#egmr » Marko http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:25:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 The People Want More Alice http://egmr.net/2015/08/the-people-want-more-alice/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/the-people-want-more-alice/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174716 Not Alice in Chains or Alice Cooper, but I assume people into grunge and shock rock would want more. I am referring to American McGee’s interpretation of the classic fairytale, […]

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Not Alice in Chains or Alice Cooper, but I assume people into grunge and shock rock would want more. I am referring to American McGee’s interpretation of the classic fairytale, Alice in Wonderland. The games had a much darker tone and Alice was a more gothic interpretation of the prancing little girl in the fairytale. The games received widespread success with the original, released in 2000, being a favourite among many gamers and it was one of the hallmark platformers of its time.

Alice: Madness Returns, released in 2011, still branded the American McGee style and was intended as a sequel to the original. It featured some heavy adult themes, some truly disturbing creatures and a trippy/gothic/LSD inspired landscape. The game managed to freak me out a number of times which isn’t a very easy feat. I unfortunately did not finish it or  get a chance to play the original, but the people that have can’t recommend it enough.

The license for the franchise is currently at EA, our favourite publisher next to Konami and Ubisoft, and there is little to no prospect for a sequel. Maybe because Madness Returns did not perform too well commercially, even if it did have modest success. However, now fans are trying to take things into their own hands.

A petition has appeared appealing EA to allow American McGee to make a third game in the Alice series. It would be awesome if EA listened to the 11 000+ people, but as the developers themselves stated, it’s doubtful. However, they still remain hopeful:

While 11 000 people are not going to change the world, this at least shows that there is genuine interest for a new Alice game. I would definitely not mind a new-gen Alice game because I absolutely loved the aesthetic and tone of Madness Returns. Would you be behind a new Alice game?

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Here’s A Trailer For A WiiU Launch Game Remaster http://egmr.net/2015/08/heres-a-trailer-for-a-wiiu-launch-game-remaster/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/heres-a-trailer-for-a-wiiu-launch-game-remaster/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174621 There are many things I don’t understand in this world. How people can legitimately enjoy Nicki Minaj, how black holes work, how EA executives can sleep at night and how […]

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There are many things I don’t understand in this world. How people can legitimately enjoy Nicki Minaj, how black holes work, how EA executives can sleep at night and how muscular guys with the IQ of a dead hamster have the best lives ever. Now something else can be added to that list which is Ubisoft’s decision to re-release ZombiU, which was a launch title for the Wii U way back in 2012, on new-gen systems under the name “Zombi”.

In all honestly, this sounds like a satire I would come up with if I wanted to be ridiculous. Because this is ridiculous. But it is happening so I guess we have little choice but to go with it. ZombiU released to polarizing reviews. Some gave it 9/10 scores, called it commendable and “what the Wii U needed” (LOL) while other reviews were in the sub-5/10 range calling it a mediocre shooter devoid of creativity. So a bit of a divide there.

Back to the original topic, the still perplexing new-gen release of the game. We now have footage of the game courtesy of a hour and a half livestream of the game. And it looks pretty shit. A bit harsh, I will admit, but it genuinely does.

The new-gen release will obviously not be exactly the same, thank goodness, but the changes aren’t that significant and some even strip functionality away. There will be no local multiplayer though there is still hope for the asynchronous online component. The full list of changes can be found here.

I usually defend remasters in some way because I genuinely believe they are harmless most of the time and just offer us more games on more platforms, but this is just silly. It feels like a cash grab and is almost certainly the preamble to a multiplatform sequel.

I saved the best for last. It releases tomorrow (18 August) on Xbox One, PS4 and PC Master Race. Whoa don’t get too excited.

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Now You Can Vote For Your Free PS4 Games http://egmr.net/2015/07/now-you-can-vote-for-your-free-ps4-games/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/now-you-can-vote-for-your-free-ps4-games/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173584 PS Plus has been a resounding success since its inception. I mean come on, a bunch of free games every month? Nobody can complain about that. As the service went […]

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PS Plus has been a resounding success since its inception. I mean come on, a bunch of free games every month? Nobody can complain about that. As the service went on, more and more quality titles were added to the service, making it a huge selling point for joining the Playstation Nation. Because of the resounding success of the service, Sony forced Microsoft to come up with a free game service of their own in the form of Games with Gold.

Microsoft lagged rather catastrophically behind Sony’s service with them releasing a bunch of tat you can buy for the same price as a box of bubblegum. However, now that the service has matured a little, GwG has caught up rather momentously with the service releasing increasingly more quality games. Case in point, this month’s GwG is arguably superior to the PS Plus games which are rather underwhelming for the month of August.

Regardless, it’s clear that Sony need to do something in order to spark the interest back in favour of PS Plus, and they have now released a new feature of the service.

You can now vote for which game you’d like to see on the service. Before you jump in glee and start voting for Witcher 3 to be free, you mad person, the voting is limited to just three games. The following image breaks it down:

2913442-vote

Simple as that. You pick a game you like and you vote for it. Highest voted is free with next month’s games.

It is rumoured that the games that did not make it will have a discount for PS Plus members.

So what do you think about this? Is it worth it? Is it a good direction for the subscription service?

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Abyssal Pixels: Why Do Gamers Like Grinding? http://egmr.net/2015/07/abyssal-pixels-why-do-gamers-like-grinding/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/abyssal-pixels-why-do-gamers-like-grinding/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173527 No, not the act of smoothing something or cutting something with a circular saw or that thing people do in clubs with filthy strangers that they might knock up in […]

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No, not the act of smoothing something or cutting something with a circular saw or that thing people do in clubs with filthy strangers that they might knock up in the immediate future. Since the dawn of gaming, there has always been this reliance on repetition in some capacity. Pac-Man, you do the same thing over and over again, but you might get a higher score. Space Invaders, you shoot some aliens and then they pop right back for you to do it all over again. If you break gaming down to its base and really look at what we’re actually doing, then you’d think we’re a bunch of loonies that do the same thing over and over again.

This dawned on me as I was doing a dungeon for the umpteenth time in Final Fantasy 14 and then realising that what I’m doing would actually be seen as super boring. The dungeon I was doing wasn’t particularly laden with things that required my attention and because of how the game worked, I essentially stood in one spot and pressed the same combination of buttons over and over again for about 30 minutes. I was actually a bit conscious of this monotonous task since I had some let’s plays and videos going on a separate monitor for me to watch while I instinctively do the same button combination, glancing once an a while to see where I’m going.

Then I realised that this must look ridiculous from an outsider’s perspective. If someone had to watch me play this and they didn’t have a means of entertaining themselves like a phone or something, they would fall asleep in a heartbeat. Still, I’m drawn to this and as a gamer that loves RPGs the most, I get my fair share of grinding. Killing the same enemies over and over again for fetch quests, walking from one point to another constantly to deliver meaningless shit, collecting flowers for potions or whatever and so on.

But why do we gamers put up with this?

I think the simplest answer is that there is some form of reward at the end that makes it worth it. The dungeon I did gave me a ton of premium currency to buy some sweet looking pants so I had my motivation there. Someone that’s collecting 45 goat bollocks for NPC #323 is getting some gold and experience that they need to level up. If those didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have bothered. I really see it being difficult for anyone to get pleasure out of something that is so repetitive, unless their idea of fun is in repetition which does exist believe it or not.

I saw this joy in repetition from people that play truck simulators and farming simulators seriously. By seriously I mean they don’t just play it to crash the truck into everything or molest cows. It’s frankly dull as hell, but there’s some weird sense of comfort in it all. Driving cross-country in a truck and looking at plain scenery can take your mind off the hellishly violent and unfair world we live in filled with death, corruption, evil, responsibilities and Donald Trump. The same rationale can be used for grinding as well, whatever form that may be.

Before you laugh at someone playing Farming Simulator, remember that you wasted hours trying to find a Shiny Pokemon or did a dungeon in an MMO that you’ve done over 10 times before.

So what is the value of grinding? Can we chalk it up as being completely pointless? Well, in all honesty, it is pretty pointless, but without it, I can’t see some games being that fulfilling. If you can get the best end game gear in an MMO in the space of a few days doing the dungeons only once, then what’s the point really? The social aspect and the sense of accomplishment completely vanishes. If an RPG is 10 hours and you only level with the main quest and get currency like nothing, then I don’t think it would be as immersive and engaging as it usually is.

Grinding is a weird thing to quantify and explain. What seems entirely pointless initially does form a part of gaming’s fabric and I don’t know how we can do it differently. Grinding is so ingrained and prevalent, that we’ve learned to deal with it and even find joy in it.

But that’s just how I think about it, do you see why we enjoy grinding? Am I talking out of my ass and grinding should slowly disappear? Educate me, people.

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Get Your Suits Ready Because The Mafia Is Coming Back http://egmr.net/2015/07/get-your-suits-ready-because-the-mafia-is-coming-back/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/get-your-suits-ready-because-the-mafia-is-coming-back/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:00:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173498 The Mafia franchise has always been a weird series to describe. It’s good, but it’s not mindblowing. It has some great ideas, but they’re never realised. They have an open-world, […]

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The Mafia franchise has always been a weird series to describe. It’s good, but it’s not mindblowing. It has some great ideas, but they’re never realised. They have an open-world, but it’s not an open-world. Barring the absolute confusion, they’re still fun games to play with some decent narratives and are excellent installments into the 50s mobster genre which is sorely lacking in titles for some reason.

I enjoyed Mafia 2 besides its obvious faults and puzzling storyline. The game managed to capture that 1950s mob aesthetic rather well and some chapters were really memorable. It was a shame the beautiful open-world was merely a backdrop and couldn’t be explored whatsoever.

Even with that said, I’m still a fan of the series and always wished they would make a proper Mafia game with a huge open-world with a shitton of activities and a robust story. Now it seems like my wish might come true because 2K just announced that Mafia 3 does in fact exist and that we will get the full details come Gamescom.

No real information has been given other than when they will reveal it. Yup, another announcement of an announcement. Here’s the tweet:

So, are you a fan of the Mafia games? Should it be swimming with the fishes? Should we forgettaaboutit? Okay I’ll stop.

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Here’s A Cute Musical To Encourage Pre-Orders, Still Don’t Pre-Order http://egmr.net/2015/07/heres-a-cute-musical-to-encourage-pre-orders-still-dont-pre-order/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/heres-a-cute-musical-to-encourage-pre-orders-still-dont-pre-order/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173387 Pre-orders are literally Hitler. Hyperbole aside, the practice of pre-orders has become considerably more evil over time. What started as something you can maybe do if you’re really hyped for […]

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Pre-orders are literally Hitler. Hyperbole aside, the practice of pre-orders has become considerably more evil over time. What started as something you can maybe do if you’re really hyped for a game has turned into something completely different. Locking content away, removing modes, removing characters, giving essential items and so on have all happened thanks to pre-orders. Nevermind that a pre-order is basically you throwing your money into the wind and hoping that you’ll get something good in return.

These days the pre-ordering craze is still going strong, but it has since become a known bad word. So now they changed it to “reserve” as if that’s ever going to fool anyone.

Rare, the developer not the type of item you wish to have in an MMO, announced at E3 that they will release a 30 game compilation featuring their biggest franchises for just $30. At the end of the day, that’s incredible value. A buck a game? Why not.

Now, they have released a cute little musical video highlighting all of their landmark games that you can watch above. It’s adorable, but in the end it was just a clever ploy to get you to pre-order. Scamps!

While I will still say you should never pre-order, this Rare collection has a bit of security thanks to it literally being a compilation of their best games, but you never know. Konami fucked up their Silent Hill remasters before they proceeded to fuck up all of their credibility.

Don’t pre-order games, kids.

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Local Retailer In News Because Of Dead Island Remaster http://egmr.net/2015/07/local-retailer-in-news-because-of-dead-island-remaster/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/local-retailer-in-news-because-of-dead-island-remaster/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173302 Dead Island was a strange game to play back when it released. On the one hand it was a relatively enjoyable zombie game with some interesting ideas for melee combat […]

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Dead Island was a strange game to play back when it released. On the one hand it was a relatively enjoyable zombie game with some interesting ideas for melee combat and such and on the other, it was just simply mediocre. I personally had a lot of fun with it and would rate it above average, but I seem to be in the vast minority.

The game has also received a lukewarm reception from critics with it being graded as fairly average. Its standalone expansion, Dead Island: Riptide didn’t fare that well either with it receiving largely the same response as the original. The franchise was sort of forgotten until we saw the bizarre trailer for Dead Island 2 and learned that it was developed by Yager. Until it was announced that Yager were let go from the project.

So the franchise doesn’t set anyone’s pants on fire, the newest game is in flux right now and interest has died for the lukewarm franchise. What’s a good idea? Make a definitive edition i.e. a super pack for new-gen consoles. Logic, yo.

Dead Island was the last franchise I’d think of when I think remaster. This news certainly won’t make some rabid fan jump up and down in glee somewhere because there aren’t such people. Or maybe there are, this is the Internet.

But hold on to your tassels, let’s not get too excited since this is only a rumour following a leak by a local South African retailer of all places. Loot.co.za had a listing up for Dead Island Definitive Edition and swiftly removed it upon its discovery. Yay South Africa!

So what do you think of the possibility of a Dead Island Remaster? Are you like the other diehard Dead Island fans that will storm the streets once this releases?

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The Last Of Us — Now on Vinyl http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-last-of-us-now-on-vinyl/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-last-of-us-now-on-vinyl/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173272 Not the actual game, silly. Although, that would be rather impressive. Naughty Dog have managed to pump out The Last of Us in glorious 1080p and 60fps on PS4 using […]

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Not the actual game, silly. Although, that would be rather impressive. Naughty Dog have managed to pump out The Last of Us in glorious 1080p and 60fps on PS4 using some really clever trickery, who’s to say they can’t make a vinyl version?

Anyway. Some of you whippersnappers and/or millennials might not know what a vinyl is. The most condescending answer is that it’s basically a giant CD that you play with a little nail on a turntable. What’s a CD? Oh for the love of…

Vinyl has made a sort of unexpected resurgence as of late with a plethora of bands releasing their new albums in vinyl format. It’s not because it’s a superior audio experience, oh no, there’s a reason vinyl was phased out by CDs, but rather for the aesthetic of it.

Think of it as buying a physical book (young ones lost me here again). You can get it on your phone much easier, sometimes free and it’s much more convenient, but a physical book gives you that textile appeal of actually touching paper and the smell and the smug superiority that you get when reading it in public etc. A vinyl is a physical representation of the album in all of its glory. Massive artwork that can really highlight the cover art as well as a host of goodies like lyric sheets, band photos and so on. It’s a really nice thing to own, even if you’ll just use the code for the digital version in order to listen to the actual album.

Oh god, I really should stay away from music related stuff when reporting gaming news. All of this rambling. The point of the article is that The Last of Us’ soundtrack will now be available on vinyl featuring some breathtaking original art:

the_last_of_us_vinyl_art_1

Besides the fact that The Last of Us’ soundtrack is amazing with Gustavo Santaolella pouring all of his immeasurable talent and soul into all of the pieces, you can now own something that looks beautiful as well. Olly Moss and Jay Shaw, the artists responsible, did a stellar job of capturing the soul of the award winning game.

You not only get that, but 4 vinyls, all with their own sleeves:

the_last_of_us_vinyl_pack

For cover art enthusiasts like myself , this is a dream purchase. Coupled with being the soundtrack to one of my favourite games of all time, I need this. Unfortunately it’s $75 and import only. Boo. But if you have credit cards and want this as much as I do, go right ahead. It releases on the 22nd of June.

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Sony Conspiring With Gnomes http://egmr.net/2015/07/sony-conspiring-with-gnomes/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/sony-conspiring-with-gnomes/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173233 Trademarks have been a source of news articles since time began, I think. When a company registers something, the rumour mill starts and the speculation begins. Often these trademarks are […]

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Trademarks have been a source of news articles since time began, I think. When a company registers something, the rumour mill starts and the speculation begins. Often these trademarks are never utilized because they were simply made to secure a new idea as fast as possible before it gets snatched up by anyone else.

We’ve seen this happen countless times in gaming when it’s either a trademark listing, website domain registration or some dude’s LinkedIn profile teasing a new game from some company. The only Fallout 4 news we got was from sources exactly like that and we ate up every trace we could find, but now we know that we were probably right.

