#egmr » A-G Sonday http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:33:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 rAge 2014: We Find Out What Makes Project CARS Tick http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-find-makes-project-cars-tick/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-find-makes-project-cars-tick/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 07:30:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160261 Slightly Mad Studios has an interesting history coming from the Need for Speed franchise with Shift and then going independent. That typically means a scaling back and narrower focus but […]

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Slightly Mad Studios has an interesting history coming from the Need for Speed franchise with Shift and then going independent. That typically means a scaling back and narrower focus but instead, Slightly Mad has lived up to its name and thrown convention out of the window.

With Forza 5, DriveClub and more drifting around, there’s no shortage of quality racers out there but none look quite as incredibly polished, detailed and visceral as Project CARS.

At rAge this past weekend, Caveshen and I got a chance to sit down with Slightly Mad’s Steve Viljoen to pick his brain on how Project CARS came into being, how the team is approaching the game’s development and the level of detail and care that has gone into making this one of the most detailed and entertaining racers around.

Project CARS will be releasing on PS4, PC and Xbox One on November 21.

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rAge 2014: We Find Out Why You Should Be Interested In Evolve http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-find-interested-evolve/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-find-interested-evolve/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:45:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160257 Earlier this year you’d have people asking, “Have you seen Titanfall?” The only trouble is that nobody can find Titanfall anymore. Evolve promises to be just as big but hopefully […]

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Earlier this year you’d have people asking, “Have you seen Titanfall?”
The only trouble is that nobody can find Titanfall anymore.

Evolve promises to be just as big but hopefully won’t fade nearly as quickly. It was one of our standout games from rAge this past weekend. Bianca and I had the opportunity to sit down and find out from 2K Games PR manager, Erica Denning, just what makes Evolve so special. She should know, she’s played more of the game than pretty much anyone.

I mostly played third wheel here to the great connection between Erica and Bianca.

We found out how Evolve will keep players coming back for more, why being the monster is awesome and what’s still to be added to the game before it launches.

Evovle will be out next year, February 10 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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rAge 2014: We Chat To One Of The Producers On Assassin’s Creed: Unity http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-chat-one-producers-assassins-creed-unity/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-chat-one-producers-assassins-creed-unity/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160256 Every week, without fail, we invariably mention Assassin’s Creed in our infamous podcast. As such, you can imagine our excitement at the opportunity to speak to one of the developers […]

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Every week, without fail, we invariably mention Assassin’s Creed in our infamous podcast. As such, you can imagine our excitement at the opportunity to speak to one of the developers on Assassin’s Creed: Unity. This past weekend at rAge, Caveshen and I did just that as we sat down with Ubisoft Toronto’s Lesley Phord-Toy, one of the producers on Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

We discussed the direction Assassin’s Creed is heading in, why Unity is going back to basics and what we can expect from the new game. We also ask the important questions such as why are there no playable females, why is it in 900p and why does everyone have a British accent?

At one point Caveshen fangirls hard over Jade Raymond, it’s as glorious as it is awkward.

AC: unity is due out on November 13 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

 

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Woah! Xbox One Might Have Outsold PS4 In September http://egmr.net/2014/10/woah-xbox-one-might-outsold-ps4-september/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/woah-xbox-one-might-outsold-ps4-september/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:45:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160043 Perhaps it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the Xbox One has just launched in its last wave of regions (South Africa included). However, it is nice to […]

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Perhaps it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the Xbox One has just launched in its last wave of regions (South Africa included). However, it is nice to see Microsoft’s hard work paying off in some respect and make no mistake, they’ve worked hard to get to where they are now. Remember the horrific state the Xbox One’s image was in last year?

The strange thing is that the Xbox hasn’t necessarily outsold the PS4 globally, these figures are for the US alone. The only grain of salt here, and it is a large one, is that the estimated figures come from industry analyst Michael Pachter. If you’re unfamiliar with Pachter’s work, he’s the gaming equivalent of a clairvoyant.

Nonetheless, let’s hear him out.

VentureBeat is reporting that analyst Michael Pachter is estimating that 325,000 Xbox One consoles were sold at retail in U.S. Well over PlayStation 4, which sold 250,000 consoles.

What does Pachter propose as the reason for this upturn in sales? Why, our favourite game in the whole wide world – Destiny!

“We expect Xbox One sales to exceed those of the PS4 for only the second month since launch,” said Pachter in a note to investors. “From Sept. 7 through [Sept.] 13, Microsoft offered a free game with the purchase of a new Xbox One at participating retailers,” he added

“I kind of think that free Destiny [on Xbox One] was better than [paying] for Destiny on PS4, that’s pretty compelling,” he told GamesBeat.

Of late, Sony has been pushing out a PS4 bundle with just about every game out there but Microsoft is hitting back with some bundles of its own in the form of Sunset Overdrive, AC: Unity and more.

If the Xbox One has indeed outsold the PS4 this will mark the first time the console has done so since the two launched last year. Are the tides turning for Microsoft or is this just an anomaly in Sony’s rampaging reign of this console generation?

Perhaps now they can stop pretending Kinect didn’t happen.

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rAge 2014: The Sights And Sounds As Well As A Few Funny Smells http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-sights-sounds-well-funny-smells/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-sights-sounds-well-funny-smells/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=159947 This year’s rAge expo saw a large contingent of EGMR oddballs polluting the Dome with their presence. So what went down under the dome? The succinct answer is “stuff.” The […]

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This year’s rAge expo saw a large contingent of EGMR oddballs polluting the Dome with their presence. So what went down under the dome? The succinct answer is “stuff.”

The far less concise answer is a whole lot of gaming, a fair of boardgaming, some eSportsing, an overwhelming amount of cosplaying (which we’ve already covered) and a casual bit of groping. More on all that later though.

You’ll just have to accept that there aren’t any sounds or smells in this article because we haven’t figured out how to embed a scratch ‘n sniff card in WordPress yet.

All the big boys were out in full force. Megarom had a pretty great stand as always with Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, NBA 2K15, Borderlands: the Pre-sequel, Far Cry 4, The Crew, Skylanders, Evolve and… Destiny? Didn’t see that one coming.

Microsoft on the other had Unity (again), FIFA 15, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive (so much fun), Dying Light, The Evil Within and Dance Central. It was a great stand if I do say so myself.

Conversely, Ster Kinekor’s stand was cramped and a little underwhelming. There was Singstar, LittleBigPlanet 3, The Order: 1886, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Bloodborne, Dying Light, The Evil Within, Driveclub and Mortal Kombat. All of it was a little  underwhelming. Proving that quantity does not outweigh quality.

A big surprise this year was the Hot Toys stand filled with some of the most incredible figurines you could imagine.

There was also a good deal of eSports happening down below the main floor with League of Legends, Dota 2, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and Gran Turismo 6 going strong.

Speaking of teabagging, there was a inordinate amount of groping within the EGMR team.

I could go on but a picture says a thousand words so 177 pictures should say at least 420 words, right? Maths.

 

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Far Cry 4 Is About As Crazy As Kim Jong Un In A Pink Suit, Shouting Racial Slurs http://egmr.net/2014/10/far-cry-4-crazy-kim-jong-un-pink-suit-shouting-racial-slurs/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/far-cry-4-crazy-kim-jong-un-pink-suit-shouting-racial-slurs/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:30:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=159258 When your last game is best known for the definition of insanity you’d better have a pretty damn good idea of how to top it. Especially if the aim is […]

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When your last game is best known for the definition of insanity you’d better have a pretty damn good idea of how to top it. Especially if the aim is to go bigger, zanier and more over the top than ever before. There are a few ingredients which are needed for Far Cry 4 to outdo Far Cry 3 and most of them seem to be present.

First off, it needs to have “Far Cry” in the title.

Name: Far Cry 4
Genre: Bollywood
Players: 1-2
Multiplayer: Co-op
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
Publishers: Ubisoft
Release Date: 18 November 2014
Price: R525 (PC), R799 (PS4, Xbox One), R699 (PS3, Xbox 360)

Check.

Next up, you need a healthy dose of crazy in the narrative. Far Cry 3 was technically the story of Jason Brody but it really was a vehicle for the epically maniacal Vaas. Far Cry 4 looks to be going much the same way. Understated protagonist, flamboyantly scene-stealing antagonist, ludicrous hi-jinx; it’s all there. That leads me to…

 

Pagan Min, Madman of the Mountain


Every narrative worth its salt has at least one memorable character, someone that propels the story forward with an inherent locomotion merely by existing in a scene. Am I coming off a tad dramatic? Good. Pagan Min is all about theatricality and making a strong impression.

He wears his pink suits with confidence, will not hesitate to shiv you with a pen at the slightest provocation and monologues as well as any Bond villain could ever hope. All while retaining his dominion over the small Himalayan region of Kyrat. Sure it’s made up but so is your sense of self-worth.

At the other end of the scale we have Ajay Ghale, the man you’ll play most of the game as (more on that soon).

Hidden in the majestic Himalayas lies Kyrat, a country steeped in tradition and violence. You are Ajay Ghale. Traveling to Kyrat to fulfill your mother’s dying wish, you find yourself caught up in a civil war to overthrow the oppressive regime of dictator Pagan Min.

Explore and navigate this vast open world, where danger and unpredictability lurk around every corner. Here, every decision counts, and every second is a story. Welcome to Kyrat.

Helping him stay alive against the psychotic fashion statement that is Pagan Min will be the slightly mangy looking Hurk. He looks like a 3D-rendered version of the guy from Plants vs Zombies and flies a gyrocopter. That’s all you really need to know about him.

He’ll also service the role of co-op partner should you have friends who want to join you.

Did I mention that interwoven into the present-day story is a plotline focused on Shangri-La? That’s totally a thing in Far Cry 4. So it’s like Assassin’s Creed but on LSD. It’s got monsters, ancient powers, Bengal tigers and all the good stuff.

It’s all suitably madcap and should make for one hell of a rollercoaster ride. It’s enough to make even The Joker giddy with anticipation. Let’s not forget that this is a videogame though. That means it’s probably going to have something resembling gameplay.

That is, of course, assuming that Ubisoft didn’t jump the shark and make this one of those artsy games where you sort of just observe things and do some reading. Not surprisingly, the gameplay is very much what you’d expect. You might even say it’s the definition of insanity.

 

Mortars, Tigers and Other Lovely Instruments of Death


The gameplay in Far Cry 4 will be all to familiar if you’ve spent some time on the Rook Islands or shooting up a local high school. It’s basically what you got in Far Cry 3 but a little sharper, a little more refined and just a wee bit improved with some new weapons. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As before, you can either go in stealthy or with your cock phallic symbols out.

Once again, you’re going to want to use the local wildlife to your advantage. Let them fight your battles for you and once that majestic tiger has cleared an outpost, skin him for all he’s worth. Why? For the glory of Satan! But also because you can use its skin to craft things.

Thus far we’ve got two macro elements ticked off.

That’s pretty useless if the game is set in New York, the placeholder location for any piece of entertainment ever made in the history of New York.

 

A Man, A Plan, A Mountain, This Isn’t A Palindrome

Instead of two dinky islands in the South Pacific, Far Cry 4 is set in the Himalayan region of Kyrat. Sure, there is lush greenery but there’s also plenty of snow and a healthy dose of verticality. This means that although Kyrat may not seem as big as The Rook Islands, it’s an illusion because with all the tiers and crannies, it’s really just as big a world to explore. The variety of environments will also diversify gameplay a little. High cliffs will necessitate your wingsuit while snowy slopes might call for a parka and a snowmobile. Hopefully a yeti too while we’re at it.

While it is by no means a visual or graphical masterpiece, Far Cry 4 has its own visual style which makes the environments look good even if they don’t technically look great (thanks, old-gen). That visual style and those visuals feel awfully a lot like what you got in far Cry 3 but marginally better.

With all this similarity, what is there to set it apart from its predecessor? A number, for starters. Other than that, not much although there are a few things. You may want to sit down for this next bit.

 

Racism, Hype and Jihadist Elephants


Compared to Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4 has had a more subdued pre-launch build-up but will likely impress just as much, if not more. That’s not a bad thing because Ubisoft’s marketing department is run by koalas.

This leads me onto the next point: racism. Don’t do racism, kids. It’s bad for your health. Being Canadian, Ubisoft Montreal’s employees were raised on this ideal and so did not make Far Cry 4 racist. Instead, people saw what looked like it could maybe be a Caucasian guy and suddenly the cover of Far Cry 4 was a poster for neo-colonialism.

Animals will play a bigger role in far Cry 4. Sadly, you can’t ride a tiger because that’s just a little too badass, even for this game. Instead, you’ll be able to ride elephants, send them on rampages and even rig them with explosives.

 

Suspected Selling Points
  • Pagan Min
  • Far Cry has a pedigree
  • Ubisoft rarely fails to deliver

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • The game may be too offbeat for some
  • It might be too much of the same

It’s a Far Cry  game and it doesn’t have strange South African accents. That’s one of saying it is almost definitely going to be a worthwhile game. At the very least it will be a good dollop of fun steeped in mayhem and madness. If you loved the last one then you likely won’t be giving this one a miss.

