#egmr » A-G http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:34:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Boyhood Loses Out As Birdman Soars At The 87th Academy Awards http://egmr.net/2015/02/boyhood-loses-birdman-soars-87th-academy-awards/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/boyhood-loses-birdman-soars-87th-academy-awards/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 07:00:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167597 Boyhood, as an experiment in filmmaking, is intriguing and fascinating but as soon as you strip away that hook you’re left with a very average film that takes an awfully […]

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Boyhood, as an experiment in filmmaking, is intriguing and fascinating but as soon as you strip away that hook you’re left with a very average film that takes an awfully long time to reach a hardly profound conclusion.

It is a lesser film in every way when compared to the likes of The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel. I can’t speak for American Sniper or Selma having watched neither. So, did the Academy make the right calls when handing out awards in LA last night at the 87th Annual Academy Awards?

When the nominees for this year’s Oscars were first announced I took some issue with a few omissions but was really just nitpicking what was actually a well-chosen list of nominees. I still maintain that the Oscars shouldn’t hold as much weight as they do given the amount of politics and nepotism involved every year but I will say that this year’s list of winners is one that I at least agree with.

Best Motion Picture
  • “American Sniper” Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
  • WINNER: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers
  • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
  • “The Imitation Game” Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
  • “Selma” Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
  • “The Theory of Everything” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
  • “Whiplash” Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers
Achievement in Directing
  • WINNER: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater
  • “Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
  • “The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum
Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role
  • Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
  • Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”
  • Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • WINNER: Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”
Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role
  • Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything”
  • WINNER: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”
  • Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
  • Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”
Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
  • Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
  • WINNER: J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”
Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role
  • WINNER: Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”
  • Laura Dern in “Wild”
  • Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
  • Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”
Best Animated Feature
  • WINNER: “Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
  • “The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
  • “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
  • “Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
  • “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura
Achievement in Cinematography
  • WINNER: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
  • “Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
  • “Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
  • “Unbroken” Roger Deakins
Achievement in Costume Design
  • WINNER: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero
  • “Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
  • “Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
  • “Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
  • “Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran
Best Documentary Feature
  • WINNER: “CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
  • “Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
  • “Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
  • “The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
  • “Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
Best Documentary Short Feature
  • WINNER: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
  • “Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
  • “Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
  • “The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
  • “White Earth” J. Christian Jensen
Achievement in Film Editing
  • “American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
  • “Boyhood” Sandra Adair
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
  • “The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg
  • WINNER: “Whiplash” Tom Cross
Best Foreign Language Film
  • WINNER: “Ida” Poland
  • “Leviathan” Russia
  • “Tangerines” Estonia
  • “Timbuktu” Mauritania
  • “Wild Tales” Argentina
Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
  • “Foxcatcher” Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
  • WINNER: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White
Achievement in Original Score
  • WINNER: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat
  • “The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
  • “Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
  • “The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson
Achievement in Original Song
  • “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
  • WINNER: “Glory” from “Selma”Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
  • “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
  • “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois
Achievement in Production Design
  • WINNER: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “The Imitation Game” Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
  • “Interstellar” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
  • “Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts
Best Animated Short Film
  • “The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
  • “The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
  • WINNER: “Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
  • “Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
  • “A Single Life” Joris Oprins
Best Live-Action Short Film
  • “Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
  • “Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
  • “Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
  • “Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
  • WINNER: “The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas
Achievement in Sound Editing
  • WINNER: “American Sniper” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock
  • “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
  • “Interstellar” Richard King
  • “Unbroken” Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
Achievement in Sound Mixing
  • “American Sniper” John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
  • “Interstellar” Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
  • “Unbroken” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
  • WINNER: “Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
Achievement in Visual Effects
  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
  • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
  • WINNER: “Interstellar” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
  • “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
Best Adapted Screenplay
  • “American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
  • WINNER: “The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore
  • “Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
  • “Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle
Best Original Screenplay
  • WINNER: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
  • “Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
  • “Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • “Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

Looking at the major awards only, The Imitation Game is an absolutely great film but an injustice to the memory of Alan Turing so it is perhaps better that it didn’t walk away with any awards. The stand out films were Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Theory of Everything. three masterclasses in filmmaking, acting, sound and every other aspect.

That the Theory of Everything didn’t pick up more awards is a shame but at least it’s greatest aspect, the stellar performance of Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking. It truly is the performance of a lifetime. The film is worth watching for that alone.

The big winners were of course Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel; it’s easy to see why. Both boast a great cast and directors with very specific, very unique visions.

What is interesting about Birdman scooping up so many awards is that it is a dark satire of the current state of the film industry and the way in which modern critics operate. One might almost say that it panders to the Academy. I don’t know if I enjoyed Birdman but it is a firecely fascinating film to take apart and analyse. The care with which it has been crafted is certainly worth appreciating. So too with The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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Comments Of The Week — “This Is The Dumbest, Most Awesome Thing” http://egmr.net/2015/02/comments-week-dumbest-awesome-thing/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/comments-week-dumbest-awesome-thing/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167547 For a very brief period this week, The Order: 1886 was all anybody could talk about whether it was to hate on the game or bemoan length or just to […]

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For a very brief period this week, The Order: 1886 was all anybody could talk about whether it was to hate on the game or bemoan length or just to admire all the phallic physics (yeah, we’re not giving you pervs a link to that).

When we weren’t looking at #PS4Share dick pics we were off in a corner criticising Evolve, punting Hatred and not updating our PS4s. Also, complaining about that new Hitman film.

  • 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.
  • The NeoN — 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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Developer Behaviour That’s Worse Than Peter Molyneux’s “Pathological Lying” http://egmr.net/2015/02/industry-practices-worse-peter-molyneuxs-pathological-lying/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/industry-practices-worse-peter-molyneuxs-pathological-lying/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 07:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167370 Gaming, just like any other medium, allows for distinctive styles and patterns to emerge within a specific individual or company’s body of work. It’s a creative medium with perhaps more […]

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Gaming, just like any other medium, allows for distinctive styles and patterns to emerge within a specific individual or company’s body of work. It’s a creative medium with perhaps more room for expression and open-ended interpretation than film, books or paintings. Understandably that’s attracted some highly creative types who have not only flourished but helped shape the industry.

The trouble is that creativity and logic don’t always mix so there’s no shortage of developers with buckets of talent and games to back that up yet they just seem to be at odds with the world. In some cases it’s due to an unwavering vision while in others it’s down to simply not having their feet on the ground.

They are not necessarily bad people but rather people who are necessary in the industry in order to keep moving it forward and continue innovating. As developers they may be rather good at what they do but as people in the real world there’s a lot to be desired.

In my column on Wednesday (shameless plug) I spoke at length about Peter Molyneux and his recent whipping courtesy of RPS. There is nothing to be gained from driving these people out of the industry and frankly efforts are being wasted in vilifying a passionate industry veteran when there are developers doing some truly heinous things within the industry. That is, assuming the expenditure of your efforts are directed towards a journalistic purpose rather than simply views and attention.

Let’s take a look at some of the worst things developers and companies have done in recent years within the gaming industry. The sort of things which should have warranted a scathing interview.

 

Shady Business Deals

mephisto egmr
These are nothing new and true enough, every industry is rife with it. Whether it’s nepotism in the film industry, collusion in the bread industry or bribery in government. Actually, let’s just use government as our template for seething cesspits of debauchery and disrepute.

A few years ago Gearbox Software allegedly pawned the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines off to TimeGate Studios while supposedly funneling money off into development of Borderlands 2 which was being worked on around the same time. This is the same developer that gave us Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford meanwhile claimed that 80% of the game had been developed in-house. Either way something seriously shady went down with Aliens: Colonial Marines such that Gearbox and Sega continually played hot potato in shirking blame over the hot mess.

A little more recently, one of 2014’s serious Game of the Year contenders caused controversy due to its publisher being worried that people wouldn’t praise it. If ever there was a case of irony, this is it. TotalBiscuit revealed that Warner Bros was prepared to give YouTubers early review copies of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and would pay them to promote the game if and only if they agreed to not say bad things about the game. A reminder: this wasn’t done on some second-rate shovelware but rather a Game of the Year contender. More specifically, the oily deal was concocted by PR company Plaid Social.

These are just two prominent examples of some very shady dealings purported by companies within the industry that certainly drew the ire of gamers but strangely, there were no hard-hitting subsequent interviews. Plaid Social were mum on the subject and declined to comment but Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford did plenty of interviews in the wake of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

On a more personal, often juvenile, level we arrive at our next major point.

 

Mistreatment of the Community

community egmr
Even if you’re a bit of a difficult customer, your waiter at a restaurant will endure the complaints and lack of a tip. If you serve up a death threat all bets are off though. The same can’t be said for developers who are sometimes as entitled and juvenile as the gamers that lash out against them. Patient zero for this is perhaps Phil Fish; not because he was the first but because he looks a wee bit like a monkey and movies have taught us that monkeys are always the cause of a disease outbreak. In a furious temper tantrum and after much furor on Twitter he decided to quit the industry and cancel Fez 2. That was back in 2013. Last year he resurfaced for the happenings in Ferguson and stuck around long enough to remind us that we don’t deserve Fez 2. That’s his prerogative and his IP to do with as he pleases but this man decided that the actions of a few deemed the entire gaming populous unworthy of a Fez sequel.

That, however is comparatively light to the absolute anarchy that goes on within Steam. Steam itself is a truly great platform and service but it’s Greenlight and Early Access sections have some rotten apples.

Dom did an excellent feature a couple of weeks ago on Steam Early Access which is well worth a read. I’d like to focus on a small part of the issue with Early Access that he didn’t quite delve into. In fact, it’s a problem that has popped up in other places around Steam. Early Access and indeed any form of forum or feedback system is intended not just for compliments and inflating the developer’s ego but also discussion and criticism, preferably constructive. Unfortunately, the moment some developers start getting criticism for whatever they’ve put up, be it a game or cobbled together clumps of dirt, they turn defensive and snappy. In some cases they’ll prevent users from commenting on the game through Steam. In the extreme cases there will be a complete and utter meltdown.

This is something Jim Sterling has covered extensively with one of the most notable cases being The Slaughtering Grounds, a game which released on Steam after being greenlit. Sterling covered the game in a let’s play wherein he trashed it and the developer’s response was to put out a ridiculous “Review The Reviewer” video in which they responded to everything Sterling said in his video by means of rather candid and explicit text.

In essence these are textbook examples of how developers should not conduct themselves with regards to the public and the media. It’s with a little pride that we can point to a local developer as an example of how to take criticism well. However, there doesn’t seem to be a huge drive to push these deplorable developers out of the industry. Granted, Phil Fish left of his own volition so that’s a job well done, folks.

 

Ubisoft

ubisoft egmr
This.
Don’t pretend you didn’t see this one coming. With such a gloriously tumultuous 2014, of course Ubisoft deserves its own heading.
In 2014 alone Ubisoft hid visual features on the PC version of Watch Dogs in addition to saturating the market with so many different versions of the game that a spreadsheet was needed to figure out what you were getting with your version of Watch Dogs. Then they told us that women were too difficult to animate for AC: Unity before holding back reviews until after the game had released in a broken state. They also nearly brought me to tears with Valiant Hearts, the bastards.

Those are just the highlights from Ubisoft’s 2014 and yet while the company was burned at the stake online, none of the interviews conducted with Ubisoft executives called them out on these things in a frank and candid way.

 

In Conclusion

I’ve taken a very roundabout route to arrive at a simple question: why have none of these companies or developers been torn apart the way Peter Molyneux was? Perhaps Ubisoft is too big to take on and the Slaughtering Grounds devs are too small to bother with. Molyneux however, is just right. He’s got the right amount of name recognition, he’s made some games that people truly love and everybody flocks to watch an idol fall.

What are your thoughts regarding the manner in which Molyneux was interviewed? Should prominent games journalists be wasting effort on outing Peter Molyneux’s insecurities and shortcomings instead of focusing on exposing the truth on real issues within the industry? Aggressive investigative journalism is nothing new and has managed to uncover many scandals. With games journalism being a hardly professional pursuit let alone a relatively new one we’ve, in recent years, started seeing the emergence of such journalism in games. However, such a tool should not be used against the people who have helped shape the industry unless they do something truly heinous.

I won’t ever claim to be a journalist, I’m an engineering student who has a passion for writing but even I know that journalistic integrity should be held above framing things in a way to get maximum clicks and views. Let alone allowing personal feelings to cloud one’s judgment.

Whatever happened to ethics?

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Notch Feels “Kinda” Like A Sell-Out http://egmr.net/2015/02/notch-feels-kinda-like-sell/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/notch-feels-kinda-like-sell/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 08:00:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167405 Minecraft is more than just a game, it’s a gaming phenomenon that has managed to appeal to people of all ages and demographics. The same can’t always be said of […]

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Minecraft is more than just a game, it’s a gaming phenomenon that has managed to appeal to people of all ages and demographics. The same can’t always be said of Markus “Notch” Persson, the game’s creator who can often rub people the wrong way.

Last year, Notch effectively sold-out by agreeing to a deal worth $2.5 billion which saw Microsoft buy Minecraft studio Mojang along with the rights to the game. The team is still intact and working on Minecraft 2 but Notch left to live a quieter life attending Ludum Dares, web experiments and just enjoying the fruits of his labours.

It’s very easy to brandish the term sell-out at him then and oddly enough, he’d agree with you. Notch admitted on twitter to feeling guilty but believes he made a good decision.

With any huge indie success, from Bastion to BroForce and everything in between the question is always “what’s next?” For Notch the task of just living up to Minecraft and recreating that sort of success was a weight that bore down on him. Eventually he accepted himself as a one-hit wonder.

The success of Minecraft has also allowed him to do what he wants without worrying about money or scrutiny.

I would argue that this perhaps speaks to a lack of ambition or a drive to do more. However, sometimes you only have that one great idea and honestly, many people would love for the chance to cash-in and spend their days having fun without worrying about backlash, hype, ethics and all the rest.

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Toast On Jam: Peter Molyneux Is Not The Enemy But He Is A Problem http://egmr.net/2015/02/toast-jam-peter-molyneux-not-enemy-problem/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/toast-jam-peter-molyneux-not-enemy-problem/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 09:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167258 Peter Molyneux has been the topic of much discussion in the past week following some rather damning news regarding Godus, his latest bundle of as yet undelivered promises, followed by […]

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Peter Molyneux has been the topic of much discussion in the past week following some rather damning news regarding Godus, his latest bundle of as yet undelivered promises, followed by a brutal interview. As a developer his contribution to the industry has been great and we need people like Molyneux to continue injecting ideas into the industry but he seems unable to keep his feet on the ground. He overpromises, underdelivers and seems to sometimes have a very tenuous connection with reality.

In the wake of that interview, some defended Molyneux while others said that he needs to be called into question for his actions. There were those, however who championed the interviewer for his full-frontal assault on Molyneux. The truth is, there is no reason to open with a question such as “Are you a pathological liar?” or call into question the man’s dedication to his work and the industry. Not unless you’ve come to the interview with an agenda, with a bone to pick and a belligerent attitude to boot. Let’s put it this way: it was unethical.

That said, I do agree with those who feel that Molyneux must be held accountable for what is happening with Godus.

To provide a quick recap, Godus was Kickstarted in 2012 and is being developed by Molyneux’s studio 22Cans. The game went into Early Access in September 2013 and since then has been under constant development but is still nowhere near the product that was promised. There are key features still missing, an entire multiplayer component which needs to happen and let us not forget the Kickstarter stretch goal of a Linux version even though the game is built on Marmalade which does not support Linux. The real kicker is what happened with Curiosity, the game which promised a life-changing experience for its winner. The winner was to get cash as well as be made the God of Gods in Godus’ multiplayer. Two years on the winner, Bryan Henderson, has yet to see any of that life-changing magic.

In fact, Bryan was more or less ignored for two years despite being promised a life-changing experience and a cash prize.

Add to this the fact that Molyneux’s actions sometimes contradict his words and the fact that his own dev team is doubtful over whether Godus will ever become what it was originally billed as and you’ve got a sticky mess.

This is not some fly by night developer peddling barely functional detritus on Steam’s Early Access. Molyneux deserves earnest inquiry but not derision. Regardless of what he has or has not done in the industry over the past few decades. That said, he’s an industry veteran who many would argue should know better than to let Godus turn into the mess it has become while others would just dismiss this as “classic Molyneux.” Both assessments are true. Molyneux has a reputation for overpromising and then struggling to realise what he’s set out to accomplish.

He’s not the likes of John Romero who promises something, rubs it in your face and then fails to deliver. Molyneux is more akin to David Cage. They’re both dreamers who are hugely passionate about the games they make but deeply flawed in the steadfastness to which they cling to their visions and their words don’t always translate to tangible results.

Molyneux has always been like this though so why is Godus a bigger trainwreck than anything else he has done? Quite simply because it is being developed independently whereas his previous games were made under the watchful eye of a publisher to keep things in check. Furthermore, he didn’t simply make nebulous promises to an audience, he made promises to a specific person (Henderson) and has yet to deliver.

Now, I’m not going to advocate a big brother system overseen by Lords Ubisoft, EA and Activision but accountability and not having the final say go some way towards reigning developers in towards reality. If George Lucas hadn’t been left unchecked then the Star Wars prequels might well have turned out differently.

Above is a slightly off-topic but relevant aside about the curious case of David Cage.

Independent developers are great because they have a freedom that other developers simply aren’t always afforded unless they’re the likes of Naughty Dog or Rocksteady and even then there is pressure from the publisher to do certain things. It’s doubtful that something such as Gone Home, The Stanley Parable or No Man’s Sky would have come out of EA or Ubisoft and that unbridled creative freedom is great for innovation. That’s assuming things go well.

The flip side is that developers such as Phil Fish and Peter Molyneux are free to do whatever they want and often end up having the final say in creative decisions. Fish is a juvenile who canceled Fez 2 because he got a bit upset, regardless of what his dev team wanted. Perhaps that’s fine and what Fish decides to do with his IP is up to him. It’s a bit more of a problem when you’re burning crowdfunded money. Yes, when backing a Kickstarter project the backer must accept the risks associated with what is essentially an angel investment in a venture but there must be some form of oversight to provide those developers with the impetus for accountability. I’m not talking about entitlement but if a developer has made certain promises then they should be held to those promises.

That responsibility currently sort of falls to the community and games journalists (not real journalists for the most part) as a self-regulating mechanism of the industry. It works for the most part with serious backlash forcing the hand of companies but would we perhaps not benefit from a complaints commission of sorts to pair nicely with Caveshen’s suggestion of a gaming board. This would hold developers accountable for any undelivered promises they’ve made.

In reality though, such a commission would be inundated with complaints all across the spectrum from preposterous to urgently valid and would likely not function nearly as well as one might hope. So what’s the solution? Surely not to force these people out of the industry because aside from some of the truly awful shovelware on Steam, people get into game development out of a passion.

The likes of Phil Fish left the industry of his own accord so that solves that problem but what should be done to get Molyneux back on track and keep people like Cage from going a similar route?

204729-fable

Perhaps the sane thing to do would be to stage an intervention when a developer goes sideways. A group of peers from within the industry who could meet with said developer, sit them down and hopefully set them straight. It’s idealistic and frankly I’m not wholly sure who within the industry is best suited for such a task but it’s an idea. These are talented and passionate people but people nonetheless. People with flaws so in the same way that smaller communities such as the local game dev scene support each other, perhaps something like that should exist on a bigger scale.