The newest trademark registration is a rather odd one. Sony registered the name Gnomageddon. I don’t know about you, but that’s a bit funny. It can potentially be a new game that’s currently in its planning phases or Sony have completely lost their marbles. So let’s get the speculation train running shall we?

Sony aren’t strangers to games that cater to kids. LittleBigPlanet is the biggest example of a kids game even with the copious amounts of user created porn out there as well as games such as Puppeteer and a bunch of oddball indie games. Gnomageddon might be its newest foray into the kids demographic following LittleBigPlanet 3 for the PS4.

Of course, this can all be completely true or absolute bollocks. Maybe it was some exec’s daughter’s idea and the trademarked it to shut him up. We’ll probably find out soon, but prepare yourself for gnomes ending the world or something.

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Fallout 4’s Voice Actors Said A Lot Of Stuff http://egmr.net/2015/07/fallout-4s-voice-actors-said-a-lot-of-stuff/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/fallout-4s-voice-actors-said-a-lot-of-stuff/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173198 Voice acting is a fascinating and often misunderstood world. People assume voice actors have the easiest jobs in the world because they just have to sit in a booth and […]

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Voice acting is a fascinating and often misunderstood world. People assume voice actors have the easiest jobs in the world because they just have to sit in a booth and talk, but in reality it’s sometimes harder than real-life acting. Voice acting is an art in many ways than one and you have to have exceptional talent and mountains of experience to nail a performance. If you’re at all interested in voice acting, I’d urge you to watch the documentary I Know That Voice by John DiMaggio (Bender, Marcus Fenix and many others).

With that said, Fallout 4’s voice actors were kind of tested to their limits with Bethesda’s massive open-world game as one can imagine. Seen as a departure from previous Fallout games, Fallout 4 now sports fully voiced dialogue for the protagonist, a move I’m in much support of.

If you’re like me and wonder just how much dialogue that would entail seeing as there are multi-directional speech trees and it’s a Bethesda game, we now got a rough answer. Todd Howard recently revealed that the two voice actors playing the male and female role both recorded 13 000 lines each. Think about that for a second. That is 13 thousand little performances that they had to do.

This all took place over the course of two years according to Howard and you’d have to imagine that this project consumed Courtenay Taylor and Brian T. Delaney’s, the voice actors, lives. Mathematically, they had to do 17 lines every day for the full two years in order to record the 13 000 lines. This is all excluding retakes and changes.

Hats off to them, for sure.

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Deadpool Returns To Us http://egmr.net/2015/07/deadpool-returns-to-us/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/deadpool-returns-to-us/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173174 The Deadpool game by High Moon studios was a bit of a mixed bag of a game. On one hand, the signature Deadpool humour was on point and High Moon […]

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The Deadpool game by High Moon studios was a bit of a mixed bag of a game. On one hand, the signature Deadpool humour was on point and High Moon did a really good job sticking to the style of the source material. On the other hand, the environments were bland as hell and the gameplay was rather boringly repetitive, on contrary to how Deadpool rolls. It wasn’t an absolutely terrible game by no means and the humour did carry the game a bit, but it didn’t go down as one of the best games ever, for sure.

However, thanks to some really weird licencing disputes and some crap management, the Deadpool game was removed from Steam, PSN, Xbox Live and removed from all retail stores seemingly overnight. Suddenly out of nowhere, the game now became a rare collector’s item and could only be realistically obtained second-hand or through piracy.

Although, now we have some good news regarding the game. It’s back on Steam! Like the game’s disappearance, this happened out of nowhere. No reason has been given for why, but it’s back on for $39.99 which is a bit insane, to be honest. Perhaps they could only use the launch price.

No word was given whether it will be back in shops or if it will be available on PSN and Xbox Live any time soon, but it seems they might have made progress with their licencing qualms.

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Get Your Goat On With Sony http://egmr.net/2015/07/get-your-goat-on-with-sony/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/get-your-goat-on-with-sony/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173156 I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the concept of Goat Simulator ever since it came out. It’s a funny little satire game that honestly made you go “what the fuck?” […]

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I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the concept of Goat Simulator ever since it came out. It’s a funny little satire game that honestly made you go “what the fuck?” the first time you heard about it and it’s pretty okay gameplay wise too. On the other hand, for me anyway, it seems like a clickbait version of a game and I can’t find myself laughing at the comedy it tries to achieve.

No matter my stupid feelings because the game did really well for developers Coffee Stain Studios. While I’m not really on board with the style of the game, they seem like they had genuine intentions for the ridiculous project. They wanted to create something fun and stupid and so they did.

Goat Simulator was confined to PC and mobile, but now it’s headed to the PS3 and PS4 as well. There are are a variety of extras that you get with the Playstation version such as the debut of GoatVR that makes the game into a virtual reality experience, but they still have to “connect it to the actual headset”, but you can “enjoy a simulated GoatVR experience without it”. I won’t question the logic.

Also added are score multipliers, four player co-op on PS4 and two player co-op on PS3.

The game drops for Sony’s consoles on the 11th of August.

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Abyssal Pixels: My First Foray Into The Chaotic World Of The MMO http://egmr.net/2015/07/abyssal-pixels-my-first-foray-into-the-chaotic-world-of-the-mmo/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/abyssal-pixels-my-first-foray-into-the-chaotic-world-of-the-mmo/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 09:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173141 I’ve been a gamer for most of my conscious life. Ever since I first played Super Mario Bros on some crappy Golden China rip-off machine, I’ve been playing every game […]

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I’ve been a gamer for most of my conscious life. Ever since I first played Super Mario Bros on some crappy Golden China rip-off machine, I’ve been playing every game I could get my hands on. I wasn’t a very privileged child even if I was white and I didn’t get to have all the fancy systems and my only method of getting games was going to thrift stores. I made due with what I had and could get my hands on.

Once I was able to get a more sustainable flow of games, I hit the ground running. I played everything and I played everything properly, with nothing escaping my gaze. Gaming became my life in more ways than one. It was literally all I did for years and I spent any and all of my free time on it. Because of that, I know my games. I know my way around a ton of different mechanics, I have a broad knowledge of games and I can be considered the archetypical hardcore gamer.

But there was one world that I never touched.

That world was the MMO. A massive part of gaming that I have literally zero experience in. It was always an elusive genre in my life because of a variety of factors. First, my internet was more often than not pretty shit. Second, my PC where all of the major MMOs resided, was shit. Thirdly, I always thought it was too much hassle to get going because of the updates and whatnot. Finally, I never had the inclination to give it a shot. I always heard about MMOs and have a working knowledge of what they are, but I’ve never experienced one first-hand.

I managed to procure a copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn along with the Heavensward expansion for my PS4 and a 30 day subscription. My internet speed is pretty okay and the game doesn’t require lightning fast internet in the first place. Also, I’m in a pretty lonely time in my life with not a lot of active friends and an MMO is a place where you can potentially make some lifelong friends.

Well, what have I got to lose? I decided to jump right in.

Of course, the first thing I had to do was set up everything which took forever since there were problems with my account and then I had to download 13 GB of game data that took a full day (thank you South African internet). I couldn’t even use my PS4 since the download had to happen in the launcher. This better be worth it.

Finally after all of the hoops and excruciatingly long download times, I was finally in. I could now choose my server and create my character. I was never one for cat people or strange looking humanoids so I went with my standard preferred model of character: tall human looking dude with a goatee, long black hair and blue eyes. I like to create a character that I would like to look like. After fiddling for an hour in the character creator, I finally gave my fresh faced dude a name: Tyson Grandia. It was the first thing that popped into my mind when I looked at him, so I went for it. He’s a human-looking archer. Here he is in his current splendor:

tg

Little did I know that my character’s name is my sole name within the game and my PSN ID is nowhere to be found because this game is cross-platform with PC. The world now knew me as Tyson, not Marko or MG THABO or Thabo. Alright then, I can roll with it. It’s a nice name after all.

Then I got dropped into the game.

Do you still remember your first year in high school? When everything was so new and exciting, but also confusing as all hell? That. Times ten. In many respects, being a complete noob in an MMO with no prior experience of an MMO is much like your first year in high school. You don’t know where the fuck to go for starters. I got lost way too many times.

Also, when you look at the final year students in a high school, they all seem so grandiose and like they have it all figured out and you have a very long way to go before you reach that lofty height. Same thing here when you spot an adventurer that has fully leveled about 20 different classes and is clad in the most epic gear you’ve ever laid your eyes on. And here you come with your low level quests and your crappy looking starter gear doing quests for a hundred experience.

In many ways it’s an overwhelming experience. The sheer amount of information that is thrown at you when you start can drive away even the most determined people. Your class specializes in this, you have to go here for quests, there are different types of quests, here’s how the market works, you can’t access the proper market yet, you have fifteen different kinds of craft specializations and GAH!

After I survived the onslaught of tutorials and figured out the labyrinthine menu system filled with all kinds of incomprehensible gibberish, I went about doing all of the starter quests. I was slowly getting to grips with what the hell I’m actually supposed to do, but it was still a pretty jarring experience. This world was massive and in the case of FF XIV, it was also an established massive world. Half the time I didn’t know what the hell was going on.

But persistence was key.

My mistake was still clinging to that instinct of mine where I can figure a game out in a day. An MMO takes at least a full month and regular play to even get a basic foothold in a world and even then, you’ve only experienced a tiny fraction of the game. So I kept at it, slaying low level creatures, following the main quest arc and after playing for nearly a week, I’m finally starting to understand this giant world filled with thousands of people and all of the intricacies involved in it. Bear in mind that I still have a metric fuckton of content to still unlock, but I’m getting there.

The most magical thing about this experience was joining a guild. In FF XIV’s case, they’re called Free Companies. It was a confusing occurrence when while walking around some dude randomly messaged me with a proposal to join his company. A well written and thoughtful proposal, mind you. So I joined. The first Free Company I joined didn’t have a lot going for it. The people barely talked and I didn’t know what the hell so when another invite popped up, I left and joined another one. This one was filled with years long veterans that only talked about raids and terms I could not understand and they seemed too established for me.

I then got another invite from a Company called Eorzea Garden. The leader is a really nice guy and the members were extremely welcoming. We talked a bit and even did a dungeon together. Friendly banter, good times and helpful exchanges aplenty. I felt like I found my people. There’s probably a better company out there because, well, there’s so many of them, but with this one, I feel like I’m part of a community. And the most magical thing happened. My loneliness started becoming less severe. I’m still the new guy so I haven’t exactly made friends yet, but it’s nice to have people to talk to and that are willing to talk to you. Small things can mean the world to you. Also, thank Cloud that the PS4 supports keyboard and mouse. I wouldn’t be saying this if it didn’t.

I think that’s the biggest strength of an MMO. The tireless grinding and battles that take an hour isn’t so fun when you have to blankly stare at your hotbars during the whole fight. It’s all about connecting with other people from all over the world.

As I said earlier, I’m still new in this world and I have a ton more to see, but I’m starting to really enjoy it. I look forward to coming home and logging on to do a couple of story quests, do a dungeon, pawn my shit on the free market and chat a bit with my company mates.

That was my first foray into the MMO world. It’s big, it’s scary, but it’s pretty incredible. It’s a shame I didn’t start off with something like WoW or Guild Wars, but I’m already a huge fan of Final Fantasy so this seemed like a natural fit for me. I wish it didn’t have a subscription, but you know what, I think I’ll be happy to invest some money into it if I can get this much entertainment out of it.

Let’s just hope I don’t become super addicted and end up failing my semester because of it.

If you played an MMO, what was your first experience like?

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Kojima Is Officially Dead To Konami http://egmr.net/2015/07/kojima-is-officially-dead-to-konami/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/kojima-is-officially-dead-to-konami/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:00:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173137 Oh Konami, you have not only screwed the pooch, you’ve taken the pooch to dinner, paid for two tickets to an opera, rented a deluxe suite at Ceaser’s Palace and […]

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Oh Konami, you have not only screwed the pooch, you’ve taken the pooch to dinner, paid for two tickets to an opera, rented a deluxe suite at Ceaser’s Palace and had a threesome with the pooch and a doorknob. Konami have lost most of its stock on a literal level and with gamers since their really misguided decision to go fully mobile and just giving a big fuck you to fans.

Their most ostentatious fuck up was with the rather messy split with Hideo Kojima, their star child and the reason why they’re even famous today. With the cancelling of Silent Hills and them rather publicly denouncing any future involvement with Kojima, it seems Konami will soon become a distant memory in the minds of gamers because seriously, fuck mobile.

Kojima and Konami are like badly divorcing parents at the moment with them doing spiteful and childish crap for no particular reason and we’re the kids that have to witness this.

The newest batch of spite comes to us in the form of MGS V: The Phantom Pain’s official box art. As you can see in the header image, Kojima’s name has been completely stripped away. Here’s the original for reference:

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This is basically the stamp of the end of Konami and Kojima’s long relationship. It’s a minor aesthetic change, but the meaning behind it is real. All of the previous Metal Gears had the Hideo Kojima “seal of approval” on the box art and this one is missing it. End of an era I guess.

I do wonder what Kojima’s future looks like now that he has split from the rather idiotic publisher. Maybe we’ll see some revolutionary things from him again, assuming he has closed off all his famous franchises.

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Jade Raymond Joins EA, Working On New Star Wars Game http://egmr.net/2015/07/jade-raymond-joins-ea-working-on-new-star-wars-game/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/jade-raymond-joins-ea-working-on-new-star-wars-game/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173124 You can partially thank Jade Raymond for bestowing the Assassin’s Creed series on the world. She was the executive producer of the original Assassin’s Creed as well as Assassin’s Creed […]

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You can partially thank Jade Raymond for bestowing the Assassin’s Creed series on the world. She was the executive producer of the original Assassin’s Creed as well as Assassin’s Creed 2. Assassin’s Creed 2, of course, was widely praised by gamers and the media alike for its improvements that it made to the previous game. Jade Raymond was a big part of that and she went on to be involved in numerous Ubisoft projects including Watch Dogs.

However, last year Raymond announced that she was leaving Ubisoft. One has to assume she wasn’t happy with the sloppy and greedy direction that Ubisoft was heading in even if she didn’t expressly state that. Raymond’s fate has remained relatively unknown until today.

Raymond has now revealed that she has made her own studio by the name of Motive, residing in her hometown of Toronto, Canada. All good and well, but she has also revealed that she has partnered up with EA. Quite the daring move, one would say.

This follows a blogpost explaining her motivations and such which you can find here.

Raymond explains that she will “work closely” with the BioWare team, specifically on Mass Effect: Andromeda as well as with Visceral games, the developer behind Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline.

Visceral is currently working on a Star Wars action-adventure game that has been described as “Uncharted meets Star Wars”. Raymond expressly stated that she is working on the soon to be announced title alongside Amy Hennig, former Naughty Dog developer.

This is an exciting development because Raymond has that “magic touch” when it comes to games and whatever she says deserves your attention. She will now be working on some of the biggest franchises and can create some excellent change.

 

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This Is The Saddest Album Art I’ve Ever Seen http://egmr.net/2015/07/this-is-the-saddest-album-art-ive-ever-seen/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/this-is-the-saddest-album-art-ive-ever-seen/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173086 Album art can be a beautiful thing which can actually compliment the music that is within the album. It sets the tone and gives you a rough idea of what […]

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Album art can be a beautiful thing which can actually compliment the music that is within the album. It sets the tone and gives you a rough idea of what you’re getting yourself into and can show the themes that the band has gone for. I consider myself a connoisseur of really amazing album art and being a huge fan of Progressive Metal has helped me find so many album covers that are beautiful to behold. Most “traditional” metal albums have something along the lines of a cut up body, some gruesome shit, a picture of a goat’s head or a pentagram or fucking spheres, but for some reason, Progressive Metal album covers go a bit more artistic and meaningful.

However, it’s not completely confined to Progressive Metal, not by a longshot. There’s even some Death Metal covers that can be truly beautiful. It’s all about how much effort a band wants to put into their presentation. They can decide to work for a few weeks on the cover alone or do it the day before the album releases and not give a crap. I plan to do a “best-of” list of some of my favourite album covers at the moment, but today I’d like to highlight one.

