#egmr » Azhar http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:09:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 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.

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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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Gamer’s PSN Account Gets Hacked And Sony Twists The Knife http://egmr.net/2015/03/gamers-psn-account-gets-hacked-sony-twists-knife/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/gamers-psn-account-gets-hacked-sony-twists-knife/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168529 While we’d all love to believe in our favourite companies and subscribe to the idea that they care about us deeply, the reality is that in the pursuit of profit […]

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While we’d all love to believe in our favourite companies and subscribe to the idea that they care about us deeply, the reality is that in the pursuit of profit even reputable companies can do questionable things from time to time, whether that company is Apple, Microsoft, Sony or Jesus Incorporate — I may be taking liberties with that last one. In these cases it’s usually best to speak out, make it known that said company is doing something that doesn’t fill us with happy feels and hope they respond accordingly.

However a recent case as surfaced that does anything but inspire happy feels, and it actually involves Sony. Then we know it’s #4theplayers am I right? Anyway if this case is true then it disappoints me, especially when considering my personal preference for Sony products and all the goodwill the company has built up over the last two years and more with its PlayStation brand. You know, if you don’t count all the dramas surrounding PSN and whatnot.

Well what do you know, this case is about PSN too!

Reddit user kadjar wrote a lengthy post detailing his experience with his PSN account being hacked, and the subsequent $600 that got spent on it. His post explains how once he was alert to the hack due to rampant purchase notifications in his email, he did everything reasonably expected of him such as remove his credit card, change his passwords and launched support conversations with Sony and the bank. He even provided a transcript of the conversation that took place with Sony.

You should read the full post, but here is a helpful TL:DR version posted by kadjar if you find yourself not equipped with the time:

TL;DR: My account got hacked, running up over $600 in charges. Here’s the conclusion after running through the Sony support gauntlet.

1. They can only refund up to $150.

2. I can dispute the charges with my bank, but that will result in my account being banned.

3. I cannot unban my account, and will thus lose my purchases (“but you only have the Last of Us and some of our free games, so it’s not a big deal”)

4. Whomever hacked my account deactivated my PS4, and activated their own. Customer support will only permit one activation every 6 months. I’m locked out of logging into my own account on my PS4 for six months.

In kadjar’s edit for clarification, he added that “if you read the transcript, ‘Malcom’ seems to indicate that the full amount could be refunded upon completion of the investigation. I called to confirm this, and the supervisor I spoke to informed me that there was a maximum of $150 even after investigation.”

Basically Sony won’t refund the full $600 charges because they have a maximum of $150 for some reason, and more than that they’re almost forcing the user to take responsibility for something that was in no way his own fault. I mean unless you give away your passwords freely on the internet, trust a stranger or become the victim of an obvious email scam of sorts, hacking is hardly ever your own fault. The ultimatum he’s given about losing his account certainly doesn’t ring well either.

Perhaps you doubt the credibility of his story, and fair enough. It’s the internet. However it’s not the only story like this, as the user identified three other cases, one in a separate thread, in the comments section and in an image.

The reddit user later posted an update to the story, covering his attempts to contact Ask PlayStation over Twitter, which also didn’t get the player anywhere:

I was advised to contact @AskPlaystation over Twitter (with this thread in the tweet). I did so, and they directed me to chat. I wasn’t terribly optimistic that it would help, but I gave it a shot. Here’s the transcript. Nothing has changed, and they won’t do anything about it. If you have a minute and a Twitter account, I’d love it if any / all of you could tweet @AskPlaystation with a link to this thread! Some folks are adding the hashtag #PlayersBeforePolicy – that sounds like a good idea to me.

In a third update kadjar details how other gamers have tried to help him, if you want to walk away from this story with at least something positive. He also expresses his desire to bring to attention some of Sony’s bad customer policies in the hopes that they’ll improve.

I’ve received several offers from redditors willing to gift me copies of the Last of Us and other games / credits, and I can’t express enough how much I appreciate it. It’s nice to remember how many good people there are out there. I make a decent living, though, and I’ll be able to take care of this either way. My goal here is bring attention to a few of Sony’s bad customer service policies in the hopes that they’ll change them, and to encourage them to add more security measures to PSN (such as multi-factor authorization, which is supported by both MS and Steam).

If you feel the desire to give, I’d be thrilled to see donations to a worthy charity instead, such as Child’s Play or Able Gamers.

What do you know, gamers aren’t all evil!

Numerous gamers in the reddit thread, and in others, are reporting cases of bad experiences with Sony customer services when it’s to do with PSN. Personally I have no horrendous PSN stories to share, and thus can only sympathise and request something by means of an explanation from Sony. The company needs to take responsibility for this and make a statement, or at least make attempts to rectify these cases if it’s not going to compensate them.

If I were to take all of these reddit stories as true, then it really just feels like a case of Sony — or specifically some unpleasant customer support branches of the company — are twisting the knife here. Once again I’d reiterate that it just seems insane to build up so much goodwill only to have something like this under your name.

Another problem is that gamers, or rather consumers, typically have an objectivity problem when it comes to corporations they like or are loyal to. What I mean by that is that they want to see a corporation as all good or all bad, rather than identify with reality. The reality is that corporations want to make money, and that desire can lead to both good and bad outcomes for consumers. Corporations are not infallible, no matter how awesome their games are. And it certainly doesn’t help that this story is coming in time with Uncharted 4 being delayed, so one could say it’s not the happiest of weeks for the Sony faithful.

Do you have any PSN or Xbox Live horror stories to share with us? Sound off in the comments.

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State Of Decay Contractor Literally Dicked Up The Game http://egmr.net/2015/03/state-decay-contractor-literally-dicked-game/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/state-decay-contractor-literally-dicked-game/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 10:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168489 It’s actually about ethics in video games development this time. Who would have thought? Apparently 2013’s State of Decay by Undead Labs was left in a bit of strange situation, and […]

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It’s actually about ethics in video games development this time. Who would have thought? Apparently 2013’s State of Decay by Undead Labs was left in a bit of strange situation, and that’s putting it across mildly. You should be aware that the following story is rated P…for preposterous.

The story starts like this, my dear innocent reader who knows no evil in the world whatsoever. Developer Undead Labs hired a contractor to provide some textures for State of Decay, and the contractor in question went on to do something of the highest troll and least professional variety.

Is your body ready?

“Some of our contractors worked a ridiculous amount of genitalia into the background,” Undead Labs senior designer Geoffrey Card told XBLA Fans at PAX East this past weekend.

I’m sorry, what? That might have been your reaction, right? Well you read correctly. Penises. Wieners. Potatoes. Whatever you call them.

The penises in question remained undiscovered, funnily enough, as the texture was displayed at too low a resolution in the original Xbox 360 version of the zombie survival game. However by the time Undead Labs caught on to the dickspiracy behind the hidden features in the texture, it was too late.

Undead Labs replaced the dicks with something less controversial for future releases of the game, so you won’t be able to see the man-meat in any publicly available build of the game. That’s, ahem, unfortunate.

Perhaps you have a good sense of humour and you find this funny. Well publisher Microsoft certainly wasn’t entertained.

“Undead Labs is no longer working with the contractor in question, and this material will not be present in State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition,” a representative told GameInformer.

State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition will arrive on Xbox One at the end of April, delivering the game as well as all DLC and 1080p in one package. It won’t, however, contain any penises.

Who would have imagined that something like this would happen in a game? Is it fair to call it sabotage? You’d expect something like this from Saints Row developer Volition. I guess we can laugh about it now since it’s in hindsight though.

Insert Joker laugh here.

What to make of the situation? As one commenter eloquently put it, you could say that the game was left in…a State of Dickay.

Alright I’ll line up for the firing squad for repeating that joke.

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Evolve’s Declining Steam Player Base Speaks Of Issues With Multiplayer Games http://egmr.net/2015/03/evolves-declining-steam-player-base-speaks-issues-multiplayer-games/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/evolves-declining-steam-player-base-speaks-issues-multiplayer-games/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168382 Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve was followed by controversy over its aggressive DLC policies and limited content up until its release exactly a month ago, and that’s not even counting the problems […]

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Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve was followed by controversy over its aggressive DLC policies and limited content up until its release exactly a month ago, and that’s not even counting the problems regarding all the hype that went into it. We ultimately weren’t all that impressed with it in our review, and as always with multiplayer-focused games we worried about its longevity.

Those concerns seem to be well-founded, since recent data off Steam indicates that Evolve’s player base has been tumbling rather dramatically at a consistently bad rate to boot. At the end of February, just about two weeks after the game went on sale, Evolve had already dropped out of Steam’s top 40 most played games. There could be numerous reasons for that, whether it’s the lack of content playing a role or the game just losing its glamour and appeal, since the honeymoon period could be considered over. In my fanboy head I’d like to say that perhaps people realised that Dragon Ball Xenoverse was just far superior.

You wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking the game was performing well, since just before the bad news dropped we got word that almost 6 million Evolve matches were played in its first week. So what went wrong from there? To find that out we’ll have to examine the last 30 days of Evolve on Steam.

As you can see below, Evolve’s player base has been shrinking rather quickly and constantly.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The above graph certainly doesn’t speak of a healthy lifespan for Evolve. Since then the game has dropped even further down the pecking order, now sitting at number 50 in Steam’s Top Games, as of yesterday.

It’s pretty damning that Evolve has plummeted so heavily when considering that it only released a month ago, yet Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a place ahead of it despite being single-player only and releasing in October 2014. If things keep going as they are, Evolve will slip into obscurity and the realm of the forgotten quite soon, if it doesn’t already have one foot in that door by now.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Perhaps if you’re a fan of the game or just a concerned party you may be asking questions of the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, and how they’re doing for player base or sales. We don’t have concrete information on that yet, but what we do know is that more people are playing Left 4 Dead 2, Turtle Rock Studios’ previous game, than Evolve. Maybe the game will fare better once more content and expansions release, but it’s striking how quickly the game dropped barely a month after being out, despite being multiplayer-focused.

Truth be told though I feel this crash with Evolve speaks of a larger issue with recent multiplayer-focused games, such as Titanfall. While the mech-action game wasn’t as aggressively marketed for DLC as Evolve was, both games in question were extremely hyped yet devoid of single player content or much lasting content at all. They were both rather bare-boned at release, and that makes a cynical one such as me almost feel that the games were marketed with all eyes focused on day-one sales rather than longevity. At least Titanfall was supported post-release, but it had plenty of concerns over its player base as well, at least on PC.

It’s true that the next-generation is just beginning, as just over a year is still considered infancy, and perhaps there is a worry of gamer’s attention constantly switching to new games. But more and more the evidence seems to suggest that splashing $60 on new and hyped up multiplayer games seems to be a bad idea, as they fade rather quickly post-release. The decision of whether to invest in these games becomes increasingly more difficult, unless you’re looking for a game that you can just play for a couple of weeks and then move on. For the gamer in it for the long haul, however, I’m struggling to find much confidence in investing in any multiplayer-focused games of late.

Maybe the answer is as simple as PC revolving around games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Grand Theft Auto, Dota 2 and League of Legends. Who knows. What do you make of Evolve’s apparent decline?

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Why Was Batman: Arkham Knight Rated Mature? Let’s Find Out http://egmr.net/2015/03/batman-arkham-knight-rated-mature-lets-find/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/batman-arkham-knight-rated-mature-lets-find/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168311 Last week we discovered that Batman: Arkham Knight had received an ‘M for Mature’ rating, much to the pleasure of Batfans around the globe. The ESRB rating board had decided that the […]

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Last week we discovered that Batman: Arkham Knight had received an ‘M for Mature’ rating, much to the pleasure of Batfans around the globe. The ESRB rating board had decided that the content of Arkham Knight was fitting of such a rating, which is significant because all three previous Batman games got by with a ‘T for Teen’ rating. Publisher Warner Bros were initially reluctant to let the mature rating slide, but after some persuading from Rocksteady Studios the company decided to deal with it. After all you’d have to be batshit crazy to argue with Rocksteady, who developed two of the best licensed games ever created as well as the top rated Metacritic game of 2011 with Arkham City. When you’re up against those credentials it’s best to sit your ass down, executives.

However what is it that makes Arkham Knight so special that it needs a Mature rating? Despite being aware that it had received the rating, we weren’t given an official explanation as to why. Until now that is. The ESRB has published its official rating summary of the game, which details the how and why of their decision. There’s very little that is seriously spoiler-worthy in the summary, so feel free to read it without fear.

ESRB’s verdict for Arkham Knight is as follows:

Content Descriptors: Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Rating Summary: This is an action-adventure game in which players primarily assume the role of Batman as he battles several villains spreading chaos across Gotham City. Players traverse a variety of locations around Gotham while battling thugs, examining crime scenes, and occasionally rescuing hostages. Players engage in melee-style combat using punches, kicks, and gadgets (e.g., batarangs, explosives). Enemies cry out in pain when struck, and some takedowns are highlighted by brief slow-motion effects and loud impact sounds. Some sequences allow players to use tank-like vehicles with machine gun turrets and rockets to shoot enemies; a vehicle’s wheels are also used to torture an enemy in one sequence. Cutscenes depict characters getting shot (on and off camera) while restrained or unarmed. Large bloodstains/pools of blood appear in crime scenes and in the aftermath of violent acts; one room depicts a person torturing a character on a bloody operating table. During the course of the game, players can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage. Neon signs in a red-light district read “live nude girls” and “XXX.” The words “b*tch,” “gobsh*te,” and “a*s” appear in the dialogue.

That doesn’t actually sound too bad. Of course the summary explanation can take the gravity and impact out of the experience, so we’ll have to see in the actual game. But you’ll find no complaints about the rating from me, as I want to see Rocksteady deliver the game that they believe in.

Alright ratings don’t matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but regardless I’d definitely say that the pressure is on given the lukewarm (at best) reception of Arkham Origins, and the way it was made as a filler entry for cash rather than to be an actual great game. Can Rocksteady beat the curse of trilogies? We’ll only know on June 2 when the game is out.

In the mean time treat yourself to the evolution of the Batman in cinema, because it’s an awesome video and hell, Arkham Knight won’t be here for a while.

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What Do You Know, EA Is Apparently A “Great Place To Work” Lately http://egmr.net/2015/03/know-ea-apparently-great-place-work-lately/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/know-ea-apparently-great-place-work-lately/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 10:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168235 This week we reported on the big news that EA shut down Maxis, the folk behind The Sims 4 and that SimCity game infamously remembered for, well, not working at launch. However […]

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This week we reported on the big news that EA shut down Maxis, the folk behind The Sims 4 and that SimCity game infamously remembered for, well, not working at launch. However despite the closing of Maxis it would seem that one former employee may turn out to be the only human being on planet earth who doesn’t actually have beef with EA.

More so, and pinch me here if I may be dreaming, it would seem that the employee has some kind words for EA, especially with regards to what it’s apparently like to work there. Who knew that EA may not actually be Satan’s minions after all? That is if you trust the words of a filthy casual like Maxis, after all.

Obviously the above were jokes, so control your self-righteous hero tendencies.

The closure of Maxis led to a resurgence of interest in the acquisitions of EA. There was a period spanning several years where EA made so many closures of purchased teams that it kinda acquired a reputation for it. Kotaku put together a decent round up of such examples.

A developer known as ‘vertexnormal’, whom the moderators of /r/SimCity have verified was a Maxis employee, has said that despite what we may think EA is a good employer. Even if it does sell baby organs.

“EA is actually a great place to work these days,” they wrote.

“In the past there were difficulties (I was part of the EA Spouse/class action) but a lot of that has turned around. They really do want to retain talent and minimize layoffs.

“Not everyone shares this experience, but I haven’t worked back-to-back weekends in almost a decade. EA has a really good benefits package, competitive pay, and a strong sense of progressive public responsibility. Maxis, in particular the Sims side, has what is probably the highest level of gender equality in the industry.”

Vertexnormal said they left Maxis in January, with the reason being that they could see the closure looming ahead. However they loved the studio and was said to see it meet its end.

They also outlined EA’s internal “green light gating process”, which potentially can mean that some studios spend years in pre-production prototyping games before EA gives the thumbs up to actually make anything. It’s almost a developer state of limbo if you will.

“Some time after that, when marketing thinks it is right, they will announce the game to the public. From that point on nothing changes from the public facing. Once locked into ‘online-only’ there was no way of changing it,” they said of SimCity.

“People complained that the cities were too small but there was no way to address that without compromising the numbers and forecasts when the game was sold to EA’s corporate overseers. EA can’t be negotiated with at this level, you can’t change their mind, you REALLY have to fight to get dates changed etc.

“I also don’t fault EA with this process. It is meant to minimize risk and it does pretty well at that,” they added.

“EA is a very large ship, it takes a lot of energy and time to get it to change direction. That long process steers the ship and adds predictability. Smaller companies are able to pivot much faster but lack EA’s resources and ability to ‘play the long game’. All of this stuff happens out of necessity, and all of it comes down to money.”

Jokes aside EA has done a lot of great things in recent history, and we can easily point to Dragon Age: Inquisition and the rebirth of Mirror’s Edge and Star Wars: Battlefront as evidence of that. I would say the new villain is Ubisoft! Don’t worry though, there’s always Capcom if we disagree on this and need a mutual enemy.

