. Is it then worth it for the next five or so years? Will the console pay for itself?
  • Two subscription fees will be a future headache.

Why is this relevant? What does it matter why I want to sell my Xbox One? Well quite clearly the above reasons are entirely subjective and dependent on my individual wants. In writing this piece I am expressing that there is actually nothing wrong with the Xbox One as a console, and it’s a pretty great one at that. When you have a console that suits your wants, preferences and gaming tastes, the other console being “better” is irrelevant. And owning an Xbox One and going through this journey where I end up choosing a PC over it has made me tired of the internet’s bashing of the Xbox One as a machine, because especially if you dislike PC gaming or can’t afford a high end rig, the console will pay for itself. If you’re gaming on a PS4, then what do you care anyway?

While I’m perfectly up for banter, the dislike of Microsoft and the Xbox One because of past mistakes needs to cease. The console has come a long way under Phil Spencer, and it’s all the better for it. While Family Sharing is still something we’d love to hear a thing or two about, as it was a rather nice vision, I find little to complain about the Xbox One these days. The only truth is that everybody wins when both consoles are doing well, so more power to both from my end.

I may be taking a bit of a gamble selling my Xbox One before E3, but knowing what I do now and wanting to game on a PC has led me to be comfortable with the consequences, having weighed them up. But the title of this piece is absolutely true, in that it’s most definitely not the Xbox One, but me whose wants have changed. Had I not been a PC gamer, owning both consoles would be awesome. Had I only owned an Xbox One, I’m certain I’d be happy. I did only own a PS4 for a year, as well as only owned a PS3 last generation, and I was happy in both cases.

If this is too positive a message for you, then “fuck consoles PC master race lolz 60fps suck it”.

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Let’s Ruin Your Day: Silent Hills Is Officially Cancelled http://egmr.net/2015/04/lets-ruin-day-silent-hills-officially-cancelled/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/lets-ruin-day-silent-hills-officially-cancelled/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 07:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169940 Konami is currently going through a war of sorts with legendary creator Hideo Kojima, which has thus far resulted in his termination from Konami after the release of Metal Gear […]

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Konami is currently going through a war of sorts with legendary creator Hideo Kojima, which has thus far resulted in his termination from Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions being disbanded, Kojima’s own name being removed from all previous box art and advertising of Metal Gear Solid games and tons of bad publicity. While all of this reiterates to us that Konami are a bunch of absolute fucking morons, many including me were biting our nails worried sick about the state of Silent Hills, which said absolute fucking morons at Konami never bothered to issue any statement on.

Well, let’s ruin your day by saying that in the last few days it’s become official. Silent Hills is cancelled, done and dusted.

If you’re unaware of what Silent Hills is all about and why we’re sad it’s cancelled, I envy your ignorance. Truly I do. You don’t have to feel the pain and loss that fans like I do right now. But to recap, a playable demo called P.T was released on the PlayStation 4 store, which was dressed up to look like an indie game with a fake studio. It was fantastically creepy and well-executed, but it had a bizarre route to completion. Once people cracked it, the game turned out to be one of the most awesome game reveals I can think of, as it revealed a trailer for Silent Hills, headed by Hideo Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro, and would star The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus. If you don’t think that’s a combo of sheer awesomeness, you must be dead inside.

Konami has now got off its decrepit arse and released a formal statement on the matter, which goes like this:

Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles, however the embryonic ‘Silent Hills’ project developed with Guillermo del Toro and featuring the likeness of Norman Reedus will not be continued.

In terms of Kojima and Del Toro being involved, discussions on future Silent Hill projects are currently underway, and please stay tuned for further announcements.

P.T. will also be pulled from the PlayStation Network – where it was exclusively released – this week, so you’d probably want to download it right now if you never played it or deleted it. It’s a truly great short teaser, and does horror better than a ton of its competition.

Poor Guillermo del Toro though. This is the second time a big and exciting gaming project for him was cancelled, with the first time occurring with the title ‘Insane’, which got cancelled in 2012 when THQ exploded. Third time’s a charm, perhaps?

Now we probably will not get to know the truth of this entire scandal, and if we do it will be a long time from now. For the life of me however I cannot understand what would possess the publisher to break ties in such an ugly fashion with Kojima, because let’s face it, Konami itself is good for almost nothing. Metal Gear Solid was what they were renowned for publishing, and its exceptional history, success and legacy speak for itself. Without it, there’s basically Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution and Pro Evolution Soccer, none of which are capable of blowing your hair back I’d imagine. Of course as the above statement stipulates, they still do own the rights to Silent Hill and can make more games, but I’m quite sure excitement levels will be halved if not destroyed now. Personally speaking I certainly wouldn’t care for Metal Gear Solid games in future without Kojima’s association, despite it being my favourite game of all time.

I suppose I can’t quite hide the fact of how frustrated I am with this whole ordeal, but it’s hard not to be given that Metal Gear Solid is my favourite franchise, that Hideo Kojima is one of my favourite personalities in gaming and Silent Hills, thanks to his involvement, was among my most anticipated games of the new generation. Seeing all the bad publicity The Phantom Pain is getting honestly cuts me, and who else to direct my frustration at than the foolish publisher which, as Jim Sterling elegantly put it, “don’t know how to business”.

So can anyone explain why Konami are so retarded? I certainly can’t get to the answer.

As a final point I’ve also read that this month, after the costly cancellation of Silent Hills (not necessarily because of it alone) Konami has delisted itself from the New York stock exchange. Make of that what you will.

With the way this is going, I may start putting bets on Konami sinking fast and hard after The Phantom Pain releases on September 1. The road to becoming irrelevant is grueling, Konami. You should ask Crytek all about it.

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Mad Max Shows DICE How It’s Done With A Four Minute Gameplay Trailer http://egmr.net/2015/04/mad-max-shows-dice-done-four-minute-gameplay-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/mad-max-shows-dice-done-four-minute-gameplay-trailer/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:00:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169937 While DICE was off revealing an “in-engine” trailer for Star Wars Battlefront, which perhaps contained some five seconds of actual game footage and probably was only representative of the PC version […]

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While DICE was off revealing an “in-engine” trailer for Star Wars Battlefront, which perhaps contained some five seconds of actual game footage and probably was only representative of the PC version on max settings, Avalanche Studios was preparing a full on four minute gameplay overview for Mad Max. Although Max Max is releasing in September whereas Battlefront is in November, it’s still great to see actual gameplay for a game, and honestly feels like ages since I’ve watched a game overview like this where mechanics and features are shown off and explained totally rather than being subjected to an all-buzz trailer. I liked the Battlefront trailer, don’t get me wrong, I’m a Star Wars nut. But I’ll take game footage any time.

That said this Mad Max footage actually looks pretty great, and among Avalanche Studios’ finest work.

The world looks big, the gameplay looks fun and the combat system looks like another imitation of Batman, Assassin’s Creed and now we can get Shadow of Mordor to the list as well. Nevertheless those driving action sequences look golden, and definitely like the highlight of the game. The trailer shows off the threat of the enemies, gives you insight into the basic plot, explains game features like upgrading your ride and gives you a good look at melee and vehicular combat.

I quite like the concept of starting off with absolutely nothing (not even in your car) in the apocalyptic world, and having to build yourself up to fight against your enemies. I just hope the fun comes in quick and there’s no super slow build up.

Either way check out the trailer up above and enjoy actual gameplay.

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The One Automated Feature Dota 2 Should Have, But Doesn’t http://egmr.net/2015/04/one-automated-feature-dota-2-doesnt/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/one-automated-feature-dota-2-doesnt/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 07:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169893 Valve’s Dota 2 often carries the ‘best game in world’ tag for me, when I put the Metal Gear Solid series out of my mind. It’s the game I play almost […]

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Valve’s Dota 2 often carries the ‘best game in world’ tag for me, when I put the Metal Gear Solid series out of my mind. It’s the game I play almost daily, and the one I’ve poured the most hours into and will continue to do so. Yet the environment of Dota 2 is far from perfect, especially in South Africa, and our little server faces a number of damaging problems which affect games and players on a day to day basis. Issues like a toxic chat room, a troublesome community at best and a failure to get consistent ranked matches are among the big ones, but lately there’s been another issue that’s been grinding my gears but it’s without a solution thus far.

The problem has to do with foreign players. If you like to play in the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning like I do, you run a higher risk of attracting foreigners. No, this has nothing to do with xenophobia, so put that out of your head, but rather with ensuring a quality game. Foreign players from certain regions join the South African server with ridiculously high pings, an excess of 400 or so, and in addition cannot be communicated with, so it’s like having a weird droid inhabiting your team. Before you give the obvious solution, yes I do indeed play in 5-stack teams with friends as frequently as possible, but this doesn’t stop the enemy team from running the same risk, and you can’t always have four other friends available at all times you wish to play. These foreign players can frequently ruin games, because if they’re not feeding, lacking usefulness due to high pings or completely ignoring all teamwork since they can’t communicate, they end up leaving the game at some point which just hurts the rest of the players.

Now I don’t wish to outright ban foreign players from the server, because that’s a bit of an absurdity. Not every region has its own server, and therefore joining international ones is a necessity. Often skilled South African players will take to the Europe server to practice against better players, and here they play with pings of 200, which are certainly playable if not a bit of a challenge to deal with. International tournaments are often played with around 200 ping. My problem largely is with players who select all regions to search for during public match making, including those that are unplayable, and an excess of 400 ping can easily be unplayable as far as efficiency is concerned.

Therefore my proposed solution would be an automatic kick pre-game for players whose ping levels exceed a set value (let’s say 400 for argument’s sake) for an extended period of time. So if you have a spike you naturally won’t be kicked, but if your ping sits at 400+ for minutes on end, you’d be automatically kicked from the game.

Perhaps this sounds harsh to you, but the thing is that other games including Valve’s own Counter Strike: Global Offensive have this exact feature. If your ping levels are too high, you’re automatically kicked out of the game and tossed back to the menu to sort your shit out. So while I’m perfectly fine with players joining other regions if they have manageable ping levels, it’s a different kind of monster when in addition to being unable to communicate due to a language barrier they also can’t even play properly because their pings are far too high.

To reiterate, I have no problem whatsoever with players having up to 250 ping. That’s easily playable and manageable for any skilled player. My problem is with players who drop in with 400+ ping and are of no use to the team as a result. Maybe there are no barriers to joining to ensure games are found faster, but these games can end up being wastes of time.

In fairness, in counter to this suggestion there are not an enormous amount of games that are ruined by this issue. Second the ping issue is not an exact science. I just feel it shouldn’t be hard for players to not tick regions where they’ll get undesirably high pings. If this idea would not be feasible or desirable, by all means I have my ears open to listen to a counter argument, and will gladly stand down on the matter if said argument is a better one. Otherwise, I’m a bit stumped on what possesses people to play in regions where they’ll get 400 ping rather than in those where they’ll get 250 and below.

I welcome all discussion around this, because it just isn’t fun to deal with a player who can’t help, who can’t communicate, who feeds and eventually quits. Granted it’s not extremely common, and perhaps this is a bad idea that will result in fewer games being found, but I’d like a good reason why there are no restrictions in this regard.

Oh, and Vovlo plz let us sell or trade (rather than only gift) items that are random drops.

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Fancy Playing Dota 2 As A Third Person Shooter? http://egmr.net/2015/04/fancy-playing-dota-2-third-person-shooter/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/fancy-playing-dota-2-third-person-shooter/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 07:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169859 Dota 2 is one of the best games currently in existence, and certainly one of the most popular, but its elitist community and steep learning curve makes it a challenge […]

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Dota 2 is one of the best games currently in existence, and certainly one of the most popular, but its elitist community and steep learning curve makes it a challenge for new players to get into, let alone attempt. There are custom games for Dota 2, such as Pudge Wars, to deviate from the main game and enjoy some less serious modes, but those who want to get into actual Dota 2 still require extensive training.

What if, for argument’s sake, you could play Dota 2 as a third person shooter? Would that enhance your interest, or give you some incentive to test your might? I know, that’s probably the most random idea you’re going to be faced with today, but it’s actually closer to reality than you may think thanks to one particular modder.

BMD Dota, a modder who has been attempting to implement a third person camera in Dota 2, has released an early demonstration video showcasing some basic gameplay mechanics of what he calls Action Dota. In addition to its third person camera and copious amounts of shooting, it will also have third person controls. The modder states that the above video is him “testing out some basic gameplay functionality”.

The video shows off shooting and dashing, and many heroes seem to behave similarly. I imagine that in later builds hero abilities will play some role, but we’ll see in future. For now, ask yourself the question: is Dota 2 as a shooter the workings of a mad scientist, or something with bizarre potential?

