#egmr » A-G http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:34:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Valve Takes Steps Towards Cracking Down On Developers Exploiting Early Access http://egmr.net/2014/11/valve-takes-steps-towards-cracking-developers-exploiting-early-access/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/valve-takes-steps-towards-cracking-developers-exploiting-early-access/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163480 Steam’s Early Access is great for developers who require extra funding or cannot do as extensive QA testing as bigger studios can afford. That is, in theory. Plenty of things […]

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Steam’s Early Access is great for developers who require extra funding or cannot do as extensive QA testing as bigger studios can afford. That is, in theory. Plenty of things are fantastic in theory, foxes for example, but in reality they attack your chickens and become the subject of really weird songs. Similarly, in practice Early Access has been riddled with vapourware, lies, shockingly unplayable games and worse.

Jim Sterling has been a forerunner in pointing out these atrocities and frankly, as a creative medium it is shocking that a developer would even consider putting out something unplayable and full of assets borrowed from elsewhere. Thankfully, Valve has begun taking steps towards cracking down on these developers and cleaning up Early Access with new guidelines and rules.

“Steam Early Access is a way to invite customers to get involved with your game as you develop, so that you can get the feedback you need to make better informed product decisions and to ensure the best outcome for your customers and fans. When you launch a game in Steam Early Access, there is an expectation by customers that you will continue development to a point where you have what you consider a ‘finished’ game. We know that nobody can predict the future, and circumstances frequently change, which may result in a game failing to reach a ‘finished’ state, or may fail to meet customer expectations in some other way. We work hard to make sure this risk is communicated clearly to customers, but we also ask that developers follow a set of rules that are intended to help inform customers and set proper expectations when purchasing your game.”

The new rules for Early Access are non-negotiable and developers must comply in order to stay in the program. They’re also made with the consumer very much in mind. Developers must state that a game is in Early Access when handing out keys off-site, no specific promises should be made about future events or content, lastly Valve wants parity in that developers must have consistent pricing on Steam and elsewhere.

“We work really hard to make sure that customers understand what they are buying when they get an Early Access title on Steam. But we’ve seen that many of these titles are sold as keys on other websites where there is no explanation of what Early Access is or what the current state of your product is now versus what you hope to achieve.”

“For example, there is no way you can know exactly when the game will be finished, that the game will be finished, or that planned future additions will definitely happen. Do not ask your customers to bet on the future of your game. Customers should be buying your game based on its current state, not on promises of a future that may or may not be realized.”

“We expect Steam customers to get a price for the Early Access game no higher than they are offered on any other service or website. Please make sure that’s the case.”

The second is perhaps the most interesting. It will certainly result in more vague descriptions but hopefully will eventually lead to developers only releasing on Early Access with a marketable set of features rather than a half-baked sham.

Next up we’ve got the guidelines and though these aren’t strictly compulsory, it does give us a reference point for what good developers should be doing.

Don’t launch in Early Access if you can’t afford to develop with very few or no sales.

There is no guarantee that your game will sell as many units as you anticipate. If you are counting on selling a specific number of units to survive and complete your game, then you need to think carefully about what it would mean for you or your team if you don’t sell that many units. Are you willing to continue developing the game without any sales? Are you willing to seek other forms of investment?

Make sure you set expectations properly everywhere you talk about your game.

For example, if you know your updates during Early Access will break save files or make the customer start over with building something, make sure you say that up front. And say this everywhere you sell your Steam keys.

Don’t launch in Early Access without a playable game.

If you have a tech demo, but not much gameplay yet, then it’s probably too early to launch in Early Access. If you are trying to test out a concept and haven’t yet figured out what players are going to do in your game that makes it fun, then it’s probably too early. You might want to start by giving out keys to select fans and getting input from a smaller and focused group of users before you post your title to Early Access. At a bare minimum, you will need a video that shows in-game gameplay of what it looks like to play the game. Even if you are asking customers for feedback on changing the gameplay, customers need something to start with in order to give informed feedback and suggestions.

Don’t launch in Early Access if you are done with development.

If you have all your gameplay defined already and are just looking for final bug testing, then Early Access isn’t the right place for that. You’ll probably just want to send out some keys to fans or do more internal playtesting. Early Access is intended as a place where customers can have impact on the game.”

These are all things that people have been asking for since Early Access started up and something that developers should heed. The likes of Day Z is one if the biggest Early Access titles and has even been suggested to be getting a PS4 version but has yet to get a full release and it’s creator has in fact left the studio of development. That’s more than a little worrying.

Will these rules and guidelines fix Early Access? Maybe a little but the skeevy and conniving developers who have been exploiting it will continue to find ways to do so without true accountability for their actions. Of course, those investing in Early Access need to also be made abundantly aware of what they’re getting themselves into. You’re not paying for a game, you’re paying to be part of a development process that might hopefully lead to a game.

Early Access is not without merit but it’s got some way to go in order to lose all the bad rep it’s racked up. If triple-A developers ever start using Early Access, as some such as DICE have been considering, then the platform will surely go to the dogs. There has to be another rule which states that Early Access is only available tot hose who need it. Double Fine should not be doing Early Access and nor should the likes of Telltale or Supergiant or any of the bigger independent studios.

What’s your take on Early Access and what needs to change before we can see it become a respectable platform?

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Play Sunset Overdrive For Free This Weekend http://egmr.net/2014/11/play-sunset-overdrive-free-weekend/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/play-sunset-overdrive-free-weekend/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163506 While our opinions on just how good Sunset Overdrive is may vary here at EGMR, we can all appreciate that it’s a good game and one that should at least […]

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While our opinions on just how good Sunset Overdrive is may vary here at EGMR, we can all appreciate that it’s a good game and one that should at least be applauded for trying to be a little different and a lot of funny. As such, if you own an Xbox One then you really should not have a reason to not be playing it.

Right now Microsoft is giving you absolutely every reason to be playing Sunset Overdrive.

The game may have just released a month ago but as a gift to all those who have invested in an Xbox One over the course of its first year, Microsoft is giving you free access to Sunset Overdrive. Not a demo or a slice of the game but the full game and its eight-player co-op mode.

Beginning on November 22 at 12.01 Eastern Time (5:01am UK), the game will be open to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One for 24 hours.

Players will be able to earn achievements and save their progress which will be carried over should they choose to buy the full game.

Insomniac Games is also set to show off a number of new Sunset Overdrive weapons during a Twitch stream on the Xbox channel next Monday, November 24, at 10am PT 1pm ET / 6pm UK.

As anniversary celebrations go, this one is pretty great. If you have an Xbox One then do it. Do it now.

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Behold, The 2014 Game Award Nominees http://egmr.net/2014/11/behold-2014-game-award-nominees/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/behold-2014-game-award-nominees/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163504 Gone are the VGAs and neevr again will the VGX plague our nightmares, this year sees the birth of the Game Awards. Geoff Keighley’s new baby has a board of […]

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Gone are the VGAs and neevr again will the VGX plague our nightmares, this year sees the birth of the Game Awards. Geoff Keighley’s new baby has a board of prominent figures from around the videogame industry and the goal of being more of a celebration of this industry.

Now, the nominees were recently announced and the list is, well… interesting. There are a few omissions, a few surprises, plenty of expected entries and most telling of the year we’ve had in gaming is one category in particular. Best Remaster. I kid you not, that is a thing that’s happening.

Jury-voted categories:

Game of the Year

  • Bayonetta 2
  • Dark Souls II
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Hearthstone
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Developer of the Year

  • Blizzard
  • Monolith Productions
  • Nintendo
  • Telltale Games
  • Ubisoft Montreal

Best Independent Game

  • Broken Age: Act 1
  • Monument Valley
  • Shovel Knight
  • Transistor
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Best Mobile/Handheld Game

  • Bravely Default
  • Hearthstone
  • Monument Valley
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS
  • Threes

Best Narrative

  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • The Walking Dead Season Two
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

Best Score/Soundtrack

  • Alien Isolation
  • Child of Light
  • Destiny
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Transistor

Best Performance

  • Adam Harrington as Bigby Wolf, The Wolf Among Us
  • Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Melissa Hutchison as Clementine, The Walking Dead Season Two
  • Trey Parker as Various Voices, South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Troy Baker as Talion, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Games For Change

  • Mountain
  • Never Alone
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind
  • This War of Mine
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Best Remaster

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • The Master Chief Collection
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Best Shooter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Destiny
  • Far Cry 4
  • Titanfall
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

Best Action/Adventure

  • Alien Isolation
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Sunset Overdrive

Best RPG

  • Bravely Default
  • Dark Souls II
  • Divinity: Original Sin
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth

Best Fighting Game

  • Killer Instinct Season Two
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV

Best Family Game

  • Disney Infinity 2.0
  • Fantasia Music Evolved
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Skylanders Trap Team
  • Tomodachi Life

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • FIFA 15
  • Forza Horizon 2
  • Mario Kart 8
  • NBA 2K15
  • Trials Fusion

Best Online Experience

  • Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
  • Dark Souls II
  • Destiny
  • Hearthstone
  • Titanfall
Fan-voted categories:

Most Anticipated Game

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Evolve
  • Bloodborne

eSports Player of the Year

  • Matt “NaDeSHoT” Haag
  • Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund
  • Xu “Fy” Linsen
  • Martin “Rekkles” Larsson
  • James “Firebat” Kostesich

eSports Team of the Year

  • Ninjas in Pajamas
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Samsung White
  • Edward Gaming
  • Newbee

Trending Gamer

  • TotalBiscuit
  • Jeff Gerstmann
  • PewDiePie
  • Evan “Vanoss” Fong
  • StampyLongHead

Best Fan Creation

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon

  • Luigi Death Stare

  • Best Zelda Rap EVER!!!

  • Minecraft – TITAN City

  • Mine the Diamond (Minecraft song)

It certainly makes for an interesting list. What do you make of it?

The event will take place in Las Vegas at the AXIS Theater in Planet Hollywood on December 5 at 9pm ET / 6pm PT / 2am UK. It will be viewable on PSN, Xbox Live, Wii U, Steam, Twitch, YouTube, Kotaku, IGN, GameSpot, Kotaku, Niconico and MLG.

 

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains That Convoluted Interstellar Ending http://egmr.net/2014/11/neil-degrasse-tyson-explains-convoluted-interstellar-ending/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/neil-degrasse-tyson-explains-convoluted-interstellar-ending/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163436 Interstellar is, for better or worse, Christopher Nolan’s most human tale. At its very core are dealings with love, the human condition, survival and a lot of it is kind […]

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Interstellar is, for better or worse, Christopher Nolan’s most human tale. At its very core are dealings with love, the human condition, survival and a lot of it is kind of lost in Nolan’s need to tell rather than show. That said, Interstellar does have the underpinnings of a very different space opera, even if it borrows quite a bit from 2001.

On a technical level I had a number of issues with the editing, more than a few of the shots and with the soundtrack occasionally being oppressive (even for Hans Zimmer). Despite that, I felt it was a fresh take on space exploration and admired that much of the pseudo-science was grounded in real, hard science. Right down to the modelling of the black hole.

While I may have had issues with the film throughout, many others (Caveshen included) felt that the movie was great up until that final bit whereupon the film rather collapsed in on itself.

Now, here on EGMR we have a certain love for Neil deGrasse Tyson so we’ll jump at any excuse to see him talk science. He was in the camp of people who had more than a few issues with Interstellar and has a number of things he doesn’t quite understand about the film:

  • If you can poke through a tesseract and touch books, why not just write a note & pass it through.
  • Stars vastly outnumber Black Holes. Why is the best Earthlike planet one that orbits a Black Hole
  • Who in the universe would ever know the titles of all their books, from behind, on an bookshelf.
  • How a pickup truck can drive with a flat tire among densely planted corn stalks taller than it.
  • If wormholes exist among our planets, then why can’t one open up near Earth instead of Saturn.
  • Gotta tell you. Mars (right next door) looks waay safer than those new planets they travelled to.
  • If you crack your space helmet yet keep fighting, the Planet’s air can’t be all that bad for you.
  • Can’t imagine a future where escaping Earth via wormhole is a better plan than just fixing Earth.
  • In this unreal future, they teach unscientific things in science class. Oh, wait. That is real.

Now, with that picture painted you can watch the video up top wherein Neil deGrasse Tyson explains how the science behind ending of Interstellar could work. It’s only a short, three minute video and it certainly feels like not enough time for him to say all that there is to say but it’s courtesy of Business Insider and The Wolf of Wall Street showed us pretty clearly how folks in the business sector behave.

That said, three minutes is enough. If you know what I mean. It hardly explains anything aside from perhaps the basics but it’s a fun explanation nonetheless.

What are your thoughts on Interstellar not only as a film but a work of science fiction?

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X-Men Apocalypse To Feature A Young (And Hopefully Far More Interesting) Jean Grey And Cyclops http://egmr.net/2014/11/x-men-apocalypse-feature-young-jean-grey-cyclops/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/x-men-apocalypse-feature-young-jean-grey-cyclops/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163385 2014 may have been a disappointing year for gaming thus far but it has been one hell of a year for cinema. We’ve gotten some truly great movies out of […]

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2014 may have been a disappointing year for gaming thus far but it has been one hell of a year for cinema. We’ve gotten some truly great movies out of the comic book sub-genre and with Marvel steamrolling ahead on their future plans for both the universe at large as well as Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America specifically, what are Twentieth Century Fox’s plans for X-Men? The obvious answer is X-Men: Apocalypse but what exactly is the film going to entail aside from En Sabah Nur, the 80’s and a complete lack of Michael Fassbender’s penis?

Well, for one thing the film will feature a young Scott Summers and Jean Grey in its 80’s setting. Now, the previous X-Men films had decidedly awful interpretations of both characters with Wolverine effectively usurping Cyclops as the leader and thereby leaving him with little to do on-screen. Meanwhile, Jean was neither the strong telepath to be reckoned with nor the intimidating Phoenix. She was more of an annoyance than anything really.

If Apocalypse can at least stay a little more true to the characters then that’s already half the battle won. The other half would be casting the right actor and actress for the roles. It’s hard to judge casting choices with young actors who don’t have an expansive body of work and can very well turn out a brilliant performance with the right circumstances.

TheWrap has a scoop on possible casting consideration for both roles.

Up for Jean Grey the names currently floating about are Elle Fanning (Maleficent), Hailee Steinfeld (Ender’s Game) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass). Given her performance in Maleficent, I would knock Fanning out of contention immediately. Hailee Steinfeld displayed a quiet intensity that could translate well into a portrayal of Jean Grey while Chloe Grace Moretz’s work in Kick-Ass and Carrie speak for what she can bring to the role when it comes to Phoenix-ing out. Either would seem like a good fit.

With regards to casting Scott Summers, it seems the intention was to go for someone a little less known. Your potential boy Cyclops forerunners are Charlie Rowe (The Golden Compass, Red Band Society), Ben Hardy (EastEnders), and Timothee Chalamet (Homeland, Interstellar). The only one I recognise is Chalamet and can honestly not say much for what any of them may be able to bring to the role.

Rumour has it that Bryan Singer has thus far met with Moretz and Fanning with screen tests yet to take place. With X-Men Apocalypse only due out in 2016, a little care in casting the right people for two very important roles would be appreciated by fans who had to put up with them in the first three X-Men films.

Apocalypse will serve as a close to the arc started by FRist Class and will focus a lot more on the relationship between Mystique and Magneto. However, with rumblings of Cable making his debut in the franchise at some point, it would make sense to give some attention to Jean and Scott as his parents. Summers and Grey could also serve as a counterpoint to the relationship between Magneto and Mystique.

What would you like to see from X-Men Apocalypse and aside from the names mentioned, which young actors may be suitable for the roles of Scott Summers and Jean Grey? I vote Jaden Smith for Cyclops because of his smouldering gaze.

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LEGO Batman Film Will Toy With Every Iteration Of Batman We’ve Ever Seen http://egmr.net/2014/11/lego-batman-film-toy-every-iteration-batman-weve-ever-seen/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/lego-batman-film-toy-every-iteration-batman-weve-ever-seen/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163386 Earlier this week, the masterminds behind The LEGO Movie Phil Lord and Chris Miller weighed in on equal representation in the sequel due out in 2018. Before we get there […]

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Earlier this week, the masterminds behind The LEGO Movie Phil Lord and Chris Miller weighed in on equal representation in the sequel due out in 2018. Before we get there though they’ve got LEGO Batman and Ninjago on the slate.

With 22 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie having propelled Lord and Miller to the status of untouchable comedy Gods, it’s time to see what their more immediate projects will look like. Of course, Ninjago and LEGO Batman need to be quite different for The LEGO Movie to prevent series fatigue from setting in by the time the 2018 gets here. So how exactly are they going to be different?

For starters, Lord and Miller will be involved in LEGO Batman but animation director from The LEGO Movie, Chris McKay, will be heading up the film. The same goes for Ninjago with Charlie Bean taking the helm there. In an interview with Empire, Miller discussed how each film will differentiate itself:

“The thing is about these movies is that each of them have their own tone and their own voice. We’re doing this Ninjago one with Charlie Bean, we’re working on the Batman one, and each one of them feels like its own movie, but obviously they all exist in the universe that the Lego movie existed in, and so finding that balance has been part of the trick.”

Lord described the approach as Avengers in reverse. Instead of building and then culminating, they’ve started big and are now tearing the world they’ve built into its individual components. It’s not far off from what DC is doing with Batman v Superman and then Justice League.

Batman was one of the standout characters from The LEGO movie for simply being such a hilariously different take on the character that poked fun at his mythos. With Batman hot in pretty much every medium from gaming to film to comics, you can expect LEGO Batman to draw on that and channel it into the film’s humour.

Miller put it like this:

“Rest assured that every era of Batman filmmaking will be acknowledged. There have been so many interpretations of Batman and there is so much to play with there.”

I cannot wait to see what the movie serves up in answer to not only the Keaton and Bale era Batman but also the new, Ben Affleck Batman. I certainly wouldn’t say no to a few jabs at the comics for fans.

Is it just me or are you equally excited for more of Will Arnett’s incredibly hilarious and kinda weird Batman?