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Free-To-Play Is A “Significant Part” Of The PS4’s Digital Future http://egmr.net/2015/03/free-play-significant-part-ps4s-digital-future/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/free-play-significant-part-ps4s-digital-future/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168147 Free-to-play has yet to earn any kind of confidence from the majority of consumers, at least as far as our gaming consoles are concerned. Yet surprisingly free-to-play games have seen […]

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Free-to-play has yet to earn any kind of confidence from the majority of consumers, at least as far as our gaming consoles are concerned. Yet surprisingly free-to-play games have seen enough growth on PS4 that Sony is actually now considering the model an important part of the console’s digital future. With titles like PlanetSide 2, War Thunder, Warframe and a bunch of others available and doing pretty well on PSN, it seems as though we could see more pop up in future.

The industry is still trying to get to grips with free-to-play without ending up with an extortionate mobile game. I always say this but so far Valve are the only ones to make what is in my opinion the best example of a free-to-play game around, that being Dota 2. Can consoles legitimately pull a good free-to-play game off? Some publishers and developers, like Capcom, seem to think so, as Deep Down is an example of a major triple A title going the free-to-play route.

The senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business, Sarah Thompson, spoke at a recent GDC panel and said that Sony has seen impressive growth in the free-to-play sector.

“We’re really looking at this as a significant part of our digital business.

“I think that it’s going to be a really a big chunk of our revenues in the next few years; 3-5 years. And it’s already growing at amazing rates that are really quite surprising.”

According to Thompson, Sony initially didn’t anticipate free-to-play being this successful on console.

“So we think that’s great news. I think that it is really stabilizing the business. And I think it’s future-proofing us. I think that it’s really taking us into where we need to be as a company. As a company, we do fully believe in free-to-play.”

The problem however is that with free-to-play the temptation is far too great to monetise the wrong things, or structure the game in such a way that money becomes the only way to avoid a painfully long grind. These cases are defended by the whole “we’re just giving you options and you don’t have to” crap, and perhaps there’s also a bit of a feeling that gamers owe the developers something, since the base game is free. Further problems facing many free-to-play games is the notion of ‘paying to win’, and it takes a well-designed game and a good group of developers to really get over these free-to-play hurdles.

Dota 2, friends. Look it up. Although the unfortunate reality is that not all games can break themselves free of having gameplay affected by money.

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Mad Max Cancelled On PS3 And Xbox 360, Release Date Outed http://egmr.net/2015/03/mad-max-cancelled-ps3-xbox-360-release-date-outed/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/mad-max-cancelled-ps3-xbox-360-release-date-outed/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168071 If you need a refresher of what Mad Max is all about, I wouldn’t blame you considering the game was announced at E3 2013 and then dropped off the map pretty […]

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If you need a refresher of what Mad Max is all about, I wouldn’t blame you considering the game was announced at E3 2013 and then dropped off the map pretty damn fast apart from one gameplay reveal trailer. The game is based on the film series, although there hasn’t been a movie for 30 years. Why the game then? Well would you believe that Mad Max is incidentally making a comeback in films, with Mad Max: Fury Road scheduled to release in May this year. It will be directed by George Miller, the original director of the Mad Max movies, and starring Tom Hardy, also known as Bane.

Mad Max the game is in development at Avalanche Studios, who are famously known for the Just Cause series of games. It’s being published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, who have definitely become a very important name in our gaming industry as they’ve diversified their gaming profile pretty damn well. They found success with Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Dying Light, and they’ve still got Batman: Arkham Knight, Mortal Kombat X and Mad Max lined up for this year.

Mad Max was originally announced for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 but it would now appear that the last generation versions of the game have officially been cancelled. The first exclamation mark on this came when David Scammell, News Editor of VideoGamer.com tweeted about it.

However that seemed to be confirmed when a promo for the game’s pre-order bonuses surfaced, but made no mention of PS3 or Xbox 360, as you can clearly see in the image below. It only lists PC, PS4 and Xbox One as the available platforms.

MadMax_Preorder_Ripper_ENG-640x338

Mad Max was also given an official release date, if you’re excited about it, and it’s right in line with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on September 1st. That may not be the best of ideas considering that Metal Gear Solid is one of the biggest names around and will also be open world, but go figure Warner Bros is doing it anyway.

It’s curious though why the game isn’t releasing with the movie, but I definitely have respect for Avalanche and Warner Bros if they’re not rushing the game to be completed for May in time for Fury Road and will rather see it done properly for September. If that means cancelling the last generation versions as well, then I’m actually somewhat more interested in this game.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Finally Dated, Your Body Isn’t Ready http://egmr.net/2015/03/metal-gear-solid-v-phantom-pain-finally-dated-body-isnt-ready/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/metal-gear-solid-v-phantom-pain-finally-dated-body-isnt-ready/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 06:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168082 It stands to reason that even if you’re not dying a slow death of excitement like I am over Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you still know exactly […]

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It stands to reason that even if you’re not dying a slow death of excitement like I am over Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you still know exactly what it is given the delighted girly screams of fanboys all over the world. The Metal Gear Solid franchise seemingly concluded in 2008 with the fourth main entry Guns of the Patriots. Of course that was until 2010’s portable Peace Walker reared its head, as a continuation of the Big Boss prequel story established in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. If you don’t know, The Phantom Pain will continue on from where Peace Walker left off, completing the prequel trilogy story before the events of Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. That’s chronology for you.

Now ever since the game’s spectacular reveal at the Spike Video Game Awards in December 2012 and subsequently its GDC 2013 break-out, fans have been praying for a release date. At long last we’ve finally got one, and it’s not that far off. Prepare yourselves: your body isn’t ready.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will officially release this damn year on September 1, 2015.

The release date for The Phantom Pain was expected to be announced on the game’s official website today, as teased by a recent countdown clock and the gaming industry’s usual bullshit of hyping up announcements of incoming announcements. However a video for the game containing the release date was mysteriously leaked on IGN, as discovered by NeoGAF detective Nibel. The image below came from the end of the video and I’m no expert but it seems simple enough.

2820903-release

Of course it’s possible that this is all a big conspiracy and the leaked video isn’t true, but that’s unlikely.

Elsewhere, in an errant interview posted by IGN, covered by Gamer Center Online, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima said, perhaps for the hundredth time, that this will be the final game in the series.

“I always say this will be my last Metal Gear, but the games in the series that I’ve personally produced – Metal on MSX, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, 4 and Peace Walker – and now Metal Gear Solid 5 constitute a single Metal Gear saga,” Kojima said.

At least he acknowledges it. Perhaps it’s the last game he will ‘personally produce’, and any future projects may be of similar mold to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

“With Metal Gear Solid 5 I’m finally closing the loop on that saga. In that sense, this will be the final Metal Gear Solid. To me, this is the last Metal Gear.”

And just because we all love it when developers talk about going back to roots (I wasn’t aware Metal Gear Solid ever deviated from them), Kojima said that The Phantom Pain will take Snake back to those pesky root things, as he has always been an “extension of the player.”

“As much as possible, Snake will act based on the player rather than doing things like making spontaneous comments or flirting with women,” he said.

“In fact. this time, Snake won’t really speak much at all. MGS5 is an open world game focused on giving freedom to the player who will drive Snake’s action. Snake himself will be more of a silent protagonist similar to Mad Max in Mad Max 2. It’s the characters around him who will expand the story.”

Maybe he will talk less because Kiefer Sutherland? Reasons! Logic!

Anyway you can rest easy now, soldiers. The Phantom Pain will be out on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on September 1st, and I really hope Kojima can get out of the last generation consoles what he did with Ground Zeroes.

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Bethesda Removes Skyrim Mod Size Limit http://egmr.net/2015/03/bethesda-removes-skyrim-mod-size-limit/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/bethesda-removes-skyrim-mod-size-limit/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168054 On Steam’s Skyrim Workshop Bethesda has always, for some reason, restricted the size of mods to 100mb, despite the existence of some killer mods such as the content-filled Falskaar one, which is […]

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On Steam’s Skyrim Workshop Bethesda has always, for some reason, restricted the size of mods to 100mb, despite the existence of some killer mods such as the content-filled Falskaar one, which is around 400mb for just the main file. Mods are currently keeping Skyrim far more alive than it should be at this point in time, since its release in 2011 and subsequent 2013 Legendary Edition, but if you’ve ever tried modding Skyrim you’d know that there’s no going back after that.

Bethesda has removed this mod size limit via the updated Creation Kit, which will be in beta on Steam this week.

A new Bethesda blog post for Skyrim’s Creation Kit details the update:

Creation Kit 1.9.33 Update

  • Creation Kit now supports unlimited file sizes for mods on the Steam Workshop.
  • The Preview Image is limited to no larger than 1 MB.

Skyrim Launcher

  • The Skyrim Launcher no longer downloads mods from Steam Workshop. Downloads are now managed by the Steam Client. The Skyrim Launcher updates the game after the Steam Client finishes the download.