After all, these are not bad people but people with a lot of passion, a lot of drive and certainly a vision of what they want to achieve. these are people that the industry needs but sometimes they need to take heed of a second opinion or simply take a step back and look at what they’re doing.

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Sniper Elite Developer Denounces Review Scores As “Irrelevant” http://egmr.net/2015/02/sniper-elite-developer-denounces-review-scores-irrelevant/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/sniper-elite-developer-denounces-review-scores-irrelevant/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 07:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167359 Review scores are a big deal in gaming, not only because many readers skip the text and judge a game solely on whether it is an 8/10 or a 9/10 […]

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Review scores are a big deal in gaming, not only because many readers skip the text and judge a game solely on whether it is an 8/10 or a 9/10 (as if that objectively means anything without justification and explanation) but also because a number of big sites have started dropping reviews scores.

Review scores are absurdly influential in gaming with a game’s Metacritic score governing whether some potential buyers will get the game or not. There’s also the infamous collective of gamers who won’t get anything rated lower than a 9/10. Companies are also obsessed with review scores with a game’s aggregated score being as relevant to a studio’s survival as its gross revenue.

As site friend Gaming Anarchist put it last year, review scores have an inflated weighting in gaming, especially when sites don’t use the full scale and a “bad” game is given a 6/10. We at least try to use the full scope of our review scale and won’t hesitate to give a game a pitifully low score.

To consumers perhaps reviews scores do matter but ultimately what matters to consumers and developers is tangible feedback and criticism or praise, rather than nebulous numbers.

While I don’t fully agree with Sniper Elite developer Rebellion’s stance on review scores, their attitude is one that makes sense. As far as the studio is concerned, review scores for their games are irrelevant because they sell well and provide people with entertainment.

In our review of Sniper Elite III last year, we gave it a rating of 65 which might be considered a low score but our verdict paints a clearer picture:

Sniper Elite III is perhaps the best entry in the series to date, but it still suffers from immense repetition, strange AI and a lack of variety. The effort Rebellion has put in is admirable, and fans of the series will be pleased. However it’s also often a case of quantity over quality here, and while fun the game does run out of steam before it should. It’s absolutely worth playing if you’re keen and it’s entertaining, but it can be missed or got for cheaper if you’re on the fence about it.

It’s not a good game but is worth getting if you’re into this sort of thing and clearly has some effort behind it from the developers.

In an interview with GamesIndustry, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said the developer favours pleasing its players over trying to get good review scores. Arguably those two are synonymous but it does present two different approaches to the game’s development.

“Nobody here ever bothers about Metacritic. We think of it as irrelevant, quite frankly,” he said.

“We only concentrate on what the users think, and every aggregate user score has been significantly higher than the aggregate professional score. We care about the people who are spending their money, and whether we’re happy that we’ve made a good game.

“The acid test isn’t somebody’s abstracted number.”

Kingsley acknowledged the difficulty if reviewing video games, given the subjective nature of any media, but affirmed the company’s position by stating that critics don’t necessarily feel the same about a game as general consumers.

“The greatest value for us as digital publishers, if you like, is in embracing YouTube and Twitch and the normal people being seen playing our games,” Kingsley said.

“It lets you see what the gameplay is like, and make a decision on whether you like that and want to play it. You might not actually care whether it didn’t seem totally original to one person, or that the story was a bit crap. That new approach has taken over.”

It’s a stance that makes a lot of sense for developers to take because when you’re more concerned with giving your audience what it wants and making a game they’ll enjoy then you should, inevitably, make a better game.

That said, developers should not to be too dismissive of low review scores because there tends to be some justification for those, not in the numbers but in the text which substantiates the numbers.

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The Latest PS4 Firmware Update Is Not Your Friend http://egmr.net/2015/02/latest-ps4-firmware-update-not-friend/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/latest-ps4-firmware-update-not-friend/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167319 In fairness, no piece of firmware has ever been your friend. It only pretends to be. With a few years and a lot more development of machine learning, maybe firmware […]

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In fairness, no piece of firmware has ever been your friend. It only pretends to be. With a few years and a lot more development of machine learning, maybe firmware could even grow to pretend to love you, just like your parents.

The last time the PS4 got a major update, it brought Share Play and a few other features but it also had a habit of causing some serious issues for users. Firmware update 2.04 has just gone live in some regions and already there are reports that it is causing issues for users.

Well, it’s not even the firmware itself. Users on Twitter and Reddit are reporting issues when trying to download the damn thing.

The problem seems to be a loss of PSN connection as soon as the Update 2.04 download starts. Some are receiving CE-32937-4 and SU-30709-9 error codes when attempting to update their PS4.

Sony has yet to post the official notes on the firmware update but is aware of the issue and working on it.

Until then, sit tight and do not update your PS4. We repeat, do not update your PS4… or go ahead and do it anyway.

This is just another instance of poor QA on Sony’s part before rolling out the update. With update 2.0 users experienced issues with waking their console up from Rest Mode if there was a disc in the tray. Something as simple and commonplace as that should not cause issues.

Let’s hope this gets resolved quickly and properly. Moreover, this can’t happen with every single firmware update. Something isn’t being done properly.

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Lara Looks A Lot Lonelier In These Rise Of The Tomb Raider Screenshots http://egmr.net/2015/02/lara-looks-lot-lonelier-rise-tomb-raider-screenshots/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/lara-looks-lot-lonelier-rise-tomb-raider-screenshots/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167290 Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to 2013’s rather good Tomb Raider reboot, is going to exclusively on Xbox One and PC and might come to PS4 at a […]

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Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to 2013’s rather good Tomb Raider reboot, is going to exclusively on Xbox One and PC and might come to PS4 at a later date. In fact it probably will but for the time being it’s locked to Microsoft.

Last year that caused a huge furore and yes, it’s understandable to get a bit upset, as a PS4 owner, over the fact that we won’t get to play the game. It’s not cause to throw our toys out of the cot but enough time has passed for us to leave that behind and look at the actual game.

At present we know very little about the game. Okay, we know next to nothing aside from the fact that this will be the game where Lara morphs into the character we know and love while also dealing with what happened on Yamatai.

What we do know is that it is looking mighty fine, as evidenced by the screenshots below. The game appears to have a variety of settings and environments for a truly globe-trotting adventure. It also looks a lot deadlier and more desolate than the first game. Do you see that bear?!

One thing that the last game lacked a little was puzzles. They were there but were simple. In a recent interview with Game Informer, creative director Noah Hughes talked about the renewed emphasis on tombs and physics-based puzzles with the design hearkening back to the earlier Tomb raider titles.

With regards to when you can expect Rise of the Tomb Raider to release, that’s anybody’s guess. The game was originally slated for late 2015 but last year Phil Spencer said that some of Microsoft’s exclusives might be pushed out of the holiday 2015 window to declutter it.

Are you looking forward to Rise of the Tomb Raider based on the first game and how do you see it stacking up to Uncharted 4?

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The Order: 1886 Might Be Too Short To Satisfy You http://egmr.net/2015/02/order-1886-might-short-satisfy/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/order-1886-might-short-satisfy/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167255 The Order: 1886 has been one of the PS4’s most anticipated games, partially because the console has been lacking exclusives since this time last year when we got inFamous: Second […]

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The Order: 1886 has been one of the PS4’s most anticipated games, partially because the console has been lacking exclusives since this time last year when we got inFamous: Second Son and partly because it’s made a lot of big promises so we’re obviously quite eager to see it fail to deliver. Perhaps not that eager. At the end of the day we’d rather take a good game over a flaming mess to point at and laugh.

For a very long time The Order looked to have a great setting, fantastic visuals but dull as driftwood gameplay. It seemed as generic as a third-person shooter could get. Then we started seeing more gameplay as things took a turn for the interesting.

Suffice to say that The Order looks more promising than it did last year but with the game releasing this week there are still concerns surrounding whether the game is worth it; not only from the “is it a good game” perspective but also whether it gives players significant playtime. After all, what’s the point of a five course meal if it’s over in a few minutes and dessert just leaves you wanting more. That metaphor doesn’t quite hold up but bear with me, my stomach sounds like a wounded Lycan.

As with any singleplayer experience it’s a question of length. How long is The Order? Unfortunately “1886” is no indication.

YouTube user PlayMeThrough posted a bare minimum run of the game which he completed in around five and a half hours. You can check it out here. He doesn’t stop for anything, barely dies and skips as much as possible. In short, any normal person would take much longer. Likely closer to nine or ten hours.

It’s also worth noting that cutscenes cannot be skipped. PlayMeThrough mentions that the game feels “much longer than it really is,” and that could mean one of two things. Either it’s a short game that feels padded or the pacing works well to elongate the experience. Chances are that it is the former rather than the latter.

This should dispel rumours of the game being a fleeting three hours but doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the game either. The Order still sounds like a game that sacrificed gameplay for beauty and ended up with a stunning game that might have serviceable gameplay but is over too soon and yet still padded. I can only hope to be proven wrong.

Will you be getting The Order this Friday?

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Just Cause 3 Trailer Sets The World On Fire, New Details Revealed http://egmr.net/2015/02/just-cause-3-trailer-sets-world-fire-new-details-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/just-cause-3-trailer-sets-world-fire-new-details-revealed/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167205 Just Cause has never been a profound series, it has never aspired to anything other than giving players an explosively good time. Just Cause 2 managed that rather well but […]

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Just Cause has never been a profound series, it has never aspired to anything other than giving players an explosively good time. Just Cause 2 managed that rather well but struggled to keep things fresh and exciting. In fact, I’ve got a special preference for Just Cause 2 as that game which is great for mindless fun, when it’s mechanics and lack of variety aren’t driving you away.

So what does series developer Avalanche Studios have planned for the third installment? The trailer above gives us the feeling that there’s going to be a lot of destruction in this game and that is by no means a bad thing. Hell, the tagline “Set the world on fire” tickles me in all the right ways.

It looks positively apocalyptic doesn’t it? At least for the Mediterranean island nation of Medici.

The first (or last) thing you’ll notice is the new wingsuit, pulled right from the pages of Far Cry. Just Cause and Far Cry are in direct competition right now in the over-the-top sandbox game niche so a little idea pilfering is not surprising.

Just Cause 3 director Roland Lesterlin recently explained to Eurogamer how the team wants Just Cause 3 to feel and unsurprisingly they approached it from the perspective of a 12 year old boy.

“A lot of people are using the open world as a big level and putting their single player experience through it,” said Lesterlin. That’s great – I love playing open world games. Just Cause is something a little bit different from that, though.

“I always imagined when I was 12 years old – I tell this story a lot – when you’re 12 you’re smart enough to understand adults, but you’re smaller than them. People are big, cars are big, the sky is big and everything is new. Just Cause has that joyfulness of being 12, and that’s something only games can give you. That’s where I think it sits, off on its own. It really is a sandbox about creativity. It’s a whole bunch of tools, all these weird ideas we’ve had that all interlink, and then it’s, ‘what do you make of it?'”

Early impressions of Just Cause 3 are starting to stream in and we’ve collected some of the major changes to be noted.

Traversal and navigation has been made more fluid and versatile so that you can now easily scale a building with the aid of the grappling hook. Speaking of which, players can now tether up to three objects together for extra anarchy… but also so much more silliness.

There’s also a bigger focus on the chaos you cause being physics driven to make each bit of mayhem a little different.

While Just Cause 2 displayed plenty of open-endedness in what players could do in the game’s sandbox, missions were comparatively claustrophobic. That is mercifully being changed in Just Cause 3.

“It’s hard to say that it has structure,” says Lesterlin. “There are missions that drive you through a storyline, and we try to give you a bit more depth so you can understand who Rico is. Really, it’s still about systems. We’re not scripting a mission that’s going to give you a different experience to outside that mission. If you can do something in a mission, you can do it in the open world. A mission is just a structured opportunity to try all the weird things in your game.”

We can only hope they haven’t taken a page out of the AC: Unity school of open mission structure.

“We’ve got missions,” said principal designer Francesco Antolini. “The point is, you have the basic system mechanics of Just Cause, which means liberating settlements. You’re free to liberate settlements as you wish, in the order that you want. At the same time, a bit different to Just Cause 2, Just Cause 3 is going to feature a proper mission structure. The philosophy behind the missions is exactly the same in that you’re seeing these systems – we give you goals, but there are endless ways you can undertake to satisfy these goals. How do we make that fit within the structure? It’s really hard, but that’s what makes it interesting from a design perspective to make a game like this. It’s really hard, because when you give that much freedom to a player, it’s really easy for them to break your mission. There are 10,000 things for you to consider while you’re doing that. I hope that we manage to.”

Just Cause 3 embraces chaos though – as has been widely noted since its announcement – it’s not embracing the kind of chaos seen in the well-received, widely played mod for Just Cause 2 that introduced multiplayer. It hasn’t been possible for the team in New York, because the focus is elsewhere. “When you start with multiplayer – there are so many great multiplayer games out there, and it’s a core focus of those companies to do multiplayer,” says Lesterlin. “For us it’s really important not to lose polish on a big triple-A game. It’s great in a mod, but you can’t ship that mod. You can’t have something that’s broken and crashes. It’s funny in a mod, and it’s sweet. We’d have to really spend another layer to make sure we do it right, and right now the focus is to make sure we’ve got that sandbox right.”

The changes are not huge and even the environment is nothing new for the series really but better balancing, a higher level of polish and tweaks to the game design could result in a very different game. A superior one to anything Just Cause 2 aimed to be. Ultimately, Just Cause 3 will likely be good fun but might suffer from similar issues to the last game; especially coming from a new team.

Just Cause 3 will be out later this year on PS4, Xbox One and PC. It won’t be any GTA V or even a Far Cry 4 but it could be a lot of fun. The added chaos that this game is going for could go either in its favour or against it over any length of playtime. What’s your take on Just Cause?

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Comments Of The Week — “Your Frozen References Are Bad” http://egmr.net/2015/02/comments-week-frozen-references-bad/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/comments-week-frozen-references-bad/#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 13:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167194 It’s been a rough week for Peter Molyneux to say the least. Certainly rougher than anything you’ll see in Fifty Shades of Grey. Speaking of morally questionable things that are […]

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It’s been a rough week for Peter Molyneux to say the least. Certainly rougher than anything you’ll see in Fifty Shades of Grey. Speaking of morally questionable things that are filled with poor grammar, have you met our new podcast? It’s exactly the same as the old one except now Kevin Feige is producing.

Yes, Spider-Man has come home to the MCU and there are already fresh-faced youths being queued up for the role. Elsewhere, Half-Life 3 got unannounced or is it denounced (renounced?)? It’s probably pronounced. Also, we got our hands on Battlefield: Hardline, Bracken liked it so much he made a music video about it. Well, it’s a video and it has a little music in it.

  • 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.
  • The NeoN — 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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Ubisoft Promises To Have No Delays In 2015 (Just Don’t Take Their Word For It) http://egmr.net/2015/02/ubisoft-promises-no-delays-2015-just-dont-take-word/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/ubisoft-promises-no-delays-2015-just-dont-take-word/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 12:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167177 After the 2014 that Ubisoft had, do we dare take their word for anything? Not a chance. Seeing is believing, folks, especially with Ubisoft. That isn’t to say that the […]

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After the 2014 that Ubisoft had, do we dare take their word for anything? Not a chance. Seeing is believing, folks, especially with Ubisoft. That isn’t to say that the publisher has not (hopefully) learnt from its mistakes last year.

Will they continue to push pre-order bonuses long before we seen see any sign of gameplay? Of course. Will they say stupid things to create PR disasters? A small part of us hopes so because foot in mouth syndrome is so very fun to watch. Will they revise the way they handle reviews and embargoes? We certainly hope so.

So what exactly is Ubisoft promising to do differently this year? Well, a major recurring issue last year was that games kept getting delayed. Not just with Ubisoft but everywhere. Hell, this year is essentially 2014: Part II. Watch Dogs was pushed from late 2013 into May 2014, The Division was displaced from 2014 to late 2015 and even Unity was delayed by a couple of weeks. It’s become a common theme in triple-A gaming and Ubisoft is promising to avoid delays in 2015.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot acknowledged the issues the publisher has had and affirmed that the company is working to ensure that there is no risk of a delay. Easier said than done.

Thus far we have The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege confirmed to be coming in fiscal 2016 which runs from April 1 2015 to March 31 2016. Guillemot also confirmed that Assassin’s Creed: Victory will be coming later this year and shall be built upon the same platform as Unity.

With any luck it will be a far more stable platform this time around. At the very least they should learn from their mistakes and discover what “optimisation” means.

Now, this being Ubisoft there is no reason to take their word for it. It’s all PR guff until proven otherwise. Are you willing to give them the benefit of the doubt? We certainly aren’t.

On one hand we do not want another Battlefield 4 or Arkham Origins but we also don’t want games to be delayed ad infinitum. The simple solution is for publishers to give developers sufficient time to put their games together. The Division was initially slated for a 2014 release and the developers denounced this expectation as preposterous. Furthermore, proper QA should really be implemented more effectively as opposed to leaning on post-release patches as a crutch.

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Peter Molyneux Once Again Apologises For Overpromising, This Time On Godus http://egmr.net/2015/02/peter-molyneux-apologises-overpromising-time-godus/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/peter-molyneux-apologises-overpromising-time-godus/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 11:00:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167110 Peter Molyneux is best known for Fable and never quite delivering on his promises for a game. We like him because he has ambition but we dislike him because he’s […]

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Peter Molyneux is best known for Fable and never quite delivering on his promises for a game. We like him because he has ambition but we dislike him because he’s always trying to lick his elbow or set a pool of water on fire. Ultimately he makes us believe that perhaps he can but then everybody is simply disappointed in the end.

His sex life must be disastrous.

That said, Molyneux has become rather candid in recent years and sometimes doesn’t sugarcoat his own mistakes. The incredibly awkward effigy above is testament to that with Godus developer 22cans putting designer Konrad Naszynski and studio founder Peter Molyneux in the hotseat to talk about the Kickstarted game’s issues.

Godus is the latest project from Molyneux and once again he promised the world but delivered far less when folks finally got their hands on the game in Early Access.

Backers are enraged over the state of Godus with the game being a harsh disappointment at present.

In the video, Naszynski himself admits: “What I want to do is bring up the quality of the PC experience because it’s just not there, in my mind.”

It’s been two years since the game’s Kickstarter campaign and 18 months since the game went into Early Access.

The game has been lambasted for overpromising on stretch goals, being released too early on Early Access and trouble with bridging PC and mobile versions of the game. Design choices that work on PC haven’t worked on mobile and vice versa. Godus is a textbook example of so many things wrong with crowdfunded games development. Or more historically, it’s a modern incarnation of the story of Icarus.

Watch the video above, try not to cringe at how awkward it all is.

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Capcom Wants Dante To Grow Up For The Next Devil May Cry http://egmr.net/2015/02/capcom-wants-dante-grow-next-devil-may-cry/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/capcom-wants-dante-grow-next-devil-may-cry/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 07:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167105 Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry was a fun, visually delicious game but die-hard fans had an issue with the younger crack-addict version of Dante. At the heart of it […]

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Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry was a fun, visually delicious game but die-hard fans had an issue with the younger crack-addict version of Dante. At the heart of it though was a guy who was having fun with what he was doing, the same thing that often makes Spider-Man fun.

