#egmr » A-G http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:56:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Toast On Jam: Why Aren’t There More Good Superhero Games? http://egmr.net/2015/07/toast-on-jam-why-arent-there-more-good-superhero-games/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/toast-on-jam-why-arent-there-more-good-superhero-games/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 09:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173218 I’m a huge fan of comics, movies, TV series and games; as such the meteoric rise of comics in popular culture has been of particular interest to me with the […]

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I’m a huge fan of comics, movies, TV series and games; as such the meteoric rise of comics in popular culture has been of particular interest to me with the Marvel movies bringing much-loved characters and stories into public focus. People who are well-versed in these things are now go-to gurus for the newly-minted Guardians of the Galaxy fan who wants to know more while the films themselves have modernised and made cool the geeky passion of reading comics.

Superheroes are everywhere and while it’s beginning to feel almost oppressive, with Hollywood’s release schedule chock full of wares from Marvel and DC for the next few years, we can at least confidently say this trend is not going away anytime soon.

Another, entirely separate, practice that is on the rise is taking an intellectual property or creative work and blowing it up across multiple media. This is nothing new, not even remotely. Rather the breadth of media along which this can be applied is far wider than before.

As far back as 1960 and earlier films were being based off of books. Today the film adaptation would get its own book, mobile game, merchandise, comic and maybe even a radio drama. Just kidding, nobody reads comics anymore.

More and more we’re seeing creative works being brought into a new medium, not as a cash-grab but as an extension and expansion of the original fictional universe.

There’s a big difference between the Spider-Man 3 tie-in novel written by a toddler, the video game developed by a team of monkeys and the movie made by madmen versus the various versions of The Walking Dead.

It’s not uncommon for games to get a tie-in comic series these days with some turning out to be surprisingly good such as Injustice: Gods Among Us. Here the comics actually surpassed the game. Another great example is Fargo where the TV series is a great spiritual successor to the original film. Similarly there are plenty of games getting the cinematic treatment but strangely we don’t see all that many games getting in an attempt to expand a certain film or comic series’ universe.

While the likes of Star Wars is certainly getting the right treatment with an animated series, new movie trilogy and at least two games on the way, there’s a very loud echoing chasm in the gaming sector where superhero franchises should be.

Batman punched a shark once but imagine what would happen if Aquaman was controlling that shark?

Batman punched a shark once but imagine what would happen if Aquaman was controlling that shark

Before we go any further let me make it very clear that I am wholly opposed to saturation, it’s one of the reasons I’ve taken a step back from the Marvel/DC/Fox unstoppable zeppelin made of spandex and green screen. That said, I am simultaneously very much in favour of expanding universes, exploring new avenues and finding new ways to explore familiar characters.

My point is, after a rather meandering and needlessly wordy preamble, that gaming is oddly removed from the current pop culture climate. Now, gaming has generally gone about its own business but is hardly ever isolated from what film, comics and TV are doing. When every series seemed to need a sci-fi element in an otherwise normal setting so did gaming, when Hollywood was chomping away at zombies so was gaming. So while Hollywood rides the silken capes of superheroes, where is gaming in all this?

There’s been no shortage of superhero games; from Superman on Nintendo 64 to Spider-Man on PS One to Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Deadpool. The catch is that these games are at worst utterly awful and at best surprisingly decent. Rarely ever good and almost never great.

Batman changed that with the excellent Arkham trilogy (sorry, Arkham Origins, but you’re not worth the effort of a quadrilogy). It proved that as long as you’re not out to make a game that cashes in on a recently released film it is in fact possible to produce a great video game based off of a superhero.

Statistically, it would be absurd to expect them all to be great but superhero games have a k/d ratio far worse than most other subgenres and what’s worse is that they have a massive headstart with most characters having decades of source material to draw from. One of the hardest parts of making a game, aside from all that coding and animating and testing, is crafting the characters. That job is done for the developers here. Hell, even the core gameplay is roughly shaped out with the character’s abilities and traits.

This could be a real arrow to the knee for Farming Simulator.

This could be a real arrow to the knee for Farming Simulator.

There is a real gap here that nobody seems to be filling. Of course, we’ve seen the likes of inFamous and Prototype, Watch_Dogs even as explorations into the world of herosim, vigilantism and people with powers in the classic comic book sense.

The closest we’ve come as far as Marvel goes though is Deadpool which is great in comics, may finally get the movie he deserves and got a game that was surprisingly decent. Marvel and DC seem happy enough to let Traveler’s Tales handle the business of putting their characters into games with the LEGO games. Aside from that we’ve had an endless stream of mediocre Spider-Man games while DC started beta testing the raw concept for Batman v Superman pretty early with Injustice: Gods Among Us (DC vs Mortal Kombat before that).

Just about any of the major characters would be the basis for a great video game. Especially with X-Men coming back from the dead and the various superhero TV series making certain lesser-known characters all the more popular and marketable.

Even from a business perspective the lack of superhero mining is baffling. Publishers are eager to establish a franchise that can churn out a sequel every few years, new IPs are risky though so we end up with lots and lots of sequels to games that should not be getting sequels. Let those die and pick a hero, any hero. A villain even! The established fanbase mitigates some of the risk associated with establishing a new video game IP while the wealth of source material ensures that there’s at least something to go to for sequels. Nobody wants to see a Dead Island sequel or a Watch_Dogs sequel.

As I understand it, DC’s video game rights are held by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment while Marvel’s are largely with Activision despite some iffy uncertainty. These are two huge publishers who can readily recruit any number of quality developers from its respective pool.

There is simply no reason why the high profile of superheroes should not be proliferated within the gaming sphere. It makes sense for gamers, for publishers and most of all for Marvel and DC who are finding it hard to sell the comics themselves.

We’ve seen enough of Batman in recent years, turn the lights on and let’s see what other heroes can bring to the table.

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Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Has A Ton Of “Revolutionary” New Features That You Definitely Haven’t Seen Elsewhere http://egmr.net/2015/07/assassins-creed-syndicate-has-a-ton-of-revolutionary-new-features-that-you-definitely-havent-seen-elsewhere/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/assassins-creed-syndicate-has-a-ton-of-revolutionary-new-features-that-you-definitely-havent-seen-elsewhere/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173277 Assassin’s Creed has a bad history of existing in its own sad black box, utterly oblivious to what’s going on in the industry around it. It was this magical thinking […]

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Assassin’s Creed has a bad history of existing in its own sad black box, utterly oblivious to what’s going on in the industry around it. It was this magical thinking that made Ubisoft an utter riot to listen to as it lauded Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s innovative “black box” mission structure, something that games such as Hitman: Blood Money did far better before the first Assassin’s Creed even released.

Ubisoft is like the fool in A Midsummer Night’s Dream whose dialogue is loaded with malapropisms. They simply don’t understand what words like iconic or innovative or no mean. Gladly, we get to see them fumble all over again with Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate albeit more self-consciously.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is all about the Industrial Revolution but sadly seems to skip out on the Steampunk opportunity. Instead it’s all about gangs, Cockney blokes and lasses, horse murder (equestracide?) and carriage hijacking. It even involves something as fresh and exciting as zip-lining, something entirely new to the Assassin’s Creed series (if you ignore AC: Revelations).

There’s just about nothing new in the video above but a good deal of it is new to the series for what it’s worth. Have fun.

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Dark Souls 3 Is Taking Bloodborne’s Combat And Speeding It Up http://egmr.net/2015/07/dark-souls-3-is-taking-bloodbornes-combat-and-speeding-it-up/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/dark-souls-3-is-taking-bloodbornes-combat-and-speeding-it-up/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:30:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173204 Bloodborne shook the trusted Dark Souls combat up by making it more aggressive, proactive instead of reactive. It also upped the tempo of the combat. While Dark Souls and Bloodborne […]

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Bloodborne shook the trusted Dark Souls combat up by making it more aggressive, proactive instead of reactive. It also upped the tempo of the combat. While Dark Souls and Bloodborne are completely different entities they share a spiritual connection in their style and gameplay.

As such the recently announced Dark Souls 3 will take those gameplay improvements and look to adapt them to the Dark Souls world.

In an effort to shake up the accepted brand of masochism, From Software is looking to make further tweaks towards faster and more fluid gameplay.

Dark Souls 2 is about patience and how much punishment you can withstand whereas Bloodborne is more about staving off punishment by outwitting your foe. Or something like that.

The latest issue of Edge Magazine features a breakdown of what’s new in Dark Souls III.

There are traces of Bloodborne in the combat, too. While the new hero is no Hunter, he certainly seems more agile than before. The backstep in particular has been sped up, and a longsword is swung more quickly too, with no apparent damage penalty (though enemy health bars – along with the entire HUD – have been disabled here, just as they were at last year’s Bloodborne unveiling).

That increased fluidity is mirrored in the weapon set as well; we find a scimitar on a corpse later in the demo that is, in fact, a pair, and when dual-wielding them, the protagonist strikes with a level of grace and speed unmatched in previous Souls games. They can also be deployed in a spin attack, a tornado of flashing steel that, when properly timed to account for its wind-up animation and correctly spaced to allow for the step forward at the start, can clear a four-strong mob of enemies.

That move – the logically, if rather unimaginatively, titled Spin – is powered by a new core mechanic, dubbed Ready Stance. It’s a pose you can enter from which new types of attacks are launched. With a longsword equipped, for instance, the resulting attack is a forward-moving swipe that hits with enough force to break through an opponent’s guard; later, we’ll use a greatsword for a charging upward slash that launches an enemy into the air, slams then back to the ground and deals enormous damage in the process.

Not all the changes are about hitting hard: the shortbow can now be used to speedily chip away at an enemy’s health from mid-range while locked on (adherents to a rangier, more precise school of archery can stick to the longbow). Overall, there’s been a clear focus on improving the range of attacks at your disposal, and the damage you can dish out.

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Batman: Arkham Knight Is Revolutionising The Way Games Get Fixed http://egmr.net/2015/07/batman-arkham-knight-is-revolutionising-the-way-games-get-fixed/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/batman-arkham-knight-is-revolutionising-the-way-games-get-fixed/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173203 It’s not uncommon for a game to need fixing post-release. It’s actually become depressingly common, almost as though it’s rite of passage. Your game isn’t truly triple-A until it requires […]

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It’s not uncommon for a game to need fixing post-release. It’s actually become depressingly common, almost as though it’s rite of passage. Your game isn’t truly triple-A until it requires a hefty bit of patching.

Batman: Arkham Knight is still waiting for said life-changing patch to come on PC with the update only due in August at the earliest and even then it’s hopeful to assume the game will be fully functional on PC by then. Don’t fret though. Warner Bros, Rocksteady and Iron Galaxies (who worked on the PC port) have a fantastic and revolutionary way in which to help PC players till then.

This revolutionary approach to patching games comes in the form of an “interim patch.”

Rather than taking the AC: Unity route where Ubisoft released around six patches before the game stopped producing nightmarish glitches with each one supposed to be the last one, Arkham Knight has a more measured approach.

WB and Rocksteady won’t release patch after patch but have opted to release one patch to rule them all at least two months after the game’s initial release.

In the meantime an “interim patch” will be released.

“The update for existing players will be released in August,” reads the Steam forum post. “This update will address many of the issues we listed in our June 27 update. We will provide additional details as we finalize that interim patch over the coming weeks.

“We would like to thank you for your continued patience and invaluable feedback. We are continuing to monitor and listen for any additional issues and are driving towards a full update for everyone as quickly as we possibly can.”

There you have it, folks. We’re now getting patches between patches. God bless this wonderful industry.

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Fallout Shelter Has Already Raked In More Than Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter http://egmr.net/2015/07/fallout-shelter-has-already-raked-in-more-than-shenmue-3s-kickstarter/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/fallout-shelter-has-already-raked-in-more-than-shenmue-3s-kickstarter/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 08:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173190 A Kickstarter campaign and the sales earnings for a mobile game are very different things which have no relevance in being compared and quite frankly, there’s nothing to be gained […]

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A Kickstarter campaign and the sales earnings for a mobile game are very different things which have no relevance in being compared and quite frankly, there’s nothing to be gained from it. Well aside from constructing an attention-grabbing headline.

Yesterday Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter was at around $5 million after nearly a month and funnily enough Fallout Shelter has made $5.1 million in its first two weeks on sale with the game yet to release on Android.

Fallout Shelter is Bethesda’s first crack at a mobile game and seems to have been an instant success according to the latest report from SuperData.

There was other good news for Bethesda’s console version of The Elder Scrolls Online sold 138,000 digital copies during its release month of June. SuperData said sales of the MMO were enough to “temporarily buoy the contracting pay-to-play MMO market” by 7% year-over-year to $50 million.

Fallout Shelter should release on Android systems within the next month or so with no signs of the game’s popularity losing momentum. What looked like a throwaway supplementary app from the outset has fast become a phenomenon unto itself.

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Shenmue 3 Is Already Losing Steam With Its Kickstarter Falling Way Short Of The Creator’s Target http://egmr.net/2015/07/shenmue-3-is-already-losing-steam-with-its-kickstarter-falling-way-short-of-the-creators-target/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/shenmue-3-is-already-losing-steam-with-its-kickstarter-falling-way-short-of-the-creators-target/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:30:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173163 Shenmue 3 was hailed as one of the reasons for Sony blowing the world’s hivemind at E3 this year. While we disagree you can’t exactly blame folks given the pedigree […]

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Shenmue 3 was hailed as one of the reasons for Sony blowing the world’s hivemind at E3 this year. While we disagree you can’t exactly blame folks given the pedigree of the series. That said, the game is only in the funding phase with a Kickstarter to gauge interest in addition to providing creator Yu Suzuki with funds to build something that he can show to Sony.

Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter reached its goal in record time, just a few days into its campaign with the project reaching $1 million faster than just about anything ever put up on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter has slowed down though and may not come close to hitting the figure that Yu Suzuki quoted as needing to realise his vision.

With less than 48 hours to go, the kitty is sitting at $5 million. The rather low $2 million goal ensures that Suzuki will receive his money but the current amount still falls well short of the $10 million that Suzuki stated he needed in order to bring his vision for the game to life. That said, by hitting $5 million, backers have guaranteed Suzuki can introduce “an all new gameplay feature” Suzuki said he “would be excited to be able to add to the Shenmue legacy”.

It remains to be seen what Suzuki will be able to cook up with this money but it hardly seems enough to build a full game. Sony has confirmed its involvement in the PS4 version and marketing for the game which has been confirmed for PS4 and PC. There are also reports of undisclosed third-party funders contributing to Shenmue 3.

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It’s Going To Be A Shockingly Long Time Before Arkham Knight Is Fixed On PC http://egmr.net/2015/07/its-going-to-be-a-shockingly-long-time-before-arkham-knight-is-fixed-on-pc/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/its-going-to-be-a-shockingly-long-time-before-arkham-knight-is-fixed-on-pc/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173162 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment screwed up colossally with Batman: Arkham Knight. On consoles the game is technically sublime, a benchmark in what owners want from these consoles. Conversely the PC […]

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment screwed up colossally with Batman: Arkham Knight. On consoles the game is technically sublime, a benchmark in what owners want from these consoles. Conversely the PC version is a pitiful and broken thing.