It’s from a band called Vattnet Viskar which I’ve recently discovered over at those lovable metalheads over on Angry Metal Guy who’s review actually inspired this article and I also stole the author’s words for the title. Vattnet Viskar are a really heavy black metal/post-metal hybrid with some really out there production style and vocal production. Their music is insanely heavy to the point where some metalheads would even call it quits because of the sheer amount of noise. With all the heaviness, you wouldn’t expect them to use this album cover right?:

 

Vattnet-Viskar-Settler

Those unfamiliar with the story behind the picture might be confused. The cover was inspired by a photo of Christa McAuliffe during her Zero-G training. She was a schoolteacher from New Hampshire that turned into a NASA astronaut. She was in charge of the crew aboard the Challenger.

What happened to the Challenger?

space-shuttle-challengerjpg-ff9375e2f0d3b75c

Yup, not the most cheerful of outcomes happened there. What really caught be about this cover and what subsequently made me kind of emotional was just the visuals behind it. Here was this woman, living her dream. She was floating weightlessly with no troubles and a big smile to show for it. It was a moment of bliss. Completely unaware that she was going to die a tragically horrible and painful death. That’s some powerful shit right there and coupled with the really emotional music that went along with it, I got the chills. If you want to listen to the most emotional song, it’s below, but be forewarned that the upload is rather shit and made the raw production sound terrible. Also, it’s really heavy.

That was just something I felt like was worth sharing since it had a real emotional impact on me. Maybe not for everyone, but it’s a solid example of how powerful music can be beyond just its basic sonic properties.

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Nintendo Is Taking Inspiration From… Kim Kardashian? http://egmr.net/2015/07/nintendo-is-taking-inspiration-from-kim-kardashian/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/nintendo-is-taking-inspiration-from-kim-kardashian/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173056 Kim Kardashian is the scourge of modern day culture. A woman that has done literally nothing but make a sex tape and has a famous daddy became one of the […]

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Kim Kardashian is the scourge of modern day culture. A woman that has done literally nothing but make a sex tape and has a famous daddy became one of the most “influential” people of our generation. See kids? Privileged and sex tapes is how you make it in life. Aside form building a “brand” out of nothing, Kim K also has her own mobile game in the form of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood which is also one of the examples for why mobile gaming has gone to shit.

Nintendo have recently made it known that they’re going to branch out into the mobile world, making their prestigious IPs available to mobile developers and expressing interest in utilizing the mobile gaming market. This news can be taken one of two ways. With great hope that some of the historic Nintendo IPs will finally come to mobile devices or with great fear that Nintendo will subject to the horrors of the mobile gaming industry. Oh you know those horrors.

Those two paragraphs seem really disjointed don’t they? Besides the whole mobile gaming thing, they don’t really have that much in common. Oh no. That’s a scary correlation to make. Can Nintendo possibly be getting influenced by Kim K’s mobile game?

Fear not because I’m just fucking with you.

In actuality, DeNA, the mobile company that is associated with Nintendo, stated that “Nintendo has by far the best gaming IP,” while “DeNA’s expertise is definitely backend.” which is all well and good. It makes sense that Nintendo will probably make a shitton of money from just their branding alone and DeNA is a proficient mobile gaming company. Their latest title was Final Fantasy Record Keeper which went down rather well.

They said that Kim Kardashian’s game is an example of something that got major success because of branding and a good backend (LOL!). I can see that, purely from a business perspective and not at all on a moral one. The game was only successful because of the name associated with it and while I can’t speak for the quality, I assume it’s alright.

So yeah, a bit of a scary moment, but it’s all good. Put down the pitchforks. But we still have reason to worry about Nintendo’s foray into the mobile gaming cesspit. Let’s hope it isn’t Hindenburg level disastrous.

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Awake Your Inner Hillbilly http://egmr.net/2015/07/awake-your-inner-hillbilly/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/awake-your-inner-hillbilly/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173029 Humans have a strange fascination with destruction. As long as it’s not our stuff, we love to see things get broken. There’s a perverse joy in watching something being torn […]

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Humans have a strange fascination with destruction. As long as it’s not our stuff, we love to see things get broken. There’s a perverse joy in watching something being torn to pieces and an even more enjoyable rush when you’re the one breaking stuff. I guess our caveman roots haven’t completely disappeared yet.

This internal desire to fuck shit up or watch shit get fucked up has transpired into all the media we consume. Think about it, the most popular media we have involves huge explosions and pure destruction. Transformers, Fast and Furious, GTA, Call of Duty and so on. Some people watch NASCAR solely for the crashing. Gaming is mostly about either anarchy, violence and destruction. Contrary to popular (read:dumb) opinion, that doesn’t make us violent in real life, but it’s still a predominant part of gaming.

Good lord can I ramble. Anyway, the article is about how a new FlatOut game is currently in development for new consoles and PC. FlatOut, if you’re unfamiliar, is a series of demolition derby games that focus on vehicular destruction. That’s basically it. I never said it was a particularly deep franchise. The games featured orthodox racing tracks that had you destroying your opponents and making a mess and there were also some destruction themed mini-games that were honestly kind of fun.

The game is being developed by Kylotonn Entertainment and published by Strategy First. If those names are unknown to you then you’re not alone. Strategy First published  a bunch of games that can be accurately described as shovelware on Steam and Kylotonn made a few as well. This FlatOut game was described as a “multi-million dollar project” and will only be available on current-gen tech.

Here’s some PR:

FlatOut is our most important franchise. There is a strong vocal community that have numerous constructive ideas and suggestions on what they would like to experience in an all new FlatOut. We would like to invite anyone who is a fan of FlatOut to be part of the process. We are excited about our partnership with Kylotonn Entertainment.

So… all of you FlatOut fans should become involved. Please, not everyone at once.

The game is expected to release in 2016.

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There Won’t Be Any Inquisitions On Last-Gen Consoles Anymore http://egmr.net/2015/07/there-wont-be-any-inquisitions-on-last-gen-consoles-anymore/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/there-wont-be-any-inquisitions-on-last-gen-consoles-anymore/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172996 Dragon Age Inquisition was our game of the year for 2014 and for good reason. It’s an expansive, beautiful and deep game that can give you weeks of joy if […]

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Dragon Age Inquisition was our game of the year for 2014 and for good reason. It’s an expansive, beautiful and deep game that can give you weeks of joy if you allow it to. The game didn’t need any DLC if I’m being honest, but in classic BioWare fashion, they’ve went ahead and added more hours on the already brimming game with the DLCs Jaws of Hakkon and Dragonslayer. The latter of which was a free download as well.

Now there is a new DLC on the horizon by the name of Spoils of the Avvar which releases on the 9th of July. In literally two days as of writing this article. All well and good, more content is always great, especially for such an awesome game. However, people that are still stuck with their old generation consoles are going to be sad about the following information: the DLC won’t be available for Xbox 360 or PS3 at all.

The reason for this is currently unknown, but one has to assume that the old consoles can’t possibly run the new DLC for technical reasons. Whatever the case, old generation gamers are left in the dust, but there is some consolation at least.

The newest patch will allow players to import their previous-gen game saves to the new consoles as well as have any previous DLCs be free as long as they’re using the correct account. Only one gamesave can be carried through and it also has to be the same brand i.e. PS3 to PS4 and Xbox 360 to Xbox One.

Are there any people out there that might be affected by this? Let us know if you are.

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The Watch_Dogs Lying Saga Might Have Warmed Ubisoft’s Cold Heart http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-watch_dogs-lying-saga-might-have-warmed-ubisofts-cold-heart/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-watch_dogs-lying-saga-might-have-warmed-ubisofts-cold-heart/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172959 Last year one of the most anticipated next-gen releases was no doubt Watch_Dogs. It was supposed to herald in the new generation by showing us what can be achieved with […]

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Last year one of the most anticipated next-gen releases was no doubt Watch_Dogs. It was supposed to herald in the new generation by showing us what can be achieved with the new consoles. Previously, we saw trailer footage that blew our mind during the various E3 conferences and so on. The game looked gorgeous, looked like it could potentially be a ton of fun and the hype train was real. Then when it finally released we saw that Ubisoft had been lying to us with all of the press footage. The game was visually downgraded rather heavily which predictably sent gamers into a frenzy.

The game still looked great, but the principle behind lying to your potential customers was the biggest offence that they could have made. We’ve seen this type of occurrence pop up more frequently with gameplay trailers that show off something that clearly isn’t the final product. It’s almost like the developers show a “target” trailer, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, they can’t possibly produce a game that looks like that.

However, it seems that Ubisoft may have actually learned from this mistake when company CEO, Yves Guillemot, said the following when talking about their E3 showcase during an interview with The Guardian:

With E3 2015 we said, ‘OK, let’s make sure the games are playable, that they’re running on the target machines.’

A step in the right direction. He then added:

When we show something, we ask the team to make sure it’s playable and make sure gamers can immediately see exactly what it is. That’s what we learned from the Watch_Dogs experience–if it can’t be played on the target machine, it can be a risk.

So it seems that after the kerfuffle that transpired after they were caught out, Ubisoft are now more cautious about what they show to the public. This could have been seen during their conference when The Division was shown and the game didn’t look quite as good as it was shown previously.

Nobody likes being lied to and this was evident when Watch_Dogs received massive backlash following its release which has hurt Ubi’s reputation significantly. Let’s hope they stop being dicks in the future.

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This Game Is Edgy http://egmr.net/2015/07/this-game-is-edgy/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/this-game-is-edgy/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172862 Hands up those of you that know who Piranha Bytes are. They’re the people that made Risen and the Gothic series of games and they’ve had a bit of a… […]

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Hands up those of you that know who Piranha Bytes are. They’re the people that made Risen and the Gothic series of games and they’ve had a bit of a… unsatisfactory track record. The original Risen was a bug laden mess with UI problems up to ying yang, a really crap quest management system, boring combat, terrible visuals and bland characters. Still, it had the feel of a grand adventure and a decent RPG, but sadly that wasn’t realised well at all.

You’d expect the sequel, Risen 2: Dark Waters, to be a great improvement since they had the chance to learn what they did wrong in the previous game, but no they did everything wrong again. Same thing with Risen 3: Titan Lords. It’s like these guys don’t understand what criticism means and how you can improve your game. It’s a damn shame too because the Risen series might have been a hallmark RPG because of its potential, but sadly, the game was sabotaged by its own creators.

But now we have received word that they are making a new game called ELEX that sounds promising on the surface, but given Piranha’s checkered past, I’m more that skeptical. It’s a post-apocalyptic game that’s described by Reinhard Pollice, Nordic Games’ development boss, as “edgy, dark, uncompromising and complex” adding that it’s “a completely new game experience with a fresh setting”. Typical PR speak there.

Most bizarrely the game’s title, ELEX, stands for Eclectic, Lavish, Exhilarating and Xenial which sounds like buzzwords that come out of an emo teenage girl’s poetry book. But let’s roll with for now.

The game is expected to release in 2016 or 2017 and we’ll see more of it come Gamescom that happens next month. We only have one piece of concept art to go off of for now, check it out below or click here for a full version, which showcases the game’s setting a bit, but nothing is really revealed.

I don’t have the most confidence for this game because of Piranha Bytes’ reputation and underwhelming roster, but who knows, maybe they’ll surprise me.

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GTA Online Is Going Full Blown ‘Murica http://egmr.net/2015/07/gta-online-is-going-full-blown-murica/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/gta-online-is-going-full-blown-murica/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172841 4th of July is upon us and while us South Africans couldn’t give less of a hoot (because we’re in the dark most of the time), it still creeps into […]

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4th of July is upon us and while us South Africans couldn’t give less of a hoot (because we’re in the dark most of the time), it still creeps into all of our media because of how prevalent America is in basically everything. In the Afrikaner community, we also celebrate the 4th of July but by another name and it’s basically just an excuse to blow shit up. Just like America, actually. In any case, expect to see your YouTube videos full of independence day stuff and not that crappy movie starring Will Smith.

Independence day also makes its way into our games with all sorts of Freedom themed happenings in major MMOs and online games. Waving the red, white and blue, blowing shit up and celebrating freedom is perfect for special community day in a game. GTA Online is notorious for its holiday themed events that include vehicles, guns, special playlists and so on.

Last year they also did an independence day event with a bunch of unique weapons and so on and this year they continue the tradition with some cool stuff that you can take part in as well as a double money and RP points when you take part in special independence day playlists.

The fireworks launcher, red, white and blue clothing, the Liberator monster truck and Sovereign motorcycle will all receive a 25% discount as well.

So for GTA Online players, this is a golden opportunity to make some mad stacks and celebrate Freedom at the same time. The event runs from the 1st of July to the 6th.

Now go buy a quadruple cheeseburger, sue to the restaurant and drink 3 liters  gallons of “diet” soda all while God blesses ‘Murica.

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Abyssal Pixels: I Have Mirror Syndrome http://egmr.net/2015/07/abyssal-pixels-i-have-mirror-syndrome/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/abyssal-pixels-i-have-mirror-syndrome/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172809 No, not that rare thing that can sometimes affect pregnant woman, which I just found out moments ago. Although being pregnant might explain this overwhelming craving I have for cookies. […]

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No, not that rare thing that can sometimes affect pregnant woman, which I just found out moments ago. Although being pregnant might explain this overwhelming craving I have for cookies. During my time with this site I’ve written a lot of articles about immersion, narratives, emotions and so on with regards to gaming. Ad nauseum, I would say. I’ve always been an emotional guy and games have managed to influence my emotions in more ways than one. Instead of focusing on ethical issues or criticism within my columns like my fellow writers do, I’ve usually written about the artistic merits inherent in gaming. To kind of balance out the amount of jaded going on.

However, I’ve recently come to a realisation about myself and how I perceive emotions. I mirror them from whatever source is in front of me. For example, if someone is depressed, I become depressed even if I have no reason to be. If I’m in a cheerful crowd with happy people, I adopt that collective emotion, even if I’m depressed out of my mind. I’m sure there’s some fancy psychological theory to explain this phenomena, but I’m on holiday from university right now and even seeing an academic essay will make me start punching walls. There’s probably some specific reason why I’m like this thanks to my checkered past and my history with emotional neglect, but fuck if we’re going into that territory right now.

One might say that we all experience something like what I mentioned, but I think my case is a little more intense because it translates to things that don’t exist, namely games. I’m strongly affected by games on an emotional level. I would think I’m getting a more intense experience from heavily story focused games because my emotional involvement is intensified thanks to me mirroring the emotions felt on screen. In a basic sense, I become the protagonist of whatever game I’m playing.

I’ve noticed it quite strongly with The Witcher 3 throughout the 200 hours I’ve put into the game already. It wasn’t really Geralt that affected me since he was designed to be as emotionally detached as possible to allow you to project onto him. The tragic things that often happen around him were what caused me to feel such strong emotions due to their thematic power and there were a ton of these instances on a frequent basis. The Witcher 3 made me depressed, sad, happy, cheeky, troubled, hopeless and ecstatic all in the space of one session.

Other more story driven games have always had a great impact on me such as The Walking Dead and The Last of Us that made me cry, Persona 4 that sent me into an emotional maelstrom and Spec Ops The Line that made me hate myself. This is why I have such high admiration for these games because they really had an effect on me. And sometimes other people don’t get that. If I can provide a baseless explanation for why, it’s that they distance themselves to what is on screen.

Gaming is a more cerebral activity for me and I invest my mind into it as much as I can while other gamers may see it only as a piece of entertainment. That emotional connection isn’t as intense as someone such as me. That is still perfectly okay since we all can’t feel the same about everything, but I can’t help but wonder if they are missing out on something special that games manage to achieve. Because of gaming’s level of interactivity, a new element of emotional involvement is present that you can’t find anywhere else. That is of course the sense of agency that you have with the actions that take place within the game. You killed that innocent person for no reason, you caused the collapse of an entire empire, making it fall into anarchy.

Games can make you feel guilty or responsible, which is something that no other medium can achieve. You can’t feel guilty while reading a book (unless it’s 50 Shades of Grey, but then you should feel ashamed) or watching a movie. That special element is often lost with some people because they disassociate themselves with the game they are playing. This can be seen as involuntary because having such a strong investment in something non-existent isn’t really natural. Sometimes these types of gamers enjoy the visceral aspects of gaming such as twitch and skill based gameplay involved in multiplayer games or just like a fun shooter or a sports game.

Us gamers are diverse, but we’re diverse in more ways than the usual gender and race aspects. Our personalities dictate what sort of games we enjoy. For someone like me that mirrors emotions, I enjoy striking narratives and becoming involved in characters while someone that emotionally disassociates themselves from gaming might enjoy it based on mechanics and the skill involved. Thankfully, there is something for everyone to enjoy now.