And for anyone who wants to participate in the beta releases but isn’t quite sure how:

  • Log into Steam
  • Click on your game Library.
  • Right click on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and select Properties.
  • Click on the Betas tab, and from the drop down select beta – Skyrim Beta
  • Next from Library, access Tools from the drop down.
  • Right click on Creation Kit and select Properties.
  • Click on the Betas tab, and from the drop down select beta – Creation Kit Beta
  • Steam will now restart. After Steam restarts, Skyrim will be updated to the Beta version currently available.

This can be reversed at any time by simply redoing the steps above and selecting “none” for beta.

If you’re wondering what good this will do, well, it will let a ton of content-creators finally upload their gigantic mods to Steam’s Skyrim Workshop, for easier access to those kinds of things. I’m sure many gamers will continue to just use Nexus Mod Manager and such, but it does give more exposure and control to the content creators.

Perhaps now we’ll get a Skyrim VS Fallout mod.

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Take A Guess How Many Steam Accounts Have Dota 2 Installed http://egmr.net/2015/03/take-guess-many-steam-accounts-dota-2-installed/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/take-guess-many-steam-accounts-dota-2-installed/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167964 Dota, which I would argue is one of the greatest games ever made, continues to get stronger and stronger each year with no sign of stopping. It’s basically like Goku, […]

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Dota, which I would argue is one of the greatest games ever made, continues to get stronger and stronger each year with no sign of stopping. It’s basically like Goku, if you will. Fresh off the latest major update which brought Winter Wyvern, the annual New Bloom Year Beast event, a Crystal Maiden Arcana and balance changes to the game, comes some statistics which are pretty mind boggling, even though they’re expected if you know a thing or two about the global phenomenon.

The big news, however, is that Dota 2 has seen its installation rate jump 85% year-over-year, no doubt helped tremendously by the fact that it’s completely free and by the sheer popularity of major tournaments like The International and the recent Asia Championships. The massive MOBA has close to 43 million installations worldwide.

43 freaking million. Bear in mind however that just because Dota 2 is installed on a PC system obviously doesn’t mean it’s currently being played by that particular individual, so let’s explore the stats.

According to statistics posted on Game Industry, as of February 2015, Dota 2 has 42.9 million owners, and it’s estimated that 34% of all Steam users own the game. Again keep in mind that it’s a free download, so many of those could be people who just downloaded it to try it or for the hell of it.

However EEDAR reports that a staggering 8 million players have put at least 140 hours into the game, so there’s your baseline right there.

What’s more is that the number of Dota 2 users has increased by 54% year-over-year with a daily peak in players (at any one time) hitting a massive 1.26 million in February 2015, of course during the New Bloom event. If you compare it to last year’s New Bloom, the daily average was 698,000 which indicates an 81% increase in player count this year.

There are graphs and some more figures to chew up if you follow the link over to Games Industry’s page.

Dota 2 remains one of if not the best example of a free-to-play game that we currently have in the gaming industry. It requires not one cent to play, as it’s entirely free to download, and every microtransaction you make is out of choice and will not affect gameplay whatsoever. While the New Bloom 2015 event was significantly influenced by money, since you could purchase ‘action points’ to use in the Beast Mode, it’s not a big deal since it’s a fun mode that yielded cosmetic items as prizes.

Throughout the year, however, your money will do nothing to change the way the game is played yet people (including me) spend because cosmetics can be damn awesome when done right. Dota 2’s rising success year after year continues to show not just the quality of the game but also the amazing systems Valve has put into place — one of those being the community market and subsequently gamers being able to create cosmetic content for the game.

It’s only a matter of time now until the last few missing heroes are put into place and Valve updates the game to the latest Dota version. Then it will be exciting and deeply interesting to see where the game goes from there.

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Thanks To Superdata We Can Now Dissect Digital Revenue Data For Consoles http://egmr.net/2015/02/thanks-superdata-can-now-dissect-digital-revenue-data-consoles/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/thanks-superdata-can-now-dissect-digital-revenue-data-consoles/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167914 As is typical in the gaming industry we didn’t have access to information like this for console games before, and usually had to guess at it. However Digital games industry […]

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As is typical in the gaming industry we didn’t have access to information like this for console games before, and usually had to guess at it. However Digital games industry analyst Superdata has now extended its scope to include console gaming, so we finally have access to plenty of data regarding revenue and such that we can analyse for ourselves rather than interpret from publisher financial briefings. In those cases it’s not exactly like we get given much to work with anyway.

Thanks to Superdata we now know that GTA V was comfortably the highest grossing game in terms of digital revenue for January, and further that PSN is currently basking in most of the glory.

GTA V specifically made a huge $31.8 million in worldwide digital revenue in January 2015. Previously we may have just been given this number but absolutely nothing further, so we’d be left with little idea of how it was made up or what the breakdown would be. Now we know that the figure includes digital copies of the game sold through PSN, Xbox Live and also includes DLC and microtransactions.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare comes in second with $23.5 million, while Destiny is at third with $14.2 million, although in the case of the latter it’s worth noting that the steep difference in revenue between second and third places may be indicative of the game lacking compelling or enough additional content.

Below you will find the full top ten list. The source text underneath the table tells us that “titles shown are largest for US market and ranked by worldwide digital console revenues”, which includes full-game digital downloads as well as DLC and additional content. But this is why the list doesn’t include FIFA 15 despite its $28.3 million in digital revenue, since it’s based on the US’ top 10. As an interesting point, 93% (yes, almost 100% freaking percent) of FIFA 15’s digital revenue came from microtransactions.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Superdata also found that in the top ten console games listed above 63% of all revenue was generated on PlayStation platforms, which means Sony is enjoying most of the glory in the digital space. A huge 43% came from just the PS4 players. The PS4 and Xbox One together however generated 70% more than last generation consoles.

According to Superdata half of the revenue generated by the ten games above came from the US market. As a working example, 81% of Dying Light’s digital sales came from just the US, and the rest from other parts of the world. Superdata interestingly said that the console market hasn’t yet taken off in China, although it often comments on the importance of the market there in its PC digital revenues report.

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Review: Dragon Ball XenoVerse Is Comfortably Over Nine Thousand http://egmr.net/2015/02/review-dragon-ball-xenoverse-comfortably-nine-thousand/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/review-dragon-ball-xenoverse-comfortably-nine-thousand/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167810 Visit review on site for scoring. The Dragon Ball Z franchise has enjoyed some phenomenal games, and it’s also endured some utterly horrid ones. Fans found recent disappointment with last generation’s […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

Xenoverse Review - 1

The Dragon Ball Z franchise has enjoyed some phenomenal games, and it’s also endured some utterly horrid ones. Fans found recent disappointment with last generation’s late and underwhelming arrival Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, which was developed by Artdink. This time around the prodigal developer has returned, with Dimps back in the driver’s seat to renew hope for DBZ fans around the world. If you need a refresher of Dimps’ stellar fighting credentials, look no further than its work on the Budokai series, Burst Limit and the fact that it co-developed the near perfect Street Fighter IV. Dragon Ball XenoVerse comes to us with high ambition, going in a new direction for traditional DBZ games in that it’s basically a small-scale MMO, and that kind of risk already displays the confidence and possible madness of the studio at work here. For Dimps that could either spell horrible tragedy or glorious triumph, and we’re overjoyed to say that in the case of XenoVerse it’s absolutely the latter.

While many DBZ fans would be satisfied with simply reliving the classic Z story endlessly, immediately what will stand out in XenoVerse is how cleverly Dimps has approached it. The studio knows that fans would never decline the Z story, except this time around instead of simply delivering it as we’ve seen dozens of times before, Dimps has adapted a premise, heavily inspired by the now shut-down Dragon Ball Online, that lets you relive it in a unique and fun way, allowing them a ton of creative freedom. In XenoVerse two villains Towa and Mira are attempting to manipulate history and destroy the Z timeline as we know it, and this leads Time Patrol Trunks to summon Shenron and wish for help in the fight. That help turns out to be you, and your custom created character. You’re tasked with helping Trunks restore the timeline, as the villains from the past are much stronger than they originally were due to dark energy offered by the time meddlers, and all of history’s key events have been rewritten and distorted with horrible outcomes. What if Raditz had broken free of Goku’s grip at the last moment, and Piccolo had ended up killing only him? What if Captain Ginyu had body swapped Vegeta instead of Goku? These are but a few of the time distortions caused by Towa and Mira’s interference, all in an attempt to disrupt the time continuum and collect dark energy.

