#egmr » Azhar http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:16:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Locally The Price Of The Xbox One Is Dropping Substantially http://egmr.net/2015/07/locally-the-price-of-the-xbox-one-is-dropping-substantially/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/locally-the-price-of-the-xbox-one-is-dropping-substantially/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 07:30:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173321 There’s some good news for local folk in South Africa who plan to pick up an Xbox One some time in the near future. Prima Interactive has announced their plans […]

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There’s some good news for local folk in South Africa who plan to pick up an Xbox One some time in the near future. Prima Interactive has announced their plans to lower the price of Microsoft’s console in this country, and the price drop takes place, well, today.

What kind of ‘substantial’ price drop can you expect though? That is the million dollar question. Or I suppose the R800 question.

Yes, the R800 price drop will see the total cost of the Xbox One (without Kinect) drop from R6299 to R5499.

That means those of you ready to buy the console will be able to pick up an additional controller or a game now. Good times.

“Thursday, 23 July 2015 is D-day. The recommended price on the Xbox One 500GB console will drop by R800. Buying the console now also brings with it the promise of access to the world’s best games and the best online gaming experience,” said CEO Ian Hepplewhite.

Hepplewhite also talked about the E3-announced backwards compatibility for the console:

“This is an amazing feature exclusive to Xbox One and it means that you don’t have to give up playing your favourite X360 games when you opt for the new Xbox One console. You can continue playing familiar favourites while enjoying a world of exciting new ones.”

Where can you find this new price? It will be available from BT Games, CNA, Dion Wired, Game, Toys R US, Takealot.com, Musica, Games4u, and Animeworx today.

Now’s the time to treat yourself to an Xbox One, if you’re keen. It’s not the first time we’ve seen prices drop to around this amount, but take them when you get them I suppose. It may be a better time for you.

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Out Of Nowhere Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II Gets A Big Update http://egmr.net/2015/07/out-of-nowhere-star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic-ii-gets-a-big-update/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/out-of-nowhere-star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic-ii-gets-a-big-update/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 07:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173319 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II was the controversial yet still awesome sequel to the, well, original game of the same name but without the two. It was […]

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II was the controversial yet still awesome sequel to the, well, original game of the same name but without the two. It was controversial due to a lot of cut content and numerous bugs, although in fairness it wasn’t developed by BioWare but rather Obsidian Entertainment.

Recently, out of nowhere however, the game received a big update. What’s questionable about that is the fact that Knights of the Old Republic II is kind of more than ten years old. It would have been hilarious if the bugs were fixed and cut content was slotted back in now wouldn’t it?

But what exactly is this update for, you may be wondering?

According to the patch notes, it goes like this:

Aspyr in partnership with Disney Interactive and LucasArts is proud to announce STAR WARS™ Knights of the Old Republic™ II – The Sith Lords™ is now available on Mac and Linux, along with a massive update to all 3 platforms.

New features include:

• 37 achievements to be earned through gameplay
• Steam Cloud saves
• Native widescreen resolution support
• Resolution support up to 4K and 5K
• Support for controllers, including Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation
3, and Playstation 4, along with several others (check the system requirements for details)
• Steam Workshop support! We proudly worked with the Restored Content Mod Team to have their famous TSLRCM up on launch day

Oh…and we added a “Force Speed Effects” option in the menu ;)

It may not seem like a whole lot in terms of content, but hey the resolution support is great right? No! Don’t be so consumed by FPS and resolution, new age gamer. Rather the support for two entirely new platforms and the Steam Workshop support are the two areas of interest. Not to mention that the TSLRCM will be available off the bat, which is the restored content mod.

The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod aims to bring back a large amount of cut content as well as fix a whole bunch of bugs, so the game may be worth another playthrough after these updates.

Quite a nice surprise, isn’t it?

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Assassin’s Creed Creator’s New Game Also Has Ancestors In It http://egmr.net/2015/07/assassins-creed-creators-new-game-also-has-ancestors-in-it/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/assassins-creed-creators-new-game-also-has-ancestors-in-it/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 07:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173282 We’ve known that Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been making a new game for quite some time now ever since his crude departure from Ubisoft. He’s decided to finally […]

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We’ve known that Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been making a new game for quite some time now ever since his crude departure from Ubisoft. He’s decided to finally reveal more details about his project, named Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. You’d best turn away now if you have no interest in non-violent games, because this one is quite different.

Desilets has expanded on comments he made previously that the game would be a third-person open world adventure survival title (that is quite some mouthful) planned for episodic release. In a recent chat with Game Informer the man talks about what all of this means for the game, and how our ancestors feature.

The former Assassin’s Creed man revealed that Ancestors will (kinda like Assassin’s Creed) jump around through history to focus on key moments in civilisation where crucial decisions and discoveries were made. Desilets highlights the domestication of animals, the invention of tools, the discovery of penicillin and getting a dude on the moon as examples.

Obviously lots of bloodshed has occurred throughout history, but Desilets wants to focus on more than that, hence the non-violent approach. He explains an example of this angle when looking at a possible gameplay scenario of playing as a caveman.

“Our ancestors back then weren’t that violent,” he says. “They weren’t fighting each other. Cooperation and compassion are really part of the reason why we survived…There’s no evidence of war before the invention of agriculture on this planet. That doesn’t mean they didn’t exist, but we’ve never found any evidence of it. There’s not a lot of human beings on the planet, and once you first come across one, your first thought is not of killing them. It’s like, ‘Holy s*** there’s somebody else! Let’s try to help each other to survive because there’s not a lot of food and there’s a lot of beasts out there.'”

Desilets is apparently fighting with the technology to power the game. He aims to enable interaction with the environment that feels deep and satisfying to justify having no violence and other such nice things. He also admits the problem of episodic games, which is a lack of replayability, and says that the way Ancestors will tackle it is by giving players free rein after completing the narrative portion of an episode. An example would be as a caveman if the objective is to gain fire, then once that’s wrapped you’ll be able to play around with it in the open world.

“You’ll have the sequence of the amazing, huge bush fire that you have to flee with your family, and the only way to survive eventually is to turn around and use this fire,” he explains. “You go back to your tribe and build a fire, and then it’s systemic. After this it’s your adventure until I come back and say, ‘There’s a new adventure for you.’ You could call it a mission or a level – we still haven’t decided what to call it – but each time we introduce a new feature that is laid with the story of humankind…We’re putting a lot of Hollywood stuff in, and then we leave you with a systemic, persistent open world where it becomes Day Z or Minecraft. But instead of blocky, it’s triple-A quality environments in this bubble.”

It’s the kind of concept that can only be sold once we see some gameplay and art direction, but in the meantime I’ll await the social justice warriors coming down hard on this title for its whiteness. Or something along those lines. You’d best open some more history books, Desilets!

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Treyarch Explains Why Call Of Duty: Black Ops III Is Stuck In The Past http://egmr.net/2015/07/treyarch-explains-why-call-of-duty-black-ops-iii-is-stuck-in-the-past/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/treyarch-explains-why-call-of-duty-black-ops-iii-is-stuck-in-the-past/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 07:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173237 I’m not always very punny, but I do try. Although ‘stuck in the past’ doesn’t really apply to the Black Ops series of Call of Duty games anymore, so obviously […]

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I’m not always very punny, but I do try. Although ‘stuck in the past’ doesn’t really apply to the Black Ops series of Call of Duty games anymore, so obviously I’m not referring to the time period with that title. Rather this is about Activision and Treyarch’s decision to release the game on last generation platforms in addition to the new consoles.

It’s the natural expectation that by this point in the generation development of triple A games will only be for current generation consoles, so as to push the bar for games. While it’s acceptable for games to be on both old and new when the generation is still young, it’s just holding back your title to develop for seven year old hardware.

However that isn’t stopping Treyarch from doing just that, and it’s one of the few decisions that is being taken with Call of Duty that is irritating fans. Obviously Black Ops III will be a giant success like any Call of Duty game, but it’s rather bizarre that there will be a PS3 and Xbox 360 version.

Alright it’s not the most bizarre thing given that last year’s Advanced Warfare also released on previous generation consoles, but it was hardly impressive on those, and this is a year later. So what could be the reason for this?

Treyarch director of brand development Jay Puryear said the following on the matter to Gaming Bolt, when asked if there was any specific reason as to why previous gen is included.

“Is there a reason?! We’ve got great fans. Call of Duty experiences are always about the community and fans and we want to make sure that everybody who wants to play Black Ops III can.”

Gaming Bolt also weirdly asked if the hype for Black Ops III will be justified at launch given that Advanced Warfare didn’t exactly blow the world away. Naturally the answer was positive, because you weren’t quite expecting a developer to say their game will fail to meet hype.

“Of course! Right? I mean look at it, the team has worked 3 years to pour their hearts and soul to deliver a product that will push on single-player campaign with four-player co-op on next-gen. We’re really pushing the system in the machine and hardware.

“If you look at all the innovations that we’re doing on multiplayer and really adding this combat loop, progression system, specialists characters. So, there is just so much content on the disc and then when we roll out our zombies I think you’ll see that we’ve got 3 games in 1. So, as far as the content and the experience we’ll get out of this, we think is absolutely by far the best.”

There you have it, folks. Everyone will get to play Call of Duty: Black Ops III when it releases on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 6.

 

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Shenmue 3 Record-Breaking Kickstarter Ends, But There’s A New Funding Plan http://egmr.net/2015/07/shenmue-3-record-breaking-kickstarter-ends-but-theres-a-new-funding-plan/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/shenmue-3-record-breaking-kickstarter-ends-but-theres-a-new-funding-plan/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 07:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173209 Shenmue 3 has been a fascinating discussion point in our industry ever since its shock E3 reveal. It’s brought up loads of questions regarding Kickstarter, publishers’ degree of involvement in […]

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Shenmue 3 has been a fascinating discussion point in our industry ever since its shock E3 reveal. It’s brought up loads of questions regarding Kickstarter, publishers’ degree of involvement in such projects and about the issues and dare I say ethics involved in acquiring funding for games.

At the heart of all that is a game that many are out of their minds for and never thought they’d get, so there’s that hype factor too. It’s been a month since the game’s Kickstarter campaign made its debut, but it’s been smashing records since. After all the hype and drama, the campaign has finally come to an end.

Just how much has Shenmue 3 managed to get through Kickstarter?

The answer to that would be an impressive $6,333,296 in pledges thanks to 69,320 backers.

While that figure is more than three times the original $2 million goal and still is the biggest Kickstarter project, many will probably be disappointed that it didn’t reach the big $10 million goal, which opened up the possibility of a real open world game.

But there’s some hope on the horizon. As we know from Yu Suzuki, Shenmue 3 has other funding plans and means to enhance development, with the big one being a relationship with Sony.

Now with the Kickstarter campaign over development on Shenmue 3 is set to begin. With that happening Yu Suzuki has revealed one of the game’s new funding plans going forward.

Die-hard fans have been waiting for this game for upwards of fourteen years, and may not care where the game gets its money from as long as it gets made. Well these fans may be pleased to know that during a livestream Yu Suzuki revealed that funding for Shenmue 3 would continue via PayPal.

That means fan donations can make higher stretch goals possible, and we’ll await more details on this as things develop.

 

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Can You Endure 45 Minutes Of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Gameplay? http://egmr.net/2015/07/can-you-endure-45-minutes-of-assassins-creed-syndicate-gameplay/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/can-you-endure-45-minutes-of-assassins-creed-syndicate-gameplay/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 07:00:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173186 Recently Ubisoft livestreamed almost a full hour of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate gameplay from the PS4 version. The entire gameplay demonstration has now been uploaded online for pretty much anyone to […]

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Recently Ubisoft livestreamed almost a full hour of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate gameplay from the PS4 version. The entire gameplay demonstration has now been uploaded online for pretty much anyone to enjoy, or should I say endure.

Why? Well, while the video showcases lots of things including combat, exploration and vehicles, it’s honestly not the most exciting thing you’ll watch today. Or this week. Never mind that the whole video has conversation running through it from the streamers, but the actual gameplay itself looks really bland.

Perhaps I’m just jaded, but I’m not even resorting to hyperbole by saying that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is looking more dull than Unity at this point. There’s just something really off about it.

Maybe that has something to do with the fact that it’s being developed by Ubisoft Quebec rather than the traditional Ubisoft Montreal. Although if Assassin’s Creed Syndicate actually is playable at launch then it might just be for the better on that one.

Either way if you’re excited for the release of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in October this year, by all means check out the gameplay above and see if it does anything for you.

To me it just doesn’t look enticing at all.

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Aliens: Colonial Marines Wasted CEO $10 Million Of His Own Cash http://egmr.net/2015/07/aliens-colonial-marines-wasted-ceo-10-million-of-his-own-cash/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/aliens-colonial-marines-wasted-ceo-10-million-of-his-own-cash/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 07:30:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173161 Aliens: Colonial Marines to this day remains one of the most disgusting sagas the gaming industry has ever seen. Lies and deceit at every turn, pre-release footage that was in […]

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Aliens: Colonial Marines to this day remains one of the most disgusting sagas the gaming industry has ever seen. Lies and deceit at every turn, pre-release footage that was in no way close to the final product yet was advertised up until release and review embargoes until after launch mark just some of the unethical practices that went on with that piece of shit. Of course it ended up being one of the worst games of the year it released in.

It’s too big a story to summarise, but bottom line is that Gearbox Software lost a ton of respect over it, despite still making some good games. While Sega went on to at least publish the surprisingly great Alien: Isolation, and has admitted to betraying fans (although time will tell whether they put their money where their mouth is), Gearbox Software’s CEO Randy Pitchford is still to this day defending himself and his team over the Aliens saga.

And he wonders why no one has any respect for him.

For some reason Randy Pitchford decided to hold a Twitter AMA, and obviously it led to a huge amount of backlash questions concerning Aliens: Colonial Marines. If you think people should get over it, then bear in mind that a saga like that should never be forgotten because it’s representative of the worst anti-consumer practices in the industry, and needs to be held as an example of how bad things could be if people don’t pay enough attention.

Anyway in this heatead Twitter debate, Randy revealed that he invested wasted $10 million of his own cash into the ‘game’ while defending Aliens: Colonial Marines against “hurtful and unhelpful” comments.

This is being revealed two years after Aliens: Colonial Marines actually released. It just makes the whole thing even worse that still today there are facets of this story that are unknown.

During the intense Twitter debate Pitchford was accused of, “[misusing] funds and [outsourcing] large chunks of the game.”

His response was: “I invested over $10 million on top of Sega’s investment. Lost it all.”

It was also revealed that in order for the game to “break even,” it needed to sell upwards of three million copies, which ended up being 1.7 million more than it sold.

At least the game failing to break even is some kind of justice. Yes it’s harsh to say and I’m sure the humanitarians out there will be upset about game developers suffering, but sometimes there has to come a point where consumers deserve better, and it has fuck all to do with entitlement.

Lies catch up with you, and it’s a damn good thing that it did in Aliens: Colonial Marines’ case.

If you’re wondering what it is people actually want from Randy Pitchford, well, take note of how he’s still defending the game and the situation and pretty much avoiding responsibility for it. That should tell you.

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The Last Of Us Was Believed To Be The Downfall Of Naughty Dog http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-last-of-us-was-believed-to-be-the-downfall-of-naughty-dog/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-last-of-us-was-believed-to-be-the-downfall-of-naughty-dog/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 07:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173159 This is probably the last thing you expected to be reading today. However as absurd as it sounds, would you believe that it actually was a genuine fear of Naughty […]

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This is probably the last thing you expected to be reading today. However as absurd as it sounds, would you believe that it actually was a genuine fear of Naughty Dog during the development of their massively successful game, The Last Of Us?

In Wil Wheaton’s latest episode of ‘Conversations with Creators’ a group of Naughty Dog developers discuss development woes with The Last Of Us, and how things just weren’t coming together for the game in the way that Naughty Dog wanted it to.

As we know the game very much did come together and ended up a huge critical and commercial success, earning Game of the Year Awards aplenty and selling more than 6 million copies worldwide. It also went on to re-release on PS4 to big success as well.

But what of these development woes that Naughty Dog had?

Well Bruce Straley, the co-director of the game, didn’t anticipate at all how successful The Last Of Us would go on to be, despite Naughty Dog’s track record.

In fact the man and his team “thought it was going to tank.” It’s not the first time a game has been predicted to fail only to be a smash hit, but it’s hilarious for it to happen for a Naughty Dog game.

What’s more is that Straley and his team believed that if The Last Of Us was received poorly then Naughty Dog’s reputation would take a significant beating.

“We thought we were going to ruin the name that’s been so heartily built for years with blood, sweat and tears. We thought we were ruining Naughty Dog’s image.”

Druckmann added that, “the joke we would say throughout production was that, ‘this game is the downfall of Naughty Dog.’”

What exactly was so seriously wrong with The Last Of Us? Would you believe that it had to do with mechanics, and gameplay?

According to Lead Designer Anthony Newman the biggest issue was on “the mechanical side.”

“It wasn’t coming together. So it was really a set of really lucky breaks in terms of gameplay decisions we made that really made everything fall into place and turned it into a fun game,” said Newman. The team were not entirely satisfied until people outside of Naughty Dog began to play the game and marvel at its revolutionary take on the zombie apocalypse.

Druckmann cites one of Naughty Dog’s founding principles as partially responsible for the success of The Last Of Us, which would be its big emphasis on characters.

“The most intense love you can have is between a parent and a child,” said Druckmann about Joel and Ellie’s relationship.

At the end of June Nolan North, the famous voice actor of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake, let it slip that The Last Of Us 2 is in development.