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You Will Survive In Far Cry 4 Because This Trailer Says So http://egmr.net/2014/10/will-survive-far-cry-4-trailer-says/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/will-survive-far-cry-4-trailer-says/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:30:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=159471 Kyrat is a fairly insane place. You’ve got a psychotic warlord pulling the strings, tigers roaming around, elephants willing to sacrifice their lives and a protagonist that went to this […]

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Kyrat is a fairly insane place. You’ve got a psychotic warlord pulling the strings, tigers roaming around, elephants willing to sacrifice their lives and a protagonist that went to this place because his mommy told him to? That all sounds pretty peculiar. Not as peculiar as a trailer set to a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive though.

Incidentally, that’s exactly what the trailer above is.

It shows off some of the crazy shit that Ajay will get up to in Far Cry 4. That’s the name of the protagonist, not my cousin.

The trailer certainly does a great job of making Kyrat look as depraved as we’d like to believe it is.

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The Evil Within Launch Trailer Just Screams “Nope” http://egmr.net/2014/10/evil-within-launch-trailer-just-screams-nope/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/evil-within-launch-trailer-just-screams-nope/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:45:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=159472 Do you know what the best part is about horror games? Nothing. They can be pretty immersive, tense and engrossing affairs but at the end of the day you’re pretty […]

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Do you know what the best part is about horror games? Nothing. They can be pretty immersive, tense and engrossing affairs but at the end of the day you’re pretty troubled if you get off on that sort of thing. Not that we judge.

The Evil Within is one of those games that just begs not to be played. Barbed wire and eyeballs don’t make for an attractive motif but you’ll play it anyway because the game looks pretty darn interesting. There’s also the fact that it’s made by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.

The Evil Within is out now so check out the launch trailer if you dare. I’ll be sitting here, not finishing Outlast because it freaked me the hell out.

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Toast On Jam: The Public Be Damned http://egmr.net/2014/10/toast-jam-people-damned/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/toast-jam-people-damned/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:30:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158639 The Public is a fickle, ominous, amorphous entity both devastating and divisive. It has the power to change history and incite change. Power to the people and all that. That’s […]

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The Public is a fickle, ominous, amorphous entity both devastating and divisive. It has the power to change history and incite change. Power to the people and all that. That’s great, the people should have the power which they wield but just as the corrupt upper echelons of a hierarchy can abuse power, so too can “members of the public” comfortably do so from within a crowd; igniting those around them like a flame radiating from the center of a burning page.

Damnation certainly seems to be our theme this week.

Perhaps I’m a little disinterested in people and loud voices after a weekend filled with large crowds and a disregard for personal space. However, that doesn’t mean I have no regard for the public, their actions and their opinions. There are great examples of the public inciting great change.

I’m not going to muddle my opinion with political examples but you can likely think of more than a few. Okay, maybe just one – the French Revolution.

However, recently it has become far too commonplace for “public opinion” to be representative of the voices of a minority. A very vocal, very loud minority. In some cases it’s not even that, it’s a minority chosen and then exhibited as the general public.

To put it into perspective, members of the public are not the only ones who allow the voices of the few to be construed as the voices of the many. We all know what focus testing is and what results from it. Focus testing showed that players want a bolt-on multiplayer component for added value or this generic boxart over something more creative. It’s a poor way to validate any decision.

Similarly, casting your opinions out like a fishing lure will certainly get a few nibbles but that doesn’t mean you suddenly have the power to go after sharks.

You are entitled to an opinion, you have the right to voice your opinion as you see fit. You are not however, allowed to act like an entitled, self-righteous, unthinking asshat. The internet makes it easier to voice your opinions than ever and you can very easily make sure that the right people see it.54567040

For better or worse, it’s this kind of public opinion and outcry from a loud minority that helped reshape the Xbox One into what it is now. Which is to say, arguably your best option as console gaming goes. People complained about Kinect being bundled with it, they complained about console DRM, they complained about the online store, they complained about Games with Gold, they complained about Don Mattrick and, well… you see where this is going.

That’s the bright side of what people can do within the sphere of gaming.

However, the planting of a small seed can grow a thorny forest in the right soil and with the right amount of sunlight. Edison led people to believe that Tesla was a madman whose inventions were dangerous and that DC was the way forward. He effectively set power generation back by a couple of decades. Maybe it didn’t help that Tesla was actually a little crazy and not a big people person. It’s an extreme example, one with only loose contextual relevance here but one which I feel categorically shows what can happen when public opinion serves as a hindrance.

Just this year alone, a highly vocal minority caused a whirlwind with #GamerGate and #NotYourShield (the former of which is bafflingly still ongoing) and because the vast majority of gamers are silent, the only sounds to be heard are the gnashing of teeth and incoherent ranting.

By next year there will be some other cause worth throwing your hashtags behind.

By nature, public opinion is highly mutable, volatile and subject to change. More often than not, it stems from misinformation or misdirection. If someone shouts “onions are delicious” into your ears enough times, eventually the thought will scratch at your brain and you may begin to doubt you dislike for onions. Suddenly you’re buying onions.

Most recently, people were up in arms about Ubisoft’s poorly constructed statements regarding the resolution and framerate that AC: Unity will be running at. Now, there are real issues to find fault with here but everybody piling their grievances into a hashtag missed the point. Why? Because the most vocal people seem to rant first, think later. Ironically, the same order of actions that got the ball rolling in Ferguson.

The reality of things is that what “the public” deems relevant right now won’t be relevant in a few months, most of the time. Even when it is, there’s a vast chasm between strongly worded incendiary opinions and actions. A lot of noise just makes life online disruptive for the rest of us. A little peace and quiet would be nice nice once in a while.

Not everything needs to become an issue and not everything warrants raising your voice.

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Ubisoft announced that AC: Unity would be locked at 30fps and 900p. That’s fine. They’ve gone back on their word, they’ve failed to deliver on a promise and they’ve stumbled over their own words more times than I can count but they have not ruined the game. Watch Dogs had the same thing and a graphical downgrade and suddenly it looked like utter shit according to the public.

It simply didn’t match expectations but neither game will be or was ruined by a visual drop.

Watch Dogs still went on to smash sales records (until Destiny came along).

There was no reason for #PS4NoParity to become a thing or people to bitch and whine about how Ubisoft have ruined the game and subsequently cancel their pre-orders for Unity or swear off future Ubisoft games. On that note, by all means cancel your pre-orders but because pre-order culture is terrible rather than because Ubisoft made you sad.

What I’m getting at is that public opinion, strong reactions and outcries are transient. They’re explosive, furtive and fueled by a powerful minority but a minority nonetheless.

By all means, complaining about the Mass Effect 3 ending, the lack of playable females in Unity and the way Ninja Theory handled fans with the DmC reboot is justified. However, the people looking for actual discussion and with legitimate criticism seem to be drowned out by the court jesters with the biggest megaphone and the least sense. In this way we get mob mentalities arising.

People are silly, they can be moulded to your will and with the right sales pitch it’s not that hard. This seems to be where GamerGaters and serial aggressive whiners draw their strength from. It’s also why they won’t go away.

Playing devil’s advocate again (as I tend to do here), I feel that many developers feel pressure from above with publishers imposing certain demands upon them. This is why we see so many breaking free and heading into the world of indie development. It’s no help if they’re receiving fire from below as well in the form of dissenting voices who get uppity about every little thing. If a developer oversteps or transgresses then as the end-users and the people these games are made for we have a right to complain. However, the current mentality is to complain about everything. Everything is an issue and so all that is heard is a wash of white noise instead of hearing something when there is genuinely an issue at hand.

Ubisoft’s nightmarishly bad PR aside, remember the furore surrounding how racist Far Cry 4 was with its depiction of neo-colonialism? That arose purely from kneejerk reactions from people looking for a fight with insufficient information behind their anger.

More often than not, this is the voice of the people and it adds to the toxicity of the video game industry. Ultimately, developers are no doubt apprehensive of invoking the guile of this gruesome minority and it makes for an even more volatile environment to release games into than usual.

It make the entire gaming ecosystem more volatile and serves only to the detriment of gamers and game developers alike. There is a civil way to do things and this is not it.

Frankly, it’s exhausting to follow an industry where there is never equilibrium and a very loud contingent of somebodies is always making a racket. If this is what “the public” stands for and what “the public” represents then damn them. The gaming industry is bad enough without that added bile and toxicity.

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rAge 2014: Batman: Arkham Knight Looks To Be Running Out Of Ideas http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-batman-arkham-knight-looks-running-ideas/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-batman-arkham-knight-looks-running-ideas/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 07:30:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158872 It was a little disheartening to not have any playable version of Batman: Arkham Knight on-hand at rAge this past weekend but to compensate for it there was a screening […]

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It was a little disheartening to not have any playable version of Batman: Arkham Knight on-hand at rAge this past weekend but to compensate for it there was a screening of a playthrough with a narration script penned by Adam West’s cat. That’s the way it sounded anyway.

It was good enough for me, I just wanted to see the game in action.

Arkham Knight looks suitably gorgeous, that’s the first thing I noticed in the darkened little hospitality suite we found ourselves in. Batman looks pretty damn next-gen and everything from the buildings to the Batmobile to the thugs whose knees you’ll break have a delightful amount of detail poured into them.

The demo began with a brief cutscene where someone tells another someone something about some stuff and people.

We then got to see Batman glide down from on high and crash in through a skylight to be greeted by a few thugs. What followed was pretty ho-hum. Punch, kick, counter, takedown, rinse, repeat, don’t forget to floss. It’s familiar territory of the best kind because few combat systems will ever be as visceral and finely tuned as that of the Arkham games.

The context is largely unimportant but suffice to say, the Arkham Knight (villain, not game) was pulling the strings in this particular battle.

The biggest focus of the demo was showing off that slick new Batmobile that we couldn’t stop ogling even if we tried. It’s a magnificent specimen. Capable of using its own grappling hook to tear down walls, lift up sections of road to form ramps and more.

It’s got two modes. In battle mode the wheels spread out wider for stability and Batman has much finer control over it. In pursuit mode you’re ready for a drag race against Dominic Turetto and all 17 of his gears. We got to see the Batmobile engage some enemy drone tanks which looked rather derivative if a little novel because this was batman doing it. It does feel a little odd to be controlling a high-powered gun with batman but it only fires suppression rounds… and sometimes explosives.

Aside from combat, the Batmobile allows Batman to reach new areas with a little bit of its platforming. If Batman is in a tight spot, he can of course simply summon the Batmobile to his current location.

The way the Batmobile’s momentum propels Batman upon ejection is a sight to behold though. Such a glorious sight to behold.

We then got to see Batman take on a few more goon atop a crane platform. Again, nothing new here except for the new enemy type – the combat expert – which looks to behave very similarly to Arkham Origins’ martial artists so again, nothing new really.

Finally, we got some facetime with Arkham Knight who walks and talks like a common thug rather than an interesting villain. This might just further rumblings o him being Jason Todd. His dialogue, as well as Batman’s, feels a little more wooden than before and stilted even.

Overall, Arkham Knight still has me hooked and I don’t doubt that it will be a good game but there are some causes for concern surrounding the addition of derivative gameplay to spice up the existing gameplay. The story remains an enigma (heh) but the characterisation leaves a bit to be desired as does the dialogue.

Ultimately, I was less than impressed with what I saw of Arkham Knight at rAge despite it being far from bad.

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Sunset Overdrive Brings Out Cowboy Hats And Crazy In These Gameplay Videos http://egmr.net/2014/10/sunset-overdrive-brings-cowboys-hats-crazy-gameplay-videos/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/sunset-overdrive-brings-cowboys-hats-crazy-gameplay-videos/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158767 We know that Sunset Overdrive is a pretty zany little monster. That’s just the facts. After getting some time with the game at rAge this past weekend I can confirm […]

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We know that Sunset Overdrive is a pretty zany little monster. That’s just the facts. After getting some time with the game at rAge this past weekend I can confirm that the game is indeed as frenetic as a manic puppy. Like a shark, if your character stops moving they’ll probably die.

With that in mind, here are two new gameplay videos ahead of the game’s release later this month.

The videos were posted by AllGamesBeta. The top one shows off what happens when you involve friends in the fray and the one below makes excellent use of a Stetson.

Man, this game is just begging to be played.

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DriveClub’s Launch Issues Persist http://egmr.net/2014/10/driveclubs-launch-issues-persist/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/driveclubs-launch-issues-persist/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:45:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158745 There are launch issues and then there’s DriveClub’s absolute lack of online servers. Oh, the servers are there but good luck trying to get on them for that super social […]

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There are launch issues and then there’s DriveClub’s absolute lack of online servers. Oh, the servers are there but good luck trying to get on them for that super social experience with your crew (are we allowed to say that?).

DriveClub launched worldwide on Wednesday and has since been plagued by server issues. Thus making it impossible to play the game the way Evolution and Sony intended.

Evolution Studios is hard at work trying to remedy the connectivity issues that have plagued the game and Game Director Paul Rustchynsky took to Twitter to provide further information and address the concerns:

“We have been working all weekend & we are making progress but its proving to be a challenging issue to address.