Now, it’s already been revealed that WB not only outsourced development of the PC port to Iron Galaxies but that an extremely small team worked on the port with an even smaller team performing QA testing. This is publisher’s flagship release for the year and yet WB cut such significant corners during development. It’s now been revealed that it’s going to be a few months still before Arkham Knight is in proper order on PC.

Arkham Knight on PC is in such a shocking state on PC that online sales have been halted with plenty of retailers around the world following suit. As short-sighted business decisions go, this one certainly earned WB a lot more trouble than it was worth.

In an internal email obtained by Kotaku, Australian retailer EB Games said that Warner Bros had told the company not to expect an update until spring which is September (at the earliest) down here in the southern hemisphere.

“We have stopped sales of Batman: Arkham Knight PC while Warner and Rocksteady work on addressing performance issues with the game. The latest information from Warner is that the updates won’t be available until spring,” the retailer told its staff.

Subsequently EB Games has reportedly opted to return stock of the game back to Warner Bros.

Arkham Knight is one of the biggest releases of the year and despite releasing early on in the year, PC players will likely only get a chance to play it when all the other major titles are releasing. This could likely have been avoided by rigorous QA testing and taking heed of the faults and bugs logged by the QA team at Iron Galaxies. Alas, WB opted to ignore it all and now the situation is catastrophically bad.

Each week that goes by with Arkham Knight still being broken deals a further blow to the game’s reputation and to Warner Bros. itself. The issues have mired what is an excellent conclusion to the Arkham trilogy and the final act will now be remembered as a broken embarrassment. The damage has already been done and by the time the game is actually fixed on PC it’s going to be far too late to regain any face.

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Sega Gets Desperate And Uses Shia LaBeouf To Sell Sonic Generations http://egmr.net/2015/07/sega-gets-desperate-and-uses-shia-labeouf-to-sell-sonic-generations/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/sega-gets-desperate-and-uses-shia-labeouf-to-sell-sonic-generations/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 08:30:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173149 Shia LaBeouf, the once awkward human star of the Transformers franchise, has transcended the mortal realms and become some sort of immortal internet gremlin who makes dreams come true through […]

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Shia LaBeouf, the once awkward human star of the Transformers franchise, has transcended the mortal realms and become some sort of immortal internet gremlin who makes dreams come true through the oscillation of crystals.

Sega, being a desperate shell of its former self, has turned to other people’s ideas as a last resort to sell Sonic Generations ie a game that nobody cares about.

The best way to make folks take note of an irrelevant game, not to mention an irrelevant series, is to hop on the coat tails of a runaway internet sensation of absurdity.

“We’ve just released a new (fictional) DLC for Sonic Generations that adds actual cannibal Shia Lebouf into one of the game’s final cutscenes,” Sega claimed in its YouTube notes.

Kudos to Sega’s marketing team, they just made the world remember that Sonic Generations exists with minimal effort. On the plus side, it’s utterly hilarious.

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Deep Silver Dumps Dead Island 2 And Spec Ops Developer http://egmr.net/2015/07/deep-silver-dumps-dead-island-2-and-spec-ops-developer/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/deep-silver-dumps-dead-island-2-and-spec-ops-developer/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 08:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173148 Spec Ops: The Line is one of the biggest shake ups the shooter scene has had in a number of years with its harrowing Heart of Darkness-inspired narrative. Developer Yager’s […]

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Spec Ops: The Line is one of the biggest shake ups the shooter scene has had in a number of years with its harrowing Heart of Darkness-inspired narrative. Developer Yager’s next game was set to be Dead Island 2 but publisher Deep Silver had other ideas.

We’ve seen nothing of Dead Island 2 since it’s live-action trailer but the game is already seeing production shake ups.

In a rather curt statement, Deep Silver announced on Twitter that it had dumped Yager but development on Dead Island 2 will continue.

With Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has always been dedicated to delivering the sequel that Dead Island fans deserve.

After careful consideration, today we announce the decision to part ways with development partner YAGER.

We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage.

Yager was previously working on a spaceship MMO titled Dreadnought before being picked up by Deep Silver to handle Dead island 2. It’s possible the developer may go back to working on that game once it secures a new publisher. Yager may end up back with 2K, who published Spec Ops: The Line.

As for Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has yet to announce a new developer for the title but may fall back on original Dead Island developer Techland.

It appears as though Yager was delivering the sort of game that Deep Silver wanted and that their work wasn’t up to snuff.

More likely though is that Dead Island 2 was exceeding the original game’s mediocre standards and may have subsequently alienated whatever fans the series has. Either that or Yager weighed the game down with existential psychological themes.

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Get All The Tomb Raider You Could Possibly Want In This Week’s Deals With Gold http://egmr.net/2015/07/get-all-the-tomb-raider-you-could-possibly-want-in-this-weeks-deals-with-gold/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/get-all-the-tomb-raider-you-could-possibly-want-in-this-weeks-deals-with-gold/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 08:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173129 The weekly Deals with Gold are hit and miss. Sometimes they’re great and sometimes the discounted games aren’t even worth the reduced prices. Luckily this week’s Deals with Gold is […]

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The weekly Deals with Gold are hit and miss. Sometimes they’re great and sometimes the discounted games aren’t even worth the reduced prices. Luckily this week’s Deals with Gold is rather great.

They’re mostly a bunch of games from Square Enix and 2K with a good number of them being absolutely great titles to buy.

The Xbox One deals:

  • Murdered: Soul Suspect – 60%
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – 67%
  • R.B.I. Baseball 15 – 50%

 
The Xbox 360 deals:

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – 75%
  • Tomb Raider: Legend – 75%
  • Tomb Raider Underworld – 75%
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary – 75%
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – 75%
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect – 65%
  • Spec Ops: The Line – 75%
  • Duke Nukem Forever – 75%
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown – 75%
  • BioShock Infinite Season Pass – 50%
  • Risen 3 Titan Lords – 66%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike: Pack 1 – 25%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Escalation: Pack 2 – 25%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Annihilation: Pack 3 – 25%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Rezurrection: Pack 4 – 25%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Season Pass – 25%

If I were you I’d hop on Deus Ex, Spec Ops and XCOM. If you haven’t played it yet then BioShock Infinite’s Burial at Sea DLC is most certainly worth getting the season pass for.

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The New Deus Ex Series May One Day Overtake And Remake The Original Games http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-new-deus-ex-series-may-one-day-overtake-and-remake-the-original-games/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-new-deus-ex-series-may-one-day-overtake-and-remake-the-original-games/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 07:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173128 Long before Deus Ex: Human Revolution gave us an amazing cyberpunk experience there came the original two Deus Ex games which are still regarded as classics. While Human Revolution is […]

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Long before Deus Ex: Human Revolution gave us an amazing cyberpunk experience there came the original two Deus Ex games which are still regarded as classics. While Human Revolution is set in 2027, the original Deus Ex is set 25 years after that in a far more dystopian world.

With Deus Ex: Mankind Divided set several years after Human Revolution and already turning the world dystopian as augmented humans are segregated and treated as dangerous abominations it’s natural to wonder whether the new and old will meet. According to the developers that is quite likely.

Speaking in the latest issue of OXM, executive art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête discussed the legacy of the original games and tying the new and old together in a cohesive manner.

“I think we could totally connect our games exactly to how the first Deus ex went,” he says. “I think so. it just makes sense. Because you see in the first one, the stage is already set. Gunther and Anna, they’re relics, mechanically augmented, and there are tons of jokes about that in the game – ‘rusty old toasters’, ‘tin cans’ – because the new augmented people are [genetically enhanced] guys like JC Denton and Walton Simons. so the stage is all set.”

Of course, seamlessly meeting in the middle wouldn’t be entirely possible without making a few changes here and there to facilitate the merger and integrate the narratives and continuity.

“There are things we’d need to change because the game was obviously designed in 1998, 1999, so there’s a lot of stuff where the televisions are still a 4:3 ratio, the phones all have lines, there are no real cellphones. Obviously these are things we wouldn’t repeat if we had to redo the first game. But the story itself, the core of what it’s all about – perfectly fine.”

Whether Square Enix and Eidos decide to simply meet up with the original games or remake them remains to be seen and there’s still, chronologically, plenty of ground to cover before that happens. With Eidos showing no sign of stopping though, a collision with Deus Ex 1998 is inevitable.

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Heroes Reborn Gets An Awesome Extended Trailer Plus Two Games Full Of Telekinesis http://egmr.net/2015/07/heroes-reborn-gets-an-awesome-extended-trailer-plus-two-games-full-of-telekinesis/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/heroes-reborn-gets-an-awesome-extended-trailer-plus-two-games-full-of-telekinesis/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 08:30:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173102 Heroes used to be one of the best, most intriguing shows on TV until it jumped the shark, lost the plot and ultimately got put down. However, the series is […]

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Heroes used to be one of the best, most intriguing shows on TV until it jumped the shark, lost the plot and ultimately got put down. However, the series is back with Heroes Reborn with its original network, NBC, but on a more condensed timeline and a hugely promising premise.

Heroes Reborn takes place several years after the events of Heroes season 4 and all the mutants evolved humans are being hunted and as a result have to hide. Noah Bennett from the original series is called in to help these fugitives with original series charcaters such as Micah, Mohinder, Matt, Angela and Hiro making a return.

The trailer up top oozes an X-Men vibe where the evolved humans are treated with disdain and fear, they’re hated by society.It also alludes to some of the characters actually living up to becoming heroes instead of just, you know, saving cheerleaders.

That music just fills you with a heap of nostalgia, doesn’t it?

To complement the series will be two games not based on Heroes Reborn but rather set in the Heroes Universe. They’re titled Heroes Reborn: Gemini and Enigma with the former being for consoles and PC while the latter is for mobile devices.

There are scant details on the games other than what you can see in the trailer above but it’s clear that the games will feature a first-person perspective and plenty of cool abilities. How that translates into meaningful and functional gameplay remains to be seen.

The games will run on Unreal Engine 4 and are being developed by Imperative Entertainment and Phosphor Game Studios respectively. The former is run by Heroes creator Tim Kring while the latter has a reputation for mediocre mobile games. With neither studio having any pedigree there isn’t much hope of these games being anything to write home about but we’re always happy to be proven wrong.

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Microsoft Back Out Of TGS 2015, Is Xbox Dead In Japan? http://egmr.net/2015/07/microsoft-back-out-of-tgs-2015-is-xbox-dead-in-japan/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/microsoft-back-out-of-tgs-2015-is-xbox-dead-in-japan/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 08:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173101 It’s been a tough comeback for the Xbox One ever since that disastrous conference during E3 2013. Microsoft has had to work extremely hard to win back support and interest […]

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It’s been a tough comeback for the Xbox One ever since that disastrous conference during E3 2013. Microsoft has had to work extremely hard to win back support and interest from gamers while still trying to hold the Xbox One up as more than just a gaming console.

Despite some very good work and huge strides, the console is still struggling to keep up with the PS4 which has market dominance in just about every region. It seems that the situation may be bad enough for Microsoft to forsake some regions entirely.

It was unthinkable that the PS4 would release in countries such as South Africa before hitting stores in its native Japan but that was the case and Xbox sought to capitalise on the situation with the Xbox One hitting Japan ahead of the PS4. Despite this Xbox One sales have been abysmal in Japan and the consoles are gathering dust in Japanese stores.

It comes as hardly a surprise then that Microsoft has opted to not appear at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. There are around three major events on the gaming calendar for developers and publishers – E3, Gamescom and TGS. They quite clearly represent the American, European and Asian markets and while Microsoft can reclaim market share in the former two the Asian market is something of a lost cause for Xbox One.

Shirking TGS is then money saved and it’s already been made clear that Microsoft has saved some its exclusive titles for Gamescom. With Sony announcing Shenmue 3, The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy VII Remake as all being in development during its E3 conference, the Japanese community is perhaps on its side more than ever.

According to Microsoft Japan’s Masayuki Inoue, the firm will instead “deliver the latest Xbox news to fans and media” in another manner, he told Famitsu.

“We will provide an update as soon as we can,” he said.

Has Microsoft given up on reclaiming market share in the Asian regions or is there more at play here?

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San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Is Here, What’s Got Your Inner Geek Fizzing? http://egmr.net/2015/07/san-diego-comic-con-2015-is-here-whats-got-your-inner-geek-fizzing/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/san-diego-comic-con-2015-is-here-whats-got-your-inner-geek-fizzing/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:30:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173062 The San Diego Comic-Con is the one that everyone in gaming, film and sometimes even comics gets hyped for. Over the past few years it’s become less about the comics […]

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The San Diego Comic-Con is the one that everyone in gaming, film and sometimes even comics gets hyped for. Over the past few years it’s become less about the comics and more about morphing into a frantic menagerie of all things geek.

This year there’s a wide variety of exciting things on show and yet one of the things that has me most excited is the unveiling of statues and figurines that I will likely never buy. Why am I like this?

For you more normal folk out there, there’s plenty to gawk at (and that’s excluding the excellent, non-sexy, cosplay on show).

On the film front you can bet that Marvel is going to tease some details on Captain America: Civil War and possibly put some focus on Ant-Man but for the most part Marvel’s presence will be low-key as parent company Disney will be pushing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with all its got. Marvel Comics on the other hand will likely be talking about the future of its streamlined universe.

DC on the other hand will be hyping up its TV universe with Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl set to start up in due time. One of the big top attractions of the entire Comic-con though is Batman v Superman. DC and Warner Bros has a massive display of Batman, Wonder Woman and Henry Cavill’s costumes as well as Batman’s various awesome gadgets. Rumours suggest Ben Affleck is camped out in an exhibition hall basement and will rise on the final day of Comic-con.

There’s a whole host of films looking to impress attendees but Fox will be giving all its got with X-Men: Apocalypse, Fantastic Four and Deadpool. With any luck we’ll see at least a trailer for Deadpool. The smart thing to do would be to bundle said trailer with Fantastic Four to at least provide incentive for people to watch it. Also, a sequence with Miles Teller’s Reed Richards thrashing around on multiple drum sets with ease would not go unappreciated.

The internet is ablaze with Comic-con fever and I think I’v caught it. It’s hard to argue that all those statues are not simply works of art.

What’s got your attention at Comic-con?

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Black Ops 3 Versus Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – Which Collector’s Edition Is Best? http://egmr.net/2015/07/black-ops-3-versus-mirrors-edge-catalyst-which-collectors-edition-is-best/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/black-ops-3-versus-mirrors-edge-catalyst-which-collectors-edition-is-best/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173063 Collector’s Editions are for fans, for those who want a tangible and oft overpriced memento to remember the game by. Of course, if the game is awful then you’ve wasted […]

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Collector’s Editions are for fans, for those who want a tangible and oft overpriced memento to remember the game by. Of course, if the game is awful then you’ve wasted your money and should burn/sell it like one would any remnants of a toxic romance. Fortunately Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst don’t look to be the type of games that will inspire instant regret for dropping huge amounts of cash on them.

Call of Duty has had increasingly obscene and outrageous collector’s editions in recent years and Black Ops 3 is no different. It comes with all the usual fluff and trinkets in addition to an actual working fridge. Please note: the fridge is not rated to withstand nuclear blasts. Conversely Mirrors’ Edge Catalyst has a less bonkers and more traditional collector’s edition except for the part where it includes a little girl and tattoos. Take a look at both down below and sound off on which one tickles your fancy.