Even the slightly older Dante (post-rehab we assume) was liked by series fans but what if the clock was wound forward? What if the next Devil May Cry featured an older, wiser and whiter Dante? Not unlike Indiana Jones. Wait what?

There have been five Devil May Cry games up till now, the latest being a reboot courtesy of Ninja Theory. Capcom developer Rey Jimenez thinks that the next step is to then skip over Dante in his prime and go straight to old man Dante. Pictured above is a rendering of what an older Dante may look like.

In a recent interview with Hip Hop Gamer, Jimenez explained where he wants the next game to take the series.

“I’d push it forward a few years. Lets get Dante in his late 40’s or 50’s. Lets get the Indiana Jones kinda adventure where he’s a bit older, wiser and calmer. See how he acts then, you know?”

Is that still Devil May Cry though? The entire point is high-intensity, fast-paced and absolutely bonkers action. That energy has to be toned down for a believably older Dante but perhaps he could have greater strength, more tactical skill.

Turning Dante into a stringy kid garnered much ire from fans to the point where Ninja Theory received death threats so what would making him older do? Generally making a character older allows for a different approach to gameplay and imposes limitations which the player has to work around. Except in cases such as Assassin’s Creed: Revelations where Ezio was more agile, flirtatious and youthful than ever.

This is by no means confirmation that Dante will be middle-aged in the next Devil May Cry but a desire is there to make it happen. Whether Ninja Theory will hold onto the reigns remains to be seen.

Some great stories can come from making your character older such as Old Man Logan or The Dark Knight Returns but somehow it’s tough to see a DMC game holding up a narrative such as that.

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Who’s Going To Be The Next Spider-Man? http://egmr.net/2015/02/whos-going-next-spider-man/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/whos-going-next-spider-man/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:00:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167087 A lot of people took issue with Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker and yes, he’s a little too effortlessly cool and forcefully awkward to be Peter Parker but as […]

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A lot of people took issue with Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker and yes, he’s a little too effortlessly cool and forcefully awkward to be Peter Parker but as Spider-Man? He was pure gold. Regardless of what you think of the Amazing Spider-Man films.

The thing is though that with Marvel bringing Spider-Man over to the MCU we’re getting a new actor. Thankfully we won’t have to watch Uncle Ben die again but we will see a new face putting slinging webs and cracking wise.

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have it on good authority that Marvel and Sony are looking for someone much younger and more plausbily high school/ college aged than Garfield who is somehow 31.

“The plan is for the character to go back to high school in the next films,” says Variety, “and spend more time in the setting and explore his awkward relationship with other students while fighting crime out of the classroom.”

So Spidey is going back to high school. The early contenders for spandex wedgie victim are Logan Lerman who you can currently see in Fury and Dylan O’Brien who nobody really cared to see in The Maze Runner although he did get his big break on Teen Wolf.

This is a strange one because Lerman may suit Spider-Man better but O’Brien certainly has the look of a confused and scared teen.

Hey, maybe they could tag-team the role.

Meanwhile Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino aka Troy from Community is making his case for why he should be the next Spider-Man. It’s not totally out of the question considering that Miles Morales is Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe and extremely popular. However, Glover is a bit old for the role of Miles. That said, a Miles might bring some diversity to the MCU. As long as nobody lets Jaden Smith anywhere near the role. Pseudo-philosophical Spidey is one step above the clone saga.

What are your thoughts? Put forth some candidates for the next Spider-Man.

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Toast On Jam: Criticising PewDiePie http://egmr.net/2015/02/toast-jam-criticising-pewdiepie/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/toast-jam-criticising-pewdiepie/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 09:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166557 If you’re reading this then chances are I’m off in London doing whatever it is people do in London these days. Cosplaying characters from Bloodborne is my best guess. Now, […]

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If you’re reading this then chances are I’m off in London doing whatever it is people do in London these days. Cosplaying characters from Bloodborne is my best guess. Now, I don’t have whole lot of time to do tourist-ey things in London so a huge amount of research was done and a very detailed plan of action was drawn up for each day with sights and places of interest in close proximity to each being grouped together for maximum efficiency. Who needs spontaneity when you have a spreadsheet?

In truth I would love to wander around London with a vague idea of where I want to go and simply explore the place as thoroughly as Sherlock hot on the trail of a murderer. Unfortunately, time is a limited resource so I needed to be smart with it. Similarly, when looking at the smorgasbord of games about to release each month or within a certain quarter, most people cannot afford to buy all those games and realistically most don’t have the time to play through all of those games. Both money and time become constraints.

The smart thing to do would be to read up games X, Y, Q and then decide which appeals to you the most and possibly which one can give you the most bang for your buck. However it depends on who you are. If I had to buy two games last they would likely be Dragon Age: Inquisition and Transistor because one is gorgeous, fun to play, has a sublime soundtrack and is made by the people who made Bastion; the other is Dragon Age: Inquisition. In the same way, before purchasing a phone many of you might read countless reviews, pour over many, many comparison articles and benchmark test result sets before reaching a conclusion.

Other people will just walk into a cellphone store and ask for what’s popular or whatever the sales assistant recommends. Chances are they won’t walk out with an HTC, Huawei or Nexus. Again, it comes down to time. Not everybody wants to take the time to examine test data in the process of buying a new phone. They simply want someone to tell what’s good and whether they should buy it. Generally, people want the thinking to be done for them but that is a discussion for another, darker day.

It may not then surprise you that this holds true for games as well. People will buy a game based on what someone else tells them. The gaming industry has spun this simple conceit very effectively for years. Microsoft told us Halo was going to be great so it went on to sell like ecstasy at a bar mitzvah. Bungie and Activision told us Destiny would be the greatest thing to ever exist, it became the most pre-ordered game in history. More commonly, those back of the box quotes from IGN or GameSpot or Keanu Reeves’ puppy are there to tell people “Hey, this game is cool because these people said it is. Don’t think too much about it, just believe them.”

A large portion of the millions that bought Watch Dogs or Destiny didn’t necessarily read hands-on previews or watch hours of gameplay footage, they probably saw one trailer, got a look at the game courtesy of their favourite YouTuber and were swayed by that powerful quote on the back of the box about how you should believe the hype.

The trouble is that gaming is as big as the film industry but while Roger Ebert and Empire may be household names, IGN and Destructoid are not. So while those E3 awards on the front of the box may still mean something (because any award with a pretty enough logo carries weight) those quotes from big gaming sites don’t mean much to the sort of person who might buy the game based on what they see on the back of box.

What people know is YouTube and what YouTube knows is Lets Players. In the same way that I watch Top Gear for its entertainment value rather than a distinct love for cars, most of PewDiePie’s 34 million+ subscribers are there to have a laugh. He’s not a critic but an entertainer. Regardless, he’s put plenty of unknown games on the radar and helped make them a success. He may not be able to pick games apart and put them back together but he knows how to keep you entertained and he certainly knows how to get attention.

He’s got a huge audience, brand recognition and people have been proven to act on his opinion of a game. It is then a no-brainer to use people like him as a marketing tool the same way sports stars are used to endorse anything from hair care products to potato chips. The truth is that PewDiePie has a bigger reach than most gaming websites and an arguably bigger influence over the casual market that makes gaming most of its money.

PewDiePieQuote3

By now you’ve all seen the ridiculous in-store display for Dying Light that has appeared in stores across the US. It doesn’t feature any qualitative assessment of the game aside from “It’s sooo awesome.” That’s irrelevant though because what matters is that PewDiePie said it. My brothers, who couldn’t care less about most of the games that get delivered here by distributors, enjoy watching PewDiePie just because he’s fun. That’s where his power lies as a marketing weapon.

Is it a good idea to use PewDiePie to market games? Hell yes. It makes a lot of business sense. Is it wise to use a quote as absurdly meaningless as that? No.

Consider the debate surrounding BioShock Infinite’s cover. Market research showed that gamers who pick their game off the shelf respond best to a strong character wielding a gun aka every shooter ever made. Why? Because 2K Games was conducting research primarily with college frat boys. The alternate cover that eventually made it into the game box is far more elegant and unique. Not to mention the orange allows it to stand out.

Similarly, some grotesque excuse for market research came to the conclusion that all gamers have the mentality of 12 year olds or are 12 year olds.

While I certainly won’t ever look to PewDiePie for constructive and interesting critique of a game, it’s hard to deny that his following and influence make him a formidable ally in marketing any game, whether it be a tiny indie unknown or a massive triple-A with oodles of hype behind it. All I ask is that whoever cherry-picked that quote be shot.

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Competition Winner: Cooler Master Octane Gaming Combo http://egmr.net/2015/02/competition-winner-cooler-master-octane-gaming-combo/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/competition-winner-cooler-master-octane-gaming-combo/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 14:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166558 The competition that was run courtesy of Cooler Master has come to an end and that means a whole lot of losers. Possibly as many as 42. Well done, losers, […]

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The competition that was run courtesy of Cooler Master has come to an end and that means a whole lot of losers. Possibly as many as 42. Well done, losers, you are the answer to life, the universe and everything. Not to be confused with the propaganda we peddle on this site every two weeks. Now, while all of you losers most definitely belong here, with us losers, there is a winner amongst you. A winner who shall claim their glorious keyboard and rise to the upper echelons of the gaming caste system.

In accordance with the traditional EGMR rituals, a cat was put in front of a keyboard. The first six letters the cat chose were translated to their ASCII codes and scaled from 100 down to a number out of 47. This ensures a perfectly random and undeserving winner would be selected. In truth we just used a randomiser because have you ever tried to make a cat do something?

    • Kirsten Nicole Mcintyre


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.

Congratulations again to the winner and better luck next time to everyone else. If you didn’t get lucky this time there’s always Valentine’s Day.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Will Be About Brotherly Love, Gorgeous Screenshots Inside http://egmr.net/2015/01/uncharted-4-thiefs-end-will-brotherly-love-gorgeous-screenshots-inside/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/uncharted-4-thiefs-end-will-brotherly-love-gorgeous-screenshots-inside/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166446 Uncharted 4 may be some ways off from releasing but it already has my vote for the “sequel we didn’t need but want to play anyway” Award. Nobody needs another […]

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Uncharted 4 may be some ways off from releasing but it already has my vote for the “sequel we didn’t need but want to play anyway” Award. Nobody needs another Uncharted game and Naughty Dog’s talent should really be going into other efforts. Regardless, the 16 minutes of footage we’ve seen thus far make the game look incredible (visually anyway) and at least fun enough for fans of the series.

Is there a chance of it suffering from series fatigue? Yes. Should Uncharted 4 be one of your most anticipated titles of 2015? There are more interesting things releasing this year. All that said, if you’re here then you obviously care about the game. So let’s ogle over it. Yes?

Sony Computer Entertainment has released a new fact sheet for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and while there are a lot of words it all amounts to small changes, same old Uncharted.

OVERVIEW:
Several years after his last adventure, retired fortune hunter Nathan Drake is forced back into the world of thieves. With the stakes much more personal, Drake embarks on his greatest adventure yet in a globe-trotting journey in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure. However, every treasure has its cost and this adventure will test Drake’s physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves.

UNCHARTED 4:
A Thief’s End is the latest installment of the award winning UNCHARTED series. Created by acclaimed developer Naughty Dog, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will launch exclusively for the PlayStation 4 system. Bringing the franchise into the new generation of gaming, A Thief’s End will be the most epic UNCHARTED adventure yet featuring new dynamic gameplay mechanics for combat and traversal, larger and more open environments to explore, and enhanced graphics and character animations to bring the game to life in a whole new way.

STORYLINE:
Set three years after the events of UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception, Nathan Drake has presumably left the world of fortune hunting behind. However, it doesn’t take long for adventure to come calling when Drake’s brother, Sam, resurfaces seeking his help to save his own life and offering an adventure Drake can’t resist.

On the hunt for Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure, Sam and Drake set off to find Libertalia, the pirate utopia deep in the forests of Madagascar. UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End takes players on a journey around the globe, through jungle isles, urban cities and snow-capped peaks on the search for Avery’s fortune.

As with any Uncharted game it seems as if there will be a lot of globetrotting with a variety of locations.

We’ll next see Uncharted 4 at E3 so until then gawk at these delicious screenshots and artwork below.

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Unreal Engine 4 Makes Paris More Stunning Than AC: Unity Could Ever Dream Of Doing http://egmr.net/2015/01/unreal-engine-4-makes-paris-stunning-ac-unity-ever-dream/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/unreal-engine-4-makes-paris-stunning-ac-unity-ever-dream/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166403 Paris is, by default, a beautiful city. As long as you stay in the cutesy, tourist-ey areas and not the disgusting slummy outskirts. This being the video game industry and […]

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Paris is, by default, a beautiful city. As long as you stay in the cutesy, tourist-ey areas and not the disgusting slummy outskirts. This being the video game industry and what not, Paris is one those locations that developers have tried to incorporate into their games or base their game within. Most prominently, Assassin’s Creed: Unity did it and managed to turn in a mighty impressive 18th Century Paris. A mighty authentic one too.

Remember Me might have tried it too but nobody could quite make sense of Neo-Paris. Even LEGO Batman 3 had a bit of Paris in it.

The only trouble with Unity is that its Paris is a little dated, only a little. There are still regular and numerous decapitations in the streets. Too soon?

Unfortunately, Ubisoft isn’t going to be touching modern-day Paris anytime soon. Not to mention the fact that the company’s graphics engine runs like a dying sloth. So who is going to give us photorealistic renderings of Paris? Certainly not the folks at Crytek with their overrated CryEngine.

Unreal Engine 3 has been one of the most versatile and most widely used engines for games. It could also turn out a mighty pretty game with the right developer behind it. So what is Unreal Engine 4 capable of? It is likely going to be just as widely used and the good news is that it is capable of producing incredible things such as this ultra-realistic virtual tour of an apartment in Paris.

The demo was created by Benoît Dereau who has also worked on Half-Life 2 and Dishonored.

If only we got a glimpse of what an exterior might look like with this level of rendering and detail.

Now imagine what that engine could do in-game in a few years on a high-end PC.

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron Could Be Joss Whedon’s Last Marvel Movie To Prevent A Burnout http://egmr.net/2015/01/avengers-age-ultron-joss-whedons-last-prevent-burnout/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/avengers-age-ultron-joss-whedons-last-prevent-burnout/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166309 When Marvel revealed its release slate for the next few years it was imposing and chaotic just to look at. Since 2008 Marvel has become perpetual motion device that would […]

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When Marvel revealed its release slate for the next few years it was imposing and chaotic just to look at. Since 2008 Marvel has become perpetual motion device that would make Da Vinci proud. Now imagine being a cog in that relentless machine.

Welcome to life as Joss Whedon. Actually, not really. He still has heaps of fun doing what he does, many of us would love to do what he does and let’s not forget his many career successes. Also, he’s pretty great on Twitter.

At the end of the day he’s still human, somewhat.

Joss Whedon kicked Marvel’s cinematic universe into high gear when he brought its individual heroes together for The Avengers, then he kept the universe moving with Agents of Shield while Marvels rolled out its next phase of films. More recently he’s been hard at work on Avengers: Age of Ultron. The trouble is that the pace at which Marvel works is exhausting to say the least.

Fresh to the Marvel madness are Captain America: Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo are rumoured to be up for Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts 1 & 2 after they wrap up on Captain America America: Civil War. It might be for the best before Whedon has a psychotic break from reality and stab Robert Downey Jr in the eyes after one too many snarky quips.

After the great work they did on Winter Soldier, I’m very excited to see the Russo’s tackle Civil War. Pending that we’ll see whether they’re up to the task of something far bigger like Infinity Wars.

The obvious downside is that Whedon won’t be around to helm the third and foruth Avengers films.Judging by comments Whedon made in a recent interview with Empire, the man needs a break from Marvel. At least in terms of the films.

“I couldn’t imagine doing this again. It’s enormously hard, and it [will] be, by [the time I would make ‘Avengers 3 & 4′], a good five years since I created anything that was completely my own. So it’s very doubtful that I would take on the two-part Infinity War movie that would eat up the next four years of my life. I obviously still want to be a part of the Marvel Universe – I love these guys – but it ain’t easy. This year has been more like running three shows than any year of my life. It is bonkers.”

Effectively, either Whedon gets to take time away from the Marvel cinematic universe to create something quirky and all his own (Like Cabin in the Woods) or he turns into a lesser Thanos (better known as the Mad Titan).

This is actually the first time Whedon has brought up the possibility (or lack thereof) of him taking control of future Avengers films.

More than anything, I think being confined within the parameters of the Marvel universe (as fun as that may be) can be stifling to someone like Whedon if he doesn’t get to completely cut loose.

I’d love to see Whedon do another fun genre deconstruction like Cabin in the Woods or maybe that Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog sequel that everybody, including Neil Patrick Harris, is really keen on.

Do you think Whedon needs a break or should simply work on a smaller project within the Marvel universe? Hell, perhaps he should go help Zack Snyder over at Warner Bros with the DC movies. It’s quite possible that Whedon may not be intensively involved in future Avengers films after Age of Ultron but he could still serve as a producer or get involved with the script.

In case you’ve forgotten, this is the wall of release dates we have ahead of us:
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1st, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17th, 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6th, 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4th, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5th, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28th, 2017, Black Panther on November 3rd, 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4th, 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6th, 2018, Inhumans on November 2nd, 2018, and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3rd, 2019.

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Birdman Has More To Do With The Gaming Industry Than You Might Think http://egmr.net/2015/01/birdman-gaming-industry-might-think/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/birdman-gaming-industry-might-think/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166256 Birdman is one of the movies currently generating huge amounts of Oscar buzz and while it may not be a great film per se, it’s got a lot to say […]

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Birdman is one of the movies currently generating huge amounts of Oscar buzz and while it may not be a great film per se, it’s got a lot to say about critics in the entertainment industry and generally what it means to be relevant and stay relevant when the world has an attention span of 140 characters. A fair amount of that relates to gaming as well.

I’m still very much undecided about whether Birdman was a great film or simply one that is great to analyse and examine. There is a difference. Regardless, there were moments that had me truly transfixed and I left the cinema in a bewildered daze. This is because the film takes the arguably level approach of posing many questions but drawing few conclusions and answers. The onus is on the viewer to do that based on what they’ve been presented with.

It’s also the type of film where it is entirely possible to reach multiple interpretations based on the film’s themes and subject matter so consider this my take on things. It’s entirely possible that I’ve got an apocalyptically poor grasp on the film so any and all discussion is most welcome.

I’ll try to keep things spoiler-free because this really is a film you should be going out to see for yourself. However, a brief synopsis is perhaps necessary. Birdman is the story of a washed-up Hollywood star Riggin Thomson (Michael Keaton) trying to restart his career by writing, directing and starring in a Broadway production. Hi-jinx ensue.

One of the few things the film doesn’t leave open-ended is its views on critics. It sees us vultures, looking for something to prey on in order to get attention. Looking at our reviews, the bad ones always get attention. Nobody actually cares about Rugby 15. It also accuses critics of using buzzwords and labels in the pursuit of generating interest on social media. Terms like “apology DLC” or “pay to win” that have been absorbed into the gaming zeitgeist.

One of the central concerns of the film is that of Michael Keaton’s character, Riggan Thomson, fighting to stay relevant. However, it subtly opens us up to the notion that the critic upon whom his relevance rests (because the success of the play he’s putting on rests with her) is similarly fighting for relevance in an age that cares only for superhero films and Hollywood happenings.

