#egmr » Azhar http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Xbox Gold Not Required For EA Access If You’re A Lonely Gamer http://egmr.net/2014/07/xbox-gold-required-ea-access-youre-lonely-gamer/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/xbox-gold-required-ea-access-youre-lonely-gamer/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152887 Yesterday we gave you all the details on EA’s new subscription service, EA Access, which charges you monthly or yearly for some free games, some discounts to new games and […]

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Yesterday we gave you all the details on EA’s new subscription service, EA Access, which charges you monthly or yearly for some free games, some discounts to new games and a try-before-you-buy feature for select titles. However, it will  be exclusive to Xbox One because according to Sony they snubbed it for lacking value. Or, that could just be PR in light of EA snubbing them in favour of their love affair with Microsoft. I’ll leave that for you fine people to think about.

Anyway, my biggest concern with the whole thing was the idea of having an additional subscription fee, because one is definitely enough for me, thanks. Turns out though, according to EA, that you can indulge in EA Access without having an Xbox Gold account, but obviously that will exclude you from multiplayer.

“Any Xbox One gamer can join EA Access and take advantage of the benefits of membership,” said an EA representative to Joystiq. “In order to connect to multiplayer gameplay on the Xbox One platform you will need a subscription to Xbox Gold.”

So for all those recluses and antisocial humans out there who don’t believe in online play, you won’t need that subscription to get in on EA Access.

The jury is still out on this one, but it’s EA so cynicism is more than healthy - it’s potentially life saving.

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Destiny: How Many Players Did The Beta Attract? http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-many-players-beta-attract/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-many-players-beta-attract/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:30:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152741 You might have read my recent coverage on the Destiny beta, in which I spoke of what I appreciated, what I didn’t and what I felt was lacking from the […]

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You might have read my recent coverage on the Destiny beta, in which I spoke of what I appreciated, what I didn’t and what I felt was lacking from the experience at present. Regardless of those opinions, if there’s one certainty it’s that the beta excited many fans around the world, and perhaps you’re now wondering just how many exactly.

Well, Activision has stepped up to remind the world that they’re publishing Bungie’s Destiny by revealing the numbers. Is your body ready, scientifically, spiritually, physically and sexually?

The Destiny beta attracted a humongous 4,638,937 unique players, according to Activision.

To give you some context, the public beta commenced on July 17 on PlayStation consoles, and on July 22 on Xbox consoles. It ended on July 27.

That’s certainly a lot of players for a ten-day period that had limited access, especially when all the Xbox gamers could only jam for five of those days. The beta became open to all in the final two days.

The numbers look good, and it’s also worth pointing out that the Destiny beta provided registered players with three download codes so that they could invite two friends to party up with them.

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said: “This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date.

“Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we’re thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what’s to come. We’re counting down the days to our launch day.”

Bungie chief operating officer Pete Parsons added: “We were totally blown away by the number of people who played the beta. We surpassed even our own goals and the feedback was invaluable.

“We cannot thank the community enough, the response was humbling and in the weeks ahead we’ll be working hard to ensure that Destiny lives up to the expectations at launch.”

Destiny will be out on September 9 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Hopefully a PC version will come out next year.

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Ninja Theory Isn’t Dead, Will Reveal New IP ‘Soon’ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ninja-theory-isnt-dead-will-reveal-new-ip-soon/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ninja-theory-isnt-dead-will-reveal-new-ip-soon/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:45:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152728 Do you remember Ninja Theory? They’re the developers responsible for PS3 exclusive Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and most recently the controversial DmC: Devil May Cry. I presumed them […]

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Do you remember Ninja Theory? They’re the developers responsible for PS3 exclusive Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and most recently the controversial DmC: Devil May Cry.

I presumed them to be dead (as I do anyone who has disappeared for a very long period of time), but Ninja Theory has finally emerged from the shadows, or should I say spirit world, to state that it will be revealing a new IP ‘soon’.

Basically, an announcement that there will be an announcement.

The Cambridge-based UK studio said on Twitter this week. “Cannot wait to show off some new Ninja work. It’s been too long.”

Ninja Theory later added: “We’ll be announcing a new project soon, which is a new IP.”

If it’s a new IP, then what has happened to DmC: Devil May Cry? My guess is Capcom will bring in new guys and then do the usual PR statement about how the next game will “go back to the roots” of the series. The real Devil May Cry 5 and all that.

Anyway, Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades is expected to reveal this new IP during a presentation at Game Developers Conference Europe, which in case you don’t know is an industry-only event which runs in conjunction with Gamescom in the middle of August.

Antoniades will give a talk titled ‘The AAA Design Postmortem’, in which he will discuss some of Ninja Theory’s failed projects as well as upcoming ones.

According to GDC Europe event organiser UBM Tech Game Network, his session will cover “the unrealised sequel to Kung Fu Chaos, footage of an as-yet-undisclosed next generation game, and various other pitches that we had to put on ice or walk away from”.

The session description adds: “With the next generation consoles arriving at the top end, just as mobile and indie games have taken hold at the bottom, perhaps there is room for a third way, to turn the ‘squeezed middle,’ where many a good studio has disappeared, into an opportunity to redefine gaming: the AAA indie game.”

Ninja Theory released its first iOS title, Fightback, in July 2013, and in November 2013 the company denied a report that it was going to stop making console games.

We’ll have to wait to hear more soon I suppose. While I like Ninja Theory, the studio has yet to make its name with a truly great game. It’s made good ones, absolutely. But hopefully it’s latest IP will do the trick.

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EA Reveals Xbox Service “EA Access”, Sony Apparently Snubbed It http://egmr.net/2014/07/ea-reveals-xbox-service-ea-access-sony-apparently-snubbed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ea-reveals-xbox-service-ea-access-sony-apparently-snubbed/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152717 Yesterday EA revealed a new subscription service for Xbox One called EA Access, which basically serves EA published games to consumers for either a monthly or annual fee. Kind of […]

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Yesterday EA revealed a new subscription service for Xbox One called EA Access, which basically serves EA published games to consumers for either a monthly or annual fee. Kind of like PlayStation Plus in a way.

For either $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year, Xbox One owners will gain access to something called ‘The Vault’, which is a collection of games available to download and play at no additional cost. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Like a PlayStation Plus service for Xbox, just for EA games.

But it’s EA. Something must be evil or horrible about this, right? Well, you can decide that. Let’s investigate further.

The Vault will commence with FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Leggle 2 and Battlefield 4 during its ‘beta’ period, and more games will be added later.

Furthermore, subscribers will also get a 10 percent discount on EA digital content for Xbox One, which includes full digital titles, DLC and DLC season passes such as Battlefield Premium.

EA Access is certainly looking like a statement of intent from the love affair between the publisher and Microsoft.

But wait, there’s more. Early access to games will be an additional benefit, with subscribers able to download full games up to five days ahead of launch and play for “at least two hours”, thereafter being able to carry over saved progress if you choose to purchase it.

That’s pretty awesome.

Games that will take advantage of this early access scheme include Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA LIVE 15, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

EA Access is being “rolled out in beta to a limited number of players”, and commenced yesterday. EA has not yet confirmed a final launch date on EA Access, and has just said “soon” on that regard. Memberships will be purchasable from GameStop in the US, Amazon in Europe and EB Games in Canada, but you can register your interest in EA Access via the official website.

“At EA, we are always looking for new ways to make it easier for gamers to play more EA games across all platforms, and we are excited about what EA Access will offer to players on Xbox One,” said EA with the announcement.

Now, EA Access sounds like a pretty cool thing, especially when thinking of that ‘try before you buy’ feature. The only concern is that you’re now paying even more each month or year in addition to your Xbox Live Gold subscription. Can you afford that?

In other interesting news, a day later Sony has commented on EA Access after being questioned on it by Game Informer. Apparently, according to a Sony spokesperson, the company neglected the opportunity to bring EA Access to the PS4, as it didn’t feel it offered “good value” to its customers.

Now depending on your perspective, either Sony snubbed EA Access or EA snubbed Sony, and the latter is just as believable given the publisher’s love affair with Microsoft since before Titanfall even.

When questioned about the service’s Xbox exclusivity, the Sony spokesperson said:

“We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect,” they said.

“PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price.

“We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”

Do you agree with Sony’s reasoning, which is the matter of paying an additional subscription fee on top of PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live, or do you think it’s just PR in light of EA snubbing them?

Personally I think there are some cool features, mostly the try-before-you-buy one. That’s dope. If PlayStation Plus could offer that it would be legit. However, I definitely do not want to be paying more each month or year. One subscription is enough for me, thanks.

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Oh Dear, Has Watch Dogs 2 Been Prematurely Confirmed? http://egmr.net/2014/07/oh-dear-watch-dogs-2-prematurely-confirmed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/oh-dear-watch-dogs-2-prematurely-confirmed/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152662 There’s absolutely nothing surprising about a Watch Dogs sequel, considering that we knew right from the beginning that Ubisoft wouldn’t have gone ahead with the game without there being franchise […]

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There’s absolutely nothing surprising about a Watch Dogs sequel, considering that we knew right from the beginning that Ubisoft wouldn’t have gone ahead with the game without there being franchise potential. It was an inevitability, made ever more apparent after the game’s fantastic commercial success. It enjoyed solid critical success too, and our review had high words for it.

Then we made fun of it, because that’s what we do.

Moving on, it seems that news of Watch Dogs 2 may just have been prematurely revealed, and if it proves to be true it would be quite the blunder.

According to a Reddit user who got an email from Ubisoft stating “Help us improve the next Watch_Dogs game!”, Ubisoft is currently asking gamers to anonymously tackle a 20 minute survey that aims to give the studio feedback and improvements for the sequel to Watch Dogs.

What we can learn from this is that Ubisoft aren’t exactly good at keeping secrets. More so, it would seem that Watch Dogs 2 is probably already in development or at least in its planning stages, if such a survey is being filled out by gamers.

You can check out the picture proof down below.

watch-dogs-2-survey

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The Bald Assassin Is Revealed In These First Hitman Agent 47 Movie Images http://egmr.net/2014/07/bald-assassin-revealed-first-hitman-agent-47-movie-images/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/bald-assassin-revealed-first-hitman-agent-47-movie-images/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152649 If you weren’t aware that there is a new Hitman movie coming, well, now you are. Titled Hitman: Agent 47, the movie was shown off at San Diego Comic-Con this […]

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If you weren’t aware that there is a new Hitman movie coming, well, now you are. Titled Hitman: Agent 47, the movie was shown off at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, but alas it wasn’t for our underprivileged eyeballs.

Nevertheless, 20th Century Fox has released the first images from Hitman: Agent 47, and you can check them out in the gallery down below.

The movie is set to release on February 27 2015, and stars Homeland actor Rupert Friend as Agent 47. That role was originally meant to be occupied by Paul Walker, but unfortunately we all know the story there.

Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware, Thomas Kretschmann and Ciaran Hinds will also feature in the movie, and of that list I only know of Quinto who is Sylar from Heroes and Spok from Star Trek. Hitman: Agent 47 will be directed by Aleksander Bach and co-written by Skip Woods, the latter of which previously wrote the screenplay for 2007′s Hitman movie. That one starred Timothy Olyphant and went on to generate $92 million worldwide, which is a fair profit considering its low production budget of around $25 million.

The trailer shown at Comic-Con featured Agent 47 escaping from police interrogation in a manner that wasn’t particularly stealthy, according to /Film.

The question on my mind right now is whether the people who make these Hitman movies have actually played Hitman. I sincerely hope, given that it’s one of my favourite series’ out there, that there are some tactical, coordinated and sneaky murders, and that there isn’t some love interest shoe-horned in because Hollywood just has to be insufferably repetitive.

Agent 47 does not have your human feelings. Accept it, humans.

But that still shot with Agent 47 next to a lad already makes me worry, and it’s got nothing to do with sexism. Plus it’s not even taking into account the words around the internet of Mr 47 engaging in the total opposite of stealth.

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MGS5: The Phantom Pain Can Benefit From David Hayter Absence http://egmr.net/2014/07/mgs5-phantom-pain-can-benefit-david-hayter-absence/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/mgs5-phantom-pain-can-benefit-david-hayter-absence/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:30:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152631 Perhaps you’re wondering why I would be revisiting an old topic such as this (read that in a Bane voice), and the reason is because I’ve just spent the past two […]

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Perhaps you’re wondering why I would be revisiting an old topic such as this (read that in a Bane voice), and the reason is because I’ve just spent the past two weeks reliving the best moments of my time as a gamer by playing through the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection. I’ve been told that I’m ‘incessant’ in my worship of Metal Gear Solid, which is my favourite game. I’m playing the series again to not only recap before The Phantom Pain, but also to revisit the game series as an older, wiser, more critical and more experienced gamer. The one issue I didn’t really comment on regarding The Phantom Pain was that of the voice actor situation, and I wanted to revisit the issue of David Hayter being replaced by Kiefer Sutherland now. But it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve discussed an issue like this, as I also debated Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil’s replacements in Batman: Arkham Origins.

I’ll put out the expected disclaimer in saying that I of course love David Hayter. His voice work was fantastic, and remains worthy of its iconic status after all these years. He’s the Snake we grew up with and loved. However, there is a tendency for fans to become too attached to voice actors and their portrayals of popular characters, to the point that it actually stops new talent from rising or alternative portrayals from happening. While many fans would gladly have, for example, Kevin Conroy voice every single Batman rendition ever, the obvious point is that he can’t do it forever. More importantly though, getting stuck with one voice talent perceived to be necessary for all renditions of the character results in an inability to portray the character in different lights. To again use Conroy as an example, he does a rather splendid job of illustrating Batman as heroic with a touch of menace, but the man would not be able to pull off the rage, obsession and power that fuels the Batman of, say, The Dark Knight Returns.

This is to say that as much as we love our chosen one, we have to accept that there are limitations in their portrayals of the characters we love. Having replayed all of the Metal Gear Solid games that I hold so dearly in my heart, I can see where David Hayter is lacking. He is absolutely excellent in his portrayal of Solid Snake, with the right touches of compassion, bravado, humour and badassery brought to light when needed, but there’s something about Big Boss that I feel requires a different touch. He lives for war, and is almost defined by his pain. Yet Naked Snake and Solid Snake were quite similar in a lot of ways, due to David Hayter’s portrayal, despite being fundamentally different characters. Sure Solid is a clone, but he’s not an exact duplicate – he is his own person. And now more than ever with The Phantom Pain set to be an exploration of Snake’s journey to becoming Big Boss, and an evil in the eyes of the world, it is necessary to show the character in a new way. It’s going to be darker and more tragic, and this is where I feel David Hayter may potentially have held the portrayal back.

David Hayter has a quirk about him. He’s great, he’s likable, and I understand why fans want him back for the new game. But when thinking of the darker and more tragic game that Kojima wants to create with The Phantom Pain, I ask fans to really think whether David Hayter would be ideal for that. One must consider what happened to Naked Snake, or Big Boss, at the end of Snake Eater. Some theme spoilers are ahead, but he became utterly distraught and lost faith in his country and ideals as a soldier. He was crushed. The patriotism was beaten out of him. This carried over to Peace Walker where his actions are clearly that of a changed man. Now we’re going to be embracing a new path for MGS, and a darker depiction of the hero. And each time I think of David Hayter in this role, I just know that I’ll always find him likable, with that charm, dry humour, quirk and compassion. But perhaps in The Phantom Pain, it would be odd to have that attachment to a character on a darker path.

Whether Kiefer Sutherland is the answer is something we’ll only know when we actually play The Phantom Pain. The point I want to make here is firstly that David Hayter perhaps isn’t suited for this portrayal of Big Boss, and secondly that Sutherland should have a fair chance given that it is possible for new talent to succeed the old and the nature of this story may suit him better. Remember that we had to give Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker both a chance in Batman: Arkham Origins, and I believe that they were the only standout elements of that game, doing wonderful jobs. Ground Zeroes wasn’t enough of Snake to gouge Sutherland’s talents, but I get the sense from this latest trailer of The Phantom Pain (go to 4:20 and watch until the end) that he absolutely has a unique edge to his voice and has the potential to be a darker or at least more provocative character.

