#egmr » Azhar http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 E3 2015 May Be The Most Cynical Yet http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-may-be-the-most-cynical-yet/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-may-be-the-most-cynical-yet/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172082 E3 2015 is officially kicking off, with Bethesda having taken the initiative to carry out their first ever conference well before anyone else. While excitement and hype levels are always ridiculously […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bethesda’s First E3: Glorious Triumph And Some Disappointment http://egmr.net/2015/06/bethesdas-first-e3-glorious-triumph-and-some-disappointment/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/bethesdas-first-e3-glorious-triumph-and-some-disappointment/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 07:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172067 Bethesda’s first ever E3 appearance was an interesting one especially given that we knew exactly what to expect, but as we were asked prior to its beginning: were we ready […]

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Bethesda’s first ever E3 appearance was an interesting one especially given that we knew exactly what to expect, but as we were asked prior to its beginning: were we ready for it? As the milestone in history that was their conference drew to a close I had a range of emotions and feelings swimming around inside me, and as much as my Fallout 4 hypo-meter was having a royal spaz attack, the more lucid part of my brain admits that despite a lot of triumph and goodness, there were some disappointing and concerning aspects of Betheseda’s E3 conference when looking at it overall. If you feel I’m shitting all over your parade, bear in mind I want to talk about games most of all.

There was a definite buzz in the air when Bethesda came out guns blazing after some intro chatter to get straight into the new Doom. We finally saw it, and it looked absolutely fantastic, taking us back to the glory days of gaming where nothing else mattered besides the video game and your fun. Perhaps it looked a bit too fantastic, as I’ve already seen quite a few raise eyebrows over whether or not the final game will actually look as it did, as the new Doom looked somewhat rendered. It was certainly a great look at the gameplay, and let’s not downplay the masterstroke that is the Snapmap functionality, but as excited as people are for it there was absolutely doubt over whether the final product will match what was shown. My response? In the past I may not have thought too strongly on it, but given all that we’ve been through with E3 over the years, I’m inclined to have those concerns too. It looked a bit too pristine visually, but as for the actual game, it looked wonderful. While I doubt many will be too upset over the conundrum of whether the new Doom will match what was shown at E3 one day, it is a concern that will be floating around in the back of many minds.

Bethesda.net was a pretty big announcement as well, and it means another big player is joining the whole Steam-like platform business. There’s too little to go on now about whether or not this will be great, but if we can expect convenience, good deals, mod integration and ease of access then there shouldn’t be a whole lot to be concerned about.

A failing on Bethesda’s part though is that after doing an excellent job at marketing Doom, showing off tons of single player footage showcasing a whole range of weapons and enemies, revealing the awesome Snapmap feature and teasing multiplayer, the company did a rather poor job with Battlecry. If you didn’t have prior knowledge of the game before, at the end of their Battlecry showing you would probably be wondering what the fuck you just saw and furthermore unsure why you should care. For some reason in addition to being with little detail the segment also assumed you knew all about Battlecry for some reason, and that was a mistake. Let’s not fool ourselves, of course Battlecry falls well secondary to the likes of Doom, Dishonored 2 and Fallout 4, but it was still one of the features of their conference and deserved more of an introduction than it got. The result of its bare-boned coverage made me and a bunch of others dismiss it after seeing it, and that’s not wise for a game you’re showing at your first ever E3 appearance.

The next little bit of disappointment, or more appropriately mixed feelings, came from Dishonored 2. Its reveal lacked a little spark. We’ve heard whispers and rumours about Dishonored 2 for a long time and further it was the fact that it was leaked prior to E3 beginning which may have lessened the impact of its arrival, but overall it was more of a “so we’re making this” kind of reveal rather than evidence to be excited. Of course the game’s “Spring 2016″ release has a lot to do with the limitations Bethesda has regarding the game, but aside from the fact that it’s coming and you can play as either Corvo or Emily, we don’t know much and didn’t see any gameplay at all. The CGI trailer was very well-done, looked good and gave us some fascinating insights into the game, but nothing can substitute for gameplay, and sadly Dishonored 2 was without that and as a result felt a bit by-the-by before we got to Fallout 4. If not gameplay because it’s too early, I would have thought we could have done with some more background or insight into the game, as I didn’t feel sold. That said, however, I’m just as excited as the rest of you for a sequel to Dishonored, because that was one fine game.

However there is little question that Bethesda’s biggest triumph came with its Fallout 4 segment, and it’s completely unsurprising that their star game got the most attention and the most success. In no uncertain terms Bethesda absolutely nailed the entire segment that concerned Fallout 4, and for me its one of the best and most well-crafted game reveals I’ve seen at E3 for a while. Game director Todd Howard also deserves plenty of credit for being a perfect host, and he played that audience like a violin. I’m sure most gamers were waving the green flag of “take my money” after getting a good look at the premise, open world, leaps made from Fallout 3 and Skyrim, settings and collector’s edition. The dynamic creation of Fallout 4 for one may just be one of the most ambitious features Bethesda has attempted in its games, and it will definitely be interesting to see how it works out for them and us. What probably sealed the deal and capped off an overall great showing from Bethesda was the world-rocking reveal that Fallout 4 is coming out this November, and that’s how you send your audience home in happy tears.

In conclusion Bethesda’s first ever E3 conference had plenty of triumph, but there were some shortcomings that let it down a little. Overall I’m sure the majority can be happy with how things unfolded, and it felt as though despite Bethesda never having done it before they were quite at home as if they had. While Fallout 4 was the best segment, Doom should not go without credit as well as it was fantastically put together, giving us the gameplay and the juicy details without compromise. It was with the other games that there was perhaps a little disappointment (overlooking the issue of whether Doom was entirely honest about its presentation), and it was there Bethesda could have done better.

Otherwise, a ‘well played’ is in order.

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Apparently PC Gamers Aren’t All Pirates, The Witcher 3 Sells 1.3 Million http://egmr.net/2015/06/apparently-pc-gamers-arent-all-pirates-the-witcher-3-sells-1-3-million/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/apparently-pc-gamers-arent-all-pirates-the-witcher-3-sells-1-3-million/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 08:30:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172036 Earlier this week we learned that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold more than 4 million copies in two weeks, and we certainly felt it would be deserving of such success […]

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Earlier this week we learned that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold more than 4 million copies in two weeks, and we certainly felt it would be deserving of such success in our review of the game. However when we heard that figure of 4 million, we couldn’t be sure of the breakdown, as in how many units were sold on each platform. Well we’ve cleared it up for one platform at least, as we’ve received word of how many units the game has sold on PC. Turns out that the master race isn’t entirely comprised of just pirates, as some ignorant publishers living in lala-land would have you believe.

The results are actually healthy, and almost one third of total sales came from the PC platform. I’m sure this was definitely helped by all the hefty discounts for The Witcher 3 going around the likes of GOG and Green Man Gaming, where you could get it at $35 instead of its full $60 price. Nevertheless there’s little doubt that the quality of the game and reputation of CD Projekt RED is doing most of the heavy lifting in that regard.

But what does one third actually translate to? Let’s break it down.

CD Projekt RED noted that 693,000 gamers worldwide own The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on GOG Galaxy, while a further 613,000 PC gamers have chosen a different PC platform, like Steam for instance. If you add up the numbers you’re looking at around 1.3 million copies sold on the PC platform.

I suppose you can add a plus one physical PC copy to that, as I received mine as a gift and it was like holding an ancient artifact. I mean, you can still get physical PC games? Hands up if you know what I mean.

Anyway since the game has sold 4 million copies in total, obviously PC accounts for almost a third of total sales if you count consoles as one entity, which is mighty impressive. It would definitely be interesting to see sales on PS4 and Xbox One individually though.

This is good news because there were those who were claiming that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold poorly on PC based on Steamspy’s numbers, but obviously the people who said that didn’t take into account A) the number of different PC platforms that you can get the game on and B) the fact that The Witcher 3 is primarily marketed through GOG.

 

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Street Fighter V In Any Iteration Will Definitely Not Be Coming To Xbox One http://egmr.net/2015/06/street-fighter-v-in-any-iteration-will-definitely-not-be-coming-to-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/street-fighter-v-in-any-iteration-will-definitely-not-be-coming-to-xbox-one/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 08:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172031 The announcement that Street Fighter V would only be released on PC and PS4 was a pretty big one, as just like Rise of the Tomb Rider (it hasn’t announced […]

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The announcement that Street Fighter V would only be released on PC and PS4 was a pretty big one, as just like Rise of the Tomb Rider (it hasn’t announced its inevitable PC version yet) it was the kind of game you’d expect on all platforms. Turns out however that Street Fighter V is not actually a timed console exclusive, and after the recent release of the awesome battle system trailer above Capcom has stepped out to shed light on exactly that.

Usually a numbered Street Fighter doesn’t only have one iteration, as we know from Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and Ultra Street Fighter IV. Before Capcom became a-holes, they did awesome things like add massive amounts of content to Super Street Fighter IV (which included like ten new characters, new stages, new ultras for everyone and multiplayer) and still charging less than the original. This is relevant because many assumed that only Street Fighter V wouldn’t release on Xbox One, and future iterations would.

That’s not the case either. Street Fighter V is fully committed to Sony’s black box.

A Capcom representative clarified, “One comment we see a lot is that something like a Super Street Fighter V is going to come out on Xbox but the reality is that this is a real partnership. We are console exclusive for this franchise for this numbered run.”

We often figure that these kinds of partnerships mostly tie into marketing support, but there seems to be a bit more to this relationship than that.

“We’re not talking about how we’re handling post-launch content, but I can say the relationship with Sony does open doors for things we haven’t been able to do in the past, the relationship serves a gameplay and development purpose and not just a marketing value.”

A gameplay and development purpose? Hopefully we can more details on exactly what that is. We do know from the indie side of gaming at least that Sony can be quite hands-on with its games, so let’s see what comes from this.

I certainly hope that Street Fighter V goes some way to redeem Capcom for their sins, because it is my favourite fighting game after all, and I can’t wait to play it again if it returns to goodness.