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Telltale’s Game Of Thrones Is Going To Tell A Very Different Tale http://egmr.net/2014/11/telltales-game-thrones-going-tell-different-tale/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/telltales-game-thrones-going-tell-different-tale/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 08:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163309 Telltale Games has established itself as a studio to be reckoned with as long as the weapon of choice is a character-driven point ‘n click adventure game. The studio’s modus […]

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Telltale Games has established itself as a studio to be reckoned with as long as the weapon of choice is a character-driven point ‘n click adventure game. The studio’s modus operandi is typically to take an existing franchise and craft its own stories within that world. They did it with Sam & Max, The Walking Dead. The Wolf Among Us and now they’re daring to touch Game of Thrones.

How exactly does one go about telling a story more compelling than the intricate web woven by George R.R. Martin? It seems an arduous task but Telltale seems up to the challenge and given the success of The Walking Dead games, the developer has been greenlit to produce Game of Thrones in their unique way for a few years to come.

Name: Game of Thrones
Genre: Deforestation
Players: 1
Multiplayer: None
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Developers: Telltale Games
Publishers: Telltale games
Release Date: December 2014
Price: N/A

It would be crazy to start afresh somewhere in Westeros so instead Telltale will be avoiding the big houses such as Tyrell, Stark, Targaryen and Lannister. Instead the series will follow House Forrester, a house which is mentioned in A Dance with Dragons and hails for the northern fortress of Ironrath. If the name didn’t give it away, they control a forest. The first season has been given a six episode run, a little decadent given Telltale’s standard penchant for five episode per season. Regardless, it will delve into events occurring parallel to seasons 3-5 of the TV series. Over the course of the six episodes, players will control one of five members of House Forrester at a time. Each players actions will affect the others and ultimately the fate of the house. That, in and of itself, presents something quite different from Telltale’s single perspective in other games. This opens players up to more complex narratives and of course for at least one of the playable characters to die. It’s not Game of Thrones spoilers if there’s no certainty that it will even happen.

The story will incorporate some of the big houses but in a unconfirmed capacity. Typically, fans can rest a little more easily when the creator is involved in branching projects such as this one and while George R.R. Martin may not be directly involved in Telltale’s Game of Thrones, his PA Ty Corey Franck has been serving as a story consultant on the project. It’s important to note that Telltale is not attempting to add to canon here but rather flesh out events that are fixed within the timeline of the books.

We know precious little about the precise direction that Game of Thrones will take but the first episode is titled Iron from Ice so make of that what you will. It will certainly be refreshing to see Westeros from a different, fringe perspective that isn’t the Night’s Watch. Telltale’s contract is with HBO and as such any changes that the TV series has made will follow through into Game of Thrones (not to be confused with the other Game of Thrones).

What then of the gameplay? You might expect it to be the typical adventure style gameplay we’ve come to expect from Telltale but the developer has promised a bigger scale while still keeping the narrative very intimate and character-driven. Much like the source material. Also on the cards are “large battles” which could mean anything from five guys beating down on each other in a courtyard to something a little more epic… like five guys throwing down on the edge of a cliff.

With The Wolf Among Us Telltale showed that they are not afraid to get gory and explicit so it’s likely that their vision of Game of Thrones will not stray too far the aesthetic and style established by the TV series. The real questions is whether we’ll have to play through the sex scenes because I still have scars from Heavy Rain.

Visually, Game of Thrones is once again departing slightly from the established Telltale style with a little less stylisation but still cel-shading. It’s a hard look to pull off without the heavy stylisation of TWD or even more so TWAU so the visual style may take some getting used to.

 

Suspected Selling Points
  • It’s Game of Thrones
  • Telltale’s pedigree speaks for itself
  • A different take and perspective on the source material

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • It could fall flat when compared to the source material
  • Too much of the same

Telltale’s take on Game of Thrones promises to be something a little different to what we’ve seen before from Game of Thrones and the developer alike. Telltale’s Game of Thrones could make for a fascinating game.

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Review: Assassin’s Creed: Unity Is Vapid, Bourgeois Excess At Its Most Maddening http://egmr.net/2014/11/review-assassins-creed-unity/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/review-assassins-creed-unity/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163064 Visit review on site for scoring. I leap onto a rooftop, silently moving from one guard post to the next, neutralising snipers with expert efficiency. I bound down to a […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


I leap onto a rooftop, silently moving from one guard post to the next, neutralising snipers with expert efficiency. I bound down to a locked door and open it with the key I’d stolen but moments ago from a guard in a tavern. I make my way into Notre Dame and begin preying on the unsuspecting guards around the upper level. Down below, I see my target on the move and make a dash for the confessional box down below. I wait for him in there. He enters and through the grating comes the blade ends him. I exit the booth and leave the way I came. Like a shadow. I was never here. Aside from the yet to be discovered trail of bodies in my wake.

This is AC: Unity at its best. Its maddening, frustrating best. In these furtive moments I’m a little closer to the AC sequel I’ve dreamed of.

I’ve got a special bond with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. For better or worse, Assassin’s Creed was the first game I avidly followed pre-release and when it finally did released (and I got a PS3 for this game) I was absolutely blown away. This was an experience unlike any other I’d had before. It’s an anecdote I always bring out when it comes time to discuss the latest Assassin’s Creed and so here we find ourselves; a generation later and we’d be remiss to not draw the circumstantial parallels between the first and the seventh or eighth major Assassin’s Creed title.
With Unity, Ubisoft Montreal set about going bigger than ever before while at the same time going back to the basics of what made the original so unique. The result is an inversion of those things which made the first game so fantastic.

Assassin’s Creed was a little minimal in its gameplay and world but had heaps of soul, passion and depth. Unity has none of those. Perhaps the only true connection is that they both show just what their respective generation is capable of.

With each successive AC title things have changed, drifted further away from the core that was established in the first two games. However, through all of it each game still had that unmistakable AC charm and DNA. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay of Unity, looks aside, is that (when it works, when the stars align) it is the first time since the first two Assassin’s Creed titles that I have truly felt like an assassin.

The trouble is that between that great feeling and you lays a labyrinth of woes and troubles.

Let us begin with the obvious. Assassin’s Creed: Unity is incredibly pretty. Character models could be a little better but cutscenes are a treat and Paris is absolutely breathtaking. However, this comes at a hefty cost. Remain motionless and Unity is one of the best cases for what the rendering power of the new consoles can achieve but take a brisk run and you’ll find Unity to be something else entirely. A game so in need of a stable and optimised engine that at best it will frequently stutter, at worst the framerate will chug. It’s nowhere near what you may have endured in Assassin’s Creed III but it’s is awfully noticeable. The difference here is that AC III was pushing old tech to its limits whereas Unity has no excuses. It is poorly optimised and poorly tested. Worse still is that loading times are a little on the long side. Not just initially but also when fast travelling between places. There is little point in dating a beautiful person if half your time is spent waiting for them to put their face on or get their hair just right. On the topic of hair, Unity does do hair rather well, miles better then Tomb Raider at any rate.

One of the big features that Ubisoft touted with Unity is how the game’s engine renders hundreds and thousands of NPCs at one time. Indeed it can and the crowds of Paris are absolutely incredible to wade through but try walking through a crowd without the framerate suffering. Aside from framerate peeves, you’ll also encounter characters passing through each, passing walls and a host of other collision detection foibles that highlight how this is a stunning game without being technically stunning. Let us not forget NPC and enemy animations that are largely copied from the previous game.

Essentially, I respect the ambition with the visuals but I cannot excuse the lack of thought that went into making it work properly in a way that doesn’t ruin the visual splendour.

Speaking of ambition, the game’s narrative has none. This is scarcely a surprise after all the series has been through but with Unity there is little evidence to suggest the script was even edited. It’s a bit late now, we’re over 800 words in, but I guess a proper introduction is in order. Assassin’s Creed: Unity takes place during the French Revolution and follows Arno Victor Dorian. As a young boy his father his murdered and then as a young man his adoptive father is also murdered and there is a pattern here. Arno is wrongly accused for the murder, gets tossed in the Bastille and breaks out when the prison is stormed. He then becomes an assassin. The game follows his path of redemption, revenge and revolution. At least, that’s what it should say on the box. Instead it’s a cobbled together hodgepodge of excuses to kill people and Arno proving that he really should be exiled from the Creed. There is a totalitarian lack of logic, a disregard for any cohesive connecting thread and a final act that collapses in on itself. You’ll find the plot bouncing from one antagonist to the next until they’re all dead.

Arno himself is equal parts brash, charming Ezio and pig-headed, annoying Connor. He’s also a bit of a dolt, just for good measure. There’s even a love story here. There is nothing to get emotionally invested in because it’s all written as if someone once heard how to write an interesting story but couldn’t quite recall how to do it. So instead he jotted down whatever he could remember onto his hand and then those scribblings got smudged.

This was to serve as something of a soft-reboot for the franchise of whatever semblance of a plot Ubisoft still has going but there is hardly one to speak of. There is even less of a present day plot to speak of so we simply shan’t.

Unity takes place almost entirely in Paris, with some brief and obligatory stints in Versailles. Unity’s Paris is dense, dirty and overflowing with people. This also perfectly describes the game’s chaotic map. It is a veritable clusterfuck of activity. Much of it existing for activity’s sake and being derivative of other activities you’ve done. You won’t walk 10 meters in any direction without finding something to do. The trouble is that much of it bears no meaning or significance and is really just busy-work. To ram the point home allow me to run through the list of activities available to players: co-op missions, heists, Brotherhood missions, campaign missions, Paris stories, Café Theatre activities, Nostradamus Enigmas, murder mysteries, citizen opportunities, cockade collection, chests, rifts and more. I cannot even recall all that there is to do in this game. If you’re an achievement whore, you may be groaning at how much this game is going to make you work for that 1000G. If you’re a fan of games that you can pour weeks into then you might delight at all this content.

Some of it warrants a bit of explanation. We’ll get onto the game’s multiplayer aspects a little while from now but your above ground base of operations is the Café Theatre and as such you can earn an income from it. Initially this is a pittance but by completing activities for it and performing renovations, you will increase the revenue the place brings in. Quiet different to this would be a Rift mission which is effectively a server bridge within the Animus which can temporarily take the user to a different time period. This usually entails jumping around and collecting tokens to beat your high score. Very original. Perhaps more interesting and new to the series is the concept of murder mysteries. You investigate a scene and then use Eagle Vision to sniff out clues and potential suspects. It’s a neat little breather to actually solve a murder rather than commit one for once. There’s a checklist of evidence to find and chances are that once you’ve found all the evidence then pointing a finger at a suspect and accusing him should lead to the correct person being accused. It’s pretty basic but is a nice little addition as side content goes. Meanwhile the Nostradamus Enigmas caught my attention most. Completing all of them unlocks a medieval Assassin’s uniform. They each comprise three riddles with each in turn leading you to the location of the next. It’s a great idea and something I looked forward to but fails in just how absolutely idiotic some of the riddles are. They’re not difficult but rather obtuse and vague. In order to solve them one would need to do more reaching than Tom Hanks did in The da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons combined.

Some of the side activities are great fun and all in all there is no shortage of variety here. However there is little to no reason to be doing most of what these side activities would have you do. A fair amount of it is a little irrelevant and incoherently disjointed ala Assassin’s Creed III. This dawned on me while doing a Paris Stories activity that saw me following a crazy woman who claimed to be having visions and then murdering certain people she believed were out to kill her. Yes, that really happens.

What then of the much-hyped co-operative gameplay? I wish I could tell you but Ubisoft’s servers were down for a third of my time with the game and refused to matchmake me with anybody thereafter (am I that hard to love?). There was one occasion where I got into a co-op missions with a few folks. Unfortunately, they were brutes who wouldn’t know stealth if it blared an airhorn in their faces. The mission did not go well. I attempted a few co-op missions on my own (you’re allowed to do this) and fared somewhat decently without a Boy Wonder at my side. Structurally they vary. Sometimes you may have to assassinate someone, other times it’s a heist, once it was a prison break. The missions can be good fun with the right friends and that’s where clubs come in. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Create a club, invite some friends, play together, profit. It’s more or less the central conceit of DriveClub and while I didn’t get the opportunity to truly test this feature out, it looks interesting. Aside from simply naming your club, you can also specify which mission type you prefer and whether you’re in it for fun, immersion of to complete the game in its delicious 100% entirety. Performing missions under your club earns it points for upgrades and the like. It may just be a more fleshed out system than DriveClub. If only it wasn’t as non-functioning as DriveClub.

The game’s campaign comprises 12 sequences and barring the degenerating mess that is the final two, there is the general structure of each sequence being capped off with a big assassination mission, much like in the original game. The mission variety aside from these assassinations are nothing new and certainly missions that you’ve encountered at least a half dozen times before. There are investigations, tailing and the usual ho-hum selection of mission variety on offer. A few redeeming factors are that tailing is far less frequent and a lot less irksome with losing the target simply meaning you must look for them again rather than getting desynchronised. Also, every mission in a given sequence leads up to the big assassination. What of these assassination missions? These “blackbox” missions that put players in an area and allow players to almost craft their kill. For starters, it doesn’t quite work that way.

Instead, you are put into an area and the target will be marked out on the map along with two opportunities to either aid the assassination, gain access into a building, cause a distraction or provide an easy escape. I don’t know about you but having ways in which to make the mission run smoother marked out on a map is not my definition of blackbox. You’re still very much being told what to do. You could ignore the opportunities and do your own thing but the game is telling you what to do in order to get the perfect kill. To put it lightly, Hitman: Blood Money did it better and that was before the first Assassin’s Creed even released. With regards to these opportunities, sometimes you’ll have to figure out how to use them to your advantage, other times you’re explicitly told and too much of the time they just exist without any real indication of how they’re useful or relevant. That’s good design right there.

All that said, as I mentioned in the beginning, these assassinations can be extremely entertaining and great fun. They may just be one of Unity’s standout features. However, for every satisfying assassination, there was one that fell a little flat. Often enough though it’s not the assassination that is disappointing but rather the inconsistent game design and gameplay tainting your experience.

Let’s talk about stabbing people. It’s a good stress release. Now let’s talk about gameplay mechanics.

They’re a little laughable. When it all works it is an absolute treat (if a little outdated) and when it doesn’t, it really isn’t. With Unity, going back to basics extends not only to mission structure but to gameplay as well. Over the years we’ve joked about this series becoming Warrior’s Creed with the mantra being “stealth is nothing, counter is everything.” You could fend off waves of enemies with continuous counter-attacks. To its credit, AC IV: Black Flag made it a delightfully deadly art to behold but you were the furthest thing from an assassin. However, Unity wants to break the habit with combat that is tougher and will steer players towards the game’s stealth mechanics. It’s hard to say if it does because the minute you give me the most basic stealth mechanics, I will attempt to be a ninja. However, I did get into frequent altercations due to enemy awareness of me swinging wildly between oblivious and pointing me out in the middle of a crowd from 200 yards away. In these instances, ranged weapons and distractions are your friend but if you plant your feet and fight then it is simply a matter of countering and striking as before but in a less fluid manner. Another cause for getting into fights or failing a mission was the trademark instability of Assassin’s Creed gameplay at time. Enemies will attack with greater ferocity and take a few more strikes to bring down but you’ll be more than capable against five enemies or less. I can vouch for this and I am far from the most proficient combatant. That said, enemies will fire at you more than ever before and unless you’re well-protected, two or three bullets is all it’ll take to flatten you.

With regards to stealth, the series has always been rudimentary at best. This time around you’ll get just enough to qualify Unity as having stealth gameplay. Players can hide or duck behind cover, adopt a disguise, pick locks or use phantom blades from a distance (effectively the same as blow darts in the previous game). It may be extremely basic but it is functional enough to be enjoyable. The addition of disguises and lockpicking is welcome even of disguises are hilariously terrible for a game that looks this good. Unity’s idea of a “disguise” is becoming a clone of whoever you’ve chosen to disguise yourself as. Not stealing their clothes but becoming them. Whether they’re a balding farmer or a red-cheeked whore.

Antiquated is the word I’m looking for. You cannot create a game in this age, with that level of visual technology behind it and expect me to believe that this is the system disguise system you could concoct. Again, there are games from before Assassin’s Creed even existed that did a better job.

One area of intrigue is Unity’s character customisation. There are many, many options and I do think that, again, this is one of the game’s strong points. There’s the usual selection weapons and consumables but added to this are a whole lot of hoods, coats, waist wraps, breeches, bracers and boots. Each comes with its own stats boosts and will determine whether your version of Arno is suited for combat or stealth, speed or survivability, ranged or melee. For example, a high profile hood increases your radius for Eagle Vision but also increases your risk of getting spotted by guards. It’s all a fine balance and trade-offs. Of course, once you’ve chosen the pants that are best you can deck it all out in a colour combination of your choosing.

It sounds pretty great and offers a bit of depth. However, much of the gear is only unlocked through co-op missions which rather forces you to be sociable. Fret not though; you can get by just fine without those unlockables. Worse still is the selection of skills that players can purchase in any of the four key areas – Ranged, Health, Melee, Stealth. Things like that disguise system and lockpicking can only be acquired through purchasing. More perplexing is that things previously available to the player such as double assassinations and double air assassinations have to purchased just the same. It’s understandable that a player who plans on fighting their way through the game may have no need for disguises but double assassinations? This could have been a great opportunity to allow players to add to their skillset in addition to the base skills we’re used to but instead it’s another case of locking off content we’re used to having by default.

The biggest offense of Unity’s varied and intriguing upgrade system is just how many currencies you need to manage. There are regular Florins for purchasing gear and weapons, Synch Points are earned for completing missions and will get you those skills, Creed Points are earned by completing any number of “assassin-like” activities such as vanishing after being sighted and go towards colour options and upgrading your owned gear. Then there are Helix Points which, as far as I can tell, are earned in-game but at a very slow rate and can be used to “hack” items i.e. get them without having the sufficient coin. To get a decent amount of Helix Points you’d need to buy a pack of them with (here it comes) real money. It is very obvious that unless you are going to grind for a long time then the Helix Points packs are your best ticket to getting the top-shelf stuff. Ubisoft has implemented microtransactions like this before but never quite so obtrusively and certainly not as cavalierly. The most expensive pack will set you back $99 and you might need a few of these if you want to unlock the really good stuff. That said, you can get by just fine with the stuff you unlock through regular gameplay. In fact, the final gear I ended the game with was pretty great and was perfect for my stealth approach.