The story is fun to follow even if the dialogue can be suspect and the voice acting can be underwhelming compared to the level of epic we’re used to. But despite its flaws it’s extremely easy to enjoy the ride, especially from the perspective of your very own created character, which is the core part of the experience. Character creation is simple in its usability but stellar in its results. In the game you can play as an Earthling, Saiyan, Majin, Namekian or Frieza clansman, and each race has their own bonuses, perks, specialties, skills and unique gear. You can also decide whether to be male or female, and rather than be purely cosmetic it actually affects your stats as well, in addition to certain factors like your height, asking you to give a bit more thought to how you setup your hero. Something Destiny could learn a thing or two about, I’d say. You’d do well to get it right the first time, since you’ll only be able to edit your colours at any time afterwards, but not your race and appearance, and you’re only able to create multiple characters upon completion of the main story. Overall the character creation process does the job well, and it’s absolutely enjoyable to become a new key player in the Z story. While your character is silent in the story despite you being able to choose a voice for combat, you can’t help but become extremely attached to your Z fighter due to your importance in the world.

Xenoverse Review - 3

The entirety of the game takes place in Toki-Toki City, rather than from any traditional menu screen, as it acts as a central hub. You can enter Toki-Toki without player interaction, so that you’re not bothered by anyone else and human characters appear as NPCs, or you can connect to the online servers and experience the game MMO style, or basically similar to Destiny if you need a recent frame of reference. You’ll see other human characters running and jumping around and interacting in dozens of funny ways, as well as using the chat box to shout out to everyone or select individuals. You can also check other players’ stats out, create parties and register teams. The hub is split into three parts, namely the industrial sector for buying items, gear and skills, the business end for online versus and co-op and the main sector for story missions, local versus and the tournament feature, which has not yet been implemented. Everything is easily accessible and offers minimal stress. Also throughout the game various characters will appear in the hub world as masters, and you can train under them to learn their skills and get judged by them with every rating you receive at the end of a mission. You’re only able to have one master at a time but you can swap freely whenever you feel like.

Similarly to an RPG your character gains experience through objectives and levels up, with you being able to assign three attribute points every level. You’re able to improve health, KI, Stamina and the potency of physical attacks and special moves. Furthermore equipment gives your character bonus stats, but there are often trade offs so you have to pick appropriately for your fighting style. An example is that a piece of armour may decrease the strength of your physical attacks but increase your KI attacks. There are also cosmetic accessories like Scouters and Ninja Swords. A key part of your character’s make up is a Z-soul, of which there are a ton in the game each boasting their own buffers. You can only have one equipped to your character at a time, and the bonuses they provide can be things such as reviving you with some health if you get KO’d, or greatly improving the efficiency of Vegeta attacks, or having a chance to buff you at the start of a fight. It seems complicated at first, but much of this is spelled out and delivered in a very simple manner, and that makes it easy to get past the initial learning curve and focus on mastery of the actual gameplay mechanics.

With narrative and online versus to one side, co-op works a bit differently in XenoVerse. There are dozens of these missions called parallel quests, which can be played offline with AI allies or solo if you prefer, or online with other people. These missions start off easy but get very tough, demanding high levels and effective skill builds. The rewards however are great as you unlock more gear, some of the best skills, Z-souls, large amounts of XP and money, bonus rare rewards and Dragon Balls and materials for crafting. In XenoVerse these rewards are completely randomised or subject to special win conditions that you need to discover through playing, such as forcing a character to transform to their ultimate state in the fight and then beating them. It’s a bit of a cheap way to make you redo them since you can S-rank a mission but not get the best reward, however unlike the frustrations in Destiny where you can play a painfully long mission multiple times only to receive nothing whatsoever, in XenoVerse these missions are fifteen minutes at most and your rewards are guaranteed. Even if you don’t get the skill you want you will get others as well as large amounts of XP (even more for better rankings) and money, the latter of which can also be used to purchase skills if you unlock them in the shop and don’t want to grind them. For instance I bought Instant Transmission and Super Saiyan 2 at hefty costs.

Xenoverse Review - 2

It all just works so effectively, and you’ll never lack for things to do in the world of XenoVerse, of course assuming that you don’t get bored of the game. We urge you to get past the slow start because the game continuously gets better as your character becomes stronger, learns more moves and becomes more customisable. The best part is that if you want a change, you can still unlock nearly fifty Z fighters and use them freely not only in versus mode, but in parallel quests both online and offline. It’s a bit disappointing that you can’t customise character skill templates, and rather each different costume for a character has its own skill set. For example Goku has around ten, where the early ones use Kaioken while Super Saiyan enabled Goku has entirely different moves. Perhaps it was done for balance reasons, as the developers chose the skill arrangements they thought were best fit, but it would have been nice to do a Raging Blast 2 and let you map out characters as you like.

With everything out of the way we can finally get into the actual gameplay. XenoVerse is set in full 3D environments with destructibility here and there. It would have been great to see entire structures collapse and whatnot, but perhaps the previous generation of consoles held that aspect back a bit. Fights can take place in the air, on the ground or underwater fluidly, as expected. You’ll fly around freely, use target lock to focus on individual enemies and dish out the pain with a variety of melee attacks, special moves and ultimate attacks. In the game you have both KI and stamina meters, where the former governs your energy attacks and the latter your ability to teleport dodge, block or escape combos when you’re under pressure and need space. Core changes include the ability to charge KI now requiring a super move slot, and some transformations such as Super Saiyan becoming ultimate moves which continuously drain KI but grant massive bonuses and limitless potential to use energy attacks. However once the duration ends you’ll be left with no stamina and thus unable to dodge, block or break out of any attacks or even fly fast, making you extremely vulnerable.

The game can become intense at times, and feels excellent and extremely fluid to play. After a bit of a tricky learning curve, not helped at all by the absurdly dumb decision to not have a practice mode, you’ll soon be dishing out devastating combos, knowing when to use your super transformations and carefully managing your stamina bar and other such resources. At the start the game feels very balanced, but it does have the tendency to suffer the fate most games like this do (especially the Naruto Shippuden games), where certain characters can be pretty ridiculously strong, and you can cheap out with Super Saiyan and spamming energy attacks, for example. However you have more means to get around it in this game, and punishments can be severe. Of course it goes without saying to not expect a highly balanced game, but more effort was certainly made here and at least in the early hours you’d struggle to find exploits or cheap ways to play especially when your character is weak. With that said the combat could have had more depth or variety in physical attack moves, but it’s rock solid and very, very enjoyable, and we all but guarantee you’ll feel like a badass more often than not.

Xenoverse Review - 4

One of our favourite things about XenoVerse is that battles can feel epic in their own way in both one-on-one scenarios and bouts where you’re up against three or more enemies. It’s awe-inducing the first few times to see so many fighters on one screen and the resulting chaos, especially when you cross streams in an epic DBZ way. One example I can refer to is when my ally Goku had someone in a Kame Hame Ha blast and I threw out my Galick Gun, and our beams crossed through this sorry individual, dealing immense damage. However in these busy battles the camera can be quite frustrating when trying to switch between multiple enemies, especially if you’re solo and up against a group, which can lead you to flailing the air uselessly or losing your bearings. On the whole though we have to commend the camera, especially in versus, for holding its own and being mostly manageable.

The fun factor is carried over to multiplayer, with the game being an absolute blast online. It’s awesome to team up with other humans and get into massive bouts in the parallel quests, just as it is great to test your mettle against someone else. Matchmaking is incredibly easy and swift, and we never felt hugely affected by lag or had any connectivity issues whatsoever. There are always lobbies for the parallel quests you want to do, and if not you can create one or just keep checking. However the biggest flaw in multiplayer actually comes through in the local versus mode. For some reason not even Shenron would know, you can only fight in the World Tournament Arena in two-player local versus, which is a criminal offense. It’s definitely one of the more stupid decisions or oversights a fighting game has made, especially since XenoVerse has some great locations. It’s also sad that you can’t play local co-op, only versus, which also feels like a missed opportunity. Nevertheless the bulk of your time will be spent elsewhere, and it also helps that the entirety of the game can be played offline.

XenoVerse is absolutely extraordinary as a visual spectacle, and among the best DBZ experiences you’re likely to encounter, especially with how ridiculously amazing animations look. Colour is also fantastic, especially the glow from super attacks and transformations. For once environments actually look pretty great too, and don’t appear as bland and lifeless as in previous games. Character models make you wonder if it can get any better, and it really is a treat for DBZ fans. Some may feel the game lacks epicness in its presentation of some of the most famous and massive attacks, but Dimps went to great lengths to ensure gameplay is almost never broken up, and we prefer that to be honest. It all just flows rather nicely and quickly. The game is also technically impeccable, which surprised us. Loading times are minimal, server issues are a total rarity and we encountered next to no bugs. However lip syncing for English voices is quite terrible, detracting from the splendour. Another technical oversight is the game’s bizarre omission of remote play on PS4, and we can’t quite figure out why that is.

