#egmr » A-G http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:14:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Review: Submerged Drowns In A Shallow Puddle Of Its Own Dullness http://egmr.net/2015/08/review-submerged-drowns-in-a-shallow-puddle-of-its-own-dullness/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/review-submerged-drowns-in-a-shallow-puddle-of-its-own-dullness/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 08:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174376 Visit review on site for scoring. Submerged isn’t trying to be something outrageous. All it wants to be is a simple platformer to soothe the brow with its effortless gameplay […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


Submerged isn’t trying to be something outrageous. All it wants to be is a simple platformer to soothe the brow with its effortless gameplay and sweeping vistas. The trouble is that the experience is so hollow and repetitive that its 3 hour runtime feels all too generous; extricated even.

Submerged follows the story of a brother and sister, Taku and Miku, who arrive in the flooded ruins of a city. They’re primitive children from what can be assumed to be a fishing village and arrive with Taku injured, requiring medical care and nursing.

The aim of the game from then on out is to effectively explore the ruins, navigating the waterways in order to find supplies and medicine. Along the way there’s wildlife to spot, landmarks to find and collectibles to… collect.

That’s all there is to it.

Despite keeping things simple, Submerged fails in just about every aspect.

Despite having stunning views from atop buildings thanks to lovely lighting and shadow, the details are rather a different story close up. The animations would be more at home in a PS2 game, the textures are almost non-existent and the visuals feel overall inadequate. The models lack detail, the environmental details such as plants or brickwork are jagged, lack depth and even the butterflies which can be seen floating around look like paper cutouts. Collision detection usually kicks in once you’re already 25% through the side of a building.

Of all the buildings and objects that make up the environment, only a few can be explored (from the outside only no less) and exploration quickly becomes a routine rather than something organic. Initially one might start out exploring every path, venturing near every ruin but eventually you realise how pointless this is. You quickly figure out that only tiered buildings can be explored and so “exploration” turns into making a beeline for the nearest tiered building in sight.

Once there players will climb up some ivy growing on a wall, climb up a drain pipe or outcropping ledge, rinse, repeat. That’s all there is to platforming here. There aren’t puzzles or even a dedicated jump button, there is only the banal tedium of moving the analogue stick up, up, left, up, right, down, right, up, up, up, done. Littered around these buildings are collectibles which require extra climbing and walking but are not worth the effort. At the top of these buildings is a crate of supply rations. Once found, Miku will return to Taku with the spoils of her discovery.

The trouble is that this game exists in some bizarro universe where a large box of supply rations only contains one thing. There are about 10 or 12 crates to find and each time Miku will return with hilariously little. One crate contains bandages, another medicine, another water, another painkillers, another food, another matches. Who put these supply crates together? It’s no wonder everyone who previously lived in the submerged city is either dead or mutated.

Oh yes, there are strange mutants in this game. You don’t interact with them and they pose no threat but they’re there and show up at the end of the game to expunge any intriguing development that might have come out of the dull plot.

At the outset it looks to be the touching tale of a sister putting herself at risk to save her brother. However, due to the fact that there is no real dialogue in this game, Taku is just a groaning plot device the entire way through. Miku on the other hand seems like an idiot for returning to him daily with a single measly item and then venturing out the next day for another. This game takes place over the course of about a week and Miku has effectively guaranteed that Taku is going to die by the end of said week.

There is no urgency, there is no intrigue, there is no reason to keep playing after the first 15 minutes.

As Miku collects supplies, little bits of the kids’ backstory and how they came to be alone in this submerged ghost town. It’s utterly predictable and ultimately makes the ending (where Miku and Taku sail off into the sunrise) all the more worrying. For starters, by the eighth supply crate, this storyboard rendition of their backstory has come full circle to the start of the game but proceeds to go on telling us things that we have played through. Furthermore, Taku and Miku have essentially run away from home so when they sail off Taku is still sick (despite what the game might have you think) and they have nowhere to go. Taku is going to die and you’ve just wasted a few hours of your time trying to save him.

There are little wrecks around the environment from which Miku can scavenge parts to pimp out her boat but this really just makes it faster. Not that it makes the game any more exciting or feel any less dragged out.

It feels as though Submerged wants to be Journey yet fails at every turn.

Submerged is boring, repetitive, unfulfilling, visually poor and worst of all feels stretched out despite clocking in at only three hours long.

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Comments Of The Week “Twitch Plays Microsoft Excel” http://egmr.net/2015/08/comments-of-the-week-twitch-plays-microsoft-excel/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/comments-of-the-week-twitch-plays-microsoft-excel/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 06:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174488 It’s been a long time coming. Comments of the Week used to be a weekly fixture around these parts but that faded away but we’re bringing it back. The new […]

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It’s been a long time coming.

Comments of the Week used to be a weekly fixture around these parts but that faded away but we’re bringing it back. The new CotW is better, smaller and with less side-effects.

We’ve stripped it all down and will simply be celebrating the best comments from around the site over the past week. We’ll also highlight some of the most interesting articles of the week.

This week we put out a record number of reviews and did that podcast thing. Meanwhile Google is no longer Google, Twitch went insane and South Africa is getting its own Netflix competitor.

Without further ado, here’s the comments that make up this week’s CotW.

Khaleesi’s Boobs on Life, The Universe And Gaming: A Moment Of Appreciation For The Women In Our Games – INTERNAL SCREAMING

EXTERNAL SCREAMING?
 

The Chewns on What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? – Are you guys also gonna get a Patreon?

The simple answer is no. We’re looking into getting a group Patronus though.
 

Dom on Twitch Attempts To Play Dark Souls, Gets Lost In The Settings Menu – What’s next, Twitch Plays Microsoft Excel?

Twitch is slowly building up to a hive mind that controls a living human.
 

Sahil Lala on Everything Is Overrated: Buying New Games – Life is overrated #RealTalk

We give life 6/10 at best.
 


Why?
 

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We apologise for this one, Twitter now handles conversations in a far less flowing manner which means we had to stitch it together. For a better idea of things, check out the original thread.

That’s all for this week, folks. Check back next week for less.

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Trailer Of The Week: Octopussy http://egmr.net/2015/08/trailer-of-the-week-octopussy/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/trailer-of-the-week-octopussy/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 08:30:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174446 No, this is not a James Bond related thing. If that’s what you were hoping for then you can just go back the way you came. Welcome to the second […]

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No, this is not a James Bond related thing. If that’s what you were hoping for then you can just go back the way you came.

Welcome to the second edition of Trailer of the Week, affectionately known as TotW (pronounced ‘wot’). Last week we cheated and threw in two trailers, this week however, we’ll be sticking to the rules. A single trailer has been chosen and a single trailer only.

With Gamescom wrapping up last week there wasn’t exactly a huge wealth of great game trailers this week. Sure, there were trailers but they were all rather dull.

Once again then our top pick for this week comes courtesy of Hollywood, specifically that creep of delightful creeps Quentin Tarantino.

The first trailer for Tarantino’s Hateful Eight dropped this week and it all seems so utterly intriguing and fun.

In case you’re a clueless schmuck, here’s the rundown:

The Hateful Eight focuses on eight strangers staying at an inn, one of whom is not who they say they are. Nobody is really who they seem to be though and as the movie unfolds we’ll learn about each character’s background. It’s got Tarantino regulars such as Samuel L Jackson, Michale Madsen and Tim Roth in addition to the likes of Kurt Russell and Channing Tatum.

Watch it up top and let us know what you think. If there’s something more deserving of the spotlight then feel free to argue with us.

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Twitch Attempts To Play Dark Souls, Gets Lost In The Settings Menu http://egmr.net/2015/08/twitch-attempts-to-play-dark-souls-gets-lost-in-the-settings-menu/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/twitch-attempts-to-play-dark-souls-gets-lost-in-the-settings-menu/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 08:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174442 Watch live video from TwitchPlaysDark on www.twitch.tv Against all conventional logic Twitch proved that if you allow a million monkeys people to plug into a single hive mind then the […]

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Watch live video from TwitchPlaysDark on www.twitch.tv

Against all conventional logic Twitch proved that if you allow a million monkeys people to plug into a single hive mind then the possibilities are not exactly endless but they can by some miracle complete Pokemon and Metal Gear.

With success comes hubris, if you don’t know what that is, ask Walter White, and with its newfound power Twitch has taken a Quantum Leap and decided to go up against Dark Souls. Are you familiar with the story of Icarus? This is like that but so much worse.

To give you a brief rundown of how things are going, they got lost in the settings menu then chose the Cleric class.

I’ve been checking in on it for the past 30 minutes and it’s mostly consisted of rolling into walls, screaming and somehow making progress little by little.

They’re now standing in a corner while getting shot at by an archer.

They’re now attackinga different corner and have declared this a democratic speedrun.

It’s like watching a burning car try to drown itself. If you want to get a full picture of the anarchy that is this Twitch channel you only have to take a look at the chat.

This is equal parts crazy, brave and stupid. It is fully hilarious though and Godspeed to the mad fools who are trying to contribute.

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Capcom Could Be Bringing Deep Down To The West, If It Ever Releases http://egmr.net/2015/08/capcom-could-be-bringing-deep-down-to-the-west-if-it-ever-releases/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/capcom-could-be-bringing-deep-down-to-the-west-if-it-ever-releases/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:30:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174332 Deep Down was first revealed way back in February of 2013 when the PS4 was first unveiled at a time when Sony wouldn’t even show us the console yet. While […]

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Deep Down was first revealed way back in February of 2013 when the PS4 was first unveiled at a time when Sony wouldn’t even show us the console yet. While we saw a lot more of the console in the coming year we saw progressively less of Deep Down and now the game seems to have entered that awkward limbo state which few ever escape and those who do emerge changed.

At this point any news regarding the game may serve as a sign to the fact that it has not been killed off. Why do we care when the game won’t leave Japan’s shores? That’s just the thing, it actually might.

Deep Down is supposed to be a sort of time-travelling MMO of sorts with lots of dungeon crawling throughout the ages. the catch is that it’s being published by Capcom and will be free-to-play. A great combination really.

We’ve seen a whole lot of nothing in the past year although Capcom did announce that the game’s planned beta would take longer to release than initially anticipated. The company also revealed that Deep Down was being completely overhauled from what we’ve seen thus far. Always a good sign.

On August 6 Capcom obtained its third extension for the trademark with the US Patent and Trademark office.

The statement is motivated with “applicant continues to conduct product and/or service research or development with respect to the allowed good and services,” indicating that the project is still going on.

Capcom has used three of its five allowed extensions which means that Deep Down has to come out in the next 18 months in order to retain the trademark.

The extension request also legally representative of intent to use the trademark in the country where it has been registered. This suggests that Deep Down could be coming to the US and if that is true then it’s likely it will come to European regions as well. This isn’t a law of any sort, more just an implied obligation so there’s no onus on Capcom to actually ship Deep Down to the US.