It’s hard to label each of Unity’s gameplay issues but they are certainly there. Aiming doesn’t always work the way it should, combat feels laborious and the collision detection issues meant that on more than one occasion I was killed by a phantom spear passing through a pillar and failed to kill an enemy who should’ve been Hannibal’s next meal five swings of my blade ago.

On the flipside of that are some great animations and improvements to parkour. Arno moves with a lot more momentum and realism behind him (thanks to that bloke Ubisoft hired to consult them on parkour) and there are some great kill animations. For example, running up to an enemy and hitting X (Xbox) will either have Arno do a twirl and slit the guy’s throat or slide to trip the enemy up and then pounce down upon him with that sweet blade. With regards to parkour, Ubisoft has not only improved the act of climbing up but now by holding right trigger+B Arno will swiftly descend in a manner most graceful and badass. As with a lot of things in Unity, when it works, the parkour is absolutely fantastic but it is mired by the same issues that troubled previous games where contextual controls will only work upon the incantation of secret words and Arno will often get stuck somewhere or arbitrarily jump off a massive building or simply refuse to do what you’re trying to do.

One of the criticisms I had planned to level against Unity is that it never quite feels as if you’re actually in the French Revolution. Yes, you get involved in a number of key events in the revolution and meet plenty of key personalities from the era but it somehow feels disjointed and removed from what you’re being told is going on. This is in part due to the fact that Arno is very much only focused on his own little exploits. On one hand I’m tempted to say this could be a wise choice as it’s perhaps a better representation of what it might have been like to live through the revolution. Sure, all these things happened but people were still trying to live their lives. It resonates with one moment where Arno ponders, “Do you think things will ever go back to the way they were before?”, because he genuinely does not know that these events will shape history. On the other hand, the game actively involves in the revolution but without giving us real context or relevance to what’s going on or what we’re doing it. That information is there but it’s not presented in an attractive way. Instead it comes by means of database entries and chances are that if you’re the type to be reading those then you already know a good deal of it anyway.

Perhaps part of the barrier to me feeling that I was actually in 18th Century Paris was the accents. It sounds like a nitpick but hear me out. Everybody either has British or somewhat American accents in this game and it just makes it sounds very much like Black Flag. The voice acting is by no means bad, it simply does not fit with the world of the game. So at some point I switched the language to French and while I still felt like the game didn’t truly want me to feel immersed in the French Revolution, it did help sell that I was actually in Paris. I would honestly recommend French if you have no problem with subtitles.

Another nitpick but symptomatic of a larger issue is the intrusive HUD. The map is overflowing with so many things that it is hard to make out what’s what without zooming in too much. Icons will appear all around you and fill the periphery of the screen. During certain activities you’ll get a checklist (as with clues for murder mysteries or opportunities in assassinations) which strips any organic user agency away from the experience and instead replaces it with mechanically following what the game instructs you to do. If you can, it doesn’t hurt to turn off some of the HUD display features. It’s as if Unity is afraid to leave its player unattended.

It’s baffling that a game could bring in so many changes and yet suffer from historical issues of the series. As a soft reboot, a back to basics, Unity has not been a complete failure but it is far from a fresh start for the series. A koala in a tuxedo is still a rapid and feral creature.
It seems almost as if for everything it gets right, Unity gets three more wrong.

Generally I’m a little lenient on Assassin’s Creed games because they still offer an experience unlike any other and a true opportunity to get lost in whatever time period the game has you running amok in. However, Unity will not get that same leniency.

I had no expectations of it being anything revelatory, nor did I entertain illusions that it may be for the new consoles what Assassin’s Creed was for the PS3 and X360. It would be absurd to expect that from Ubisoft in its current state.

That said, at almost every turn, Unity sacrifices substance or even a high level of quality for excess. A lot of what you do will be meaningless, there is no purpose to it and certainly no connecting motive tethering all the disparate elements of gameplay together. Perhaps that may not be too bad if the activities the game would have you do were not so derivative of each other and done in such a half-hearted manner. Some might worry that Assassin’s Creed is running out of ideas. Quite the opposite, in fact. They’re implementing half-baked ideas all over the place rather than developing said ideas into some worthwhile contribution to gameplay. When you’ve heard the same lines repeated a dozen times, you stop caring about the pretty city and start getting annoyed and the tedious dialogue. So much guff will only get you so far.

Far too often, Unity frustrates with gameplay that, while still good fun, feels outdated and primitive at times. As a result of this we have the same primitive issues that have been plaguing AC titles for years. Unity may serve as a suitable popcorn game where you can switch your mind off and simply run around doing things and stuff but flick your mind back on the lack of substance can become a problem. All its many activities serve no purpose, Arno has no reason to be doing half of them aside from “because the developers put it there.” Unity may have the ingredients of a better, greater game but they are put together in an inept fashion. Undercooked, unwashed and tossed together in a dirty pot. A little more care and effort might have gone a long way at the expense of a few sundry bits of gameplay.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is not the shining pinnacle of next-gen gaming, nor is it the new gold standard. It is exactly how not to approach this generation of gaming. All the features, all the polygons are for naught if the problems from the previous generation are being carried over. It is hard excuse a game that insists on shoving hundreds of animated NPCs on-screen at a time at the cost of a stable framerate, improved animations and object detection that doesn’t cause characters, walls and floors to go through each other. Somehow, it stops being fun when I’m still experiencing the same issues and bugs that I was experiencing back in 2010.

I still had my fun with Unity and it is by no means a bad game. It is simply not a good one. As long as that base Assassin’s Creed DNA courses through a game’s veins, it will be very hard for it to be unequivocally bad. However, Unity shamelessly ignores what was wrong with the AC core that already existed and simply tacks on more. Perhaps most telling of the vacuum that Ubisoft appears to exist within is the fact that the “new features” still feel antiquated and outdated. To Ubisoft they’re revolutionary. It is clear that not a whole lot of effort went into fleshing out any of the new features or activities beyond a conceptual stage.

Last year I lauded Black Flag as a more cohesive, better put together game than its predecessor and something that could serve as a functional model for for the series going forward. Especially since Ubisoft is showing no sign of slowing down. Unity doubles back on that and puts us, arguably, further back than we were before.

For all its new-age visuals and back of the box marketable additions, Assassin’s Creed: Unity feels neither like a step up nor even a sidestep for the series but rather a step backwards. Given the opportunity to leap forward onto the new generation of consoles, Assassin’s Creed once again stuck within its comfort zone and tacked on even more bug-ridden features.

It’s more of the same and really, that’s everything wrong and right with Unity.

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Competition: Win A Far Cry 4 Bundle http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-win-far-cry-4-bundle/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-win-far-cry-4-bundle/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163227 Back in 2012, Assassin’s Creed III released and got critically panned but then Far Cry 3 released and everybody loved it. Will that pattern repeat itself in 2014? Your guess […]

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Back in 2012, Assassin’s Creed III released and got critically panned but then Far Cry 3 released and everybody loved it. Will that pattern repeat itself in 2014? Your guess is as good as mine (but review scores are painting a certain picture).

Politics aside, Far Cry 4 is looking to be even more bonkers than its predecessor and it has white tigers to boot. The game launches today and to (potentially) reward those of you who will not pre-order games, here’s a pretty awesome and slightly oddball Far Cry 4 hamper courtesy of the folks at Megarom Interactive.

The bundle up for grabs includes the following:

  • T-shirt
  • Pagan Min hairpiece
  • Lighter
  • Kukri keychain
  • Elephant insignia badges
  • Far Cry 4 carabiner
  • Far Cry 4 pen
  • Copy of the game on your platform of choice

A pretty substantial bundle, wouldn’t you say, folks? I’d use that keyring to kill for that keyring.

 

Here’s How To Enter
  1. Comment in this article noting that you are entering to win a prize. This serves as your entry into the competition. What you say isn’t important, but making sure that you do something is important.
  2. Once you’ve commented here, comment on any and all articles published between 18 November, 2014 and 27 November, 2014. We’ll count two comments per person, per article as entries into the competition. In other words, we’ll better your odds if you visit us daily and comment on articles, from here on out. (You won’t necessarily win if you have the highest comment count, however it will increase your chances.)

Bonus Entries

  • You will be able to obtain bonus entries if you interact with us on social media, such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. To get start, feel free to tweet about the competition.
  • We will select random posts on those on our social media accounts and add them to your score count as well. However, you need to interact with us for them to be included. This includes tweeting to us, re-tweeting and/or replying to our Tweets.

The main idea here is that the more you interact with us, the better your chances of winning. We’ll do our best to make interacting worth your while. Just remember, there is a great bundle up for grabs.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Like the one ring of power, there can only be one winner for the prize. The winner will be announced on 28 November, 2014. The winning name will be drawn through the use of a randomiser and small amounts of dark magic.

Remember to specify your platform of choice – PS4, Xbox One or PC – in the comments.

 

Best of luck to everyone entering!
Things to remember:

  • Terms and Conditions apply
  • Competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 27 November, 2014.
  • The winner will be announced on Friday 28 November, 2014.
  • Comment on this article to enter, so we know you’re trying for the prize.
  • Only two comments per person, per article will count as entries. Please, no spam.
  • The winners will be chosen by randomiser.
  • There can only be one winner per prize.
  • The winner will be contacted through the email address they used to comment.
  • This competition was made possible by Megarom.

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The LEGO Movie 2 Will Not Be Sexist http://egmr.net/2014/11/lego-movie-2-will-sexist/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/lego-movie-2-will-sexist/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163111 Initially, LEGO was unisex. There weren’t awesome sets for boys and dinky little sets for girls, there were just sets of LEGO. Then LEGO shifted and decided to start marketing […]

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Initially, LEGO was unisex. There weren’t awesome sets for boys and dinky little sets for girls, there were just sets of LEGO. Then LEGO shifted and decided to start marketing exclusively to boys. For all intents and purposes LEGO became a toy for boys.

Now, LEGO is neither a toy nor should it be exclusively for boys. To me, it’s a creative medium, same as a pen and some crayons. It allows kids to create and even now with LEGO for girls having been brought back, the creator sets are still skewed towards boys because apparently the only thing a girl can create is a baby, right?

That seems like a sufficient setup for what we’re about to get into.

The LEGO Movie was one of this year’s surprise hits and even those who expected it to be good were generally blown away by its quality. Grossing $468 million worldwide, the people behind it have greenlit quite a few films for what is now going to be a franchise. This is the overzealous, overeager, overconfident way of Hollywood and the games industry alike.

A sequel is in the works with Ninjago and LEGO Batman planned for 2016 and 2017 respectively. The LEGO Movie 2 will only hit cinemas in 2018.

Now, as far as the films of nerd culture go, there’s a sore under-representation of minorities and female characters. Disney and Warner Bros are looking to remedy that with Black Panther and Captain Marvel, Cyborg and Wonder Woman respectively. However, with LEGO’s bad rep for existing as a boy’s only club, what will the mvie’s masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller be doing to remedy the lack of female representation in The Lego Movie? This, according to Miller:

“I don’t want to give spoilers but there will be more female characters and more female stuff.”

I love the work of Lord and Miller, their body of work speaks for itself but that statement is.. decidedly vague and random. Female stuff sounds weird.

Now, The LEGO Movie had Wyldstyle and Unikitty who were two pretty strong and standout characters.

Fear not, Lord substantiated things a little more and made reference to Frozen as a case in point that a film does not have to be male-centric to succeed:

“It’s important to us that the movie plays broadly and that we inspire young women as much as we inspire young men.”

“You can feel that the whole movie culture is now starting to wake up to the fact that half the audience are women. ‘Frozen’ is reflective of that – and I think we are all going to find a great flourishing of women film makers and subject matter in the future.”

That’s a bit more like it. With their current LEGO projects so far in the distance, few details could be given out regarding the films but the great thing about LEGO is how ripe the universe is for just about anything you can cook up.

Miller hopes that the future will see more female filmmakers:

“There’s been a real shortage of [female protagonists] in recent years and I think that the near future will be very different.”

Regarding the state of the movie’s script, it’s kind of like LEGO apparently:

“I’m certain [that] many broad elements of it will change by the time the movie comes out because that’s the way the way that it works. It’s like LEGO itself – you can take it apart and put it back together in a different shape.”

I’m excited to see what Lord and Miller have in store for us but also confident that with their style they should be able to be inclusive without it seeming like they’ve sacrificed anything or worse still, feeling like the inclusivity was forced.

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Far Cry 4 Can Be Completed In All Of 15 Minutes http://egmr.net/2014/11/far-cry-4-can-completed-15-minutes/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/far-cry-4-can-completed-15-minutes/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163110 Truth be told, I don’t care much for speed runs because sometimes they’re interesting to see but that’s no way to play a game and I’m not impressed by the […]

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Truth be told, I don’t care much for speed runs because sometimes they’re interesting to see but that’s no way to play a game and I’m not impressed by the use of a dozen hacks and exploits being used in order to make it happen. Of course, if speed is your thing then I can’t really say you’re doing it wrong, it’s just not how I choose to enjoy my games.

Anyway, this speed run is for Far Cry 4 which isn’t even out yet. In fact, it’s not even really a speed run. It’s just the developers being pretty awesome.

It also gives me a soapbox from which to berate Ubisoft Montreal so everybody wins.

If you’re queasy at the sight of spoilers then turn back now and crawl back into the hole from whence you came. If not, then take my hand and let’s go.

If you saw Far Cry 4’s reveal trailer then you’ve got a basic idea of what’s going on. Protagonist Ajay Ghale is on a bus into Kyrat when it is pulled over by some of the local warlord’s men. Our villain Pagan Min appears, says some things, stabs a soldier in the neck with a pen and then the game’s logo appears. That’s the trailer.

I could have just embedded the video but where is the fun in that?

Anyway, after that point, you are taken to Min’s home for dinner and are presented with two options. Explore and find a way to escape or sit and have a delicious meal. Video game logic tells you to run around and do some crazy shit. However, what if you decided to stay put?

Well, Ubisoft Montreal has an answer to that.

This is the same Ubisoft Montreal that produced Unity. Different teams but the same studio. Think on that for a moment. It seems that as in 2012 with Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3, we’re going to see a Far Cry game completely upstage it’s Assassin’s Creed counterpart. The latter has had copious amounts of marketing and promotion while the former has not but the former could well turn out to be the better game. Yet again.

What are your thoughts on Unity, Far Cry 4 and the way Ubisoft is operating for the same studio to have be bringing out Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4 in one year? It reeks a little of being stretched too thin.

I don’t know about you but I’m quite excited about Far Cry 4.

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Ubisoft Forced To Revise Review Policies http://egmr.net/2014/11/ubisoft-forced-revise-review-policies/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/ubisoft-forced-revise-review-policies/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163089 Last week served as the disappointing climax to months of issues for Ubisoft surrounding Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Following months of issues and PR snafus, Ubisoft decided it would be wise […]

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Last week served as the disappointing climax to months of issues for Ubisoft surrounding Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Following months of issues and PR snafus, Ubisoft decided it would be wise to slap a release day embargo on one of the year’s biggest releases. That would be excusable if the game turned out to be great but instead we got another release day review embargo for a game that fell a little flat.

Criticism for the embargo was more harsh than criticism for the game and this is a game that released plagued by issues.

We’ve already served up our thoughts on the practice of release day review embargoes.

We are thus a little happy to announce that in the wake of all this and backlash from press as well as the community at large, Ubisoft has decided to revise its approach to supplying gamers with more information and reviewers with review samples. Granted, this is Ubisoft we’re talking about. Revolutionary gameplay for them is a mission structure that other developers have been using for years.

As such, I wouldn’t expect the world to suddenly change and Ubisoft to course-correct away from being the new EA in town but maybe we’ll see the French publisher being a little less caddish.

“We are working to adapt our services and communications with consumers accordingly, both by changing the way we work with reviewers and by offering customers open betas or other early access to some games, all so that they have the information they need and want,” an Ubisoft spokesperson told the BBC.

The statement came in the wake of criticism of the unusually late embargo as anti-consumerist – but Ubisoft said the embargo’s timing was decided due to the game’s multiplayer aspects.

“The nature of games themselves and the way they are being reviewed is changing, as evidenced by games like Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny and The Crew – games that have significant online components,” the representative said.

“Having the online elements available and having populated worlds is essential to creating a representative and complete experience for reviewers.

“Achieving this prior to launch is incredibly complex, which is why some games are being reviewed much closer – or as was the case with Destiny, even after – the game launches.”

It’s interesting that Destiny keeps being brought up as if to say, “At least we weren’t that much of a disappointment.” Or, more simply, just because it is the biggest and best example in this case.

Unity has a big online component, that is true. However, you can play the game just fine without and even when attempting to go online, I’ve ended up playing co-op missions alone because the system cannot matchmake worth a damn. Either that or nobody is bothering with Ubisoft’s suspect servers.

It may be a little tricky for games that require more than just a weekend of playtime, such as Unity, but if publishers are worried about functional systems not being, well… fully functional prior to release then perhaps a review event is not the worst idea. The publisher controls the environment, ensures that online games will be populated, can see issues crop up first-hand. It makes some sense. Especially since QA testing is a bygone formality for big publishers.

Let’s spitball. What does change mean exactly for Ubisoft? I would wager they’ll, at best, do what a lot of other companies do. They’ll give out review samples earlier than release with reviews dropping a day or two before release. With regards to gamers at large, Ubisoft has a good system in place for user feedback whereby each mission can rated for quality control post-release so really they need to make good on that system. Use it properly for feedback to make necessary changes between titles. In terms of pre-release I would suggest Ubisoft do what EA has been doing with Dragon Age: Inquisition. Show us gameplay rather than pre-packaged trailers.

What are your thoughts? What does Ubisoft need to do to fix things with the way they treat gamers? Aside from needing to fix the way they make games.