You know what? Birdman’s assessment of critics and the people who write about games or movies or theater is not far off.

We try to remain relevant. Miss a day of news and you’ve generally missed something that got people talking. Publish a story too late and people have already formed their own opinions, it’s old news. This isn’t a complaint against the pace of the industry. The fast pace keep us actually keeps us alert and on the lookout.

Even with our headlines and especially review titles, we try to create a headline that makes people want to read the article or click that link. If we don’t then it no longer matters what is inside the article because you’ve given the reader no incentive to venture into the article. This is the nature of things and something we’ve had to accept.

The one parallel that really struck me is Birdman’s portrayal of a critic with an agenda. She doesn’t believe a washed up Hollywood star has a place hamming it up on Broadway so decides she will burn his play in her review regardless of how things go on opening night.

This was a very pertinent issue last year with a huge call for critics and reviewers to talk about the game rather than using reviews as a vehicle for whatever soapbox they want to hop onto. That’s something I absolutely agree with.

Perhaps it’s a little belated but Birdman provides fresh impetus to bring it up ahead of all the major releases of 2015. Thank heavens Dying Light got delayed.

A review should focus on the game itself rather than any agenda or gross bias a writer may have. Let’s take a fairly benign example. Many reviews praised Sunset Overdrive last year but while some loved the humour, others didn’t. The important thing is that most rated the game regardless of whether they loathed or loved the game’s humour.

So what’s my point?

Go see Birdman.

Well, maybe also that it’s fairly incisive in its assessment of maintaining relevance within entertainment. Especially for those covering it. More specifically in the importance it attaches to reviews. One single critic could ruin the play for Riggin and similarly, a spate of unfavourable reviews can ruin a game’s launch. It’s a surprisingly accurate comparison for how things are in the gaming industry.

To conclude, if you want a surprisingly fitting snapshot of critics, being relevant and the over importance of reviews go see Birdman. In-line with what Birdman does, I’m going to ask questions rather than answer them.

What draws your attention to a review, what makes you read a specific review?
Do you generally read the reviews of people who share your tastes and will likely agree with you on a game?
What makes a good review?

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Comments Of The Week — “Can’t Get Enough Of Internet Explorer” http://egmr.net/2015/01/comments-week-cant-get-enough-internet-explorer/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/comments-week-cant-get-enough-internet-explorer/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166234 There isn’t too much to care about in gaming right now. Your focus should instead be on getting your fill of all those films with Oscar buzz hovering over them. […]

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There isn’t too much to care about in gaming right now. Your focus should instead be on getting your fill of all those films with Oscar buzz hovering over them. It’s not like you’re getting ready to play Dying Light or anything after it got delayed (again).

Meanwhile, Microsoft is trying to do things differently with Windows 10 and making it free to existing users for the first year. Netflix is coming to SA at some point before we all die or get shoved into the dark ages and Star Wars Episode VII will do well if it has less than 6 lens flares per minute.

  • 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.
  • The NeoN — 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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Watch Old People Play GTA V… But Somehow Not Judge It To Pieces http://egmr.net/2015/01/watch-old-people-play-gta-v-somehow-not-judge-pieces/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/watch-old-people-play-gta-v-somehow-not-judge-pieces/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166192 The React channel over on YouTube is mostly just funny but it also serves up some fresh perspective once in a while when it puts a demographic outside of its comfort […]

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The React channel over on YouTube is mostly just funny but it also serves up some fresh perspective once in a while when it puts a demographic outside of its comfort zone. For example, I’m pretty young (clocking in at 21) but watching a video where teenagers were given the original GameBoy put into perspective how much I might have missed had I been born a few years later. Perhaps not the best example but I’ll stand by it because it’s a Friday and none of you care anyway.

Today it’s something a little more interesting. As gamers we generally consider people outside of gaming as seeing GTA as the cesspool of all evil and the reason why those dang whippersnappers do so many drugs and get involved with gangs.

How far outside of gaming can you get? Well, senior citizens are far removed from console wars, pre-order bonuses and the evils of gaming as can be. So what happens when you toss GTA V at them?

It turns out they kind of have fun because that’s what the game is made for. It’s an interesting watch to see what people’s first impressions of something such as GTA V are.

It’s also pretty damn hilarious watching them be the exact opposite of a good criminal. Some of the elderly folks seem to have a knack for crime though.

Ultimately most of the elderly folks playing became degenerates who took delight in punching people, kicking cars and generally just being bad.

Best line? “I hit a woman for the first time in my life, and I’m having fun!”

Thanks a lot, Rockstar. Look what you’ve done to these sweet old folks.

Next time, they’ll be made to play something truly diabolical like Assassin’s Creed: Unity or something off Steam Early Access.

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Competition: Win A Cooler Master Octane Gaming Combo http://egmr.net/2015/01/competition-win-cooler-master-octane-gaming-combo/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/competition-win-cooler-master-octane-gaming-combo/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166129 What’s the best way to kick the new year into something resembling a gear? A competition of course! PC Master Race? Or has Evolve has so garishly dubbed it “PC […]

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What’s the best way to kick the new year into something resembling a gear? A competition of course!

PC Master Race? Or has Evolve has so garishly dubbed it “PC MONSTER Race.” We’ve got something a little cooler in mind. If you can handle painfully bad puns then continue reading to find out what we’ve got to give away.

We ended last year by giving away a couple of gaming mouses so we’re keeping in line with that by giving away a mouse and keyboard (sorry, console gamers). Not just any mouse and keyboard though, the very sexy Cooler Master Octane bundle.

Below is a look at some of the key specs and features of the bundle.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Still not convinced? Be sure to read our review of the combo.

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 22 January 2015 and 1 February 2015. 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 YouTube.
  • We will select random videos from which to add bonus entries. Each comment on YouTube counts for two entries.

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 2 February 2015. The winning name will be drawn through the use of a randomiser and reading the markings on the bones of slain dragons.

Best of luck to everyone entering!
Things to remember:

  • Terms and Conditions apply
  • Competition closes at 23:59 on Sunday 1 February 2015.
  • The winner will be announced on Monday 2 February 2015.
  • 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 Cooler Master.

 

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Toast On Jam: Don’t Expect Anything To Change In 2015 http://egmr.net/2015/01/toast-jam-dont-expect-anything-change-2015/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/toast-jam-dont-expect-anything-change-2015/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165944 Is this article going to be a little cynical? Yes. Should you read it anyway? Probably not. I learn from my mistakes. Correction, I learn almost exclusively from my mistakes. […]

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Is this article going to be a little cynical? Yes.
Should you read it anyway? Probably not.

I learn from my mistakes. Correction, I learn almost exclusively from my mistakes. The harder I fall, the more I learn. Never mind what Michael Caine or Isaac Newton tell you about falling. Suffice to say, in the past calendar year I’ve done a lot of falling.

Let’s devote some time to figuring out how to pick ourselves up and making sure it stays that way. You all know the line by Gandhi about being the change you want to see in the world. As with anything in the entertainment industry, it needs to be a touch more passive aggressive. Nothing is going to change for you, don’t expect anything to change for you, so the best you can do is to change yourself. Don’t fall for the same things over and over again. Fool me once, right?

After an uproarious year you may think that change is on the horizon and hey, it may well be. I’d like to hope so but don’t bank on it. Things could stay the same but there’s also sufficient evidence to suggest that the state of the gaming industry will get worse. The only way to face this head on is with unbridled cynicism.

Well, not the only way. There are also pills, alcohol, staying positive, looking for silver linings and a few other things which aren’t nearly as fun to make a column out of as cynicism.

Expect nothing and nothing should ever disappoint you. In fact, rather be active than reactive as most of the internet is. Rather expect a publisher to slap pre-order bonuses and other shady business practises onto a game than get surprised and outraged by it when they actually do.

2015 is really just 2014 2: The Leftovers so you should probably expect things to get worse.

Last year alone we had Ubisoft developing congenital foot-in-mouth syndrome, saw the rise of macrotransactions and pre-order culture became an epidemic. Not to mention diminishing returns, developers having to backtrack and constant delays.

Pushed out of 2014 alone we have Dying Light, The Order: 1886, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Battlefield: Hardline, Evolve, Batman: Arkham Knight, The Division and probably some more. There were honestly too many to keep track of. Or perhaps I just don’t care to remember all their names. Cynical indifference! Or maybe it’s ataraxia?

We’re barely three weeks into January and already Dying Light has been hit by another delay (albeit only of physical copies outside of the US) and Evolve has steadily declined to become the darling of pre-order culture.

Most major game reveals now come prepackaged with obligatory hard-sell infomercials for the associated pre-order bonuses, season pass, pre-ordained DLC but not the spreadsheet required to figure out what the hell comes with each of the game’s nine different retail versions. All of this before we’ve seen even a lick of pre-rendered “gameplay footage.” Now, before The Order: 1886 has even had a chance to release we’ve seen a trailer for the game’s first bit of DLC. Advertisement for an optional extra to a product that isn’t even available yet.

If somebody tried to sell you a replacement set of brakes for the new car you just ordered, you’d probably be just a little suspicious and probably decline. In gaming it’s all good.

The simple solution to this rising tide of corporate entitlement and objectivism in the gaming industry is a good pair of jade glasses. Unfortunately nobody really makes those anymore so 3D glasses will work just as well for spotting the lies, deceit and shady business practises.

By all means, don’t hate on every single game and find fault with it. That’s our job as super ethical games journalists. I’m still quite excited for The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight. Hell, I’m even rather keen to get my mitts on Uncharted 4. However. I am wary of the fact that The Witcher 3 has received a hefty delay, Arkham Knight received a delay and pushed pre-order bonuses on us from day one, Uncharted 4 is an unnecessary sequel. As a result, I’m looking forward to all three games while still squinting in their general directions. This, despite the fact that CD Projekt RED, Rocksteady and Naughty Dog are among the developers I hold in the highest regard.

Of course, first and foremost is to not get swept up by the hype train. We all saw what became of Destiny. Evolve looks set to become the next Destiny with a stock game that fails to hold onto players without having to rely on additional content. At best it will be this year’s Titanfall.

The Order: 1886 will be nothing special as will Battlefield: Hardline and quite possibly The Division. Dying Light is mostly just a next-gen Dead Island. The Witcher 3 will be great regardless and Arkham Knight will at the very least be better than Arkham Origins.

Aside from one of those assessments, they’re all on the pessimistic side of things but honestly on the more realistic side too. Rather be surprised by a game than disappointed. I love to be proven wrong because I want games to be great but the facts speak for themselves with Watch Dogs and Destiny and Titanfall being what they are but Shadow of Mordor coming out of nowhere to steal the show last year.

Last year I wrote about 2015 needing to be a better year, needing to be the year when this console generation really comes alive and sets its benchmarks. That’s not going to happen if moving a company forward trumps moving the medium of gaming forward at every turn. Progress is being hindered by greed and the best we can do is not give into it.

Last week, Marko wrote a very necessary article about learning from our mistakes. So in 2015, buy less games and be more careful with what games you spend your money on. You really don’t need to buy games at launch and it is always safer to wait and see what state the game is in upon release.

I love games and I love gaming but the industry doesn’t deserve your trust nor does it deserve your defence of its practices. Be smarter in 2015, save yourself some time and money. If things are going to change it’s probably going to be for the worst.

TTFN!

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Final Fantasy XV Wants To Shock You With Realism http://egmr.net/2015/01/final-fantasy-xv-wants-shock-realism/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/final-fantasy-xv-wants-shock-realism/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166024 We’re still talking about the latest entry in a series with characters named Lightning, giant swords, anime styling and has the word “fantasy” in the title, right? More or less […]

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We’re still talking about the latest entry in a series with characters named Lightning, giant swords, anime styling and has the word “fantasy” in the title, right? More or less but it is at least shaping up to be something different.

For starters, Final Fantasy XV started life as Final Fantasy Versus XIII but was in gestation for so long that it seemed more prudent to turn it into something new altogether. The great thing is that after the painfully slow Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XV should have much faster gameplay thanks to its Versus platform.

So let’s move right along to that whole shock and realism thing.

In a recent interview with Travel Garage TV (which has unsportingly been blocked from being embedded here) lead designer Wan Hazmer described how things will be different this time.

He uses Back to the Future II as a working example of providing the viewer with a culture shock. In it, everybody from 2015 acts perfectly normal about hoverboards, flying cars and all the rest because all of this is pretty normal for them. This serves as a culture shock for Marty as well as the viewers. The unacknowledged irony is that Final Fantasy and JRPGs in general have been doing this to western audiences for a few decades now.

Regardless, that’s a key difference that Final Fantasy XV has in its design philosophy and creative process. Hamzer and his team want the game to serve as a culture shock to everyone but in a way that seems realistic and logical rather than preposterous and fantastical.

The idea of Final Fantasy XV’s creative process is to “provide that culture shock,” but making it realistic at the same time. The last thing the team wants is to make people think “wow, this is so fantastical, but why the hell is it there?”

That’s why I think this Final Fantasy is very different from the rest. Because it all starts from that process first. We think about the culture first.

An interesting point that Hamzer also makes is that the team defines the experience they want players to have and then go about designing mechanics to get the player there.

Truth be told I’m not one to care much for Final Fantasy but a few members of the EGMR team certainly are and it’s always interesting to peek inside a developer’s mind. The trouble is whether all this talk will translate in the finished product.

To end off, you Final Fantasy fans may need some reassurance after whatever Final Fantasy XIII. Hamzer thinks that fans will love Final Fantasy XV.

See, a developer on the game thinks that the game he’s making is something you’ll like. You’ve got nothing to worry about.

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Watch Dogs 2 Won’t Be As Generic And Unimaginative http://egmr.net/2015/01/watch-dogs-2-wont-generic-unimaginitive/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/watch-dogs-2-wont-generic-unimaginitive/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:00:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165949 Watch Dogs also known as Watch_Dogs also known as Assassin’s Creed: Hacking While Wearing An Iconic Hat. The hacking was rudimentary at best, the game took no real risks and […]

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Watch Dogs also known as Watch_Dogs also known as Assassin’s Creed: Hacking While Wearing An Iconic Hat. The hacking was rudimentary at best, the game took no real risks and it felt as though a lot was being held back for the sequel that had already been greenlit before the game even released.

Despite this the game was a good amount of fun. That count for something, right? Right?

All in all, Watch Dogs provided a decent foundation for whatever franchise Ubisoft has in mind. After all, it was said in no uncertain terms that Ubisoft won’t give a game the go ahead unless it can be turned into a franchise. It’s not a leap to then infer that ideas were held off from the first Watch Dogs to not only play it safe but avoid running out of ideas for the sequel.

Watch Dogs 2 will take a different approach with more of a focus on being imaginative and at least taking a few risks.

In a recent interview with GamesTM, creative director Jonathan Morin explained why the first game felt reserved and how the chains are coming off for the sequel. By Ubisoft standards anyway.

“The challenge when we made the first game was to create something that would make people dream about something else”, said Morin on the first game.

Morin added that the first game was not “perfect in any way” and that some elements which didn’t work only became clear upon release. He said it, not us. Okay, we actually did say it. Right at the beginning of this article. Possibly even to the point of being redundant.

“With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way. You have to carry on taking risks,” said Morin about the inevitable Watch Dogs 2.

We’d like to see Watch Dogs 2: Aiden Pearce Gets An AI Personality (not the official title) have a more interesting story, better characters, be a little more imaginative and provide more variety to the hacking than one-button hacks with a lot of third-person shooting. Better driving mechanics wouldn’t hurt.

What do you want to see from Watch Dogs 2: A Crack in Time (also not the official title)?

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Comments Of The Week — “I’m Too Poor To Follow That Link” http://egmr.net/2015/01/comments-week-im-poor-follow-link/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/comments-week-im-poor-follow-link/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 13:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165934 Welcome back. 2014 was an uproarious year and we’re ready for whatever 2015 has to throw at us. So far things have been relatively quiet but isn’t that always the […]

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Welcome back. 2014 was an uproarious year and we’re ready for whatever 2015 has to throw at us. So far things have been relatively quiet but isn’t that always the case right before a storm?

While we were away not a whole lot happened and that’s a good thing because we’re looking forward to not missing a single beat.

  • 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.
  • The NeoN — 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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What Does The 2015 List Of Oscar Nominations Get Wrong? http://egmr.net/2015/01/2015-list-oscar-nominations-get-wrong/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/2015-list-oscar-nominations-get-wrong/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165881 The dust has barely settled on the red carpet from the 2015 Golden Globes and already we’re being hit with the list of nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards […]

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The dust has barely settled on the red carpet from the 2015 Golden Globes and already we’re being hit with the list of nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards aka The Oscars aka that show which gets a fair number of things wrong and wouldn’t have given Heath Ledger an Oscar if he wasn’t dead.

2014 was a pretty great year in cinema for anyone paying attention. We had the likes of Snowpiercer, Boyhood (which people insist is great or pretentious), Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Imitation Game, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Theory of Everything, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Foxcatcher, Gone Girl, The LEGO Movie and Nightcrawler.

All in all, a pretty great set to choose nominees from. We’ve already given you a look at the bottom end of the scale with this year’s Razzies. Let’s take a look at the top end. The supposed creme de la creme. Although in all truth, the Academy is stuck in its ways, always favours Americans, takes itself too seriously and The Golden Globes may not have the prestige but certainly does things better.

There aren’t any major surprises in the big awards and you’ll notice all three of this year’s big comic book films are in the running for an award in the smaller categories.

Best Motion Picture

  • “American Sniper” Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers
  • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
  • “The Imitation Game” Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
  • “Selma” Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
  • “The Theory of Everything” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
  • “Whiplash” Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

 

Achievement in Directing

  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • “Boyhood” Richard Linklater
  • “Foxcatcher” Bennett Miller
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
  • “The Imitation Game” Morten Tyldum

 

Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”
  • Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game”
  • Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”

 

Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything”
  • Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”
  • Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
  • Reese Witherspoon in “Wild”

 

Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
  • Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

 

Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”
  • Laura Dern in “Wild”
  • Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
  • Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”

Morton-Tyldum-The-Imitation-Game

Best Animated Feature

  • “Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
  • “The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
  • “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
  • “Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
  • “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

 

Achievement in Cinematography

  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Robert Yeoman
  • “Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
  • “Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
  • “Unbroken” Roger Deakins

 

Achievement in Costume Design

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero
  • “Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
  • “Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
  • “Maleficent” Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
  • “Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran

 

Best Documentary Feature

  • “CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
  • “Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
  • “Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
  • “The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
  • “Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

 

Best Documentary Short Feature

  • “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
  • “Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
  • “Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
  • “The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
  • “White Earth” J. Christian Jensen

 

Achievement in Film Editing

  • “American Sniper” Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
  • “Boyhood” Sandra Adair
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling
  • “The Imitation Game” William Goldenberg
  • “Whiplash” Tom Cross

 

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Ida” Poland
  • “Leviathan” Russia
  • “Tangerines” Estonia
  • “Timbuktu” Mauritania
  • “Wild Tales” Argentina

 

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Foxcatcher” Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

 

Achievement in Original Score

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat
  • “The Imitation Game” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Interstellar” Hans Zimmer
  • “Mr. Turner” Gary Yershon
  • “The Theory of Everything” Jóhann Jóhannsson

 

Achievement in Original Song

  • “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie”Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
  • “Glory” from “Selma”Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
  • “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
  • “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

 

Achievement in Production Design

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “The Imitation Game” Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
  • “Interstellar” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
  • “Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

 

Best Animated Short Film

  • “The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
  • “The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
  • “Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
  • “Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
  • “A Single Life” Joris Oprins

 

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • “Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
  • “Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney“
  • Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
  • “Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
  • “The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

 

Achievement in Visual Effects

  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
  • “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
  • “Interstellar” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
  • “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “American Sniper” Written by Jason Hall
  • “The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore
  • “Inherent Vice” Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Theory of Everything” Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
  • “Whiplash” Written by Damien Chazelle

 

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
  • “Boyhood” Written by Richard Linklater
  • “Foxcatcher” Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • “Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy

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For the most part these nominations are on point. For the most part. First off, you’ll notice no Gone Girl (aside for a very deserved nomination going to Rosamund Pike) nor any mention of Snowpiercer or The LEGO Movie. Gone Girl is not Best Picture material but David Fincher’s direction and the screenplay adapted from the novel are more than worthy of nominations. The same can be said of Snowpiercer’s impeccable visual language and style. The LEGO Movie most definitely deserves to be up for Best Animation as should Jake Gyllenhaal for Best Actor for his performance in Nightcrawler.