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Valve Now Requires $5 Spent On Steam To Access Major Features http://egmr.net/2015/04/valve-now-requires-5-spent-steam-access-major-features/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/valve-now-requires-5-spent-steam-access-major-features/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 07:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169828 Before you panic, it’s actually for a good cause. In order for Steam accounts to qualify as authentic, and thereby allowed to access major community features, Valve requires your account […]

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Before you panic, it’s actually for a good cause. In order for Steam accounts to qualify as authentic, and thereby allowed to access major community features, Valve requires your account to have at least $5 to its name, whether that’s added through the Steam wallet or used in the store. This may seem extremely arbitrary to you, so let’s go into the why of it.

Valve is doing this in order to combat scammers and account phishing, as it’s easier since accounts can be freely and quickly created and previously immediately had access to all the features necessary to start bugging people.

The company which will never bring us Half-Life 3 has now brought down the hammer of authority.

“We’ve chosen to limit access to these features as a means of protecting our customers from those who abuse Steam for purposes such as spamming and phishing,” said Valve in their official statement.

“Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do. One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity. Due to this being a common scenario we have decided to restrict certain community features until an account has met or exceeded $5.00 USD in Steam.”

While it’s a bit unfortunate that the purchasing of physical game copies doesn’t factor into the $5 requirement, it works retroactively so all accounts which have at some point spent that will be in the clear without any concern. It only affects new accounts being created, and really if you have Steam but you’ve never spent at least $5 on it, I question what on earth you’re doing during all those Steam sales!

You’ll be able to gain access to core features by doing one of the following:

  • Adding the equivalent of $5 USD or more to your Steam Wallet
  • Purchasing game(s) that are equal to $5 USD or more from the Steam store
  • Adding a Steam Wallet card to your Steam account
  • Purchasing a Steam gift that is equal to $5 USD or more from the Steam store (Receiving a Steam gift from a friend doesn’t count)

Valve also highlighted the features which won’t be accessible to accounts that haven’t passed the $5 pay wall.

  • Sending friend invites
  • Opening group chat
  • Voting on Greenlight, Steam Reviews and Workshop items
  • Participating in the Steam Market
  • Posting frequently in the Steam Discussions
  • Gaining Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
  • Submitting content on the Steam Workshop
  • Posting in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
  • Accessing the Steam Web API
  • Using browser and mobile chat

If you’ve been using Steam for a while, you may go on with your life without much concern. If you’re about to make a new account, you may want to do some extensive budget planning to figure out how in seven hells you’ll be able to spare five whole dollars on this atrocity. Otherwise if you have major ethical concerns about this and feel that it’s time to take up arms and demand Half-Life 3, feel free to share it down below.

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How About That Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Trailer? http://egmr.net/2015/04/batman-v-superman-dawn-justice-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/batman-v-superman-dawn-justice-trailer/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 07:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169718 If you’re like me you must have had a pretty great weekend watching the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser, the Star Wars: Battlefront trailer and then the Batman […]

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If you’re like me you must have had a pretty great weekend watching the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser, the Star Wars: Battlefront trailer and then the Batman V Superman trailer, which I’m actually surprised I typed out “Dawn of Justice” in the heading for, since I find that extension unnecessarily long-winded. Nevertheless despite my huge love for Star Wars, which goes back to my childhood, my love for Batman runs deeper (no homo) and I’ve probably watched the Batman V Superman trailer more than a dozen times already. Don’t judge me, heretic. We’ll all be talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron in a week’s time, so let me have my moment.

I found the teaser to be pretty perfect for, well, a teaser. We got half of it devoted to Superman and the world’s state of chaos and paranoia surrounding his existence after the events of Man of Steel, and we got the latter half of it to the Batman, also known as the Batfleck currently. It showed just enough without giving away too much, and finally gave us some awesome shots of Batman, the armoured Batsuit (read The Dark Knight Returns) and lots of badassery. There’s plenty to talk about in the teaser, as it’s filled with possible easter eggs and discussion points, and there are lots of thoughts floating around my head, so I’m going to take a freestyle approach to this. Why? Because firstly I can, and secondly I’m like a bit of an energiser bunny right now, so coherency is not at the top of my list.

Without further delay here are all my thoughts concerning the trailer in convenient bullet-point format:

  • That’s one great shot of the Superman statue at the start. There are a ton of voices, but the most recognisable one is easily good old lovable Neil deGrasse Tyson. Who could ever forget how he says “universe”? Tell me you heard him, right?
  • Clearly there are people who have elevated Superman to God-status, which I think is damn awesome given that Superman is kinda like Jesus. Alright, calm your tits and minds, I say it in jest. But the controversy surrounding him is certainly how people would act, rather than welcome him with open arms. That said, note how the Man of Steel doesn’t appear to be all that comfortable with the worship he’s getting, and it seems like a struggle he’ll face (before the Bat).
  • There are soldiers with Superman symbols on their shoulders, and the shot could potentially be a bit misleading as it shows Superman looking all ominous and villain-like. While some speculate that Superman has let the power and worship go to his head, my contention is more than he is unsure of this militant group and doesn’t want them acting in his name. Speech time, perhaps? I don’t quite think he’s in charge of that army, and much like the copycat bats in The Dark Knight movie, I imagine they’re acting of their own accord and Supes doesn’t like it.
  • Lex Luthor has a pretty sweet line in the trailer, and I imagine that tells us he’s going to turn people against Superman in the movie, which is great. “The Devils don’t come from hell beneath us, they come from the sky.” Quite villainous, no? He clearly will reach people, especially when you start hearing the chants of “Go home” followed by the revelation that someone painted “False God” on the Superman statue, which honestly had me in goosebumps. It reminded me of BioShock: Infinite and its “False Shepherd” theme, so it struck me that much better.
  • There’s a possible Easter egg in the early parts of this trailer, where the Man of Steel seems to be holding a giant rocket above his head. It was discussed on Batman-News, and it appears that the rocket’s “003” number is a reference to “300” the movie, which was director Zack Synder’s first blockbuster hit and what paved the way for him to Watchmen, Man of Steel and of course Batman V Superman.
  • Introduce Batfleck! The trailer’s tone shifts as we finally see Bruce Wayne, complete with a fitting broody scowl and a voice over from Alfred who says a really great line. I can’t quite tell whether he’s talking about Batman himself, or warning him of someone else like Superman, or even just confiding in someone close to Bruce about what turned him cruel, much like he was in The Dark Knight Returns. This leads me to a possible Robin Death reference, because there appears to be a Robin Suit (or some kind of suit) behind Ben Affleck in the teaser.
  • That’s a sick shot of the Batsuit right there, and what a perfect specimen it is.
  • An extremely interesting easter egg shot is of Batman in that broken down place. People have debated as to where it is, with some saying it’s the place Superman killed Zod. I’m not quite sure, but that is definitely a Riddler question mark on the middle pillar on the left! There’s also the names “Joe + Kayla”, which I don’t know if it’s random or if it’s just a fun play on words given that Joker took the name of “Joe Kerr” in the New 52 at one point. There’s also what appears to be the word “Enos” under Joe and Kayla, which would be a reference to still photographer Clay Enos, who worked on Man of Steel and Batman V Superman. At least that’s what they say.
  • The next shot of the plane has got to be the most eyebrow-raising for me of the whole teaser. Is that the Batwing? If it is, what the hell is it doing blowing someone clean up? No amount of “rubber bullet” excuses can lead to a “non-lethal” freaking explosion! That man between the vehicles is clearly dead. Or is it an attack drone of some kind? Seems a bit small and jet-like to be the Batwing, but some have speculated that the Batmobile transforms. This still weirds me out though.
  • Batmobile! Explosions! Excitement!
  • Holy mother of Batmonster! Ben Affleck is huge in that Batsuit, and we finally have a movie-Batman that looks damn scary or at the very least physically imposing! While Christian Bale was a pretty buff guy and I love the actor, his Batsuit was built for functionality and movement, and aside from Batman Begins never quite looked physically threatening. This fantastic shot of Batman really paints him as gigantic.
  • Yes, that is indeed Batman with a sniper rifle with his majestic cape flapping in the wind. If you’ve ever read The Dark Knight Returns it’s used as a strong grappling hook.
  • And there’s the armoured Batsuit in all its glory! It’s been adapted beautifully from the comic, and whatever your concerns about the movie you at least have to concede that Zack Synder is a master at giving you a visual treat.
  • “Tell me, do you bleed? You will!” Hell of a way to introduce yourself, Bats. While the voice sounds great and quite menacing, some people have a problem with it sounding modulated and electronic. I imagine that this is just in the armoured suit, because in the beginning of the teaser when Neil deGrasse Tyson says “we’re talking about a being…” you can clearly hear someone who sounds very much like he has the Bat-voice saying “alien” to overlap “being”. That sounds like Batman’s regular voice, and it’s good if it is!
  • I love how Batman just stands perfectly still as Superman crash lands to the ground in front of him. Fearless, and composed as always. Also symbolism level over 9000 if you imagine Batman as bringing Superman down from the sky, to earth.
  • I still have no earthly idea how the movie is going to cram Batman, Superman, their conflict, Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman and Aqua Man and a team up in one single movie. It has me biting my nails still, as I expressed in a previous opinion piece. We’ll have to wait for a full length trailer and more on this, but I’m cautiously optimistic for now.
  • I’ve heard people complain that the movie looks overly dark and humourless, but I strongly oppose this viewpoint. Firstly even Marvel trailers often don’t depict a movie wholly accurately, especially in its tone. Anyone remember Iron Man 3’s extremely misleading trailers? But more importantly than that little point is that DC should not emulate Marvel. Marvel does what it does, and does it excellently. They have a style, and it’s theirs. DC should go with their own. It’s awesome for me to have Marvel on one side, and DC on the other. I can love and appreciate both separately. I love that DC seems to be more dark and gritty and aimed at more mature audiences. While some would argue that Batman V Superman doesn’t look like its for kids at all, denting the audience that Marvel boasts, I’m much happier seeing a “mature” approach to Batman that I got in The Dark Knight Returns. Why can’t we enjoy, appreciate and love both approaches to our beloved superheroes from Marvel and DC?

What did you think of the teaser? Anything to say about my discussion points? Let me know in the comments below!

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GTA V Cracked Open For Modding Despite Rockstar’s Best Efforts To Prevent It http://egmr.net/2015/04/gta-v-cracked-open-modding-despite-rockstars-best-efforts-prevent/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/gta-v-cracked-open-modding-despite-rockstars-best-efforts-prevent/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169678 The master race has been somewhat worried about the state of GTA V after it recently became apparent that modders were having a tough time cracking it open. The modders were […]

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The master race has been somewhat worried about the state of GTA V after it recently became apparent that modders were having a tough time cracking it open. The modders were saying that GTA V is difficult to modify, and in a post on the modding website ENBdev, one of the team members posting as ENBseries explained that Rockstar needs to make it easier if modders are going to get anywhere. The doom and gloom started setting in when people realised that Rockstar probably wouldn’t want to in order to prevent possible cheating in GTA: Online.

However you can obviously understand the frustration of many PC gamers who absolutely adore games like Skyrim and GTA IV where modding extended the lifespans of these titles by years. Not only were the graphics kicked up to photorealistic levels in the case of Skyrim, but masses of new content were created for both games. I mean, ever fancy playing as Spider-Man or Iron Man in GTA? Well you could in the PC version of GTA IV, and these were not just cosmetic changes, but full on gameplay mods.

“Rockstar did everything to prevent modding of GTA V,” ENBSeries wrote on their website. “So at this moment, [it’s] impossible to do anything via editing [the] game files.”

Other modders on other forums shared this view.

“Bad news,” modder Frostav wrote on Reddit. “This game looks very locked down right now. It might be a while before we can get into the game. This is the most a GTA game has ever been locked down before. I can’t even access simple stuff like the [car-handling files].”

Clearly Rockstar did their best to prevent modding of any kind. In previous GTA games the files for things like car handling were saved as simple text files, so anyone could use Notepad to make changes. User access to that has been disabled in GTA V, so it’s a bit of an unfortunate situation for people who just wanted to mod the shit out of GTA V.

Or at least it was an unfortunate situation.

Just today modder GooD-NTS revealed that they’ve managed to access the GTA V file archives. GooD-NTS is the lead developer of OpenIV, which would be the team behind the OpenIV tool that made modding GTA IV on PC much easier, and that same team will be working on GTA V in light of this promising breakthrough. Despite Rockstar’s best efforts to stop modders, on the website GTAforums.com, GooD-NTS posted numerous screenshots of him breaking into the GTA V files.

Kinda like a heist, wouldn’t you say?

Point is, with this data exposed modders will be able to do everything they could in GTA IV, so prepare yourselves for more Iron Man Theft Auto!

Community content creators will be able to access character models, A.I. scripts, physics, textures and tons more. Currently people are waiting for GooD-NTS to release an updated version of OpenIV which will work smoothly on GTA V.

While there may be a bit of uncertainty for GTA Online, hopefully the innocent folk can enjoy their mods on PC for GTA V with updated graphics and new and bizarre, harmless gameplay possibilities.