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Ninja Theory’s New Game Hellblade Gets Its First Moody Gameplay http://egmr.net/2015/06/ninja-theorys-new-game-hellblade-gets-its-first-moody-gameplay/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/ninja-theorys-new-game-hellblade-gets-its-first-moody-gameplay/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:30:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171973 Ninja Theory have a bit of a shaky history. They’re an independent developer who has made some sincere, decent games which includes Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC: […]

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Ninja Theory have a bit of a shaky history. They’re an independent developer who has made some sincere, decent games which includes Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC: Devil May Cry and Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. While they haven’t made any bad games at all, one would argue that they have yet to create their truly great title. Some would say DmC: Devil May Cry was it, but I’d wager many Devil May Cry fans would argue that point strongly. Nevertheless they’re a good bunch of people who try, and they’re back with their newest game, Hellblade.

Now we have known about Hellblade for a year, but we haven’t seen any actual gameplay of it or know much by means of details. So it’s a welcome thing that the pre-E3 buzz includes the first gameplay video for the game, as well as provides some details on what to expect in Hellblade.

For starters it will be released for PC and PS4 only in 2016, with no word on whether an Xbox One release is a possibility in future. The game has a rather attractive premise, as it’s based on Celtic myth and tells the story of Celtic Warrior Senua and “her journey into Hell.”

Ninja Theory had quite a lot to say on their official website about Hellblade:

The Hell in question is no ordinary Hell, but is in fact a Hell that is the manifestation of Senua’s mental illness. Senua experiences psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions, as well as suffering from anxiety and depression. As a player you will witness Senua’s living nightmare through her own eyes.

From George Orwell’s 1984, to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, the best fantasy breaks down barriers and lets us see the world without prejudice. This is what we want to do with Hellblade. To see the world through Senua’s eyes, and in doing so, address a subject that is still considered taboo.

Developing Hellblade independently gives us the freedom to tackle a subject as challenging as mental health. It is a subject that we are handling with all the respect it deserves, ensuring that our portrayal of Senua’s condition is both accurate and sensitive. To help us with this we are working closely with Professor Paul Fletcher, a professor of Health Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, as well as arranging to consult directly with people who have experience of mental health difficulties. We are also very proud to say that Hellblade  is being supported by Wellcome Trust, which is a global charitable foundation which aims to build a greater public understanding of science and in particular health.

In this rather lengthy developer diary Ninja Theory goes into further detail about this mental health situation and how they’re planning on handling it.

Check out the first gameplay of the game up above, and sound off in the comments if you’re interested by what you see.

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Catch 8 Minutes Of Ratchet & Clank PS4 Gameplay Ahead Of E3 http://egmr.net/2015/06/catch-8-minutes-of-ratchet-clank-ps4-gameplay-ahead-of-e3/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/catch-8-minutes-of-ratchet-clank-ps4-gameplay-ahead-of-e3/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171952 We’re fast approaching E3, as it’s just a matter of days away now, and we’re already getting that buzz of pre-conference game announcements. However Insomniac Games” Ratchet & Clank is […]

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We’re fast approaching E3, as it’s just a matter of days away now, and we’re already getting that buzz of pre-conference game announcements. However Insomniac Games” Ratchet & Clank is not quite new for the PS4 since we’ve known about it for ages, but we haven’t seen proper gameplay of it, until now that is. Well the gameplay is kind of a bonus, as Sony mainly pointed us towards the debut trailer for the game and some screenshots, but somehow gameplay got uploaded in other places. The power of the internet, I suppose.

As mentioned Sony and Insomniac Games released the first trailer for the game simply titled Ratchet & Clank, and you can view that above. In case you’ve forgotten, the PS4 exclusive game is based on the movie scheduled for 2016, and further it’s sort of a re-imagining of the original game.

Ratchet & Clank on PS4 will feature elements based on the original as a result, but of course it will have modern controls, new planets, fresh gameplay, completely new Clank gameplay, new boss fights, new flight sequences, James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet and other fun stuff.

“The fresh start means we changed up the arsenal quite a bit as well,” Insomniac Games community manager James Stevenson stated on the PlayStation Blog. “As always with Ratchet & Clank games, you battle your enemies with an out-of-this-world arsenal.

“In the PS4 version of Ratchet & Clank, the majority of the arsenal is made up of weapons that weren’t in the original game. That means both new weapons and fan-favorite tools of destruction from the Ratchet & Clank Future series will fill out Ratchet’s kit. From the brand new Pixelizer (which transforms enemies into explosive 8-bit pixels) to franchise favorites like the dance-party-inducing Groovitron and wise-cracking robotic bodyguard Mr. Zurkon, Ratchet & Clank’s arsenal has never been better.”

That certainly sounds like Ratchet & Clank, and it looks like Insomniac is up to their usual crazy ideas which usually translate into something colourfully awesome.

Unfortunately though it’s not all rainbows and butterflies as pre-orders for the game will get you the exclusive “Bouncer” weapon, and I’m sure a number of fans will be slightly peeved by that considering the weapons are a colourful, unique and big part of the Ratchet & Clank experience. The Bouncer, from Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, launches a cluster bomb that breaks up into tiny homing bombs which bounce towards enemies.

In addition to these details an 8 minute gameplay video also surfaced, which you can watch above if it’s still available. Ratchet & Clank on PS4 will be available to play on the E3 show floor next week, which means we’ll see plenty more gameplay surface.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Sold More Than 4 Million Copies http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-sold-more-than-4-million-copies/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-sold-more-than-4-million-copies/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 08:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171932 If you’ve been alive at all these past few weeks you may have been a party to the massive success story that is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Of course […]

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If you’ve been alive at all these past few weeks you may have been a party to the massive success story that is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Of course there was plenty of debate about the graphical downgrade and whatnot, as well as the release of quite a few patches, but at the core of that story is one damn masterpiece of a game. However before The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was only released for PC until the enhanced edition was later ported to Xbox 360, so The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt marked the first time that the series released on PC and console at launch.

That led us to wonder what kind of sales it would bring in, as we all want CD Projekt Red to succeed given the quality of their games and their commitment to being better developers, what with free DLC, removal of DRM and fan contact and all. Let’s not make the downgrade story, whatever your stance on it actually is, cloud everything else that is good about CD Projekt RED.

Right, I’ve babbled on enough and done my part talking up a developer whose game I’m thoroughly enjoying.

How many units then has The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold since launch? Well, it’s in the title. The game has sold four million copies in two short weeks.

We were expecting commercial success to match the critical success, as the game is enjoying a 90+ review spree on Metacritic at the moment, and The Witcher 2 sold extremely well. Now the series is on more platforms, so we expected an increase in sales, but it’s a damn fine one.

CD Projekt RED issued a letter to fans thanking them for the milestone.

Dear Gamers,
May 19th was a crucial date for all of us here at CD PROJEKT RED — we released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, our open world role-playing game that we had been hard at work on for over 3 years. Since day one, you have given us tons of positive feedback and support — the sheer volume of emails we’ve gotten since launch simply congratulating us for our efforts is both epic and heartwarming, and I wish every developer comes to have such a fantastic community. In terms of media reception, we’re really humbled by the scores the game has received all around the world. With an average of 90+ on every platform, Wild Hunt is our dream coming true.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the four million gamers worldwide who bought The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in the first two weeks from launch. Four million RPG fans spending their hard-earned money on our game is a sign that we did something right, and you can be sure that we’ll harness all that positive energy and make the upcoming expansions worthy of the grand adventure that you’re telling us Wild Hunt already is! Until then, keep on enjoying Wild Hunt, do not forget to grab your weekly set of free DLCs, and stay tuned for constant updates and enhancement to the game we are continuously working on.
Dandelion once said to Geralt that the world is changing, the sun is setting, and vodka’s running out — go, play, and have fun!

If you want more information on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, especially on those free DLCs we’re expecting in the near future, take a look at the official website here.

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The Fire Rises: Leaked Dark Souls 3 Art Confirms An Early 2016 Release http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-fire-rises-leaked-dark-souls-3-art-confirms-an-early-2016-release/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-fire-rises-leaked-dark-souls-3-art-confirms-an-early-2016-release/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:30:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171927 No it’s not the art pictured above. But the religion that is Dark Souls is about to expand! Rumours have been floating around that Dark Souls 3 would release in 2016, […]

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No it’s not the art pictured above. But the religion that is Dark Souls is about to expand! Rumours have been floating around that Dark Souls 3 would release in 2016, but now IGN has obtained a promotional image for next week’s E3 event which confirms it all to be true. The fire indeed rises.

There may definitely be those who roll their eyes at this, especially those who may have been alienated from the franchise or who just don’t like it. But let’s all keep in mind that earlier this year the almost masterclass Bloodborne was released for the PS4. It got away with not being Dark Souls 3 for this exact reason: Dark Souls 3 is here!

The unreleased (at the time of writing) but official art is displayed below, providing the launch window of “Early 2016.”

DS3-IGN-FINAL

After Mirror’s Edge Catalyst this is just another damn good reason to tune into E3 which kicks off June 16-18, 2015. Dark Souls 3 will launch on PC, PS4 and Xbox One according to the rumours, and we’ll expect that considering Dark Souls II released on the core platforms. Bandai Namco has declined to comment on Dark Souls III so far, but we all know.

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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Formally Announced, But It’s Definitely Not A Sequel http://egmr.net/2015/06/mirrors-edge-catalyst-announced-not-sequel/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/mirrors-edge-catalyst-announced-not-sequel/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171909 The new Mirror’s Edge was revealed all the back at E3 2013, and it was exactly the kind of game we wanted to hear about for our then new generation […]

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The new Mirror’s Edge was revealed all the back at E3 2013, and it was exactly the kind of game we wanted to hear about for our then new generation of consoles. A brighter future with the promise of innovation, right? At the time we were calling it Mirror’s Edge 2 for the sake of people knowing what it was we were talking about, but unsurprisingly DICE went on to say that the game was more of a reboot than a sequel. Until then we didn’t hear much about it aside from the fact that it would be an open world game.

