#egmr » A-G http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The EGMR Guide To Navigating E3 2015 http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-egmr-guide-to-navigating-e3-2015/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-egmr-guide-to-navigating-e3-2015/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 08:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=172079 Alternately: Who, what, when and where? It’s that time of year again, when we spend at least six hours watching people lie to us from atop a stage. Don’t let […]

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Alternately: Who, what, when and where?

It’s that time of year again, when we spend at least six hours watching people lie to us from atop a stage. Don’t let our cynicism ruin the mood though, there’s plenty to be interested in and excited for with E3 2015. Take my hand and let us guide you.

Below is our rundown of when the major press conferences will be taking place, where to view them and what to expect from each.

Microsoft

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Date: Monday 15 June
Time: 18:30 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect:Last year was a fantastic, game-centric E3 for Microsoft and the hope is that they’ll continue that form this year. With VR often stealing the limelight, Microsoft may opt to demonstrate HoloLens on its E3 stage or save it for the PC Gaming Show. At the very least MS will show off what the new Xbox One OS looks like in action. What is certain is that we’ll see a lot more of Halo 5: Guardians, we’ll get a glimpse of Forza 6 and finally see some gameplay for Rise of the Tomb Raider. There’s also a strong likelihood that Rare will take to the stage and that the new Gears of War may get a tease in at the end. Crackdown, Scalebound and Quantum Break will not be present at E3 this year.

 

EA

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Date: Monday 15 June
Time: 22:00 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect: Sports, Sports, Sports, Sports. That’s about it really judging from last year’s conference. We will definitely be seeing Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Star Wars: Battlefront and the publisher’s menagerie of sports titles. More as a hope than something based on concrete evidence is the possible appearance of Mass Effect 4. Let’s not forget the new Need for Speed though, that’s bound to get long-time series fans (like this guy) excited.

 

Ubisoft

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Date: Tuesday 16 June
Time: 00:00 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect: Though she annoys us at EGMR, Aisha Tyler will be returning to host Ubisoft’s E3 2015 conference. The headline acts will no doubt be Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Rainbow Six: Siege and The Division. With Ubisoft Quebec heading up this year’s Assassin’s Creed it’s likely that we’ll see a game headed up by Ubisoft Montreal too, perhaps a sequel to Watch_Dogs.

 

Sony

The Last Guardian 2
Date: Tuesday 16 June
Time: 03:00 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect: UNCHARTED! The hulking banner of Nathan Drake plastered outside the convention centre says that whether you’re excited for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End or not. We’ll also see footage of the remastered, shinier Uncharted trilogy. Project Morpheus will be present as well as David Jaffe’s Drawn to Death. Expect to see more of No Man’s Sky as well as a few other indie titles such as The Witness.Sucker Punch, Guerilla Games, Sony Santa Monica and Quantic Dream are all working on something so it’s a toss up as to which of them will be taking to the stage. With Microsoft having become cosy with EA, Sony’s stage may be the place for Activision to show off a little bit of Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Lastly, let’s not forget Persona 5 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

 

Nintendo

deus-ex-link-zelda
Date: Tuesday 16 June
Time: 18:00 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect: Nintendo is always a little enigmatic and the decision to skip a physical stage last year reaped rewards with a fantastic show being put on by Nintendo. It’s unclear what we’ll be seeing at Nintendo’s conference but it’s likely we’ll get another look at that Zelda Wii U game as well as a new Mario and Super Smash Bros.

 

Square Enix

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Date: Tuesday 16 June
Time: 19:00 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect: If it doesn’t blow its load on the Sony stage then Square Enix is going to have a packed conference with Just Cause 3, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Final Fantasy XV. It’s likely that some of those will be pushed onto either Sony or Microsoft in order to make room for new IPs. There is a good chance of Square Enix showing off at least one new IP. A lot of people are definitely eager to see Kingdom Hearts 3. Some of us would love to see a new Hitman.

 

PC Gaming Show

Half Life 3 Small
Date: Wednesday 16 June
Time: 02:00 (CAT)
Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, IGN
What to expect: Expect to see Oculus Rift and Valve’s Vive on show here as well as Microsoft’s HoloLens, HoloDesk and interactivity between Windows 10 and Xbox One. Of course, Nvidia and AMD will be present in full force too with AMD set to unveil some new graphics cards that will give Nvidia cause for concern. It’s unclear what Valve or Blizzard may bring to the party.

 
Depending on how much sleep you’re willing to forego, this could be a very interesting E3 to watch and certainly even the cynics are rather excited. Of course, you could always sleep, like a functional human being, and catch up on the highlights the next day. Or denounce gaming and burn your consoles.

Although we go in each year with a fairly good idea of what to expect, you can always be assured of at least a few surprises.

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Oculus Press Conference: Exclusive Microsoft Partnership, Touch Controller And More http://egmr.net/2015/06/oculus-press-conference-exclusive-microsoft-partnership-touch-controller-and-more/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/oculus-press-conference-exclusive-microsoft-partnership-touch-controller-and-more/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 07:30:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171998 With Sony’s Morpheus and Valve’s Vive causing a stir, there’s been pressure on Oculus to steer the attention The Oculus Rift but also to beat the others to market and […]

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With Sony’s Morpheus and Valve’s Vive causing a stir, there’s been pressure on Oculus to steer the attention The Oculus Rift but also to beat the others to market and come out with a winning strategy.

Last night’s Oculus Press Conference underscored that as it gave a far clearer picture of what consumers will be getting when they buy into Oculus Rift. The promise of “a revolutionary experience” is scarcely tangible. You can watch the full conference up top.

oculus_rift_consumer-5

First off, pricing is still an unknown but estimates of $200-400 are likely not far off. Furthermore, Oculus still won’t get any more specific with a release date than Q1 2016. It’s likely that, as with a lot of other tech, there will be a staggered rollout worldwide.

The headset is said to be light enough to hold in one hand and will feature two OLED screens with a wide field of view, a tracking system with “very low latency movement” as well as an external sensor which can be set upon your desk, coffee table or whatever you wish to set it on.

Removable headphones are integrated into the headset, boasting 360 degree spatialised sound.There’s even a dial to adjust the headset for the interpupillary distance between your eyes in order to make it more comfortable for heads of different shapes and sizes.

Unlike the slightly rough dev kit units, the final product is covered in comfy cloth and the interior faceplate can be removed to accommodate glasses.

Almost in secret, Oculus has cosied up to a number of developers – including Square Enix, Insomniac, 4A Games, Harmonix and Ready at Dawn – to create games especially for the VR platform.

Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac Studios, took the stage to show off a new made-for-VR project called Edge of Nowhere. Set in a frigid wasteland, it appears to be a horror game filled with Lovecraftian monsters and perilous obstacles.

While a host of developers have already announced that their games will support VR or Oculus Rift, the vast majority aren’t going that route so Oculus has a kitty of $10 million which will be used to fund independent developers who want to make games for the Rift.

Further eliminating the concern surrounding a lack of support for the technology is a huge deal with Microsoft. In the video above, Microsoft’s CVP of next-gen experiences Kudo Tsunoda discusses today’s announcement with Major Nelson.

The Oculus Rift will come bundled with an Xbox One controller, an adaptor to make said controller work on Windows 10 and the ability to stream Xbox One games to the headset using Oculus’ Virtual Cinema. The games won’t magically become 3D but will be displayed on a virtual screen in a virtual room which is virtually the same as just playing without the headset but what do I know?

“Rift will work with Windows 10 allowing users to stream their Xbox One games such as Halo, Forza, and Sunset Overdrive to the Oculus Rift using the controller that they know and love,” said Xbox boss said Phil Spencer during the briefing. In short, users will be able to stream Xbox One games to PC and then onto their Rift consumer model.

“We’re thrilled to be working closely with the team at Oculus,” said Spencer. “Their groundbreaking work in virtual reality is inspiring, and the Oculus Rift delivers a truly next-generation VR experience.

“We at Xbox are passionate about giving gamers the opportunity to play when and where they want. I can’t wait to see the incredible games created for the Rift, and we are proud to be part of the experience.”

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Last but not least is the experimental Touch controller. The idea is to bring your hands into the virtual reality space for a more naturally interactive experience. The practical tech looks like a Wii Nunchuk playing with a hula hoop.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey showed off the Touch’s “Half-Moon” prototype at the company’s press conference yesterday. It’s split into two separate, symmetrical handles, both with 6-degree motion tracking using the same constellation tracking as the Rift headset itself, and with haptic feedback (AKA rumble). They’re also lined with sensors that allow them to detect finger poses, meaning Oculus Touch can tell if you’re pointing, waving, or even giving a thumbs-up.

It is a hugely impressive little bit of kit. Each half has an analog stick, triggers for the index and middle fingers as well as two face buttons. Luckey said that this would allow users to have “hand presence” and a “sense of feeling” in whatever game they’re playing.

Oculus will offer hands-on demos with Oculus Touch and its “Toybox” demo software at E3, letting users ‘light explosives, pull robots limb from limb, punch garden gnomes, and play tether ball’ together in a multiplayer world.

It’s still got a long way to go but Oculus Rift seems to have a very promising future.

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The Witcher 3 Has Been Played For Longer Than Any Religion In Existence http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-has-been-played-for-longer-than-any-religion-in-existence/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-has-been-played-for-longer-than-any-religion-in-existence/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 07:00:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171997 It’s a bold claim, no? Before Vatican wetworkers descend upon me we’d better clear a few things up. The Witcher 3 has sold incredibly well, hitting 4 million copies sold […]

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It’s a bold claim, no? Before Vatican wetworkers descend upon me we’d better clear a few things up. The Witcher 3 has sold incredibly well, hitting 4 million copies sold worldwide in just a fortnight.As such, lots and lots of people are playing The Witcher 3 and when you tally up the amount of time each person has poured into The Witcher 3, the number is staggering.

Judaism has been around for approximately five millenia, Christianity for whatever year it is on your calendar and Islam is the baby of the lot at around 1500 years. The total number of time that players around the world have put into The Witcher 3 outdoes all of the above three.

In a recent update on the health of gaming client GOG Galaxy special mention was made to the success of The Witcher 3. Apparently, some 700,000 PC players – about 17% of the total Witcher 3 player base – have logged 1,770 years worth of play time with the RPG so far.

The next bit is a little spurious, highly unscientific and probably unsound. However, should you choose to accept it, it’s a pretty incredible.

If we take that figure of 4 million copies sold across all platforms and extrapolate the PC figures across the entire userbase then we arrive at 9730 years of playtime. That’s nine millenia of Geralt, Gwent and dynamic beard-growth!

Unfortunately we’ll never get an accurate figure as such telemetry relies on players across all platforms remaining online during playtime. To do that is theoretically possible, even with players that are offline most of the time, but is a bit of a faff.

As it stands, let’s assume that the figure is a conservative one and that players have invested more than 10 milenia into The Witcher 3.

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The Adr1ft E3 Trailer Is Too Pretty To Deal With, It’ll Even Make Gravity Jealous http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-adr1ft-e3-trailer-is-too-pretty-to-deal-with-itll-even-make-gravity-jealous/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-adr1ft-e3-trailer-is-too-pretty-to-deal-with-itll-even-make-gravity-jealous/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:30:01 +0000 adr1ft]]> http://egmr.net/?p=171977 Previously if you wanted an entrancing experience of what it must be like to be floating around helplessly in space you’d have to watch Gravity. That’s not a bad thing […]

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Previously if you wanted an entrancing experience of what it must be like to be floating around helplessly in space you’d have to watch Gravity. That’s not a bad thing but the last video game I played which involved being out in space was Call of Duty: Ghosts and that was… well, it was just awful.

Thankfully, it seems that all you need to really experience the vast, dark, loneliness of space is to piss the internet off. Adam Orth did this and now he’s making a game about it so you don’t have to deal with the depression of global ostracising and vilification (there’s a game for that too).

It’s called Adr1ft and chances are you’ve heard about it by now but in case you haven’t (or you’ve simply forgotten) here’s a brief rundown. It’s Gravity: The Game. No, seriously. It’s a first-person sci-fi space game based on Adam Orth’s experiences following his #dealwithit tweets, exodus from Microsoft and bringing the ire of the internet crashing down around him.

Adr1ft is going to be at E3 but the trailer somehow leaked early and, making the best of an unexpected situation, developer Three One Zero rolled with it.

Adr1ft is coming to PC with support for Oculus Rift and possibly other VR devices.

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The Phantom Pain Might Have Microtransactions http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-phantom-pain-might-have-microtransactions/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-phantom-pain-might-have-microtransactions/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 08:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171976 At least seven people said “I would have paid money to skip those awfully long cutscenes in MGS 4″ and so it seems that Konami took this utterance literally. A […]

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At least seven people said “I would have paid money to skip those awfully long cutscenes in MGS 4″ and so it seems that Konami took this utterance literally. A PlayStation Store listing and recent previews suggest that MGS V: The Phantom Pain could feature microtransactions of the time-saving variety.

Generally paying to save time does not bode well as the options are quite clearly to grind a lot or pay up.

According to the official product description on the Italian PlayStation Store The Phantom Pain will contain “Acquisti in-game opzionali” which rather directly translates to “optional in-game purchases.”

Fun fact: The Phantom Pain translates to “il Dolore Fantasma” in Italian.

Now, we could stop there but if we’re going to accuse Konami of anything, more evidence must be presented. Observe Exhibit B below.

An IGN preview of The Phantom Pain mentions spotting references to “reduced time features” when building up Mother Base which could not be used “in offline mode”.

Using an in-game currency called GMP players are able to upgrade and add to Mother Base in order to acquire new benefits. It seems fairly clear that Konami is aiming to cash-in on impatient players but it remains to be seen whether the rate at which players accrue GMP has been tweaked to make paying real currency the more appeaing option.

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Toast On Jam: The Witcher 3, Fallout 4 And The Scandal Of Impossible Standards http://egmr.net/2015/06/toast-on-jam-the-witcher-3-fallout-4-and-the-scandal-of-impossible-standards/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/toast-on-jam-the-witcher-3-fallout-4-and-the-scandal-of-impossible-standards/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 09:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171868 All men are created equal. A long time ago, someone somewhere said that and they were rather wrong. Not just about men but everything. Nothing is equal because nothing is […]

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All men are created equal.

A long time ago, someone somewhere said that and they were rather wrong. Not just about men but everything. Nothing is equal because nothing is the same so why then do we try to treat everything as though it’s all the same and then get upset when said thingamabob doesn’t fit through the hoops we’ve haphazardly strewn about for it to leap through?

It’s a fascinating spectacle to see outcry erupt every time a game does not conform to the standards certain people wish to impose upon it.

Do games lean on stereotypes a little too often? Sure.
Could games do with less white male protagonists? Absolutely.
Do we need more representation in gaming? Definitely.

The thing is… I’m going to leave that thread dangling for now. It’s a rather cruel twist, no? I’m sure you were gearing up to read my riveting commentary on social issues within the gamersphere but much like a poorly-crafted non-linear narrative we’re going to jump forward, backtrack and leave everyone confused, myself included.