American Sniper is perhaps a surprise for just how many nominations it has picked up. Herein lies perhaps the most telling giveaway to the Academy’s biases. Of course the war movie directed by Clint Eastwood will get a ton of nominations. Not to detract from the film, all indications suggest it is a great film but it also just happens to fit the Oscar mould.

As pointed out by a good friend, the Academy also has a tendency to judge films holistically so those nominated for best screenplay or best cinematography aren’t necessarily the best in that regard but rather have a good screenplay or cinematography and are better overall movies than those that truly deserve nominations in those specific categories. Often enough the list the Academy comes up with will be fine but each year some films don’t get the recognition they deserve.

What are your thoughts on the list of nominees and predictions for the winners?

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What Were The Worst Films Of 2014? http://egmr.net/2015/01/worst-films-2014/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/worst-films-2014/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 12:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165827 2014 was not a great year in gaming. It was, however a rather fantastic year for movies. In the past year alone we’ve had works such The LEGO Movie, Captain […]

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2014 was not a great year in gaming. It was, however a rather fantastic year for movies. In the past year alone we’ve had works such The LEGO Movie, Captain America: Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Birdman, 22 Jump Street, Snowpiercer, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler and plenty more which I’ve forgotten because I have the memory of someone with 10% of their brain being used.

As with any year, there were also some terrible things out in cinemas and even straight to DVD/Streaming services. The Razzies tends to fixate on those low-hanging fruit. Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation has announced the nominees for its 35th annual Razzie Awards and there are plenty of films here that everybody should unilaterally and unquestioningly hate. There are also a few that might be considered “love to hate” types.

Where the likes of The Imitation Game, Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Theory of Everything will lead the way on the above ground awards circuit, down in the sewers it’s Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas that could steal the show at this year’s Razzies.Not surprisingly, also among the nominees are the likes of TMNT, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction and Expendables 3.

New to the proceedings is a more upbeat award for past Razzie winners who have since turned their lives around. The Razzie Redeemer, as they’re calling it.

Below is the complete list of nominees:

WORST PICTURE

  • Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
  • Left Behind
  • The Legend of Hercules
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Transformers 4: Age of Ex-STINK-TionWORST ACTOR
  • Nicolas Cage / Left Behind
  • Kirk Cameron / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
  • Kellan Lutz / The Legend of Hercules
  • Seth MacFarlane / A Million Ways To Die in the West
  • Adam Sandler / Blended

 

WORST ACTRESS

  • Drew Barrymore / Blended
  • Cameron Diaz / The Other Woman and Sex Tape
  • Melissa McCarthy / Tammy
  • Charlize Theron / A Million Ways to Die in the West
  • Gaia Weiss / The Legend of Hercules

 

THE RAZZIE REDEEMER AWARD (New Category!)

  • Ben Affleck (From RAZZIE “Winner” for GIGLI to Oscar Darling for ARGO and GONE GIRL)
  • Jennifer Aniston (From 4-Time RAZZIE Nominee to SAG Award Nominee for CAKE)
  • Mike Myers (From RAZZIE “Winner” for LOVE GURU to Docu Director of SUPERMENSCH)
  • Keanu Reeves (From 6-Time RAZZIE Nominee to Critically Acclaimed JOHN WICK)
  • Kristen Stewart (From RAZZIE “Winner” for TWILIGHT to the Art House Hit CAMP X-RAY)

 

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Cameron Diaz / Annie
  • Megan Fox / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Nicola Peltz / [Transformers: Age of Extinction]
  • Brigitte Ridenour (Kirk’s Sister) / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
  • Susan Sarandon / Tammy

 

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Mel Gibson/ Expendables 3
  • Kelsey Grammer / Expendables 3, Legends of Oz, Think Like a Man Too and [Transformers: Age of Extinction]
  • Shaquille O’Neal / Blended
  • Ah-Nuld Schwarzenegger / Expendables 3
  • Kiefer Sutherland/ Pompeii

 

WORST DIRECTOR

  • Michael Bay / [Transformers: Age of Extinction]
  • Darren Doane / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
  • Renny Harlin / The Legend of Hercules
  • Jonathan Liebesman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Seth MacFarlane / A Million Ways To Die in the West

 

WORST SCREEN COMBO

  • Any Two Robots, Actors (or Robotic Actors) [Transformers: Age of Extinction]
  • Kirk Cameron & His Ego / Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas
  • Cameron Diaz & Jason Segel / Sex Tape
  • Kellan Lutz & Either His Abs, His Pecs or His Glutes / The Legend of Hercules
  • Seth MacFarlane & Charlize Theron / A Million Ways To Die in the West

 

WORST SCREENPLAY

  • Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, Written by Darren Doane and Cheston Hervey
  • Left Behind, Screenplay by Paul LaLonde and John Patus,Based on the Novel by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • Sex Tape, Screenplay by Kate Angelo and Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Written by Evan Daugherty and Andre Nemec & Josh Applebaum,Based on Characters Created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman
  • [Transformers: Age of Extinction], Written by Ehren Kruger, Based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures

 

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF OR SEQUEL

  • Annie
  • Atlas Shrugged #3: Who Is John Galt?
  • The Legend of Hercules
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • [Transformers: Age of Extinction]

They tried to make an Atlas Shrugged film? What is this world coming to?!

It’s hard to argue with that list, although it does seem to pick on a few movies rather than spread the hate around. What are your thoughts and where has this list of nominees gone wrong? Should Interstellar or Lucy or The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies have made the cut?

Some of those directors are perfectly average but their films wree awful. In cases such as Transformers 4, it was bad but embraced its silliness to produce a decently entertaining popcorn flick and TMNT was decent. Perhaps Luc Besson should’ve been up for a worst director award with his collision editing in Lucy.

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Time Travel And Telltale Style Storytelling Converge In Life Is Strange http://egmr.net/2015/01/time-travel-telltale-style-storytelling-converge-life-strange/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/time-travel-telltale-style-storytelling-converge-life-strange/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:00:35 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165551 Gone Home meets The Walking Dead meets Heavy Rain meets Twin Peaks meets Veronica Mars. That more or less sums up the buzz currently surrounding the new game from the […]

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Gone Home meets The Walking Dead meets Heavy Rain meets Twin Peaks meets Veronica Mars. That more or less sums up the buzz currently surrounding the new game from the folks who brought us Remember Me in 2013. It’s called Life is Strange. With any luck this one will be more memorable.

Name: Life is Strange
Genre: Twin Peaks Sim
Players: 1
Multiplayer: N/A
Platforms: PC,PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3
Developers: Dontnod Entertainment
Publishers: Square Enix
Release Date: 30 January 2015 (Episode 1)
Price: $19/£12.59/R220.95 ($5/£3.30/R57.50 per episode)

Telltale Games has not only brought episodic gaming back into popularity but has also managed to drag point-and-click adventure games back from the dead. Ironically with The Walking Dead. Now, while Telltale attempts to market its kool-aid in different flavours, French developer Dontnod is experimenting with its own brand of episodic adventure gaming. However, much like the kool-aid that wiped out an entire town, there’s a twist. Instead of poison, the secret ingredient here is time travel! (which can be its own poison in the wrong hands).

Life is Strange takes place in the fictional small town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon (not to be mistaken for the also fictional city of Portland, Oregon). Side note: oregano is the Parmesan cheese of herbs. So far so classic adventure game setup. You play as Max Caulfield, a high school senior who returns to Arcadia Bay after a five year absence and is reunited with her childhood friend, Chloe Price. As these things go, Max is barely back when fellow student Rachel Amber mysteriously disappears. Of course there’d be mystery surrounding someone with two first names, they always have secrets.

Before we go any further, it’s worth mentioning that once again Dontnod had some significant trouble in securing a publisher. Remember Me had a number of issues and just one of them was in production when the studio needed a publisher. Everyone told them to change the female protagonist to a male. Everyone except Capcom. Life really is strange.

Well, you know what they say about history, right? Life is Strange suffered similar troubles due to the game featuring a female protagonist. Eventually Square Enix picked up the game and all is well again. You can find out more about it in the developer diary below.

With adventure games being on the rise again and a healthy murder mystery premise, Life is Strange seems to have a good concept behind it and could be something worth looking out for just based on that. It gets better.

These narrative heavy games rely on player choice to spice things up but the trouble is that you’re never sure how much of an effect your choices will really have until much later and unfortunately they don’t always have much of an effect at all. Life is Strange may or may not have more meaningful choices but it does have an added layer to its decision making.

Time travel! (hot tub not required)

Time travel is a little broad a term. Max has the ability to rewind time up to a certain point. Through the magic of game design, these points are called checkpoints. Yes, someone made a game mechanic out of the age-old habit of reloading a checkpoint or past save file in order to change your decisions.

The idea is to see how the butterfly effect takes effect. For example, players might redo a section to make the best short-term decision but in the long run this could have far worse repercussions than the seemingly “bad” decision. Of course, being able to simply rewind and do things differently takes the weight out of decision making and could easily devalue the entire player-driven narrative. It’s unclear how Dontnod is going to avoid this.

In addition to Max’s Prince of Persia powers there’s all manner of weirdness abound in Arcadia Bay. Aside from the obvious Walking Dead comparisons there’s a strong Twin Peaks atmosphere to the game.

Life is Strange also features a great deal of things for players to interact with giving it a Gone Home vibe. Not just because of the female protagonist. There’s a distinctly indie tone to the game in the way that Valiant Hearts and Child of Light felt indie in a year when Ubisoft did some horrendous things in the triple-A sector.

Much like The Walking Dead you’ll notice that Life is Strange isn’t a visual powerhouse. Instead of cel-shaded graphics, it rather opts for cartooney graphics fueled by Unreal Engine 3.

Suspected Selling Points
  • Time travel and experimenting with the butterfly effect
  • Interesting concept
  • Adventure games are gaining popularity

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • Dontnod doesn’t have anything in the way of a reputation to go by and Life is Strange could end up like Remember Me
  • The game could easily feel cliched and uninspired
  • Time reversal mechanic could take the weight and tension out of decision making

There’s a fair bit that Life is Strange has going for it and we’d certainly like to see a different studio’s take on the episodic adventure games that Telltale has built its success on. The comparisons to Twin Peaks and Gone Home give the game appeal but ultimately its fate rests in how well the time reversal mechanic is handled. Furthermore, the butterfly effect and repercussions from player choices will need to be felt in order for Life is Strange to make good on its promises. Given Dontnod’s previous venture, we’d recommend waiting until reviews are out.

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Publishers Tried To Force Male Protagonists On Life Is Strange Developer Dontnod Entertainment http://egmr.net/2015/01/publishers-tried-force-male-protagonists-life-strange-developer-dontnod-entertainment/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/publishers-tried-force-male-protagonists-life-strange-developer-dontnod-entertainment/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165658 Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. A developer has a pretty interesting idea for a game. They’ve even begun early stages of development and the game just happens […]

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Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

A developer has a pretty interesting idea for a game. They’ve even begun early stages of development and the game just happens to have a female protagonist. Unfortunately this means that a lot of publishers frown upon their game saying, “It’s good stuff but make the protagonist a grisly white male and we’ve got a deal.”

This is exactly what Dontnod Entertainment experienced when they tried to secure a publisher for Remember Me. Ultimately, the game had issues above and beyond the supposed problems that come with having no Y chromosomes in your protagonist.

Eventually, Capcom of all companies picked up Remember Me. However, it seems neither party was happy with the union because that partnership didn’t last. Once again Dontnod was all alone, once again the studio had a new game in the works and once again the studio needed to find a publisher.

Once again, the game has a female protagonist. You can see where this is going.

In an industry that maintains it is being more progressive than ever with females in gaming being promoted not only in terms of development but also the games themselves, it’s hard to believe any of that when studios like Dontnod are being turned away by publishers because their game doesn’t have a male protagonist and they’re not willing to change that.

The game is called Life is Strange and by a twist of fate manages to sum up Dontnod’s troubles.

Eventually Dontnod found solace in Square Enix and without much of a fuss it seems.

“Square is basically the only publisher that didn’t want to change a single thing about the game,” said studio creative director Jean-Maxime Moris. “We had other publishers telling us ‘Make it a male lead character,’ and Square didn’t even question that once.”

The woes with securing a publisher are detailed in the first dev diary for Life is Strange up top.

Games with female protagonists are nothing new. However, just last year there was a huge furor surrounding AC: Unity and Ubisoft’s refusal to have playable female characters. That’s Ubisoft though. Sony was plenty happy to oblige Quantic Dream with Beyond: Two Souls although thatgame had the star power of Ellen Page. Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season 2 featured Clementine as the only playable character and did exceptionally well in 2014 but the studio operates very much independently.

Bizarrely, Life is Strange is a lot like The Walking Dead with narrative-heavy episodic gameplay pivoting around player choices and interactions. The difference is that it also has some Twin Peaks elements and time travel. Surely that should be enough to sell a publisher given the detritus that makes it through to production these days.

Is it really then that hard to have a female protagonist in a triple-A game who isn’t named Samus or Lara?

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The Latest Trailer For Avengers: Age Of Ultron Features Some Epic Hulkbusting http://egmr.net/2015/01/latest-trailer-avengers-age-ultron-features-epic-hulkbusting/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/latest-trailer-avengers-age-ultron-features-epic-hulkbusting/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:00:24 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165711 The first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron was pretty creepy but also so deliciously awesome and filled with nibbles of information to pull from it. It will also go […]

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The first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron was pretty creepy but also so deliciously awesome and filled with nibbles of information to pull from it. It will also go down as doing the strangest thing to Pinocchio outside of all the associated porn and weird artwork. I’m of course talking about the song, that song.

While the first trailer gave us glimpses of all the film’s major players, the audio was very much focused on Ultron. As if James Spader won’t steal the show anyway in the film with his performance of as Ultron.

The new trailer is shorter, a little messier and slightly creepier. It also features a little soundbite from each character more to remind us that they all have voices than to serve any purpose.

Regardless, the trailer redeems itself ten times with exactly 27% of the reason people want to watch this film – to see Robert Downey Jr don his Hulkbuster armour and throw down with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. That wrestling training in Foxcatcher is going to come in handy.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is due out at the end of April.

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Uncharted 4 Artist Breaks Down How To Make Video Games Beautiful http://egmr.net/2015/01/uncharted-4-artist-breaks-make-video-games-beautiful/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/uncharted-4-artist-breaks-make-video-games-beautiful/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 12:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165586 Beauty is an extremely subjective thing to judge (unless we’re talking vapid beauty contests), making it harder to produce with a vast and varied audience in mind. How do you […]

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Beauty is an extremely subjective thing to judge (unless we’re talking vapid beauty contests), making it harder to produce with a vast and varied audience in mind.

How do you make Nathan Drake, a chiseled white male, more attractive? It seems simple enough. Make him more chiseled and… whiter? No, that can’t be right. The simple answer is that it is not enough to have great character models. The environments need to be stunning as well, they need to make you feel different things.

Andrew Maximov is a fresh face at Naughty Dog and currently working on making Uncharted 4 the prettiest and best game ever. He recently hosted a lecture at the Art Institute of California in which he presented a reworked version of his GDC 2013 analysis on beauty in video games.

Typically you see a beautiful environment in a game and the scenery sparks something in you. The colours, the shapes, it strikes certain emotions but you can’t quite explain the mechanics of it all. That’s where Maximov comes in.

His lecture breaks down beauty in games and much like with cinematography in films it’s something we don’t consciously take note of until it’s shown to us. Then it can never be unseen. Much like when someone points out an annoying tick to you.

Maximov talks about balancing multiple and diverse elements in order to create beauty. Something that is more familiar is taking something from artwork to a high visual fidelity final product and retaining the original DNA of the artwork.

Maximov’s take is very, very interesting and quite an engaging watch.He also uses Uncharted 4 as a very relevant example.

Think back to Uncharted 2. In your mind certain sections of the game are very clear in your mind and carry certain feelings with them. That’s no accident. It’s actually a very important part of how Naughty Dog handles colour in their games.

What’s important here is to realize that making it pretty never comes as an afterthought. For example all of our Uncharted games, actually starting from 2, had a Color script, which is basically a script of… colors, for every single level of the game consecutively, because we want to be able to kind of pull back and see the progression of our colors in the scope of the entire project, and how they enhance the mood, and how they work with you to make sure that you feel the change of scenery, because there’s also a change in color. Because they influence you differently.

I strongly urge you to watch the whole video.

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Comments Of The Week — “I Just Saw “Ubisoft” And Nearly Peed My Pants” http://egmr.net/2014/12/comments-week-just-saw-ubisoft-nearly-peed-pants/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/comments-week-just-saw-ubisoft-nearly-peed-pants/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:00:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165511 This is it, the final CotW for 2014. Things have begun winding down (unless you’re Sony or North Korea) and everyone is going on holiday and gearing up for Christmas. […]

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This is it, the final CotW for 2014. Things have begun winding down (unless you’re Sony or North Korea) and everyone is going on holiday and gearing up for Christmas. We’ve been winding down too with our last few straggling reviews going out and our awards dominating the week.

It’s been one hell of a year. Let’s hope 2015 has more games and less bugs, patches, pre-orders, scary hashtags and a whole lot less Destiny.

We’ll be taking a break for a little while. TTFN.

  • 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.
  • The NeoN — 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 Winners: Razer Orochi Gaming Mouse http://egmr.net/2014/12/competition-winners-razer-orochi-gaming-mouse/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/competition-winners-razer-orochi-gaming-mouse/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:30:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165052 The competition that was run courtesy of Razer has come to an end (cue sadness) but with that comes the announcement of not one but two winners. One of them […]

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The competition that was run courtesy of Razer has come to an end (cue sadness) but with that comes the announcement of not one but two winners. One of them just had to comment on lots of articles while the other managed to guess our game of the year.

In accordance with the EGMR scientific process we released two mice into a maze with 30 possible exits (it’s a really big maze). Whichever exits the mice arrived at determined the winners.

  • Aaron
  • geijin

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.

Congratulations again to the winner and better luck next time to everyone else. Perhaps Satan Santa will bring you something nice for Christmas.