In conclusion as much as we love our favourite voice actors, whom we’ve built a connection with over years, we have to accept that sometimes they aren’t timeless and often they aren’t suited for all depictions of the character in question. Sometimes the immediate ‘go-to’ choice based on past legacy can actually be what holds the future back. The risk of retiring someone iconic like David Hayter is of course large, but could potentially benefit The Phantom Pain with regards to its narrative. That we will only know when we actually play the game. At the very least, however, if you do not support the decision to replace David Hayter you should at least keep an open mind about Sutherland, and allow him the chance to prove to you whether he can deliver on this depiction of Big Boss.

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Arya Stark Could Be Your Ellie In The Last Of Us Movie http://egmr.net/2014/07/arya-stark-ellie-last-us-movie/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/arya-stark-ellie-last-us-movie/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:45:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152522 The Last Of Us is really happening as a movie, in case you thought jokes were being made here. More so it will be produced by Sam Raimi, who was responsible […]

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The Last Of Us is really happening as a movie, in case you thought jokes were being made here. More so it will be produced by Sam Raimi, who was responsible for the original Spider-Man trilogy and the Evil Dead series of horror movies.

A wild Raimi surprisingly appeared at a San Diego Comic-Con panel dedicated to The Last Of Us movie on Friday, according to a report from Deadline.

Screen Gems revealed that Game of Thrones child actress Maisie Williams, who plays the feisty Arya Stark, may just co-star as the equally feisty Ellie. Apparently fans are liking the idea of that casting. She’s a good actress, so I have no qualms. It will be interesting to see if it happens though.

Sony Pictures Entertainment revealed the teaser image above for The Last Of Us movie after the panel, and obviously that looks like Ellie with her trusty switchblade.

“It’s gonna be a great character journey, a great love story, and great horror fiction,” Raimi said.

The panel confirmed no casting decisions and nothing about the director either, despite Arya Stark being the current favourite for the Ellie role.

The good news though is that Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann also appeared at the panel, and reportedly has a final say on most of the film’s major creative decisions, which includes both casting and director choice.

Druckmann said back in May that the movie of The Last Of Us will be a direct adaption of the game, instead of just being inspired by it, which is music to my ears personally.

“As far as where we go and how we make it fit into a film, how it takes into account the unique properties of film… we’re not sure yet,” Druckmann had said. “We’re only just scratching the surface.”

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Tekken 7 Extended Announcement Trailer Features People Who Don’t Like Each Other http://egmr.net/2014/07/tekken-7-extended-announcement-trailer-released/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/tekken-7-extended-announcement-trailer-released/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152516 In what will come as no surprise to any human who did not know that there will be a Tekken 7, well, there is going to be a Tekken 7. […]

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In what will come as no surprise to any human who did not know that there will be a Tekken 7, well, there is going to be a Tekken 7. I’ll take a moment to enjoy the look of surprise on your face. You know, if it was there.

Bandai Namco has now complimented this amazing and totally unforeseen revelation with the release of an extended announcement trailer for Tekken 7.

Turns out that the game was actually announced at EVO 2014 earlier this month, in case you missed that, but the trailer on show was a short version of the one up above, so let’s pretend it never happened.

No platforms have been confirmed for Tekken 7, but I think we can safely bet that it will be on PS4 and Xbox One. We do know that it will be powered by the Unreal Engine 4 though.

We’ll have more on Tekken 7 when the universe decides to vomit out more information on it, so for now check out the trailer up above.

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Telltale Games Confirms The Walking Dead Season 3 http://egmr.net/2014/07/telltale-games-confirms-walking-dead-season-3/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/telltale-games-confirms-walking-dead-season-3/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:30:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152514 Telltale Games, at the San Diego Comic-Con convention this weekend, confirmed that there will be a third season of its immensely popular and equally awesome The Walking Dead series. The […]

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Telltale Games, at the San Diego Comic-Con convention this weekend, confirmed that there will be a third season of its immensely popular and equally awesome The Walking Dead series.

The news was confirmed by Telltale studio co-founder Kevin Bruner, but the announcement came without any plot details or release windows. That’s to be expected though, since season two has not yet been completed, and there can’t be any spoilers of course.

As you know, Telltale only just released the fourth episode of The Walking Dead Season 2 last week, and it was an episode that I gave a stellar review.

There’s just one more episode to go of the second season of The Walking Dead, and then it will probably be quite a while until we hear anything of the third season.

Out of interest, Telltale also confirmed in May that The Wolf Among Us and both seasons of The Walking Dead will be headed to PS4 and Xbox One, which is great for their business.

And in other Telltale fap-worthy news, the studio is working on episodic adaptions of Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands.

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The Destiny Beta Is Now Open To All Humans http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-beta-now-open-humans/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-beta-now-open-humans/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:15:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152437 The Destiny beta has already been going on, but only those who pre-ordered the game and media were invited into it. Now, Bungie has announced that it is open to […]

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The Destiny beta has already been going on, but only those who pre-ordered the game and media were invited into it. Now, Bungie has announced that it is open to all gamers regardless of platform, so if you haven’t had the chance to sample Destiny, here it is.

In the announcement Bungie said that the open beta starts at 4 PM PDT, which means at 1 AM on Saturday morning. It’s a 10 GB download, so I suggest if you’re keen you better wait for it to open and then start getting it as soon as possible.

Obviously you’ll need PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to play online (unless you have a PS3), but the game still functions as a single player experience without those. Just don’t expect to be joining any Fireteams or participating in the actual good parts of the game, like the Strike missions. You’ll be notified in-game as well once the beta goes open.

Bungie’s announcement went something like this:

The Beta has been eye-opening so far. We’ve watched the world of Destiny come to life. Guardians from every platform have arrived at the Tower from their battles in the wild. We have watched your adventures with great interest, and listened to your feedback. Your missions have provided us with volumes of discoveries we can use to prepare for the launch of Destiny in September. Our work is not done. There is more we can learn. To make this happen, we need more Guardians to play. This is, above all else, a test.

Today, at 4:00 PM PDT, we’re opening the Destiny Beta to anyone who wants to create a character and walk in their boots. There are, of course, some requirements. You’ll need to have a compatible console equipped with PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. You’ll need to be brave. Help us deliver the game you deserve.

Before we shut this party down, we’ll welcome everyone who wants a preview of this brave new world. If you have yet to play Destiny, look for offers to download the Beta directly from your console later on this afternoon. If you have played the Beta, please prepare for new arrivals. We know you won’t go easy on them in the Crucible. Show no mercy.

The beta will end on July 27th, so you have very little time unfortunately. Who knows, they could extend it. And stuff.

If you’d like to get the rundown of the beta, be sure to read my coverage of the good, the bad and what’s lacking.

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Far Cry 4 Dev Diary: Behind The Scenes In The Making Of Kyrat http://egmr.net/2014/07/far-cry-4-dev-diary-behind-scenes-making-kyrat/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/far-cry-4-dev-diary-behind-scenes-making-kyrat/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:30:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152434 Ubisoft has released the first episode in a new series of Far Cry 4 ‘behind the scenes’ videos, and the pilot delves into the making of Kryat, which is the […]

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Ubisoft has released the first episode in a new series of Far Cry 4 ‘behind the scenes’ videos, and the pilot delves into the making of Kryat, which is the setting for the new game.

“The team travelled to Nepal with VICE to draw inspiration and create authentic Kyratic characters and environments native to the region,” according to Ubisoft Montreal. “Far from the tourist trail, they encounter people whose stories can help an outsider better experience the fabric of life there, both culturally and politically.”

The previous video we got discussed the game’s villain among other things, so you may want to sit back and enjoy about ten minutes of Far Cry 4 goodness if you haven’t seen that one.

If a bunch of developers just speaking about their game doesn’t excite you, you can always watch this rather weird but great hype trailer for Far Cry 4 instead. Eat that PR I’m doing for Far Cry 4, reader.

Finally, if you want to see how you can part with all your money, take a look at the Far Cry 4 collector’s edition.

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Buzz Kill Time: We Might Not See Anything Of The Doom Reboot Until 2015 http://egmr.net/2014/07/buzz-kill-time-might-see-anything-doom-reboot-2015/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/buzz-kill-time-might-see-anything-doom-reboot-2015/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:45:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152430 The world went crazy for a few minutes when the new Doom reboot was showcased privately at QuakeCon in an extended gameplay demo. Incidentally it was at that event that […]

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The world went crazy for a few minutes when the new Doom reboot was showcased privately at QuakeCon in an extended gameplay demo. Incidentally it was at that event that it was confirmed the game would be a reboot, and we also got some gameplay details on it.

However here comes the buzz kill brigade, as Bethesda’s vice president of PR and marketing Pete Hines saying that id Software is not yet ready to show the game, and as such we might not see anything of it this year. Well that’s a…doomsday scenario.

Hines said that the Doom reboot is not ready for any public unveiling yet.

“I try really, really hard for this to be a dev first, dev-lead thing,” Hines told PC Gamer.

“We’re working with them to say, ‘How does this work? What do we want to show?’ And they’re like, ‘Look, we don’t want a stream to go up for a game that isn’t at the point where we would formally show it to the world, and now that thing is getting picked apart, and digested, and gone through frame-by-frame and getting nitpicked to death, when normally we wouldn’t be showing this to anybody at all.’”

Hines was asked when Doom would be ready to be shown to the world, and the man said 2015. The QuakeCon exclusive was little else than to ensure fans that everything is happening over at id Software.

Insecure Doom fans and all.

“I really wanted to put something out there that, in a strong way, said, ‘id is working on something that we think is really cool,’” Hines said.

“And we wanted … to show something to [id Software fans] that gives them the confidence that it is still a viable studio that’s doing really cool stuff, that is making a game you want to play, and is treating Doom with the care and respect that you want.

“And now we’re going to go away and go back to making the game, but to be able to counter other people talking about us and we’re sort of just sitting here staying silent, or operating from this negative space of like, ‘Oh, it got rebooted, oh it’s in trouble.’ All of that stuff just bothered the hell out of me.”

I at least like the way the man thinks. Hines has previously stated that id Software will need to prove itself again with the new Doom. As a matter of interest, an early version of the game was scrapped last year when it was deemed to be unsuitable by the publisher.

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Valve Planning New Dota 2 Heroes – Who Cares About Dota 3? http://egmr.net/2014/07/valve-planning-new-dota-2-heroes-cares-dota-3/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/valve-planning-new-dota-2-heroes-cares-dota-3/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:45:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152338 At long last Techies was finally confirmed by Valve at The International 4, which means that Dota 2 is extremely close to having the complete hero roster from its predecessor. […]

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At long last Techies was finally confirmed by Valve at The International 4, which means that Dota 2 is extremely close to having the complete hero roster from its predecessor. There are only a handful of heroes left, and of course the question on every fan’s mind is: what happens then?

Well, the obvious will of course! Valve will bring in completely new heroes.

Valve’s Erik Jonhson told IGN that it does indeed plan to create brand new heroes for Dota 2, stating “Yes. We just keep going. Dota never stops.”

Dota never stops. I love the sound of that, being the addict that I am.

If you were wondering, currently there are about five heroes still missing from Dota 2 that exist in the original. Pit Lord, Techies, Arc Warden, Winter Wyvern and Oracle would be the heroes in question. If Techies is going to land up in the next major update, then we’d be down to four. That means, Dota 2 will effectively be complete this year, as it seems unlikely that Valve will still be adding heroes from the original in 2015. That’s just my guess though, it very well could be the case. Who knows.

Eventually though, “There’ll be new heroes, there’ll be new changes to the game,” Johnson said.

And then the topic had to move to Dota 3, which previously was a trademark by Valve. I’m glad to hear Johnson say that Dota 3 wouldn’t “really make sense…. There’s no point where we say, ‘Alright, we’re done. Let’s move on to the next one.’”

I whole-heartedly agree. There is little need to care about Dota 3 for a very long time. It will probably only be necessary when the time comes that Dota 2 is holding the game back mechanically or feature-wise. The game’s beautiful arty graphics certainly won’t age anytime soon, and I can see Dota 2 sticking around for a very, very long time.

So, fuck off Dota 3. Techies incoming!

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Destiny Beta: The Good, The Bad And What’s Lacking http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-beta-good-bad-whats-lacking/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-beta-good-bad-whats-lacking/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152311 Destiny is that game that all gamers are collectively wanking to because Bungie is making Halo-Borderlands. Jokes aside, I had some positive words for Destiny back when I wrote about the alpha, […]

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Destiny is that game that all gamers are collectively wanking to because Bungie is making Halo-Borderlands. Jokes aside, I had some positive words for Destiny back when I wrote about the alpha, which wasn’t actually an alpha, but now the beta is also on Xbox One so unfortunately I have to hate on it. Anyway I figured that since everybody out there is either playing or reading about the beta and I myself have written extensively about the alpha, there’s little reason to rehash all of that in a very long article. Especially since the beta is more or less the alpha with some more stuff. Instead, I will focus entirely on comparing the game’s resolution and frame rate on PS4 and Xbox One, because that’s all any master race console gamer on the internet actually cares about.

Obviously, I’m joking. I think. So what I will do is cover the main points of what’s good, bad and lacking in Destiny, seeing as how I’ve played enough hours of the game over the course of the alpha and the beta that I could have, well, finished a whole other game. Or rethought my life. Ready then? Let’s do this. Keep in mind that I won’t be mentioning things I’ve already said in my alpha write-up, because I don’t need to praise something twice, and I want to discuss Destiny rather than do some PR for it.