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Comments Of The Week — “Another Site I Will Blacklist” http://egmr.net/2014/11/comments-week-another-site-will-blacklist/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/comments-week-another-site-will-blacklist/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 13:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163067 This week saw the passing of one of our most loyal and warm-hearted readers, Neel ‘NeoN’ Patel. He was very much the antithesis of what you’d expect from folks on […]

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This week saw the passing of one of our most loyal and warm-hearted readers, Neel ‘NeoN’ Patel. He was very much the antithesis of what you’d expect from folks on the internet; optimistic, kind and an all-round nice guy. He was a PC gamer through and through with a penchant for JRPGs and someone who constantly bolstered us with his warm words and support. He will be sorely missed and we’d like to dedicate this week’s CotW to his memory.

We’ll try to keep things light-hearted, as usual.

  • 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 Michael — 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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Competition: Win An Assassin’s Creed: Unity Bundle http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-win-assassins-creed-unity-bundle/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-win-assassins-creed-unity-bundle/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 08:00:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162968 Say what you will about Assassin’s Creed (we certainly have) but it is still one of the biggest franchises ever, and a perfect foundation for one pretty awesome competition. Assassin’s […]

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Say what you will about Assassin’s Creed (we certainly have) but it is still one of the biggest franchises ever, and a perfect foundation for one pretty awesome competition.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity launches today and to mark the occasion we’ve got a sweet little hamper to give away, courtesy of the good people at Megarom Interactive.

Our review will be out soon but in the meantime, take a gander at we’ve got on offer with this competition.

The bundle up for grabs includes the following:

  • T-shirt
  • Embossed AC: Unity notebook
  • Porte-cles Pistoles keyring
  • Sceau & Cire wax seal kit
  • AC: Unity themed poker cards
  • Assassin’s Creed badges
  • AC: Unity pen
  • Copy of the game on your platform of choice

A pretty substantial bundle, wouldn’t you say, folks? I’d kill for that pen.

 

Here’s How To Enter
  1. Comment in this article noting that you are entering to win a prize. This serves as your entry into the competition. What you say isn’t important, but making sure that you do something is important.
  2. Once you’ve commented here, comment on any and all articles published between 10 November, 2014 and 23 November, 2014. We’ll count two comments per person, per article as entries into the competition. In other words, we’ll better your odds if you visit us daily and comment on articles, from here on out. (You won’t necessarily win if you have the highest comment count, however it will increase your chances.)

Bonus Entries

  • You will be able to obtain bonus entries if you interact with us on social media, such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. To get start, feel free to tweet about the competition.
  • We will select random posts on those on our social media accounts and add them to your score count as well. However, you need to interact with us for them to be included. This includes tweeting to us, re-tweeting and/or replying to our Tweets.

The main idea here is that the more you interact with us, the better your chances of winning. We’ll do our best to make interacting worth your while. Just remember, there is a great bundle up for grabs.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Like the one ring of power, there can only be one winner for the prize. The winner will be announced on 24 November, 2014. The winning name will be drawn through the use of a randomiser and small amounts of dark magic.

Remember to specify your platform of choice – PS4, Xbox One or PC – in the comments.

 

Best of luck to everyone entering!
Things to remember:

  • Terms and Conditions apply
  • Competition closes at 23:59 on Sunday 23 November, 2014.
  • The winner will be announced on Monday 24 November, 2014.
  • Comment on this article to enter, so we know you’re trying for the prize.
  • Only two comments per person, per article will count as entries. Please, no spam.
  • The winners will be chosen by randomiser.
  • There can only be one winner per prize.
  • The winner will be contacted through the email address they used to comment.
  • This competition was made possible by Megarom.

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Ubisoft Aiming To Fix Unity On All Platforms Soon, Stay Offline To Avoid Framerate Issues http://egmr.net/2014/11/ubisoft-aiming-fix-unity-platforms-soon-stay-offline-avoid-framerate-issues/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/ubisoft-aiming-fix-unity-platforms-soon-stay-offline-avoid-framerate-issues/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 07:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162987 The issues with Assassin’s Creed: Unity are well-documented and numerous. However, the darnedest thing happened last night, or rather didn’t happen. I may only be in six or seven hours […]

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The issues with Assassin’s Creed: Unity are well-documented and numerous. However, the darnedest thing happened last night, or rather didn’t happen. I may only be in six or seven hours into Unity but I encountered almost no performance issues. There were some very minor visual glitches and the game froze for a few seconds around four times. Despite this, I encountered none of the devastatingly bad glitches, bugs and framerate problems that other players have been complaining about.  Am I just blessed or is there something more to it?

We’ll get to that in a minute but if you’re smart you’ve probably figured it out already.

Ubisoft is currently working to remedy the widespread issues with Unity on not only consoles but PC as well. It was announced on the company’s official blog that the next update will aim to fix the following:

  • Arno falling through the ground
  • Game crashing when joining a co-op session
  • Arno getting caught inside of hay carts
  • Delay in reaching the main menu screen at game start

Future updates will attempt to fix some of the bigger issues such as:

  • Frame rate issues
  • Graphical and collision issues
  • Matchmaking co-op issues
  • Helix Credits issues

That’s all good and well, I do hope the next few updates fix the issues with the game for the most part but this should not be happening in the first place. QA testing and three year development life cycles exist for a reason.

If you’re wrestling with Unity on PC then you’ll likely be wary of the issues Ubisoft’s deal with Nvidia and GameWorks caused for Watch Dogs players who were using AMD hardware. They haven’t learned their lesson it seems because Ubisoft now has to work with AMD to combat issues that AMD users are having with the game on PC.

“We are aware that the graphics performance of Assassin’s Creed Unity on PC may be adversely affected by certain AMD CPU and GPU configurations,” reads a post from Ubisoft’s community manager on the forums.

“This should not affect the vast majority of PC players, but rest assured that AMD and Ubisoft are continuing to work together closely to resolve the issue, and will provide more information as soon as it is available.”

One would think that Ubisoft would learn from past mistakes, Watch Dogs surely released with enough time for Ubisoft to course correct and spare AMD users the trouble. However, that implies that Ubisoft cares about AMD PC gamers… that Ubisoft cares about PC gamers… that Ubisoft cares about gamers… that Ubisoft cares…

Now, until then what is a gamer to do? We certainly can’t be expected to play a game that is trying to kill us. The simple solution, as I discovered last night, seems to be to stay offline. I’m borrowing an Xbox One from the lovely Azhar and so had not connected it to my home’s Wi-Fi until late last night when I left the console to update.

I have yet to try the game out with a live internet connection but while offline the game performed rather well and looked suitably gorgeous. So really, just stay away from the internet is the message here.

The DIY fix seems to work for PS4 as well and has been corroborated by Reddit user Strangledclown as well as some folks over on NeoGAF.

It then seems that the issues are not only with the way the game handles and processes its online features but is very likely down to some terrible code optimisation. I guess seamless co-op is the last thing Assassin’s Creed needed.

Staying offline barely qualifies as a temporary fix but it’s something and should improve your experience of the game.

In other news, Ubisoft Montreal is looking forward to having more time to work on future Assassin’s Creed games.

“In Montreal, we wanted to have more time to work on the Assassin’s Creed franchise,” said Ubisoft Montreal creative vice president Lionel Raynaud.

“For Montreal, this decision gives us more time. We’ve released a lot of Assassin’s Creed games in Montreal every year and sometimes we wish we had more time to make decisions and experiment on stuff,” he said.

“There are things we know we can do in Assassin’s Creed and things we assume we can’t, and I often stop and ask, ‘why can’t we do those things? What do we need to be able to try?’”

Somehow I can’t shake the feeling that even given an extra year, Unity would scarcely release in a better state but might just have even more content shoved into it. Of course, I’m a pessimist who drinks bleach every morning to keep the happiness away.

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Competition Winner: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-winner-borderlands-pre-sequel/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-winner-borderlands-pre-sequel/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 06:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162965 The competition that was run courtesy of Megarom has come to an end (cue sadness) but with that comes the announcement of the lucky sod who won their very own […]

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The competition that was run courtesy of Megarom has come to an end (cue sadness) but with that comes the announcement of the lucky sod who won their very own copy of Borderlands: The Pre-sequel on PS3.

In accordance with EGMR policy we’ve broken out the Ouija Board and dice to determine the winner.

  • Jacques Naude

We’ll be in touch shortly to confirm how you will repay us for the unique way in which we “randomised” the draw process. In all seriousness, we will be in contact shortly but feel free to contact us first to expedite the process.

The rest of you are welcome to contact us too. We’re lonely. Like, really lonely.

Congratulations again to the winner and better luck next time (which may be sooner than you think) to everyone else.

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Could PS4 Be Getting External Storage And Performance Upgrades? http://egmr.net/2014/11/ps4-getting-external-storage-performance-upgrades/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/ps4-getting-external-storage-performance-upgrades/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 12:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162891 Sony may incur a lot of (deserved) flak for its online services and the stability of said online services but one thing that has been praised in comparison to its […]

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Sony may incur a lot of (deserved) flak for its online services and the stability of said online services but one thing that has been praised in comparison to its competitor is the physical PS4 console. It’s compact, silent and games will install in under a minute. However, it is not without its fair share of issues.

The latest PS4 update brought many, many issues but also brought Share Play and the ability to play MP3 files from a flash stick. However, the latter is something the PS3 could do and then some. For all its next-gen sharing functionality, the PS4 still lacks some of the features that the PS3 had and that’s both baffling and perplexing.

In fact, the PS4 and Xbox One both have storage issues in addition to peculiarly slow hard drives (both running at 5400 rpm). The latter is why your brand new console sounds like a chronic smoker having a seizure and the former is a huge stumbling block in Sony and Microsoft’s visions of a digital future where we all download our games. Both PS4 and Xbox One come stock with 500GB hard drives which can be upgraded with a little effort but what would be infinitely more useful is if the PS4 supported external storage (Xbox One already does). And if the PS4 could maybe support MP4 files.

While Microsoft has already taken some steps with support for external game storage, Sony seems to be working on some changes and fixes judging by its latest ad seeking a senior software engineer.

The ad follows below:

This position is a key role on the Platform Architecture Group within SCE Worldwide Studios. This person will help maintain, support and develop storage related software for PlayStation systems. You will work with multiple engineering teams within Sony, including other system developers and highly talented game developers. In addition to optimizing game load times from read-only media, the storage systems on PlayStation platforms, you will also support multiple applications and shared use of the underlying storage systems.
Responsibilities:

  • Software maintenance and development of storage software on PlayStation systems.
  • Improve existing PlayStation storage software.
  • Extend BSD based storage, both to improve and support new storage technologies.
  • Integrate BSD enhancements into PlayStation system software.
  • Augment the existing Platform Architecture I/O team.

BSD refers to the family of operating systems derived from the Berkeley Software Distribution UNIX series. The PS4, PS3 and Vita all use variants of the FreeBSD OS. It’s interesting that Sony has plans to enhance the Vita and PS3 when the PS3 should be winding down and the Vita just got a new version a few months back. That said, the PS4 will likely be due for a “slimline” version by next year.

The lucky candidate will have to work on storage software, both developing anew and improving what already exists in the tech.

The mention of experience with low-level kernel systems development and architecture points to these changes being more than just surface-level optimisations and will hopefully result in noticeably more efficient performance. Hopefully part of this is allowing for the use of external storage because already my PS4 is starting to run out of space and with less than a year on it, that’s a worry.

Consider that I survived five (almost six) years with a 40GB PS3.

It baffles my mind that with these bigger games, higher resolutions and higher framerates Sony and Microsoft would use hard drive technology that could very possibly be causing a bottleneck for some games if they are not optimised properly.

Playing devil’s advocate for a second, is it at all possible that the rampant issues players have encountered with AC: Unity thus far stem not only from poor asset and rendering optimisation from Ubisoft but also from data transfer bottlenecks caused by the slow hard drives on both consoles? Rendering hundreds of NPCs at one time in addition to a stunning Paris must require a pretty substantial baud rate.

Perhaps more intriguing would be how much slimmer can the PS4 get? The PS One, PS2 and PS3 all started off pretty blocky and big but then got much slimmer versions later on. The PS4 started off slim and sleek. That is, assuming a slimline version is in the works.

What are your thoughts on data transfer optimisation, external storage and what Sony may need to in order to remedy some user complaints.

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343 Industries Apologises For Halo: Master Chief Collection, Ubisoft Could Learn From Them http://egmr.net/2014/11/343-industries-apologises-halo-master-chief-collection-ubisoft-learn/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/343-industries-apologises-halo-master-chief-collection-ubisoft-learn/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162850 It seems almost inconceivable, baffling even, that there was a time when games would release without incident. The most recent offender is Ubisoft’s ode to the next generation, Assassin’s Creed: […]

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It seems almost inconceivable, baffling even, that there was a time when games would release without incident. The most recent offender is Ubisoft’s ode to the next generation, Assassin’s Creed: Unity (watch the skies for our review, coming soon) but releasing on the same day was Halo: The Master Chief Collection which bundles all four previous Halo games together in one glorious fangasm.

The game has been very well-received thus far but players have been complaining of matchmaking issues and numerous bugs plaguing the collection. On the plus side, they have fixed the Warthog so there’s that.

The matchmaking system is comparable to being stood up for a date. Players have complained of hours of waiting to find online games and if you’re interested in seeing a full list of the reported issues, just hit up this Reddit post which has many of them nicely detailed and collated.

Yesterday, Microsoft issued a statement saying that they were working around the clock to fix the server issues and that a server-side update has been applied as a hotfix in the meantime.

“We are aware of issues some players have been experiencing with matchmaking and we’re working around the clock, alongside the Xbox Live team, to improve the situation,” the rep told Gamespot.

“We have deployed an update that has shown some improvement, and we continue to optimize the experience,” they added.

“The update deployed to matchmaking was done on the server side and does not require an extra download to your Xbox One. This is our top priority and will keep everyone updated regularly as we deploy continued improvements.”

343 Industries executive producer Dan Ayoub has said matchmaking improvements will land today via a number of server updates that should remedy the problem in its totality. Ayoub issued a message containing an pology to the community via Halo Waypoint:

Since the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we’ve received several, well deserved, complaints related to slow matchmaking and other issues. From everyone at 343 Industries, we are truly sorry and feel your frustration. You deserve better and we are working day and night to find solutions as quickly as possible, with our first priority focused on matchmaking improvements.

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday morning Pacific Time) we plan to roll out a number of server updates to help improve matchmaking. Again, these are server-side fixes, so you won’t need to take a content update or reboot your console; you should see the effects right away.

In addition, we are targeting another release for this weekend, which will address a number of other community priorities. An unrelated issue with services is also causing achievements to not unlock correctly, and we realize this just makes it all feel a bit worse.

A game as large as Halo: The Master Chief Collection has a massive surface area, and while we made every effort to have the best launch possible for our fans, issues surfaced with launch and we’re committed to improving this as fast as possible and get you all into matches.

We’re committed to improving things as fast as possible so you can have the Halo experience you’ve been waiting for. Your feedback has been helpful for us in isolating issues, so please keep the input coming.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding while we work through these challenges. The development team at 343 Industries worked insanely hard to create Halo: The Master Chief Collection for you, and we won’t stop until it’s worthy of your passion for our franchise.

It may not undo the frustration players have felt, nor does it remedy an industry-wide problem of issues at launch but an honest message such as this that doesn’t hide behind PR buzzowrds and empty sentences goes a long way.

It was always inevitable that a remaster this big, with so many games, was bound to have issues and bugs. However, matchmaking is something that should absolutely be working at launch for a Halo game. If you’ve gotten your hands on the collection then things should be working again sometime today and if not then by the weekend.

This comes after players have had issues in downloading the collection due to issues which have been addressed in the latest Xbox One update (still due to release).

Is it perhaps time for the industry to take a good, hard look at the state it is releasing some of its games in? Halo: Master Chief Collection may be a minor offender compared to others but one wonders whether QA testing is still employed at this point.

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Just Cause 3 Announced, Will Be A “Fine Balance Between Outright Stupid And Fun” http://egmr.net/2014/11/just-cause-3-announced-will-fine-balance-outright-stupid-fun/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/just-cause-3-announced-will-fine-balance-outright-stupid-fun/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162824 That’s right, as a surprise to nobody Avalanche Studios lifted the covers off Just Cause 3 yesterday and with the the third installment in the franchise they’ve decided to keep […]

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That’s right, as a surprise to nobody Avalanche Studios lifted the covers off Just Cause 3 yesterday and with the the third installment in the franchise they’ve decided to keep doing what they do best – over the top and completely bonkers action. This won’t be a gritty reboot where everything is dark and broody. Instead, Just Cause 3 is probably going to be one of the most vibrant and colourful games out there.

I say this based solely on my experiences with Just Cause 2 and concept art that’s been shown for Just Cause 3.

The game was revealed in the latest issue of Game Informer (you can check out the video up above) and will be set in a fictional Mediterranean island of Medici with “vastly improved” parachute and grapple mechanics. Medici will offer players “over 400 square miles of complete freedom from sky to seabed” which sounds like a lot to me. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the plot will see protagonist Rico Rodriguez struggling against the dictator General Di Ravello.

Expect plenty of sun, sand, beautiful environments and explosions. More explosions than Michael Bay could ever conceive.

I’m really okay with Avalanche transplanting the exact same plot and basic setting from Just Cause 2 if, and only if, they’ve made the gameplay vastly superior. Again, stop me if you’ve heard this all before. Weapons will also include “shotguns and missile launchers to tank-busters and air-strikes” to create complete chaos and players will have access to a wingsuit in addition to the staple grappling hook and endless parachutes. There is also talk of “community features” which would likely be as a direct result of the multiplayer mod for Just Cause 2 on PC.

Developer Avalanche Studios has been teasing this for quite some time and in the video revealed that they’ve been working on Just Cause 3 for the past three years. Avalanche COO Christofer Sundberg had this to say:

We’ve been waiting for this moment ever since Just Cause 2 was released. This is the culmination of a decade’s worth of open-world evolution and innovation. In Just Cause 3, we’ve sent Rico to a beautiful Mediterranean archipelago. He is of course bringing his Grapple and Parachute, both with game-changing upgrades, as well as the brand new Wingsuit. Just Cause 3 truly represents the next generation of chaotic sandbox fun, and we can’t wait to show you more next year.

