#egmr » A-G Sonday http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:45:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Sony Thinks That VR Can Save Kinect http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-thinks-vr-can-save-kinect/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-thinks-vr-can-save-kinect/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:45:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154718 Yesterday we reported on how Sony worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida and the rest of the the Sony execs don’t quite know why the PS4 is so damn successful. That’s […]

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Yesterday we reported on how Sony worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida and the rest of the the Sony execs don’t quite know why the PS4 is so damn successful. That’s not too much of a worry since it’s doing well. If they weren’t sure why it was failing, ala Square Enix for the past five years, then it would be a different case.

Anyway, Yoshida has some further insight to share. This time regarding VR and motion controls. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that motion control and VR are inextricably tied together. It’s far better for your experience to have the game respond to your gestures than a controller firmly planted in your hands. Also, it feels a little weird to play without seeing the controller. Maybe that’s just me [insert commentary on religion].

Now, Yoshida believes that motion games had their day and can’t really do much on their own but that virtual reality systems such as Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift can do great things for the PlayStation Move which has somewhat faded into anonymity.

No mention was made of Kinect because not even Microsoft acknowledges its existence anymore. We’re going to assume that Yoshida forgot to mention it.

“Motion gaming was a big thing, but, like with social games, dance games, music or guitar games, I don’t think there’s a lot of appetite for another motion game at this moment,” Yoshida told Pocket-lint. That doesn’t make me feel great about the two Move controllers I have sitting on my shelf, but it’s hard to deny that many gamers and developers have moved on from motion controls–if they were ever on-board in the first place.

It’s not that Yoshida feels anything is wrong with Move; describing it as “a precise and accurate 3D input device,” he said the PS3/PS4 motion controller “was a bit ahead of its time.” According to him, that’s because it’s hard to take advantage of the 3D positional tracking it offers on a 2D screen.

“So now we are realizing that, when we do Project Morpheus, the one thing you want to do immediately is interact with an object in virtual space, and the one way to do that is that you need a 3D positioning input device, like PS Move,” Yoshida said.

I’ve never owned a PS Move and don’t see the need for owning one. I previously owned a Wii and its novelty wears off after a while.

Project Morpheus from Sony and Oculus Rift are currently the leaders in VR and could do some great things for the way we view films at home. However, in terms of gaming they could prove to be a little too expensive to ever achieve the Oculus dream of a Rift in every home. Dev kits for Oculus Rift currently go for around $350 with Morhpheus having no pricepoint to go on just yet. Couple that with the approximately $100 cost of motion controls and you’ve got yourself a package that costs more than either the PS4 or Xbox One.

I can’t see people buying into that for something presently as gimmicky as VR. It’s awesome, make no mistake but there is no burning reason to invest in virtual reality tech just yet.

Despite the flak it gets, I would wager that Xbox owners use their Kinect more than PS users plug in their PlayStation Eye or break out the Move controller.

VR might present a revival for motion controls but only if people are willing to meet the price that these systems will go for.

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Far Cry 4 Gives Players Freedom In A Dictatorship Like North Koreans Can Only Dream Of http://egmr.net/2014/08/far-cry-4-gives-players-freedom-dictatorship-like-north-koreans-can-dream/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/far-cry-4-gives-players-freedom-dictatorship-like-north-koreans-can-dream/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154717 The region of Kyrat is not only fictional but also the setting for Far Cry 4 and the sandbox for the game’s slightly eccentric villain, Pagan Min. That’s just fine though […]

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The region of Kyrat is not only fictional but also the setting for Far Cry 4 and the sandbox for the game’s slightly eccentric villain, Pagan Min. That’s just fine though because Kyrat gets to be your personal sandbox too. The funny thing? you’re probably going to do more damage than Min ever did. However, you’re going to have fun doing it so the sacrificed elephants are justified.

The video you see above gives us a better look at how the openworld of Far Cry 4 will afford players a great degree of choice and strategy. Guns blazing is always an option but the game offers players lots of other ways to go about their business. Executive producer Dan Hay, creative director Alex Hutchinson and other members of the development team sound off on how the game gives players the sort of freedom that would make an American proud.

What are you waiting for? Go watch the video.

Or stick around to hear me talk about how Far Cry 4 has been showing us just enough without giving too much away and appears to be marketing done right rather than AC: Unity which has a little too much marketing behind it.

Did I mention that there’s a little bit of Assassin’s creed going on here where you can go back in time and play as an ancient warrior who fights tigers and fire-breathers? That’s pretty rad.

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“Indie” Doesn’t Mean Anything Anymore According To Beyond Good & Evil Creator http://egmr.net/2014/08/indie-doesnt-mean-anything-anymore-according-beyond-good-evil-creator/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/indie-doesnt-mean-anything-anymore-according-beyond-good-evil-creator/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:45:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154659 Michel Ancel would probably like to think of himself as a more of an indie developer than a triple-A developer if you looks at his body of work ranging from […]

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Michel Ancel would probably like to think of himself as a more of an indie developer than a triple-A developer if you looks at his body of work ranging from Beyond Good & Evil to Rayman to the newly announced WiLD which is being developed under Ancel’s own studio, Wild Sheep Studios. At least, that was until he declared the very term “indie” to be defunct.

A few prominent developers from Gamescom last week are of the opinion that the term indie is a relic.

“Can you do an indie game with 100 people? It’s a very interesting question,” said Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel, speaking in a Q&A after the main Sony press conference.

“We shouldn’t say ‘indie game’. Now we should say ‘really innovative game,’ not especially based on production values and millions of dollars. We could say an indie game is a pixel [product] that costs ten bucks, but I think it’s more than this. It’s a game from real people that have passion and vision, and they can express that vision. This is what could define an indie game.”

This is nothing new as it’s always been a task to classify what is and is not indie. One thing that definitely does not fall under consideration in classifying indie is the type of game being made. Indie music isn’t all “hey” and cowbells. Indie is defined more by the budget, the funding, who is publishing it and the size of the team. Telltale Games for example used to be rather indie but has outgrown that moniker with a rather large studio now.

No Man’s Sky is being made on a small budget by a small team and is not tied down by any one publisher so it’s developer, Hello Games, is definitely still indie.

However, Media Molecule’s Rex Crowle is of the same opinion as Ancel.

“I would totally agree,” he said. “I think it’s more games that have independent thought in them than [the] financial model behind them, particularly.

“You can have a very indie game that’s actually a very generic first-person shooter, and you can have an enormous, big-budget, triple-A game that’s all about emotions. Those divides are not there anymore.”

Evolution head Paul Rustchynsky, too, believes the lines are now too blurred to mark real distinctions.

“There’s good games and bad games, and they’re all in the same pool together,” he said.

“We shouldn’t be saying ‘triple-A,’ we shouldn’t be saying ‘indie.’ These are games, and they’ve all got their own unique elements.”

In gaming, people often confuse indie (the studio model) with the “indie” feel. LittleBigPlanet is a big budget game from a developer tied to Sony. Not indie by a long shot however, the games feel hella indie.

In the context of what Ancel and Crowle are talking, indie doesn’t really refer to how the studio functions and operates but rather to a genre of quirky, whimsical and fun games.

Essentially everything that isn’t serious, brooding and covered in brown.

The Tomorrow Children, developed by Q, is a game that looks very indie but is published by Sony. Q boss Dylan Cuthbert believes the notion of “that indie feel” is outdated.

“Now there are so many professional indies out there,” he said. “They’re not poor anymore. They make a lot of money making their indie games. Are they still indie? Who cares?

“It’s in the heart, really. If you think you’re indie then you are indie, because the point of being indie is that you don’t have anyone else telling you what you are.”

“Hellblade called itself independent, and traditionally I think people think about indie games as smaller, two- or three-man teams,” Michael Denny, vice president of Sony Worldwide Studios Europe, told VG247.

“I think it does show where we’ve been going in the games development cycle. When we set out with PlayStation 4 we just wanted a system that would free up the creators and bring everybody to the platform, and I think one size doesn’t fit all with indie development now.

“There are small teams, but there are big teams that want to release their game independently as well. I think it all works. It’s more variety. It’s more choice.”

I firmly believe that indie still applies when you’re evaluating a studio and how it operates but when you’re looking at a game there is no such genre as indie in the same way that there is no genre called “money grubbing excuse for entertainment.” Although if there were, it would be dominated by EA mobile games.

Ubisoft is one of the biggest publishers in the world and they produced two very indie looking games called Child of Light and Valiant Hearts. Meanwhile genuine indie developers have produced some other tripe that you can view on Steam Early Access.

Does indie still have relevance? You tell me.

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Sony Doesn’t Understand What’s Happening With The PS4 http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-doesnt-understand-whats-happening-ps4/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-doesnt-understand-whats-happening-ps4/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154658 Sony recently announced that the PS4 had broken 10 million units sold since it launched in November last year. That’s a pretty huge number and it’s safe to say that […]

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Sony recently announced that the PS4 had broken 10 million units sold since it launched in November last year. That’s a pretty huge number and it’s safe to say that almost nobody expected it to be quite so high, least of all Sony themselves.

Changing tact a little, imagine you’re an orange. Absolutely identical to all the oranges in your bowl but on a specific day the owner of the ball decides to eat you. You don’t know why, you can’t quite understand it but it makes you happy. This was initially a romance metaphor but orange you glad I didn’t go that route?

In short: the PS4 is selling like hot cakes and Sony’s best approximation as to why this is is something along the line of:

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“It’s just beyond our imagination. We are so happy. But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what’s happening,” said Sony’s Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida in an interview with Eurogamer.

Yoshida goes on to say that Sony has had its marketing department investigate the matter and they discovered that a lot of PS4 owners did not own a PS3. This was recently pointed out to us by reader demfax who pulled the information from Kotaku. The exact figures go like this: 31% of PS4 owners had a Wii or Xbox 360 while 17% of them didn’t have any previous gen console. That’s a whopping 48% of PS4 owners who have never owned a PS3.

“As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right? Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to. That’s a really terrifying prospect,” said Yoshida. “So we want to understand who are these consumers who we do not necessarily consider core gamers, who are purchasing PS4 and why they are doing it and what they are doing with PS4, so we can create a bit more of a positive future, rather than saying, wow, we have sold to every single core gamer. So that’s what we are doing.”

I’m inclined to say that Sony is looking a gift griffin in the mouth but at the same time it’s good that they have not been made overconfident by this. Even though every Sony exec (Yoshida excluded) looks like a dick when he takes to the stage at an event.

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Toast On Jam: Gaming Needs A Little Less Uncharted And A Little More Whatever The Hell We Want http://egmr.net/2014/08/gaming-held-back-uncharted-4-perfect-example/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gaming-held-back-uncharted-4-perfect-example/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:30:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154302 Hi? I was told there’d be cookies here. Oh well, just another one of life’s disappointments. Speaking of which, I was told to have an opinion so here’s one. You […]

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Hi? I was told there’d be cookies here. Oh well, just another one of life’s disappointments. Speaking of which, I was told to have an opinion so here’s one. You can expect another in exactly four weeks if the sheer effort doesn’t kill me. About the name of this column; astute readers might have noticed it’s a little backwards. The rest of you are idiots. It represents my love of jam.

What makes a game a game? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Sure, there’s a dictionary definition but it’s a narrow one because gaming has expanded itself to be a multitude of things to all sorts of people. As with any creative medium, there is no set way to go about creating something. This is why games fall on such a broad spectrum of tone, genre, quality, visual style, narrative and pre-order DLC. Can you imagine if there were a template upon which all games had to be created?

*And then our unsuspecting writer noticed Ubisoft lurking in the corner.*

The problem is that the end result is the same 97% of the time. Regardless of all the uniquely twisted, gnarled and knotted threads representing the development cycles of games we arrive at a singular point.

The player is led by the hand in a world the developer has erected through a narrative they’ve written with little to no effect on the world and even less effect on the outcome of the game. Sure, you’re the protagonist. The guy with the most guns and the most lead absorbent body in history but are you the one making the decisions or is there an invisible thread pulling you at every junction? You might as well be Edward Norton in Fight Club (minus the final act). At no point are you really in control.

This opinion is one that first started to form from a conversation that we had in the EGMR office (a dodgy WhatsApp group chat which frequently indulges in cat pictures) and stems in part from No Man’s Sky.

The vast majority of games, in both narrative and gameplay, are either very linear or only give the perceived illusion of autonomy and freedom. We’re still confined to do what the developers have allowed us to do and sometimes that could amount to a lot of things to do but how much influence do you as the player have on the game world or narrative outside of what the developers have scripted?

If you look at some of the best games from the last console generation: Uncharted, BioShock, Halo 4 and even the likes of Portal 2; these games are pretty restrictive. They pride themselves on it and really because it allows some of them to be very cinematic. What is one of the selling points of the Uncharted series? It feels like you’re reliving an Indiana Jones movie. Portal 2 is perhaps the most extreme example of a game where you have to do exactly as the developers have planned. As much as I love BioShock, it’s a strictly linear and restrictive experience.

These are all superb games. Visually they’re aces and you’ll certainly be entertained by each one; some of them have even been innovative in their own way but they lie at an extreme. To reiterate, gaming lies on a spectrum and on this end we have the tightly scripted, rather linear types. There is no freedom to do whatever the hell you want and you certainly don’t have any agency over what happens.

Somewhere in the middle you might find sandbox games. Yes, there is a quite possibly rather linear narrative waiting for you behind those mission markers but all around it is a world to explore. A world with very strict rules and limitations. For example, you can’t dig a grave with remote C4 charges nor can you melee a puppy or burn down the primary antagonist’s house. These things are all very crucial to the user experience.

These games have a perceived, Matrix-like freedom. Push too hard against the barriers and you’ll have a thousand Hugo Weavings all over you. Or a death screen but really, isn’t Hugo Weaving the ultimate death screen?

agent-smith

Think about Skyrim or GTA V. Hell, even Black Flag. Did you give much of a damn about the “main missions”, the ones marked out with a giant icon? Probably not all that much because you’d rather dress your character up or scale a mountain on horseback or sail the breathtakingly gorgeous ocean or endlessly take selfies while mowing down a street gang.

The game is happy as long as you’re dicking about and having no influence on the world but as soon as you try to completely annihilate a whole neighbourhood/village or destroy the boat that you know the antagonist is probably going to use to escape later the game pipes up with a, “sorry mate, that ain’t me,” and proceeds to politely ignore the fact that you just took a flamethrower to your best friend who is probably going to betray you later in the story.

All of these games try to give the player a sense of autonomy and agency – that they are in a world where they can do whatever they want. The perception is that you’re in sandbox with all the tools the developer has given you to play around. However, there are strict limitations on what players can and cannot do. Most of the time you’re either doing what the developers are telling you to do or what they’ve allowed you to do. It sounds a hell of a lot like something Daenerys needs to take a look at but this is a practical consideration. Developers can’t account for every condition or eventuality in order to give players a truly organic experience which they craft themselves.

That doesn’t mean they don’t try to manufacture a more organic and immersive experience. We’ve seen it for years now where developers will manufacture multiple endings to give players the false sense of having carved their own path. More recently developers have begun adding “little touches” and signs of a more believable world where a light goes out if you shoot it, characters run their hands along a wall if you walk along it and other touches which give the impression of a world that you can interact with rather than simply observe as you walk through corridor after corridor.

You might have noticed I’ve picked out two rather different methods of creating immersion and an organic experience. You get a cookie. If I had any cookies to give!

Cookie

Essentially the key to tricking players into feeling like they’re having an organic experience in a world that they can affect is twofold. You need to give them perceived freedom and you need to make the world react to them.

The Stanley Parable is an excellent parody of this. The game starts out giving Stanley a great deal of freedom to roam about the office but as you progressively ignore the narrator more and more the world reacts and changes to become increasingly more linear. Forcing players to go where they’re told.

It might sound as if I’m complaining about this style of making games but in fact I love it.

“Wait, I just read 1200 words to hear this dick contradict himself?”

Maybe.

There is no right way to make a game although Gearbox Software has shown us the wrong way to make a game. That said, the spectrum on which all games fall allows for all sorts. The strictly linear games are excellent for those moments when you want to be guided through a great experience and the sandbox games are good for having a lot of fun. There is a place for everyone but the problem is that there is no game with truly emergent and organic gameplay or narrative. In fact, that end of the spectrum is rather light.

You’ve got titles such as Minecraft where players can mine and create pretty much whatever they want using, literally, the tools the game gives them. Then there’s DayZ where players can interact with other players however they wish. Barring random hook ups, players are free to form gangs or venture out alone or destroy a group from within. It’s up to you and each experience will be a part of the survival narrative you’re crafting.