We’ve got the team working extremely hard trying to address the problems, we understand just how serious this is.”

Rustchynsky also clarified that the hardware side of things is solid and the issues lay firmly in server code.

Other affected games include Destiny (not that anybody noticed) and NBA 2K15

There’s still no ETA on when the PS Plus edition will land and we’re already almost halfway through the month.

Interestingly, Rustchynsky mentioned that the studio could look into adding a “prestige” style playthrough of the Tour after completing it, featuring higher difficulty. Evolution is also looking to rebalance collision penalties received when the AI bumps into the player.

Finally, he mentioned that an update on the availability of Photo Mode will come soon, and that he hopes that the audio profile for Sony’s wireless headset will be available in short order as well, as the studio provided all the necessary data.

DriveClub received a year-long delay for what exactly?

This is what happens when you put hashtags into your game title.

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rAge 2014: Far Cry 4 Is A Familiar Dose Of Madness http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-far-cry-4-familiar-dose-madness/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/rage-2014-far-cry-4-familiar-dose-madness/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158637 Removed from the shackles of context and with a less than keen eye, you might just mistake Far Cry 4 for its older brother. Until the moment you walk up […]

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Removed from the shackles of context and with a less than keen eye, you might just mistake Far Cry 4 for its older brother. Until the moment you walk up to an elephant and are presented with the option to mount it. No! Not like that. You perverts.

There’s a different button for that.

As with Far Cry 3, there were two ways to approach this particular outpost seizure. You can either go in silent and stealthy or charge in like a rampaging elephant. Oops. Did I say “like?” I meant “on.”

Now, I got to try out both approaches and found myself ticking a checklist of things that the previous Far Cry had going for it. Stealth is rewarding. Guns blazing is also catered for though it depends on your playstyle. Finally, animals are your friend when it comes to clearing out enemies.

As with in Far Cry 3, you’ll be clearing out a lot of enemy outposts over the course of the game so this is as good a yardstick as any by which to get a feel for Far Cry 4.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the game is not the prettiest, certainly not Unity-level stunning, but it looks good enough in its own way and is of course held back by the old consoles.

The next thing is that the game controls exactly as Far Cry 3 did which is great for fans but it also feels very much like a slightly streamlined and tweaked version of Far Cry 3 in terms of gameplay – shooting and movement. If it ain’t broke…

Most crucially though, the game seems to retain that feeling of being able to do whatever the hell you want. The demo on offer had a simple objective of taking control of the outpost. That’s it.

How you did that was up to you. I spent a good few minutes outside the entrance to the fortress that served as the outpost and swam around elephants, hunted cats and just generally did whatever randomly firing synapses told me to.

On my semi-successful run, this was followed by sneaking around to the back, climbing up a wall and finding a good vantage point from which to eliminate enemies using my point and kill crossbow and sniper rifle. There was a distinct satisfaction in each body that fell. Though this was short-lived by the somewhat dim AI making a stealthy approach a little too easy. Until I got noticed, failed to prevent reinforcements from being called and got absolutely devastated by an attack helicopter.

All that said, the game’s familiarity was a boon as I instantly felt comfortable with it and had a blast in those 15 minutes.

The ultimate takeaway from my extremely brief time with Far Cry 4 is that Kyrat needs to give me more varied environments to distinguish itself from the Rook Islands. Far Cry 4 needs to do more with its gameplay to set itself apart from its predecessor, especially given how similar it looks and feels based on that demo.

In fact, this was extremely similar to the demo for Far Cry 3 on offer at rAge two years ago.

There will be tons of fun to be had but I worry that too much in common with Far Cry 3 will be to the game’s benefit in some respects but its detriment overall.

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What’s This About An X-Men TV Series? http://egmr.net/2014/10/whats-x-men-tv-series/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/whats-x-men-tv-series/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:45:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158509 You know, not everything needs to be serialised. Murder, as an example, is far better when it’s unique, individual and not mass-produced. Speaking of murder, have you been watching Gotham? […]

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You know, not everything needs to be serialised. Murder, as an example, is far better when it’s unique, individual and not mass-produced. Speaking of murder, have you been watching Gotham? My answer to that questions may turn into a no in the coming weeks but it is an interesting time to have an interest in comics. Comic book movies are already powerhouses on the silverscreen but now we’re finding more and more comics getting small screen adaptations.

Marvel has yet to truly kick off their plans with Daredevil, The Defenders and more. For the time-being all they’ve got is Agents of Shield.

Meanwhile DC is churning them out with Arrow, Flash, Constantine and Gotham.

Fox, on the other hand, has been quiet. Letting Days of Future Past show that they’re ready to stop ruining the franchises they have the rights to. Riding on that success are mutterings of an X-Men TV series.

Rumours suggest the studio is in “deep development” on a live-action X-Men Tv series which fits with X-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg’s previous statement that “the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV.”

Another report claimed that instead of a movie, this series would be where the spin-off X-Factor might get some attention. Another TV show called X-Factor does not sit well with me.

According to a new report by Film Divider, the main speed bump for the X-Men live action TV series is the decision about who to cast in it, since it will take place in the same universe as the X-Men movies and will “absolutely [be] designed to permit crossover with the X-movies.”

The major problem here? Go with minor characters and the show has no draw. Go with major characters and you run the risk of them “burning up” outside of the movie franchise. The solution then is to cast characters that are somewhere in between but have gained popularity. Characters such as Quicksilver.

Film Divider also reports that the idea of using Jamie Madrox AKA Multiple Man (who was played by Eric Dane in X-Men: The Last Stand) has been “kicked around seriously” and “seems to be more than just a possibility.” That might sound vague, but if the series is going to be based on David’s run of the X-Factor series then both Multiple Man and Quicksilver would likely be part of the line-up, along with Polaris, Havok and several others.

I think there’s a lot of depth and breadth in the X-Men universe to be explored and certainly, spin-offs such as X-Factor or X-Force (even better) could be fantastic. A series would also allow Fox to experiment around with various characters and ideas. Certainly more so than the films.

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Phil Spencer Hints At Some Old Classics Returning To Xbox http://egmr.net/2014/10/phil-spencer-hints-old-classics-returning-xbox/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/phil-spencer-hints-old-classics-returning-xbox/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158508 Could it be? Could Crash Bandicoot finally be making a return… but on Xbox? Probably not. Although Insomniac is working with Microsoft on Sunset Overdrive so there’s always Spyro. But […]

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Could it be? Could Crash Bandicoot finally be making a return… but on Xbox?

Probably not. Although Insomniac is working with Microsoft on Sunset Overdrive so there’s always Spyro. But probably not.

During an interview on The Inner Circle podcast, Xbox boss Phil Spencer was given a list of old franchises that people would love to see more of: Halo Wars, Alan Wake, MechAssault, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Blinx the Time Sweeper, Fusion Frenzy, Banjo Kazooie, Kameo, High Heat Baseball, Otogi, Knights of The Old Republic and Shenmue.

That’s a treasure trove of nostalgia and quality if ever there was such a thing. Spencer was then asked if there was a chance we’d ever see any of the above again and on Xbox One. Rather than being candid, Spencer opted to be a bit of a tease.

“There are a couple games on that list that we’re doing some work on. I’ll just say that.

People should know that we listen to feedback, we have ideas, and there are franchises in the past we thing would be great to come again.”

Spencer went on to say that unlike some of his predecessors, he wants to invest in Microsoft-owned franchises. Like Titanfall! Fair enough, it was before his time. His reasoning? It doesn’t just make business sense, it makes Nintendo sense.

Spencer did clarify that he can only really speak of franchises that Microsoft has a hand in and owns so don’t get your hopes up for a new KotoR, kids.

For those that love Rare, Spencer also mentioned that the last time he’s been at the studio he encouraged them to “Make an iconic Rare game that centers on what Rare’s always been about,” and while he still hasn’t seen it yet, it’s likely that we’ll see something like that coming from the studio.

With regards to the games coming in the next two years, Spencer used one word to describe the torrent: “crazy.”

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Shadow Of Mordor Is Doing The Darnedest Things With Its Promotion Methods http://egmr.net/2014/10/shadow-mordor-darnedest-things-promotion-methods/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/shadow-mordor-darnedest-things-promotion-methods/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:45:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158425 Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn’t have Lord of the Rings in the title for a reason and that’s fine. It makes sense even. However, things go awry, very awry in […]

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn’t have Lord of the Rings in the title for a reason and that’s fine. It makes sense even. However, things go awry, very awry in fact, when that filters through to the way the game is allowed to be promoted via YouTube and streams.

Allow me to elaborate.

While the game itself may be a testament to minimal hype, maximum reward; Warner Bros is doing some suspect things behind the scenes.

Heavy restrictions have been placed on YouTubers looking to stream and share the game. An example includes requesting that commentators requiring pre-release code would provide sponsored content for the game — all positive content, no less. The practises are coming from WB marketing partner Plaid Social.

TotalBiscuit was reportedly the one to bring this to light and Jim Sterling even did a Jimquisition specifically on the matter. The most baffling part? People love Shadow of Mordor, they’ll have mostly positive things to say anyway.

Actually no, that’s not even the weirdest part. It gets more perplexing.

Some of the more unsavory pieces of the contract, as Sterling points out, are Plaid Social calling for reviewers to “persuade viewers to purchase the game.” Those who did agree to these terms were given requirements for coverage that included one livestream, one YouTube video, and one Facebook post as well as a Twitter post, all including positive sentiments about the games.

The most baffling aspect of this?

The contract also holds a caveat that players mention the narrative (fair enough) but not The Lord of the Rings movies, The Hobbit movies, the books or any of the supporting or source material whatsoever. Are they even allowed to mention Tolkien’s name?

At present it seems as if TotalBiscuit, one of the biggest YouTubers in gaming, has sworn off anything to do with Plaid Social. You can expect WB to find a new marketing partner or slap Plaid upside the head for this.

This is so far off from the norm that it’s shocking WB has allowed Plaid to go ahead with such contracts to anybody wanting to acquire a review code via Plaid. Sure, we regularly sign non-disclosure agreements and have to abide by embargo dates but never like this and never with this level of totalitarian dictation over what we can and cannot do as reviewers. Fortunately, here in SA we were spared the utter bullshit that is Plaid Social’s contracts. In fact, the contract seems to only really apply to those wanting PC codes.

Plaid Social has effectively found a way to bring disrepute to what promised to be one of the year’s big, positive surprises.

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Ubisoft Has Yet To Lock Down Specs For Assassin’s Creed: Unity http://egmr.net/2014/10/ubisoft-yet-lock-specs-assassins-creed-unity/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/ubisoft-yet-lock-specs-assassins-creed-unity/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158424 Despite what a small, almost unseen, statement said yesterday; Ubisoft revealed today that things could still change for Assassin’s Creed: Unity. It won’t suddenly become an FPS, although that would […]

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Despite what a small, almost unseen, statement said yesterday; Ubisoft revealed today that things could still change for Assassin’s Creed: Unity. It won’t suddenly become an FPS, although that would be impressive, but rather it means that with a month to go before release the game’s developers are still hard at work to lock things down before Unity goes gold.

“Final specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity aren’t cemented yet,” a Ubisoft spokesperson was quoted speaking to Eurogamer, “but we can say we showed Assassin’s Creed Unity at 900p during our hands-on preview event last week. We’re confident that gamers will be thrilled with the gorgeous graphics and how Paris is brought to life in Assassin’s Creed Unity.”

Now, that’s bullshit.

The statement doesn’t mean anything and a month before release you shouldn’t expect anything to change.

If Ubisoft was even entertaining the idea of graphical boosts at this stage then they’re mad. Plain mad.

This statement is damage control for damage that should never have been done.

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Find Out Why The Protagonist Of Assassin’s Creed: Unity Is A Lot Like Ezio http://egmr.net/2014/10/found-protagonist-assassins-creed-unity-lot-like-ezio/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/found-protagonist-assassins-creed-unity-lot-like-ezio/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158308 Ezio Auditore da Firenze, darling of the Assassin’s Creed series thus far. Unless you prefer that walking annoyance named Connor. In his defense, he has a cool coat. So where […]

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Ezio Auditore da Firenze, darling of the Assassin’s Creed series thus far. Unless you prefer that walking annoyance named Connor. In his defense, he has a cool coat. So where does this new fellow rank?

His name is Arno Dorian which already sounds silly. He’s a cheese-eating surrender monkey with a British accent in a time before his people could be termed as cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Set in a time of great historical significance which helped shape human history as we know it. Betrayed by the powers that be and hateful of their corruption is our young protagonist. He is on a path of vengeance to exact revenge on the people who killed his father but this will entwine him in a battle far larger than his own.

It’s Assassin’s Creed II all over again, folks. There’s even a fat sod for you to punch around in the final act.

The only difference? About 200% more explosions and a dash of intrigue and conspiracy.

Get a look at the latest story trailer for AC: Unity up top.