If Deep Down is lucky it will drown in the sea of forgotten games, if not then it will be revived and pulled ashore. Either way, it’s unlikely that the game will amount to much upon release given the myriad troubles it’s had already.

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Blizzard Might Be Considering Warcraft 4 http://egmr.net/2015/08/blizzard-might-be-considering-warcraft-4/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/blizzard-might-be-considering-warcraft-4/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174331 World of Warcraft is one of the biggest franchises the world over. With Warcraft 3 going into its sixth expansion, titled Legion, fans may be wondering if the series will […]

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World of Warcraft is one of the biggest franchises the world over. With Warcraft 3 going into its sixth expansion, titled Legion, fans may be wondering if the series will ever get past its third installment. It’s something of the opposite problem to what Valve suffers from.

With StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo being huge successes, where to next for Blizzard? Well, let’s not forget Overwatch and the upcoming StarCraft 2: legacy of the Void expansion but after that it’s anybody’s guess. In a recent interview, Blizzard stated that follow-ups to StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft 3 are certainly on the table.

Speaking with IGN at Gamescom last week, Legacy of the Void producer Tim Morten said that once LotV is wrapped up, the team will begin talks of where to go next.

“It’s very rewarding for us to hear that there’s demand out there for more RTS content in the Warcraft universe,” he said. “There’s no question, though, that we’ll consider Warcraft, StarCraft, or even new ideas. Anything is possible [but] we don’t have any specific plans.”

StarCraft 2 is nowhere near as old as Warcraft 3 and could still handle a few more expansions but with Warcraft 3 heading into its sixth expansion and with a movie on the way, now seems like a good time to reset on start afresh with a new fully-fledged entry into the series.

Morten also reassured fans that LotV will not mark the end of the StarCraft series.

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Until Dawn Is Using the Butterfly Effect To Make You Dread Every Decision http://egmr.net/2015/08/preview-until-dawn/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/preview-until-dawn/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174079 Horror Reinvented. That’s what Until Dawn claims to be which is a big given that there’s a new horror game each month claiming to be the next best thing. Most […]

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Horror Reinvented. That’s what Until Dawn claims to be which is a big given that there’s a new horror game each month claiming to be the next best thing. Most aren’t. So what makes Until Dawn special?

Name: Until Dawn
Genre: Insomnia
Players: 1
Multiplayer: N/A
Platforms: PS4
Developers: SuperMassive Games
Publishers: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: 28 Aug 2015
Price: R800/$60

The first thing to note is those two numbers up top. Full price is a hard ask for a horror game given that most weigh in at a lower price. The last major survival horror that cost full price was Alien: Isolation which, while good, overstayed its welcome a little.

Until Dawn has a lot to prove then. Perhaps more so because it’s one of those darn console exclusives.


The premise is about as textbook as they come. Eight friends find themselves trapped on a remote mountain retreat, weird things start happening, hi-jinx ensue. You know how this story goes. With SuperMassive’s modest body of work there’s not much to instill faith in gamers. This makes it all the more intriguing that Until Dawn has grabbed the attention of so many. Sure, plenty of it is down to marketing on Sony’s part but there does seem to genuinely be something there.

Until Dawn boasts some good talent with the likes of Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) providing human talent and Killzone: Shadow Fall’s Umbra Engine providing graphical talent.

The game is designed with a hard auto-save system such that players can’t reload previous save files. Why? Because this is one of those games where you’ll have to make hard choices under duress. Snap decisions don’t always translate to good decisions so there’s likely to be some regrets. Until Dawn will have repercussions for choices both big and small with the possibility of anywhere from all eight to none of the hapless group dying at the hands of the serial killer who happens to be on the loose. Do the math and that tallies up to thousands of possible outcomes.

One of the core systems underpinning Until Dawn is the Butterfly Effect Interface which is supposed to make even the smallest decisions have snowballing repercussions. How far those ripples will stretch or how big the ripple will be from any given action remains to be seen. Will eating an apple eventually cause Matt to need to take a dump, leaving him exposed to the killer. The idea at any rate is to blur the line between right and wrong choices.

You can guarantee that by making a few bad calls early on players will have to sacrifice members of the party later in order to protect the many.

Each playthrough is intended to last around nine hours which in and of itself is a solid chunk of time. What’s more intriguing is that SuperMassive has designed the game to be played multiple times with players making different choices. The developer believes that a single playthrough is not enough to grasp the true nature of what happened up on the mountain so it will be necessary to make different choices, explore different paths in order to gather all the pieces.

There isn’t a great deal more to say about Until Dawn.

 

Suspected Selling Points
  • Excellent visuals
  • Hollywood cast
  • Interesting Butterfly Effect Interface branching narrative

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • SuperMassive is an unproven developer
  • The Butterfly Effect Interface may not work as advertised
  • Survival horror is a tricky genre to get right

As with many promising survival horror titles Until Dawn could go either way. Gameplay walkthroughs have made it look great but it could be a different story in the long run. All signs point to Until Dawn being something good but with horror being a tough genre to crack it’s wise to wait until reviews and Let’s Plays drop.

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Mafia 3 Will Be Nothing Like GTA , Likely To Release In Late 2016 http://egmr.net/2015/08/mafia-3-will-be-nothing-like-gta-likely-to-release-in-late-2016/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/mafia-3-will-be-nothing-like-gta-likely-to-release-in-late-2016/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 08:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174221 When publishers like Ubisoft are going around making pretty much reskinned versions of the same game it’s somewhat understandable for there to be concerns that games with similar styles will […]

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When publishers like Ubisoft are going around making pretty much reskinned versions of the same game it’s somewhat understandable for there to be concerns that games with similar styles will be a little too similar. Take-Two has quelled any concerns before they have a chance to arise.

Last night during an earnings call with investors Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick dismissed any machinations of comparing Mafia 3 to GTA.

While 2K and Rockstar both fall under the Take-Two umbrella, they are “two distinct labels” as Zelnick put it. There is no shared technology between the games. That doesn’t stop Hangar 13, the studio behind Mafia 3, from drawing on the successes of GTA.

“Mafia 3 is a completely different experience. I wouldn’t compare it to anything else out there. The reveal [at Gamescom] was great, but it stands alone.”

“We don’t use any other game in the same sentence as Grand Theft Auto. It is the industry’s standard-bearer. It’s not up for comparison,” added Zelnick.

This seems more preemptive than anything else. Just about any crime-related sandbox game gets compared with GTA but Mafia 3 will likely have a completely different tone not to mention the 70s Louisiana setting. Does GTA have Jimi Hendrix? No, I didn’t think so.

At any rate, Zelnick also narrowed down a release window, to within a year. Mafia 3 will fall under Take-Two’s fiscal 2017 which means it’s likely to release anywhere between April 2016 and April 2017. 2K typically favours Q3/Q4 for its major releases so expect Mafia 3 to drop in late 2016.

we have yet to see any gameplay for Mafia 3 so it really is too soon to pass any sort of judgement on the game at all.

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Get A Raw Look At Ninja Theory’s Mysterious Hellblade http://egmr.net/2015/08/get-a-raw-look-at-ninja-theorys-mysterious-hellblade/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/get-a-raw-look-at-ninja-theorys-mysterious-hellblade/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 15:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174173 Ninja Theory is a polarising developer, either you love their games or you don’t. Within the EGMR team alone there are polar opinions regarding DmC and Enslaved: Odyssey to the […]

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Ninja Theory is a polarising developer, either you love their games or you don’t. Within the EGMR team alone there are polar opinions regarding DmC and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The studio’s latest project is Hellblade and it’s garnered attention from the get-go if only because there’s a good deal of mystery surrounding it.

It’s the “magic box” ethos that JJ Abrams likes to incorporate in his film trailers and to his credit it gets bums in seats.

At E3 we got a little tease at what Hellblade has in store for us with a simple trailer but now a B-roll of the gameplay walkthrough shown behind closed doors has been released and it paints a clearer picture. It’s raw.

The game revolves around Celtic Mythology with the protagonist predictably being a Celtic Warrior named Senua. This is certainly a mythology that has been drawn on in countless fantasy games but never really given center stage outright.

It will be interesting to see how the game turns out but for now it certainly looks fantastic and the gameplay looks competent enough.

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Familiarise Yourself With The ABCs, Google Is Now Called Alphabet http://egmr.net/2015/08/familiarise-yourself-with-the-abcs-google-is-now-called-alphabet/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/familiarise-yourself-with-the-abcs-google-is-now-called-alphabet/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 08:30:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174169 G is for Google. That may seem obvious if you have a basic grasp of spelling but it’s plastered on the site of the newly formed Alphabet. Alphabet is the […]

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G is for Google.

That may seem obvious if you have a basic grasp of spelling but it’s plastered on the site of the newly formed Alphabet.

Alphabet is the new parent company under whose umbrella Google and its many, many appendages will fall. Practically speaking this won’t represent much of a change for the common schlub such as you or me. It’s a huge corporate restructure resulting from a lack of transparency and insight regarding Google’s activities as well as a somewhat poor management structure. the idea is to effectively compartmentalise the myriad elements and companies that Google has absorbed or created in recent years. Simply put, Google as a single entity has become too big for its own good.

In a blog post released yesterday after the markets closed, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page announced that the company would be rebranding itself as Alphabet and each subsidiary division would now operate independently of each other. “Google” now represents a streamlined subsidiary of Alphabet and its largest wholly owned one at that. Google will contain all of the former company’s internet services so Chrome, Mail, Drive, Map, Analytics and the like won’t be affected as such.

The major shake up is behind the scenes where Brin and Page will leave Google in the hands of up-and-comer Sundar Pichai, who is taking over as CEO, while the Google founders will more or less fulfill their previous roles as Alphabet’s CEO and President respectively.

“As Sergey [Brin, co-founder] and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, ‘Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one’,” wrote Page.

“As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make ‘smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses’. From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.”

The artist formerly known as Google came under fire, especially from investors, for using the company’s perennial success to fund increasingly crazy projects from autonomous vehicles to WiFi weather balloons, IoT devices and bleeding edge medical technology research. The restructure is intended to provide clarity on what each subsidiary is doing financially rather than simply allowing it all to be all jumbled together in Google’s books.

Colin Gillis, technology analyst at BGC Partners, said the move would allow investors to assess Google’s core business more clearly while allowing Google to highlight its other assets. “It’ll give people a truer picture of the nature and specifics of Google’s core operation,” he said.

He also praised Google’s appointment of Pichai, a rising star in Silicon Valley. “My sense is that here’s someone in high demand and in one fell swoop Google have kept him as a key manager,” he said.

All Google shares will automatically transmute into equivalent Alphabet shares with the company still trading under GOOG and GOOGL. On that note, shares in Google jumped 5% this morning in the wake of the announcement.

There are however, sceptics who believe that this restructure will not bring about the clarity and compartmentalisation that has been promised.