There are three kinds of outcries in gaming – post-release, pre-release, and Far Cry (that joke took an hour to think up, send help) – but they ultimately stem from the same place in that the game is not what you or me or that ranting twat on Twitter wants it to be. Within that we can further dissect outcry into the following:

Social – “Why isn’t The Witcher 3 more inclusive and representative of different ethnicities?”
Game – “Why does Fallout 4 look like shite?”
Corporate – “Ubisoft has already opened pre-orders for their unannounced game.”

The third has been dealt with like a badly behaved schoolboy when corporal punishment was still in effect. Despite being a sado-necrophiliac dispenser of bestiality I’m not going to touch it but will instead focus on the first two categories.

You often hear talk about the impossible standards of beauty that media subject women to, but what of the standards to which we hold each and every developer? I’m a firm believer in reserving any damning judgements until something actually releases so until Suicide Squad is out in cinemas I won’t dismiss it despite the growing evidence that the film is all sorts of tonally naff. That said, snap judgements are hard to hold back and one of the overwhelming criticisms of the recently revealed Fallout 4 is that it doesn’t look good enough. So we find gamers being highly hyped for this game while already judging it harshly based on a single trailer. It’s a peculiar paradox and the equivalent of saying, “Is that it?” while sporting a throbbing erection. Sit with that image for a while, folks.

Project Rainbow Lightning failed horribly in trying to create human unicorns.

Project Rainbow Lightning failed horribly in trying to create human unicorns.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Fallout games have never been graphical powerhouses, that’s generally not Bethesda’s bag, but their games are always rich with gameplay and depth and scale. So expect that, don’t expect The Witcher 3 on a PC with Hairworks turned up to full volume.

Say it with me now: “Great graphics do not a great game make.” (Repeat as necessary for best results.)

Similarly, Assassin’s Creed is probably not going to give you a stellar narrative so why go in expecting that? I speak from experience because I’ve made that mistake a few times.

It should be noted that I’m speaking here as a gamer, not as a critic or reviewer because it is possible to enjoy a game without giving it a glowing review.

This is really just a build-up to what I truly wanted to talk about today and that is the potential value of newly third-world European nations such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, FIFA and Greece reverting to a barter system and being annexed from the EU. Okay, maybe not but just give it some thought, okay?

Anyway. Representation!

Ah, what a nebulous and catch-all term. On any given day it can be used to refer to minority ethnicities, people of various sexual orientations, strong female characters, people of different body types and the oft-misunderstood never-nudes.

The trouble is that “representation” tends to be misused or used in a manner that is rather exclusionary or in reference to something which perhaps shouldn’t really be the focus of calls for representation. We should probably unpack this a little.

When calls are made for X to be more representative it is often in a way that is indifferent to the developer’s creative freedom. It comes as an accusation rather than a suggestion or constructive criticism and that’s the wrong way to go about things. To be explicit, not everything needs to be representative just to be representative. That right there is the false sound of progress. If the developer wants to or feels the need to have characters of diversity then that’s great but don’t force and don’t put it where it doesn’t belong. GTA V is a mental caricature of West Coast living and filled with outrageous stereotypes. Expecting it to contain strong female characters is like yanking a fish out of water and demanding that it breathe the sweet and salty ocean air. You’re going to end up with WIP sushi in your hands.

Above: what you should be thinking right now.

Above: what you should be thinking right now.

Almost in contradiction to the above, there are some boundaries. Don’t be completely belligerent to the concept of representation but don’t overdo it either. At one end of the scale we have Uncharted where the heroes are all white Americans, the throwaway enemies are mostly minorities and the big bad is always a Brit. At the other end we have Tyler Perry and that’s all we’ll say about that. There’s a balance to be found and it has to be organic, it has to feel authentic and not forced; not like it was just another point on the checklist right between bolt-on social features and pre-order bonuses.

In order for this to happen the development studio or at least a large part of the dev team needs to be from an ethnically diverse environment. Creativity can’t be conjured out of thin air like a white rabbit (it’s not racist if it’s an animal right?), it comes from our life experiences and things which we can draw from.

Expecting diversity from a studio such as BioWare (based in Texas) is perfectly rational and would you look at that, they are pretty diverse with representation in their games. It’s not quite the same with CD Projekt Red. I’m not going to go off on an apologist tangent but this article highlights it quite nicely. The population of Poland is overwhelmingly Caucasian so it’s a bit unreasonable to expect these folks to write people of colour when they are drawing on their own life experiences and Nordic mythology. Further more, it’s a game that is representative of Polish culture and made for Poles in the same way that general elections in South Africa are a quinquennial game where everybody loses but other countries don’t understand how to play.

A common argument is that it’s a fantasy game set in a fantasy world, it doesn’t need to be realistic in any way so why aren’t there people more representative of modern society? I think I have an answer to that. Fantasy is region-locked in a manner of speaking, see: the above example of CDP and Nordic mythology. Fantasy also draws very much upon medieval archetypes. Knights are white, desert merchants are Arab etc. Take God of War for example, the main characters all bare Mediterranean features because that’s where the mythology stems from and that’s how they are depicted in historic artwork.

Of course, it’s not all region-accurate. Jesus couldn’t really have been that pale, right?

I’m personally tired of notable South African films either revolving around Apartheid, townships or farming. There is more to this diverse and (theoretically) wonderful country. On a global platform we are poorly represented and the likes of Lauren Beukes are doing a great job of remedying that. Meanwhile, as much as I adore District 9, Neill Blomkamp is doing the opposite. The former crafts stories which are uniquely South African in flavour but original and represent a large spectrum of our demographics while the latter leans a little heavily on stereotypes.

Aside: Chappie appears to exist as, a) an extended music video for Die Antwoord and, b) predicts the group going broke and becoming street urchins. Just an interesting observation I thought I might share with you. I’m sorry.

My point is that criticism is essential or else Neill Blomkamp won’t change the way he does things. The other side of it is that those changes need to be the creator’s own. Demanding things is tantamount to stifling creative freedom.

Of course, when we do get some good and interesting representation, people throw their arms up at that too. Johnny Storm can’t be black, that’s not canon! Nick Fury isn’t historically black either, deal with it. Ultimately, the Human Torch’s character is in no way tied to his race so I don’t see a problem. An African-American can be from New York and have a white sister who’s slept with Keyser Soze. It’s perfectly plausible rather than a stretch for the sake of representation. The justification for the casting from the mouths of Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg makes plenty of sense too. Family is supposedly a big part of the new Fantastic Four film so the introduction of that family dynamic and the troubles it no doubt presented to the Storm siblings in growing up will tie strongly into the story. That makes plenty of sense and offers perhaps a different take.

It’s never enough or “you didn’y do it right.”

Representation for the sake of it produces Remember Me, representation without forcing the issue or putting a gun to anyone’s head produces Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Last of Us. You choose.

Representation doesn’t have to mean what you say it means and it’s a lot broader than most think. At the end of the day, trying to please everyone gets us nowhere. To developers I say, make the game you want, the way you want (within those boundaries of representation) and you can’t go wrong.

This column was originally about something altogether different and I had a really cute, somewhat relevant, Charmander gif all ready to go for you fine purveyors of this torrid column. Here it is anyway because it would be a crying shame to not share this with the world. For your sins:

DfQqM

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Final Fantasy XV Will Steal Your Breath Away In This New Tech Demo http://egmr.net/2015/06/final-fantasy-xv-will-steal-your-breath-away-in-this-new-tech-demo/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/final-fantasy-xv-will-steal-your-breath-away-in-this-new-tech-demo/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 08:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171882 Final Fantasy XV will be the first game to use Square Enix’s extremely pretty and flamboyant Luminous Engine which competed for attention with Unreal Engine 4 at E3 a few […]

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Final Fantasy XV will be the first game to use Square Enix’s extremely pretty and flamboyant Luminous Engine which competed for attention with Unreal Engine 4 at E3 a few years back. Since then the company has not touched Luminous, instead asking developers such as Eidos Montreal and IO Interactive to use something else. It seems the company wanted Final Fantasy XV to be the first game to really show off what this engine can do.

Final Fantasy XV started life many moons ago as Final Fantasy Versus XIII but after Final Fantasy XIII passed its third sequel, Square Enix likely decided it would be best to rebrand the Versus title. The actual story is far more intricate and plausible but we don’t have time for that just now.

The tech demo above is narrated by Square Enix staff as they talk up the Luminous Engine and all the wonderful new things they were able to do using it. One of those things was food textures. It seems odd at first but is actually about as pioneering as “hands in pockets” technology. How often does the food in games look good, like actually good? Not often.

Anyway, the footage you’re seeing is not yet representative of the final quality. Think on that for a while.

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Ready At Dawn Ditches Sony In Pursuit Of IP Ownership And A New Religion http://egmr.net/2015/06/ready-at-dawn-ditches-sony-in-pursuit-of-ip-ownership-and-a-new-religion/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/ready-at-dawn-ditches-sony-in-pursuit-of-ip-ownership-and-a-new-religion/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 07:30:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171883 Ready at Dawn has been a part of Sony for a number of years, having come out of the incubator at Sony Santa Monica and then spending a while creating […]

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Ready at Dawn has been a part of Sony for a number of years, having come out of the incubator at Sony Santa Monica and then spending a while creating the undervalued God of War PSP titles. The developer took a quantum leap forward with The Order: 1886, even if the game was less than a shuffle forward in the grander scheme of gaming.

Amid the announcement of Blizzard’s Paul Sams as the new Ready at Dawn CEO, the company took the opportunity to discuss a number of topics including its business expansion and the desire to own what thy create.

If you’re hiring a bloke from Blizzard, it’s because you want someone with experience, a veteran, and that’s exactly what ready at Dawn did in order to put Sams in the control tower for its new publishing business. Current CEO Ru Weerasuriya will be realigned as president and chief creative officer.

“This opportunity further fulfils a goal we had long sought. With Paul’s arrival, the entire team at our studio in Irvine will turn its attention solely on creative and game development, while Austin will become the focus of our business endeavours. Paul’s expertise will be essential in achieving some of our goals, including our desire to seek a strategic partner in helping us create and retain ownership of our own transmedia IPs,” Weerasuriya said in a statement.

The company revealed a lot more in an interesting interview with GamesIndustry International.

“While we expect to continue in our tradition of making big AAA games, we will not rule anything out at this point,” said Sams about the studio’s new direction. “Said another way, we are platform agnostic at this point – just like most gamers. Further, our technology now supports multiplatform development.

“Since the release of The Order, we have been very hard at work to advance our engine and technology to a place where we can deliver our games on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and one other unannounced platform that you will soon find out about.”

Platform agnostic. It’s a catchy tune.

Sams stressed that this was not a move which would cut all partnerships but rather that the focus would be on having more control over said partnerships in order to hold IP ownership, something the studio was in no position to demand in developing The Order. It’s also out of character for Sony to grant a studio ownership rights so that was likely never going to happen. It makes sense then that Ready at Dawn took a cue from Insomniac and broke free in order to be able to own, truly own, whatever they make.

Weerasuriya noted that The Order was the first block in building a new platform, and that it was never written as a “one-off.” It’s likely then that Sony will continue the franchise with another developer. Ready at Dawn would “love to be” part of whatever ends up happening with the franchise, Sams revealed, before changing the subject. That is a bit hopeful.

The Order was not a good game but it was a damn fine tech demo and the technology underneath it is exceptional. It’s odd that Ready at Dawn has control over that engine as it was developed and built on Sony’s dime and time. If the company does have proprietary rights to the engine that underpins The Order then that is a very solid platform upon which to break out.

Of course, Ready at Dawn should expect a fight from Sony over that engine because the PlayStation giant could certainly put it to good use, especially with Morpheus hanging around.

If Ready at Dawn can hold onto that engine then it’s quite possible to envision them evolving into a Devolver/Sony Santa Monica hybrid whereby they publish indie games but also serve as a incubator to those developers, giving them use of the Ready at dawn engine. It’s a stretch and the company likely has nowhere near enough capital or resources to make that a reality but it would be an interesting endpoint for them.

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Red Hood Looks Ruthless In This New Arkham Knight Teaser http://egmr.net/2015/06/red-hood-looks-ruthless-in-this-new-arkham-knight-teaser/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/red-hood-looks-ruthless-in-this-new-arkham-knight-teaser/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 07:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171881 If you’re ever unfortunate enough to find yourself plodding around this neck of the woods before 10am then it’s likely you’ll find a little bit of Batman: Arkham Knight news […]

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If you’re ever unfortunate enough to find yourself plodding around this neck of the woods before 10am then it’s likely you’ll find a little bit of Batman: Arkham Knight news so let’s carry on that tradition.

Red Hood’s story DLC pack was revealed as a pre-order bonus very, very, very early on for Arkham Knight but we’ve seen next to nothing of the Bat-family’s black sheep so GameStop decided to fix that. The pack is a pre-order bonus *hisses* exclusive to GameStop in the US and UK which will likely be released to the general public at a later date.

The inclusion of Red Hood has been interesting and may just be to offer some fanservice but there are theories floating around that its also because he is actually the Arkham Knight.

We normally wouldn’t even touch something as tainted as a trailer for pre-order exclusive DLC but we’ve made an exception this time get a chance to crack out our tinfoil hats.

It’s unclear when exactly the Red Hood story DLC takes place so it could well occur before Arkham Knight and provide context to why Jason Todd became the Arkham Knight. They fight, dress and kit themselves out in a very similar manner. Furthermore, it seems a bit odd that Rocksteady would design Red Hood to wear the iconic* red mask but also a literal hood. That’s like wearing a belt and suspenders. Unless it was done to offset the strong correlation between Red Hood and Arkham Knight.

Even if Jason Todd is not the Arkham Knight, there is something linking the two. There style and approach is too similar to be a mere coincidence.

*Appropriate and non-ironic use of the word iconic.

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Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Promises Less Arbitrary And Disjointed Side Activities http://egmr.net/2015/06/assassins-creed-syndicate-promises-less-arbitrary-and-disjointed-side-activities/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/assassins-creed-syndicate-promises-less-arbitrary-and-disjointed-side-activities/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 08:30:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171840 Assassin’s Creed games are infamous for quantity over quality. Sometimes that approach works, like in the sprawling Caribbean playground of AC IV: Black Flag where all the activities made sense […]

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Assassin’s Creed games are infamous for quantity over quality. Sometimes that approach works, like in the sprawling Caribbean playground of AC IV: Black Flag where all the activities made sense for a pirate to be doing.

Unfortunately, that’s the exception with Black Flag alone being bookended by AC III and Unity. The former had an arbitrary mish-mash of activities and the latter had so many meaningless activities that a glance at the map was tiring.

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate promises to change that. Well, the people behind it because we haven’t quite mastered the creation of sentient programs yet and it would be rather scary if an Assassin’s Creed game had a ind of its own.

The side activities and even missions in AC games have held largely the same structure over the years, even if Unity’s faux-black box approach was hailed as revolutionary. It’s worn thin, especially since the same old side activities don’t always make sense in every setting.

In the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, creative director at Ubisoft Quebec Marc-Alexis Côté reveals that side-missions have been designed to reflect the fight for power in each of Victorian London’s seven districts.