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Review: FIFA 15 Is The Equivalent Of A 1-0 Victory http://egmr.net/2014/10/review-fifa-15/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/review-fifa-15/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:45:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157943 Visit review on site for scoring. Another year, another FIFA. It’s become a mantra as reliably constant as weather in Cape Town and Rooney transfer request rumours. Like all annual […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


Another year, another FIFA. It’s become a mantra as reliably constant as weather in Cape Town and Rooney transfer request rumours. Like all annual affairs, eventually the lustre wears off and it needs to do something special to really catch your attention. This year’s Easter festivities will centre on painting eggs laid by actual rabbits! This year’s Call of Duty will centre on gameplay tenets that made other games successful.

So what has the frivolous FIFA fairy left in our boots this year? It’s a box. A very attractively wrapped box. What could be inside? It’s your copy of FIFA 14 from last year. Huh?

FIFA is synonymous with (largely) superfluous changes and that’s been fine because the game still feels fundamentally different from year to year. I can tell you for a fact that FIFA 10 was a much faster game than FIFA 11 which felt stodgy while FIFA 12 upped the pace of the game but necessitated some better tactics than running down the wing. I can go on.

With FIFA 15 EA Canada has done something peculiar. They’ve made the prerequisite small changes but the game doesn’t feel all too different from FIFA 14. If anything, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s much the same game. Oh, it certainly looks different with fresher, slicker and generally better built menus. In fact, the menus carry a whiff of PES, that odd duck of the sports genre. Back to the topic at hand. The changes are cerebral rather subcutaneous.

Thus, at a glance – a cavity search even – you’d think it’s FIFA 14 in a new skin. At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, surely changes that lie deeper than the surface are pretty major.” You’d be right and yet wrong at the same time.

A lot of the changes have to do with player AI but they are neither constantly nor readily apparent. It’s perhaps both a mark of good design or simply shoddy design but I didn’t always feel as if my player had a personality of his own.

What I’m referring to are the supposed improvements to player AI where players will adapt to different situations, play differently depending on the opposition and supposedly have more of an emotional response in their playing style. I saw some of that some of the time.

Playing with Man Utd (because it’s fun to build a mid-table team up to glory) I noticed a few things. Rooney is everywhere on the pitch and regularly tracks back to defend, Rojo will get forward a lot against weaker teams and van Persie is overpowered. That last one doesn’t really have anything to do with anything but seriously, I’ve created miracles with that man. That’s what this new AI system is like when it works.
When it doesn’t, the game is FIFA 14 but with players not where you want them to be and annoyingly missing shots.

That said a player’s confidence does seem to have a far bigger impact than before. Upon his purchase, Bale was a little tough to get anything out of on the pitch but with a mix of hard work and special attention he’s become marginally better. Okay, that was a bad example but trust me, confidence makes a different.

As with many of the so-called FIFA innovations this new player AI is a little sketchy and needs work. Expect it to be improved in future iterations of the game. It’s certainly not worth getting the game over.

What about those pretty visuals; the next-gen juiciness? Firstly, it’s not called next-gen anymore; get it right (I talk to myself sometimes, okay). Secondly, they’re not much different from FIFA 14. In-line with the new AI, players have a lot more facial expression but still not a great deal. Also, linesmen tend to smirk when they catch you offside. Is that a glitch or just a commentary on the state of officiating in football? Player models are noticeably better and it does add a layer of depth to the visuals to see players slide around in the rain and actually get up with stains on their kit. What is not so great is seeing a player pull on another’s shirt as it were made of latex.

While we’re talking about ridiculous physics, a simple tackle can send a player hurtling over themselves. Often enough they’ll get up from it but sometimes it actually injures them. Whatever you’ve done to the physics, EA Canada, make it stop. It’s either that or an absurd amount of aggression in the tackles delivered by opposition players. Let’s blame it on both systems.

Snapping back to visuals for a second, player animations are more detailed and realistic than ever. Even the people over on the sidelines have their own animations. It certainly adds to the immersive factor but FIFA seems stuck in the uncanny valley. Players are rendered rather realistically for the most part and yet just don’t look real. They are also animated quite well until they are not. For example, van Persie looked pretty great until he moved like a robot and walked as if John Terry had mistaken him for his wife.

As per usual, the game draws you in with its little touches and then immediately knocks you back out into the real world with glitches, jerky animations and inconsistent visuals.

Another thing you’ll notice is the way the AI seems to be respond better to Tactical Defending rather than Legacy Defending. At first it’s not really noticeable but you start to see players getting through your defence far too easily while using Legacy. It does seem to as a result of the slightly more dynamic way in which teams will attack. It’s not hugely noticeable and yet it does make a difference. The message is clear: get on board with the new system, kids.

That missive carries over to the way they’ve likely handled the game on the old-gen consoles. Now, on the old-gen FIFA 14 was a mess. Core features having to be hacked out by a barber surgeon because they were reserved for the shiny next-gen. It’s no doubt the same here so be wary. Do take my words with a pinch of aspartame as I have not touched the game on the old consoles.

A lot of your time will likely be spent either being a Pro of being a manager. In the managerial seat the new menu layout works wonderfully with tons of info but a clean, tiled design. Thank you, Windows 8. There’s not a whole lot that as changed aside from transfers, again. Instead of sending scouts out only to discover fresh talent, you can send them to various countries to scope out players in a league who meet certain requirements. If you send them to Spain with the instructions to look for a goal-scorer they will not come back with some imaginary 16 year old kid but rather Ronaldo, Messi, Bale and those other, less expensive players. It’s a good system and a realistic one. You can search for a player manually but you won’t get detailed stats on them the way you would if you sent a scout. You can also send your scouts out to watch specific players and report back on them. Unlike in FIFA 14 transfer negotiations seem easier, more streamlined and not as likely to fail for no reason. As a manager you can also now opt to reject all future bids for a player when a transfer offer comes in. This is a blessing if you absolutely do not want anybody else to get their hands on the raw goal-scoring prowess of Danny Welbeck. Oh wait…

If you’re going the other route and opting to duke out a season as a player then I’ve got some bad news for you, son. It’s a pretty grim affair. Of course you want some challenge to make you fight for your place in the starting X1 but that’s impossible when you’re constantly benched or left out of the squad for a match completely and your transfer requests are rejected. This was my experience playing as Özil for Arsenal. When I got a game for Germany things were great and I could create chances. With Arsenal it felt like hell on a football pitch. Things were not like this in previous years and I can’t understand why the system is so fickle this year.
There’s not a great deal to say about the online. It feels much the same as it did before now you can have the option to start a season with a buddy; if you’re into that sort of thing. Friends, I mean.
Let’s not hold ourselves under any delusions here, the past 1200+ words exists for purely academic purposes. Either you’ve purchased FIFA 15 or you haven’t. For the most part anyway. Who even reads FIFA reviews? What kind of human being are you?

It’s not worse than FIFA 14 but it does feel as if the need to keep the game fresh on the old consoles is holding the series back. The irony is that a chasm already exists between the two versions of the game. It may be a question of manpower but Ea Canada should do what it did with PS2/PS3 in previous years. make them essentially different games. In the grand scheme of things it matters for naught though because people will still buy FIFA, EA will still make oodles of money off of the games and in a few years this transitional phase will be gone and the focus will squarely be on the current generation of consoles.

Until then, FIFA is in something of an awkward adolescence.

To summarise then, it’s better than FIFA 14 and the base quality of FIFA is generally solid but it lacks any wow factor. FIFA 15 feels about as ho-hum as a Serie A match. Does that even mean what I think it means? Probably not.

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The Division Developers Compare It To Destiny http://egmr.net/2014/10/division-developers-compare-destiny/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/division-developers-compare-destiny/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158187 Does that mean it will be barren and boring? Hopefully not. Persistent world! Social interaction! Guns! Stuff! More stuff! That’s Destiny in exclamations. We’re not greatly fond of Destiny around […]

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Does that mean it will be barren and boring? Hopefully not.

Persistent world! Social interaction! Guns! Stuff! More stuff!
That’s Destiny in exclamations.

We’re not greatly fond of Destiny around these parts and given the mixed bag of reception, it seems many of you feel the same way. It may then not be the most prudent choice to compare your as yet unreleased game to Destiny.

A GameSpot preview posted last week detailed how players will interact with each other and described he blend of social and singleplayer as Destiny-esque. In broad strokes, of course.

Outside of its main social zone,players not in your group will only appear in designated Dark Zones. Likely to prevent you from being spammed with annoying players that you don’t care to interact with. Dark Zones offer a more unstructured PvP experience than Destiny’s crucible. That’s according to The Division game director Ryan Barnard.

“You could be in a group in the Dark Zone, you’d be very aware when you’re in the Dark Zone, and that single player, you could come across them also in the Dark Zone and decide to engage if you want. But you won’t randomly run into them when you’re doing missions or when you’re in the base of operations.”

In a separate preview Barnard described the game’s narrative structure with regards to missions. There will be set milestones which must be reached before players can participate in further missions.

“When you’re doing a narrative story you have moments that you want every player to experience, and we have those in The Division as well,” Barnard said.

In other words, if your group hasn’t progressed together then people will get left behind (or ahead).

Ubisoft Massive has until next year to convince us that The Division is worth taking an interest in. For now, they have my casual curiosity.

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Why Isn’t It Called Lord Of The Rings: Shadow Of Mordor? http://egmr.net/2014/10/isnt-called-lord-rings-shadow-mordor/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/isnt-called-lord-rings-shadow-mordor/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158127 Because then Peter Jackson would want to turn it into a trilogy. He probably still does anyway. That man would trilogise anything that moves in Middle-Earth. Shadow of Mordor has […]

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Because then Peter Jackson would want to turn it into a trilogy. He probably still does anyway. That man would trilogise anything that moves in Middle-Earth.

Shadow of Mordor has been out for a bit in other regions and released today in South Africa but why does it have that name? Not the Shadow of Mordor bit. It’s in frickin’ Mordor after all.

No, the part that’s peculiar is “Middle-Earth” in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Speaking in an interview, lead designer Bob Roberts discussed the decision to leave Lord of the Rings out of the title.

Quite simply, Monolith wasn’t looking to milk the franchise but rather introduce something fresh that didn’t draw on players’ memories from the books or films.

“One of our goals from the beginning was not to make a ‘movie game.’ Not to just rehash the same events over again. So, just trying to make the best game we can, and making it clear that this is its own thing –– its own story, its own experience.”

It makes enough sense if you squint at it for long enough but the Middle-Earth moniker is a little incongruous. It does however, open up some possibilities. Where does Talion head to after Mordor? Will we see him traverse and adventure through other regions? Perhaps there can be a spin-off game called Middle-Earth: Bliss of Rivendell where you spend 15-18 hours simply enjoying life in Rivendell and having conversations with Red Skull.

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Mortal Kombat X Welcomes A Badass Sorcerer (It’s Not Alan Moore) http://egmr.net/2014/10/mortal-kombat-x-welcomes-badass-sorcerer-alan-moore/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/mortal-kombat-x-welcomes-badass-sorcerer-alan-moore/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:45:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158070 As epic as it would be to have a fighting game starring wizard and occasional writer Alan Moore, his fever dreams could leave permanent scars. Instead, NetherRealm has revealed somebody […]

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As epic as it would be to have a fighting game starring wizard and occasional writer Alan Moore, his fever dreams could leave permanent scars. Instead, NetherRealm has revealed somebody a little less real and a whole lot less crazy but still pretty badass.

His name is Quan Chi and if that sounds like a supporting character for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2: The Unnecessary Netflix Sequel then you’re in the right ball park. If you’ve played Mortal Kombat 9 then you’ll know of him. You might not like him but you definitely know him.

regardless of previous lves, Quan Chi is looking like bewitchingly great fun in Mortal Kombat X. In particular, his warlock skills look particularly brutal, using a variety of portals to perform various attacks in surprising manners.

The trailer up top gives you a good look at Quan Chi’s x-ray move which will have you saying, “now you’re thinking with portals!”

Mortal Kombat X is out on April 14 2015 on just about everything. Except Wii U. It’s never Wii U.

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Battlefield 4 Might Just Have Finally Been Fixed http://egmr.net/2014/10/battlefield-4-might-just-finally-fixed/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/battlefield-4-might-just-finally-fixed/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=158068 Almost a full year later Battlefield 4 may just finally be fixed and healed of its former ailments. Just like that old gypsy woman said. Frankly, that makes me more […]

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Almost a full year later Battlefield 4 may just finally be fixed and healed of its former ailments. Just like that old gypsy woman said.

Frankly, that makes me more than a little sad. One of 2013’s biggest games from arguably the biggest publisher and certainly one of the biggest developers is only just now getting fixed. Well, that’s not true.

Releasing in a broken state, battlefield 4 has been slowly getting updates and fixes intravenously but the September patch may just be the final fix it needs.

The patch brought with it a boatload of changes to all parts of the game. The net result? Well, you’ll have to watch the latest Westie video up top to find that out. The video tackles all the big changes but most importantly delivers a verdict on just how well these changes and fixes have worked. The patch may do a lot of good but it is not without its issues.

This, folks, is the reason why word that Battlefield: Hardline will be fully functional at launch qualifies as major news.