“On balance the news is positive,” wrote Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser, “as this provides for incremental transparency into Google’s business and suggests the company is looking for ways to balance founder and employee interests with those of investors.”

“It may be overly optimistic at this point to hope for discrete business unit break-outs,” he wrote, noting that major holes in investor knowledge included Google Display Networks, which Wieser estimated at $5bn by itself.

Page characterized the Google to come as “slimmed down”. Companies that are “pretty far afield of our main Internet products” will be contained in Alphabet, he said.

To elaborate, Google Fiber,Venture, Capital, Nest, X Lab, Wing as well as medical efforts such as Life Sciences and Calico will all become non-Google entities with their set of executives. Ideally this should also allow each new subsidiary to operate better and more optimally.

“Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related,” said Page.

The new segments will be broken out in Alphabet’s financials in early 2016, though the holding company will be registered “later this year” according to the filing.

Alphabet was not above poking fun at itself with the blog post including a post to the Hooli XYZ site, a clever nod to the fictional company in HBO’s Silicon Valley which represents a satiric version of Google.

It remains to be seen if there is anything else to Google’s Alphabet rebrand. Perhaps Alphabet is looking to fill up the whole, uhm… alphabet. A is for Android, Y is for Youtube, T is for Twitter and Z is for Zune?

What do you make of this Alphabet soup?

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Review: The Swindle Is Maliciously Challenging, Brilliantly Rewarding http://egmr.net/2015/08/review-the-swindle-is-maliciously-challenging-brilliantly-rewarding/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/review-the-swindle-is-maliciously-challenging-brilliantly-rewarding/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 08:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174064 Visit review on site for scoring. The year is 1849, London is brimming with the burgeoning wonders of new technology; technology which can be used for good or evil. In […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


The year is 1849, London is brimming with the burgeoning wonders of new technology; technology which can be used for good or evil. In the case “good” refers to burgling unsuspecting properties while “bad refers” to Scotland Yard’s attempts to curtail said crime and thievery. The pinnacle of this will be The Devil’s Basilisk, a machine capable of such total surveillance that your life as a master thief will be over.

The plan is simple: steal The Devil’s Basilisk before it is operational and active.

That’s just about all there is to The Swindle. It’s Ant-Man with greater amounts of ridiculous facial hair.

Before we go any further, it should be noted that I rank anywhere between mediocre and sub-par as most games go. I’m fairly not great at playing games. With The Swindle I am utterly, pitifully horrid.

At least, I was to begin with until I started to connect with the game’s systems and got a better understanding of how to play it.

Players have to develop their own strategies with zero assistance from the game, not even a tutorial of any kind. the most you’ll get is a little info text box telling you which button press in order to use a new ability or gadget you’ve just purchased.

In The Swindle you play as a randomly generated thief of just about any race, age, minor deformity, hair colour and manner of period appropriate facial hair. They don’t have personalities or even voices really but the fact that there is such a huge variety of wildly different thieves is great and at least lends some character to each. My favourite was one who put the punk in steampunk with her bluish hair and cheeky expression.

Alas, she passed at the hands of a spike pit and was replaced with another, different thief. When one thief dies, another takes their place and the heist resets. There are no do-overs or checkpoints.

The main purpose of the game is to gather up enough cash to fund the heist of the century – stealing The Devil’s Basilisk.

As such, you’ll be doing a whole lot of thieving starting from the lowly Slums and working your way up through successively more prosperous burroughs. There are five such burroughs and to progress to the next players will have to purchase access. In order to do that players will have to save up because access ain’t cheap and in order to earn large enough sums of cash players will have to purchase upgrades in order to maximise the take from each heist.

You start out with nothing but the ability to sneak, jump and swing a club. Meanwhile, you’ll go up against mines, aerial drones and robot patrolman.

Each heist involves a randomly generated property where the layout, obstacles and number of guards on patrol will vary quite a lot. The cash up for grabs is more or less the same each time around within the same burrough.

To successfully pull off a job you’ll need to case the joint from the rooftop, determine ideal points of ingress, come up with a plan and exit strategy. Most of the time it won’t go according to plan but when it does it is supremely rewarding.

Within the space of a heist or two you’ll bundle together enough cash to purchase the Hack ability which bumps the take up from $100 to over $1000 and from there on out things only get better and exponentially more challenging.

Bonuses are awarded for stealing all the cash on a given heist and completing the heist without getting spotted. The thing about that first bonus is that players can adopt a gameshow mentality of opting out with what they have at any time or going for broke and trying to steal everything in sight. To get everything you’ll have to venture into the deeper reaches of each property where the risk of getting caught or falling into a spike pit or simple falling to your death down a shaft ramps up.

The Swindle asserts itself as no trifling task early on with timing, planning and patience being essential to not only survival but success. One hit and you’re gone, one second too late or too early and you’re gone.This is a game that requires your full attention. Even when you’re giving it your all though it’s easy to get caught out by unseen or unexpected obstacles or mistimed controls. This a problem inherent to a lot of randomly generated environments but no less excusable for it.

While the control scheme is simple, it is finicky and twitchy. This results in often needing multiple attempts to pull off a manoeuvre, something that becomes irksome in a game that demands precision and good timing from its players.

This issue becomes a greater point of frustration as you find yourself grinding through heist after heist to gather up enough cash for new upgrades or that all-important access to the next burrough (and bigger takes).

While there’s no real limit to how many heists you can engage in within a specific burrough, the game gives you 100 days to get things in order before The Devil’s Basilisk is active and each heist eats up a day. To put things in context, I burned through about 25 days just to get about four or five upgrades that made traversal a lot easier and less problematic. Spoiler: a lot of those days were wasted on failed attempts.

I don’t enjoy grinding, nor do I enjoy constant failure but The Swindle had me hooked. I had to pull off just one more heist… one more. It’s got that quality to it which doesn’t make your forget about how brutal it is on you but rather that you’re learning with each failure. The Swindle promotes curiosity and often rewards it.

At the outset I assumed I could only make my thief open doors, knock out guards and do single jumps. It turns out she could actually scale the right kind of wall and smash windows. Once I acquired the Hack ability I knew I’d be able to hack computers for big sums of cash but I also discovered that I was able to hack mines and use them to my advantage.

It’s this sort of experimentation and curiosity that will get you somewhere in The Swindle. Without it you’ll likely struggle and fail. Even with it I struggled and failed but I’m an outlier.

After each heist players can return to the safety of their airship somewhere out in the stratosphere. From here you can put your cash to good use by purchasing upgrades of all manner from bombs to new abilities to better tactical surveillance equipment. It’s here that the game’s RPG facet comes into play with players getting to choose how they’ll spec their thief out and which upgrades suit their specific style.

Mercifully, upgrades carry over from one thief to the next as you’ll likely go through them fast.

If you’re thinking that things will get easier with each successive upgrade, think again. The upgrades reduce your risk of death or failure for a short while but then the obstacles you’ll have to overcome level up in tandem with you as you go from one burrough to the next. It’s cleverly structured so that by the time you have what it takes to walk through a heist with relative ease you’ll be on your way to the next area where things will be trickier than the Beastie Boys all over again.

One major criticism of The Swindle is the fact that it becomes repetitive after spending some time in a certain area, grinding. You’ll likely do at least a dozen heists in each area and they’ll all be relatively similar despite being randomly generated. Your approach will certainly be much the same and while the challenge or the need to pull of a successful heist never goes away, the feeling of tedium starts to set in.

It’s a grind and if you’re not into repetition then it can be somewhat off-putting.

All in all it’s a great, I’m a terrible gamer and it kicked my ass.

It’s got its issues but The Swindle demands that its players use their brains and that’s a rare thing. The difficulty is genuine rather than the imitation variety which simply overwhelms players. The Swindle is great for a couple heists during a study break or an extended play session.

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Trailer Of The Week 1 – 8 Aug: Avocado Coitus And Jimi Hendrix http://egmr.net/2015/08/trailer-of-the-week-1-8-aug-avocado-coitus-and-jimi-hendrix/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/trailer-of-the-week-1-8-aug-avocado-coitus-and-jimi-hendrix/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 12:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174018 Welcome to Trailer of the Week, a new weekly fixture in which we’ll put a spotlight on the coolest, most intriguing, funniest or most beautiful trailer released in the past […]

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Welcome to Trailer of the Week, a new weekly fixture in which we’ll put a spotlight on the coolest, most intriguing, funniest or most beautiful trailer released in the past week. It might be a real trailer, it might be a game trailer, it might be for a film. Hell, it might even be a spoof trailer. The point is that it will be what we consider the best trailer of the week.

Trailers can be considered an art form unto themselves. In an ideal world they’re meant to provide a snapshot of the finished product, a glimpse at what we can expect in terms of tone and story.

That’s not quite the case. They’re marketing tools which use clever editing, use of sound and often striking visuals to sell us on the brand. Regardless of whether said trailer does or does not accurately represent the movie or game.

Trailers create their own narratives and are designed to excite, captivate and ultimately leave us wanting more. Sure, they’re all pre-packaged lies, loud noises and pretty colours but we do love them so.

After that rather lengthy preamble, let’s look at this week’s top trailer.

Deadpool


If you didn’t see this coming then you don’t know any of us on the EGMR team. Deadpool is one the harder characters to bring to life because of his need to be R-rated, his humour, fourth wall breaking self-awareness and hardly being what one could consider a hero.

With that said, the redband trailer for Deadpool’s 2016 cinematic debut (the version from X-Men Origins: Wolverine is absolutely not Deadpool) dropped this week and is absolutely great. The costume looks excellent, the humour is on-point, the action looks competent and Ryan Reynolds looks like an avocado that had sex with an older avocado and got avocado herpes.

 

Honourable Mention


Another trailer? When did this become Trailers of the Week? Sure, we’re already breaking the rules but why not get a little extravagant for the inaugural TotW.

With Gamescom offering an abundance of trailers and videos this week, there was no shortage of contenders but perhaps the most striking trailer to release this week was the one for Mafia III.

Not only is it our first glimpse at the setting and tone of the third entry in the series but it is beautifully put together with some excellent music. To be honest it’s mostly the choice of music that makes this one worth mentioning.

 
If you find a trailer that’s worth attention then send it our way or if we post a trailer over the course of a week, let us know in the comments if you think it’s top notch stuff. We want this to be interactive thing so you can have a influence on which trailer we choose each week. We probably won’t listen to you though because that’s the kind of outfit we run over here. Autocracy works, people.

We’d also like to make this an evolving feature so feel free to throw suggestions at us.

What was your favourite trailer of the week?