The Good

Destiny - 2

  • There’s a cool intro video in the game now, as well as story cutscenes. These are really well done and boast high production values. The beta definitely gives the feeling that the game actually has a story, even if it’s a very simple one that seems to be glossed over like it isn’t important. Too early to judge though, but it’s much more engrossing than the alpha since it has context. It’s what you’d expect from an MMO. The only gripe I had was that you can’t choose your character’s voice from presets, and that coupled together with the fact that there aren’t dialogue choices makes it feel weird when your character speaks.
  • Peter Dinklage’s voice work has been significantly improved. Not only does he have actual emotions now (David Cage would be proud), but there’s this really cool robotic filter over his voice that removes the mass boredom syndrome he had in the alpha. Thumbs up. I love having him as my companion now, and hope it continues in the full game.
  • Weapon upgrades add another sense of progression into the mix, and are welcome.
  • Destiny is absolutely a visual treat, and if the art direction is as gorgeous as it is at present throughout the game, it’s going to be a wonderful world to be immersed in.
  • Strike missions! Again! Obviously. Taking down massive bosses with a team is pretty much a selling point all on its own.
  • It’s got that addictive quality that good MMOs have, but is this really a good thing? I guess so if you want to be a slave to Destiny. Yeah, I’m punny.
  • The loading times are faster. Three and a half cheers.
  • The stuff I praised when writing about the alpha.
The Bad

Destiny - 1

  • Multiplayer, at least the mode ‘Control’ that’s available, really just feels like Halo. I said this numerous times already. It’s fun but it’s not the most engrossing of things, and I was pretty much over it after a few hours. Based on what I played in that mode alone, I can’t see myself sticking around for a long time. Sure it’s nice that you ship your Guardian over to the multiplayer straight from single player, gear and all, but unless the other modes have something better to offer, all my time will be spent in single player.
  • I would certainly hope that this is restricted to the beta and alpha, but no matter which class or race you pick your game feels exactly the same story-wise. There’s no difference aside from play style and abilities – and even that doesn’t feel life changing. Simple things like unique hubs in the city for each race to hang out in (doesn’t have to be enforced, just stylised), or access to special missions or anything besides just gear would be good.
  • I hope this is also restricted to the beta, but weapons feel very samey. It’s not like Borderlands where every gun you pick up feels like a new weapon, but then again Gearbox invested heavily into that system to make it the way it was. Hopefully the elemental effects on weapons does well to keep it spiced up, and the full game has plenty more gear.
  • I’ve spent close to ten hours playing Destiny’s single player, and it started to feel extremely repetitive, to the point that I just stopped playing. Strike missions are standout and are really awesome, while story missions will definitely keep you invested if it turns out to be intriguing. But more mission variety than ‘kill things endlessly’ is a must.
What’s Lacking

Destiny - 4

  • It would be great if we could challenge members of our Fireteams to duels, like in Borderlands. It’s fun to dance with your friends, but real men (and women) fight it out once dancing it out doesn’t get anywhere. It was awesome in Borderlands to test your mettle against your partner, and Destiny should look into that. There’s very little to do with your buddies other than dance or point at them.
  • Character customisation feels very limited. It’s exactly as it was in the alpha, and there definitely needs to be more cosmetic variety.
  • Destiny needs to allow you to view your character in third person when out in the world. The entire point of creating a custom character and acquiring cool gear is so that you can span the camera around yourself and fap or take endless selfies. At present, you can only see your character when running around the social hub, which is a bit of a buzz kill.
  • The world feels like it could use more interactivity, as aside from enemies it often feels barren. It’s gorgeous to look at thanks to that art direction, but it could really do with more events, more loot, more frequent gear pick ups or just fun things to discover by exploration. No reason to explore currently. Item rewards are given at the end of missions and such, which can feel lifeless.
  • Killing things, or pulling off skill moves or being the one to slay a major boss – none of this is acknowledged, which does little to quicken your pulse. There are bounties in the game for pulling off challenges, which you have to actively take on, but there are no team awards (like MVP or something) or individual badges or acknowledgement for any feat. You can’t even tell who got the last hit on a boss, or who had the most team revives. You do get to see kill stats though at the end.
  • I doubt this will be added, but Destiny could do with a dialogue or command wheel for quickly conveying instructions to teamies. It’s fun for interactivity with your party, and also helps if you don’t have access to or don’t feel like using voice chat. Simple commands like “Get back!” or “My Health Is Low!” or “No Ammo!” or “Super Move Ready” would be great.
Conclusion

Destiny - 5

In closing I still maintain a similar stance as to when I played the alpha, and that’s my belief that Destiny has a lot going for it. With lots more content (and Strike missions) and players it certainly has the ingredients to be a hit when factoring in its social focus. However I do have my concerns and there are aspects of its gameplay that could really be improved on, especially if Destiny wants to capture the souls of gamers for the long haul. Longevity is the primary concern regarding Destiny, and is what will ultimately determine whether it’s a success or not, since you can’t exactly have a ten year plan with gamers only playing for one of those years. It needs sustained success. The ingredients are there, the core gameplay is very fun, and now Destiny just needs to go out there, have its launch honeymoon period and then prove itself. I envision a successful launch, but I have my doubts and concerns for the long term. I’ll definitely be evaluating the game again when it releases, as it’s only the beta now.

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Teenage Son Has A Story On How Games Can Be Spiritual, And It Went Viral http://egmr.net/2014/07/teenage-son-story-games-can-spiritual-went-viral/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/teenage-son-story-games-can-spiritual-went-viral/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:30:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152227 Hold the phone. We haven’t even convinced the whole of the world that games can be art yet, and now we’re on spirituality? Sweet! In seriousness though, there was a […]

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Hold the phone. We haven’t even convinced the whole of the world that games can be art yet, and now we’re on spirituality? Sweet! In seriousness though, there was a YouTube video which was discussing whether or not video games can be a spiritual experience, and it led to one teenage YouTube commenter (00WARTHERAPY00) recounting his story in the comments section. That story went viral.

I’ll first give you the story so you can think about it for yourself:

Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together – until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

literaly.

you know, when a time race happens, that the fastest lap so far gets recorded as a ghost driver? yep, you guessed it – his ghost still rolls around the track today.

and so i played and played, and played, untill i was almost able to beat the ghost. until one day i got ahead of it, i surpassed it, and…

i stopped right in front of the finish line, just to ensure i wouldnt delete it.
Bliss.

His story amassed close to a thousand likes, moved many commenters to tears and furthermore was picked up by various publications in Asia, making it onto a newspaper, as reported by Yahoo Autos. It went viral pretty much. Yahoo Autos wasn’t able to get the identity of the one who made the original comment, but the teenager in question did respond to the outbreak of his story.

He claimed to be overwhelmed, saying he “just commented on a video, which happened to be about spirituality in video games” and “never expected any of this.”

The story is certainly touching, although it isn’t really the first time I’ve seen people be deeply moved on a personal and emotional level by a video game. Thatgamecompany’s Journey absolutely is another example of a game that can reach spiritual territory, and if you don’t believe me you should definitely read some people’s personal experiences with the game and what it made them feel and think.

I’ve always stressed that the fact that video games are interactive separates them from any other medium of entertainment. The possibilities are mind-boggling, and not just for art or expression. It’s easy to see why video games can be spiritual too, because interactivity often leads to games being a personal experience, as in some ways everyone has their own unique one with a game based on what it makes them feel or think.

A racing game is certainly the last place you’d expect to find spirituality, but there’s something pretty great about the story if it’s true.

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Star Wars Battlefront Will ‘Preferably’ Leech Some Hype Money From Episode VII http://egmr.net/2014/07/star-wars-battlefront-will-preferably-leech-excitement-episode-vii/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/star-wars-battlefront-will-preferably-leech-excitement-episode-vii/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:45:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152224 Electronic Arts, everybody’s favourite game publisher ever in the history of the world, has said that it would prefer to release DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront close to the launch of […]

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Electronic Arts, everybody’s favourite game publisher ever in the history of the world, has said that it would prefer to release DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront close to the launch of the new movie, Star Wars: Episode VII.

Last year in July, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said that the Star Wars Battlefront reboot would “most likely come out around the same time as the Star Wars movies start to come out, probably in the summer of 2015″.

JJ Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars movie was originally supposed to release next summer, but Disney has confirmed that it will be out on December 18, 2015. Unfortunately, Star Wars junkies, you do have to wait that long. And it seems that you may have to wait as long for the highly anticipated Star Wars Battlefront game too.

Fast forward to the present, during EA’s third quarter earnings call on Tuesday. The company was asked if Star Wars Battlefront and Episode VII would have similar release windows, and whether the game’s launch would be affected in any way by changes to the film’s schedule.

EA Studios executive vice president Patrick Söderlund responded (via Seeking Alpha): “As it relates to Star Wars, we’ve shown parts from the game today, so you know that what we’re building is more rooted in the traditional Star Wars universe and not so much necessarily linked to the movies being made. And that’s just because we wanted to make a game that celebrated the history of Star Wars.

“Obviously there will be things in there that are somewhat tied to the new movie. I wouldn’t say that we have a particular tie to the movie. Now, obviously we would prefer to be close to the movie, but I wouldn’t say that we’re directly tied to it.”

Of course the best case scenario would be to release at a similar time as the movie since it’s easy to leech some hype money. The return of Star Wars to theaters will most definitely be a world-changing event, and Star Wars Battlefront could profit enormously from that. However, the problem is of course that it would mean waiting a very long time for the game, as it would have to release towards the latter part of 2015.

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Review: The Walking Dead Season Two: Amid The Ruins Is A Masterpiece http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-walking-dead-season-two-amid-the-ruins-masterpiece/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-walking-dead-season-two-amid-the-ruins-masterpiece/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152157 Visit review on site for scoring. The Walking Dead Season Two has been going from strength to strength with each episode, and reached a series high with In Harm’s Way. […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

The Walking Dead Season Two - Episode 4 - 3

The Walking Dead Season Two has been going from strength to strength with each episode, and reached a series high with In Harm’s Way. However, it would appear that the pattern is showing no signs of changing, as the fourth and penultimate episode, Amid The Ruins, surpasses even that. With The Wolf Among Us Telltale had the problem of leaving too much story for the final episode, but it overcame that obstacle. Here, though, Telltale has the major problem of trying to better what is essentially one of the best episodes they’ve done. After Amid The Ruins though, I’m inclined to believe that they’ve got this. Strap in folks, because if you’ve been following the progress of this season thus far, then Amid The Ruins will absolutely leave you drooling in anticipation for that fifth episode.

As usual I’m going to say very little about the story. Amid The Ruins starts exactly where the previous episode cut, and from there it’s pretty much an excellently paced episode with plenty of themes, great character moments, brutal twists and drama or fun moments to break up the intensity. Amid The Ruins, more so than previous episodes, brings back the importance of group dynamics and all those little subplots that emerge as members question each other, people clash and you’re left in the middle deciding who has the best handle on things. In the last episode I felt that Clementine and her relationship with her group needs more development, but Amid The Ruins does as much as is possible in its run time to correct that. It succeeds very well with this in fact, and I’d say that overall it’s perhaps the most well-rounded episode in season two thus far, complete with more than enough meat that often sets Telltale apart with its games. This is exactly what I play this series for. 

Perhaps what is most admirable about this episode is that Amid the Ruins finds the sweet spot in making you feel like everything you’ve done in past episodes has led to its events, while also setting up for the final episode fantastically well. In many ways, with regards to the build-up, pay off and setups, I feel like it’s the perfect penultimate episode. The only problem would be that it’s quite torturous to have to face the fact that the final episode is some distance away, and perhaps all those people who are waiting until it’s all out are doing the right thing. That is, if they can avoid any spoilers of course. I’m not going to say anything else about the story because it’s best, as always, to just face it for yourself. But if there’s one thing that’s a certainty, the game has definitely changed with the conclusion of this one.

The Walking Dead Season Two - Episode 4 - 2

I’ve noticed over the course of this season that Telltale has shied away from traditional point and click gameplay, choosing instead to make this series a lot more cinematic. While the first season didn’t have a whole lot of walking around the environment, looking for items and talking to people in the breaks between story progression, it certainly had more than this season. This is not a criticism, but an observation. I feel it works a lot better in season two as far as the narrative is concerned, and Telltale has certainly succeeded with pacing. The only thing I cared about was being able to talk to your party members and learn more about them as people, which is what the first season often had and what’s been something less of a thing in this season. That’s another reason I was so pleased with Amid The Ruins, however, as it certainly does bring back those touching and interesting character interactions.

There’s not a whole lot more to say to be honest. There was nothing about this episode I felt was problematic or lacking. It had it all, and not only that but it executed its pivotal moments practically to perfection. I’ve accepted that this is Clementine’s personal journey, and that’s why it works so well that there isn’t really a primary antagonist or feeling that everything is going somewhere. However, despite that, the ending of this episode definitely sets the stage for one hell of a finale. There’s probably going to be a third season, and I can’t say that I’d have any problem whatsoever following Clementine once more, as her character is definitely the heart of season two. Telltale definitely deserves plaudits for presenting a child who has to play the part of an adult, often better than the actual adults. You’ll really feel in this episode that Clementine is a leader, and one of the most valuable of the group.

The Walking Dead Season Two - Episode 4 - 1

The Walking Dead’s penultimate episode Amid The Ruins not just betters the heights reached by the previous episode, but actually is one of the best Telltale has ever done. It has it all, and finds that sweet spot between paying off after previous episodes and setting the stage for the finale, which it does brilliantly. Overall, Telltale has created one of its most well-rounded episodes with Amid The Ruins, and I’d even go as far as to say that it deserves a standing ovation. I’m confident that the finale will live up to expectations, although it has a hell of a lot to do if it wants to be better than this episode. To that I say good luck, Telltale. It’s going to be great to see how the last chapter unfolds, but for now let’s just appreciate Amid The Ruins for the stellar piece of entertainment that it is.

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Naughty Dog Aims To Arouse You With 1080p, 60fps PS4 Games http://egmr.net/2014/07/naughty-dog-aims-arouse-1080p-60fps-ps4-games/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/naughty-dog-aims-arouse-1080p-60fps-ps4-games/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:30:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152132 Naughty Dog will be aiming to arouse you (sexually) by aiming for 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second on not only Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but all its […]

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Naughty Dog will be aiming to arouse you (sexually) by aiming for 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second on not only Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, but all its current and future PS4 projects.

My words, not theirs.

Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer told Eurogamer that the studio’s PS3 projects all targeted 720p resolution and 60fps, and that it would not have been able to maintain the quality of visuals it delivered on the previous generation with a higher resolution and frame rate.

However, building The Last Of Us Remastered has allowed Naughty Dog to become comfortable working with the PS4, and Meyer said that it already provided a head start when work started on Uncharted 4.

“I think that’s what we want to push for with anything we’re doing on this generation,” Meyer said “That’s sort of the mandate from when we were building the PS4 engine. Let’s see if we can do this and hit it. We hit it with The Last of Us Remastered, so why not stick with this?”

Meyer noted that The Last of Us Remastered does occasionally dip below 60fps, but it’s “not going to be something massive where you’re going to tell the difference”.

The Last Of Us Remastered will be out on July 29, but clearly it is now unplayable because it dips below 60fps.

Damn it, Naughty Dog, you had one job!

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Halo Composer Legally Defeats Bungie http://egmr.net/2014/07/halo-composer-legally-defeats-bungie/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/halo-composer-legally-defeats-bungie/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:45:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152128 Halo composer Marty O’Donnell, formerly an employee at Bungie, has won a legal battle against the studio, settling a lawsuit with Bungie’s chief executive Harold Ryan. Seattle King County superior […]

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Halo composer Marty O’Donnell, formerly an employee at Bungie, has won a legal battle against the studio, settling a lawsuit with Bungie’s chief executive Harold Ryan.

Seattle King County superior court judge Jeffery Ramsdell approved the settlement, which has to do with the lawsuit filed by O’Donnell on May 1, as reported by VentureBeat.

O’Donnell not only composed for each Halo game up until Halo Reach, but also worked on music trailers that promoted Bungie’s upcoming MMO shooter Destiny. However, the man was terminated from Bungie by the studio’s board of directors back in April. When O’Donnell announced his exit on Twitter, he also claimed that it was “without cause”.

However, Bungie did some nice little PR with a short parting message that actually suggested O’Donnell had parted ways with them on good terms. Funny how the guy says something as extreme as it was “without cause” and then Bungie still goes on to laughably state everything is hunky-dory.

Bungie’s statement read: “For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans. Today, as friends, we say goodbye.”

Friends who want to file a lawsuit against you, am I right?

Initially Bungie denied that O’Donnell was due remuneration (which is just a fancy word for pay or reward for work done), but despite that the studio is required to pay over $38,385 in unpaid work and vacation time, on top of a further $38,385 in double damages. When attorney fees and interest is included, the total figure sits at $95,019.13.

O’Donnell is an award-winning composer with experience and history in both film and video games. Aside from the Halo series, he scored Riven, a sequel to Myst and his first game. He first teamed up with Bungie back in 1997 in the PC title Myth: The Fallen Lords.

It just goes to show, really, that a company will always do PR to protect its own image even when it’s clearly in the wrong. I get that image means everything, but sometimes I wonder if companies just have a phobia towards the truth because they’ll sugar-coat and deceive even when their words have no value and can easily be disproved as false. In this case, it just makes you look worse when you’re off declaring how everything was fine and dandy when your old pal O’Donnell left, only for the man to turn around and throw a lawsuit at you.

Then again we’re back to that thing where I’m talking about ideal worlds in which honesty is a good policy in a lot of cases but reality is a fickle bitch.

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EGMR Plays Dota 2: It’s Time To Duel (With Voice Chat) http://egmr.net/2014/07/egmr-plays-dota-2-time-duel-voice-chat/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egmr-plays-dota-2-time-duel-voice-chat/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152120 Welcome to EGMR plays Dota 2, where our team bands together to play the lovely game that we’ve been a fan of since its beginning as a Warcraft III custom […]

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Welcome to EGMR plays Dota 2, where our team bands together to play the lovely game that we’ve been a fan of since its beginning as a Warcraft III custom map. That’s right, many of us were around back in the famous South African Twilight server days.