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EGMR Fun Awards 2014: Biggest Gaming Sins http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-fun-awards-2014-biggest-gaming-sins/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-fun-awards-2014-biggest-gaming-sins/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164920 Jesus died for our sins. That’s what they preach in Church, right? Well, he didn’t die for these sins. Every industry has its quirks and foibles. The bed bugs, the […]

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Jesus died for our sins. That’s what they preach in Church, right? Well, he didn’t die for these sins. Every industry has its quirks and foibles. The bed bugs, the niggles, annoyances and the downright inexcusable things. Gaming is like everything else, it’s got its evils and those are best addressed with a little quote from Mace Windu, in his infinite Jedi wisdom:

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”

That. That’s what the people committing these sins deserve. Vengeance looks a lot like one hundred angry honey badgers.

The Rundown

In some countries the worst sins will get you stoned. These sins are so bad that anybody caught committing them should be stoned on sight. Don’t even bother to check whether you have the right person, just walk up to them, look them straight in the eye and… 420BLAZEIT. Then, while they’re high and intoxicated, start throwing cartridges for ET on Atarai 2600 at them. Consider the list that follows here a watch list. Something to look out for in the games you’re playing. In any case, that’s how religion works. In order to absolve yourself of your sins you need to stone other sinners. Or burn them at the stake. It depends entirely on how good you are with fire.

 

The Nominees
Barely Functional Servers

driveclub review egmr

The future of gaming is online, right? That’s kind of a problem when you’re being told for the dozenth time that the server connection has failed. Why does this qualify as a sin? When you buy a game, the least you expect is for it to work. If a big part of said game involves playing online then those servers had better damn work. If server load was underestimated or servers simply can’t cope with any sort of load then chances are that someone isn’t doing their job. Spotting this sin can be hard. Often times you’ll be made to feel as if it’s your fault. “Is my internet not good enough for you, oh glorious video game?” Rest assured, if the game is coming from the likes of Sony, Ubisoft or EA then there’s a good chance any connectivity issues will be their fault. Go forth, you are absolved of your guilt!

While we’re at it, there’s no excuse for promising dedicated servers and then delivering P2P. That’s lying, man, and lying gets you scorched genitalia.

 

British Accents

review ac unity egmr

There’s nothing inherently wrong with British accents, except for the weird excuse for English that the folks of Liverpool try to speak. Screw those Scouse buggers. In fact, British accents can be pretty great, just watch Downton Abbey. British accents are then what you might call a contextual sin. It’s like contextual controls except they actually work. Generally eating isn’t frowned upon but eating another person is kind of bad. Unless you can prepare that person as an exquisite meal that would make the Michelin Man’s mouth water. In that case you’re kind of excused.

British accents are only sinnable when they don’t belong. Why are characters in any fantasy setting British by default? Is it because 23% of Wales believes that dragons are real? Most inexcusable of all is giving characters from foreign countries British accents. It started with games like Prince of Persia but this year packed one of the biggest sins where British accents are concerned — British accents in a game set in France made by a studio based in a French-speaking country and published by a French company. Yeah, that’s a pretty terrible offence. 100 lashings for you, Ubisoft.

 

Day One Patches

Sniper Elite 3 Review Small

The internet is a delightful thing. Except when people use it for evil. Which is pretty much all the time. For example, right now someone is searching for child porn, another someone is uploading child porn. I could be both those someones (sometwo?). In the old days, a game released and that was it. That’s not quite the case anymore.

  1. A game releases
  2. It has a colossal day one patch waiting for you
  3. It still has issues
  4. It needs another patch

Repeat steps 3 to 4 until people stop complaining or stop caring.

That reality is rather horrific when you’re staring down the face of a 16GB patch. As if Early Access wasn’t Sodom and Gomorrah rolled into one already.

 

Having to Start From Scratch in Sequels

Far-Cry-4-six1

You know what’s really annoying? Having to start from scratch. New ID, new documents, new face, new city. All because of one bestiality allegation. Even worse is eagerly getting the sequel to that game you really liked only to find that all the awesome gadgets and skills you had by the end of the first game are locked and you need to start from scratch. Worse still is when the methods by which you unlock said awesomeness become ever smaller hoops to jump through. Eventually you’re gonna get stuck, fatty. We’re not really sure what that metaphor means, you figure it out.

It’s a cardinal sin when the best a developer can do is give you the same stuff they gave you the last time and lock it away with contrived reasoning. That’s a bad excuse for not innovating. It doesn’t count to just rename something or make it look slightly different.

 

Lack of QA Testing

Unity bug

What’s the most basic thing you expect from a game? That’s right, white male protagonists. If a game isn’t doing that then it’s already batting with a handicap. Unfortunately, The Klan no longer has the pull it used to over the gaming industry. Short of white male protagonists, we could always expect decent QA testing. You know? That process where people actually playtest a game and say things like: “this is broken,” or “it makes my eyes bleed,” or “who decided that people want so much lip shine?”

The answer to that last question is Maybelline. Maybe.

Not doing your job properly is a sin, as decreed by the Amish scriptures. As such, any developer that releases a game without properly testing it as best they can is a huge sin. Punishable by some butter-churning-related form of torture.

 

Remember children, only sinners and heathens make bad games. Making a good video game is the easiest way to get into heaven and unlock those 72 virgins.

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EGMR Awards 2014: Controversy Of The Year http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-awards-2014-controversy-year/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-awards-2014-controversy-year/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164895 With gaming getting more controversial (as it gets more mainstream) and with this year having been especially controversial we decided to throw a new award into the mix this year. […]

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With gaming getting more controversial (as it gets more mainstream) and with this year having been especially controversial we decided to throw a new award into the mix this year. We love controversy over here, some might even say we thrive off it. That’s not true, we thrive on the tears of disappointed gamers and gummy bears. The logical thing to do then is to place a great, illuminating spotlight on all of the year’s biggest controversies and let’s just say that there was no shortage of controversy to choose from in 2014. As we showed yesterday, it’s been a busy year for PR companies trying to spin controversies away or make them look good.

The Rundown

What does one have to do in order to be listed among the year’s biggest controversies in gaming? Nothing quite so pedestrian as murdering a woman in the name of misogyny or confessing to owning a David Cage body pillow. It’s rather simple actually. These are the controversies that defined 2014 by leaving a lasting impression and at the very least causing a significant stir around the web. If people were up in arms about it then it probably has a shout at being on this list.

 

The Nominees
#GamerGate

GamerGate

Is it about ethics in games journalism? Is it about misogyny? Is it about Zoe Quinn’s sex life? Is it about Adam Baldwin wanting to crowdfund another season of Firefly? There’s much debate about what #GamerGate is exactly and frankly, we couldn’t really tell you ourselves. Well, we probably could but it would take a really long time. Regardless, #GamerGate popped up a few months ago and is showing no signs of going away. It has divided developers and gamers and been at the centre of numerous controversies from the #Quinnspiracy to doxxing to #StopGamerGate to publications being called out or blacklisted for shady practices with PR companies/publishers. It’s all happened in and around the #GamerGate name.

 

Ubisoft

watch dogs preview egmr

I was asked to type up this award because I’m generally impartial and sometimes indifferent. That said, I wish Ubisoft death by 100 angry armadillos. It is boggling for a company so successful to have such a knack for causing controversy. It was just one thing after another for the French publisher with Far Cry 4 being called racist, Assassin’s Creed: Unity rejecting playable female characters because they’re hard to animate, Assassin’s Creed: Unity running at a lower framerate and resolution than promised, Watch_Dogs having visuals enhancements locked away on its PC version, Watch_Dogs receiving a substantial visual downgrade, Assassin’s Creed: Unity releasing in a horrid state, Assassin’s Creed: Unity reviews being embargoed till midway through release day and probably a few more things that we’ve repressed from our memories.

In short, Ubisoft loves to stir the pot.

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider Exclusivity

Rise of the Tomb Raider 2

Console exclusives are great. They provide incentive to go either way. Otherwise choosing between an Xbox One and PS4 might be nearly impossible. So what went wrong when Microsoft announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox One exclusive? To put it quite simply, Sony fanboys and fangirls started wailing and gnashing their teeth. It hurts quite a lot when you play a game and find out that the sequel will simply not be available on your platform. Of course, Bayonetta 2 fans don’t seem to be complaining. The problem came in with how coy and thrifty Microsoft and Square Enix were being with their information in not outright confirming that yes, Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox One exclusive. They left it to speculation and dissection of their words for just a little too long and then the confirmation sparked further yelling. This earns a nomination because gamer entitlement is a thing and because it came as a genuine surprise. As the best controversies always do.

 

Phil Fish

philfish-postmain

In and of himself, Phil Fish is a walking controversy. Wherever he goes, controversy blooms like lens flare in a JJ Abrams movie or flowers of Flower. Last year, Fish had a meltdown and quit Twitter. As any self-respecting toddler does when he gets beaten on the playground. He also cancelled Fez II to really show those meanies up. It’s almost cute. Except it really isn’t. This year Phil Fish returned to Twitter to become the foremost running commentary on the events in Ferguson. Before that though, Fish was demanding that YouTubers should be paying him in order to use Fez in their videos. In other words, they should pay him to market his game. Whichever business school Fish went to, it seems pretty amazing. It gets better though.

In August, Phil Fish told everyone who wanted Fez II to “shut the fuck up” because it is never going to happen. Why? Simply put: we don’t deserve it. Nobody on Earth is worthy of his glorious gaming creations.

 

ResolutionGate

resolutiongate-1024x576

It has the word gate in it and is therefore obviously controversial. One of the taglines of this new console generation has been 1080p and 60fps. That’s what games are supposed to release at. The trouble is that they almost never do. A few will manage either of the two. A small handful nails both and most just settle for being sub-par. Which is actually now par for the course. Funny how a sliding scale can work. Throughout the course of the year we’ve had developers tell us that 30fps is better for gaming, more cinematic, better for pregnant women, less likely to give you cancer and is actually capable of granting psychic abilities overtime. The same for why a lot of games are in 900p or 720p or use some nifty trickery to look 1080p but aren’t.

It might not be such an issue if people didn’t make it such an issue. Resolution and framerate used to be a concern of the PC master race, not the console plebeians. These days, it’s news when a game’s framerate and resolution get announced and it is almost always cause for lashing out.

 

And The Winner Is…

It wasn’t Ubisoft, because as much as we love to dislike them (and they came close to winning (losing?)), they’re always up to no good and they simply weren’t at the heart of this year’s biggest controversies. Better luck next time, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

We don’t want to take away a single thing from the remaining nominees, they tried their best but in the end simply were not controversial enough.

 

#GamerGate

GamerGate

#GamerGate is showing no signs of going anywhere and has not only changed the landscape of social media for many but also they way we look at things in the industry. When something is so controversial that another hashtag pops up against it, there’s not much room for competition.

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Review: Shadow Warrior Is Delightfully Dumb But Deft http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-shadow-warrior-delightfully-dumb-deft/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-shadow-warrior-delightfully-dumb-deft/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164936 Visit review on site for scoring. Shadow Warrior comes from the same era as Doom, Duke Nukem and Syndicate. The latter two have already had their severely disappointing reboots and […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

Shadow Warrior comes from the same era as Doom, Duke Nukem and Syndicate. The latter two have already had their severely disappointing reboots and id Software is working on a new Doom that promises to be something worthwhile. So what happened when someone took a game from 1997 about demons, incest and katana-wielding assassins? A pretty good game actually.

Shadow Warrior follows Lo Wang, an assassin who starts out the game trying to buy a rare katana for his employer. Wang is something of an Asian Deadpool – witty, self-referential, wise to tropes and mighty handy with a katana or firearm. It’s just a pity that it often falls flat or serves as merely filler noise. The humour is quite hit ‘n miss but when it finds the mark it can be pretty good. Right in the beginning for example, Wang will start cracking Legend of Zelda jokes while looting freshly laid corpses.

The game’s narrative looks as though it will be a vacuous excuse for dragging the hero through areas but it holds up rather decently, if predictably. It’s a very mythological tale and a rather Japanese one that may not agree with everyone.

One thing folks may agree upon though is that Shadow Warrior is not a pretty game. It looks good enough but in motion often looks like something that was made when the PS3 was but a fledgling console. It is a graphically underwhelming creature with too much bloom, dull textures and amorphous character models. Thus is made baffling by the presence of constant loading and framerate drops.

Where Shadow Warrior truly excels though is in its gameplay. It takes a very basic, stripped down approach to gameplay with a lot of old school mechanics and design choices. A fair amount feels as old school as it is and not necessarily in a good way. The heart of the game is in those mechanics that have been made with and old school mentality but modern sensibilities. The result is a combat system that feels rewarding, badass and fun.

Players have access to a variety of blades and guns, each with its own quirks and tricks. There’s also a giant purple dildo because Saints Row exists and cannot copyright a giant purple dildo. While Shadow Warrior brings some ideas to the table with its mythology-infused combat and upgrade system, it does borrow from other games too. Fortunately, it never feels like a straight copy-paste.

Guns are as simple as point and shoot in this game with a very arcadey feel to them, as one might finds in anything from the 90s. They work well enough but we’d recommend avoiding the use of guns purely because it then allows you to sample the games sword mechanics. Think Metal Gear Rising Revengeance’s cutting mechanics but faster, more intuitive and vastly more rewarding. That’s what wielding a katana in Shadow Warrior feels like. Make a sharp diagonal slash and an enemy might lose an arm. That doesn’t mean they’re not still coming after you though. You have to land a critical strike to down an enemy and mastering the katana is hugely satisfying. This will however, vary between levels. The higher up you go, the more control you have over your blades.

Speaking of enemies, they come in two flavours: human and demon. The humans are all more or less the same but the demons come in a few different shapes and sizes. You can also make enemies out of rabbits and eventually they’ll just have sex in front of you. They all behave and go down pretty much just as easily. Despite the wide dearth of weapons on hand, the enemies are all more or less the same to deal with (bosses excluded). This means that there is no real change in tact or even a need for change in weapon. One size fits all pretty much.

Fortunately, this lends itself to the design style of “attack first, ask questions later.” It’s not meant to be a cover shooter where you have time to think. It’s a fast-paced action game with one hell of hook – no cover shooting whatsoever. The game wants to keep you constantly on the move with combat being both satisfying and a rather refreshing.

In fact, Shadow Warrior on the whole is something of a breath of fresh air. It cares not about peas, it’s a game designed to be fun and by golly, it manages to be good fun. Is the fun enough to overlook its issues? No. Is it enough to warrant that price? No. Is it worth at least trying out? Most definitely.

Players can upgrade Wang and his abilities through a slow and clunky upgrade menu which provides either weapon upgrades, skills or Ki abilities. The upgrade system is reminiscent of The Darkness II but a little deeper and possibly a little less necessary. In fact, if you enjoyed The Drakness II then Shadow Warrior may delight you too.

Its need to be so strictly old school is both a boon and a blight on Shadow Warrior. On the one hand, it manages to modernise old mechanics or at least preserve them very well. On the other, it’s a singleplayer game with minimal replay value and not a hugely long campaign for the price of a more complete game. One simply cannot pay that much for something worth only a few hours of entertainment at most.

It’s not trying to be anything profound, nor is it trying to set any benchmarks. Shadow Warrior is simply out here to show people a good time and it mostly succeeds at that. It has clearly been made with some amount of passion and knowledge of what fun is to normal people. Not to mention bringing all that fun while still making old school mechanics feel exciting and relevant. It’s certainly not easy.

 

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Competition: Place Your Bets To Win A Razer Orochi Gaming Mouse http://egmr.net/2014/12/competition-place-bets-win-razer-orochi-gaming-mouse/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/competition-place-bets-win-razer-orochi-gaming-mouse/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:00:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164791 We’ve currently got a competition underway where you can win a pretty cool Razer Orochi gaming house. If you’ve entered it then good luck, if you haven’t then there’s still […]

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We’ve currently got a competition underway where you can win a pretty cool Razer Orochi gaming house. If you’ve entered it then good luck, if you haven’t then there’s still time. However, let’s be honest that your chances of winning are probably slim with so many entries. That’s just the truth.

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with a surefire way to double your odds. Welcome to the EGMR Ponzi scheme. You see, we’ve got not one but two Razer Orochi gaming mouses to give away.

Here’s the list of specs in case you need reminding:

  • Orochi is designed for notebooks and can be used either wired or wireless via Bluetooth 3.0
  • It has an ambidextrous form factor
  • 6400dpi 4G laser sensor
  • 30 hours of projected battery life for continuous use
  • LED on scroll wheel

While the last competition is being run through comments on the site, this one is a tad easier. With our awards underway, it seemed apt to tie the competition to them.

 

Here’s How To Enter

It’s rather easy. All you need to do is comment on this article with your prediction for our winner of Game of the Year. Which game do you foresee us crowning as the best game of the year?

Those who guess it right will go into the prize pool and a winner will be drawn at random.

The winning name will be announced on December 19.

Best of luck to everyone entering!

 

Things to remember:

  • Terms and Conditions apply
  • Competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 18 December, 2014.
  • The winner will be announced on Friday 19 December, 2014.
  • Comment on this article to enter, so we know you’re trying for the prize.
  • The winner 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 Razer.

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Prometheus 2 Could Include Michael Fassbender Seduction Technqiues http://egmr.net/2014/12/prometheus-2-michael-fassbender-seduction/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/prometheus-2-michael-fassbender-seduction/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164634 No, seriously. Ridley Scott mentioned Michael Fassbender, seduction and Prometheus in one breath. A few years back Ridley Scott did what the butterfly effect and years of psychotherapy will tell […]

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No, seriously. Ridley Scott mentioned Michael Fassbender, seduction and Prometheus in one breath.

A few years back Ridley Scott did what the butterfly effect and years of psychotherapy will tell you, don’t obsess over the past. He didn’t listen and the world got Prometheus. Granted, it featured Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace in her underwear so perhaps not the worst thing to ever exist. It was still pretty bad… or quite good. Prometheus was a polarising one.

Regardless, Prometheus and Terminator: Salvation foretold the current era we’re in where everything from the past is being remade or revived. Robocop had its turn, Jurassic World is on its way and so is Star Wars. Ridley Scott is dabbling in another classic with a Blade Runner sequel on the cards.

First however, the Prometheus sequel is going to happen and exist as a sequel to a prequel to the Alien series of films. That description alone sounds awful. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender are set to reprise their roles as Shaw and David. the latter being an android.

Ridley Scott just wrapped up his take on The Bible with Exodus: Gods and Kings and in an interview with MTV News was of course asked about some of his more interesting projects currently in the works. When asked if Prometheus 2 would follow on directly from the first with Shaw and David, his answer was quite clear:

“You have to. You can’t have a person go off into the galaxy and have a person who’s still got his head off. Once that head goes back on, he’s really dangerous, but he’s also very seductive. So maybe he’ll persuade her to help him put the head back.”

The first film left David’s motivations as a mystery, though this was perhaps down to them simply not being explained. However, Scott suggested that the sequel would have David once again pulling the strings from out of sight.

Furthermore, Scott touched on bringing back one of his most revered and influential works – Blade Runner. Till today it remains an uncanny blend of noir and sci-fi that is expertly crafted.

On the topic of Harrison Ford, who will be appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he was was apparently blown away by the script for Blade Runner’s sequel.