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Get A Reminder Of How Bad Superhero Films Can Be http://egmr.net/2015/08/get-a-reminder-of-how-bad-superhero-films-used-to-be/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/get-a-reminder-of-how-bad-superhero-films-used-to-be/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 08:30:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174002 Did I use the past tense there? I meant still can be and potentially could be. The quality of superhero films has been on a generally upward trending curve but […]

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Did I use the past tense there? I meant still can be and potentially could be. The quality of superhero films has been on a generally upward trending curve but that doesn’t stop a few lemons from sneaking in every now and again.

With Marvel, DC and even Fox getting their acts together we’re finally seeing heroes getting treated well on both TV and silverscreen.

Even the best films involving characters from comic books make us cringe sometimes butt he cringe factor ramps up exponentially the worse the film is.

You only have to look at Daredevil, Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four, anything after Superman II, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, Green Lantern, X-Men: The Last Stand, Kick Ass 2, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Catwoman, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Hulk or TMNT to see what I mean.

Typing that list has left me sad. I might actually go watch Ant-man to boost my spirits.

Speaking of bad, the new Fantastic Four film is getting critically panned which is hardly a surprise. I will reserve final judgment until I’ve seen the film for myself but it seems like Fox might just have to pull a Sony with this franchise.

Anyway, up top is a video courtesy of i09 which is just chock-full of cringeworthy moments from comic book flicks. try not to have a seizure with all the cringing. For the full list of cringe-tastic awfulness, head over to i09.

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Gamescom 2015: Get The Lowdown On World Of Warcraft’s Legion Expansion http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-get-the-lowdown-on-world-of-warcrafts-legion-expansion/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-get-the-lowdown-on-world-of-warcrafts-legion-expansion/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 08:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=174001 I’ve never played World of Warcraft and I probably never will. If you stopped reading after the first sentence then i don’t blame you but if you’re reading this then […]

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I’ve never played World of Warcraft and I probably never will. If you stopped reading after the first sentence then i don’t blame you but if you’re reading this then it means you haven’t yet stopped reading. That could mean one of two things: a) you’re going to stop reading soon or b) you’re actually going to read my uninformed attempts to write about WoW.

Either way, it should be an enriching cultural experience.

At Blizzard’s Gamescom conference last night, the company took the opportunity to announce the sixth expansion to World of Warcraft titled Legion.

Legion is set on a new continent known as The Broken Isles (more or less what the UK should be called these days) and comprises eight zones, all set among the ruins of a Night Elf civilisation.

Players will tap out at a level cap of 110 while Legion introduces new Artifact weapons. There are 36 Artifacts in total, one for each class, and players will go through Legion enhancing their Artifact.

Players will be rewarded with Artifact Powers for just about any victory or success in the game which can be used to upgrade or customise their Artifact.

The new Class Order feature puts you in the position of leader of your chosen class. Each class will have its own Order Hall, which represents a base of operations exclusive to that class. Shamans have a conclave overlooking the Maelstrom, for example, while the Paladin Order Hall exists beneath Light’s Hope Chapel.

Warlords of Draenor’s Follower system is being adapted to work in tandem with the Class Order system. It boils down to fewer followers and greater depth to each. They’re also called Champions now.

There will be a host of new dungeons and raids on offer too.

The big news is the addition of a new Demon Hunter class which is akin to Wrath of the Lich King’s Death Knight. At the outset the Demon Hunter will start at a higher level in its own special zone in order to establish its arrival in the world.

The Demon Hunter will have two talent specialisations: Havoc, which focuses on DPS, and Vengeance for those who prefer to tank. Some spells and abilities add to the Demon Hunter’s Demonic Fury resource system, while others spend the resource. You’ll also be able to see through walls and obstacles, and perform mid-air jumps with the character – a first for WoW and something platformers were doing way back in the 90s.

Then again, Dragon Age only just included jumping in its games last year.

Changes have been made to the PvP Honor system as well in order to balance it a bit more and compartmentalise it from the rest of the game. It will be less dependent on gear quality and players will be able to unlock special talents as they gain Honor points.

Some examples of the new talents include Mind Quickness, which increases Spell Haste, Blood and Soil which reduces the cooldown of the Shaman’s Bloodlust spell, and Initiation which increases a character’s critical strike chance against targets who are above 80% health.

A new Prestige system allows you to reset your Honor system once you reach the maximum level of 50, and then re-level it again in order to gain new cosmetic rewards for your character: new portraits, mounts and PVP Artifact weapon variants. These weapon looks will only be available through the PVP system.

Last but not least, and most annoyingly, players can pay cash money to boost their level all the way to 100. that’s all we’ll say about that.

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Gamescom 2015: Call Of Duty’s Heart Belongs To Sony Now, Sorry Microsoft http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-call-of-dutys-heart-belongs-to-sony-now-sorry-microsoft/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-call-of-dutys-heart-belongs-to-sony-now-sorry-microsoft/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 15:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173921 For the longest time Xbox has been the platform of choice for Call of Duty’s competitive scene, from MLG all the way down to smaller local outfits. That’s all about […]

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For the longest time Xbox has been the platform of choice for Call of Duty’s competitive scene, from MLG all the way down to smaller local outfits. That’s all about to change after a rather big announcement from Treyarch at yesterday’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 livestream from Gamescom.

It started back in June when for the first time in years a Call of Duty game was not announced at Microsoft’s E3 conference but at Sony’s. With Microsoft getting cosy with EA and the PS4 having a bigger userbase, it makes logical sense for Activision and Call of Duty to back Sony’s baby.

This is something that could have been seen way back when Titanfall and Destiny were being peddled by Microsoft and Sony respectively.

Yesterday’s event focused on what Black Ops 3 means in terms of eSports and it represents a big shift for the scene.

PlayStation really is the new home of Call of Duty with the entire pro scene migrating to PS4 according to Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar.

Logistically that’s a mission in and of itself but as far as Sony is concerned, this is a major win with the Black Ops 3 deal being akin to a government tender.

What do you make of this shake up in the Call of Duty eSports scene?

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Gamescom 2015: The Xbox One Just Got A Big Green Strap-On http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-the-xbox-one-just-got-a-big-green-strap-on/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-the-xbox-one-just-got-a-big-green-strap-on/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:30:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173900 The issue of size has become very relevant with the advent of the PS4 and Xbox One and the massive install size of their respective games. Between the 20+ Gigabytes […]

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The issue of size has become very relevant with the advent of the PS4 and Xbox One and the massive install size of their respective games. Between the 20+ Gigabytes of space each game takes up coupled with those hefty updates, HDD space fast becomes a limited resource. many of us who own either an Xbox One or PS4 (or both, you bastard) spend plenty of time clearing space. It’s worse if you actually use your console’s storage for anything other than games or have games downloaded as opposed to on disc.

While the 40 GB HDD on my PS3 was plenty big enough, my PS4 has run out of space on many an occasion and external storage would certainly be a welcome godsend. that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon unless you own an Xbox One (you bastard).

Microsoft has announced, in partnership with Seagate, the first official external storage peripheral for the Xbox One. It’s small but weighs in at 2TB of space, plenty of space for all your games and… other media which requires the sue of your hands to be enjoyed properly.

The USB 3.0 HDD will reportedly sell for $110, releasing later this month. That’s more or less on par for the specs and size of the HDD except that it comes in an awesome green.

If branded merch is your bag and you happen to be an Xbox fan (you bastard) then this is for you. Unless you have an irrational aversion tot he colour green (you bastard).

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Gamescom 2015: MGS V: The Phantom Pain Videos Show Us The End Of An Era And MMO Gameplay http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-mgs-v-the-phantom-pain-videos-show-us-snake-becoming-satan-and-another-huge-chunk-of-gameplay/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-mgs-v-the-phantom-pain-videos-show-us-snake-becoming-satan-and-another-huge-chunk-of-gameplay/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 08:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173901 Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom Pain must be one insanely huge game for Konami to show us hour after hour of gameplay. Thus far we’ve seen what must total […]

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Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom Pain must be one insanely huge game for Konami to show us hour after hour of gameplay. Thus far we’ve seen what must total five hours of gameplay, or the length of a typical shooter’s campaign. Straight out of Gamescom there’s even more gameplay footage which highlights the importance of Mother Base in the game as well as giving us a tour of its features and upgrades.

First though, is yet another stellar trailer for the game. With September fast approaching and The Phantom Pain nearing release, this trailer underpins the fact that this is “the end of an era” and “some wars don’t end until someone is dead.”

As Hideo Kojima put it, Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom pain will be “closing the loop” as far as his contribution to the series goes. With Kojima gone it’s likely that Konami will continue the MGS franchise in his absence. possibly alternating between the classic tactical espionage and the newer hack ‘n slash Metal Gear Rising flavours.

In the Mother Base gameplay we also learn a lot more about The Phantom pain’s multiplayer suite and it’s apparently an MMO of sorts.

When you have expanded Mother Base and build up Diamond Dogs far enough, you’ll be able to establish Forward Operating Bases – FOBs – to take part in what Konami is calling a massively multiplayer online mode.

It’s completely optional but these optional bases can expedite your collection of resources. The catch is that other players can invade and attempt to seize one of your FOBs. If this happens while you’re on mission then you can rush back to deal with the matter personally if your established defences might not be enough to handle the threat. Players can even call in friends to assist which results in a PvP affair.

Weirdly, this is not a part of Metal Gear Online and is completely optional.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is out on pretty much everything except your toaster/ Wii U in September while Metal Gear Online will only drop in October on consoles with the PC version being pushed back to January 2016.

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Toast On Jam: A Little Transparency Goes A Long Way In The Games Industry http://egmr.net/2015/08/toast-on-jam-a-little-transparency-goes-a-long-way-in-the-games-industry/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/toast-on-jam-a-little-transparency-goes-a-long-way-in-the-games-industry/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 09:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173689 I’m standing in the shower, exposed. There are two doors protecting me from the outside world, from the judging gaze of people, and I can take comfort in that knowledge. […]

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I’m standing in the shower, exposed. There are two doors protecting me from the outside world, from the judging gaze of people, and I can take comfort in that knowledge. As humans we inherently encase ourselves within a semi-opaque box. A box from which we can choose what is visible and what is not. This is natural and it’s only selectively that we allow others to peek inside, beyond the layers and filters. Even then, there is another completely impenetrable box.

The issue with such behaviour is that while perfectly acceptable, there is a limit to how much one can conceal before the box becomes counter-productive and draws judging gazes rather than deflecting them. A pathological liar does himself no favours and merely draws more attention to himself while also setting himself on a course which will ultimately result in elements of the box having to be revealed anyway.

A black box merely draws more curiosity whereas a semi-opaque box allows just enough to be seen and this is the root of so many problems within the games industry. Each element of it operates as a black box within another black box within another black box.

While a black box mission structure is fantastic in a game, the same can’t be said of developers and publishers who withhold information from the public, expecting them to sniff it out. Eventually things go wrong and they’re forced into disclosing said information as a means of damage control.

The abject lack of transparency not only leaves the industry open to speculation but also prevents us, as gamers, from being informed. We’re kept in the dark on so much and are drip-fed from a highly filtered stream of information. When something happens, when something goes wrong there isn’t much explanation given or if there is it’s boilerplate at best.