Games such as Heavy Rain or Mass Effect are examples of more “classic” games where players do actually have some agency. You can kill characters off, doom entire races and cut your own finger off. As far as I know the awkward sex scenes are mandatory. That applies to Mass Effect and Heavy Rain. However, the gameplay is then very restrictive and linear and for all the branches the narrative can take there are still moments you are obligated to experience and in the end the hero dies anyway.

Those lame “choose-your-own-adventure” books at least allow the story to end at various points depending on what choices you make. This is because both those games have a very specific story to tell but want to give players the opportunity to still make important decisions and have some agency over crucial moments. We could call this the best of both worlds.

What of No Man’s Sky? What makes this little indie game so special? Well, it’s a PS4 exclusive so Xbox One fans should really be up in arms about it but secondly, it promises a truly unique and organic experience for players. You have a spaceship and a whole lot of worlds to explore. That’s the basic premise.

The real hook, something that no other game has really gotten right yet, is that each world is procedurally generated so as you and other players discover these worlds they get added to the known universe. Players can also drastically affect a planet’s ecosystem but driving a species of plant to extinction and other such things that would make Greenpeace gasp.

That’s something that, if executed correctly, would be highly refreshing to all of us who are too used to having our hands held through a 4 hour tutorial followed by a 12 hour linear experience. It’s also exactly what I described above.

With interconnected experiences and social gaming being all the rage right now I think gaming is finally heading towards offering up a world for players to muck about in and forge their own stories with their own unique experiences. Titles such as Destiny, The Division and even The Crew or Driveclub seem to hinge very much on who you’re playing with and what you do with them. There is just a world and the experience is entirely what you make of it.

It’s just a pity you have to do it with other people.

I do think the fundamental problem here is that the way most games are made is simply more conducive to scripted experiences with some tolerance for random and semi-organic experiences. The way games seem to be made is that for everything you do there is a subroutine or function which knows how to handle it. Push past a civilian and they’ll shout at you every time. They won’t get fed up and eventually push back. This is because the game handles each push as the first of its kind. It doesn’t record and learn from your actions except in special circumstances where the developers have allowed it to.

Creating organic experiences in this manner is impossible and maybe just a little tedious.

A different approach, a better approach is to learn from Developmental Robotics. Rather than coding a robot how to respond to every single eventuality or possible task expected of it, it is smarter to give the robot the architecture and mechanisms to respond to any situation. It will be pretty awful initially at things like throwing or catching a ball but the robot will learn and adapt. This is open-ended design at its best.

Apply the same to game development. Rather than building tight structures, constricting narratives and “look but don’t touch” worlds; developers can rather create a framework within which the player is free to do whatever they want and it will have an impact on the world around them.

Style and form will likely have to be sacrificed to some degree in this approach but it could very possibly result in a very different and very new experience for gamers. Perhaps games like this were not possible with the previous technology but if No Man’s Sky can exist then certainly similar such games can be made. Beta testing would certainly have greater importance as this will be where the game does a lot of learning and this data can be used in the final build of the game.

Imagine a game where everything adapts and changes based on your actions.

I love the tightly linear BioShock, Uncharted and Portal 2. I adore the false freedom of Far Cry 3 and GTA V. However, the current generation of gaming can offer so much more than just share buttons and 1080p.

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EA Finally Bought The “Ears” DLC, Claims They’re Now 50% Better At Listening http://egmr.net/2014/08/ea-finally-bought-ears-dlc-claims-theyre-now-50-better-listening/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/ea-finally-bought-ears-dlc-claims-theyre-now-50-better-listening/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:45:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154520 I’d be worried if EA wasn’t doing anything with the exorbitant amounts of money they siphon from gamers. I wouldn’t be surprised though because EA CEO Andrew Wilson’s face has […]

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I’d be worried if EA wasn’t doing anything with the exorbitant amounts of money they siphon from gamers. I wouldn’t be surprised though because EA CEO Andrew Wilson’s face has the look of someone who doesn’t adequately moisturise after taking a dip in his money pool. That said, it seems they’ve gone and bought themselves a pair of ears because Wilson believes the company is finally listening to gamers.

Wilson admitted in a recent interview with GamesIndustry International that the company has come up short in more than a few areas. One of the big ones being listening to user feedback.

Wilson credited the rise in digital gaming for EA being better equipped than ever to make changes on the fly.

“One of the things that we’re learning as we make the digital transformation is that we don’t need to guess what players want any more. For the longest time we had to guess, and the first opportunity to find out whether you got it right or not was when you saw the game on the shelf,” he said. “Now, we’re getting better at listening. We haven’t always been great listeners, but we’re getting better, and what that’s telling us is that people want choice. They want to be able to choose what’s right for them at a given moment in time. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all any longer. We’ve got to build a core platform, game engines, and games that facilitate that.”

I’m not so sure about that. EA’s mobile games are still some of the most atrocious “games” I’ve ever seen with near everything in them locked behind a pay-wall.

It’s regular games however, have been decent and thus far we have yet to see another case of Dead Space 3-style microtransactions from EA. That does not mean they’re listening however. The company is still engaged in all the reprehensible practises it was before because that’s what everyone else is doing.

That said, perhaps this is a slow process and although EA doesn’t deserve it, I would be willing to give them time to change. Not that I’m holding my breath on that account.

Recently EA launched what looked to be a service with the consumer in mind rather than the company’s bank balance. EA Access is supposed to be a service that, for a monthly subscription, would open users up to a vault of games that would only grow with time. Sounds great. However, in almost no time at all it became yet another pay wall where things such as demos were locked behind the subscription fee.

“Over time, the value will just get better and better and better, in much the same way that Netflix does,” Wilson said. “When I started subscribing to Netflix, there was no House Of Cards, there was no Orange Is The New Black–there is now.”

Wilson makes a valid point but it helps nobody to try and inject value into the service by locking out things that were previously free to all.

Also in the interview, Wilson says ensuring that gamers feel they receive a fair value for their money–whether it’s for a free-to-play game or a $60 boxed product–is important to him going forward. “Back in the day, it was all about delivering $60 of value; now, I want to deliver $1 of value if you want to spend $1, I want to deliver $10 of value if you want to spend $10,” he said. “I want to deliver value on your investment and on your investment of time. As you get older you realize that time is the most important resource. We should think about the investment of money, but also the investment of time.”

It’s great that Wilson can be so frank but really, talk is just that and EA hasn’t done anything to substantiate what Wilson is saying.

EA might be listening but they sure as hell aren’t acting on anything they hear just yet.

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If You’re Looking For Horror, Skip TMNT And Watch This Evil Within Gameplay Instead http://egmr.net/2014/08/youre-looking-horror-skip-tmnt-watch-evil-within-gameplay-instead/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/youre-looking-horror-skip-tmnt-watch-evil-within-gameplay-instead/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154519 Seriously,those turtles look like something out of a fever dream and not the good kind. Speaking of bad dreams, there’s The Evil Within from Resident Evil Creator Shinji Mikami. If […]

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Seriously,those turtles look like something out of a fever dream and not the good kind. Speaking of bad dreams, there’s The Evil Within from Resident Evil Creator Shinji Mikami. If the game hadn’t been delayed it would releasing next week but as it stands, we have to wait until October.

That’s not necessarily a abd thing because it means Bethesda and Tango Gameworks have to do silly marketing ploys like making Bethesda marketing exec Pete Hines play over an hour of The Evil Within.

At least it’s not the ice bucket challenge.

“I will try to keep the swearing to a minimum, but I make no promises,” Hines says, referencing the game’s scare-factor. After all, The Evil Within was designed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.

The video is from the game’s ninth chapter and is the same demo that attendees at Gamescom got to touch. Hines gives us an idea of how not to play the game.

If you have 77 minutes to kill then go for it.

If not then maybe just wait for the game to release.

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PlayStation Europe Boss Expects Remasters To Die Out At Some Point http://egmr.net/2014/08/playstation-europe-boss-promises-remastrer/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/playstation-europe-boss-promises-remastrer/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:30:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154434 The PS3 had HD collections and trilogies right up until the PS4 released and even beyond that however those are slightly different circumstances than what’s been happening over on the […]

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The PS3 had HD collections and trilogies right up until the PS4 released and even beyond that however those are slightly different circumstances than what’s been happening over on the PS4 where games are essentially re-released in their existing state but with slightly bumped up visuals. It’s a bit of a waste but it seems to pay the bills. However, when is enough really enough?

Thus far we’ve gotten Tomb Raider and The Last of Us but soon we’ll be getting Beyond: Two Souls, GTA V, Journey and more. I’d say that’s about enough. Much like your parents or stable employment, remasters won’t be around forever.

PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan seems to think so too. Ryan told CVG that tehse things will have an expiry date at which point you simply have to stop doing them but also that Sony will make them when it makes sense.

“You can’t have too many of these things otherwise next-gen just looks like rehashed last-gen and we certainly don’t want that. I think the balance is just about right but you know, there are other games that could be looked at, but there’ll come a point where next gen will have moved on and rehashing old-gen will have passed its sell-by date.”

I think Ryan nailed it. These remasters are fun enough but they’re becoming overzealous and a little too much. We want fresh games, not repackaged goods from last year.

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The Moon Might Have Wizards But Destiny’s Latest Trailer Shows Hebrew Sorcerers On Mars http://egmr.net/2014/08/moon-might-wizards-destinys-latest-trailer-shows-hebrew-sorcerers-mars/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/moon-might-wizards-destinys-latest-trailer-shows-hebrew-sorcerers-mars/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 07:30:04 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154433 I feel like we’re a little saturated with Destiny right now, Bungie and Activision need to dial it down before launch. That goes against every business model but it would […]

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I feel like we’re a little saturated with Destiny right now, Bungie and Activision need to dial it down before launch. That goes against every business model but it would make me happy and really, Activision’s goal should be my personal, eternal happiness. Forget pursuing it, I want them to serve it to me on a platter.

Where was I even going with this? I’m not really sure, something about gamer entitlement. Maybe. Whatever. That might have absolutely nothing to do with Destiny.

Thus far we’ve seen plenty of what Destiny’s desolate Earth looks like but we’ve also been to the moon and now the latest trailer takes a little further away from home to Mars. Players must venture into the red, dusty terrain of Mars to drive back its new inhabitants, the kaballah. Oops, what I meant to say is the Cabal.

I’ll give credit where it’s due, Bungie has made Mars more beautiful than NASA ever could.

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s Female Character Has A Very Expected Purpose To Serve http://egmr.net/2014/08/assassins-creed-unitys-female-character-expected-purpose-serve/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/assassins-creed-unitys-female-character-expected-purpose-serve/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 06:45:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154432 How do you justify not having playable female characters? By saying it’s too much effort and not really worth it. Hooray for the biggest development team in the history of […]

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How do you justify not having playable female characters? By saying it’s too much effort and not really worth it. Hooray for the biggest development team in the history of gaming. It probably only needs to be about half that sizer but they’re all too lazy to put in the full effort. Let’s not retread old ground though, it’s tacky.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity may not have a playable female character but it does have a female character. At least one. Last month Ubisoft revealed Elise as an important character to the plot. A Templar, you can imagine there’d be some friction between her and our hero, Arno.

If you’re squeamish then walk away now, here be spoilers. Although really, if you haven’t figured out what the role of a beautiful woman is in an Assassin’s Creed game by now then you simply haven’t been paying attention. Unity isn’t any different despite all its next-gen affectations.

Elise will serve as Arno’s mandatory love interest however, the twist is that Arno initially has no idea of her family’s ties to the Templars. It’s pretty much Romeo & Juliet except Paris is now a city instead of a person.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” creative director Alex Amancio told Game Informer. “We felt that with this generation it was a good opportunity to crank it up a notch and have a story that’s a bit more serious and more mature.

“Love stories are always a hard thing in video games because ultimately they can very easily become a tangent. By making Elise a Templar and making that part of the core, it’s part of the actual struggle of the character. It prevents it from becoming a B-plot or a tangent.”

Amancio said Elise is a “smart, intelligent, multi-layered character” without cliches because what is most important us having a strong character no matter the gender or the back story.

This can play out in a few ways. Either it goes exactly as you’d think where the two fo them try to break free from their respective organisations but Elise dies. Or they end up fighting on opposing sides and Elise dies. Alternatively, Elise tries to seduce over to the Templar side (think: Haytham with breasts) but she dies.

Basically, Elise is going to die. Probably.

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Comments Of The Week — “Xbox Fanboys=The Cancer Of Gaming” http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-xbox-fanboysthe-cancer-gaming/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-xbox-fanboysthe-cancer-gaming/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154307 This winter, one website will take on the world by being as unilaterally offensive as possible but that website is not us. We’re all good little children. I swear. We […]

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This winter, one website will take on the world by being as unilaterally offensive as possible but that website is not us. We’re all good little children. I swear.

We certainly didn’t offend all the psychotic PS4 fanboys nor did we offend a few sensitive people and we certainly didn’t offend the MSSA. To be fair, all we had to do for the last one was state facts.

Yay esports?

Also, Gamescom! Microsoft ruled, Sony bored, EA sportsed and Konami did weird things with a cardboard box.

Also also, that headline? Quite possibly ironic.

Kudos to Azhar, Caveshen and Bracken on making the comments flow.

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

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

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

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

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Gamescom 2014: Sony Says It Doesn’t Need To Buy Fans http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-sony-says-doesnt-need-buy-fans/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-sony-says-doesnt-need-buy-fans/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:45:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154264 Clickbait titling? Yes indeed. It’s Friday, sue me. In light of the recent furore surrounding Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed exclusive for Xbox with a release on […]

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Clickbait titling? Yes indeed. It’s Friday, sue me.

In light of the recent furore surrounding Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed exclusive for Xbox with a release on PC and PlayStation at some later date, Sony has felt the need to come out and weigh in on the latest shit storm to hit the gaming industry courtesy of entitled children and cry-babies.

PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan stated that Sony’s strong market position means they don’t need to “buy outright exclusivity.”

You know what, he’s not wrong. Sony has had an extremely strong start to this console generation and Microsoft has had to do a lot to make up for its sins. Towards the end of the last generation there was a sore issue of a complete lack of console exclusives. Meanwhile Sony had The Last of Us, God of War, Uncharted, Heavy Rain and Journey. Gran Tursimo brings that whole group down but that’s a discussion for a different time.

As such, Sony has held onto its stable of first-party developers to give us more of the same while Microsoft has gone elsewhere in search of giving gamers a reason to come over to where the grass is greener.

They’ve done it with Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive and now with Rise of the Tomb Raider, to a degree. Microsoft still has Forza, Halo, Gears and whatever else but it has reached out to third-party developers in establishing a great library of exclusives.

This has some people extremely upset. Screw them. Us PS4 owners will get the game eventually and Microsoft needs the business.

Speaking with CVG at Gamescom 2014, Ryan said the main reason is due to having a “large and very powerful network” of studios all its own.

“When you complement those two things we think that gives us a pretty complete position in the market,” said Ryan. “So do we feel the need to go out and buy outright exclusivity? Probably not.

“You saw last night [at Sony's press conference] that before the media briefing we showed updated videos of games that we had revealed at E3. That’s because we wanted to keep the show itself full of new, fresh things. We think that gave us a good, strong, convincing portfolio of exclusive stuff and we’re happy with that.”

You see, Sony fanboys, not even Sony themselves is with you on this one.

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Gamescom 2014: Who Cares About Tomb Raider When You Have The Witcher 3 To Ogle? http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-cares-tomb-raider-witcher-3-ogle/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-cares-tomb-raider-witcher-3-ogle/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154263 No, seriously. This game also has a protagonist with flowing hair, a bow, some exploration, deaths and (probably) a sex scene of sorts. It’s Tomb Raider but with a guy. […]

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No, seriously. This game also has a protagonist with flowing hair, a bow, some exploration, deaths and (probably) a sex scene of sorts. It’s Tomb Raider but with a guy. Although not Uncharted.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is set to be Geralt’s final adventure before we presumably move onto playing as Triss or a griffin. That would actually be incredible, playing as a griffin before The last Guardian has a chance to get released/canceled.

In this video Geralt is attempting to save Downwarren which sounds like a place not worth saving but maybe that’s just me.

“The war awoke an ancient power. An evil one that feeds on bloodshed. Nightmares haunt our nights and days”, reads the official description.

“Will Geralt help solve the mystery of the Whispering Hillock and find out what’s killing villagers from Downwarren?”