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EU Persona Fans, Get Ready To Boogie http://egmr.net/2015/06/eu-persona-fans-get-ready-to-boogie/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/eu-persona-fans-get-ready-to-boogie/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172797 Persona is a franchise near and dear to my heart. I’ve only recently discovered this long existing franchise when I got my Vita and bought Persona 4 Golden which was […]

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Persona is a franchise near and dear to my heart. I’ve only recently discovered this long existing franchise when I got my Vita and bought Persona 4 Golden which was one of the best investments I’ve ever made. That game became my life for a while and it touched me on an emotional level that few things have managed to achieve. While it was still decidedly Japanese and kind of quirky, it had one of the most complex stories I’ve ever seen as well as some amazing themes that you don’t often see. Coping with your sexuality, especially if you’re a homosexual, transgenderism was explored, thoughts of suicide and being excluded, the power of friendship, dealing with the death of a loved one and just so much more.

I can honestly go on for hours about Persona 4 if you so much as mention it in my presence. It’s one of my favourite games of all time and for good reason. A lot of other people’s too, so Atlus decided that they’re going to take the game to some new places. One might be excused to think they’re milking it, and they are a bit, but it’s still a welcome reprise. More Persona is always good, especially if you’re a fan. They already released a fighter called Persona 4 Arena that was loved by many as well and also continues the story of Persona 4 a bit.

Now, they went a little coo-coo by releasing a… dance game? Yes, it’s a rhythm style game with the theme of Persona 4 exclusive to the PS Vita (that dead console?) and it includes all of the characters from Persona 4 and some Hatsune Miku inspiration, called Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Don’t ask me. Still, the game looks to be a gaggle of fun and a good tide-over until the big Persona 5 launches. Especially for me that’s a fan of rhythm games and Persona 4 alike.

However, something has made EU territory (South Africa included) fans a bit nervous with these releases by Atlus. You see, Atlus are notorious for neglecting the EU region with games releasing months or even years later than in North America. It happened with a bunch of games and the distribution is always a bit shaky to say the least. I still haven’t seen a copy of Catherine in the shops, if that’s any indication.

However, we can breathe a sigh of relief where Dancing All Night is concerned as it has been confirmed to be releasing in EU. The game released just last week in Japan and is scheduled for a Fall release date for EU. The North American release date is set at 29 September which is in the dead of Fall so one can deduce that EU regions will get it in that same timeframe.

That’s all well and good, but this also bodes well for Persona 5’s release which is still scheduled for this year. If Dancing All Night managed to get a reasonable release date for EU, then Persona 5 should probably follow suit. It’s one of the biggest fears an EU Persona fan has and hopes have been high that we don’t get shafted again.

Still, we can get our boogie on shortly at least.

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Disappointment For Rich Fallout Fans That Like Big Phones That Cannot Lie http://egmr.net/2015/06/disappointment-for-rich-fallout-fans-that-like-big-phones-that-cannot-lie/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/disappointment-for-rich-fallout-fans-that-like-big-phones-that-cannot-lie/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172769 I love that title so profoundly. During the Bethesda press conference, Todd Howard made our legs tremble and our wallets loose with the announcement of the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition […]

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I love that title so profoundly. During the Bethesda press conference, Todd Howard made our legs tremble and our wallets loose with the announcement of the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition that features a to-scale replica of the Pip-Boy you use in the game. If that’s not awesome enough, you can put your phone in there and using a companion app, you can perfectly simulate an actual real-life Pip-Boy that works in tandem with the game.

Ever since Fallout 3, this has been The Dream for Fallout fans. It’s the type of thing they fantasize about when fangirling with fellow Fallout fans. The classic conversation of “wouldn’t it be so cool if you had an actual Pip-Boy that works with the game?! Dude!”. Now that dream is real, but it’s expensive and runs out of stock blisteringly fast. Amazon is constantly out of stock of the limited collector’s edition and it’s news everywhere whenever some stock becomes available and then it disappears like Donald Trump’s chances at presidency.

However, some news has come to us that might put some pre-order units back up for sale. The Pip-Boy won’t work with big phones. By big phones we mean and phone with a 5 and a half inch screen. For example, the iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z2 and Z3, Google’s Nexus and so on. Any phone that can be called a phablet by an idiot, basically. It can house the regular iPhone 6, iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 4/4S, Samsung Galaxy 5 and Samsung Galaxy 4.

For some this might be a deal breaker because it’s one of the biggest pulls of the product while for others it won’t be such a big deal since you can get a compatible phone for cheap or you can just have it as a collector’s item. For an item this rare, I’d doubt anyone will even consider cancelling their pre-order now.

Bethesda might realise what a gold mine they have here and produce more Pip-Boy Editions, but don’t hold your breath.

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See How Much Money Was Spent On Games People Will Never Play http://egmr.net/2015/06/see-how-much-money-was-spent-on-games-people-will-never-play/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/see-how-much-money-was-spent-on-games-people-will-never-play/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172764 Steam Sales are like the Black Friday of the gaming community only with significantly less trampling and a lot more money spent. Nobody, no matter how rich, can resist some […]

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Steam Sales are like the Black Friday of the gaming community only with significantly less trampling and a lot more money spent. Nobody, no matter how rich, can resist some sweet deals. Valve has mastered the art of the sale, making it more like an event than a simple place where percentages are shown everywhere of how much money you save. You get trading cards, there’s flash sales, there’s even community wide faction battles, for Gaben’s sake.

Because of this, PC gamers wait for Steam’s sales before they really get their game on since why do you want to buy something at full price when you can afford that game and ten other games if you just wait a bit? Every time during these sales I see people on social media literally arguing with themselves over the games they desperately want to buy. It’s also one of the biggest draws of joining the Master Race because the sales are a lot more significant than console sales.

What usually happens during these sales is that people buy a ton of games and never actually play them. The reason is obvious. Some games go for about a dollar and nobody can resist a deal like that even if the game in question isn’t particularly good. Some gamers actually play the games they buy and good on them for getting value for their money.

But have you ever been curious how much money games make during Steam sales? Well, we now have a dedicated website that calculates a rough estimate based on public Steam information called Steamspy. It’s not a flawless system, as the developers have stated themselves, but it can give us a pretty good idea how much money games make during these sales and the result is staggering.

 

Steam

These are the top 10 games that made the most revenue during the Steam sale. Ark: Survival Evolved, a dinosaur survival game, made a cool 11 mil out of the Steam Sale. For an upstart indie company with 40 people, that’s some mad bank, yo. Valve’s very own Counter Strike Global Offensive made 7 million and you know there’s going to be more revenue made from those goddamn battle packs.

Those were only the top 10 and there’s a ton more that you can check out here.

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Send Bottlecaps, Get Game http://egmr.net/2015/06/send-bottlecaps-get-game/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/send-bottlecaps-get-game/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172691 Gaming fans do some pretty strange things when their favourite franchises are involved. You get the regular kind that cosplay and have figurines and then you get people that construct […]

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Gaming fans do some pretty strange things when their favourite franchises are involved. You get the regular kind that cosplay and have figurines and then you get people that construct a 1:1 model of the Normandy in Minecraft and own a full scale replica of Tali in their bedroom (kind of going off my dream journal here). It’s something akin to rabid fangirls of boybands that have their faces plastered everywhere only way more expensive. And that’s cool. It’s always nice to have a little obsession as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.

Fallout fans are often the most hardcore since they presumably spent hundreds of hours on the franchise and like to show their love and appreciation for the series. You get people that do the perfect recreation of the Ranger Armour of Fallout New Vegas (one of my all-time favourite armours) and guys that collect all the bobbleheads. Then you get guys that amass over 2000 bottlecaps and send it to Bethesda in order to have a chance at getting the game for free.

And by the grace of God, it succeeded. We did a piece when this was first started and now we have received an update that Seth’s silly stunt actually worked. He is getting the game on release day courtesy of Bethesda and the community manager, Matt Grandstaff, even posted a picture of the received bottlecaps:

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Obviously, this was going to work because this is essentially free marketing. The original post garnered a ton of attention because, well, it’s silly and kind of funny. I’m frankly surprised they’re not going to send him a Pip-Boy Edition (*drool*) for all of his hard work, but something is better than nothing.

I can’t help but wonder how much he had to drink to amass 2200 bottlecaps, but good on the man for recycling, I guess. Also, if you’re thinking of pulling the same stunt by going to the aftermath of under-age house parties and collecting all of the bottlecaps before all the kids wake up with hangovers, it’s sadly not going to work. Grandstaff said that “for being first, he deserves the recognition”. It won’t even be worth it for us South Africans because the damn postage would cost more than the game.

So the lesson we learned today, kids, is that when you’re on a weekend long binge drinking session, save the bottlecaps. You might get Fallout 4 for free.

Class dismissed.

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So You Think The Vita Is Dead? Japan Disagrees http://egmr.net/2015/06/so-you-think-the-vita-is-dead-japan-disagrees/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/so-you-think-the-vita-is-dead-japan-disagrees/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172650 The Playstation Vita had a rocky road to say the least. Its main competitor is one of the best selling handhelds in existence, the Nintendo DS (and subsequent gimmick versions) […]

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The Playstation Vita had a rocky road to say the least. Its main competitor is one of the best selling handhelds in existence, the Nintendo DS (and subsequent gimmick versions) and it was a bit too ambitious for itself. While being widely touted as an excellent console by many gamers that own the thing, it still doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. AAA support has dropped and Andrew House even said that the Vita is a “legacy platform” now, which is like saying that your dead grandma is a “legacy person”.

Even with all the trouble and toil, the Vita still chugs along. Many believe the handheld to be dead, but it’s far from being completely dead. Many indie titles also appear on the Vita and the titles that are constantly released for PS4 also make their way to the handheld. Sometimes the Vita is the perfect home for these titles and is the preferred version of the game.

I personally own a Vita, even after arguing with myself if it’s a good idea or not. And it’s been a great idea. The thing is so full of games that both my memory cards are full and there’s new entries constantly thanks to PS Plus. One of my now all time favourite games, Persona 4, was introduced to me by the little console. There’s more JRPGs on the way and there’s even some more prospective titles on the horizon, even if the handheld received very limited air time on the Sony E3 stage.

But another thing, and the reason for this article, is that the handheld is selling rather nicely over in Japan. Following this week’s sales, the Vita has reached a combined total of 4 million sales. There’s a few reasons for why it sold a bit better recently since Persona 4 Dance All Night just released over there and some pure Japanese RPGs are coming out soon.

The Vita still doesn’t hold a candle to Nintendo’s behemoth of a handheld which has 18 million units, but you got to remember that Nintendo has had a foothold in Japan for decades and the Nintendo DS has been cemented into the fabric of the Japanese gaming market. But some gamers that want gorgeous graphics and superior control often go with the Vita. The games on there are also a bit more… mature, for lack of a better word.

So the Vita is far from dead. It’s not a Nintendo Virtual Boy just yet and still has a lot of merits. I’m still happy with mine that I’ve had for a year now and I see it as a sound investment. I’d even say I like it more over my 3DS which hasn’t seen play in forever. Also, it’s amazing for loadshedding.

 

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Fallout Shelter Shows Us Exactly How Stupid The Mobile Gaming Industry Is http://egmr.net/2015/06/fallout-shelter-shows-us-exactly-how-stupid-the-mobile-gaming-industry-is/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/fallout-shelter-shows-us-exactly-how-stupid-the-mobile-gaming-industry-is/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172591 During the Bethesda conference where they made me fangirl out of my chair because of Fallout 4, they interrupted their presentation to show us a new mobile game they developed. […]

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During the Bethesda conference where they made me fangirl out of my chair because of Fallout 4, they interrupted their presentation to show us a new mobile game they developed. When I first heard the words “mobile game” I sighed and wanted to leave the stream until they started showing Fallout 4 again. But then they announced Fallout Shelter and Todd Howard said that you can play it offline, there’s no paywalls for building stuff and the only form of microtransaction is extra lunchboxes filled with extra loot…

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The game itself was promised as a sort of cute management game in the style of Fallout and inspired by games such as XCOM, Progress Quest, FTL and I could also see some Mega Mall Story (play that, it’s quite lovely) thrown in there. I love these types of games so they succeeded in getting me hyped and then Howard, that beautiful man, dropped the news that it’s releasing that night. I got up and put my old iPad that I haven’t used in months on charge.

Ever since it was released, I’ve been busy playing it every day. I’ve put in about 20 active hours into the thing and it’s a really good game when all is said and done. It’s the perfect timewaster with some great management mechanics, lots to do, beautiful art-style and engaging gameplay. It’s not perfect with some hiccups such as your entire Vault that can wiped out by one Radroach attack and some technical issues, but overall it’s a massively fun experience especially if you like management games. Take this as my short review and recommendation to get the game if you have the relevant iOS device and it’s coming out for Android as soon as the exclusivity deal with Apple runs out.

Wait, I just gave a positive review and recommendation for a free-to-play game. I think that’s one of the prophesies that indicate that Ragnarok will come soon. How is it so shocking to give admiration to a free-to-play game? The most straight-forward answer is that the mobile gaming industry is a piece of undignified piss filled with insurmountable greed, exploitation and pure fucking evil. I’m not even exaggerating, have you seen what type of shit these games pull these days? $100 resource packs, unreasonably long waiting times that you can “rush” using “currency”, withholding content from you unless you do arbitrary tasks that can either take forever or be bought and offering miniscule amounts of progress unless you shell out money for more.

The whole mobile industry has become a joke, but it’s still largely successful. Clash of Clans, or as I like to call it, Cancer of Gaming, makes a million dollars a day off their microtransactions. And because business is business, everyone has jumped on this bandwagon, even renowned AAA publishers (fuck you Konami). While these games are making a lot of money, they had to sell their souls and resort to exploiting their fanbase for money. They even had to employ known psychological trickery in order to get people to buy their shit. They’re not even below exploiting children.

What’s this now? Fallout Shelter is the top game on the App Store surpassing long-time top spot holding game, Candy Crush? How is this so? The game doesn’t ask for my soul and money in exchange for progress? I’m not waiting forever for my rooms to be built and I haven’t even been compelled to buy a microtransaction? How is this even possible?

Fallout Shelter does employ mobile game mechanics, but instead of exploiting them in order to make money, they simply didn’t. Let’s look at what they did:

 

Waiting

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A huge part of the strategy behind mobile games is to force you to wait in order for things to be finished and to let your impatience get the better of you and force you to use “coins” or “gems” in order to speed things along. Fallout Shelter also makes you wait for things, but lo and behold, you can do nothing but wait. There’s no option to speed things up (you can “rush” things but more of that later) and the wait times involved are always fair. For resource rooms, your time is determined by the amount of Dwellers you have in there as well as their stats. The more people with more stats, the shorter the wait time.

It’s never unreasonable either. I’ve seen games that forced me to wait for three days before a simple action can be done and I more often than not end up deleting the game when it does that. When you send your Dwellers into the wasteland and after a while they want to return, you also have to wait a while before they do. But this wait period is determined by how long they’ve been out there. You can perfectly justify this since if you can spam Dwellers going out and coming back instantly with loot, the game will lose a lot of its challenge.

The wait times are always fair and it’s necessary for a game of this genre. It’s the perfect game where you can quickly check in, do some stuff and then go on with your life. One of the biggest pulls of mobile games, but this time with a lot less exploitation.

 

Rushing

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The traditional mobile gaming method of “rushing” something is in the form of paying a bunch of currency in order to get an action done. In Fallout Shelter, “rushing” a room for resources and currency is a risk/reward action. You have a percentage of failure and if you fail, a fire might break out or Radroaches might attack. There’s no currency involved, it’s just a gamble and if you succeed, you get stuff and if you fail, you will be disrupted for a bit. No further caveats involved.

A thing that is often exploited by mobile games has been turned into a gameplay mechanic by Fallout Shelter and a good one at that. It gives a sense of excitement since you can potentially gain much needed resources or fail and have to make another plan. “Traditional” mobile games would restrict this to paying money.