This isn’t exactly a problem unique to the games industry but with global push for more transparency amid scandals such as those of FIFA and the South African government perhaps it’s time the games industry opened up a little more too.

In recent years we’ve seen a number of incidents where information was withheld and later had to be extracted like blood from a stone in order to make sense of what actually happened.

Most recently Batman: Arkham knight went very, very sideways on PC and it was baffling given how incredibly fluent it is on consoles. Never mind the fact that this is Warner Bros’ flagship title of the year and a game that Nvidia itself used copiously in marketing. It was only after the game failed to be fixed in a timely manner that the truth was revealed. WB had cut corners by outsourcing development of the PC version to a tiny team of 13 people and a minuscule QA team of 10. Up till that point there had been no mention of the game being worked on by anyone other than Rocksteady.

We fear the unknown. Pity the reveal of Arkham Knight's character wasn't a bigger secret.

We fear the unknown. Pity the reveal of Arkham Knight’s character wasn’t a bigger secret.

Similarly, and on a far smaller scale, was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. As fantastic as the game is, the boss encounters are at complete odds with the philosophy of allowing players to approach situations however they want to. Only after players complained was it revealed that those sections were inexplicably outsourced.

There have been times when the withholding of information has been utterly baffling, as in the case of Titanfall. Gamers only found out who was working on the Xbox 360 port of the game a couple of weeks before its release. There was absolutely no reason to hide this information from the public, especially since Bluepoint Games did a fantastic job of it. Microsoft and EA chose to do so anyway.

The most infamous example is perhaps that of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Misappropriated funds, outsourcing upon outsourcing, grossly misleading marketing and we still don’t have a clear picture of what happened during the game’s six year gestation to leave it stillborn. It was only recently disclosed that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford poured 10 million of his own dollars into the game’s development. What that was used for is beyond us. Even in a recent interview with Eurogamer, Pitchford still skirted providing any substantial explanation of what went wrong, merely deflecting and persistently saying that people don’t understand because they don’t have the full picture.

It’s become far too common a practice for publishers and developers to feign ignorance with regards to the state of a game at release.

The last one I’ll cite is Destiny. There was a reported $500 million budget allocated for Destiny but nobody knows how that was allocated, over what period it is meant to extend and for all we know $10 million was spent on keeping Bungie’s popcorn machine stocked.

This is all information that should not be beyond the reach of the public, there is nothing compelling developers and publishers to withhold such information but the fact that they choose to raises unnecessary questions that could easily be avoided and mitigated.

If a film has underperformed I can quite easily find out what its budget was, how much was allocated to marketing, possibly even how much the actors made. There is plenty of transparency there.

Ubisoft. In its most vulnerable and transparent state.

Ubisoft. In its most vulnerable and transparent state.

At the very least, review embargoes should never extend to a game’s day of release. A review serves not only to critique a game but also to inform potential buyers and that benefit is somewhat hampered if media cannot publish reviews prior to a game’s release. The counter-argument is that we can advocate that customers do not purchase on day one or at least wait for reviews to drop but these cautions come up against the drowning, booming voice of marketing companies telling people to BUY NOW! PRE-ORDER TODAY! GET THE UBERMEGAICONIC EDITION WHILE STOCKS LAST!

As a result companies do themselves a disservice by proliferating an inherent mistrust.

We don’t trust them, they don’t trust us to buy their games of our own volition and often enough they don’t even seem to trust in the quality of their own games. It’s a ludicrously bizarre ouroboros that we have going here.

People have a right to as much or as little transparency as they want but there’s a reason the typical profile for serial killers starts with “single, lives alone, keeps to himself.” Hide too much of yourself and you’re doing more harm than good.

If publishers would just open up then relations between those on either side of the games we all love could be dramatically better. A little transparency goes a long, long way.

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Gamescom 2015: Catch Up On Everything Xbox From Dragons To Halo 5: eSport To Littlefinger In Quantum Break http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-catch-up-on-everything-xbox-from-dragons-to-halo-5-esport-to-littlefinger-in-quantum-break/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/gamescom-2015-catch-up-on-everything-xbox-from-dragons-to-halo-5-esport-to-littlefinger-in-quantum-break/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 08:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173835 Gamescom 2015 opens to the public in a few short days but before that all the major players are plying their wares from atop stages (except Sony). Unlike E3, Gamescom […]

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Gamescom 2015 opens to the public in a few short days but before that all the major players are plying their wares from atop stages (except Sony). Unlike E3, Gamescom is typically more about the games than bright lights and loud noises and cars descending from ceilings like a reverse Jesus. That’s changed somewhat lately with E3 showing more gameplay in a bid to shake its reputation as a smoke and mirrors show while Gamescom has upped its trailer count to seem a little flashier. All the same, Gamescom isn’t about huge reveals and shock value, it’s about showing people the games that wowed them at E3.

As is tradition, Microsoft kicked things off with a great show, 90 minutes of games. They showed off everything from Halo to Tomb Raider to Forza to Quantum Break plus a whole host of other games. The full conference is up top but if you’re pressed for time then follow me to the cliff-notes.

Quantum Break


The conference opened with Quantum Break, a game that was held back from E3 in order to be one the headline acts at Microsoft’s Gamescom presentation and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
What you see above is the “Time is Power” trailer for the game which, as you may have gleaned, focuses on the Quantum Break’s time-bending central gimmick. It’s from Remedy Entertainment, the folks behind Max payne, so it’s no surprise that there’s a little time manipulation. What really surprised us is the talent on hand for the game’s live action tie-in series which will run in parallel with the game much like Defiance and the like. It’s got the likes of Shawn Ashmore (Iceman, X-Men series) and Littlefinger himself, Aidan Gillen, looking rather villainous.
the series has a Fringe feel to it while the game looks like another interesting one from Remedy.
Quantum Break has been slated for an April 2016 release.

 

Halo


What is a Microsoft event without Halo? The franchise is so ingrained in the company’s DNA that even its virtual assistant is named Cortana, after the Halo character. As such there was much ado about Halo here.
Above is the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer trailer which establishes Halo 5 as breaking into the eSports territory. Why? Because Mircosoft says it is. It remains to be seen whether the eSports global community takes the bait.
Next up was gameplay footage of the Fathom underwater map which features whales!

Lastly, as far as Halo 5 goes, was the announcement of a special Edition Halo Xbox One. If you didn’t see this coming then you haven’t been paying attention, bub. The Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition Xbox One is a thing of absolute beauty, even if it looks like someone stuck two Wii consoles together.The console will be available in October when Halo 5 drops and will come in the newer, bigger and better 1TB form of the console.

Last but not least is the Halo Wars 2 announcement. The first Halo Wars, a attempt to take Halo and make it into a RTS, didn’t go down all too well but with Creative Assembly (Alien: Isolation) working on the new one there’s a hope that things will be different.
The game will be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10.

 

The Other Xbox Exclusives


Microsoft showed up a lot more of Rise of the Tomb raider and it’s starting to look like a real Tomb Raider game again. It’s got tombs, hilarious stealth mechanics and shows that it could teach Uncharted a thing or two as gameplay goes. Lara also seems a far more interesting character as she becomes the badass we all know and love.

You’d be remiss to think that Microsoft wouldn’t take the opportunity to show us how pretty Forza 6 is. Fortunately, the game did not disappoint with some fantastic rain visuals. let’s just hope this doesn’t turn in to a repeat of Forza 5.

Crackdown 3 made an appearance showing us that destruction is incredibly fun, As if we didn’t already know that. It was also revealed that the game’s multiplayer will be could-based, supposedly offering 20 times the computational power of an Xbox One and squarely putting the multiplayer beyond South Africa.
Crackdown 3 is slated for a mid-2016 release.

Microsoft’s surprise showstopper though was Scalebound. It looks to be equal parts Devil May Cry and How to Train Your Dragon, not a bad thing at all.
Scalebound is being developed by platinum games, a developer skilled in the art of hack ‘n slash gameplay with a release date pegged for late 2016.

 

What Remains

Here’s all the rest that Microsoft sprinkled about through the course of their conference.

 
What caught your attention and what are you most looking forward to? Let us know. Personally, Scalebound and Quantum Break certainly have both my attention and curiosity.

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Review: A Day In The Woods Is A Charming, Unpretentious Time Waster http://egmr.net/2015/08/review-a-day-in-the-woods-is-a-charming-unpretentious-waste-of-time/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/review-a-day-in-the-woods-is-a-charming-unpretentious-waste-of-time/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 08:00:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173688 Visit review on site for scoring. Mobile games are generally used as a means to pass the time, something to do between doing other things. And that’s exactly how I […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

Mobile games are generally used as a means to pass the time, something to do between doing other things. And that’s exactly how I first jumped into A Day in the Woods; I’d just finished a lab session and had a couple of hours to kill before a doctor’s appointment, so I found myself a comfy spot in the campus library and settled in. Before long I realised that over an hour had passed by and I had to tear myself away.

Yes, folks, A Day in the Woods is addictive. It satisfies the very basic tenet that any mobile game worth its salt has to abide by but the manner in which it does this is so delightful, so simple and so very effective.

The premise is straightforward: You play as Little Red Riding Hood’s sprite companion and must guide her through the woods in order to find Granny’s house. The trouble is that the woods seem to be littered with houses and you’ll have to get through 60 stages before finally getting to Granny. It’s also a little quaint and it does feel as though A Day in the Woods could have benefited from a more unique setting to reflect its individuality.

Gameplay employs a unique take on the classic sliding tile puzzle. The sprite, played by you, must move hexagonal tiles around in order to get Red to the house in each stage. The catch is that there are also plants to collect, dangers to avoid and eventually a woodsman to exploit in cutting down obstacles. Let us not forget the Big Bad Wolf who is lurking around. Each stage awards players a star for collecting all the plants, reaching the house and getting there under par. Par in this context refers to the number of steps you take to complete the stage.

Early on it’s all rather simple and the game’s responsiveness shone through as I rapidly tapped the tiles. There was never a stutter and the animations flowed smoothly.As I progressed, that responsiveness was no longer an issue as I contemplated each move more and more. Eventually I was making regular use of the game’s reset function, wishing I’d been better at chess in high school.

Unlike chess however, there are no macro-strategies which will work here as each stage is a completely unique problem to be solved. At one point I toyed with employing game theory and probability to solve these puzzles – they really pushed me to wit’s end.

It is however, possible to develop micro-strategies which can be combined and adapted depending on the situation. Each stage offers a different amount of space to manoeuvre within, different obstacles to get around and different threats. For example, spiders and fires are stationary hazards whereas bears are movable, but won’t go near fire. Then you get tools such as beehives which distract bears, bunnies which appease spiders and the woodsman who sadly cannot cut bears down.