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Parents Try To Cure Son’s Gaming Addiction With The Dr Phil Pill http://egmr.net/2015/07/parents-try-to-cure-sons-gaming-addiction-with-the-dr-phil-pill/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/parents-try-to-cure-sons-gaming-addiction-with-the-dr-phil-pill/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 07:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173145 It’s not an actual pill, you drug lord. Calm yourself. Instead it involves renowned television psychologist Dr Phil and a couple of parents enlisting his help to cure their son’s video game […]

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It’s not an actual pill, you drug lord. Calm yourself. Instead it involves renowned television psychologist Dr Phil and a couple of parents enlisting his help to cure their son’s video game addiction.

We all know serious mental issues are cured on television in front of an audience, am I right?

The parents of the 23 year-old young adult enlisted Phil’s help because of their son’s severe game addiction. It isn’t just a case of playing too much games, but rather playing games enough to the point that it has had serious health and social consequences.

The son in question, who is named Justin, lives at home after dropping out of college, failing to maintain a steady job and losing a ton of weight – and not in the healthy high-five-worthy type of way.

That would be because Justin once weighed 160 pounds and was healthy, and now is at a sickly 110 pounds.

Justin admitted to playing for anything up to 16 hours in a single day and once spent 30 hours straight on his gaming console.

To add to the drama his mother Sarah says that due to his gaming addiction, “He won’t even eat. I absolutely believe Justin’s video game addiction is killing him.”

Justin does take the plunge and admit he has a problem that is seriously affecting his health. However like any serious addict he’s having trouble quitting.

It’s unclear what caused Justin’s addiction or when it actually started, but it’s at the point where the man says, “I’d rather live in a virtual world than a real one,” and “I enjoy gaming more than I enjoy life.”

That’s the kind of thing that’s worrying coming from someone who is 23, and it would have some more justifiable context if it was an angry teen, or someone with real depression or a child. Perhaps Justin does suffer depression. We don’t quite know do we?

His step father, Graham, thinks that Justin’s gaming addiction has prevented him from “launching as an adult.” However he goes on to say that gaming is just a symptom of a bigger problem: “At the end of the day, I think Justin is an escapist. If you took gaming away, he would find some way to escape.”

He has an addiction to escaping life then?

Justin’s parents have tried numerous methods to kickstart him into action, such as by stopping his financial support and delivering some ultimatums. None of it helped the addiction of course, so in desperation they summoned Dr Phil and his team of trained monkeys physicians.

As we know, however, the devils don’t come from hell beneath us, they come from television.

Whether you choose to respond to this by thinking Justin is a child that needs a kick in the arse or that Dr Phil is not the answer, the truth of the matter is that addiction of any kind is serious. Gaming addiction is not some special kind of animal – it’s just another form of addiction.

We also know that many games have seriously addictive qualities, and it would be bizarre if you can’t ever admit to being so immersed into a game that you’ve forgotten some really important things. Like resting or eating or, well, your actual family obligations.

Video games offer colourful worlds and great escapism, and it’s part of their appeal. However there are clearly boundaries where it becomes too much, and I say that after myself having spent some ten hour binge sessions through the night.

Although I consume chocolate, do some mild exercise and sleep to recover. So of course I am the image of perfection when it comes to healthy living.

Nevertheless there’s a video of the crisis above if you’re interested in seeing some television-primed psychology on television.

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Prototype Remaster Predictably Looks Like Crap http://egmr.net/2015/07/prototype-remaster-predictably-looks-like-crap/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/prototype-remaster-predictably-looks-like-crap/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 09:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173132 It’s one thing to remaster a game like Prototype that isn’t even a classic or in need of one. It’s another thing to remaster a game from 2009, more than […]

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It’s one thing to remaster a game like Prototype that isn’t even a classic or in need of one. It’s another thing to remaster a game from 2009, more than six years ago. It’s a whole another story on its own to remaster an already graphically underwhelming game.

Then it just gets depressing when all you’ve done is bump up the resolution and frame rate to said graphically underwhelming game. Now it’s gone from looking ‘meh’ to looking like total shit compared to what we have now.

Make no mistake Prototype was an awesome game in so many ways, but it was the furthest thing from awesome when it came to graphical fidelity even in 2009. If you want the proof of how bad it looks today, check out the small snippet of gameplay footage up above.

The remastered version, titled Prototype BioHazard Bundle, is out on PS4 and Xbox One and joins the ranks of the unnecessary, which includes Sleeping Dogs and Darksiders.

At least Darksiders is trying to build some kind of interest for Darksiders 3, but is there going to be a Prototype 3? The second game was pretty terrible from a story perspective, although it was fun when it wanted to be.

Ideally if there is a Prototype 3, they get some talented artists to make it pretty. I know it’s not all that counts, but holy balls man don’t make your game look like a relic in the year it releases.

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New Unreal Engine 4 Engine Demo May Bust Your PCs Balls http://egmr.net/2015/07/new-unreal-engine-4-engine-demo-may-bust-your-pcs-balls/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/new-unreal-engine-4-engine-demo-may-bust-your-pcs-balls/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:30:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173107 The Unreal Engine 4 has been doing things of unspeakable beauty for quite some time now. Far back in January this year we posted a video of a Paris apartment […]

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The Unreal Engine 4 has been doing things of unspeakable beauty for quite some time now. Far back in January this year we posted a video of a Paris apartment suite stunningly rendered in the Unreal Engine 4 engine. Now there’s something new to fap to.

A gorgeous video has been released which showcases the Unreal Kite Demo, a free download for those with the Unreal Engine 4 dev kit. The video itself is showcasing the GTX Titan X in action, and my oh my does it yield some beautiful results.

But if boys and kites and pretty nature stuff doesn’t do it for you, then what about a realistic open world Mario game?

Calm yourself, dear reader, it’s not actually a real thing. It’s just a mock up in which most of the environment featured was made using premade assets that are there for learning in the Unreal Engine 4 kit. Still, it’s pretty fun nonetheless, and may be something cool to dream about for Nintendo’s next console, the NX.

You can check that out down below. Just marvel at the beauty, I suppose.

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Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Dies At Age 55 http://egmr.net/2015/07/nintendo-ceo-satoru-iwata-dies-at-age-55/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/nintendo-ceo-satoru-iwata-dies-at-age-55/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173098 While this may come completely out of the blue for many and as quite a shock, the truth is that for over a year Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has been […]

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While this may come completely out of the blue for many and as quite a shock, the truth is that for over a year Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has been battling with his health. He was the Director, President, Representative Director and eventually the CEO of Nintendo, but ultimately passed away now at the age of 55.

His death was said to be the result of a “bile duct growth”, which is also called Cholangiocarcinoma. This particular cancer has a high mortality rate despite medical advances. Iwata had surgery for the tumor but it sadly wasn’t successful.

It was around mid-2014 that Iwata’s health issues became publicly known, as he had to miss E3 last year for the first time in a decade. However at the time we didn’t know about the seriousness of his condition. Then again he missed E3 2015 about four weeks ago, with the reason given that he was “too busy with work”.

Nintendo’s Notification of Death for Iwata can be viewed here.

It’s a sad day for not just Nintendo fans, but everyone associated with the gaming industry. I’d bet even those who hurled death threats at Nintendo after their uninspiring E3 2015 conference will have some feels over this.

Then again I did see quite a few people hit the ‘disagree’ button on N4G on comments expressing condolences.

For some background on Iwata, the man grew up in Japan and later earned a degree in computer science while working for HAL Laboratory, which is a development studio owned by Nintendo.

After his graduation Iwata helped to run the studio during the production of numerous games including Earthbound, which was critically acclaimed. It was over 15 years later that Iwata took the position of president at Nintendo in 2002, after Hiroshi Yamauchi’s departure. Thereafter the rest of his career was spent with Nintendo.

I’m sure everyone is aware of his success at the company, as under his leadership Nintendo enjoyed some of its greatest years, which includes two of the highest-selling gaming consoles in history, the Wii (more than 101 million units sold) and the Nintendo DS (over 154 million units sold).

RIP Iwata.

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Gamer Takes #4ThePlayers To New Heights By Drugging Girlfriend http://egmr.net/2015/07/gamer-takes-4theplayers-to-new-heights-by-drugging-girlfriend/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/gamer-takes-4theplayers-to-new-heights-by-drugging-girlfriend/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 07:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173059 Sometimes sacrifices must be made to be a hardcore or obsessive gamer and never stop playing. Some of those sacrifices have scarily involved food, water and basic necessities, which resulted […]

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Sometimes sacrifices must be made to be a hardcore or obsessive gamer and never stop playing. Some of those sacrifices have scarily involved food, water and basic necessities, which resulted in death for a number of dedicated Asians.

But have we heard a story before where a girlfriend was sacrificed for the sake of gaming? I don’t quite mean put on an alter and killed in some ritual, but rather measures were taken to remove her from the picture so that the gaming could see no end.

The story is that a German gamer has been found guilty of assault after spiking his girlfriend’s drink with Rohypnol. The 23 year-old German put “four or five drops” of the tranquiliser “into her tea” so that he could play on interrupted with a friend.

The poor girlfriend who never asked for this (will the Deus Ex pun ever get old?) had just arrived home from a long shift at work, and after consuming the tea slipped into a deep sleep that lasted from 10pm that night to midday the following day. Obviously that’s more than enough time to play as much as possible.

However the German gave his girlfriend too much as even that next day when she woke up the woman was still drowsy on the way to work, which obviously makes this even more serious than it already is because that could have resulted in a major accident.

And of course: what an asshole.

The judge on the case fined the gamer €500 and stated “Your girlfriend slept long and deeply, which didn’t harm her, but this is certainly a premeditated bodily harm.”

In some tiny defense the crazy gamer did inform his girlfriend that he drugged her the next day. Obviously romance wasn’t in the air after such a revelation and the couple broke up soon after that.

The gamer, of his crime, said ““It was stupid, but now I’m on a straight path.”

I laughed out loud. Literally.

Rohypnol is more commonly known as the date-rape drug, so that already casts suspicion on the weird gamer who’d consciously do such a thing to his girlfriend, rather than ask her. Maybe he had a prescription for it or something, but that doesn’t make it much better. And if she wasn’t a tolerant person of his gaming habits, damn find someone who is.

Seriously. The lengths some people go to.

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The Call Of Duty: Black Ops III Beta Will Kick Off First On The PS4 Master Race http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-call-of-duty-black-ops-iii-beta-will-kick-off-first-on-the-ps4-master-race/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-call-of-duty-black-ops-iii-beta-will-kick-off-first-on-the-ps4-master-race/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:30:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173039 As we know from Sony’s hell of a surprising E3 2015 press conference, Activision has jumped ship from Microsoft and the Xbox One to get into bed with Sony and […]

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As we know from Sony’s hell of a surprising E3 2015 press conference, Activision has jumped ship from Microsoft and the Xbox One to get into bed with Sony and the PS4 as far as Destiny and now Call of Duty: Black Ops III are concerned.

It’s difficult to blame them given the PS4’s massive lead and the obvious indisputable fact that it’s clearly the most powerful gaming console ever created in the history of forever, and no PC could ever come close, thus making Sony’s black box the new master race of all.

If you took that seriously, please excuse me while I increase my morphine intake.

Back to the point, the nature of this new partnership ensures a variety of benefits previously enjoyed by Call of Duty players on Xbox 360, such as first access to DLC and betas.

Speaking of betas one will be commencing shortly for Call of Duty: Black Ops III and of course it will be starting on PS4 first.

Treyarch made the announcement on the Twittersphere (relax, it’s just Twitter) and revealed that the Black Ops III beta will begin on August 19th for PS4 owners. Nothing was revealed about other platforms, and all we’re told is that more information is coming soon.

If you’re interested or in need of information regarding the Black Ops III beta and bonus content, Activision’s support page has more to offer on that.

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Dota 2 Compendium: You’ll Get Something Special If You Reach Level 1000 http://egmr.net/2015/07/dota-2-compendium-youll-get-something-special-if-you-reach-level-1000/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/dota-2-compendium-youll-get-something-special-if-you-reach-level-1000/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173034 Dota 2 has only just recently had an update to its official blog which reveals an exclusive reward obtainable by Compendium owners, as well as discloses when the long awaited […]

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Dota 2 has only just recently had an update to its official blog which reveals an exclusive reward obtainable by Compendium owners, as well as discloses when the long awaited Immortal Treasure III will be released.

First things first is the aforementioned exclusive reward. Before you get all excited, know that the reward in question will only be for those extremely rich dedicated individuals who somehow manage to reach a Compendium level of 1000 or more.

That is an insanely high level that will require a great deal of investment. For some kind of idea it costs $10 for 24 levels, and if you divide 1000 by that you’ll basically need around 41 of these purchases to reach the designated level.

So what’s in it for you if you make the cut? Why it’s the 2015 Collector’s Aegis of Champions of course!

The Dota 2 blog details it as follows because you probably have no idea what those words mean, even though it’s clearly pictured above:

The Collector’s Aegis is a 1/5th scale alloy replica, with antique brass plating, of the winner’s trophy at The International. Inscribed on the back with the year and a gold finished insignia signifying this year’s theme, the Collector’s Aegis is a symbol to reward those whose Compendium Level has reached 1000.

The blog update goes on to detail how you will receive the reward and what you need to do to become eligible.

After the conclusion of the grand finals of The International, we will send the Collector’s Aegis to all players with a Compendium Level of 1000 or above. Additionally, when in a Dota match, the Aegis of Champions in the player’s fountain will have a special glow effect that lasts until the next International.

If you have a Level 1000 compendium by the end of the Grand Finals, you can fill in your shipping information on this website.

Since you probably won’t be in the camp that will receive this exclusive reward, perhaps we can cheer you up with news about Immortal Treasure III! The great news is that according to the update the treasure will be released by the end of this week.

Just in case you can’t believe it, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth:

In other Compendium news, the Immortal Treasure III is almost ready for release. We will be releasing it and the additional Compendium Pet style by the end of the week.

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Mod Gives You A View Of Gotham By Sunlight In Arkham Knight http://egmr.net/2015/07/mod-gives-you-a-view-of-gotham-by-sunlight-in-arkham-knight/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/mod-gives-you-a-view-of-gotham-by-sunlight-in-arkham-knight/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 07:30:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173008 While we’re all impatiently waiting for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight to actually work, modders are out there messing around with it because really what else can you […]

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While we’re all impatiently waiting for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight to actually work, modders are out there messing around with it because really what else can you do? Get your shit together on this one, Warner Bros and Rocksteady. It’s been more than ten days without an update.

Thanks to one particular mod though, you can actually explore Gotham in the day time. Well not completely in the day, but rather sunrise. It could be sunset. Decide based on whether you’re a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person. I don’t know.

There’s a five minute gameplay video showcasing how the sunlight works, and it makes the game look pretty different.

The official description for the video gives some detail on the mod:

This video shows Gotham City the day before Halloween thanks to a modified savegame file for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight.

The daylight is from the flashback sequence of the story and can be seen only near Panessa Studios.

Perhaps it may be wise to wait for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight to be fixed before messing around with it, but I suppose there’s little else to do with the game at the moment.

If you didn’t read our review yet, you should do that to see why it’s the best disappointment I’ve had. Maybe it will help you if you’re on the fence, or just want to discuss the game.

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Lara Croft Isn’t Suffering PTSD In Rise Of The Tomb Raider, So What’s Her Problem? http://egmr.net/2015/07/lara-croft-isnt-suffering-ptsd-in-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-so-whats-her-problem/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/lara-croft-isnt-suffering-ptsd-in-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-so-whats-her-problem/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 07:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173005 In the debut trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, the famous Lara Croft was shown to be speaking to a therapist about her experiences in the first game. People […]

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In the debut trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, the famous Lara Croft was shown to be speaking to a therapist about her experiences in the first game. People assumed she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

She was clearly anxious or at least agitated, and of course this prompted some questionable individuals to criticise it for being a sign of weakness. Which is retarded by the way, because attributing real struggle or mental illness to ‘weakness’ is, well, silly without much explanation.

I do however get the idea that people are used to a Lara Croft who is a total badass, and perhaps disagreed with this interpretation on that front. That’s perhaps a bit more fair.

Turns out that the people in that camp may be happy with the latest news about Rise of the Tomb Raider. Weirdly after many months the topic has actually come up in a conversation.

The game director Brian Horton was recently in an interview that was posted to the official Tomb Raider blog. In there Horton talks about the content of the first trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, and states that Crystal Dynamics didn’t intend for it to convey weakness on Lara’s part, but rather impatience.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, the full quotes are down below for you to interpret.

“We believe the first trailer showcased a very interesting dynamic of Lara Croft uncomfortable with the idea being questioned by someone, even challenged by someone, that maybe what she saw in Yamatai wasn’t true,” Horton says.

“So, there’s a stress that she’s feeling, and the tapping of her feet and the squeezing on the chair… some people have interpreted that as a weakness or as a disorder, and the way we’ve interpreted that was anticipation to get out of the situation and just go on her adventures.”

“So, the concept of her being agitated or affected emotionally by Yamatai–it’s true, she has seen trauma and those feelings are real–but what we’re more interested in is her destiny to be the tomb raider, and to see her start to embrace how she feels more like herself when she’s out in the field, experiencing these things, searching for the world’s secrets, than she is confined in a room, in a society that she doesn’t feel connected to anymore. She feels more home being away from home.”

Are you disappointed that you won’t get to see a different, vulnerable Lara Croft? Or are you more satisfied that she is becoming the character you know and love from the good old days?

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Why Play As Emily In Dishonored 2? The Answer Isn’t Boobs http://egmr.net/2015/07/why-play-as-emily-in-dishonored-2-the-answer-isnt-boobs/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/why-play-as-emily-in-dishonored-2-the-answer-isnt-boobs/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:30:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172967 As we know from Bethesda’s awesome E3 2015 press conference there is a Dishonored 2 and in it you will be able to choose whether to you want to play as […]

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As we know from Bethesda’s awesome E3 2015 press conference there is a Dishonored 2 and in it you will be able to choose whether to you want to play as either Emily or Corvo, the latter being the protagonist from the original game.