 

Microtransactions

Lunchbox

Fallout Shelter is at the end of the day still a free-to-play game so they have to make their money somehow. The way they went about it is brilliant. You can buy lunchboxes in the game that are almost like a blind box of goodies. Extra resources, a cool weapon, a new powerful dweller and so on. It’s not a guaranteed method of instant success, but rather something nice that you can partake in that may yield some benefits. It’s not essential to the game and you can very comfortably play the whole game indefinitely without ever opening a lunchbox. But the option is there to buy some if you want.

The pricing of these lunchboxes is important to note. $0.99 nets you one, $3.99 gets you 5, $9.99 gets you 15 and the highest amount at $19.99 gets you 40. Firstly, these prices are more than fair for what you’re getting. Secondly, the highest amount you can buy is only $20. Many mobile games go up to $100 with their microtransactions which is just insane. For that price you can get 200 lunchboxes which is way too much if I’m being honest. If I had money, I would gladly spend $10 on this game because I feel like that is what it deserves. That’s the price I would have happily paid if it was not a free-to-play game and the $10 microtransaction will be more of a token of gratitude than something I felt like I was forced to do by the game.

It doesn’t stop there though, these lunchboxes can be earned by just playing the game as well by doing select objectives. Some are relatively simple, some are a bit of a challenge, but you get rewarded for it with a lunchbox. I’ve barely seen this outside of this game where a game offers its premium content through just gameplay and if it does, it usually takes forever and is only a miniscule amount. I haven’t spent a cent on Fallout Shelter even if I want to and I’ve opened about 15 lunchboxes already through just normal play. You also get a lunchbox if you check in every day for a week which also adds to the bonus.

 

Still Successful

Even with this fair monitisation model, fair mechanics and excellent quality, Fallout Shelter is wildly successful. It beat Candy Crush as the top grossing game and that game makes a million a day. The game didn’t have to sell its soul, exploit its player base or provide ridiculous microtransactions. Fallout Shelter is a testament to how awesome the mobile gaming industry can be if it’s not being taken advantage of and it frankly puts all of the popular offering to absolute shame. I hope Bethesda makes millions off this game because it deserves every cent of it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my next wave of babies are growing up and some sexy time needs to happen.

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And In Today’s “People With Tons Of Time” News… http://egmr.net/2015/06/and-in-todays-people-with-tons-of-time-news/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/and-in-todays-people-with-tons-of-time-news/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172545 We have a man that built a pixel art structure in Minecraft. You’re probably asking, “But Marko, that happens all the time it’s not that special. Also, why are you […]

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We have a man that built a pixel art structure in Minecraft. You’re probably asking, “But Marko, that happens all the time it’s not that special. Also, why are you so handsome?” To answer the latter, moisturizer, and to answer the former, this particular piece of pixel art can be seen as the grand daddy and/or queen mama of pixel art in Minecraft. Quite the achievement, I know. It always amazes me what passionate creative gamers can do and more so how much free time these people have.

The image in the header isn’t one I found on the internet by typing “cool wallpapers” into Google (now you know my process of getting header images), but one made entirely out of Minecraft blocks. The whole thing is comprised out of exactly 1,128,960 blocks and placed individually by one guy over the course of six months. You certainly can’t fault this guy’s dedication.

The image is of Kerrigan, Diablo and Deathwing, staple characters from Blizzard’s games. The image is an intricately drawn piece with a variety of colours and the man responsible for recreating it in blocks is called Thorlar and he’s a pro at this kind of stuff.

You might think all of those horribly misguided things like he is a virgin or he never leaves the house and has no friends, but you’d be horribly wrong. While I can’t speak for the man’s virginity, he went about doing this monstrous project in possibly the best way ever. He livestreamed every minute of it and raised money for charity. There goes all the “waste of time” arguments right out of the window.

You also need to understand one of the biggest appeals of livestreaming which is a sense of community. I’ve seen statistics of people on streams where it says they’ve watched a particular streamer for over 3000 hours. That’s only slightly less hours than an average Dota player. For them it’s like a home. The people involved soon become friends and it’s a good time all the time. Rather than see a stream where a dude plays Hearthstone for 12 hours or in this case makes a million block piece of art, see it as a sort of sports bar where people can have a good time with other people while watching something. I basically said Twitch is gaming’s sports bar and I’ll stand by that.

This million block structure claims to be the world record for the biggest Minecraft pixel art and I certainly won’t argue with that fact. Watch the video below where the dude places the last blocks and gives you an overview of the creation:

Also worth checking out is the map it was built on where you can zoom in on each individual block. There’s also a bunch of other creations littered about too.

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Hope You Don’t Like Walking Simulators Because Tale Of Tales Shut Down http://egmr.net/2015/06/hope-you-dont-like-walking-simulators-because-tale-of-tales-shut-down/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/hope-you-dont-like-walking-simulators-because-tale-of-tales-shut-down/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172503 I’m an avid supporter of walking simulators or as I like to call them, interactive experiences. If you’re not familiar, interactive experiences are games that you don’t really have that […]

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I’m an avid supporter of walking simulators or as I like to call them, interactive experiences. If you’re not familiar, interactive experiences are games that you don’t really have that much agency meaning there’s often no gameplay at all and your only method of interacting is walking around and clicking on stuff. Games within this “genre” include The Stanley Parable, Gone Home and The Path. They’re excellently crafted stories that you can experience by walking around an area and looking at things. There is no gameplay, only walking. Hence, walking simulator.

While these games shouldn’t even be considered “games”, they’re still quality narratives that you can experience in a game-like fashion. I made the argument that we shouldn’t see these offerings as games at all and should consider them and individual medium just like books, television, movies and games. These offerings gathered moderate success and critical acclaim among gaming critics. They are magnificent and well worth your time, but just don’t expect a “game”.

Tale of Tales, a duo from Belgium that released The Path to the world has now decided that they are going to stop releasing commercial games in the future. They are responsible for many avante-garde games such as the sexual stimulant simulator, Luxuria Superbia, The Graveyard, a mourning simulator and The Endless Forest, a deer MMO. Suffice to say, these two were out there when it came to gaming concepts. This is great since we need innovators and these ridiculous ideas transcend into some form of art.

Sadly, it seems their run has come to an end, at least commercially. Following the release of their newest game, Sunset, the game was met with an extremely underwhelming response. Only 4000 copies sold since its release on 21 May. Oof, that’s gotta be a hard one to swallow. It’s not because the game is crap either, it received widespread critical acclaim with 8 out of 10s and 9 out of 10s everywhere. The game follows a maid doing chores an hour before sunset and a story unfolds around her. Definitely arty.

It just seems that they didn’t do their marketing right or made the mistake of releasing the game so close to E3 when the hype is everywhere and nobody seems to care about an art game. Also, let’s not forget that The Witcher 3 released on the 19th of May. That was probably the guillotine to their plan.

In the wake of this, they have decided to quit releasing commercial games and focus on their own passion projects by opening two separate Patreons. It seems they have gone their separate ways and are now focusing on different things entirely if you look at the objectives on their Patreons.

It’s a sad occurrence when a developer shuts their doors because of a lack of sales, especially when the developer has the habit of pushing the bar a little. As I’ve said earlier, we need innovators and it’s unfortunate that innovation isn’t very marketable.

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Final Fantasy VII Is Being Remade Because The Developers Might Die http://egmr.net/2015/06/final-fantasy-vii-is-being-remade-because-the-developers-might-die/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/final-fantasy-vii-is-being-remade-because-the-developers-might-die/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172462 When the trailer for the Final Fantasy VII Remake first appeared on the screen during the Sony conference, I did not know what this game could possibly be. It looked […]

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When the trailer for the Final Fantasy VII Remake first appeared on the screen during the Sony conference, I did not know what this game could possibly be. It looked like Final Fantasy and the names that appeared on the screen were Final Fantasy developers so what could this be? Then Cloud’s sword appeared and everyone, including myself, lost their shit.

The cynic might think that the FFVII Remake is a bad thing since gamers cheered for what they previously hated so much, but what they don’t seem to understand is how important this is to gamers. FFVII was the hallmark JRPG game that defined the genre back when it first released. It’s single-handedly responsible for the JRPGs that transpired after it and set the benchmark for what can be considered a great RPG.

FFVII made a genre, beloved by many gamers across the world and is often cited as the game that made people so passionate about gaming in the first place. So to see an essential piece of gaming history being remade, and especially one that is so pivotal, is cause for celebration. Nevermind the fact that fans have been calling and pleading for this to happen for over a decade. Just to put it into perspective, back when the PS3 was released in 2005, people were already calling for a FFVII remake. Hell, I believe when the PS2 was out people already wanted a remake. So let’s just have this one, okay?

But I digress. Whoops.

We already know that FFVII won’t be the exact same game we remember and love, but will rather include some improvements and slight changes since, let’s be honest, the original FFVII didn’t age that well. Those blocky polygons and the preposterous battle scenes were definitely a product of their time.

But why did they finally decide that they want to do it? Tetsuya Nomura, character designer for Final Fantasy answered this question during a recent interview with 4gamers, a Japanese website, and then translated by Siliconera afterward:

Actually, we’ve had plans for a remake on several occasions. Up until now, it’s been a cycle of having plans come and go, but this time, we’ve finally decided ‘let’s do it’

Furthermore, they also got the final go-ahead for the project because of its timing and how it can possibly create increased interest for the PS4 in Japan, which it obviously will. It looks like Sony used this as a sort of trump card in order to generate interest for their console, which was certainly a smart move.

More interestingly, however, Nomura mentioned how the original developers are also getting old:

And there’s one more thing, we’re hitting that age. Of all the staff that worked on the original Final Fantasy VII, and those who are working on the remake, I’m the youngest one. I’m 45 years old now. If we continued on without doing a remake, Yoshinori Kitase (48) and Kazushige Nojima (51) are well older than me… so, yeah,

Nomura himself is 45 years old which means these guys are nearing their golden years, especially as game designers who often hang up their capes at a young age since becoming old stifles your creativity and decreased productivity. But these old kooks are still going at it, trying to give us one more amazing experience and potentially even more. It’s like Metallica fans being actually worried that a band member might die before they can release another record.

So a big part of why FFVII is being remade is that these dudes are probably afraid that they might bite the dust or retire before they could actually remake their magnum opus. Guess this is what happens when you’ve been putting something off for over a decade.

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Sony Thought It Was Risky To Have A Female Protagonist http://egmr.net/2015/06/sony-thought-it-was-risky-to-have-a-female-protagonist/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/sony-thought-it-was-risky-to-have-a-female-protagonist/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172427 This year’s E3, besides being a triumph for gaming, was also a triumph for representation. There were female developers everywhere presenting stuff and we had so many games with female […]

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This year’s E3, besides being a triumph for gaming, was also a triumph for representation. There were female developers everywhere presenting stuff and we had so many games with female protagonists or female representation. No matter what the Panic Police says about violent masculinity and the patriarchy, we can all be in agreement that we’ve taken some major steps in bringing equality to gaming, as it should have been for ages.

An unexpected female protagonist popped up in Guerrilla Games’ newest IP, Horizon: Zero Dawn, which was both exciting and refreshing to me considering Guerrilla’s games are often filled with hunky manbros with huge guns and testosterone. Now we get to see a seemingly strong female protagonist in this new mecha-dino hunting simulator where it could have easily just been another browned haired white male. But apparently this also made Sony, specifically Shuhei Yoshida, nervous for some reason.

Apparently having a female protagonist was seen as a risky move, God knows why. Yoshida had the following to say about Horizon’s lead:

She’s a female lead character. That has always been the vision by the team, but we had a discussion. Is it risky to do a female character?

Why would it even be considered risky, one would instantly ask. Well, because apparently having a female protagonist hurts sales. Yes, there are assholes out in the world that are so sexist, stupid and backwards that they won’t even play a videogame starring a female as the lead role. Welcome to planet Earth ladies and gentlemen.

Yoshida further went on to say that they ended up doing focus testing to see how risky of a move this will actually be:

The concern came after the game was in development. We started to show it to many more people internally and they had questions about it. So we worked with our marketing groups to do this focus testing. We wanted to see how people would react to some of the things: open world RPG, the set up of machine versus primitive weapons and the female protagonist. All of those things. The focus testing reaction was positive and that made us feel good, but you know it’s a limited number of people that we were able to test.

It seems the people that were focus tested were on board with having a woman as the lead and shut off some of the doubts that the Sony execs had, even if they thought it was only a small sample size and couldn’t be representative of the whole picture. Following this, Yoshida then mentioned how other games have been using female protagonists and how everything seems to be alright with them:

Looking at our press conference and other’s press conferences, many teams our doing it now. Like there is a new lead in Assassin’s Creed, and Mirror’s Edge is back. I feel great that there is more diversity in the kind of worlds and kind of characters that we are making as an industry.

And he is right, we are becoming more progressive. There is female representation in everything these days and strong female representation as well. Just look at the Witcher 3. The women in that game are so strong that Geralt looks like the one being oppressed if anything.

Furthermore, Yoshida also mentioned how women are becoming more involved in gaming both on the player side and the developmental side:

As an industry, I think we should continue to make efforts to have more females in studios on the development side and to get different perspectives. Games have become more and more popular in terms of who plays, especially in terms of mobile. We have a chance to further increase the reach, from a PlayStation standpoint, to a bigger more diverse audience.

Barring the comment of “a lot of females play on mobile”, he is correct in the thinking that audiences are becoming more diverse and inclusive and not just a white boy wank fest.

So Sony thought that Horizon: Zero Dawn’s female protagonist was a risk and made them nervous, when in actuality they had nothing to worry about. The industry and gamers are becoming more progressive and inclusive and only a handful of hateful dickmagnets remain and they can get left behind for all I care.

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Abyssal Pixels: And The Winner Of E3 Is… http://egmr.net/2015/06/abyssal-pixels-and-the-winner-of-e3-is/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/abyssal-pixels-and-the-winner-of-e3-is/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172384 We humans have this propensity to make everything a competition, no matter how trivial. I don’t know if it’s because of some evolutionary trait that we got from our monkey […]

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We humans have this propensity to make everything a competition, no matter how trivial. I don’t know if it’s because of some evolutionary trait that we got from our monkey ancestors (trigger warning) or something, but there always has to be a winner for something even if there really was no reason for one to be there. With E3 rolling over us like a steam-train going down Mt. Everest, there was one thing I continually observed during all of the conferences on social media and in the various coverage that happened: such and such has supposedly “won E3″. There’s various reasons why the one conference was supposedly better than the other, but I think we all know deep inside who was the true winner of E3.

That is, of course, EA.

Sorry, I had to. Seriously though, who is the winner of E3? Simply put, we are. Gamers are the winners of E3. Have you seriously gone and just looked at what was announced, what we’re being promised and how the future of gaming looks at the moment. I’ll say one thing, it looks pretty rad. My fellow writers have already went to task taking apart the conferences and looking past the overwhelming amount of hype and into the nitty-gritty of the games that were revealed. And that’s great, because there needs to be a bit of cynicism and caution exercised, especially with how the industry has royally messed up in recent years.

However, this year’s E3 is probably the best we have gotten in years. Great title after great title was announced, some long-time dreams came true in the span of an hour and gaming feels like it’s really picking up steam again. We’ve been in this lul for the past couple of years since the generation started with the initial growing pains of developing for new hardware becoming increasingly apparent. There were mediocre offerings and there were only a handful of stellar offerings that were often outnumbered by remasters and lackluster games. There was nothing to be especially excited about within gaming and I remember only being genuinely excited for Dragon Age Inquisition.

Now with E3 2015, we saw so much to be excited about. Bethesda already lit the world on fire with Doom and Fallout 4 and made this long-time Fallout fan change his underpants way too many times. Microsoft killed it with their amazing exclusive offerings and their promise of backwards compatibility. While EA again had too much to do with sport titles, even they gave us something to be excited about in the form of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Mass Effect Andromeda and Star Wars Battlefront. Ubisoft looks like they finally realised what pricks they’ve been being and showed us titles that we can get behind. Sony made dreams come true with their absolute bombshells in the form of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last Guardian and Shenmue 3.

All of this combine to form one amazing E3 that has made me happier and more excited for gaming than ever before. A week ago I was still happy with my Witcher 3 and thinking that this will probably be the peak of the year. Little did I know. What’s more important is how all of these conferences combined show us that it’s one fucking incredible time to be a gamer. We are properly in the next generation now, my friends. The obvious platform fanboys that came out in droves following the conferences claiming that “Microsoft is better” or “Sony won E3″ often forget how gaming has become more than petty squabbles over which electronic box you have. We, as gamers, are getting new and exciting experiences on a scale that we could have only dream about a couple of decades ago.