In this replay, ‘It’s Time To Duel’, four team members are present, namely Tody (Azhar), Cavie, Cynikill (Dom) and Pansyfaust (Marco). In this match you’ll see some fantastic Invoker play, good teamwork and a Legion Commander’s damage rise into crazy Divine Rapier territory – without actually owning a Divine Rapier.

And there’s an extra treat in this replay: we’ve included our full mumble voice chat. You can listen to all of our banter throughout the game.

It may not be time-synced perfectly due to the variation in where the replays start versus the actual game, but it will give you a good idea of how full of crap we are. Be aware that, since the Director’s Camera is used, you won’t be able to see our team text chat in-game, which means some of the references we make to teamies might raise an eyebrow or two.

We should be uploading some great Dota 2 highlight moments soon as well, so watch this space.

Please subscribe to us if you’d like to keep track of our Dota 2 exploits!

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The Last Of Us Remastered Will Require A Lot Of Space http://egmr.net/2014/07/last-us-remastered-will-require-lot-space/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/last-us-remastered-will-require-lot-space/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:30:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152024 It seems like The Last Of Us Remastered is a little too eager to get into the hands of PS4 owners, as numerous copies of the game have been let […]

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It seems like The Last Of Us Remastered is a little too eager to get into the hands of PS4 owners, as numerous copies of the game have been let out into the great big world early. This has led to the discovery that the game has a pretty large install size, and will eat up space on your PS4 like Pacman would some, well, whatever those things he eats are.

Gamepur reports that you’ll need a whopping 50GB of free space on your PS4 hard drive in order to play The Last Of Us Remastered. Yeah, that’s what you get for demanding 1080p and 60fps, you graphics whores.

At least, that’s what the back of the box seems to suggest.

In other news, because there’s pretty much nothing else to be said about the size of The Last Of Us Remastered, it was announced last week that sales of The Last Of Us had surpassed seven million, and new DLC will be released later this year. We’ve already been told that the game won’t get more single player content, so it’s pretty much going to be some multiplayer stuff.

I’m sure now The Last Of Us will get a significant sales boost, and it will be very interesting to see how many PS4 owners flock to pick up a copy, whether having bought it before or not.

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MGS5: The Phantom Pain Will Challenge US-World Politics (Take That Americans!) http://egmr.net/2014/07/mgs5-phantom-pain-will-challenge-us-world-politics-take-americans/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/mgs5-phantom-pain-will-challenge-us-world-politics-take-americans/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:45:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152017 Metal Gear Solid is my favourite gaming franchise out there, and I’m currently replaying the series through The Legacy Collection as I prepare for the imminent arrival of The Phantom […]

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Metal Gear Solid is my favourite gaming franchise out there, and I’m currently replaying the series through The Legacy Collection as I prepare for the imminent arrival of The Phantom Pain. Perhaps not so imminent since it’s only next year, but I’ll roll with it. The reason I bring that up is because the series is fresh in my memory again, and I know that this isn’t exactly new territory for Hideo Kojima.

In many ways regarding narrative Metal Gear Solid was always ahead of its time. Back in 1998 with Metal Gear Solid on PS1 the series was dealing with human cloning and nuclear war as themes, while in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty in 2001 the series went to hugely political warfare, the rise of the digital age and themes involving a shadowed organisation secretly pulling the strings of pretty much everything in the US, from politics to the economy to trends. Now, it seems Kojima wants to test his fans again with The Phantom Pain, building upon the issues explored in Snake Eater and Peace Walker.

According to the creator of the series himself, Metal Gear Solid’s depiction of the US has shifted along with international attitudes towards the nation.

Kojima told The Guardian that the MGS series’ stories have questioned and criticised the US’ role in global affairs for a long time now, and he would be right (about his own game of course). In Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain specifically, Kojima will show a nation that is “not seen as the center of the world any more”.

Ground Zeroes is set on the coast of Cuba in a US naval prison facility, which is sort of an allusion to the real-world prison site Guantanamo. In the game, prisoners are subject to poor treatment and harsh conditions, but can be freed by Big Boss.

“[Guantanamo] was definitely something that I made decision to address in the game,” Kojima said.

“Hollywood continues to present the US army as being the good guys, always defeating the aliens or foreigners. I am trying to shift that focus. These movies might not be the only way to view current affairs. I am trying to present an alternate view in these games.”

The Phantom Pain will also seek to challenge players’ perceptions of geopolitical ethics by allowing them to decide their stance on nuclear deterrence, which is the act of countering an initial nuclear strike by enemies by virtue of already having a strong nuclear weapon at your disposal. Essentially, your enemy won’t launch a nuke because that would mean you’d retaliate with your own big nuke, and then the world goes boom. It’s been a common theme in the series, especially in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater which took place during the Cold War, and its sequel Peace Walker.

“At this point I give the player the option to think about acquiring a nuclear weapon, in order to deter these attacks, a kind of threat,” Kojima said. “It illustrates the cycle of nuclear weapons, what inspires people and nations to enter into that system. It’s something that you can only really do in video games.”

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Have Let’s Plays And Gameplay Videos Made Reviews Useless? http://egmr.net/2014/07/lets-plays-gameplay-videos-made-reviews-useless/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/lets-plays-gameplay-videos-made-reviews-useless/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151986 It’s become a common opinion around the internet with many gamers that reviews aren’t helpful enough when it comes to making a purchasing decision. I’ve observed numerous gamers state that […]

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It’s become a common opinion around the internet with many gamers that reviews aren’t helpful enough when it comes to making a purchasing decision. I’ve observed numerous gamers state that they would much prefer to watch a Let’s Play or a substantial amount of recorded gameplay footage when deciding on a game, while others rely on word of mouth, select individuals or alternative methods. Obviously as a game reviewer myself this is a subject that has fascinated me and, because I’m a relatively open-minded person and I accept that when things change in this digital age one must learn to adapt otherwise be left behind, I’ve wondered what the issues and implications surrounding this are. After spending some time reading general feedback to reviews and discussions surrounding how people deal with reviews in general, I’ve opted to interpret that and draw my own conclusions which I’ll present in one (hopefully) coherent piece. This can be considered an extension of my last opinion on reviews.

I’ve most significantly, as indicated in the title, wondered whether reviews have been rendered useless by the rise of Let’s Plays and entire gameplay walkthroughs being uploaded online, even without commentary or interference if you’d prefer to just watch the game. Well, sounds like heaven doesn’t it? If you’ve resigned yourself into believing that any review is just some dude’s opinion online, and therefore it isn’t a factor in any purchasing decision when you can just watch the game and decide for yourself, why bother having them around? Well, in spite of this being readily available, there are still so many gamers out there who care for reviews and critical opinions. You’ll still get the warmongers who fight about every review score, the diplomats who debate what a game should have scored, the sadists who only enjoy it when games score badly, the emotionally unstable who only look at review scores to validate their perceptions about a game, and the cultists who rejoice in every nine given and act as PR robots. And among these factions you’ll somehow still get those who use reviews to get an informed opinion, finding one or two review sites they trust and sticking with those.

From the above we can accept that reviews aren’t necessarily useless, so the next hypothesis I have is that they’re failing to cater to a select group of gamers. In other words, some of us are failing this industry (insert Arrow voice here). Before examining why, let’s first perhaps look at why I don’t believe reviews can be useless. See, in any other medium, moves especially, critical opinion matters a great deal. It’s not just when evaluating whether something fits the bill for high quality, but worldwide recognition often stems from high critical reception and subsequent awards. Due to the fact that the gaming industry itself is still relatively in its infancy compared to other more established mediums, it does need critical recognition of quality. It also needs them in the form of honorary awards and acknowledgement. And by that I don’t mean failures like some of the VGAs, but legitimate ceremonies akin to what you get with film. Gaming is evolving and more than that it needs to evolve, as long gone are the days when it was little more than something the kids did on their TVs and computers.

The other reason I still believe reviews are important is because Let’s Plays are fundamentally entertainers. They are not critics and do not have that particular insight. Most of the time you’re watching a Let’s Player for the personality, and not for the game being played. The game being played is secondary. With that in mind, Let’s Players cannot replace critical analysis. But what of gameplay videos? Well, while it’s great for an experienced gamer to watch gameplay walkthroughs and understand the game and its mechanics and pretty much what’s going on, the average gamer will not be so savvy. On top of that, it’s hard to know from watching gameplay whether a title succeeds in its entire duration, or whether there are deep-rooted flaws either technically or mechanically. And there’s the obvious point as well about watching gameplay resulting in spoilers, even if it’s just the experience of one or two cinematic moments you’d best have faced yourself.

So why then do many reviews still fail readers? Some have said that it’s because any old gamer can just become a reviewer, with no qualifications whatsoever. I don’t believe in this, because academic knowledge and experience does not trump actual experience and acquired knowledge in my opinion. For example I have no formal qualifications with regards to journalism, but I’ve been writing about games and the industry for five years now, and have of course played games my entire life. I’ve always been very critical with high standards, and am driven to increase my knowledge. But there’s nothing ‘official’ about my work here. It’s passion about games and writing primarily. Thus a better argument here for me would be that, rather than official experience, a reviewer should actually be advanced in the sense that he or she understands a wide variety of aspects regarding gaming. Coupled with experience there needs to be an understanding of gameplay mechanics, narrative, audio, intuitiveness, graphical fidelity, art direction and so forth. When you think about it like that, games are actually very advanced pieces of entertainment and perhaps not for any casual or newbie to critically evaluate.

In other words, it’s like I keep saying: games are much more than just “oh that was fun – nine out of ten!”

The argument I’m also in favour of is that reviews are fundamentally flawed with regards to scoring. There is a unique mentality within the gaming industry, that exists both in publishers and gamers, in which anything below an eighty is not worth the time for triple A. We accuse publishers of setting ridiculous standards for Metacritic, but gamers aren’t that different in how they treat scoring charts. To me, a seven is a good score, just like it would be for a movie. But for gamers, serious disappointment exists with such a score. Effectively, the only numbers that mean anything is an eight or nine, and anything below is either a disappointment or straight trash. Sure sixes and sevens still get played or offered recommendations, and some gamers will still play terribly scored games out of curiosity, but it’s the mentality that I am citing as a problem. But is this maybe deflecting the problem onto other sources besides reviewers? Maybe a little. I’d much rather refer to my previous paragraph in which I spoke of the complexity of games and the high standards a critic should adhere to.

That, for me, is the essence of the matter, if I have to draw a conclusion. Games are more advanced than they are given credit for, but no matter how objective you believe yourself to be, behind every keyboard is a subjective human, and it is impossible to cater to every person. A review is firstly then a guide, or an early warning system if you will, to inform readers so that they can then make their own decision. I don’t believe a review exists to tell you what to do. You’re the only one capable of deciding whether you think a game is great or worth the money and so forth. But quality, however, is always debatable. And secondly reviews do measure quality. In order to assess quality, an understanding of gaming must be combined with experience. And I believe that in order for reviews to be more reliable indicators of quality, the industry itself just needs to keep growing. As games are studied and people become more knowledgeable of them and the industry, I believe standards will improve.

The heart of it though, for me, is that we just need a higher standard of critic, which will come with time. Reviews aren’t useless authorities on quality, but perhaps some of the people writing them are.

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Naughty Dog Brainwashed By Sony, Thinks An Uncharted Remaster Would Be “Really Cool” http://egmr.net/2014/07/naughty-dog-brainwashed-sony-thinks-uncharted-remaster-really-cool/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/naughty-dog-brainwashed-sony-thinks-uncharted-remaster-really-cool/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:30:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151811 An Uncharted trilogy remaster for PS4 seems like the obvious choice with all the massive amounts of excitement surrounding The Last Of Us Remastered, and the fact that Uncharted 4: […]

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An Uncharted trilogy remaster for PS4 seems like the obvious choice with all the massive amounts of excitement surrounding The Last Of Us Remastered, and the fact that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is on its way. Furthermore, Sony has often said that many PS4 adopters used to be Xbox 360 owners, which means a great many of the current crop of gamers never actually played Uncharted.

Now, back in April this year Caveshen ran with an opinion which discussed whether Naughty Dog actually wanted to develop more sequels and remasters rather than go onto new IPs. In other words, whether it was Sony’s coercion for the greater good of the PS4 that was enticing the beloved studio to allocate resources to another Uncharted and a The Last Of Us PS4 edition.

It’s pretty believable stuff since, in a non-malicious way, it’s understandable why Sony would want Naughty Dog to act in favour of the PlayStation brand with the above mentioned ventures that would excite every owner of the console. Interestingly though, Naughty Dog hasn’t really given any opinions on the matter – until now. And it was Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida a week ago who said that the Uncharted series was a good candidate for a PS4 remaster, but at the same time it didn’t want to flood the market with remakes.

However, it seems Sony might have succeeded in brainwashing Naughty Dog with regards to acting for the greater good of PS4′s domination, and now the famous studio has said that it would be quite keen to do a remaster of Uncharted.

Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer, speaking to DigitalSpy in an interview, agreed with Yoshida in that the Uncharted collection would be a great thing for new PS4 adopters.

“When we look at the PS4 generation, especially in the US – I don’t know what the general feeling was in Europe – there were a lot of people who are new to PlayStation platforms, and may have not played Uncharted,” said Meyer.

“It would be a good time for us to leverage all the attention behind it and make it look better. It would be really cool to have. Shuhei really likes the Uncharted series quite a bit, and I think it would be a great way to introduce – I wouldn’t say a new generation – but to expand the people that are bound to know Uncharted.”

The community man then admitted that he was unsure if Naughty Dog would be able to pull it off, but believes it to be a “clever idea.”

“Since it’s the first time that we’re releasing a franchise across different platforms, it would be a good way to provide a way for our familiar players to go back and play the entire series with visual parity.

“I don’t know if we’re able to do that, but it’s a really clever idea. It would be nice to see if we can figure that out and pull that off.”

I’m going to stick to my theory, which is that we will indeed get an Uncharted trilogy remaster but only in the months before Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is due to release on PS4. Since that game is going to be out in 2015, it makes sense that we will get an Uncharted remaster in the same year, because if a significant number of PS4 owners haven’t played Uncharted, and are new to the PlayStation brand, then what better way than to give them all three previous games in one collection?

I wouldn’t be surprised either if some massive Uncharted collector’s edition was announced, which would include all three games, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and perhaps even a special PS4 console. Sony has already done a special PS4 branded console with The Last Of Us and Destiny, and few PlayStation names are bigger than Uncharted.

We’ll just have to see if all my theories are correct, won’t we?

P.S The title is a joke. Calm yourself.

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The Evil Within Will Release Earlier Than You Thought It Would http://egmr.net/2014/07/evil-within-will-release-earlier-thought/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/evil-within-will-release-earlier-thought/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:45:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151791 Remember The Evil Within, that elusive horror game in development by Tango Gameworks and headed by Shinji Mikami? Well, if you were excited for it you’ll be pleased to know […]

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Remember The Evil Within, that elusive horror game in development by Tango Gameworks and headed by Shinji Mikami? Well, if you were excited for it you’ll be pleased to know that it will now release earlier than originally anticipated, as confirmed by Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines.

Hines, speaking at QuakeCon, where Doom 4 was finally revealed, confirmed that The Evil Within will be out on October 14 as opposed to October 21.

Three cheers for impatience! The game will be out a solid week earlier than you thought it would. Get the parades out, gentlemen.

In case you forgot, The Evil Within was actually meant to release in August, but was delayed in order for Tango Gameworks to “further balance and refine”.

Maybe you should calm down with all those enemies who one-hit kill you, hey Tango?

If you haven’t been attracted to The Evil Within yet, and you are a horror fan, then know that Hines also made the ultimate PR statement in the history of forever in saying that the game will go ‘back to the roots’ of horror, so you know it’s going to be real.

Tune in for our review of The Evil Within when that game eventually comes out. Oh wait, it’s only July, so we’ve got The Last Of Us Remastered coming up first.