“In Assassin’s Creed we tend to be very generous with the activities that players can engage in, but one of the things that we need to do to modernise the experience is to make sure that those activities make sense for the players – and this is something that we are working on this year,” he says.

“Every activity that the player will do will make sense in the narrative quest of the protagonist,” he says. “The goal is to take back London, so all the activities that you will do in the open world will serve that as well as the main storyline.”

It’s easier said than done and as we know, Ubisoft is big on talk. With E3 drawing near, the time is almost upon us to see what Ubisoft’s big talking has actually produced in Syndicate.

Let’s brainstorm, what sort of side activities would make sense in Victorian London?

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Forza 6 Has 3D Puddles, Night Racing And Runs At 50 FPS http://egmr.net/2015/06/forza-6-has-3d-puddles-night-racing-and-runs-at-50-fps/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/forza-6-has-3d-puddles-night-racing-and-runs-at-50-fps/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 08:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171839 Forza 6 was confirmed in the most throwaway manner possible, as an afterthought at the unveiling of the new Ford GT (which will feature as the cover car for the […]

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Forza 6 was confirmed in the most throwaway manner possible, as an afterthought at the unveiling of the new Ford GT (which will feature as the cover car for the game). It was a strange one but you can bet that at E3 the game will have centre stage.

The Japanese site for Forza Motorsport went live, no doubt by mistake given how rife it was with typos, and gave away quite a few tidbits of information. Fortunately, AllGamesBeta was on hand to grab the details before the page was pulled.

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First things first, the game will reportedly run at 1080p and 50fps. Chances are that’s meant to be a ‘6’.

The site also states Forza 6 will have the most cars of “any racing game this generation,” as more than 450 will be present and with customization options – full working cockpits and full damage included. In addition to this the game will boast “26 world-famous locales including Daytona, Rio, and more.”

Co-op features include two-player split-screen, 24-player races, and realistic Drivatar opponents.

Visually the game is looking to outdo its predecessor with more more more. Forza 6 will contain “wet weather, 3D puddles, and night racing” along with “state-of-the-art-physics at simulation speed.”

For more on Forza 6 you’ll have to wait around till E3, it’s not far away now.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Will Offer Far More Flexibility For Different Types Of Players http://egmr.net/2015/06/deus-ex-mankind-divided-will-offer-far-more-flexibility-for-different-types-of-players/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/deus-ex-mankind-divided-will-offer-far-more-flexibility-for-different-types-of-players/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 08:30:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171812 As much as adore Deus Ex: Human Revolution it was not a perfect game, just a darn good one. While it offered different players a chance to play the game […]

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As much as adore Deus Ex: Human Revolution it was not a perfect game, just a darn good one. While it offered different players a chance to play the game their own way this was a very binary decision that players had to make with regards to upgrading Jensen and going the combat route was not a particularly forgiving option.

With Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Eidos Montreal is aiming to give players more of shaded scale along which to place themselves with regards to playstyles as well as giving them the tools to do so.

My memories of playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution are strong, remembering how I agonised over each stage of the game to get that no kills playthrough only to be thwarted in the end by a couple of sentries that I must have accidentally murdered somehow. Regardless, the experience stuck with such that I switched over from the new Florence + The Machine album to listen to the soundtrack from Human Revolution and I’m getting just a touch sentimental thinking about it.

The sore point amongst all this is of course the boss fights which were outsourced and proved a tricky task for anyone who was trying to upgrade Jensen in as stealthy and minimalist way as possible. If you had upgraded him for combat then these fights were no problem but general gameplay became a task.

It was this sort of gameplay catch-22 that held Human Revolution back in some ways. With luck Eidos Montreal won’t make that mistake again.

Game director Jean-Francois Dugas told Edge magazine that players will now have the option to go in stealthy or combative but can still within that choose to be lethal or non-lethal. Stealth players can of course go the lethal route too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

“We’ve always said we wanted you to be able to choose whether to kill everyone or kill no one, but the non-lethal tools we gave you in Human Revolution were…Basicially, if you weren’t stealthy you were kind of fucked,” explains Dugas. “They weren’t quick weapons that could take out several enemies at once. This time, it’s important that you can decided not to kill anyone, but still be a combat player – that kind of flexibility should be embraced.”

Yeah… we definitely asked for this.

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Surprise Surprise, The Uncharted Trilogy Is Coming To PS4 http://egmr.net/2015/06/surprise-surprise-the-uncharted-trilogy-is-coming-to-ps4/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/surprise-surprise-the-uncharted-trilogy-is-coming-to-ps4/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 08:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171811 Well, this is hardly a surprise at all. As soon as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was announced it was something of a sure thing that an announcement of some […]

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Well, this is hardly a surprise at all. As soon as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was announced it was something of a sure thing that an announcement of some sort of remastered trilogy bundle would not be far behind.

Now that Uncharted 4 has been squarely placed in Q1 of 2016, much like The Order this year and inFamous: Second Son the year before, Sony wasted little in putting Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection up on the PlayStation Store.

The collection will come complete with Drake’s Fortune, Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception in delicious 1080p 60fps with improved lighting, textures and models. Unlike The Last of Us: Remastered this is not an in-house endeavour that Naughty Dog has undertaken, the Nathan Drake Collection is being put together by Bluepoint Games, a studio quickly gaining a reputation for being the go-to place for a quality port.

If you recall, they’re the folks that made Titanfall on Xbox 360 look every bit as impressive as its Xbox One twin. They also did the God of War, Ico & Shadow of the Colossus plus Metal Gear Solid HD Collections.

Catch the trailer up top.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is due for release on October 9 this year.

Sadly, it’s unlikely that Bluepoint will be able to get realistically textured and animated chest hair.

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Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Will Treat Vehicles In A Very GTA Way http://egmr.net/2015/06/assassins-creed-syndicate-will-treat-vehicles-in-a-very-gta-way/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/assassins-creed-syndicate-will-treat-vehicles-in-a-very-gta-way/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 08:30:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171780 With Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag the series looked as though it could be heading towards shedding the weight of its increasingly contrived narrative and simply focusing on giving players […]

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With Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag the series looked as though it could be heading towards shedding the weight of its increasingly contrived narrative and simply focusing on giving players a massive and fun world to explore.

Then Unity released and the series was back to square one. Of course, that’s what Ubisoft intended but in an altogether different fashion. Thus we arrive at Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, a game which nobody quite knows what to make heads or tails of just yet despite having seen gameplay and being urged to “reserve” the game already.

One thing that is for certain is that many are quite eager to romp about Victorian London, in much the same way that many of us were eager to run through the bloody streets of Paris.

Ubisoft has already thrown its favourite buzzword about in telling us about the “iconic” modes of transport and in the latest issue of OXM creative director Marc-Alexis Cote discusses the role that vehicles will play in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.

“Any carriage that the player can see, they can interact with. They can hop on top of boats and trains to manipulate them to their advantage,” he says. “Vehicles are so intrinsic to the gameplay experience that they will profoundly change the way people play the game.”

“Players will obviously be able to drive through the city but they’ll be able to hop on top of their carriage and jump from carriage to carriage,” Cote explains. “They are dynamic platforms that the player can jump on. The player will be able to kidnap people and throw them in the carriage. You’ll be able to hide in the carriage, so they will act as moving hiding spots.”

“In terms of fighting, you’ll even be able to fight on top of those platforms,” he says. “Enemies will hijack a vehicle in the street, give you chase, jump up on your cart, pull you up out of the driver’s seat and fight you on top of the carriage.”

It all sounds very Wild West but will hopefully add an interesting wrinkle to gameplay rather than a frustrating crease. You know, one of those ones that just won’t iron out and then when it does it creates a crease on the other side of the garment.

An effort has clearly been made to integrate vehicles into the gameplay and they seem to be there as a tool as much as they are there for fun, much like in GTA. Sadly, it’s doubtful we’ll be able to walk into a blacksmith’s and fit our horse with gold shoes or adorn the carriage in leopard skin.

The question is whether vehicles will feel an organic part of gameplay or forced. It ultimately comes down to how we are allowed to interact with them.

I use GTA as a prime example because the vehicles are simply there and form a natural part of the game world, they’re not being shoved in our faces and the hope is that Ubisoft does the same although it’s unlikely.

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Arkham Knight Has Dual Play To Avoid The Mistakes Of Arkham Origins http://egmr.net/2015/06/arkham-knight-has-dual-play-to-avoid-the-mistakes-of-arkham-origins/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/arkham-knight-has-dual-play-to-avoid-the-mistakes-of-arkham-origins/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171781 One of the criticisms of Batman: Arkham Origins was the needless multiplayer component. It was decent enough in theory but ultimately felt like an unnecessary inclusion in a game that […]

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One of the criticisms of Batman: Arkham Origins was the needless multiplayer component. It was decent enough in theory but ultimately felt like an unnecessary inclusion in a game that quite clearly required attention elsewhere.

Rocksteady saw that and appears to have learnt from the mistakes of Warner Bros. Montreal by sidestepping the issue of multiplayer and instead opting to have its peculiar Dual Play system in Arkham Knight.

Dual Play allows players to control multiple characters of the Bat-family in a fight and looks rather interesting in action with players being able to take control of Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing. Robin looks just a little too Chris O’Donell for me to want to go anywhere near him though but that’s besides the point.

Game director Sefton Hill explains the rationale behind Dual Play in the latest issue of OPM.

“We knew we didn’t want to go down the route of creating a multiplayer experience”, explains Hill, adding, “we thought the player being in control of both characters was really interesting, rather than splitting it up into a co-op experience”.

The unseen finger is almost definitely pointing at Arkham Origins with that statement.

Dual Play will only be available for certain sections of the game as those characters’ own missions cross with Batman’s.

“When you get into those areas Nightwing [for example] will join you and you’ll be able to switch between both characters whenever you want. You have one button press to switch between [them] and as you fight you can maintain a combo across both characters”.
“Each character is linked into one super-villain that you’re chasing after,” says Hill. “So, taking Nightwing as an example, his story is based around hunting down the Penguin, who’s working in Gotham and supplying weapons to all of the super-villains throughout the city”.

A few things to take away here are that Sefton Hill rather fancies Nightwing and that Dual Play makes sense in the context of a Batman story as this is more or less the way things play out in the pages of the comics.

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Valve Has An Answer To All Those Steam Sale Regrets With A Refund Policy http://egmr.net/2015/06/valve-has-an-answer-to-all-those-steam-sale-regrets-with-a-refund-policy/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/valve-has-an-answer-to-all-those-steam-sale-regrets-with-a-refund-policy/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:30:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171701 Several times a year gamers descend upon Steam, drawn to its incredible offers and before long all their money has been given to Valve and they’re in a bathtub full […]

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Several times a year gamers descend upon Steam, drawn to its incredible offers and before long all their money has been given to Valve and they’re in a bathtub full of ice, short a kidney.

More often than not this frenetic period of buying and self-control results in a whole lot of buyer’s regret. This applies both the poor sods who bought a game just before it went on sale and the trigger-happy fools who went on a buying spree “because it was on sale.”

That’s the same excuse FIFA executives used when accepting bribes.

Valve has announced a very clear set of requirements and conditions by which users may request a refund on purchases of games and DLC. Long story short, you can get a refund within 14 days of purchase provided you have spent less than two hours in the application.

Even if you don’t meet all the requirements, there’s no need to worry. Steam looks at each request on a case-by-case basis so as long as you’re reasonably close to the requirements you might be in luck.

With Steam’s Greenlight and Early Access platforms letting some rather dubious creations through, some sort off refund system to protect end-users has become increasingly necessary. Of course, scamming is a two-way street and Thomas Was Alone’s Mike Bithell was quick to point this out.

The system is designed to “remove the risk from purchasing titles on Steam – not as a way to get free games.” Valve will not grant refunds to users who seem to be playing the system but there is certainly a huge number of games which can be played through in under 2 hours and turned into free demos. Of course, if someone wants a free game, why go through all that red tape when they could simply pirate the game?

This refund policy seems like a great move from Valve and one that has been a long-time coming. Especially since platforms such as GOG and Origin have been far more forgiving with regards to refunds.

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The Witcher 3 Is A Drunken Flower Picking Simulator According To Steam Reviews http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-is-a-drunken-flower-picking-simulator-according-to-steam-reviews/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-witcher-3-is-a-drunken-flower-picking-simulator-according-to-steam-reviews/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171700 The Witcher 3 has been capturing the heart and souls of those who dare play it since its release, it’s also been the topic of much discussion regarding supposed downgrades […]

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The Witcher 3 has been capturing the heart and souls of those who dare play it since its release, it’s also been the topic of much discussion regarding supposed downgrades and visual stability. Most notably, the game has sparked suspicions about whether The Witcher 3 is simply a testing chamber for Gwent.

We described The Witcher 3 as an engrossing and masterful creation in every respect. Of course, we don’t know anything and the only way to really gain insight into The Witcher 3 is by reading the eloquent and thoughtful Steam reviews.

They mostly talk about beards, drunken encounters, sex and Gwent. As always, they are incredibly insightful and hold crucial information. Below are some of the choicest ones. Here are just a few to whet your appetite:

I got a haircut and the barber got it wrong because he was drunk.

A little girl threw a rock at me and then ran away.

Most realistic beard in video game history.
Almost cried when the emperor forced me to shave it.

Played about 25 hours now.
15 hours spent gettin gwent cards and finding gwent opponents

I was so close to a threesome.

There was also talk of Geralt throwing horrid puns around.

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The PS4 Could Be Losing Some Weight While Getting Bigger http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-ps4-could-be-losing-some-weight-while-getting-bigger/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/the-ps4-could-be-losing-some-weight-while-getting-bigger/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 08:30:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171639 The PS4 is small, light, efficient and an all-round good package in terms of its hardware and form-factor. That said, there is always room for improvement and it looks as […]

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The PS4 is small, light, efficient and an all-round good package in terms of its hardware and form-factor. That said, there is always room for improvement and it looks as though Sony will be doing just that rather soon.

One of the major concerns regarding the PS4 and Xbox One is that they only have a 500GB capacity yet the industry is telling us to embrace the downloadable future while our consoles only have room for only around 10-15 games never mind whatever else may be taking up disk space.

The FCC has published certification documents of a new PS4 model which will come in two variants numbered CUH-1215A and CUH-1215B, plus the related testing kit DUH-T1200AA.

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The documentation shows radio tests in addition to specifications while the “15” refers to the region and will change depending where you are in the world.

The fact that only the second digit has been changed from the previous CUH-11XX model seems to indicate an internal evolution and not a full redesign, that according to Sony’s numbering standards would normally be marked by a change of the first digit of the model number.

So if you were hoping for a redesigned console keep dreaming. In any case, it’s not as though the PS4 could get much smaller or more streamlined.

What is worth noting is that the new version will come in 500GB and 1TB variants.

When comparing this with the specifications of the current PS4 model, we can see that the power source has dropped from 250W to 230W and as you might expect, the current rating has been lowered from 2.5-1.15A to 2.3-0.95A. This points to a more efficient and power-saving model which will likely require less cooling.