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Shadow Of Mordor Launches Tomorrow, Get A Headstart Here http://egmr.net/2014/10/shadow-mordor-launches-tomorrow-get-headstart/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/shadow-mordor-launches-tomorrow-get-headstart/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:45:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157978 Misleading titles can be misleading. All you’ll get here is a launch trailer and the first 20 minutes of gamerplay. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor launches locally and in Europe tomorrow […]

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Misleading titles can be misleading. All you’ll get here is a launch trailer and the first 20 minutes of gamerplay.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor launches locally and in Europe tomorrow but early word from North America suggests the game is one of this year’s big surprises. A licensed game that isn’t mediocre. In fact, Shadow of Mordor might be on course to become one of this year’s big winners once awards season rolls into town.

That’s all irrelevant right now because you haven’t even played the damn thing yet. We’ve got you covered.

Up top is a little launch trailer to whet your appetite ahead of tomorrow. Ignore the Shadow of Mordor advertisement atop this webpage while you’re at it.

Down here we have the opening 20 minutes of the game.

Now that reviews are out, are you looking forward to this Lord of the Rings-inspired Batman-Assassin’s Creed hybrid that also features Joker and Joel from The Last of Us?

Not with that description I’ll bet.

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity Is Going To Insult You http://egmr.net/2014/10/assassins-creed-unity-going-insult/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/assassins-creed-unity-going-insult/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157979 I’m not one for insults, they’re for the weak of mind. That doesn’t mean a well thought out and cutting insult can’t be absolutely glorious when delivered well. Assassin’s Creed: […]

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I’m not one for insults, they’re for the weak of mind. That doesn’t mean a well thought out and cutting insult can’t be absolutely glorious when delivered well.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity isn’t going to be very smart with its insults. The Deadpool game was definitely smarter on that front. In the latest lovingly crafted cinematic trailer, our entrepid hero, Arno, gets called a pisspot. For Eighteenth Century Paris that’s not really an insult. For 21st Century Paris that’s hardly an insult. More just a statement of fact.

We long ago accepted that Ubisoft no longer knows how to write worth a damn though so can we be surprised?

Despite all this animosity, the trailer is a lovely little time-waster and shows off not only Arno’s fencing skills but also mild (very mild) spoilers for what one can assume is the beginning of the game.

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Windows 10 Is So Amazing That It Can Even http://egmr.net/2014/10/windows-10-amazing-can-even/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/windows-10-amazing-can-even/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:45:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157916 What’s the sign of a really, truly great OS? Forget benchmarks tests, UI tweaks and intuitive functionality. You know an OS is great when it skips a number. Windows 9? […]

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What’s the sign of a really, truly great OS? Forget benchmarks tests, UI tweaks and intuitive functionality. You know an OS is great when it skips a number. Windows 9? Bah! The new Windows is so great that it skipped a number.

Or maybe 9 looks too similar to 8 and Microsoft was worried people wouldn’t notice the difference. Apple and Samsung have shared courtrooms for less.

Windows 10 (that’s what they’re calling it) was announced last night to a small crowd of approximately 50 reporters. Understated is an understatement. It certainly looks cosy by comparison to Apple’s conference a few weeks back.

So why the number skip? Microsoft has named Windows 10 as such to highlight the direction the company is taking with the OS. Microsoft says it will be the “most comprehensive platform ever.” Because skipping 9 is comprehensive?

Windows 10 will support just about everything from the “Internet of Things” to enterprise servers. Windows 10 is designed to have a tailored experience, thus the necessity to have as wide an encompassing umbrella as possible.

Previously codenamed Threshold, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore showed off an early beta version of the new OS on stage and it’s hardly what you’d call a surprise. More like exactly what people wanted from Windows 8. If I may explain in the form of a simple formula:

Win10 = Win7 + Win8 – (everything that people disliked about Win8)

You can see Belfiore’s demo up top.

The new OS will look a lot more like Windows 7 with a traditional desktop, none of that Modern UI shite (save for in the Start Menu) and most of all, a Start Menu that makes a little more sense. Windows 8 starts peeking through in the Live Tiles that appear on the right side of the Start menu. The tiles and the menu itself can all be resized. Tailoring, people. If you so desire, you can expand the menu beyond the perimeter of your display to allow full scrolling through your entire lineup of apps and tiles.

the task bar has also been reworked to include “task view.” This shows off all the apps currently running in your virtual desktop. Your current desktop is shown on-screen but a few thumbnails down below allow you to switch between desktops or add a new one. You can also snap up to four apps on-screen in a quadrant display. Command prompt now allows for the sue of keyboard shortcuts, including the infamous Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.

Native apps such as Mail and calendar boast responsive design that adjusts as you resize them. For example, the Mail app can show anywhere from one to three panes and the Calendar app will display anything from a day to a full week depending on how you’ve sized the window.

If you’re familiar with Windows 8 then you might like to know that the Charms Bar still exists but Microsoft stressed that the UI is not final and changes can (and will likely) be made between now and the platform’s release.

Expect the full suite of touch and gesture elements to carry over from Windows 8.1. Aside from that, you’ll have to wait and see what Windows 10 brings to the party in terms of touch. Microsoft did say that the OS will dynamically adjust depending on what mode you’re using – keyboard and mouse or standalone touch. When in touch mode, the Modern UI shows up as a large Start Menu. Which makes good sense.

Below is a mockup of what the new OS will look like on all platforms. the far right is for you Xbots.

Windows10

This was just a teaser of what’s in store for us with Windows 10. MS is set to show a lot more at its Build conference next year with a platform launch set for late 2015.

Despite an incongruous name, Windows 10 looks to be exactly what users want while still remaining on course for Microsoft’s vision of a unified OS for all platforms.

What do you make of it?

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Nothing Can Save You In This New Evil Within Gameplay Video http://egmr.net/2014/09/nothing-can-save-new-evil-within-gameplay-video/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/nothing-can-save-new-evil-within-gameplay-video/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:45:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157823 Well, unless you close this tab in your browser but don’t be a dick about it. That said, if you’re easily frightened then you have my permission to NOPE the […]

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Well, unless you close this tab in your browser but don’t be a dick about it. That said, if you’re easily frightened then you have my permission to NOPE the hell out of here right now.

Resident Evil has swiftly become the type of game that you can shoot your way out of. That’s not horror. That’s certainly not survival. You’re pretty much looking at games with zero tension. Shinji Mikami has a very different vision with The Evil Within.

The Resident Evil creator is going back to his roots with The Evil Within and not even bullets can save you this time. Some fans were initially sceptical about the protagonist having a gun but it will be just as divisive as a flashlight as far as survival and tension-building go.

Suffice to say, make every bullet count.

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Watch Nearly 50 Minutes Of Dragon Age: Inquisition Complete With Gorgeous Eyelashes http://egmr.net/2014/09/watch-nearly-50-minutes-dragon-age-inquisition-complete-gorgeous-eyelashes/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/watch-nearly-50-minutes-dragon-age-inquisition-complete-gorgeous-eyelashes/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:45:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157814 There’s a little actual gameplay in here too. During a livestream via Twitch last night, BioWare showcased nearly 20 minutes worth of Dragon Age: Inquisition and it’s looking pretty damn […]

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There’s a little actual gameplay in here too.

During a livestream via Twitch last night, BioWare showcased nearly 20 minutes worth of Dragon Age: Inquisition and it’s looking pretty damn fantastic right now. That delay certainly seems to be have been worth it.

The video above showcases the extremely deep character creation tools. I don’t even know what type of eyelashes I want my character to have let alone the complimentary eyeshadow to go with those eyelashes!It’s nearly a full half-hour of character creation, folks.

Down here we have that new section of gameplay that was shown last night.

BioWare, you have my attention.

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Farewell PlayStation Home, Nobody Ever Loved You http://egmr.net/2014/09/farewell-playstation-home-nobody-ever-loved/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/farewell-playstation-home-nobody-ever-loved/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157813 Most people have never cared much for PlayStation Home. It existed, there were people populating its world and Sony certainly kept it supported but there was never a reason to […]

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Most people have never cared much for PlayStation Home. It existed, there were people populating its world and Sony certainly kept it supported but there was never a reason to really jump into it.

It’s almost ironic then that as the gaming landscape shifts towards social interconnection, Sony is closing down its social hub.

“Due to a shifting landscape, PlayStation Home will cease publishing new content on November 12. Gamers in Europe, the US and Canada will be able to download content until December 3.

“As a token of our tremendous gratitude to the community, we will also be releasing a series of free content prior to the platform’s closure on March 31, 2015.”

Any money you’ve spent on PlayStation Home content will not be refunded but seriously, what in the name of Odin’s glorious beard are you doing spending money on PlayStation Home?

“Due to the progressive and innovative nature of the gaming industry, PlayStation is unable to refund on legacy platform or service experiences,” said the firm.

As I said at the outset, most people never cared much for PS Home and rightly so. It’s a wonder that Sony kept it up for so long but the peculiarity is that the shifting landscape of gaming is actually starting to favour something such as PS Home. Imagine meeting up with some pals outside the doors to AC: Unity and then “walking into the game” together. That’s an extra layer of social interaction right there and if another friend comes along, maybe they could see that you’re playing and watch the action unfold. All voyeuristic and shit.

It’s just a theory but all in all, PlayStation Home will not be missed.

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Perverts Rejoice, Science Is One Step Closer To Making An Invisibility Cloak http://egmr.net/2014/09/perverts-rejoice-science-one-step-closer-making-invisibility-cloak/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/perverts-rejoice-science-one-step-closer-making-invisibility-cloak/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:45:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157746 When I say perverts, I should also probably mention Harry Potter fans. They’re a special bunch. I should know, I’m one of them. We’ve been here before. Some group of […]

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When I say perverts, I should also probably mention Harry Potter fans. They’re a special bunch. I should know, I’m one of them.

We’ve been here before. Some group of pretty rad scientists figure out a way to bend or later light to produce the illusion of invisibility. However, none of those solutions were really practical. Fiber optics and light-altering metamaterials will only get you so far in the real world.

The University of Rochester might have something far more practical and a smidgen cooler given that it uses run of the mill optical lenses. For the record, it is a cloak and not some amorphous thing that could one day maybe be a cloak.

Even more titillating is that it all works on the foundation of some clever mathematics and not much else. How it works is that two lenses are positioned just in the right way that they cause light to bend in a way that hides just about anything you put between the arrangement.

As you’d expect, the area you can mask increases with the diameter of the lenses and unlike other invisibility trickery, this cloak works from angles of 15 degrees or more and not just head-on. The trouble is that because of the way the light is being bent, you can’t actually hide whatever is directly on the axis of the lenses.

So maybe it’s not quite as promising as you’d have hoped.

The folks at Rochester believe this tool can be used to eliminate blind spots in vehicles or allow surgeons to see “through” their hands during delicate procedures. Those applications are some ways off but with the relative simplicity of the tech, they certainly seem plausible.

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Start Your Week With A Word From The Glorious Pagan Min http://egmr.net/2014/09/start-week-word-glorious-pagan-min/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/start-week-word-glorious-pagan-min/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157745 Just yesterday, the EGMR team were discussing the games we’re actually looking forward to in 2014. The list was not long. One of the games on that list though was […]

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Just yesterday, the EGMR team were discussing the games we’re actually looking forward to in 2014. The list was not long. One of the games on that list though was Far Cry 4. Here we are, with a trailer for Far Cry 4.

Far Cry 4 is the game that’s making dictatorship cool again, like it was in the 80’s. It’s also making elephants interesting for the first time since Dumbo so well done to the folks at Ubisoft Montreal for not playing it safe with this one. Or did they play it safe by seemingly not playing it safe?

Watch the trailer up top for your weekly dose of pink-suited propaganda from the exalted Pagan Min.

Down here we have some PS4 bundles to tell you about. No, not the ones to either side of this text. Different ones.

These bundles contain a PS4 and far Cry 4.

That’s literally all I have to say about them. No price, no word on whether South Africa is counted under Europe in this case but just know that such a bundle exists.

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Before Human Revolution There Was A Deus Ex 3 http://egmr.net/2014/09/human-revolution-deus-ex-3/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/human-revolution-deus-ex-3/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 06:45:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157552 Wait, Deus Ex: Human Revolution wasn’t the third Deus Ex game? Long before Human Revolution was even a twinkle in some developer’s eyes, there was the idea, the construct, of […]

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Wait, Deus Ex: Human Revolution wasn’t the third Deus Ex game?

Long before Human Revolution was even a twinkle in some developer’s eyes, there was the idea, the construct, of a third Deus Ex game. One that would follow on from Invisible War rather than jump back to the past as a prequel.

A recent presentation by Joe Martin (a games journalist and writer) at VideoBrains, explored one of the least talked-about aspects of game design; a game’s deleted scenes, or in this case, a whole game.

The image you see here shows two of the possible plots the game could have had:

5a

“The first is about an augmented Black Ops soldier who goes AWOL upon discovering he’s been used for dodgy dealings. His handlers find him and threaten him with either court martial or his wife’s execution if he doesn’t do one final job. What’s interesting is that the missions would have fluctuated between flashbacks and new stories,” says Martin.