Sundberg also addressed some of the more pertinent questions being asked of Avalanche on the studio’s official blog:

To be perfectly clear: Just Cause 3 will be available in 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. It will be distributed as a retail box and digital download. It is not a Free To Play game. It does not feature in-game micro transactions.

Does that mean we’ll release the game and call it quits? Nope. Beyond launch, we are likely to look into DLC packs and items as part of our ambition to support Just Cause 3 and its players for many years to come, but until that time we’re completely focused on making the best Just Cause game we possibly can. Rest assured it will be a huge, fully packed and extremely rewarding experience right out of the gate.

Just Cause 2 is my go-to game for something that doesn’t need to be great in order to provide tons of fun. If Just Cause 3 can bring that along with better gameplay, more varied activities and a mission structure that isn’t tiresome then I’m on board for some “shooty bang bang ‘splosion time.”

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Just Cause is hardly the most original franchise, it is a riff of the James Bond series at its core after all. However, what will determine whether Just Cause 3 can amount to anything more than its predecessor hinges on Avalanche stepping their game up without losing the bonkers energy that made the last game such a blast. If they took a little inspiration from Archer when it comes to espionage ridiculousness, that wouldn’t be the worst thing either.

What are your thoughts on Just Cause 3? Are you looking forward to a balls-out crazy fun game and do you think it can cut it in a post-Far Cry 3 world?

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Toast On Jam: Press X To Immersion – You Can’t Force Emotions Out Of People http://egmr.net/2014/11/toast-jam-press-x-immersion/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/toast-jam-press-x-immersion/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162442 We’re persistently being told, by people whose job is to sell you things that you don’t need, that games are becoming more immersive than ever before. You can absolutely get […]

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We’re persistently being told, by people whose job is to sell you things that you don’t need, that games are becoming more immersive than ever before. You can absolutely get lost in this open-world. All of your senses will be engaged. It’s an experience unlike any before it. Unfortunately, “immersive” (in its present guise) is just another buzzword and it’s going to do about as much to suck you into a game as 1080p 60fps, the cloud and that must-have pre-order DLC.

What does it even mean to be “immersed” in a game? The classical definition lies along the same lines as engrossment or engagement. If the game has your largely undivided attention (give or take a tweet here and there) then it is generally considered to have immersed you in its cold depths. It stems from gaming being one of most effective forms of legal and sane escapism however, that definition seems a little redundant.

We already have “entertaining” and “engrossing” and “engaging” so why is “immersive” used so extensively as though it has no companions in your thesaurus? Aside from the fact that it’s the title of a damn fine album by Pendulum and ‘i’ is a far less pedestrian vowel than ‘e’.

I can’t quite answer that. Perhaps it has something do with rolling off the tongue in a sexy fashion. Anyway, let’s work on redefining what it means to be immersed in a game.

Any game can entertain you, that’s generally the purpose of a game. It might thrill, enthrall, lighten your mood or frighten you.

Similarly, a large number of games can engross players and grip them. This is most evident in the vices such as FIFA or Dota or Hearthstone and similarly in games that challenge their players to try harder, the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. These games demand your attention and you’ll find yourself discussing and devising strategies or itching for another hit.

The immersive game then is the one that you can absolutely get lost in. You want to explore the world, you wish to learn more about it, as long as the controller is in your hand you are there, perhaps you even dream about adventuring through the world some more. An immersive game should act like catnip to your imagination. Perhaps this is a marginally elitist and peculiar view to take but let me explain.

A great game does not need to be immersive. The Stanley Parable is a fantastic creation but it is in no way immersive. A great deal of its magic lies in the way it keeps the player at a distance, a perspective which gives you a better view of how the game is taking its own tropes and narrative conventions apart.

Conversely, BioShock is like a cherry bomb to my mind and Rapture is very much the perfect example of an immersive environment. It’s little details and remnants of a former life draw you in. I wanted to know more about what life was like here, how it went so wrong, wanted to explore its every recess and eavesdrop on its inhabitants talk about their past lives.

Immersion, powerful as it can be, is a fragile construct. The slightest untoward jolt can break it but immersion can also make one more forgiving of a game’s shortcomings because if it absorbs you so completely, you don’t care quite as much.

Now, immersion does not depend upon mimicry. Just because you have a racing wheel or a VR headset does not make you immersed in Project CARS. By definition I think racing games can be realistic and engrossing but not immersive. That term is almost exclusively reserved for a game with a narrative of some kind.

So, with this definition of immersion in tow let me ask you something. Why are so many developers intent on pushing immersion upon us?

You can’t force immersion in the same way that you cannot force someone to dream. Well, you can but let’s not get into that now.

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Mash A to make the pain go away.

Through scripting and cinematic direction developers think they can draw you into a game. That’s not how it works. Yes, the developer has to give you the tools to immerse yourself into the game but they are passive elements and not a big flashing prompt that says, “press X to see how many emotions we’ll make you feel.” It’s also a fallacy that a game needs to be cinematic in order to be immersive. Beyond: Two Souls is incredibly cinematic, one of the most cinematic games ever made with its tight camera angles and David Cage’s auteur sensibilities but it is so far removed from immersive that it would be better off as a movie. It doesn’t care whether the player is there or not and much like an erection, nothing kills the mood faster than realising you’re not needed.

If a game wants you to be immersed in a particular scene or moment then leave the player to immerse themselves in it by looking around, talking to people and so on. It’s counter-productive to immerse a player by means of very videogame-ey objective markers and quick-time events or button prompts.

Immersion is an individual, imaginative, contextual experience. What immerses me in a game won’t immerse you. A developer can make their game as broadly appealing as possible with variety in as many areas as possible. We’ll call this the Elder Scrolls approach. The other way to go is to create a world rich in history and stories and intrigue that players will want to lo

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Telltale’s Game Of Thrones Coming This Winter (No, Seriously), First Episode Title Revealed http://egmr.net/2014/11/telltales-game-thrones-coming-winter-seriously-first-episode-title-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/telltales-game-thrones-coming-winter-seriously-first-episode-title-revealed/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162756 Sure, the fifth season of Game of Thrones might still be some ways off but that’s okay because Telltale Games is going to sate you the way a whore used […]

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Sure, the fifth season of Game of Thrones might still be some ways off but that’s okay because Telltale Games is going to sate you the way a whore used to be able to sate Tyrion. Now the only thing that sates him is hunting down mutants.

That’s besides the point though because we’ve finally got some hard details on Telltale’s stab at weaving a tale within George RR Martin’s universe. Revealed way back at the end of last year during the VGX Awards that people would sooner forget, Telltale unveiled Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands.

Now, Telltale is bigger than your average independent studio but they’ve been stretched this year with teams working hard on The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead. With both of those having concluded their respective five episode seasons some months ago, the studio is now free to focus fully on the two new titles.

Telltale has found a niche for taking established IPs and crafting truly great adventure games out of them.

So too with Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones.

We’ve already been told that it will release this year so what’s going on with Game of Thrones?

Before we move on, when’s the best time of year to release anything Game of Thrones related? Winter.

Someone told the folks at Telltale that joke and they must have liked it because we’ve been promised the first episode of Game of Thrones later this year (which is winter in the north). The announcement came from Twitter of course.

Game of Thrones will be a six episode season as opposed to Telltale’s established five episode status quo. The first episode has been titled “Iron from Ice” so make of that what you will.

Telltale’s Game of Thrones will focus on lesser-known Houses so what do you want to see the series delve into and if you know a little about the further reaches of Martin’s universe, what are your speculations? What do you think we can expect as far as TV series and book tie-ins go?

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Get A Sneak Peek At The Opening Of Assassin’s Creed: Unity And Another Time Anomaly http://egmr.net/2014/11/get-sneak-peek-opening-assassins-creed-unity-another-time-anomaly/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/get-sneak-peek-opening-assassins-creed-unity-another-time-anomaly/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162705 There’s no doubt that Ubisoft has come out guns blazing with their promotion of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The copious amounts of DLC paint that picture pretty clearly but there’s just […]

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There’s no doubt that Ubisoft has come out guns blazing with their promotion of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The copious amounts of DLC paint that picture pretty clearly but there’s just as little doubt that the game is a bittersweet point for any Assassin’s Creed fan that has not yet bought into the new generation of consoles.

On one hand it looks pretty great and may even be tempting some people to buy a PS4 or Xbox One but on the other hand, is it worth it? Probably not. Fear not, those of you who have not yet joined the glorious next-gen master race. We’ve got you covered with a voyeuristic glimpse at the opening of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. About 30 minutes worth that gives us an inkling of the present day plot at work within Unity.

The footage comes courtesy of MrSkillToKill2 who has a lot more gameplay to show off if you’re really eager to see more of Unity in action or are just really bored.

Now, this gameplay footage will obviously contain some spoilers but does it really amount to much when the game is over 15 hours long?

If you look at the menu right at the beginning it shows former Assassin’s Creed protagonists as well as one from what looks like Feudal japan (just to tease us) as well as the Jazz Age and a few others. Are these other time periods we’ll get to visit or simply intangible teases from Ubisoft?

Now, down here is where things get a lot more interesting.

Ubisoft has already released a trailer which hints at some sort of time anomaly existing within Unity’s Paris and pushing Arno to different time periods. The trailer showed us World War II but now we’ve got some gameplay within said time anomaly, only it’s from a different time period altogether.

It poses a lot of questions about just how these time anomalies will play into the game’s narrative but a few lines of dialogue in the video hint at some sort of present day silliness (once again) which gave me cause to groan. It may pan out but knowing Ubisoft it probably won’t. Regardless, time jumping should be interesting. My guess is that the time anomalies are going to push Arno incrementally further forward in time until it almost converges with present day Paris.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is due out in just a few short days and yes, it is looking mighty pretty.

Meanwhile, those of you still stuck on the old consoles get more boats and penguins. Rejoice!

Anyway, I’m rather looking forward to Unity if only because its setting lends itself very nicely to the more classic AC gameplay.

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Comments Of The Week — “I Was Really, Really Hoping For The Porno” http://egmr.net/2014/11/comments-week-2/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/comments-week-2/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 13:00:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162625 This week we changed things up a bit although it’s something we’ve been working towards all year. Less articles in a day. More love and attention going into each of […]

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This week we changed things up a bit although it’s something we’ve been working towards all year. Less articles in a day. More love and attention going into each of them; more of our opinions and insights going into each article.

Meanwhile, Ubisoft is still turning tricks with DLC, Call of Duty is not misogynistic and Destiny 2 is officially happening. Elsewhere, Sony can’t do a damn thing right and Marco got something right. More importantly though, Blizzard announced Overwatch, an FPS MOBA that looks like great fun.

Also, we did a thing on #GamerGate (don’t read it) and we complained about Dota 2.

If you like Borderlands, don’t forget to enter our competition where you can win Borderlands: The Pre-sequel on PS3.

  • 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 Michael — 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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Do You Want A Remastered Mass Effect Trilogy? BioWare Is Listening http://egmr.net/2014/11/want-mass-effect-trilogy-remaster-bioware-listening/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/want-mass-effect-trilogy-remaster-bioware-listening/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162613 I’m one of those filthy humans who has not played any of the Mass Effect titles. I probably have no right to even be typing this article but hey, just […]

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I’m one of those filthy humans who has not played any of the Mass Effect titles. I probably have no right to even be typing this article but hey, just hear me out. I’ll make it worth your while.

With today being N7 Day, of course there was going to be some Mass Effect news. Unfortunately it isn’t news of a Mass Effect/Star Wars crossover.

Instead, Bioware GM Aaryn Flynn is asking series fans what they’d like to see included in a potential remastered release of the original trilogy.

A fourth Mass Effect game is in development to kick off a fresh trilogy so a remaster isn’t out of the question but it’s not a definite either.

Flynn hit up NeoGAF to discuss the top features that fans want to see in a Mass Effect trilogy. 1080p, 60fps, hi-res textures, improved shading and gold-plated game boxes are of course must-haves for this sort of thing but what else could BioWare add in?

Flynn mentioned the idea of a seamless experience that didn’t require players to go out into a menu and select the next game. Instead the experience would just flow from game to intermediary DLC to game. That’s the other must-have – all the DLC released across all three games.

“The seamless adventure would be very interesting. You’d have to integrate some cut scenes to tie it together I feel as the time between games was almost like the time elapsed in game, all in all that’s a great list though, DLC is a definite must!” Flynn said.

“I know it’d be a great addition for most of us here if the character creator was tweaked to ensure more customisation as the DA:I has given us a taste of the good life.”

Responding to another user who suggested “organic implementation” of DLC, Flyn said, “And yes, the “organic implementation” is definitely what I have in mind. It should just all be there, as if it never wasn’t there (if that makes sense).”

Flynn also stressed the importance of not meddling with the gameplay of the original Mass Effect to make it more homogeneous with the latter titles.

This isn’t a confirmation of anything but rather just BioWare taking an interest and gathering information. Chances are there will be a Mass Effect Remastered Trilogy if demand is high enough and chances are that demand will be high enough.

What are your thoughts and what would you like to see in a remastered trilogy?

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Last Year Might Be The First Evolve Copycat But It’s Got A Nightmarish Twist Of Its Own http://egmr.net/2014/11/last-year-might-first-evolve-copycat-got-nightmarish-twist/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/last-year-might-first-evolve-copycat-got-nightmarish-twist/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:00:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162566 Technically speaking this past year has been like Evolve for me. A group of desperate students face off against a degree that is by all accounts trying to consume them. […]

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Technically speaking this past year has been like Evolve for me. A group of desperate students face off against a degree that is by all accounts trying to consume them. That’s not the sort of nightmare we’re talking about here though. No, this one is a little more old school.

You’re at a summer camp site, there’s obviously a lake, you’re surrounded by friends, it’s dark and hey, is that a psychotic murderer in the distance? It most certainly is. This is going to be one of those cliches.

Last Year is currently on Kickstarter and hopes to recreate Friday the 13th in video game form. The twist is where it seems to draw inspiration from Evolve. Instead of being restricted to playing as one of five helpless campers, you can also be the deranged killer.

Last Year seems to revel in its stereotypes. The 5v1 co-op experience comprises five high school stereotypes and one Jason Voorhees wannabe. Actually, that’s a lie. Just as with Evolve players can select different “monsters” from established horror pop culture.

A little more diversity comes in with players being able to either gang up on the killer and take him down or escape, something that nobody ever seems to accomplish in horror films without killing the killer.

Last Year seems a lot more self-aware than most horror fare and is in fact more comparable to Cabin in the Woods than anything else.

Each of the high school students has a traditional co-op function whether it be medic, heavy or technician. Players start the game separated and without any tools or weapons. They must then find each other and group together before the killer finds them.

As the killer you can do the usual stalking and hiding but there is also a great feature which effectively explains how horror movie killers move around so quickly and quietly.

Judging from the concept art, the game won’t wash everything in greys and browns but it remains to be seen how that works out in practice. Furthermore, Last Year seems to have multiple environments in which matches can take place.

Last Year is being worked on by one guy, James Matthew Wearing, with a little help from other artists. The game is currently on Kickstarter with a goal of $50 000 CAD and is slated for a 2016 release on PC with Oculus, LAN and online support. Up top is a concept trailer for your eyes only and down here is a betetr look at Wearing’s vision for the game.

It may be a riff of Evovle at its core but Last Year looks pretty damn interesting. This may be one to keep an eye on if you love Evolve but also love horror.

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Competition: Win Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-win-borderlands-pre-sequel/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/competition-win-borderlands-pre-sequel/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 12:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162484 Do you like Borderlands? Do you like silly game titles? Do you like free stuff? Of course you do. The dilemma is finding a point where all those things coincide. […]

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Do you like Borderlands? Do you like silly game titles? Do you like free stuff? Of course you do. The dilemma is finding a point where all those things coincide. Today’s your lucky day, friend, because we’ve got you covered.

Perhaps you were unlucky with our last two competitions. Who cares? Alien: Isolation ain’t got nothing on the tension of space that Borderlands brings. What about The Evil Within? Few things are scarier than surviving on a hostile moon. Not to mention how terrifying floaty jumping is. Oh God! The horror!

If you’re here then you probably know a little bit about Borderlands: The Pre-sequel otherwise I may begin to question you as a human being. If you’re a cat that’s pretty cool, we should hang out sometime. If you’re a little hazy on the details then be sure to read our preview to get your bearings.

Back already? Fantastic.

Now, we’ve got a copy of Borderlands: The Pre-sequel on PlayStation 3 to give away courtesy of the folks at Megarom.

All you have to do to stand a chance at winning is do exactly what we tell you.

 

To Enter The Competition

All you need to do is fill out the form below. And, if you want a bonus entry into the competition, feel free to tweet about it and tell your friends!

 
The competition will end on Thursday November 13th with the winner being announced on Friday November 14th.

 
Things to remember:

  • Terms and Conditions apply
  • Competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 13 November, 2014.
  • The winner will be announced on Friday 14 November, 2014.
  • The winner will be chosen by randomiser.
  • There can only be one winner.
  • This competition was made possible by Megarom.

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Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity Bonus DLC Is Getting Ridiculous http://egmr.net/2014/11/ubisoft-really-needs-stop-assassins-creed-unity-bonus-dlc/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/ubisoft-really-needs-stop-assassins-creed-unity-bonus-dlc/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 10:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162480 Ubisoft can more or less do whatever they want and still make boatloads of money. The fact is that the things they do piss a minority (we are the minority) […]

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Ubisoft can more or less do whatever they want and still make boatloads of money. The fact is that the things they do piss a minority (we are the minority) off and the larger number of casual gamers continue to make up the bulk of the 10 million units that AC IV: Black Flag sold or the 7 million that Watch Dogs sold.

Their latest descents into the black pit of pre-order bonuses with Assassin’s Creed: Unity have taken them beyond the preposterous nature of marketing bonus pants as something you absolutely must pre-order the game in order to have. Instead, Ubisoft has begun to give away bonuses for just about anything and everything.

It’s shameless and utterly absurd but nothing new and it’s not exclusive to Ubisoft either. Batman: Arkham City offered the Batman Beyond costume to players who bought some special energy drink.