However why would you want to play as Emily in the game? Is it simply a cosmetic change, giving you boobs, or is there actually a vastly different story or perhaps gameplay experience on offer depending on your choice?

Who better to answer that than Arkane Studios of course. Spoiler alert though, the answer isn’t boobs.

Dishonored 2 will begin however with players in control of Emily during the prologue sequence. After that players will get to make the choice between exiled empress or assassin with a badass mask that you don’t get to see. Dishonored really needed more mirrors, or a third person view of some kind.

Once you make the choice you’ll have to stick with it. There are no take-backsies.

Turns out though that it will drastically affect your experience of the game despite the fact that the two protagonists venture off on the same missions.

Arkane Studios’ Dishonored 2 co-director Harvey Smith recently chatted to Mashable about the ways the two protagonists differ in gameplay.

“Emily fights with a little more finesse than Corvo does,” he said.

“Whereas Corvo has the very classic Possession, Rat Swarm, Blink, Emily has Far Reach, Shadow Walk, Mesmerize – these powers that nobody has heard of.”

Far Reach may have looked a little like Corvo’s Blink power in the CGI trailer for the game, but it works a bit differently. Rather than point and warp, players will shoot a “magic tendril” which then pulls them towards a target. Of course this means that it won’t be as stealthy as Corvo’s Blink since Emily will be visible during the jump. The trade off though is other gameplay possibilities and more offensive potential.

“You can stick to walls, you can yank somebody toward you and assassinate them in mid-air, so you have these synced assassinations in mid-air,” Smith said.

“It begins to feel different, and it adds momentum. You can run and jump and it has rope physics to it.”

The part I’m iffy about regarding Dishonored 2 is that both Emily and Corvo will be fully voiced.

While that’s great for Emily, Corvo was a silent protagonist in the original Dishonored and I think it’s a terrible idea to suddenly give such a character a personality in a sequel. For me it didn’t work out at all in Dead Space 2 when protagonist Isaac Clarke suddenly developed a voice and dull personality. If you’re going to make your character a mute, make him stay that way.

That’s me stepping off the podium now. Arkane also commented on the premise behind these protagonists.

“Corvo’s an older guy, he’s coming home for the first time to Serkonos. Emily is like an empress outlaw on the run, and she’s young, she’s 25,” Smith said.

“There’s a different theme in the narrative sense, in the literary sense.”

Dishonored 2 is expected to release next year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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DICE Was Afraid Of Star Wars: Battlefront And Just X-Winged It http://egmr.net/2015/07/dice-was-afraid-of-star-wars-battlefront-and-just-winged-it/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/dice-was-afraid-of-star-wars-battlefront-and-just-winged-it/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172965 You’d probably go mad being the people in charge of Star Wars: Battlefront because on the one hand you’ve got crazy fans high on nostalgia wanting and believing it to […]

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You’d probably go mad being the people in charge of Star Wars: Battlefront because on the one hand you’ve got crazy fans high on nostalgia wanting and believing it to be the best game ever, while on the other you’ve got the fans with really high expectations scrutinising every aspect of the game.

What possessed DICE to take charge of Star Wars: Battlefront then? Inb4 money.

The story is a little bit more light-hearted than that though. In an interview with The Guardian, DICE General Manager Patrick Bach spoke about the stakes involved in creating Battlefront. He sort of admitted that DICE were scared of it.

“When we were asked to do this we were really scared. We thought, no, this is too intimidating,” Bach told The Guardian in what was part of a preview.

“And we had enough in our pipeline to be able to say no. But on the other hand, your heart is screaming yes! Because of course you want to make a Star Wars game. We just thought, okay, we’ll figure it out as we go.”

I suppose we learned two things from this. DICE was scared, and since then they’ve been winging it! Encouraging!

One can’t fault their enthusiasm for the project though given what we’ve heard about the amount of effort and collaboration with LucasFilm to build the most authentic visual and aural Star Wars experience around.

As to whether the game will be any good, and whether fans will get over the absence of space battles, remains to be seen.

Star Wars Battlefront will be out on November 20 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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The Batgirl Expansion In Arkham Knight Goes Back In Time http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-batgirl-expansion-in-arkham-knight-goes-back-in-time/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-batgirl-expansion-in-arkham-knight-goes-back-in-time/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:30:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172940 As we know from the contents list of Batman Arkham Knight’s seriously expensive $40 season pass, the first story DLC will involve Batgirl. Since she’s paralysed in the games, the […]

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As we know from the contents list of Batman Arkham Knight’s seriously expensive $40 season pass, the first story DLC will involve Batgirl. Since she’s paralysed in the games, the story DLC will naturally go back in time for Barbara Gordon to before her paralysis.

In case you forgot, Batgirl was paralysed after Joker shot her during the events of the comic book The Killing Joke.

The DLC will bring a new location and multiple missions and side quests for Batgirl, which includes puzzles and secrets. Robin will be able to join for some double team play.

Warner Bros has announced that the Batgirl story DLC, titled Batgirl: A Matter of Family, will release on July 14 for those who bought the season pass, and on July 21 for the rest of the players.

If you don’t have the season pass, the prequel DLC will cost around £5.79, which is about $9 and R100. It better be worth it for that price, and not some 20 minute gameplay experience.

What may be a slight cause for concern is that the Batgirl DLC is being developed by Warner Bros Montreal who made Arkham Origins.

However the rest of the season pass content is being created by Rocksteady.

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You Can Now Play Gwent From The Witcher 3 Online http://egmr.net/2015/07/you-can-now-play-gwent-from-the-witcher-3-online/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/you-can-now-play-gwent-from-the-witcher-3-online/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172934 We’re big fans of CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and sang its praises appropriately in our review. One of the many loveable aspects to the game was […]

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We’re big fans of CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and sang its praises appropriately in our review. One of the many loveable aspects to the game was the trading card game called Gwent which featured as a leisure activity. Some of you may have spent hours on that, while others may have shrugged it off.

This is for those in the former camp.

We’ve previously spoken about how Gwent was so good that it could be a game all on its own, and it seems as though that may be becoming a reality.

As of right now a fan-created demo site for Gwent is up at gwent-online.com, and may be part of the dream some have had to verse their friends in the card game.

At the moment it may be buggy or clunky as it’s early days, and there is no text or audio chat available in the game. You’d have to use a third party client like TeamSpeak with a friend then.

However for a demo the word is that it works and is fun.

The biggest issue or missing option at the moment is that the demo lacks a deck building option, which is something that will obviously feature in the full game. Gwent lovers may want to give this a try.

Perhaps CD Projekt RED will pick up on this and work on something of a downloadable PSN or Xbox Live title? It may be an interesting avenue to explore.

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What Makes Deadpool A ‘Hard-R’ Rated Comic Book Movie http://egmr.net/2015/07/what-makes-deadpool-a-hard-r-rated-comic-book-movie/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/what-makes-deadpool-a-hard-r-rated-comic-book-movie/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 07:30:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172873 Comic-Con is set to kick off next week, and in anticipation for the huge event we’re getting snippets from some of the most exciting projects lined up for the future. […]

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Comic-Con is set to kick off next week, and in anticipation for the huge event we’re getting snippets from some of the most exciting projects lined up for the future. Just earlier we got some awesome details about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and now what we’re hearing about Deadpool will most definitely be similarly pleasing to fans.

Fingers crossed, but more and more this is sounding like the Deadpool movie that fans have been wanting for years.

Ever since the 2011 ‘test footage’ of the Deadpool movie leaked, fans have been dying to see this movie come to life and get the green light. The test footage, which you can see up above, is pretty spot on for the Merc with the Mouth.

But what does Ryan Reynolds, who will be playing Deadpool in all his insanity, say about that test footage that leaked onto the internet? Well in a random and weird turn of events, he wants to kiss the person who leaked the video.

“And not just a little kiss,” Reynolds says, “but full on the mouth, sloppy, with tongue, for two straight minutes on live television, without commercial interruption. And then I’ll buy you dinner at Red Lobster, at least, and dessert.”

The reason for Reynolds’ enthusiasm on that front is because the actor has wanted to play Marvel’s Merc with the Mouth for more than a decade. He didn’t quite live the dream in that abomination of a role for the character in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. To make matters worse that movie was two years before Reynolds found more terrible luck in the comic book movie world with Green Lantern.

However third time’s a charm as they say, and Reynolds may have struck the gold mine with Deadpool, which will mimic the comic’s graphic violence, obscenities as well as its penchant for breaking the fourth wall and not hold back on any of it. All of it gloriously to break that PG-13 rating we usually get for these superhero movies.

Deadpool is a hard R,” says producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past). “It’s graphic. Nothing is taboo. You either commit to a truly outrageous boundary-pushing kind of movie or you don’t.”

We obviously know that’s a huge risk. These superhero movies fight for that PG-13 rating because it opens the movies up to the widest audience while still allows for appropriate levels of violence. Doesn’t look like Deadpool cares about that, and frankly it’s the best thing for the authenticity and quality of the movie, but we’ll see what it does to it financially.

Deadpool first-time director Tim Miller, who is behind the great open credits sequence for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, highlights a movie that served as an inspiration.

“I felt Fight Club and Tyler Durden were good corollaries,” Miller says. “We are in strip clubs and dive bars and crappy apartments and far away from the shiny X-Men world.”

That would be amazing, but we all know the first rule of Fight Club, don’t we?

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How Batman Will Fight Superman In Dawn Of Justice And Other Talking Points http://egmr.net/2015/07/how-batman-will-fight-superman-in-dawn-of-justice-and-other-awesome-details/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/how-batman-will-fight-superman-in-dawn-of-justice-and-other-awesome-details/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 07:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172867 Bear with us. We’ve had serious gaming talk for two weeks now. Friday is as good a day as any to do some other geeky stuff, wouldn’t you say? What cool geeky […]

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Bear with us. We’ve had serious gaming talk for two weeks now. Friday is as good a day as any to do some other geeky stuff, wouldn’t you say? What cool geeky stuff could rival Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice right now? Perhaps Deadpool! That looks awesome too. But let me not get sidetracked! Focus.

So, while Batman has fought Superman many times in the comics in some truly epic showdowns, fans have been wondering how exactly The Dark Knight will bring it to the Man of Steel when Kryptonite hasn’t yet been introduced in this universe.

If the movie is staying at all true to the source material, which is the incredible comic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, then Kryptonite sort of has to feature. It’s also a necessary and iconic part of Superman’s lore.

Well it turns out that the way Batman will fight Superman actually does involve Kryptonite, and it’s quite badass. It involves Batman’s super armour being reinforced with the green stuff.

Just recently Entertainment Weekly revealed their Comic-Con issue which featured the trio Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman on the cover. In hype for the new issue, they revealed some brand new details about Dawn of Justice.

Batman-News kindly summarised the big points, which you can see below

  • For his climactic rooftop brawl with Superman, Batman outfits himself with a reinforced mech-suit equipped with strength-augmenting armor and, yes, kryptonite.
  • Batman and Wonder Woman have a meeting of alter-egos as Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince parry and flirt at a high-society function. “I love the fact that there was this Thomas Crowne Affair, Bond-y sexy scene that they wrote about two people who are pretending to be two different people who each know the secrets of the other person,” says Ben Affleck.

We don’t quite know how Batman goes on to acquire Kryptonite since it isn’t discovered in the universe yet, but I assume Lex Luthor may have something to do with that. Or aliens.

Ben Affleck spoke a bit about the movie as well, particularly his character. He described his Batman (via Batman-News) as being “on the verge of being swallowed up by the anger and the rage that we see haunt this character in the other manifestations of it. But this guy is further down the line and has become more embittered and cynical.”

Affleck also compared Batman to Hamlet because reasons, and then said something really interesting about Batman’s age and where he is in his career.

“Batman is basically the American version of Hamlet. We accept that he’s played by actors with different interpretations.”

On Batman’s career Affleck said, “He’s at the end of his run and maybe the end of his life. There’s this sort of world-weariness to it.”

As to why Batman and Superman are actually fighting, which is another question fans have had, it’s pretty interesting. Entertainment Weekly says that Batman worries that Superman’s unequaled power makes him more of a potential fascistic overlord than a hero to the people, and so The Dark Knight makes it his duty to drop him down to earth.

While no one is complaining people have believed that Batman V Superman was born as an answer to the MCU. If director Zack Synder is to be believed, it’s actually been a dream of his for quite some time, and he had an idea for it to boot.

Snyder revealed that he pitched the first idea of a Batman/Superman movie to Christoper Nolan and writer David Goyer during the creation of Man of Steel.

“I said, ‘What about at the end of the movie we do a scene where there’s a crate full of kryptonite delivered to Wayne Manor,’” says Snyder. “Everyone was like…‘Okaay.’ Once you say it out loud it’s a problem because you can’t unsay it.”

That would have set some tits on fire, but I’m glad it didn’t happen because the actual reveal was far more epic. Not to mention we had many easter eggs in Man of Steel, which included a Wayne Enterprises satellite, confirming the existence of Bruce Wayne in the Man of Steel universe.

Snyder also reiterated some comments by producer Charles Roven in saying that they wanted Superman to have to ‘look up to Batman’, quite literally.

“I liked the fact that Ben was 
 6’ 4” and taller 
than Henry,” says Snyder. “I wanted Superman to 
have to feel like 
he was looking up to Batman despite being so much stronger.”

That’s pretty awesome. Hard not to love Snyder and his childlike enthusiasm sometimes.

This movie is starting to sound quite a bit better after all these details, and now it’s going to be down to the execution. I admit to being a bit worried about Batman’s age in comparison to Superman’s, but it could make for something interesting in their dynamic, as Clarke will be young and naive and Batman will be cynical and world-weary.

Comic Con 2015 kicks off July 9 and runs through that weekend so there’ll definitely be a whole lot more.

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The Last Guardian “Probably Would Have” Been Cancelled Without Our Nagging http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-last-guardian-probably-would-have-been-cancelled-without-our-nagging/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-last-guardian-probably-would-have-been-cancelled-without-our-nagging/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172859 Many fans are probably still pinching themselves over the fact that The Last Guardian was finally revealed for the PS4 at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. The fear of its […]

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Many fans are probably still pinching themselves over the fact that The Last Guardian was finally revealed for the PS4 at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. The fear of its cancellation was an ever-present nightmare for fans for years, so now that it’s all in the past the best we can do is joke about it.

Perhaps you’re wondering though whether there was ever a moment where the game was going to be cancelled, or whether Sony considered it. More so what actually made them stubbornly hold onto The Last Guardian and never let it go?

We know that The Last Guardian just wasn’t working out on the aging hardware of the PS3 and Team Ico couldn’t get it to run at a stable framerate. This prompted a switch to the PS4 once the opportunity became available. We suspected it would be a PS4 project years ago, which definitely added a year or two to its delay.

However another big reason that Sony kept working at it, despite its never-ending obstacle, was because of fans’ passion and media obsession with the game. Implied, not explicitly stated, I may add.

“Tech issues aside, the game was still early in development, so we had to have a really strong desire to continue the project and rebuild on PS4,” Shuhei Yoshida told EDGE in an interview, reported on by Videogamer.

“And of course we believed in the vision of Ueda-san, and Ueda-san and the core teams really wanted to see this realised, and so did I. Having so many people asking us about the game was great encouragement for us to continue the development.”

Yoshida adds though that if fans had completely forgotten about it and just got over it, The Last Guardian most likely would have been cancelled.

“If everyone stopped asking about it, probably we would have.”

While The Last Guardian doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet, we know that it will be out in 2016.

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The Full 16 Minute Uncharted 4 E3 Demo Is Insane http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-full-16-minute-uncharted-4-e3-demo-is-mind-blowing/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-full-16-minute-uncharted-4-e3-demo-is-mind-blowing/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172844 There’s good reason as to why Naughty Dog is considered among the best in the business when it comes to cinematic action, as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End blew many […]

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There’s good reason as to why Naughty Dog is considered among the best in the business when it comes to cinematic action, as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End blew many minds with its demonstration at Sony’s E3 2015 conference. You know, after that awkward crash moment.

However we knew that the demo we were shown was only half of what was available, naturally due to time constraints on the stage. The full 16 minute video has been released from Sony and damn if it doesn’t make you wish you’d seen it then.

Perhaps it’s for the best because despite how damn good Uncharted 4 looked, the trio of shocks delivered by Sony made Naughty Dog’s work seem standard by comparison in terms of blows to the mind.

Now that the E3 hype has more than died down, Uncharted 4 is back to reveal that once again Naughty Dog has seemingly done some deal with the devil in order to make their game this visually ridiculous.

If this is just 14 minutes of the entire game, it seems that Uncharted 4 may just do something incredible for the blockbuster cinematic action scene.

The gameplay itself may be classic Uncharted, but as a visual spectacle Uncharted 4 is utterly ridiculous. As in good. Just watch it and see what I mean.

What downgrade were we talking about some time back now?

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Silent Hills Is Cancelled, But Allison Road May Just Suffice http://egmr.net/2015/07/silent-hills-is-cancelled-but-allison-road-may-just-suffice/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/silent-hills-is-cancelled-but-allison-road-may-just-suffice/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172838 Silent Hills was one of my most anticipated games of this whole new console generation, and few things hurt me more than its dread cancellation. Damn you, Konami. Damn you […]

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Silent Hills was one of my most anticipated games of this whole new console generation, and few things hurt me more than its dread cancellation. Damn you, Konami. Damn you to hell. I apologise – old feelings creeping up.

However there is light on the horizon! Thanks to the wonderful indie scene, it seems a group of developers were actually so moved by P.T – the playable teaser for Silent Hills – that they have decided to resurrect it in another form.

Meet horror game Allison Road.

The game is in development by a small team called Lilith, which is made up of just six members. That number will become pretty relevant soon when you see the sheer quality of the game.