“Harrison and I really get on rather well. I sent him (the script), and he said ‘That’s the best thing I’ve ever read.’ So it’s very relevant to what happened in the first one. I’m not just doing a sequel with lots of action and see how far we can with the special effects. Because you can’t really. With Blade Runner, we landed on a somehow very credible future. It’s very difficult to change that because it’s been so influential with everything else.”

Another thing about Blade Runner was its very unique, very grounded design that felt tangible rather than outlandish and fantastical. It was a hard-boiled dystopia and that aesthetic is a crucial aspect which needs to be preserved in any sequel.

“I think the key is to keep the design in its place. Otherwise, it just kills the credibility of what you’re watching. An explosion that’s too big, you go “How did he survive that?” and you’re right out of the movie.”

I think I speak for everyone when I say that hopes are rather low for a Prometheus sequel and that none of the films associated with Alien can quite beat the original. However, what do you make of Blade Runner 2 and does Ridley Scott still have it in him to make a great sequel?

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Spider-Man’s Cinematic Future Is Looking A Little Confused http://egmr.net/2014/12/spider-mans-cinematic-future-is-looking-confused/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/spider-mans-cinematic-future-is-looking-confused/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 12:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164591 What do you do when Tobey Maguire in camp and a critically panned pair of rebooted films has your character’s cinematic future dangling by a web? Call in the experts. […]

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What do you do when Tobey Maguire in camp and a critically panned pair of rebooted films has your character’s cinematic future dangling by a web? Call in the experts. Sony may just be outsourcing it’s redemption song for Spider-Man.

The Sam Raimi trilogy of Spider-Man films served their purpose in setting the bar for superhero films in this century. The third part in that trilogy did more bad than good though and was ultimately what accelerated the need for a reboot of the cinematic franchise.

The trouble is that the reboot has the right ingredients and Andrew Garfield is a great Spider-Man but simply fell flat for the majority of people. The sequel promised to be everything the first entry wasn’t but somehow fell even flatter. Perhaps it had something to do with being a 130 minute trailer for the next few movies.

The aftermath of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that the Venom film is in jeopardy, Andrew Garfield may be out of the picture in favour of a soft reboot and honestly, Sony’s grand plans for Spider-Man may be crumbling.

The upshot is that these troubles open Sony up to be exploited by Marvel. Marvel has plans to bring their Civil War story to the big screen but the trouble with that is that it sort of needs Spider-Man to work properly.

Rumours have been going around that in the wake of ASM 2, Sony was open to lending the character rights to Marvel for the purposes of Civil War. Now, recently Sony was subject to hacks that we’d like to believe had something to do with The Interview. A film in which James Franco and Seth Rogen are recruited to kill Kim Jong-Un. Either way, leaked documents have confirmed those rumorus about character lending according the Wall Street Journal. In addition to Civil War plans, Marvel wanted to make a new trilogy of Spider-Man films that would allow Sony to retain some “creative control, marketing, and distribution [rights].”

Sadly, the talks broke down for unknown reasons and it seems as if a collaboration between Sony and Marvel is off the table for the foreseeable future. Instead, Sony’s plans to reinvigorate Spider-Man will come in the form of an animated film.

Wait, what?

The answers to Spider-Man’s cinematic woes is an animated film? Allow me to explain.Sony’s plans for live-action films with Sinister Six, Venom and two more Amazing Spider-Man films are still on. In addition to that will be expansion into animated films starting with a little number by the wizards behind The LEGO Movie.

Spider-Man has enjoyed animated success of late with the Ultimate Spider-Man Disney XD series. It makes sense then to exploit that with the likes of Chris Lord and Phill Miller. It’s not clear yet whether the pair’s involvement will go beyond producing but we can only hope it extends to writing at the very least.

Once again, the WSJ reports that Sony has a “Spidey Summit” planned for January 2015 in order to discuss what’s next for Spider-Man. Amidst all the speculation such an event might actually be exactly what Sony needs.

If Sony was to adjust its plans for Spider-Man and have a little less studio interference (as it has been criticised of) what sort of changes would you want to see brought in? What do you make of a Spider-Man animated film?

Personally I think it’s safe way to go and with Lord and Miller at least involved, there’s a chance the animated film will outdo anything the ASM films did.

One thing’s for certain, Sony needs to figure out what it needs to do with Spider-Man to prevent a derailing.

Also, imagine if Fox teamed up with Sony for a Deadpool-Spidey crossover. Just… just imagine it.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 Promises To Show The Worst Of Its Characters http://egmr.net/2014/12/guardians-galaxy-2-promises-show-worst-characters/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/guardians-galaxy-2-promises-show-worst-characters/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164463 Guardians of the Galaxy is perhaps one of 2014’s biggest hits and, to many, one of its biggest surprises. A movie with such a disparate group of characters managing to […]

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Guardians of the Galaxy is perhaps one of 2014’s biggest hits and, to many, one of its biggest surprises. A movie with such a disparate group of characters managing to not only draw so much star power in its leading roles but also stand out as one of 2014’s cinematic highlights? It’s easy to see why DC suddenly became extremely eager to make Suicide Squad happen.

While DC is playing an aggressive game of catch-up to Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy fits very neatly and very perfectly into Marvel’s cinematic universe as mapped out on Kevin Feige’s back in ink in 2007.

Guardians has easily been Marvel’s riskiest move since giving Mickey Rourke money and it paid off spectacularly.

It’s then rather reassuring to hear fresh news on the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. Word is that it will be worse than… oh, wait. My bad, only it’s characters will be worse. No, no that’s not right either. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will show fans just how bad its leading characters really are.

That sounds about right.

In an interview with CBR, director James Gunn revealed that he knows exactly where the sequel is headed and exactly where it isn’t. Now, had this movie done just barely well enough to scrape a sequel together then it might need to play things safe but just how well Guardians has done will factor into how Gunn approaches the sequel and the risks he’s willing to take.

“I think my biggest surprise was just how much they latched on to nearly everything. My surprise was how much they liked the humor in the movie. How much they liked the visuals. How much they got the visuals. How they saw what they were. How they were different from other movies that were coming out. There were a lot of things in the movie that people would probably enjoy, but I didn’t know that people would get it in such a specific way, that they would understand the movie so incredibly well. That was a great joy for me seeing that. And it definitely influences me.”

This is the same man who did Super. A film where Ellen Page rapes Dwight from The Office and Nathan Fillion is Jesus. For huge audiences to resonate with a film of his is a feat. Granted, Guardians is hardly filled with mass appeal fodder. A talking raccoon, weird Ent creature and green Zoe Saldanha are just some of its quirks.

Of course, there is a school that argues Guardians succeeds with its quirkiness because it draws on a very familiar style from the 80’s. Right down to its soundtrack. You know what? I don’t disagree.

This sort of familiar but unfamiliar outside of the box thinking is what made Guardians the success it is. Expect that to follow through in the sequel:

“But then it’s also about, who do I fall in love with? The truth is, before Guardians, I don’t think very many people would have said, “Oh, the character that is going to be most people’s favorite is Groot.” I don’t think anybody would have said that.

“There’s a process of discovery, and I’m not sure the characters who were the favorites from the last movie are going to be the favorites in the next movie. It’s really about listening to the audience, but then keeping myself as open to discovery as possible, because I think that there’s a lot of things that have gone unexplored and characters that have gone unexplored.”

While it moved at a breakneck pace, Guardians found time to open viewers up to many aspects of Marvel’s cosmic universe and some of that will be explored in Guardians 2 but what Gunn is most interested in unravelling is not the plot threads but rather the characters;

“The Guardians are going to continuously change. I think that some of the characters are probably worse than what we think they are, and other characters are better than what we think they are. It’s going to be interesting to learn a little bit about that as time goes on.

“Really, it’s just about walking forward in an elegant manner. When you go forward with a group of characters… you’re understanding these characters in a new way, you’re developing a new kind of story about their lives and who they are and where they’re going. And if you’re doing that, if you’re walking forward, then you can’t just repeat what you did before. That’s going backwards. That’s not understanding the character.”

In all its fun, we may have forgotten that ultimately the Guardians are all criminals, outlaws and even murderers. That nature doesn’t go away and perhaps Guardians 2 won’t shy away from that. Since they’re all depraved perhaps we’ll get a dark comedy. I certainly wouldn’t say no to that.

What do you make of Gunn’s statements and how do they fit into your vision for Guardians of the Galaxy 2?

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Toast On Jam: Let’s Write 2014 Off As More Than A Little Messy; 2015 Needs To Be Better http://egmr.net/2014/12/toast-jam-lets-write-2014-off-little-messy-2015-needs-better/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/toast-jam-lets-write-2014-off-little-messy-2015-needs-better/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164345 Alternate title: This Console Generation Needs To Come Alive In 2015 Or Else I don’t pretend to not be cynical. Sometimes I’m a little too cynical. I perform a light […]

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Alternate title: This Console Generation Needs To Come Alive In 2015 Or Else

I don’t pretend to not be cynical. Sometimes I’m a little too cynical. I perform a light bit of astral projection, look back and myself and think, “how the hell does that fool enjoy anything?” Then I ignore that voice. Like I ignore all the voices. Was 2014 a bad year in gaming? It was mired in controversy and far too many issues but it was not a bad year. It’s easily been a better year than 2013. Despite a midyear release slump that was worse than any before it. That said, it’s hard to ignore that this new console generation has yet to really explode.

Last year, as the new consoles were coming in we looked back at the past eight years and all that the PS3 and Xbox 360 had given us. It was interesting to reminisce but also to give ourselves a reference point for the new consoles. Two articles which stood out were ones we did on game which set the benchmark in their genre and games we described as gateway drugs into the previous console generation. These were effectively the games which set the tone and established a standard for not only what was possible within each specific genre but also what the then new tech was capable of.

Games such as Assassin’s Creed (2007), Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007), Uncharted (2007), The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006), Gears of War (2006), BioShock (2007). These are games that will stay with us forever not only because they are absolutely great works of entertainment but because they pioneered. They paved the way forward in gameplay and graphics. This signaled the start of an era where video games were on par with major films. In scope, in budget, in acting and more.

You’ll notice something with those games. They all released within a year of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 being on the market together. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have turned one already and much like babies, they’ve had teething problems. Unfortunately, we have yet to really see anything that can compare to Modern Warfare or Assassin’s Creed or even Oblivion in how ahead it is to anything that was capable on the old consoles.

A case could be made for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis System or for Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s absolutely breathtaking visuals (when they work). Possibly. Don’t get me wrong, there are some truly great games on the new consoles but nothing quite yet that is any meaningful distance ahead of what the old consoles can do aside from graphically.

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are both great consoles but there is still no genuine justification for that new tech. There’s enough reason to get the new consoles because of the games coming out on them but few have a justifiable reason for not simply releasing on the old consoles and indeed many still do.

This new generation is fundamentally different from the last one because in its first year the bast majority of games released across both generations. Now, that’s not nearly as bad as God of War II releasing on PS2 a full year into the PS3’s lifecycle but it does present an issue. If I can get all these games on my PS3 or Xbox 360 while losing out on very little then what’s the point of upgrading to those expensive new consoles? There’s no easy answer. Furthermore, developers aren’t pushing gameplay and game design so much as they’re pushing visuals and social features.


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Social features can exist on anything though, just as those folks with a 3DS. The fact that I can use Share Play while playing Far Cry 4 or snap a selfie in GTA V and post it to Twitter are all nice things. Sure enough. That does not enhance the gaming experience though. It merely puffs it up and adds some trimmings. Interconnected experiences are great but it’s worthless if you’ve done nothing to enhance the gaming experience at the core of this social interaction. If all I wanted was social interaction that amounts to playing a game then I’d hit up Omegle and scar myself for life.

Another issue troubling this generation is that publishers want faster turnaround times for games that take longer and more money to produce. The end result? Every single game releases with a day one update. That’s your best case scenario. Worst case is that the game releases in a broken state, with a day one update and still has issues weeks later.

To reiterate, 2014 has by no means been a bad year in gaming. Far from it. I’ve enjoyed plenty of games this year and urge you to play as many of those that have released as possible.

That said, this generation cannot stagnate so early on with reproductions of franchises we’re far too familiar with. I’d say the notion of the new IP is dead but there are more or less as many new IPs as we’ve always had. There are just far more games and far too many of those are sequels that don’t necessarily need to exist but do in the interest of coin.

A perfect parallel can be drawn between this year and 2007’s Assassin’s Creed. The franchise and risen and writhed in the years between but 2014’s Unity promised a return to form that would harken back to the old style of gameplay but with all the wonders of the new technology. It wasn’t. It was a mess that could hardly hold a stable framerate let alone bring any fresh and exciting gameplay to the table that we hadn’t already seen around the time of the first Assassin’s Creed. What we did get though was a game so interconnected that it couldn’t go five seconds without reminding us of its companion app, companion site, stat-tracking service, Uplay, co-op and on and on. Is this the direction of innovation these days?

We cannot expect gaming to grow on the same exponential curve, it will level out at some point, perhaps stagnate and then surge again. As we’ve seen in the film industry too. The trouble is that gaming doesn’t seem to be growing anywhere and seems very comfortable where it is. Breaking new ground merely means risking more revenue these days.

2014 revealed a number of issues with the games currently releasing on the new consoles and uncovered a host of teething pains with the PS4 and Xbox One. A console generation is a marathon rather than a sprint. A fair but unimpressive first year is to be expected but many of the present issues in the way games are being made need to weeded out in order to truly make 2015 the new consoles truly come alive with possibility.

 

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Competition: Win A Razer Orochi Gaming Mouse http://egmr.net/2014/12/competition-win-razer-orochi-gaming-mouse/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/competition-win-razer-orochi-gaming-mouse/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164408 Mice are hard to come by, mouses even harder for an honest and hard-working PC gamer. Or that weird kid who plugs a mouse into their internet fridge. Whoever you […]

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Mice are hard to come by, mouses even harder for an honest and hard-working PC gamer. Or that weird kid who plugs a mouse into their internet fridge. Whoever you are, don’t worry. We got your back. Well, maybe not all of you since after all there can only be one winner. Or can there?

Razer has bestowed upon us a lovely little Orochi gaming mouse to give away. Why should you care? A few reasons. Firstly, it’s free. Secondly, this:

  • Orochi is designed for notebooks and can be used either wired or wireless via Bluetooth 3.0
  • It has an ambidextrous form factor
  • 6400dpi 4G laser sensor
  • 30 hours of projected battery life for continuous use
  • LED on scroll wheel

Seriously, that last one is enough to pique my interest.

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 9 December, 2014 and 18 December, 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 YouTube.
  • We will select random videos from which to add bonus entries. Each comment on YouTube counts for two entries.

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 19 December, 2014. The winning name will be drawn through the use of a randomiser and small amounts of dark magic.

Best of luck to everyone entering!
Things to remember:

  • Terms and Conditions apply
  • Competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 18 December, 2014.
  • The winner will be announced on Friday 19 December, 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 Razer.

 

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The Witcher 3 Delayed Again, CD Projekt Profusely Apologises http://egmr.net/2014/12/witcher-3-delayed-cd-projekt-profusely-apologises/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/witcher-3-delayed-cd-projekt-profusely-apologises/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 07:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164407 What’s this? A game has been delayed, in this day and age?! Say it isn’t so! Oh, the humanity! Exclamation marks are tiring. Let’s settle down for a bit. The […]

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What’s this? A game has been delayed, in this day and age?! Say it isn’t so! Oh, the humanity! Exclamation marks are tiring. Let’s settle down for a bit. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt AKA What to Do With Your Life After Dragon Age: Inquisition was delayed out of a 2014 release for a few reasons.

Firstly, to give Dragon Age a shot at winning Game of the Year awards and secondly because the game simply needed more time. Fair enough, CD Projekt RED were upfront and forthcoming about why they needed to delay the game.

Of course, they were merely following a trend of getting the hell out of dodge (2014 in this case) with other titles such as Batman: Arkham Knight, Battlefield: Hardline, The Division and others. It’s hardly a surprise at this point for a game to get delayed. It seems to either be that or it will release in a fragile state. It is however, a little surprising when a game gets a double delay.

The Witcher 3 has just been pushed back from its February release to May 19 on all platforms. In case you didn’t know, that’s just in time for Dean’s birthday. Or Bracken’s. This is one of those psychology tests, whichever one you choose to associate the release date with determines your sanity.

A double delay is cause for concern in my books. That said, CD Projekt has been very apologetic about the delay and released an open letter to fans in which they explain the delay:

Dear Gamers,

Ever since we started working on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, we knew it would be an ambitious game. We wanted, and still aim, to give you an incredible experience, an epic adventure in a vast, completely open fantasy universe.

The sheer size and complexity of The Witcher, key features of the title, have had a decisive impact on production. Now, nearing the end of our work, we see many details that need to be corrected. When we release the most important game in our studio’s history, we must be absolutely sure that we did everything we could to limit any bugs to a level that will allow you to enjoy the game thoroughly.

With this in mind, we took another look at current workloads and what they mean for the team. Even though everyone is working at full speed, we concluded that we need another 12 weeks, so we are shifting the release date of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to May 19th, 2015.

We owe you an apology. We set the release date too hastily. It’s a hard lesson, one to take to heart for the future. We know what we want to do to make Wild Hunt one of the best RPGs you will ever play. And we continue to work hard to achieve just that. So, we apologize and ask for your trust.

Thank you for the all support you show us on a daily basis. We truly do appreciate it. It has fueled us in our passion since the start and will continue to do so.

The Board of CD PROJEKT SA

It doesn’t change the fact that the game is still delayed by three months but an explanation and apology go a long way. Furthermore, we can only hope the game benefits greatly from these delays. CD Projekt is perhaps one of the few that can be trusted to deliver along with the likes of Naughty Dog.

What do you make of the delay? Do you think the game was delayed in the wake of PSX to add a section in which Geralt slaughters the griffon from The Last Guardian to try and explain why Sony has forgotten about the game?

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The Inaugural Game Awards Were More Or Less What Gamers Needed http://egmr.net/2014/12/inaugural-game-awards-less-gamers-needed/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/inaugural-game-awards-less-gamers-needed/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 07:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164344 How does one go about piecing back together a community that has become so fractured? The simple answer is that you don’t, not realistically. Of course, gaming isn’t a tiny […]

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How does one go about piecing back together a community that has become so fractured? The simple answer is that you don’t, not realistically. Of course, gaming isn’t a tiny little industry with a very singular target market. Fragmentation is to be expected but not erratic and violent splintering and annexing.

It’s been a rough year for gaming with a lot of controversy and plenty of warring and arguing going about. We have often needed reminders that we play games for entertainment on the most basic level. That’s been forgotten far too often among all the arguing and bickering.

After a year like this, gamers need a reason to remember why we play games and why we love them so very much. Of all places, that reminder seems to have come from Geoff Keighley with his newly birthed The Game Awards.

The awards show served as a celebration of gaming, a three hour long one, but a celebration nonetheless. Very little emphasis was placed on the actual awards and more on people in the industry and people who are passionate about games.

Some of the highlights would have to be Tim Schafer, Roberta and Ken Williams, Imagine Dragons and not to mention all the games on show. It was a show full of people who love games.

At times it felt more than a little like E3 and the term “world premiere” will lose all meaning after you’ve heard it for the thousandth time. It was not without its issues but The Game Awards has its heart in the right place and I’m looking forward to next year’s show.