Ubisoft doesn’t know when to stop though.

In addition to all the pre-order DLC they’ve already attached to AC: Unity, you can now get a bonus rapier, hood or armour if you happen to buy a can of Edge shaving gel. It was first picked up by Kotaku and is about as silly as it sounds. It’s also just a touch sexist since everybody drinks energy drinks. They’re disgusting and I wouldn’t touch one now but all sorts of people drink them. A shaving gel like Edge is definitely for men.

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I guess the message is that Assassins love a close shave.

The next bit of silliness has to do with Ubisoft’s planned AC: Unity livestream launch event. It promises to be the biggest livestream launch event in the company’s history and they’re making sure it will be with, you guessed it, bonus DLC if you RSVP to the damn thing.

Really?

You can catch the stream here and by all means, watch it; it should be pretty interesting stuff. The stream will be hosted directly by Twitch TV Live Programming Director Jon Carnage, and will include the following:

  • First look at Assassin’s Creed Unity days before it hits store shelves
  • Interviews with the makers of Assassin’s Creed Unity
  • Gameplay with top YouTube and Twitch personalities
  • Special giveaways

By filling in this form to confirm that you will be glued to some form of monitor come Friday then you’ll get not only a hood, rapier and pistol but also a bonus mission.

twitch-pack

This is of course just marketing so that Ubisoft can guarantee a high viewership for the livestream to make themselves look good when they tout the stats around at an earnings call. That’s just business. However, it is so shameless that they feel the need to effectively get people to “pre-order” the livestream with an RSVP.

It’s free though, unlike the shaving gel, so you’re only gaining anything by RSVPing and you don’t even need to watch the livestream to get the bonus content.

Ubisoft’s handling of DLC and bonus content is a study in excess. Watch Dogs alone had something like 10 different versions. Each with its own incentives and bonuses. You needed a damn table just to figure it all out.

Fair play to Ubisoft, aggressive marketing isn’t not effective but at what point do you stop and say, “this is getting a little bit excessive.” As it is, any trailer already has the last 20 seconds reserved for telling you to pre-order and get the special uber-awesome deluxe collector’s edition. At which point does it stop being more about the marketing and less about the game?

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Joss Whedon Talks Age Of Ultron Spoilers And Scolding Idris Elba http://egmr.net/2014/11/joss-whedon-talks-age-ultron-spoilers-scolding-idris-elba/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/joss-whedon-talks-age-ultron-spoilers-scolding-idris-elba/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162399 When you’ve got a movie with a varied cast of characters that need to gel together as some sort of cohesive unit, there are few better directors for such a […]

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When you’ve got a movie with a varied cast of characters that need to gel together as some sort of cohesive unit, there are few better directors for such a job than Joss Whedon. His body of work speaks for itself really. That said, just because he controls the characters doesn’t mean he can control the actors.

If he could then he’d be one step closer to being Ultron.

Leaks are inevitable, especially on big projects like this where the entirety of the internet wants to know what’s happening behind the scenes. Idris Elba recently let slip in an interview that he and Tom Hiddlestone (Heimdall and Loki) would make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is something that Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon have been trying to keep under wraps.

So how does Whedon feel about rumours such as this? He was asked just that in a recent interview with Vulture and was also asked whether he had contacted Elba about the slip:

Um, should he receive an email from me, there might be an attitude of scold… Yeah, when you have a cast of 19,000 people, inevitably, once every month, you pick up [a story] and you’re like, “Awww.”

If you’re interested in #GamerGate or feminism, give the full interview a glance. Whedon gets a little more passionate about that.

The presence of Loki and Heimdall suggests a trip to Asgard. Do the Avengers go there to hide out and plot their assault on Ultron? There are some pretty awesome possibilities once you combine Loki’s deception with Scarlet Witch’s reality-bending that I’d love to see but don’t hold your breath on that one.

Last week Marvel revealed their plans for the next few years and while Whedon couldn’t comment on some specifics regarding Marvel’s Phase 3 (such as how Hulk fits into things) he did offer up his reaction to it.

“You know, it is a little daunting, and you sort of go, [mock-whiny] “What about my movie? I haven’t even been born and you already like my younger siblings better?” But at the same time it’s exhilarating. It’s really fun to see where Kevin’s taking it and to see the workings of that mind. I think it was a very canny and very human move, I really like the slate.”

You think it’s daunting? Try being DC or worse still, Sony during that reveal event.

Whedon isn’t far off the mark though considering that in our own podcast we almost glossed over the Age of Ultron trailer. Granted, that’s because Marvel has some arcs planned that are bigger than Age of Ultron. Civil War is one of the biggest and most intriguing events in Marvel’s history.

In the wake of that trailer and the reveal of Marvel’s roadmap, people such as ourselves began speculating like all hell and although Whedon doesn’t let the internet influence his vision the director admitted that he isn’t able to avoid all fan reaction and speculation.

“Sometimes. Sometimes it’s depressing, sometimes it’s enlightening. Every now and then, you definitely learn something from some random person on the internet who sees your work in a way you didn’t, who sees truth in it, that’s worth it.”

All that said, Avengers: Age of Ultron has all of us at EGMR more than just casually interested. Picking a most anticipated title out of Marvel’s current slate is almost impossible though and more than a little premature with nothing known about most of them.

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Microsoft Could Delay Rise Of The Tomb Raider And More Due To A “Crowded” Q4 2015 http://egmr.net/2014/11/microsoft-delay-rise-tomb-raider-due-crowded-q4-2015/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/microsoft-delay-rise-tomb-raider-due-crowded-q4-2015/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 12:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=162138 The running theme of this generation and 2014 in particular has been waiting for things. Waiting for things that should have been available already. It started with Watch Dogs which […]

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The running theme of this generation and 2014 in particular has been waiting for things. Waiting for things that should have been available already.

It started with Watch Dogs which was simply delayed out of 2013. Then as release dates started getting announced, October became a preposterously crowded month. How would we ever afford all these games let alone find the time to play them all? At one point we were looking at an October laden with Alien: Isolation, DriveClub (another delay from 2013), Dragon Age: Inquisition, Batman: Arkham Knight, Battlefield: Hardline, Borderlands: The Pre-sequel, Sunset Overdrive, Lords of the Fallen, The Evil Within, Evolve, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. That’s a dozen pretty major triple-A titles and chances are I’m forgetting at least a few more.

The point is that realistically that was never going to stand and true to expectations, a good number of those games got pushed back. Some to November while the rest were moved into the rather quiet early 2015 release schedule. Ironically, Q1 of 2015 now looks pretty busy too. There was a huge number of games scheduled for release just in October and November 2014 because everybody has some shiny new game that they want to put out for the new consoles. Everybody except Gearbox.

Anyway, it just isn’t financially viable for so many publishers to be competing for the market. Especially not with the impossible sales targets attached to some games. Microsoft seems to have taken note because at present their release schedule for Q4 2015 is pretty ridiculous on its own.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer is doubtful that Microsoft can release as many triple-A titles as it has scheduled for late 2015. Speaking to Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb on his latest podcast, Spencer admitted that Microsoft may have to spread some releases out in order to make things a little less busy.

“I mean, this fall from a first-party/third-party standpoint is great,” said Spencer, as noted by videogamer.com. “Next fall, I don’t… Honestly it’s not hype at all, I honestly don’t know that we can actually ship all the stuff that thinks it’s trying to ship next fall. It just might be too crowded and we might purposely try to move some things out to spread it.”

As far as exclusives go, Microsoft has Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Quantum Break, Crackdown and Scalebound. All of which have a late 2015 release window. This is in addition to next year’s Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, Uncharted 4, The Division and probably a lot more.

It’s a common practice to rather release a game in the new year to avoid the end of year frenzy. It’s also starting to catch on that May/June is not the worst time of year to release a game. The Last of Us and Watch Dogs both broke sales records by releasing in that void. As such, Spencer acknowledges that Q4 is not always the best time to release a game, especially if it means stacking multiple releases on top of each other.

“I think as publishers and first parties have success at multiple points of the year it’s just a good thing for us, because having three/four great games ship all in the same week at the end of October, while maybe on some forecast somewhere it feels like that’s the right thing to do, just as an industry I think it’s much more healthy if we have more beats throughout the year where people can ship great games.”

It makes very little sense to have a stupidly crowded release window for Xbox exclusives alone. On paper it looks great but practically it cannot work and some of those games are going to underperform. Chances are that Halo 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider may stay where they are. Halo will outsell most things anyway. The others will get pushed into early 2016. Rise of the Tomb Raider may just end up finding its way into early 2016 if only for the sake of history because that’s when 2013’s Tomb Raider released and 2014’s Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.

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PS4 Firmware Update 2.0 Continues To Cause Widespread Issues http://egmr.net/2014/11/ps4-firmware-update-2-0-continues-cause-widespread-issues/ http://egmr.net/2014/11/ps4-firmware-update-2-0-continues-cause-widespread-issues/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 12:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161999 Last week PS4 users eagerly downloaded the latest system firmware update. Being update 2.0 this is a big one and as you might expect it brings some features folks were […]

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Last week PS4 users eagerly downloaded the latest system firmware update. Being update 2.0 this is a big one and as you might expect it brings some features folks were no doubt eager to have at their fingertips.

Things like being able to change to the colour of their background and play MP3s off a USB stick. Things which really, really should have and could have been part of the console at launch. The marquee addition though was Share Play.

In theory it’s a little late but Share Play makes it almost worth it.

That’s the problem with this generation thus far, everything seems to be done on faith. We’re promised a whole lot of things but have to wait till post-release for those things to actually be implemented. The PS4 will eventually have all those big features Sony promised at the console’s announcement event. Destiny will eventually be an amazing multiplayer experience that doesn’t taste of taste.

But I digress. There are more pressing matters here.

Strike one for Sony this past month came with DriveClub being the utter shambles that it is.

Strike two came when all those eager PS4 users rushed to get the new update. PSN threw its arms up in panic and assumed the foetal position.

Strike three comes now as numerous users have been reporting widespread issues with update 2.0.

A large number of users have taken to forums bemoaning issues that the new update has brought with it. They range in severity from minor visual glitches to connectivity issues and systems refusing to turn back on from Rest Mode. There’s a Reddit thread filled with complaints of that last issue alone.

If you encounter this issue then you’ll have no choice but to manually reset the console and risk data corruption. The issue seems to arise just from having a disc in the tray according to Polygon’s Owen Good. That’s one way to force a digital only future.

Now, Sony did offer up a fix for the Rest Mode issues way back on Wednesday but it still involves a manual reset of your console.

Meanwhile, Kotaku has been reporting on instances of volume fluctuation and unreliable connectivity. That’s not hugely surprising given the fragile nature of PSN. Not surprisingly, Twitter has been ablaze with complaints and sarcasm.

The update has caused issues with developers as well. The Evolve Alpha was set to go live on PS4, Xbox One and PC yesterday but the PS4 version was delayed due to unforeseen problems brought about by the update.

The Alpha is now live on PS4 and 2K issued the following statement:

After exploring all available solutions, we believe we have addressed the majority of known issues affecting the Evolve Big Alpha on PlayStation 4 following the PS4 2.0 firmware update. The alpha test is now live on PS4 after a gradual roll out to registered participants. Evolve’s closed alpha test is also being extended on Xbox One, PC and PS4 through Tuesday, November 4 at 12:00 PM PST (8:00 PM UTC).

Sony is working on fixing the issues and thus far there have been no reports of bricked consoles but we advise avoiding Rest Mode for the time being.

If Sony truly wants us to embrace the future they’ve envisioned with digital copies favoured over physical, Share Play, remote play, PlayStation Now and all the rest then they need to do two things: a) make sure it works before you put it out there, and b) elevate PSN beyond the point where it’s as inconsistent as a DJ with Tourette’s.

A little bit of QA testing would have gone a long way here. Keep up the great work, Sony. It’s been far from the best month for the company and they really need to find a way to turn their image up. At this point in time I have little faith in Sony and even less in PSN.

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DriveClub Continues To Elude PlayStation Plus Subscribers http://egmr.net/2014/10/driveclub-continues-elude-playstation-plus-subscribers/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/driveclub-continues-elude-playstation-plus-subscribers/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:45:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161901 Yesterday we gave you a look at what you could expect to get out of your PS Plus subscription in November. You’d have noticed the lack of triple-A titles but […]

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Yesterday we gave you a look at what you could expect to get out of your PS Plus subscription in November. You’d have noticed the lack of triple-A titles but the fact is you’re still getting some pretty awesome indie titles. Especially on PS4.

The biggest thing to note though was the lack of a mention for DriveClub.

It was promised to be available to PS Plus subcribers on PS4 in October but Sony didn’t foresee what an embarrassment the game’s launch would be. Server and stability issues prevented Sony from putting the game out on PS Plus and that’s understandable. The game would only be free to subscribers for a month so it would be an even bigger fiasco if those players had a game they could hardly play due to server issues.

The trouble is that the game is still not fixed and not all to many care since nobody cared much about DriveClub to begin with.

The game’s official Facebook page announced that the PS Plus version of the game is on hold until further notice. The news came via a message from Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida.

“I wanted to provide you with the latest update on DriveClub. Unfortunately, the road to launch has been a little rocky, and we are truly sorry that so many of you have not been able to enjoy everything that we had hoped DriveClub would deliver.

“We have been listening to your feedback and realize that patience understandably is running out. Evo is working around the clock to close the gap, and we have deployed additional engineering resources to help resolve the remaining issues as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the time frames required to roll out the fully connected experience will be longer than anticipated and we do not have an exact time frame for when they will be resolved.

“We are also very conscious that we have disappointed so many of you who were looking forward to playing the promised PS Plus Edition. Our first priority is to provide you with the best possible experience while playing DriveClub. With the high volume of new players and additional server load the PS Plus Edition is anticipated to bring, we are currently not confident that we can guarantee the best online experience.

“Until we can ensure that everyone can enjoy the full social connected online experience, we will be postponing the release of the PS Plus Edition until further notice.”

Yoshida went on to say Sony “sincerely apologizes for the delay,” and to remain patient.

It’s not like this game was being rushed out that Sony had to push it onto shelves before checking that the supporting infrastructure could hold. Sony would build a bridge and test its strength after it has collapsed.

So I guess delaying DriveClub out of 2013 really paid off.

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity Has Time Travel And Shark Jumping http://egmr.net/2014/10/assassins-creed-unity-time-travel/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/assassins-creed-unity-time-travel/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161902 Has Assassin’s Creed jumped the shark yet? Maybe. Assassin’s Creed: Unity effectively has time travel though and it’s a lot less crazy then you might think. In previous games, all […]

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Has Assassin’s Creed jumped the shark yet? Maybe. Assassin’s Creed: Unity effectively has time travel though and it’s a lot less crazy then you might think.

In previous games, all of the ancestors you played as bore some resemblance to Desmond because how else were we to know that they were related, right? Gosh! We humans sure are stupid according to Ubisoft. Although there world where all ancestors ever share a resemblance suggests a whole lot of inbreeding. Let that sink in for a bit.

Up till now we were fairly content with Unity just taking place over the years of the French Revolution and a bit of Arno’s youth. All of it set predominantly in late 18th Century Paris. That’s still true but it turns out players will be doing some time jumping.

Players have been asking for WW II to be a setting or Feudal Japan or Ancient China, Egypt even. It looks like we might get all our wishes fulfilled albeit briefly.

Of course, that’s kind of how most wish fulfillment works.

Anyway, “Time Anomalies” will cause your Animus simulation in the game to glitch out and throw Arno into World War II where he fires heavy artillery guns and shoots down planes.

Here’s a description of what occurs: “Fatal Error: French Revolution simulation failed to load. Time anomaly detected.”

Now, this really is something Ubisoft should have left as a surprise for players unless there’s something even bigger behind it. You can bet your larynx that whatever happens in the Time Anomaly Paris will correlate to what’s happening in the Paris Arno knows.

It’s a long shot but perhaps we’ll get to see other time periods as well.

Also, they’re pretty much copying one of the mechanics they used in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. Furthermore, how does this even work or make sense? I mean, did the time anomaly truly occur? Did Arno really time jump or is the simulation just going haywire? Also, if Arno did really time jump then why is this the first time we’re hearing about it? This could have been really useful when Ezio was on a quest for knowledge, retracing Altair’s footsteps.

I’m mostly on board for this idea because I think it has potential and it looks pretty damn cool but it seems absolutely random and is going to need some explanation. Also, if the simulation is collapsing, you can’t run away from it within the simulation. You’d have to exit the simulation.

Ubisoft logic.

AC: Unity will be out on PS4, Xbox One and PC in two weeks. Mark the date.

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Mark Zuckerberg Says Oculus Rift Needs To Sell 50-100 Million Units To Be Meaningful http://egmr.net/2014/10/mark-zuckerberg-says-oculus-rift-needs-sell-50-100-million-units-meaningful/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/mark-zuckerberg-says-oculus-rift-needs-sell-50-100-million-units-meaningful/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161755 At first glance you may think he’s talking about money ie meaningful to Facebook or in the Destiny sense of things, “it needs to sell 15 million units to not […]

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At first glance you may think he’s talking about money ie meaningful to Facebook or in the Destiny sense of things, “it needs to sell 15 million units to not be a failure.” It turns out that’s not what he’s on about at all.

Marky Mark actually has some valid points regarding the virtual reality hardware and what it needs to do in order to be more than just another fad. Oops. Wrong Mark. Granted, the other one did spend his last movie going around and calling himself “an inventor.”

During Facebook’s Q3 2014 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg reaffirmed his belief that Oculus Rift is a long-term project that will take “a few cycles” before it embeds itself into the tech sector.

We’ve previously discussed VR being a niche market, especially at the price the units will likely go for. 3D TVs are the same but the hope is that VR headsets will become a more necessary accessory in the same way that iPads or smart watches have.

“As I’ve said before, with Oculus we’re making a long-term bet on the future of computing”, Zuckerberg stated. “Every 10-15 years a new major computing platform arrives, and we think virtual and augmented reality are important parts of this upcoming next platform.

“This quarter Oculus continued to make progress towards this vision. In September, the first Oculus developer conference took place where we announced a new prototype VR headset on the path to the consumer version of the Rift.