New technology in the form of VR is coming in, developers are learning how to work with console hardware now, each platform has their own strong exclusives, the multi-platform games are incredible to behold and we’ve even got things we’ve been sorely wishing for for years. If you want to have tunnel vision and focus on slagging off the other console’s fans, then I’m sincerely sorry that you’re missing out on the gaming greatness that is unfolding in front of us.

This may sound like some optimist with a severe case of the Hype, but I genuinely feel excited to be gaming again. 2015 looks to be one of the best years in gaming and 2016 looks to be incredible. Let’s all enjoy this for a moment before the delays, downgrades, unfinished games, microtransactions and publisher greed sets in. We have all the time in world to be jaded and cynical, but there is no shame in being excited for what’s to come.

We won, people.

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E3 2015: Ubisoft’s Conference Went As Could Be Expected http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-ubisofts-conference-went-as-could-be-expected/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/e3-2015-ubisofts-conference-went-as-could-be-expected/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 08:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172296 Ubisoft aren’t are the best of terms with the gaming community thanks to their increased corruption and flat out greed with their games. Even during their conference, they took shots […]

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Ubisoft aren’t are the best of terms with the gaming community thanks to their increased corruption and flat out greed with their games. Even during their conference, they took shots at themselves of all of this loss of faith and public lambasting. You know you screwed up hard when your fuck ups are a talking point.

Ubi’s conferences are usually just celebratory thrustings of their established franchises with maybe a few surprises along the way. Aisha Tylor seems to be the public spokesperson there as well, which has been met with mixed reactions due to her eclectic presenting style and strange mannerisms.

The overall presentation of the conference was more laid back and self-aware, especially with the swearing and the self-deprecating that remained a constant through the entire conference. The games they showed most of us knew about already and we just saw more, but there were a few curveballs thrown in there as well. Here’s what was announced during Ubisoft’s E3 conference along with a brief description:

 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole


The lovable South Park series returns once again hot on the heels of the successful and critically acclaimed South Park: The Stick of Truth. This time the boys are now superheroes instead of fantasy themed characters. It seems that the gameplay will remain much the same and no word was given if it was still turn-based or went real-time.

The title sounds like “fractured butthole” so clearly GOTY. No word on release date just yet, but it will be available for PC, Xbox One and PS4.

 

For Honor


A new IP that features Vikings, Samurais and Knights where they can face each other in visceral weapon based combat. The game mainly looks like an arena fighter that features competitive elements for online play. The combat seems to be very skill based and involved, which can make for a compelling experience. All three factions seem to have different aesthetics and combat styles.

No release date, but will be on PC, Xbox One and PS4. You can sign up for the beta on the game’s website.

 

Expansions For Existing Games


The Crew will get an expansion called Wild Run which adds motorbikes to the gameplay as well as extra content for the main game. There will also be a “graphical overhaul” involved. Coming November 17, 2015.


Trials Fusion had one of the most… interesting trailers featuring a cat with a gold plated pistol riding a unicorn and features a triple rainbow. The expansion, called Awesome Level Max, will add 30 tracks and introduce some new, kooky designs and characters. Available 14 July 2015.

 

The Division


The Division had an extended gameplay trailer featuring survivors trying to survive in the Dark Zone, a hostile but rewarding space. Featuring totally legit voice chats between teammates, it showed some more gameplay. At the end of the trailer, there is a betrayal of your teammates indicating that a player has multiple ways to take advantage of a situation.

The game finally has a release date set at 8 March 2016 on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

 

Anno 2205


Long time city-builder, Anno, is getting a sequel set in the modern age. Players will be able to go to and colonize the moon as well as expand their cities. Features a distinct modern aesthetic and space age technology.

Coming November 5 on PC only.

 

Just Dance 2016


Now allegedly the biggest music game franchise in the world with millions of players. The newest version also allows people to use their smartphones as a replacement for their cameras on consoles, probably in an attempt to increase their player base by introducing easy solutions to hardware requirements.

The game also features a new streaming service that allows new songs to constantly be available on the game. Released 15 October 2015 on Wii U, Xbox One and PS4.

 

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate


Assassin’s Creed Syndicate received very little playtime and only featured a single cinematic trailer detailing  Jacob Frye’s story in more detail as well as show off the grappling hook. It was more focused on the story aspect, giving some perspective on the struggle of London during the Industrial Revolution. Good ‘un ol’ chap. After the conference a little gameplay trailer was released.

AC: Syndicate is available on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on the 23rd of October 2015.

 

Rainbow Six Siege


Rainbow Six siege featured a seemingly dynamic game (probably not) between two teams. There was also a trailer with Angela Bassett as Six, the deputy director of the anti-terrorism unit, indicating that there might be some sort of story within the game. Terrohunt, a beloved mode from Rainbow Six games makes its return in this game.

There is also a public beta on September 24, 2015 and the game releases 13 October 2015 (not confirmed) on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

 

Ghost Recon Wildlands


Probably the biggest surprise of the conference is that Ghost Recon, a series that is known most for its intense military tactics and tactical gameplay will now go open-world. Players can choose how they want to handle a situation, either by stealth, assault, ambush or otherwise. The game will take place in a “massive open-world” with transport and areas to explore and features four soldiers tasked to take out targets. It can be assumed that this will be a co-op heavy game.

The game has no release date and will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Ubisoft had, in all honesty, a solid line-up, but with predictable titles from their established franchises and the only IP was For Honor. Ubisoft brought some great titles to be excited about and the conference went down well (depending on how much you like Aisha Tyler, of course). Predictable, but good.

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So, Is Hype Completely Wrong Now? http://egmr.net/2015/06/so-is-hype-completely-wrong-now/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/so-is-hype-completely-wrong-now/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172052 Note: This was written before Bethesda’s press conference, meaning some points might not be as valid anymore. Hype has become one of the many bad words in the industry. It […]

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Note: This was written before Bethesda’s press conference, meaning some points might not be as valid anymore.

Hype has become one of the many bad words in the industry. It bears some negative connotations since hype often leads to disappointment of some kind and it gives gaming publishers the power to manipulate us into thinking their soon-to-be-downgraded and stripped apart game sounds like a good idea. But I think we’ve gone a bit too far with this vilification of hype to the point where I’ve genuinely been ashamed to admit that I’m excited for a game. Me from a decade ago would slap current me in the face for even thinking that.

This all transpired when the original Fallout 4 trailer released. I’m a diehard Fallout fan and I’ve put easily, and if not more, than 700 hours into the franchise. Fallout 3 and New Vegas were games I played until they were exhausted of all content and then I played them again just because I wanted to. More importantly, they shaped what type of gamer I’ve become today. They made me love open-world games with passion and made me enjoy more open-ended and personal experiences causing me to gravitate more towards those kinds of offerings. They even helped me deal with some of the depression I went through as a tortured youth, but let’s not get sappy up in here.

Suffice to say, I love the Fallout franchise and to see a trailer of a game I’ve been waiting for for over 7 years of one of my most favorite franchises of all time made me emotional. I’ll admit this right now and rest assured that I speak the truth: I teared up when I saw the trailer. Euphoric emotions run through my body and a giant smile appeared on my face. I’m going to get a Fallout game on a current-gen console and this made me happier than I’ve been in a long time. This seems over-dramatic even to me, but don’t tell me you haven’t ever felt the same when you watched a trailer for a movie franchise or game you love.

But even to express something like what I just did seems wrong and many gamers would tell me I’m wrong. Why in the Seven Hells can being in an euphoric state of excitement be wrong? Well, there are a few reasons.

Simply put, the gaming industry is a cesspit of shady crap and greed induced failures right now. Everything is turning up disastrous because publishers think it’s completely okay to cheat and lie to us. CD Projekt Red received widespread praise and admiration for doing what exactly? Oh right, for not being manipulative assholes, actually supporting the game they have created and treating their fans and players with respect. Something that is supposed to be done universally is praised to the moon and back. That is a testament to how messed up this industry is right now.

Because of this, gamers have grown amazingly skeptical and cynical. Each trailer is met with a ridiculous level of scrutiny which almost borders on pure hatred. When Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate was revealed, my Twitter timeline was literally only filled with scorn and skepticism about the game. It was almost depressing to witness. People that are even self-proclaimed super fans of the franchise joined in on the hate brigade. Stuff like, “I look forward to this being downgraded”, “You people know this is going to be a glitchy nightmare, right?”, “Ubisoft should focus on fixing their current Assassin’s Creed title first before making a new one” and the infamous “oh, another one”.

Not one person on my entire timeline said it looked promising or that they were excited for it. Just pure scrutiny. Maybe the people I follow really are heartless assholes, but this made me sad in more ways than one. For a start, Ubisoft deserved the lambasting following their disastrous handling of AC: Unity and I cannot rightly fault people for saying the things they did. The other thing is that the near childlike wonder and excitement that stemmed from a new game being announced was now completely lost and replaced with scorn.

The trust that gamers once had with developers is now gone. These days you’re almost confident that you’ll be fucked over in some way or another by some giant corporation and even with your favourite franchises, you start to grow skeptical. Even I’m growing weary of Fallout because there is a possibility that the graphics might be downgraded, the initial trailers might just be pipe dreams and what is being promised won’t necessarily happen. That line of thinking makes me hate myself and more importantly, hate the industry.

I’ve been noticing how the gaming community has sort of shunned this idea of being excited for games. Mainly because of the reasons above, but the so called intelligentsia of gaming have got this objective to make you feel ashamed for being excited for games. Many a times I expressed my interest in a game and was bombarded with “the game will probably be a disappointment” or “I wouldn’t be excited if I was you” comments.

Once again, this is all due to how the industry has decided that it hates gamers and wants to fuck us over so that they can make a quick buck. However, thanks to this increased cynicism and lack of trust, publishers seem to notice how they have been such assholes and seek to rectify their mistakes. Your guess is as good as mine as to if they will live up to it, and I personally don’t really count on it. As E3 goes on (which is just after this article goes live) we’ll see if they can repair some of the insurmountable damage they have done to us.

Hype shouldn’t be a naughty word filled with disgust and shame, it should be a happy and joyous state of being. To be excited about something you’re passionate about is simply great and we need to seek to feel like that all the time. Unfortunately due the industry’s propensities to over-hype, over-promise, under-deliver and disappoint, being in that state requires effort now. And it shouldn’t.

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Now What The Hell Can This Be? http://egmr.net/2015/06/now-what-the-hell-can-this-be/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/now-what-the-hell-can-this-be/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172048 It seems the period before E3 can officially be called Tease Week, but I’m pretty sure that is a holiday period for strippers or something. Day after day we get […]

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It seems the period before E3 can officially be called Tease Week, but I’m pretty sure that is a holiday period for strippers or something. Day after day we get teased with games that might possibly be announced at E3 and they show nothing substantial besides a screenshot or some vague information. Obviously this is just a ploy to get some hype rolling and making people curious as to what the hell developers are on about.

It’s not the end of the world though and it’s a solid business strategy that works. It just… feels a bit like blueballs if I’m being perfectly honest. All of these promised titles that genuinely look like something cool that are only vaguely teased and nothing more until some press conference happens.

Anyway, the new exercise in blueballs is a teased sci-fi themed game by the folks that made Lords of the Fallen. The screenshot above is all we have to go on and other information includes that it’s a new IP, Deck13 is making it and it will be released in 2017 on PC, Xbox One and PS4 and that it will feature a “unique progression system” with “modular upgrades gained through tight, visceral combat” and set in a “dystopian sci-fi future”. Read: PR Spin.

I’m starving for a new sci-fi game since they seem to have fallen out of fashion recently, especially sci-fi themed RPGs in that vein of Mass Effect. For that matter, a game akin to Mass Effect is sorely needed since space operas with bangable aliens, female or otherwise (Thane still sets my heart on fire), is something we need right now. A dystopian sci-fi game would be cool too.

Stephany Nunneley from VG247 made the overdark image a bit brighter which you can see here:

deck13_tease_brightened-600x337

Still have no clue.

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Darksiders 2 is Death-initely Getting Remastered And There Might Be A New One http://egmr.net/2015/06/darksiders-2-is-death-initely-getting-remastered-and-there-might-be-a-new-one/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/darksiders-2-is-death-initely-getting-remastered-and-there-might-be-a-new-one/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171990 That pun made me hate myself, but I make these sacrifices for you people. Darksiders was a game that divided people on how they felt about it. On the one […]

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That pun made me hate myself, but I make these sacrifices for you people. Darksiders was a game that divided people on how they felt about it. On the one hand it was shameless amalgamation of other games such as Legend of Zelda, God of War, Metroid, Castlevania and even Portal. But the combination of these rather legendary games made for quite the decent title and it had its own merits with the biblical apocalypse theme and so on.

The sequel was when the series took up more of its own identity by taking a more RPG inspired design and the character of Death was perfect for a game of this theme. It met with moderate success when it released in 2012. Nothing Earth-shattering, but it was still a significant title within that year. Then THQ shut down and the franchise was in limb. Those were fun times, right?

But now Nordic Games, the people that acquired Vigil from THQ, is right back at it with a planned remaster of Darksiders 2 called the Deathinitive Edition (no really) that includes a host of improvements and such that you can expect from a remaster. It comes to us from the people at Gunfire Games which is mostly made up of old members of the original Vigil team.

One would be excused for questioning why a game from 2012 that wasn’t such a masterwork to begin with is getting a remaster. There’s a few reasons that I can think of. They need to make the Darksiders name relevant again after so long, there was a huge demand that we didn’t hear about, they need revenue in order to fund a future project or they want to gauge what the interest is for a Darksiders sequel .

Regardless, here are the improvements that are being made in the remaster:

  • Darksiders 2 with All DLCs included and integrated into the game, offering a total playtime of more than 30 hours: (Maker Armor Set, The Abyssal Forge, The Demon Lord Belial, Death Rides, Angel of Death, Deadly Despair, Shadow of Death, Mortis Pack, Rusanov’s Axe, Van Der Schmash Hammer, Fletcher’s Crow Hammer, Mace Maximus, Argul’s Tomb)
  • Improved Graphic Render Engine for higher visual quality especially in terms of lighting and shadows
  • Improved and reworked level, character and environment graphics
  • Running in native 1080p resolution
  • Reworked and tuned game balancing and loot distribution

I might get crucified for saying this, but that sounds like a good deal to me, especially with the myriad DLC packages that will be included and by what they said in this Polygon feature, it seems that they’ve put in a lot of care and effort into it. That still doesn’t deter from the fact that the remaster is still pretty unnecessary, but the old argument that I make is that you’re not forced to buy a remaster and you will lose nothing if you choose to ignore it.

Other news that came from this is that there is potentially a sequel or project related to Darksiders that will come in the future. The following statement by Nordic Games is a bit vague, but one can deduce that something is in the works.

Naturally (and extremely excitedly!), there will be a large-scale project based on Darksiders, but for now it is very important for us to take care of the existing games and make those available to a broader audience. Bringing Darksiders 2 to current gen was a logical step for us and the team at Gunfire Games know their trade inside-out, so we easily and quickly had lots of ideas that we wanted to realize for this specific edition.

So there is something going on, but no specifics were mentioned and it seems to only be in the conceptual phases at the moment. Still, a non-remaster Darksiders might be something cool. I personally would love to have the remaster considering I never finished or got into the original Darksider 2 due to being swamped with other great games that came out in 2012 and simply forgetting about it. But I’m a special butterfly that doesn’t believe remasters are ruining the planet.

The Deathinitive Edition (no, for reals) will be available in “winter” which is summer for us. Near the end of the year, basically.

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Want Some More Wang? http://egmr.net/2015/06/want-some-more-wang/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/want-some-more-wang/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171943 Well, do you? We’re talking about Wang from the Shadow Warrior series of course, what were you thinking? Shadow Warrior is a much loved comedy-esque game featuring visceral combat with […]

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Well, do you?

We’re talking about Wang from the Shadow Warrior series of course, what were you thinking? Shadow Warrior is a much loved comedy-esque game featuring visceral combat with blood up to ying-yang, a wise cracking protagonist and some funny moments. It’s a refreshing game in this era of doom and gloom laden games that have brooding protagonists and dead children. Obviously the emo dead kids style is still welcome and helps propel the medium to some level of art, but sometimes you just want to have a good time slashing the shit out of people with a katana.