As you collect stars you’ll unlock new seasonal skins for the game and customisable items for your sprite. It’s a pity the sprite appeared so tiny on my phone because it truly is a thing of beauty. So too the game with its carved and painted aesthetic. There were times where I wished for a zoom function just so I could admire the wonderful character designs.

A Day in the Woods comes in at a price that may seem a bit much for such a small title but for that price you get a charming game with absolutely fantastic puzzles and not a single microtransaction in sight. It’s just a pity there aren’t more stages because I burnt through half of them over the course of a single afternoon and the only thing that stopped me was mental fatigue.

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Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition Comes With A Backwards Compatible Bonus http://egmr.net/2015/08/gears-of-war-ultimate-edition-comes-with-a-backwards-compatible-bonus/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/gears-of-war-ultimate-edition-comes-with-a-backwards-compatible-bonus/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173775 It seemed highly peculiar that the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition set to release very soon on Xbox One would only contain the original game, a game from way back […]

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It seemed highly peculiar that the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition set to release very soon on Xbox One would only contain the original game, a game from way back in 2006. Nevertheless the game is an Xbox classic and the genesis of one of Microsoft’s so-called big three.

Still, a remaster of a nine year old game is hardly worth full price so what else is there in it for potential buyers? Well, a whole lot as it turns out.

Xbox and the Coalition revealed that anyone who purchases Gears of War: Ultimate Edition or the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle will get access to the Gears of War Collection via Xbox One’s backwards compatibility.

That’s Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War: Judgment in addition to the original game in glorious remastered form. It may seem peculiar to be able to play both versions of the original Gears but it will offer players the chance to do a direct comparison for themselves.

The only catch is that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is out this month while backwards compatibility goes live at the end of the year. Those who purchase the game and play from August through to December 2015 will get access to the collection. Players will also have access to the Gears 4 multiplayer beta.

In case you didn’t realise it by now, that means that all four Gears of War titles will be available on Xbox One through backwards compatibility. The collection will give players access to Xbox One features such as game DVR, Snap, screenshots and more. You can even keep all your previously-saved files, game add-ons, achievements and play with friends on Xbox Live no matter which Xbox console they’re on. It’s all rather spiffy.

With Gamescom yet to kick off you can expect plenty more Gears of War news to emerge this week.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn Almost Turned Out As A Cover Shooter http://egmr.net/2015/08/horizon-zero-dawn-almost-turned-out-as-a-cover-shooter/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/horizon-zero-dawn-almost-turned-out-as-a-cover-shooter/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:30:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173717 You’d be hard-pressed to find a big ticket game that doesn’t involve shooting things at people who are shooting more things at you. Even games where the charcaters don’t actually […]

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a big ticket game that doesn’t involve shooting things at people who are shooting more things at you. Even games where the charcaters don’t actually carry a gun such as inFamous involve shooting projectiles.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is no different. It’s a game about a primitive society in the distant future and is more or less a spiritual successor to Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The strange thing is that it comes from Guerilla Games, a developer that has specialised in nothing but shooting things with loud, dangerous guns but is utterly devoid of guns.

It wasn’t always that way. Guerilla Games started out playing to its strengths and envisioned Horizon: Zero Dawn’s title character, Aloy, as a gun-wielding badass. For someone who is equal parts Ygritte and Ripley, that makes sense. The trouble is that it utterly ruined the primitive feeling where the creatures around you truly have the upper hand.

To put it simply, guns made the game into a cover shooter so that was ditched in favour of a bow.

In the latest issue of Edge, game director Mathijs De Jonge explains the decision was one vital to retaining Horizon’s unique personality: “What we saw with these prototypes was that as soon as you give someone a machine gun, it’s just spray and pray,” he says. “It just becomes a cover shooter. We wanted the player to feel primitive, so we decided that the tribes would have very limited knowledge of technology. They don’t understand what’s going on with these machines, or how they work.”

Guerilla drove this point home by showing Edge a four year old prototype of the game with a Killzone 3 character model and an early version of the Thunderjaw (that imposing robotic T-Rex) we all saw in the intriguing E3 demo. In it the player character wields a machine gun which predictably deflates much of the creature’s threat.

Arrows offer a more calculated, tactical approach as they can’t be rapid-fired and require precise aim. Bows and arrows are also far more representative of a primitive, tribal society. Unless you count communities in the Bible Belt.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Is Getting A “Dramatic” Combat Overhaul http://egmr.net/2015/08/final-fantasy-vii-remake-is-getting-a-dramatic-combat-overhaul/ http://egmr.net/2015/08/final-fantasy-vii-remake-is-getting-a-dramatic-combat-overhaul/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173718 If you were under the impression that Final Fantasy VII was going to get remade with the exact same gameplay, a beat for beat retelling of the story and merely […]

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If you were under the impression that Final Fantasy VII was going to get remade with the exact same gameplay, a beat for beat retelling of the story and merely rebuilt visuals based on Square Enix’s Luminous Engine then you are unfortunately deluded.

It’s nigh impossible to remake an almost 20 year old game without some major changes that aren’t merely aesthetic.

The core of Final Fantasy VII will remain but all of its moving parts are from a time before DVD, a time before multicore processors and a time before 1080p 60fps. Changes will be made. As much was confirmed by Tetsuya Nomura, the original game’s creative director.

While this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, you can take solace in the fact that the combat will reportedly still feel familiar to fans of Final Fantasy VII.

The latest issue of OPM features an interview with Nomura in which he clarifies that the remake of Final Fantasy VII will have dramatically different gameplay but won’t necessarily become a hack ‘n slash.

“We are bringing dramatic changes to the Final Fantasy 7 remake,” Nomura told the magazine.

“That being said we want to clarify: we’re not going to be changing it into a shooter or something like that. We are going to be bringing dramatic changes, but we want to make sure it’s still recognisable.”

It’s going to be a while before we actually see what Final Fantasy VII looks like in its remade form but it remains to be seen whether it will immediately appeal to fans or will require concerted adjustment.

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Why Is Ubisoft Bothering To Release ZombiU On Other Consoles? http://egmr.net/2015/07/why-is-ubisoft-bothering-to-release-zombiu-on-other-consoles/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/why-is-ubisoft-bothering-to-release-zombiu-on-other-consoles/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 08:00:34 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173591 Generally the world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, less so when we limit that scope to the sphere of gaming. There’s scarcely a company more nonsensical than Ubisoft […]

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Generally the world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, less so when we limit that scope to the sphere of gaming. There’s scarcely a company more nonsensical than Ubisoft and once again they haven’t failed to disappoint.

That brings us to the fact that Ubisoft is bringing a game so exclusive to Wii U that it’s got darn console’s name built into the title. It simply makes no sense.

ZombiU was one of the most promising launch titles for the Wii U (before everyone realised that the console was something of a dead end) back in 2012 and was not a bad game by any means. That said, it’s certainly not worth the trouble of rebranding and re-releasing. Unless you’re as batshit bonkers as Ubisoft.

To understand this depravity we have to trek through Ubisoft’s torrid history with Wii U.

It started well enough. Ubisoft was more or less the only major publisher willing to push resources into working on Wii U. They boasted about how much better Assassin’s Creed III was on Wii U than the other consoles and had ZombiU slated as a headline launch title.

The game was very much designed to make full use of the Wii U’s GamePad, something which will drop away on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Then Ubisoft decided to give up on Wii U, more than that it acted like a scorned lover. Games simply weren’t released on Wii U and then there was the Rayman Legends debacle. Rayman Legends was ready to hit shelves for Wii U but Ubisoft held it back until the other console versions were ready for release. It got so bad that Michel Ancel and his team at Ubisoft Montpellier started supporting a movement for the Wii U copies to be released from captivity.

Suffice to say, Ubisoft really doesn’t give two shits about Wii U.

So now that you have the background, does it make any more sense? Probably not.

ZombiU was nothing special, nothing to write home about and yet Ubisoft has deemed fit to release it on PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 18. Oh and they’ve dropped the U so that now it’s simply called Zombi.

Yes, they took a peculiar and silly name then made it like a typo. Kudos, Ubisoft. You just out Ubisoft’d yourselves.

In all likelihood this is part of a long-con to eventually pump out a sequel which we can only hope will be called ZombiTwo.

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Spec Ops Developer, Yager, Takes A Hard Knock Thanks To Dead Island 2 http://egmr.net/2015/07/spec-ops-developer-yager-takes-a-hard-knock-thanks-to-dead-island-2/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/spec-ops-developer-yager-takes-a-hard-knock-thanks-to-dead-island-2/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:30:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173545 It was only a few weeks ago that news dropped of Deep Silver dropping Yager Productions from development of Dead Island 2. It boiled down to Yager’s work not quite […]

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It was only a few weeks ago that news dropped of Deep Silver dropping Yager Productions from development of Dead Island 2. It boiled down to Yager’s work not quite aligning with Deep Silver’s vision for the game. While a replacement has yet to be announced things have gone from bad to worse over at Yager.

Yager Productions is just one subsidiary of the larger Yager Group and, as of last week, has filed for insolvency. Ouch.

Unsurprisingly this comes as “a direct result from the early termination of the project.” Fortunately, the insolvency filing secures wages for Yager Productions staff over the next few months.

“In the course of the proceedings, we gain time to sort out the best options for reorganising this entity,” Yager managing director Timo Ullmann said. “Insolvency proceedings solely affect Yager Productions. All other parts of Yager Group are independent and remain unaffected. In addition to titles that are already in production, Yager has a team working on new gaming concepts which also remained intact.”

While any follow-ups to Spec Ops: The Line are currently up in the air, other Yager projects such as Dreadnoughts will continue. Any ripple effect caused by this shake up is presently unknown but we hope Yager manages to recover from this.

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PlayStation Summer Sale Kicks Off Along With This Month’s PS Plus Freebies http://egmr.net/2015/07/playstation-summer-sale-kicks-off-along-with-this-months-ps-plus-freebies/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/playstation-summer-sale-kicks-off-along-with-this-months-ps-plus-freebies/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173544 Sales! Discounts! Games! Free stuff! These are things that everybody likes. If you’re one of those people then you better have a PlayStation system because it’s sale time, folks. With […]

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Sales! Discounts! Games! Free stuff! These are things that everybody likes. If you’re one of those people then you better have a PlayStation system because it’s sale time, folks.

With August fast approaching this month’s PlayStation Plus free games will be out soon enough too while the PlayStation Store Summer Sale is already in full swing.

August’s list of PS Plus games is rather slim with Stealth Inc. 2 being perhaps the most notable title there worth playing.

Limbo (PS4)
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PS4)
Sound Shapes (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)
Stealth Inc. 2 (PS4, PS3, PS Vita)
God of War: Ascension (PS3)
CastleStorm (PS3, PS Vita)

Meanwhile the summer sale will play out in two phases, one ending and another beginning on August 12. It may be a stormy winter down here in South Africa but to me it’s as good as summer is to most people, as far as I’m concerned it’s summer here.