“We continue to see a lot of excitement in the developer community, and we’ve now shipped more than 100,000 Rift developer kits to over 130 countries.

“It’s still early days for Oculus, but we’re encouraged to see the variety of apps and games being developed for the platform.

“Our efforts here will take longer to achieve their full impact, but we’re going to continue preparing for the future by investing aggressively.”

Zuckerberg understands that it will take a “bunch of years” for Oculus to get where it needs to be but put a number on it by saying that for it to be considered an important platform the Oculus Rift would need to sell 50-100 million headsets.

I think it could sell less and still be more than just a passing trend but I’m not the billionaire genius.

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Dying Light Gets Killed Off… Sort Of http://egmr.net/2014/10/dying-light-gets-killed-sort/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/dying-light-gets-killed-sort/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:30:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161701 It’s a matter of perspective really, depending on who you are and which console you own. To use a metaphor from another zombie-centric work of fiction, in The Walking Dead […]

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It’s a matter of perspective really, depending on who you are and which console you own. To use a metaphor from another zombie-centric work of fiction, in The Walking Dead people often resort to amputation of limbs that have been bitten in order to save themselves. That’s basically what Techland and Warner Bros are  doing with Dying Light.

If you have an Xbox 360 or PS3 then I feel bad for you son, you got 99 games but Dying Light ain’t one.

Remind me to not attempt to paraphrase Jay Z again.

Dying Light’s development has been far from smooth. Initially slated for a release in 2013 it kept getting pushed back with no real confirmation of when it would be releasing. The final date seems to be set for January 30 2015 and it will only be releasing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Techland released an open letter to the public wherein they detail the reason for dropping the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. As you might expect it comes down to the game simply not functioning as well on those consoles. They could release the game on the old consoles but it would apparently be a far inferior product.

Dear Gamers,
As you probably know, we’re wrapping up the development of Dying Light, our biggest and most ambitious project to date. We spent the last three years making sure that all the features of our game add up to create a truly next-gen experience.

Much of this “next-gen feel” is tightly connected to the technological side of Dying Light. For instance, up to 200 000 objects can be displayed in the game at once. Add to this our use of realistic, physics-based lighting technology and you really start to push the next-gen systems to the limits. Features like these along with our core gameplay pillars – such as the player-empowering Natural Movement, threefold character development system, and vast open world – are all an inherent part of how Dying Light plays. However, combining all of these into one fluid experience is only possible on technologically advanced platforms.

Therefore, after thorough internal testing, we have come to the conclusion that we have no choice but to leave past-gen systems behind and release Dying Light exclusively on the next-gen consoles and PC. Put simply, older consoles just couldn’t run the game and stay true to the core vision of Dying Light at the same time.

To ensure you enjoy Dying Light as much as we would like you to, we chose to release it without any compromises on the three strongest systems available. Thanks to this, you’ll get the full and best experience regardless of the platform you play on.

We hope you understand the hard choice we’ve had to make. With the launch just around the corner, we can’t wait to show you Dying Light in the state it was meant to be. We’re looking forward to your reactions and impressions as we release the game in January 2015.

They’re only realising this now? With mere months to go before release? Hell, the game would have been out already if it hadn’t been delayed again.

I think it’s a good decision but one that seems it should have been made some time ago.

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PSN Adopts The Foetal Position Once Again In The Wake Of PS4 Update http://egmr.net/2014/10/psn-adopts-foetal-position-wake-ps4-update/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/psn-adopts-foetal-position-wake-ps4-update/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:45:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161667 Sony has some ambitious plans for the future, and the present too actually, where use of online and social features are becoming more prevalent and notable not only in games […]

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Sony has some ambitious plans for the future, and the present too actually, where use of online and social features are becoming more prevalent and notable not only in games but on the hardware itself.

With PlayStation Now, Remote Play, a push for digital purchasing of games and a suite of sharing options the PS4 is very much a device that requires an internet connection in order to get the most out of it. Now there’s Share Play too to bolster the argument for a decent internet connection.

The only hindrance to all of this? The actual foundation upon which it is all being built. PSN has been adequate at best. At its worst it has been an unreliable and temperamental platform with poor security.

It’s no secret that PSN is a bit dodgy but it has been showing more and more with Sony putting a bigger emphasis on online features. It has been woefully evident in Driveclub although a good amount of that is down to the netcode too.

So where are we going with this?

The PS4 got a shiny new update yesterday that amongst other things added USB MP3 support, background colour options (so revolutionary!) and the much-touted Share Play. As you might imagine, a lot of people were keen to download the update and try it out.

PSN saw a large crowd heading towards it, threw its arms up comically, yelped “NOPE” and promptly adopted the foetal position.

There are reports of widespread outages across the world and while there were reports of connectivity issues early yesterday but as the day progressed they got exponentially worse. Surprisingly I was able to download my update just fine around midday yesterday.

Sony is aware of the problem and is working on it.

#4theplayers

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Get Your Name Mentioned In The Order: 1886 http://egmr.net/2014/10/get-name-mentioned-order-1886/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/get-name-mentioned-order-1886/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161666 Do you ever get the feeling that nobody knows you and that people don’t even know your name? Well, we’ve got something that won’t fix that but you will get […]

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Do you ever get the feeling that nobody knows you and that people don’t even know your name? Well, we’ve got something that won’t fix that but you will get your name appearing in a game and that’s something.

The game in question? The Order: 1886. Yes, that game that has a Victorian setting, awesome alternate history, lycans, zombies, knights and a dude named Gallahad. The same game that looks to have dead-average gameplay. You can have your name appear in that game. How exciting!

So what ethical boundaries do you need to breach to get a shot at it?

It’s really simple actually. All you need to do  is head over to the PlayStation South Africa Facebook page, click on the relevant post and answer a simple question.

In addition to having your name mentioned in The Order’s credits, you could also be the first person in the country to own The Order: 1886: Collector’s Edition along with some assorted branded merchandise (I’d be upset if that doesn’t include a mustache comb).

Entries close on Thursday Nov 6 with the winner being announced on Nov 7. You have plenty of time to decide whether this competition is worth getting a PS4 for. There’s always Sunset Overdrive. Look to your right, we rated it pretty highly.

I’ve never understood what you gain from having your name in the credits of a game, like people actually read those things. It’s like having an asteroid named after yourself.

That said, the competition is pretty cool.

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Who’s Up For A 34 Game Eidos Anthology? http://egmr.net/2014/10/whos-34-game-eidos-anthology/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/whos-34-game-eidos-anthology/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161665 Steam is the breeding ground of glorious sales and its latest one is absolutely ridiculous. A PC game will typically set you back maybe $60 so three of those will […]

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Steam is the breeding ground of glorious sales and its latest one is absolutely ridiculous. A PC game will typically set you back maybe $60 so three of those will set you back $180. For the same price you can now get 34 games.

Holy shit! This is a good deal, folks.

It’s called the Eidos Anthology and it encompasses Eidos games going all the way back to the original Tomb Raider and Thief titles. For $208 you can get all 34 games along with all the affiliated DLC for each. The list includes all Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Thief and Hitman games.

One thing that stands out is just how many Tomb Raider games there have been. Lara has been busy.

Check out the full list and try to keep your jaw off the ground:

  • Battlestations Pacific
  • Battlestations: Midway
  • Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain
  • Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War
  • Deus Ex: The Fall
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
  • Hitman: Absolution: Agency HX UMP
  • Hitman: Absolution: Agency Jagd P22G
  • Hitman: Absolution: Agency SPS 12
  • Hitman: Absolution: Bartoli Custom Gun
  • Hitman: Absolution: Bronson M1928 Gun
  • Hitman: Absolution: Deus Ex (Adam Jensen) Disguise
  • Hitman: Absolution: Deus Ex (Adam Jensen) Handgun
  • Hitman: Absolution: High Roller Disguise
  • Hitman: Absolution: High Tech Disguise
  • Hitman: Absolution: Krugermeier 2-2 Gun
  • Hitman: Absolution: Public Enemy Disguise
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Hitman: Blood Money
  • Hitman: Codename 47
  • Hitman: Contracts
  • Just Cause
  • Just Cause 2
  • Just Cause 2 – Black Market Boom Pack DLC
  • Just Cause 2: Agency Hovercraft
  • Just Cause 2: Black Market Aerial Pack DLC
  • Just Cause 2: Bull’s Eye Assault Rifle
  • Just Cause 2: Chevalier Classic
  • Just Cause 2: Monster Truck DLC
  • Just Cause 2: Rico’s Signature Gun DLC
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Alliance Weapon Pack4
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Multiplayer Masks Pack4
  • Kane & Lynch 2: The Doggie Bag4
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days4
  • Kane and Lynch: Dead Men4
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Lara Croft GoL: All the Trappings – Challenge Pack 1
  • Lara Croft GoL: Hazardous Reunion – Challenge Pack 3
  • Lara Croft GoL: Raziel and Kain Character Pack
  • Lara Croft GoL: Things that Go Boom – Challenge Pack 2
  • Legacy of Kain: Defiance
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2
  • Nosgoth (Closed Beta)
  • Nosgoth – Veteran Pack
  • Thief
  • THIEF DLC: Booster Pack – Ghost
  • THIEF DLC: Booster Pack – Opportunist
  • THIEF DLC: Booster Pack – Predator
  • THIEF DLC: The Forsaken – Challenge Map
  • Thief Gold
  • Thief II: The Metal Age
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows
  • THIEF: The Bank Heist
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider I
  • Tomb Raider II
  • Tomb Raider III
  • Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation
  • Tomb Raider V: Chronicles
  • Tomb Raider VI: The Angel of Darkness
  • Tomb Raider: 1939 Multiplayer Map Pack
  • Tomb Raider: Agency SPS 12
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary
  • Tomb Raider: Aviatrix Skin
  • Tomb Raider: Caves and Cliffs Multiplayer Map Pack
  • Tomb Raider: Demolition Skin
  • Tomb Raider: Fisherman
  • Tomb Raider: Guerilla Skin
  • Tomb Raider: Hunter Skin
  • Tomb Raider: HX AP-15
  • Tomb Raider: JAGD P22G
  • Tomb Raider: Legend
  • Tomb Raider: M590 12ga
  • Tomb Raider: Mountaineer Skin
  • Tomb Raider: Scavenger Bandit
  • Tomb Raider: Scavenger Executioner
  • Tomb Raider: Scavenger Scout
  • Tomb Raider: Shanty Town
  • Tomb Raider: Shipwrecked Multiplayer Map Pack
  • Tomb Raider: Silverballer
  • Tomb Raider: STG 58 Elite
  • Tomb Raider: Sure-Shot Skin
  • Tomb Raider: Tomb of the Lost Adventurer
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld

For the sake of interest, purchasing all of these separately would run you $424.14. That’s a saving of $216.15 in case you didn’t have a calculator handy.

We suggest you head over to Steam right now and get this. Get it hard. Assuming you haven’t already gotten everything you want through previous Steam sales.

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Telltale’s Game Of Thrones Will Be Out Before 2015 http://egmr.net/2014/10/telltales-game-thrones-will-2015/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/telltales-game-thrones-will-2015/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:45:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161611 During the painfully terrible VGX Awards last year, there was brief reprieve from Joel McHale making life awful for Geoff Keighley whenever the screen cut to a shiny new trailer. […]

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During the painfully terrible VGX Awards last year, there was brief reprieve from Joel McHale making life awful for Geoff Keighley whenever the screen cut to a shiny new trailer. Wait, did I just express pity for Geoff Keighley? Damn.

Anyway, the showstopper was No Man’s Sky by a country mile but in second and third were no doubt Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones.

We’ve heard equally little about both titles but while it makes sense to not overload and confuse people with two different Borderlands games at the same time (since the Pre-sequel just released) the silence on Game of Thrones has been a little strange and is even stranger given some new information that has come out.

Now, Telltale doesn’t do much marketing. They’ll tease a screenshot on Twitter here and there but that’s about it. Even for their marquee franchise, The Walking Dead. You might expect a little more for Game of Thrones given how universally loved the series is.

The story here is that Game of Thrones will be releasing this year. Meanwhile, season 5 of the TV series continues filming.

Telltale has been hard at work on The Walking Dead Season 2 and the first season of The Wolf Among Us this year so it’s a wonder if they still manage to get Game of Thrones out before the year is up.

When asked about the expected release date for Game of Thrones, Telltale’s PR manager, Laura Perusco, confirmed that it is coming this year.

Earlier this year it was hinted at that Telltale’s Game of Thrones would focus on lesser houses such as Forrester.

It’s almost an inversion of what we’re used to whereby a game shows all there is that it has to offer and then gets delayed into 2014.

What are you hoping for from Telltale’s take on Game of Thrones?

Before we go, here’s Emma Watson on the Iron Thrones because reasons:
games-of-thrones-emma-watson

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Watch A Feature-Length Film’s Worth Of Dragon Age: Inquisition http://egmr.net/2014/10/watch-feature-length-films-worth-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/watch-feature-length-films-worth-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161610 If you add up all the gameplay footage that has been shown of Dragon Age: Inquisition thus far it amounts to a few hours. People finished MGS V: Ground Zeroes […]

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If you add up all the gameplay footage that has been shown of Dragon Age: Inquisition thus far it amounts to a few hours. People finished MGS V: Ground Zeroes in less time. Now there’s even more footage to sink your teeth into. Instead of wasting 105 minutes on some silly movie like TMNT, waste your time watching too much Inquisition for your own good. Hell, if we knew there was going to be this much footage we wouldn’t have wasted our time on a preview.

All this footage comes courtesy of the good people at Open World Games.

Up top we have close to an hour of PC gameplay which showcases, among other things, the War Table, character customisation, looting, the Tactical Camera, Talent Trees, Rifts and maybe a dragon or two.

If you’ll follow me down here, there’s more. If you’re just coming back from watching the above video then you may want to watch this next one quickly before you realise that yours legs are numb and your cat is starving.

This video is a smidgen shorter but shows off spells, potions, crafting, mounts and maybe a dragon or two.

Is that enough Inquisition to sate you until launch? We certainly hope so.

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Fresh Quantum Break Footage Shows Us What The World Looks Like To The Flash http://egmr.net/2014/10/fresh-quantum-break-footage-shows-us-world-looks-like-flash/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/fresh-quantum-break-footage-shows-us-world-looks-like-flash/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 06:45:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161524 Quantum Break is one of Microsoft’s wild cards in terms of ambition. It’s not the riskiest video game concept – it actually looks a lot like Max Payne but with […]

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Quantum Break is one of Microsoft’s wild cards in terms of ambition. It’s not the riskiest video game concept – it actually looks a lot like Max Payne but with a different excuse behind bullet-time – however, it is a risk in trying to create a high-budget game that will tie into a high-budget TV series with the two intertwining over each other.

We haven’t really seen anything of the TV series yet but I’m just going to put it out there, they could learn from the way effects have been done in The Flash.

Anyway, the premise is all very Max Payne-ey. Protagonist who wears a jacket, evil corporation, gunfights and fractures/breaks in time. Okay, that last one is new.

Back in August we got our first real look at Quantum Break in action and while I had my doubts, it did a good job of impressing the rest of the EGMR denizens.

There was some concern that the closing of Microsoft’s TV division, Xbox Entertainment Studios, spelled trouble for Quantum Break but the TV side of the equation is still intact for now.

The video up top shows off about eight fresh minutes of gameplay in addition to the eight we got at Gamescom. It also feature commentary from Remedy’s Sam Lake aka the guy they modeled Max Payne after.

Quantum Break is due out on Xbox One next year and certainly has my interest.

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Get The Lowdown On PS4’s Share Play Ahead Of The Big Update 2.00 http://egmr.net/2014/10/get-lowdown-ps4s-share-play-ahead-big-update-2-00/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/get-lowdown-ps4s-share-play-ahead-big-update-2-00/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 06:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161523 Back when the PS4 was revealed there were a number of promised features that we’ve had to wait for. Welcome to next-gen, folks; eventually you’ll get the complete console experience […]

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Back when the PS4 was revealed there were a number of promised features that we’ve had to wait for. Welcome to next-gen, folks; eventually you’ll get the complete console experience that you were promised. Just not right now. It’s like console early access.

One of those major touted features was Share Play, the ability for friends to essentially share a “virtual couch” as Sony describes it.

This allows the player to create a local co-op session with a friend for an hour at a time. Even if they don’t own the game, they can hop in.

Signs of this are already evident in Sony’s failed social experiment, DriveClub, where players automatically create a session as soon as they go online and other friends are then free to join or invite you to their session. So Sony made sure the groundwork was laid for when Share Play finally gets unleashed upon the world.

So what can your pal (person, not region) do once they are in your session? If they’re the voyeuristic type then they could simply view a stream of what’s on your screen. For slightly more involved friends, they can take over your game and help you with that one really hard boss fight (just pray they don’t notice you’re playing on easy). Furthermore is the option to have a friend jump in if the game supports local multiplayer.

Here’s a rundown of what Share Play entails straight from the pony’s mouth:

Share Screen: Share your screen with a friend, allowing them to spectate. This is ideal for PS4 owners that want to watch their friends play a game and provide helpful tips. PlayStation Plus is not required to use this.

Hand over my controller: Pass your controller to a friend, virtually, and watch them play. Your friend does not need to own, or even download the game, in order to use this feature. This is perfect for introducing your friends to new games. The host will need to be a PlayStation Plus member, but the guest does not.

Hand over another controller: If a game supports local multiplayer, you can have your friend join as player two. Again, the visitor does not need to own, or download the game in order to use this feature. Both players will need PlayStation Plus to use this feature.

While DriveClub seems primed and ready for Share Play, games such as LittleBigPlanet 3 and LEGO Batman 3 would certainly benefit from making extensive use of it.

Sony’s proof of concept for Share Play will come in the form of Far Cry 4 which has used the feature as a big marketing hook. The game just so happens to have co-op and be good fun to watch. It’s also the kind of game where there are many different ways to approach any situation so a fresh perspective could be great.

Far Cry 4 will release on PS4 with 10 Keys to Kyrat – invites to send out to 10 friends for them to join you in your game. It perpetuates the existing relationship Ubisoft and Sony seem to have. In previous years we’d see an hour of exclusive content for Ubisoft games on the Sony systems.