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Microsoft Confirms Quantum Break Is Safe After Closing Of XES http://egmr.net/2014/07/microsoft-confirms-quantum-break-safe-closing-xes/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/microsoft-confirms-quantum-break-safe-closing-xes/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151794 Quantum Break is Remedy Entertainment’s upcoming Xbox One exclusive, in case you need a reminder of that. Now, this morning we reported on the official closing of Xbox Entertainment Studios, […]

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Quantum Break is Remedy Entertainment’s upcoming Xbox One exclusive, in case you need a reminder of that. Now, this morning we reported on the official closing of Xbox Entertainment Studios, which had been working on a few original TV series for Xbox. This was one of many changes that occurred during a massive reshuffle at Microsoft that saw some 18,000 layoffs at the company.

Of course some fans feared for Quantum Break (for some reason), but development of that game won’t be affected by what has happened with regards to the redundancies and department closures, as was confirmed by Microsoft itself.

I guess the reason people were worried about Quantum Break was because it offers a combination of gameplay and live-action TV show elements, which for some meant that there could be a spill-over effect after shutting down Xbox Entertainment Studios.

Microsoft spoke to Polygon when confirming that this isn’t the case, and Quantum Break will proceed as planned.

The game “will be released next year and the game and show both remain on track,” a short and sweet Microsoft statement read.

“The news of Xbox Entertainment Studios has not impacted our progress and we’re excited to share more details of Quantum Break at Gamescom in August.”

Quantum Break will be out in 2015, while the Xbox One will be coming to South Africa in September. You can find official details on pricing right here.

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The PS4 And Xbox One Console War, According To N4G http://egmr.net/2014/07/n4g-summarises-ps4-xbox-one-console-war/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/n4g-summarises-ps4-xbox-one-console-war/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:30:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151709 During an EGMR podcast recording this week I fired up N4G as usual to see the trending hot topics and assess whether anything could be worthwhile as discussion in our session. […]

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During an EGMR podcast recording this week I fired up N4G as usual to see the trending hot topics and assess whether anything could be worthwhile as discussion in our session. What I saw on N4G, rather than interest me, set me into a fit of laughter, and I subsequently sent the link to the rest of the team and actually made them look. New trends have certainly risen in haste over this console generation that is still in its infancy, and there have already been some great opinions around the internet in response to it all. But few things summarise what the current-gen console war between the PS4 and Xbox One is all about better than N4G’s trending topics as it was last night.

Take one look at that image above.

If that isn’t enough, I’ll have you know that clicking the right arrow to reveal the next six trending topics also displayed another three or four The Last Of Us articles that also had something to do with frame rate or resolution or graphics in the title. It was so eloquently put by another writer on this site back in May that console gamers had effectively become the new master race, and few things will show that as blatantly as a look at N4G’s trending topics, as captured at one point in time. Indeed it is obvious that with any new console generation graphical fidelity will be something everyone is intrigued by, but this is something else. This isn’t a volcanic excitement towards the potential of visuals in the coming years. Rather this is an obsession with technicalities surrounding graphics, which one would expect from PC gamers where it actually matters most from rig to rig. You know, the actual master race.

In May (that month had it all) I wrote that frame rate and resolution on PS4 and Xbox One is merely history repeating itself, because back when the PS3 first launched it too suffered from inferior multi-platform titles due to texture pop-ins and frame rate issues. Now it was just the Xbox One’s turn to have some of that medicine. However, while I still whole-heartedly back that opinion, what I want to elaborate on now is not just the massive increase in the size of the audience that makes issues like these eat up the limelight all the more, but the actual obsession that has developed with regards to console capabilities, to the point that one can say it almost defines the console war. People seem so desperate to ride the ‘PS4 is more powerful’ train (I am a PS4 owner before ‘Xbot’ accusations come flying in) that they’ve forgotten what actually wins a console generation. Spoiler: it isn’t graphical technicalities.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m above it all, or tell you that graphics don’t matter. While I used to be in favour of that sentiment, I soon discovered that graphics matter far more than any one of us would care to admit. Especially since it’s one of the fundamental reasons we upgrade consoles and PCs in the first place. Furthermore I myself engaged in plenty of discussion surrounding frame rate and resolution, you know, back when it was interesting a few months ago. I also know that banter is always fun between opposing fans. But I’ve read more than enough of the discussions surrounding the PS4 and Xbox to know that it isn’t really banter. It’s more like a desperate need to be part of the group with the more powerful console. So what I am going to tell you is that we should move away from this trap because resolution and frame rate, particularly 1080p and 60fps of course, have become little more than buzzwords, and that’s really how those two terms get so much ridiculous attention each time they’re mentioned, regardless of whether anyone truly cares for the game in question.

On top of companies like Sony and Microsoft knowing that they’re buzzwords, journalists know it as well. Oh, they do so well. They will throw these 1080p and 60fps titles at you because they know you’ll eat it up. Once in a while, sure, there will genuinely be an interesting discussion revolving around frame rate and resolution, but that will come from somewhere like DigitalFoundry, where it’s actually technical and there to inform. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of 60fps, being a PC gamer and a console gamer, and I would love having it in my games, due to how fluid it makes the experience and the great feeling of instant response time. It matters a lot more to me than a higher resolution. But, it’s important to understand that these two elements do not decide whether a game is any good, or whether one console is better than another. In a perfect world, based on promises made to us by Sony and Microsoft, all our console games would be 60fps and 1080p, but I guess that’s the difference between expectations and reality, right? Reality is a fickle bitch sometimes.

Fundamentally, as I’ve mentioned in the past, there are only two things that decide which console wins the generation. That would be high quality exclusives and great service. This fixation with frame rate and resolution is little more than a buzzwordy trend that holds interest in the absence of all the great or controversial games still to come, and the service packages Sony and Microsoft will bring. Look, I know how great it feels to take shots at Microsoft and Xbox fans after how last generation started and after all of Microsoft’s blunders. But you’d do well to know that the most powerful console doesn’t mean the best or most successful one, as was indicated by the PS2 and the Wii and the first few years of the Xbox 360′s dominance. Furthermore, you should know that it isn’t about how you start, but about how you finish. The PS3 proved that one very well. So, you can either continue to fuss over Microsoft’s PR from months ago and which console has the better frame rate and resolution, or you can begin competing with exclusives and service, because ultimately that is all that matters.

P.S The Last Of Us looking better on PS4 shouldn’t be so majestic, since it was a fantastic looking game running on eight year old technology. Also, The Last Of Us was an incredible game, so I would hope to Gordon Freeman that that’s your primary reason for wanting it on PS4.

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Here’s A Nice PR Trailer For Rainbow Six Siege http://egmr.net/2014/07/heres-nice-pr-trailer-rainbow-six-siege/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/heres-nice-pr-trailer-rainbow-six-siege/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:45:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151697 Rainbow Six Siege was announced back at good old E3, and we subsequently learned that Rainbow Six Patriots had been killed off for being old-gen. And in a nutshell that’s […]

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Rainbow Six Siege was announced back at good old E3, and we subsequently learned that Rainbow Six Patriots had been killed off for being old-gen. And in a nutshell that’s pretty much all you need to know about Rainbow Six Siege.

A fresh trailer for the game has surfaced, which shows off the game’s tactically destructible environments, but be warned because it also comes with heaps of free PR and fake zinger statements.

You know, those hype trailers with all the quotes on them that’s supposed to make them seem all really cool and stuff. One of those.

Rainbow Six Siege is due to be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2015, and is a co-op multiplayer-focused game that involves hostage-taking criminals and the mighty Rainbow Six teams. Plus lots of destructible environments.

Producer Sebastien Labbe also pretty much confirmed a Rainbow Six Siege beta without explicitly confirming one, saying:

“What I can say is that for sure, we’re no different from the other online shooters. We want to be online – we’re providing a strong PVP game, and if we want that we need to create a community. So if we wait until the launch, I expect it will be too late.

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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Could Have Been Fired Last Year http://egmr.net/2014/07/activision-ceo-bobby-kotick-fired-last-year/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/activision-ceo-bobby-kotick-fired-last-year/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151695 If anything this proves that there is great injustice in the world, doesn’t it? Reports from Bloomberg suggest that Vivendi considered firing Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick over the sale of […]

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If anything this proves that there is great injustice in the world, doesn’t it? Reports from Bloomberg suggest that Vivendi considered firing Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick over the sale of Vivendi’s Activision stock.

Through emails concerning the purchase of stocks from Vivendi, Activision Blizzard’s controlling shareholder, several members of Vivendi discussed firing that Bobby Kotick guy, who we know of but don’t speak of. Except for now, in this article. The complaints came about due to accusations that Bobby Kotick threatened to quit if he wasn’t allowed to lead a group which would go on to purchase $2.34 billion of Vivendi’s Activision shares.

“I really wonder who’s going to fire him,” Vivendi’s CEO (at the time) Jean-Francois Dubos asked in an email on May, 31.

“Myself, happily. Tomorrow if you want,” responded Philippe Capron, Vivendi’s CFO and Activision Chairman at that time.

As we know though, Bobby Kotick didn’t end up getting fired, and the deal he led that totalled $8.2 billion worth of shares left him in charge of Activision. I would assume that those who put up any protest are safely dead.

The emails were evidenced in a shareholder’s court filing in June, and during last month’s trial a Delaware judge ruled that Kotick and Brian Kelly (current Activision chairman) must face claims that they improperly benefited from the deal.

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Reviews Don’t Exist To Help The Developer, But To Help The Player http://egmr.net/2014/07/reviews-dont-exist-help-developer-help-player/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/reviews-dont-exist-help-developer-help-player/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:30:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151594 I’m fairly pissed off by what I’ve just read, so I apologise in advance if this comes across as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. I’ll make the necessary attempt […]

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I’m fairly pissed off by what I’ve just read, so I apologise in advance if this comes across as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. I’ll make the necessary attempt to reel-it-in and focus on the issue. What issue is that? Well, today John Ardussi, the president of Game Mechanics, wrote on Gamasutra that YouTube doesn’t necessarily result in a surge of sales. Of course that’s not all, there’s more. Ardussi suggests, in his experience, that 150,000 YouTube views of his game led to 300 page visits to the Game Mechanics website, and only four to ten actual sales from that. While he didn’t go into any significant detail regarding his study, and we know of plenty of other examples of success achieved through viral YouTube videos, he did say some things that really don’t sit well with me. 

Doubting the premise that YouTube exposure leads to significant spikes in sales, he said “There is a huge difference between getting the word out and sales.”

“If you are a [YouTube] reviewer, get better at helping the developer. You don’t have to change your review of the game, just make sure you give out all the information needed.”

This is where I flat out declare that he’s wrong. Perhaps he had no ill-intentions when putting it that way, but I’m going to take it as it’s been said. It’s not very surprising that in the same week we’ve had YouTube personalities come under scrutiny for relationships with publishers akin to what game journalists have (minus the part about having to give a positive review – although the jury is still out), and after having just discussed this in a detailed opinion piece, someone comes out and says something that is exactly the wrong way to go about the whole thing.

It starts with one basic fact. Ardussi is wrong. Reviews do not exist to help the developer. They exist to help the player. As a reviewer, I am not your PR. I am not responsible for giving you sales. If you want that, you’d best chat to your marketing department. Whether you’re a journalist or a YouTube personality, you most certainly do not need to get better at helping the developer as far as sales are concerned. The job is already being done with coverage and exposure. I will not actively help you get sales unless I believe in your work and I’m doing it of my own accord, and with no obligation, incentive or request behind me doing so. That is the crux of the entire matter. As a writer or YouTube personality, ideally you have a passion for games and your trade is covering them honestly and constructively. But first and foremost your intentions should be towards gamers.

Look, Ardussi’s words do actually have merit if you analyse it from the perspective that reviews should just get better at informing consumers fairly, and with all necessary information included. That I can get behind entirely, because too often you’ll find shoddy reviews with barely any detail and a random number slapped on the end. There, if that is what the man actually meant, I can agree. Reviews do need to assist developers with fairness and constructive feedback. But given that the context behind his research and statements is that he’s rather let down by sales generated from YouTube exposure, I’m going to take it as that and respond in turn.

Make no mistake, I’ve helped many indie developers with coverage and by even telling people outright to purchase their games. I’ve bought many indie games myself and continue to do so. Even in sales I’ve bought indie games I’d already played (whether through a friend, another console or in the past), just to support the developers and actually own the game. Mainstream developers too, when I’ve believed enough in the game. But that’s because wanted to do that, and not because it was part of my job description. I’m a gamer first, and I write reviews for gamers. Players. Not to help developers. This mentality is fundamentally what is wrong with the current relationship between consumers and reviewers, in my opinion. It feels like consumers are just there in the middle, when in actuality we should be catering for them and acting as a bridge between them and publishers and developers.

See, we exist in a world where the line between journalism and PR is always dangerously close to being crossed. George Orwell rather beautifully said that “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” Of course it’s nice to wrap something up in a fancy quote, but there is clear merit in those words. When we as writers and YouTube personalities promote games, we are providing PR. When we constructively criticise and give honest assessments on games and the industry, that is more akin to journalism.

What separates us from straight up being PR is that both promotion and critiquing should be focused on the gamer before any other party. A PR department’s primary objective is to increase awareness and sales of what it’s representing, whereas our primary objective is to inform gamers. That’s the distinction that absolutely must be understood. If we’re promoting a game, it’s not to get the developers sales but rather to alert consumers to a great game. If we’re criticising a game or a developer practice or some company, it’s not to harm sales but to inform consumers. Sales should not be a part of it. At all. Again, that’s not our job, even though we actively engage in PR on a regular basis. Our job is to inform.

But of course we don’t live in that perfect world we like to talk about. So the best advice I can give is that you should always trust your own instincts first, and try to form your own opinion. Think for yourself. No one can tell you what to think or what to do. That’s your prerogative. With that said though, it is absolutely vital that you understand the distinction between PR and us, and that you fight for the fact that sources of reviews, whether through a website or YouTube personality, cater to you and not to any company. That is the basic wish you’re entitled to have as a consumer, and the most basic of objectives I’d like to believe we’re required to strive towards as journalists and reviewers.

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Destiny PC Release Revealed, Or Is This A Great Big Troll? http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-pc-release-revealed-great-big-troll/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-pc-release-revealed-great-big-troll/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:45:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151584 Destiny seems like the obvious choice for PC, given that it’s an MMO first person shooter and it’s heavily reliant on its social aspects and team play. However, so far it’s only been […]

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Destiny seems like the obvious choice for PC, given that it’s an MMO first person shooter and it’s heavily reliant on its social aspects and team play. However, so far it’s only been announced for consoles, despite Bungie showing interest in bringing the game over to the PC platform.

Interestingly enough though, some gamers have found that Destiny is on Steam’s database, which gives some credibility (or an extra slice of conspiracy) to the claims that a PC version will be announced at some point. If I had to bet on it (even though betting is haraam, but go with it), I’d say that only after the game releases on consoles will we actually get a PC announcement.

Back to the story and away from my hypothesising, the details on the Steam Database indicate that the PC port of Destiny will be out in March 2015. As we know, the console versions, current and last gen, will be released on September 9 this year.

“It is [a good fit], and it’s something we’re talking about and looking at very carefully, and obviously it makes a lot of sense with the genre and the type of game it is,” Activision CEO Erik Hirshberg said about the PC version in an interview with Polygon.

“Again, no announcements, but it’s something that’s a heavy point of discussion. And you asked how we are dealing with the complexity of developing for so many platforms, how about one more on top of that?” he added.

When asked about the development of the game on PC, Hirshberg responded, “You know, developing on PC is a different animal than developing for consoles and so we just want to make sure that we’re putting one foot in front of the other and getting it right, and that it’s of the highest possible quality. But obviously I see the same things about the natural fit.”

If you’re interested in playing it now, you have to pre-order (damn pre-order culture) it in order to get access to the beta, which commences on July 17 for PS4 and July 20 for Xbox One.