Now EA has stepped out from the shadows to officially announce that the game title is Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and more the publisher confirmed that it’s not a sequel. Although they somehow couldn’t find the word “reboot” to make it clear to everyone, but we’ve come to expect publishers to dance around obvious truths I suppose.

Never mind that though it’s excitement time!

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was announced on EA’s official website with a request to fans to stay tuned to the publisher’s press conference next week at E3 for more.

Tune in to the EA press conference on Monday, June 15 at 1:00 PM PDT to learn more.

 

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Senior Producer, Sara Jansson, posted a letter to fans in anticipation of the new game:

Hello everyone,

Two years ago we revealed that we were making a new Mirror’s Edge™. Last year, we gave you a behind the scenes look into some of the early progress we had made. And though we haven’t said much else in all that time, we have been listening. Thank you for your incredible passion and your patience. I’m excited to tell you that it’s paid off — by this time next week, you will have finally seen more of the game at E3.

Mirror’s Edge has always had a special place in the hearts of all of us at DICE. The first game had a lot of promise. It was unlike anything else in terms of the gameplay and style — it had a unique soul. But as much as we loved that game, we knew it could be more. So that’s what we have set out to do as we introduce Mirror’s Edge to a new generation.

The team has spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the game and making it a new experience. This is not a sequel, this is not Mirror’s Edge 2. We have landed on a vision that honors the first game — pushing the boundaries of first person movement and diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith — but also brings a lot of great new, interesting gameplay and features to the experience for our players.

So on behalf on the entire team here at DICE, we can’t wait to show you what we have been pouring our heart and soul into. We can’t wait to introduce you to Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst.

I guess we all have to watch EA’s press conference now am I right? Of course.

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Square Enix Reveals New Mecha Shooter Figureheads http://egmr.net/2015/06/square-enix-reveals-new-mecha-shooter-figureheads/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/square-enix-reveals-new-mecha-shooter-figureheads/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 07:30:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171845 Square Enix has announced Figureheads, which is a new PC exclusive mecha shooter set to release later this year. And just as you were about to get tickles of excitement, […]

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Square Enix has announced Figureheads, which is a new PC exclusive mecha shooter set to release later this year. And just as you were about to get tickles of excitement, I’ll have you know that it’s actually a free to play title so you can expect a cash shop and, if history is anything to go on, very slow progression. But let me not kill the buzz before you even have a chance to get one!

Figureheads is described as a “strategic shooter” for up to 10 players. The first story and game details are below:

At the end of the 20th century, a huge meteor that settled in Earth’s satellite orbit created unprecedented panic and confusion. Humanity tried to resist by shooting down the falling fragments of the meteor with anti-air missiles, but their cities were ultimately destroyed.

The ground is now polluted by the noxious materials fallen from the meteor, and humans have been forced to live in underground shelters. In order to manage the surface from underground, the development of unmanned robots went through a drastic acceleration, with their tech making remarkable progress.

Youngsters, bored by their new underground life, took a liking to competitive fights operating those unmanned robots called “2Foot.” The competition named “BOTGame” spread through the world like wildfire.

“BOTGame” then evolved in a major entertainment industry, organized and regulated by the “W2BF,” turning into a sport that provides amusement for many fans around the world

 

There’s also a trailer up above if you want to see more.

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Watch Batman Outright Road Kill These Poor Thugs In New Arkham Insider http://egmr.net/2015/06/watch-batman-outright-road-kill-these-poor-thugs-in-new-arkham-insider/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/watch-batman-outright-road-kill-these-poor-thugs-in-new-arkham-insider/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 07:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171837 Rocksteady has been releasing Arkham Insider development videos and will continue to do so up until the game’s release, as a way to give you some insight into the game […]

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Rocksteady has been releasing Arkham Insider development videos and will continue to do so up until the game’s release, as a way to give you some insight into the game before you play it. For the most part the episodes have been pretty cool, showing off some sweet gameplay and having developers answer questions about Arkham Knight which are not at all spoilerish. In the latest episode, titled Gotham by Night, things take a bit of a dark twist as we see some more Batmobile action.

Turns out Batman has no qualms about outright road killing some poor bastards on the street. And it’s awesome.

Before the defence force arrives in full swing, yes I bloody know that they don’t die and instead get electrocuted and tossed aside or something, and we shouldn’t think so seriously about stuff, but come on it’s pretty damn funny. It’s probably the biggest stretch of the no-kill rule in the Arkham games, but hey, they don’t die because he’s Batman, am I right?

Nevertheless there is some sweet new gameplay to see in the video, which includes updates on what’s new in combat as well as more Batmobile functionality. You’ll also get to find out how much the Batmobile costs from the Arkham Knight himself…

That’s if you can deal with the somewhat scarily excited individual who hosts the video. One of those humans who is a bit too happy and jittery to be alive, if you know what I’m saying. Either way it makes for a good watch.

Batman: Arkham Knight is only weeks away from launch on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but we have E3 coming up first next week.

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Konami Makes Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy Of The Duelist Official http://egmr.net/2015/06/konami-makes-yu-gi-oh-legacy-of-the-duelist-official/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/konami-makes-yu-gi-oh-legacy-of-the-duelist-official/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 07:30:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171822 A while ago we discovered via a leak that Konami was getting ready to reveal a new Yu-Gi-Oh! game for PS4 and Xbox One. Konami has only now come out […]

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A while ago we discovered via a leak that Konami was getting ready to reveal a new Yu-Gi-Oh! game for PS4 and Xbox One. Konami has only now come out to make it official, since leaks have a habit of spoiling the fun these days.

The official description of the game reads:

Enter the Duelist Simulator to take your place among the finest Duelists ever in Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist! Players from around the world have been invited to take part in an elite Dueling program that simulates the best Duels across all of Yu-Gi-Oh! history. Replay actual events in the Yu-Gi-Oh! timeline, from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series up to Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, featuring the storylines, characters, and Decks in a brand new Story Campaign. Duelists will also Duel against characters from the newest generation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, with even more Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Duels to be added later as downloadable content.

With over 6,600 cards to play with, including new Pendulum Summon Monsters, Duelists can fight in hundreds of matches with over 90 characters, and even compete in new Battle Pack Sealed Deck and Draft play with other Duelists online.

Does that tickle your fancy?

If you’re keen for the game, here are the key features:

  • The very first Yu-Gi-Oh! video game available for the PS4™ and Xbox One for a never-before-seen next generation Yu-Gi-Oh! experience!
  • Relive past Dueling glory with a Story Campaign that recounts the events from the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series! Battle your opponent, and then take on the role of that character and Duel against the protagonist in a “Reverse Duel.”
  • Duel with the latest cards from the official Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME, including Pendulum Summon Monsters!
  • For the first time, compete in Battle Pack Sealed and Draft play against the A.I. or with players online. Battle Pack formats supported include Battle Pack: Epic Dawn, Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants, and War of the Giants: Round 2.
  • Customize your Decks with more than 6,600 cards, the most in any Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME video game.
  • Compete against characters from the newest generation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V!
  • Add-on content available at launch, with additional Decks, Avatars, playable characters and Duels!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist will release later this year on PS4 and Xbox One for $19.99 and will be a digital download. We’re unsure of the developer at this point in time.

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Batman: Arkham Knight File Size Revealed, Hide Your Hard Drives http://egmr.net/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-file-size-revealed-hide-your-hard-drives/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/batman-arkham-knight-file-size-revealed-hide-your-hard-drives/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 07:00:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171819 Batman: Arkham Knight is launching in a matter of weeks now, but we first have to get through this year’s E3 and all the buzz it will bring before we […]

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Batman: Arkham Knight is launching in a matter of weeks now, but we first have to get through this year’s E3 and all the buzz it will bring before we embark on the Dark Knight’s final chapter. With Rocksteady anyway. Regardless of which platform you’re gaming on though, it may be of interest to you to know how large Arkham Knight will be, for the sake of your poor hard drives. Especially on the consoles where you’re presently limited to 500GB, which doesn’t bode well for those who are mostly all about digital.

It’s been confirmed that regardless of your platform Batman: Arkham Knight will demand a sizable 45 GB of free space on your hard drive. The gluttonous game, according to pre-order listings for PC (Steam), PS4 and Xbox One, will require just short of 50 GB.

If you’re one to pre-order it, there are a whole bunch of bonuses, some exclusive to PS4 even, which may entice you. I’d advise getting one of them damn spread sheets to help you decide on the appropriate version, if you have a choice, because that’s the in-thing now days. Another gift from Ubisoft with Watch Dogs.

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Is Ed Boon Having A Laugh Or Did He Tease Lego Mortal Kombat? http://egmr.net/2015/06/is-ed-boon-having-a-laugh-or-did-he-tease-lego-mortal-kombat/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/is-ed-boon-having-a-laugh-or-did-he-tease-lego-mortal-kombat/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 07:30:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171776 The Lego series of games have become incredibly popular ever since their debut with Lego Star Wars. Since then we’ve had the likes of Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego […]

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The Lego series of games have become incredibly popular ever since their debut with Lego Star Wars. Since then we’ve had the likes of Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Avengers, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones and more. But the last thing anyone could have expected would be Lego Mortal Kombat. I mean it doesn’t quite have the all-ages appropriate appeal of all the rest, but on the other hand the Mortal Kombat brand itself is massively popular. And besides can any living gamer out there argue against Lego fatalities?

It wouldn’t be the most outlandish of concepts when considering that we’re getting smaller properties going Lego, like Back to the Future and Portal. Lego Dimensions is certainly stepping things up in that regard. So what’s this about Lego Mortal Kombat?

Ed Boon, the co-creator of Mortal Kombat and creative director at NetherRealm Studios, has recently tweeted a rather funny picture of Lego Sub-Zero giving the fatality treatment to Lego Scorpion. How dare you do that to my Scorpion! At least it’s nice to see the Kenny role of Sub-Zero (always dying, if you missed that) reversed a tad. The picture along with the Tweet is below for your viewing pleasure:

It could just be a gag. Good old Ed Boon having a laugh. It could be real. We’re at the pre-E3 point where we’re excited to hear about anything new in games and are open to anything. Lego Dimensions is certainly doing some big things with the Legoverse.