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The New Teaser For Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blasts You In The Feels http://egmr.net/2015/04/new-teaser-star-wars-force-awakens-blasts-feels/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/new-teaser-star-wars-force-awakens-blasts-feels/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169675 I grew up obsessed with Star Wars as a youngling, even the new trilogy which I naturally grew to realise were some pretty bad movies later on. Nevertheless the original […]

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I grew up obsessed with Star Wars as a youngling, even the new trilogy which I naturally grew to realise were some pretty bad movies later on. Nevertheless the original trilogy, the LEGOs, the video games and the universe all have a deeply special place in my ashen, dead heart. In the space of a few short months I went from mildly interested in the new movie to full on space kid again, and it’s all thanks to the latest trailer for the movie which hit me right in my non-existent feels.

It awakened my feels, if you will. Alright, you have my permission to execute me.

Even if you are not one bit interested in the new movie though, you best skip to the end of the trailer because some may not notice that Star Wars: Battlefront gameplay is actually teased in a little advertisement box! So if you want to glimpse some actual game footage, skip to the end of the above trailer. Alternatively Google for some high quality GIFs if you’re keen.

Here’s an image straight out of the teaser footage of the game, if you don’t believe me.

Star Wars: Battlefront in all its glory.

Star Wars: Battlefront in all its glory. Click to enlarge this beast.

The trailer doesn’t give us a whole lot of story other than tease the return of the original trilogy’s main cast. However it does indicate that Luke Skywalker seems to have a new apprentice, padawan learner or relative, as he speaks of the force flowing through his father, himself, his sister and “you”, presumably a main character. I say this as someone who hasn’t spent a great deal of time reading plot details or discussions for the movie, so forgive me if this is known already.

The footage also shows off a ton of subtle redesigns of iconic Star Wars ships and troopers, and finally gives us a glimpse at the new Sith, who is absolutely fucking awesome in appearance. If anything though, from this teaser alone you can at least be satisfied that the movie will be aesthetically beautiful, and perfectly captures the old Star Wars while subtly touching things up enough to make it all appear fresh.

Give the trailer up above a watch, as we prepare for the incoming Battlefront gameplay that we’re all dying for.

Tell us what you think about the trailer while you’re at it, and whether you’re keen for the movie or the game – or both, obviously.

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Sorry Skyrim, GTA V Is The New King Of Steam http://egmr.net/2015/04/sorry-skyrim-gta-v-new-king-steam/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/sorry-skyrim-gta-v-new-king-steam/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169650 Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim previously held the record for the highest number of concurrent player numbers on Steam, but Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V continues to smash records, and […]

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Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim previously held the record for the highest number of concurrent player numbers on Steam, but Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V continues to smash records, and this is simply another one. It’s official: GTA V is the new king of Steam.

After one of the most expensive entertainment products of all time sold another million in 24 hours after its launch, it went on to topple Skyrim’s record for most concurrent players. Bethesda’s game achieved the record at its launch, reaching 280,000 concurrent players.

GTA 5 has killed it on PC, with the number of concurrent players for the game peaking today at 301,246.

That’s pretty incredible when you consider what a sheer monster Skyrim was and how many memes and mods it inspired. It’s more awe-inducing when you consider that this is effectively the third time GTA V is releasing, as it made its way to both last generation and the new consoles, and now on PC.

Rockstar sure made us wait for the PC version, but aside from some technical hiccups which will be ironed out over time, it seemed the wait did nothing to deter the interest PC gamers had in the game.

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Project Cars Will Support 12K Resolution On PC, Requirements Revealed http://egmr.net/2015/04/project-cars-will-support-12k-resolution-pc-requirements-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/project-cars-will-support-12k-resolution-pc-requirements-revealed/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169655 Slightly Mad Studios may have put it a bit mildly on its company name, because not only does Project Cars look sexy as hell but it seems the ambitious studio […]

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Slightly Mad Studios may have put it a bit mildly on its company name, because not only does Project Cars look sexy as hell but it seems the ambitious studio wants to pull a Crysis and keep it graphically impressive for the future too.

We’re hardly even at a place where 4K resolution is the standard, as it’s not exactly commonplace for gaming PCs to be able to achieve it smoothly. However that isn’t stopping Slightly Mad Studios from enabling Project Cars to support up to 12K resolution, because the aliens probably want to enjoy it too.

If you are dying to play the game, the official system requirements have released for it, and they’re a little bit demanding to say the least. Give them a look below and see if your PC can handle it. The game is coming to PS4 and Xbox One as well, so you don’t have to stress if you’re also or only a console gamer.

Minimum requirements :

CPU: 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400, 3.0 GHz AMD Phenom II X4 940

GRAPHICS: nVidia GTX 260, ATI Radeon HD 5770

MEMORY: 4Gb RAM, 1Gb VRAM

Recommended specification :

CPU: 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 3700, 4.0 GHz AMD FX-8350

GRAPHICS: nVidia GT600 series, AMD Radeon HD7000 series

MEMORY: 8Gb RAM, 2Gb VRAM

Project Cars has had numerous delays on its journey to perfection, but the recent word on the internet street is that it’s gone gold, which means it’s completed. A release in May seems to be on the cards then!

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Star Wars Battlefront Not Exclusively A First Person Shooter? http://egmr.net/2015/04/star-wars-battlefront-not-exclusively-first-person-shooter/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/star-wars-battlefront-not-exclusively-first-person-shooter/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169619 While Electronic Arts is off teasing a still image of a Stormtrooper on Instagram, which is supposed to make us all giddy with excitement somehow, most of us are just […]

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While Electronic Arts is off teasing a still image of a Stormtrooper on Instagram, which is supposed to make us all giddy with excitement somehow, most of us are just dying to see the game reveal footage said to be releasing later this week. The Stormtrooper picture is not without purpose however, as on Twitter EA is revealing more pieces of it leading up to the “break the internet” gameplay reveal at Star Wars celebration. Basically when the picture completes, our gameplay will be here.

The other significant aspect of the image is that DICE has confirmed to GamerCenterOnline that thes Stormtrooper images in question are from “in-game assets”, so you can appreciate the finer detail I suppose.

However more important than any of this is that word on super secret squirrel street is that Star Wars Battlefront will not strictly be a first person shooter. As you may or may not know, traditionally the Battlefront games have strongly focused on a third person perspective, mixing first person within that. It’s part of what made the games special. You couldn’t be blamed for fearing that Battlefront may be too much like Battlefield with DICE at the helm, but it seems at least this core aspect of the series will not be going anywhere.

NeoGAF user yohan12, who signed a non-disclosure agreement with EA, revealed that the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront will include both first-person and third-person perspectives, with the latter being the default viewpoint.

Of course take it with a pinch of salt until officially seen or confirmed, but if true that would be awesome news for the game.

In other news in rumour ville, it’s possible that GameStop may have leaked the Star Wars Battlefront release date. We know it’s going to be releasing with the movie this year, not necessarily at the same time but in the same year. As we know retailers like to set dates for upcoming games even without an official date, using placeholders like 31 December. It’s some kind of tactic I suppose, to not sway people away from pre-ordering a game because the release date is “TBA”.

According to some deductions over at GTYD, while Battlefront has not been added to GameStop’s release line up yet, they may have already been given the date by EA. During times like these GameStop puts an “Available SKU” up with a date in their system, and simply change the name on it after the announcement is made for the game.

GameStop has a few “Available SKU” titles in reserve for Xbox One and PS4, but two pairs of these have the same date and price. One pair is $59.99 and the other is $69.99. EA likes to release regular and deluxe versions of their games, so it’s possibly related to Battlefront. It may not be of course, but you probably would want it to be since the release date attached to those SKUs is November 17 this year.

Remember even though not much is out on the game yet we have yet to experience this year’s E3, so that date could be plausible. However EA and Dice have announced previously that the game will come out before the new Star Wars movie.

Now bring on that gameplay already!

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Good Guy Phil Spencer Congratulates PlayStation On Bloodborne http://egmr.net/2015/04/good-guy-phil-spencer-congratulates-playstation-bloodborne/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/good-guy-phil-spencer-congratulates-playstation-bloodborne/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:00:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169596 Bloodborne could hardly have turned out any better, and we expressed as much in our review. It’s only going to get even better though when patch 1.03 drops in, as […]

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Bloodborne could hardly have turned out any better, and we expressed as much in our review. It’s only going to get even better though when patch 1.03 drops in, as it will address one of the widely criticised issues with the game, that being the loading times. It’s set to drop in later this month, as confirmed by the PlayStation Blog.

As we confirmed previously, the 1.03 update seeks to reduce certain load times in addition to performance optimizations. The patch also resolves an issue that resulted in abnormal game behavior after many continuous hours of play. Additional fixes will be included as well.

The team is currently working towards a global release of the 1.03 patch before the end of the month. We will try to provide more specific timing as soon as we are able.

The blog post also revealed that Bloodborne has officially sold over one million copies, which is the cherry on top of its immense critical success. As a side thought, if there are 20 million PS4s out there, then that would mean that 5% of all PS4 owners bought into Bloodborne. Obviously this isn’t the most hardcore or accurate of statistics, but it’s just a fun thought.

As happy as Sony, From Software and fans will be over the Bloodborne news, there’s actually someone from the dark side Xbox who is happy too, and it’s good guy Phil Spencer.

The man took to Twitter to congratulate Sony and From Software on the success of Bloodborne.

Always a touch of class from old Phil! Nice to see. If only certain camps of gamers could conduct themselves in this manner too, and not refer to their maliciousness and hating as simply ‘banter’.

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Can Your Stomach Handle All 51 Mortal Kombat X Fatalities? http://egmr.net/2015/04/can-stomach-handle-51-mortal-kombat-x-fatalities/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/can-stomach-handle-51-mortal-kombat-x-fatalities/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 07:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169566 Mortal Kombat has never quite been the family-friendly game due to its extremely gory content, and it probably wouldn’t be advisable to demonstrate such incidences of violence in front of […]

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Mortal Kombat has never quite been the family-friendly game due to its extremely gory content, and it probably wouldn’t be advisable to demonstrate such incidences of violence in front of your mother or the young ones. But no one can argue against the sadistic sanctification involved with the ridiculously over the top fatalities, which put the bloody cherry on top of a hard-earned victory. If you’re dying to play Mortal Kombat X or perhaps still need some convincing on that front, perhaps these two videos will help you make your decision.

I don’t really need to state the obvious that if you watch these videos you will indeed have all 51 Mortal Kombat X fatalities spoiled for you. Why so many of them? Well 25 are the core fatalities which are unlocked right from the get go, while the other 26 are the secret fatalities that can be bought from the Krypt, which includes one from Corrupted Shinnok.

NetherRealm certainly brought Mortal Kombat back on the map in spectacular fashion with their 2011 reboot, and found further success with Injustice: Gods Among Us even if it wasn’t necessarily the best fighter ever. The studio is looking to seal the deal however with Mortal Kombat X, and as you read this reviews for the game should already be flooding in. The early signs are looking good, with the game boasting 80s on Metacritic and earning some pretty positive reception.

Our review will be up as soon as possible, but if you don’t trust any pesky review sites (including ours), then let these two videos do all the talking.

Above you’ll find the 25 core fatalities, while the video below contains the secret ones. Enjoy the show, and I’d hope you aren’t eating anything when you watch these if you have a weak stomach.

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Why Do People Not Browse Through Game Menus And Settings? http://egmr.net/2015/04/people-not-browse-game-menus-settings/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/people-not-browse-game-menus-settings/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 07:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169548 You just get a new game for your still shiny new console. You’re terribly excited, all giddy and fidgety and muttering to yourself much like Gollum, and no one around […]

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You just get a new game for your still shiny new console. You’re terribly excited, all giddy and fidgety and muttering to yourself much like Gollum, and no one around you except for yourself can understand the elation you feel to play said game. You stick it in your console and proceed to curse the dark Gods for installations, looking for any way to pass the next few agonising minutes. Then you get reminded that current-day gaming requires the downloading of day one updates, and you leave that on while you go off and do what humans do. Finally, it’s time to play. Only a few button presses separate you from another world filled with the promise of fun. What do you do? I know what I do. I go to the damn options menus, obviously. Why the bloody hell don’t you?

It would seem sometimes that drawing peoples’ attention to something important can often inevitably end in sadness. No matter how many warnings or neat little text boxes you put up, the power of TL:DR will never cease to prevent people from heeding said warnings and text boxes. Whether it’s because reading is hard, people are too impatient to play their new game after all the pre-play rituals or settings are for fools, I don’t quite know what stops people from thoroughly exploring the options and menus available to them on any game, console, operating system or even any gadget for that matter.