“The second story begins immediately after the ending for Deus Ex in which you destroy all global communications. In this story you’d investigate the collapse and try to save your sister from a cult which arises in the chaos.”

I don’t know about you but the second sounds pretty worthwhile. Also, like a good pitch for a Watch Dogs sequel. Pay attention, Ubisoft!

What do you make of these? Would you have preferred either of these to Human Revolution?

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Ghosts Had Extinction But Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Has Exo Survival http://egmr.net/2014/09/ghosts-extinction-call-duty-advanced-warfare-exo-survival/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/ghosts-extinction-call-duty-advanced-warfare-exo-survival/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 06:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157551 I’m not entirely sure what this is about but in my sleep-deprived state it looks pretty cool. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the whole has been relatively quiet and […]

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I’m not entirely sure what this is about but in my sleep-deprived state it looks pretty cool.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the whole has been relatively quiet and yet looks promising (even if it rips off about half a dozen other games).

The video above is your first glimpse of Advanced Warfare’s four-player co-op mode called Exo Survival.

As the name implies, it involves survival. While wearing exo suits.

Watch it.

(Suck it, Bracken)

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity Is Both Sexy And Sexist http://egmr.net/2014/09/assassins-creed-unity-sexy-sexist/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/assassins-creed-unity-sexy-sexist/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157288 On a long enough timeline, any major franchise circles back to where it started. Sometimes it’s called a soft reboot, sometimes it’s labelled as “going back to basics.” Whatever you […]

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On a long enough timeline, any major franchise circles back to where it started. Sometimes it’s called a soft reboot, sometimes it’s labelled as “going back to basics.” Whatever you want to call it, that’s what Assassin’s Creed: Unity is headlining for.

After the grand departure from norms (by AC standards) that was Black Flag, the series has invariably overshot to a previous state; its original state. Of course, given how minute the changes are from one AC game to the next we aren’t talking about the most chasmic of differences.

Name: Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Genre: Ubuntu
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer: Co-op
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
Publishers: Ubisoft
Release Date: 13 November 2014
Price: R450 (PC), R630 (PS4, Xbox One)

After the longest time, Assassin’s Creed is finally going to the French Revolution. A time period that fans (yours truly included) have been clamouring for since the idea of genetic memories and visiting past eras first presented itself.

So what changes are the folks at Ubisoft Montreal bringing in this time around?

For starters they’ve rebranded Black Flag as something called AC: Rogue for PS3 and Xbox 360. In doing so the Unity dev team could focus solely on making the best version of the game and not worry with having to port it onto the old consoles. How nice of them.

Granted, it’s not as if the various multicultural teams of various faiths and beliefs speak of limited resources. Development on AC: Unity sports a greater amount of people working on it than perhaps any other game in existence. We’re talking about upwards of approximately 1500 people spread across 10 studios dotted around the world. All working on aspects of a single game.

Now, one of the courses I currently have to take is called Project Management. Ironically, it’s terribly run but one thing you learn is that a large project with multiple individual modules can quickly derail without proper communication. A practical example is the patchwork shambles that was Assassin’s Creed III. There was plenty to do but it was all over the place. Much like the narrative.

In Unity, everything is focused and has a purpose. This is something that made Black Flag so enjoyable rather than a confused mess. Unity is taking things one step further with a soft reboot (there’s that term) of the Assassin’s Creed franchise’s modern storyline.

According to creative director Alex Amancio — who no doubt is only saying this to attract newcomers to the series, we are not oblivious to PR statements after all — the series will be a fresh start for the franchise that will re-contextualise the narrative.

“It’s a new start, it’s a new narrative start. That is symbolized by a completely new context for the present day,” he explained. “You’ve seen a little bit of an evolution with Black Flag, [but] we’re not going to do the same thing. What we’re doing with Unity is really the beginning [of] this new cycle of Assassin’s Creed games.”

That sentence might be equal parts gratifying and depressing.

“Because it’s new, we can actually explain it properly because nobody is going to feel like it’s redundant. I would say that Assassin’s Creed Unity is the best entry point for the franchise since [the first Assassin's Creed].”

Yay?

I can’t be bothered with the modern-day plotline in AC anymore and neither can Ubisoft it seems. In fact, if AC: Rogue didn’t come along I’d have assumed Ubisoft had given up on narratives altogether. Not the worst thing in a sandbox game, mind you. If done right.

But I digress.

It’s a good thing that not much stock is being put into the game’s narrative because a) The French Revolution as a setting pretty much comes with the narrative pre-installed and b) this means that the developers can focus on pants that make you faster gameplay.

For starters, instead of rehashing the same old tired mechanics, Ubisoft Montreal insists that it built Unity from the ground up rather than recycling old assets. In fact, in the four year development cycle, one quarter of that time was allegedly spent on the tech behind the game.

After all, this is Ubisoft’s first game coming exclusively to the new consoles so it was necessary to pour in the extra effort. This means that animations, visuals and game mechanics were all built from scratch. No doubt taking cues from previous entries in the series but not directly copying. Certainly not in the way that Shadow of Mordor did, and Unity is at least legally allowed to do it.

With new mechanics comes a bigger world. Not quite as big as what you got in Black Flag but only because you won’t have hundreds of miles of open sea navigate. No, Unity will have a bigger world in a different way. The entire game takes place in Paris, more or less, and it promises to be the biggest city we’ve seen in an AC title. Ubisoft explained the size of Paris in a manner most peculiar. If you Pangaea’d up all the explorable landmasses in Black Flag, you’d need to scale it up by four to match the size of Paris. It also promises, or rather has been promised, to be the densest city we’ve seen thus far.

That statement is two-pronged.

With more powerful tech behind it, Unity offers up not only a richer, more detailed city visually but also a more lively city with more NPCs being squeezed onto the screen than ever before. The game can render in the region of 5000 NPCs on-screen at a time. I’ll believe it when I see it.

All of that is a touch boring though. Sure, it produces a mighty pretty world to ogle as you free-run through it, a hellishly beautiful world in fact, but about 200 or so words ago I mentioned changes being made to the gameplay that we’ve become so tediously tired of. Let’s talk about those.

Unity is doing some great things although some may seem utterly banal unless you’re intimate with the issues an AC game has. We’re looking at overhauls to stealth, mission structure, combat, parkour and accents. More on that last one later. I’ve got a mini rant in me about that.

Let’s start with the easiest. For far too long, we’ve been forced to approach walls perpendicularly lest our protagonist press up against a wall like a mime with a poor imagination. In Unity you can approach walls diagonally! Seriously, this is a bigger deal in terms of the flow of parkour than you think. It doesn’t just stop there. As is expected, the parkour has been smoothed out and sped up. It’s only logical since the French invented parkour (aka the sport of running away). The controls for free-running have also been revamped. One button allows you to climb, the other allows you to climb down with rapid haste.

Ubisoft even hired someone and gave them the title of Chief Parkour Officer. That’s either commitment or idiocy. The fact that it’s an official title suggests a bit of both.

Combat in Unity will be very different in that, much like the very first AC, you’re encouraged to be stealthy and avoid fights rather than chop down any and every aggressor. Combat was previously a matter of countering until everybody around you was dead. This time around, try to take on more than a couple of guards at a time and you’ll struggle. Allegedly. Ubisoft does seem to think we’re all made of papier-mache so their definition of “challenging” may be embarrassingly unchallenging. That said, players are encouraged towards stealth with far more options available to the slinky squirrel that wishes to remain hidden.

There is now a dedicated stealth button to engage stealth mode. It’s a little silly but hey, it’s a start I guess. Players can actively crouch behind cover and use any of the stealth tools available in Black Flag. There are also better incentives such as lockpicking and secret passageways for silent escapes.

Unfortunately, players cannot decapitate at will. There will be decapitation to see of course, the cobbled streets can’t run red with the blood from paper cuts after all. It’s just that you won’t be doing any of the head chopping.

Unity will also feature a progression system similar to what was found in Watch Dogs. That inbred Ubi DNA runs strong, y’all.

One of the most irksome aspects of past AC games was the constricting mission structure that turned the sprawling game world into a claustrophobic corridor. Unity throws a middle finger to that with something a little more laissez-faire. In the big missions you are presented with a target and that’s it. You can attempt to head straight for the target or explore the immediate surroundings first. There may be some helpful items you can pinch or an informative conversation to eavesdrop in on and so on. The more of these side tasks you do, the better the mission will likely go when it comes time to go stabby stabby.

If this sounds familiar it’s because it’s an awful lot like a repackaged version of the gameplay from the original Assassin’s Creed and that’s a good thing.

Remember what I said about accents? We’re getting to that portion of this idiotically long preview.

You play as Arno Dorian. An Assassin initiate who is working his way up to the rank of Master Assassin in the midst of France’s uprising against the monarchy. The game will of course take liberties with the details but that doesn’t mean you won’t see Marie Antoinette, King Louis or even Robespierre himself. Hell, you can bet that some of the game’s key moments will involve infiltrating Versailles and the Bastille respectively. There doesn’t seem to be much of a narrative beyond that. There’s a woman named Elise who proves to be a love interest but also a Templar so you can expect something textbook from that particular story. The grating decision here is that it was decided to use British voice actors rather than ones with French accents. Why would a French developer/publisher do this? It’s times like these that I question Ubisoft’s sanity as a collective.

Up till now I’ve ignored two pretty big elements of Unity. One has breasts and the other very glaringly does not. One is the game’s co-operative play, the other is the lack of playable female characters in the game’s co-op.

Unity, like many games these days, wants you to have friends so it features a bit of co-op gameplay. You can complete the entire story on your own but some sections can be played with buddies and there are specific side activities designed to be played with friends.

The most notable such activity is heists. These are designed to be replayable and ever-increasing in difficulty and complexity. They will require teamwork and maybe a bit of strategy to pull off. The stealthier your crew is, the higher the reward at the end of the heist.

So what’s the problem? The four protagonists you see during co-op are all male. That’s kind of understandable since to each player, they appear as Arno in their game. You wouldn’t suddenly want your player to go transgender. The trouble is that Ubisoft opened their mouths and claimed it’s too much effort to animate a woman. I’m paraphrasing heavily. Is it sexist to not have a playable female character? No, not really. Is it utterly moronic to say that with regards to animating a female? Yes.

Well, that’s one way to end an article.

 

Suspected Selling Points
  • It’s Assassin’s Creed
  • Revolutionary France is a fan-favourite setting
  • Notable upgrades to the gameplay

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • It’s Assassin’s Creed
  • The changes in gameplay may not be enough to outweigh a potentially empty narrative

 
You’ve likely already made up your mind as to whether you want this game or not. If I may offer a few words of non-wisdom; this is an Assassin’s Creed game. Do not expect a revolution (heh) and don’t expect astounding gameplay. Expect a fresh experience, some achingly pretty visuals and solid (though not necessarily cutting edge) gameplay. Don’t even expect a narrative. Go in with that and you’ll probably have a good time.

I could be wrong about so much but these are standard precautions one must observe when approaching an Assassin’s Creed game in this day and age.

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Blizzard Kills Project Titan http://egmr.net/2014/09/blizzard-kills-project-titan/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/blizzard-kills-project-titan/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 07:00:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157495 Remember Project Titan? That new super secret game that Blizzard was working on? We know so little about the game that it barely even existed. That’s not a bad thing […]

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Remember Project Titan? That new super secret game that Blizzard was working on? We know so little about the game that it barely even existed. That’s not a bad thing because you’d best forget Project Titan was ever a thing.

It’s been canceled. Pretend to be sad, I guess.

Project Titan started as an MMO seven years ago and then however, during an investors call last year it was revealed that the original plans had been scrapped with Activision stating it was being “re-envisioned,” and would likely not be released as a sub-based MMORPG.

Speaking with Polygon, Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime said while the game was never officially announced , the team wanted to create “the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine,” but in the end, it “didn’t come together.”

“We didn’t find the fun,” Morhaime told the site. “We didn’t find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that’s the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no.”

Blizzard’s SVP of franchise and story development, Chris Metzen, added it was “excruciating” to cancel development.

“The discipline of knowing when to quit is important,” said Metzen. “We were losing perspective and getting lost in the weeds a little. We had to allow ourselves to take that step back and reassess why the hell we were doing that thing in the first place.”

Morhaime said last year Blizzard would be moving Project Titan’s team members over to other titles in the works with which had a more immediate release in sight while the “new direction” was decided upon.

It’s a little too fresh now but it would interesting, in time, to see what Blizzard was cooking up.

Can you be upset over something that never existed?

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Sunset Overdrive Gets A Live-Action Fail http://egmr.net/2014/09/sunset-overdrive-gets-live-action-fail/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/sunset-overdrive-gets-live-action-fail/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:30:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157431 Live-action trailers are pretty cool when done right. Usually they turn out okay. With Sunset Overdrive, Microsoft tried to recreate the game’s wacky antics in real life. Suffice to say, […]

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Live-action trailers are pretty cool when done right. Usually they turn out okay. With Sunset Overdrive, Microsoft tried to recreate the game’s wacky antics in real life. Suffice to say, things ended less than amazingly.