We’ll just have to see in the coming days, but if nothing comes from it at least we got to see Lego Sub-Zero and Scorpion. Their adorable would-be versions.

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Fallout 4: Stop Contradicting Yourself Gamers, It’s Embarassing http://egmr.net/2015/06/fallout-4-stop-contradicting-yourself-gamers-its-embarassing/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/fallout-4-stop-contradicting-yourself-gamers-its-embarassing/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 07:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171772 I want to get something straight before I begin this rantopinion, of sorts. I’m rarely if ever what some may call an ‘apologist’ for games. Most of the time if […]

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I want to get something straight before I begin this rantopinion, of sorts. I’m rarely if ever what some may call an ‘apologist’ for games. Most of the time if I’m not on gamers’ sides where applicable, I’m at least trying to see and understand their perspectives because I’m very consumer-oriented in my mindset, and understand that media has an intermediary role to play between gamers and developers slash publishers. I’m not someone who holds back my opinions, and I’m about as cynical as they come. However after the recent reveal of Fallout 4 and subsequent complaints of it being graphically underwhelming, I’m afraid that this time I cannot sympathise or side with gamers and I actually think those who are complaining are rather questionable human beings of questionable sanity levels with distorted views of reality, to put it politely and mildly.

I doubt you need a reminder that the issue of graphics and representation of them pre-launch once again arose in the wake of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game was argued to be ‘downgraded’ from its E3 showing, and because it was CD Projekt RED, who are an awesome bunch of people who deliver top quality, many were conflicted with their opinions. While CD Projekt RED worked to release patches to improve performance and graphical quality and fix bugs, one of our writers was asking whether the downgrade should be discussed in media, as well as assessing CD Projekt RED’s response to the drama. At the very least, whatever side you were on in that debacle, the underlying issue of us wanting games to be honest in their representation of visuals is hard to argue against.

Enter Fallout 4.

After the game’s recent reveal there were a group of gamers complaining that the game looks graphically underwhelming for next-gen, and we should expect better from our games. It seems a simple enough viewpoint, but I want to discuss the many bad implications it has and the many bad things it says of these gamers, particularly of their embarrassing contradiction. Especially when gamers start saying some harsh things like ‘Fallout 4 looks worse than Skyrim’ or something to that effect.

I do sympathise in only one way however, and that’s the problem I feel Ubisoft has greatly contributed to. Due to their bullshit, which includes the Watch Dogs fiasco and their cute ‘pre-alpha’ gameplay stunt with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, gamers are more sceptical of what they see in trailers than ever before. That itself is a good thing. An issue though is perhaps we’re taking out our frustrations with companies like Ubisoft on the good folk like CD Projekt RED and Bethesda. This as well can be argued from the point of fairness, that all companies should be treated equally, and I’m all for that as well. For example I’ve argued for an increase in consumer information such as with more visible “not representative of the final product” disclaimers attached to market hype trailers. But we all know that, in publisher minds, would not paint their game in the best possible light, and make people ‘expect’ downgrades.

The big problem is we already do. We’re in for possibly the most cynically-viewed E3 we’ve had in years.

While that has ups and downs, where I absolutely cannot sympathise with gamers, and think there’s some proper bullshit going on, is with the complaints about Fallout 4. After The Witcher 3 debacle, which is fresh in memory and still going on with the patch updates, people were demanding more honesty and transparency in game trailers. Here comes Fallout 4, which doesn’t doll everything up excessively and make our expectations unrealistic, and looks rather representative of what we’ll get. Isn’t that exactly what you asked for? Now the complaint is that it looks underwhelming? Ignore the sweet art direction while you’re at it too, folks.

Why don’t you do us a favour and not criticise transparency, which I don’t know, may contribute to publishers just dolling things up again because it looks prettier? Circular problem, no?

I can understand that gamers want to push for higher standards and more out of the industry and its games. But surely by now you have grasped the trade offs of huge open worlds? If graphics are to be sacrificed to achieve mind-blowingly gigantic and rich worlds like in The Witcher 3, Skyrim and Dragon Age: Inquisition, then surely it’s a small price to pay and a reasonable one too? Isn’t it far better to see a realistic representation during reveal trailers with the potential to get better than to get something dreamlike with the expectancy that it will only get worse?

These people complaining are also incredibly forgetful. Historically Bethesda’s games have not blown people’s socks off with their graphics. Sure The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was kinda great for its time, but both Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were just about decent, the latter requiring ridiculous levels of mods to make it the beast it is today. But no one minded because Fallout 3 and Skyrim had magnificently crafted and huge worlds rich with detail and narrative, and were two of the best games Bethesda ever made.

Why is it a problem now? It’s because people often don’t have a good habit of picking their battles correctly. Some want to fight the good fight but seemingly start to enjoy the fight too much rather than the better world we ideally want. Personally if more trailers were like Fallout 4 in terms of their honesty and humility, I’d be a happier gamer. Are you that eager to delude yourselves that you want a Star Wars: Battlefront ‘in-engine’ reveal which leaves half of you weirdly blown away and the other half cynical about it not being in-game? Or do you want a game trailer that maybe doesn’t blow your balls off or does less of a job doing so in the graphics department, reasonably so, but it accurately portrays what you’re going to get at launch? I choose the latter every damn time. 

We all want better-looking games and a higher standard especially with the new consoles still reasonably fresh in their lives. But it’s time we remembered that next-gen doesn’t only mean better graphics. It means more potential too, bigger worlds, more possibilities, more intelligent designs and more room for creativity and innovation. A small example of this was demonstrated in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’s fantastic Nemesis System, which for me was the first sign of the potential of organic and intelligent open worlds in the new hardware. Historically open world has always had graphics secondary to allow for so much more elsewhere.

The message is pick your battles of what it is you’re actually fighting here. If you’re disappointed by Fallout 4 and its visuals, that’s your prerogative. But if you’re part of the camp criticising it harshly when you were also not too long ago in the camp attacking Ubisoft and CD Projekt RED for graphical downgrades, then you may want to pick a better fight.

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Please Stand By For Nerdgasm: Fallout 4 Officially Revealed http://egmr.net/2015/06/please-stand-by-for-nerdgasm-fallout-4-officially-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/please-stand-by-for-nerdgasm-fallout-4-officially-revealed/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:00:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171765 While no one is really going to be surprised at the official reveal of Fallout 4, as we were all expecting Bethesda’s upcoming first ever E3 press conference to be […]

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While no one is really going to be surprised at the official reveal of Fallout 4, as we were all expecting Bethesda’s upcoming first ever E3 press conference to be all about that, I’d have to say that the manner in which it was let out was perhaps a tad bit without ceremony.

It started when the official domain for Fallout 4 (Fallout4.com) went online ahead of schedule, with that schedule being the countdown timer that has been ticking away since early yesterday. On the site people found a trailer that couldn’t yet be viewed obviously because Bethesda never set it to public. There was also a picture of the game’s official box art, which you can take a gander at down below.

It’s real, folks, you can stop hyperventilating. Or rather, initiate hyperventilation sequence now.

fallout4site

Gameranx jumped all over the site like it was free chocolate, and deduced that Fallout 4 appears to be set in Boston judging from the “Scollay Square” text seen in the image below, which was a still taken from the reveal trailer. It appeared as a still when trying to load up the actual trailer.

fallout4still2

There’s little reason however to speculate or deduce anything now, because Bethesda went ahead and made the official three minute reveal trailer public. You can view it above. It looks to be an in-engine trailer which focuses on the usual reveal method of telling you nothing but being story-ish. It does seem to reveal though that the protagonist will actually have a voice, unlike Fallout 3 where you were kind of silent and all innocent.

Nevertheless, it’s Fallout 4 and it’s here, so rejoice! Perhaps we’ll see the first official gameplay footage at E3 which is coming up real soon.

The other good news is that Fallout 4 will be on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, so it won’t be held back by the last generation of consoles. Perhaps that’s elitist of me to say, but come now, it’s 2015. New hardware is here, so let’s get on the train and let’s get it moving at high speed.

Okay, so Fallout 4 is here now. It’s your turn, The Last Guardian. And *giggle* Half-Life 3. Let us complete this trifecta this generation!

Tell us what you thought about the trailer. Did you nerdgasm?

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Jonathan Blow: “Videogames Are Pretty Terrible For Telling Stories” http://egmr.net/2015/06/johnathan-blow-video-games-pretty-terrible-for-telling-stories/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/johnathan-blow-video-games-pretty-terrible-for-telling-stories/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 07:30:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171697 Jonathan Blow has become known in the industry not just as the developer of PS4 title The Witness, and Braid, but also as an indie developer who is rather outspoken […]

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Jonathan Blow has become known in the industry not just as the developer of PS4 title The Witness, and Braid, but also as an indie developer who is rather outspoken about things. An example of such would be his recent opinion that video games are not a very good medium for telling stories. Sure he’s gone and made the kind of statement that will no doubt bring a whole bunch of knee-jerk reactions, but is there possibly something worthy of debate in what he’s saying?

A few developers in addition to Mr Blow weighed in on this issue, and the opinions are fairly diverse.

“I think videogames are pretty terrible for telling stories,” Jonathan Blow said in an interview in the latest issue of Play. Blow highlighted the way games’ stories and mechanics often conflict, and he criticises the AAA model of storytelling being “cutscenes interrupted by gameplay bits that get you to the next cutscene, ” which he says, “pretty much sucks”.

Whether you agree or disagree, it’s hard to argue against the idea that video games see their stories and gameplay frequently clash. One of the big recent examples in games which caused this discussion of narrative dissonance to fire up again was Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot, in which Lara Croft goes through an emotional ordeal to kill someone and minutes later you’re murdering freaks by the dozen as if it were yesterday. Weirdly I wrote about Tomb Raider demonstrating where video games were lacking in narrative at the time.

Blow goes on to morbidly suggest that “storytelling in games is in about the same place it was in the 1980s, except now our cutscenes are more-frequent and in high res” and argues that, if as an artist your primary interest is in telling stories, then video games perhaps isn’t the best medium to choose.