To come with the reveal of the game is a full 13 minutes of a prototype of the game. While it’s indicative of real gameplay it is “not what you’ll see in the full version of the game” so as to avoid story spoilers.

For more context of the prototype the developer further states that:

At this point pretty much all of our core mechanics are in place, however, some actually didn’t make the cut-off for the video. The inventory is one of those things. We’ll showcase that at some point in the future.

Everything you see here is work in progress of course; some of the assets are just stand-ins and stuff like that, however, it was important to us to show you what Allison Road looks like when played.

I implore you, if you were in any way excited for Silent Hills or enjoyed P.T, check out Allison Roads. It looks absolutely fantastic, and has immediately shot up the list on my personal radar. You can see the P.T inspiration all over it, and the horror certainly seems frightening in the same vein.

It may lack Hideo Kojima’s trademark weirdness, but it doesn’t at all lack P.T’s sense of terror.

Give the video up above a watch, and be assured that we’ll be following this one more closely.

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The Big Problem With The Last Guardian http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-big-problem-with-the-last-guardian/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-big-problem-with-the-last-guardian/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 08:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172810 The Last Guardian was but one of the trio of gigantic shocks at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. When I watched the E3 event with my friend and fellow writer […]

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The Last Guardian was but one of the trio of gigantic shocks at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference. When I watched the E3 event with my friend and fellow writer AG, more than just being totally surprised at finally seeing the game I was also in love with it. While I gazed longingly at my screen chewing on mini marshmallows like a man possessed, my friend sort of sat there not all that mesmerized by the actual game, but of course taken back that it was really being shown nonetheless.

The reason for this is simple yet complex in its implications. I don’t blame my friend for not experiencing my joy at The Last Guardian, because Shadow of the Colossus and Ico aren’t part of his gaming history even if he does know their reputations. Team Ico’s games aren’t exactly sequels, but it’s hard to argue that they aren’t spiritually or at least stylistically similar.

If you’ve played either of those games you’d know that there is a massive difference between playing Team Ico’s games and simply watching them. I know this from having first watched Shadow of the Colossus being played before actually experiencing it myself, where it then became one of my all time favourite games. I still hate myself for not finishing Ico, but I’ve at least played it.

In the case of Shadow of the Colossus the beautiful, enchanting world, minimalist story and surprisingly tangible emotional connection built through subtlety, haunting audio, wonderfully intriguing visuals and interpretation all come together to create a magnificent, captivating experience. Ico uses similar such minimalist techniques, and arguably is an early celebration of that style.

You can talk about the joys of Shadow of the Colossus for so long, yet it’s difficult to describe exactly why it’s so good beyond ‘you fight big ass monsters’.

That brings me to the first major problem with Team Ico’s games and by extension The Last Guardian. Their games are difficult to market to an audience. The fact that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus didn’t sell buckets (the latter certainly fared better) initially yet were massively acclaimed critically is somewhat indicative of that. Fair is fair, Shadow of the Colossus was marketed more strongly than Ico.

Indeed this idea holds true if you’ve been reading some reactions to the game, many of which sadden me greatly. I’ve seen disappointed comments from those with a “is that it?” viewpoint, and similarly I’ve seen people say it looks boring and like an old PS3 game. Others say they “don’t get it”. Yet all the while the fans of Team Ico games are overjoyed about The Last Guardian, and it’s not just the hype around it so much as it’s the fact that it’s spiritually in the same light as Team Ico’s former games.

In short Team Ico’s games have to be experienced and played to truly be appreciated.

Perhaps you may feel that what I’ve said sounds like a cop-out, but consider that if you take the gameplay of The Last Guardian in isolation it arguably isn’t mind-blowing or rife with excitement. But if you know why it appeals to you and what Team Ico are capable of once you’re immersed in their games you’re bound to feel something for The Last Guardian.

It’s like that ‘forever alone’ kind of game where you just want someone else to love it with you.

Yet it’s not the only big problem with The Last Guardian. There’s of course the darker side of the coin involving the game’s ridiculously long gestation period and transition to a new console. Basically the Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines fear. I’m definitely not implying that The Last Guardian’s quality will ever be as low as those two games, as even some of the average Sony exclusives don’t go there. But it’s the curse of development hell that people will always bite their nails over the game and fear that Frankenstein is under construction.

These two big problems are undoubtedly significant challenges to sales, but on the other hand it’s extremely easy to argue and feel somewhat reassured by the idea that the long development hell and subsequent media attention and the massive E3 hype will absolutely be a huge boost to sales. The PS4 also has a big install base and any new IP will be welcomed with open arms.

While that may be enough of an answer to satisfy many concerned fans, it doesn’t do it for me. Let’s not forget that niche games still reflect that in sales. Despite how incredible a game PS4 exclusive Bloodborne was and how few quality options were available at the time, we know that as of April this year it sold through over one million copies, and by now some thousands more, making it a commercial success that exceeded Sony’s expectations. But if you consider that the total PS4 sales are over 20 million, then not a massive amount of the install base got into it.

Compared to a big mainstream PlayStation release like The Last Of Us: Remastered, despite releasing on PS3 before it sold close to two million on day one if you combine retail and digital sales. Perhaps it’s a bit of an unfair comparison here for many reasons. We don’t have concrete numbers for The Order: 1886 as another example, but we know it was a commercial success and can guess it sold similarly to Bloodborne even though the latter is ten times the game.

The point is that niche games can have it tough. The big point is that we shouldn’t forget that The Last Guardian has had seven years of development hell.

How many units does The Last Guardian need to sell to be a success?

Sony hasn’t been shy to admit that The Last Guardian needs to sell better than both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. And neither has the company avoided stating in lengthy interviews that the pressure is on for the game and they have to deliver. While everyone is happy to finally see The Last Guardian emerge, reality is always waiting.

Sony needs to market this game hard and not drop the ball, yet at the same time marketing it to a wide audience is hard. The game most likely needs to sell a lot of copies thanks to its extremely long gestation period, but it is a niche appeal game and it’s likely that a majority percentage of current PS4 owners don’t buy into it. Will those that do be enough to sustain it?

Even the compilation HD release of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on PS3 sold about the same as the latter, just over a million. I only really have VGchartz to go on with that particular stat, and who knows how accurate or inaccurate that is.

As a fan of Team Ico I honestly can’t wait to play The Last Guardian and many won’t get why. But that doesn’t stop me being concerned about its welfare.

Maybe I’m wrong and hype and circumstance will truly be enough to make the game sell the buckets it needs. But I’d be lying if I said that beyond the hype, I am worried about a game that I already love.

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Predator Vs Jason X Is As Bloody As It Sounds http://egmr.net/2015/06/predator-vs-jason-x-is-as-bloody-as-it-sounds/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/predator-vs-jason-x-is-as-bloody-as-it-sounds/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172784 Fans have been waiting for DLC character Predator to enter Mortal Kombat X for quite some time now. It’s finally going to be out in July, but videos shared by […]

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Fans have been waiting for DLC character Predator to enter Mortal Kombat X for quite some time now. It’s finally going to be out in July, but videos shared by YouTuber KommunityFinishHim gives you the first look at his set of moves, as well as his fatality and victory screen.

According to Shoryuken Predator has appeared in Mortal Kombat X’s Tower mode.

Above you can watch a few minutes of Predator combat as he decimates Jason X in what is actually a rather funny match-up if you think about it.

Turns out it’s a lot more bloody than just funny, and below you can get a glimpse of what the Predator fatality looks like.

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Nolan North May Just Have Let The Last Of Us 2 Slip http://egmr.net/2015/06/nolan-north-may-just-have-let-the-last-of-us-2-slip/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/nolan-north-may-just-have-let-the-last-of-us-2-slip/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172780 Earlier today we covered the Q&A panel with famous video game voice actor Nolan North. In there the star gave some little hints about where former Naughty Dog writer Amy Hennig […]

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Earlier today we covered the Q&A panel with famous video game voice actor Nolan North. In there the star gave some little hints about where former Naughty Dog writer Amy Hennig ended up as well as what Visceral and EA’s new Star Wars game in development will be like.

However there was another little surprise that the man who voices Nathan Drake and The Penguin may have let slip, and it concerns Naughty Dog’s massive hit The Last Of Us.

Turns out that sequel we’ve been hearing hints about for quite some time now may just be a real thing.

In that Metrocon 2015 interview, somewhere around 1:06:30 mark, Nolan North was asked about his future projects with Naughty Dog. Obviously as the voice of Nathan Drake Nolan North is very close to the studio and it’s not that surprising that he knows a thing or two about what’s up in the kennel.

Alright, that was a really bad pun. I will put my head in a toaster.

Before toasting though, Nolan North may have just leaked The Last Of Us 2 in his answer to the question. Somewhat blatantly.

“For now the last one. I know they’re doing The Last of Us 2, but my character in The Last of Us had an untimely demise, ” says Nolan North.

Even if this is the real deal, The Last Of Us 2 surely would be a long time away considering that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is only releasing next year, so Naughty Dog has its hands full. Well, unless their second studio is already hard at work on the game.

I always felt The Last Of Us didn’t need a sequel as it was a complete story, but perhaps a setup many years in the future with Ellie as the protagonist, as was teased in the past, could work. I entertained the idea of an entirely new cast of characters, leaving the old ones behind, but part of what made The Last Of Us interesting was Ellie being immune to the virus, so perhaps she still has some role to play. I suppose then Naughty Dog could always deal with the aftermath of the first game, and how it would affect Joel and Ellie’s relationship.

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Batman: Arkham Knight Has A Serious, Inexplicable Glitch With Its Ending http://egmr.net/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-has-a-serious-inexplicable-glitch-with-its-ending/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-has-a-serious-inexplicable-glitch-with-its-ending/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172697 It’s all about Batman: Arkham Knight lately as we’ve had a few opinions on the game already as well as our actual review. However here I’m going to be talking […]

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It’s all about Batman: Arkham Knight lately as we’ve had a few opinions on the game already as well as our actual review. However here I’m going to be talking about something a little different, which is a teeny tiny matter concerning a potentially game ruining glitch with the ending of Arkham Knight.

Obviously there will be a potential for spoilers ahead. While I won’t go into any detail about the ending or story content itself, if you want to remain completely oblivious to the nature of the multiple endings and how they work, you may want to steer clear. Consider yourself warned.

With the obligatory spoiler warning out of the way, let’s get down to business.

As you may or may not be aware there are two proper conclusions. Once you complete the game and get the basic ending, you’ll be able to free roam and continue Most Wanted side missions. The game does not tell you this and I found it out on my own, but if you complete 7/14 Most Wanted cases, you can “activate” the ending sequence of the game. If you get a 100% completion ratio, which includes all 200+ Riddler challenges, you’ll be able to access the secret, extended ending of the game. Many believe that getting 100% is the only way to activate an ending, but I have proof below that it is not and there are two.

Here’s where the inexplicable, bizarre and frustratingly senseless issue comes in.

In my own game, upon completion of the main story, I had done 13/14 of the Most Wanted cases, yet I had no option to activate the ending sequence. Instead my game told me in the radial mission select menu that I needed to apprehend one more Most Wanted villain in order to activate it, which was all the remaining Riddler challenges and Nigma himself. This was for the 100% ending, but I want to do that when the PC version is fixed, not on PS4.

However I have both read about and seen footage (video 1, video 2, video 3) of people activating the ending sequence once completing 7/14 side missions –  obviously don’t visit those links if you haven’t finished the game. Yet I could not do that. I even checked this with fellow writer AG, and he too was unable to activate the ending sequence because he did 8/14 side missions. Another player on the actual Arkham Knight forums had done 9/14, and was told he needed to complete 5 more Most Wanted cases to initiate the ending. I was also contacted directly on the forums by another player who said he was in the exact same boat as me with 13/14 cases complete, but was unable to proceed.

Are you starting to see the grand problem with this?

Either this is a massive oversight or glitch, or Rocksteady did it intentionally and then it becomes one of the most bizarre and stupid design choices ever implemented for an ending of a video game. It seems to be somewhat intentional given that, if you’ve seen video 1 linked above, there is a ‘marker’ on the half-way point of the Most Wanted cases progress bar, which indicates first activation point.

I was under the impression that you could activate the ending sequence at any time once you complete 7 or more Most Wanted cases, as it becomes an available option in the radial mission select menu at seven. But it seems that if you do any more than seven, you’re then barred from getting a conclusion to your game and must get a 100% completion ratio to access a proper ending.

That just doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

It feels like punishing players for doing more in the game, because there is no way of knowing beforehand that you have to do exactly 7/14 side missions to initiate the ending unless you read stuff on the internet and took it literally. I can’t imagine that Rocksteady intended it to work this way while of sound-mind. I would think the power to end the story would be in your hands once you fulfill the basic requirements, and achieving the 100% ending should be entirely up to you and whether you want to.

I seem to be the only one seriously questioning what is up with this, and I have to think it’s because people just aren’t aware of how the endings work. Not everyone is going to get a proper conclusion to their game as a result, which is tragic because it’s a really great one. I was barred from getting finality on my first playthrough and had to venture to YouTube to watch the endings of the game. It frustrated me further to have to watch the ending from people who put less effort and time into the game, considering I did everything except the Ridder challenges.

Do you see the problems here? Have you been experiencing something similar? Let’s talk about it, without any spoilers for others please.

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Review: Batman Arkham Knight Is The Best Disappointment I’ve Ever Had http://egmr.net/2015/06/review-batman-arkham-knight-is-the-best-disappointment-ive-ever-had/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/review-batman-arkham-knight-is-the-best-disappointment-ive-ever-had/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172708 Visit review on site for scoring. Hours before Batman: Arkham Knight was set to release I was rooted to my PC and feeling actual butterflies in my stomach as the […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

Batman Arkham Knight Review - 2

Hours before Batman: Arkham Knight was set to release I was rooted to my PC and feeling actual butterflies in my stomach as the Batfanboy that I am. Yet the moment I fired the game up, critic mode engaged and hype died. That’s just me. I go into games with a blank slate. Good thing I did because that PC version gave me a right kick in the nuts. After making the jump to PS4 I was at last ready for the final tale of The Dark Knight from our beloved Rocksteady, but to tell the truth upon completion I didn’t expect to feel the way I do, which is a little euphoric yet also surprisingly disappointed.

I applauded the promotion of Scarecrow to main villain status, as well as the ‘new character’ that Rocksteady advertised with the Arkham Knight. I was absolutely keen to see a Batman game that did not rely on the Joker (cue knowing and sadistic laugh here) as much of our greatest Batman stories have. The story is one of conflicting emotions, and it’s difficult to talk about because I have to refrain from spoilers of any kind. What I will say is that Arkham Knight is simultaneously a love letter to the source material and to fans, while also a disservice in some respects to its own material and to those same fans who invested so much in past games.

The story itself is great. Scarecrow is an absolute boss in this game, and it’s probably one of my favourite interpretations of the character that I’ve seen yet. A lot of this game is absolutely riveting, with some intense and edge-of-your-seat encounters that are among the most memorable this series has offered. And most significantly it’s a deeply fitting and satisfying end to Rocksteady’s Batman story, and dare I say that it has earned the right to stand beside other tales of finality such as The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Rises and the New 52’s Batman: Endgame.

Yet there’s the bad side too. While the Arkham Knight character is really cool, has an excellent presence and a stunning character design, he falls apart at the build-up to and revelation of his identity, the boss fight involving him and pretty much everything after that. It’s impossible to talk about this without spoilers, so all that can be said is that Rocksteady dropped the ball as far as the Arkham Knight and his identity is concerned.

Arkham Knight – the game this time – also does a disservice to some of its own story threads and villains with final encounters that are disappointing, abrupt and not very satisfying uses of the respective characters after all the promising foundations were set. Make no mistake, Arkham Knight is an admirable attempt to wrap up all of its story threads, including those created over past games, yet with some of them it can feel rushed, disappointing and at worst full of blatant missed opportunity.

The story also falls victim to a few cop-outs when it comes to scenarios that would have otherwise been extremely gutsy and unpredictable. Yet in many ways it’s forgivable, because Rocksteady has found a way to top both predecessors in narrative scale and scope, and a lot of the writing is absolutely golden. The level of understanding Rocksteady has demonstrated with some core themes of the Batman and his villains is awesome to see, which makes it all the more painful when the studio falls short with some of its other characters and plot threads.

Overall I was very satisfied, but that doesn’t change my view that most of the disappointments arise out of its story, particularly with its secondary plots and the Arkham Knight himself.

Batman Arkham Knight Review - 5

The Batmobile. You could have called this game Batman: Fankind Divided when it came to this. People were simultaneously pumped to drive the car, yet also concerned of it diminishing the presence of the Batman or being overused. Yet the wonderfully designed, appropriately sized and densely populated open world begs for its inclusion, and here we are.

As far as navigating Gotham is concerned, the Batmobile is exquisite. It’s pitch perfect. There’s an undying rush to summoning it and witnessing the sheer amount of fear it creates, just as there is deep satisfaction that can’t be expressed in words when you see the car completely demolish the environment and bring ruin to nearly anything it touches. The eject function is amazing, and being able to dive out of the car straight into an attack is great. It’s also pretty sweet to be able to control it remotely using a gadget. The Batmobile is a beautiful powerhouse, and Rocksteady couldn’t have done a better job to make you feel it. The car does take a bit of getting used to during high speed pursuits, but once you master it you’ll just love it all the more.

But it’s not traversing the world where the Batmobile falls short, it’s in its overuse and misuse. Sometimes I felt the tagline of the game could have been ‘Be the Batmobile’ and it would have been apt. I’m going to ignore the fact that it stretches the ‘Batman doesn’t kill’ rule to the most ridiculous point ever, because sacrifices must sometimes be made in the name of fun. What is intensely unlikable is how it is used for some disappointing boss encounters that would have worked a hundred times better as fist fight showdowns. Really Rocksteady why can’t we have that? The Riddler race courses can also be irritating and out of place. And finally there’s just a little too much tank combat.