The mammoth Black Ops 3 Juggernog Collector’s Edition comes with an actual working mini-fridge. If you’ve been in the market for a fridge to keep your blood/energy drinks/women then now is the time to get one. Below is a list of everything including in the Juggernog edition.

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JUGGERNOG MINI-FRIDGE – Store beverages in a fully functional Juggernog themed mini-fridge – modeled after the in-game Perk-a-Cola machine. The Juggernog mini-fridge features light and audio straight from the game. This mini-fridge holds up to (12) 12oz cans ensuring you will always have a cold perk nearby.

PERK-A-COLA COASTER SET WITH CUSTOM TIN – Get a set of coasters featuring Juggernog Soda, Revive! Soda, Speed Cola Soda, and Double Tab Root Beer emblems from Call of Duty: Black Ops III Zombies. The set includes a custom tin for storing your coasters.

SEASON PASS – The Call of Duty: Black Ops III Season Pass is your access to four exciting DLC packs.
LIMITED EDITION SPECIALIST CONCEPT ART CARDS – Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer introduces the new Specialist character system, allowing players to choose from 9 elite black operations soldiers – each with their own look, personality, and voice. Each Specialist is featured on their own art card that includes exclusive concept art, biography, and a description of their unique weapon and ability.

THE GIANT BONUS MAP – Zombies returns in all of its undead glory with “The Giant,” a Nazi research facility featuring the weapon-upgrading Pack-a-Punch Machine. Re-live the chaos of Treyarch’s classic “Der Riese” Zombies map, picking up the Zombies story with Dempsey, Nikolai, Richtofen, and Takeo where Origins left off.

COLLECTIBLE STEELBOOK – Limited edition steel game case featuring an exclusive design.

OFFICIAL CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III SOUNDTRACK – Upgrade your playlist with a digital copy of the in-game score.

IN-GAME BONUS CONTENT: WEAPONIZED 115 – The Weaponized 115 Personalization Pack brings the popular Zombies theme to your favorite Multiplayer weapon. Customize your weapons with the fan favorite Origins-inspired camo, reticle, and animated calling card.

IN-GAME BONUS CONTENT: CYBORG – The fan favorite Cyborg Personalization Pack returns in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, fully-loaded with an electrotech-themed weapon skin, uniquely-shaped reticle, and a calling card.

IN-GAME BONUS CONTENT: BLACK OPS 3 BONUS PACK – Join the battle with the official Black Ops III personalization pack. Pack includes a custom weapon camo, reticle, and calling card.

The Mirror’s Edge Catalyst collector’s edition pales in comparison. It’s got far less insanity bundled in but also comes with a diorama of adult Faith side by side with kid Faith (it’s safe to assume Faith’s childhood will figure into the story) in addition to temporary tattoos. The tattoos are… baffling. I haven’t worn any since I was a kid and they wear off very quickly so maybe the best thing to do is slap across your console or PC or dildo?

ME-Catalyst-LE-Ann-ds1-670x377-constrain

Adult Faith/Young Faith diorama
Exclusive Steel book
Exclusive lithograph
Set of 10 concept pieces
Temporary logo tattoo
Temporary Faith arm tattoo
Storage box

The Mirror’s Edge Catalyst collector’s edition will fetch for $200 while the Black Ops 3 Juggernog edition is currently unpriced although you can use your imagination based on the price of a simple collector’s edition like the Catalyst one.

That fridge though.

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Is MGS V: The Phantom Pain The Latest Culprit Of Graphical Downgrades? http://egmr.net/2015/07/is-mgs-v-the-phantom-pain-the-latest-culprit-of-graphical-downgrades/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/is-mgs-v-the-phantom-pain-the-latest-culprit-of-graphical-downgrades/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:30:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173043 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks great, even its preposterous paid demo, Ground Zeroes, looked excellent. The Metal Gear Solid franchise has always looked great for its time […]

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks great, even its preposterous paid demo, Ground Zeroes, looked excellent. The Metal Gear Solid franchise has always looked great for its time and The Phantom Pain seems to be no different with a stunning open-world.

We’ve seen plenty of The Phantom Pain in the weeks since E3 with lengthy gameplay videos. This has got some viewers accusing Kojima Productions of the now industry-wide graphical downgrades. Notably in the shadows, textures, and “sallow” colours.

Responding to questions and comments on Twitter, producer Ken-ichiro Imaizumi addressed these accusations directly and stated that such changes would not be made so late in the game’s production, they would have far sooner.

It is also worth noting that the folks in the graphical downgrade camp appear to be a vocal minority and some users even think the new gameplay looks better, especially in terms of the lighting.

The definitive proof usually comes when the likes of Digital Foundry perform real tests and comparisons on the gameplay versus gameplay videos. Until then it’s possible that folks are over-analysing and looking for downgrades.

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PewDiePie Speaks Out Against Shock And Anger Over How Much Money He Makes http://egmr.net/2015/07/pewdiepie-speaks-out-against-shock-and-anger-over-how-much-money-he-makes/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/pewdiepie-speaks-out-against-shock-and-anger-over-how-much-money-he-makes/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173042 Making enough money off YouTube to support yourself is tough, it’s not something just anybody can do. Part of this is because YouTube is so oversaturated with content that to […]

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Making enough money off YouTube to support yourself is tough, it’s not something just anybody can do. Part of this is because YouTube is so oversaturated with content that to make yourself stand out above the rest is just as difficult as making your videos worth watching. It takes work and effort and though I’m not a fan of Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, the guy has done incredibly well for himself.

He got into the Let’s Play business fairly early on and established his own style. His videos caught on with the public and now they appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike in addition to giving plenty of exposure to smaller games. He’s doing something he loves and is getting rich off it. Few people can say that and that’s bound to cause some jealous reactions.

PewDiePie is the biggest YouTuber out there but when Swedish newspaper Expressen revealed that he made around $7 million in 2014, this sparked shock and anger at this guy who gets rich off acting like an idiot while others have to toil each day.

The guy has over 37 million subscribers and over 9 billion views on his videos. That’s very little made for each subscriber and even less for each view.

The “controversy” was big enough to warrant a video from PewDiePie in response to all this titled “Let’s talk money.” It’s up top and certainly worth a watch.

In it he discusses that how much he makes shouldn’t matter and that it’s ultimately a waste of time to froth at the mouth over how much he makes.

“I just feel like it’s not important to anyone,” he says. “I just want to make entertaining videos. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t hate money. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t matter to me, because it matters to everyone.”

“What people don’t think about until it’s in their face is that I have nine billion views, and that translates to something,” PewDiePie says. “I have ads on my videos and that translates to something.”

He goes on to read some of the comments he saw in reaction to the news of his earnings and gives his opinion on them.

“They thought I just sit on my ass all day and just yell at the screen over here, which is true! But there’s so much more to it than that, and I understand haters are gonna hate, right?”

“To see so many people being upset about this whole thing, it’s just sad. It’s such a waste.”

“It seems like the whole world cares more about how much money I make than I do myself. We did raise $1m for charity and very few articles picked up on that, but here it is, everywhere, how much money I make.

“I don’t think there’s any good reason why anyone should care. And on top of that I guess there’s no good reason why I should care either. So we’re just going to end it there.”

It may not be in the conventional 9-5 slog that most people are used to but PewDiePie has worked to get where he is. Sure, it’s been easier than for most but he’s been fortunate. I don’t care for his videos but he’s a good part of the gaming community and this whole furor seems rather silly.

Kevin James rakes in millions by simply being himself on a film set, Adam Sandler rakes in millions with minimal effort and figures out a way to go on holiday to some exotic location for each awful film he makes. There are worse offenders of making money off being an idiot on camera than PewDiePie.

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Industry Leaders Deem 2015’s Major Releases “Too Good For Gamers” http://egmr.net/2015/07/industry-leaders-deem-2015s-major-releases-too-good-for-gamers/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/industry-leaders-deem-2015s-major-releases-too-good-for-gamers/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 11:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172992 With 2015’s major release schedule more or less filled it’s hard to argue that there isn’t a dearth of very exciting games releasing in addition to the great ones which […]

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With 2015’s major release schedule more or less filled it’s hard to argue that there isn’t a dearth of very exciting games releasing in addition to the great ones which have already released. We’re barely halfway through the year and already have had such major titles as Mortal Kombat X, The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight.

Many of the big players in the industry have expressed concern that the volume of games and their potential quality may be too much for gamers. To be more specific, the likes of Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, EA and Square Enix are wary that the games still to release in 2015 are more than what gamers deserve and that this will set an unhealthy precedent whereby gamers expect the respective companies to uphold this level of quality across the spectrum.

The 2015 Summit for Industry Growth and Collusion in Gaming (SIGCG) was held last week in New York and though no media were allowed to attend, a unified press statement was released with an attached list of approved questions and their corresponding answers. The document offered iconic and memorable insights into the current industry climate.

Prior to the conference, industry analyst Smeichel Patchwork predicted that “it is almost a certainty that games will be discussed and that a lunch break will be taken on each day of the summit.” Indeed, Patchwork was proven correct when the press release was sent out and leaked images from industry leaders’ Instagram accounts revealed that they did indeed eat food from 1-2pm every day. Once again, Patchwork has reaffirmed his incredible grasp on the iconic mechanics of this industry.

The questions and answers reportedly cover much the same ground as the press release but we were unable to acquire a copy of the document. The Q&A document was only available to top tier backers who funded the summit through Kickstarter.

Below follows the full press release in which the industry heavyweights list the year’s major releases and industry-wide measures which will be put into effect as a direct result of the discussion held at SIGCG 2015. As a bonus, the press release contains quotes from some of the executives who were in attendance at the summit.

The games industry has seen massive growth in recent years despite significant setbacks brought on by the community. The industry has done all it can to ensure that gamers are put first with revolutionary consumer incentives such as DRM anti-piracy security, pre-order bonuses and day one patches to ensure that your games run at some fraction of the performance shown to you in their E3 trailers.

Despite this, gamers have rebuked these innovations unique to the games industry. This has disheartened and disillusioned the executives at EA, Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Warner Bros and Square Enix who only ask for gamers to give them money and appreciation. They are all gamers too and their feelings are hurt by criticism and vilification.

In 2015 alone, these companies have and will release titles such as:

  • Battlefield Hardline
  • The Order: 1886
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Batman: Arkham Knight (buy it PC now at 10% discount)
  • FIFA 16
  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (reserve now)
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Forza Motorsport 6
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Star Wars: Batllefront
  • Hitman

These are just some of the major titles coming to gamers in 2015, excluding all the excellently remastered versions of classic PS3 and Xbox 360 games which afford players the opportunity to pay for experience games they owned loved on the previous generation.

Sony’s Andrew Condominium said between sobs, “We gave gamers everything they’ve ever wanted at E3 2015 and yet we’ve still received heavy criticism for having no major releases in 2015. Journey and the Nathan Drake Collection are releasing in the next few months yet people have ignored these titles.”

An executive from Warner Bros who wished to remain anonymous said, “We keep getting accused of interfering with developers on games and it’s frankly bullshit. With [Batman} Arkham Asylum, one of the most memorable moments was when the game appeared to glitch out. Rocksteady wanted to offer PC players that experience to complement Batman’s downward spiral into insanity. WB had no part to play in that.”

EA’s Drew Whimsy was far more succinct, “We’ve given them Battlefield with Star Wars, FIFA 16 and NBA 2K16 still to release. Fucking Star Wars! What more do they want?”

Microsoft’s Bill Spinster took the opportunity to defend the timed exclusivity of Rise of the Tomb Raider, “We really just want gamers and our community to forget the ugliness at E3 2013. We’ve tried so hard to make amends for it and part of that was allowing Xbox One owners to dangle [Rise of the] Tomb Raider over PS4 owners the way we dangled a Ford GT at E3.”

Square Enix’s representative declined to comment but wrote the words “you’re welcome, gamers” on a napkin.

Ubisoft’s Yves Guillotine stated, “we’ve done away with pre-orders (reserve AC: Syndicate now!), included female characters in our games and even apologised for our iconic mistakes with Watch-underscore-Dogs. The shocking behaviour of gamers has caused Ubisoft to reconsider the release of its annual Beyond Good & Evil 2 leak.”

Activision CEO Bob Kotaku was also in attendance but his comment is under NDA until after the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and will only be available with the Blackest Night collector’s edition.

After much deliberation the decision was made to not “stoop to gamers’ level and withhold these fantastic games from them.” Instead, the planned day one updates for each game will only be available to those who pre-order them. A separate season pass for subsequent patches will be available at the nominal price of $70.

Ultimately, these measures are for the good of the industry and have been instated to stamp out entitlement in gamer culture so that the industry may flourish as it did in 1983. We do this not to teach gamers a lesson but to avoid promoting unhealthy norms from flourishing and to ensure that unhealthy precedents and expectations are not placed on the industry. It has become necessary to protect gamers from themselves.

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Toast On Jam: It’s Time To Accept That The Games Industry Is Not Going To Change Its Ways http://egmr.net/2015/07/toast-on-jam-its-time-to-accept-that-the-games-industry-is-not-going-to-change-its-ways/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/toast-on-jam-its-time-to-accept-that-the-games-industry-is-not-going-to-change-its-ways/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 09:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172960 The gaming industry is not a pretty one. Though I love what it is capable of producing, the most fresh-faced and promising of all major media has mired itself in […]

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The gaming industry is not a pretty one. Though I love what it is capable of producing, the most fresh-faced and promising of all major media has mired itself in the ways of the old guard. The games industry looks to the film industry like a big brother rather than an equal which can be surpassed and that’s part of what brought me to realise that the industry is not going to change anytime soon. At least not for the better anyway.

For the entirety of my (extremely) short adult life I’ve advocated calling developers and publishers out on their shenanigans, to not remain silent and (for the love of my cat who silently looks on as I type this) to not pre-order games. I’m not going to stop advocating that but I have grown to accept that things are not going to change.

You may look upon my despondency, oh reader, and decry me as a cynic. In most respects, yes, I am a cynic. Just yesterday I brought to question the authenticity of people who mourn a recent death or offer sympathy to someone with cancer. In this case however, I’d like to believe I’m being realistic.

Do not go gently into that good night… Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

So the old Dylan Thomas poem goes. If you’ve watched Interstellar then the words are likely etched into your memory given how many times Michael Caine uttered them. It was as though the screewnriters only payed attention in that one specific English lesson during high school.

Ultimately, you’re going to die but that doesn’t mean you have to acquiesce and meekly surrender yourself. Silence is as good as support and the industries practices do not warrant your support. That said, be realistic about what your voice can accomplish.

Granted, I am somewhat butchering the entire theme and message of the poem here but there is a point to it. In writing an article on Monday about the SNES PlayStation prototype I learned that Nintendo had gone behind Sony’s back and humiliated them by secretly signing up with Phillips to make the SNES console. This was back in 1991 and it was then that it dawned on me – the games industry has always been a seething pit of deceit and treachery. That’s further back than my entire existence.

It’s easy to look back on the earlier periods in gaming’s history through rose-tinted spectacles as this magical time of innovation but it just wasn’t. The scene was not all too different from what it is today. The difference is that the industry troubles and evils now extend to the consumer as well. The industry has always had these issues and will likely only accumulate more issues and problems for developers and consumers alike. Many have hardly gone away but have been replaced or subverted.

We no longer pre-order games but rather “reserve” them and every game gets revealed with a big watermark letting us know that it’s only in pre-pre-pre-alpha so as not to judge it too harshly.