It’s possible that we’ll hear about this at E3 bot until then, it’s a waiting game.

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New Rise Of The Tomb Raider Trailer Hints At Lara’s Adventures, Box Art Revealed http://egmr.net/2015/06/new-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-trailer-hints-at-laras-adventures-box-art-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/new-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-trailer-hints-at-laras-adventures-box-art-revealed/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 08:00:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171633 2013’s Tomb Raider was a triumphant return for Lara Croft and served as the launch pad for her revival. It was a great game which offered a good origin story […]

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2013’s Tomb Raider was a triumphant return for Lara Croft and served as the launch pad for her revival. It was a great game which offered a good origin story and allowed us to see the beginning of Lara’s transformation into the fearless and hardcore badass we all know.

Rise of the Tomb Raider may have caused a ruckus when it was first announced as a timed exclusive for Xbox One but mostly because so many people are eager to get their hands on the next chapter in this rebooted story.

Put all of that aside for a moment and focus on the fact that at some point, regardless of the platform you own, you will be able to play Rise of the Tomb Raider. That’s a nice thought, right?

Ahead of E3 a new trailer has been released for the game which gives us a juicy tease at the happy, rainbow-filled adventures Lara will embark on.

In addition to this, Major Nelson revealed the official box art for Rise of the Tomb Raider and it’s more or less a rehash of the first game’s artwork. Give it a gander down below.

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EGE 2015 Was A Fine First Attempt http://egmr.net/2015/06/ege-2015-was-a-fine-first-attempt/ http://egmr.net/2015/06/ege-2015-was-a-fine-first-attempt/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 08:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171532 With Cape Town quite undeniably being the greatest city in South Africa, it’s a shame that Johannesburg typically gets preference for all the big events. We’re just as good and […]

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With Cape Town quite undeniably being the greatest city in South Africa, it’s a shame that Johannesburg typically gets preference for all the big events. We’re just as good and despite my growing disdain for this sorry nation, I do still love my city and would like to see it treated a little better.

This is where EGE (Electronics & Gaming Expo) comes in, it’s Cape Town’s very own gaming expo and having attended the inaugural edition, I’m glad to report that overall it’s a promising start to what will hopefully become an annual affair. The expo has the right energy more or less and was surprisingly well-attended.

The event ran from Friday 29 May to Sunday 31 May and was mostly independent with the City of Cape Town and ZombieGamer being two of the main partners.

On a sidenote, we do apologise for the lack of images as there were technical difficulties regarding the pictures taken with my camera and thus we were left only with what I had captured using my phone.

It can’t compare to rAge in scale nor scope. That may seem obvious but it’s not just the fact that EGE is a new venture but also the timing. The expo takes place with E3 looming so that, unlike rAge, there are no demos of unreleased games for the public to test out. Even if there were, it was strange to see that the only distributor involved was Ster Kinekor with the likes of Mortal Kombat and DriveClub on offer. More notable was the MakeGames SA stand where attendants could talk to some of the devs and play major titles such as Cadence or BroForce, again nothing new either.

The timing is perhaps also why a lot of distributors didn’t get involved. A big section of the floor area was devoted to the clan gaming tournaments. So this wasn’t exactly an event for gamers.
Reader’s Den was present with a good display of comics and collectibles alongside a number of impressive independent artists putting their art and jewellery up for display and sale.

The event was perhaps best suited for table-top gaming and cosplay. The former had a wide selection of games for sale on the floor with plenty of space for groups to settle down and play. The latter had a strong presence on Saturday for the cosplay competition which was supplemented by a number of workshops and talks on cosplay and costume maintenance.

Perhaps most notably the food was good and affordable while there was a steady stream of alcohol on hand. rAge says what?
More interestingly, Intel was there with a development competition running using its Galileo platform. It’s a natural extension of the collaboration Intel has had with UCT and was great to see in addition to the Hackathon being run throughout the weekend.

There was an excellent variety for everyone and although it took me a little while to realise this, it dawned on me that I, as a gamer, was not the target audience here. Perhaps as a tinkerer with the Intel hackathon but not as a gamer.

The idea seemed more to have as broad an appeal as possible and see what stuck but also to put together an event that would make sense so close to E3 so the focus wasn’t meant to be gaming. This was evident by the wide variety of people present. There were couples, loners, gamers, tech heads, families, excited kids and everything in between. This is a common thing for rAge but at a first time event this sort of demographic spread was great.

Nevermind that the expo was incredibly well-attended with the line for tickets growing insanely long by lunch time.

One of the main attractions was certainly the Oculus Rift available to demo but the queue was so mindbogglingly long that I never did get my chance unfortunately.

The event could benefit from getting the likes of Dark Carnival and more game distributors on board in addition to perhaps moving into a different time of the year, certainly well after E3. That said, it was nice to see smaller, less corporate exhibitors getting most of the exposure as opposed to rAge where they are more or less drowned out by all the noise and shiny things.

As it is, there was a good atmosphere, the floor was well laid out, the variety was great and the attendance was a pleasant surprise and I certainly hope that EGE can build on this solid foundation. Kudos to the organisers for a respectable first crack.

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The Xbox One Controller Is Getting Some Much Needed Tweaks http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-xbox-one-controller-is-getting-some-much-needed-tweaks/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-xbox-one-controller-is-getting-some-much-needed-tweaks/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 08:30:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171488 The Xbox One controller is a joy to fondle and use. It ticks all the right boxes: it’s black, comfortable, can go for much longer than it’s competitor, vibrates when […]

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The Xbox One controller is a joy to fondle and use. It ticks all the right boxes: it’s black, comfortable, can go for much longer than it’s competitor, vibrates when you need it to and is pretty ergonomic.

That’s not to say that it’s perfect but rather that it is a fantastic little user input device which could stand to benefit from a little tweaking. A harmless and out of the way page on The Xbox Support website suggests that change is in the air for the Xbox One controller.

The Get to Know Your Xbox One Wireless Controller section of the site points to some changes coming to the controller in June, likely to be unveiled at E3.

xbox-one-controller

The big, earth-shattering change is that the controller will now have a 3.5mm headphone port. Sure, it’s small but certainly something that should have been there from the get-go.

What else would you want to change or add to the Xbox One controller?

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Need For Speed Release Date And Street Racing Setting Revealed http://egmr.net/2015/05/need-for-speed-release-date-and-street-racing-setting-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/need-for-speed-release-date-and-street-racing-setting-revealed/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 08:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171487 Need for Speed is once again receiving a reboot after an experimental phase that included turning the franchise into a skin suit for Burnout games and whatever The Run was. […]

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Need for Speed is once again receiving a reboot after an experimental phase that included turning the franchise into a skin suit for Burnout games and whatever The Run was.

This time will be different though, this time they’re doing it right, this time they’re taking the franchise back to its roots. At least that’s what they say. Not so far back as the Porsche 2000 or Porsche Unleashed days but to the days of Underground.

This isn’t so much a reveal as information pilfered from a misplaced Xbox store listing. The listing was quickly torn down but as usual, Reddit was on hand with all the details preserved.

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The leak points to a November 3 release date, no real surprises there. It goes on to say some equally unsurprising but nonetheless interesting things.

The reboot will feature “5 unique ways to play, Speed, Style, Build, Crew and Outlaw” and will be set in the fictional West Coast city of Ventura Bay with an emphasis on after-dark activities.

“Discover a nocturnal open world of urban car culture you never knew existed. Ventura Bay is your urban playground; from downtown, the harbour and the canyons, the city comes alive while you sleep.”

The setting sounds very much like that of Underground 2 (yay!) while the five ways to play look like five different planes which players can level up on and earn XP for.

True confirmation will likely only hit at E3 but it’s likely a safe bet that Need for Speed will release on November 3 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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FIFA 16 To Have Playable Female National Teams http://egmr.net/2015/05/fifa-16-to-have-playable-female-national-teams/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/fifa-16-to-have-playable-female-national-teams/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 15:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171466 A couple of years back the issue of female player representation in FIFA games was raised and EA Canada responded by saying that it was certainly a feature which may […]

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A couple of years back the issue of female player representation in FIFA games was raised and EA Canada responded by saying that it was certainly a feature which may be incorporated into future FIFA titles.

With the global profile of women’s football growing year on year, it’s finally happened. FIFA 16 will feature a number of women’s national teams in several game modes. It’s extremely limited but should serve as the basis for a sound test to determine whether more time and effort should be invested to fully incorporate women’s teams into FIFA.

According to a press release from EA Sports, FIFA 16 will feature 12 women’s national teams – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and USA – which will be playable in Kick Off, an offline tournament and online friendlies. As I said, it’s limited. Check out the trailer up top.

“Bringing some of the best women’s players and teams in the world to our franchise is a massive event for EA SPORTS, and we are equally excited about bringing millions of fans a new way to play,” said David Rutter, VP and GM, EA SPORTS FIFA. “We’re making sure fans get an authentic experience when playing with Women’s National Teams thanks to our innovative player capture and reference tools, as well as the sophisticated gameplay platform which we will continue to innovate on in FIFA 16.”

From all new player movement and likeness, to realistic animations and attributes, the FIFA development team have authentically recreated 12 of the top-ranked teams in the world. Capturing all new player movement was done with meticulous detail and supported by a motion capture session at EA Canada with four top players from United States Women’s National Team: Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe. The players’ movements helped to build new locomotion for women in FIFA 16 including new walks, runs, sprints, and horizontal movement. Soccer Canada also visited EA to provide full-player references captured using the 360 degree body scanning rig – the references were then used to develop new player models. And the mobile headscanning unit travelled to a variety of tournaments and events around the world to capture facial features including hairstyles to ensure players look as realistic as possible in FIFA 16. Players in the game will look and move in game like they do on the pitch when representing their country.

It’s great to see that some effort has at least gone into implementing this into FIFA 16 and it will be interesting to see how female players compare with their male counterparts.

USA’s Abby Wombach is quite excited about perhaps one of the biggest changes to the FIFA status quo in a very long time as well as interested to see what the fan reaction will be like.

“I honestly can’t believe all of the science and technology behind the game itself, let alone getting us into the motion capture suits and eventually into the game,” said Abby Wambach, world record holder for International goals scored and forward, United States Women’s National Team. “We’re all excited to see ourselves in the game, but even more excited to see the reaction from all of the fans, including the fans of our team that maybe wouldn’t be expecting something like this from EA SPORTS.”

FIFA 16 is due out in September on PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

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Windows 10 On Xbox One Is Bringing Some Interesting Changes http://egmr.net/2015/05/windows-10-on-xbox-one-is-bringing-some-interesting-changes/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/windows-10-on-xbox-one-is-bringing-some-interesting-changes/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 08:30:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171427 Windows 10 promises to be just about everything that Windows 8 wishes it could be. As is the trend with Microsoft’s unification strategy for its platforms, the Xbox One will […]

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Windows 10 promises to be just about everything that Windows 8 wishes it could be. As is the trend with Microsoft’s unification strategy for its platforms, the Xbox One will be getting its own version of the Windows 10 OS albeit only around Q3 of 2015.

In the meantime it’s rumours abound and if you’re interested, which you likely are if you’ve gotten this far, then gather round and listen up.

Some information has been “leaked” via Chr0m3 x MoDz on Twitter. It could be real info or it could be the machinations of a loony, only time will tell but a fair bit of it seems plausible.

First up it appears as though party-chat on Windows 10 and Xbox One will now be cross-platform. At first glance this seems a bit peculiar but makes a whole lot more sense when you consider the second tidbit which is that Windows 10 will feature and XBL-like app which allows PC users to join their Xbox One compadres in online play.


 

Next up is one that is actually rather promising for developers. An API will be available which makes porting applications to Xbox One from Windows 10 and vice versa far easier. For Windows 10 this may not be a big deal but for Xbox One it certainly opens up the potential for the marketplace to explode.

Finally there’s a glimpse of what the UI may look for PC interaction with your Xbox One.

It all looks very interesting and very plausible but only time will tell as to whether this is really on the cards for the future of Xbox One. Supposing these features make it to Xbox One and Windows 10 what do you make of them?

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Sony’s Andrew House Says The Downloadable Future Will Bring Lower Profits But Higher Convenience http://egmr.net/2015/05/sonys-andrew-house-says-the-downloadable-future-will-bring-lower-profits-but-higher-convenience/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/sonys-andrew-house-says-the-downloadable-future-will-bring-lower-profits-but-higher-convenience/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 08:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171426 For some time now we’ve been told that the future is downloadable and it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be downloading bears from trustworthy and legitimate sources. During […]

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For some time now we’ve been told that the future is downloadable and it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be downloading bears from trustworthy and legitimate sources.

During his presentation at Electronics Investor Relations Day 2015, SCE President and CEO Andrew House spoke about the shift from physical retail to downloadable purchasing and how it’s also encouraging the move from PS3 to PS4.

“This is a digital era, and core users who are core digital native will move to PS4 from PS3 because it has better network features, and that has an impact on PS3 sales.

I’d like to add about profit and cost, that when I buy downloadable Dragon Quest, it’s faster, we can get it earlier, and it’s gonna be actually fun, so people are moving from packaged to downloadable purchases.”

House was also asked whether the shift to digital will increase profits and curiously his answer was no.

“Yes, it will have an impact on higher profits, but each region has a different situation regarding users. Of course, in terms of streaming, the US is the most advanced, and there’s an accelerating shift to streaming from physical packaged (purchases), but other regions are different. There is a shift, but the pace of shifting is different depending on the region.”

South Africa is still one of those regions where downloading games is still just barely possible but not wholly feasible for the general public. Perhaps it’s that but I’m still the type of person who likes hard copies. Part of it is down to the fact that hard copies don’t take up miles of hard drive space.

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The Witcher 3 Takes A Glorious Dig At DRM http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-takes-a-glorious-dig-at-drm/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-takes-a-glorious-dig-at-drm/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 07:30:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171428 DRM has long been the bane of gamers. Well, not all that long but it feels as though it’s been around for too long. The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt […]

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DRM has long been the bane of gamers. Well, not all that long but it feels as though it’s been around for too long. The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has always been vocally anti-DRM and believes that such restrictive measures only serve to hamper the experience for legitimate customers.

As such it’s no surprise that The Witcher 3 takes a lovely little jab at DRM while punting CD Projekt’s own GOG service.

Kotaku reader SilentAssassn87 found this gem while playing the game. If you can’t read the text then here it is in a more humane font and text-size:

The Defensive Regulatory Magicon (or DRM for short) belongs to the above-mentioned group of the longest-lasting, most effective and hardest to break defensive mechanisms. In order to recognize the individual administering it, it makes use of a portal mounted at the entrance of the area it is to defend. This portal passes streams of magical energy through the body of the person entering and can, in the blink of an eye, determine if this person has the corporeal signature (eyeball structure included) of the entitled administrator. As a result, the only unauthorized individuals that can possibly hope to enter are mimics.