Holding down a button transforms the Batmobile into its battle mode, which gives better handling control, the ability to strafe and dodge and usage of its 60mm cannon and vulcan gun. Much like Batman can get special combo takedowns when avoiding punches, the Batmobile can build up to special moves like missile barrages and EMP blasts if you take down enough enemy units while avoiding damage. It’s simple and effectively sweet.

In general combat is precise and entertaining and it never felt as though it was misplaced in the game given that Gotham is at war. It also answers the question of what Batman would do when faced against a military force. Further in its favour is that some combat and puzzle scenarios in the story are just epic involving the Batmobile, and it’s hard not to fall in love with it during these moments.

Yet again there’s just a bit too much tank combat. It’s preferable to fight two dozen guys as the Batman than two dozen as the Batmobile. It could have been used less, and there are moments where it feels a little shoehorned in for the sake of being used, as though Rocksteady is doing a hard sell in the actual game. It also sometimes feels like the solution for everything – Batmobile ex machina if you will. We get it, the Batmobile is awesome, but we all want to be the Batman, not the car.

I do have one pet peeves with Batmobile combat though and that’s the fact that despite the Batwing being in the game more than once, it’s just a glorified courier. In some of those tank battles where Batman was vastly outgunned and outnumbered, wouldn’t an airstrike have been a useful special move to get? It’s not just a missed opportunity, but a bit of a logical fail in the story. It’s a small thing for sure, but then again not all criticisms have to be huge.

Batman Arkham Knight Review - 4

There’s no conflict of opinion to have with the FreeFlow combat system though. Rocksteady has perfected it in Arkham Knight. It’s one of the best and most responsive fighting systems you can find in an action game right now. Every shortcoming or gap in previous games is plugged. In addition to great new moves, incredible animations, new enemies to mix up combat and a great increase in the number of on-screen enemies, many refinements in just the right places complete the experience.

One such refinement is that enemies you’ve knocked down no longer pose the risk of breaking your free flow combo. Batman can now attack grounded enemies or even lift them right back up in one swift motion to continue the assault. It’s beautiful to watch. In addition countering at just the right instance now activates a powerful throw attack, and lost streaks can quickly be built back up due to the increase in enemy numbers and faster pace to the action.

On the other hand there wasn’t a whole lot more that could have been done with Predator sections other than increase options, and more better integrate it into the rest of the minute-to-minute gameplay, both of which Arkham Knight has done to some extent. Stealth feels like a more consistently available option in the world. Takedowns are more organic, the animations have been improved and hunting is just as fun as it’s ever been.

It’s pleasantly surprising that a few features that seemed like gimmicks actually ended up working quite well. Dual Play mode is one such example, which are sections where Batman teams up with allies such as Catwoman, Nightwing and Robin and these characters enter the FreeFlow combat system. This word has been used a lot, but seamless is the only way to describe it. It’s hard to believe how fluid the switches between characters are at the simple push of a button, whether in mid-combo or about to activate team takedowns. The camera is excellent here, and it’s a small enough part of gameplay to not get boring or overused. It also makes these characters feel more involved.

Another good example are the Fear takedowns, which basically enable Batman to move so fast that he can wipe out a small number of enemies before they can react. There’s a story-related reason as to why this is possible, so I’ll leave that unspoiled. These are limited in usage and build up from silent takedowns and stored away until you use them. They just work, the animations and visual effects are seriously stunning and they simply feel like another tool in the arsenal.

It boils down to this: when it comes to raw gameplay Arkham Knight is the best in the series with graceful ease, and one of the best out there right now in its genre.

Batman Arkham Knight Review - 3

The open world itself is the appropriate step up from Arkham City. In Arkham Knight there is lots of content in the densely populated world, and what’s really great about it is how organic discovery of missions feel. There are Most Wanted cases involving the main villains and other surprise additions, and there are also missions concerning the war in Gotham and retaking the city. On the one hand missions like these that require you to do a certain thing a specific number of times can lead to some frustration in tracking all the things down without a guide, but the trade off of an organic world is worth it. Exploring is fast, elegant and entertaining and there’s plenty to discover on your first playthrough.

However there are a few negatives with the direction Rocksteady has taken. One of them is that challenge maps have been sacrificed. These often felt somewhat ingrained in the story and were well-designed scenarios that let you use other characters, as well as felt more personal and villain-centered. In Arkham Knight they are replaced with AR challenges which are basically those VR simulations from Arkham City, and they’re not very satisfying. The additional DLC may add more value here in future, but characters like Harley Quinn and Red Hood aren’t playable outside of those extremely short story campaigns, which is a letdown.

In its favour the game can easily keep you playing for over ten hours even if you don’t do everything. If you choose to 100% it or at the very last make the experience last by getting involved with side content and just mucking about you can clock in at well over fifteen hours. Let’s not forget that there’s also a new game plus option. It all depends on the level of investment you’re willing to have. Perhaps one disappointment here is that you can’t free roam with other characters after the game ends, but at least there’s a story-related reason as to why. Still it’s hard to argue for a loss of content.

Batman Arkham Knight Review - 1

Where Arkham Knight will definitely blow your mind sideways is with its graphics and art direction. Without any hyperbole Arkham Knight is one of the most beautiful games ever made, and is in some areas the best at this moment in time. It was shocking to see that the game on PS4 looks every bit the spectacle it was in its first E3 stage demo during Sony’s 2014 conference. Texture detail is really high, character models and designs are insanely gorgeous, Batman’s cape material detail is mind-boggling and weather effects, water and lighting are stunning. Gotham itself is magnificent with its neon lights, sullen atmosphere and timeless feel. Rocksteady absolutely nailed it in this game.

And the Batsuit? My word. It’s a flawless work of art. There are dozens of designs of the Batman, but Rocksteady’s Arkham Knight Batsuit has got to be one of the best and most intimidating. It was the modernisation that needed to happen over previous Arkham games.

Arkham Knight is also a technical marvel, and all there is to fault are a few insignificant visual bugs and one or two momentary drops in frame rate. If we’re talking about the PC version though, that thing is a disaster and it temporarily not being sold says it all about what’s going on there. On brighter notes similarly to Arkham City, this game also has an amazing soundtrack although it’s often so jam-packed full of loud action that you may not always notice it as you would in its predecessor. Still let it be known that Rocksteady delivered unquestionably here with a technical, graphical and audio masterpiece.

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How Is Fallout 4 Releasing So Soon? Bethesda Explains The Madness http://egmr.net/2015/06/how-is-fallout-4-releasing-so-soon-bethesda-explains-the-madness/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/how-is-fallout-4-releasing-so-soon-bethesda-explains-the-madness/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:30:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172657 Bethesda’s E3 2015 hype made everyone happy, not just because Fallout 4 looks awesome, but because people sort of lost their minds when discovering that the game would be released […]

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Bethesda’s E3 2015 hype made everyone happy, not just because Fallout 4 looks awesome, but because people sort of lost their minds when discovering that the game would be released this year in November. The rumours had been afloat for quite some time that the game would be out in 2015, but seeing is believing as they say.

But why did Bethesda announce Fallout 4 so close to its release? Usually we hear of triple A announcements a full year or two – sometimes even longer – before they come out. Games usually like that time to do extensive marketing, create buzz and show off the game over a longer period.

Gamesradar asked Bethesda’s Pete Hines why Bethesda does things this way, and the man replied: “The simplest answer was that we felt like we could.”

A part of the decision to announce the game close to its release date had to do with the enormous expectations people already have of Fallout 4.

“If we didn’t feel like that was enough time to generate the excitement that we expected and the interest that we wanted, then we would have announced it earlier. So part of it is because we felt like it was a big enough title that we could get away with it”.

But the decision wasn’t just because of Bethesda’s confidence that there would be enough demand and hype for Fallout 4. It was also that “part of it is because it’s way more fun” Hines said, and added, “as opposed to: here’s a press release and here’s a trailer and, I don’t know, in a couple of months we’ll show you some stuff”.

“Part of it is getting the game to the point where it’s all done enough to be able to show so much of it. We’re pretty close to being done, which you have to be if you’re going to ship in five months”.

“It’s really fun to get this far into development and not say anything and then go ‘Boo! Here’s all this stuff. Here’s what we’re up to’. Which isn’t even all the full monty it’s just a big wide picture”.

Well no Fallout 4 was complaining about the detail blowout and the loads of footage we got to see of the game, so perhaps Bethesda made the right decision to blow people’s minds at their first E3 conference.

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Nvidia To Atone For Its Sins By Helping Rocksteady Fix Arkham Knight On PC http://egmr.net/2015/06/nvidia-to-atone-for-its-sins-by-helping-rocksteady-fix-arkham-knight-on-pc/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/nvidia-to-atone-for-its-sins-by-helping-rocksteady-fix-arkham-knight-on-pc/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172655 The story of Batman Arkham Knight on PC has been not only one of the most disappointing events of the entire year so far, but also one of the most […]

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The story of Batman Arkham Knight on PC has been not only one of the most disappointing events of the entire year so far, but also one of the most scandalous. The all-round terrible PC port was a shoddy thing done by about twelve people, and of course Nvidia themselves aren’t free from blame considering they advertised the game with Ultra settings, 60 FPS and advanced graphics features, most of which were in no way a feature of the actual game on PC. The eventual result in this farce was that Warner Bros suspended Arkham Knight sales on PC until fixes could be made.

The latest news is that Nvidia has stepped up to join Rocksteady and Warner Bros in admitting to its sins and pledging to sort out the problem. If there’s one positive thing that can be said about this whole ordeal, it’s that at least the three involved parties here are not doing nothing or hiding from the problem. They’re all banding together to get this fixed, and we can only hope to see actual results come from it all.

In a recent official statement Nvidia offered a brief statement to show the support they’re offering Warner Bros and Rocksteady: “We are working with WB Games and the development teams to address the performance issues of the PC version of Batman Arkham Knight. We have made our QA and engineering resources available and will provide updates when they are available.”

As you may know if you’ve played the Arkham games on PC, both Asylum and City run beautifully on the platform, and Nvidia has a long-running partnership with Rocksteady and Warner Bros with respect to this series. The Arkham games have always looked and played excellently on PC (with the exception of that black sheep Arkham Origins) and further more sported noteworthy Nvidia graphics features, such as Physx and flying paper.

Arkham Knight steps it up and uses Nvidia’s proprietary GameWorks technology, bringing eye candy such as enhanced rain and interactive smoke to the party. However we don’t know how much effort Nvidia put into the game on PC beyond just wanting their features included. Hopefully now they give Arkham Knight the proper support it deserves.

We’ll keep you updated on any new developments, and our review for the game should drop at the beginning of next week.

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Batman: Arkham Knight PC Sales Have Been Suspended http://egmr.net/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-pc-sales-suspended/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-pc-sales-suspended/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 07:30:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172619 If you’ve been alive this week you may have been noticing the current well-justified outrage over the pathetic PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight, which is something many have a lot […]

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If you’ve been alive this week you may have been noticing the current well-justified outrage over the pathetic PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight, which is something many have a lot to answer for. While the game is currently enjoying stellar reviews on console, the PC version has caused widespread anger and disgust made worse by all the shady business and Warner Bros being no strangers to rubbish PC ports, with Mortal Kombat X being the last victim of their hubris.

It seems Warner Bros has decided to take drastic action this time as Batman: Arkham Knight is no longer for sale on PC, in an attempt to show how serious the publisher is about fixing the issues the game faces on the master race platform.

“We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards,” a Warner Bros representative stated on the publisher’s forums.

Warner Bros also said that it is currently closely monitoring feedback to help address the many issues with the PC port.

“Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played,” Warner Bros said.

Yes, and I hope including the fucking Ultra settings is part of that plan for an updated Arkham Knight on PC.

Warner Bros suggested that upset players may want to consider a Steam or retail refund while these issues are being addressed.

It’s great to see the publisher take responsibility and action for the rubbish state of the Arkham Knight PC port, but that doesn’t excuse the absolute shady practice behind it and the unacceptable nature of the port itself. Hopefully we can put this behind us soon when the updated PC version rolls out and the game functions as it ideally should, because Batman: Arkham Knight really is a wonderful game, and more so it’s one of the most beautiful games ever created.

We’ll keep you posted on this story as it develops.

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DriveClub PS Plus Edition Is Finally Arriving, But There’s A Catch http://egmr.net/2015/06/driveclub-ps-plus-edition-is-finally-arriving-but-theres-a-catch/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/driveclub-ps-plus-edition-is-finally-arriving-but-theres-a-catch/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 07:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172617 DriveClub was one of those games that had a really troubled launch with a host of online technical issues, but the gameplay was decent enough and after a lot of updates it […]

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DriveClub was one of those games that had a really troubled launch with a host of online technical issues, but the gameplay was decent enough and after a lot of updates it turned out to be a fairly solid title overall. However a free PS Plus edition has been promised as far back as the launch of the actual PS4, would you believe it, but we’ve just never got it due to the aforementioned wide range of problems.

The good news is that today, finally, after all this waiting the PS Plus edition of DriveClub will actually be made available to players. The news comes from a post on the PS Blog from Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida, who confirmed that PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download DriveClub on Thursday, June 25 which just so happens to be today.

 

If this excites you, well you should be aware that there is a little catch to take note of.

The catch in question is that DriveClub on PS Plus will launch in stages in order to avoid history repeating itself, with regards to technical nightmares. But how exactly does a game roll out on PS Plus in stages? Let’s go over that.

“We’ve spent a long time preparing for this launch after some difficult and unexpected set-backs,” Yoshida writes. “To make absolutely certain that all players have the smoothest and most stable experience possible we are going to be duly cautious about how we release the game this time around.

“Starting on Thursday, all PlayStation Plus members can download Driveclub PS Plus Edition and begin playing the offline mode. Also starting Thursday, we will be rolling out online access to the Driveclub PS Plus Edition and will steadily bring more and more players online while continuously ensuring that all game systems are running smoothly. We know that this might be frustrating after your extra wait already, but hope you can understand that we are taking extra precautions to protect your experience when you do get online. We want to make sure we don’t overload the servers as we invite millions of PS Plus members to download the game tomorrow.

“We have to take this precaution because Driveclub connectivity is demanding for a multiplayer game, with countless ever-growing social connections across clubs, challenges, multiplayer, and hundreds of thousands of dynamic leaderboards and activity feeds.”

The blog post goes on to reiterate that all players will have access to the entirety of the offline mode while Evolution works on rolling out the multiplayer. Yoshida also thanked gamers for their patience and confirmed that the companion app will be coming in due time as well.

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Nvidia Is Answerable For Arkham Knight On PC, Which Was Done By 12 People http://egmr.net/2015/06/nvidia-is-answerable-for-arkham-knight-on-pc-which-was-done-by-12-people/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/nvidia-is-answerable-for-arkham-knight-on-pc-which-was-done-by-12-people/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:30:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172558 I can’t imagine that this is how Rocksteady wanted the final game in their beloved Batman trilogy to be received, but such is life when the consequences of bullshit rise […]

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I can’t imagine that this is how Rocksteady wanted the final game in their beloved Batman trilogy to be received, but such is life when the consequences of bullshit rise up to meet you. While the game is currently getting massive praise and excellent reviews across the board for its console versions, the PC version is running horribly and is all-round a crap port as we reported yesterday.

Just when you thought the story couldn’t get any worse, well it does. It started when Rocksteady issued their expected statement of acknowledgement and intent:

Hi all

We’re aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.

We’ll update this thread when we’ve got more info to share.

Thanks

CODA

Of course the “external PC development partner” portion of that sentence really raised eyebrows, since most thought Rocksteady itself was creating the PC version of Arkham Knight.

Furthermore a lot of attention turned to Nvidia, because reported problems include a bad frame rate, 30 FPS lock unless you manually fix that in the config files, normal or muddy textures, video and audio stuttering and visual bugs. However Nvidia’s Arkham Knight showcase video saw the game running at 60 FPS with ultra textures.

Also remember prior to release of the game when we got the Ultra system requirements for Arkham Knight? Well where the fuck are the Ultra settings in the actual game if I may ask? It basically goes normal or high, with barely any settings to tweak at all.

Somehow it’s possible that this gets even worse than everything already said. According to reddit the ‘external PC development partner’ mentioned above – where the port was outsourced to – is called Iron Galaxy Studios, and the port itself was done by 12 people.

Considering that I bought Arkham Knight on PC when it was having all those 40% off specials, I’m furious about this. Even if I didn’t buy the game, I would be just as pissed off. It’s utter bullshit. Some may say classic Warner Bros, but as much as I love Rocksteady Studios with all my heart, where was the damn quality assurance? Where was the transparency on this? Perhaps I can do some reaching and say Rocksteady knew of the problems, but Warner Bros wouldn’t delay the PC version, and expected them to fix it post-release as is the norm of AAA games these days.

One can only hope for that for Rocksteady. They’re too talented and too awesome a group of people to have this shit go down with their magnum opus.

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Shenmue 3 Needs $10 Million On Kickstarter, Nature Of Sony Partnership Revealed http://egmr.net/2015/06/shenmue-3-needs-10-million-on-kickstarter-nature-of-sony-partnership-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/shenmue-3-needs-10-million-on-kickstarter-nature-of-sony-partnership-revealed/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172555 It was only after the initial explosion of hype from Sony’s press conference at E3 2015 that people actually began to start asking questions about whether it’s alright for Shenmue […]

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It was only after the initial explosion of hype from Sony’s press conference at E3 2015 that people actually began to start asking questions about whether it’s alright for Shenmue 3 to be a Kickstarter project when the developers already have a partnership with Sony. At the very least, people have been wanting to hear what the nature of the partnership is for transparency’s sake.

It certainly begs questions given that Shenmue 3 absolutely nailed its $2 million goal in less than 12 hours, where only afterwards it became known that Sony is contributing and it is “definitely a partner in this game” and development is “going to be run through third-party production.”