Ultimately, and for the most part, The Game Awards felt honest.

Below are the winners for you to argue about and up top is the full show for you viewing pleasure.

Best Shooter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Sledgehammer/Activision
  • Destiny – Bungie/Activision
  • Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
  • Titanfall – Respawn/EA
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – MachineGames/Bethesda

Best Action/Adventure

  • Alien: Isolation – Creative Assembly/Sega
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft
  • Bayonetta 2 – Platinum Games/Nintendo
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Monolith/Warner Bros.
  • Sunset Overdrive – Insomniac/Microsoft

Best Role Playing Game

  • Bravely Default – Square Enix
  • Dark Souls II – From Software/Bandai Namco
  • Divinity: Original Sin – Larian Studios
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Bioware/EA
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Obsidian/Ubisoft

Best Fighting Game

  • Killer Instinct: Season Two – Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax – Arc System Works/Atlus
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS – Nintendo
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Ultimate Street Fighter IV – Capcom

Best Family Game

  • Disney Infinity 2.0 – Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive Studios
  • Fantasia: Music Evolved – Harmonix/Disney Interactive Studios
  • Mario Kart 8 – Nintendo
  • Skylanders: Trap Team – Toys for Bob/Activision
  • Tomodachi Life – Nintendo

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • FIFA 15 – EA Canada/EA Sports
  • Forza Horizon 2 – Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft
  • Mario Kart 8 – Nintendo
  • NBA 2K15 – Visual Concepts/2K Sports
  • Trials Fusion – RedLynx/Ubisoft

Best Online Experience

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Sledgehammer Games/Activision
  • Dark Souls II – From Software/Bandai Namco
  • Destiny – Bungie/Activision
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard
  • Titanfall – Respawn/EA

Best Mobile/Handheld

  • Bravely Default – Square Enix
  • Monument Valley – Ustwo
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS – Nintendo
  • Threes – Asher Vollmer, illustrator Greg Wohlwend, and composer Jimmy Hinson

Best Remaster

  • Grand Theft Auto V – Rockstar Games
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection – 343 Industries/Microsoft
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – Game Freak/Nintendo
  • The Last of Us – Naughty Dog/Sony
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

Best Narrative

  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Obsidian/Ubisoft
  • The Walking Dead Season 2 – Telltale Games
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games
  • Valiant Hearts – Ubisoft
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – Machine Games/Bethesda

Best Score/Soundtrack

  • Alien: Isolation – Christian Henson, Joe Henson and Alexis Smith, The Creative Assembly/Sega
  • Child of Light – Coeur de pirate, Ubisoft Montreal
  • Destiny – Marty O’Donnell, Bungie/Activision
  • Sunset Overdrive – Boris Salchow, Insomniac Games/Microsoft
  • Transistor – Darren Korb, Supergiant Games

Best Independent Game

  • Broken Age Part 1 – Double Fine
  • Monument Valley – Ustwo
  • Shovel Knight – Cellar Door
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – The Astronauts

Games for Change

  • Mountain – David O’Reilly/Double Fine Presents
  • Never Alone – Upper One Games
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind – Naughty Dog/Sony
  • This War of Mine – 11bit Studios
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft

eSports Player of the Year

  • Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsson – League of Legends
  • Xu “Fy” Linsen – Dota 2
  • James “Firebat” Kostesich – Hearthstone
  • Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund – Counter-Strike: GO
  • Matt “NaDeSHoT” Haag – Call of Duty

eSports Team of the Year

  • Samsung White – League of Legends
  • Evil Geniuses – Dota 2
  • Edward Gaming – League of Legends
  • Newbee – Dota 2
  • Ninjas in Pajamas – Counter-Strike: GO

Trending Gamer

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

Best Fan Creation

  • BEST Zelda Rap EVER!! By Egoraptor
  • Luigi Death Stare by CZBwoi and Rizupicorr
  • Mine the Diamond (Minecraft Song) by Tobuscus
  • Minecraft – TITAN City by Colonial Puppet
  • Twitch Plays Pokemon by Anonymous

Developer of the Year

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

Best Performance

  • Adam Harrington as Bigby Wolf, The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games
  • Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Sledgehammer Games/Activision
  • Melissa Hutchison as Clementine, The Walking Dead: Season Two – Telltale Games
  • Trey Parker as Various Voices, South Park: The Stick of Truth – Obsidian/Ubisoft
  • Troy Baker as Talion, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Monolith/Warner Bros.

Most Anticipated Game – (To be voted on by fans)

  • Batman: Arkham Knight – Rocksteady/Warner Bros.
  • Bloodborne – FROM Software/Sony
  • Evolve – Turtle Rock/2K Games
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Naughty Dog/Sony

Game of the Year

  • Bayonetta 2 – Platinum Games/Nintendo
  • Dark Souls 2 – FROM Software/Bandai Namco
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – BioWare/EA
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Monolith/Warner Bros.

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Comments Of The Week — “No One Can Get More Rapey Than Cosby” http://egmr.net/2014/12/comments-week-no-one-can-get-rapey-cosby/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/comments-week-no-one-can-get-rapey-cosby/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 13:00:48 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164333 South Africa is descending into darkness, good thing we embrace it. The same way we embrace our tears every night. This weekend is a big one. It kicked off with […]

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South Africa is descending into darkness, good thing we embrace it. The same way we embrace our tears every night. This weekend is a big one. It kicked off with The Game Awards, Geoof Keighley’s new baby after the VGX left gamers feeling sterile. As I type this out I’m watching TGA and the show definitely has it’s heart in the right place. It’s far from perfect but has been created as a celebration of gaming and that’s a pretty great platform to start on.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to Sony’s PlayStation Experience with some huge announcements and you can catch our full coverage of both events tomorrow.

On the site we suffered from the usual post-competition slump in comments so thank you to those who have stuck around. You’re special (and maybe not in a good way).

Elsewhere, more tips on how to have a good time in Dragon Age: Inquisition, we finally followed up on that GamerGate article we put out about a month ago and we previewed a holiday. Also, we sportsed hard, we sportsed so hard. Finally, if you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a rape threat, just do this.

Also, also that podcast thingy. We did it. This week saw our last podcast of the year so your ears can stop bleeding for a little while still.

  • 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.
  • The NeoN — 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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Oprah Winfrey Could Control DC’s Suicide Squad Comprising Tons Of Star Power http://egmr.net/2014/12/oprah-winfrey-control-dcs-suicide-squad-comprising-tons-star-power/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/oprah-winfrey-control-dcs-suicide-squad-comprising-tons-star-power/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164273 DC has had Suicide Squad on the cards for a little while now and it’s more than a little surprising that something has peculiar and relatively unknown like the Suicide […]

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DC has had Suicide Squad on the cards for a little while now and it’s more than a little surprising that something has peculiar and relatively unknown like the Suicide Squad would get its own film, let alone be the second film to release after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Long Titles That I Can’t Be Bothered To Type Out But Will Make Fun Of By Typing An Even Longer Title. That is, until Guardians of the Galaxy existed.

DC needed an equivalent band of ragtag characters with plenty of individual quirks who need to learn to work together.

The Squad was recently announced, alongside Marvel’s own big announcements, and it packs an insane amount of star power. Granted, Guardians of the Galaxy featured Zoe Saldanha, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace and Josh Brolin.

First, a little background on the Squad.

Much like any team, there are no real fixed members. It’s the same with the Avengers, Justice League and even Guardians of the Galaxy. The basic premise of the Suicide Squad is that it comprises criminals sent on black ops missions by ARGUS (DC’s answer to SHIELD) in exchange for time off on their life sentences. They’re controlled by Amanda Waller (DC’s answer to Nick Fury, who also happens to be African American) who keeps them on a leash by means of explosive collars. Plenty of them also happen to be members of popular DC heroes’ rogues galleries.

The question then for the Suicide Squad film is not only who will be playing who but who there is to play. Here’s the list:

  • The Joker – Jared Leto
  • Harley Quinn – Margot Robbie
  • Deadshot – Will Smith
  • Boomerang – Jai Courtney
  • Enchantress – Cara Delevingne
  • Rick Flagg – Tom Hardy

Talk about an A-list team.

We’ve got Bane and the guy who starred in the movie that foreshadowed Batman v Superman. Not much can be said about Cara Delevingne except that she was in Anna Karenina and that that is a film. Her character though, Enchantress, is a sorceress who has been compared to Scarlet Witch. Deadshot is a well-known villain of not only Batman but also Green Arrow and perhaps Will Smith has the charisma and style to pull off the character. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy’s Rick Flagg is an elite soldier and that’s all you really need to know. Boomerang may be familiar to those of you who watch Arrow and The Flash, he’s a regular Green Arrow rogue and actor Jai Courtney will be familiar to those who actually watched Divergent.

If you’re unsure who Margot Robbie is, she’s the same actress who held Leonardo di Caprio at arm’s length away from her vagina the way the Academy holds him away from an Oscar. Essentially, she’s got the perfect blend of crazy and sexy to play a very convincing Harley Quinn. Jared Leto has arguably the same qualities (I have a small mancrush on him) but also brings an extreme amount of acting talent and a knack for theatricality. Not to mention the right physique for a very classic Joker.

GalleryComics_1900x900_20140813_NSS_Cv2_53b1c793c57dd4.71533944

The film will officially take inspiration from The Dirty Dozen and unofficially from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It is set to be directed by David Ayer who is making a name for himself as an action director to look out for. especially with his latest film, Fury.

There’s been no word yet on who the “villain” of the film will be but there are talks of some very interesting options being on the table for Amanda Waller. But first! A press release.

BURBANK, Calif. – An all-star roster of actors has joined Warner Bros. Pictures’ new action adventure “Suicide Squad,” bringing DC Comics’ super villain team to the big screen under the direction of David Ayer (“Fury”). The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The film will star two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Ali,” upcoming “Focus”) as Deadshot; Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises,” upcoming “Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Rick Flagg; Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” upcoming “Focus,” the “Tarzan” movie) as Harley Quinn; Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club,” “Alexander”) as the Joker; Jai Courtney (“Divergent,” upcoming “The Water Diviner”) as Boomerang; and Cara Delevingne (“Anna Karenina,” upcoming “Pan”) as Enchantress.

In making the announcement, Silverman said, “The Warner Bros. roots are deep on this one. David Ayer returns to the studio where he wrote ‘Training Day’ and brings his incredible ability to craft multidimensional villains to this iconic DC property with a cast of longtime Warner collaborators Will Smith and Tom Hardy, and other new and returning favorites: Margot, Jared, Jai and Cara. We look forward to seeing this terrific ensemble, under Ayer’s amazing guidance, give new meaning to what it means to be a villain and what it means to be a hero.”

Ayer is also writing the script for “Suicide Squad,” which is being produced by Charles Roven (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) and Richard Suckle (“American Hustle”). Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns are serving as executive producers.

So who could fill the role of Amanda Waller? Nick Fury was easy, Marvel just had to find the angriest black man around and that man is Samuel L. Jackson. Of course, Nick Fury used to be white. Similarly, there are different interpretations of Waller. The more common one is a woman as tough as nails who looks like a high school principal and embodies the nickname “The Wall.” The alternative is the New 52 version who is sleeker, sexier and more of a field agent than a master puppeteer. The former would make for a more interesting character and lead to a more diverse film, personally.

According to Variety, Warner Bros and DC are currently considering Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for the role of Amanda Waller. The film only goes into production in April so there is yet time for that decision to be made. However, can you imagine Oprah as the intimidating leader of a global organisation? Neither can I but perhaps the casting directors know something we don’t. I’d rather side with Viola Davis, who is apparently great in How to get Away With Murder. I have no insights on Octavia Spencer and purely know the actress by name. The only thing Oprah has going for her is the classic Waller physique, more or less, and could well be a red herring in all this.

Suicide Squad is set to begin filming in April with an August 5 2016 release date. Hey, didn’t Guardians of the Galaxy release around that time this year? Huh, what a coincidence.

This year we got a taste of the Suicide Squad on-screen in the fun but ultimately average animated film Assault on Arkham. This could perhaps serve as a reference point for how the Squad operates.

There’s nothing wrong with so many A-list actors being cast for a film based on an otherwise unknown team but one wonders whether DC and WB are going for big name appeal on this one. The casting all seems to fit rather well though.

What are your thoughts on the casting choices and the characters chosen to represent the squad? Remember, this is a team that has included Bane and Great White Shark.

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Review: PES 2015 Feels Like An Early Build Of A Better Game http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-pes-2015-feels-like-early-build-better-game/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-pes-2015-feels-like-early-build-better-game/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=163977 Visit review on site for scoring. The most consistent compliment I’ve been able to level against PES games over the years has been that they offer a nice alternative experience […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


The most consistent compliment I’ve been able to level against PES games over the years has been that they offer a nice alternative experience to FIFA. In the same way that when you tire of fried fish you might try sushi. Sure, in large doses it could give you mercury poisoning but it’s tasty once in a while.

Actually, that’s a terrible example. I love sushi.

PES 2014 was, by all accounts less than decent. It was not terrible but it was uninspired, lethargic and shoddily put together. PES 2015 shows glimmers of a better game, a game that tries harder but for the most part is another entry in a series that has given up and seems to have rolled over.

This year’s FIFA offering is certainly no stellar creation but it at least feels like it was put together by people who care and who are conscientious of the fact that a human is going to be playing the game. There is an intangibly good atmosphere about FIFA games. On the other hand, PES 2015 feels lifeless, emotionless and utterly uninterested in the user experience.

A few years ago PES was trying very hard to catch up to FIFA and came very close by our account. PES 2015 feels stripped bare with dull menus that feel outdated, poor UI layout and navigation, constant loading for everything, inconsistent visuals and ultimately and experience that fails to hold one’s interest for any significant length of time.

For the first time in memory, PES has a soundtrack that isn’t terrible. It’s just unfortunate that it comprises only 10 songs. This wears thin very quickly. So too with the commentary which is laughably poor. On his debut Di Maria scored in my Master League campaign and the commentator’s remark was, “he’s finally delivered.” In a different match, the game was about 18 minutes in when the commentator lamented, “And we’re still without a goal here.”

One might say it is hard to pinpoint PES 2015’s problems but that would only be sparing it embarrassment.

The menus are drab, dull and slow. All the information and features are there. Youth Squad, transfer negotiations, scouting, transfer news, team management, admin and settings. However, it’s all tucked away in those incongruous black boxes – the menu items. It makes navigation rather tiresome.

I could drone on about how awful and antiquated the menus are but there are other things to moan about. We wouldn’t want to bore you more than we usually do. The game modes remain very much unchanged. A smattering of online modes with exhibition matches and leagues to compete in is available as per usual. For more consistent play there’s Be A Legend and Master League as well as the dearth of licensed cup competitions. It’s a marvel that Konami manages to secure licensing for the UEFA Champions, UEFA Europa League, Copa Santander Libertadores and more. Maybe it’s shear luck or perhaps it’s a great display against FIFA. Regardless, Konami always manages to pull out all the stop to make these competitions feel as close to the real thing as possible with all the right music, atmosphere and intensity. Playing the Champions League remains a more interesting experience than the vanilla game modes.

Be A Legend remains unchanged. Players can choose to be an existing character or create their own, as per usual. Focus points can be earned through good performance and used to improve your player’s training regime. You’re encouraged to keep abreast of your team’s transfer activity to know whether it’s time to get out. Playing as Tom Cleverley for Manchester United (with an emphasis on passing in training) this never became an issue strangely enough. That’s another thing that has generally been an issue in PES but seems worse than ever this year.

It’s understandable that Konami has neither the resources nor the licensing to reproduce every team and their kits. Man Blue and London FC are testament to that. However, a wannabe pundit with a Twitter account has a better grasp on who has transferred to which team than the folks who made PES 2015. Transfers ended in August, the game released in November and yet most of the big pre-season transfers haven’t been implemented in PES 2015 when you start up the game without downloading the patch currently available. It’s more than just an irksome oversight, it speaks of a team that simply could not put in the effort to do some fact-checking let alone testing that all the game’s little features work as they should. More on this in a bit.

With regards to Master League, players have a few options. Either manage a team as it exists or manage the team in name but with a squad of low-level players. It’s a nice concept, allowing players to build up their own team from mediocrity rather than start off with a league-winning team. Transfers are better than before but a little too easy. There is an indicator which displays how pleased a player and team will be with your wage and transfer fee offers respectively. As soon as the indicator goes green it means you’ve almost assuredly secured the transfer. Scouting seems to be of little use. Each player comes attached with an availability rating and scouts seem to only suggest players with a low availability rating. A neat little touch is that as the manager you are kept abreast of club financials after each game based on income and appearance or performance bonuses for players. It adds no value to the experience but is a neat touch nonetheless. There’s even a great feature which allows you to simulate the match but view it unfold either in the standard in-match view or on a more tactical screen that displays players information and game statistics. At times you might even feel like Louis van Gaal with his notebook (Ryan Gosling action figure sold separately).

The trouble with it all is that it feels dull, lifeless, mechanical. There is no excitement or atmosphere about either of PES 2015’s big game modes and this isn’t really a new problem but rather one that makes itself bluntly more apparent than before.

Things get sadly worse on the pitch. Player AI is inconsistent with players sometimes synching up perfectly and other times being gormless traffic cones. At first glance this may seem to be brilliant AI design for a human game but player performances and AI swing so wildly from one end to the other that it would only be realistic in a world where David Moyes won the award for best manager… but also the award for worst manager… at the same time… while saying his acceptance speech in Spanish… atop Diego Maradona’s mummified remains.

Player collisions are a little better weighted than previously, as is passing. The same cannot be said of shooting, dribbling or directing passes. A pass will go where it wants and sometimes in the direction you wish it to go. PES used to benefit from a very precise degree of dribbling control, even if specific skill moves were difficult to pull off and unintuitive. Alas, dribbling in PES 2015 is a little more haphazard and imprecise than before. Shooting lacks weight and feels feeble even with the most powerful boot behind a shot.

The control scheme is far less bafflingly complex than before but controlling players and putting plays together still feels clumsy and awkward. Jittery player animations don’t help either. Some games suffer from button memory but PES 2015 suffers from mistaking user inputs and a default control scheme that expects players to have seven fingers on each hand.

A big part of PES 2015 is that structurally not a whole lot has changed. Not really anyway. However, what has changed is any soul that the series had. PES 2015 is devoid of an identity. It is dull and devoid of any atmosphere to heighten the experience beyond being a somewhat competent football game. There is little reason or incentive to stick around after sampling what the games has to offer.

As far as gameplay goes, it should be an improvement in theory but fails to impress in practise. Controlling players simply doesn’t work fluidly and overall the game feels stilted. From the ever-loading menus to the staccato gameplay.

Graphically, PES 2015 is an improvement on its predecessor but not nearly less inconsistent. Visuals swing between uncanny and “who the hell is that” not only in player likenesses but also the quality of the rendering. Player animations are jittery and remain robotic. Players move more or less in the same way rather than with their own individual personality.

PES 2015 is by all accounts a better game than its predecessor but in small and inconsequential increments that fail to make up for the new shortcomings it brings with it. Perhaps they’ll get it right next time but PES 2015 has plenty of ideas that fail to incite change or even imbue the game with any sense of a direction or life. It’s a plodding affair that lacks depth, character and attention to detail. Let alone features that work as they should.

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