DRM thus makes for an extremely effective and near-unbreakable security measure – but you are in luck, for you hold in your hands the key to bypassing it, namely the present tome, Gottfried’s Omni-opening Grimore, or GOG for short. In the pages to follow you will find innumerable methods for deactivating DRM, or, even better, bypassing it altogether (…)

*starts a slow clap*

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Toast On Jam: Gaming Unplugged – Having No Strings Attached Fun http://egmr.net/2015/05/toast-on-jam-gaming-unplugged-having-no-strings-attached-fun/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/toast-on-jam-gaming-unplugged-having-no-strings-attached-fun/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 09:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171321 I’m not someone who needs much social interaction and, as I outlined in my last column, it’s beneficial to be considerably less involved in social media in order to have […]

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I’m not someone who needs much social interaction and, as I outlined in my last column, it’s beneficial to be considerably less involved in social media in order to have a more focused experience of everything you do.

The trouble is that games have been becoming increasingly more social and it’s rare to see a game without some kind of networked features; leaderboards, multiplayer, share functions, trophy status posts and all the rest. We’ve also proliferated this with an incessant need to share every little bit of our experience while playing a game or watching a movie/ episode of a TV series.

What are you gaining from that?

The art of providing real-time updates as one goes through an experience is an absurdity whereby you’re largely detracting from your own engagement in whatever it is whether it be a movie, sex or an acid trip.

To go back to what developers have done, it all started with the insistence of having bolt-on multiplayer components to every game. There had to be some platform for player interaction but then developers got a little smarter about it with an abundance of leaderboards for just about everything. Then it exploded with share buttons, companion apps, co-op, multiplayer and even more leaderboards.

Of course there should be leaderboards in games such as Titanfall or Evolve and not all social features are bad. Forza’s Drivatar system is rather brilliant but for the most part it bloats and bombards the gaming experience with a multitude of fluff and bloat. The most extreme case of this thus far has been Assassin’s Creed Unity with its shoddy co-op, companion app, UPlay, leaderboards and unimplemented connected features such as the Assassin’s Creed stat tracking app. There would be popup notifications for these things every few minutes such that I was no longer playing a game but rather a storefront with advertisements for a half-dozen other Ubisoft services and products. I half expected to see a pre-order banner for Far Cry 4 in the sky.

Yes, I really don’t like leaderboards and it’s not just because I’m usually pretty low down.

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Essentially not every game needs networked and interconnected features or services.
We’re scarcely less guilty. We’ve accepted this status quo but I feel it dilutes and mires the core experience in unnecessary detractions and distractions.

We insist on buying a game at launch. Firstly, you should not be pre-ordering games and supporting the detestable culture surrounding pre-orders. If you do pre-order the only real justification should be that it’s for some limited or collector’s edition. Given the way games are going, buying one at launch is a bad idea.

There is invariably some controversy around a game at launch, compounded with hype or gnashing of teeth and of course, stability and technical issues. By waiting a few months you avoid all that madness, get the game at a point when it has been patched into a functional state and can enjoy it.
This next one may seem like hypocrisy from a guy who texts and drives but at least you can rest assured that I know what I’m talking about. I don’t really and let’s be honest, this is all one big condescending mess but if priests can do why can’t I? Granted, I don’t have a beard nor can I make a turban look good. My message is simple: don’t text and game.

Keep your phone in your pocket but don’t pause the game to whip it out every few minutes. It breaks your flow and worst of all you end up not really playing all that much of the game. I used to text my girlfriend while playing and ended up dividing my time about 50/50 between her and my game. I didn’t really feel satisfied with my gaming experience nor, truth be told with the relationship but that’s a different story to never be told to any of you lot. A simple extension of this is to not tweet and share your every experience. You’re not gaining as much as you might think from doing that.

Gaming has become a strange complication of too many things on top of the base game and most of it just takes you away from enjoying your playtime. All these social features essentially turn us into marketing tools for publishers. It’s been said that every time a Ubisoft game is trending on Twitter the company’s executives drink the blood of a nubile Beyond Good & Evil fan in order to gain a 20% stats boost.

 This sandwich tasted so much better after I knew how long it took other people to eat it.

This sandwich tasted so much better after I knew how long it took other people to eat it.

An exception with a few caveats is healthy discussion about a game. This is great and I absolutely encourage it. However, questions such as “how are you finding the game so far?” are largely superfluous because nobody leans over to you during a movie and says “what do you think so far?” Save that sort of discussion for after. It will be more involved and more informed at that point. The only sort of discussion that should happen during a game is the likes of what has been going on in the much aligned EGMR WhatsApp group currently called #GwentanamoBay (kudos to Bracken for that one). The chaps currently playing The Witcher 3 had a hearty discussion about Gwent strategies. What’s Gwent? The main objective of The Witcher 3 appears to be to become the Gwent world champion and win all the badges from various villages and towns.

Similarly, when Dragon Age: Inquisition released we had lengthy discussion about dragon killing strategies, where to find them, party loadouts and combat strategies and of course copious warnings to leave the Hinterlands as soon as possible. I didn’t listen and ended up getting Varric killed by a yak.

Anyway.

Cut the strings and purify your gaming experience. Strip away all the guff until all you’re really left with is a game that you can play and enjoy without distractions or interruptions or popups. It really does enhance your level of engagement and enjoyment.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys all that jazz then you may dismiss me as a bitter hermit who wishes to be left alone. However, if any of this has resonated with you then give it a shot and let us know what your thoughts are.

Not every gaming experience needs to be so complex and interconnected, simplify it down to a level that works for you, give the game your undivided attention and you’re likely to enjoy it that much more.
Please retweet this article to all your friends.

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Someone Finished Bloodborne Without Healing http://egmr.net/2015/05/someone-finished-bloodborne-without-healing/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/someone-finished-bloodborne-without-healing/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 08:30:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171390 Bloodborne is not a game for the faint of heart. To truly master it takes skill and strategy however, some players are more strategic than others. While GTA V and […]

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Bloodborne is not a game for the faint of heart. To truly master it takes skill and strategy however, some players are more strategic than others. While GTA V and Online players will wow us with some fantastic new mod or recreated scenes from movies and TV series, Bloodborne players will wow us with far simpler yet more impressive feats.

One such players is CraddocAtTwitch who has managed to beat nearly all of the major bosses in Bloodborne without healing, without guns and while at the lowest possible level.

Here you can see his stats and up top is a video of him using an exceptional mix of strategy, timing and patience to take down Gehrman, one of the optional final bosses in the game. Note the absence of a single blood vial during the fight.

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Devising a wining strategy for the Gehrman fight took 20 hours alone (to give you an idea of the time and effort devoted to this pursuit) and involved learning every part of his moveset as well as scrutinising it for openings.

Basically just learn to dodge all his movesets, it’s not easy. On p1 I punished him with leap attack after his charge attack, also when he did the 1-3 hit combo, I punished him with 1 hit. Do this till p2 starts.

P2 is trickier, just dodge everything to your right, punish him with sidestep hits, double sidestep is good too. Try to get him in the loop like I did, by being behind him, hitting and staying behind him whenever he tries to get front of you. When p3 starts, time backstab and do double charge for good dmg.

P3 is hard he gets new moves + both forms of p1 and p2, use same strat as p1 or p2 whichever form hes using. To dodge the 2h tornado, count to 3s when hes in the air and front step.

I was so happy when I got him down! The loop strat is real and self found! :D

Craddoc plans to overcome the Moon Presence in order to have the achievement of beating 17/17 bosses using this insane approach. And you thought you were special playing the game on NG+. Visit his YouTube channel to see his runs with other bosses.

We take our hats off to your, sir.

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CD Projekt Reveals That It’s Going To Be A Long Time Before We See Cyberpunk 2077 Again http://egmr.net/2015/05/cd-projekt-reveals-that-its-going-to-be-a-long-time-before-we-see-cyberpunk-2077-again/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/cd-projekt-reveals-that-its-going-to-be-a-long-time-before-we-see-cyberpunk-2077-again/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 08:00:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171388 With The Witcher 3 out in the wild now it’s surely time for CD Projekt to shift focus to their next game, right? That’s the way it usually works anyway. […]

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With The Witcher 3 out in the wild now it’s surely time for CD Projekt to shift focus to their next game, right? That’s the way it usually works anyway. Wrong. The studio plans to focus on The Witcher for quite some time still.

The Witcher 3 has suffered from issues at launch meriting some extra attention but CD Projekt plans to focus on the game all the way into 2016.

Speaking to Reuters, CD Projekt RED CEO Adam Kicinski discussed The Witcher 3 and the studio’s other projects – most notably Cyberpunk 2077.

Kicinski stated that this year and next will be “years of The Witcher” which suggests at least a few planned bits of major DLC for The Witcher 3. Unfortunately the flipside to this is that Kicinski also said it’s too early to talk about Cyberpunk 2077.

We hope and we are certain that Cyberpunk has even bigger commercial potential. It is too early to talk about it, though. This year, and the next one will be the years of the Witcher.
Sales of the third part will be many times higher than with our earlier games. Preorders indicate this.

Cyberpunk 2077 had the unfortunate fate of being introduced to us as this incredible concept with generous helpings of Deus Ex in the mix and then being hidden from the public eye as CD Projekt began its marketing spree for The Witcher 3.

Just how much work and time is being devoted to Cyberpunk is unknown but it’s going to be a long wait until we see anything of the game if 2017 truly is the next time we’ll get a glimpse. By then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will have released and could potentially shift the goalposts for Cyberpunk.

With any luck Cyberpunk 2077 will hit shelves before the year 2077.

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Why Is Lords Of The Fallen Receiving A Game Of The Year Rerelease? http://egmr.net/2015/05/why-is-lords-of-the-fallen-receiving-a-game-of-the-year-rerelease/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/why-is-lords-of-the-fallen-receiving-a-game-of-the-year-rerelease/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 08:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171338 We liked Lords of the Fallen when it released in October last year. We didn’t adore it but considered it a good alternative for Dark Souls fans with plenty of […]

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We liked Lords of the Fallen when it released in October last year. We didn’t adore it but considered it a good alternative for Dark Souls fans with plenty of its own character and atmosphere. Nobody really considered it game of the year material though.

Lords of the Fallen released around eight months ago, any human babies conceived as a result of its parents becoming aroused by Gothic violence has probably just been born or is still in gestation. Despite that we’re getting a Game of the Year edition.

The edition will include previously released DLC a well as the base game and is set to release on June 26.

So why bother with the rerelease?

Simply put, the GotY edition is releasing in that wasteland period of the calendar where nothing much hits shelves so it is likely something of a cashgrab.

It’s a problem that Square Enix seems unable to cure itself of. At the beginning of last year they released Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition which was for all intents and purposes, the PC version of the 2013 game ported to PS4 and Xbox One, complete with TressFX floppy hair.

It was just the beginning though as Square Enix then released Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. While Sleeping Dogs is a very good game, it did not need a rerelease and certainly nobody asked for it. Worse still, the rerelease was in fact less stable and at times visually worse than the original game.

Between those two releases many publishers followed suit with a plethora of rereleases from The Last of Us to Borderlands, Diablo III, GTA V and more.

Now, a few of these rereleases can be understood. People wanted the likes of GTA V and Diablo III to come to PS4 and Xbox One while The Last of Us Remastered gave PS4 owners who hadn’t played the game a chance to do just that. Fair enough. Furthermore, the three above mentioned games made an effort to improve and enhance the experience on the new consoles thus adding value to the new versions.

The same cannot be said of the likes of God of War III Remastered or Borderlands: The Handsome Collection.

God of War III is perhaps one of the best games on the PS3, a truly epic action game that redefines the notion of scale. However, that number is the crucial issue here. It’s the third game in a trilogy plus God of War: Ascension which served as a prequel to the entire thing. So why is it just God of War III on its own when the other three games all exist on PS3?

It’s a bit of laugh that this remaster of a 2010 game was deemed necessary when the package that PS4 owners can buy in stores holds no extra value when compared to the PS3 version. There is no DLC, no bundle of games and most importantly, it tell an incomplete story with those new to PlayStation only being able to catch the conclusion to Kratos’ story when the rerelease surely exists precisely for those people.

The Handsome Collection is even more perplexing as it bundles Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-sequel and then stops short at including the first Borderlands. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. On the plus side, the collection does come with just about all of the associated DLC for each game, which is hefty bit of additional content. That said, why does this exist?

It is somewhat understandable for console exclusive titles to be remastered and rereleased on the new consoles for those who didn’t own a PS4 or Xbox One. It certainly makes sense for the likes of The Last of Us: Remastered or Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for games such as Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs or Borderlands that were available to everyone. Of course, it makes less sense for standalone games because at least The Handsome Collection is a bundle of things.

It’s something of a systemic problem wherein publishers choose to give us things that we’ve already played and things that nobody asked for in the pursuit of a quick buck. It once again demonstrates the lack of gamer-orientated business practices within the gaming industry.

There is distinct lack of consideration given to demand or desire for things such as Tomb Raider or Sleeping Dogs on PS4 and Xbox One. Similarly there is a lack of consideration for what sort of people will be buying these editions and subsequently a lack of thought to providing a complete experience with the likes of Borderlands: the Handsome Collection and God of War III Remastered.

Lords of the Fallen GotY Edition then seems to be the natural progression of this way of doing business once companies tire of bringing old games onto the new consoles. We will begin receiving complete editions to games that nobody raved about or cares about all that much.

I eagerly await the eventual Assassin’s Creed Anthology for PS4 and Xbox One or the AC: Unity Definitive Edition which comes bundled with all seven major title patches.

This is practise that needs to stop or at least deserves a good amount of thought before a company churns out one of these remasters or definitive editions.

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Jonathan Blow’s Next Game Will Be Far More Traditional http://egmr.net/2015/05/jonathan-blows-next-game-will-be-far-more-traditional/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/jonathan-blows-next-game-will-be-far-more-traditional/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 08:30:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171311 Jonathan Blow has been hard at work on The Witness, his language-free puzzle game, for some time now and with its release nearing, it’s already time for the developer to […]

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Jonathan Blow has been hard at work on The Witness, his language-free puzzle game, for some time now and with its release nearing, it’s already time for the developer to start looking ahead.

Blow believes that there is a natural learning process whereby a player understands and overcomes a puzzle in a game and it’s this core belief that has driven development on The Witness and allowed it to be unrestrained by language barriers. It’s an ambitious and very different apprroach bu one that he may not try to revisit.

In the latest issue of OPM, Blow explains where the idea for The Witness came from.

“Before Braid I didn’t really have that idea, and then in Braid I saw, ‘Oh yeah, there’s this thing that happens when people encounter puzzles.’ For The Witness, the whole game is designed around that experience – that arc of understanding. You see something new, you have no understanding of it, and gradually your understanding increases in the experience.”

Blow went to confirm that the next project for him and his studio, Thekla Inc, will not be a puzzle game.

“The next game is not a puzzle game,” reveals Blow. “The next game is probably… very much recognisable as a traditional videogame.”

That’s a rather strange to say actually. Puzzle games are perhaps one of the more traditional varieties but perhaps Blow is suggesting that the next endeavour will be something a little more conventional with more mainstream appeal.

Regardless, it’s a departure for him and his team so it will be interesting to see what they have planned after The Witness releases on PS4 later this year.