Recently the nature of the relationship with Sony has been revealed.

In a Reddit AMA that happened on Sunday, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki stropped some not-so-subtle hints that $2 million wouldn’t be enough to fund a proper Shenmue 3 game.

“If we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality,” he said, when asked what Shenmue 3 will miss out on if it doesn’t reach that particular stretch goal. “At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world.”

Not exactly the most surprising thing on the planet given that the original Shenmue had a budget of $47 million. Furthermore the Kickstarter is already at $3,591,469 at the time of writing, and there’s still 23 days to go as it’s only been a weak. Nevertheless people were suspicious given that firstly Sony is a partner and secondly at the biggest gaming event of the year Shenmue 3 is announced as a Kickstarter project with a goal that’s clearly nowhere near what is required to obtain the creator’s true vision for the game.

That obviously makes it clear that the $2 million goal was little more than a means to gouge interest in the game. Although in fairness the developers have stated rather explicitly on their Kickstarter campaign that $2 million isn’t enough to make an open world game.

As for the nature of the relationship with Sony, co-producer Cedric Biscay of Shibuya Productions said on Twitter that Sony is not actually benefiting from the campaign.

“Sony will not get any money from the KS, they will help to finance the PS4 version and will also help for advertisement,” he wrote. “Sony is providing various supports, including marketing and investment, to YSNet. However, Sony is just one of many backers of Shenmue3.”

Biscay then referred followers to the Kickstarter FAQ, which as mentioned above states clearly  that “we cannot make an open world game for $2 million.” Instead it says that the plan for Shenmue 3 is to bolster the Kickstarter with “other funding sources already secured,” but of course the nature of those sources and who they are can’t be disclosed because of contractual red tape.

While many may find this whole business shady, the idea isn’t very different from the initial crowdfunding plan for Star Citizen. That game began as a way to attract interest and money from “traditional investors”, but obviously Star Citizen didn’t quite have the privilege of being announced at Sony’s E3 conference. The reality though was that unlike Shenmue 3, Star Citizen had not secured those sources of funding prior to launching its Kickstarter campaign, and the game didn’t state or imply that the initial goal would be enough to get the job done.

While Star Citizen man Chris Roberts said in 2012 that Star Citizen would be a hugely expensive undertaking which would require funds very much beyond its initial goal, Sony and Ys Net haven’t quite been so open about the whole thing. I suppose that’s the difference between indie studios and big corporate, isn’t it?

For some further Shenmue 3 funding details, we have this from an interview:

“I really can’t get into [details about only financial sources], but there are other sources of funding that will be put together with the Kickstarter,” Yu Suzuki told Polygon. “I can’t get into specifics, but for right now I just want to keep the comment that yes, I have funding sources outside Kickstarter that I collected through my company YS Net, and that will combine with the Kickstarter for this project.”‘

One argument I’ve seen in defense of Shenmue 3 is that the game itself is a massive risk for any corporate, as the original didn’t do extremely well on Dreamcast financially, and Shenmue 2 did horribly on the original Xbox. In fairness Japanese games don’t really do all that well on Microsoft’s console anyway. Basically the argument concludes that the Kickstarter campaign and E3 hype tells the involved parties whether Shenmue 3 is worth the effort and risk. We’ve known that Yu Suzuki has always wanted to make Shenmue 3 and if this may have been his only option to do it.

While all this is being debated, the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter will run until July 17 and may even surpass Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as the biggest videogame Kickstarter ever. Earlier this month on June 13 Bloodstained recently finished with $5,545,992 from 64,867 backers, and interestingly that’s just more than half of what Shenmue 3 apparently needs to be a true open world game.

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Beware The Batman, Arkham Knight Runs Horribly On PC http://egmr.net/2015/06/beware-the-batman-arkham-knight-currently-runs-terribly-on-pc/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/beware-the-batman-arkham-knight-currently-runs-terribly-on-pc/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 07:30:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172516 While every interested party is busy creaming their pants for the release of Batman: Arkham Knight today, and well-equipped PC owners have pre-loaded the game by now and are ready […]

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While every interested party is busy creaming their pants for the release of Batman: Arkham Knight today, and well-equipped PC owners have pre-loaded the game by now and are ready before anyone else to be the Batman, all hell is breaking loose on the internet. It would appear that Warner Bros has struck again after Mortal Kombat X, and Batman: Arkham Knight is being panned as a terrible PC port.

It’s not just words on the internet. I myself have first hand experience from my first hour with the game to confirm many of the issues, and we’re going to dissect them here as well as talk about some temporary fixes that can be done to help your game at least become playable.

It’s a terrible shame, because Batman: Arkham Knight is one beautiful game. The first time I gained control of Batman and took in Gotham City and – my god – them cape details, I nearly lost my marbles. However it wasn’t long before my trusty Steam FPS counter reported that I was only getting 30. Considering I outright defeat the Ultra requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight with the only difference being I have a GTX 970 and not a 980, this surely should have been impossible.

It turns out that after some research, the internet is ablaze with people reporting issues. It’s the classic case of bad PC port people, because the game looks fantastic but runs like crap. I should have known the first major warning sign was the extremely limited graphical options, which barely let you tweak anything.

The issues include a 30 FPS lock despite the Benchmark Test deceiving everyone, stuttering, crashes, memory leaks, heavy frame rate drops even without Nvidia Gameworks features disabled and even worse stories for AMD users. This is all in spite of the obligatory new Nvidia drivers which apparently make the game run better. There’s an entire reddit thread where people are in metaphorical tears over the PC port of this game, utterly confused as to why it’s running so badly. It’s so bad in fact that people with Nvidia’s Titan graphics card can’t even get a stable framerate.

At present only the 30 FPS lock has a fix, and it’s a rather easy one at that. All you need to do is open the “BmSystemSettings” INI file with notepad located in C/Program Files (x86)/Steam/Steamapps/common/Batman Arkham Knight/BMGame/Config and press control + F to search for “MaxFPS=30.000000″. Change the ’30’ to ’60’ and you’re set. It’s that easy.

As soon as I did the above fix, my frame rate shot up to 60 and I could at last appreciate the beauty of the game in fluid motion. However I’m still suffering unacceptable frame rate drops when powering through the world, especially at high speeds in the Batmobile. I’ve seen my frame rate drop as low as 37 during the worst moments, but more often than not my PC maintained above 50, which means the game is at least playable once you do this fix – if you have the rig for it.

The scandal doesn’t end there apparently. According to TotalBiscuit, no PC review codes for Arkham Knight are being handed out.

Just when you thought the bullshit meter was at maximum, I’m afraid there’s more. Asidcast is reporting that apparently the Batman Arkham Knight PC port contains the Denuvo DRM which might just be the culprit for all the performance issues.

The final nail in the coffin, that should make you pissed the hell off if you’re a PC gamer, is that according to the reddit thread mentioned above reviews are temporarily blocked for Batman: Arkham Knight on Steam. I suppose thanks to the large influx of negative ‘pre-release reviews’ from those expecting a patch of some kind to arrive. While I can’t confirm how true this is, the game hasn’t got any new reviews in the last few hours according to Asidcast, so there’s that.

What to do about all this? Well firstly tell Warner Bros to fuck off. Then if you’re impatient you’re going to have to get the game on console where only good reviews exist, otherwise it may be best to wait for patches before you play. I’m sure the issues will be fixed, it’s Warner Bros’ biggest game of the year after all, but there is no doubt at all that this is a downright unacceptable state for the game to launch in. If you’re angered enough, demand a Steam refund and don’t feel one bit bad about it. It’s a crying shame that Rocksteady (if they’re innocent of this farce) have to suffer because of Warner Bros.

It really is a fucking tragedy that we’re in 2015 and this can still happen with one of the biggest games of the year. There are no acceptable excuses for it.

Fix your shit, Warner Bros.

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Is Microsoft Making A Mistake With The Xbox One In 2015? http://egmr.net/2015/06/is-microsoft-making-a-mistake-with-the-xbox-one-in-2015/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/is-microsoft-making-a-mistake-with-the-xbox-one-in-2015/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 07:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172472 It’s a common and not at all far-fetched belief that we’ve just had one of the best E3 events of all time. Both Microsoft and Sony brought it hard and put […]

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It’s a common and not at all far-fetched belief that we’ve just had one of the best E3 events of all time. Both Microsoft and Sony brought it hard and put on excellent shows, with particular emphasis on the Xbox One because after lagging behind and struggling with its direction for so long, through the leadership of Phil Spencer the console is perhaps now in the best position it has been in for years.

Now that we’ve all cooled off after the hype from E3 some real fun begins where we can start seriously discussing and analysing what’s in store for us and the consoles over the next year. For instance Sony has faced some criticism for having a lack of 2015 focus for the next six months, and being a bit too future-proof, while others have said that the company hid a little behind hype to mask this. No one denies that Sony put on an amazing E3 and one that will be remembered for years, but these are interesting perspectives.

We’ve had some good discussion on Sony and the PS4 so far, so I want to turn my attention to the other camp. I want to tackle a particular delicate subject matter, because while acknowledging that 2015 is a huge year for Microsoft, I do also wonder whether the big boys of team green are making a mistake with the Xbox One this year by going in guns blazing.

If you saw the Xbox One’s 2015 line-up, it’s looking pretty radical, risky and some may argue even ridiculous. All in Q4, separated by as little as a month in the middle of massive contenders, is Halo 5, Forza 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider and potentially Fable Legends. They’re all releasing within touching distance of one another, not to mention that Microsoft’s huge announcement of backwards compatibility is also kicking off in that Q4 period.

The statement of intent is clear: Microsoft wants to sell as many Xbox One consoles as humanly possible this holiday.

However consider the bigger picture for one moment. Microsoft is bringing three of its flagship games out in the same period of time with Halo 5, Forza 6 and possibly Fable Legends, in addition to its biggest timed-exclusive deal in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Sure Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider isn’t Microsoft’s decision as to when it release (good luck against Fallout 4, Lara Croft) but let’s put it under the same banner for the sake of argument.

It’s clear that as far as 2015 is concerned, Sony lacks a definitive answer to that kind of line-up.

Yet Microsoft is going in so mercilessly that it’s just leaving Gears 4 (its last remaining flagship game), Crackdown and Quantum Break for 2016, with Sea of Thieves undetermined. Crackdown may be a nice franchise, but it’s no system seller. Quantum Break could be a big one from Remedy like Alan Wake was, but we don’t know yet.

Nevertheless the point is that 2016 is looking rather thin for Microsoft right now, and it’s not like we can just relax and look to E3 2016, because as mentioned three of the company’s flagship games are releasing this year, and one next year. That’s the entire roster spent. Let’s not stand on ceremony here. We all know historically Microsoft has battled with big, system-seller first-party IPs beyond that, because they don’t have what Sony does, and that hasn’t changed with the Xbox One.

Once the big four are spent system sellers, massive releases or wonders of the Bloodborne mold, however circumstantial, are hard to come by for Microsoft.

The crux of my point is that quite a few have been criticising Sony for their 2016 and beyond focus, yet if we reverse this argument we can also say that Microsoft is perhaps focusing too strongly on the here and now. When considering that Rise of the Tomb Raider will most likely be added to the PS4’s roster in 2016 with additional DLC and whatnot, it’s possible that all-in-all the Xbox One could be facing an insurmountable line-up from Sony and the PS4 next year, with only Gears 4 as an answer. A strong one no doubt, but maybe not enough.

The other concern is that while no one doubts that Forza 6 and Halo 5 will sell buckets, it’s hard not to worry that Rise of the Tomb Raider, as renowned as the franchise is, may suffer some sales lost when faced against the enormous holiday release schedule that includes the scary likes of Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront and others. Perhaps then Microsoft found good fortune in making Fable Legends free to play, because honestly it will have one hell of a tough time surviving at the market against this competition.

We should not also forget the big turning point approaching for Microsoft as well, and that’s the company’s strong focus on the PC going forward, which is something Phil Spencer has been talking about since March this year. While Spencer is lovable for wanting to give gamers unrestricted choice, and it’s excellent for someone like me who is a PC and PS4 gamer, it’s apparent that ‘pure exclusivity’ is definitely under threat for the Xbox One going forward. This won’t matter to the console-only players, but those with more choice may notice, unless Windows 10 integration and cross-play really brings something fantastic. But that’s a topic for another day, in the future.

I admit to having concerns for the Xbox One, as well as the curiosity to see how both Sony and Microsoft’s strategies pan out in the long run. A hike in Xbox One sales is expected this holiday, but how large a hike will it be? The pressure is on there since Microsoft is going all in, and they need to see rewards for that, but at the same time we have to wonder just what will be left for the year ahead. Sure there is Gamescom, but that doesn’t change the predicament of letting three out of four flagship games out the door.

With all this in mind: is Microsoft making a mistake with the Xbox One in 2015?

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GTA V Inspired Fallout 4 http://egmr.net/2015/06/gta-v-inspired-fallout-4/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/gta-v-inspired-fallout-4/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 07:30:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172478 The lovable creature that is Todd Howard, the creative director on Fallout 4 at Bethesda, recently gave an interview with GameSpot. A number of interesting and fun things were discussed, […]

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The lovable creature that is Todd Howard, the creative director on Fallout 4 at Bethesda, recently gave an interview with GameSpot. A number of interesting and fun things were discussed, some jokes were made, and it was nice. But one thing in particular stands out, and that’s when the interviewer asked Howard about the inspirations behind Fallout 4.

Perhaps it may both surprise and not surprise you to hear that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V was a key inspiration behind Fallout 4.

Surely you must be wondering why, unless you’ve just shrugged and figured that Bethesda was inspired by the level of quality of GTA V. Turns out it’s a little bit more than that.

When asked what inspired Fallout 4, Howard responded with:

Well, in our games, we want to give you complete freedom. So, I think of the last few years, I think GTA V had succeeded the most at the same type of thing we try to do. I look at that game and think, “Wow, I just don’t know how they did this.”

That’s what we try to create, that sense of going anywhere and doing anything. GTA V does it so well. It puts you in its world and it makes you its director. It says yes to the player a lot, and that’s what we try to do. It’s just a phenomenal game.

While that is true of GTA V, I think Bethesda deserves enormous credit for the level of freedom they’ve offered in exploration ever since the likes of Oblivion, Skyrim and Fallout 3. Often one of the biggest attractions in these games is just to explore the world and discover locations, quests, loot and interesting NPCs.

Where GTA V may have the edge over Bethesda is perhaps when it comes to density, as often in previous Bethesda games such as Fallout 3 you could run through a whole lot of nothing before you actually find anything of interest, which could sometimes dampen exploration. I mean, there wasn’t an ‘auto walk’ button for no reason…

If I do have a request for Fallout 4 then it wouldn’t just be a larger world, but a more densely packed one, with more content in your moment-to-moment exploration.

You should give the interview a read as it also discusses the average shooting mechanics of Fallout 3 and how the studio manages to keep focus on everything they’re trying to do with Fallout 4.

 

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Nintendo Thought Showing “Wonderful” Footage Of Zelda WiiU Would Disappoint Fans http://egmr.net/2015/06/nintendo-thought-showing-wonderful-footage-of-zelda-wiiu-would-disappoint-fans/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/nintendo-thought-showing-wonderful-footage-of-zelda-wiiu-would-disappoint-fans/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 07:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172474 If you’re wondering what the fuck to think after reading the title of this article, well so am I if I’m being honest. While Nintendo didn’t exactly have the worst […]

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If you’re wondering what the fuck to think after reading the title of this article, well so am I if I’m being honest. While Nintendo didn’t exactly have the worst conference at E3 2015, certainly a large camp of gamers and especially Nintendo fans were extremely disappointed by the lack of anything to cheer. There was a Star Fox game, but then there was also Metroid: Federation Force, which was basically a soccer spin-off that upset some fans so much they petitioned to have it cancelled and amassed over 19,000 signatures so far in that conquest.

While some fans speculated that Nintendo were buying time for focus on their new home console, code named the NX, and others have just flat out said that the company are clueless, it was overall pretty difficult to be in high spirits after watching. It was as though the Wii U wasn’t even a feature, and the entire thing was devoted to the 3DS.

Perhaps the most noteworthy absence from Nintendo’s E3 showing was the Legend of Zelda Wii U, which looked absolutely stunning when it was first revealed. Of course many fans realised that and amidst all the chaos, questioned why the company’s star game was missing from the biggest gaming expo of the year.

Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has sought to explain that, and to put it sweetly it will probably be difficult to wonder what sort of drugs the man has ingested since the E3 conference.

Reggie stated that Nintendo didn’t want to show apparently “wonderful” of The Legend of Zelda Wii U at Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event because the company didn’t want to disappoint fans after the game’s recent delay.

“We where concerned that, by showing wonderful footage of the game, it would lead to further disappointment on behalf of the fans,” said Fils Aime in an interview with GameSpot. “So, that was the judgement call that we made.”

“There will be plenty of other opportunities for us to showcase that game,” he continued, “and certainly for those us that have seen that game–like me–and have seen how the game progressing; no fears, it’s going to be wonderful.”

Try and figure that one out. I wonder if Nintendo at all watched Sony’s conference and saw all the games releasing in 2016 and beyond. No one was quite disappointed with that now were they?

For those who forgot, The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma announced the game’s delay by saying that it’s no longer a “number one priority” for Nintendo in 2015 since announcing at the Game Awards in December 2014.

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Dontnod Reveals Its Open World RPG Vampyr http://egmr.net/2015/06/dontnod-reveals-its-open-world-rpg-vampyr/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/dontnod-reveals-its-open-world-rpg-vampyr/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 10:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172458 Dontnod are known for Remember Me and their recent episodic game Life Is Strange. All the way back in January it was announced that a new game, Vampyr, was in […]

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Dontnod are known for Remember Me and their recent episodic game Life Is Strange. All the way back in January it was announced that a new game, Vampyr, was in development over at the studio, but of course we knew little to nothing about it.