Who needs to fret and rage over the other stuff when we’re all getting games such as Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3?

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Gamescom 2014: Metal Gear Solid V Looks Like Archer Without The Humour, Also Coming On PC http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-metal-gear-solid-v-looks-like-archer-without-humour-also-coming-pc/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-metal-gear-solid-v-looks-like-archer-without-humour-also-coming-pc/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:45:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154133 Phrasing. Boom. Destiny might have snubbed you, Rise of the Tomb Raider might still snub you but Hideo Kojima loves you, PC gamers. He also probably wants people to create […]

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Phrasing. Boom.

Destiny might have snubbed you, Rise of the Tomb Raider might still snub you but Hideo Kojima loves you, PC gamers. He also probably wants people to create custom box mods to fuel his cardboard fetish.

Last night, Konami devoted a whole lot of time just to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. the game looks great, absolutely stunning and like no other stealth game out there. However, the game seems intent on showing nothing other than Afghan wilderness. Lame. Bin Laden is dead, get over it.

Of course, I’m just screwing around. The setting actually feels different to the urban landscape of most stealth games so it’s a little refreshing but I can’t help but wonder whether it will also be as sparse and dry as the Afghan desert over a long period of time. A city has something on every street corner (unless that city is inFamous: second Son’s Seattle) whereas deserts are arid and have low population density inherently. Except for Uncharted 3 where deserts are populated by around 1000 enemies.

Anyway, up top is a good, hard look at Big Boss taking on enemies in Metal Gear Solid V. It showcases how radically gameplay can change when you take different paths and also how the AI is smarter than the average bear.

Meanwhile, way down here is where we put the really important news. Metal Gear Solid V is coming to PC. Yay!

The news was confirmed by the Steam trailer under these words.

How has nobody done a mashup of Metal Gear Solid and Se7en yet? How?

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Gamescom 2014: Assassin’s Creed Rogue Looks Like Black Flag But With A Purpose http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-assassins-creed-rogue-looks-like-black-flag-purpose/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-assassins-creed-rogue-looks-like-black-flag-purpose/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154132 I have this unhealthy relationship with Assassin’s Creed, you might call it my meth addiction, if I didn’t already have a meth addiction to keep myself in shape. Seriously, try […]

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I have this unhealthy relationship with Assassin’s Creed, you might call it my meth addiction, if I didn’t already have a meth addiction to keep myself in shape. Seriously, try it. Or don’t. Probably don’t. So, speaking of things that are bad for you, Templars are evil right?

They head up big, evil global conglomerates and affiliate with the Illuminati. Boo. Hiss. Whatever. You wouldn’t be saying that if you had the power to be a super awesome Templar. Enter Assassin’s Creed: Rogue.

While AC: Unity is all about the power of next-gen and giving us bigger seamless environments, more NPCs, better visuals and classier parkour Rogue seems genuinely interesting because while the gameplay seems largely unchanged there seems to be a big emphasis on telling us a different story to previous AC games and that is why Rogue has its hooks in me.

The gameplay video you see above was released during Gamescom and is the first to be seen of Rogue. It shows us naval gameplay which many of us are a little tired of. It looks and functions largely the same as in Black Flag so nothing Rogue-ish there.

Then the game takes itself on land and starts looking very, very much like Black Flag. Shay moves a lot like Edward and even the settings are a little reminiscent of Black Flag’s coastal towns. The key differentiator is the tools and weapons Shay has at his disposal in Rogue. Things such as grenade launchers for example. The problem is that compared to Unity it looks so outdated and we see none of the narrative intrigue here.

Check out the video and let us know if you agree with the headline. As fun as Black Flag was it had no direction whatsoever.

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Gamescom 2014: Catch Up On All The Games Microsoft Showed That Sony Couldn’t http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-catch-games-microsoft-showed-sony-couldnt/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-catch-games-microsoft-showed-sony-couldnt/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 06:45:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154051 Sony rather disappointed me at Gamescom this year, there offering was decidedly underwhelming when compared to the amount of exclusive titles that Microsoft threw at us. Basically, Microsoft did good, […]

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Sony rather disappointed me at Gamescom this year, there offering was decidedly underwhelming when compared to the amount of exclusive titles that Microsoft threw at us. Basically, Microsoft did good, Sony did boring. Pretty much everything Microsoft showed off was an exclusive or at least they led us to believe that it was an exclusive.

Up top is the full press conference but if Phil Harrison’s face annoys you then check out our cherry picked trailers from the conference. Consider it our service to society… and you. We’ll start off with the expected and work our way down to the good stuff.

Of course there was going to be a trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The surprise was the lack of dubstep although the trailer from E3 featuring music from Lorde did it better. Recently Ubisoft has been talking up the game’s parkour is unsurprisingly they’ve put out a whole trailer about it and in all honesty, it was beautiful to watch. I was moved to tears by a man jumping around on rooftops. I wasn’t but imagine if I was.

Next up is the all the halo stuff. Yawn. Skip ahead if this bores you. First up is a dedicated Halo network because reasons.

We also got a look at some more from the Master Chief Collection. This time, we got a look at Sanctuary which is apparently a big deal in Halo 2.

Jumping back to the current generation we got a glimpse of the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians (of the Galaxy) beta which will be available as part of the Master Chief Collection. It features 4v4 arena-style gameplay.

What’s the next logical step after Halo? Death or Destiny but who wants to hear abotu Destiny anymore? Let’s talk about one of the most visually stunning little games coming to Xbox – Ori and the Blind Forest. I’m glad we had this talk. Go watch the video.

Forza Horizon 2 is doing that thing where your friends are never more than a button prompt away. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re antisocial like me. That said, this game looks absolutely horrendous. Just the worst.

Something that doesn’t look terrible is Forza Horizon 2 and Quantum Break. We finally got a good hard look at Remedy’s time stuttering shooter and it looks pretty darn good. The time mechanics seem gimmicky and poorly used but the gameplay is solid and reminds me of Max Payne 2. The visuals are stunning, as are the lovely particle effects when time stands still.

We’ll end things with Sunset Overdrive because a) I have a lecture in 10 minutes and b) dear Lord, this game looks like oodles of fun. Yes, I said oodles. Deal with it. the trailer is something of a guided tour from one of the people who helped create the deadly monsters plaguing Sunset City.

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Gamescom 2014: Kano Is Now A Cybernetic Khal Drogo In Mortal Kombat X http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-kano-now-cybernetic-khal-drogo-mortal-kombat-x/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-kano-now-cybernetic-khal-drogo-mortal-kombat-x/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:30:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153915 Remember Khal Drogo? The guy who rips people’s throats out? Yeah, he was awesome until his lame death. Fear not because Mortal Kombat X has revived him as a cyborg […]

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Remember Khal Drogo? The guy who rips people’s throats out? Yeah, he was awesome until his lame death. Fear not because Mortal Kombat X has revived him as a cyborg named Kano. Granted, Kano was already an MK character but now he’s not lame.

He’s got a cybernetic heart, dragon tattoos and a bitching beard ponytail.

In this latest trailer for the game, NetherRealm Studio’s creative director ed Boon talks kano’s special abilities in Mortal Kombat X. Using the Cutthroat variation he is able to power up his knife attacks by pounding his cybernetic heart. If that doesn’t scream “badass warrior” then I don’t know what will. the Cybernetic variation gives Kano an arsenal of weapons including heat vision, this is great for ranged fighting. Finally, the Commando variation enhances his grappling abilities if you’re in an MMA mood.

Check out the trailer, let us know what you think. If they can make kano cool, imagine the other fighters.

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Gamescom 2014: Watch Developers And Publishers Lie To You In Real Time http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-watch-developers-publishers-lie-real-time/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-watch-developers-publishers-lie-real-time/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:45:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153914 What’s better than being given false hope and having a game hyped up beyond the realms of comprehension at E3? Having the same Gamescom. In all fairness, if E3 is […]

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What’s better than being given false hope and having a game hyped up beyond the realms of comprehension at E3? Having the same Gamescom.

In all fairness, if E3 is the Miss World pageant where everything is about as fake as that one local politican’s qualifications then Gamescom is the Miss Inner Beauty pageant where we get to see what’s under the copious layers of makeup and pre-rendering. Or not. It depends how dastardly the publisher and developer are.

All the big boys are in town for Gamescom and by town I do mean Cologne. Not Cape Town.

As you might then expect, they’ll all have special conferences in which they show us things.

After last night’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer reveal, there’s still plenty to get through.

First up is Microsoft who will be kicking their press event off at 2pm CEST (same time, locally). They’re sure to show us some Halo 5, Forza Horizon 2 and we were promised a lot more Quantum Break. You catch their conference here or on the official Xbox site.

Next up is Sony. Obviously. They’ll be showing us things and Driveclub and things and Bloodborne and things and LittleBigPlanet 3. be sure not to miss the things. Catch Sony’s conference at 7pm CEST tonight on their Gamescom hub, Twitch or PlayStation Home.

Next up is EA but that’s only tomorrow. They’ll be showing us ALL the sports as well as a little Dragon Age: Inquisition, some Sims 4 and Battlefield: Whose Line is It Anyway. catch them here at 10 am CEST tomorrow.

Last but not least is Konami because Hideo kojima’s ego requires a stage all its own. No seriously, Konami is holding an epic hour long event for Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom pain. get hyped. that happens at 8pm CEST tomorrow and you can catch it here.

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Gamescom 2014: Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Multiplayer Reveal Turned Into A Round Of Titanfall http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-call-duty-advanced-warfare-multiplayer-reveal-turned-round-titanfall/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/gamescom-2014-call-duty-advanced-warfare-multiplayer-reveal-turned-round-titanfall/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153916 War. War never changes… except when you strap an exoskeleton to it. Everything is derivative, there are no original ideas anymore. Fair enough. Couple that with the notion that Call […]

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War. War never changes… except when you strap an exoskeleton to it. Everything is derivative, there are no original ideas anymore. Fair enough. Couple that with the notion that Call of Duty as a franchise has become stale and far too similar to the previous year’s iteration. We’ve got a problem, it seems. Enter Sledgehamemr Games with their silly name and the hopes and dreams of a teen pornstar. Sledgehammer is promising a different kind of Call of Duty with Advanced Warfare and you know what? They might just have done that.

What they created is Titanfall.

No, seriously.

At Gamescom last night, press were treated to a special reveal of the multiplayer component in Advanced warfare. Now, this is a big part of any CoD game. Not only for eSports (yay, eSports!) but also because that’s where the games draw their longevity from.

The multiplayer trailer for Advanced warfare promises something very different then while still looking to have the same CoD DNA that keeps people coming back.

The trailer starts out like good ol’ CoD and then suddenly it’s Resistance before it goes vertical and you’re in Titanfall.

Kudos to Sledgehammer Games on not copying old CoD games.

I’m riffing on them but they’ve done one thing that Respawn couldn’t – they made Titanfall’s gameplay compatible for eSports and competitive gaming.

Advanced Warfare is keeping the structure of multiplayer largely unchagned but maps will be bigger to accomodate vertical gameplay and the fact that exoskeletons allow players to get around far more easily. Advanced Warfare also comes with a bunch of broadcasting tools specifically for eSports.

Pick 13 allows users to create custom scorestreaks. Players are free to take anywhere from 0-4 scorestreaks into a game with them. It’s essentially Pick 10 from Black Ops II with a create-a-class format whereby points are assigned to various weapons, attachments, perks an wildcards but with the custom scorestreaks tacked on.

Advanced Warfare will also feature some new game modes. Well, some are just really old but have been made new.

Momentum is an updated version of War from CoD 3 and World at War. It essentially tasks players with capturing points progressively closer to enemy lines.

The other new addition is Uplink which is like Capture the Flag meets the NBA. Players must work together to get a drone to the goal area but cannot fire weapons while holding the ball drone. It sounds a little dumb but should be plenty of fun. There’s even scoring. Throwing a drone into the goal is worth a point, jumping into the goal with drone on tow is worth two. The drone can be passed to allies or thrown at enemies who will have no choice but to catch it and can then be mowed down.

Is that enough of Advanced Warfare for now? I certainly hope so.

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Sony Indulges In Sexual Innuendo With The “It’s Coming” Teaser http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-indulges-sexual-innuendo-coming-teaser/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-indulges-sexual-innuendo-coming-teaser/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:45:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153837 How do you get someone’s attention? With mysterious and vague teaser trailers that could allude to literally anything from Cooking Mama: Cabin Fever to Killzone: Cabin Fall. Okay, maybe not […]

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How do you get someone’s attention? With mysterious and vague teaser trailers that could allude to literally anything from Cooking Mama: Cabin Fever to Killzone: Cabin Fall. Okay, maybe not anything. The teasers definitely have a cabin-y vibe to them. I think. I don’t even know what a cabin looks like.

Heck, the teaser title isn’t even sexual. Or is it?

Last week Sony teased us with snow and blood. Always a fetching combination. This week, it’s an axe.

Sony is definitely gearing up for a big showing at gamescom 2014 with LittleBigPlanet 3, Bloodborne and The Order: 1886 set to go on show. However, there’s also this mystery project which they’ve begun teasing.

Some speculation suggests it could be until dawn from Supermassive Games. That certainly has a cabin in the woods feel to it. However, what if it’s something just a little bigger?

Possibly something to do with The Forest?

Hopefully it’s something completely new. Or The Last of Us 2. That said, blood and snow and an axe points to some kind of horror.

What are you hoping for?

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Destiny Doesn’t Care How Much You Enjoyed The Beta http://egmr.net/2014/08/say/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/say/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 06:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153836 Not that Destiny is a sentient being. It can’t emulate feelings such as love, hate or apathy. However, we can say with scientific certainty that Destiny doesn’t care that you had a […]

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Not that Destiny is a sentient being. It can’t emulate feelings such as love, hate or apathy. However, we can say with scientific certainty that Destiny doesn’t care that you had a stonking good time during the beta. Why? Because all your progress is going to be scrubbed and players will ahve to start from scratch.

This could be particularly annoying for PS4 users who had to do it twice already for the alpha and beta.

It’s not shocking news, by any stretch of my overactive imagination.

Bungie has confirmed that the characters you created and the stats you racked up will not transfer into Destiny proper. Bungie designer Tyson Green explained:

Beta characters won’t transfer to the final version of Destiny. The vaults have been cleaned out, too. Step away from this update and take a walk. Have a good cry, or howl at the Moon. We’ll be here when you’re done.

Other changes include new items that have been added while some have been removed. The way you earn XP has also been tweaked and certain new features have been toggled. Bungie reiterated Activision’s statement from last week saying none of the changes are monumental.

Destiny is out in September for everything. Except PC… and Wii U. Ouch!

It makes sense to wipe the slate for the full game especially since players will level up rather quickly in Destiny even without a headstart.

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Comments Of The Week — “You Won’t Be Winning MSSA’s ‘Journalist Of The Year’ Award” http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-wont-winning-mssas-journalist-year-award/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-wont-winning-mssas-journalist-year-award/#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 13:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153811 This week in our house of horrors the MSSA did what they do best, the Mass Effect series got dealt a huge blow when its creative director left and the […]

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This week in our house of horrors the MSSA did what they do best, the Mass Effect series got dealt a huge blow when its creative director left and the industry got its first next-gen lawsuit. Also, Assassin’s Creed is becoming Call of Duty while Call of Duty becomes Halo/ Deus Ex/ Ghost Recon/ Resistance.

Johannesburg nearly became Fallout 4. We also did our very first movie review (Yay us!) and elsewhere a Zionist recruitment festival called Oppi Koppi was held, which in Hebrew translates roughly to “fish are friends, not food.”

Also, if you feel like life makes too much sense, read this.

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

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

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

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

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In Order To Truly Appreciate Movies You Might Have To Torture Yourself http://egmr.net/2014/08/putting-favourite-movies-microscope-can-good-thing/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/putting-favourite-movies-microscope-can-good-thing/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 07:30:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152171 In order to truly, absolutely appreciate the realism of the slavery in Twelve Years a Slave, the torture in Zero Dark Thirty and explosions in Michael Bay films you have […]

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In order to truly, absolutely appreciate the realism of the slavery in Twelve Years a Slave, the torture in Zero Dark Thirty and explosions in Michael Bay films you have to actually experience slavery, torture and Michael Bay. I’m kidding, all you need is Wikipedia and an overactive imagination. Sadly, we’re not going to focus on torture today, kids. Maybe after MGS V releases or the next time I have a tummy ache. Instead, we’ll be focusing on a different kind of torture; painstakingly analysing scenes in minute detail in order to better appreciate them. I know it just sounds like bundles of fun but like any self-respecting masochist you have to know your limits. Go too far and you’ll be in the ER with massive amounts of blood loss and a craving for ribs.