Play Mag wasn’t done there as they also spoke to two other video game storytellers to get alternative perspectives.

Greg Kasavin of Supergiant, the excellent team behind Transistor and Bastion had a more optimistic view, telling Play Mag that “there’s limitless territory to explore when it comes to using game mechanics to tell stories in games. It’s very fertile ground,” he said, “though also tends to create some big challenges both in a game’s design and during its production. But to me it’s the entire point of making games.”

Then they consulted Techland’s Rafał Orkan, who worked on Dying Light and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, and he spoke about the difficulties video games have in narrative, particularly in the open world genre.

“You’ve got to forget about controlling the timing or pace,” Orkan said. “Writers for open-world games have to avoid many traps and invest as much time in designing the story as to overcoming those obstacles. For instance, will a fast and aggressive player experience and understand the story in the same or similar way as a person who plays slowly and carefully? Will a character’s motivation be clear to someone who spends most of the time on side-quests and goes back to the main storyline after long breaks?”

“There’re many more such pitfalls, so whether you like it or not, when you write a script for an open world you have to change your approach to storytelling.”

It’s certainly an interesting debate, and while I feel Jonathan Blow has some valid points, I’m a bit more optimistic and resonate with Supergiant’s view, that there is huge untapped potential in video games and the AAA model is only scratching the surface. While narrative dissonance is always a big threat in games, there are also a hell of a lot of things you can do in games that you can’t do in any other medium, especially when it comes to immersion, and that gives video games the edge it needs to be innovative.

What do you think on this debate?

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Has A Level Cap Of Infinity http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-has-a-level-cap-of-infinity/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-has-a-level-cap-of-infinity/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 07:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171695 The majority of the time in RPGs there’s always a level cap, which can make you think carefully about your skill trees and builds, consider a New Game+ playthrough or […]

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The majority of the time in RPGs there’s always a level cap, which can make you think carefully about your skill trees and builds, consider a New Game+ playthrough or just be aware of where the game plans for you to be before you’re ready to take on its biggest challenges. There are many reasons in many different contexts. Now you’re probably out there right now either playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or wishing you could, and if it’s the former then you may be wondering what the level cap is.

When considering the fact that levelling up in The Witcher 3 is firstly a slow process and secondly the way the game is designed you can’t really screw up your character build, as most of what you do will be viable at least, if not intelligent, it becomes a wonder when it will end. Not to mention that this is the kind of game you could be playing for a 100 hours or more with relative ease, so it’s not bizarre to wonder what the level cap is or whether you should be thinking pretty carefully about how you build your character.

Turns out, however, that the level cap is kinda infinite.

When asked about the level cap on Twitter, CD Projekt Red Community Coordinator Marcin Momot stepped in to clear the air.

While I doubt the lack of a level cap would matter a whole lot on your first playthrough, unless it’s now giving you free reign to stick playing this game for the rest of eternity, there are some rumours of a New Game+ being added to the game, but I don’t quite know about that.

You should read our review if you want to know why you should be playing this game right now instead of reading this article.

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Lego MMO Cancelled, And Its Biggest Problem Was Penis Filtering http://egmr.net/2015/06/lego-mmo-cancelled-and-its-biggest-problem-was-penis-filtering/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/lego-mmo-cancelled-and-its-biggest-problem-was-penis-filtering/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 07:30:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171628 Before you even ask: yes, literally penises. There was a game called Lego Universe, that was supposed to be the answer to life itself and be the biggest wet dream […]

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Before you even ask: yes, literally penises.

There was a game called Lego Universe, that was supposed to be the answer to life itself and be the biggest wet dream to those who love construction, but unfortunately the fight against penises was too hard. Give a man freedom to create, and he shall create man parts. Or something like that.

The Lego MMO was a PC exclusive title, but the reason you may not know of it is because it disappeared not too long after its launch. And one of the biggest reasons is basically the failure to combat penises.

A former developer of Lego Universe, Megan Fox who isn’t actually the actress, released some details via Twitter just the other day, explaining with some added salt why the project had to be cancelled. The development team couldn’t figure out a cost effective and financially viable way to deal with the penis epidemic that would inevitably take over the game.

“Funny story – we were asked to make dong detection software for LEGO Universe too,” they began. “We found it to be utterly impossible at any scale.”

In spite of valiant efforts the “dong detection” software simply couldn’t keep up with the sheer amount of not very child-friendly content.

“Players would hide the dongs where the filtering couldn’t see, or make them only visible from one angle / make multi-part penis sculptures.

“The moderation costs of Lego Universe were a big issue in general. They wanted a creative building MMO with a promise of zero penises seen. They actually had a huge moderation team that got a bunch of screenshots of every model, every property. Entirely whitelist-based building.

“YOU could build whatever you wanted, but strangers could never see your builds until we’d had the team do a penis sweep on it. It was all automated, but the human moderators were IIRC the single biggest cost centre for LEGO Universe’s operational costs. Or close to.

“People saying ‘well just allow dicks’ – LEGO’s brand is utterly trusted by parents. We had to uphold that trust. Which meant zero tolerance. This is all obvious, simple stuff, and is why dealing w/ [the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act] COPPA (which protects kids) is so damn hard in online games. Even DEVS build dongs.”

I suppose I can understand from that perspective. If parents buy a Lego game for their kids and there are penises all over it and other such inappropriate content, well, the parents would have a good case as to why it can’t reasonably be their fault for not foreseeing such content in a Lego title of all things.

However the timing of this is fairly interesting since there are rumours of a new Lego construction game being revealed. The rumours in question came about thanks to this new teaser image.

It seems believable given that TT Games and Warner Bros. are working on the upcoming Lego Dimensions game, which will be out in September this year. If you haven’t heard of it, the Wikipedia description says of Lego Dimensions: “It follows multiple characters from various Lego sets after a masked villain breaks into multiple worlds. It follows the same format as the Skylanders franchise and Disney Infinity series, where the player has Lego figures and a portal which can be played within the game itself.”

It’s a sad thing to see a game get canned, but one does not simply stop a penis epidemic when gamers have been given the freedom to create what they please.

 

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XCOM 2 Officially Announced, And It’s A PC Exclusive http://egmr.net/2015/06/xcom-2-officially-announced-and-its-a-pc-exclusive/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/xcom-2-officially-announced-and-its-a-pc-exclusive/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 07:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171613 A week ago a new title was teased by 2K Games via its Advent site, and now the publisher has officially announced what the teaser was for: a new XCOM […]

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A week ago a new title was teased by 2K Games via its Advent site, and now the publisher has officially announced what the teaser was for: a new XCOM game. Officially titled XCOM 2, it will be the sequel to the acclaimed XCOM: Enemy Unknown as well as a successor to the classic XCOM series.

That’s not all though. It will also be exclusive to PC, and Fraxis Games will once again lead development, which I doubt anyone will have any complaints about given their success with the previous game. We said as much in our review of it, if you need a refresher.

There will also be a port for Mac and Linux, but no console version has been announced yet. The PC version will be out in November this year, and I’m sure we will get to see it in action at the upcoming E3. If you’re a Mac or Linux user and you’re a little worried about your port, well, Feral Interactive is kind of known for their ports for Mac and recently Linux, and they also worked on XCOM: Enemy Unknown so I’m sure it’s in good hands.

The press release for XCOM 2 gives you the official details on the game:

“In XCOM 2, the roles have been reversed, and XCOM is now the invading force. They are hampered by limited resources and must constantly evade the alien threat in their new mobile headquarters. Players must use a combination of firepower and stealth-like tactics to help XCOM recruit soldiers and build a resistance network, while attempting to expose the evil alien agenda and save humanity. XCOM 2 will introduce gameplay features such as procedurally-generated levels, which will make each experience unique to the player, as well as offer a much deeper level of modding support. Additionally, XCOM 2 will offer a variety of new content including five updated soldier classes, increased soldier customization, more alien and enemy types, evolved tactical combat”

2K Games President Christoph Hartmann had some extra PR stuff to say with the press release:

“Firaxis proved they could reimagine a beloved franchise with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a Game of the Year award-winning title. With XCOM 2, the team is breathing new life into the series by adding an epic narrative and challenging players to overcome near impossible odds.”

Creative Director Jake Solomon also pitched in to give the usual about them taking fan feedback into account:

“The feedback from the passionate XCOM community played an important role in the development of XCOM 2, driving us to push the visual, gameplay and replayability boundaries of what a strategy game can be. We’re thrilled to implement long-time fan requested features such as procedural levels and modding support, as well as adding more of what makes XCOM great like new aliens, enemies and soldier classes.”

Check out the first official screenshots in the gallery below, and rejoice master race.

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The Dota 2 TI5 Prize Pool Reaches $10,000,000 Within 30 Days http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-dota-2-ti5-prize-pool-reaches-10000000-within-30-days/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-dota-2-ti5-prize-pool-reaches-10000000-within-30-days/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 07:30:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171584 The International 5, or TI5, for Dota 2 is currently in full swing with the qualifier rounds. It’s making for a pretty awesome spectacle thus far, but for the players […]

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The International 5, or TI5, for Dota 2 is currently in full swing with the qualifier rounds. It’s making for a pretty awesome spectacle thus far, but for the players there’s also an added incentive via the Compendium packs, which bring cosmetic items, rewards, challenges, voting sprees and all-round fun for the duration of the tournament.

Valve has already seen this year’s Compendium and prize pool smash all previous records, which is great for everyone involved. The prize pool has just breezed past the $10 million mark, increasing by $1 million from $9 million in basically less than a day thanks to the recent release of Immortal Treasure II, a stretch goal that was reached a good three weeks ago or so.

The prize pool, at the time of writing, is currently sitting at $10,219,206. And we’ve still got a long way to go until The International 2015 ends.

The event is meeting absolutely phenomenal success. Thanks to Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker, if you want a basis for comparison, last year’s The International 2014 had a total prize pool of $10,931,105, so this year’s compendium is set to smash that before we even finish the qualifying rounds. It becomes even more insane when you consider that The International 2013 had a total prize pool of only $2,874,380. The growth of Dota 2 has been pretty crazy on that front.