Some of the deals are pretty incredible while others are a tad humorous. PlayStation Plus members get an extra 10% off on select games.

On PS4 you can pick up Bloodborne for £35, Project Cars for £35, and Dragon Age: Inquisition for £25, Metro Redux for £12, Evolve for a measly £20 and a handful of Telltale games going for a steal at only £10. Meanwhile farming Simulator 2015 is pegged at an obscene £40.

Of course, it’s over on PS3 where the real savings are to be found. Most games can be got for under £10 and the entire Mass Effect trilogy can be yours for £12.

Check out the full list over on PlayStation blog.

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Square Enix Defends Rise Of The Tomb Raider’s Xbox Launch Exclusivity http://egmr.net/2015/07/square-enix-defends-rise-of-the-tomb-raiders-xbox-launch-exclusivity/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/square-enix-defends-rise-of-the-tomb-raiders-xbox-launch-exclusivity/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173507 Rise of the Tomb Raider will have one of the more peculiar release schedules with three separate dates spread out over a year and only one platform apiece. It’s as […]

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Rise of the Tomb Raider will have one of the more peculiar release schedules with three separate dates spread out over a year and only one platform apiece. It’s as ridiculous as the illusion that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be exclusive to Xbox One instead of the timed exclusive it has now been outed as.

Square Enix, the company more or less still in charge of Rise of the Tomb Raider, has taken the opportunity to explain things and clear the air regarding the game.

To recap, Rise of the Tomb Raider was initially revealed to be coming to Xbox One and only Xbox One at the end of this year. That statement is true enough but it’s a half truth. The game will also be coming to PC in early 2016 and PS4 in late 2016.

Speaking in an interview with Examiner, Square Enix Americas and Europe CEO Phil Rogers attempted to explain that this was the best decision for the company despite the fact that Square knew it would upset and disappoint fans on other platforms. Ultimately Square Enix went ahead with exclusive launch deal on Rise of the Tomb Raider due to a strong trust with Microsoft based on the company’s passion for Tomb Raider.

“I hope fans know that it wasn’t an easy decision. I think any sort of partnership at this level is a decision that took a longtime for us to get to. The decision at a studio level, we took very, very seriously. We knew it would, in the short-term, disappoint fans.”

“What we saw in Microsoft, which is probably not as well known, is that Microsoft’s passion for Tomb Raider is amazing.”

“Having been working with us on previous games in a lesser sense, they’ve been supportive. [However], for Rise of the Tomb Raider, they’ve just brought this passion and belief that has really enabled us to blow people away. People should feel that about Microsoft. Their commitment to Tomb Raider is just amazing for us.”

In particular Rogers made mention of Xbox boss Phil Spencer making regular trips to Crystal Dynamics’ offices in San Francisco to talk with the team, get hands-on with the game and offer some feedback. Why is the head of Xbox so involved in the development of Rise of the Tomb Raider?

Quite simply Square Enix wants the brand to stand out among the regular Xbox heavyweights of Gears, Forza and Halo. Tomb Raider has long been a darling franchise on PlayStation after all.

“If you don’t know, Phil visits Crystal [Dynamics] every time he’s in the Bay Area. Phil is the most welcomed guest, he’ll come talk to the team, play the game and [Microsoft] is a very committed organization to our properties. It just makes it that much more exciting for us.”

“It becomes the most important thing. We’re about growing our IP, this is a long-term decision. We’re going to take Tomb Raider up to the next level. With Microsoft’s belief, passion and sort of muscle to help us deliver, we really think this is going to be an awesome game that people will enjoy for years and years to come.”

Ultimately it amounts to a lot of sweet words from Square Enix about it’s sugar daddy. This doesn’t change the absurd staggered release schedule for Rise of the Tomb Raider. At this point it needs to vastly outsell itself on Xbox versus PS4 or this entire endeavour will be something of a joke.

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Do You Remember Ouya? Razer Sure Does http://egmr.net/2015/07/do-you-remember-ouya-razer-sure-does/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/do-you-remember-ouya-razer-sure-does/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:30:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173444 Ouya made a huge lot of noise prior to its release. It was a cute little Android-based console the size of Rubik’s cube that promised to ring in a much […]

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Ouya made a huge lot of noise prior to its release. It was a cute little Android-based console the size of Rubik’s cube that promised to ring in a much cheaper alternative to conventional console gaming.

It ended up not doing much of anything and ultimately faded into the background as yet another failed experiment in the tech industry. That would suggest that nobody wants anything to do with Ouya anymore but Razer begs to differ.

Razer has officially confirmed the acquisition of Ouya although financial details of the detail have yet to be revealed. Razer confirmed that the company has purchased the software assets and online retail platform for Ouya, while the remaining technical and developer relations staff from the company will be joining Razer.

Razer welcomed Ouya to the family yesterday on Twitter.

Razer is only interested in the software side of things with no interest whatsoever in the hardware.

Instead, the Ouya name will be used with the publication of various Android TV content and Android-based games. Specifically, the Ouya Store will be relaunched as “Cortex for Android TV,” with Razer providing more details on what current and future Ouya owners can expect in the transition:

“In the near future, Razer will be providing existing Ouya users with a clear path of migration to the more advanced Forge TV micro-console and Serval controller bundle. Razer’s intention is to allow Ouya users to bring their games, controllers, and accounts to the Cortex TV platform on the Forge microconsole, advancing the experience of Android gaming on TV that they have previously enjoyed. Additionally, Razer is planning deep product discounts for incoming Ouya users to purchase Razer hardware, and a spate of freebies, giveaways, and promotions to enjoy on their new Forge consoles.

“Moving forward, Razer plans significant development of the Forge TV micro-console, controllers and software solutions to enhance the home entertainment experience. The company also intends to bring myriad additional games to the Android platform it purchased, through increased investment in developer and publisher programs, and with complementary technology partner initiatives.”

Ouya CEO and founder Julie Uhrman confirmed the acquisition on Twitter and proceeded to thank a number of developers and individuals who helped Ouya at its genesis. She also confirmed that she would be leaving Ouya.

Ouya was an experiment, a good idea that never panned out for a number of reasons. With Razer taking over the reigns perhaps they can put Ouya’s platforms to good use. It’s likely that Razer will utilise the platform for the Forge, its own stab at a microconsole.

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The Witcher 3 Is About To Get A Whole Lot Harder (Geralt’s Penis Remains Flaccid And Non-Existent) [UPDATE] http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-witcher-3-is-about-to-get-a-whole-harder-geralts-penis-remains-flaccid-and-non-existent/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/the-witcher-3-is-about-to-get-a-whole-harder-geralts-penis-remains-flaccid-and-non-existent/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:00:27 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173445 The Witcher 3 has steadily been getting a stream of new (and free) content since the game released back in May. Yesterday, CD Projekt revealed the final piece of free DLC for […]

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The Witcher 3 has steadily been getting a stream of new (and free) content since the game released back in May. Yesterday, CD Projekt revealed the final piece of free DLC for The Witcher 3, and it’s a tough one.

Some of this DLC has been fairly minor with new costumes and the like but others have been quite major. For example, one retooled the entire movement system. This sort of retroactive tweaking based on community feedback is great to see.


[Update]
As you might expect the game’s official fora were inundated with fans wanting to know what would be carried over into NG+ and what it would be like. CD Projekt’s community manager Marcin Momot was ready and waiting to tackle some of the major asks.

Players starting New Game Plus with a level of under 30 will be bumped up to 30 while those over 30 will remain where they are. Players will also be able to reselect a difficulty setting. All items will carry over except quest items, books & letters, usable items, and trophies. Oh and you can say goodbye to all your sweet, sweet Gwent cards too. My condolences.

Via: VG247

Original story follows below.

The latest DLC will bring New Game + to Geralt’s world. This isn’t something we see often in story-driven RPGs like The Witcher and Dragon Age, and it’s the first game in the series to get the feature so it’ll be interesting to see what CD Project Red’s take on NG+ will bring to the title.

New Game + was meant to be the final in their series of free weekly DLC, but it looks like it’ll be coming a bit later than the other 15 weeks of content so far, according to the announcement tweet:

CD Projket has not offered up any details regarding what NG+ will entail though it’s probably safe to say that it’ll be a nightmare to get through.

Following this, two major expansions are due for The Witcher 3 in the coming months: Heart of Stone arrives in October and its follow-up, Blood & Wine, is due in Q1 2016.

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Fallout 4 Doesn’t Condone Robot Romance Or Bestiality http://egmr.net/2015/07/fallout-4-doesnt-condone-robot-romance-or-bestiality/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/fallout-4-doesnt-condone-robot-romance-or-bestiality/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:30:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173403 Love is a strange thing. Most people are pretty normal and are only attracted to other people, give or take a few inanimate objects. Some people take it to another […]

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Love is a strange thing. Most people are pretty normal and are only attracted to other people, give or take a few inanimate objects. Some people take it to another level like the restaurant in Japan that promotes bestiality or the woman who loves a single tree. Apparently the tree gives her pleasure like no other tree (or man) ever could.

That’s besides the point though. Fallout 4 allows players to have relationships because the previously silent protagonist made romance a little creepy.

Fallout 4’s Todd Howard spoke at QuakeCon 2015 this weekend and revealed that for the first time in the Fallout series there would be the possibility of engaging in post-apocalyptic radioactive romancing as you trek across the wastelands.

Players will be able to choose one of 12 companions the player could take on their trek across the wasteland. Any of the companions can be propositioned for happy fun times provided they’re human.

That means that Codsworth, the Mr Handy Robot, and your canine companion are not socially acceptable life partners.

Fallout is no newcomer to sex but it’s always been fleeting, meaningless even. Fallout 4 is taking the Skyrim approach where it actually wants players to maintain a functional relationship it seems.

No details have yet been offered as to what these relationships will entail but they may take a cue from Skyrim.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Allows Players To Talk Their Way Out Of A Fight http://egmr.net/2015/07/deus-ex-mankind-divided-allows-players-to-talk-their-way-out-of-a-fight/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/deus-ex-mankind-divided-allows-players-to-talk-their-way-out-of-a-fight/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173404 Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an excellent game, one of our favourites in recent years but there was one big issue with it. Yes, it was the fact that we […]

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an excellent game, one of our favourites in recent years but there was one big issue with it. Yes, it was the fact that we never got to see what augmentations were made to Adam Jensen’s genitalia. Aside from that the boss fights were exactly as the term describes it, they were fights rather than encounters which the player could approach in a way that suited their playstyle.

It was quite an effort taking on some of the main enemies when I’d upgraded Adam for stealth. Thankfully, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is going to be doing something about that.

Mankind Divided wants to give players a lot more freedom to suit different playstyles. Players will now be able to do things in the classic Deus Ex style.