Xenoverse Review - 5

When looking at licensed games like Naruto or Dragon Ball Z we always have to consider the game from the perspective of fan service, and Dimps certainly delivers in spades on that. The creative story, the game’s humour, the fun what-if scenarios and the signatures of each character are all present and delivered. There are even secret Bardock and Broly sagas to unlock via the collection of a certain five shards, for added awesomness. While it doesn’t boast the huge roster of Raging Blast 2, XenoVerse is less samey with its usage of them and of course comes packed with Super Saiyan God Goku and the likes of Beerus, the God of Destruction, as character unlocks so there’s that. We’d be hard pressed to find a hardcore DBZ fan who isn’t impressed or in love with what XenoVerse has to offer, and for the rest there’s definitely enough here to warrant giving it a chance at the very least.

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Batman: Arkham Knight Is The First Game In The Series To Be Rated “Mature” http://egmr.net/2015/02/batman-arkham-knight-first-game-series-rated-mature/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/batman-arkham-knight-first-game-series-rated-mature/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167820 If you’re one of those people who absolutely hates it when things are dumbed down for the masses then I’ve got some good news for you about Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: […]

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If you’re one of those people who absolutely hates it when things are dumbed down for the masses then I’ve got some good news for you about Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham Knight. That’s assuming you care about Arkham Knight of course, and if you don’t then I’m afraid I have nothing else for you, so just walk away slowly. And don’t look back. Don’t see my tears. For those who care we’re actually faced with a rather interesting development for the final game in the Rocksteady Batman trilogy, and it comes in the form of the game’s official rating via the ESRB.

The ESRB has decided to give Batman: Arkham Knight an “M for Mature” rating, which is remarkably a first for the series. Previous games, namely Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Origins, were all rated “T for Teen”, getting away with that despite indulging in some particularly nasty business from time to time. Why was this mature rating given for Arkham Knight, you may ask? Patience, dear reader. We’re about to get there. Good on you though for asking the right questions.

IGN opted to investigate by speaking to Rocksteady founder and Arkham Knight game director Sefton Hill about why the game earned that rating. He had the following to say:

“From our point of view, we never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind. We never did that in the previous two games… We just felt that this is the story that we really wanted to tell. In terms of creating the story, with such strong characters, sometimes they lead you in interesting directions. They lead you because you know who they are and you build the world around that.”

During development Hill got an email from publisher Warner Bros., and the email was basically an artist’s nightmare as it pointed out several scenes and parts of the game that they felt would cause “issues”, most likely with the whole rating nastiness.

“I was really freaked out because the solution was to lose the scenes,” Hill said. “But they were key scenes! We couldn’t lose them! I got the email. I’m freaked out. I thought this was going to destroy the game, everything I’m passionate about… I was building myself up for this big argument. I didn’t get much sleep…”

Fortunately for all of us Hill was able to convince Warner Bros. to let Rocksteady make the game it wants to make. The result is that Rocksteady won’t be fighting that Mature rating or making nay changes to the game to broaden the appeal and hit a more mainstream Teen rating.

“I’m not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out… I don’t want to be oblivious to that fact. It would have been wrong to water down the game and deliver a story we didn’t believe in to keep the game “mass market” or enable it for more people. We feel that’s the wrong way to go about it. We said we love the story and we don’t want to jepoardize that.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how far Rocksteady has gone with Batman: Arkham Knight that it had to earn a mature rating. I have great admiration for Rocksteady for this (as if I didn’t have enough love for them already), although I’m sceptical of how much a Mature rating could hurt sales for Batman, which has sold more than free drugs. It’s worth pointing out as well that Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, and if I’m not mistaken Assassin’s Creed, are all rated as Mature as they come yet they’re among the best selling games in the industry.

And who are we kidding, parents will buy their kid a Batman game regardless of what rating it has. If Little Johhny can already get his hands on Halo, Battlefield and Call of Duty, you can be damn sure he’s getting his grubby paws all over Batman too.

The timing of this article couldn’t be better as well because a new trailer has only just been released, titled “Gotham is Mine” and giving you plenty of Scarecrow. I’d suggest you give it a watch up above, as it’s pretty legit.

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Big Things Happening At Telltale Games As It Prepares For “Most Ambitious Project Ever” http://egmr.net/2015/02/big-things-happening-telltale-games-prepares-ambitious-project-ever/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/big-things-happening-telltale-games-prepares-ambitious-project-ever/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167776 After Telltale Games exploded onto the scene with its massive hit episodic series The Walking Dead: Season One, the little studio went on to release The Wolf Among Us and The Walking […]

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After Telltale Games exploded onto the scene with its massive hit episodic series The Walking Dead: Season One, the little studio went on to release The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead Season Two, and this year began Tales From The Borderlands and Game of Thrones. Telltale Games shows no sign of slowing down or stopping despite having four projects to their name already, three of which are certainly ongoing. Now it seems that big things are happening over at the studio that we can’t really call ‘little’ anymore, in preparation for its “most ambitious project ever”.

It’s big news ladies and gentlemen as Lionsgate has officially announced that it has invested in Telltale Games. That’s a “significant investment” according to the press release, and furthermore Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer will actually be joining the Telltale Board of Directors.

The investment will enable “the two companies to explore opportunities to co-develop existing and original IP into episodic games and television”.

That’s not all, as it’s been revealed that former EA CEO John Riccitiello has also joined Telltale’s Board of Directors.

Telltale CEO and co-founder Kevin Bruner commented on both new recruits to the Board of Directors, stating, “I’m thrilled to have these industry giants join us as we continue to define exceptional interactive scripted entertainment.”

Riccitiello had his chance to make a statement as well.

“Telltale has created something entirely new. Their games combine linear storytelling and gameplay in an entirely new way that is fresh, unique, and compelling,” Riccitiello said, also expressing his excitement to partner with Telltale.

Here’s where things get a little more interesting though and less business-like. A couple of weeks ago Bruner (Telltale CEO) was hinting at the studio’s new IP, describing it as “its most ambitious project ever”. Bruner, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, has now outlined the concept of a “Super Show”, which turns out is what he was hinting at previously, and may have something to do with the new IP.

In the interview Bruner describes a “Super Show” as an episode that will be part normal television show, with another part that brings in interactive content.

“A ‘Super Show’ episode combines one part of interactive playable content with one part of scripted television style content,” says Bruner. “Both pieces, when combined together, are what make an actual Super Show ‘episode.’

Big things are certainly happening at Telltale Games. The studio has four games currently under its belt and most of those will be continuing. It has a big new IP in the works as well, and who knows what else. The studio is definitely being stretched as far as it possibly can, and it stands to reason that more licenses are probably wanting to fly under the Telltale episodic banner, given that it already has the prestigious names of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

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Star Wars Battlefront Features On Sony List Of All 2015 PlayStation Releases http://egmr.net/2015/02/star-wars-battlefront-features-sony-list-2015-playstation-releases/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/star-wars-battlefront-features-sony-list-2015-playstation-releases/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 07:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167684 It’s easy to understand why Star Wars: Battlefront is one of the most anticipated games of the year. The franchise itself is certainly making a massive comeback in 2015, as in […]

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It’s easy to understand why Star Wars: Battlefront is one of the most anticipated games of the year. The franchise itself is certainly making a massive comeback in 2015, as in addition to the game we’ve got Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hitting theaters on December 18, and Star Wars: Battle Pod out to revolutionise your arcade experience. Not ours here in South Africa though, sadly. Now the unfortunate part for the gaming side of things is that we don’t yet have any game footage, official information or a release date for Star Wars: Battlefront. We only have the strong speculation that the game will be arriving in time for the new movie.

That’s where Sony comes into the picture, over zealous as they are. A recent post on the PlayStation Blog has listed every PlayStation title to release in 2015, including PS4, PS3 and Vita games. The list is split into three tables, showing off games that are available now, games with confirmed release dates and all those without any official dates pinned down. However there’s a strong certainty that all the titles on the massive list will release this year, and it’s not the first time Sony has done such a list.

But what do you know, Star Wars: Battlefront is featured on the list too!

While EA has yet to make any formal announcement about the release of Star Wars: Battlefront, this is definitely looking like good news for Star Wars eager beavers. Of course Sony could have just been jumping the gun here or working off what’s out there right now, but I have the strong feeling that we’ll see Battlefront in all its glory at E3 this year.

Other exciting or interesting titles on the ‘unknown release date’ part of the list include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Until Dawn, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Carmageddon: Reincarnation, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Storm 4, Persona 5, Ratchet & Clank, Tom Clancy’s The Division and The Forest. There are plenty others on the list, so you’d best run through it if you’re looking forward to a game and hoping it’s set for this year.

All things considered, if you thought 2014 was a lacking year for games then 2015 definitely looks like it’s doing everything it can to do you one better.

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Spawn Has Freedom To Appear In Mortal Kombat X http://egmr.net/2015/02/spawn-freedom-appear-mortal-kombat-x/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/spawn-freedom-appear-mortal-kombat-x/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167658 Mortal Kombat fans are currently salivating in anticipation of a new character reveal set for this month. With rumours flying around that Predator could be included as DLC, and even Spawn could feature in […]

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Mortal Kombat fans are currently salivating in anticipation of a new character reveal set for this month. With rumours flying around that Predator could be included as DLC, and even Spawn could feature in the game, little can be expected of the reveal. However, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane has stepped forth from the dark corners of the earth to add gasoline to a fire, and get quite excited.