Shadow Warrior is the quintessential game for having a good old violent time and listening to some off-colour jokes and cutting satire. For that, it’s loved by many within the gaming community and it deserves every piece of love it gets. While an old game, it recently released in full remastered glory on all systems. The game featured updated graphics, refined mechanics and all the stuff you expect from a remaster. But wouldn’t it be awesome to have a fully fledged sequel rather? Well, that dream might come true.

Shadow Warrior’s Twitter account gave the following tweet which I shamelessly ripped off for the title:

Clearly in reference to Lu Wang, protagonist of Shadow Warrior, of course. If you were unsure, the following tweet might put a rest to any doubts:

Good enough evidence for me. I haven’t yet played the Shadow Warrior games, but I’ve heard nothing but good things from many a gamer. I should definitely check it out when I get the opportunity and I’m fully on board with a sequel. We need more tongue-in-cheek games in this ever depressing gaming industry.

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The Xbox One Is Becoming Cheaper, Bigger And Blacker http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-xbox-one-is-becoming-cheaper-bigger-and-blacker/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-xbox-one-is-becoming-cheaper-bigger-and-blacker/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171905 The Xbox One has had some rocky beginnings to say the least. Right out of the gate it was marred in controversy thanks to its ridiculous Always-Online policy and various […]

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The Xbox One has had some rocky beginnings to say the least. Right out of the gate it was marred in controversy thanks to its ridiculous Always-Online policy and various evil practices that the money crazed executives wanted to employ. Thankfully, that is now all in the past and the console released without all those crappy policies and it’s quite the nice console. But then it’s also often accused of being the weaker console between it and the PS4 even with being more expensive.

Still, the Xbox One is more than competent and the exclusives are mostly high quality, even it’s missing a killer app like Sony’s Bloodborne, but the future does look bright for the console. This year’s E3 looks to be stuffed with games if Phil Spencer is to be believed and now we have received word that the console is becoming cheaper and also releasing a new model.

There is a new Xbox One model available for purchase and it features a rather sexy matte black finish and an upgraded 1 terabyte hard drive, something that has been much requested since new-gen games take up mountains of space and a tiny 500 GB hard drive is simply not enough anymore. The Xbox One does allow you to plug in external storage devices in order to expand your storage options, but then you have to also consider that you have to buy those storage options separately and use it exclusively with the Xbox One. Having a larger internal storage is more than welcome.

The big news with this model is that it includes a new and improved controller. The controller has various tweaks that increase performance, but it also now finally includes a 3.5mm headphone jack like the one Sony has had in their controllers since the beginning. This allows Xbox One gamers to plug in any headset and receive audio through there now.

More big news is that the original 500 GB Xbox One console is now cheaper. The console had a “promotional price” for quite a while at £299.99, but now it will stay at that price. It’s unclear if this will affect local pricing, but one can assume it will.

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Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Is Coming To Eat Your Brains http://egmr.net/2015/06/plants-vs-zombies-garden-warfare-2-is-coming-to-eat-your-brains/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/plants-vs-zombies-garden-warfare-2-is-coming-to-eat-your-brains/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171870 Plants Vs. Zombies has been on a road that I like to call the “Oh Please God, No” road to a microtransaction laden nightmare. The lovable original title gained many […]

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Plants Vs. Zombies has been on a road that I like to call the “Oh Please God, No” road to a microtransaction laden nightmare. The lovable original title gained many fans and for good reason. It was a simple, fun and strategic tower defense game that had you planting watermelons to mess up zombies. When it was time for its sequel, you could see the likes of EA creeping in. When it was first announced that Plants Vs. Zombies 2 was going to be free-to-play, the collective sigh of gamers could push the cliffs of Dover an inch away from the shore. While there were microtransactions everywhere, as expected, it wasn’t completely evil and you could still theoretically play without paying for quite a while and you wouldn’t be insanely punished for it.

Then Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare made its debut. It was a mixed bag of emotions since the game is genuinely a boat load of fun even if it had no right to be, but EA syndrome also made its way into the game. You could buy packs using coins. This pack system of EA seems to be rather profitable since FIFA Ultimate Team rakes in mountains of cash just for digital currency to possibly get the chance to maybe get a good player. It’s a dependable system, but it’s still pretty despicable. However, once more the microtransactions weren’t that offensive and you could still play the game perfectly fine without paying. I’d even say it’s more rewarding to not spend a dime.

Then we get to the reason for this article: Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 has been teased for this year’s E3. The teaser trailer below only features battle sounds between plants and zombies, but it’s main goal was to show us that the sequel is well on its way and they will show us some footage come E3.

So, what do you think? Are you excited for the sequel and enjoyed the original or do you believe that EA have completely ruined the franchise? I’m pretty torn over how I feel about Garden Warfare since it is quite the fun game, especially with a group of friends, and an improved sequel might be excellent.

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Review: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Is A Masterclass In Everything http://egmr.net/2015/06/review-the-witcher-3-the-wild-hunt-is-a-masterclass-in-everything/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/review-the-witcher-3-the-wild-hunt-is-a-masterclass-in-everything/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171523 Visit review on site for scoring. CD Projekt Red, those lovable people up in Poland, have won our hearts and minds with their rendition of the story of the Witcher, […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

CD Projekt Red, those lovable people up in Poland, have won our hearts and minds with their rendition of the story of the Witcher, a tale straight out of Polish folklore and a staple of the country’s culture. They released The Witcher series of games that lit everyone’s imaginations ablaze and showed us how RPGs can be done by introducing adult themes along with mythology and the supernatural. What CD Projekt Red managed to achieve was something truly special.

For the longest time, games held your hand, afraid that you’ll steer too far from exactly what the developers want. Everything became more and more simplified, watered down and there was an increased focus on pandering to an ever expanding mass audience. CD Projekt did away with that with The Witcher series bringing in hardcore RPG fundamentals along with a more adult focussed narrative. What transpired is a series that is something special within the gaming landscape.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was a triumph in both RPG narrative, combat mechanics, visuals and character development. One would easily believe that it would take something momentous and groundbreaking in order to top it. With the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, that has taken place. What we are dealing with here is something out of our wildest dreams. Something that will resonate for years to come and will set the template for what constitutes an excellent game. Bold claim, but can we prove that? You’ll have to read on and judge for yourself.

 

The Story of Geralt of Rivia

The Witcher 3 follows on after the events that transpired during The Witcher 2. Everything is laden in spoilers and even more so if you have not played the previous game but essentially, you still play as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher in charge of killing monsters that appeared after a cataclysmic event known as the Conjunction of the Spheres. He and his fellow Witchers are capable of amazing feats that would not be possible if a person was a normal human. They can drink hazardous potions to give them an edge in combat, their senses are finely tuned, they can use simple spells and as such they are masters at tracking and combat. This, of course, makes them perfect for paid contracts for monster slaying.

Geralt’s story is a special one. One shrouded in equal parts mystery, tragedy, intrigue, passion, betrayal and the list goes on. The plot for The Witcher 3, however, mainly focuses on Geralt’s ward Ciri, who has disappeared and is being chased by The Wild Hunt, an otherworldly horde of ghoulish monstrosities because of her special powers and bloodline. That would constitute the main motivation for the things Geralt ends up doing during the course of the game, but once you get going it becomes immediately apparent that this is but the framework for a much broader story that Geralt is involved in. A story that involves nations, thousands of people, political shifts, wars, kings and so much more in between. The game lets you feel that you’re a part of something massive while also telling a deep personal narrative.

Even while it seems that the whole world seemingly hinges on Geralt’s decisions and actions, he can still become involved in the personal stories of other people. Whether it be saving a village from a giant monstrosity or helping some poor soul with their situation. The game features literally hundreds of side-quests and if you’ve been a fan of RPGs whatsoever, you would know that side-quests have the tendency to become rather boring after a while because of the repetition and lack of substance. We are, of course, talking about fetch quests and things that feel more like busy work than anything else. You don’t find that in The Witcher 3.

Each quest that you undertake is interesting in some capacity and more importantly, completely worthwhile. The monster contracts that have no right to be good are often these great little narratives that a player can enjoy and this coming from what would otherwise be a simple “kill the enemy” side-quest. Then you get side-quests that span multiple hours and would be considered so good that they genuinely could have been the main plot for another game entirely. These quests are so brilliantly written and thematically complex that they become instantly unforgettable. And there’s a whole bunch of them. The really good ones usually stem from your required story quests and some take place from innocent looking notice board entries.

The point is, the narrative in The Witcher 3 is something of legends. From the stellar main story with multiple branching paths to the side-quests that bloom into Goliaths of storytelling, it feels like there is no wasted space to be found. The brilliant writing remains consistent throughout the entire game and it never slows down, which makes for one of the most enjoyable games that will last for a very long time.

 

Combat, Witcher Style

Combat in The Witcher series has always been interesting. It doesn’t conform to usual combat norms and it has a great reliance on player skill. For all intents and purposes, the combat system in The Witcher 3 remains as complex as ever. Geralt is a Witcher, which means he has some added tricks in his arsenal. He can drink potions that enhance his abilities, oil his swords to inflict increased damage and use magical signs that do various actions. The progression and levelling system caters to three aspects that can be upgraded, namely swordfighting, signs and alchemy. Each provides their own set of advantages and you can choose what you are most comfortable with.

The combat itself requires your full attention and can be devastating if you do not pay attention to what you are doing. If you rush in with no thought or plan, you will die. The enemies in The Witcher 3 are not idiots so they won’t come for you one-by-one, but will exploit the battlefield just like you do. This means that a group of enemies is much more menacing than one strong enemy. You need to control the battlefield, making sure you use your skills to their full advantage. The signs can be excellent tools. You can set your enemies on fire, push them away with a force push, activate a protective shield that will take damage for you, stun or control an enemy and place a magical trap. If that’s not what you like, you can delve into enhancement potions to give you an edge on the battlefield, but this also requires strategy since drinking potions increases toxicity that can end up hurting you if you go too far. Or, you can attempt to master your swordfighting so that you know when to block, dodge away and control the battlefield. And if you’re really good, you can combine all three and become a killing machine. It’s your choice how you want to fight.

The combat feels involved, visceral with heavy hits and dismemberment, strategic and enjoyable. There is never a dull moment, even if you’re fighting enemies much weaker than you. There is also a learning process involved where you will feel like you’re struggling at the start, but through mastering the things available to you, you suddenly become much more proficient at what you’re doing and then in turn, making everything more enjoyable.

 

A Whole Wide World for Witchers

The Witcher 3 went open-world, a departure from the moderately open-world but still quite linear approach of the previous games. And they went open-world in a big way. The world map is massive and the scale is almost overwhelming at first glance. There are quaint little towns scattered all over the place, swamp lands, green fields, battle zones and gigantic cities for you to get lost in. Open-world games get a bad rap these days thanks to their activities feeling hollow and nearly worthless to a player. However in The Witcher 3 everything feels worthwhile to do, simply because of the quality.

You can choose to stick with quests but you can also explore the landscape and find interesting things that way, and the world is chock-full of interesting things to see and do. There are monster caves, nests, guarded treasures, ravaged villages and a host of curiosities that you can stumble upon. Sometimes you even stumble across fully fledged stories. I have found myself simply exploring the world and an hour later I’m wrapped up in this interwoven and complex quest and this because I stumbled upon some random cave or overturned carriage. You can also stumble on a host of interesting creatures, some friendly and some not so much. Even after 60+ hours, I still found new enemies to fight or new creatures that I’ve never seen before. It makes you excited to explore and your time is never wasted, which is central to what makes The Witcher 3 so amazing.

The game has exceptional longevity. We are talking about 100+ hours in order to come remotely close to finishing everything the game has to offer. While you may think there is a lot of dead time between those hours, you would be mistaken. Everything you do is worthwhile. Even the travelling, which is often the most boring part of an open-world game, is made interesting thanks to the multitude of things you can do or end up doing as you’re travelling. The treasures you find contain valuable items for crafting or combat and even if you’re high level, the chests still hold value. There is no such thing as boredom in The Witcher 3. You’re constantly doing something.

There is a deep crafting and alchemy system with hundreds of different items and potions that you can make. You can race with your horse in order to get better gear for him. There are fight clubs in every major city to partake in. You can style Geralt with haircuts and his beard even grows dynamically. You can even pick flowers for potions if you so choose. Just a plethora of activities available to you and all of them worth your time.

The Witcher Contracts are an integral part of the game since Geralt is still a Witcher and Witchers are supposed to slay monsters for coin. You accept the contract from a notice board or out in the world somewhere and then go to task finding the monstrosity or investigating the carnage it has left. You often do this by using your Witcher Senses where Geralt focuses his senses to see things that an average human will never be able to see. Track prints, wound patterns, special smells and so on. By using this, you can piece together events and clues in order to arrive at a conclusion and then fight whatever monster you end up finding. These contracts are always different in some way, but most rely on the Witcher Senses mechanic. One might sometimes find the mechanic overused at times, but it can be justified since it’s the only way for Geralt to find monsters or clues and it’s not unpleasant to use at all. It’s often fascinating to see Geralt use his vast knowledge in order to deduce conclusions from clues.

Then you get Gwent. It’s a card game within the world that you can play through collecting cards from merchants or important people. And even that is damn well done. Bracken has already highlighted in detail why Gwent can be considered its own separate game. This just adds another layer of quality to an already stellar offering. Everything in the game is quality and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything whatsoever that is glaringly wrong. That doesn’t mean the game is absolutely perfect, of course.

The inventory system was probably the biggest thorn in our side throughout the whole game. There are no filtering options, it looks extremely cluttered, there’s little organization options and it’s just generally a mess. The inventory system could have been done a lot better, but this has been an issue since the first Witcher game. Still, it detracts from the experience when you have to wade through countless objects in order to get to the one you want or do not know what has the most weight or value. What’s sad is that it can be easily fixed and if we know CD Projekt Red, it probably will, but this shouldn’t be a problem to begin with. Added to that, the lack of a storage option can cause some frustration since you’re sometimes required to hold items for future upgrades, but before that happens you need to trudge along heavy equipment that weighs you down.

The other fault is the technical instability of the game. There are a multitude of glitches, visual glitches, geometry mess ups and pathfinding issues that can be found. Also, when you enter a big city through fast travel, it often takes a while for everything to load and some unwanted scenarios can spring up such as you not being able to talk to someone until they have finished loading and so forth. On PS4, there’s also the problem of an inconsistent framerate that often hits in more populated or busy areas. All of these issues, however, can be fixed through future patches and for a game this complex and on such a massive scale, we actually expected much worse. Considering the scope of the game, these issues are buried under what makes the game incredible. They’re hardly scratches on an otherwise colossal offering.

 

Simply the Best

The Witcher 3 is something spectacular. It has been a long time since a game of this calibre has graced us with its existence. The love and care that went into this game is something to aspire to and the quality has set a benchmark for future games to come. Through the combination of all the things the game does right, of which there is an overwhelming amount, we can safely say that this is one of the best games that has ever released in the history of gaming.

If you do not own it already, please go out and buy it. The game deserves every single piece of support it gets and will earn every penny you spend on it and it’s incredible value for money. CD Projekt Red have certainly outdone themselves on this one.

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There Will Be A Lords Of The Fallen 2, But Developed By Someone Else http://egmr.net/2015/06/there-will-be-a-lords-of-the-fallen-2-but-developed-by-someone-else/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/there-will-be-a-lords-of-the-fallen-2-but-developed-by-someone-else/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171611 Lords of the Fallen had the unfortunate fate of being a lot like Dark Souls. It’s one of those games that you believe is but a simple copy of another […]

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Lords of the Fallen had the unfortunate fate of being a lot like Dark Souls. It’s one of those games that you believe is but a simple copy of another game, but it still has heart and its own merits. While it certainly wasn’t perfect, it was still good and our review of the game says that as well. I have yet to play the game, but it’s on my list of stuff to check out when I have time again which would probably happen in 2025.

The game was actually a massive collaboration by multiple studios, but the head developer was Deck 13. The were in charge of overseeing the development and made sure everything was in order with the other studios. With that said, it seems Deck 13 will now fall away for the sequel while still being a collaborative effort. Marek Tyminski, CI Games CEO, had the following to say on the matter :

We are not working with Deck 13 right now. We are starting the project. We start from the concepting, but we definitely will be working with a lot of partners. We have spoken about certain things we could probably do after the release of Lords of the Fallen, but at the end of the day we came to the conclusion — both sides — that it won’t happen. And as far as I know, they have another project, and I wish them luck. We have very clear thinking on how we want to make Lords of the Fallen 2, and we have a very good idea.