At this rate Valve may possibly have to look at adding additional stretch goals. The remaining goals include:

  • $11,000,000: Desert Terrain
  • $12,000,000: TI5 Music Pack
  • $13,000,000: Bristleback Announcer Pack
  • $14,000,000: New Weather Effects
  • $15,000,000: Special Axe Immortal and longform comic

While I’m still scratching my head wondering why a music pack and Bristleback announcer pack are linked to such huge milestones on the stretch goals, I’m nonetheless very excited for new weather effects and the prospect of additional stretch goals.

I have to say that the immortal items for this year’s compendium have been absolutely top class. The latest treasure, Immortal Treasure II, was certainly worth the wait as it brought a whole range of bad ass items for Leshrac, Disruptor, Anti-Mage, Faceless Void, Sven, Tinker and Shadow Fiend as a bonus.

The $10 million mark was the stretch goal for Immortal Treasure III, so we’ll get that as soon as Valve completes it. Probably after TI5, when we’re all dead.

It’s only going to get more interesting from here on out, and what can I say I absolutely adore my Dota 2 cosmetic items, so more power to that.

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You Can Get Batman: Arkham Knight On PC For $36 Until June 5 http://egmr.net/2015/06/you-can-get-batman-arkham-knight-on-pc-for-36-until-june-5/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/you-can-get-batman-arkham-knight-on-pc-for-36-until-june-5/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 07:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171577 If you know me at all you’d know that I thoroughly do not believe in pre-ordering games, and don’t do it no matter the title. Especially when it comes to digital games of […]

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If you know me at all you’d know that I thoroughly do not believe in pre-ordering games, and don’t do it no matter the title. Especially when it comes to digital games of all things. Yet, surely this one time I have to make an exception. Why? Because there’s currently an absolutely absurd special running on Green Man Gaming, which all interested PC gamers with an appropriately powered rig should take a look at.

Sadly the rand is weak so it’s still pricey regardless, but until June 5 you can pre-order Batman: Arkham Knight on PC and get a massive 40% off, which brings the game’s price down from $59.99 to a more manageable $36, and it’s pretty hard to argue with that price point. This discount also works for the Arkham Knight Premium Edition which includes the season pass, if you’re into that sort of thing. The price will drop from $99 to $54, and you may notice that it’s a slightly higher discount at around 46% or so. This is because the Premium Edition is already discounted at 10%, so yeah.

In order to claim the discount, you’ll just need to use the voucher code: BATMAN-ARKHAM-SAVE40 during checkout.

If you’re wondering what the catch is, well there’s only one. You need to be subscribed to the Green Man Gaming newsletter to get the discount. That’s about it. If you get an “Unable to add voucher” error during checkout, you’ll need to fill in your address in your account profile. This is about all you need to know on that.

If you have any worries, don’t. Green Man Gaming is a great store, one which I personally have shopped at in the past. Plus your purchase will get you a Steam code, so you don’t have to worry about any funny third party software to run the game.

Pre-order culture is crap, but it’s hard to argue with such a good deal. One of the few justifiable exceptions to pre-ordering then!

Is this price point attractive enough for you to take the plunge?

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When Is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Actually Releasing? http://egmr.net/2015/05/when-is-uncharted-4-a-thiefs-end-actually-releasing/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/when-is-uncharted-4-a-thiefs-end-actually-releasing/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 07:30:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171494 Many PS4 players were naturally hoping for a 2015 release of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which is supposedly the last game of Drake’s story. Discounting any potential […]

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Many PS4 players were naturally hoping for a 2015 release of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which is supposedly the last game of Drake’s story. Discounting any potential spin-offs and HD collection releases of course. Nevertheless game development takes a long time, and it began to look unlikely that Uncharted 4 would release this year. You know, when it was revealed that the game was delayed to 2016 and all.

However even though we knew the game would be out in 2016, next year, we only had a vague “Q2″ to work with, and had very little to go on in terms of when to expect the game. That’s been cleared up now thanks to Sony Computer Entertainment, during its annual Investor Relations Day conference.

PlayStation president Andrew House revealed that Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4 will be out before Sony’s 2015 fiscal year ends, which means before March 31, 2016.

We already know though that the game won’t be out this year. Games rarely release earlier than anticipated. That means we can expect Uncharted 4 to release within the first three months of next year. But taking Naughty Dog’s listed “spring” launch window into account, we’ll most likely see the game launch towards the end of March next year.

With Uncharted 4 out of the picture for this year, House admitted during a discussion in the conference that the PS4’s first-party lineup as a whole was looking a bit “sparse” as far as exclusive games go. Still, there’s E3 to happen.

Also go play Bloodborne. Yeah that came out of nowhere.

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It’s Time To Go To War In This 7 Minute Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay Trailer http://egmr.net/2015/05/its-time-to-go-to-war-in-this-7-minute-batman-arkham-knight-gameplay-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/its-time-to-go-to-war-in-this-7-minute-batman-arkham-knight-gameplay-trailer/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 07:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171491 Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocksteady’s final entry in the stellar franchise, is certainly picking a good time to release, as it’s coming out towards the end of June in that lull […]

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Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocksteady’s final entry in the stellar franchise, is certainly picking a good time to release, as it’s coming out towards the end of June in that lull period after E3. Plenty will be buying, and plenty will be looking for things to play. Such a release window proved to be a huge success for Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us when it first released, so hopefully if Arkham Knight ends up good and Rocksteady is deserving of the rewards, they’ll end up getting them in that window.

A while ago a seven or so minute gameplay trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight titled “Officer Down”. Now Rocksteady has released another seven minute gameplay trailer that continues on from where that one abruptly ended.

The trailer description says:

Following on from the events of ‘Officer Down’, Batman infiltrates Scarecrow’s safehouse in Gotham City to find a familiar face, and takes on the might of the Arkham Knight’s drone forces in the Batmobile.

Check out the game footage up above, although I may advise against it if you’d rather wait the month to go into Arkham Knight with as little knowledge as possible.

 

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June’s PS Plus Brings You Metal Gear Solid, Skulls of the Shogun And More http://egmr.net/2015/05/junes-ps-plus-brings-you-metal-gear-solid-skulls-of-the-shogun-and-more/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/junes-ps-plus-brings-you-metal-gear-solid-skulls-of-the-shogun-and-more/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 07:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171425 Just because we’re prepping for E3 in June doesn’t mean that we won’t still get our freebies on PS Plus. Next month will bring four free games to the PS4, which […]

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Just because we’re prepping for E3 in June doesn’t mean that we won’t still get our freebies on PS Plus. Next month will bring four free games to the PS4, which includes Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition, Super Exploding Zoo and Futuridium EP Deluxe.

The games will be made available from June 2nd, so if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to grab this month’s games you’d best do so now.

If you want the breakdown of all the games, the PlayStation Blog Describes them as follows:

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)

A visually stunning chapter in a long-running, deeply complex series. This nail-biting mission onto a Cuban military base follows Snake as he attempts to rescue Paz from enemy imprisonment.

Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition (PS4)

This turn-based strategy game turned a lot of undead heads with its story of a Samurai Afterlife. Build an army of the undead, battle your opponents, and regain your honor.

Super Exploding Zoo (PS Vita | PS4)

Players must defend all the precious animal eggs in the zoo from evil aliens who want to eat said eggs. How do you defend these tasty treats? With a herd of explosive animals, obviously.

Futuridium EP Deluxe (PS Vita | PS4)

A psychedelic, retro-inspired shooter with crazy action, puzzle elements, and a bumping electronic soundtrack. May or may not induce random dance parties.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (PS3)

This first-person shooter celebrates the wild west in a big, bloody way. Take down anyone unlucky enough to cross bounty hunter Silas Greaves.

Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3)

The dev team behind this insane 2D platformer spent 2 years building an AI that could build a near-infinite number of levels for any difficulty. It looks totally bananacakes. Good luck with that!

Check out the trailer up above.

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PS4 Exclusive Until Dawn Gets A Sudden Release Date http://egmr.net/2015/05/ps4-exclusive-until-dawn-gets-a-sudden-release-date/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/ps4-exclusive-until-dawn-gets-a-sudden-release-date/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 07:30:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171385 We’ve known about Until Dawn for some time now, ever since its re-announcement at last year’s Gamescom during Sony’s panel. About three years ago it was a PlayStation Move game, […]

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We’ve known about Until Dawn for some time now, ever since its re-announcement at last year’s Gamescom during Sony’s panel. About three years ago it was a PlayStation Move game, but now it’s been completely reworked for the PS4 and will be a narrative and character-driven horror game that has some similarities to Heavy Rain, with regards to player choice determining who survives.

While we didn’t know much about the game or have much of a release window, seemingly out of nowhere we’ve now got a launch trailer for the game and an announcement that it will be released on August 25 exclusively on PS4.

To give you a bit of detail about the game Until Dawn is kind of like Telltale’s The Walking Dead or Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, except it’s more designed for multiple playthroughs because apparently you won’t get the whole story with only one completion. Each playthrough will be about 9 hours or so, and the game will utilise something called the “Butterfly Effect”, which is a mechanic that results in player action leading to major unforeseen consequences later on in the game. Obviously this means all characters can live or die, and there will be multiple endings and paths.

Unlike Telltale’s games though, you won’t be able to rewind and try something different, because Until Dawn will have a strict auto-save system in place to make you feel all that regret inside.

The game certainly looks interesting, and it can’t hurt to get it in the aftermath of E3 where gaming typically takes a lull. It’s being developed by Supermassive Games, and is definitely their chance to get themselves on the map, as much like Ready at Dawn back with The Order: 1886 they’re mostly known for low-key ventures such as Killzone HD and Little Big Planet on PS Vita.

To kill the buzz a bit, but because consumer information is important, there are pre-order bonuses. Pre-ordering Until Dawn will get you an exclusive bonus scene starring two new characters. Because you’re so invested already in these iconic characters, am I right?

Anyway, better news is that motion capture for the game has been done by actor Peter Stormare, who has worked on Prison Break, The Big Lebowsk and Arrow. If you give the trailer a watch, you can certainly see quality work that Quantic Dream would be proud of.