The gaming industry could have been something different, something purer but as it got bigger it became dirtier and even more so by following in the footsteps of the film industry. I adore some of the work that both put out but both are in the same position of raking in gargantuan mounds of money through remakes and churning out sequels. Fresh ideas are scarce, not for lack of trying but for lack of support from those with the coin to make it happen.

These things will not change and as Hollywood finds itself in a rut, so too will the games industry.

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Further proof of just how stoic the industry is can be seen when looking at this year’s E3. After the furor that sparked in the wake of E3 last year with outcries for representation of women in gaming and so on and so forth, feminists cheered at the dearth of women both onstage and on-screen at E3 2015 but it was all a ruse; smoke and mirrors. The big companies made it look as though there was better representation of women when in terms of the numbers there wasn’t. They just made us think there was. In essence, publishers used representation as a marketing tool rather than actually seeking to address the issue of representation.

Your voices were heard but the actions taken were shrewd rather than progressive. That’s the sort of forward movement the industry is making.

Do not be disheartened, good humans and cats, sometimes progress is made. DRM is no longer the plague it once was. The back and forth between the games industry and its consumer-base is akin to the war between Oceania and Eastasia/Eurasia in 1984. They’re immovable and make small advances here or there on certain fronts but for every front conquered another is lost and so it goes; a stalemate.

If there is hope, it lies in the proles. In this case “proles” refers to the greater public which accounts for the bulk of video game sales. If you’re reading this then you’re among the vocal few.

Your voice is small in an ocean of money but it exists and as long as you use it you are not complicit to the wrongs of the industry. Just don’t expect your words to be met with welcome ears nor incite change.

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Bungie Wants To Reward Destiny Year One Players Who Are Willing To Work For It http://egmr.net/2015/07/bungie-wants-to-reward-destiny-year-one-players-who-are-willing-to-work-for-it/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/bungie-wants-to-reward-destiny-year-one-players-who-are-willing-to-work-for-it/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:30:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173011 Plenty of great things have an iconic Year One – Batman, most dictatorships, anything Ubisoft puts out (according to themselves) and maybe even Destiny. Probably not Destiny, it didn’t even […]

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Plenty of great things have an iconic Year One – Batman, most dictatorships, anything Ubisoft puts out (according to themselves) and maybe even Destiny. Probably not Destiny, it didn’t even have a good first quarter.

That doesn’t matter though because people are still playing it. They come home from their daily grind and then grind some more and if they have a sexual partner and/or happen to be a stripper they might grind some more. Also, if they don’t like that powdered pepper then they’ll grind a little extra. I’m going to hold off on the skating jokes until the new Tony Hawk game releases.

Bungie is looking to reward the faithful who have stuck around in Destiny’s solar system. However, to be rewarded is going to take some, you guessed it, grinding.

Up top is the first episode of Bungie’s Conversations with Creators (hosted by Will Wheaton), if you’re into that sort of thing. It marked the the start of Bungie’s annual community day (7/7). Also the anniversary of London tube bombings but there’s no correlation between the two.

Bungie outlined in a community post what the Destiny faithful would be rewarded with for their faith and endurance.

“We’ll have some celebrations of the awesome stuff you’ve done this past year, along with some invitations for how you can express yourselves. We’ll also tell you how any player who has braved the first year of Destiny can achieve permanent, exclusive legendary status,” Bungie said.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a while, and your own triumphs are the crucial ingredient.”

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Players who complete all Destiny Year One Moments of Triumph by September 9 will be awarded the special Laurea Prima emblem for their in-game Guardian to wear. There you have it, folks, your loyalty will be rewarded with a sticker.

Here’s the list of triumphs which need to be completed:

  • Bane of Atheon: Defeated Atheon on Hard
  • Bane of Crota: Defeated Crota on Hard
  • Bane of Skolas: Defeated Prison of Elders on Hard
  • Chest Hunter: Find All Golden Chests
  • Crucible Gladiator: Won 100 Crucible matches
  • Defeated the Dark Heart of the Black Garden
  • Light in the Dark: Prevented the summoning of Crota’s Soul
  • Light of the Reef: Captured Skolas in the Citadel
  • Public Servant: Completed 50 Public Events

Players can track their progress on Bungie.net, as their profile page will highlight the challenges which have and have yet to be completed.

Players who meet the challenge “shall be rewarded” when Destiny: The Taken King launches.

There’s more than just the emblem though. All players will gain a new feature coming to the Armoury. The hub on the official website will help players make decisions pertaining to which weapon loadouts and gear to use for any mission.

So get grinding I guess.

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Prepare Your Body For The Xbox Ultimate Game Sale Where Just About Everything Is A Good Deal http://egmr.net/2015/07/prepare-your-body-for-the-xbox-ultimate-game-sale-where-just-about-everything-is-a-good-deal/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/prepare-your-body-for-the-xbox-ultimate-game-sale-where-just-about-everything-is-a-good-deal/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 08:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173010 The Xbox Ultimate Game Sale has started and if you’ve ever dived head-first into a Steam sale then you know where this is going. After all, why should only PC […]

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The Xbox Ultimate Game Sale has started and if you’ve ever dived head-first into a Steam sale then you know where this is going. After all, why should only PC players get all the fun of buyer’s regret and an empty bank account?

There are tons of games on sale with discounts going as high as 50% (60% if you’re a Gold subscription member) in addition to the usual Deal with Gold.

The list of games on sale for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 is huge with many of last year’s big games such as Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4, Titanfall (heh) and Shadow of Mordor set to maximum discount. If you’ve missed any of them then now is the time, my friends. Empty your wallets at the Altar of the Holy Cross!

Seriously though, some of these deals are begging to be taken up if you’ve missed any of these games.

Major Nelson has a full list of the discounts available for both the Ultimate Game Sale and the usual Discounts with Gold. Prices and availability may vary between regions. The sale is only here till July 13 so you’d better hurry.

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Deus Ex Comparisons Have Shocked And Mildly Offended Black Ops III Developers http://egmr.net/2015/07/deus-ex-comparisons-have-shocked-and-mildly-offended-black-ops-iii-developers/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/deus-ex-comparisons-have-shocked-and-mildly-offended-black-ops-iii-developers/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172974 I’m thinking of a game. It’s got robotic limbs, human augmentations, the consequences of that tech getting into the wrong hands and social divides caused by these augmentations. Is it […]

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I’m thinking of a game. It’s got robotic limbs, human augmentations, the consequences of that tech getting into the wrong hands and social divides caused by these augmentations. Is it Deus Ex or Call of Duty: Black Ops 3?

Both is the answer you’re looking for. While the former is the more cerebral and narrative-driven and the latter is all about them shooty bangs, they hold a certain familial likeness. At the mention of this, Treyarch felt the need to set the record straight.

Looking at the trailer above, it’s easy to see where those comparisons were drawn from. However, multiplayer director Dan Bunting was taken aback by the pedestrian science fiction comparisons given that Treyarch reportedly based a lot of its futuristic fantasies in new tech currently being developed and researched.

“I was actually shocked by that,” he told GamesRadar at E3. “Because what they’re correlating it to was basically a lot of very common science fiction tropes. If you’re in the future you’re going to instantly be compared to science fiction.”

Bunting did not take kindly to those comparisons because for him Treyarch’s influences with Black Ops 3 were more about authenticity than pilfering from other games.

“In our world we build from technology stories of today. What’s the zeitgeist and cutting edge realms that may not have hit the mainstream yet? We never start from looking at what some other game is doing. Especially when many other games are building off of other pre-existing troops and other genres”.

“We always start from a position of research into real world technology,” he continued. “We did so much research on this game, looking into what’s happening today that’s going indicate where trends are heading tomorrow. It was a lot of fun to draw lines from present day cutting edge technologies and sciences to where they think they might be in 30 years, 40 years time”.

While it may seem fantastical, a lot of the tech seen in Black Ops 3 is almost within reach.

“We’re probably actually fairly conservative on some fronts. Even today there are nanobots that are at the scale of insects. If you do research into it now and there’s definitely a lot of interest from military organisations to develop that technology further. If you can get something that imperceptible, at a small scale, transmitting information that would be quite a powerful technology”.

“I guess it’s not surprising because I know the nature of the internet or the public is to have a knee-jerk reaction to a very simple image or message,” admits Dan. “They make connections to something. It’s easy for them to grasp and understand it”. As far as Black Ops goes however he thinks, “it’s really nothing like anything they’ve experienced before and they have to get their hand on the controller to get that”.

In truth, Bunting is awfully salty about these comparisons. When your game features many of the same themes and tech seen in other games it’s scarcely a shock that comparisons will be drawn. They are not knee-jerk reactions but rather plain to see.

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New No Man’s Sky Gameplay Shows That It’s Everything Destiny Wishes It Was (Complete With Jetpacks) http://egmr.net/2015/07/new-no-mans-sky-gameplay-shows-that-its-everything-destiny-wishes-it-was-complete-with-jetpacks/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/new-no-mans-sky-gameplay-shows-that-its-everything-destiny-wishes-it-was-complete-with-jetpacks/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 08:30:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172971 No Man’s Sky is one of the most exciting upcoming games and, with some luck, will be releasing within the next year. We’ve seen the beauty and the majesty of […]

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No Man’s Sky is one of the most exciting upcoming games and, with some luck, will be releasing within the next year. We’ve seen the beauty and the majesty of No Man’s Sky but it hasn’t exactly been clear what players will be doing once they reach planets. To be more specific, we’ve been told rather than shown.

Well, Hello Games is finally ready to show us and it’s about time.

With No Man’s Sky fast approaching release, it’s time to get people believing in the game’s potential with proof rather than hype. As such, a new 18 minute gameplay video has been released and while some of it will look awfully familiar, there’s plenty of newness to be seen.

Among the most interesting aspects are the wanted system, what happens when your character dies, what happens when your ship dies, weapon customisation and why crystals are good. Also, jetpacks!

So here we have a game full of planetary exploration, a universe populated by other players and customisable weapons. It’s what Destiny perhaps could have been but isn’t.

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One Wrong Move in MGS V: The Phantom Pain Can Land Snake In A Dress http://egmr.net/2015/07/one-wrong-move-in-mgs-v-the-phantom-pain-can-land-snake-in-a-dress/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/one-wrong-move-in-mgs-v-the-phantom-pain-can-land-snake-in-a-dress/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 08:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172970 The Metal Gear Solid franchise likes to make players do ridiculous things. From running around naked as Raiden to masturbating with Snake to pulling a Dillinger-esque prison break and of […]

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The Metal Gear Solid franchise likes to make players do ridiculous things. From running around naked as Raiden to masturbating with Snake to pulling a Dillinger-esque prison break and of course hiding in a cardboard box as the most effective method of stealth.

Konami has released a new 30 minute gameplay video which isn’t precisely all that new. In fact, it’s the same gameplay video you saw at E3 but played rather differently.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the type of game that can be played very differently depending on what suits you and how low you’re willing to stoop.

That’s not an exaggeration. A different approach and different conditions can land Snake in a dress. Although he’s got a great figure and action films would have you believe otherwise, dresses are highly impractical for tactical espionage.

The video is entirely in Japanese with an English version yet to release but it’s definitely worth a watch.

It’s quite incredible to see how vastly different things can play out with little changes in The Phantom Pain.

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Review: LEGO Jurassic World Is An Asinine Slog http://egmr.net/2015/07/review-lego-jurassic-world-is-an-asinine-slog/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/review-lego-jurassic-world-is-an-asinine-slog/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172902 Visit review on site for scoring. Jurassic World has been less than well-received and the LEGO series of franchised games are known for taking nothing seriously whilst dumbing characters down […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


Jurassic World has been less than well-received and the LEGO series of franchised games are known for taking nothing seriously whilst dumbing characters down to one-dimensional cutouts with a set number of powers copy-pasted across the range of characters.

That said, these games still manage to have a goofy and care-free appeal to kids (the target market) and adults (the schmoes who end up having to buy said games). The pinnacle of this was perhaps LEGO Marvel Superheroes which was fun and had a fair amount of decent humour. Not to mention plenty to unlock. My little brother has been turned into a completionist in trying to unlock more and more characters in Marvel Superheroes’ New York sandbox.

Sadly, LEGO Jurassic World is nothing like that and more often than not makes little to no sense with regards to the plot of any of the four Jurassic films. This becomes even more problematic around the third film which made little sense to begin with. It takes that whimsy and silliness beyond the point of being enjoyable. This game is dangerously close to going full retard.

At first glance it seems like a good idea: the entire Jurassic series smashed into a single game with the fun-loving attitude of Chris Pratt Traveller’s Tales. It worked wonderfully for Harry Potter.

Instead the game is filled to the brim with menial activities such as diving into dung, digging, entering the same keypad combination repeatedly and more. It feels like a slapdash licensed game from the PS2 era with every aspect of the original plots excruciatingly drawn out into tedious and tiresome chores.

For games such as these it is clear that twenty-somethings are not the target audience so I enlisted the help of my six year old brother and our equally young cousin to gauge their engagement in the game. They were confused, bored and laughed; not with the game but at it because of how bad it was in its ridiculousness. They had no desire to play it after a day despite being able to play as dinosaurs.

Yes, that is intended as one of the draw cards of LEGO Jurassic World. Why settle for merely taming velociraptors when you can be one? Unfortunately, this isn’t as exciting as it may sound. The dinosaurs are tools, not characters, and for the most part add no value to the experience. Furthermore, controlling them is a matter of frustration and once again makes the game feel like a 2002 relic.

The human characters are scarcely any better. Where the characters in the first two films are interesting and fun to watch, these versions are somewhat annoying and Dr Ian Malcolm is some sort of Rain Man with Tourrete’s Syndrome.

The human characters also have such diverse abilities as digging, tracking and jumping really high. These are just some of the main ones but it seems a bit hilarious to give one apiece to each character. It simply forces the usual teamwork and character switching gameplay that underpins these games.

Credit must go to Traveller’s Tales for at least recreating some of the movies memorable moments in LEGO cutscenes in addition to using Mr DNA as the game’s Paperclip.

It’s baffling how technically troubled this game is. Within the first 30 minutes the game required an exit and restart due to characters getting stuck in places they shouldn’t have even been able to access. Not to mention that while the skyboxes and backdrops look great, the character models are somewhat jagged and the round edges require a bit of smoothing. It’s hardly a quantum leap up from the previous games in terms of visuals.

There is little else to say with regards to the tone, visuals and gameplay. It’s a LEGO game and all that comes with that. LEGO Jurassic World is just one of the worse examples of this style.

LEGO games seem to do best when they take source material and create their own whimsical story. Give them an existing story to turn into a game and the resulting product comes off feeling like the awful licensed games we’ve seen all too often. That model simply does not work.

Unlike other LEGO games there is not even an incentive to unlock more characters or character skins as they are all so derivative and largely the same. The vehicles available to unlock are even more banal.

LEGO Jurassic World is not without merit as it does offer up some fun here and there and even the odd injection of humour. It even manages to blend the four films together rather well but these moments are few and far between with far too much primordial tar in between.

The game reeks of minimal effort, maximum return and that about sums it up.