I’ve been blabbering quite a bit, but what am I actually talking about? Well, recall Naughty Dog’s hit The Last Of Us back in 2013. I, like many other gamers, didn’t particularly like Listen Mode as it made encounters a bit too easy and made the AI a little wonky. I had to test it out for the review of course, but at the earliest opportunity I turned that villainous thing off in the menus and enjoyed that game so much more. However when I shared my experience with my friends and colleagues, I was startled to find out that nearly all of them had played with Listen Mode on only because they didn’t know you could turn it off. Some resorted to simply not touching the button, while others just went with it and felt the game was a bit too easy and lacked intensity – both of which are amended, especially the latter, by switching that thing off. I knew it was doable because I looked through the menus before playing.

I love customisability, and even if a game has very little I’m always in the menus at least to turn on subtitles or adjust volume and game settings. Often in first person shooters I like to adjust the HUD, fidget with the sensitivity settings or turn my crosshair off if it’s a more realistic or beautiful game like Far Cry or Crysis. Hell, I can’t stand to play with aim assist even. Call it my reviewer’s instinct, but my other reason for visiting menus is of course to know what the game actually allows you to change and adjust. Yet very few gamers I know even bother with menus and settings, either not caring or assuming that all the important stuff will get brought up prior to beginning the game, usually where the brightness, screen calibration and difficulty settings are made. Fair enough it’s not the most outlandish assumption in the above case of The Last Of Us to assume that the game would ask you before playing whether you’d want Listen Mode on or not, and neither is it that big of a stretch to assume that an in-game feature probably wouldn’t be able to be turned off. But what of other examples?

Most recently I’ve read people complaining that suspend/resume doesn’t quite work in Bloodborne, with two different problems arising. One of those I won’t get into, because it involves issues with matchmaking that are legitimate, and the word is to restart the game to restore your network connection if you struggle to get into multiplayer after awakening your console. However the other issue speaks of people getting booted back to the title menu upon waking the PS4 up, something which has never happened to me. I jump straight back into the action where I left off, with my connection getting restored. I played Bloodborne most of this past weekend with all breaks involving the PS4 being in rest mode, and never had problems getting back in. Why would people be getting booted to the title menu? My assumption was that they never visited the power savings menu on their PS4 consoles.

When the PS4’s recent update brought the suspending of games and applications to the PS4 (much like the Xbox One’s save state functionality), it wasn’t enabled by default. At least, not on my console. Before entering rest mode, however, the PS4 has a lengthy text explanation underneath the option which explains what is available in rest mode “depending on the PS4’s power saving settings”. Naturally I read that, but even if you didn’t you would have had to go to the power savings settings (and subsequently the ‘set available features in rest mode’ menu) anyway in order to enable games to be suspended during rest mode. In this very same place that you do this, there is a box to tick “keep console connected to the internet” or something like that, and my assumption for those getting booted to the title menu in Bloodborne is that they never checked this, and thus lost their connections every time they suspended the game, which would indeed boot you to the menu in online mode.

Is it laziness? Is it too much assumption? Is it just eagerness to play? The above examples are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things with regards to all the dangers ignorance can pose, but I bring them up because they’re both easily preventable issues. Am I being pedantic here, or is it a pet peeves of yours as well? I don’t necessarily expect anyone to read a game manual – ain’t nobody got time for that – but at least know which settings in your game you can adjust if you’d so desire. I mean, aren’t you even curious of whether there’s a better control scheme or preferable aiming system to use? Whether you can get rid of amateur hints and tutorials? Whether you can choose between toggling (one button push) or holding down a button? I can’t be alone here!

Share your barbaric stories below, if you wish, or just drop a comment to hate on me for this opinion.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Will Right The Wrongs Of Human Revolution http://egmr.net/2015/04/deus-ex-mankind-divided-will-right-wrongs-human-revolution/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/deus-ex-mankind-divided-will-right-wrongs-human-revolution/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 07:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169525 On Wednesday Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was officially announced, after ages of us knowing about its existence. It was only a day later though that an absolutely awesome CG trailer complimented […]

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On Wednesday Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was officially announced, after ages of us knowing about its existence. It was only a day later though that an absolutely awesome CG trailer complimented the formal announcement, although actual gameplay footage is still far away. I would assume that E3 this year would be the likely place to find some Mankind Divided gameplay.

Mankind Divided game director Jean-Francois Dugas has spoke some more about the game post-announcement, offering some details within comments on the Official PlayStation Blog, where the formal announcement was initially made.

Lots of fans are wondering which of the four endings of Human Revolution is the canonical one, or in other words the one which will be used as the basis for Mankind Divided’s plot. Dugas explained:

The trailer gives us a good idea of what ending is (sort of) canon in terms of the last game climactic events. That being said, all endings sport a bit of truth, rumors and whatnot that got spread around the world. So, in a way, the answer to the question is more complex than just identifying one official ending.

Dugas also talked about the team’s desire to make combat as satisfying as stealth, and continue to leave the choice entirely in players’ hands.

DXHR and DXMD aren’t stealth nor combat games. They are what you want them to be. It has always been our goal to let you choose the way you want to approach things.
And for me, it is important that combat becomes as satisfying as stealth can be. It’s a question of balancing both approaches in such way that everybody can have fun with the preferred play-style.

If you didn’t have the opportunity to play Human Revolution when it released in 2011, you can still jump into Mankind Divided no problem, but obviously if you want a better understanding of the world and story you’d probably want to give that game a go.

Our goal is to make the new game satisfying for those who played DXHR without alienating newcomers. The way we’re building the story, the world state, etc., you should have a very good understanding of what happened without having played it. However, if you really want the full deal, you should play HR. Apparently the game is fun ; )

And what of those weird boss fights in Human Revolution, which were widely criticised? Well perhaps Dugas is being on the defensive here, or it is actually true, but the man says that the boss fights weren’t shitty because they were outsourced to external developers. There were other factors at play.

I already mentioned in the past that the reason why bosses weren’t what they could have been is not related to the fact they were outsourced. The boss problems are due to many internal factors and in the end, I had to make tough decisions that didn’t go the way. We did a way better job on the Missing Link and Mankind Divided won’t repeat Human Revolution’s fault on the subject.

As for when you’ll get gameplay, it’s time to strap in and wait, gentlemen (and women):

For gameplay, it will happen eventually – now, the focus is on the announcement and the trailer. Like we like say: please, be excited! ; )

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a fantastic game that was brought down by only a handful of flaws. In addition to the boss fights, my two biggest gripes with the game was firstly the sub-par visuals (in terms of raw power) which didn’t complement the amazing art direction well enough, and secondly the lack of a New Game+ mode, which was disheartening after spending a couple dozen hours in the main story beefing up your augmentations only to have to do it all over again if you wanted to begin anew.

If Mankind Divided can address these three problems, they’ve already won half the battle in my books.

On a separate note, I really loved Human Revolution’s multi-layered approach to side missions, especially the way you had to discover them in the world and they weren’t just blips on a map you went to as if working off a checklist. It helped make the world feel organic and encouraged exploration. If Mankind Divided can beef this up and give players many more ways of exploring the world and acting on it, it would be a total win.

Enough of my babbling though. Mankind Divided will be out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and we have no idea as to what date it will be, or even if it will be this year. I imagine we’ll know more closer to E3.

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This Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Trailer Will Not Divide Mankind On Its Awesomeness http://egmr.net/2015/04/deus-ex-mankind-divided-trailer-will-not-divide-mankind-awesomeness/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/deus-ex-mankind-divided-trailer-will-not-divide-mankind-awesomeness/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 07:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169454 I’m allowed to make lame puns. I have impunity. Yesterday the cat finally got out of the bag on the next-gen console’s worst kept secret Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. We’ve […]

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I’m allowed to make lame puns. I have impunity.

Yesterday the cat finally got out of the bag on the next-gen console’s worst kept secret Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. We’ve known about the game for over a year, even its title, and at last it got officially revealed. However just when we thought the formal reveal, leaked screenshots and revelation that Deus Ex: Human Revolution protagonist Adam Jensen would return would be enough, mere hours later we were treated to the official first trailer for the game.

The trailer came courtesy of an official reveal on the US PlayStation Blog, where Eidos Montreal’s executive game director Jean-Francois Dugas shared some excitement on the game. It’s a little interesting that the PlayStation Blog is getting the official first reveal of the game, and perhaps there’s a deal going on with Square Enix and Sony. I wouldn’t be surprised if will be timed exclusive content of some sort involved, with regards to story DLC possibly. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Dugas reiterated the premise we heard about yesterday, stating:

The game takes place in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution and the infamous ‘Aug Incident’ in Panchaea, which ended the golden era of human augmentation. These terrible events scarred the world and caused augmented people to be segregated and deemed as outcasts.

Mankind Divided also sees the return of Adam Jensen as our main character, who is now a counter-terrorism agent playing by his own rules. Equipped with all new augmentations, Jensen will travel across the world to unravel a vast conspiracy involving secret organizations, which are working behind the scenes in an attempt to control the fate of mankind.

He also stepped up to reassure fans that player choice would remain a key element of the game, and that more will be coming soon.

We are fully committed to creating an uncompromising Deus Ex experience: choice and consequence is at the heart of everything we do, whether it be for story, gameplay, customization or exploration. As you can imagine, we will have quite a lot to show you in the coming months.

With these words came the official announcement trailer for the game. If you remember the pre-release hype for Human Revolution, you may recall those incredibly awesome CG trailers we got which set the tone for all the excitement surrounding the game. Well, Mankind Divided has certainly continued that, presenting one of the most awesome trailers you’re likely to have seen for the past few months. That is, if you love Deus Ex.

As amazing as these trailers are as hype machines and premise setters, the one downside was that Human Revolution disappointed on a graphical front, if we’re talking raw power. The art direction was stunning, and it’s good to see from the leaked screens that the memorable black and gold colour palette is making a return. One would hope, however, that Mankind Divided steps it up in the graphical department though, especially since it’s a next-gen only game.

That said, however, it won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t. If it’s as good as Human Revolution I doubt anyone would really mind about its graphics.

Just please don’t outsource those boss battles, Eidos Montreal. And remember to include a New Game+, for the love of augmentations.

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Don’t Sit Up Waiting Through The Entire Credits Of Avengers: Age Of Ultron http://egmr.net/2015/04/dont-sit-waiting-entire-credits-avengers-age-ultron/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/dont-sit-waiting-entire-credits-avengers-age-ultron/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 10:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169417 Marvel movies traditionally have post-credit scenes which tease future cameos and movies, and these usually drop in a little bit after the credits start. While Avengers: Age of Ultron will […]

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Marvel movies traditionally have post-credit scenes which tease future cameos and movies, and these usually drop in a little bit after the credits start. While Avengers: Age of Ultron will stay true to this and tease what’s to come as expected in its credits, the movie will not have something at the very end of the credits like the first Avengers movie had.

In case you missed it, which would have been extremely easy, the first Avengers movie had a bonus scene at the end of the credits which depicted the superheroes awkwardly eating those shawarmas that Tony Stark kept going on about. It was probably one of the best non-epic post-credit scenes you could find.

Funnily enough with the bar being that high director Joss Whedon and Marvel head Kevin Feige have decided not to include a post-credit tag at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In an interview with EW.com, Whedon talked about how he and Feige attempted to come up with something but ended up deciding against it entirely.

“It didn’t seem to lend itself in the same way, and we wanted to be true to what felt right,” he said. “The first rule of making a sequel is take the best moments and do something else. Don’t do the Indiana Jones gun trick again differently. Just go somewhere else. Don’t try to hit the same highs, because people will sense it.”

In clarification, “There will be a tag,” Feige said. This referring to the brief epilogue scene which I mentioned above that traditionally appears a little bit into the credits of Marvel movies. “But there’s not a post-post-credits scene.”

“And that’s not a fake-out,” Whedon added. “We want people to know so they don’t sit there for 10 minutes and then go, ‘Son of a bitch! I’ll kill them!'”

Basically they don’t want you to watch all the credits! Or something like that.

Furthermore Feige put the rumours to bed regarding Captain Marvel showing up in Age of Ultron. However there will be a secret female character in the movie, one which fans may know already.

“It’s not a big deal. But it’s a good character,” he said.

In other Age of Ultron related news, it’s officially been confirmed by Marvel (via IGN) that Captain America: Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will take charge of The Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2.

The brothers won’t start shooting the Infinity War movies until Captain America: Civil War is completed, which they are preparing to shoot at the moment.

In case you’ve forgotten, the word is strong that Spider-Man, after becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, may very well appear in Civil War, so you better be in that theater on May 6, 2016.

 

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Say Hi To Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, The Most Exciting Worst Kept Secret http://egmr.net/2015/04/say-hi-deus-ex-mankind-divided-exciting-worst-kept-secret/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/say-hi-deus-ex-mankind-divided-exciting-worst-kept-secret/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169382 If you’re raising your eyebrows at the title of this article, then I may be so inclined as to remind you that we’ve known about the next Deus Ex game […]

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If you’re raising your eyebrows at the title of this article, then I may be so inclined as to remind you that we’ve known about the next Deus Ex game for a very, very long time. All the way back in October 2013 we heard that the next Deus Ex game was in development. At the end of March 2014 we caught word that the title may be Mankind Divided thanks to a trademark registered by Square Enix, which is a name that I thought would be pretty awesome. Alongside that trademark news came a piece of concept art of the game. A few months later in June 2014 we were given a bit of a curve ball with a trademark for Deus Ex Universe, but we don’t know what that is.