If you’ve been around a while, you may also recognise the character Sam as that cheerleader from the TV series Heroes. Her name is Hayden Panettiere, if you were just about to Google it or are too lazy to do that. Just some extra info for your research purposes.

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New Horror Game Perception From Former BioShock Devs Has You Play As A Blind Woman http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-horror-game-perception-from-former-bioshock-devs-has-you-play-as-a-blind-woman/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-horror-game-perception-from-former-bioshock-devs-has-you-play-as-a-blind-woman/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 07:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171381 It almost seems like every time you feel ready to turn away from the oversaturated indie horror scene, something extremely exciting and promising jumps out to prevent you from doing […]

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It almost seems like every time you feel ready to turn away from the oversaturated indie horror scene, something extremely exciting and promising jumps out to prevent you from doing that. The Deep End Games has announced such a title, and it’s one that will absolutely catch your interest at the very least.

Meet Perception, a horror game where you’ll take on the role of a blind woman, named Cassie.

The Deep End Games is made up of former BioShock developers led by 12-year veteran from Irrational Games, Bill Gardner.

Eurogamer states that Cassie has visions of a particular mansion located in New England, but after further research it turns out to be an abandoned estate in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The haunted house is located on Echo Bluff, which is a remote peninsula overlooking the Atlantic.

You might be wondering, if Cassie is blind then how the hell do you see anything? Won’t everything just be black? Well, not exactly. Cassie will use echolocation to “see” inside the mansion. Think Daredevil. It’s more like that dreadful old movie with Ben Affleck rather than the awesome new series, as the echolocation looks visually similar in Perception.

Cassie will do this by tapping her cane on the floor, but as you would expect there is often no risk-free move in a horror game and making noise like this risks getting the attention of “the Presence.”

It’s always an ominous name, isn’t it?

Cassie will acquire evidence during her investigation on her cell phone. You’ll also be taken on a trip down memory lane to explore the mansion’s history.

If you’re interested, and especially if you loved what you saw in the announcement trailer above, there’s a Kickstarter for Perception that has been launched and The Deep End Games is looking for $150,000.

The game is due to release in 2016 on Steam, and console versions are possible depending on the budget of course. Meeting some stretch goals may yield additional game modes and VR support, if you’re into that.

If there’s one thing we can say for sure about Perception, it’s that if former BioShock developers are at work, it’s bound to be creepy at the very least.

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New Teaser Suggests Han Solo Is Playable In Star Wars Battlefront http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-teaser-suggests-han-solo-is-playable-in-star-wars-battlefront/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-teaser-suggests-han-solo-is-playable-in-star-wars-battlefront/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 07:30:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171335 One of the more enticing things about the Star Wars Battlefront franchise is getting the opportunity to play as many of the most famous heroes and villains. The new Star […]

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One of the more enticing things about the Star Wars Battlefront franchise is getting the opportunity to play as many of the most famous heroes and villains. The new Star Wars Battlefront by EA and DICE is getting people worried about content, and one of those reasons is because it only features the original trilogy, thus omitting three movies worth of content and a whole lot more source material. Nevertheless one can’t argue with the excitement surrounding the return of Star Wars Battlefront.

So far however we only know that Darth Vader and Boba Fett are playable. Obviously Luke Skywalker will be another. We’ll have to wait for E3 to see more. In the mean time though a new teaser image has surfaced from EA and DICE which strongly suggests that Han Solo is joining the party in Star Wars Battlefront.

The image above shows off Han Solo’s trademark DL-44 heavy blaster pistol. I suppose the catch phrase becomes a bit witty then! So well played DICE or EA or whoever came up with that one.

Unless they reveal more characters, I get the feeling that Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo may just be the main ones. There’s also Chewbacca to consider, and perhaps the Emperor and Ben Kenobi (old Obi-Wan) as well. Yoda is extremely old in the original trilogy and doesn’t do much by means of fighting, but who knows he could be in too. Who else do you think would be playable from the original trilogy?

It’s a little tricky though when gun-wielding heroes like Han Solo and such come up against the lightsaber-wielding folk, but hopefully Star Wars Battlefront ends up being balanced in that regard.

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Konami’s New World Order Involves Bringing Yu-Gi-Oh! To PS4 And Xbox One http://egmr.net/2015/05/konamis-new-world-order-involves-bringing-yu-gi-oh-to-ps4-and-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/konamis-new-world-order-involves-bringing-yu-gi-oh-to-ps4-and-xbox-one/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 07:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171332 It almost seems as though in a blink of an eye Konami went from being totally invisible to being one of the most hated publishers currently around. It began with […]

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It almost seems as though in a blink of an eye Konami went from being totally invisible to being one of the most hated publishers currently around. It began with the feud between the clueless publisher and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, which included the removal of his name from all previous games in the amazing franchise. Then, determined to top that, Konami officially cancelled one of the most promising and exciting triple A games in years, namely Silent Hills. If that wasn’t enough, Konami then came out and said they want us to tell them if they’re screwing up, before promptly declaring that they want to focus on the mobile scene.

Now, in Konami’s valiant efforts to focus on the mobile scene, they are bringing Yu-Gi-Oh! to…PS4 and Xbox One. Wait, what? You read that right apparently. A recent rating for the game by the German classification board confirmed the existence of Yu-Gi-Oh!: Legacy of The Dualist, but we have no further details beyond that. It most likely will be a digital game of some kind, although it’s always possible it will be retail as well.

While it would seem that Konami hasn’t began its grand plan to unleash its shit all over the mobile scene, at least we’re getting a new Yu-Gi-Oh game. I mean honestly, I love Yu-Gi-Oh as much as the next human, and I’m sure Konami has our deepest gratitude by bringing us such an esteemed game and all. Who even wants that crappy Silent Hills game anyway? Clearly Konami knows what’s up.

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Meet The Retro VGS: A Cartridge-Based Console To “Reestablish The Culture Of Video Gaming” http://egmr.net/2015/05/meet-the-retro-vgs-a-cartridge-based-console-to-reestablish-the-culture-of-video-gaming/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/meet-the-retro-vgs-a-cartridge-based-console-to-reestablish-the-culture-of-video-gaming/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 07:30:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171306 One could argue that Kickstarter has become pretty damn good at selling people nostalgia. If you’ve been around long enough you may remember game cartridges, which were large chunky plastic things […]

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One could argue that Kickstarter has become pretty damn good at selling people nostalgia. If you’ve been around long enough you may remember game cartridges, which were large chunky plastic things that used to contain our games. I’m talking before the Gameboy cartridges even. The last home console that used them was the N64 released all the way back in 1996. I doubt anyone was expecting to game on them, and cartridge-based consoles are mostly collector’s items these days, or artifacts befitting of a gaming museum.

That’s not what publisher of Retro Magazine Mike Kennedy thinks, however, as he’s developing something called the Retro VGS, which stands for Retro Video Games System. This gaming system will actually be a cartridge-based games console, if ‘retro’ wasn’t enough of a hint of it being a blast of the past.

The Retro VGS will be brought to Kickstarter later this year, but why should you care?

Well, the Retro VGS is part of a movement that Kennedy feels is a revival of interest in retro-style games, or rather what like to call people’s nostalgic grip on the past. Kennedy refers to the revived interest as “fast becoming an art-form and genre on today’s mobile and modern consoles.”

The Retro VGS, in honour of this, will play original 2D retro-style games, as well as “16-Bit fan-favorite sequels,” and ports of popular mobile and digitally distributed retro (I’m overusing this word) games released on cartridge for the first time. This will be achieved by messing around with the original Atari Jaguar tooling to create the console and cartridge shells. The Retro VGS console will also come with rebranded internal hardware and a new controller that will be – you guessed it – retro-inspired.

Retro. Retro. Retro. Retro. Retro. I’m sure the word sounds funny in your head now.

According to Kennedy and his team of retros, the “RETRO VGS will reestablish the culture of video gaming, something that has been slowly dismantled over the last couple console generations. It will promote game ownership, tangibility and collectability. There will be no system updates, digital downloads or buggy games.”

If you’re keen on this whole movement, you can follow the development of the Retro VGS on its Facebook page.

Personally, and this is me being my usual cynical self, I see this as a fun gimmick that will give people a few smiles for a while, but I don’t see it going further than that. Then again, who can argue with the success Kickstarter has had in giving people what they had many years ago. Nostalgia sells apparently, but it does it sell well enough to warrant its own console today? Who knows.

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The Witcher 3 Has An Amusing Game Of Thrones Easter Egg http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-has-an-amusing-game-of-thrones-easter-egg/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-has-an-amusing-game-of-thrones-easter-egg/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 07:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171304 The fortunate among us who have lots of time available or certain review obligations are presently enjoying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s a massive game, and we’re working on […]

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The fortunate among us who have lots of time available or certain review obligations are presently enjoying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s a massive game, and we’re working on bringing you a review as soon as we can. However as is usual with games of this size and scale, players will be sharing their experiences and discovering new things at every turn in the huge world. Apparently there’s a ton of easter eggs in The Witcher 3, and the series is no stranger to them.

Last year in October we covered a particularly funny Assassin’s Creed easter egg in The Witcher 2, and now we’re chatting about a Game of Thrones (or A Song of Ice and Fire for the book purists out there) easter egg in The Witcher 3.

In order to discover it you have to travel to Kaer Almhult, which I have no clue about since I haven’t started playing the game yet. Thanks, exams. Anyway it’s there that you’ll find a sky cell which contains a very dead dwarf that looks an awful lot like Tyrion Lannister. Geralt’s comment will tell you all you need to know about the context. If you’re unable to watch the video but you’re curious, Geralt says “Sky cells… Nice idea for a prison without bars. Shame he didn’t know how to fly.”

Check out the video above, which was supplied by YouTube user FudgeMuppet. If you don’t make the connection to Game of Thrones, you’d best take a browse through season one when Tyrion was held captive at the Vale.