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Rare SNES PlayStation Prototype Uncovered http://egmr.net/2015/07/rare-snes-playstation-prototype-uncovered/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/rare-snes-playstation-prototype-uncovered/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 08:30:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172944 Back in the early 90s Sony had yet to break into the console market and Nintendo was already thriving video game company so when it came time for Nintendo to […]

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Back in the early 90s Sony had yet to break into the console market and Nintendo was already thriving video game company so when it came time for Nintendo to come up with a new console, the company contracted Sony to cook something up. Thus, the SNES PlayStation prototype was born.

Unlike the SNES we’re all familiar with, this one was designed to play CD-ROMs and cartridges but the console never went beyond the prototype phase and has now become an extremely rare relic of what could have been.

It was believed that all existing examples of the console were lost or destroyed. Images were posted on Reddit and the story is rather fascinating.

According to the poster, when the company his father worked for went bankrupt, there was a “box of junk” he was supposed to throw out. One of his co-workers was a man named Olaf who used to work for Nintendo, and the box in question just so happened to contain the SNES PlayStation.

Olaf could possibly be Olaf Olafsson who went on to become president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Inc. Olafsson was involved with SNES PlayStation deal, as well as the first PlayStation console. He is now EVP of Time Warner and a best-selling, award-winning author.

The console never went into production because at CES 1991 Nintendo humiliated Sony. Nintendo Life has an account of what unfolded:

“At the 1991 CES Sony officially announced the system, only to discover that at the same event Nintendo confirmed that it was working with rival Philips instead. Company president Hiroshi Yamauchi had gone behind Sony’s back at the last minute to broker a deal with the Dutch company. It was one of the most infamous double-crosses in video game history.”

You can check out the full set of images over on Imgur.

On one hand this goes to show that the big players in the gaming industry have been skeevy vipers since way back when but on the other hand, things could have been very, very different had Nintendo taken up Sony’s prototype.

For starters, it’s an ugly console but it also would have brought new technology in sooner. Secondly, had Nintendo not spurned Sony, the company may never have taken that prototype and gone on to make the Sony PlayStation.

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Bungie Hired Professional Comedians To Make Destiny Funnier http://egmr.net/2015/07/bungie-hired-professional-comedians-to-make-destiny-funnier/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/bungie-hired-professional-comedians-to-make-destiny-funnier/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 08:00:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172943 There were plenty of criticisms against Destiny, plenty of them. One of the more consistent ones was that the game was boring (is still boring?). It turns out that Bungie […]

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There were plenty of criticisms against Destiny, plenty of them. One of the more consistent ones was that the game was boring (is still boring?). It turns out that Bungie actually hired two professional comedians to inject some life into the dialogue and then opted to use none of it.

Apparently their humour messed with the tone of the game. Instead gamers got a companion voiced by the great Peter Dinklage but with the flattest, most monotone dialogue ever conceived. That’s like going on a date with a comatose Natalie Portman. It turns out monotonous and dull is exactly the tone Bungie was going for.

The comedians in question were David Cross and Brian Posehn who were recruited to punch-up the dialogue for Ghost aka Dinklebot, the player’s floating geometric companion. Cross is best known for his work on Arrested Development as Tobias, easily the best character on the show (see above video).

“[We] jumped at the chance,” Cross told IGN. “We were flown up to Bellevue, Washington to do a punch-up on the Ghost character in Destiny about a year ago. We were both very excited about it.

“They did not use a single, solitary thing that we wrote, which is a shame. [But] I would imagine somebody somewhere said, ‘We can’t inject this levity or humour into it.’

“It’s a shame because I’ve played Destiny quite a bit. When it came out I was way into it and way excited about it, and when you’re at hour 20 of that thing, it’s like the Ghost is kind of monotone saying this thing, ‘We must get over the ridge. That’s the Cabal – we’ve got to defeat him.’

“Whatever, it’s boring as s***, and I speak for myself and Brian, and I know thousands if not millions of other gamers would be like ‘It would be nice to have a joke or something in there.’

“You think we’re going to f*** with the tone? But it was very exciting to go up there and get paid to play a video game a year before it came out.”

Cross explained that the lines he wrote were self-referential jokes that he thought gamers might appreciate. “We were there for a couple of days so we offered a bunch of stuff up,” he recalled.

That sort of humour may have actually been a big plus point of Destiny. Peter Dinklage’s delivery of dry wit in Game of Thrones is always welcome and a similar delivery of material written by Cross could have been excellent.

There you have it, folks, Bungie intentionally cut the humour out of Destiny the way eunuchs cut off their dangly bits.

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The Red Ring Of Death Could Have Killed Xbox For Good http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-red-ring-of-death-could-have-killed-xbox-for-good/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-red-ring-of-death-could-have-killed-xbox-for-good/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172900 The Red Ring of Death is one of the worst gaming horror stories out there. You switch on your Xbox 360 and it just won’t do anything, 3/4 of the […]

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The Red Ring of Death is one of the worst gaming horror stories out there. You switch on your Xbox 360 and it just won’t do anything, 3/4 of the lights around the power button are lit but not in usual green hue. This time they are red. The horror!

In addition to claiming more victims than [insert insensitive reference to historical genocide here] the RRoD almost killed the future of Xbox and subsequently the Xbox One.

EA’s Peter Moore was at Microsoft during this time and in a podcast with IGN, Moore recounted how at the time he feared having to tell, then CEO Steve Ballmer, that the widespread console fault could cost the company as much as $1.15 billion.

“I calculated with my finance team, Dennis Durkin, Doug Ralphs and [put] $1.15 billion, right out there. I always remember $240 million of that was FedEx. Their stock must have gone through the roof for the next two weeks.

“And, I am trembling sat in front of Steve, who I love to death, but he can be an intimidating human being. Steve said, ‘okay, talk me through this.’ I said, ‘if we don’t do this, this brand is dead.”

“I’ll never forget that moment,” said Moore. “If you’re an Xbox gamer, you can thank Steve Ballmer for not even hesitating. Now, we were a wealthy company who could afford to do that, but not even hesitating because the brand was more important.

“If we hadn’t made that decision there and then, and tried to fudge over this problem, then the Xbox brand and Xbox One wouldn’t exist today. [Ballmer] didn’t even think twice about spending $1.15B to protect a brand that’s probably worth three or four times that today.

“Xbox One wouldn’t have happened.”

The major cause for the overheating issue which caused the RRoD was believed to be the type of solder used. It was really just that simple a thing.

“Solder is the way you put the in GPU and the fans,” said Moore. “We knew [the issue] was heat related. We think it was somehow the heat coming off the GPU was drying out some of the solder, and it wasn’t the normal stuff we’d used, because we had to meet European Standards and take the lead out.”

It turns out lead might not be such a bad thing in some cases.

Thankfully, Ballmer made the right call and kept Xbox alive but it goes to show what an issue like that can do.

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Microsoft Explains Its Windows 10 Rollout Schedule, It Won’t Be Much Longer Now http://egmr.net/2015/07/microsoft-explains-its-windows-10-rollout-schedule-it-wont-be-much-longer-now/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/microsoft-explains-its-windows-10-rollout-schedule-it-wont-be-much-longer-now/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:30:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172893 Windows 10 is fast approaching and while we still can’t quite figure out why Microsoft skipped 9, the company has explained how it will be rolling out its new OS […]

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Windows 10 is fast approaching and while we still can’t quite figure out why Microsoft skipped 9, the company has explained how it will be rolling out its new OS to testers, consumers and large-scale consumers.

Seriously though, Win9 (pronounced: winning) sounds far better than Win10 (pronounced: wanting). Someone at Microsoft has some explaining to do. As you might expect, the rollout will go sequentially in order of priority.

Microsoft number two, Terry Myerson, detailed the schedule over on the official Windows blog. We already know that Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users will get Windows 10 gratis for a year and this is part of Microsoft’s plan to avoid the Windows 8 uptake issues. The company has higher ambitions though with the goal of getting Windows 10 onto a billion devices within the next 2-3 years.

Microsoft touted that it now has 5 million Windows Insiders (testers), up 1.3 million from May, and that there have been “millions” of reservations made for Windows 10. Table for 32 or 64, sir?

Starting on July 29, we will start rolling out Windows 10 to our Windows Insiders. From there, we will start notifying reserved systems in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th. Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users.

Volume license customers will get the software on August 1 with the general public having to wait a little while longer.

Soon, we will give a build of Windows 10 to our OEM partners so they can start imaging new devices with Windows 10. The new devices our partners are working on are very exciting, I can’t wait to hear your feedback as you get a chance to use them.

Soon after, we will distribute a build of Windows 10 to retailers all over the world, so they can assist their customers with upgrades of newly purchased devices that were originally imaged with Windows 8.1.

Soon is rather vague but Microsoft stressed that it wants to ensure that Windows 10 will function on any system that meets its requirements before upgrading users. This was a notorious issue with Vista and Windows 8 so testing is certainly welcome.

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Guerilla Games Finally Explains What’s What In The Strange Horizon: Zero Dawn http://egmr.net/2015/07/guerilla-games-finally-explains-whats-what-in-the-strange-horizon-zero-dawn/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/guerilla-games-finally-explains-whats-what-in-the-strange-horizon-zero-dawn/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 08:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172892 If anyone had to wager a guess as to what Guerilla Games was working on before it unveiled Horizon: Zero Dawn to the world at E3 last month, guesses would […]

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If anyone had to wager a guess as to what Guerilla Games was working on before it unveiled Horizon: Zero Dawn to the world at E3 last month, guesses would likely have drifted the developer’s new IP being a shooter of some kind, probably open-world and definitely futuristic. It’s what the studio has become known for.

Instead we got Horizon: Zero Dawn. A super post-apocalyptic world in which the machines took over, human society collapsed but instead of going the way of The Matrix or Terminator, the machines become almost one with nature and the Earth flourished. The result is that humans are very much back where we started as clans of hunter-gatherers albeit with some sweet tech.

Horizon: Zero Dawn promises a very different setting to what we’re used to although it does evoke comparisons to Enslaved. It also seems to have some embedded commentary on society, how nature always wins and the cyclic nature of history.

Guerilla has now re-released the E3 trailer with commentary from Senior Producer Mark Norris which explains a bit more about the peculiar crafting system, weapons and gameplay. He also teases an ancient city that players will visit in the game.

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Warner Bros Cut Significant Corners On Arkham Knight’s PC Version http://egmr.net/2015/07/warner-bros-cut-significant-corners-on-arkham-knights-pc-version/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/warner-bros-cut-significant-corners-on-arkham-knights-pc-version/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 08:30:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172848 Batman: Arkham Knight may be a satisfying conclusion to Rocksteady’s trilogy but the experience has been anything but that for PC players. The game released in a sorely troubled state, […]

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Batman: Arkham Knight may be a satisfying conclusion to Rocksteady’s trilogy but the experience has been anything but that for PC players. The game released in a sorely troubled state, much like Arkham Origins, and is still some ways off from being fixed.

Games being a tad problematic on release has become almost commonplace and poor PC ports are hardly a new phenomenon but it turns out Warner Bros really cut corners on this one.

Despite the fact that Nvidia made a big show of using Arkham Knight to display what its latest game-enhancing software can do for a game’s looks, Arkham Knight on PC is the underperformer in the family. The PS4 version being hailed as a “tour de force” by Digital Foundry and the Xbox One is not far behind.

We’ve already seen sales of the PC version being suspended until further notice following the news that a grand total of 12 people worked on the PC version of Arkham Knight. It got even better when it was revealed that the PC port was outsourced to the same studio that did the port for Arkham Origins – Iron Galaxy Studios.

Kotaku did some digging and came up with even more shocking revelations courtesy of a number of quality testers.

In addition to having what amounts to a skeleton crew working on the PC version of the game, the problems the game has now existed a year ago and have gone unfixed. Not to mention the fact that only 10 out of the 100 testers were assigned to the PC version.

“It’s pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state,” said one such tester of the PC port that was so bad the publisher pulled it from sale. “It’s been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago.”

The scope of the game was also an issue and by the time the developer was able to really scrutinise the bugs, it was getting close to launch. “We had some testers bugging more than 100 bugs per day,” said one of Kotaku’s sources. “Devs would fix what they could but they were juggling that with actually finishing the game so they were insanely slow. Only when the game was done and no new features had to be built could they actually buckle down. Once that happens they also restrict what you can or can’t bug, to ensure that they can catch up.”

That’s pretty horrid behaviour from Warner Bros but the publisher didn’t stop there, it skimped even more by limiting the scope of PC testing and opting to keep testing in-house. Firms dedicated to PC QA testing conducted across a wide variety of rigs do exist but Warner Bros kept things close to home for fear of stories details being leaked (and extra costs being incurred).

It makes even less sense when you consider that the PC testing was conducted at 720p instead of the higher resolutions most players game at.

It’s baffling that Warner Bros did all of this and expected things to be okay upon release. That’s not how it works and with some extra effort Warner Bros could have avoided a mountain of negative press for the second Batman game in a row.

In total, around 23 people worked on the PC version of one the biggest games this year. That’s perhaps a gross misapproximation but the real number is likely not far off.

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The Dark Souls Franchise Once Again Proves Its Niche Success With New Sales Figures http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-dark-souls-franchise-once-again-proves-its-niche-success-with-new-sales-figures/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-dark-souls-franchise-once-again-proves-its-niche-success-with-new-sales-figures/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 08:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172849 Dark Souls and its 2013 sequel are not only two highly rated games with a hardcore cult following but also testament to the potential of a focused scope rather than […]

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Dark Souls and its 2013 sequel are not only two highly rated games with a hardcore cult following but also testament to the potential of a focused scope rather than casting a wider net to appeal to a larger audience.

The Souls games know their audience, they cater to their audience and are unforgiving of newcomers. No compromises are made as with other niche genres (particularly stealth games) and the games have been critical and financial successes as a result. Of course, financial success is a relative achievement.

If a Call of Duty title sells under 10 million copies it’s considered a flop whereas Watch Dogs hit 6 million units sold and became the most successful new IP, usurping The Last of Us which is arguably an ever bigger success for being a PS3 exclusive.

The Souls games are built on a smaller scale and much smaller budget than the games mentioned above so sales above 1 million would be considered a win.

Dark Souls 3 is set to release next year and was announced at E3 last month. More recently From Software revealed the lifetime sales of the franchise (excluding Demon’s Souls) and the numbers are quite staggering for such a niche series.

Dark Souls has sold 5 073 000 units since its initial release in 2011 while Dark Souls 2 has clocked in at 2 490 000 units sold. Not too shabby at all when you consider that a significantly bigger title such as Hitman Absolution falls somewhere in between.

Kudos to From Software for showing the world that knowing your audience yields results.

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Troy Baker Went Full Psychopath During His Far Cry 4 Audition http://egmr.net/2015/07/troy-baker-went-full-psychopath-during-his-far-cry-4-audition/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/troy-baker-went-full-psychopath-during-his-far-cry-4-audition/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:30:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172818 Troy Baker is quite literally everywhere. Pick a game and he’s probably been in it. In recent memory alone he starred in Far Cry 4, Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor, BioShock […]

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Troy Baker is quite literally everywhere. Pick a game and he’s probably been in it. In recent memory alone he starred in Far Cry 4, Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Origins, InFamous Second Son, Batman: Arkham Knight and Mortal Kombat X. There are many, many more but that what his Wikipedia page is for.

It’s that first one we’re most interested in though. In his audition for Far Cry 4 villain, Pagan Min, Baker broke from script in glorious fashion and that is what ultimately landed him the role. He revealed what happened during his Far Cry 4 audition while fielding questions from the audience at Indy PopCon 2015.