According to gameplay director Patrick Fortier players will be able to engage main enemies through fisticuffs, stealthing past them or simply a tactful chat. That’s right, us socially awkward folk can now completely avoid confrontation.

Speaking in the latest issue of OXM, Fortier said bosses in Mankind Divided are more balanced this time out, and conversations can provided players with “a different means of dealing” with the situation.

“For Human Revolution, because of the way we designed it, [bosses] always died in the cutscenes,” added narrative director Mary DeMarle. “You had no choice. But we rectified that in the Missing Link DLC, and we’ve rectified it in this game.”

It would be interesting to see whether these options are mutually exclusive or can be melded together. For example, distracting an enemy with conversation while an ability recharges or utilising stealth to sneak up on an enemy and strike them out quickly.

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Watch Dogs Retrospective: Were We Wrong To Judge It So Harshly? http://egmr.net/2015/07/watch-dogs-retrospective-were-we-wrong-to-judge-it-so-harshly/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/watch-dogs-retrospective-were-we-wrong-to-judge-it-so-harshly/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 08:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173298 Watch Dogs released in May last year to brewing dissent thanks to Ubisoft’s trademark brand of bumbling marketing and bad practices. When all was said and done though, the game […]

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Watch Dogs released in May last year to brewing dissent thanks to Ubisoft’s trademark brand of bumbling marketing and bad practices. When all was said and done though, the game managed to pick up favourable reception among the media and general public. It even managed to be a huge financial success.

When all was said and done though, there were a number of criticisms leveled against the game which made the thought of an (already greenlit) sequel hardly worth celebrating. It’s taken a full year but after recently revisiting Watch Dogs I had a rather unexpected epiphany.

Walk with me, child, along the path of enlightenment.

It’s not often I eat my own words, not because I’m stoic but they just taste awful and undercooked. The last time I did this I contracted salmonella. After a little contemplation I do believe that while many of the criticisms that myself and many others leveled against the game are still quite valid, there is actually a good amount of hope for the sequel.

I’m thinking of a game. It’s got an open-world environment that feels lively but devoid of activities to engage in. Gameplay is very limited and missions are restrictive, repetitive even. The basic concept is quite great but the execution is lacking and limited.

Is it Watch Dogs or the original Assassin’s Creed?

You may be starting to see what I’m getting at.

Both games were new IPs, developed by the same studio no less, and promised something new, something exciting. Both ended up having good ideas but highly repetitive and limited gameplay. Assassin’s Creed went on to step it up in every way with its stellar sequel.

Relevant?

Relevant?

Looking back, a number of the issues people have with Watch Dogs are echoes of those they had with Assassin’s Creed. Ignore the scores but the reviews for Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed on Metacritic are rather similar.

The thing is that while I adore Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs was just a decently fun romp. It’s not just nostalgia either, I played the original Assassin’s Creed as recently as 2012 and it still captured me with the feel of it, the ritual of each assassination and that highly engrossing narrative.

Watch Dogs didn’t have the story going for it, nor the generic characters and certainly not Aiden Pearce with his iconic cap and the voice of an emphysema-infested Christian Bale. What it did have was a somewhat special feel to it. Being able to control Chicago’s infrastructure, absurd and illogical as it is, had a certain distinct charm to it. The idea of shadow games and bending a city to your whims with a few keystrokes is highly appealing.

The trouble is that Watch Dogs wasn’t thinking big enough or smart enough. All that power was wasted on an idiot bent on revenge for the consequences of his life choices. Much like the recent film Blackhat, hacking and subterfuge took a backseat to action, copious amounts of action.

So why bother talking about this now? Quite simply, you can thank Mr Robot for that.

It’s a new series that finally manages to make hacking cool, intense and intriguing without resorting to making Hugh Jackman flop around in front of a laptop while receiving fellatio. The upshot is that Ubisoft can seriously learn a thing or 20 from Mr Robot.

With the ending of Watch Dogs teasing a bigger role for DeadSec to play in the sequel, we may see a game on a much larger scale involving hacktivism and some of the ethical issues surrounding the amount of power Aiden Pearce and co. had at their fingertips in Watch Dogs. It was present here and there in the game but the sequel could benefit from some more thoughtful and tactical uses for a hacked CtOS other than making stuff blow up. Hacking someone’s accounts could lead to social engineering in order to break in somewhere or to collect dirt on someone for blackmail. A little more creativity and scope isn’t too much to ask for and that’s certainly what Assassin’s Creed II gave us.

Leaked plot synopsis for Watch Dogs numero dos.

Leaked plot synopsis for Watch Dogs numero dos.

Now, the thing that puts this hope and this mild defense of Watch Dogs somewhere between reasonable and fantastical is Ubisoft itself. It’s a very different company to what it was back then. Ubisoft has since decided that it won’t greenlight a major new IP unless it can be turned into a franchise then there’s the fact that watch Dogs required a spreadhseet to decipher what customers would get with each of its dozen different versions, then there were the lengthy delays, the graphical downgrades and ultimately a lot of disappointment combined with plenty of reason to cast judgment on the embodiment of everything wrong with Ubisoft.

It’s less a games developer and publisher these days than it is a machine with the express intent of making money at any cost withe a penchant for bad PR nightmares. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge amount of talent within its ranks though. Let’s not forget that while it may have run the likes of Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia into the ground Ubisoft is still capable of producing wonders such as Valiant Hearts and Child of Light.

Ubisoft is it’s own worst enemy but there is at least a chance of Watch Dogs receiving a good sequel. It’s an outside chance but it exists. With the likes of Mr Robot rolling around in my head I’d love to see that sequel take the raw concept behind Watch Dogs and turn it into something great now that the original game has served as something of a proof of concept.

Of course, Ubisoft will likely do plenty to mire whatever is good about Watch Dogs 2 but the lesson of Assassin’s Creed at least suggests that the sequel could be something better. After that Watch Dogs will go into a flat spin and we can go back to condemning it as a damned franchise from the outset.

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Batman: Arkham Knight Gives Players A Reason To Stay Until Halloween http://egmr.net/2015/07/batman-arkham-knight-gives-players-a-reason-to-stay-until-halloween/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/batman-arkham-knight-gives-players-a-reason-to-stay-until-halloween/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173325 The Batman Arkham series has developed quite a bit since 2009 but one thing that has (narratively) remained constant is that the games take place over the course of a […]

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The Batman Arkham series has developed quite a bit since 2009 but one thing that has (narratively) remained constant is that the games take place over the course of a single night. While the first two games took place on arbitrary nights, Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve while Arkham Knight takes place on Halloween.

Immediately your bat-sense (approximately 10 times more acute than spider-sense) should be thinking about The Long Halloween, one of the most famous Batman stories. If you’re familiar with the story then you know that in essence it’s a story about Batman trying to catch the Holiday Killer, a villain who strikes on Holidays such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and so on. There’s a lot more to it but that’s all we need to remember for now.

One of the criminals Batman consults early on is Julian Day, The Calendar Man, whose crimes fit a similar profile. In Arkham City, visiting Day in the holding cells of the old courthouse on specific days of the year rewarded players with a little bit of special interaction with him.

With Arkham Knight being all about Halloween and fear, Rocksteady found a way to sneak a little bit of that spirit into Arkham Knight. Set the clock on your console or PC (hopefully you’re not suffering through the PC version at present) forward to October 31 and see what happens.

It’s a great little Easter egg and it’s worth trying this out on other significant dates. There’s likely nothing else given the strict constraint of the game taking place on Halloween but it’s worth a shot, right?

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This Star Wars VR Tech Demo Will Make You Want To Hop In An X-Wing http://egmr.net/2015/07/this-star-wars-vr-tech-demo-will-make-you-want-to-hop-in-an-x-wing/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/this-star-wars-vr-tech-demo-will-make-you-want-to-hop-in-an-x-wing/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:30:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173305 Two of the biggest things in 2015 are easily the imminent return of Star Wars and release of virtual reality headsets to the public. It’s been a long time coming […]

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Two of the biggest things in 2015 are easily the imminent return of Star Wars and release of virtual reality headsets to the public. It’s been a long time coming but Oculus Rift is almost ready to hit retail and we’ve been seeing more and more of what it can do.

It was only a matter of time before someone turned it towards Star Wars.

Forget Star Wars Battlefront, forget Star Wars: The Force Awakens, forget Dead Space: Star Wars. Say hello to the coolest looking thing since the X-wing sim.

Sci-fi director Rob McLellan, VFX artist Craig Stiff and Unreal Engine 4 teamed up to cook up a showcase and proof of conept for a Star wars VR game of sorts. It took a meager two weeks to put together with the help of HammerheadVR and it looks mighty slick.

EA, if you’re out there, please get in touch with these folks.

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Lords Of The Fallen Studio Reveals Sci-Fi Call Of Duty Lookalike, The Surge http://egmr.net/2015/07/lords-of-the-fallen-studio-reveals-sci-fi-call-of-duty-lookalike-the-surge/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/lords-of-the-fallen-studio-reveals-sci-fi-call-of-duty-lookalike-the-surge/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173306 Lords of the Fallen was one of the notable new IPs in 2014 that managed to hold its own against strong opposition such as Dark Souls 2. It proved that […]

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Lords of the Fallen was one of the notable new IPs in 2014 that managed to hold its own against strong opposition such as Dark Souls 2. It proved that Deck 13 is certainly up to the task of creating a game full of atmosphere and character regardless of varying opinions regarding the gameplay.

Deck 13 has now revealed what it teased way back in June and, rather surprisingly, it is a video game.

It’s called The Surge and the image above is all we have to go on for now aside from some vague PR-ese. According to publisher Focus Home Interactive, the game is a “visceral hardcore RPG with innovative new combat mechanics”. The Surge will have an “original character progression system based on modular upgrades gained through tight combat”.

Now, those are two statements loaded with buzzy adjectives but the gist of it seems to be a sci-fi game all about human augmentation in the vein of what we saw in Elysium and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Hell, the image is very reminiscent of Advanced Warfare.

The wording may suggest that character upgrades are quite literally gained through combat. Perhaps by pilfering parts from your fallen enemies. That would certainly make for an interesting core facet of gameplay.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what Deck 13 has in store.

The Surge is in early development for PC, PS4 and Xbox One with the developer looking to have it out in 2017. Despite being just a wee fetus The Surge will be shown behind closed doors at Gamescom in August.

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Toast On Jam: Why Aren’t There More Good Superhero Games? http://egmr.net/2015/07/toast-on-jam-why-arent-there-more-good-superhero-games/ http://egmr.net/2015/07/toast-on-jam-why-arent-there-more-good-superhero-games/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 09:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=173218 I’m a huge fan of comics, movies, TV series and games; as such the meteoric rise of comics in popular culture has been of particular interest to me with the […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Xbox One deals:

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

 
The Xbox 360 deals:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s got your attention at Comic-con?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That fridge though.

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