The point is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been the worst kept next-gen secret, and now the cat is finally officially out of the bag. The next Deus game is on its way, and it’s indeed called Mankind Divided, so hooray for cool names!

We can thank Game Informer for the reveal, as the cover of their next issue features Adam Jensen, the protagonist of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That’s right folks, he’s back, and things are rather awkward after the multiple choice ending of that game. Amazing game though!

It did have some issues though, and Eidos Montreal is looking to beef things up particularly with the combat system and boss encounters, the latter of which suffered for being outsourced to other developers. Mankind Divided shall suffer no such fate!

You’re probably wondering how the hell it’s continuing after Human Revolution, which itself was a prequel to the original Deus Ex. Well, Mankind Divided will be set in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution. Adam Jensen has teamed up with an Interpol-funded task force in the hopes of tracking down and capturing augmented terrorists in a world that hates and fears transhumans. In case you’ve forgotten Human Revolution featured that whole buzz with humans being enhanced by augmentations.

Player choice will remain a key factor of the game, as Jensen will come packed with a new suite of augmentations to buffer stealth, combat and social interactions. Game Informer got a whiff of some of the new augmentations, such as Jensen having the ability to hack electronic objects remotely, being able to fire a nano blade from a distance (which sounds very Assassin’s Creed-like) and also having a nearly indestructible nano shield at his disposal. As before, the approach will be in your hands.

In the wake of GamerGate Game Informer’s cover reveal, a strange site called Kanobu, which requires Google Translate to read, leaked a bunch of incredible-looking screenshots of the game, and some cool concept art. Additionally more details of the game were revealed.

It’s a bit tricky to understand clearly, but from what I can gather Eidos Montreal do not plan to factor in your save from Human Revolution. While that’s expected, it’s a little interesting that it seems as though all four endings of Human Revolution will not actually be canonical. Don’t quote me on that since Google Translate isn’t always an exact science, but that’s what I’m getting. So while we know the setup of Mankind Divided, we don’t entirely know how it’s going to continue on. We’ll have to wait for the formal reveal, probably at E3.

I’d advise you drop down to the gallery below and check out the screenshots. One of them reveals what seems to be real-time gun customisation, like in the Crysis games, while another shows an enemy with augmented robot legs, so it seems enemy variety will be on the up. You may be glad as well to see that the gold and black colour palette has remained a thing.

While we don’t have a release date yet for Mankind Divided, we do know it will be on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, so it’s strictly a next-gen game, folks.

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The Last Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Reminds Us Why It’s All Fun http://egmr.net/2015/04/last-avengers-age-ultron-trailer-reminds-us-fun/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/last-avengers-age-ultron-trailer-reminds-us-fun/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 14:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169372 The Avengers: Age Of Ultron trailers have been absolutely awesome, and ever since that creepy first trailer I haven’t stopped seeing the phrase “there are no strings on me” popping up everywhere […]

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The Avengers: Age Of Ultron trailers have been absolutely awesome, and ever since that creepy first trailer I haven’t stopped seeing the phrase “there are no strings on me” popping up everywhere online. However many would argue that similarly to other Marvel movies like Thor 2 and Iron Man 3, the trailers depict a dark movie that probably isn’t a total representation of what the actual movie will be like since we know that Marvel movies love to have fun too. I still have beef with Iron Man 3 over that, and vehemently disliked the movie as a result.

But this isn’t a sermon of why Iron Man 3 was shit. We’re here to celebrate the arrival of the last Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer before the movie releases on 1 May, which is less than a month away.

The final trailer for Age of Ultron largely focuses on the characters in a sort of highlight reel, star-worship kind of fashion, with Ultron, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver all featuring alongside the main Avengers. Unlike the previous trailers, this one is brimming with the kind of humour we except from Marvel movies, as well as delivers some pretty cool action scenes.

Also unlike the previous trailers, it doesn’t really focus on Ultron much and I wouldn’t advise the viewing of this trailer first if you’re trying to show someone what a bad ass the robot is.

Nevertheless it’s short and sweet, and will probably get a semi out of you prior to the release of the movie. Give it a go up above.

If you’re feeling particularly melancholic about Age of Ultron, let me remind you that this also may be Joss Whedon’s last one in the director’s chair, so let the tears flow.

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Guess Where GTA V Is On The Most Expensive Entertainment Products Ever List? http://egmr.net/2015/04/guess-gta-v-expensive-entertainment-products-ever-list/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/guess-gta-v-expensive-entertainment-products-ever-list/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169350 We had our minds firmly blown out of our heads back in October 2013 when we learned that Rockstar and Take-Two’s behemoth of a game Grand Theft Auto V sold […]

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We had our minds firmly blown out of our heads back in October 2013 when we learned that Rockstar and Take-Two’s behemoth of a game Grand Theft Auto V sold nearly 29 freaking million copies in its first month on sale. It broke the records with a fury for the most sales on launch, reaching $800 million in revenue after 24 hours, surpassing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The success of GTA V was only expanded further when it released on PS4 and Xbox One, and we covered that in our review.

All that money, which led to the game setting five Guinness World Records, must have on some level been a pretty big relief when considering that GTA V was obviously pretty damn expensive to create, not even taking into account the extensive marketing.

If you didn’t know, Grand Theft Auto V had a total budget of $268 million, according to the latest episode of Did You Know Gaming, which you can view above.

For the sake of comparison, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) had a budget of around $230 million, Man of Steel (2013) had a budget of $225 million and The Avengers (2012) had a budget of $220 million. So to be Captain Obvious, GTA V is a huge deal.

What this means it that GTA V is actually the fifth most expensive entertainment product in history, after inflation adjustments. It’s also the third most expensive game ever created, surpassed only by Destiny and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, advertising included.

Be sure to give the video up above a watch if you want to delve more into the history of GTA V.

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Here’s The PS4’s Suspend/Resume Function In Action With Bloodborne http://egmr.net/2015/03/heres-ps4s-suspendresume-function-action-bloodborne/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/heres-ps4s-suspendresume-function-action-bloodborne/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169023 There’s this thing gaming consoles do where they gravitate towards an equilibrium, features wise. When they initially launch there are some stand-out features on each, such as with the Share […]

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There’s this thing gaming consoles do where they gravitate towards an equilibrium, features wise. When they initially launch there are some stand-out features on each, such as with the Share functionality on PS4 and the ‘save state’ functionality on the Xbox One. While these sorts of features start out as separators, and somewhat key elements in your decision between the two, eventually it boils down to exclusive games being the primary decider, along with some software or hardware offerings.

In other words we’re basically getting to where we want to be with our shiny new consoles: game on! I’m pro exclusives all the way.

By the way when I talk about an equilibrium I refer to the Xbox One recently picking up the screenshot functionality, and the PS4 in its latest update getting a suspend/resume feature, which was a thing I absolutely loved about the Xbox One and couldn’t be happier that it’s now on PS4 too.

But how well does it work in comparison?

A YouTuber has uploaded a video of the PS4’s suspend and resume function in Bloodborne, the latest big exclusive which has finally given Sony’s console its first top, top tier game. The PC master race certainly wants a taste of good old Bloodborne too. You can check out the video above, and discover that it seems to take around 10 seconds to get back into the action once you put your PS4 into rest mode, which is pretty speedy.

Of further importance is that both consoles have finally got their own respective amazing game, with the Xbox One having Sunset Overdrive and the PS4 now having Bloodborne. So hurrah, we can all be happy!

No more leaving your PS4 on when you want to come back and play without any delay.

However there’s a chance this new functionality may have issues with some games, as Killzone Shadow Fall has already fallen victim to some problems, albeit unsurprising ones.

Guerilla Games has explained (via VideoGamer) that players “may encounter issues with the Suspend/Resume functionality, particularly when accessing the suspend function while the game is loading into different modes, when saving the game, or while playing cinematics.”

Guerilla added that it’s “monitoring the impact of the issue” and that the upcoming patch will fix the issue.

It stands to reason that it’s probably not a good idea to suspend and resume your game while it’s performing key functions like saving or loading. I mean, we all know never to turn the console off when those functions are happening, so the same should apply. Hardly much of a train-smash, except it absolutely would be nice to not have any issues arise when suspending your play during a cinematic. Sometimes you just don’t got no time for that ten minute movie to finish, so games should let you suspend during them, once the loading completes of course!

Killzone Shadow Fall, for example, loads the level ahead during the cinematic sequences, but it usually takes the first forty seconds to a minute of the cinematic to complete the loading. The suspend/resume feature is probably causing issues when people execute it during that initial loading sequence.

Be on the alert of that, folks. And game wisely.

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Petition Cries For Bloodborne On PC, From Software “Betrayed” The Master Race http://egmr.net/2015/03/petition-cries-bloodborne-pc-software-betrays-master-race/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/petition-cries-bloodborne-pc-software-betrays-master-race/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168982 I’m all for petitions, which may surprise you since they have a negative reputation these days. But see petitions are a non-violent, peaceful request that lets its supporters do the […]

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I’m all for petitions, which may surprise you since they have a negative reputation these days. But see petitions are a non-violent, peaceful request that lets its supporters do the talking. There’s no shit-flinging, there’s no masses attacking someone for what they want and there’s no demand for anyone to care or make a move. You view it, sign it or don’t as you please and then leave. As usual however that’s the ideal form of a petition, and once in a while some potato head with a strange mentality will come along and inject some fresh AIDS into the whole process.

A new petition has surfaced on Change.org with the intention of requesting Bloodborne be brought to the PC platform. Innocent enough, right? Except the person who started the petition sounds a bit like a twelve-year-old, claiming that From Software has “betrayed” PC gamers by not bringing Bloodborne to it after both Dark Souls games saw release on the master race platform.

Don’t take my word for it though. Here’s what the petition has to say:

Everyone should be able to play your game. It is not fair that we are left out. You have betrayed us after releasing your last two games on PC.

The request is addressed to From Software to release Bloodborne on the “Personalized Computing platform”. What kind of a fucking human being expands on the PC acronym?

The petition has, at the time of writing, gained a sizable 15,000 plus supporters, obviously having spiked in the week of the game’s launch. The petition actually began some 9 months ago, but obviously now with Bloodborne getting GOTY-worthy reception it’s sparked many to feel left out.

Many of the people signing it probably never read the petition itself and just want to support a cause to bring Bloodborne to PC. That’s totally fine. So let’s break down the position of the actual creator of the petition, because either the person is twelve, they aren’t very observant or they lack basic understanding.

The Dark Souls games were published by From Software itself in Japan, and by Bandai Namco Games worldwide. Unlike Demon’s Souls, the original game, which was jointly published by Sony (Japan), at the time Namco Bandai Games (EU) and Atlus (NA), Dark Souls was more focused in this regard and it was free to be a multi-platform game. Hence, the eventual PC release. Bandai Namco Games as the worldwide publisher and From Software as the Japan publisher had all the say as to which platforms the game appeared on.

What of Bloodborne? Not only is Bloodborne jointly developed by From Software and Sony Computer Entertainment Japan studio (SCEJ), but it’s also published by Sony itself. It’s pretty obvious that Bloodborne is under Sony jurisdiction. Many will point to the likes of DC Universe Online and Planetside 2 as PC and PS4 games, but every game has its own circumstances so Bloodborne may see a PC release or may never see one.

That brings us to the next reason this petition’s creator is misguided. From Software isn’t “betraying” anyone. As developers they simply want to see their game being made and being successful. With Sony as the publisher it’s up to them which platforms Bloodborne releases on, not From Software.

If you’re going to further argue that From Software “betrayed” PC gamers because they went into this deal after releasing Dark Souls on all platforms, then there are two ways to counter that position. Firstly From Software doesn’t owe you anything, although that’s the crude form of the argument. Secondly, one can point to a game like Bayonetta 2, where people complained about the game being a Wii U exclusive yet Platinum Games stated that the lack of publisher interest meant that without Nintendo it was possible the game would have never been made.

If you were a developer would you have sacrificed your game, your art, because you would be “betraying” PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers by not bringing Bayonetta 2 to them, or would you have desperately wanted your game to be released and thus taken an opportunity when it came your way? You’d also want your game to be the best it can possibly be, so if a publisher offered you the environment and resources necessary to achieve that, you’d take it.

I understand that some may think there’s no reason to break down such a petition and I should just ignore its creator, but the reason I did is that if anyone thinks similarly to the creator, I’d love for you to see the light. I also want to establish that I have no problem with the concept of the petition, as Bloodborne on PC would be great. I have a problem with what was stated, the position it takes and the nature of the demand. That’s unfair on From Software, and pretty misguided, and goes against the good nature petitions like this should have.