So we know two things at least. That there will be a Lords of the Fallen 2 and that we’ll be getting a new game from Deck 13 that they will announce at E3. I don’t quite know what to feel about this since it’s not really a major sacrifice. I am interested to see what they will do with the sequel since they laid a fairly sturdy groundwork already and can possibly create something amazing with the second try.

We shall wait and see.

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Mortal Kombat X Delayed On Last Generation Consoles Again http://egmr.net/2015/05/mortal-kombat-x-delayed-on-last-generation-consoles-again/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/mortal-kombat-x-delayed-on-last-generation-consoles-again/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171404 It seems more and more games are going full current-gen after publishers and developers realised that crafting “next generation” games won’t work so well on decade old hardware anymore. Nevertheless, […]

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It seems more and more games are going full current-gen after publishers and developers realised that crafting “next generation” games won’t work so well on decade old hardware anymore.

Nevertheless, some are being stubborn and still releasing games on the old systems, but it’s taking its obvious toll. There’s  a lot of work that has to be done and a ton of optimization that needs to happen.

Mortal Kombat X is having some expected issues with porting the game over to previous generation systems. The ports were originally delayed to the 2nd of June, but now it seems that they will be delayed further closer to the end of the year.

GameStop removed the ports’ expected release date and then told Kotaku that the game won’t be available anymore on that date. There’s your confirmation right there. This has not been confirmed by Warner Brothers just yet, but you can probably assume that this is the truth.

Can this tell us something more? It’s my knowledge that Destiny on the previous generation consoles works decent enough, but had to take a massive graphical downgrade for obvious reasons. Last-gen games are on the way out, especially after we are now one and a half years into this generation already. And for Mortal Kombat X to take have such an extended delay on its port considering it released on the 14th of April already, can we now see that developers are seriously struggling trying to keep the old consoles alive?

It’s still a bit crummy to delay it a week before it was expected to release. Fans of the series and people that don’t own a current-gen console yet will be left in the dark. Some might have even pre-ordered (don’t pre-order, please. Here’s another reason why) and now they will be left with nothing.

So my question is, why even bother? If your port is going to take upwards of half a year to come out, then you gotta ask yourself if it’s worth the effort. Sure, it makes sense from a business standpoint since your game now has multiple platforms and in turn a larger player base, but then you have to also take into account the resources required to keep the project going that’s already struggling.

What do you think? Should previous-gen games not be a thing anymore? Do you still play on the previous-gen systems? Do you own a PC and want to chant “Master Race!” right now?

Mortal Kombat X released 14th of April on Xbox One, PS4 and PC (Master Race).

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Xbox Will Try And Make The Most Of 90 Minutes At E3 http://egmr.net/2015/05/xbox-will-try-and-make-the-most-of-90-minutes-at-e3/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/xbox-will-try-and-make-the-most-of-90-minutes-at-e3/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 15:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171293 I remember my first Microsoft conference. It was the second ever press conference that still featured Peter Moore and they tried to convince us that Sonic 2006 will be a […]

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I remember my first Microsoft conference. It was the second ever press conference that still featured Peter Moore and they tried to convince us that Sonic 2006 will be a good game and Moore had a tattoo of GTA IV that he probably regrets now, if it’s even real. The subsequent E3 conferences rose in quality, with more elaborate stages and presentations. The most tragic press event though was the Xbox One reveal. Holy crap was that agonizing to watch. Don Mattrick and his jacket are still seared into my brain and I can never hear the word “television” without cringing.

Last year’s E3 was actually rather impressive. Rather than focus on irrelevant TV nonsense and SPORTS, they focused purely on games. From start to finish, it was all games and that was exactly what we wanted so nobody can fault them for that. It gave Xbox owners and gamers from all over some comfort since the Xbox One’s status was in shambles following the glorious outcry from gamers following their “always-online” stunts.

This year though? It’s anyone’s guess. It’s Microsoft’s chance to swoop in and gain some serious ground with gamers. Following Sony’s victory with Bloodborne, making it a system seller, Microsoft really has to bring its A game, literally. The Xbox still needs its killer app and the exclusives that it already has were not enough to make the system a must-have. Following Microsoft’s plans to release most of their exclusives on to Windows too, one has to ask, what’s the point of owning an Xbox then?

Regardless, before I turn this article into a feature, the actual reason for this article is to say that the Xbox E3 conference will last for 90 minutes. That was it, see ya’ll later.

Alright, I guess you want some more. Even with an hour and a half at their disposal, Microsoft says that they are struggling to fit everything they have into that timeslot, so they have to lube up and cut some things in order to make sufficient space. You can look at that in one of two ways. One, it’s amazing that they have so much stuff that can’t even fit it all in or two, they are going to waste our time with stuff we don’t care about. I’m an optimist (no really) and would like to believe the former is true. Here are the tweets proving it:

Phil Spencer also mentioned that a brand new IP will be revealed this E3 as well as some hints that they will feature a lot more first party content.

E3 will happen on 16-18 of June. Prepare yourselves.

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Want More Of Yharnam? You’ll Get It http://egmr.net/2015/05/want-more-of-yharnam-youll-get-it/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/want-more-of-yharnam-youll-get-it/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 15:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171269 I’ve been fangirling quite hard about Bloodborne ever since it released and it has made an appearance in many of my articles. For one, because it’s just that good and […]

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I’ve been fangirling quite hard about Bloodborne ever since it released and it has made an appearance in many of my articles. For one, because it’s just that good and two, there’s nothing else to bloody well talk about anymore. Regardless, many have wondered whether or not we’ll see more of Bloodborne since the previous two Dark Souls both got substantial DLCs that expanded the games quite significantly.

More of this troubling Victorian era world would certainly be welcome and From Software aren’t crummy when it comes to their DLC practices. And now we get word from everyone’s favourite lovable Sony exec, Shuhei Yoshida, that Bloodborne will indeed feature an “expansion”. Don’t believe me? Well, our facts are pretty verifiable as you will now see:

And there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. Bloodborne will, in fact, receive an expansion possibly later this year (which would only be logical). To be honest, I’d totally buy this since I’d love to see more of Bloodborne’s mysterious, beautiful and fucked up world.

The wording of the announcement also can cause someone to speculate. It’s not “DLC”, it’s “expansion” and we all know expansion means a lot more than a simple DLC pack. Possibly a whole new world for us to explore? A giant area filled with all kinds of nasty? Time will tell.

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Abyssal Pixels: Favourite Settings And How They Influence Enjoyment http://egmr.net/2015/05/abyssal-pixels-favourite-settings-and-how-they-influence-enjoyment/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/abyssal-pixels-favourite-settings-and-how-they-influence-enjoyment/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 15:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170934 Games have the potential to take place wherever they want to. A fantasy setting with glowing blue trees, fairies floating around everywhere, a violet sun and floating islands? Sure, that […]

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Games have the potential to take place wherever they want to. A fantasy setting with glowing blue trees, fairies floating around everywhere, a violet sun and floating islands? Sure, that can probably work. The setting of a game is immensely important to the well-being and overall tone of a game. I wrote a feature a long time ago that claimed that a great setting can make a bad or mediocre game much better than it’s supposed to be. The argument was that while the gameplay might be boring or the mechanics don’t really work, at least you’re playing in a pleasant place.

We all have our favourite settings. Whether it be fantasy, futuristic, realistic or it’s related to a certain period within history. Personally, I like a lot of settings. The sci-fi setting that is used by games such as Mass Effect and Deus Ex Human Revolution make my heart filled with joy. The dark fantasy setting used by Dragon Age Inquisition and The Witcher series makes me fanboy all over my controller. But my personal favourite setting of all time is the Victorian era and also settings influenced by the Victorian era.

And now, much to my excitement, the Victorian setting is en vouge for games right now. The two first party exclusives that have released this year for PS4 were both Victorian inspired games, Bloodborne and The Order 1886. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is set in, you guessed it, Victorian times. But I’ve noticed something with the use of these settings on a personal level. I’ve ended up enjoying the games much more than I would otherwise.

The most important example is Bloodborne, a game that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy since I didn’t like the Souls series. But somehow, I ended up being enamored by this game and enjoyed it a million times more than Dark Souls. I wrote a column before detailing why and one of the reasons was the Victorian aesthetic that gave me a boost in enjoyment, but I never really emphasized just by how much it actually did.

You see, being in this Victorian inspired world filled me with wonder and a sort of “so good” mentality. What kept me going and fighting was that I could see more of this world that I fell so in love with. While the rewarding aspect and the drive to kill more bosses still helped, the setting was one of the central components to my enjoyment.

Then we get to The Order 1886, a game many found to be mediocre and lacking while I found it extremely enjoyable. Here we have a Victorian steampunk aesthetic with some of the most gorgeous visuals you can ever lay your eyes on. While most players went headfirst into battles and rushed through the game, I was walking around looking at stuff on tables and exploring every nook and cranny I could. Some of the criticisms against the game was that it was too slow and that there wasn’t much holding your attention. For me, the aesthetic held my attention. Even during the most boring parts of the game, the setting still entertained me.

Then we move to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. When the game was revealed, almost everyone was negative about it, mainly thanks to Ubisoft’s shenanigans. What was I thinking? “Holy crap, an Assassin’s Creed game in the Victorian setting? Sign me right up”. Why did I think this? Because Assassin’s Creed always explores the setting in great detail, even Unity. Besides maybe Black Flag, I was never really that interested in the settings that were used. I had no interest in the Renaissance, the 14th century, Constantinople or Revolutionary America. But I am greatly interested in the Victorian era and would love to play in an accurate representation of it.

I, of course, still hold my doubts about Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed and won’t pre-order the game if my life depended on it, but I’m more excited for AC Syndicate than I was for a lot of other Assassin’s Creeds purely because of the setting. My full hope is that the game isn’t a complete mess and that I can enjoy what I’ve wanted for forever in relative peace. But, of course, this is Ubisoft we’re talking about.

The thing is, however, that someone that doesn’t like the Victorian era wouldn’t give a flying shit about what I just said. I basically went on a fangirl spree about some old ass long-gone era that nobody should rightfully care about. But maybe that person is the same way about the sci-fi setting, enjoying games much more that use that setting just like I do with the Victorian era. It’s all subjective. But the nice thing is that we have so many options for the settings we like and there’s a load of great games in each.

So what about you? Does a specific setting make you enjoy your games more? Am I just spitting madness here?

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The Original DOOM 4 Concept Looked Like A Knock-Off Call Of Duty Clone http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-original-doom-4-concept-looked-like-a-knock-off-call-of-duty-clone/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-original-doom-4-concept-looked-like-a-knock-off-call-of-duty-clone/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 15:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171154 Doom was arguably the granddaddy of the FPS genre. Sure, Wolfenstein 3D introduced us, but Doom really turned it to 11 and showed us what shooting things in the face […]

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Doom was arguably the granddaddy of the FPS genre. Sure, Wolfenstein 3D introduced us, but Doom really turned it to 11 and showed us what shooting things in the face was all about. People were in love with the game and would violently attest to its greatness and the subsequent sequels pushed the bar further. Doom 2 was bigger and better and theDoom 3 dropped which scared the ever living hell out of people and was quite the significant game in gaming’s history.

But we haven’t heard from this prestigious franchise in quite a while. We do know that there is a new Doom game on the way from Bethesda, but there’s barely any media for it and details are scarce. One would assume it will be part of Bethesda’s E3 press conference and I would be very surprised if it isn’t. Regardless, before we knew about the new Doom game, there was Doom 4, which conceptualized after Doom 3, but was cancelled and ultimately never saw the light of day. Many were sad, but maybe it was for the better?

I say this because a video has emerged from Doom World that shows us what Doom 4 might have looked like. It’s a nice little peek into what could have been and what could have been would probably have been dreadful. You can watch the video below. WARNING: RIP Headphone Users. Or just mute the sound, it’s terrible. No idea what is going on.

As you can see, it looks like some off-brand Call of Duty knockoff with a hint of demons and a lot of brown. Yup, it looks like Doom 4 might have been a cookie-cutter generic cardboard cutout brown grey military shooter. Probably to capitalise from Call of Duty’s success with the modern warfare aesthetic, but in all honesty, it looked terrible. Good riddance, I say. If you don’t want to play into your own game’s strengths and just want to emulate someone else just because they were successful, you get no respect from me.

Let’s just hope the new Doom game will have none of this and will be a true “next-gen” Doom experience with the aesthetic and uniqueness that the series is known for. Don’t cock this up pls.

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Divinity Original Sin Gets An Enhanced Edition And Comes To Consoles http://egmr.net/2015/05/divinity-original-sin-gets-an-enhanced-edition-and-comes-to-consoles/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/divinity-original-sin-gets-an-enhanced-edition-and-comes-to-consoles/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 15:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171065 I like to call Divinity Original Sin a “screw you” game. It’s a game that doesn’t conform to the casualization and whims of the gaming industry and exists out of […]

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I like to call Divinity Original Sin a “screw you” game. It’s a game that doesn’t conform to the casualization and whims of the gaming industry and exists out of pure love and respect for gaming. It’s heralded as a return to the classic RPG where there’s millions of options, gigantic quests, a no bullshit skilltree and deep mechanics. The developers, Larian Studios, nailed it and we loved it and some of our team members even went a bit too far with it.

While I have not played the game, but I have been following it since its Kickstarter began and I have played the original Divinity games for a bit as well and enjoyed them. Fans express nothing but joy and love for the game and with good reason. It’s a “screw you” game, it deserves all the love it can get.

Now we have received word that more people will get the opportunity to experience the game thanks to Larian Studios announcing that they are going to release an Enhanced Edition of the game for both PC gamers and console gamers. The amazing thing that they’re doing for PC gamers is that the Enhanced Edition content will be a free download for anyone who has purchased the original.

They also didn’t mess around with this “remaster” by doing some proper remastering. There will be heavy changes to the story, a new ending and based on the fact that you have to have a DX11 graphics card and 64-bit operating system to run it on PC, it will receive some graphical updates as well. The Enhanced Edition will be a separate entity on its own so your vanilla saves won’t work.

The biggest news is probably that it’s coming to PS4 and Xbox One, consoles that have been starving for some excellent RPGs. Players, like myself, that don’t have the PC to run the original game will also now finally be able to play it. More will be announced during E3.

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Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 3 Won’t Happen This Year, But There May Be Something Else http://egmr.net/2015/05/telltales-walking-dead-season-3-wont-happen-this-year-but-there-may-be-something-else/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/telltales-walking-dead-season-3-wont-happen-this-year-but-there-may-be-something-else/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 15:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171020 Telltale’s The Walking Dead was one of those huge surprises in gaming’s history. When the first season released, it seemed like just a normal adventure game, but what it transpired […]

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Telltale’s The Walking Dead was one of those huge surprises in gaming’s history. When the first season released, it seemed like just a normal adventure game, but what it transpired into was something amazing. What we ended up getting is one of the best narratives of a generation and a game that has reduced grown people into tears of sadness. Season one was immensely strong and season two continued to be equally great.

Season two ended in a cliffhanger, even with its broad range of multiple endings. You could tell that this wasn’t the end of Clementine just yet and there’s still a lot that can be explored. I’m really interested how they will handle all of these multiple endings and how they will blend with a new season.

 

Fans of the series have eagerly awaited news of the third season, but now we got word that it won’t be happening this year, but we can expect something Walking Dead related this year. This is following a tweet made by Job Stauffer, PR director at Telltale.

So, what does this all mean? Obviously, we aren’t getting a season 3 in 2015, this much is established, but there is something “big” Walking Dead related. That’s as vague as a statement gets, but we can surely speculate. One theory is that we can get something that is akin to 400 Days, the transitional episode that followed five survivors that decided some events in Season 2. The other more sexy theory is that we get a completely different story, separated from Lee and Clementine’s story arc.

The problem with the first theory is that it doesn’t sound like “BIG” news like Stauffer is continuously reinforcing, but to be fair he is a director of PR so anything Telltale does is BIG. Stauffer has said that we will receive news soon so we can expect some answers.

Honestly, anything Telltale touches turns out to be great or at least better than average so anything they do excites me and other people.

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