In the other corner, there have been rumblings of Family Sharing coming to Xbox One. Although initially planned, it had to be dropped when Microsoft did their infamous 180 degree about-face.

Share Play is coming with the PS4’s v2.00 update due out tomorrow. Quick! Run out and find some friends.

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Comments Of The Week — “Slow News Day?” http://egmr.net/2014/10/comments-week-ill-feel-things-loins/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/comments-week-ill-feel-things-loins/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 13:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161380 It seems we’ve arrived at that point in the year again when exams plague the lives of students and people with real jobs stand and laugh while sipping on their own […]

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It seems we’ve arrived at that point in the year again when exams plague the lives of students and people with real jobs stand and laugh while sipping on their own tears. It’s a magical time. Soon the Christmas decorations will be going up; reminding us that it’s a commercial holiday above all else. God bless consumerism.

Also, how great is that one trailer? You know the one I’m talking about. Yes, that one.

Elsewhere, Ubisoft still thinks Unity (game, not engine) is a revelation to gaming and Jade Raymond is kind of just tired of their shit (maybe).

Also, we did that thing where we talk at each other.

Also: competition time! Wait. Double competition time!

Aside from that it was a pretty great week for comments. There was plenty of discussion and there was no shortage of names to fill this week’s list.

Spoilers: There will be no CotW next week because reasons. Squirrels may be involved. More as the news breaks.

  • 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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The Last Of Us Gets Another Unnecessary Release http://egmr.net/2014/10/last-us-gets-another-unnecessary-release/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/last-us-gets-another-unnecessary-release/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:45:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161342 When you release the same game thrice in 18 months that’s when you know you’ve got a problem. We get it, Sony. You’re more proud of this game than a […]

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When you release the same game thrice in 18 months that’s when you know you’ve got a problem. We get it, Sony. You’re more proud of this game than a father when he sees his kid take his/her first steps. That’s great, we’re happy for you and I love The Last of Us. However, there’s a point where you step back and stop peddling the same game.

People have given Activision and EA shit about this for years with FIFA and CoD but Sony is really just releasing the same game. The again, if it’s popular why milk the franchise when you can milk the game itself, right?

So. That leads us to a GotY edition of The Last of Us coming this November. Earlier this year we got The Last of Us: Remastered on PS4. As with that version, the GotY version will come with all the add-on DLC including Left Behind.

The Last of Us: Game of the Year Edition will be out on PS3 on November 11.

Look out for The Last of Us: Game of the Year Edition: Remastered due out next June and The Last of Us: Game of the Year Edition: Demastered: Colon Overload due out next November for PS Vita.

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Get DriveClub Free With A PS4, Batteries Sold Separately http://egmr.net/2014/10/get-driveclub-free-ps4-batteries-sold-separately/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/get-driveclub-free-ps4-batteries-sold-separately/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161254 It’s funny because neither the PS4 nor the DualShock 4 controller takes replaceable batteries. They could but that would be weird. I mean, who even does that anymore? Earlier this […]

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It’s funny because neither the PS4 nor the DualShock 4 controller takes replaceable batteries. They could but that would be weird. I mean, who even does that anymore?

Earlier this week we gave our verdict on DriveClub and while it’s far from great, the game does pack a good amount of fun and it knows how to make a race entertaining.

As such, you wouldn’t go wrong for giving into a deal that gives you DriveClub absolutely free of charge. Unless you have some phobia of cars and high speed racing because your wife died in a illegal underground street drift and your son is currently being held hostage by the Yakuza until you pay up the money your wife owed them.

That got weird pretty quickly.

So. Assuming, your don’t have a similar aversion you should be pretty interested in this next bit.

For a limited time only and at participating retailers, you can get your hands on a PS4 for R6299.00 and they’ll throw in a free copy of DriveClub.

You have until November 2nd. Go!

Actually, wait. Come back here for a minute, kid. Note that if you wish to play online you’re going to need a PS Plus subscription (valued at over R700) and DriveClub is technically free on PS Plus this month anyway for subscribers. So is it really an awesome deal?

Are you sure you don’t want an Xbox One instead? Take a minute to think about it.

Be smart, stay in school, don’t do drugs.

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Dissecting That Awesome Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron Trailer http://egmr.net/2014/10/dissecting-awesome-avengers-2-age-ultron-trailer/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/dissecting-awesome-avengers-2-age-ultron-trailer/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=161218 By now you’ve watched the video that everyone’s talking about, right? No, not this one. I’m talking about the first trailer for Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. A trailer soaked […]

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By now you’ve watched the video that everyone’s talking about, right? No, not this one. I’m talking about the first trailer for Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. A trailer soaked in so many teases and visual nuggets that nerds the world over can’t stop watching it and suddenly have Pinocchio trending on Twitter.

Fables did it better, the whole creepy re-interpretation of classic Pinocchio thing, just saying.

As an aside: it’s so refreshing for a company to actually embrace a leak and go, “Fuck it, we may as well officially release the trailer anyway.” Kudos on not being like the opaque gaming industry, Marvel.

Anyway, not long after the trailer dropped there was a slew of articles, as there always is, pointing out all the little things you might have missed. These are great. Especially if you’re blind, although that raises some questions of its own.

Let’s take a slightly more considered approach to the trailer, shall we?

 

All Around the World

avengers 2
One of the first things you’ll notice is that the movie does not seem to exist solely in New York so for once the Big Apple can actually breathe a sigh of relief. At least, until the next Spider-Man film.

The trailer seems to hint at a few locations such as South Africa, somewhere in Asia and an old monastery/fortress. At one point you even see a French flag.

Perhaps this new film will have a far more global feel to it than the first which was about saving the world but only by saving New York because that’s how these things work, right?

 

Let’s Not Ignore Iron Man 3

avengers 2 egmr iron man
I liked Iron Man 3. There, I said it.

That aside, there could be some very interesting paths that lead from that movie to Avengers 2. In the wake of giving up being Iron Man forever Robert Downey Jr starts developing autonomous peacekeeping bots such as Ultron to keep active in the business of making the world a better and safer place. As these things go there’s always a bad seed because artificial intelligence is bad, mkay. Also, hubris. Walter White knows all about that word.

When Ultron goes rogue Robert is forced to don the Iron Man armour again. He’ll conveniently have some new armour lying around.

He also conveniently happens to have built a Hulkbuster armour because that was completely necessary. When Batman has contingency plans like that, The Justice League lose their shit. Granted, they find out about these contingency plans when a villain uses it against them. The question then is why did RDJ build a Hulkbuster armour and why is it so incredibly cool? Especially if he had no intentions of getting back into the suit himself.

That would be a plausible and viable way to tie the continuity together and make it seem organic when RDJ becomes Iron Man again. Especially after that heartfelt monologue at the close of Iron Man 3. You can’t go back on a heartfelt monologue, those things are like pinky promises.

 

Hulk… Scared?

avengers 2 egmr hulk
Admittedly the last point didn’t have much to do with the trailer but it laid some groundwork for this one. First off, what the hell freaked Bruce Banner out like that? He looks more troubled than Edward Norton in Fight Club and not in a cool way either.

One of the takeaways from the first Avengers film, aside from shawarma, was that Hulk had his shit together and was able to control himself and his transformations now.

A theory then is that something caused him to lose control and now he’s not only being restrained but is also more fearful of his inner demons than ever before.

 

Who’s Pulling the Strings?

avengers 2 egmr ultron
That then begs the questions of who exactly is in control here.

A big theme of the trailer is puppets, pulling strings, controlling others. Ultron has broken free from his strings so does he then perform a role-reversal and start pulling strings on the Avengers?

We see Thor getting up in RDJ’s face, we see Hulk squaring off against Iron Man, we also see nobody caring much about what Hawkeye is up to. More importantly, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch seem to be with Ultron at one point.

So is the 8-foot android manipulating the Avengers and turning them against each other? Not unlike a certain God of Mischief.

I really do hope these are central themes of the final film; control and embracing change. It could make for some interesting setups and would be an excellent prelude to any Civil War plans Kevin Feige has.

 

People Gon’ Die

egmr avengers 2 shield
This was a small issue with the first Avengers film. Nothing ever felt at stake because there was no sense of risk. Coulson aside, nobody died or ever really came close to having their life in danger. Not truly. There was also no sense that lives were being saved because we never saw lives being lost.

Granted, in Man of Steel we questioned whether lives were being saved because those lives weren’t safe anywhere as long as Superman was acting out his deepest DragonBall Z fantasies.

The darker tone of this trailer along with the grim imagery such as Cap’s broken shield suggest that there will be tragedy and a greater sense of threat and danger as a result.

Who knows? They might kill Hawkeye off to end any future contract disputes.

 

Odds and Ends and More String Jokes

avengers 2 egmr andy serkis
Before we go, there are just a few loose ends I’d like to address.

Why does Thor not have a cool new costume like everyone else? Does Asgard not have seasonal fashion?

Andy Serkis can be spotted briefly, though you may not recognise him in his human form. According to Dorkly he bares a striking resemblance to Ulysses Klaw, infamously attached to Black Panther so this may serve as our entry point into T’challa’s standalone film.

Let’s not forget that Scarlet Witch has the power to alter reality so she could easily serve up some deus ex machina at will. It would be a terrible creative decision but don’t rule it out. Also, she could make it so that this movie exists in the same universe as Buffy and Firefly, just sayin’.

Also, ballerinas?

 

In closing, let us not forget the Iron Man 3 trailers. Trailers are framed very specifically and edited together to generate the most intrigue, hype and speculation possible. As such, seemingly related things as per the trailer may be completely unrelated and the overall tone of the film may be completely different. For all we know, Bruce Banner looks the way he does because he’s tripping balls after a really intense trance party on the helicarrier.

What are your thoughts? What are your questions? What did we miss?

Meet us down in the comments.

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Titanfall’s Latest Update Turns It Into Gears Of War http://egmr.net/2014/10/titanfalls-latest-update-turns-gears-war/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/titanfalls-latest-update-turns-gears-war/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:45:30 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160866 Watch live video from titanfall on www.twitch.tv By that I mean people will actually play it and have fun and that there will be a lot more bromance. Kidding. Maybe. […]

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Watch live video from titanfall on www.twitch.tv

By that I mean people will actually play it and have fun and that there will be a lot more bromance. Kidding. Maybe. Don’t look at me like that.

Respawn promised that the November update for Titanfall would be the game’s biggest yet. It’s odd to think that this is one of the most hyped games of the year. It feels understated now, lacking in presence.

The update adds a four-player co-op mode titled “Frontier Defense.”

Players must work together in a team of four as they fight off waves of enemies, many of which will be completely new to Titanfall. Is this ringing a bell?

Players will have a few handy resources on tap, including their Titans and automatic gun turrets. All of the game’s competitive maps will be available for Horde Mode Frontier Defense.

Frontier Defense will arrive as part of Titanfall Content Update 8, which will also include ranked play, allowing players to “work your way through an increasingly challenging set of Tiers by out-performing other Pilots in battle”. Map Stars will be added, challenging players to reach a particular score during a match for the permanent bragging rights.

There will also be two new game modes. Deadly Ground is basically playing “the floor is lava” while Marked for Death Pro adds round-based games to the existing Marked for Death mode.

You can check out a few more details over on the official Titanfall blog and get a look at the new co-op mode in the Twitch stream above.

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Who Wants A GTA: San Andreas Remaster? http://egmr.net/2014/10/wants-gta-san-andreas-remaster/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/wants-gta-san-andreas-remaster/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160864 The simple answer is pretty much everybody who played the original game. GTA IV left a bad taste in people’s mouths even though many loved it but San Andreas is […]

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The simple answer is pretty much everybody who played the original game. GTA IV left a bad taste in people’s mouths even though many loved it but San Andreas is a unanimous darling.

Rumour has it that GTA: San Andreas will be coming to, at the very least, Xbox 360 to mark its tenth anniversary. Incidentally, there are couples who give their partners a “remaster” for a tenth anniversary. So this makes perfect sense.

The rumour stems from an Achievements list which has appeared online over at Xbox Achievements. Of course, this list is absolutely authentic and in no way easy to fabricate.

Rockstar has yet to officially announce anything but you’d think that anything of this sort would release coincidentally with the PS4, Xbox One versions of GTA V which will be out November 18.

Meanwhile, PC gamers are still holding a candle for Red Dead Redemption. For its tenth anniversary, children. For its tenth anniversary…

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Avengers 2 Trailer To Drop Next Week During Agents Of Shield http://egmr.net/2014/10/avengers-2-trailer-drop-next-week-agents-shield/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/avengers-2-trailer-drop-next-week-agents-shield/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:45:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160787 Marvel and Warner Bros. have both outlined their trajectories for the next few years and that’s… I actually don’t know if it’s a good thing for WB given their fledgling […]

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Marvel and Warner Bros. have both outlined their trajectories for the next few years and that’s… I actually don’t know if it’s a good thing for WB given their fledgling connected universe but for Marvel it’s pretty damn solid. So let’s keep talking about Marvel.

To hell with Zack Snyder, he can dine with Leonidas there.

Up till now, we’ve heard bits and pieces of news regarding Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, we know who all the key players will be, we know the premise and we know it’s deviating from the comic arc.

Now, there were rumours that we’ll be getting a trailer for Avengers 2 attached to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, also known as an AIDS patient and Catwoman take a ride on the Magic School Bus. It turns out that’s not happening.

Instead, and more appropriately, the first trailer for Joss Whedon’s second Avengers flick will drop during next week’s episode of Agents of Shield.

Now, this will be the first time a trailer for Avengers 2 is shown to the entire world. Previously, a trailer was shown on the last day of the New York Comic Con which supposedly resembled the footage shown at SDCC earlier this year.

According to Screenrant’s Hannah Shaw-Williams, this is how the SDCC trailer went down:

The trailer began with the familiar heroes (including War Machine) dressed in casual all hanging out at Avengers Tower and attempting to lift Thor’s hammer… without much success. Only Captain America is able to move it (slightly) and Thor’s concerned facial expression is priceless until he smiles when Rogers gives up. The exercise is interrupted by the appearance of Ultron, in a broken down, almost skeletal form with silver armor plating haphazardly forming his upper hunched torso. He proclaims, “There’s only one path to peace: your extinction.” The heroes all stand up facing him and Thor picks up his hammer.

This opening was followed by a montage of action shots of selected quotes from the movie, including Tony Stark saying that what happens in the movie is “the end of the path I started us on.” The trailer then offered a first look at the movie’s version of the Hulkbuster armor in action in multiple scenes, and Ultron delivered the excellent line “There are no strings on me.” The trailer concluded with Tony standing in a wasteland with the rest of the Avengers lying on the ground looking a lot worse for wear. Captain America’s shield was broken in half. They were seemingly dead.

This is a smart move from Marvel in the face of lower ratings for season 2 of Agents of Shield thus far. Even if, according to our in-house watchers of the series, season 2 has been absolutely great compared to the first season.

Expect this to become a norm for Agents of Shield I suppose. We’ll likely see a trailer for next year’s Ant-Man revealed there too.

Do you think we’ll get the same trailer shown at SDCC? Most probably but hopefully with a little extra thrown in.

I’m excited. Are you excited? I’m tempted to watch The Blacklist just to hear James Spader deliver intimidating and badass lines.

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Sunset Overdrive’s Launch Trailer Invites You To The Awesomepocalypse http://egmr.net/2014/10/sunset-overdrives-launch-trailer-invites-awesomepocalypse/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/sunset-overdrives-launch-trailer-invites-awesomepocalypse/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160788 It’s like a regular apocalypse except more awesome which is a regular apocalypse if you have a certain perspective on things. That’s besides the point though. Sunset Overdrive is due […]

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It’s like a regular apocalypse except more awesome which is a regular apocalypse if you have a certain perspective on things. That’s besides the point though.

Sunset Overdrive is due out next week and it is undoubtedly one of the biggest Xbox One exclusives to release yet and certainly the one with the broadest appeal.

The trailer reminds us of the sprawling city, character customisation and enough explosions to bring Michael Bay to climax.

Let that image soak in for a minute. Go on. Picture it.

Now quickly, watch the launch trailer before you start feeling the need to burn American flags.

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Jade Raymond Says Goodbye To Ubisoft http://egmr.net/2014/10/jade-raymond-says-goodbye-ubisoft/ http://egmr.net/2014/10/jade-raymond-says-goodbye-ubisoft/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:45:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=160730 There are two names most prominently associated with the Assassin’s Creed franchise; Patrice Desilets and Jade Raymond. For all the deviations and stagnation the franchise has been subject to, those […]

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There are two names most prominently associated with the Assassin’s Creed franchise; Patrice Desilets and Jade Raymond. For all the deviations and stagnation the franchise has been subject to, those two were behind the game that set it all in motion.

Desilets’ relationship with Ubisoft since 2010 has been torrid to say the least. He left the company twice. Jade Raymond on the other hand has been with with the company for 10 years, overseeing the development of new games such as Watch Dogs, and a few years ago left the Montreal studio to head up Ubisoft’s Toronto studio which developed Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Raymond is also on the Board of Directors of WIFT-T, an organization dedicated the advancement of women across film, television and screen-based industries.

Raymond will be replaced by Alexandre Parizeau, another founding member of Ubisoft Toronto.

Jade Raymond said in a statement: “I’ve spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games.

“This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I’m confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities.

“Stay tuned for more on what’s next for me, but for now, I’d like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavours.”

Ubisoft Montreal CEO, Yannis Mallet added: “On behalf of Ubisoft, I’d like to thank Jade for her leadership and many contributions over the years, and wish her all the best in her next adventures.

“The Toronto studio is a key part of the Ubisoft global network, and Alex has been at the heart of the studio’s growth over the years. He was the obvious choice to lead this talented group of people as they continue to develop amazing games.”

Jade Raymond has done some great work with Ubisoft and you’d imagine she’ll do just fine wherever she goes next. Perhaps she grew tired of the way Ubisoft does business or left for similar reasons to Patrice Desilets. Perhaps she’s going to team up with him to create games again.

Cue jokes about her being too hard to render and having to leave for parity.

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