Life is a series of paradoxes and hypocrisies (which are like paradoxes but with real people). People cry for change and then gnash their teeth when it comes, we’re told not to focus on race by focusing on race, someone always says they flew down when geographically speaking they went North. What is up with that, anyway? The character in the movie about real beauty is played by an actress with a LEGO set’s worth of plastic surgery, lit by a dozen artificial light sources and shot with a slightly longer lens to make her look prettier. Discussing the minutiae of comedy is actually laborious and can be boring, the best way to be cool is to be a geek and the best way to love a film is to analyse it until you hate it.

No, seriously.

Let’s take a practical example. By now you’ve all seen Guardians of the Galaxy twice and a lot of discussions center around all the easter eggs, cameos etc. Essentially things that you either missed or didn’t notice. Nerds love easter eggs, so do children and Easter-themed sexual predators and those weird heads on Easter Island. We’re used to paying close attention to spot the little hints, nods, snippets of fan-service and maybe a quarter second of partial nudity here and there. So let’s extend that.

Pop some Ritalin and let’s get rolling. Don’t have a prescription? You can make your own, just follow this easy guide.

So two weeks ago Caveshen wrote a great piece on how critique is good. Not for you personally because criticism makes me cry but it is good for your appreciation of movies. By critiquing you end up analysing films and taking a closer look. By extension you start noticing the nuances and foreshadowing in the narrative.

However, film is an audio-visual medium. Paying close attention to and critiquing narrative is something that can be administered across various media. You can apply it to books, comics, games and films. There’s an entirely unique element in film regarding the visual storytelling, the narrative told to you through what you see and how you are seeing it, because in most films worth remembering everything is done in service to the narrative. With the exception of some scenes which are simply shot the way they were because it looks hella cool.

A film typically runs for anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes and within that time period you’ll see dozens of scenes each lasting several minutes. Each scene is comprised of a number of shots. A shot is what you see in between cuts. Each shot is composed of many, many frames but for the love of God we are not going to go into such minute detail because a) it’s tedious and b) this.

Now, any scene in a movie should be trying to tell its own little story within the macro-narrative and aside from all the talky bits the director and cinematographer tell the viewer quite a lot without the actors even doing a thing. The camera position, lighting, colour palette, positioning of the characters and more obvious things such as costume or props all inform us of the story at play here and a great director knows how to say a lot with these things.

Fight Club (1999) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt (Screengrab)

If you look at the above image from Fight Club, it’s just a random frame from one of the less important scenes in the movie but it tells us so much about the film. Notice how Tyler (Brad Pitt) is in the foreground and thus bigger than Edward Norton (we’ll just call him that since he doesn’t really have his own name in the film). He’s clearly the dominant one here, the one in control and this is emphasised by the difference in their clothing. One stands out while the other blends in with the background a lot more, one is fully in focus while the other is a slightly blurred. Within this single, seemingly innocuous frame we can see one of the central conceits of the film.

Okay, okay. Let’s do another, shall we? This time from Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. Did you not read the word “torture” in the title?

Ravage from Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (2009) Directed by Michael Bay

I’ll keep this one short. Do you notice how the weird jaguar Decepticon is coloured to blend in with the shore? Without even watching the film, even though I know you all have, you can immediately tell that this thing’s purpose is stealth or that it’s trying to be stealthy. It could also be lazy CGI.

My point is that even in a terrible film this sort of thing exists. That doesn’t mean you should go rewatch Revenge of the Fallen. Unless you’re into that sort of thing in which case, get out. Right now.

Right. Now that we successfully sussed out the Transformers sympathisers let’s move on.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

When you see a scene set up in a certain way your brain does all the processing instinctively. A character in shadow is mysterious or untrustworthy. A character shown from a low angle has power. A character that arbitrarily gets screen attention is obviously Stan Lee. I could go on. The distance between characters alludes to the nature or stability of their relationship etc.

These are all things that inform you of the context and mechanics of a scene provided you’re paying attention.

A scene is just a collection of shots which themselves are a bundle of frames but our mind stitches them together to form something cohesive. The brain is awesome like that. The hard part is taking a butter knife and hacking that cohesive blanket apart to see what it’s made of and just why it’s so damn fluffy and warm. Essentially, you have to reverse engineer a scene or shot to see what makes it tick.

A lot can happen between shots as well, in editing. How does the director cut from one shot to the next? Is it a simple cut from one shot to the next or does one fade into the next thus linking the two very clearly together? Then again, which two shots follow each other and what effect does this create? If Batman is gearing up to go out and fight Bane then the next shot is of the Gotham PD gearing up to take the city back then Christopher Nolan is quite definitely drawing a connection between Batman and the police, they’re working together. Conversely, you can create a certain notion by putting two seemingly unrelated shots together. Lambs being slaughtered followed by people packed into a train? You tell me what that’s trying to say.

Speaking of lambs to the slaughter, let’s talk Hannibal. Not the TV series, that’s for another time. We’ll discuss it over fava beans sometime. No, I’m talking about The Silence of the Lambs. If you’ve paying attention you would’ve noticed me foreshadowing this earlier. Or maybe I’m just messing with you. Or maybe I wrote all my opinions non-linearly and actually wrote this paragraph first. If Quentin Tarantino can do it, so can I.

If you haven’t watched The Silence of the Lambs yet then c) why are you even here and d) go watch it right now. Oh and e) spoilers don’t apply to a film older than me. Would you kindly watch the clip below.

It is perhaps one of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite films. In it, Hannibal is imprisoned in a cage while Clarice talks to him, trying to get him to reveal who and where the serial killer Buffalo Bill is. It’s a particularly intense scene for a few reasons. Firstly, Anthony Hopkins has the stage presence of Rocket. Secondly, for the most part all you hear is the sound of their voices, there’s no epic Hans Zimmer soundtrack in the background for at least half the scene. Secondly, whenever the camera cuts to Clarice, even though she’s free and outside the cage she is framed between the bars to look as if she is imprisoned because in this scene she is. Hannibal gets a hold of her mind and doesn’t let go until he’s done. Quite differently, Hannibal is shot from very close up which makes him all the more imposing and engrossing. We have little else to focus on when he’s talking other than the words coming out of his mouth.

I’ll stop there before I become a pretentious prick and have to start wearing turtleneck sweaters. And I haven’t even mentioned mise-en-scène yet.

The way a scene is put together, even without dialogue is designed to illicit certain feelings. Not necessarily emotions, just feelings. The lighting, framing, camera work, sound and all the rest can make us feel uneasy, excited, calm and a whole spectrum more. Without the actors even doing anything we can feel something if a scene is put together the right way.

Now, what I’ve taken a very long time to get to is that in taking a very fine look at some films and really putting them under a microscope you gain an entirely new level of appreciation for them. You get to see the extra level of detail, care and attention that filmmakers put into their work.

A simple scan of some IMDB trivia can be just as good. David Fincher as been one of my favourite directors ever since I watched Fight Club back in high school. However, he wasn’t really because I wasn’t consciously appreciating his work. I was appreciating the movies he made without understanding what made them truly great aside from the narrative and some basic things I understood about composition, lighting and such.

Then I took a course in analysing film and TV during our winter vacation. Holy shit, David Fincher is a genius. With some help from his cinematographer Darius Kondji.

Se7en is among my favourite films and was Fincher’s second feature film. After rewatching it with fresh eyes and a keen attention to detail, not to mention writing a 3000 word essay on the thing, I gained a far greater level of appreciation for the film. A simple perusal of the movie’s IMDB trivia page revealed some interesting tidbits such as that the physical film was processed using a special chemical process which cast an amount of shadow on everything so that nothing was really fully illuminated thus making the film look darker. Kevin Spacey’s name was omitted from the opening credits to keep the identity of John Doe a complete secret to the audience. For most scenes Fincher positioned the actors in the most uncomfortable positions so that they looked uneasy in the grim crime scenes the movie assaults viewers with. Little touches like that are why I can watch the movie 17 years later and still absolutely love it and the way it’s been put together.

Not every movie warrants this kind of obsessive inspection but there are plenty that warrant it.

I foolishly tried applying these techniques and insights to Guardians of the Galaxy but fairly quickly my brain got overloaded by trying to process each shot and just how much fun the movie is. So it exploded. Boom. The rest of the film was spent with a vegetative grin on my face.

In short, you need to have watched a film at least once before you try this so it really only works with films that warrant a second viewing. I’m talking about films such as Inception, Memento, Fight Club, Se7en, Psycho, The Godfather, The Silence of the Lambs, Kick Ass and pretty much anything by Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino. The only reason I didn’t focus on films by Kubrick or Tarantino is because I could probably go on until Batman v Superman releases about their collective body of work. Hell, the course I took used to teach Legally frickin’ Blonde because it shows all these of filmmaking so clearly and obviously

If you’re interested in watching some of your favourite movies under a microscope and picking up on all the mechanical details of where the camera is in relation to the actors, where the actors are in relation to each other, how the scene is lit, what the setting says and what effect the editing has then I suggest you give Elements of Cinema a look. It’s pretty great for learning all you really need to in order to appreciate your favourite films on a new level.

Staying for post-credits scenes and keeping an eye out for easter eggs is so kitsch. Be the condescending douchebag who analyses films and notices things that nobody else does.

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Mass Effect Producer Levels Up, Leaves BioWare http://egmr.net/2014/08/mass-effect-producer-levels-leaves-bioware/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/mass-effect-producer-levels-leaves-bioware/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 06:45:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153744 Casey Hudson worked at BioWare for 16 years. that means he was there for Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age and he produced the Mass Effect trilogy. […]

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Casey Hudson worked at BioWare for 16 years. that means he was there for Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age and he produced the Mass Effect trilogy. However, after 16 years he’s left.

Why? Because he hated the Mass Effect 3 ending too. I kid. It’s probably not that. It could however have something to do with whatever direction BioWare is going in or simply Hudson feels it’s time for a change.

Don’t listen to me though, I’m an idiot.

Hudson started off as a technical artist on Neverwinter Nights and MDK2, before becoming project director on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic in 2003. He then moved over to the Mass Effect trilogy.

Here’s the letter sent to colleagues at the studio, which was posted by Bioware:

“After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare. I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.

“Though there’s never an easy time to make a change like this, I believe this is the best time for it. The foundation of our new IP in Edmonton is complete, and the team is ready to move forward into pre-production on a title that I think will redefine interactive entertainment.

“Development for the next Mass Effect game is well underway, with stunning assets and playable builds that prove the team is ready to deliver the best Mass Effect experience to date. And the Dragon Age: Inquisition team is putting the final touches on a truly ambitious title with some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen in a game.

“But while I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career. Having led the development of four major titles, I’m profoundly appreciative of the role I’ve been able to play in creating these games. The very idea that so many of you have enjoyed spending time in the worlds we’ve created is the defining achievement of my career, and it’s your support over the years that made it all possible.

“I know that I leave our projects in great hands, and I join you in looking forward to playing them.”

Hudson did some great work in his time at BioWare, specifically on the Mass Effect trilogy and perhaps his presence will be missed in future projects. However, you can’t go your whole life doing the same thing. Unless you’re a comic book hero and even then you get re-invented every now and again or killed off to gain some fresh perspective. It’s a good thing Hudson wasn’t killed off.

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Sleeping Dogs Is Getting A Cheap Knock-Off Next-Gen Version http://egmr.net/2014/08/sleeping-dogs-getting-cheap-knock-next-gen-version/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/sleeping-dogs-getting-cheap-knock-next-gen-version/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:30:59 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153430 Get it? Because it’s a game about Chinese Triads. At preesent the list of games that haven’t been greenlit for upscaled PS4 and Xbox One iterations is looking smaller than […]

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Get it? Because it’s a game about Chinese Triads.

At preesent the list of games that haven’t been greenlit for upscaled PS4 and Xbox One iterations is looking smaller than the list of games that have been.

Thus far we’ve already got Rayman Legends, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Journey, Resident Evil and more. It was cute in the beginning but just stop now, okay?

Of course, the gaming industry won’t listen to me when this is one of the reasons backwards compatibility isn’t a thing.

Sleeping Dogs is a great game, I loved it but I don’t need to see it again on PS4. I really don’t.

However, according to a listing on Amazon, Square Enix thinks we really do need Sleeping Dogs on PS4 and Xbox One. Of course, at some point Sleeping Dogs will receive a sequel but that doesn’t warrant a remaster,especially when the people who own the new consoles have surely played Sleeping Dogs already and those haven’t don’t care.

The listing was spotted by Kotaku and notes that the game will be called Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. It’s set to release on October 14 in North America which means Octiober 17 in EU regions. It includes all previously released DLC and pre-order copies will also include a 28-page book filled with concept art from the game’s development.

Promotional images describe the game as having been “rebuilt specifically for next-gen consoles.” The PC version of the original game released with a well-received HD textures pack, offering a hint at the upgraded visuals players can expect.

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Bleurgh. I enjoyed Sleeping Dogs but this lazy practise of repackaging games that are still fresh in our minds grows tiresome. It’s not even nostalgia mining, it’s straight up milking.

Expect Hitman: Absolution: Definitive Edition Soon and Thief: Definitive Edition even sooner even though it released on PS4 and Xbox One. I suspect Sony will start farming its PS3 library too with a God of War 3 Remastered Edition, Heavy Rain Remastered Edition, Resistance Trilogy Remastered Edition and whatever else is deemed worthy of milking.

As someone (I forget who) so aptly pointed out during our podcast last night, all the great new games have been pushed to 2015 while 2014 gets clogged with old detritus.

Hooray for the wonders of next-gen gaming!

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Fresh AC: Rogue Details Reveal Haytham Kenway, Morrigan, Machine Guns And Maybe Polar Bears http://egmr.net/2014/08/fresh-ac-rogue-details-reveal-haytham-kenway-morrigan-machine-guns-maybe-polar-bears/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/fresh-ac-rogue-details-reveal-haytham-kenway-morrigan-machine-guns-maybe-polar-bears/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 06:45:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153420 Yesterday the covers were lifted on Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. Sadly it is not an X-Men crossover although that would make the assassination techniques far more intriguing. Hell, Wolverine already has […]

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Yesterday the covers were lifted on Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. Sadly it is not an X-Men crossover although that would make the assassination techniques far more intriguing. Hell, Wolverine already has all the hidden blades a member of the Creed could ever need. Of course, he’ll be dead soon but that’s for comic book nerds to worry about. Also, it’s pretty tangential to what you’re here to read about.

Whatever, sue me. Or use me. Depends how good you are at making typos.

Thanks to Game Informer’s exclusive coverage of the game in its September issue we have a smidgen more to tell you about the Assassin’s Creed game that will finally let us take control of a rogue assassin, someone who has broken away from the Creed because he simply no longer agrees with what they are doing.

Rogue will have strong ties to AC III and will likely show us how the Assassins were driven so far underground to be in the state they were in for AC III which mostly takes place over 15 years later.

It will also link up with Unity in some way and since the French were involved in The Seven Years’ War (which Rogue focuses on) it isn’t hard to see how that link could be established.

Haytham Kenway will also make an appearance, likely as the leader of the Templar Order.

Also, your ship will be smaller than the Jackdaw but equipped with bigger and better guns such as prototype machine guns.

  • The main character is Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin-turned-Templar
  • The story will tell how Shay left the Order to become a Templar; you will play “many” missions as an Assassin before reaching a point where Shay says, “This is wrong, and I have to do something about it.”
  • Ubisoft won’t say what that pivotal moment is, but Shay has a scar that suggests he has undergone more than just emotional distress
  • It has a significant naval component, which builds off Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Your ship is called the Morrigan; is smaller than Jackdaw from Black Flag because it needs to navigate rivers and narrow channels
  • Your vessel can be boarded by enemy forces, so you’ll need to defend your crew to survive
  • You will spend your time at land and sea throughout the Eastern part of North America
  • The Morrigan is outfitted with Puckle guns, which are prototype machine guns
  • You can also drop oil barrels into the water and light them on fire to keep people from following you
  • You’ll need to avoid icebergs when in your boat, but you can also use them for cover in battle
  • You can swim in the frigid waters, but you’ll see the screen freezing up and your health going down if you stay in too long
  • Eagle vision has been enhanced, and now features a compass ring around your character, pointing out objects and shining red to indicate a threat
  • Being a Templar has its advantages, like better, more high-tech weapons
  • New weapons include an air rifle, grenade launcher, and smoke grenades
  • You can distract guards with a firecracker gun and cover your face with a bandana to protect yourself from poisonous gasses
  • New Assassin Interception feature lets you intercept assassination targets. “What if [the Templar] knows who the target is and wants to stop the Assassin? That’s a question that we’ve answered with gameplay in Assassin’s Creed Rogue,” Ubisoft says
  • You can hunt polar bears and narwhals
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue completes the North American trilogy of Assassin’s Creed III and Black Flag
  • Assassin’s Creed’s III’s Haytham Kenway makes an appearance

It sounds equal parts absolutely awesome but also very much like it’s building on Assassin’s Creed III’s idea of being less about being an assassin and more about being an 80′s action hero-style warrior. Running around with guns blazing, grenades flying and even your goddamn boat has machine guns. Are you going to have to mow down icebergs as preemptive revenge for the Titanic?