It turns out that Baker is more than just a pretty face and a phenomenal vocal talent, he’s also got the mind of a true psychopath.

He started the audition going with the script but about halfway through an assistant came in to make sure everyone had enough coffee. Big mistake.

Instead of cutting off and going full Bale on the poor girl, Baker instead went full Bale on the poor girl. It was part of his audition though and not a release for pent-up frustration at still not knowing whether American Psycho had been a movie or part of real life.

Baker pounced on the hapless assistant and threatened to murder her, cut off her face and wear it. Just another day at the office for any Ubisoft employee really. Skip to the 22:30 mark in the video above to see Baker describe it all.

Baker landed the role and the assistant is now seeing a therapist every two weeks.

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The PS4 Has The Console Market In A Choke Hold http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-ps4-has-the-console-market-in-a-choke-hold/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-ps4-has-the-console-market-in-a-choke-hold/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172817 The PS4 has enjoyed market dominance since this console generation kicked off in 2013 and ever since the Xbox One has been scrambling to reclaim market share as the new […]

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The PS4 has enjoyed market dominance since this console generation kicked off in 2013 and ever since the Xbox One has been scrambling to reclaim market share as the new consoles gained their userbase. Two years in Sony has revealed some statistics which make the situation look rather dire for Microsoft at present.

The day after Sony’s E3 conference, SCEE president Jim Ryan told VG247 that the PS4 is languishing in no less than 70% market share in any European country. He also discussed how this has allowed the company to take more risks such as Media Molecule’s very peculiar new project, Dreams.

“We have a very significant market leadership,” said Ryan, speaking in Los Angeles earlier this month.

“Well, we have market leadership in every country in Europe, and have very significant market leadership in continental Europe. Extremely significant. I don’t think market-share’s any less than 70%, and frequently greater than 90% in continental Europe.”

“Particularly in Europe… our momentum is still very considerable,” Ryan said. “We’re happy with the price and we’re happy with the value proposition.

“Consumers, equally and more importantly, appear to he happy with the price and the value proposition. We’ll leave it where it is for now.”

This is no doubt extremely concerning for Microsoft and a rather sad state of affairs given that the Xbox One is an excellent platform. Healthy competition is always preferable to a landslide dominance. It was towards the end of the previous generation, when the Xbox 360 and PS3 were so closely matched, that Sony and Microsoft truly pushed themselves.

It’s worth noting that in the early days the PS3 lagged far behind the Xbox 360 but eventually caught up. Here’s hoping the same happens this generation.

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Amy Hennig Cost Naughty Dog Eight Months On Uncharted 4 But It May Have Been Worth It http://egmr.net/2015/06/amy-hennig-cost-naughty-dog-eight-months-on-uncharted-4-but-it-may-have-been-worth-it/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/amy-hennig-cost-naughty-dog-eight-months-on-uncharted-4-but-it-may-have-been-worth-it/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172774 Amy Hennig is the writer who jumped ship from Naughty Dog in a period when rather a few staff members left the developer who gave us Uncharted and The Last […]

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Amy Hennig is the writer who jumped ship from Naughty Dog in a period when rather a few staff members left the developer who gave us Uncharted and The Last of Us.The rumours flying around were that she was no longer comfortable at the studio and had been pushed out.

Those rumours seem unfounded as she is still on good terms with plenty of folks at Naughty Dog. One such regular at the studio is Nolan North, the voice of Nathan Drake. North recently spoke about Hennig’s departure and the setbacks it caused to Uncharted 4.

“I can’t really say too much about that…” North began. “But I will. We had shot eight months of her story and it was all thrown away. The Last of Us guys came in, they wanted… You have to understand, new producers, new people, they want to do it…

“I don’t know what happened exactly, Amy is still a very very dear friend of mine, and she’s brilliant, but The Last of Us guys were the next team there, so they took over and just wanted their own flavour. They got rid of some of the other people involved and just redid the thing.

He added: “The tone I think is going to be slightly different. Has to be. It’s like, you can’t have… A Robert Ludlum novel is not going to be the same as Stephen King – they’re different styles. But it’s true to the story.”

It makes sense to start from the beginning somewhat. Straley and Druckmann have plenty of experience, especially on Uncharted and so they obviously have their own way of going about a Nathan Drake story. There would always have been a clear disparity if they simply picked up where Hennig left off.

Hennig is the person who wrote Uncharted 3 though and gave us that interesting tease into Drake’s past which would likely have had a payoff in Uncharted 4 with Drake’s brother showing up. Hopefully that payoff is still in there, if it even exists.

North went on to allay fears that Uncharted 4 had been heavily hit by Hennig’s departure aside from the delay in production.

No, it’s going to be along the same lines with the story but I think there’ll be…I don’t know. I don’t know how it’ll affect the how thing and to be honest I am just as curious as everyone to see what the final product will look like. I do know there’s trust with the Naughty Dog designers and programmers, that place is still top notch and from the things I’ve seen and sound and all the stuff they’ve done, it’s amazing.

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It’s gonna be phenomenal. I mean the story, visuals, the same wacky crew.

In case you’r wondering what Hennig left Naughty Dog for, it certainly seems like something interesting and new according to North.

If you’re a big fan of Amy Hennig with her styles of stories, the big thing bout her is that she’s gone to EA and is going to reboot a brand new Star Wars franchise in the style of Uncharted and I happen to know a lot about it and it’s gonna be awesome.

He clarified in a follow-up question that this game isn’t Star Wars 1313, “but it’s along the same lines”. “Star Wars 1313: I actually did the first mocap tests for that,” he then revealed.

Star Wars 1313 was supposed to be a Boba Fett story so it would be incredibly interesting to see an action exploration game featuring Boba Fett doing what he does best, written by Amy Hennig and developed by the folks who gave us the atmospheric first Dead Space game (we’ll ignore the latter two games just this once).

That’s something I’d like to see.

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The Studio Behind Batman: Arkham Origins Is Working On An All-new Sandbox Game http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-studio-behind-batman-arkham-origins-is-working-on-an-all-new-sandbox-game/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-studio-behind-batman-arkham-origins-is-working-on-an-all-new-sandbox-game/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172775 Being held up as one of two major examples of games which released in a hideously broken state in 2013 and remained that way for a long time is one […]

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Being held up as one of two major examples of games which released in a hideously broken state in 2013 and remained that way for a long time is one hell of a reputation to have after only one major release. It’s made even worse by the fact that Warner Bros Montreal released DLC for the game before it was wholly fixed.

We can’t really blame them though as Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment is a notoriously invasive publisher. It’s not like the shocking state of Battlefield 4 on release put a huge dent in DICE’s reputation. Regardless, Warner Bros Montreal is working on a new game which seems to involve no form of flying rat.

As is often the case, the news doesn’t come directly from WB Montreal but rather from a number of job listings which the studio has posted.

WB Games Montreal is looking to fill 15 positions, among them a game designer, senior level designer, and technical director. According to those listings, WB’s working on “an open world action game” and “a new IP project for next generation game platforms.”

It’s worth noting that the new IP and the open world action game are not necessarily one and the same although it seems unlikely that WB Montreal has the resources to divide its team into two. Either way, there will be some form of online component because that worked so well for Batman: Arkham Origins.

Although WB Montreal may not be returning to Batman, it describes itself as “a passionate dev team developing DC Comics-focused AAA games that evolve and celebrate the legendary brands of Warner Bros.”

So expect some other hero to make an appearance. Given the rising popularity of Green Arrow and Flash, these are the most likely candidates for video game treatment. Of course, it would certainly be interesting to see a Superman game after the rather misunderstood and elegant Superman on N64.

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Sign Up Now To Get In On The Division’s Beta http://egmr.net/2015/06/sign-up-now-to-get-in-on-the-divisions-beta/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/sign-up-now-to-get-in-on-the-divisions-beta/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:30:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172751 The Division may have had a few delays and the developer’s calling Ubisoft insane for expecting the game to be ready by 2014 but it’s all par for the course […]

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The Division may have had a few delays and the developer’s calling Ubisoft insane for expecting the game to be ready by 2014 but it’s all par for the course these days, isn’t it? You’re not truly triple-A unless you have lots of pre-order DLC, a few delays, a shaky release and some gamer outrage.

Anyway, The Division is finally approaching release with the game set to emerge from the fetid womb of Ubisoft in early 2016. We got to see some real gameplay in action at E3 and the game looks genuinely interesting if only because you can betray teammates and become a real rogue outlaw in the game’s ravaged version of New York.

As with any MMO-style game, a beta is pretty important for balancing, tweaking and fixing aspects of gameplay as well as any technical issues that crop up. Of course, we learnt last year that you can’t exactly beta test level of fun or rather that’s something that can’t really be fixed between beta and release.

The Division is set to go into closed beta at the end of the year soon and there are a few ways to get in on the action. Some users have already received codes from Ubisoft but pre-ordering the game secures you a spot in the beta program. It’s the least they can do for the price of your integrity.

The ideal way to go though is simply heading over to the official website and signing up.

The beta will go up on Xbox One sometime in Q4 2015 and will hit other platforms at a later date.

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Mario Götze Held Responsible For A FIFA Player’s Rage http://egmr.net/2015/06/mario-gotze-held-responsible-for-a-fifa-players-rage/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/mario-gotze-held-responsible-for-a-fifa-players-rage/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172750 Mario Götze is forever immortalised as the young man who won Germany the World Cup in 2014 but also the star of this awkward public display of affection. It turns […]

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Mario Götze is forever immortalised as the young man who won Germany the World Cup in 2014 but also the star of this awkward public display of affection. It turns out that the Bayern Munich player is not as good as everyone thinks he is.

To be more precise, EA Sports doesn’t think he’s as good as everyone thinks he is. Now, FIFA is filled with oddities and strange glitches. Just because Zlatan went head first into Neuer’s ass does not mean he’s into that. Probably not anyway.

In a glorious display of gamer entitlement and bad sportsmanship all rolled into one, an overly involved FIFA 15 player destroyed his PS3 controller after missing a crucial penalty with Götze. Now, nevermind that Götze’s in-game performance is in no way a reflection on him (no matter how true to life FIFA becomes) but also, if you scuff a penalty it’s your fault, mate. End of story.

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The enraged player sent a pic of his ruined controller to Götze blaming him. Being a good guy and someone who doesn’t want to make an enemy out of a clearly unstable FIFA player (they are more dangerous than Newcastle hooligans) Götze promised to replace the controller.

There’s an old saying that seems more appropriate than ever right now.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

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Arkham Knight’s Story Is Ruined By DLC And A Disregard For Canon http://egmr.net/2015/06/arkham-knights-story-is-ruined-by-dlc-and-a-disregard-for-canon/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/arkham-knights-story-is-ruined-by-dlc-and-a-disregard-for-canon/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:00:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172680 It’s Friday, I’m rather close to completing Batman: Arkham Knight and I’m somewhat angry. Pissed would be a more appropriate term. Perhaps it’s the hunger from fasting, perhaps it’s the […]

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It’s Friday, I’m rather close to completing Batman: Arkham Knight and I’m somewhat angry. Pissed would be a more appropriate term. Perhaps it’s the hunger from fasting, perhaps it’s the fury over Hannibal being cancelled but I’ve got a bone to pick with Warner Bros and Rocksteady over Batman: Arkham Knight.

There are going to be spoilers and there’s probably going to be an unhealthy amount of angry typing. Consider yourself warned.

When initially discussing the game, Rocksteady made a point of saying that with this being their last Arkham game, the Arkham Knight would be their contribution to Batman’s Rogues Gallery. He seemed like a very interesting villain and a worthy adversary for Batman.

Of course, fans speculated anyway as to who might be the Arkham Knight out of Batman’s known foes. The three main candidates were Hush (Thomas Elliot), Jason Todd (Red Hood) or Thomas Wayne Jr (introduced in the Court of Owls storyline).

The latter would have been intriguing since he’s quite new and there’s a still plenty of room to write his story. The former would perhaps have been a bad fit since Hush operates quietly, surgically and subversively. The Arkham Knight turns out to not be either of those or a new foe but just Jason Todd.

There are more than a few problems with that.

Firstly, he is in no way a unique or new addition to Batman’s Rogues Gallery, he’s just a barely different twist on an established character. In fact, after the big reveal he ditches the Arkham Knight helmet and switches to a red hood for no apparent reason.

Secondly, this supposedly big reveal was tainted by the fact that one of the first bits of DLC revealed was the Red Hood story pack available through pre-ordering the game. Nevermind that the game is practically telling you that Jason Todd is the Arkham Knight long before the reveal. To put it into context, Red Hood has never appeared or even been mentioned in any of the previous games. He just appears out of nowhere. Not only does that make him being the Arkham Knight feel disingenuous but it also drew plenty of attention to the fact that Red Hood suddenly had his own DLC (without ever appearing in the Arkham games) and that he looks and fights very similarly to the Arkham Knight. It doesn’t take Batman to connect the dots.

To sum it up, a piece of pre-order DLC took the punch out of Arkham Knight’s big reveal from the moment the game was announced for anyone who paid a bit of attention. I understand that people such as myself, who know far too much about Batman lore, are not the target audience but the story should at least be fresh and entertaining to fans. It doesn’t perhaps affect nearly as many people as the issues that plague the PC version of Arkham Knight but it’s perhaps the worst offense committed by pre-order culture yet.

Lastly, the game takes some frustrating liberties with the established canon and it’s quite honestly for the worst. In the classic Death in the Family storyline Joker kidnaps Jason Todd, takes him to a Balkan state where he has political asylum somehow and brutally murders him before Batman can find him. Batman does eventually find him and it is a long, long time before he takes on another Robin. The only reason Batman even considers Tim Drake as Robin is because he was a good enough mind and detective to figure out Batman’s true identity.

In Arkham Knight’s take things are horribly different. Joker held Jason in an abandoned wing of Arkham Asylum, was tortured for a whole year and for some reason batman took on Tim Drake as the new Robin in that time. Not only does this paint Batman as an unfeeling and uncaring prick but also suggests that the world’s greatest detective couldn’t find Jason in an asylum within the city that he supposedly knows so well. This version makes Batman an asshole who either couldn’t be bothered to find Jason or regards Robins as so interchangeable that it was easier to simply replace Jason.

Who decided that was better than the established backstory?

I’m still enjoying Arkham Knight despite all this but my God, the game is testing my patience with this horrific abuse of canon and pre-order DLC. It’s a rather large splotch of crap on an otherwise fantastic and beautiful vehicle. Only so long as that vehicle is not Arkham Knight’s Batmobile.

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Why Is The Batmobile So Awful? Plus Other Puzzling Things About Arkham Knight http://egmr.net/2015/06/why-is-the-batmobile-so-awful-plus-other-puzzling-things-about-arkham-knight/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/why-is-the-batmobile-so-awful-plus-other-puzzling-things-about-arkham-knight/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 08:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172660 Batman: Arkham Knight is one hell of a game. As a long-time batfreak I am enjoying the experience greatly. I had some doubts about Arkham Knight last year but Rocksteady […]

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Batman: Arkham Knight is one hell of a game. As a long-time batfreak I am enjoying the experience greatly. I had some doubts about Arkham Knight last year but Rocksteady has dispelled nearly all of them. That said, I’m an inquiring mind. I’m the weirdo who scrutinises films for foreshadowing, nonverbal narrative cues and pretty much picks it apart as I’m watching.