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New Need For Speed Reboot Revealed For PC, PS4 And Xbox One http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-need-for-speed-reboot-revealed-for-pc-ps4-and-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/new-need-for-speed-reboot-revealed-for-pc-ps4-and-xbox-one/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 07:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171275 While Need for Speed is the kind of name you’ll never be surprised to hear about in the gaming scene, it’s definitely been a while since we’ve got a title […]

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While Need for Speed is the kind of name you’ll never be surprised to hear about in the gaming scene, it’s definitely been a while since we’ve got a title to truly rave about. Either the games are just okay, easily ignored, get tiresome quickly or are just criticised for being burnout clones, ever since Criterion took over development. Yet here we are talking about the next Need for Speed, which has been officially announced by EA for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and is set to be fully revealed at E3 next month.

Before we get into the juicy details, which come from the PlayStation Blog interestingly enough, there’s a short teaser trailer above that tells you almost nothing about the game and certainly isn’t gameplay. But it looks like good old street racing is back, and the first images look good, even if they are obviously doctored to death.

Alright, first things first. The new Need for Speed is a reboot that “delivers on what Need for Speed stands for — rich customization, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative that drives your Need for Speed experience.”

I don’t quite ever remember Need for Speed being about an immersive narrative, but if that floats EA’s boat then by all means.

EA content and community manager Ben Walke had plenty more to say in his post on the PlayStation Blog:

While we’ve been busy making the game we’ve also been reading, watching, and listening to you, our NFS Community. The feedback you’ve provided across every medium possible has urged us forward, and directed us towards our goals.

To know that there’s such a passionate set of gamers out there is one of the best feelings you can have as a developer, so thank you for that.

Every day someone proudly proclaims that we simply must have customization in the next Need for Speed game, so that’s exactly what you’ll have. When Need for Speed launches later this year you’ll be able to fully customize a car, in the process turning it into a truly unique resident of your garage.

We’ve been working really closely with Speedhunters, our very own community who have helped us deliver a Need for Speed that is grounded in authentic car culture by diving into the world of past, present, and emergent trends of the urban car scene. Need for Speed will unleash a passion for cars and speed when it launches this fall!

There you have it folks. We’ll have to wait for E3 in a month to get a full gameplay reveal, but we know that Need for Speed will be releasing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One around October this year.

For the love of all things holy though, please be cautious of everything you see at E3 this year. We all have had enough about graphical downgrade stories surely. And we all have to know what E3 is by now.

Are you excited for the next Need for Speed? Does it look like the kind of underground street racing buzz you miss? Let us know, even if you don’t care.

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Digital Foundry Analyses The Witcher 3 Frame Rate Issues On Both Consoles http://egmr.net/2015/05/digital-foundry-analyses-the-witcher-3-frame-rate-issues-on-both-consoles/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/digital-foundry-analyses-the-witcher-3-frame-rate-issues-on-both-consoles/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 07:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171248 While the internet is currently occupied with the matter of the apparent graphical downgrade of the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on consoles and the issues surrounding that, some reviews and […]

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While the internet is currently occupied with the matter of the apparent graphical downgrade of the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on consoles and the issues surrounding that, some reviews and sources have been claiming some technical issues. One of those issues for instance is that a number of players are apparently getting stuck on a loading screen after intro cutscene of The Witcher 3. Reports from Reddit, GameFAQs, and Twitter (via VG247) confirm as much. Some users have fixed the issue by completely switching off their consoles, while others had to reinstall the game.

However we do know that CD Projekt RED are currently working on a patch for the PS4 version of the game, and I assume the Xbox One version as well. CD Projekt RED’s Marcin Momot said on Twitter (via Canadian Online Gamers) that they are working on the new patch and it “shouldn’t be long until it’s out.” This would be in addition to the day one patch, and it will frame-rate and stuttering issues.

Speaking of frame rate issues, Digital Foundry did their usual in-depth analysis of both console versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Their report addresses some issues a few reviews reported regarding stutter and frame-rate drops in certain circumstances. Digital Foundry says that both the PS4 and Xbox One versions share the same asset quality, lighting and alpha effects. However while the PS4 version runs at a capped 30fps with v-sync engaged, the Xbox One version doesn’t cap its framae rate, and is able to go as high as 40fps. This sounds like a win for Microsoft’s console, but Digital Foundry’s report shows that both console versions don’t deliver a “smooth” frame-rate overall, which will matter if you have the eye for it and high standards.

“To start with cut-scenes, a firm 30fps line is held on PS4 during an early griffin encounter, and in practice this gives us smoother motion compared to the 35fps read-out on Xbox One,” says Digital Foundry. “However, the problem here is that if the PS4′s frame-rate drops below this number, it instantly locks to 20fps.

“It’s an instant switch, much like the double-buffer method of v-sync seen in Metal Gear Solid 4 on PS3. In one later scene involving heavy ice effects, it’s notable that Xbox One does glance this 20fps figure at a similar moment, but unlike PS4 it’s able to waver up and down the scale more freely. Meanwhile, Sony’s platform is stuck at this value for long stretches of a scene.”

In spite of this frame-rate lock the PS4 version can be seen to have a stutter effect. But the Xbox One version delivers the higher frame-rate when both drop below 30fps, so let the shots begin. Or rather hold the phone on that, because Digital Foundry believes the PS4 version’s frame-rate cap makes for a “superior game in motion,” but only when it’s not below 30fps.

Pros and cons to both versions it seems, in fine margins.

“Actual gameplay paints a slightly different picture. A trip through the busy Novigrad city really puts both consoles through their paces, and Xbox One is essentially reduced to a 29-31fps range of fluctuations that produces stutter. By comparison, PS4 doesn’t go over this line, but nor is it especially well optimised for large areas like this, with 25fps lurches seen at its worst.

“In open spaces, rapid gallops through forests produces similar results; regular single-frame drops on PS4 disrupt motion, while Xbox One runs above 30fps to cause its own frame-pacing issues. In battle, both platforms flatten at around 30fps, while a lengthy fight with a griffin shows bigger drops once we cast alpha-based spells such as Igni. The end effect is the same: neither console version feels as smooth as it should, and each is prone to big dips during gameplay.”

The Digital Foundry report concluded that neither version of The Witcher 3 can be recommended outright, but the PS4 has some advantage with its 1080p resolution and frame-rate cap.

You have a few choices before you now. You can either move on with your life without caring further, you can read the rest of the report through this link, you can watch the video at the top to get some insight into the The Witcher 3 frame rate issues on consoles or you can proceed to the comments section to begin taking shots.

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GTA V Sold More Than 52 Million Copies, But Is Only The 4th Best Selling Game http://egmr.net/2015/05/gta-v-sold-more-than-52-million-copies-but-is-only-the-4th-best-selling-game/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/gta-v-sold-more-than-52-million-copies-but-is-only-the-4th-best-selling-game/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 07:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171162 After the immense success of Grand Theft Auto IV it was no surprise whatsoever that its successor would see similar glory. As of July 2013 Grand Theft Auto IV had sold […]

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After the immense success of Grand Theft Auto IV it was no surprise whatsoever that its successor would see similar glory. As of July 2013 Grand Theft Auto IV had sold over 25 million copies. Not only do we know that all of the records set by Grand Theft Auto IV were absolutely smashed by Grand Theft Auto V, but we also have just learned that the latter has sold an earth-shattering amount of copies already. Of course GTA V has had the privilege of releasing on PS3 and Xbox 360 first during the twilight years of the last generation, and then relaunching on PS4, Xbox One and PC when there wasn’t much else to play, but the number of copies sold is still phenomenal. And it will keep rising now that the online heists mode is up and running.

Is your body ready for this? Even if it isn’t, let me rip the bandage off quickly and tell you that GTA V has now sold more than 52 million copies worldwide.

While that figure isn’t the least bit surprising, it’s quite incredible nonetheless. The news comes from Take-Two’s recently released fiscal results for the year 2015. Take-Two also announced, in addition to the number of units sold, the fact that GTA V is now the 4th best selling game of all time.

You may be holding the damn phone at this point in time, wondering which games could possibly have sold more than 52 million copies. Well the three titles before GTA V on the list actually make quite a lot of sense being there, and seem to be fairly obvious once you know them.

The games are Wii Sports, Tetris and Minecraft, not necessarily in that order because Wii Sports is the second best selling game of all time. The correct order is Tetris at number one, Wii Sports at second, then Minecraft and then GTA V.

If you think about it, the Wii was the most sold console of the last generation, selling around 120 million units. Wii Sports was a launch game for the console, which itself was a new social phenomenon as motion controls were new to the masses and a family console was itself also a very new idea. Wii Sports became popular for its social appeal, accessibility to all ages and due to the various competitions played in its name.

On the other hand Tetris and Minecraft need no explanation whatsoever for their ridiculous levels of success. If you want some kind of comparison, the Tetris franchise had sold more than 170 million copies, which is made up of about 70 million physical copies and over 100 million digital copies for cell phones. That data is from January of 2010, over five years ago, so you can imagine how much more it is now. Wii Sports, as of March 31, 2015, has sold about 82.69 million copies in total worldwide. And as of October 2014, Minecraft has sold over 60 million copies.

Rockstar has clearly achieved the best it possibly could then if it’s measuring up to these three monstrous successes. It’s important to keep in mind that GTA V is a full priced retail game at $60, whereas Tetris, Minecraft especially and Wii Sports too were all cheaper and in the case of the first two more easily accessed titles.

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Arrow Season 3 Is A Series Decline, But Had Enough To Pull Through http://egmr.net/2015/05/arrow-season-3-is-a-series-decline-but-had-enough-to-pull-through/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/arrow-season-3-is-a-series-decline-but-had-enough-to-pull-through/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 07:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171113 Arrow has been a remarkable surprise thus far. The first season may have been somewhat reserved and took a while to really kick into gear, but the show moved from […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The elation for 2Awesome Studio was short lived.

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

They seemed geared up to raise their ambitions. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minimum

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

Recommended

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

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

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outlast – Finish the Game – 20.2 %

Knack – complete all chapters 23.7%

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

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

Assassin’s Creed Unity Complete Sequence 12 – 34.7%

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

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