Call of Duty: Rogue is out on PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 11.

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Man-Child Sues Sony Over Killzone: Shadow Fall Not Being In Glorious 1080p http://egmr.net/2014/08/man-child-sues-sony-killzone-shadow-fall-glorious-1080p/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/man-child-sues-sony-killzone-shadow-fall-glorious-1080p/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 06:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153416 Remember when the vast majority of the human race wasn’t moronic? Neither do I. As long as there’s something stupid to do there’ll be idiots to do it. A big […]

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Remember when the vast majority of the human race wasn’t moronic? Neither do I. As long as there’s something stupid to do there’ll be idiots to do it. A big part of the hype around next-gen is that games would look better than ever and for the most part they have. We’ve gotten some truly stunning games. However, people are idiots and feel the need to quantise everything with numbers (said the reviews Editor of a website that scores its reviews).

It’s not simply good enough for a game to look absolutely great but instead it has to meet some benchmarks which announce as being graphically superior to anything you got on PS3 or Xbox 360.

The issue is that Killzone: Shadow Fall does not run at native 1080p entirely. The singleplayer is native 1080p but the multiplayer is technically rendered at 960×1080 and uses a technique called temporal reprojection. More on that later but first, a word from the wronged Killzone player.

Douglas Ladore is a resident of California and is alleging that Sony is guilty of “negligent misrepresentation, false advertisement, unfair competition and fraud in the inducement” for various messaging that claims a “native” 1080p resolution in the game’s multiplayer mode.

“Unfortunately, Sony’s marketing and on-box representations turned out to be nothing more than fiction,” Ladore said in his complaint as reported by Polygon.

He’s not wrong, Sony and Guerilla did promise native 1080p in both singleplayer and multiplayer but failed to do so in the latter. Ladore feels very hard done by this, $5 million hard done by.

Developer Guerrilla Games quickly issued a response explaining the technique. “Temporal reprojection is a technique that tracks the position of pixels over time and predicts where they will be in future,” said the studio. “These ‘history pixels’ are combined with freshly rendered pixels to form a higher-resolution new frame. This is what Killzone Shadow Fall uses in multiplayer.”

Ladore argues that this is, by definition, not ‘native’, but “a technological shortcut that was supposed to provide ‘subjectively similar’ results”.

Remember the Mass Effect 3 incident? A group tried to take action against BioWare for false advertising because in the end none of your previous decisions really mattered. At least there the group had some ground to stand on and yet it was still preposterous.

There is currently a similar lawsuit going on against Sega and Gearbox Software over the absolutely awful Aliens: Colonial Marines. That is a legitimate case. Incidentally, this lawsuit and the Aliens suit are both being handled by Edelson PC.

PC Master Race to the rescue!

I will grant that Guerilla didn’t deliver on native 1080p in multiplayer. Fine. However, the only way to know this is through rigorous testing because your eyes simply can’t see the difference on-screen unless you’re playing on a 100ft screen. The game is still running at 60fps and this is possible through the use of temporal projection.

Thus, Ladore does not have an issue with the fact that the game looks inferior to what was promised. At no point does he suggest that this hampered his experience in any way. It’s a case of “how can I play this game knowing it’s not rendered in native 1080p as the Gods intended?”

That’s absolute bullshit and the sooner a cull is staged to get rid of idiots like Mr Ladore, the better.

Welcome to the next-gen where everybody is a fucking moron but it’s okay as long as their stupidity is rendered at 1080p.

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Destiny Won’t Live Up To The Hype But It Promises A Space Opera Like None Other http://egmr.net/2014/08/preview-destiny/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/preview-destiny/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:30:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153030 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…. It is a period of pre-orders. Indie spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the […]

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

It is a period of pre-orders. Indie
spaceships, striking from a hidden
base, have won their first victory
against the evil triple-A Empire.

During the battle, indie spies managed
to steal secret plans to the Empire’s
ultimate weapon, the Destiny, an
ambitious MMO with enough
power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents,
No Man’s Sky races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the gameplay
that can save her people and restore
freedom to the galaxy…

So… Destiny hey. All that money, all that hype; can it possibly live up to it? Although we had some issues with the beta, the overwhelming majority loved it. Almost zealously so. Just a word to the wise, do not cross the Destiny faithful, they will take your family to the moon and murder them.

My blatherings aside, Bungie has yet to really put a foot wrong so let’s assess the facts shall we?

Where do you go after Halo? Well, the answer is to take Master Chief’s cod piece, turn it into a game logo and construct a game around it. Obviously.

Name: Destiny
Genre: FPS, MMO
Players: 1
Multiplayer: N/A
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Developers: Bungie
Publishers: Activision
Release Date: 9 September
Price: PS3, Xbox 360 – $60 (R699); PS4, Xbox One – $60 (R755)

Destiny is ambitious in that it’s trying to be an epic space opera in one breath and a compelling MMO in another. That means that when the game exhales you get the distinctive whiff of Mass Effect, Borderlands and Halo. The former two may be unintended affectations but Bungie is hardly trying to hide the Halo influence.

Senior environmental artist Jason Sussman was asked about whether Bungie felt its next game had to look nothing like Halo. “That wasn’t our goal,” he said. “I think Chris Barrett, our art director, has talked about how we went really high fantasy at first. We wanted to branch out and do something fantastic. Then we started falling back on some of the things that we know how to do really well, merging those worlds together. We weren’t trying, intentionally, to say, ‘Hey, let’s not make it look like this.’ We just wanted to make something unique and special, not only to the players, but to ourselves. We wanted to do something new, something bigger, something different in all the right ways, but still remaining true to our foundation.”

There’s an undeniable Halo essence in the way Destiny looks and the way the guns behave. Even in the way characters move. Hell, the music is very much Halo-esque. This is by no means a bad thing as it should really drum up the space opera feel and will most definitely appeal to the Halo faithful.

The game features three classes:

Warlock – “Warlocks have long studied the Traveler, mastering some of its arcane energies. Its true purpose still remains a great mystery, but discovering truth has always driven you into the unknown. Now, our enemies are the only thing that stands between you and the lost wonders of our Golden Age.”

Titan – “The first Titans built the Wall, and gave their lives to defend it. Now, you stand in the same high place, steadfast and sure, protecting all who shelter in your shadow. You hail from a long line of heroes, forged from strength and sacrifice. Our enemies may be deadly and merciless, but so are you.”

Hunter – “Hunters once prowled the wilderness and wastelands, taking big risks for even bigger rewards. You’re no outlaw—at least, not anymore—but making your own luck has always meant bending the rules. Your unique brand of daring and ingenuity is needed now more than ever.”

Each class is meant to play differently and players should find one that suits them. The above video should give you a glimpse as to how character development will go down. The problem here is that fast character progression and MMOs do not mesh well. What do you do if you’ve leveled your character up completely before the main campaign has even reached its second act? Probably join a dance crew and tour the desolate ruins of Earth. I kid.

The idea is to not have players grind for weeks before they max out their level cap. Instead Bungie wants players to focus on interacting with other players (more on that later) and equipping the gear that lets you go deeper into the game. Equipping better weapons and armour opens players up to more strikes, raids and higher levels of PvP. Once you’re done leveling the game becomes about collecting gear and exploring much like Diablo. Essentially, once you’ve climbed the ladder you start moving horizontally trying out different weapon loadouts, builds and abilities.

It doesn’t sound like something that can last but then I’m no expert.

Onto the Borderlands aspect that people keep referring to.

Destiny has a big emphasis on exploring the remains of Earth, Mars and the Moon and a big part of that is the social aspect of Destiny. Ideally the game wants players to never be alone. Like a suicidal teenager. That means that in order to succeed Destiny needs a large and constant player base or rather for your experience to be what Bungie wants Destiny to be, you need friends. The video below shows off looting, weapons and armour. Basically the sort of stuff that made people enjoy Borderlands. Sans the humour, insane weapon variety and fantastic art direction. Actually, that’s not entirely true. More on that in a few inches.

Strangely enough, Destiny isn’t all that violent for a first-person shooter. This is where the Halo influence comes in again. Enemies don’t spew blood everywhere like in other shooters, they just kind of drop dead. Most of the major games we pick up these days are rated M for Mature while Destiny is rated T for Taneleer Tivan. No it’s not, you know what it stands for.This opens the game up to a much wider audience theoretically, even if 12 year olds play GTA and CoD anyway.

Destiny operates in a few modes, much like synchronous or inductive AC machines. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Consider yourself lucky.

The first mode is called Patrol and unfortunately does not involve searching desolate ruins for sexual predators. Instead players are free to explore the environments through open-ended missions where you’re free to do whatever you want. Next up is Bounty which more closely resembles your traditional MMO raid mode. A successful raid gets you weapons, armour and other shiny items.

Those are slightly slower burns than Strike mode though. Strike is where you go for a quickie. Three man fireteams, structured progression and short 15-30 minute runs.

Then there’s Faction Wars which could be just as comfortable in Saints Row or Sleeping Dogs. Essentially you challenge other factions competitively. It’s like a gang war but it’s not because there’s no such thing as space gangs.

Destiny doesn’t really believe in NPC allies, any ally you find will be a real person because you can blame the developers for buggy AI but you can’t blame them for shitty allies. As mentioned above, if you’re playing Destiny you have to be social. Well, you could be a lone wolf but that’s going to be awful boring in an MMO. Like any game where you have expansive environments, there is crafting of sorts.

“Why would you want to recruit a Non-Player Character, when the world of Destiny is populated with Guardians?” Bungie asks. “Every hero from the last safe city on Earth will be driven by a living, thinking player with a racing pulse and an itchy trigger finger. You’ll come across characters bound to the software, of course, but your allies will be the other players who join you on your adventures.”

“The Tower will be a place where you can restore and upgrade your weapons and gear,” Bungie replied when asked about crafting. “Some of the loot you capture on your missions will be items that you can equip or wield. Other treasures that you reap from the action you sow will be raw materials that you need to upgrade your inventory. The best thing is that your rewards will be pre-destined. The fates know what you need, and your fortunes will favor the brave.”

That’s a welcome feature, there’s nothing more annoying than games which load you with resources you already have way too much of already.

Now is as good a time as any to address the $500 million elephant in the room. Yes, Activision is dumping an obscene amount of money into Destiny and while not all of that is going into the first game, it speaks of Activision’s long-term plans with Bungie to turn Destiny into something huge. That means you can expect it to be around for some time. As such it’s a good thing that Bungie already has expansions planned for the Destiny.

They will contain story missions, co-op activities and multiplayer maps, new weapons, armour and gear. Each pack will cost $19.99 individually, or $34.99 for the Expansion Pass. Yes, folks, we don’t do season passes anymore, it’s all about expansion passes these days. They are as follows:

  • Expansion I: The Dark Below – set deep beneath the surface of the Moon, discover an ancient tomb that has been unsealed, and a dark god who has risen an evil army in the depths of the Hellmouth, the home of the Hive enemy race
  • Expansion II: House of Wolves – details will be revealed later
    PlayStation platforms will also include additional exclusive content for Expansion I and II and will remain exclusive until at least Fall of 2015

Speaking of expansions, Destiny has the prerequisite amount of collector’s editions. In the old days you wouldn’t see this happening for a new IP but hey, when the hype train has enough inertia that even Denzel Washington can’t stop it you might as well paint hot rod flames down the side.

Bungie knows a thing or two about pushing an overhyped franchise and they firmly believe that Destiny can live up to it. If the recent resounding applause that the Destiny beta received is any indication, they might be right.

“At Bungie, we want to make a game that matters–to break new ground in your imagination. We don’t want to make something that’s just good enough to ship,” Bungie said. “Our goal is to change the way you think about all the games you play. We want to redefine what you come to expect when you have a weapon in your hands and your own hunt and evade scenarios are afoot.”

Remember Titanfall? Tread carefully, Bungie.

One thing Destiny has going for it is a sweeping soundtrack that will surely make love to your ears. Another thing it has going for it is the visuals. It looks pretty great on the old consoles and slightly greater on the new consoles. It’s not just a high polygon count though, Destiny has a great visual direction too. Something else the game should have going for it is Peter Dinklage.

He plays Ghost, your companion (sadly not a direwolf), and will feed players information, exposition and drone on about how incredible mutants. No he won’t. That would be cool though. Dinklage’s performance was regaled in the alpha but seems much improved in the beta and who knows, by the time the game improves he may be as captivating to here as he is in Game of Thrones.

Now, I know I said the elephant in the room was the budget but if that’s true then the Sarlacc in the room (room in the Sarlacc?) would have to be the lack of a PC version. Well, the lack of a PC version releasing this year. For a long time it seemed as if Destiny wouldn’t be receiving a PC version and then a glimmer of hope came from Activision CEO Erik Hirschberg.

“It is [a good fit], and it’s something we’re talking about and looking at very carefully, and obviously it makes a lot of sense with the genre and the type of game it is.”

“Again, no announcements, but it’s something that’s a heavy point of discussion. And you asked how we are dealing with the complexity of developing for so many platforms, how about one more on top of that?” he added.

This came following a listing on the Steam database which shows Destiny releasing on PC in March 2015 also knows as “the place where delayed 2014 games go.” Keep faith, master race.

Ultimately, if this is what you’re looking for in a game then Destiny is what you seek.

Suspected Selling Points
  • Bungie’s pedigree speaks for itself
  • Destiny has impressed thus far in alpha and beta
  • The game will appeal to Halo fans
Potential Pitfalls
  • Destiny’s success relies on social interaction and a reliable userbase which may not last
  • There isn’t a whole lot to set Destiny apart from similar games
  • As with so many other games, the hype may be to the game’s detriment when it doesn’t live up to it

If you’re a huge Halo fan or one of the many Destiny faithful who have spawned in the past few months then nothing I say will matter. In fact, you’ve probably already pre-ordered the game. To the rest of you, Destiny will no doubt be great. Bungie’s pedigree is known and Destiny has thoroughly impressed most people with its beta. If it interests you then by all means go ahead and buy it on day one. However, keep your expectations in check because hype can be all-consuming.

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Assassin’s Creed Is Going Rogue With A Templar Protagonist And More Boats http://egmr.net/2014/08/assassins-creed-going-rogue-templar-protagonist-boats/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/assassins-creed-going-rogue-templar-protagonist-boats/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 06:45:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153330 Boats! Because we absolutely, positively need more boats in a game about assassins and secret orders. Originally rumoured to be called Assassin’s Creed: Comet, the old-gen Assassin’s Creed has finally […]

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Boats! Because we absolutely, positively need more boats in a game about assassins and secret orders. Originally rumoured to be called Assassin’s Creed: Comet, the old-gen Assassin’s Creed has finally been revealed and it may just have the most intriguing premise of any Assassin’s Creed title yet.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is landlocked and generation locked but promises a re-invention or at least re-invigoration of the series’ tired gameplay. Great. It’s set during the French Revolution, a time period which fans have been clamouring for however it looks like it will simply recount events ratehr than forge any truly compelling narrative of its own. Why am I mentioning this? Simply because Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is doing things very differently.

It’s bringing boats back, it seems to be set in a relatively unknown time period with some lesser known locations, looks to be focusing on the character’s development and it stars a goddamn Templar. We got a taste of this in Assassin’s Creed III with Haytham Kenway but this is something else entirely.

You play as Shay Patrick Cormac, an Irishman (I think) who is hunting assassins. Why? He used to be an assassin and has now turned coat to join the Templars. This is very different from Edward Kenway who simply went wherever the money was and had no strong narrative motivations towards either the Creed or the Order.

The game will follow Shay as he sails up the East coast of North America from Alabama, around New York and reaching up as far as Quebec and the Appalachian River Valley. That’s right folks, we’re going to Canada!