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If You’re A Pacifist, Alien Isolation Will Cater To Your No-Violence Tendencies http://egmr.net/2014/07/youre-pacifist-alien-isolation-will-cater-violence-tendencies/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/youre-pacifist-alien-isolation-will-cater-violence-tendencies/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151581 Alien Isolation is a game that many fans of the franchise are praying for. After all, anything to erase the terrible memory that was Aliens: Colonial Marines. Better yet, Alien […]

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Alien Isolation is a game that many fans of the franchise are praying for. After all, anything to erase the terrible memory that was Aliens: Colonial Marines. Better yet, Alien Isolation actually has a rather interesting concept instead of another dudebro military shooter.

Now, developer The Creative Assembly has talked up another feature of the game, and it’s the fact that you can go through the entire experience without registering a single kill. So if you’re a pacifist, or you want a challenge, you can now do the opposite of gaming, and that is avoid killing anything or anyone.

It’s funny how nearly all of our gaming experiences involve killing, so whenever the ‘no-kill’ feature gets announced, the pacifistic gamer folk and achievement whores collectively get turned on.

In addition to just stating that it’s part of the game, The Creative Assembly also explained why in an interview that GamesTM reported on. In the lengthy interview, he also spoke quite a lot about the game in general, so if you’re looking forward to Alien Isolation then you best give it a read. Well then, let’s get started. There won’t be a TL:DR summary for you lazy brains out there.

First up is Alien Isolation lead designer Gary Napper addressing the most common concern levelled at the game. If you haven’t been following, it’s the fact that gamers are worried that with so little threats (in numbers), the game being primarily survival horror and the fact that it will be quite lengthy, won’t it get boring after a while?

Napper (he’s not Nappa from Dragon Ball Z) says: “I think the thing we face mostly on this is when we explain the core idea of ‘It’s you versus the alien’, people go ‘that’ll be amazing! But I’m going to be bored after three hours’…

“If you can extrapolate from at the beginning having nothing and it’s just you hiding from the alien, to come up to what [we’ve shown so far] – and then extend that out for another while – there’s actually a hell of a lot we do with the game that’s really interesting. And obviously we like to mix it up a bit as well.”

Alien Isolation will also strive to keep players invested through the use of its emergent nature. There are numerous ways to progress or solve problems, and it’s not strictly linear. Because the absence of linearity is another one of those gaming things that gives hard-ons to the masses.

“The mission structure is something we built around the idea of the station being a real place. There are too many games where it’s a linear experience and, for example, you walk through a door, it closes behind you and you can’t go back through it. Why is that?

“As you progress through the station and unlock more areas you can always go back to the areas you’ve been through. A big part of that was making sure that when you go back there’s still things going on, so it didn’t feel like ‘I’ve done this area, I’ll be fine’ – the alien can actually be anywhere… It’s very much a Metroidvania style of unlocking things.”

Of course, reasonably so, gamers were also worried that with human and synthetic enemies, it was possible the game would abandon survival horror in favour of shooty shooty bang bang. Napper says otherwise.

“You can get through the entire game without killing someone. It’s something that was, not so much a challenge, but something I felt was what the character would do. We’re talking about a member of the Ripley family – they’re not like characters in games that gun down civilians because they’re in the way to get to the switch.”

In order to help you on your journey to killing no one at all, Alien Isolation provides protagonist Ripley with some retro-futuristic technology, like the motion tracker.

“It’s only 2D,” Napper said of the iconic tracker. “It’s those kinds of things that give you a lot of gameplay – you’re tracking the alien or a human or whatever, they could be on the floor below you, they could be in the ducts above you, they could be behind the wall – you’re never totally sure where these things are.”

Lastly, Napper said that it’s fun developing Alien Isolation, and had some positive words about the whole experience.

Napper agreed: “It’s definitely an opportunity – how often do you get to make that game you’ve always wanted to play? People can go their entire career without doing that. Everyone’s been really happy to join this team and get a chance to be a part of it.”

With all of this in mind are you more excited for Alien Isolation or do you share the reservations that it could become boring, since sneaking around and avoiding enemies with overexposure to horror for 15 hours could get old really fast?

I’m a massive fan of horror, and with that said I do share the reservations that others have. Unless there’s a really interesting narrative going on, fifteen hours is a really long time to be exposed to one kind of horror. Outlast pulled it off with an eight hour or so experience, and that’s great. But unless there’s more to the game than horror, ala puzzle solving and story for instance, it’s going to be difficult not to get desensitized to the atmosphere of Alien Isolation, and then be left wondering what you’re still doing playing it.

I guess we’ll find out when it lands on October 7 on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

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Ex-Call Of Duty Developers Form Reload Studios http://egmr.net/2014/07/ex-call-duty-developers-form-reload-studios/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ex-call-duty-developers-form-reload-studios/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:30:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151471 A new website has surfaced which indicates that a group of ex-Call of Duty developers have banded together in order to form a new indie team under the name Reload […]

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A new website has surfaced which indicates that a group of ex-Call of Duty developers have banded together in order to form a new indie team under the name Reload Studios.

Reload will be announcing its new shooter in the near future. The team currently consists of five industry veterans, which includes four former employees at Infinity Ward. Of course, that would be the group responsible for the creation of the Call of Duty franchise.

The team consists of James Chung, who used to work on the Call of Duty franchise, Taehoon Oh, who worked on six Call of Duty games over ten years, Pete Blumel, a producer who did some time with Modern Warfare and Ghost games, and Hougant Chen, who worked on Call of Duty titles and Kaos Studios’ shooter Homefront.

Those four have also teamed up with Nik Ranieri, a prolific ex-Disney animator who did some work on The Little Mermaid and other major Disney films. In total Reload Studios has 12 employees.

In addition Reload has also revealed two “advisers” in its team, namely Zachary Norman of textPlus and Alexander Krivicich of Buffalo Studios.

James Chung said the following in a press release that has still not been released, but has been dated July 14th:

When I first saw what the latest round of VR devices could do, I realized these were not just peripherals but brand new platforms that could transform the way we experience, interact with and create media. It was the perfect time to follow my passion and bring together the most talented people I know under one roof to form a development culture that promotes creativity and collaboration.

Co-founder, Taehoon Oh, added:

People are always looking for something new. Just as smartphones changed the way we live our lives, I am sure VR will change the way people experience media content. As a game developer, this realization compelled me to become part of a new team that focuses on developing VR content.

Reload Studios is developing a first-person shooter (of course) for current-gen consoles, virtual reality and mobile, and it’s set for release in 2015.

To find out more and keep in touch, you can check out their website and monitor their Twitter feed.

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For A Limited Time In Japan You Can Eat Pikachu http://egmr.net/2014/07/limited-time-japan-can-eat-pikachu/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/limited-time-japan-can-eat-pikachu/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:45:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151453 Pikachu is of course the electric rat of a mascot for Pokemon (or Pocket Monster), and Japan already has countless merchandise to show its love for the franchise. While those […]

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Pikachu is of course the electric rat of a mascot for Pokemon (or Pocket Monster), and Japan already has countless merchandise to show its love for the franchise. While those commonly involve a ‘Pocket Monster’ branding, this limited-time Pikachu cafe is a whole other story.

It’s coming about in celebration of the soon-to-be-releaesed Pokemon movie titled Pokémon the Movie XY: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction. This coming weekend in Tokyo, a limited-time “Pikachu Cafe” will be offering up Pikachu to devour in a number of different ways. 

There are curry dishes, burgers, shakes and desserts, all in the name of consuming Pikachu.

Website Inside Games has grabbed images of other foodstuff, and all of it is down in the gallery for you to see. Curry buns, beef stuff and rice omelette, Pokeball munchies – you gotta just see it all. Pun unintended.

I don’t know about you, but I really want to eat that burger.

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The Mentality Behind Virtual Reality Is “Bad News” http://egmr.net/2014/07/mentality-behind-virtual-reality-bad-news/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/mentality-behind-virtual-reality-bad-news/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151450 Virtual Reality continues to be the hot topic of the games industry now with Oculus Rift and Sony’s own Project Morpheus having gained so much attention. More than that, it’s […]

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Virtual Reality continues to be the hot topic of the games industry now with Oculus Rift and Sony’s own Project Morpheus having gained so much attention. More than that, it’s been the wet dream of geeks for years, and it looks like we finally may be beginning that long-awaited journey into the land of VR and it’s pornographic innovative possibilities.

Now, of course there also exist reservations towards how the technology will be used. Last weekend, one of the reservations in question was made by Fabian Giesen, a former contractor for Valve, who tweeted that virtual reality was “bad news”. It got some attention, and now Giesen has took to GitHub to expand his explanation and add much-needed context.

In his post, Giesen explained that his reservations aren’t geared towards Oculus or current virtual reality technology itself, but rather the mentality that exists behind it that appears to be “fundamentally anti-social, completing the sad trajectory of entertainment moving further and further away from shared social experiences.”

The post contained quite a few reasons and lengthy explanations, but the core of it is regarding the anti-social mentality that can be abused easily by companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple. As we all know, Facebook recently purchased Oculus Rift in a massive $2 billion deal.

Giesen, in the last few years, worked twice as a contractor for Valve – once in 2012 and then again in 2014. His original task was to do with designing and implementing an optical tracking system in Valve’s virtual reality rooms. Most of his 2014 work was building on what had been done initially in the years prior. Giesen said that virtual reality is currently heading in the direction where it’s little other than a “gateway to the ultimate MMORPG,” saying it’s “a very cyberpunk future all right, but one I’d prefer not to live in.”

I myself have expressed reservations recently towards virtual reality, particularly with regards to practicality, its innovation of gaming, fans’ expectations of it and the lengthy time it will need in order to make its mark. Hearing Giesen’s reasons are quite interesting, but as I mentioned in my opinion piece I do believe that if you purely want to see strides made in gaming, perhaps you could watch Project Morpheus on the PS4 since something will be done there at some point in time.

Otherwise virtual reality will always be a slow moving technology because not only does it actually have to find its feet, but there’s also the matter of it being costly and impractical for just anybody to use, which means it will start out being a minority luxury. It will be interesting to observe its journey throughout this console generation, especially to see how corporations end up using it.

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Saints Row Studio To Increase Size By 100 http://egmr.net/2014/07/saints-row-studio-increase-size-100/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/saints-row-studio-increase-size-100/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:30:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151448 Saints Row developer Volition is looking set to significantly increase the size of its studio by hiring 100 new staff members. Now that is quite some number. According to GamesIndustry, the […]

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Saints Row developer Volition is looking set to significantly increase the size of its studio by hiring 100 new staff members. Now that is quite some number.

According to GamesIndustry, the expansion plans of the Champaign, lllinois-based company were released after an application was made to the city for financial assistance in remodelling Volition’s office.

Volition is, as reports suggest, looking or $200,000 for building work, and on top of that another $100,000 to offset the cost of its plans (which comes to $1,000 per new employee). Some suggestions floating around say that Volition will consider relocating outside of the city’s expensive downtown area if it doesn’t receive the support it has requested.

If 100 people were to be hired, the total headcount at Volition will allegedly be 300, which should mean the studio is primed for a current-gen game. Maybe Saints Row V?

The News Gazette, which acquired a memo that was sent off to the city council, reports that Volition’s parent company Koch Media and its associated publisher Deep Silver have encouraged searching for the most cost-effective method for its studio expansion.

Volition previously used to be under THQ, but during the sinking of that company and its subsequent auction the company was bought up by Kock Media in January 2013 for around $22.3 million.

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Homefront The Revolution In A Deeper Crisis As Game Director Reportedly Resigns http://egmr.net/2014/07/homefront-revolution-deeper-crisis-game-director-reportedly-resigns/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/homefront-revolution-deeper-crisis-game-director-reportedly-resigns/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:30:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151366 Homefront The Revolution is fast turning into one of the year’s most bizarre disaster stories. Of course that’s taking into account that all the reports have been true thus far. […]

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Homefront The Revolution is fast turning into one of the year’s most bizarre disaster stories. Of course that’s taking into account that all the reports have been true thus far.

To quickly recap, towards the end of June we learned that Crytek is allegedly in serious trouble and may go bankrupt. While Crytek moved to deny the reports that it could be facing bankruptcy, that didn’t stop a whole lot more information from surfacing regarding staff departures, an unstable working environment and more alarming woes for the company. If that wasn’t enough to cast doubt over the future of Homefront The Revolution, at the start of this month we heard reports that development of the game had been halted as employees were refusing to attend work.

Now, it’s very possible that Homefront The Revolution is in even deeper trouble as multiple Kotaku sources have suggested that game director Hasit Zala has resigned from Crytek UK. Zala also acted as franchise director for Crytek’s free-to-play shooter Warface, which recently released on Steam.

Of course this means that there is a lot of uncertainty over the future of Crytek UK and Homefront The Revolution, and things are getting more serious by the day.

Crytek has not given any comment on these issues since denying that it isn’t facing bankruptcy. I’d put my money on these reports being true, and if so then something immediate and drastic needs to happen over at that company and fast if it is to have any hope of surviving. In all likelihood though, I can see Crytek going down and subsequently being bought by another company.

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Watch The Thunder God Unleashed In New Mortal Kombat X Gameplay http://egmr.net/2014/07/watch-thunder-god-unleashed-new-mortal-kombat-x-gameplay/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/watch-thunder-god-unleashed-new-mortal-kombat-x-gameplay/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:45:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151350 Mortal Kombat X was unveiled at E3 this year when we witnessed Scorpion (my favourite) brutally murder Sub-Zero, who I feel is like the Kenny of the franchise. Poor sod […]

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Mortal Kombat X was unveiled at E3 this year when we witnessed Scorpion (my favourite) brutally murder Sub-Zero, who I feel is like the Kenny of the franchise. Poor sod is always getting the short end of the murder stick.

Confidence for the new game is high after NetherRealm Studios’ fantastic effort with the Mortal Kombat reboot, and it’s easy to see why fans are excited for Mortal Kombat X. Sadly, it’s only coming in 2015, but the good news is that it will be on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, so no one is left out.

And to ease the pain of waiting, you can check out the newest gameplay footage up above for Mortal Kombat X, which showcases the Thunder God Raiden in all his sparkly glory. It’s absolutely worth watching.

Also, be prepared to laugh quite a bit around 1:49.

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Is It Fair For YouTube Content Creators To Receive Money From Publishers? http://egmr.net/2014/07/fair-youtube-content-creators-receive-money-publishers/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/fair-youtube-content-creators-receive-money-publishers/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151354 In what is perhaps unsurprising news, a recent survey carried out by Gamasutra revealed that almost a dozen YouTube stars admitted to accepting money from gaming publishers in exchange for coverage on […]

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In what is perhaps unsurprising news, a recent survey carried out by Gamasutra revealed that almost a dozen YouTube stars admitted to accepting money from gaming publishers in exchange for coverage on their games. The survey asked 141 YouTubers questions regarding ethics and video game criticism. While the data is available for you to process as you see fit, I want to discuss the issues surrounding such a deal since it is something widely debated between gamers, content creators and journalists, and is still a bit of a gray area. In light of YouTubers admitting to “receiving money directly or indirectly from a game dev/publisher for recording videos of their games”, I want to address the core issues that surface once such a deal is in place. Strap in gentlemen, it’s time to debate. 

Before that I’d like to issue the disclaimer that I am absolutely not a backer of the argument that these YouTubers have no right to complain about such and such regarding wanting or needing compensation because all they do is record themselves playing games and whatever. In other words, the silly argument that they should “get real jobs”. For me that argument stems from a repressed jealously towards someone who has turned something they’re passionate about into something profitable, and achieved success with it. If you’re lucky and gifted enough to become a successful YouTube personality or anything in the indie field really, then it’s your good fortune and you most likely earned it. I mean, just trying to wrap my head around that argument makes it spin. I review games, which means all I do is play them and then write about them. Why is it alright for us but not YouTube content creators? That’s just one tiny hole in the argument. There’s plenty else, such as providing something people enjoy and want to consume, and being independent and putting in the effort and all the rest.