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The Witcher 3 Situation Worsens On Consoles With A Patch Yet To Come http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-situation-worsens-on-consoles-with-a-patch-yet-to-come/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-situation-worsens-on-consoles-with-a-patch-yet-to-come/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 08:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171313 The Witcher 3 is by all accounts a brilliant game and our resident dungeon wench has confirmed as much as it delves further into the game with a review coming […]

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The Witcher 3 is by all accounts a brilliant game and our resident dungeon wench has confirmed as much as it delves further into the game with a review coming soon. The only trouble is that after a couple of lengthy delays the game is still suffering from stability issues which bring to question just what CD Projekt Red did with the game in the months that it was delayed.

Every massive open-world game is bound to have niggling issues, the scale and scope of them is simply too great. However, The Witcher 3 seems to have followed the path of just about every other major release.

Typically these days a game is delayed, releases, requires a very necessary day one patch and then requires further patching because of significant issues that persist. This rather aptly describes The Witcher 3 which was delayed out of 2014 in order to receive extra attention and polishing yet released with a very necessary day one patch. Despite that, stability issues persisted and thankfully CDP was quick off the mark with a fix for PC but has yet to address the issues on console.

Most notably, some Xbox One users have been experiencing issues with saving their game. This is surely something that should never have happened in the first place.

According to a post on the official forums, Cd Projekt RED quest designer Philipp Weber said the team is “aware of the issue” and is treating it “very seriously.”

“We hope to put the fix in a patch as soon as possible,” he wrote.

I don’t want to vilify a studio that has always put gamers first but this is yet another follower of the current status quo in gaming. Patches are inevitable as niggling issues and problems are fixed. Major patches and day one updates should be an exception, a rarity. Instead we see them with every game.

It’s a systemic problem in the industry not merely exclusive to the corner-cutting like of Ubisoft.

What’s your take on day one patches and more importantly, how has The Witcher 3 been treating you on console thus far?

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Review: Mad Max: Fury Road Is Pulse-Pounding And Surprisingly Low On Testosterone http://egmr.net/2015/05/review-mad-max-fury-road-is-pulse-pounding-and-surprisingly-low-on-testosterone/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/review-mad-max-fury-road-is-pulse-pounding-and-surprisingly-low-on-testosterone/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 08:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171070 There is no shortage of high-intensity action films these days. Liam Neeson furnishes us with at least three per annum, and if you stick around long enough you should see […]

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There is no shortage of high-intensity action films these days. Liam Neeson furnishes us with at least three per annum, and if you stick around long enough you should see them in a variety of flavours, shapes and sizes. Hell even The Hobbit, an adventurous and fun kids’ story, got twisted into a three part sprawling mess of high-intensity action, plodding nothingness and Martin Freeman wishing he’d stayed in the Shire to film more episodes of Sherlock.

When it comes to high-intensity vehicular action films there isn’t much else besides the increasingly absurd Fast and the Furious franchise which has somehow kept going year after year until this year’s seventh film became one of the highest grossing films of all time. I hear in the next one they steal a SpaceX shuttle to fight a Martian drifting club on the moon and save Earth with the power of nitrous and Corona. The trouble is that those films have always been heavy on machismo, latent homosexuality and sorely lacking substance. It’s also become increasingly melodramatic but hey, people flock to cinemas to see it.

Now back in the day, when cocaine was in vast supply and folks were just coming down from the acid trips of the 70s, a chap named George Miller had the idea to write a script for a film about road warriors in the radioactive wasteland of a post-apocalyptic Australia. Thus, Mad Max was born and foreshadowed Mel Gibson’s eventual descent into real life insanity.

Though things may have gotten a bit awry towards the third film, the first two were absolutely mental pieces of action cinema with a rich world full of atmosphere and more grit than Christian Bale could gargle in a year. The films were also highly renowned for their scenes of vehicular combat. It was a pulpy and absurd world but one that viewers could get lost in because of the depth and detail in them.

No pressure then for Mad Max: Fury Road which comes so long after its predecessors that my entire existence has spanned that chasm of time with some change to spare. In fact, I might be correct in saying that not a single person on this site is older than Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Fury Road has all the makings of yet another mediocre Hollywood cashgrab; the revival of a beloved 80s franchise, big name actors to prop it up, a series of production delays and hindrances. All the pieces are there and yet… this film is magnificent.

Fury Road is something truly special and perhaps not quite like anything I’ve seen before.

The basic premise is that Max (Tom Hardy) is captured by War Boys and brought back to the Citadel, a hive of barely-alive husks ruled by Immortal Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). At the same time one of Joe’s Imperators, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), is being sent out in a war rig on a supply run to gas town. Instead she changes course and makes a run for it with the five wives of Immortal Joe on board. The intention is to save them from a life of breeding and take them to The Green Place, a safe haven. A series of hijinks and shenanigans ensues with Max finding himself on Furiosa’s side before long. Through the sustained effects of abstinence from huffing paint, Nux (Nicholas Hoult) finds himself opened up to logic, which sees him join Max and Furiosa in their mental journey. It sounds ridiculous, far-fetched and pulpy as all hell but that’s just the point.

Despite how insane and outrageous it is on paper, the world is so tangibly crafted and absorbing that one can quite easily become lost within it. There is a true character to Fury Road and a substance sorely lacking from its contemporaries.

Part of this is down to incredible attention to detail and thought put into those details. It all just makes so much sense. The spikes adorning the sides of cars, the explosive spears used by Immortal Joe’s War Boys, Furiosa’s ritual of smearing grease across her forehead to avoid glare; it all just fits so believably and tangibly into this world. The details are part of an intricate tapestry rather than a meaningless jumble of things.

Another contributor to that substance is the liberal use of practical effects and real stunts. They add to the grit and intensity for a truly visceral experience. The crashes, explosions and action set-pieces are brutal in an outrageous yet plausible way. In essence it does everything that the Fast and the Furious franchise so desperately wishes it could do.

Despite the very out-there premise, the narrative is surprisingly character-driven and thoughtful rather than fuelled by testosterone and machismo but more on that in a bit. One thing you’ll notice is that the film decides to show you its world rather than tell you about it. There’s a distinct lack of dialogue and the intention here is twofold — it keeps the attention on what’s happening and allows the movie to never slow down but also allows world-building to be done visually and Miller has done a superb job of that. Information is conveyed easily and simply without dreary periodic dialogue dumps. It’s a skill and an art that is very much forgotten these days and has been recently best exemplified by films such as John Wick.

As the narrative makes its way across the Australian wastelands the characters uncoil and we get to see who they really are. Everybody brings their A game, of the main cast anyway. Tom Hardy is suitably mysterious and grisly as Max with a voice that is bang on for the role of a Road Warrior. His experience in making Locke seems to come through with Hardy looking very comfortable spending the vast majority of the film in a car not to mention displaying just a tinge of psychosis. As always, Nicholas Hoult is unrecognisable and fun to watch. Joe’s wives are surprisingly strong characters and far more than simply damsels in distress and trophies to be fought over. Hell, they’re more involved in the action than Jupiter in Jupiter Ascending. Special mention goes to Riley Keough who excels as Capable, one of the wives. The show really belongs to Charlize Theron though who is perhaps the most badass and unsexualised heroine we’ve seen in a very, very long time. She is extremely capable and is perhaps on the par with Ripley in Alien and Aliens.

The true heroes of this film are the women with Max and Nux really just along for the ride. The narrative is progressive and quite different from your typical action film, let alone a car film. It’s just one of the things that makes Fury Road feel so fresh. The wives are not simply along for the ride but appear in control of their own destiny and most importantly capable of doing things for themselves and making choices for themselves.

Fury Road never lets up with an intense relentlessness that manages to ebb and flow just right so as to not feel poorly paced or grow tiresome. It also lasts just long enough and doesn’t overstay its welcome. The action choreography and cinematography makes for truly pulse-pounding and memorable sequences that are often beautiful in their brutality and honesty.

For a movie that moves so fast and is so action-heavy it is often breathtaking. The Namibian desert served as the surrogate womb for this film in the absence of a real Australian wasteland and makes both a completely novel setting but also an arrestingly beautiful one. Fury Road manages to use its distinctly dusty and gritty aesthetic to create a unique style rather than falling into the trap of becoming depressingly brown as so many modern first-person shooter games do.

Occasionally Fury Road missteps with some horrid and gimmicky use of 3D but for the most part this film is a visual masterpiece thanks to astute cinematography and directing.

The atmosphere is further bolstered by a soundtrack that expertly blends diagetic and non-diagetic sound thanks to a score by Tom Holkeborg (Junkie XL), who is fast becoming a big name in Hollywood, and the inclusion of a music rig in Immortal Joe’s convoy. Where else might you see an entire vehicle devoted to simply building up a warlike atmosphere with beating drums and a fire-spitting electric guitar? It’s absolutely bonkers and yet fits so damn well with the mythos of the Road Warriors and War Boys being a post-apocalyptic re-imagining of the Vikings.

It is not perfect and may not be everyone’s cup of tea but Mad Max: Fury Road is a sublime piece of cinema whether you’re into action, driving, hot girls or the minutia of filmmaking. The acting is aces for the most part with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron really pulling their weight. Everything else is just exquisitely done to create a film that is so full of substance and character, made with an energy that you simply just don’t see anymore. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

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Sony Is Working On Something Very Secretive For R&D Purposes http://egmr.net/2015/05/sony-is-working-on-something-very-secretive-for-rd-purposes/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/sony-is-working-on-something-very-secretive-for-rd-purposes/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 10:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171252 As we build up to E3, there are going to boundless rumours about all sorts of things from the resolution at which the new Assassin’s Creed will run to the […]

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As we build up to E3, there are going to boundless rumours about all sorts of things from the resolution at which the new Assassin’s Creed will run to the colour of Phil Spencer’s socks. For the record, my money is on puce. There are also going to be tons of teases all over the place and the latest rumour suggests that Sony is up to some mysterious mischief.

A new job ad is looking for a senior game programmer to work on something for research and development regarding the current console generation or next-gen as Sony still seems to be calling it.

The ad gives quite a bit away but the short duration hints at something of a tech demo rather than anything for wide consumption.

We have an exciting opportunity at Sony Computer Entertainment of America (PlayStation). We seek a senior game programmer to assist us in developing a game used for R&D purposes related to our next generation gaming system. For someone passionate about gaming this is a very rare opportunity. After reviewing the below job profile, if this is you, please apply!

This temporary engagement is payrolled through our staffing partner, Yoh. The anticipated duration of this engagement is 6 months but may vary.

Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the development of technology, systems and tools used in game development, including: game logic, behaviors, animations, motion systems, mini-games, physics systems, collision systems, rendering, particle effects, entities systems, camera logic, and sound to name a few
  • Manage communication and enable early identification of issues
  • Collaborate and develop aspects of a specified game-play experience
  • Provide technical vision
  • Ensure goals are met with a clear understanding of project milestones
  • Communicate updates and/or concerns to leadership

It appears as if the ad is asking for someone with PS3, Xbox 360 and PS4 dev experience but the mention of Unity expertise. You can check out the full ad here.

It’s unclear what exactly Sony has going on in its secret subterranean research facility. My guess would be that it’s something to do with Morpheus and having some new piece of VR gimmickiness to show off.

A slightly more out there theory is that Sony wishes to build a networked game-making platform akin to Project Spark.

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Get The Complete Trilogy When You Pre-order God Of War III On PS4 http://egmr.net/2015/05/get-the-complete-trilogy-when-you-pre-order-god-of-war-iii-on-ps4/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/get-the-complete-trilogy-when-you-pre-order-god-of-war-iii-on-ps4/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 08:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171167 God of War III is perhaps one of the best exclusive titles the PS3 ever had. It was brutal, epic and ultimately sublime. It also featured Kratos literally stealing someone’s […]

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God of War III is perhaps one of the best exclusive titles the PS3 ever had. It was brutal, epic and ultimately sublime. It also featured Kratos literally stealing someone’s shoes and [spoilers] so there was that. Though the game is five years old, it’s understandable that a number of PS4 owners may have never played the game so perhaps caution surrounding spoilers is necessary but Kratos totally beats the immortal snot out of Zeus and basically ruins Earth at the end.

In what can only be described as yet another cashgrab ahead of an almost certain E# reveal of a fifth God of War title, God of War III is coming to PS4. Not God of War III and Ascension nor the previous two games, just God of War III.

Today Sony revealed a new trailer for God of War III: Remastered to showcase the silky smooth blood lust that the game will have on PS4. Sony Santa Monica Community Strategist Aaron Kaufman took to the comments of the North American blog post to clarify a few points:

Firstly, the pre-order bonus dynamic PS4 theme will be granted to those who pre-order via retailers and not just to PSN pre-orders.

“The theme is a retail pre-order as well. Players will get the code when they pick up on 7/14.”

Secondly of all, pre-orderers, or reservers as Ubisoft now calls them, will receive God of War I and II gratis.The catch is that this deal is exclusive to North America because you’ll only get the games for 90 days on PS Now.

“The PS Now rentals are a PSN exclusive pre-order and only apply to US & CAN (other regions do not have PS Now)”

“We want to give PS4 fans who never played God of War, added incentive to play God of War 3 by playing the originals. It’s a great value-add for fans who never played, and 90 days is easily enough time to complete both.”

We absolutely adore God of War III and singled it out as one of the games that defined the previous console generation however, there is nothing enticing about this remaster. Absolutely nothing aside from smoother and shinier visuals.

There is no bundled DLC, the Ascension prequel is not included and the existence of PS Now further muddies the waters. Sony wants PS Now to take off and so won’t bundle the first two games with the Remaster but wants players to get the full trilogy experience and so has decided to come up with a half-cocked solution.

On a sidenote, is it not a little peculiar that Sony Santa Monica has a Community Strategist instead of a community manager?

Unless you absolutely desire a God of War III dynamic theme, don’t bother pre-ordering this waste of time and unless you haven’t played God of War III, don’t waste your money on this joke of a remaster.

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The Next Need For Speed Could Go Underground, Reveal Coming This Week http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-next-need-for-speed-could-go-underground-reveal-coming-this-week/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-next-need-for-speed-could-go-underground-reveal-coming-this-week/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 08:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171123 Need for Speed is a racing franchise that has been with many of us since our earliest days of gaming. I remember playing Need for Speed 2 and Porsche Unleashed […]

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Need for Speed is a racing franchise that has been with many of us since our earliest days of gaming. I remember playing Need for Speed 2 and Porsche Unleashed at the tender age of 6. Since then things peaked and rapidly deteriorated to the point where, for the first time in years, 2014 did not see the annual release of a Need for Speed title.

The series has lost its way, like so many others, most recently Assassin’s Creed with Syndicate offering no glimpse of forward progression yet. With Ghost Games taking over as sole developer of Need for Speed there is a huge pressure on the developer to turn out something fresh instead of the reskinned Burnout titles we’ve been getting.

Need for Speed Underground was the first game I played on PS2 back in the day, while sitting on the plush white carpet of my cousin’s parents’ room. It was huge fun but it was with Underground 2 that the series hit its high point with customisation and tuning mechanics and systems that are still hugely fun till today. Then Most Wanted came and threw the world wide open with police chases and even more modification. After that the series took a downturn and rapidly declined until Criterion was brought in to revive the series and ended up churning out much the same game each year. It didn’t last.