The game is set during the Seven Years’ War which took place between 1754 and 1763. I’m no expert at arithmetic but 63 – 54 = 9. Just saying. You can follow the link to read Wikipedia’s eye-witness account of the war but essentially it was a World war back when World Wars were a weekly occurrence.

As with most wars, this one was about power and saw the European dominants of Spain, France and Great Britain competing for control of trade and colonies in North America.

Assassin’s creed: Rogue is featured in the September issues of Game Informer and you can read the details below:

Story
1751. North America. Amidst the chaos and violence of the French and Indian War, Shay Patrick Cormac, a fearless young member of the Assassins order, undergoes a dark transformation that will shape the future of the brotherhood forever. After arguing over a dangerous mission gone tragically wrong, Shay is betrayed by the Assassins who attempt to end his life. Cast aside by those he once called brothers, Shay sets out on a mission to wipe out all who turned against him and ultimately become the most feared Assassin hunter in history.

Introducing Assassin’s Creed Rogue, the darkest chapter in the Assassin’s Creed franchise yet. As Shay, you will experience the slow transformation from Assassin to Assassin Hunter. Follow your own creed and set off on an extraordinary journey through New York City, the wild river valley, and far away to the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic in pursuit of your ultimate goal to bring down the Assassins.

Key Features

  • Become the Ultimate Assassin Hunter
  • For the first time ever, experience the Assassin’s Creed universe from the perspective of a Templar. Play as Shay, who, in addition to the deadly skills of a Master Assassin, also possesses never before seen skills and weapons of the enemy:
  • Equip Shay’s deadly air rifle to be used for both short and long range combat. Distract, eliminate, or confuse your enemies by using a variety of ammunition, including specialised grenades
  • Protect yourself from hidden Assassins in the crowd with your enhanced eagle vision. Use your vision to constantly assess your surroundings and detect Assassins hiding in the shadows, on rooftops, and in the crowds

Slowly Descend into Darkness
Witness Shay’s transformation from an adventurous assassin to a grim and committed Templar willing to hunt down his former brotherhood. Experience first-hand the events that will lead Shay down a dark path and set him on a course that will forever change the fate of the Assassins.

New and Improved Naval Gameplay
Cast off in your ship, The Morrigan, and fight your way through the icy seas of the North Atlantic and the narrow waters of America’s river valleys. Assassin’s Creed Rogue builds on the award winning naval experience from Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag™ with all new gameplay including:

  • New enemy tactics: Defend yourself from reverse boarding as the Assassins attempt to board your ship and overthrow your crew. Fight them off quickly to avoid losing too many crew members.
  • New weapons such as burning oil, which leaves a trail of fire behind to burn enemy ships, and the puckle gun, capable of delivering continuous machine-gun-like fire.
  • Use the arctic to your advantage: Destroy icebergs to gain additional loot or ram through ice sheets to overtake enemy ships.

Vast Diverse Open World to Explore

  • Shay’s story will allow you to explore three unique environments.
  • The North Atlantic Ocean. Experience the cold winds and towering icebergs of the arctic in this expansive naval playground.
  • The River Valley. A large hybrid setting of the Native American Frontier mixing seamless river navigation and ground exploration.

Watch the rather epic reveal trailer up top and recoil at the fucking hateful pre-order DLC.

I really shouldn’t be but I am extremely intrigued and excited by the prospect of this game. We’ve always had rather static assassins but Shay could be a character that we can really watch mutate from the typical assassin into a hardened Templar and the possible themes and narratives that can come out of that amidst what is essentially a World War get me pretty excited. Of course, Ubisoft will probably cock it up.

Suffice to say, I’m a shade jealous we won’t be getting it on PS4 and Xbox One. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is out on November 11 for PS3 and Xbox 360 (if it doesn’t get delayed). expect a full reveal at Gamescom soon.

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Evolve Delayed http://egmr.net/2014/08/evolve-delayed/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/evolve-delayed/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 06:00:18 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153329 Shortest headline ever? Maybe. Evolve is currently in alpha testing at the moment and although the game has received a fair amount of reworking since the beginning of the year, […]

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Shortest headline ever? Maybe.

Evolve is currently in alpha testing at the moment and although the game has received a fair amount of reworking since the beginning of the year, it looked set for its October release date but then so did so many others. So so many others. The game from Left 4 dead developer Turtle Rock now joins The Division, Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3, Battlefield: Hardline and a ton of other games on the list of titles pushed from 2014 to 2015. Of course, this frees up the frenzy that will be October and November but with so many titles being moved around nothing is certain anymore. Even FIFA, that stoic bastion of consistency, looks good for a delay at this point.

Evolve was set to release on October 21. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said on the financial call to investors this evening, the game deserved to be given more time for the developers to polish, and February is a better release window. Zelnick also made a good point by noting that the company typically releases big titles outside of the insane holiday period. 34 million copies of GTA V sold says hi.

Evolve is now set to release on February 10 2015 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Because evolution takes time.

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Get Your Fix Of Dragon Age: Inquisition Gameplay, Companion And Spoiler Details http://egmr.net/2014/08/get-fix-dragon-age-inquisition-gameplay-companion-spoiler-details/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/get-fix-dragon-age-inquisition-gameplay-companion-spoiler-details/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 07:30:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153252 Dragon Age: Inquisition is now releasing on the same day as LittleBigPlanet 3. I’d like to think burlap sack prevails but we all know boobs and fully gay characters will […]

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is now releasing on the same day as LittleBigPlanet 3. I’d like to think burlap sack prevails but we all know boobs and fully gay characters will win everytime. Not that there’s a huge overlap in fanbases. On to the matter at hand.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is a few months off from release (three to be exact) and with a game that’s simply this massive there’s still a whole lot we don’t know. In its September issue magazine PC Game UK slapped a healthy helping of Dragon Age: Inquisition details across its pages. However, magazines are bloated so BioWare forums user ViSeiRa took up the task of creating the summary you’re about to read.

Note: the story details may contain what some might qualify as mild spoilers but that’s pretty obvious.

Gameplay:

  • Red Lyrium is an anti-magic substance… An opposite force to normal (blue) Lyrium.
  • Tactics are in (automated AI settings as described by the writer), and apparently you can set how much mana a mage companion can keep in reserve and at which HP threshold would a companion use a heath potion. Looks like there is more grained control over tactics.
  • After clearing parts of an area you can set up camps there. They give you access to scouts and you gain power, the resource you spend on operations.
  • Certain parts of a map can be locked until you clear other ones.
  • You can mark certain areas as operation points on the map so that you can deal with them when you return to your base of operations, Skyhold.
  • You manage your operations through the war table in Skyhold, and by doing so you get resources like gold. loot or agents. Some of the operations are tied to the main plot like an operation involving the chantry in Val Royeux.
  • Some operations are resolved instantly and some require you to pick an advisor (Cullen, Leliana or Josephine) to complete them. They’re unavailable while conducting the operation.
  • There’s a new resources besides power (which you spend on operations) which is called influence.
  • Influence gives you inquisition perks, those are divided into four types: Forces, Secrets, Connections and “Inquisition”.
  • The first three perks are tied to the advisors. A Forces perk might increase your potion capacity by four; a Secrets perk might increase the XP you earn from picking up codex entries; one Connections perk grants better merchant offers on rare items.
  • Skyhold changes as a reflection of which perks you favour (there’s no specific info on how) though it won’t be related to decorations since you do that manually from a menu. You can change everything between windows, throne, banner, heraldry and drapes.
  • Dragon fights are all scripted and they have their own personalities.
  • Dragons have a main health bar and a health bar for each limb, you can’t deal massive amounts of damage to a dragon without dealing with its limbs first.

Companions:

  • You can skip recruiting most of your companions and you can kick them out of the inquisition at almost any time.
  • Vivienne: “She’s ambitious, in a nutshell. She is probably the one that stood to lose the most from the chaos that’s been sweeping. The mage circle is falling apart.”
  • Solas: “Solas is knowledgeable, logical, He refuses to believe in bad and good…which makes him absolutely fascinating as a character.”
  • Dorian: “Dorian, he’s fun. A lot of fun. He’s gregarious, outgoing, likeable and he’s from the nation that everyone thinks are bad guys.”
  • Sera: “She’s kinda nuts and is probably best defined by her contempt for all the bigwigs… She wants someone to think about the people being attacked.”
  • Varric: “Varric is pretty much Varric. He’s dealing with the fact that he’s now alongside the lady that stabbed a book on his groin,”
  • Cole: “Cole… Cole is different. He sees everything differently. He’s not like us. That’s pretty much Cole.” AKA the Ghost of the White Spire.
  • Cassandra: “Brash, impulsive, anger management issues… But she’s incredibly dedicated and does whatever it takes to set the world right.”
  • Iron Bull: “Iron Bull is humorous, dismissive, a natural charismatic leader, but he’s struggling with being a fish out of water.”
  • Blackwall: “He’s dedicated, almost a mentor figure, but he’s also a man alone, he’s been on the road a very long time and that wears someone down.”

Story:

  • “Big levels obviously can’t narrate themselves; that’s impossible. The scope of that is too big. They need to give the player opportunities to tell their own stories and ultimately that’s what comes from exploring this open-world gameplay.” — Mark Darrah
  • There’s an operation to gain the friendship of Orzammar.
  • You’ll pass judgement on NPCs who come through Skyhold a-la Awakening. He mentions the son of a barbarian leader you killed coming to the castle gates and chocking a dead goat against the walls which is some kind of ritualistic insult for killing his kin. You can decide whether to give him and his followers weapons and exile them, put him in stockade or a third choice.
  • Judgment sequences as a way of getting players to reflect further on their decisions.
  • Mark Darrah on the ending and the ability to continue playing afterwards: ” you need to leave the world in a relatively unstable state but bring enough resolution so that the story has a satisfying conclusion.”

Areas:

  • The Dales Highlands: Apparently a mysterious blizzard has hit the area and it seems to be the work of the Red Templars.
  • The Ferelden Bogs: An undead swamp.
  • The Exalted Plains: Grassland with myriad of abandoned forts.
  • The Still Ruins: Crumbling temples with demons and Venatori Cultists.
  • Skyhold: Your castle and base of operations, the writer compares it to the Normandy in ME albeit much bigger. Inside there is a tavern, stables, a courtyard, kitchens, a dungeon (you can imprison people there) and the war table.

Miscellaneous:

  • There’s a mention of the word “Sarhnia”, apparently people who live in the Dales, maybe a Dalish clan.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was delayed recently from October to November for the sake of polishing the game and ensuring a certian level of quality. Also it was likely pushed out of what is easily a clusterfuck of a release window with more games releasing in October than any other month.

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What’s The Difference Between LittleBigPlanet 3 On PS3 And PS4? http://egmr.net/2014/08/whats-difference-littlebigplanet-3-ps3-ps4/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/whats-difference-littlebigplanet-3-ps3-ps4/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 06:45:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153251 An increment by one obviously. Also more terraflops, so many more terraflops (not to be confused with belly flops). LittleBigPlanet 3 is set to release on PS3 and PS4 this […]

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An increment by one obviously. Also more terraflops, so many more terraflops (not to be confused with belly flops). LittleBigPlanet 3 is set to release on PS3 and PS4 this November but what’s going to be the difference between the two versions? Typically, unless a game is graphically taxing or playing around with lots of particle physics and effects, there isn’t a whole lot of difference to be seen. This is very evident in games such as Rayman Legends.

So when he sat down in the latest episode of PlayStation BlogCast Senior Producer Tom O’Connor spent a lot more time discussing the actual details of the game because guess what; fun doesn’t need to be rendered in 1080p. he devoted a chunk of time talking about characters, creation mode and the all-important customisation.

Here are the main points he touched:

  • In LittleBigPlanet 3 you get to play with all the characters at different times through the story.
  • Toggle is one of the new characters and he’s very physical. He opens up a lot of gameplay possibilities with his unique abilities.
  • When Toggle is big he’s very strong and heavy. He can activate springs and platforms and he sinks in water.
  • When you “toggle” Toggle to make him small he’s a lot quicker and can fit through gaps.
  • All the characters have unique abilities, and creators in the community can completely change them and take them even further.
  • Swoop can fly and swoop (obviously), he can pick up objects and even other characters, furthering cooperation in multiplayer. You can customize him and change him into a dragon, you can make him breathe fire and much more.
  • Oddsock is the first four legged character in the series and he’s really fast and dynamic. He can jump and slide and in create mode you can make Sackboy ride him opening up more possibilities.
  • The new characters allow creators to build many more kinds of experiences compared to the previous installments of the franchise.
  • Creating LittleBigPlanet 3 was “definitely challenging.” The developers looked at what people tried to do (even with glitches) in the previous games and added new features to allow them to achieve those effects properly.
  • There are 16 layers instead of the previous three. This means that people can create levels with a lot more depth.
  • You’re not limited by the thermometer anymore as you can stitch level together, so you can have levels as big as you want.
  • In LBP 3 you can do every single thing you could do in previous games, but there are over sixty new tools.
  • PS4 and PS3 versions are fully compatible, so you’ll be able to play all the levels regardless of the platform they have been created on.
  • The game “absolutely looks best on PS4″ in 1080p and with graphical improvements. In Create Mode you can use the DualShock 4′s touch pad, making it much more accessible and tactile. The PS4 version also has some very cool video features, including the ability to create “Mini-trailers” for your levels, allowing people to find the best ones with more ease. Share and Twitch broadcasting will be used as well, even if no more details were given for the moment.
  • Full compatibility between PS4 and PS3 wasn’t easy to achieve, but was also really important for the developers.

What you create on PS3 will be available to PS4 users and vice versa. This highlights the fact that the game isn’t all too different on either platform and while a lot of the details simply rehashed what we’ve already seen at E3 it is comforting to know that LittleBigPlanet 3 is staying true to its predecessors while blowing the scale wide open.

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Charles Darwin Would Be Proud Of This Evolve Alpha Footage [Update] http://egmr.net/2014/08/charles-darwin-proud-evolve-alpha-footage/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/charles-darwin-proud-evolve-alpha-footage/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:15:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153151 EVOLVE ALPHA GAMEPLAY LEAKED by Lizyyyyyy Not many people know this about Charles Darwin but he was a huge fan of Stoker and Shelley, he believed that these “monsters” they […]

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EVOLVE ALPHA GAMEPLAY LEAKED by Lizyyyyyy

Not many people know this about Charles Darwin but he was a huge fan of Stoker and Shelley, he believed that these “monsters” they had envisioned might not be as fantastical as we think. Darwin wrote secret journals wherein he purported that while mankind would likely stunt its own evolution through industrial evolution, animals would have to adapt and evolve in order to better compete for increasingly limited resources in certain regions. You might say then that Evolve from Turtle Rock is Charles Darwin’s wet dream.

Also, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

The Evolve alpha is currently in full swing and as it happens, DailyMotion user Lizyyyyyy has posted some footage online. It looks great. That’s all that really needs to be said.

Even for a game that’s still a few months off from release, this looks really good. Bring on Evolve.

Also, I totally made up that stuff about Darwin. He was a devout Catholic. I could be lying about that too.

Update:

The video has been removed. Shock! It’s to be expected with leaked gameplay so instead, here’s some entirely different Evolve gameplay from E3 or you can read what we thought of Evolve when we played it earlier this year.

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The Last Of Us Won’t Turn Uncharted 4 Into A Gritty Depression Quest http://egmr.net/2014/08/last-us-wont-turn-uncharted-4-gritty-depression-quest/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/last-us-wont-turn-uncharted-4-gritty-depression-quest/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 06:45:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153150 The Last of Us is pretty grim but you’d expect that from “The Walking Dead but with a cooler disease and kids you don’t hate.” When it was announced that […]

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The Last of Us is pretty grim but you’d expect that from “The Walking Dead but with a cooler disease and kids you don’t hate.” When it was announced that Uncharted 4 was being made, some of us hoped that The last of us would inform Uncharted 4 and Naughty Dog would delve deeper into Nathan Drake’s backstory – something they blatantly skirted, albeit teased, in Uncharted 3. That doesn’t mean make Uncharted as dark as the Godfather (seriously, it is literally one of the darkest movies ever made) but just flesh the characters out a bit more after three games.

Naughty Dog isn’t having any of it though. They want to keep uncharted fun, light and lovable. mostly because they think The Last of us and Uncharted don’t have the same fanbase or that Uncharted fans don’t really want something with a bit more depth to it.

Since the departure of Amy Hennig and a motley host of other Naughty Dog staffers, The Last of Us leads Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann stepped in to lead Uncharted 4. However, they won’t be turning it into The Last of Us sans Clickers.