I tend to do the same while playing a game, even when I’m having as much fun as I have been with Arkham Knight. With our review of the game imminent, now seems like a good time to point out some of the puzzling questions that Batman: Arkham Knight raises. I’ll try to keep things above the spoiler line but, and I’ll be honest, I don’t really care.

Why does Batman insist on changing into his suits on rooftops? He’s clearly got Batbunkers littered around Gotham City.

How does a city evacuate in just 24 hours? Logistically speaking people would have to pack, get their families together, possibly linger a while longer doing other things and then there’s the issue of scrambling transport for them all or just getting traffic out of the city to flow. Also, if Scarecrow wanted to watch Gotham tear itself apart with fear, why not destroy all bridges out of the city? It worked for Bane.

Why does Batman seem incapable of engaging with humans in normal conversation? He tends to just blurt out lines that don’t really fit with what the other person is saying. “Batman, I’m worried about my dad. He’d freak if he knew I were still in Gotham” “We will catch Scarecrow.” “Are you alright, Master Bruce?” “We will catch Scarecrow.” “I’m sorry, sir, we’re all out of dark mocha doughnuts” “We will catch Scarecrow.” It goes on like this. Kevin Conroy still does a bang-up job of being the Bat but it feels like someone cut corners on his dialogue. Either that, or he was demanding a Bat credit card after a certain amount of dialogue.

Sadly Adam West was unavailable for voice acting.

Sadly Adam West was unavailable for voice acting.

How do Batman and Wayne Industries’ systems get hacked so easily? It’s like they’re all running on AVG and the login password is written on a Post-it note. Bruce could spring for some retinal scanning security or at least Kaspersky.

Who decided to give Robin the characterisation and appearance of Chris O’Donell in Batman Forever/Batman & Robin? Those films have caused us enough pain already. Is this why the Batmobile is a more functional sidekick than Robin in Arkham Knight?

Why is Joker so much better in death?

Why does Scarecrow sound like Hugo Strange?

What happened to Quincy Sharp? Is he The Arkham Knight, come to finish what he started?

How come The Arkham Knight sounds and fights like Red Hood? That can’t possibly mean anything, right?

How is it that Batman is only encountering villains such as Hush and Manbat now? That’s just canonically wrong. Although, it does make for some great sidequests.

Could Riddler be a more belligerent and smarmy prick? The answer is probably yes. Despite this and the fact that he’s wearing the short sleeves of a high school teacher, he’s still miles better than Jim Carrey.

Why are there no periodic coffee run sidequests? Batman must be super tired.

"Justice is caffeine-free."

“Justice is caffeine-free.”

Will Batman team up with Dom and the crew in the next Fast and the Furious film? He’s got some sick drifting skills.

If the Batwing can constantly deliver gadgets and upgrades then why don’t we just get to use it? It would much better, especially in stealth mode, than trundling along on streets swarming with The Arkham Knight’s militia.

Why aren’t Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy an item in this game?

After two games why do thugs still talk tough and think that Batman is going to be easy pickings? They probably watched the Adam West version growing up.

If part of Batman’s credo is to inspire fear in the hearts of villains, why has he never made use of Scarecrow’s fear toxin?

Why were there only 12 people working on the PC port of Arkham Knight? That’s like sending two unarmed thugs to take down Batman.

Why are Nightwing and Robin so much more fun to fight with than Batman?

"Who's a good bat? You are! Yes, you are."

“Who’s a good bat? You are! Yes, you are.”

Does Arkham Knight tie into Batman v Superman? Is their lovers’ quarrel the reason Superman hasn’t come to aid Gotham?

Why hasn’t Oliver Queen shown up yet to tell Batman how he has failed this city? Or is he The Arkham Knight seeking vengeance on Batman for murdering Ra’s?

Is Jason Todd The Arkham Knight?

This next one might get a wee bit ranty. Hold on.

Why is the Batmobile so horrifically bad and yet forced into as much of the game as possible. It should be called Batmobile: Arkham Knight. Cruising with Batmobile is fun, as is remote controlling it. However, almost every mission involves some form of battle tanks section which is at complete odds with Batman’s silent and efficient manner of combat. Sure, it makes sense in the context of Gotham turning into a warzone but it feels so forced.
The Batmobile also feels awfully slow for some piece of sadness-powered sci-fi tech, not to mention that it handles worse than Batcow. The Batmobile feels poorly implemented and out of place. It was probably done by 13 people.

2841668-21336_funny_batman_batman_word

I’m just asking questions.

What’s your experience of Arkham Knight been like? What questions has it raised for you?

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Bulletstorm Developer Flies The Coop And Breaks Away From Epic Games http://egmr.net/2015/06/bulletstorm-developer-flies-the-coop-and-breaks-away-from-epic-games/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/bulletstorm-developer-flies-the-coop-and-breaks-away-from-epic-games/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:30:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172622 Epic Games is not so much a developer anymore as it is the company that does Unreal Engine. The firm has somewhat moved away from making games and so it’s […]

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Epic Games is not so much a developer anymore as it is the company that does Unreal Engine. The firm has somewhat moved away from making games and so it’s hardly a surprise that Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment developer People Can Fly has split to go out on their own.

People Can Fly was founded in 2002 and acquired by Epic in 2013 where it was rebranded as Epic Games Poland.

The studio is still working on Fortnite with Epic Games while developing a new IP using (you guessed it) Unreal Engine 4.

Interestingly, People Can Fly has held onto the right to Bulletstorm and so could do whatever it pleases with the over-the-top cult action game.

Furthermore, perhaps the best work the studio has done is on Painkiller and it would be great to see them use this freedom to get back to that brand of unrestrained pulp mayhem.

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Destiny Continues To Be The Butt Of Jokes With Its Latest Marketing Trick http://egmr.net/2015/06/destiny-continues-to-be-the-butt-of-jokes-with-its-latest-marketing-trick/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/destiny-continues-to-be-the-butt-of-jokes-with-its-latest-marketing-trick/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172623 Do you love Red Bull? Do you still play Destiny for some unfathomable reason? Great, then you’re the target market of a ridiculous campaign. Activision has partnered with Red Bull […]

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Do you love Red Bull? Do you still play Destiny for some unfathomable reason? Great, then you’re the target market of a ridiculous campaign.

Activision has partnered with Red Bull for a promotion whereby participating fools people get an XP boost and an extra quest in The Taken King expansion. Red Bull gives you XP.

Dying Light developer jumped on this trendy marketing tool with its own bit of brilliance but instead of going with one of a dozen energy drink brands, Techland went with something that has a far wider drinkership – water.

Drink to your health, folks… and free DLC.

This is only slightly more ridiculous than that time Arkham City made the Batman Beyond costume available by buying a can of NOS energy drink or that time Assassin’s Creed: Unity gave away free content with bloomin’ shaving foam.

It’s been rumoured that Square Enix is in talks with Kotex for an exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider bonus content promotion.

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Toast On Jam: All Aboard The E3 Hype Train (Free Kool-Aid Served Onboard) http://egmr.net/2015/06/toast-on-jam-all-aboard-the-e3-hype-train-free-kool-aid-served-onboard/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/toast-on-jam-all-aboard-the-e3-hype-train-free-kool-aid-served-onboard/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172102 A girl asks you out and you immediately start imagining what the date will be like. Your friends start telling you rumours they’ve heard about her love life but you […]

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A girl asks you out and you immediately start imagining what the date will be like. Your friends start telling you rumours they’ve heard about her love life but you ignore them and imagine an evening electric with a nuclear connection between the two of you, effervescent with sparkling conversation and wit. The food is delicious, she’s beautiful, your stubble is just right, you’re already comfortable in moments of silence with each other. It’s all so perfect.

The night of the date comes and the food is decent, her makeup is a little too heavy, the conversation is initially awkward and stilted, your hair looks awful and you rush to plug any silence with random factoids and trivia. It’s an alright first date, maybe a 6/10. She kisses you and then you part ways.

You don’t store the memory of that kiss or the date and then get on with life. You fixate on them, wondering when you’ll get your next fix and what the next date will be like, how you’d do things differently. Your head is ablaze with “what if” and “maybe”.

You break up after two months, your friends say those four words that you should have seen coming.

We’ve all experienced this at one point or another. Perhaps not in love but with literature, university, films, games, a foreign city. Forget the neat little labels of bookworm, geek, gamer, cis white male fake geek girl otaku furry necrophiliac. Somewhere down there I’m going to assume you’re human (or close enough) and we love to delude ourselves. Over and above that we’re very rarely in the present; we’re more often than not in the past or the future.

Together these phenomena make for a healthy dose of hype and expectation. It’s true that hype is rarely ever self-starting. There is invariably an external stimulus that triggers it but from there it is self-perpetuated and can only be terminated with critical thinking or engaging in the source of the hype to determine its validity. In the event of that there are three outcomes – expectations exceeded, met, or not met – and the more hype you generate the less likely the former becomes and the more likely the latter becomes.

In the wake of E3 I wanted to understand why we hype things up in our minds and so consulted renowned psychologist Dr O. Olegg while occasionally entertaining the musings of the far less reputable Dr Ikea Pidwi. Unfortunately the best answer I have is still one that revealed itself in an EGMR staff discussion a couple of weeks back. Instead I stumbled upon an article about self-perpetuated hype and another on marketing hype which helped me construct a possible reason as to why hype builds at such an inexorable pace and is often coupled with an almost zealous defence of the hype, the hyped entity, or event in this age.

destiny-overhyped

Much of the hype regarding media is initiated and fuelled by marketing so perhaps we should start there. Simply put, marketing is more aggressive and sustained than ever before. This allows a game or movie to constantly remain in the front half of your mind. What’s interesting though is that article I found references a study conducted to determine the effects of positive and negative hype regarding a short film. The results were that the subjects did not notice when something exceeded expectations but certainly noticed when it fell below their expectations.

The real kicker is that a subsidiary test was conducted whereby the same experiment was done but this time with one group having to remember a seven digit number between being supplied with a little hype while the other group was allowed to sit with their thoughts. The results were that having to focus on something other than building up a pre-opinion of the film before watching it prevented the subjects from going into the film with a whole armada of premeditated opinions about it.

This suggests that the marketing strategy of film distributors and game publishers is all wrong because they are constantly reminding us of said game and thus the notion of getting on with your life and ceasing to watch endless trailers is beneficial to your experience of the finished product because you’ll be further away from having the game or film fall below your expectations. Ultimately, the more you hype yourself up, the further the game has to fall.

Let’s take a moment (or several hundred words) to talk about Kool-Aid. Drinking it is synonymous with tartrazine, hyperactivity and delusion. When we hype ourselves up about something we tend to ignore logic and reason which threatens said hype. Why? I want something to believe in and something to be excited about. How dare you take that away from me? The more hype you have, the blinder you become to logic and reasoning until you’ve attained an almost religious zeal. Let’s be honest, devout religious types are mostly just stoked about being part of a community and getting a ticket into Heaven or Valhalla.

Still relevant

Relevant… somewhat

This is called cognitive dissonance. You see a reasonable argument which chips away at your hype and whatever you’ve built up in your mind so you toss it aside and curl up in your womb of delusion.

If you corner a zealot in a dark alley you can a) stab it, or b) reason with it, or c) accept Gordon Freeman as your lord and saviour. All three will have a high likelihood of success. Try the same on Twitter and you may question your own sanity.

This is because of something I call hive-mind cognitive dissonance. An entire group of people is in a state of delusion about something so in perpetuating their own cognitive dissonance, they bolster that of their brethren to form a protective shield stronger than whatever the Nova Corps cobbled together in Guardians of the Galaxy. This is how we got the Destiny Defence Force (RIP 2013-2014).

It’s already happening with Shenmue 3, The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy VII. these are all titles with enough years behind them to hold a mythical air and everybody wants to believe in myths and fables (not to be confused with the other Fables). In this case, looking back is what generates the hype as opposed to looking forward.

So what’s the solution? Well, it’s hardly a new strategy but one that’s certainly worth mentioning again and I hope that I’ve managed to put a different spin on it at the very least.

Quite simply, limit your exposure to hype-inducing marketing and for the love of all that is sacred, open yourself up to critical discussion. This doesn’t just go for the double rainbow zealots but also the gloomy cynics. Most importantly of all, enjoy your games and get excited for them. There’s so much gaming goodness coming our way and there’s something for everyone.

Thank you and goodnight.

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Microsoft Wants Games To Be Made “For The Losers” http://egmr.net/2015/06/microsoft-wants-games-to-be-made-for-the-losers/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/microsoft-wants-games-to-be-made-for-the-losers/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 08:30:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172566 A company after my own heart. Loser right here. Me. Me! Seriously, I’m rather bad at gaming. Tim Schafer is a polarising guy, often regarded as a dick. That said, […]

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A company after my own heart. Loser right here. Me. Me!
Seriously, I’m rather bad at gaming.

Tim Schafer is a polarising guy, often regarded as a dick. That said, he’s got some interesting scuttlebutt on Microsoft.

The Double Fine boss had a lengthy talk with USGamer about difficulty, accessibility and how that applies to game design. In the process he revealed that Microsoft told him to make games for losers because they were the majority.

That may seem at odds with the success of the Souls games and other challenging games such as Spelunky but these are ultimately niche titles and cater to the folks ho want a challenge.

Me? I’m one of those gormless losers who likes a challenge but struggles with difficult games and will sometimes play on easy for a more carefree experience. I say that with only a hint of shame.

Schafer believes that one of the most enjoyable aspects of games is not knowing what to do as soon as you approach an obstacle or puzzle. With regards to puzzles I’m with him on that front.

The other approach is to flatten the difficulty curve with copious hints and dumbed down gameplay. we’ve seen this time and again in gaming as publishers demand the net to be cast wider. It also results in games such as Hitman, which should be about the purity of stealth, allowing players to barge in guns blazing.

“I just remember an important person at Microsoft telling me, ‘There are winners and losers out there. You should make the game for the losers because there’s a lot more of them,’” he added.

“I feel like there’s a current reaction to that, whether people are playing Super Meat Boy, Spelunky or Bloodborne, there’s a certain nostalgia for not knowing what’s going on all of the time. Not being told what to do. Having to figure it out.

“Even though those games are really hard. I think that’s a reaction to that period from 2000-2005 where things got a lot more tutorialized.”

I think Schafer misses the point despite making a very argument about the period when games started becoming heavy on the tutorials and dumbed down gameplay.

It boils down to players enjoying a challenge and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment at beating a boss in Bloodborne that you don’t get from other games. It requires strategy and timing and patience. It’s something that has produced an entire subculture of purists who attempt to go through games without a single kill or death or without using a certain exploit.

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PS4 Goes Beep, PC Goes Whoosh, Forza Xbox One Goes Vroom http://egmr.net/2015/06/ps4-goes-beep-pc-goes-whoosh-forza-xbox-one-goes-vroom/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/ps4-goes-beep-pc-goes-whoosh-forza-xbox-one-goes-vroom/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 08:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172565 A couple of years ago my little brother was very much into cars and, being a little tyke, he had a toy steering wheel complete with buttons that went vroom […]

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A couple of years ago my little brother was very much into cars and, being a little tyke, he had a toy steering wheel complete with buttons that went vroom and vreet and snick-thud. Microsoft saw that and decided it would be fantastic in an Xbox One.