Cameos in fighting games is nothing new. Famously, in Soul Calibur IV (my favourite game in that series) we had Darth Vader on PS3, Yoda on Xbox 360 and The Force Unleashed’s Star Killer in both. There was Kratos himself in Mortal Kombat 2011 on PS3, with Nightmare on Elm Street villain Freddy Krueger featuring as a DLC-only character. And let’s not forget Mortal Kombat vs DC, where our comic book heroes faced off against our favourite uppercut experts.

The story for Mortal Kombat X goes like this. McFarlane has come out and said that developer NetherRealm Studios actually has free access to the Spawn character for use in Mortal Kombat games, according to an already established deal with Warner Bros. Interactive.

McFarlane, speaking in an interview with GamerFitNation (via Polygon), said that NetherRealm Studios have a “window of time” to use Spawn in their games, so if the developer wishes he could very well appear in Mortal Kombat X quite easily.

“They have access to be able to use the character in a couple of their games, if they want to,” said McFarlane. “Again, it’s up to their discretion. I gave them a window of time, so I’ll just leave it to them to do what it is that they want.

“Eventually, they’ll phone me and they’ll go, ‘Hey, we want to use him here. Is that OK?’ Well, technically, it’s OK because we’ve already said yes. They just are letting us know. I don’t know if they’re ever going to use him.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see Spawn in Mortal Kombat X, and I haven’t even got around to reading the comics yet! Don’t fret it’s on my list, but I’ve always found Spawn awesome. I recall the Spawn character being my first forum signature when I was a youngling, and a major part of what got me into Photoshop all those years ago.

Mortal Kombat X will release on April 14 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Review: The Order 1886 Is Inoffensively Fun, But Amounts To Little http://egmr.net/2015/02/review-order-1886-inoffensively-fun-amounts-little/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/review-order-1886-inoffensively-fun-amounts-little/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167503 Visit review on site for scoring. The Order 1886 is Ready at Dawn’s first attempt at making it big on the grand stage, backed by the experienced SCE Santa Monica […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

The Order 1866 - preview 5

The Order 1886 is Ready at Dawn’s first attempt at making it big on the grand stage, backed by the experienced SCE Santa Monica Studio. It’s been a peculiar journey to its release, with The Order barely having a fraction of the hype and promotional marketing you’d expect from the usual big triple A releases. Weirder still is that the initial footage for the game was rather dull and unremarkable, yet things only picked up a month before release. It was a surprisingly low-key game, with Ready at Dawn keeping things pretty close to the chest. While that could have either lead to pleasant surprise or the reality that there just wasn’t much to show, we think the final result is quite indicative of its level of marketing hype. It’s a low-key game, to tell the truth, and is content to just show up, do its thing and walk off the stage without resulting in a standing ovation or causing a riot. It hasn’t done anything drastically wrong, but the final product certainly isn’t the next big thing for Sony’s black box.

Evidence of its desire to not make too big a deal of itself is frequently shown in its story. The game is rooted in alternate history London — a remarkable choice of setting — where an old order of knights exists to keep people safe from half-breed monsters. Their secret is the Black Water elixir that can heal all wounds and extend their lifespans to centuries. You’ll take on the role of Sir Galahad as he journeys through the kind of narrative setup we’ve seen many times before, with the proud order obviously having some dark secrets and its resistance not actually being so bad. The room for originality exists with the setting, although it’s grossly underused. In the sense that the game has a rich backstory, but a shallow plot that barely even explores any of it. The half-breeds are interesting, but not really explored or interacted with past some fights. And it’s more revealing in the way you’ll not get to see or breathe in the world, due to such a constrained focus. It’s just sort of there.

The story itself is serviceable, but could have been really good if its genuinely smart ideas were expanded or focused on. It’s almost as though it makes meek attempts at pushing out of its comfort zone, but quietly sinks back into it out of fear of standing out. It also suffers from nuances such as cliched dialogue, predictability and starting the narrative in the future for no reason other than to artificially create intrigue and unintentionally just tell you who won’t die in the story. All of that could have been forgiven if it wasn’t for the fact that the game just barely uses much of its rich back story or the setting or even its own strongest elements, such as the half-breeds. More so it’s tragically inconclusive despite good ideas and interesting revelations toward the end. The Order 1886 could have been much more than a serviceable story, but it fails to aspire to much more than that. Hell, it could have gone on for five hours longer, but ends so abruptly you’ll be damn surprised.

The-Order-1886-Lycan

The game benefits most from its setting with the gorgeous art direction. The Order 1886 honestly is one of the most beautiful games you could play. It’s jaw-dropping most of the time, but we loved how subtle it is with that fact. The game never tries to vomit its visual prowess or spectacle all over your face, instead focusing on its smooth cinematic transitions between gameplay and cutscenes which happen so fluidly and brilliantly that sometimes you may not even know you actually regained control over your character. It’s incredible as a cinematic experience and in the way it can flow between gameplay and cutscene with the kind of grace that makes them not feel like separate entities. The Order 1886 is definitely raising the bar right now as a seamless visual and cinematic spectacle.

Perhaps what’s more impressive than that is how absolutely impeccable the game is in its performance. When you consider that today even massive budget games like Assassin’s Creed Unity can run like complete shit, it’s a pleasant (if not a little sad) surprise that The Order 1886 is a beast of a game. In my entire playthrough — which spanned around seven or eight hours — I encountered a single visual bug and one insignificant instance of frame rate dip during a massive fight with lots going on. That’s to say the game doesn’t just look ridiculously good, but plays that way too. Even loading times are non-existent, never breaking up gameplay. Fair enough graphics don’t make a game, but any sane person would argue that even an amazing game can be reduced to a mess if it’s technically inept. For that, Ready at Dawn can be proud of their achievements here.

However it’s in the gameplay where The Order 1886 misses most of its opportunities and makes its mistakes, over and above the unambitious story. It can be strange at times, as it often feels as though Ready at Dawn were switching back and forth between creating their own game and trying to tick all the boxes of what you’d expect in a modern action title. The perfect illustration of this is in how you’ll engage in a boss battle with a Lycan, which is absolutely awesome, and use unique weaponry like an arc gun or thermite rifle, but then you’ll also be a party to forced stealth sections with unimpressive mechanics, mundane hacking and lockpicking activities and minor just-because platforming. It’s another case of a game just lacking the confidence to be completely itself and wanting to appease all the players it possibly can. Fortunately nothing ever feels bad to play in The Order 1886, as all of its mechanics are functional enough to work without any frustration, but it doesn’t really excel at much of what it does or build on the few unique scenarios and encounters it offers.

The Order 1886 - Preview 4

We’ve seen a bit of a deal made out of its quick-time events, but we didn’t find them too upsetting. They’re reminiscent of Heavy Rain in their fluidity, and they mostly serve to compliment the cinematic feel. They never angered us or made the mistake of arriving unexpectedly, which probably would have caused us to throw a controller through the screen. The real tragedy is in missed opportunity. A telling example of this is in how you only ever fight small lycans, apart from once early on where you engage in a fantastic boss battle with an elder, and sadly that’s the extent of the usage of the half-breeds. Despite the existence of vampires in the game, you never fight one. The final boss fight is basically a repeat of that initial elder encounter. That is to say the game does have standout moments and ideas to differentiate itself from its competitors, but fails to explore them. You’re constantly waiting for more boss battles or unique encounters, but they never come as the game remains trapped in familiarity.

The gunplay is as you’d expect, with very competent cover and shooting mechanics. The great part is how stunningly visceral it feels thanks to the amazing audio and visual experience and fantastic environmental destructibility. It’s also helped by a small variety of unique weaponry such as with the earlier mentioned arc gun, which can blow someone’s head clean off with a bolt of electricity, and the thermite rifle, which is a really effective human cooking tool. As is the story with most of the game, gunplay does the job and not a whole lot more than that. One area of disappointment is the melee combat because while it’s animated very well, especially contextually, it amounts to nothing more than a single button press for an instant kill. The game would have benefited much more from a system like that of Uncharted or The Last Of Us, which both have a great feel, offer good brutal feedback for the player and add more freedom to the gameplay, but at present it severely lacks variety.

What may divide players’ enjoyment of The Order 1886 is in how restrictive it can feel due to its emphasis on its cinematic experience. You’ll only draw your gun when you enter a combat scenario, you’ll only go into stealth mode when the game forces it on you, and you’ll only make use of platforming when the game wants you to. Weirdly it’s almost like an on-rails experience in a sense. You’re either going to love the smoothness of the cinematic experience and appreciate how effortlessly and fluidly the game moves from scene to scene, or you’re going to find it to be an unremarkable bore. Neither of those perspectives would make you wrong, since we can understand either. In that way it’s easier to stomach how The Order 1886 is currently making the rounds as a love-hate game, and there’ll be plenty of debates on that front. Which is strange since there aren’t going to be a whole lot of talking points or memorable moments from the actual game, thanks to its lack of ambition.