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Bloodborne May Be The Best Reason To Get A PS4, If The Reviews Are Believable http://egmr.net/2015/03/bloodborne-may-just-be-the-best-reason-to-get-a-ps4/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/bloodborne-may-just-be-the-best-reason-to-get-a-ps4/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168935 Bloodborne has had the pressure piled onto it after PS4 fans have perhaps experienced some disappointment with the likes of DriveClub and The Order: 1886. While the PS4 has enjoyed good games, […]

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Bloodborne has had the pressure piled onto it after PS4 fans have perhaps experienced some disappointment with the likes of DriveClub and The Order: 1886. While the PS4 has enjoyed good games, it arguably has yet to have a truly great one. As a result you couldn’t be blamed if you were a bit cautious leading up to the release of Bloodborne. However it looks as though From Software has done it again and produced what appears to be the best game on the PS4 to date, and quite possibly one of the best next-gen titles.

At least that’s if you’re inclined to believe the critical reception, as the reviews are piling out and gamers are dishing out opinions left, right and center. While our own review will be arriving at the earliest opportunity, in the mean time let’s take a look at what everyone has to say, shall we?

If you haven’t seen it yet, it seems to be a case of a flawless victory as Bloodborne has been gravitating around a 93% Metacritic score based on 35 reviews at the time of writing this. Users appear to agree with critics as their score currently sits at 8.8 based on 153 ratings.

Prominent critics such as Jim Sterling have gone pretty ape shit (in the good way) over the game, as he himself awarded it a perfect score in his review. The game has also enjoyed ratings of 90 and above from publications such as GameTrailers, Destructoid, The Escapist, GameSpot and Game Informer.

We don’t have an IGN one yet since they’re doing that whole “review in progress” thing for Bloodborne.

This is certainly not only excellent news for fans, but also for Sony themselves who could have been twiddling their thumbs a tiny bit nervously prior to the game’s release, due to recent critical disappointments. When discussing Sony’s plans for marketing Bloodborne, PlayStation UK product manager Joe Palmer told MCV (via VideoGamer) of the game’s importance to them:

“[T]he Souls games are phenomenally popular, so ensuring that fans are aware of the common ground they share with Bloodborne is a vital part of our strategy,” Palmer said.

“However, it’s not just the similarities with previous From Software games that we want to communicate,” he said. “How Bloodborne differs from the Souls series will be at the forefront of our communications.

“Bloodborne provides a great chance for us to tap into a highly engaged audience and provide an invaluable contribution to PS4.”

Does the universally positive reception over Bloodborne inspire your interest, or were you one of those who had already decided whether you were going to pick it up day one or skip it?

In other related news, the shared criticism of the game is regarding the slightly lengthy load times. But it seems that developer From Software is working to address that in the next patch for Bloodborne. A statement from the developer, via JustPushStart, says:

REGARDING LOAD TIMES

The development team is currently exploring another patch for Bloodborne, seeking ways to improve load time duration, in addition to other performance optimizations and miscellaneous bug fixes.

A final piece of information, which will definitely make Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls smile, is that Bloodborne will absolutely have a New Game+ mode.

However around two weeks ago in an interview with MCV (via GameSpot), Bloodborne project director Hidetaka Miyazaki said something rather hilarious when confirming the mode for the game. Apparently the creators themselves are having trouble beating the game on New Game+ mode due to its enhanced difficulty! So if you’re a masochist, well, you’re certainly being catered for.

“Yes, there will be a New Game Plus mode. We’re having trouble beating it, though,” he said.

It could just be marketing talk or they’re just bad at their own game, funny as that may be, but I suppose we’ll know shortly after gamers have got their hands on it.

After all is said and done, it looks as though Bloodborne may just be the best reason to get a PS4 yet, and certainly it’s top exclusive. Based on the critical reception it’s also likely that it will feature as a Game of the Year contender.

I suppose Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3 and others will have something to say about that though!

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Batman Arkham Knight Delayed Again, Arkham Series Remaster Could Be A Thing http://egmr.net/2015/03/batman-arkham-knight-delayed-arkham-series-remaster-thing/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/batman-arkham-knight-delayed-arkham-series-remaster-thing/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:00:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168912 Batman: Arkham Knight, the drool-worthy end to Rocksteady’s famous Arkham trilogy, has been given yet another tragic delay. However before you melt down into a fit of tears, the good […]

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Batman: Arkham Knight, the drool-worthy end to Rocksteady’s famous Arkham trilogy, has been given yet another tragic delay. However before you melt down into a fit of tears, the good news is that the delay is only by a few weeks.

The game was originally meant to release on 2nd June, but it has been pushed back to 23 June 2015, most likely for some extra quality assurance.

As compensation for the delay, Rocksteady released seven new minutes of gameplay from the PS4 version of Arkham Knight, which you can view above.

The official statement of the delay comes from Rocksteady game director Sefton Hill, who apologised for it and explained the reasons as follows:

“We’re a developer that hates to make any compromises, so we are sorry to say this means it’s going to be just a little bit longer until you can play the epic conclusion to the Arkham trilogy,” he said.

“As a reward for your patience and understanding, and to make the wait even more unbearable, we are pleased to whet your appetite with a new gameplay video of Batman: Arkham Knight.

“Thanks so much from everyone at Rocksteady for your continued support. We are working as hard as we can to make you proud.”

A little delay like that is absolutely fine, because in a time where games often release in shoddy quality and frequently require sizable day one updates, who is really going to argue against extra time taken to iron out any potential issues?

However that’s not the end of the story. The internet has been buzzing with a few reports today, from VideoGamer.com and IGN Italy for example, which claim that a Batman: Arkham Collection is set for release on PS4 and Xbox One later this year.

This Batman: Arkham Collection would come packaged with remastered editions of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, running at 1080p visuals and presumably with all prior DLC bundled with. There’s no word on whether they’ll run at 60 frames per second, and we’ll have to wait to find out on that one.

It’s important to note however that none of the sources mention Batman: Arkham Origins from Warner Bros Montreal, and I wouldn’t get your hopes up about it being included given that it wasn’t made by Rocksteady and certainly wasn’t in line with their technical standards. Besides, Arkham Origins was very much an inferior game to Rocksteady’s offerings, so nothing much is being missed.

It’s funny though that on the very same day I was questioning the value of the God of War III remaster being on its own yet priced steeply at $40, word spreads for a Batman: Arkham Collection which has the potential to contain a lot of value. Illuminati confirmed, perhaps?

Nevertheless if the remastered editions run at 1080p, possibly 60fps and come bundled with all DLC for both games, I’d say that most gamers would be alright with it, especially since we are getting the final Batman game in due time anyway. It hasn’t been formally announced yet so we don’t know when it will release, but word around the web points to it being after Arkham Knight officially releases, in the latter part of the year.

I also doubt that it will release on PC given that the Arkham games typically had advanced graphical settings on the master race platform and looked better than the console versions as a result. This might actually be a remaster I take interest in, given that I no longer own a last generation platform and it would be great to have the Bat trilogy on a single platform, rather than have the previous two games on PC, where they sit comfortably on my Steam account. I suppose also because I didn’t play any of the DLC for the Arkham games.

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Why Are Remasters Made? Sony Santa Monica Has An Answer http://egmr.net/2015/03/remasters-made-sony-santa-monica-answer/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/remasters-made-sony-santa-monica-answer/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:00:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168894 With remasters cropping up aplenty for our shiny new PS4 and Xbox One consoles, hotly contested debates have emerged about whether or not they’re a good thing. On the one […]

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With remasters cropping up aplenty for our shiny new PS4 and Xbox One consoles, hotly contested debates have emerged about whether or not they’re a good thing. On the one hand the argument is made that remasters provide opportunities to people to play games they never had the chance to, they cater to newcomers to the console and also provide games to play in the interim wait for new titles. On the other hand people feel that remasters is an easy cash-grab without offering enough value to players, and they delay and take focus away from new games – I mean who busts thousands on a new console to play slightly prettier versions of things they played before?

If you’ve been awake recently you may have seen Sony Santa Monica announce a God of War III Remastered edition for the PS4, and many eyebrows were raised over the remasters $40 price tag, yet it offers no additional value apart from 1080p and 60fps, for a five year old game. While other remasters aim to bundle all DLC or all previous games into a single disc or collection, it’s curious why God of War III is on its own, without prequel PS3 title God of War: Ascension or the previous games in the trilogy.

The answer to that is probably that remasters take time and effort and other such technical things. But surely that price tag is on the steep side when considering what you’re getting? Make no mistake, God of War III is a near perfect game, but five years later it’s certainly shouldn’t be going for such a high price, better frame rate and resolution or not.

However in the middle of all this internet chaos, Sony Santa Monica has emerged from the shadows to not only weigh in on the remasters debate, but also offer some solace to fiends like myself.

Firstly, as confirmed in the comments section of the PlayStation Blog by Santa Monica Community Strategist Aaron Kaufman, there are no plans to bring other God of War titles to the PS4. It’s simply God of War III that’s getting the port treatment.

No plans for others in the franchise to bring over.

Kaufman also explained the reasons Santa Monica is remastering God of War III, and I suppose it’s a defence for remasters in general:

We hear you and that’s OK, remasters often help us open the door to new players who perhaps did not play God of War 3 5yrs ago, but who we can bring it to on the PlayStation 4. People often forget, the more players we can bring into a franchise, the better for everyone. At Santa Monica Studio, we’d like as many PlayStation fans to experience our games as possible, form generation to generation.

God of War III Remastered itself will release in July, as mentioned by Kaufman as well:

July 14th isn’t that far away, it’s smoooooooth.

Lastly if you’re wondering about that PS4 project that hasn’t been announced yet from Santa Monica, well, you’re going to have to be patient you rodent.

Beef wellington is awesome, fine food takes patience.

We are working on a PlayStation 4 project, we’ve stated that publicly, we hear you loud and clear.

Personally I wouldn’t say no to playing God of War III again, as it was such a jaw-droppingly incredible game. But honestly that price tag makes me rather just want to buy KFC and nom until the pain goes away.

Also the Sleeping Dogs remaster sucks balls. Don’t be buying that one.

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Mortal Kombat X Rage Quitters Will Face The Wrath Of The Quitality http://egmr.net/2015/03/mortal-kombat-x-rage-quitters-will-face-wrath-quitality/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/mortal-kombat-x-rage-quitters-will-face-wrath-quitality/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168843 Dealing with rage quitters online is a constant headache for developers and players alike. The psychopathic cretins and sore losers who dare to do it either don’t care or make […]

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Dealing with rage quitters online is a constant headache for developers and players alike. The psychopathic cretins and sore losers who dare to do it either don’t care or make new accounts, and there’s no surefire way of eliminating the issue past sentencing offenders to death.

Perhaps that’s why I’m not in charge of things.

However someone over at NetherRealm certainly shares my vision for the world, and it seems that Mortal Kombat X will carry out justice against those who dare to rage quit. The answer is in the dreaded, fearsome Quitality!

Even if you’re playing against a frustratingly good opponent in Mortal Kombat X, your Saiyan pride will absolutely be called into question when you consider going for the rage quit option. It’s strongly advised not to quit the match.

Developers at NetherRealm, speaking during their livestream recently, explained how rage quitters will be punished via the justice of the Quitality.

“If you quit, your head blows up and the other guy wins,” they stated.

Yes, your head fucking explodes. As depicted above. You shall be headless. And the world will laugh at you. Bitch.

If you’d like to maintain a decent average, you should suck it up and take your punches to the balls and uppercuts to the kisser like a real person. Notice how I didn’t say ‘man’? How’s that equality for you?

In other Mortal Kombat X related news, the Xbox Store seems to have outed Predator as the next guest character via the absurdly priced $30 Kombat Pack, which comes with four characters and some skins. Nothing like a good cup of rip-off in the morning! Either way Jason Voorhees and Predator, if he is in the game, will both be DLC only characters, because fuck including guest characters for free on the disc like fighting games used to do all the time!

There also may be another five rumoured characters on the Mortal Kombat X roster, and the game will also feature a Kustom Kombat mode, similar to Test Your Might.

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Review: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Is A Skull-Bash Behind Its Predecessor http://egmr.net/2015/03/review-hotline-miami-2-wrong-number-skull-bash-behind-predecessor/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/review-hotline-miami-2-wrong-number-skull-bash-behind-predecessor/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 08:00:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168769 Visit review on site for scoring. The original Hotline Miami came as a wonderful surprise, proving to be a brilliant adrenaline rush of a game with a bizarrely thought-provoking narrative, […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

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The original Hotline Miami came as a wonderful surprise, proving to be a brilliant adrenaline rush of a game with a bizarrely thought-provoking narrative, incredible music and hyper violence that was almost impossible not to be mesmerised by. It stood against cautionary approaches and begged to be played like a fever dream, in a rush of cracking skulls and guts and fast movement. As massive fans of the first game we were very excited by the announcement of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, despite knowing that developer Dennaton Games had quite the mountain to climb in order to top it. After dropping the last body in Hotline Miami 2, we can say that in some ways they absolutely rose above the original, but in many others the game unfortunately took a few missteps. Regardless, it’s still just as thrilling and delicious as the first, just not without a fresh set of problems and concerns.