With that out of the way it’s time to discuss the implications of such a partnership, if you will. First and foremost I believe that with YouTube personalities, fans generally know who they do and don’t trust. They form a relationship or attachment to these YouTube personalities, and it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship. Many famous content creators like PewDiePie, Markiplier, Boogie and Angry Joe and so forth have closely-knit communities who function as exactly that: a community. Therefore I believe that if such a deal is taking place with publishers, the first step for it to be acceptable is for there to be absolute crystal clear transparency about it. From there, you are free to make your own decision regarding whether you still want to trust that YouTubers’ opinions or not, because on some level you do know them personally. While I can’t speak for others, I do know that Boogie disclosed this information to his fans, and if this is taking place then there is room for it to work out.

However. As is often the case we live on planet Earth and not in an ideal world. In an ideal world, receiving money in exchange for covering a game would be fine under the condition that it does not affect a fair review. But since ‘paying for advertising’ means the payer wants positive press, that’s where things become iffy. If the agreement does not affect fair criticism and honesty, whether via Let’s Playing or reviewing, then ideally it should be allowed to stand. But the problem exists because it puts doubt over the coverage said content creator is doing. It casts a shadow over credibility. When a new game gets a shiny nine out of ten or a rave review from said content creator, it is expected that some camps may cry foul based on the knowledge that there is a monetary relationship with publishers. I can get behind the idea that if a publisher wants their game to be covered, give a free copy to the content creator and leave money out of it. But at the same time, I can’t necessarily tell users whether or not to trust someone who has accepted such compensation. I only put forward that users should be aware of the possible implications, and understand why it affects credibility.

By that token alone, as a games writer I would not accept monetary compensation in exchange for coverage, just because it understandably puts doubt into the mind of consumers and to them feels like a dishonest practice. It also means that every high score I give out will come under scrutiny. It is very difficult to not have your perceptions affected in such a deal, and equally difficult not to have the perceptions of a portion of your fans affected by it. Fair earnings for YouTubers is generally down to ads, donations or the selling of merchandise and such, and those are commonly regarded as their own achievements. But as soon as publishers creep into it, it starts getting controversial. You need to understand what is acceptable and fair, such as receiving a free copy of a game for review, and what isn’t, which would be receiving payment or exclusive coverage rights in exchange for a positive review.

If anything this proves that you can’t be blinded by a YouTubers’ assumed independence and believe that they’re automatically more trustworthy than a games journalist or writer, as they can also partake in similar relationships. It also proves that with anything you need to form your own opinions and conclusions, and it’s up to you to decide how you view such a relationship between content creators or journalists and publishers. The only way it could possibly be acceptable is through complete transparency with the user base, and even then many will still be unhappy about it if the coverage is in the form of a review or a Let’s Play where an opinion on the game is given. How I see it is that it is something that should be avoided, but it’s not for me to judge unless there is clear evidence of foul play, which would be forced positive coverage or something to that extent.

At the end of the day, the thing about being an independent artist or content creator is that you have to earn your fortune. I would know since I’m striving to be an indie author, and self-published my first novel at the start of this year. With YouTube, as mentioned above, that stems from having enough subscribers that ads or selling merchandise become viable ways for profit. What must also be taken into account is that some of the content creators, like the Let’s Players, aren’t necessarily there to critique games, but entertain, and perhaps that in itself can be part of the reason why such a relationship could be alright for their fans. On the other hand, some fans would prefer hearing honest takes on the games from said Let’s Players, and as already mentioned it depends on the individual fan and their assessment of the content creator and the relationship in question.

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Insider Reveals Dishonored 2 Details http://egmr.net/2014/07/insider-reveals-dishonored-2-details/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/insider-reveals-dishonored-2-details/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:15:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151292 As usual the obvious disclaimer is that any information obtained from an insider should be taken with a pinch of salt and not as fact. We’re not IGN. Kidding! Cheap shot, […]

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As usual the obvious disclaimer is that any information obtained from an insider should be taken with a pinch of salt and not as fact. We’re not IGN. Kidding! Cheap shot, I know.

The insider in question has lifted the lid on numerous details regarding Arkane Studios’ currently in-development Dishonored 2. These details were disclosed to NowGamer by a source who is in the know about the game and its development.

According to the source, Dishonored 2 is in development over at Arkane’s Lyon studio, and the game is being headed by Harvey Smith, co-creative director alongside alongside Raphael Colontonio on the original game.

Dishonored 2 may very well star a new protagonist, although who would notice considering Corvo was a mute. In any case, the source revealed that Arkane held discussions about replacing Corvo, the protagonist from the first game, with Emily Kaldwin, who was that small princess child.

What this would suggest is that Dishonored 2 takes place a number of years after the original. Furthermore, it is likely that Dishonored 2 will be set in new places outside of the city of Dunwall, but the source couldn’t give any details regarding what locations players will visit in Dishonored 2.

As we know there are four islands which we know exist in the fictional word, namely Gristol (which is where Dunwall is located), Tyvia, Morley and Serkonos. With that in mind, it wouldn’t come as any surprise that a sequel will take players across the lands.

A leaked image suggests that the game’s full name will be Dishonored 2: Darkness Of Tyvia.

Be on the alert that this information relates to various discussions that went down at Arkane about 12 months ago, back when prototypes and early game frameworks for Dishonored 2 were in development by Arkane using the idTech engine.

The source doesn’t know how things have been going with Dishonored 2 since then, and of course that means massive changes could have been made. Or even that the developers went back to the drawing board and ate everything.

Regarding platforms, perhaps it’s worth a mention that Arkane Lyon is currently hiring for new positions, which includes an engine programmer to work on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions of some unnamed game. Safe to assume then that Dishonored 2 will be current-gen only.

The job listing didn’t mention PS3 or Xbox 360, which seems to solidify what I said a sentence ago, but hey anything is possible at this point.

About that leaked image spoken of above. It appeared before E3 this year, and suggested that we would be treated to a Dishonored 2 reveal at the conference. Obviously, Dishonored 2 didn’t appear, so either the image was little more than a fake or Bethesda chopped and changed plans at the last moment.

What do you think about all of these Dishonored 2 details?

If you need any reminders about the original, or never played it, feel free to read our review on the game.

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There Will Be “Barney Stinson Level Of Legendary” Elements In Dragon Age Inquisition http://egmr.net/2014/07/will-barney-stinson-level-legendary-elements-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/will-barney-stinson-level-legendary-elements-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:30:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151289 Bioware recently took part in a Q&A on the Raptr website regarding Dragon Age Inquisition, which has many people excited after the massively polarised and controversial game that was Dragon […]

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Bioware recently took part in a Q&A on the Raptr website regarding Dragon Age Inquisition, which has many people excited after the massively polarised and controversial game that was Dragon Age II. In the session, Bioware revealed new details about romances, companions and general gameplay.

In Dragon Age Inquisition there will be eight potential romance partners, which includes at least one outside the main party and two which are restricted to a certain race. We don’t know how our ‘fully gay’ friend will fit into that yet though.

Regarding companion relationships, Bioware stated that there will be a system in place that is similar to approval, but rather than mundane gift-giving it will focus more on player actions and companion goals. People (like me) who despised the dead system in Dragon Age 2 will be happy to know that communication between companions will feature interactive banter, which players can either engage in or ignore, and will be similar to a “Barney Stinson level of legendary.”

Whatever that means in Bioware’s mind.

There are also no plans for a “story mode” in Dragon Age Inquisition, and the game will range from easy to very difficult.

Weapons will still be restricted by class, but rogues will have the ability to use bows without any specialization. Unlike in previous games classes this time around will only have one specialization, and it will affect certain story moments.

The Q&A session also revealed that player home bases will be larger and more complex than the tiny little camp from Dragon Age: Origins, and will include customisable castles, various people to talk to and the ability to fast-travel between various camps.

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Uncharted A ‘Good Candidate’ For PS4 Remaster http://egmr.net/2014/07/uncharted-good-candidate-ps4-remaster/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/uncharted-good-candidate-ps4-remaster/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:45:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151287 Many of us were expecting an Uncharted trilogy remastered for PS4 to be announced at E3 this year, but it wasn’t to be. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t on […]

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Many of us were expecting an Uncharted trilogy remastered for PS4 to be announced at E3 this year, but it wasn’t to be. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t on Sony’s minds. PlayStation’s president of worldwide studios, and everybody’s favourite Asian, Shuhei Yoshida has said that Naughty Dog’s Uncharted is a “good candidate” for a PS4 remaster.

As we know, Sony will be releasing The Last Of Us Remastered later this month on PS4, and it will be in 1080p at 60fps on top of including the highly acclaimed Left Behind DLC.

When asked if Sony will remaster more PS3 games, Yoshida told Eurogamer, “There are requests from some consumers for games that were released later in the generation, like Uncharted, which people might have missed. That would be a good candidate. We don’t want to flood the market with remade games either.”

Yoshida also pointed out that nearly half of PS4 owners had not previously owned a PS3. “That’s lots of people that missed exclusive PS3 titles like The Last of Us, so it’s a great way to welcome those people back to PlayStation, saying this is what you missed.”

The Last of Us Remastered will be out on July 29, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be out in 2015.

My guess is that we will get an Uncharted trilogy remastered for PS4 next year, before the final game in the series releases. That would make the most sense, especially with Yoshida saying that so many PS4 owners did not own a PS3, and therefore probably didn’t play many of the exclusives.

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Gamers Should Forget About Half-Life 3 http://egmr.net/2014/07/gamers-forget-half-life-3/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/gamers-forget-half-life-3/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:30:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151212 In case you missed the news this week a gamer by the name of Christopher James Butler launched a daring Kickstarter campaign for Half-Life 3, claiming to have worked as a […]

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In case you missed the news this week a gamer by the name of Christopher James Butler launched a daring Kickstarter campaign for Half-Life 3, claiming to have worked as a gamer designer at Valve and EA and seeking to create the game himself with his team of five other people. Obviously the Kickstarter campaign was cancelled, and who would have invested in any case when it was most likely a troll or another plea to get Valve to make the game. Not to mention the fund was just £1,500, which is laughable in itself without even considering the audacity of a Kickstarer campaign that will only lead to copyright infringement. But this story is just one of many thousands out there of pleas for Half-Life 3 (at least that’s how I’m interpreting it), and in this article I’d like to, with a heavy heart, make my own plea to gamers to forget about the title. And I say that as a loving fan of the series myself.

This isn’t regarding Valve’s inside joke of never creating a ’3′ of anything. My fun theory is that Valve knows full well that second is the best, and takes that literally as the company doesn’t want to participate in the curse of trilogies, and make a disappointing third entry of anything. With the first entry of anything it’s usually a starting point, and you hold back a little and don’t throw every idea possible into the project, which is what happens with the second entry when you effectively go wild without anything holding you back, like having to build the title from the ground up. While this would be funny if it was a thought that crossed Valve’s mind, there’s also the fact that Valve doesn’t just make games. They cater to the gaming industry. Steam is their prime baby regarding that, and now they’re coming out with SteamOS and their own console, so Valve pretty much has its hands full. Not to mention Valve will have my eternal, undying love for Dota 2 and its unbeatable free-to-play model.

To actually address this topic, a big part of my reason for asking gamers to forget about Half-Life 3 is due to what has been said many times before, and that’s regarding expectations. Half Life 2: Episode Two released in 2007, and before that the original Half-Life 2 went out in 2004. It has been a full ten years since Half-Life 2 (which itself came six years after 1998′s Half-Life), and seven years since the last series outing. Just think about the elapsed time for one moment. Hopefully, you’ll reach one conclusion. That conclusion is not that Half-Life 3 is equatable to Duke Nukem Forever or anything extreme, because there’s no way Valve would ever put out a terrible game. Rather, I’d like you to think more along the lines of Dishonored, but to a far greater degree, because it’s Half-Life of course.

Dishonored suffered from so much irrational and crazy hype that when it finally released, despite being a great game, it disappointed many including me. But that was a new IP. It can’t possibly compare to the expectations of gamers and their desperate need for Half-Life 3. That’s why the conclusion I hope you’ll draw is that Half-Life 3 cannot match those expectations. I sincerely don’t believe an entertainment product can be worth more than ten years of anticipation, unless you didn’t know it was actually coming, and especially not when there is a deep desire to see what happens next after the Episode Two cliffhanger. But this doesn’t mean that Half-Life 3 can’t be a great game, or even that it can’t build upon both its predecessors and do something completely innovative and magical for the first person shooter genre. It doesn’t mean it can’t be a spectacular finish to the series. But I feel that no matter what Valve does, if people keep pleading for Half-Life 3 and don’t let it go, it will disappoint.

Hype and expectations breeds unrealistic ideas. But building on that obvious piece of information, while I know that gamers desperately want to see the end to the story and may feel that Valve’s treatment of it is wholly unfair, there also exists the alternate viewpoint that Valve has the creative freedom to refrain from making Half-Life 3 until it’s absolutely sure it first of all wants to, and secondly can actually make something great. Valve should have that, and they’re one of the few developers out there who don’t rush to produce sequels when they so very easily could and make all the profits in the world. After all, they certainly don’t lack for demand. But funnily enough, therein lies the Half-Life 3 contradiction. On the one hand, we praise Valve for their abstinence, but on the other the longer the wait the more unrealistic expectations rise, and the more Half-Life fans feel the series is being done a disservice.

My reason for requesting people to forget about Half-Life 3 stems from the harsh truth, and it’s not about expectations. It’s the fact that you aren’t getting Half-Life 3. It’s been ten years. Valve knows you want it, and I highly doubt the company is doing it on purpose just to smite you and derive sexual pleasure from your suffering. Whatever their reason, whether it’s because they simply don’t want to or don’t believe they have the right idea or motivation yet, I do actually believe that we will get Half-Life 3 this generation, because hey it’s a new console generation. And it’s what has happened before with the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2. But going back to the point, the fact that you aren’t getting Half-Life 3 should be the one fact you embrace. Letting go sucks, but it’s far better to let go than to pine over something you can’t get. I’m sure we can agree on that. Things like the aforementioned Kickstarter seem to just reopen old wounds, or just irritate as for some it just isn’t funny anymore.

When (or if) the Half-Life 3 announcement finally does come, I’m sure Valve will show something that at least gets a semi out of the mass gaming population. But until then, the best thing Half-Life 3 can do for us is be the butt of a lot of jokes concerning its eventual announcement, in whatever form that could be. Even the announcement of the game itself carries this weighted expectation of excellence, as if it will be some divine occurrence like a Half-Life symbol-shaped meteorite crashing on some hilltop with a ’3′ engraved within. The bottom line is that, after ten sodding years, the only way to reconcile that hype and expectation is to let go of Half-Life 3, and forget that it’s something you want. I myself have only played Half-Life 2 again recently, so it’s fresh in my mind, but the reality is that I don’t spare a thought on any given day, until now, to Half-Life 3. There is that little fact that in May this year Counter Strike developer Mihn Le seemed confident that the game is being worked on, but like anything else related to Half-Life 3, I would adopt a full-out ignore approach. It’s just better that way.

Although for fun I will place my bet that an announcement for the game will come in 2015.

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Sony Reveals Why It Chose To Announce The PS4 Before The Xbox One http://egmr.net/2014/07/sony-reveals-chose-announce-ps4-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/sony-reveals-chose-announce-ps4-xbox-one/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:45:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151209 You might be thinking that the obvious reason was to get there first before Microsoft, and not repeat the mistakes which caused the PS3 to lag behind, and of course you’d be right about […]

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You might be thinking that the obvious reason was to get there first before Microsoft, and not repeat the mistakes which caused the PS3 to lag behind, and of course you’d be right about that. However SCEI president Andrew House has finally explained what went on during that time and it proves to be a pretty interesting set of facts, particularly regarding the absence of the physical machine itself.

Interestingly enough, House revealed that the decision to not show the PS4 was not one that was taken deliberately in order to hold out until after Microsoft showed the Xbox One, which is what many speculated at the time. Some of us as well felt that Sony didn’t want to show their full hand for the PS4, and while that may still be true in a sense, this does provide a suitable explanation.