Check it out for yourself but the results are pretty hilarious.

Basically, it simply couldn’t be done. You can’t translate Sunset Overdrive to reality. Was that the point? Maybe.

Does a dodgy live-action trailer give you grounds to worry about the quality of the game? It should. Live-action trailers are an important benchmark in assessing the pre-release quality of a game.

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Get The Full BioShock Infinite Experience This November http://egmr.net/2014/09/get-full-bioshock-infinite-experience-november/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/get-full-bioshock-infinite-experience-november/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:45:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157430 The full BioShock Infinite experience should include the original BioShock but I digress, 2K Games has a different idea as to what that entails because they’re releasing something called “BioShock […]

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The full BioShock Infinite experience should include the original BioShock but I digress, 2K Games has a different idea as to what that entails because they’re releasing something called “BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition.”

That’s what Amazon and GameStop are saying at any rate.

Publishers are coming up with ever more creative names for these but they’re your classic game of the year edition. The original game plus all the DLC and possibly some developer commentary.

As a re-release of 2013′s title, The Complete Edition will include the main game alongside all of the DLC and add-on packs released for Infinite, such as the “Clash in the Clouds” game mode, several weapons and gear packs, and both installments of the Burial at Sea episodes released last year and earlier this year.

The Complete Edition of BioShock Infinite will be hitting your shores (sorry landlocked, folk) on November 4 for PS3 and Xbox 360.

I do want to play that DLC pretty badly.

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Ogle The Boyband Perfection That Is This Final Fanatsy XV Gameplay http://egmr.net/2014/09/ogle-boyband-perfection-final-fanatsy-xv-gameplay/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/ogle-boyband-perfection-final-fanatsy-xv-gameplay/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:30:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157303 People are really, really excited for Final fantasy XV. Nevermind the glacial pace of development, the game has people itching with anticipation. If you’re one of those people then hold […]

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People are really, really excited for Final fantasy XV. Nevermind the glacial pace of development, the game has people itching with anticipation. If you’re one of those people then hold on tight because we’ve got gameplay for you.

Be excited!

This is some of the first live gameplay footage from the game and it looks to be possibly the most modern entry in the series.

The stage demo featured some impressive visuals, but perhaps the most important part of the presentation was director Hajime Tabata’s insistence upon showing the footage since commenters online are under the impression that the Final Fantasy 15 was full of only pre-rendered footage.

From this eight minute video, Final Fantasy XV looks pretty great. Even to a non-fan such as myself. That said, FF XIII took an awful long time to get going. Hopefully this footage isn’t from some place 25 hours into the game.

A demo for the game is due to drop in January.

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Metal Gear Solid V Steals Ideas From Call Of Duty http://egmr.net/2014/09/metal-gear-solid-v-steals-ideas-call-duty/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/metal-gear-solid-v-steals-ideas-call-duty/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:45:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157302 Hideo Kojima is a creative genius. On that we can probably all agree. the degree to which his genius mixes in with madness may vary depending on how crazy you […]

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Hideo Kojima is a creative genius. On that we can probably all agree. the degree to which his genius mixes in with madness may vary depending on how crazy you are. All that said, this doesn’t mean he’s above borrowing from other games or at least being inspired by them. He’s certainly been inspired by some of his favourite films when crafting MGS games, thus the cinematic nature of the games and those colossal cutscenes in MGS 4.

Surely he wouldn’t stoop so low as to borrow from Call of Duty, right? Is it even stooping?

It doesn’t matter because Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a dog and his name is Riley 2.0 Diamond Dog or DD although I’m pretty sure Daredevil owns the rights to that.

Go look at the trailer above, he’s just the cutest with that little eyepatch.

You probably wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that CoD: Ghosts’ Riley inspired DD but he will apparently play a bigger role than Riley did. DD is more of wolf though but I digress. Does that mean Kojima drew inspiration from Game of Thrones?

Snake finds DD as a cub next to a dead, older wolf. He is then left with Ocelot to be trained and eventually gets partnered up with Snake as an optional companion.

Much like Quiet, Diamond Dog will be able to assist Snake on missions. That’s your social commentary for today, folks; dogs and female snipers are equally as useful on a mission.

You can bet one of them is going to die and my money is on the dog.

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Comments Of The Week — “I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH THIS SITE” http://egmr.net/2014/09/comments-week-officially-done-site/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/comments-week-officially-done-site/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 13:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157068 There’s still a ton of Destiny aftermath like this but who cares when a Deadpool movie has been dated for 2016? Hulk Smash — You won’t like me when I’m angry! […]

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There’s still a ton of Destiny aftermath like this but who cares when a Deadpool movie has been dated for 2016?

  • Hulk Smash — You won’t like me when I’m angry! Always posts rage comments.
  • TRoLoLoL — Everything is a joke.
  • The Fanboy — BioWare is MINE!
  • Consolefag — PC Sucks, etc.
  • PCbitch — PC is legacy. PC is the best.
  • The Elitist — I’m better than all of you. Don’t type to me in that tone of voice.
  • The Spammer — Cannot. Help. Myself. Must. Comment.
  • Gandalf — Loves long walks on the beach and philosophy. Also, types long comments.
  • Most Valued Commenter (MVC) — Everyone takes interest in what you have to say.
  • The Parasite — It’s everywhere!
  • The Hater — Nothing is good enough!
  • Mr/Mrs Likable — Most Likes on a Comment.

There’s a great chance that we’ll add more as we go. Perhaps you have some ideas of labels we should add. Let us know in the comments.

Every week we’ll leave one title out. It’ll be your job to suggest a winner in the comments.

On the next page, you’ll be able to find the winners.

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GDC 2014 Organisers Reveal Bomb Threat Over Anita Sarkeesian Award http://egmr.net/2014/09/gdc-2014-organisers-receive-bomb-threat-anita-sarkeesian-award/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/gdc-2014-organisers-receive-bomb-threat-anita-sarkeesian-award/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:45:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157029 The Game Developers Conference is an annual event held in San Francisco which is usually a great breeding ground for indie creativity and for indie developers to showcase their wares. […]

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The Game Developers Conference is an annual event held in San Francisco which is usually a great breeding ground for indie creativity and for indie developers to showcase their wares. Usually.

It was recently revealed that back in March a bomb threat was sent out to GDC organisers. An anonymous email was sent out to 25 members of the committee threatening to detonate a bomb during the conference unless an award being handed to Anita Sarkeesian was rescinded.

This was before her most recent videos released, before she was supposedly forced out of her home by threats and before #GamerGate and #NotYourShield were even conceived.

The email which was sent stated the following: “A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer’s Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian’s Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned.”

Speaking with Kotaku, the organisers revealed that they erred on the side of caution by callinf the SFPD who brought in a team from its Explosive Ordinance Disposal Division to investigate the Moscone Center where the event is held each year.

“Our EOD conducted a sweep of the premises and found nothing,” SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparza told Kotaku, adding that the department responds to all bomb threats. Esparza wouldn’t comment further on the investigation.

The team found no evidence of any explosive device but took no chances and conducted random bag checks at GDC. Oragnisers chose not to inform attendees of the threats that had been made but Sarkeesian was made aware of it.

You might be wondering which award she won. The Ambassador Award which goes to “an individual or individuals who have helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games and help further our art.”

Whether you agree that Anita Sarkeesian is deserving of that award or not, no rational human being can make severe threats against another simply due to dislike or a different set of views.

What has Anita Sarkeesian done to deserve this? She’s had some single-minded opinions, released a series of videos that lambast video games. She is certainly trying to incite change in the industry or at least spread awareness. She does it in a very dogmatic way and that rubs people the wrong way but we need people with extreme opinions in this world.

What we don’t need is people with extreme threats and a lack of regard for where to draw the line.

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Of Course Alien: Isolation Has A Survivor Mode http://egmr.net/2014/09/course-alien-isolation-survivor-mode/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/course-alien-isolation-survivor-mode/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:45:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157025 Alien: isolation is a survival horror title. That’s just what it is. Surely then any “Survivor” mode is just the entire game. Right? Apparently not. Survivor Mode is Alien: Isolation’s […]

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Alien: isolation is a survival horror title. That’s just what it is. Surely then any “Survivor” mode is just the entire game. Right? Apparently not.

Survivor Mode is Alien: Isolation’s idea of a challenge mode. In the video you see above you, the folks from The Creative Assembly discuss the inspiration behind the mode.

It contains a variety of challenges designed to test your skills at…(you guessed it) survival. There’s a little more to it though. You will receive various objectives to complete while being hunted by the Alien.

This is also the point where we talk about DLC. You may want to have a seat.

Alien: Isolation will have DLC releasing post-launch.

That’s it really.

Alien: Isolation is one of the games still brave enough to release during October. Expect it on October 7 on pretty much everything.

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Battlefield: Hardline Has A Little Bit Of Need For Speed In It http://egmr.net/2014/09/battlefield-hardline-little-bit-need-speed/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/battlefield-hardline-little-bit-need-speed/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=157024 Battlefield: Hardline (aka Ferguson: The Game) might have been delayed into 2015 but that’s okay. We weren’t all that excited for it anyway. That may change thought if Visceral and […]

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Battlefield: Hardline (aka Ferguson: The Game) might have been delayed into 2015 but that’s okay. We weren’t all that excited for it anyway. That may change thought if Visceral and EA reveal a few more interesting game modes similar to what they showed off at TGS yesterday.

Thus far the game has looked like Battlefield but in a city and without tanks. Basically, it’s the Shanghai levels without tanks. There is Levolution though!

There hasn’t been much to make Hardline look any different aside from the promise of a TV-style story.

The latest multiplayer mode to be revealed promises something very different though. For the Battlefield series at any rate. It’s called Hotwire and as the name may suggest, it involves high-speed car chases between cops and robbers.

It’s basically NFS: Hot Pursuit inside another game. Also, you can poke out of your car and shoot at your enemies.

Do us a favour and watch the trailer.

It might not be your typical Battlefield experience but Hardline’s Hotwire promises something very different.

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TGS 2014: How Much Bloodborne Is Too Much? http://egmr.net/2014/09/tgs-2014-much-bloodborne-much/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/tgs-2014-much-bloodborne-much/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156990 Well, if you’ve completed Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2 and Demons’ Souls then that’s way too much Bloodborne. If you crave that sort of pain then you shall likely disagree. […]

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Well, if you’ve completed Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2 and Demons’ Souls then that’s way too much Bloodborne. If you crave that sort of pain then you shall likely disagree.

Anyway, From Software used TGS to show off a lot of Bloodborne.

How much is a lot? 30 minutes seems to classify as a lot in my books.

Bloodborne is coming to a PS4 near you in February 2015 which leaves the question: Bloodborne, The Witcher 3 or both?

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TGS 2014: Catch The Controversial Quiet In Action in Konami’s MGS V: The Phantom Pain Showcase http://egmr.net/2014/09/tgs-2014-catch-controversial-quiet-action-konamis-mgs-v-phantom-pain-showcase/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/tgs-2014-catch-controversial-quiet-action-konamis-mgs-v-phantom-pain-showcase/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:45:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156930 Quiet has caused more controversy than she’s worth thus far. The Metal Gear Solid V character was revealed to outcry based on her frankly slutty attire. A soldier of fortune […]

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Quiet has caused more controversy than she’s worth thus far. The Metal Gear Solid V character was revealed to outcry based on her frankly slutty attire. A soldier of fortune doesn’t wear torn stockings and tiny bikini tops to my knowledge.

It got worse when it was revealed that she is the subject of violence and torture in the game.

Hideo Kojima insisted that there is method to the madness and went so far as to say that when we discover the reason for the way she is dressed we will feel like fools.
Or something. He’s crazy.

The first video (up top) is a trailer shown during Konami’s TGS showcase yesterday which focused on MGS V. It shows off Quiet making full use of her OctoCamo which seems to be organically embedded within her rather than being part of an external suit as with Snake.

The second video is a tad longer and comprises most of what Konami showed at TGS yesterday. They should really just rename it as the “Hideo Kojima show.”

This video gives us an extended look at MGS V. Just as we got at Gamescom and E3. Of course, the spin is that this gameplay features Quiet. If you’re not an otaku and struggle with the Japanese, JunkerHD has you covered with a transcription of what Kojima says during the footage.

It’s incredibly interesting that MGS V features the sort of divergent gameplay where you may never meet Quiet depending on how you play. It’s like the P.T. demo all over again.

What do you make of Quiet?

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One Week Later And Destiny Still Hasn’t Failed http://egmr.net/2014/09/one-week-later-destiny-still-hasnt-failed/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/one-week-later-destiny-still-hasnt-failed/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156931 Destiny is doing rather well in fact. Very well even. Of course, it could be argued that Destiny’s financial success is perfunctory in the face of fading before the first […]

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Destiny is doing rather well in fact. Very well even. Of course, it could be argued that Destiny’s financial success is perfunctory in the face of fading before the first year is even up. Much in the same way that Scotland’s independence seems more academic than practical should they retain the monarchy and the Pound.

Before we talk money, it is such a dirty thing after all, how about some statistical foreplay?