The game is set before and after the events of the first game, although focusing more on the latter. It chronicles the aftermath of the violent escapades of first game’s protagonist Jacket, and the infamy his actions have reached. However the game is totally bizarre with its delivery and order. While the first game was far from being a straightforward narrative thanks to its fitting ambiguity, distorted visual imagery and dreamlike nature, its linear structure helped it to be thought-provoking and paced well. In Hotline Miami 2 there are tons of playable characters and the game jumps between them as well as back and forth through time constantly, which can make it unnecessarily convoluted at times. While the colourful cast of characters and styles freshens the game up, the storytelling can come across as rather unfocused. Intentional perhaps, but potentially off-putting at worst. The writing though is great, and if you don’t mind the delivery of the story it’s easy to find yourself intrigued by it all, although the game does falter with its delivery of themes due to this, particularly those of the meaning behind it all.

Don’t let it ever be said that Hotline Miami isn’t a remarkable audio and visual experience, however, which is a huge part of why the original’s narrative worked so damn well. Hotline Miami 2 unquestionably continues this proudly, presenting one of the best soundtracks you’re likely to encounter in a game, easily outclassing the first game even. The sheer rush of adrenaline the audio can give you is often enough reason to keep playing all on its own, and honestly in few other places will you find violence so riveting. There’s a ton of variety in the techno music too, although its never shy to flare up and pound your eardrums with unforgettable tracks. On top of that the game presents a better atmosphere than its predecessor as levels have a greater sense of stylisation, with some for example featuring thunderous booms of lightning to complement the tracks. Visually it’s a slight upgrade too, and is certainly bloodier and more loud than before. It’s just stunning in motion.

Hotline Miami 2 - 2

Hotline Miami 2 largely plays like the first, but with a few added weapons and some new mechanics and fresh experiences delivered via the wide variety of characters you’ll play. Each character has their own unique perk. For example Corey can execute a dodge roll, Alex and Ash feature as two characters with one wielding a chainsaw and the other guns, while Mark can duel wield two sub-machine guns and fire in two directions simultaneously. One character even uses a non-lethal approach, until you send him into a bloody frenzy after performing an execution. It’s great to experience the diverse cast and toy around with different setups, which help differentiate settings and levels. If you’re wondering, the mask mechanic from the first game still exists, but it has less of a presence and fits as a style for each character, rather than just as an approach you want to take. The gameplay is as mechanically solid as the first, although we did experience a few occasional control issues, such as sluggish aiming or the character overextending when trying to move slightly.

However while the core gameplay and hyper violence is as delicious as ever, there are numerous problems this time around which may put off certain fans of the original. Hotline Miami 2 spices things up by featuring large open levels, and the enemy count is far higher. While the challenge presented is fantastic and masochists will get to die a hell of a lot, these two forms of upscaling are a double-edged sword. In the first game dying meant backtracking some thirty seconds or a minute, due to the incredibly fast pacing and tight level design. Furthermore you sort of used everything you could get your hands on, and melee was never not an option. In Hotline Miami 2, by contrast, large open levels and tons of enemies often means you can die cheaply by armed enemies totally off your screen or get swarmed without enough to deal with it, and in these cases there’s only so much the manual camera shift can do. It feels like bad design rather than due to slow reflexes on your part. This can force a more cautious approach, and thus dying can leave you replaying several irritating minutes of bullet dodging, luring and flanking, with you relying more on luck than efficient trial-and-error.

The cautionary approach can make the game feel restrictive, and worse can result in an over-reliance on guns. There are actually some segments in the game where not having a gun can make things utterly overwhelming and frustrating as you try to deal with brutes who can’t be melee attacked, dogs and armed enemies all at once. In levels like these it almost feels like your options are painfully limited, and it goes against the fast-paced, don’t-think-just-act kind of gameplay the first championed. As a result there are moments where it just becomes frustrating rather than fun, which is something the first game never fell victim to due to its tight and smart level design. And if you’re a player who prefers the melee approach above all else, Hotline Miami 2 can feel like its working against you in many of its levels. However in spite of these flaws there are tons of moments where the game is every bit as fun and awesome as its predecessor, but it’s just a shame that in the case of Hotline Miami 2 opting to upscale in quantity and size as is typical of sequels led to a focus on some of the wrong things.

hm2_06

The subject of game length is not one that can be generalised, and every game has its own battle to face here. It’s unfortunate then that in the case of Hotline Miami 2 it felt as though the game overstayed its welcome somewhat. In addition to being longer than the first, the aforementioned larger levels, higher enemy count and slower playing style can make the game feel tiresome before its end, and a bit drawn out. If you do find yourself loving every minute of Hotline Miami 2, however, then you’d be pleased to know than on completion you unlock a hard mode, where enemies are more difficult to take down and the you lose helpful features like enemy-locking. It’s a great incentive for replayability for the masochists. Although the promised level editor may do that job all on its own, and it will release in due time. That may be exactly what those disappointed by some of the design decisions here need, as it will ideally allow them to craft more tightly focused levels akin to the original game.

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Parents Want To Sue Microsoft…After Child Spent $4,500 On Microtransactions http://egmr.net/2015/03/parents-want-sue-microsoft-child-spent-4500-microtransactions/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/parents-want-sue-microsoft-child-spent-4500-microtransactions/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 10:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168755 It’s ludicrous news day, apparently! Before we dive into the sheer calamity caused by a certain species of little Johnny, let’s establish something first. I will be the first to […]

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It’s ludicrous news day, apparently! Before we dive into the sheer calamity caused by a certain species of little Johnny, let’s establish something first. I will be the first to admit that in games you absolutely love you can lose sight of your spending with regards to microtransactions. I have been guilty of this one month in Dota 2, with those pesky, beautiful cosmetic items. However in my case it was an extra R100 I shouldn’t have spent, but for the life of me I cannot imagine how $4,500 (which is over R45,000) gets passed your attention – unless we’re dealing with a child under the age of ten.

If that is the case in this particular story, then what the hell is little Johnny doing with the credit card in the first place?

But we can point fingers later. First let’s actually discuss the story, seeing as how I’m prone to getting ahead of myself sometimes.

A frustrated parent is seeking out a lawyer in order to start a class-action lawsuit (fancy way of saying ‘sue’) against Microsoft after his child spent a ridiculous $4,500 on Microtransactions in FIFA, of all damn things.

What microtransactions are we talking about? Well, in Ultimate Team mode you can buy packs of players either with in-game money or human money. One parent was shocked to discover that their little Johnny variant spent thousands of dollars worth on these microtransactions. The parent, noting the charges on his credit card, is angered that Microsoft has denied compensation for this transgression.

Writing in a post on Medium, the father says that he and his wife take the blame for not paying more attention to what little Johnny is getting up to with his video games, but he also wants Microsoft to supply better parental controls.

“If Microsoft wanted to spare thousands of parents from frustration, anger and sometimes, serious financial consequences then it could find a hundred ways to do it. It has just chosen not to.”

Maybe I’m old fashioned when it comes to this, but if your child is unaware that credit card does not equal limitless funds, then surely they shouldn’t be using a credit card to begin with? Or if you are allowing the kid to use it because of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, that you monitor all expenses being made or demand the child ask permission before making any purchases?

Now it is highly possible that this is the father’s account which the child is playing on, but then how would parental controls help? Unless of course he’s requesting some kind of password before a purchase is made, but there are security features like this and furthermore, whatever happened to those useful online statements or phone SMS’ when the credit card is used?

I can easily believe a couple of tens or hundreds slipping under your radar, but how does $4,500 in one particular game from one particular source (Xbox Live) go unnoticed until it accumulates that much? Unless again the child somehow spent it all in a single night or two.

Am I being too harsh? Can you sympathise with these parents? Do you know of any similar circumstances in which expenses got out of control in the wrong hands? By all means share your stories and thoughts in the comments.

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How Long Will It Take You To Conquer Bloodborne, And Do You Care? http://egmr.net/2015/03/long-will-take-conquer-bloodborne-care/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/long-will-take-conquer-bloodborne-care/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168703 The subject of game length is a bit of an oddball since gamers on the internet seem to either selectively care about it or spend ages debating whether a length […]

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The subject of game length is a bit of an oddball since gamers on the internet seem to either selectively care about it or spend ages debating whether a length is appropriate before playing said game and judging based on the experience. However to the Dark Souls crowd game length matters because these particular cretins want to maximise their pain, and thus need an experience rich with masochistic content.

Bloodborne will be releasing at the end of this month exclusively on PS4, but the game has gone out early on retail for a number of human beings. While this has caused many From Software fanboys to shed real tears, the good news is that it gives us access to some information about the game prior to release, albeit questionable information due to the lack of a worldwide release. Nevertheless it’s information to take with a pinch of salt and discuss.

The latest information concerning the length of Bloodborne comes from a YouTuber by the username Open World Games, who published his review of the game. In it he stated that the game takes around “40 to 45 hours to complete”, but obviously this will depend on player skill level, familiarity with Dark Souls games and general approach to games.

Of course you can take this with a tiny bit of salt given that it’s come from an independent gamer and not a professional review outlet, despite how much ethics the latter seems to lack these days. Either way for the purposes of discussion and sanity let’s say it’s a workable figure.

It’s bizarre to imagine anyone complain about a game length of this magnitude, but some may given that Dark Souls 2 for instance could apparently satisfy your sexual needs for a hundred hours or more. However the new consoles are still getting into gear, and one can easily argue that Bloodborne offering over forty hours of value is a great thing, if true.

But are those hours meaningful? Find out on the next exciting episode of Dragon Ball Z.

Although it’s worth noting that the average time gamers have spent on Dark Souls to complete the main story and extras is around 65 hours, according to howlongtobeat anyway. Don’t worry, it’s nota  dodgy site about beating your meant, it’s actually about games.

I would argue that game length is secondary when compared to the actual content of those hours. In Assassin’s Creed’s case for instance, game length barely offers any value given how mundane most of the content is. So a longer game doesn’t by some divine definition automatically mean a better game. The only way to know whether Bloodborne makes good on its hours is to play it, and there’s little else to be said about that.

Do you value game length highly? Would you rather have an eight hour stellar experience, or a twenty hour decent one? That’s not really a good way to ask the question, but basic and silly examples like that outline the idea fairly simply. Sound off in the comments below, even if it’s to say how betrayed you are by the length of Bloodborne and you’re now going to cancel your pre-order and shit.

Don’t pre-order games, by the way.

UPDATE — According to a rumour on the internets, there might be a rather massive 10GB day one patch coming. You be the judge.

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Here Are Some Of The Silliest Yet Awesome Ways To Enjoy Skyrim http://egmr.net/2015/03/silliest-yet-awesome-ways-enjoy-skyrim/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/silliest-yet-awesome-ways-enjoy-skyrim/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 10:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168667 Only for the PC master race! I apologise, I couldn’t resist that one. Despite gaming on both consoles. No, I’m not very fun at parties. I don’t even do parties. […]

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Only for the PC master race!

I apologise, I couldn’t resist that one. Despite gaming on both consoles. No, I’m not very fun at parties. I don’t even do parties. Enough about me now. We’re talking about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the way mods continue to prove that PC is the best place to enjoy Skyrim.

Back in August 2013 I did a ‘just-for-fun’ video showing off enhanced visual mods for Skyrim, but those were a far cry compared to what modders are currently doing with the game now. Whether it’s new reports of the game achieving a higher level of visual fidelity, masses of new story content and even just extremely silly additions, Skyrim is ruled by mods.

However perhaps you haven’t seen anything quite like this yet.

If you have a taste for the dramatic, and rather unashamedly silly, you’d do well to check out the following, recent video from videogamedunkey, which shows off Skyrim in a way that will surely make you question everything you know in life.

Don’t believe me? Well, what if dragons were actually manifestations of Thomas the Tank Engine? You’re fucking welcome.

Give the video a spin down below. They’ve even managed to shove Masterchief in there.

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5 Games That Changed Dramatically Before Release http://egmr.net/2015/03/5-games-that-changed-dramatically-before-release/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/5-games-that-changed-dramatically-before-release/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168561 It’s no big secret that a great many games undergo changes during development, especially from original conception. By change we’re talking about a lot more than just a graphical downgrade, and […]

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It’s no big secret that a great many games undergo changes during development, especially from original conception. By change we’re talking about a lot more than just a graphical downgrade, and more to do with mechanics, art direction or even entire concepts. Often these changes result in a completely new game from what was first conceived, and that can leave audiences pretty mixed as some may grow attached to the initial revelations, especially if gameplay was shown.