Though the first trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was darker than usual both visually and in tone, Naughty Dog says that The Last of Us’ grittier mood won’t bleed into Drake’s next adventure.

“Uncharted is a completely different franchise, and appeals to its audience for completely different reasons,” Naughty Dog’s co-president Evan Wells told Eurogamer in an interview. “I don’t think The Last of Us marks a new direction in tone that all of our future games are going to take on. We’d alienate a lot of our Uncharted fans. We want to keep it a light-hearted romp. I think from a technical standpoint we’ve learnt some things from the Last of Us that will feed into Uncharted – in fact it strengthens our desire to keep them distinct.”

That’s fine by me, if Guardians of the Galaxy taught us anything it’s that we could do with a little less grit and darkness (Thanks, Christopher Nolan!) but Uncharted isn’t Guardians. It does take itself seriously sometimes and it does have these big moments where you should be feeling something. Naughty Dog doesn’t need to make it brooding and gloomy but just flesh out that character narrative a wee bit more. Hopefully that’s the expertise they’ll carry over from The Last of Us because frankly prior to the game’s release last year I wasn’t sure naughty Dog could pull off a deeply engaging character-driven story.

Surprise us, Naughty Dog. Don’t let Uncharted 4 play out exactly the way we think it will.

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Comments Of The Week — “I Don’t Normally Associate With Indians” http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-dont-normally-associate-indians/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-dont-normally-associate-indians/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 13:00:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=153022 So uhm… EA did a thing and Guardians of Galaxy, then Ubisoft did a thing and Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel did a thing called Guardians of the Galaxy. […]

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So uhm… EA did a thing and Guardians of Galaxy, then Ubisoft did a thing and Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel did a thing called Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s about it really.

Okay, let’s disengage hype mode. Guardians of the Galaxy has issues, it’s far from perfect but it is so much damn fun. It shows you a better time than Andy Dwyer on crack.

In other news, nobody likes our name, everybody hates the Mako and science! Also, GayStation 4.

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

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

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

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

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FIFA 15 Allows Players To Undress Each Other http://egmr.net/2014/08/fifa-15-allows-players-undress/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/fifa-15-allows-players-undress/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 06:45:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152957 You don’t believe me that my entirely unsensational headline is 100% factual? Is it really so hard to believe in a game where a “glitch” causes players to lock lips […]

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You don’t believe me that my entirely unsensational headline is 100% factual? Is it really so hard to believe in a game where a “glitch” causes players to lock lips and goal celebrations frequently involve orgies? Maybe.

Watch the video above for yourself and then we’ll talk.

Or keep reading so that i may explain myself. Choose your own adventure, dear reader!

Every year EA Canada attempts to add a greater level of nuance and realism to FIFA 15. Sometimes they get it right, as they (mostly) did with the Impact Engine but sometimes they get it wrong as they did with FIFA 12 in its entirety or FIFA 14 on the old consoles. These generally come in the form of small changes such as players running the way they do in real life or Ronaldo doing his silly huff and puff before a freekick.

This year, FIFA 15 is getting shirt pulling. Do you see? I wasn’t lying. Not exactly anyway.

Some changes have been made to finesse movement which will allow players a greater degree of control as the system now takes balance and positioning into account. Attacking players will also have some new dummy and dodge moves to get around pesky defenders. Unfortunately biting or headbutting is not a core feature yet.

The video also shows how players will behave more like thier real life counterparts. Messi for example will favour his left foot. This isn’t strictly true since Messi has trained to use both feet as much as possible. It will be interesting to see what this means for other players, specifically the aggressive ones. Will David Luiz murder my entire family before stealing the ball off me?

As always, there are promises of the way the ball moves being changed with spin, impulse and angular momentum being taken into account better than previously.

Similarly, the physics of defending have been bolstered to empahsise the physicality of defenders with tackling resulting in attempts to knock the opposing player off-centre.

Are you still here? Good, now go watch the video.

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Beyond Good & Evil 2 Is Happening, It’s Really Happening http://egmr.net/2014/08/beyond-good-evil-2-happening-really-happening/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/beyond-good-evil-2-happening-really-happening/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 06:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152958 Remember when fans of Beyond Good & Evil could makes jokes like this while silently sobbing into their Jade plushies? Those days are over, hopefully and the story behind it […]

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Remember when fans of Beyond Good & Evil could makes jokes like this while silently sobbing into their Jade plushies? Those days are over, hopefully and the story behind it is… kind of weird.

Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel had some trouble with Ubisoft last year when the publisher withheld the release of Rayman Legends on Wii U until it was ported to other consoles. Even though the Wii U version had gone gold and was ready to ship. Madness, right?

Him and his team at Ubisoft Montpellier actually petitioned against the decision from Ubisoft corporate.

Over to Beyond Good & Evil. A sequel to this game was announced way back in 2008 or rather it was teased and since then we’ve seen snippets and teases but in a statement regarding its current project Ubisoft Montpellier confirmed that BG&E 2 is most definitely happening.

“In many ways, BG&E is an inimitable game – it appeals to all generations of gamers and is an inspiration behind many of Ubisoft Montpellier’s past and future games,” the publisher told Eurogamer.

“It’s still far too early to give many details about this new title, but what we can say is that while Michel and the team at Ubisoft Montpellier are working with the core tenets of BG&E, they’re developing something that aspires to push past the boundaries of a proverbial sequel and leverages next-gen technologies to deliver a truly surprising, innovative and exceptional game.

“The entire team is excited about the direction this extremely ambitious project is taking, and we’ll have more to share later, as it progresses.”

It took Ancel half-quitting Ubisoft in order for the announcement to be made.

The news of Beyond Good & Evil 2 comes amidst news that Ancel has founded his own studio, Wild Sheep Studio. The studio comprises 13 employees and already has a game in the works however, Ancel will still fulfill his roles at Ubisoft montpellier to work on the studio’s current projects.

“In addition to spending some of his time on this new venture, Michel is leading the creative development of select projects at Ubisoft Montpellier, including an extremely ambitious new title that is very close to his and the team’s heart,” Ubisoft’s Xavier Poix said.

Lately Ubisoft Montpellier has been doing stellar work with the development of the UbiArt Framework, Rayman Legends and Valiant Hearts. The big question is whether Beyond Good & Evil 2 will actually see the light of day after all these years.

Ubisoft needs to show us something soon and hopefully it’s something good. Furthermore, one has to wonder what priority the project has and whether it is actively in full development.

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Homefront: The Revolution Finds A New Home As Crytek Scales Back http://egmr.net/2014/07/homefront-revolution-finds-new-home-crytek-scales-back/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/homefront-revolution-finds-new-home-crytek-scales-back/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:45:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152784 Nobody really cares much for the Homefront franchise so it’s strange to see it not only enduring but being actively kept alive while IPs that people would actually like to […]

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Nobody really cares much for the Homefront franchise so it’s strange to see it not only enduring but being actively kept alive while IPs that people would actually like to see more of such as Darksiders are left to rot.

The world is fickle, kids. Alternatively, North Korea always wins.

What am I on about? I’m not sure yet, I’ll give you the facts and we can figure it out together. Like a team! (I’m lonely)

Earlier this week we reported on Crytek’s plans to scale back and transition from a developer to online publisher. Because that’s where the money is in their eyes. We can only hope this means that Ryse, as a franchise, is dead while there’s no indication yet as to what it means for the Crysis franchise although it will likely not be missed.

Oddly enough, the enduring evergreen here is Homefront, a franchise most people couldn’t care less about.

For a few weeks now we’ve been hearing rumours of cancelled projects and worse from within Crytek, while Crytek stated that it’s simply undergoing a transition and not in financial trouble as was originally rumoured that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows for the company’s employees.

The transition will result in the effective shutdown of two internal studios – Crytek UK and Crytek USA. In the same instant Deep Silver parent company, Koch Media, announced that it is acquiring the Homefront IP from Crytek who last eyar acquired it from THQ. That means that Homefront: The Revolution will endure thanks to Deep Silver founding a new studio in Nottingham called Deep Silver Dambuster Studios. The game was in development at Crytek UK’s studio in Nottingham so when the studio closes the development team will “transfer their talents” to Dambuster Studios according to Crytek

Essentially this should mean development on the game will continue as if nothing happened. Or it will permanently scar the game and ruin it.

Crytek also announced that Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, a co-op shooter announced just before E3, will see it development moved to Crytek Frankfurt from Crytek USA. As part of that transition, Crytek will scale back the team at Austin, Texas-based Crytek USA to a small group of “several staff members” who will handle support for North American licensees of the company’s CryEngine technology. All other Crytek USA employees will be “invited to apply for new positions at Crytek in Germany,” according to the statement.

“As we look to cement Crytek’s future, this strategic deal with Koch Media would allow us to continue with our ambitious goals to become an online publisher. With Warface, Arena of Fate and Hunt, we believe we have the perfect portfolio and teams to make that happen,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek.

Four of Crytek’s existing studios — the ones in Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev and Sofia, Bulgaria — “will continue to operate as usual,” according to the statement. Crytek is looking into implementing “a closer collaboration” between its two Asian studios, Crytek Shanghai and Crytek Seoul.

“We would like to thank all our staff — past and present — in both Nottingham and Austin for their contributions to the company, and we wish all the very best to anyone who may no longer be under the Crytek banner moving forward,” said Yerli.

It’s all good and well that Crytek is scaling back, shifting paradigms and what not. Its even cute but how is Homefront still enduring?

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Snooki Might Be In The Next Watch Dogs DLC http://egmr.net/2014/07/snooki-might-next-watch-dogs-dlc/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/snooki-might-next-watch-dogs-dlc/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152783 If that excites you, seek help. This headline was made on the assumption that jersey Shore takes place in New Jersey, a fact which isn’t worth checking because it means […]

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If that excites you, seek help.

This headline was made on the assumption that jersey Shore takes place in New Jersey, a fact which isn’t worth checking because it means I’d have to Google ‘Jersey Shore.’ So what does hacking, iconic baseball caps and a pretty dumb protagonist have to do with New Jersey? Well, replace hacking with macking and you’ve got yourself a stew Jersey Shore.

That’s besides the point though.

We know a Watch Dogs sequel exists, Ubisoft made it abundantly clear with their policy of not greenlighting a project that can’t be turned into a repeatable franchise. However, when will we see that sequel and where will it be set? We probably won’t know until E3 next year.

The game’s official account tweeted the following yesterday:

Responding to a fan who asked whether this was in reference to downloadable content for the game, the account said it’s coming this fall.

In 2012, the FBI named Camden as the most violent city in the United States with a population of more than 50,000. It ranked first in homicides in 2011, based on its population of 77,000.

What we have here then is likely not anything to fo with watch Dogs 2 but a DLC expansion, something Ubisoft has been doing pretty well in recent years. Far Cry 3 got Blood Dragon which essentially stood as a standalone release, AC IV got Freedom Cry which also released as standalone content and now watch Dogs seems to be getting something much the same.

Ubisoft as a company is an asshole at the best of times but at least they still do DLC right, sometimes.

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Assassin’s Creed Has Become Just Another Dumb Pop Song http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-needs-either-shape-die/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-needs-either-shape-die/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152449 2007. Ubisoft release a game that is considered by man to be the one that ushers in the next-generation of gaming. It’s so fresh and exciting that people latch onto […]

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2007. Ubisoft release a game that is considered by man to be the one that ushers in the next-generation of gaming. It’s so fresh and exciting that people latch onto it immediately, this is a series to watch. The story of Assassin’s Creed is well-documented. I shan’t pull a Desmond and bore you to death. Instead let’s run through some cliff notes. In the beginning it was filled with promise, on the second day Ubisoft said “let it be amazing” and it was thus. On the third and fourth days the Ubisoft sort of just got lost and walked in circles. On the fifth day there was Assassin’s Creed III and that’s all we shall say of that. On the sixth day the omnipotent Ubisoft lost its shit and died of dehydration on a desert isle and on the seventh day God was too lazy to make women so he rested and counted his money.

What happened to this series over the past seven years?

Somehow, for all its issues and all the myriad gripes we have with Assassin’s Creed as a series of games, as an industry leader, as an institution we keep coming back and it gets worse because we keep having fun.

How is it that a series which holds itself in place, chasing its own tail, can give us such entertainment each year? The simple answer is that Assassin’s Creed has always provided an immensely unique experience (less so since the great homogenisation of Ubisoft began but more on that later) and not surprisingly that has managed to capture the franchise even through its darkest times. If only barely.

It is perhaps the greatest asset and undoing that plagues the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Often enough a game can have a pretty damn great concept but it’s the execution which determines whether the game will be worth remembering. If a developer has any hope of accomplishing something then they need to bolster that concept with something else. When it comes to games you’ve got two core options here – gameplay or narrative.

In a game such as Portal 2 you have a great concept; something fresh and inventive. It is simply made fantastic by great gameplay and a wonderfully hilarious narrative. However, in a game such as Batman: Atkham City you’ve got a decent concept at best but Rocksteady made it work to their advantage with some fantastic gameplay and a solid narrative.

At the bottom of this ladder is Assassin’s Creed. Year after year the gameplay remains stoically dated, the narrative progressively unravels and yet we find ourselves drawn to it. You see, for all their fuckery Ubisoft is still a damn fine collective of development studios.

Assassin’s Creed may no longer embody the spirit of the original two games in gameplay and the narrative appears to have been cast aside now that Ubisoft realised it no longer knows what to do with it. Despite this, the games have retained the essence of the series in their setting, in the worlds and time periods you visit.

Sure, whenever you climb into the Animus you’re entering the Matrix – Ubisoft’s idea of the Ottoman Empire or Revolutionary America or the Golden Age of piracy – but you’re entering a world so beautifully crafted and detailed that one becomes lost within it. The world of an Assassin’s Creed game immerses you fully and transports you to that time period. Escapism at its finest.

The trouble is that this can probably keep the series going for some years but all the while the gameplay will stagnate. Progress has been measured in inches rather than strides. So too the narrative becomes more and more of an afterthought.

Black Flag was at its best when players were simply exploring the world and this is what Assassin’s Creed has always done well. It gives you a world to treat as your playground. The moment you start doing anything that Ubisoft actually planned for you to do, things fell apart or rather became so restrictively linear that Doom 3 suddenly felt expansive and sprawling.

Similarly with Assassin’s Creed III, the best bits of that game were on the periphery with the sailing and frontier missions. The moment you stepped into the campaign the game was a frustrating mess.

assassin's-creed-games-geek-lord-of-the-rings-571159

Assassin’s Creed has somewhat (d)evolved over the years into a mindless action game with very little to say about anything and an intent on being about as easy as possible. It’s simple homogenisation, “how can we make this game have as wide an appeal as possible?” To its credit Ubisoft has turned AC into one of the top franchises around today. In doing so though, the series has moved away from its roots and become something else altogether.

I can tell you one thing, it’s hardly about assassins or a creed anymore. Assassin’s Creed has lost its way. The first game was a breath of fresh air for many not only because of its gameplay and lovely recreations of cities during the 12th Century Crusades but also its narrative which posed the questions what morality, the greater good, free will and tossed in a healthy dose of conspiracy. Mixed in with this was Altair’s personal story of finding humility and learning to be more than a thoughtless soldier.

From that point Ubisoft has picked up a myriad threads and dropped them all. If you’ve played AC III you may recall a conversation between Haythem and Connor in which Haythem puts forth the idea that the Templars and Assassins are not so different. To get this after five games could have been an extremely riveting and intriguing point in the series but Connor shoves the comment aside and harps on about family or Charles Lee or something. Ubisoft is Connor. They’ve pushed the narrative aside to simplify their games. There isn’t really a connecting story anymore for the purpose of people being able to pick up the series at any point.

Ubisoft can do this because it has yet to alienate fans completely. When we pick up an AC game, despite the dated gameplay, the lack of narrative and bounty of bugs to be found we still get that AC experience. We are transported into a different era and can immerse ourselves in it. The only time when I didn’t feel this was with AC III.

Ubisoft dug its own hole here. Each AC game gets a three year development cycle and is created across multiple studios but the fact that there’s a new one each year means that there must be an amount of parity between the various lead development teams. It simply won’t do if 2015′s AC is suddenly a cel-shaded RTS. Thus the gameplay remains largely the same and the narrative stands still.

It is not helped by Ubisoft’s homogenisation of their titles and the creation of what some refer to as the Ubisoft Game. Essentially, take Far Cry, Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed and if you strip away the surface things you’ll find the games are largely the same underneath. Aiden Pearce runs a lot like Edward Kenway. Stealth in watch Dogs is a lot like that Far Cry 3. Hunting and crafting in AC IV and Far Cry 3 are largely the same.