Destiny players have logged an enormous 100 million hours in the game’s first week and participated in 137 million activities.

On to the matters of money.

Destiny has sold $325 million worth of itself in the first week. In the first five days actually.

That makes it the best-selling new IP of all time. This makes sense given that ti was the most pre-ordered new IP of all time.

Activision derived its figures from Chart-Track, first parties, sales to retail outlets and through internal estimates.

All that is mighty impressive but one must wonder where Destiny will be once this initial hype dies. Until then, enjoy the game’s success, Bungie and Activision.

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All Of Harry Potter Summed Up In One Comic http://egmr.net/2014/09/harry-potter-summed-one-comic/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/harry-potter-summed-one-comic/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:45:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156872 I could be using this time slot for better things but I’m not going to because we don’t really need another AC: Unity trailer nor do you really want a […]

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I could be using this time slot for better things but I’m not going to because we don’t really need another AC: Unity trailer nor do you really want a vague plot synopsis for Avengers 2. Okay, maybe you do want that second one.

I’m starting to have doubts about this decision.

No matter! We’re too far in already to turn back.

Harry Potter is the heart-warming story of how gingers can be good people and Emma Watson became ridiculously attractive. Seriously, nobody saw that coming. Unless you read the books of course.

When it comes to consuming Harry Potter you presently have three options: 4109 pages of reading across the seven books, 19 hours 38 minutes of viewing across the eight books or you could knock on Daniel Radcliffe’s front door.

If all of that is a touch time-consuming, here’s an epic comic that compresses all of the events of the all of the books into a five minute comic.

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Click to enlarge

The comic was made by artist Lucy Knisley

Go ahead, find some inconsistencies or things that she left out.

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Kojima Gets Cryptic With A Teaser Ahead Of TGS http://egmr.net/2014/09/kojima-gets-cryptic-teaser-ahead-tgs/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/kojima-gets-cryptic-teaser-ahead-tgs/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156871 Hideo Kojima is a weird dude. On that there should be no real debate. The weirdness is also an effect of his genius because by all accounts he is a […]

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Hideo Kojima is a weird dude. On that there should be no real debate. The weirdness is also an effect of his genius because by all accounts he is a creative genius. If the recent P.T. demo taught us anything it’s that Kojima will break you with his puzzles.

With that in mind, who’s up for another?

Ever the enigma, Kojima tweeted a most cryptic teaser for the 2014 Tokyo Game Show (set to start tomorrow) and it really could mean anything.

That’s all there is. The Japanese text? That says “Keywords?!”

This could mean anything. It could also refer to either MGS V: The Phantom Pain or Silent Hills (his horror collaboration with Guillermo del Toro.

Most recently, Kojima hid the announcement of Silent Hills within P.T. so this could be just as much of a puzzle or it could refer to MGS V releasing in 37 weeks or on 3/7/15 or 7/3/15. That all seems a little pedestrian for Kojima though.

Hell, it could be a reference to Diablo III.

Get speculating. You’ve got 24 hours.

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Toast On Jam: Were GamerGate And NotYourShield Products Of Boredom? http://egmr.net/2014/09/toast-jam-gamergate-notyourshield-boredom/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/toast-jam-gamergate-notyourshield-boredom/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:30:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156635 Every year the video game industry has its fair share of controversies and issues sparked or raised by the people who play games. Over the years we’ve seen outrage against […]

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Every year the video game industry has its fair share of controversies and issues sparked or raised by the people who play games. Over the years we’ve seen outrage against DRM, day-one DLC, season passes, pre-order culture, PSN security, representation, rape culture and of course the now-historic cases of failing to meet advertised expectations that were Duke Nukem: Forever, Mass Effect 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines. The jury is still out on whether Destiny should be added to that list.

2014 has been an especially turbulent year. It started off rather benign. Much like the release schedule. Titanfall came and went without much of a stir. Watch_Dogs kicked up a storm for various reasons and not long after that Ubisoft managed to get themselves in trouble again for their insistence on using white male protagonists. This is the entry point to a very tenuous thread that has brought us to the current state of gaming. Things then went a little quiet in July before Gamescom, the Quinnspiracy, #GamerGate, #NotYourShield all reared their heads. Serve with a side order of Sarkeesian and Ferguson for chaos that the whole family can enjoy.

To quote myself at various stages over the past month: “What the fuck is going on?”

Note: this is also my standard response when I don’t find orange juice in the fridge.

Then I did some research by proxy of the writers at EGMR who are a little more invested in topical issues and got a little more clued up. The operative word here being a little. My primary focus is what sparked the issues or hashtags in the first place. I’m not sure I care enough about people and human issues to get fully invested in any of this as anything more than a detached observer.

When I was a kid I would get bored pretty often and when I got bored I’d do one of two things. The second involved playing with fire. Hell, I’m still regarded as a casual pyromaniac by a few friends and will play with an open flame should the opportunity present itself.

As humans I think that boredom begets burning. Without sufficient stimulation or distraction we start fires to stir up some excitement. In the 17th Century it was a physical fire with witch hunts, a few hundred years later we have flame wars. They keep us warm, they allow us to belong to a group and they keep us pre-occupied.

Way back in March, when all we had to complain about was a lack of games (something which would prove to have dire consequences later in the year), the delightful little Caveshen – an absolutely ball of sunshine and optimism – wrote something about what a wonderful distraction gaming is.

It was a great read and I’m going to retrofit it to suit my designs. Gaming doesn’t just distract us from problems out in the real world but also problems within gaming itself. As soon as the games stop flowing our minds, as a collective, switch on.

I’m already Satan’s attorney at this point so let’s keep going.

It may be that this year we had a particularly bad compounding of controversies and trending hashtags. It may be that social media is giving people a louder voice and greater impetus to voice their opinions aside from the usual confidence brought on by talking to a user account rather than a person. It may even be that gaming has finally boiled over and we are at a tipping point.

None of that changes the fact that we would likely not be here if there hadn’t been an absolute drought in gaming.

In no way am I discrediting that there are real issues that require discussion here. By all means, go right ahead and discuss those things until your frontal cortex is worn down.

All I’m suggesting is that a perfect storm cannot exist without a deafening calm before it. Absolute silence drives most people crazy. They simply can’t deal with it. When’s the last time we had a year in gaming that was so devoid of… games?

A brief look at 2011 through to 2013 reveals a pattern that is not unknown. You can expect some big releases in February and March. Possibly one or two in April and then May is when they E3 hype starts building. June is for E3 (and more recently actual game releases) while July is always utterly dead. August is when the big games start dropping and this continues right up until early December. Thereafter we play catch up, enjoy the festive season and generally spread goodwill or STIs. Whichever comes first.

Last year we saw that when you have a year in gaming that lacks the usual number of high quality games, the stand outs tend to get an inflated status. BioShock: Infinite and The Last of Us are great games but maybe not the greatest creations in existence as they were touted to be last year.

If 2013 was lacking then 2014 has been downright disappointing thus far.

As such, we’ve not only placed a bigger emphasis on those games that do warrant (or demand) some amount of hype but we’ve also been hellishly bored. It’s been mostly remasters and sub-AAA games when something does actually release. At various stages during this year, owners of the new consoles and even the old consoles have picked up games because there was simply nothing better to play.

The brouhaha surrounding The Last of Us: Remastered is not only a by-product of the current fixation on buzzwords such as 1080p and 60fps but also a lack of anything else to really do or talk about. Media and gamers alike covered the remaster to death. So much so that I lost all interest in the game leading up to its re-release.

94497-am-i-just-eating-because-im-bo-fpg1

There may be other factors at play and there most certainly are but I will purport boredom as a contributing factor. You do not devote this much attention to a re-release of a game, even if it was one of last year’s top games, without some degree of insanity at play. Trust me, I’m mentally unstable. I know.

This is why Destiny gained a cult following. As humans we subconsciously strive to remain distracted and preoccupied. Have you ever sat alone with your thoughts, ruminating? It’s horrid. Destiny (with a little help from its zealous marketing) gave us something to fixate on. Something to keep us distracted and a beta plus alpha along the way merely helped matters and keep the Destiny distraction strong between E3 and now.

That brings me to the point of this thing I’ve been told to call a column.

I’ve looked at the timeline of events. First there was the fuss about representation in gaming (rightly so) surrounding AC: Unity lacking any female playable characters. That then sort of fizzled out once the world started oohing and aahing about how transformative TLoU is on PS4.

Thereafter it was one thing after another. Gamescom. Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusive to Xbox One (maybe?). Zoe Quinn. The internet explodes. Anita Sarkeesian. The internet explodes again. SJWs vs MRAs (because you have to fit into a category, you simply must). The internet explodes again. #GamerGate. The internet implodes at this point. #NotYourShield. Can we just stop already? Destiny releases. And breathe.

Would this sustained madness have endured without the absence of any noteworthy games during that period? There are a few contraindications to my conclusions but I would wager the answer to the question is no. Typically, we are too pre-occupied by the actual games to really pick away at the industry’s puss-filled underbelly. We’d much rather pick away at scabs on the surface such as Mass Effect 3’s ending, the apparent racism in Far Cry 4, the ruinously messy state that Arkham Origins and Battlefield 4 released in. I could go on.

These all point to deeper, subcutaneous problems plaguing the industry. We still rarely dig down deeper.

Remove the games and suddenly that exoskeleton isn’t there to keep people from digging further.

God help whatever poor creature this metaphor is crafting.

In no way do I mean to discredit the absolute shitstorm that engulfed social media and the internet at large in this past month. There are valid issues to be raised and discussed in amongst all the name calling, hate and line-drawing. The rational voices that actually wanted discussion were drowned out by shouting and gnashing of teeth. Who needs level-headed discussion when frothing indignation and perceived alignments have the potential to spiral out of control and keep the fun going for so much longer.

Another cause for the manner in which the state of the internet spiraled into gross instability is the black and white divisions that were thrown up all over the place. Like a doting Sith apprentice, everything was handled and quantised in extremes.

I’m not even going to say that all which occurred was a bad a thing.

The events of these past few weeks served to not only highlight the fragility of the internet but also many relevant and important issues within gaming and the gaming industry. If you can look past the insults and poo-flinging. It could be seen as a good thing.

That said, if The Evil Within, Borderlands: The Pre-sequel and GTA V on PS4/X1 had released in August swiftly after Gamescom I don’t imagine any of this would have really happened. It would have likely fizzled out pretty quickly.

Destiny is out now and although we still see lingering traces of the battles that waged in weeks past, the bulk of it seems to have ceased or simply gone to places unbeknownst to me. I have bad eyesight, okay? It could be because Destiny released and everybody is content to focus on games again or perhaps all the high-intensity finally petered out.

Gaming, like any pastime, provides a welcome distraction; not only from life and the real world but also the issues plaguing the industry surrounding the games we play. We’re kept distracted and whether by design or by curious coincidence we are generally kept content with a steady stream of games. As long as boredom is kept at bay we won’t delve too deep.

At least that used to be the case. Have we finally tipped over to a state of far greater self-awareness as a sub-culture? Maybe now that the games have started to flow we will once again recede into familiar habits. Whinging about season passes, pre-order culture, excessive disappointment, Call of Duty, rushed releases and how “next-gen” hasn’t quite happened yet.

A steady stream of games maintains to equilibrium and prevents us from toppling into the sort of madness that prevailed over the past few weeks. Hopefully, gamers as a collective will learn from this and with any luck the past few weeks has been more transformative than The Last of Us was on PS4.

It’s amazing what happens when you introduce a little boredom.

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Ninja Theory’s Hellblade Shuns Open-World And Multiplayer http://egmr.net/2014/09/ninja-theorys-hellblade-shuns-open-world-multiplayer/ http://egmr.net/2014/09/ninja-theorys-hellblade-shuns-open-world-multiplayer/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:45:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=156810 Everything. Everything. Has multiplayer or wants to have an open-world or both these days. If you don’t have a sandbox or friends you simply aren’t cool enough. In a recent […]

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Everything. Everything. Has multiplayer or wants to have an open-world or both these days. If you don’t have a sandbox or friends you simply aren’t cool enough.

In a recent Q&A regarding their new IP, Hellblade (which just looks like a Heavenly Sword spiritual successor), Ninja Theory revealed some interesting things about the game.

The Q&A took place on twitter and was given the cutesy name of “NinjaQuery.”

Some of the important details that were revealed in the Q&A can be seen below:

  • The game will use Unreal Engine 4.
  • Game may or may not have a retail release.
  • The game will draw from Celtic mythology.
  • There isn’t any word on whether or not the game will run at 30 or 60 FPS, because they’re only four months into development.
  • Combat will be “Brutal and Uncompromising”.
  • No Open World, No Multiplayer.
  • Boss Battles to most likely get a big focus.
  • The focus right now is on Combat, but the story is “incredibly important”.
  • The main character is named Senua.
  • The game will arrive first on the PS4.

Hopefully we’ll here and see more of Hellblade (that name is so 2003) at TGS this week.

I like the variety that developers such as Ninja Theory bring because after all we can’t have every game being an open-world experience with friends.

That said, we can only hope they’ve learnt how to handle feedback a little better since DmC.

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