Now the series is at a point where it’s sink or swim. The new Need for Speed is set to be revealed on Thursday and early suggestions are that it will be a continuation of the Underground series. the news of the reveal appeared on the Need for Speed Facebook page and will take place on Thursday on the official NFS YouTube page.

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The reveal image is extremely dark but turn up the brightness and you can faintly see two modified cars drifting at night on what seems like a street. You put the pieces together. If you do need further evidence, here’s an image from Need for Speed Underground 2:

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a good street racing game with the full modification focus that previous NFS titles had and one has to wonder whether there is still a place for that in the world.

Most arcade racers these days are stripped down and streamlined experiences without much depth so something like Underground 2 may actually be a breath of fresh air.

I’ve been playing a fair amount of GTA and have a huge amount amount of fun modifying cars and just cruising around. I’d love to see a game all about that again, if only for the mostalgia. I last played Underground 2 last year and it was still immensely fun.

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Guillermo Del Toro Talks About Silent Hills’ Cancellation http://egmr.net/2015/05/guillermo-del-toro-talks-about-silent-hills-cancellation/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/guillermo-del-toro-talks-about-silent-hills-cancellation/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 15:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171108 In the wake of GamerGate Hideo Kojima’s abrupt split from Konami, there was widespread speculation about the future of his current projects. Metal Gear Solid V was to be his […]

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In the wake of GamerGate Hideo Kojima’s abrupt split from Konami, there was widespread speculation about the future of his current projects. Metal Gear Solid V was to be his final addition to the series regardless and fans have since had their fears allayed. More or less. Looking further ahead, the fate of Silent Hills was very much up in the air.

The game had all the makings of something truly special. To be fair we saw nothing of it but knew that Kojima was working with acclaimed director and writer Guillermo del Toro and somehow Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead) was to be in the mix. Let us not forget the bizarre, confusing and utterly insane demo that was P.T.

P.T. has since been yanked from PSN and Silent Hills is officially dead.

Konami stated in its press release that del Toro may return to be involved in future Silent Hill projects but his reaction to the company’s actions suggest something entirely different. Speaking to IGN del Toro revealed the surprise he felt with the unambiguous swiftness of Konami’s actions.

“Honestly that’s what surprised me. It was a sort of scorched earth approach. It was not a gentle and ambiguous cancellation.”

This is not the first time del Toro has had a project die on him either. After a long and troubled gestation Insane, his game backed by THQ, fell apart when the publisher fell. Thankfully Pacific Rim finally got greenlit around the same time or else del Toro may have truly been driven insane by this latest failure.

“Well, you know, I’ve tried twice and I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to the form,” he said. “In one instance, the company went down, and in the second, the completely unexpected happened, which was Kojima and Konami separating. It’s kind of left me reeling.”

Konami is saying one thing but it seems as if del Toro is referring to a little more than just Silent Hills when he talks about scorched earth. It honestly seems as if del Toro’s experiences with the games industry has put him off it. It’s a sad close to what could have been a very interesting foray into gaming by the man who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim. Hopefully he won’t give up on gaming entirely just yet.

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What Will It Take To Run Oculus Rift On Your PC? http://egmr.net/2015/05/what-will-it-take-to-run-oculus-rift-on-your-pc/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/what-will-it-take-to-run-oculus-rift-on-your-pc/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 08:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171097 Oculus Rift has been in the limelight for quite some time; in fact it has been a few years since the Kickstarter was successfully funded and started paving the way […]

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Oculus Rift has been in the limelight for quite some time; in fact it has been a few years since the Kickstarter was successfully funded and started paving the way for the supposed VR revolution in media. It opened the doors for the likes of Sony, Samsung and Valve to each debut their own stabs at VR headsets.

While Sony’s Morpheus seems to be the most promising headset of the lot, according to early impressions, Oculus has refined and tuned the Rift since being funded and the release of the Oculus Rift could serve as the litmus test for how VR will do on the open market. Up till now kits have only really been handed out to developers.

Price may still be up in the air but thankfully the acquisition of Oculus by Facebook ensures that the retail price will be cheaper than it might have been if Oculus were still independent.

As we approach the release of Oculus Rift the brass tacks and finer specifications will be revealed. Today, you can take a look at what you’ll need in order to get a smooth VR experience.

Below are the recommended system specifications:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

It certainly doesn’t seem beyond the reach of what I’d call a solid gaming rig.

“This configuration will be held for the lifetime of the Rift and should drop in price over time,” said chief architect Atman Binstock in a detailed blog post. Who calls their son Atman though?

“The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration,” said the company.

“Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.”

The idea seems to be to make VR as accessible as possible to have a significant uptake rate. Mark Zuckerburg himself said that Oculus needs to sell 50-100 million units in order to be meaningful. By that he likely means in order for the tech to stick and have the desired impact.

When you limit the scope to gaming that number seems arduous, if not impossible. However, there is a potential market in film and pornography for VR. There has already been experimentation with filming porn for VR with some success. The same could be applied to films for a more visceral first-person perspective and could provide a very different cinematic experience to cinema-goers or viewers at home. Hell, VR could very well be employed to put viewers at home in rime seats at a sports game.

There are plenty of opportunities to make VR take off but there is a high likelihood that it could become an overhyped and needless gimmick like 3D. How many people went out and bought a 3D TV?

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The Witcher 3 Launches Next Week, Get All Hyped Up With The Customary Launch Trailer http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-launches-today-get-all-hyped-up-with-the-customary-launch-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/the-witcher-3-launches-today-get-all-hyped-up-with-the-customary-launch-trailer/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 08:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171033 Although it may have initially been a 2014 game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt received a couple of delays like so many other games and has now become one of […]

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Although it may have initially been a 2014 game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt received a couple of delays like so many other games and has now become one of the tent-pole releases of 2015. Rather this then Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate if you ask me.

The game is finally out next week and marks the close of the path Geralt started on in the first Witcher game.

Having received some early rave reviews The Witcher 3 is likely a game that you’re itching to play if you’re reading this. If you’re among the many who won’t be nabbing your copy on launch day then here’s a gorgeous CG trailer to tide you over.

Wait, that came out all wrong. Here’s a gorgeous CG trailer to make you yearn for the game just a little bit more.

Though they are in no way indicative of a game, CG trailers can be beautiful little pieces of art. For all its myriad issues, Assassin’s Creed regularly puts out some great CG trailers. This one for The Witcher 3 is among the best.

The Witcher 2 picked up numerous awards in its year and turned out to be our RPG of the year in 2011. The Witcher 3 looks set to continue that legacy. Are you getting The Witcher 3 next week? Maybe you feel your money is better spent elsewhere. Let us know down below.

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Brazil Is Becoming A Haven For PS4 Pirates http://egmr.net/2015/05/brazil-is-becoming-a-haven-for-ps4-pirates/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/brazil-is-becoming-a-haven-for-ps4-pirates/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 07:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=171007 Brazil is a big place but it’s also a pretty strange one. Due to some insane taxation laws the PS4 costs upwards of $2000 there. not to mention that the […]

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Brazil is a big place but it’s also a pretty strange one. Due to some insane taxation laws the PS4 costs upwards of $2000 there. not to mention that the PS3 only launched there in 2011 for some reason. It’s all very strange but there may be a little beacon of light for Brazilian gamers, or a blight depending on how you look at it.

If you want great healthcare or medical treatment, you go the Cuba or Canada, if you want cheap medication you go to Mexico, if you want to get away with murder you come to South Africa. The world is filled with places where you can repeatedly cheat the system. Brazil seems o be finding its own niche with piracy.

While Somalians may be the kings of oceanic piracy, PS4 piracy is taking off in Brazil as stores have started charging less than $100 for 10 pirated games. The crazy thing is that this offer is being made openly and publicly. There’s no backroom or secret password or even a shady middle-man named Julio.

According to UOL Jogos, who tested the claims, consumers have to hand over their console in order to have the games loaded onto the HDD. This is similar to piracy on the PS3 where owners could buy external hard drives pre-loaded with over a dozen games and simply plug it into their PS3.

The warranty is voided in the process but the only noticeable change is a second user profile.Those same 10 games would set you back $560 using strictly legal channels which makes this offer awfully tempting for PS4 owners.

UOL Jogos has contacted Sony regarding this rife piracy and it’s likely only a matter of time before it gets shut down.

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Toast On Jam: Fear And Loathing On The Internet http://egmr.net/2015/05/toast-on-jam-fear-and-loathing-on-the-internet/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/toast-on-jam-fear-and-loathing-on-the-internet/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 09:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170519 Alternatively: Enlightenment in the Age of Information You’re probably on the internet right now, if you’re not then congratulations you’re a wizard. I’m on the internet right now too (what […]

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Alternatively: Enlightenment in the Age of Information

You’re probably on the internet right now, if you’re not then congratulations you’re a wizard. I’m on the internet right now too (what are the odds) and with a few keystrokes I could be anywhere I want to be. That’s pretty cool and the internet is by far the most useful yet underused tool available to the modern human.

I recently experienced a severing of the umbilical which connected me to the internet and at first, admittedly, it felt odd; almost as though a piece of me was missing but before long it felt quite normal and though I still had WhatsApp and could creep around on Twitter, I found myself far less inclined to dawdle online as I usually would. It occurred to me that much of my time spent on the internet was in self-perpetuated routine that didn’t really enrich my life in any way other than as a distraction.

Let’s not beat about the bush, this is not some high-brow think piece that will revolutionise the way people think about the internet and their relationship with it; these are just the existential self-explorative and introspective ramblings of a twenty-something.

Now, forget about the politics of social media and the agendas of various websites and online personalities. Just forget about all of that and think about how you use the internet. What you use it for doesn’t matter. I couldn’t care less if you’re reading science publications or a BuzzFeed list or masturbating to some porn while reading this (kudos on that level of multi-tasking but also eww).

What really matters is what you do with whatever the internet gives you and that’s where my mind got stuck for a while. The thing is that most of us don’t do a whole lot with the gigabytes of data we consume on a weekly basis. Most of us do that just that, we consume and absorb. Granted, you can only be so productive with tumblr gifs and Cracked articles.

The internet is many things and yes, it is a great source of entertainment and distraction but why don’t more of us use it for more than just that? Even when we do consume constructive and thought-provoking or enlightening things we simply absorb them to be regurgitated in some conversation later on. Most of our knowledge simply amounts to being a party trick to whip out in front of friends. If you consider information as energy, we all have a massive bank of unused potential energy just waiting to be converted.

We simply don’t create enough if you ask me. Most people are delightfully content to sit back and consume. They call this the Information Age but it’s very different from any of the other “Ages.” The Iron Age, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution moved humanity forward in various ways but not everybody was an artisan or inventor or artist and so not everybody could get involved. Instead most people served their purpose by simply being consumers. Even in Ultron’s Age, not everybody is a megalomaniacal evil AI and that’s fine because in order for it to to be a success most people served their purpose in being consumers of his tyranny. Still with me? That’s okay, I’ll catch up to my train of thought eventually.

Everybody has a brain that’s more or less functional and some people are even literate which makes them perfect candidates for learning from the internet. The internet is a big place and not all of it is relevant to you so the best way to use it is to filter out what isn’t relevant to you and focus on what is but also try to make it constructive. By all means, still have fun on the internet but don’t waste too much time just doing that. Do you really need to be that active on social media?

Streamlining your internet experience means you’ll spend more time filling yourself up with useful information. Part of that is spending less time on the internet. Two months ago I was attached to my phone and PC, always browsing something and jumping from one thing to another which is not only needless but counterproductive. Spending less time glued to your internet devices mean you have more time actually enjoy life and balance it with other activities as well as make use of that information you’ve gained from the internet.

That said, don’t be afraid to use the internet for anything and everything. there is no excuse for ignorance in the Twenty-first Century. YouTube has taught me how to use chopsticks and fold a pocket square among other things.

What I’m getting at in a very roundabout way is that many of us are addicted to the internet and in the same way that substance abuse is an addiction where you’ve ceased to use a substance healthily or in any beneficial way, the same goes for internet addicts. We let the internet govern and control us while overusing it in a largely unproductive way.

Spend a little less time on the internet, you don’t need to be as plugged in to everything as you think. Distance breeds perspective and you’ll quickly realise how much of your internet usage you can live without. Make the internet work for you the same way Wall Street rode on rainbows made of cocaine in the 80s. Information; it’s one hell of a drug.

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Quiet Continues To Be A Source Of Controversy For Metal Gear Solid V, This Time With Squishy Breasts http://egmr.net/2015/05/quiet-continues-to-be-a-source-of-controversy-for-metal-gear-solid-v-this-time-with-squishy-breasts/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/quiet-continues-to-be-a-source-of-controversy-for-metal-gear-solid-v-this-time-with-squishy-breasts/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 08:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170904 Since she was first revealed, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s scantily-clad assassin has stirred up controversy. First it was simply for her character design and looking somewhat like […]

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Since she was first revealed, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s scantily-clad assassin has stirred up controversy. First it was simply for her character design and looking somewhat like a stripper after a rough night. After that it was because Hideo Kojima defended her design by saying there was a narrative reason for it but also that she was sexy so that people would want to cosplay her and her figures would sell well. Finally, Kojima Productions and Konami came under fire for Quiet being involved in a torture scene.

The character’s name seems a bit of a misnomer given how much noise she’s caused. That said, you can go the entire game without encountering her so if she offends you just avoid her.

The latest furor is surrounding Quit’s PlayArtsKAI figurine. Of course there’d be a figurine of her given that the figurine company is a subsidiary of Konami. The ruckus was hilariously stirred up by Kojima, possibly to generate some hype around the figurine or to just to subtly send some hatred Konami’s way since severing ties with the company. Who knows what that deranged mind is thinking?

Writing this morning on Twitter, Kojima revealed the figure was built using “soft materials” that allowed for elements of the well-proportioned toy to be “pushed and lifted, lol”. That more or less translates to: “you can squeeze the breasts, teehee.”

The set comes with an alternate head and various weapons but soft materials is certainly an oddity for PlayArtsKAI figurines which are typically rigid and poseable but certainly not malleable or squishy.

Quiet’s voice and mo-cap artist, Dutch model Stefanie Joosten, has also said the character’s design was somewhat unexpected.

“Of course, I was surprised to see Quiet’s outfit at first,” Joosten said. “But, you know, it fits in the Metal Gear universe. I don’t think I’m allowed to say a lot about this, but, well, Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet [is] wearing what she’s wearing. Players will just have to look forward to that.”

It’s hard to say what the thinking was behind squishy breasts but it seems more in line with Dead or Alive than Metal Gear Solid. The sad truth here is that the figurine probably will sell and sell quite well.