In the wake of all the E3 hype, Dontnod has now released an official concept teaser for the game as well as provided details as to what it’s about. Which is curious since Vampyr is only scheduled to release in 2017 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, which makes it closer to a concept at the moment than a reality.

Vampyr, which is an open world RPG in development with the Unreal Engine 4, is set in the early 20th century where the Spanish flu is running rampant in England. The vampires, if you hadn’t guessed the idea behind ‘Vampyr’ yet, are taking full advantage and stalking the streets of London at night.

 

On the case is Jonathan E. Reid, a high-ranking military surgeon…who also just so happens to be a vampire. But he’s a noble one of course, and has returned home to help the inhabitants. But that doesn’t mean he’s one of those vampires who goes after rabbits instead of people, as Jonathan will also have to feed. All characters in the game are therefore potential victims of his “vampiric lust.”

The developer posted details about the game at length:

Carefully study the habits of your next victim, his or her relationships with other characters, and set up your strategy to feed, unnoticed: seduce them, change their daily habits, or make sure they end up alone in a dark street…

Be careful who you choose to hunt, as they will be gone forever, and their death will impact in a meaningful way the world that surrounds you. Feeding on human blood will not just keep you “alive”; it will also unlock new vampiric powers to use.

There will be times when exploration and seduction will only get you so far, and you’ll need to resort to engaging in Vampyr’s dynamic real-time combat. It blends hard-hitting melee combat with ranged shooting mechanics and the supernatural vampire powers. You’ll face many types of enemies: different species of vampires and creatures, as well as vampire hunters who want to hunt you down with their weapons, tools and traps.

In Vampyr, your health and the “energy” that drives your supernatural powers are one and same! Using powers will drain your own blood, giving you an edge in battle but also leaving you weaker. You will have to find a way to feed during combat to replenish your strength.

Vampyr also offers a deep crafting system. Find and loot materials and components from the fresh corpses of your victims or during exploration, in order to craft and improve tools, melee and ranged weapons, as well as special ammunitions and coating to exploit the weaknesses of your enemies.

Player decisions will ultimately shape the fate of  Johnathan , so choose wisely.

Vampyr will only be out in 2017, so if it appeals strongly to you, you may want to direct your attention to something a bit closer to release.

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Why PS4 Won’t Follow Xbox One’s Lead With Backwards Compatibility http://egmr.net/2015/06/why-ps4-wont-follow-xbox-ones-lead-with-backwards-compatibility/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/why-ps4-wont-follow-xbox-ones-lead-with-backwards-compatibility/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 09:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172449 There’s little doubt that one of the many big surprises at E3 was the announcement from Microsoft that the Xbox One will be supporting backwards compatibility in future. While the […]

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There’s little doubt that one of the many big surprises at E3 was the announcement from Microsoft that the Xbox One will be supporting backwards compatibility in future. While the list of supported games is very small right now, it’s expected to grow massively by the end of the year and in future. As soon as the big announcement was made, many were wondering what Sony’s response would be especially since they’re using a subscription-based service PlayStation Now to allow for backwards compatibility.

However anyone knows that backwards compatibility is no simple science, and Sony has on two separate occasions provided reasons as to why they won’t be following in Microsoft’s footsteps to offer backwards compatibility in the same way.

The first of these came directly in response to Microsoft’s E3 conference, where Jim Ryan, Head of PlayStation Europe, stated that PlayStation has no intention of doing what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox One.

Ryan, talking to MCV (via VG247) about the Xbox One backwards compatibility announcement, said “It is an entirely legitimate approach, and if you are seeking to upgrade 360 owners to Xbox One, it is a very logical approach to take.”

Ryan pointed out that the Xbox announcement wasn’t very clear on how the feature would work, “I suspect there might be a few twists in that particular tale. But we will see”.

He confirmed that Sony would instead be investing in software updates such as SharePlay, Play as you Download and Suspend/Resume features.

“Unfortunately there are just not sufficent enough software engineers in the world for everyone to do everything. Each platform holder has to make their choices, we made one and they made another. Their choice is entirely legitimate, and I think our choice is legitimate, too. In some ways it is quite nice to have points of difference between the two platforms, and people will decide which approach suits them best.”

Specifically addressing backwards compatibility as a feature of consoles, Ryan said “We have experience of backwards compatibility. The earliest PS3 model was backwards compatible with PS2, and it is a much requested feature… but actually it’s not so greatly used.

“On balance, we are happy with our approach and we don’t wish to be defensive about it at all. But as I say, both approaches are legitimate.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard that the inclusion of backwards compatibility is nice, but it apparently doesn’t end up being used a whole lot.

The second of PlayStation responses came from Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment’s head of world wide studios, a day or so later via Polygon.

“The backward compatibility news was interesting,” said Yoshida. “The technology involved must be very challenging.

“I’m interested in seeing the list of titles.”

Earlier in this E3 week Xbox head of publishing Shannon Loftis said that the Xbox One will basically be running an Xbox 360 emulatror and that the decision for backwards compatibility was driven by Microsoft’s desire to offer more options to gamers. Microsoft aims to have about a hundred games supported by backwards compatibility by this holiday.

“I still play some Xbox 360 titles,” she said. “I love them and I have a big investment in them, both emotionally and financially.”

Yoshida was impressed by the backwards compatibility announcement, but he was adamant that it doesn’t change anything about the PS4’s decision to not go down that exact same route.

“The announcement didn’t change,” he said, “I don’t think we will change our approach. The PlayStation 4 doesn’t have backward compatibility.”

Echoing Jim Ryan, Yoshida said that Sony will focus on creating new services and new features on PS4, such as the new media player that people have been requesting. Yoshida cited PlayStation Now as the answer to backwards compatibility at present, and Sony’s direction with it.

“PlayStation Now works surprisingly well,” Yoshida said. “But the primary purpose of that project was to create a new network service that could be used to bring PlayStation games to multiple devices including non-PlayStation devices, like Sony and Samsung televisions.

“That is an example of our adding and creating new services and initiatives.”

Polygon directly asked Yoshida why Sony doesn’t want to do backwards compatibility, and the response was unsurprising and straightforward.

“Backward compatibility is hard,” he said. “I won’t say we’ll never do it, but it’s not an easy thing to do.

“If it was easy we would have done that.”

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And The Lead Platform For Star Wars Battlefront Is…Not Surprising http://egmr.net/2015/06/and-the-lead-platform-for-star-wars-battlefront-is-not-surprising/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/and-the-lead-platform-for-star-wars-battlefront-is-not-surprising/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 08:30:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172443 Star Wars Battlefront was one of the biggest and most anticipated games at E3 2015, and after EA’s terribly boring conference we were finally treated to the first ever gameplay […]

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Star Wars Battlefront was one of the biggest and most anticipated games at E3 2015, and after EA’s terribly boring conference we were finally treated to the first ever gameplay of it. And then some more at Sony’s press conference. While Star Wars Battlefront will be arriving on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in November this year, obviously many fans wonder which will be the lead platform for the game, since that often determines which one the game favours.

Turns out that the lead platform for Star Wars Battlefront isn’t at all surprising and is probably what you expected. It’s the PS4 of course, which would explain DICE’s Sony love at E3 this year, and the game’s demonstration actually being on PS4.

While I’m personally going to be playing the game on PC, because shooters and the master race go very well together for me, I’m sure those in the Sony camp would be happy to hear that.

The news comes from PS4 Daily, who spoke to an EA rep at the show floor at E3 2015. The representative told the site that “PS4 is the lead platform for now”, adding naturally that this reason is why EA chose to demonstrate the first gameplay on the console. At the moment development builds of Star Wars Battlefront are all on PS4s, which would be the build showcased at E3 this year.

PS4 Daily reports that at EA’s booth on the E3 show floor it was only visible that Star Wars Battlefront was on PS4 consoles, and the site didn’t see any Xbox One setups.

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The List Of Games With Playable Females Has Grown Again With Forza 6 http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-list-of-games-with-playable-females-has-grown-again-with-forza-6/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-list-of-games-with-playable-females-has-grown-again-with-forza-6/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 08:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172436 I’ve been making jokes for some time now that even though it’s great to see more player choice and more female protagonists, it’s rather funny how developers have been repeatedly […]

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I’ve been making jokes for some time now that even though it’s great to see more player choice and more female protagonists, it’s rather funny how developers have been repeatedly emphasising that their game has playable females. Even when it comes to the likes of Fallout 4, where Bethesda has always allowed for one, as well as in The Elder Scrolls.

I suppose all the criticism and flak Ubisoft got over its silly comments about animating female characters before Unity released, and the growing emphasis on representation in games, was bound to inspire something. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has a playable female protagonist, Dishonored 2 has made it a big selling point, Guerilla Games’ new IP Horizon has a female lead, EA is advertising female soccer clubs as a selling point in FIFA 16, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will let you play as other characters besides Snake, and Bethesda made a point of mentioning it in their conference about Fallout 4. Even Batman: Arkham Knight has Batgirl featured in a future story expansion.

The news today is that there’s another game which is talking up playable female characters, and it’s none other than Turn 10’s Forza 6. Yes people, playable female cars is at last a reality!

Oops. I meant your avatar slash driver can now be a female. Forza 6 will give players a choice between male and female drivers for the first time in Turn 10’s racing franchise. This comes from creative director Bill Giese, who told IGN at E3 2015.

“For the first time, yes, in Forza Motorsport 6 you will be able to change your driver,” Giese said. “And you’ll be able to choose between a male or female driver. For the last two years, as we start to learn our playerbase, and especially with Forza Horizon 2.

“The great thing about Horizon is that it’s fun, open-world and really approachable. It’s bombastic. And even this past week we’ve seen I can’t tell you how many female players who’ve said they got in [to the Xbox booth] to see Forza. So it’s important for us that we embrace that and let those players be able to express themselves [in Forza Motorsport 6].”

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Fallout 4 Is So Massive Even Its Creators Haven’t Seen It All http://egmr.net/2015/06/fallout-4-is-so-massive-even-its-creators-havent-seen-it-all/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/fallout-4-is-so-massive-even-its-creators-havent-seen-it-all/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 08:30:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172406 The huge news that Fallout 4 would be releasing in November certainly blew shit sideways for gamers. Now all people want to know is how big this game is compared […]

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The huge news that Fallout 4 would be releasing in November certainly blew shit sideways for gamers. Now all people want to know is how big this game is compared to its predecessors. Well, if you consider the Bethesda team a trustworthy source on this, then the answer is that Fallout 4 is apparently freaking massive.

Apparently it’s so damn massive that even some of the game’s creators haven’t seen everything within.

Members of the Fallout 4 development team, speaking at a Bethesda-staffed presentation at E3, talked up the experience of getting lost in a gigantic world of their own making, strongly hinting that Fallout 4 and its post-apocalyptic Boston may just be bigger than all previous Bethesda games.

“I’ve played the game probably 400 hours, and I’m still finding stuff that I haven’t seen yet,” lead producer Jeff Gardiner noted.

Game director Todd Howard, resident favourite of ours after his performance at E3 during Bethesda’s conference, also described the experience of exploring the world during development like this: “I’ll be playing the game and run into something and be like, ‘Who built this? What is this? It’s so big!'”

This just in, folks. Fallout 4 will be huge!

It will also be out in November on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, with full mod support for PC and Xbox One. We’ve yet to hear about PS4.

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Dark Souls III Is Apparently Unafraid Of Series Fatigue http://egmr.net/2015/06/dark-souls-iii-is-apparently-unafraid-of-series-fatigue/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/dark-souls-iii-is-apparently-unafraid-of-series-fatigue/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 08:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172403 There’s little doubt that From Software delivers quality experiences, with the latest game from them, Bloodborne, being one of the best of the year and one of the PS4’s strongest […]

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There’s little doubt that From Software delivers quality experiences, with the latest game from them, Bloodborne, being one of the best of the year and one of the PS4’s strongest points so far. With Bloodborne having released in March this year, you can’t blame some people for feeling that Dark Souls III is perhaps coming a bit too early, but despite that it’s here.

Dark Souls III was suggested to be the final game in the series thanks to a press release that came with the announcement trailer, where the game was described as the “final episode” in the franchise. However it didn’t take long for Bloodborne and Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki to assure us that this isn’t the case.

The news came from a recent E3 roundtable interview between Miyazaki and VideoGamer.com and others, in which the creator clarified that Dark Souls III is “not the final product for the Dark Souls series”, but instead it’s a turning point for both the franchise and developer From Software.

As to what that turning point is, we don’t know yet, but there were murmurs on the internet that the next game could go open world, which is a little funny since some are talking about that genre experiencing oversaturation at the moment. Although it can’t be surprising given that new tech allows for so many new possibilities.

Clearly however Dark Souls III and From Software aren’t afraid of series fatigue at all.

In other Dark Souls III related news, Miyazaki spoke to Famitsu in an interview, which was translated by Gematsu (via VG247), in which the creator stated that Dark Souls III follows closely from Dark Souls 2 in terms of design, and that From Software kept “the handy things.”

The combat itself appears to be faster than its predecessors, but not exactly Bloodborne’s offensive-focused style.

“We’ve expanded the character builder and tactical options without sacrificing the feel of the series. We added new action elements that contribute to the sense of role-playing,” he said.

“For instance, we adopted the concept of rapid fire for the short bow, and the animation between rolling and walking has been smoothed out. I don’t think we’re going to employ the idea of agility, otherwise the action would be stressful until you raise your stats.”

He added that Dark Souls III will have “slightly less maps” than Dark Souls 2, but each individual map will have a much larger scale.

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Hitman Demands Publisher Trust We Don’t Have http://egmr.net/2015/06/hitman-demands-publisher-trust-we-dont-have/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/hitman-demands-publisher-trust-we-dont-have/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 11:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172369 The Hitman franchise is one of my favourite in gaming. In particular Hitman: Blood Money is one of my all-time best games, and encapsulates everything I look to do in […]

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The Hitman franchise is one of my favourite in gaming. In particular Hitman: Blood Money is one of my all-time best games, and encapsulates everything I look to do in my leisure time. Perhaps that’s a bit more revealing of my character than I’d like to admit, but it’s the truth. I can’t count the number of times I’ve replayed that game, and I even thought Hitman: Absolution was a pretty great game despite the criticisms I had of it. However after I was set to part ways with my man juices when Square Enix stepped up to unveil the first gameplay for the new Hitman at E3 this year, miraculously it never came (pun unintentional) to that, despite Hitman being one of the games I wanted to see most.

Why is that though? The little bits of gameplay they showed and the details they revealed certainly pointed towards a classic Hitman. The kills demoed perfectly illustrated what made us fall in love with the series, especially that last one where 47 dropped a mother-load of debris on top of some sod’s head. Yet for me everything came to a stand-still the moment it was revealed what kind of model the game will be going with. There are still those who are confused, so let me briefly explain using information from this link. From what I gather the new Hitman game will release in December this year sort of incomplete. Then, much like an MMO-style or basically Hitman: Destiny, more content will be added post-launch to conclude the initial story in 2016 as well as spice up the game with new locations, new targets, updates, tweaks and content. Basically it will be endless targets to kill Hitman-style, with Contracts mode giving players means to extend lifespan and connect with others.

Now on paper that sounds fantastic, and as though Hitman could never run out of steam. Sadly the reality is that publishers just don’t have our trust for this kind of model. There’s a strong emphasis on and demand for getting complete games at launch, with post-launch content being a means to extend the game rather than actually complete it. Ideally we want post-release content to be optional, transparent and reasonably priced to get more out of a game we love, not a necessity and the backbone of the entire thing. As an example of ‘reasonable pricing’ and transparency, just recently there was ire from the community over the Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass being $40 without us even knowing what the hell we’re getting, which forced Warner Bros to detail it. The bottom line to all of this is that people are uncomfortable with paying for uncertainty in today’s market, especially given what we know publishers and content creators are capable of.

Unfortunately I can’t excuse Hitman simply because it’s one of my favourite games, and that’s what makes it painful. One of my greatest criticisms of Destiny was that it demanded your $60 and featured extremely pricey expansions before we even knew what on earth we were paying for, let alone whether Destiny itself was actually any good, and there was nothing to go on regarding what kind of game it would turn out to be or whether the future content would even be worth it. Destiny itself at launch turned out to be so bare-boned and stripped dry of substance that the promise of future content seemed like the go-to excuse for mediocrity now and some kind of imaginary utopia later. Returning to Hitman, likewise with the current proposed model we have no idea what we will get for the $60 investment, especially since it appears that the initial story itself will only be completed in 2016.

The Hitman game is already up for pre-order for $60 on Steam, yet its entire model goes against that kind of pricing as you may not be paying for a full game, and there’s barely any detail out as it is. Of course the difference between Destiny and Hitman is that the latter actually has an established fanbase while Destiny did nothing to earn our trust or devotion prior to launch. However this is Square Enix we’re talking about, one of the most clueless publishers out there, and now we’re willing to trust them on the kind of model we wouldn’t trust anywhere else? Fair enough we should give it a chance because it’s trying something new for the series, and we can’t be totally resistant to change. But it’s not actually the idea of the game itself that I’m rejecting. As I said earlier this idea for an ever-evolving Hitman that is all about the intelligent murders on a huge scale with a consistent stream of new content is an awesome one, but that’s purely on paper. The reality is: is the initial $60 investment going to be worth it, and will the future content actually justify making such an investment in the first place?

The final issue, on top of everything else, is that despite having an idea of what the content model for the game is, we don’t have any clue whatsoever regarding what kind of pricing model it will follow. How much future content will be free? Will Hitman be borderline extortionate like Destiny and charge $30 for not-much extra content? What kind of role will microtransactions play, if any? Despite the revelation that weapons and gear will be unlockable through performing well in missions, will future weapons and levels be locked behind a paywall? If the initial storyline is only going to be completed in 2016, are we actually going to pay extra to finish the story mode of a single player game past the $60 investment?