If you recall, Sony surprised the world when it showcased the PS4 well before Microsoft and the Xbox One, and uncharacteristically of them (based on the PS3 days) they got there first and cemented their place as the leader of the next generation. For a time of course. Now, House has spoken about it at the Develop Conference in Brighton.

“I think we were probably earlier in the announce than we have been previously, and that was very deliberate,” House admitted.

“I wanted to be out there first with the first announcement for this generation so you’ve got an opportunity to stake the ground and hopefully take something of a leadership position. Again, we’d had the experience of launching later than our competitor and that played very heavily to many of the thought processes and decisions made about PlayStation 4.”

The reaction to the PS4 reveal was positive across the board, but many had a lot to say about the absence of the physical box itself, and for some that detracted from the entire conference. There was plenty of debate about it, and in the speculation many felt that, as I mentioned above, it was a deliberate decision taken in order to avoid showing a full hand. House’s explanation, however, is a bit more comical although not as much of a conspiracy.

“This is one where I think honestly we were a little caught off guard and wrong-footed,” he admitted. “If you look back at our history of previous reveals, we generally always went with explaining what the concept would be, articulating what package the overall consumer experience was going to be and then later revealing the hardware. So this felt very natural and normal to us.”

House then went on to explain that the original design of the PS4 didn’t match his expectations, so he offered feedback to the design chiefs and returned them to the drawing board. After this, five sketches were drawn up, all of which House felt were workable. A process then followed in which House narrowed it down to two choices, and then the president just couldn’t choose. That led House to ask for two physical mock-ups to be made, and both of those sat in his personal office for one week as he brought in various long-standing members of Sony to vote. Of course, the design we see today is what won that vote, but House admitted that his gut feeling also aided in cementing the winner.

“My benchmark at the end of the day was knowing I was going to get up there at E3 and have to do this,” he said while raising his arms. “What would I be proudest holding?”

In many ways though, Sony had to get there first with the PS4 if they wanted to start off the new generation with a bang, and not repeat some of the tragic mistakes they made with the PS3. Coming out as early as February not only took us by surprise, but it certainly did the competition as well. For the months that followed the PS4 enjoyed global publicity in the absence of anything Xbox-related to talk about, and of course the other benefit was that with the reveal out of the way Sony had freed up future events.

Apart from recently, I’ve been pleased with how Sony have learned from their PS3 mistakes and have sought to correct them this generation. If only they could go back to purely focusing on games at their conferences, hey?

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EGMR Plays Dota 2: The Great Comeback http://egmr.net/2014/07/egmr-plays-dota-2-great-comeback/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/egmr-plays-dota-2-great-comeback/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151203 Welcome to EGMR plays Dota 2, where our team bands together to play the lovely game that we’ve been a fan of since its beginning as a Warcraft III custom […]

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Welcome to EGMR plays Dota 2, where our team bands together to play the lovely game that we’ve been a fan of since its beginning as a Warcraft III custom map. That’s right, many of us were around back in the famous South African Twilight server days.

In this replay, ‘The Great Comeback’, three team members are present, namely Tody, Cavie and Pansyfaust. Things go badly for a lengthy period of the game, and it looks like the Radiant’s Juggernaut will be too much to deal with. But luckily we have a plan.

In future we’d love to link up with anyone from our former community, or just any SA players in general. We have here and there, but if you’d like to join us for some games, feel free to tweet us, email us or even just comment in this article.

Doing so will of course get you featured in our Dota 2 games as a guest, and you’ll be part of the replays we upload to our YouTube account. If you’re not one to watch full replays, don’t worry as we’ll also be compiling short highlight videos to see some fun things or great plays.

Please subscribe to us if you’d like to keep track of our Dota 2 exploits!

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Review: The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf Is An Exhilarating, Satisfying Conclusion http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-wolf-among-us-cry-wolf-exhilerating-satisfying-conclusion/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-wolf-among-us-cry-wolf-exhilerating-satisfying-conclusion/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151156 Visit review on site for scoring. The previous episode of The Wolf Among Us, In Sheep’s Clothing, caused some concern with us as it slowed things down dramatically and served as […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

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The previous episode of The Wolf Among Us, In Sheep’s Clothing, caused some concern with us as it slowed things down dramatically and served as a build-up to the finale. While that’s nothing new, the reason I was a bit hesitant towards Cry Wolf was because there were many threads left for the final episode that it almost felt as if Telltale had left themselves with far too much to do in the last act. Any number of things could have gone wrong, whether it was to be excessive rushing, a lack of closure or unsatisfactory answers to the mysteries. However as always Telltale is ready to face the challenge in full vigour, and fortunately in this length episode that is jam-packed with action and story, the studio has managed to provide an ultimately satisfying conclusion to this tale.

I’m going to say little about the story, because it’s best if you just experience it for yourself. But let it be known that you will delve into The Crooked Man’s character, and you will find the answers to the mysteries set up in previous episodes and you will get to see how it all unfolds in light of everything you’ve chosen to do in your mission as the big bad wolf. The episode starts off with a full recap of all four previous episodes, reminding you of the important decisions you took and any relevant information for the final act. What impressed me most was that Cry Wolf was filled to the brim with action, suspense and story and despite that it still somehow managed to wrap up events and offer closure.

I do have a few criticisms. Naturally with Telltale leaving so much for the final episode there were bound to be issues. One of them is that despite the closure provided in Cry Wolf, I felt like a fair amount was left unsaid at the end, particularly between characters. It felt like there needed to be more core character dialogue, especially between Snow and Bigby. This wasn’t a major issue, but it would have definitely helped to make the final few minutes seem less empty. Fortunately, there’s something pretty great at the end which I won’t say anything about, and it definitely leaves you with something to think about. The other issue I had was that at various parts in the episode the pacing felt a bit off. To explain the issue would mean spoiling the situation, so I’ll simply say that it feels a bit uneven at times.

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One of the highlights in Cry Wolf is the fantastic action. By far it has some of the most exhilarating moments in the series, and the tangle with Bloody Mary in particular is awesome. Again, it’s admirable how much Telltale managed to put into this single episode, and it’s just an exhilarating journey from the moment you hit begin. Also topping the list of positives are the decisions you have to make in Cry Wolf, which are brutal to say the least. Let’s just say that if you’re someone who is in touch with your feels, Cry Wolf will take you on a bit of a roller-coaster ride. In many ways it’s a fascinating character study of the main players in the series, and by the end of it you will definitely feel like you understand most of them a lot better. Even some of the villains – well, The Crooked Man’s lackeys – get their moments in the spotlight, which helps to shed some light on their roles in the story.

When you reach the end you’ll get a nice little infographic that showcases some of your achievements within the story, as well as your narrative landmarks in connection with the characters you interact with. It’s a great way to summarise how you left things with many of the characters in the game, and which decisions you made. Furthermore, more so than any other episode in the series, Cry Wolf will definitely make you want to go back and replay a number of moments to explore alternate paths and decisions, because as already mentioned some of the decisions are just brutal. In fact I’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the best offerings in Telltales’ episodic adventures as far as replayability is concerned.

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The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf is an excellent way to close off the series, and it delivers some of its finest moments. It’s just an exhilarating ride that has everything from action to suspense to answers to defining character moments. If you’ve been waiting for the conclusion before getting invested, then there is no better moment or reason to pick up this game and experience it, because Cry Wolf cements The Wolf Among Us as a great game overall, and one that can easily fit in line with Telltale’s fantastic pedigree. With Cry Wolf I was left completely satisfied with this adventure.

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Borderlands 3 Scares Gearbox President Randy Pitchford http://egmr.net/2014/07/borderlands-3-scares-gearbox-president-randy-pitchford/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/borderlands-3-scares-gearbox-president-randy-pitchford/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:45:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151147 Borderlands 3 is my question mark hanging over the issue of what’s going to compete with Bungie’s upcoming Destiny. Of course with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel due for release this year, […]

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Borderlands 3 is my question mark hanging over the issue of what’s going to compete with Bungie’s upcoming Destiny. Of course with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel due for release this year, Borderlands 3 is basically a title we expect some time in the future but aren’t really thinking about. However, Gearbox Software president has come out to talk about Borderlands 3, and has said that the idea of the game actually scares him.

Now, history has made me the furthest from a fan of Randy Pitchford, especially after sagas like Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines, but in this particular case I can actually get on board with what he’s saying.

Pitchford has said that the reason Borderlands 3 ‘scares’ him is because the game would have to be “so crazy and so big” in order to top the last entry in the series that he’s actually not sure if his studio can deliver on the hype and expectation. Who knew such honesty and sense could come from this guy?

“There’s a point where it’s like, ‘What should the next Borderlands be? Should there be another Borderlands, and what should it be?’,” Pitchford said, speaking in the latest issue of Game Informer.

“We had that discussion and there was this weird mixed bag. On one level it’s like, ‘Woah’. If you’re going to do something that’s called Borderlands 3 and it’s going to be done in this next-generation environment, there’s a whole bunch of ideas that come around of what has to happen in order for that to live up to what that needs to be.”

Pitchford mentioned that 2K Australia’s involvement with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has “changed the nature of the pressure of what Borderlands 3 had to be for us.”

“If there’s going to be a Borderlands 3 and what that would be. We imagine what that might be, and frankly it scared us. It’s like, ‘That’s so crazy and so big that I’m not sure we can succeed’.”

The article in Game Informer suggests that Borderlands 3 isn’t in development at the studio right now, stating that while “Gearbox is by no means ruling out Borderlands 3 for this console generation… for now the developer’s interest is set squarely on making [next year's FPS/MOBA] Battleborn the best it can be.”

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 this October, and if you’re interested in Battleborn you can read the announcement information that we covered this morning.

While I do see the logic behind what Pitchford is saying, there is also the fact that the PS4 and Xbox One now offer the potential for a big jump in terms of content and depth since Borderlands 2. Of course the reality is that the gameplay of Borderlands is about simplicity, and what really sells the game is its brand of wit and charm, which reached new heights in the last outing due to the great story and amazing character of Handsome Jack as well.

I don’t quite think there’s a hurry for Borderlands 3, especially since Gearbox announced its own MOBA (which I don’t get at all) and is set to release The Pre Sequel later this year. Not to mention that I’m sure Gearbox Software will be watching Bungie and Destiny when it begins in September, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Borderlands 3 attempts to capitalise on the idea of a social and shared world similar to what its competitor is doing.

Although I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Borderlands 3 announcement within the next year or two at most, considering the franchise is far too popular right now to simply leave behind and not make its mark on the new consoles.

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October Gets More Financially Lethal As Lords Of The Fallen Gets Dated http://egmr.net/2014/07/october-gets-financially-lethal-lords-fallen-gets-dated/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/october-gets-financially-lethal-lords-fallen-gets-dated/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151143 Lords of the Fallen, in case you are unaware of it, was revealed earlier this year and looks quite similar to Dark Souls, and in my opinion to Darksiders as […]

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Lords of the Fallen, in case you are unaware of it, was revealed earlier this year and looks quite similar to Dark Souls, and in my opinion to Darksiders as well. The game is an action RPG set for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and now publisher Bandai Namco Games has announced a release date for the game.

In development by Polish studio City Interactive Games in collaboration with German studio Deck13 Interactive, Lords of the Fallen will be out on October 31.

That means October, the most financially lethal month of this year for gamers, has just got worse. I wonder what Lords of the Fallen hopes to achieve going up against Sunset Overdrive, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Evolve and others. Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Sunset Overdrive release in the very same week as Lords of the Fallen.

Lords of the Fallen will let players follow the path of convicted criminal Harkyn, “the best of the worst of humanity”, as he ventures on a mission across a fantasy world to lay waste to an evil god.

Good luck, Lords of the Fallen. You’re going to need it. That is unless we get more delays for games releasing in October, which may very well be a possibility.

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Oddworld Inhabitants Co-Founder Quit The Industry Due To “Unfair Publisher Relationships” http://egmr.net/2014/07/oddworld-inhabitants-co-founder-quit-industry-due-unfair-publisher-relationships/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/oddworld-inhabitants-co-founder-quit-industry-due-unfair-publisher-relationships/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:30:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151041 Oddworld Inhabitants co-founder Lorne Lanning has shed light on his reasons for leaving the games industry many years ago, and perhaps unsurprisingly he’s placed the blame on developer relationships with […]

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Oddworld Inhabitants co-founder Lorne Lanning has shed light on his reasons for leaving the games industry many years ago, and perhaps unsurprisingly he’s placed the blame on developer relationships with publishers.

To recap, Lanning closed the Oddworld Inhabitants studio in 2005 and then moved on to work on animated movies. This occurred after numerous disputes with various publishers, which again unsurprisingly includes Electronic Arts. Now, in an interview with Metro, Lanning has explained the nature behind said disputes.

“We’d had enough of what was happening,” Lanning said. “And what was happening was quite simply if you wanted to build big expensive games, and you were getting them funded by a publisher, you were basically giving up your company.

“When I started making games people were on average building games for $500,000, maybe a $1 million, on the Sega Mega Drive and SNES. We come in on the PlayStation era and it’s like, oh, it’s going to go to multi-million dollars. And there were a lot of concerns about how teams would grow and all that stuff.

“Now, we didn’t create the company to sell the company, right? But you would basically have these deals where if you wanted to sign a $15 million development deal you were simultaneously signing an acquisition deal: if you had success they would be able to buy you and they would leverage the power of that money.

“And I looked at that and I said, ‘that’s not why I started building these games’. I don’t care for some of these relationships, I think they’re very unfair. And I don’t think they’re good for the industry, the development community, or the customer. And if that’s how it’s gonna be I’d rather not play, period.”

Lanning has of course returned to game development with Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!, which is due to release on July 22.

The man behind Oddworld then explained the perks of being an independent studio, which partly involves that his company will profit far sooner and to a greater degree than when under the publisher.

Lanning used Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath as an example, and that game was published by EA on the first Xbox, but has been re-released independently on PC, PS3 and Vita.

“With self-publishing I’ve sold more copies of Stranger’s Wrath than the publisher did originally,” Lanning said. “The same game, years later, because I had to wait for the rights to expire. Their rights to expire. We put it out there on digital, lower price point, and that’s turned more units than it ever did.”

Personally I can really sympathise with Lanning. I’m just 20 so I can’t speak much for in depth hands-on experience, but my dream has always been to be an author. Writing and gaming are my two biggest passions in life (origin story of writing about games explained right there), and I’ve had numerous dealings with publishers when trying to gain interest in my first novel. In South Africa the market is especially small, and because publishers are flogged with manuscript submissions, the end result can be waiting four to six months just to get a one-line rejection email with no tips on how to improve. Eventually I decided that the amount of genres I want to write in, the stories I want to write and my personality just make it so much more fitting to be an indie author. Since self-publishing my first book in February this year, it’s been the best thing for me and I’m already working on my second.

Now the point of that little piece of exposition is that I can understand the big attraction of wanting to be in charge of your own work and your own future. I can understand being disillusioned by the way traditional publishers work. While I don’t quite have the hands-on experience and exactly the same situation that Lanning did, and there are obviously massive differences between the gaming industry and literature, the essence of wanting to be an individual artist without restraints is the same, whether motivated by profit or creative freedom and integrity or both. For me the latter is the most important, and of course it will differ for every artist.

So from that perspective, I can relate to the frustrations that must have crept in, especially since Lanning was already in dealings with publishers. His story of waiting for the Oddworld IP to expire so he can regain control of it is by far not the first story I’ve heard of a creator buying back or reacquiring the rights to his or her own work after dealings with traditional publishers. The idea of creative freedom and integrity is of paramount importance to many artists, and that’s why I often respect Sony’s dealings with its first party studios, and now Microsoft in recent months. For examples, Sony allowing Quantic Dream to create games that would never get approved by other publishers, and Microsoft letting Insomniac freely turn Sunset Overdrive into whatever they want it to be.

A relationship between a developer and a publisher should be a mutually beneficial one, and not one that’s toxic or creatively stifling. Then again, what do I know.

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