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“Sony F***ing Nailed It” – Unity Boss On PS4 Versus Xbox One http://egmr.net/2015/05/sony-fing-nailed-it-unity-boss-on-ps4-versus-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/sony-fing-nailed-it-unity-boss-on-ps4-versus-xbox-one/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 07:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170869 The console war is much like the Cold War, it promotes a lot of growth and development from the warring sides in a never ending cycle of brinkmanship but there’s […]

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The console war is much like the Cold War, it promotes a lot of growth and development from the warring sides in a never ending cycle of brinkmanship but there’s no point in the average pedestrian getting involved. Unless of course you work in an electronics store and plan to sabotage every [insert name of least preferred console] in order to tarnish its reputation or something and probably get fired in the process.

What I’m getting at is that there isn’t really a console war but rather just normal competition. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from still treating Sony vs Microsoft as a console war and using terminology like “victory” or “loss.”

Speaking at the GamesBeat Summit, Unity CEO John Riccitiello stated that Microsoft shot itself in the foot by not putting gamers first and that Sony deserves the victory. You may recognise Riccitiello’s annoyingly hard to get right on the first try surname from his days as EA CEO before he was booted and replaced by Andrew Wilson.

It’s somewhat ironic than that he, of all people, has come out saying this since his time at EA was marked by doing exactly not that. During Riccitiello’s tenure as CEO EA put money first and gamers second or third or somewhere further down the priority chain.

Riccitiello spoke at length about what he felt each company did right and wrong, as reported by VentureBeat.

“There was a clash of ideas that really separated Sony and Microsoft. They actually had very similar architecture that they were trying to bring to the table,” he said.

“But Microsoft focused a lot on entertainment beyond gaming. Microsoft was trying to [compete against] Apple. They didn’t feel gaming was big enough to justify the pent-up desire to have the recognition they wanted as an innovator.”

“Sony just said, ‘We’ve made the best fucking game system we could’ – partly because they didn’t have the resources to do more about it,” Riccitiello said.

“Microsoft was focused on the shot after the one they needed to make, putting the seven ball in the corner pocket, but they missed the first shot and didn’t get another shot after it. Sony focused on the shot they needed to make, which was win the hearts and minds of the gamer.

“The broader scope of entertainment might be a bigger idea, but not with an unfocused execution. A tight execution on the 50 million people that matter, which are the people currently lapping up consoles.

“Sony fucking nailed it, and they deserve the victory.”

Sony might have made the right plays early on but since then the company has stumbled and faltered a little too often while Microsoft has gained ground. Going purely by numbers, Sony still has the greater market equity with PS4 shippin 22.3 million units while the last reported figure for Microsoft had the Xbox One pegged at almost 10 million units shipped.

What people forget is that in terms of sales, this is a marathon and not a sprint. This was underscored at the turn of the new console generation where, despite early dominance, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was neck-and-neck with the PS3.

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Ubisoft Teases The Next Assassin’s Creed, Already Gives Cause For Concern http://egmr.net/2015/05/ubisoft-teases-the-next-assassins-creed-already-gives-cause-for-concern/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/ubisoft-teases-the-next-assassins-creed-already-gives-cause-for-concern/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 07:00:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170675 Last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity presented a chance for Ubisoft to go back to the drawing board and pull the series back from its wayward path of money and quantity […]

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Last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity presented a chance for Ubisoft to go back to the drawing board and pull the series back from its wayward path of money and quantity over quality. Unfortunately, all we got was a game that thought it was innovative by employing gameplay mechanics and design elements that are a decade old.

Now, not long after Unity released and was in the process of being patched up to a playable state we saw a few leaked shots of this year’s entry into the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It would be set in Victorian England and was rumoured to be titled Assassin’s Creed: Victory. Puntastic title aside, those rumours appear to have been proven true.

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Ubisoft has posted a teaser on the official Assassin’s Creed site which depicts what are most certainly the arms of an assassin complete with wrist-mounted blade, wrist, mounted gun (with a possible aiming device) and brass knuckles. All while brandishing a cane that we can only hope is a functional tool in gameplay.

There’s also a solo image focusing on those brass knuckles specifically. They’ll make a great trinket in the eventual collector’s edition but seem woefully incongruous with the definition of an assassin; about as incompatible as piracy is with assassins. What the hell do I know? Let us just pray that the protagonist is not a yob, or a cockney thug since yob’s technically did not quite exist yet.

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The knuckles feature the inscription “Strength through loyalty” while the “God save the Queen” and “Rooks” childishly scratched into the wood point directly towards a Victorian setting. This is further emphasised by the Dickens quote in the top-left.

Finally, Kotaku has received word that the title may have been changed to Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Not that the title means much anyway, the last one was named after an engine popular among indie developers.

The reveal is scheduled for 5pm UK time on May 12. Be there, or don’t. It’ll be all over the internet soon enough anyway.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Is Back http://egmr.net/2015/05/tony-hawks-pro-skater-is-back/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/tony-hawks-pro-skater-is-back/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 08:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170638 It’s hard to say whether this is a surprise or not. It’s been a long time coming but on the other hand it’s been a long time since we’ve had […]

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It’s hard to say whether this is a surprise or not. It’s been a long time coming but on the other hand it’s been a long time since we’ve had even the faintest whiff of a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game, 13 years to be precise. While there were rumblings here and there, there’s been noting concrete until now. So Kudos to Activision for the most arbitrary and simultaneously outdated announcement of the year thus far. Until Valve announces Ricochet 2 of course.

Either way, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 is official and will be out this year to boot.

I remember the good ol’ days as a young lad jamming Tony Hawk”s Pro Skater 2 and 3 on my PS One. It was an immensely fun game so there’s a certain expectation for Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 to rekindle and retain that essence while bringing something new to the table.

A lot has changed in 13 years.

Thee game is being developed by Robomodo, the same studio that put Tony Hawk Ride and Pro Skater HD together.

As you might expect, the game promises to return to the series’ roots with a few new additions. It will combine the classic combo chaining with power-ups as well as the ability to shoot projectiles. Not to mention a new skate park creator.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 will be out this year on PS4 and Xbox One with the PS3 and Xbox 60 versions releasing at a later date.

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EA Reveals Mirror’s Edge 2 Release Window And Star Wars Battlefront Sales Expectations http://egmr.net/2015/05/ea-reveals-mirrors-edge-2-release-window-and-star-wars-battlefront-sales-expectations/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/ea-reveals-mirrors-edge-2-release-window-and-star-wars-battlefront-sales-expectations/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 07:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170595 Two of EA’s biggest games currently in the works are the new Mirror’s Edge and Star wars Battlefront but news on both has been scant. They’re also two games with […]

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Two of EA’s biggest games currently in the works are the new Mirror’s Edge and Star wars Battlefront but news on both has been scant. They’re also two games with a huge amount of expectation around them. For now the best we can do is take a look at how EA is perceiving both games.

It’s that time of year again when companies put out financial releases as their fiscal years draw to a close and as always there are tasty morsels of information abound in these documents.

First off let’s tackle the smaller news. Popcap is currently working on a big new addition to its Plants vs Zombies franchise that has been billed as a console experience which will follow on from garden Warfare.

Next up it has been confirmed that there will in fact be a new Need for Speed title coming late this year (expect a reveal at E3). This is hardly a surprise but it will be interesting to see what Ghost Games is doing with the franchise now that the series rests squarely on the studio’s shoulders, especially after it took 2014 off. This marked the first in ages that Need for Speed did not hae an annual release.

While Mirror’s Edge has been almost nonexistent in the news since it’s initial E3 reveal, it has been confirmed that the game is slated for a Q1 2016 release.

While the original Mirror’s Edge was a very unique proof of concept of sorts, this one is billed as being the full monty. It’s not hard to draw comparisons with the two Portal games and we can only hope that Mirror’s Edge follows that pattern.

Let’s talk about Star Wars Battlefront shall we? EA emphasised that the rights to make Star Wars games is not a license to attempt to milk it nor to print money. In the same breath it stated that based on the sales of Battlefield 4 and the series’ historical sales the company expects Battlefront to sell 9-10 million units.

To put it into perspective, those are Assassin’s Creed numbers. Those are huge sales expectations. At first glance it may seem at odds with EA not wanting to exploit the franchise but a large part of it is apparently due to the hefty royalty EA owes Disney for the first 7 million units sold in addition to recouping development costs.

The fact that Battlefront will only be releasing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One does limit the sales potential but there is doubtless a lot of dependence and hope resting on Star Wars fever around the time of Episode VII’s release and general festive season buzz to sales up to that sort of level.

It will be interesting to see what Ea shows us of Mirror’s Edge and NFS at E3. As for Battlefront, conventional wisdom says that it simply won’t meet those sales targets.

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Of Course Someone Threw A Gravity Gun Into GTA V http://egmr.net/2015/05/of-course-someone-threw-a-gravity-gun-into-gta-v/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/of-course-someone-threw-a-gravity-gun-into-gta-v/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 08:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170566 GTA IV was something of a masterclass when it came to what modders could do with the game. They managed to do everything from turning Liberty City into Rapture to […]

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GTA IV was something of a masterclass when it came to what modders could do with the game. They managed to do everything from turning Liberty City into Rapture to giving players control of an Iron Man suit to making the game achingly pretty (suck it, Watch Dogs). Some intrepid modders even managed to make Nico an interesting character. No, the modding community on GTA IV is great but can’t work miracles.

Of late I’ve been playing GTA V and the game is incredibly fun, I’m only 18 months late to the party but who cares? Especially when the internet has a seven second memory. There are a few things that would definitely make a fun game even more entertaining though. I think you see where this is going.

Valve has the honour of holding two spots on many people’s lists of gadgets from games they’d most like to wield in real life, namely the gravity gun and portal gun. Somewhere someone is hard at work on sticking a Portal gun into GTA V but for now you’l have to be content with terrorising Los Santos through a blatant disregard for human life and the laws of physics.

Unfortunately the gun looks nothing like you’d expect it though it does the job all the same. Much like the cheats and trainers that allowed players to enter God mode, have superspeed or fly their cars in NFS: Most Wanted this mod breaks the game. Not technically but watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

If you hae GTA V sitting on your PC then give the mod a whirl here.

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Suicide Squad First Official Image Revealed And It’s More Than You Might Have Expected http://egmr.net/2015/05/suicide-squad-first-official-image-revealed-and-its-more-than-you-might-have-expected/ http://egmr.net/2015/05/suicide-squad-first-official-image-revealed-and-its-more-than-you-might-have-expected/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 08:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=170500 Warner Bros and DC have been pretty bold in the decision to make Suicide Squad the second film in its planned slate of various DC movies and having it release […]

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Warner Bros and DC have been pretty bold in the decision to make Suicide Squad the second film in its planned slate of various DC movies and having it release just five months after Batman v Superman but recently BvS has started to look more promising and even Suicide Squad looks to be taking a true to the source material yet unique approach to its band of misfits.

Director David Ayer has been slowly teasing the film’s production with teases here and there, most notably teases of Jared Leto’s Joker which culminated in last week’s reveal of the punk rocker Joker we saw last week. The jury’s still out on whether that’s a good look or not but Leto’s face certainly looks the part, give or take an idiotic forehead tattoo.

Over the weekend Ayer finally gave us a good look at the rest of the team and it’s a mixed bag but one that’s surprisingly overstuffed.

The Squad, officially known as Task Force X, was initially billed to comprise Will Smith as Deadshot, Jai Courtney and Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevigne as Enchantress, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag and Will Smith as Deadshot.

Then Ayer went ahead and did this:

In case you’rw wondering who the random extras are, let’s run through the full crew from left: Adam Beach as Slipknot, Captain Boomerang, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Enchantress, Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Adewele (no, not the guy from AC IV) Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo.

The Squad has a rather street thug look about them and yet the costume design manages to exude each character’s general personality.

While there may be some debate over a few of the design choices, Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Katana are very true to the character designs from the comics.

Here’s a closer look:

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As if that wasn’t enough, here’s a gander at Deadshot in full garb complete with face mask and his trademark eye-enhancement device that acts as a permanent scope.

Overall the costume design for Suicide Squad looks to be on point, now it’s just a matter of those actors bringing the character’s to life.

What are your thoughts on the Squad and the surprise additions?

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Sony Very Nearly Lost The Rights To Bloodborne http://egmr.net/2015/03/sony-nearly-lost-rights-bloodborne/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/sony-nearly-lost-rights-bloodborne/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169065 At present Sony is that weird goofball that keeps screwing up but occasionally redeems himself with things such as Bloodborne. That doesn’t stop its updates from causing issues every damn […]

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At present Sony is that weird goofball that keeps screwing up but occasionally redeems himself with things such as Bloodborne. That doesn’t stop its updates from causing issues every damn time or the company from being the butt of many jokes but hey, baby steps.

The latest little bit of hilarity is that in the week that everybody is raving about Bloodborne, Sony forgot to renew the trademark. We’re all human and we all forget things but this is utterly absurd.

To be specific, Sony seemingly forgot to present a statement of use or request a deadline extension for Bloodborne and four other trademarks. The result was that the company did in fact lose the rights to Bloodborne albeit temporarily.

As soon as Sony realised this colossal cock-up, the company presented a string of TEAS petitions to revive the marks, calling the failure to comply with the received notices of allowance “Accidental.”

The matter has now been resolved and the USPTO has effectively accepted Sony’s petitions, changing the status of all the trademarks back to “live.”

It’s both lucky that Sony managed to reclaim the trademarks but also unbelievably baffling that the company let this happen. Structurally there appears to be something wrong at Sony if things like this are slipping through the cracks along with QA testing on games.

Of course, it could just be that the people responsible were too busy playing Bloodborne.

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Russia Is Working On A Free-to-play Halo PC Game http://egmr.net/2015/03/russia-working-free-play-halo-pc-game/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/russia-working-free-play-halo-pc-game/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 08:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169015 Is there anything about that headline which isn’t crazy? Let’s break it down. Firstly, we’ve got a Halo game for PC, then the fact that it’s working on a free-to-play […]

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Is there anything about that headline which isn’t crazy? Let’s break it down.

Firstly, we’ve got a Halo game for PC, then the fact that it’s working on a free-to-play model and finally that it’s being made in Russia. What’s that about? Well, even more strangely the game is being developed exclusively for Russia.

Halo Online is currently in development by Saber Interactive due to launch in the next few months. IGN Russia got the details at the reveal event and it gets stranger.

The game runs on a modified Halo 3 engine optimised to run well on lower-end PCs.

The game is set on a secret UNSC space station called “Anvil” where Spartans train and test technology. There isn’t a campaign mode, but it takes place after the events of Halo 3 and supports 4-16 players matches.

Curiously, this is an exclusively Russian affair with the game being run and published by Innova Systems. There are no plans to bring it to other countries or Xbox One just yet, likely because it’s been specifically designed for Russia and PC.

It’s hard to believe a game such as this being made exclusively on such a narrow scale and for such a small market. Russia is likely a testbed for something bigger but an FAQ on Halo Waypoint states that should the focus shift to expand, it would “have to go through region-specific changes to address player expectations.”

There is almost certainly something bigger at play here and the release period suggests that E3 may be a bit early for Microsoft to reveal that so a Gamescom reveal of any plans seems far more likely. That said, this could be part of a new structure whereby Microsoft “loans” its IPs out to third-parties in the same way that Nintendo intends on doing.

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