Enter the Forza 6 Xbox One. It’s blue, it’s got a stripe and it comes with a blue controller that has platinum grips. Also, it’s a 1TB behemoth.

If you’re a fan of Forza and are in the market for an Xbox One then listen up.

The Ford GT is a light and low sports car, the Xbox One is a big and heavy VCR but if you squint hard enough, it’s easy to see that the Forza 6 Xbox One is styled after the games cover car.

The 1 TB system bears a blue GT-themed body, complete with glossy racing stripes, Forza Motorsport logo on the matte finish side and goes vroom when you push the buttons. Even the controller has its own racing stripes, all-blue buttons, steering-wheel-style knurled black texture on the controller grips, and satiny platinum triggers. The controller in question is based on the slightly revised version which comes with a 3.5mm jack.

The $399 bundle will come with a download code for Forza Motorsport 6 when it releases on September 15 in the US and September 18 in Europe. The controller will also be sold separately but won’t get your autophiles off because it lacks vroom vroom sounds.

Does this give you the fizz? I certainly love the colour.

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Review: Kholat – Lost In Translation http://egmr.net/2015/06/review-kholat-lost-in-translation/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/review-kholat-lost-in-translation/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 08:00:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172101 Visit review on site for scoring. Kholat has the classic ingredients for a horror – based on a true story, set in an isolated area, there’s a forest and of […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


Kholat has the classic ingredients for a horror – based on a true story, set in an isolated area, there’s a forest and of course a sprinkling of the supernatural. Like most horrors it unfortunately fails to frighten and ultimately disappoints.

In 1959 nine explorers went missing in the Dyatlov Pass of the Ural Mountains. Upon investigation a campsite was found and several of their bodies were discovered nearby under strange circumstances, they looked as though they’d been attacked by an animal. After years of speculation and conspiracy theories, Kholat seeks to weave its own theory as the nameless protagonist ventures into the pass in the hopes of solving this mystery.

As with a number of horror titles, the protagonist is nameless and faceless however, it is rather problematic that he also remains somewhat aimless throughout the game. Yes, he’s trying to solve the mystery of what happened in 1959 but why? This becomes a problem later on.

At the outset you find what remains of the camp site and therein you find a compass, a torch and a map. There are no directions and no HUD, all you have to guide you is the map and the compass. On the map are nine locations which players must find and visit in order to accrue another snippet of the story. The narrative is thus handled through a haphazard mix of the notes and documents found at each of the sites as well arbitrary narration from Sean Bean. It looks to be one of those narratives where nothing makes right up until the end where an “aha!” moment puts everything into place.

Unfortunately, Kholat is a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces missing. The narrative is a sporadic and incoherent jumble of things and whatever is revealed only serves to undercut any intrigue the game held up to that point.

Occasionally some of the sites invigorate the game with some excitement but for the most part you’re plodding along in the snow, alone and underwhelmed.

This plodding is the effect of the game’s greatest strength but the cause for having little to no interest in sticking it out to the end.

This game does not hold your hand, not once. There’s an introductory cutscene and that’s about all the explanation you’ll get. There are no GPS pointers showing you where to go, instead you have to look at the co-ordinates of the nine points of interest and find your way to them using the map and compass. It’s a fantastic mechanic that truly captures the feeling of finding your way through unfamiliar territory and it is entirely possible to get legitimately lost, a lot. It forces you to mind your surroundings, as Oscar Schindler once said, and take note of landmarks and the details in the environment.

What a spectacular environment it is. Kholat is built on Unreal Engine 4 and makes full use of its weather and lighting effects to create stunning tundra which is simultaneously arrestingly beautiful and creepy. The mountains feel eery and atmospheric as the wind moans through the trees and snow swirls around. The landscape is dotted with dark caves, frozen waterfalls and ominous shrines which add character to the anonymous white blanket.

The trouble is that without the character having any discernible connection to the incident or any specific reason for embarking on this fool’s errand, the only thing to keep players going is tenuously being strung along from one incomprehensible morsel of story to the next. Suffice to say, this isn’t really enough to hold your attention over the arduously long span of the game. Too much of your time is spent plodding along in the silence of the snow. At first this is fantastic and combines with the orienteering gameplay to create a truly engrossing experience but it wears thin very fast. There isn’t enough to keep the momentum going in between finding points of interest and what little there is serves only to frustrate. Some ways into the game traps and spirits are introduced without warning and even then without always being avoidable, resulting in many unfair deaths. Even the moments at the various sites are hardly livening. The game moves at such a dragged pace that it can become sleep inducing.

Players will spend far too much wandering through the snow, getting lost and having to find their way again. There is no consequence for going the wrong way or lingering in the same spot for too long. Kholat absolutely nails the helpless feeling that so many horrors miss by giving characters weapons but it also manages to feel pointless as you meander through the hills and forests of the Dyatlov Pass.

The game’s name is taken from a nickname for the Ural Mountains , Kholat Syakhl, which translates to “Dead Mountain.” Sadly, this applies both to the ominous and supernatural atmosphere of the game but also the pace at which it drags itself forward. Kholat feels like a gorgeous, immensely promising tortoise. For all that it has to offer, it’s still just a tortoise and it still moves far too slowly to keep up with anyone.

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Sony Hid Behind A Curtain Of Hype At E3 2015 http://egmr.net/2015/06/sony-hid-behind-a-curtain-of-hype-at-e3-2015/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/sony-hid-behind-a-curtain-of-hype-at-e3-2015/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 08:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172392 Sony put on a fantastic show at E3 2015, of that there is little doubt. The huge announcements came one after another and the crowd was in such awe that […]

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Sony put on a fantastic show at E3 2015, of that there is little doubt. The huge announcements came one after another and the crowd was in such awe that even Uncharted 4’s technical difficulties could be overlooked.

It’s been said that this E3 was perhaps the best in years and from an excitement point of view it certainly was. Everybody, aside from EA, put on a good show and brought their A-game. Even EA with all its sportsysportsyshootysports had its moments with heartwarming things such as Coldwood Interactive showing the world Unravel.

Sony often gets the job of closing up the frenzy of conferences which starts with Microsoft and with full knowledge of this there’s almost a pressure on them to grab people’s attention after several long hours of conferences. This year Sony played to that in the most extreme sense and if E3 is all about smoke and mirrors then for two hours Sony became the embodiment of E3.

For all that they showed us and all the cheers they roused out of fans, not a lot of it held any meaning for Sony and it further underscores that the PS4 is stagnating a little bit as a console.

Looking at the four main conferences – Sony, Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft – three of them had a healthy mix of big titles set to release this year and in 2016 or later, the other was Sony. Sony’s conference was built on intangible titles that are still a long way off from release such as The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Shenmue 3. Dreams and Horizon: Zero Dawn are both first-party titles and gave us a taste of gameplay but are only set to release next year at the earliest. The other big titles were all multi-platform titles to which Sony can only boast having a little bit of exclusive DLC or bonus content, I call that inconsequential fluff and hardly something worth making a fuss over.

Sony had the “privilege” of unveiling Call of Duty: Black Ops III to the world but again, it just increased the entertainment value of the conference and holds no real value for Sony since the game will release across all three major platforms. Of course, much like with Destiny, marketing will likely lean heavily towards PS4 but that doesn’t seem to have skewed sales of Destiny towards the PS4.

One of the main titles billed as a headline act of Sony’s 2015 is No Man’s Sky and rightly so because the game looks phenomenal but its 2015 release window is tentative and the next major title for Sony is Uncharted 4 in March 2016.

Meanwhile the PS4 doesn’t have any console-changing features or updates coming anytime soon with the only real shake-up being the release of a 1TB version of the console.

Essentially, Sony is done for 2015 and is content to sit back and let the third-party titles do the work. For a platform that we’ve often accused of stagnating since its massive slam dunk of Microsoft in 2013, that’s worrying. Perhaps Sony is taking it easy in 2015 but with console sales perhaps more relevant now than ever as the current generation kicks into high gear, Sony doesn’t have a whole lot to offer prospective buyers in 2015. Forward momentum of the PS4 has been sluggish and only surged briefly when The Order: 1886, Bloodborne and the Yukimura update released.

Relevant... somewhat

Relevant… somewhat

Meanwhile Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 integration, backwards compatibility, Forza 6, Halo 5: Guardians and Rise of the Tomb Raider still to come in 2015. For the large number of PS3 and Xbox 360 owners who are considering a switch over to PS4 or Xbox One, the latter is looking far more enticing in 2015.

We always say that the console generation is a marathon not a sprint but the holiday period is the prime period in which to increase your userbase en masse and Sony is squandering that opportunity at what seems to be a crucial time for this console generation after a two year teething period.

It’s not as if Sony is lacking first-party developers either. Guerilla Games has already shown us Horizon and Naughty Dog will focus on Uncharted 4 until after its release before showing off their other project. However, Sony Santa Monica, Sucker Punch and Quantic Dream are all working on new games for the PS4 yet were absent from E3. Of the post-2015 titles that Sony showed off, the only tangible ones were Horizon and Uncharted 4.

I am by no means about to jump ship to Microsoft because I enjoy my PS4 and there are more than enough excellent multiplatform titles to keep my fingers twitching across the DualShock 4. In due course those other first-party developers will reveal what they’ve been working on and I generally enjoy what they produce. However, I’ve already bought into the PS4 and have owned every Sony console, including the PSP. I was converted to the Sony camp years ago.

Sony doesn’t have to worry about people like me. They should be concerned about the lack of forward momentum they have to attract new users to the PS4. Stranger still is that Sony was fully aware of this at E3 and chose to hide behind a curtain of hype in the hopes that nobody would peek behind the curtain. People have already started asking hard questions about Shenmue 3 and Sony’s connection to the game. Meanwhile Final Fantasy VII is being remade for PS4 and Xbox One while the hype for The Last Guardian cannot be sustained to influence console sales.

Sony chose not to confront their lack of momentum or do anything about it. They hid it by using the old cinema trick of a moving backdrop while they stay in one spot. The backdrop will eventually stop and Sony doesn’t seem to have considered that. For a company that is making significant losses year on year, they really should be more concerned about establishing a larger userbase on PlayStation.

Sony seems more concerned with pandering to its existing fans than with attracting new ones and that’s going to hurt them.

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Get A Glimpse Of MGS V: The Phantom Pain’s Microtransactions In This 40 Minute Demo http://egmr.net/2015/06/get-a-glimpse-of-mgs-v-the-phantom-pains-microtransactions-in-this-40-minute-demo/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/get-a-glimpse-of-mgs-v-the-phantom-pains-microtransactions-in-this-40-minute-demo/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 07:30:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172433 Konami has released the full version of the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gameplay demo showcased at E3. We saw a fantastic trailer for The Phantom Pain but […]

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Konami has released the full version of the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gameplay demo showcased at E3. We saw a fantastic trailer for The Phantom Pain but not much else during the first few days of E3 but now there’s finally a meaty gameplay video for you to sink your teeth (or eyes) into.

Right at the beginning you can hear promises that the microtransactions included in the game are just a time-saving fixture for those who don’t have the time to absorb dozens of hours into The Phantom Pain or don’t feel like it or are simply impatient. There will apparently be no paywall to any of the game’s content and it is all unlockable without flashing your credit card.

With most of the good series wrapping up or already having finished there is this lull in my viewing routine so anything good that clocks in at 40 minutes in length is doing people like me a favour.

Pour a scotch, grab some gummy bears and settle in. This is some fantastic gameplay and includes everyone’s favourite canine companion, Diamond Dog.

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Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Will Have More Forgiving Free Running http://egmr.net/2015/06/mirrors-edge-catalyst-will-have-more-forgiving-free-running/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/mirrors-edge-catalyst-will-have-more-forgiving-free-running/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 07:00:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172432 The first Mirror’s Edge was perhaps not a great game but it was a fantastic proof of concept for a game that was all about free running and keeping your […]

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The first Mirror’s Edge was perhaps not a great game but it was a fantastic proof of concept for a game that was all about free running and keeping your momentum. Much like Portal and Portal 2 , there will be a narrative link between Mirror’s Edge and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst but with far more refined gameplay and more forgiving gameplay.

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst producer Sarah Jansson revealed a few more details about the game on the show floor at E3 and specifically noted that Catalyst is not a reboot but a rebirth.

Here are some of the key points made:

  • There will be proper character development for Faith. She won’t be the same person at the end that she was at the beginning.
  • The feel of the city will change during the story. Faith will start as a green and inexperienced free runner, then during the story she will adapt to the city’s change and understand that she has to step up and fight.
  • There will be more free roaming than in the first game.
  • The city will open up as you progress through the story. At the beginning only a small area will be accessible, then the borders will progressively expand.
  • DICE wants to make the game more accessible, but still rewarding for skilled players.
  • If you don’t get the perfect timing you’ll still be able to grab on a ledge instead of just falling. If you’re skilled, your running will flow much better and will be faster.
  • In the game you can springboard on any object, whereas in the first Mirror’s Edge you could only on certain objects.
  • The game is not a full-fledged prequel. It won’t lead exactly to the same plot of the first game, but it will lead to Faith being the same person as she was in the first game.

The first Mirror’s Edge often became a little frustrating because it demanded a precision timing that I simply don’t have and there wasn’t nearly enough freedom given the colossal cityscape that Faith was running through.

Hopefully with Faith having character progression and the narrative making more sense, there will be a greater sense of player engagement.

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The Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Not Be The Game You Remember http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-final-fantasy-vii-remake-will-not-be-the-game-you-remember/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-final-fantasy-vii-remake-will-not-be-the-game-you-remember/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172410 I’ve never been one for JRPGs so I don’t hold the same reverence for Final Fantasy VII as many people do. I fully understand their love for the game and […]

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I’ve never been one for JRPGs so I don’t hold the same reverence for Final Fantasy VII as many people do. I fully understand their love for the game and how huge it is that a remake is in the works. However, the remake will not be a complete redo of the old game with new assets and glorious new visuals.

Tetsuya Nomura was the character designer on the original Final Fantasy VII and is directing the new project, he’s also made it clear that things are going to change on a sub-dermal level.

Fans are naturally going to be worried about this as it may result in a game that loses some of what made the original near perfect in the eyes of many.

Speaking with Engadget, Nomura pointed out that an exact, line for line remake, is unnecessary.

“The original is out again: the ‘HD’ PC version is coming to PS4 already. We don’t need two of the same thing,” he said.

“Even if we beautified and upgraded the visuals – something that’s bound to happen. If it’s a full remake, then of course, we want to take a different approach. If we actually just upgraded the visuals there’d be no need for me to direct it.

“If we take everything literally the same, we’re turning into the HD port again.”

Nomura tried to allay fears of change by saying that he won’t do anything too “drastic”
and that the team is intent on keeping as much of the original spirit of the game as possible. He wouldn’t go into detail about what sort of changes would be made though.

Well, aside from confirming that the combat would definitely change and will likely be more along the lines of what we’ve seen in Final Fantasy XV.

“We can’t have these upgraded, beautiful 3D models of Cloud and Barrett, still lining up in a row, jumping forward to attack an enemy, then jumping back to wait for their next turn,” Nomura said.

“That would be bizarre. Of course there will likely be changes there.”

Nomura has asked fans not to worry too much. It’s likely that this can be seen more as a director’s cut of a classic film than a Hollywood remake.

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