The Order 1886 - Preview 1

In the end the extent to which The Order 1886 will satisfy you depends largely on how you see its cinematic experience and how much you’re expecting out of it. In truth it’s an average gameplay experience elevated by its incredible visuals, astounding technical achievements and at times brilliant execution of its cinematic experience. Beneath all the beauty however it’s a game that’s competent in its mechanics but unremarkable with them. It has a rich backstory, but is completely unambitious with its narrative. It has the potential to be far more than it is, but is content with dousing itself in familiarity. It overshadows its own strengths in its bid to be accepted by all, but none can say that it’s a bad game. The unfortunate reality is just that no one will be talking about it or remembering it come the end of the year, and we’d be surprised if it even makes it to the end of the month as a hot topic. In no uncertain terms The Order 1886 is disposal entertainment, and sadly it can probably get by on being that.

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Project Cars Gets Delayed Again, But Everything Will Be Alright http://egmr.net/2015/02/project-cars-gets-delayed-everything-will-alright/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/project-cars-gets-delayed-everything-will-alright/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 07:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167398 Project Cars, also known as the sexiest piece of ass on the racing streets, has unfortunately got another delay just as we were about to reach the final hurdle. The […]

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Project Cars, also known as the sexiest piece of ass on the racing streets, has unfortunately got another delay just as we were about to reach the final hurdle. The game was originally scheduled to release in November of 2014 but got delayed to March, which is short of two weeks from now. However developer Slightly Mad Studios has now officially announced another delay for the game. Oh, the inhumanity! How could this be?

Once the shock, awe and tears have passed (I’ll give you a moment), I’ll have you know that it’s not too bad of a delay. Project Cars will now be releasing on April 2 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and the reason for the delay is in order for Slightly Mad Studios to make some final improvements.

Slightly Mad had the following to say on the Project Cars delay:

“Moving a release date was not an easy decision to make, as we know our fans are eager to get their hands-on on Project CARS”, said Slightly Mad Studios head Ian Bell.

“But we know that these extra days will allow us to provide the best game experience that our fans deserve. We assure you the wait will be worth it when the game does arrive early April”.

That’s quite the promise, wouldn’t you say?

In honesty we haven’t covered Project Cars a whole lot in recent history. We made a big deal out of it back July 2014 when it was revealed that the game had acquired a publisher. We revisited our excitement towards it at rAge 2014 in a video interview, and it very nearly made the list of our most anticipated games of 2015.

It would be a gross understatement to say that people are pretty damn excited for this game, especially because of how incredible it looks visually. We’ll have to wait a bit longer now to see whether it lives up to that hype. In the mean time we’ve got plenty to keep ourselves occupied with, including two major PS4 exclusives.

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The Last Guardian’s Silly Trademark Drama Cleared Up http://egmr.net/2015/02/last-guardian-still-development-silly-trademark-drama-cleared/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/last-guardian-still-development-silly-trademark-drama-cleared/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167378 Yesterday I covered the news of Sony failing to renew its trademark for The Last Guardian, which prompted some fears and tears of many fans around the world as they prepared […]

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Yesterday I covered the news of Sony failing to renew its trademark for The Last Guardian, which prompted some fears and tears of many fans around the world as they prepared themselves for the worst, for perhaps the hundredth time. I pointed out in that article that it may very well be an error of negligence or time, especially since the trademark had required renewal in the past. Sony has moved to clear that up today, and explain the reason behind their failure to renew it.

As stubborn as ever about The Last Guardian aren’t we, Sony? You really can’t make this shit up. I will maintain my stance that you can’t be this obsessed about keeping a game alive despite all hope being lost unless you actually have confidence that it will see the light of day. As for when that will be, it’s a whole other jar of potatoes. Wait do you even keep potatoes in a jar?

Sony gave their explanation to Videogamer, stating for the thousandth time that The Last Guardian has not been cancelled, but no reason was given for the failure (or decision) not to renew the trademark. Sony has since filed a petition to revive the abandoned trademark — since that’s what the cool kids do these days — with the statement reading as follows:

Applicant has firsthand knowledge that the failure to file an SOU or Extension Request by the specific deadline was unintentional, and requests the USPTO to revive the abandoned application.

I suppose it was simple negligence, as I said yesterday. Or an accident.

However the present status of the trademark U.S. serial number 85700141 (The Last Guardian in other words) has been changed to: “Application revived and is awaiting further action”. So it was just another bump in a long road that has had so many bumps it’s not even a road anymore, but an endless camel’s back. An immortal camel, if you will. That’s what The Last Guardian is.

Fans will be happy to hear that The Last Guardian is still in development, and we’re still wasting our time writing about that same fact year after year, feeding a cancerous hope that will probably lead to the extinction of the human race at some indeterminable point in the future.

Let’s put a bet on it. If we get The Last Guardian this generation, then we’re also going to get Half-Life 3 this generation. Deal? If I win, I will take my payment in Dota 2 cosmetic items. If you win, you can just feel good about yourselves for a while.

You can look over the petition document if you’re interested, or only believe what your eyes see and not what some two-bit hack writer on a gaming site says.

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The Order 1886 Is Attracting “Uncanny Haterade”, And It’s Strange http://egmr.net/2015/02/order-1886-attracting-uncanny-haterade-says-dev/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/order-1886-attracting-uncanny-haterade-says-dev/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167363 It’s funny that I’m writing about this because a day or two ago I was telling my colleagues that I’m really confused by the negative obsession going on with Ready at […]

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It’s funny that I’m writing about this because a day or two ago I was telling my colleagues that I’m really confused by the negative obsession going on with Ready at Dawn’s The Order 1886 presently. I have previously said that I’ve been impressed by how Ready at Dawn has kept their game close to the chest in a time where games usually blow their load well before release, as with The Order 1886 my interest only peaked a month ago from the latest trailer. It was definitely a contrast to the boring gameplay shown before. Yet for a game that has been rather low-key by triple A advertising standards, for some reason it has become a target for eyebrow-raising things, getting scrutinised for its length, quick time events, cinematic gameplay and I even saw an article about how it represents what’s wrong with modern gaming too. Talk about giving things a chance, am I right?

Why not love it or hate it after the reviews land or after playing? It’s a new IP, not the next Assassin’s Creed, and I’d say it’s pretty much done nothing to stand out and be applauded or warrant the negative publicity.

Developer Ready at Dawn has stepped out to speak about the unrest on the internet about the game, calling it a “bandwagon of negativity”.

According to The Order 1886 game director Dana Jan, the subject of the length of the PS4 exclusive has been blown out of proportion by inaccurate and/or irresponsible reporting. For example it blew up that the game could be finished in five hours, but that wasn’t emphasised as a speed run as the story spread all over the web.

“We have this uncanny ‘haterade’ for our game no matter what,” Jan told Develop.

“People are looking for something to throw at our game, some reason to hate it. I’m excited to hear what people who have actually played the game think about it, how do they feel about the quality and the quantity? I think by and large that most people are going to be satisfied.”

Jan believes the negativity is a bit more than the usual pressure of a publicised platform exclusive game.

“It’s more just shocking that for a game that isn’t out yet, for a franchise that is brand new, the amount of negativity is just…” he said.

“I just feel like these days it’s so easy to be negative and I think the internet is the new playground for bullies. Who goes out of their way to really go and say something positive, right?

“If you go out to a restaurant and you have a good time, do you go online immediately to post something? But if you have a bad experience, you’ll jump on because you want to warn people about it right? It takes a lot more effort to say something nice than to say something negative, and I think people are excited to jump on some bandwagon of negativity.

“I don’t think people need to go out there and be unbiased supporters of our stuff or anything either. I want them to make up their own minds about the game period. It just seems like the pendulum swings the other way so frequently. I mean, we’ll see, right?”

Jan also commented rather humourously that the team places bets on how many posts into a NeoGAF thread they’ll reach the first ludicrously negative comment. However, a number of NeoGAF posters have been key in revealing that five hours is far from the average and ordinary playtime, so they’re not too evil, and did the game some justice during this time of strangeness.

The article over at Develop contains more discussion, as well as a piece on the game’s length if you’re that worried.

Look, The Order 1886 could turn out to be anything, from terrible to great. If it’s bad, I’ll be more than happy to declare that in my review and move on with my life. But I am at a loss as to why the game is getting so scrutinised before release as if it did something to warrant that. Maybe there’s just nothing else releasing and we needed some pot stirring? Your guess is as good as mine, and I’d love to hear some reasons down below.

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