I wish I could throw my concerns out of the window and just let the hype flow through me that Hitman in its true form is back. Hype and the promise of a future utopia are powerful agents to the uninitiated, but we are initiated, aren’t we publishers? Titanfall and Destiny were two massive moments in gaming history where I permanently swore off hype at the cost of facing reality, and it’s more difficult than ever to do it with one of my all-time favourite games. But I can’t just dive head-first into this and expect it will all work out alright. History has taught me enough. That’s why the new Hitman game certainly has my attention, but it doesn’t have my money just yet.

 

Update

It’s been brought to my attention on Twitter that IO Interactive has confirmed that post-launch content will be free after the $60 investment. Information on Hitman has been fairly difficult to find, but the source I’ve found on this so far is from Game Informer, where Hannes Seifert, Studio Head at Io-Interactive, talked about the proposed model for the game and said the following:

“This is new ground for Hitman, coming out digital first enables us to do something new, bold and exciting,” said Seifert, “We are building a live, expanding and evolving world of assassination where we continuously develop the game, listening closely to the players as we release new locations, missions and hits as soon as they are ready – where $60 and not a dollar more gets you full access to the experience.”

If this is true and Hitman lives up to this it would largely put my concerns to bed, but until we actually see this being delivered it will remain difficult for me to buy in immediately, as I’m not yet confident I know enough about this game to drop a $60 investment, and furthermore the issues of uncertainty and whether the post-launch content will be worth it remain. It also seems a bit optimistic to assume all content will be completely free, so we have yet to see what kind of ‘optional’ paid content will exist, and at what point in 2016 the game will begin to charge for extras, if it will. I suppose then the primary concern simply rests with uncertainty, but things are undoubtedly looking a little better at this point.

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E3 2015: Sony’s Conference Shocks The World http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-sonys-conference-shocks-the-world/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-sonys-conference-shocks-the-world/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172297 The consensus for this year’s E3 has largely been that it’s been one of the best we’ve had in many years. Aside from EA pretty much everyone brought it this […]

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The consensus for this year’s E3 has largely been that it’s been one of the best we’ve had in many years. Aside from EA pretty much everyone brought it this year and all in all it’s a wonderful time to be a gamer. If you’re one of those humans who simply could not stay up for Sony’s E3 conference because it was at an absurd time or you were just exhausted from everything before, don’t fret because everything you could have possibly missed will be right here in this round-up to follow. If you’re coming in here completely blind and without any knowledge of what transpired, you may have take a moment to prepare your body.

Below you’ll find Sony’s E3 announcements, condensed for your easy reading, but detailed enough to adequately explain to you exactly how Sony shocked the world with their conference.

The Last Guardian

Jaws fell through solid ground when out of nowhere Sony kicked off its conference by finally unveiling The Last Guardian for PS4. It’s alive, it’s real and it’s here. All those years of insisting it wasn’t cancelled and it was still being worked on finally paid off, and we were told by those who attended the E3 conference that the atmosphere was simply electric when it was revealed. Sony’s own Yoshida could barely contain his simultaneous relief and excitement about the game.

A seven minute gameplay segment for The Last Guardian was shown off at the conference, and we were also told that the game would be released in 2016, although your mind may not be completely comforted by the fact that there was nothing more specific than that.

However we did get an official press release which gave details on the game:

In a strange and mystical land, a young boy discovers a mysterious creature with which he forms a deep,unbreakable bond. The unlikely pair must rely on each other to journey through towering, treacherousruins filled with unknown dangers. Experience the journey of a lifetime in this touching, emotional storyof friendship and trust.

Key features include:

  • An Unlikely Companion: Discover a fantastical beast named Trico who will act as companion and protector, forging a bond that drives an emotional and harrowing journey.
  • Truly Unique Gameplay: Take control of an ordinary young boy who must communicate with hisgigantic companion in order to overcome obstacles and survive mysterious dangers.
  • A Beautiful Fantasy World: Through advanced lighting and particle effects, detailed environments, and lifelike character animation, Blackbird transports players to a breathtaking world filled with crumbling ruins and mysterious secrets to discover.

 

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Up until this point Guerilla Games, the developers of the successful Killzone franchise, have been rather hush-hush about their new IP for the PS4. Early on in Sony’s presser it was officially revealed as Horizon: Zero Dawn, which will be an open world RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world, aiming for release in 2016.

In addition to the showcase which contains both gameplay and an introduction to the game’s premise, we also have the official press information for more:

Horizon Zero Dawn is an exhilarating new action role playing game exclusively for the PlayStation 4 system, developed by the award winning Guerrilla Games, creators of PlayStation’s venerated Killzone franchise. As Horizon Zero Dawn’s main protagonist Aloy, a skilled hunter, explore a vibrant and lush world inhabited by mysterious mechanized creatures. Embark on a compelling, emotional journey and unravel mysteries of tribal societies, ancient artifacts and advanced technologies that will determine the fate of this planet, and of life itself.

Key features of the game include:

  • A Lush Post-Apocalyptic World – How have machines come to dominate this world, and what is their purpose? What happened to the civilization here before? Scour every corner of a realm filled with ancient relics and mysterious buildings in order to uncover your past and unearth the many secrets of a forgotten land.
  • Nature and Machines Collide – Horizon Zero Dawn juxtaposes two contrasting elements, taking a vibrant world rich with beautiful nature and filling it with awe-inspiring highly advanced technology. This marriage creates a dynamic combination for both exploration and gameplay.
  • Defy Overwhelming Odds – The foundation of combat in Horizon Zero Dawn is built upon the speed and cunning of Aloy versus the raw strength and size of the machines. In order to overcome a much larger and technologically superior enemy, Aloy must use every ounce of her knowledge, intelligence, and agility to survive each encounter.
  • Cutting Edge Open World Tech: Stunningly detailed forests, imposing mountains, and atmospheric ruins of a bygone civilization meld together in a landscape that is alive with changing weather and a day/night cycle.

 

Hitman

Square Enix took an opportunity at Sony’s E3 press conference to formally announce the new Hitman game, much to my personal delight. While no gameplay at all was shown, as it’s hopefully being saved for the Square Enix conference, we did get a few details concerning the game which explained its presence at Sony’s presser. The game, which will be coming to consoles and PC at an undetermined date, will release digitally first with an exclusive beta on PS4 for those who pre-order the game.

Of course Square calls this Hitman game the “most ambitious Hitman ever released”, but we don’t know much other than that it’s inspired by Blood Money, has you hunt and kill targets like the Hitman of old and seems to, from the trailer, feature a younger-looking 47, although that could just be the CGI being awkward. Give the cinematic trailer up above a watch if you’re so inclined.

 

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Nothing I could possibly put in writing will prepare your body for this if you weren’t watching the conference last night. All that can be said is that after eighteen years and three PlayStation consoles, the true Final Fantasy VII remake is at last upon us. It’s not a port, it’s not an HD upgrade, it’s a real remake. The first official trailer was shown to leave nothing up to the imagination or doubt. Bear in mind however that the game is not a PS4 exclusive, but rather will arrive “first on PS4″ which obviously indiciates that it will be a timed exclusive. We don’t know the extent of it or whether it will release on both Xbox One and PC, but time will tell on that. For now I doubt the world cares about anything else other than the fact that Final Fantasy VII the remake lives.

 

Dreams

Media Molecule, the creators of LittleBigPlanet, finally emerged from the shadows to announce and showcase the game they’ve been working on, aptly titled Dreams. The game was purposefully advertised as being vague as Media Molecule wanted people to simply watch and let their imaginations run a bit wild, but Dreams will be the next step in their idea of ‘play, create and share’, and will involve players exploring and sharing the dreams of others. If you’re a bit lost on what that entails, give the trailer up above a watch and allow yourself to be just as puzzled and/or intrigued as we are.

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Another huge piece of news from Sony was that Call of Duty has officially moved its home over to PlayStation. Activision not only revealed the first gameplay for Call of Duty: Black Ops III during Sony’s press conference, but also confirmed that the PlayStation platforms will get all the map packs first as well as first access to the game’s multiplayer beta, much like the Xbox used to receive back when Call of Duty was over on the green side.

A stand-out feature of Black Ops III is the four player co-op which was showcased in the footage above, but bear in mind that last generation consoles will only support two players.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III will be out on November 6.

 

Shenmue 3

If it wasn’t unbelievable already there was another shock to complete the trio of brain blasters. Yu Suzuki stepped up during Sony’s E3 conference to officially announce a Kickstarter campaign for the desperately desired Shenmue 3, which is the sequel to a fan-favourite franchise that appeared on Sega’s Dreamcast two entire generations ago.

The Kickstarter campaign stated that were the game to reach its goal of $2,000,000 it would release on PC and PS4, with no Xbox One version mentioned. In what turned out to be an absolutely astounding turn of events, by the end of Sony’s press conference Shenmue 3 had already raised $540,000, more than a quarter of its goal, and at present it’s over a million, which is more than half way.

Shenmue 3 got a short but sweet trailer at E3, and you can check it out above.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

What would Sony’s press conference have been without Naughty Dog making an appearance? After a slightly embarrassing stuff-up where the demo for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End ran into a little technical problem and had to restart, we were treated to a solid segment of gameplay that looked beautiful and like business as usual for the series, with all the lovable wit and action included.

You can check out the breath-taking footage up above, and take note of early 2016 for when the game will release on PS4.

 

Star Wars: Battlefront

While we got the official gameplay reveal during EA’s press conference, E3 wasn’t quite done yet with Star Wars: Battlefront. During Sony’s presser the game returned to debut the first mission-based gameplay of Battlefront, and these are experiences that you can either play alone or with friends in split screen or online co-op. The footage in question gives you a look at the Battle of Jakku free DLC, which DICE is rather proud of considering that it’s their own original content.

 

The Rest

There were a few other games shown that took up less time and space, and so only a trailer is really relevant. There’s RIGS, which is a Project Morpheus shooter:

Street Fighter V from Capcom was determined to make at least an appearance, and it did with a trailer that revealed both characters Birdie and Cammy and showed off their moves. Pre-ordering the game gives PS4 owners exclusive access to the game’s beta which will run from July 23rd to July 28th, but there’s a few irksome things to do if you’re using European servers, which involve going through the game’s official website and following the various steps corresponding to your region. Fear not if you’re a PC gamer though, because you’ll be able to get your hands on the beta if you pre-order Street Fighter V through Steam.

From small developer Campo Santo an interesting Wyoming-based adventure game called Firewatch was revealed during Sony’s E3 conference, and it will be making its console debut on the PS4. The game has a tentative release date of 2015, and will involve a mystery of some kind, but it’s best if you give the footage a watch below and see if it interests you:

One of the most interesting and exciting games of this entire console generation, No Man’s Sky from Hello Games, returned during Sony’s presser to showcase brand new gameplay that focused on the enormous scale of the game thanks to its procedurally generated environments and massive amounts of planets and worlds. Give it a watch down below for sure.

If you still care about Destiny, Bungie showed off a new trailer for the upcoming expansion pack The Taken King, which will be out on September 15 this year. Those on PS4 will have exclusive access to the Sco-op strike in addition to exclusive gear, because that’s exciting right?

On the more adorable, creepy and weird side of things was the newly announced World of Final Fantasy, which is a crossover game that will make its debut on PS4 and Vita. We don’t know a lot about the game at this point, but we know it’s damn cute so there’s that.

If Disney Infinity at all matters to you then you may be pleased to know that the PS4 version of Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter pack will be releasing a month ahead of other platforms, and it will include The Rise Against the Republic playset. The Starter pack will also come with a figure of Boba Fett the bounty hunter, as an exclusive to PS4 this year, whereas other platforms will get the character in 2016. Disney Infinity 3.0 will be releasing on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Android and iOS later in 2015.

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E3 2015 May Be The Most Cynical Yet http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-may-be-the-most-cynical-yet/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-may-be-the-most-cynical-yet/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172082 E3 2015 is officially kicking off, with Bethesda having taken the initiative to carry out their first ever conference well before anyone else. While excitement and hype levels are always ridiculously […]

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E3 2015 is officially kicking off, with Bethesda having taken the initiative to carry out their first ever conference well before anyone else. While excitement and hype levels are always ridiculously high come this time of year, and we all succumb to being children drooling over new prospects, there has been change in the air and the events leading up to this E3 do indicate that we perhaps may be looking at a more cynical and closely scrutinized event than we’ve had in years. Make no mistake, we’re going to see some of the biggest and most exciting games in ages – the real launch to this new generation – and yet still, we may also see the most cynical side of gamers yet. And you know, it may not actually be a bad thing, even if it will inevitably lead to divide among the gamer camp, as well as more than a few accusations that some people are just impossible to please.

In recent history we’ve had big discussions on the subject of graphical downgrades post-E3, which kicked off all the way back with Ubisoft and their Watch Dogs and The Division demos, and most recently involved CD Projekt RED and The Witcher 3, with a little bit of the graphics scrutinisation dripping over to Fallout 4’s reveal. People have come to expect that what we see at E3 is not necessarily what we will get, and I think no matter who you are the general consensus is that gamers want some kind of transparency and honesty. While that did lead to Fallout 4 getting criticised for being graphically underwhelming in its reveal, and furthermore Assassin’s Creed Syndicate pulling that cheap ‘alpha gameplay’ stunt, there’s little doubt that a lot of people want to see truer representations of games. These downgrade sagas will absolutely lead to many games at this year’s E3 getting scrutinised and doubted regarding whether the final products will match what is advertised.

Already we saw questions being raised over whether the new Doom from Bethesda will look as it did in its too pristine albeit excellent gameplay blowout, and I discussed as much in my earlier overview of Bethesda’s conference. I suspect that we will see a lot more scrutiny and doubt over the still-to-be-shown games, and a lot of it will most likely happen during Ubisoft’s press conference, since they’ve become rather notorious for it after Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy’s The Division. The doubt itself will be prevalent especially since we’re seeing even the likes of CD Projekt RED and Naughty Dog come under the magnifying glass for their recent E3 showings, and it’s going to make for one queasy E3 at times. Is it deserved? Well it would be hard to argue that it’s not warranted at the very least, but it’s part of what will detract from the whole “can’t we just enjoy games” crowd.

However it’s not just graphics that will be at the forefront of scrutiny and cynicism. The ‘social justice warriors’, as they are so irritatingly named, have been in full swing in recent times over representation, gender equality, racism and sexism in gaming. The latest to be criticised over it by some camps is of course The Witcher 3, which seems to be at the center of everything lately, due to it being allegedly sexist towards women and pretty absent of colour diversity. While I strongly disagree with these criticisms, it’s obvious that the industry has taken strong note of the presence of these social issues in our gaming, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who noticed the emphasis Bethesda put on being able to play as a female character in both Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2, despite the former always offering that choice, and the almost immediate pushback from the likes of FemFreq and co over the new Doom being too violent. While the former cases of gender choice should be celebrated, because player choice is excellent where applicable, I can’t help but feel that going forward into all the rest of the conferences we’ll surely see a lot of draining discussion over what is, isn’t, what ought to be, and what should not. We’ll also no doubt see emphasis and attention given to some of these aspects during the games’ respective PR speeches as well, for better or worse, and the end result is more hoops for companies to jump through and more boxes to tick off in their PR service, rather than real change and progression, which is evident in gaming if you look for it.

Is this a sign that gaming is growing up, or that people can’t be pleased? I’m against cop outs like the latter, because critical reception and discussion and sales are still pretty decent indicators of what is perceived as quality or at the very least what holds consumer interest. Some of these may not be discussions you necessarily like to have, but we’re eons past the point where gaming is a fun little hobby, and it’s now a mature enough entertainment industry and art form that we should encourage critique and growth. But is this the right or fair direction for it all? On the one hand, have these discussions by all means, as freedom of expression in art should be encouraged within and without. On the other, perhaps pick your battles more wisely, like ones over whether the new Doom is too violent, for hell’s sake. Pick a better one than that, Fem Freq and conspirators. But overall I worry when discussions like this start to step dangerously close to dictating what should or should not be allowed in gaming or art in general, and it’s here where I begin to draw the line.

Perhaps I’m speaking in advance here, because I foresee games at E3 being criticised by the social justice camp and a lot of negativity surrounding many of the upcoming reveals and announcements. And as a writer I’m from a camp where I believe that freedom of expression should be without restraint. Quality and meaning is always up for debate and is free for all to discuss and interpret, but the content of art should not be at anyone’s discretion but the artist. And more so we shouldn’t feel bad as an audience for enjoying or extracting value from the art, whatever it may be. Is that an insane view? Maybe. I mean sure we all love diversity and more representation and ideally more choices, but I think we lose connection to the art once we start telling artists what they should do, and we end up with some ‘forced’ inclusion (Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s marketing), unnecessary PR (Assassin’s Creed Syndicate again in its press content), average try-hards (remember Remember Me?), subtle crowd-pleasing emphasis (Bethesda during Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2 reveals) and political babble, which we very much see today. We can encourage more inclusion, diversity and growth, but should not demand it of games to the point that it becomes done to cater to social crowds rather than out of artistic vision. When social matters become something else on the AAA checklist, I’d say that’s when we’ve actually failed to grow up games.

The bottom line is that whether it’s going to be on the subject of downgrades, social issues or general bullshit detection, E3 2015 is poised for equal parts excitement and cynicism, and one can’t say that it hasn’t been a long time coming and isn’t warranted. Whether it’s evidence of a smarter or more aware audience or a failing on behalf of the leaders of gaming, we’re at a more advanced time in the era of gaming than we were in the past, and it’s going to be difficult to bring the childlike love of gaming to the reality of today’s culture. So strap in folks, for what just may be the most simultaneously exciting and cynical E3 yet.

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