While there are dozens of stories out there of games that were completely reinvented during development and emerged as different animals upon release, in this feature we’re focusing on five modern examples, a number of which may still be fresh in the memory. However a few of the stories here may have slipped under the radar or some of the facts may have been lost on the average person. Nevertheless, we feel it’s pretty interesting to explore these games, especially since a number of them turned out great irrespective of their monumental changes.

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is one of the most dramatic stories we have in recent history. After the stellar Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was released, legendary creator Hideo Kojima was coming up with ideas for another game. An original concept featured The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater) and her Cobra Unit as main characters, but the lack of experience from the younger staff in charge and the lack of Kojima’s personal involvement resulted in that idea being scrapped. One team member suggested turning it into a sidestory focused on Raiden, and thus the idea for Metal Gear Solid: Rising was born, which was the debut name for the title. Metal Gear Solid: Rising was initially meant to be official series canon, covering the events which led to Raiden becoming the cyborg ninja in Guns of the Patriots, taking place after Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

The game was officially announced at E3 2009 at the Microsoft press conference, but without any gameplay footage. It was a teaser video showcasing cyborg Raiden in a more crude form than his Guns of the Patriots appearance, along with the tagline “Lightning Bolt Action”, replacing the famous “Tactical Espionage Action” tagline the Metal Gear Solid series has been famous for. It was a play on the fact that Raiden in Japanese means “thunder and lightning”. Kojima himself would serve only as the executive producer on the game, but nonetheless fans were intrigued. The game would use a brand new engine as opposed to the one in Guns of the Patriots, and people were itching for gameplay. That came at E3 2010, where our tits were blown clean off by the first trailer for the game which started out as a cinematic but included exceptional-looking gameplay at the end.

The most interesting aspect of the game was the teased “hunting stealth”, where instead of previous MGS games where you stayed out of sight to prevent alerts, in Rising you would be stalking your prey. Below is the first trailer for the game, which still brings tears to our eyes.

After its E3 2010 debut, however, the game faded off the map. Problems began to arise with staff, as during late 2011 it was announced that the game’s lead producer had been replaced. Furthermore Kojima Productions was finding it difficult to design the game around the cutting concept. Strangely the game was quietly cancelled in late 2010, and Kojima looked to Japanese developers in order to create a ninja action game. Thus, after a meeting in early 2011 with Platinum Games, Kojima requested the creators of Vanquish and Bayonetta to work on Rising. At the Spike Video Game Awards in December 2011 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was revealed, which couldn’t have been further from the original concept if it tried. It was loud, insane like an anime and action-packed, with characterisation completely different to the source material.

It was discovered that Platinum Games had requested a change of setting in order to have less creative restrictions. This led to the stealth element being discarded, and the game no longer being a canonical part of the Metal Gear Solid series (hence ‘Solid’ being dropped from the title), and rather an alternate sidestory. The title change was a bit of a funny story, as Kojima Productions used the word “Revengeance” as a play on the fact that the studio wanted to “to get revenge or vengeance on the original failed Metal Gear Solid: Rising project” while “Rising” represents Raiden’s character. The plot and game itself were designed to be accessible to those who had not touched previous Metal Gear games.

Below you’ll find the Spike Video Game Awards trailer, which shows the reborn game world’s apart from its original reveal.

Revengeance was still a critical success and a hit with gamers, but it’s doubtful that any Metal Gear Solid fan wouldn’t still feel some sadness when viewing the original concept, as it certainly seemed to be a terrific one. However only the development staff would know why it wasn’t working and why the change needed to happen, but nevertheless it will go down as one of the games we were most sad to see changed, even if the final product was still a great game.

 

Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops The Line

Spec Ops: The Line is a game championed for its amazing narrative and deconstruction of the military shooter genre. However you wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing about its rather weird history prior to release, and that’s not even taking into account how different the final product was from the initial reveal. If you didn’t know, Spec Ops games were actually a thing before The Line made its debut. Several Spec Ops games released in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but perhaps due to questionable quality and too many releases the series was met with low sales and poor reviews, leading to a halt in production of any future games.

In 2003 publisher Take-Two had it in their financial results that Rockstar Games, in particular Rockstar Vancouver (imagine that) was working on the franchise, however in 2004 that project was canned. Between 2005 and 2009 however the game was completely invisible and forgotten, and all we knew was that Take-Two Interactive had the rights to the name. Finally in December 2009 Spec Ops: The Line was officially revealed at the Spike Video Game Awards, but would you believe that it’s actually the ninth game in the series?

The trailer below is the game as it first appeared, strongly reminding us of the Uncharted series and boasting a dark tone and exceptionally high quality visuals and physics.

Despite the buzz it created the game again faded, perhaps partly due to the release date being scheduled for 2011. But when we got a new trailer for the game in November 2011, it looked nothing like its former self, and one would assume that budget constraints had forced a knockdown in the visuals. But in addition to that the game was hugely different stylistically, and a lot brighter in colour tone compared to the dark and broody first reveal trailer.

It’s interesting to note that the gameplay mechanics of Spec Ops: The Line are actually based on a game developer Yager pitched to 2K, but they were rejected. 2K wanted Yager to create a Spec Ops title, and gave them no restrictions on the game other than that it had to be military themed. Below you’ll find the 2011 trailer which depicts a vastly different game.

The game was eventually only released in June of 2012, and while it saw incredibly high praise for its narrative and setting, criticism was levelled at its low-key gameplay and tacked-on multiplayer, which had been created by a separate developer and never part of Yager’s vision for the game. In fact Yager had some pretty strong words for it, with lead designer Cory Davis stating that it had been included “at the detriment of the overall project and the perception of the game.”

He further said, rather bluntly and without mercy:

It sheds a negative light on all of the meaningful things we did in the single-player experience. The multiplayer game’s tone is entirely different, the game mechanics were raped to make it happen, and it was a waste of money. No-one is playing it, and I don’t even feel like it’s part of the overall package – it’s another game rammed onto the disk like a cancerous growth, threatening to destroy the best things about the experience that the team at Yager put their heart and souls into creating.

This is relevant because perhaps the forced inclusion of multiplayer resulted in other areas of the game suffering, particularly the gameplay as the initial trailer seemed to have it all together.

 

Killzone 2

Killzone 2

Guerilla Games’ Killzone 2 is famously (or infamously) remembered for its E3 2005 trailer which depicted an unbelievable game graphically ahead of its time, which hardly looked like gameplay. However SCEA’s at the time Vice President Jack Tretton stated that the footage was not pre-rendered but “is real gameplay everybody’s seeing out there”. A number of days later Phil Harrison, SCE Europe’s Vice President of Development, stated in an interview that all game footage at E3 2005 for PlayStation 3 titles were “running off video” which was “done to PS3 spec”. Subsequent interviews however eventually dropped some of the bullshit and revealed that the 2005 trailer was a “target render”, which meant a pre-rendered video showing the developer’s goals for the finished product.

Below you’ll find that famous first trailer for Killzone 2 at E3 2005.

However at the GDC 2007 Guerilla Games emerged guns blazing, unafraid to show off Killzone 2 with a bunch of trailers, including extended game footage in future weeks. The game was certainly a long way away from release, but was already fast gaining a reputation for the most beautiful game on console. While the 2007 footage looks dramatically different to the original E3 2005 yet significantly closer to the final release, there are still some aesthetic and atmospheric differences, particularly with the lightning booms on Helghan. Take a gander at the 2007 footage to see how the game looks completely brand spanking new compared to that alien E3 2005 footage.

The game eventually saw release in February of 2009 to much critical acclaim and great sales. In addition it’s a fine example of a game that actually went on to look better than what was shown in 2007, as it was arguably crispier and more vibrantly coloured. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to watch that E3 2005 trailer just to see how games can evolve and change so dramatically, and we suppose as further warning to always be cautious of the trade event that is E3.

 

Splinter Cell Conviction

Splinter Cell Conviction

Splinter Cell Conviction is a story many may not be aware of due to the slight bit of development hell it went through. The game was originally announced in May of 2007 with a trailer. It has since become famous for “Hobo Fisher” as the trailer depicted a rugged and fully-bearded Sam on the run. It looked like something inspired by the Bourne movies, as Sam had to blend into the environment, improvise on the spot and engage in fast-paced hand-to-hand combat using whatever was available in the environment. As a result the game appeared less stealthy than previous Splinter Cell games, but no less tactical and a bit more intense. Few could say it didn’t look interesting at least.

The game was set to launch in November of 2007, but it missed that date. That’s when the game disappeared off the map, and only in May 2008 it was reported by Xbox World that Splinter Cell: Conviction was “officially on hold” and had been taken “back to the drawing board.”.

Below you’ll find footage from the early reveal of the game, which depicts the Bourne-style nature of the game as well as the combat.

Ubisoft didn’t officially confirm whether the game had been taken back to the drawing board, but the company did announce the huge delay to the 2009-2010 fiscal year. It was to be at E3 2009 that the game resurfaced, equipped with a completely new visual style and with no Hobo Fisher. It looked action packed still, but one would argue more typical. The “new” Conviction had been in development since early 2008, and Ubisoft said that “the gameplay has evolved a lot” and “the visual direction is simply much better.”

Behold, the “new” Conviction, which funnily enough still differed from the final product, especially with this particular level.

The game was meant to release in November 2009, but received yet another delay to Q1 of 2010. A February 23 date was given, only for the game to be delayed again to April, where it finally released. The result was a good game, albeit one that divided audiences especially among the Splinter Cell fans. It felt too far apart from the roots, and that monochrome colour scheme at set points in the game certainly didn’t help win over fans.

 

Fuse

Fuse

Fuse is a 2013 game that perhaps would go down as the worst thing associated with fun-loving developer Insomniac Games. It was to be the first time that Insomniac published under someone else other than Sony Computer Entertainment since Universal Interactive Studios, and in this case it was EA. Interestingly enough it was also to be the first time Insomniac would actually own its IP, and who would have thought such a disaster would have emerged out of it?

In 2011 at E3 during EA’s press conference a colourful trailer for a game called Overstrike, which looked every bit what we’d expect from Insomniac Games, the famous developers of Ratchet and Clank and the Resistance series. It was a four-player cooperative focused game which featured a band of four characters whose sanity was perhaps questionable at best. If you don’t remember Overstrike, it would be best to watch the trailer below and let it tell the full story.

The game disappeared off the radar after its E3 reveal, and it wasn’t until the end of August in 2012 that it resurfaced. Except this time something was extremely wrong. Overstrike was completely unrecognisable, and it had even been rebranded with a new name: Fuse. To be brutally honest we struggle to recall a more off-putting trailer for a game in recent history, especially when considering how this game started out. As Fuse the game looked artistically dull, the fun and easy-going nature had been stripped away for something serious and broody, and it looked like little more than a modern action game ticking the required checklist. The reactions were almost unanimous among us: Fuse was not something we wanted to play.

Now in fairness Fuse wasn’t the only time Insomniac deviated from the expected. Its Resistance series was pretty serious business as well, and it was a surprise hit of high quality. However Fuse begged cynicism, because the easiest conclusion to jump to was that Insomniac had all these fun and awesome ideas and then in stepped the mean old blank-faced EA execs to shut them down. Many gamers held it against EA, and thousands probably still do.

But was it all EA?

In a lengthy interview with Joystiq Insomniac president and CEO Ted Price detailed how Overstrike became Fuse. The cynical among us would perhaps say that he’s covering for EA, and maybe it’s true. We don’t know. What we do have is the explanation that was given. It basically boiled down to Insomniac realising that Overstrike wasn’t quite working as far as gameplay was concerned. The core idea of a four-player shooter where each co-op player had a unique role in combat was workable, but there was something problematic about the execution. Originally Overstrike was centered on using the characters to work together in stealth situations, but according to Price the play between characters wasn’t satisfying enough.

“At the time, when we showed Overstrike in 2011,” Price said, “we weren’t where we needed to be with the weapons. We had some cool concepts on paper and in the video, but ultimately, when we started playing the game, the weapons lacked heft, they lacked impact, and they lacked that fun factor that we believe is at the core of every one of our games.”

That train of thought led to Fuse, and the game’s focus on the secret, alien element incidentally called “fuse”. You can read the full interview at Joystiq for all the details on how the game changed.

One of the more interesting things to know is that according to Price “Fuse is actually the least changed of all of our IPs.” Ratchet and Clank was originally a third-person, M-rated adventure game called “Girl With a Stick.” The game had whacked up elements like divine intervention and a complex martial arts system, but it wasn’t fun, which led to Insomniac canning it and thus Ratchet and Clank was born. Similarly Resistance went through major changes as well. “It started out as a game set in the far future, where you were fighting a race of lizard-ish beings,” Price said. “And the story involved time travel, space travel, it was a space opera, essentially.” Insomniac then decided to add a dose of World War 1 or 2 before settling on the alternate timeline.

Fuse is definitely a video game we’d be happy to forget, as both its critical reception and sales were very underwhelming. At least Insomniac Games went on to redeem themselves with Sunset Overdrive, which is funnily enough stylistically similar to Overstrike.

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