When it released Far Cry 3 was described as “Assassin’s Creed III done right.”

Do you see the problem here? When your games are all built on the same platform you need to work harder to differentiate them and allow them to stand out against their siblings. Short of this you fall into the trap of the automotive industry where several cars are built on the same platform but nobody cares for most of them.

Assassin’s Creed has managed to maintain a relatively good level of quality despite its annualisation and each game is still enjoyable, so to that end Ubisoft deserves some credit. However, this quality is based on archaic gameplay and a shoestring narrative. I’ve recently been playing Metal Gear Solid and the stealth in that 15 year old game feels more relevant and modern than what we have in any AC game.

Assassin’s Creed has begun to have this tedious annual cycle. In the moment we may thoroughly enjoy the games. This is largely down to the way Ubisoft immerses us into any given time period and allows players to truly escape into it. As soon as that effect wears off you see all the game’s issues clear as day and remember just how outdated the gameplay is. The alternative is that you notice all these things while playing and yet do not mind because once again Ubisoft has given you a greatly entertaining experience.

Assassin’s Creed holds an intoxicating spell over many of us, it’s just a pity it can’t back that up with some genuine substance. Either in gameplay or narrative.

With Unity releasing in October I can only hope that there is something more of a narrative than we previously got because the French Revolution offers up some truly great stories aside from simply re-enacting famous events. The game promises toe bring much-needed changes to a lot of the gameplay including a dedicated stealth button but will it be enough?

A game needs strong gameplay or a strong narrative to be memorable. Assassin’s Creed used to have that. It used to have something to say with its story but all of that has been stripped away to simplify and water the games down to have greater mass appeal.

Ubisoft is creating games that are hugely popular one moment and then forgotten the very next. It’s proven extremely popular and profitable but it wears thin. Do you remember the top pop songs from 2012? Probably not because they were simply replaced by something just as generic and catchy the next year.

Ultimately, Ubisoft has gotten by on providing players with a great experience that lacks any lasting substance. The last few Assassin’s Creed titles have been flavours of the month and that’s a far cry (heh) from the lofty ambitions Patrice Desilets had for this series when it was conceived. Perhaps Ubisoft is happy to rake in the money while each successive AC title is forgotten for the next but it’s a damn shame.

Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II are classics. The same cannot be said for those that followed.

Eventually the veneer will wear thin and that trademark Assassin’s Creed experience won’t be enough to hide just how shallow and forgettable these games have become.

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Watch The Developers Of Unreal Tournament Engage In Team Deathmatch http://egmr.net/2014/07/watch-developers-unreal-tournament-engage-team-deathmatch/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/watch-developers-unreal-tournament-engage-team-deathmatch/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:30:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152702 There’s a new Unreal Tournament coming, it’s no big deal. People are only slightly extremely excited by the prospect of all the goodness that is Unreal Tournament, but modernised. A […]

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There’s a new Unreal Tournament coming, it’s no big deal. People are only slightly extremely excited by the prospect of all the goodness that is Unreal Tournament, but modernised. A small team of UT veterans are currently working on the game which will be absolutely free, and also free of microtransactions. Rejoice!

None of that is news though, certainly not if you’ve been on the internet for five minutes.

No, the news is that Epic Games has a released a video showing some of the devs playing Team Deathmatch in the new UT and it looks pretty strange, but these are still early days.

Gameplay programmer Joe Wilcox says of the development team’s progress in the latest video: “The biggest thing we really zeroed in on was the movement mechanics and how we move through the world. That’s where we’ve focused most of our time.

“The weapons are coming online which is really great, the sniper rifle is now somewhat useable, so it has been a good set of changes.”

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity Doesn’t Want Players To Lose Their Heads http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-unity-doesnt-want-players-lose-heads/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-unity-doesnt-want-players-lose-heads/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:45:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152701 Guillotine jokes! Assassin’s Creed: Unity is set during the French Revolution so there will be beheadings. That’s just a must just as there will be a baguette, somewhere. Now in AC […]

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Guillotine jokes!

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is set during the French Revolution so there will be beheadings. That’s just a must just as there will be a baguette, somewhere. Now in AC IV: Black Flag Edward Kenway fought more violently and with a lot more body stabbing than we’d previously seen. It was great. You’d expect then that in a time as bloody as late 18th Century Paris our titular assassin will contribute to the blood flowing through the streets in the most gorgeously stabby way possible. You’d be wrong.

Unity hopes to make players err on the side of stealth and non-confrontation like a grown man hiding under a desk to escape a bee. It’s doing this by making it far harder to take on more than a couple of enemies at a time.

Perhaps part of this is the fact that players will not be able to decapitate enemies (or just annoying beggers) in Unity. If you could, the potential for mayhem and rampage would be incredible. It could also be that animating heads flying off was just too much effort.

Despite the emphasis that trailers and the Rob Zombie animated short put on beheading, players will not be able to enjoy the luxury of slicing through a human’s neck. That doesn’t mean guillotines and headless people won’t feature in some way. Some missions will involve attempting to prevent an ally from getting the chop.

The news comes from lead voice actor Dan Jeannotte who voices Arno in Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

“The marketing guys are telling me “no, no it is not possible.”,” he told fans on Twitter when asked about decapitating enemies.

That’s a little sad, especially given how much rendering power is underneath this game since it can render hundreds of NPCs on-screen at the same time.

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Halo Executive Producer Wants To Move The Halo Universe Forward http://egmr.net/2014/07/halo-executive-producer-wants-move-halo-universe-forward/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/halo-executive-producer-wants-move-halo-universe-forward/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:30:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152582 Transformative. It’s becoming something of a buzzword, even when it isn’t used explicitly. Everybody wants to transform the way you can experience something or wants an experience to transform you. […]

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Transformative. It’s becoming something of a buzzword, even when it isn’t used explicitly. Everybody wants to transform the way you can experience something or wants an experience to transform you. It’s a cute notion but not worth much unless you can back it up.

Halo executive producer Kiki Wolfkill (coolest name ever, aside from Dax Ginn) has some ambitious plans for the future of Halo and wants to (here comes that word) transform the way people experience the franchise.

“Our next step is to try and make the connections between the game and its linear entertainment aspects even more experiential,” Wolfkill said in a new profile featured on Microsoft’s website. “I want to transform how people experience Halo in their living rooms and on their PCs.”

One way in which Microsoft has gone about doing this is through Ridley Scott’s Halo: Nightfall TV series with a separate series produced by Steven Spielberg also in the works. that’s pretty transformative, right? Wolfkill seems to think so and asserts that if a halo movie materialises, it will contribute to the overall narrative.

“We will never do anything that doesn’t move the [Halo] universe forward,” Wolfkill said. “We won’t do something for the sake of being in a certain medium.”

Awesome name aside, this is a good goal for the franchise now that halo is extending beyond games. It’s pointless having a rehash of the same stuff in different media. Look at The Walking Dead, the games exist in the same world but tell their own story that adds to the richness of the franchise’s world. We shan’t speak of the TV series.

Even within gaming Halo has moved outside of shooting with an RTS title – Halo: Spartan Assault. What would you like to see done with the Halo franchise? A movie doesn’t seem worthwhile but then neither does a TV series to me.

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity Will Make Black Flag Look Tiny http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-unity-will-make-black-flag-look-tiny/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/assassins-creed-unity-will-make-black-flag-look-tiny/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:45:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152583 Hyperbole! Exaggeration! Words? Hark! A developer is making bold claims about the size of their collective penis game world. This is the age old way to talk up a sequel, […]

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Hyperbole! Exaggeration! Words?

Hark! A developer is making bold claims about the size of their collective penis game world. This is the age old way to talk up a sequel, compare it to its predecessor with numbers and scaling factors. Did you know that Assassin’s Creed: Unity has 35% more stabbing and 90% less boating than AC IV: Black Flag? Neither did I but statistics are fun, Especially when fabricated.

Another fun statistic, this time factual (according to Ubisoft), is that if you clumped all the explorable land masses in AC IV together the resulting Pangaea would be four times smaller than Unity’s Paris.

The detail comes via one of Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s level design directors, unfortunately introduced only as “Nick” in a GeekyCastillo video interview from San Diego Comic Con.

Black Flag had a properly massive world to explore but a lot of that was on the high seas. That said, there was a lot of land to go visit and explore so this means Paris is actually a lot closer in scale to real life Paris. It also means that we won’t get bored. The only Assassin’s Creed games to keep us primarily locked in to one city were Brotherhood and Revelations so it makes sense that Unity will keep us within Paris given that the Revelations team is working on this one.

The dev went on to say that players can probably breeze through the core story in around 15-20 hours but that with side cotnent you’re looking at 100+ hours of stabby stabby, jumpy jumpy. Also, by the power of Odin (and next-gen) there will reportedly be seamless gameplay with no load times between areas and no load times between gameplay and cutscenes. It will all flow like blood from a severed aorta.

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The Last Of Us Secret Ending And Voice Actors Interview Revealed http://egmr.net/2014/07/last-us-secret-ending-voice-actors-interview-revealed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/last-us-secret-ending-voice-actors-interview-revealed/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152584 Two stories, one game. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Last of Us has an extremely impactful ending that highlights the human interest focus of the game […]

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Two stories, one game. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

The Last of Us has an extremely impactful ending that highlights the human interest focus of the game but there is an alternate ending, one which didn’t make it into the final game and this all probably sounds very familiar. Stay with me, the deja vu shall pass.

There is an alternate alternate ending to The last of us and this one was actually supposed to be in the final game.

But first! Before we hit bumpy roads in spoilertown, up top is a never before seen video interview with Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie). The cool thing is that they interview each other so it’s a little more intimate than a standard interview and reveals some interesting stories. For example, despite his incredible voice talents, Baker thought Naughty Dog would find him unsuitable for the part of Joel. He also ecounts immediately feeling the need to “take care” of Johnson as soon as she met her. It’s a little odd but hey, it conveyed a great dynamic in-game.

If you love The last of Us or even just Troy Baker, give the video a look.

Now that we’ve cleared that out of the way, it’s time for spoilers. Maybe. I don’t really know for sure.

As you might know, or might not know, there was a live theater event centred around the last of us last week. It featured live music and the original cast doing readings of select scenes as well as an interspersing of video content. Pretty cool, a little pretentious but still pretty cool. One thing that came out of it was director Neil Druckmann revealing an extra ending scene that he had written for the game.

Users on NeoGAF have reported that Druckmann requested nobody record the scene and that he described it as a goodbye to Joel and Ellie. he also stressed that we won’t see the seen released in any form so don’t expect it to pop up in The last of Us Remastered.

The scene is set four years after the ending of the game and takes place at Tommy’s dam. Joel enters Ellie’s room, where she is listening to music alone. He chats about Tommy’s plan to get Joel to marry a woman named Esther, but Ellie is distant.

Joel then surprises Ellie with the gift of a guitar, promising to teach her to play, and playing and singing a song for her. He tells her a joke, and they laugh together, less strained than before. After Joel leaves the room, Ellie tries the guitar herself.

Wait just a minute, an older Ellie? That sounds a lot like a certain piece of concept art that we’ve seen before which features an older Ellie, with guitar in hand. Well, this all makes sense now.

That’s all for now, kids. Tune in next time for another riveting episode of this. Whatever this is.

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Crytek Isn’t Dying, They’re Just Transitioning http://egmr.net/2014/07/crytek-isnt-dying-theyre-just-transitioning/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/crytek-isnt-dying-theyre-just-transitioning/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:45:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152464 There’s denial and then there’s Crytek. They may actually be in denial or they may simply not be as bad off as we have been led to believe. For weeks […]

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There’s denial and then there’s Crytek. They may actually be in denial or they may simply not be as bad off as we have been led to believe. For weeks now we’ve been receiving reports on Crytek. That the studio is in financial trouble, that games have been canceled and staff laid off.

Crytek has now filled in employees “across all [its] studios” as per the company’s status and can now address the rumours publicly. It describes itself as being being in a “transitional phase” and admits, “Internally, we have acknowledged that the flow of information to employees has not been as good as it should have, however we hope you understand that communicating details of our plans publicly has not always been possible.”

Crytek admitted that the transition from developer to online publisher has required some effort and strategising but asserts that the company can now focus on the long-term direction it has chosen to take.

It did not address any specifics about where individual studios or projects stand, only saying, “We are confident that we will be able to share more positive news on Crytek’s progress soon.”

Crytek’s full statement:

In recent weeks, there have been repeated reports and rumors relating to financial problems at Crytek. Having already given an update to staff across all our studios, we are now in a position to share more details with members of the press and public.

Internally, we have acknowledged that the flow of information to employees has not been as good as it should have, however we hope you understand that communicating details of our plans publicly has not always been possible.

Like the games industry as a whole, Crytek has been in a transitional phase. Our evolution from a development studio to an Online-Publisher has required us to refocus our strategies. These challenges go along with an increased demand for capital which we have secured.

We can now concentrate on the long term strategic direction of Crytek and our core competencies. We kindly ask for your understanding, that we won’t be communicating further details about our developments and progress.

Ultimately, with our organization, capitalization, portfolio and technologies we have now laid the foundations for securing Crytek’s future – not just in the short term, but also long term.

Through this period of speculation, we are thankful for the support and encouragement we’ve received from our community and our partners, and for the contribution all of our staff have made. We remain committed to doing what we are best known for and trying to develop the best interactive experiences and technology possible for everyone who loves gaming.

We are confident that we will be able to share more positive news on Crytek’s progress soon.

Over the years Crytek has wound itself down as a developer, settling to allow other games to make use of its CryEngine. That didn’t stop them from buying Darksiders developer Vigil Studios or the Homefront IP from THQ though. It seems odd now that the acquisitions were even made.

In all truth, Crytek is better known for their architecture software which makes use of the CryEngine but even so, they’re far from an industry standard.

Can they cut it as an online publisher? I don’t think so.

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One Of The PS3′s Greatest Games Is Making The Journey Onto PS4 http://egmr.net/2014/07/one-ps3s-greatest-games-making-journey-onto-ps4/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/one-ps3s-greatest-games-making-journey-onto-ps4/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152463 That’s right kids, Gearbox Software has greenlit a remaster of Aliens: Colonial Marines set to release on PS4. If you thought The Last of Us on PS4 would be a […]

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That’s right kids, Gearbox Software has greenlit a remaster of Aliens: Colonial Marines set to release on PS4. If you thought The Last of Us on PS4 would be a revelation then you’ve got another thing coming.

You probably guessed it by now but I’m taking the piss, colossally and not even tactfully I might add. The real news is rather poorly hidden within the headline.

Which game on PS3 was so beautiful it brought people to tears and yet so open to interpretation? Why, none other than Journey. Yes, that game which the EGMR team spent three whole weeks discussing when it came time to select our 2012 Game of the Year.

Sony’s list of games to be playable at Gamescom included PS4 versions of Until Dawn, Journey and The Unfinished Swan. The list was pulled by Sony shortly after the internet started taking note but fortunately for us, NeoGAF exists.

There’s a whole list of Vita titled too.

 

PlayStation 4
  • Alien: Isolation
  • Assault Android Cactus
  • Battlefield: Hardline
  • Bloodborne
  • CounterSpy
  • Destiny
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition
  • Disney Infinity 2
  • Driveclub
  • Far Cry 4
  • Galak-Z
  • Guns Up!
  • Helldivers
  • Hohokum
  • Hustle Kings
  • inFamous First Light
  • Journey
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall Intercept
  • Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • LittleBigPlanet 3
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Minecraft PlayStation 4 Edition
  • NBA 2K15
  • Nom Nom Galaxy
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Pix the Cat
  • Project Cars
  • SingStar
  • Super Exploding Zoo
  • Surgeon Simulator
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • The Order: 1886
  • The Unfinished Swan
  • Until Dawn
  • WWE 2K15
PlayStation Vita
  • Big Fest
  • Dragon Fin Soup
  • Entwined
  • Final Horizon
  • Flame Over
  • Freedom Wars
  • Frozen Synapse Tactics
  • Futuridium
  • Hatsune Miku-Projekt DIVA-F 2
  • Hohokum
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
  • Invizimals: The Alliance
  • Lego Ninjago Nindroids
  • Minecraft PS Vita Edition
  • Murasaki Baby
  • PlayStation Vita Pets
  • Soul Sacrifice Delta
  • Super Exploding Zoo
  • The Ratchet & Clank Trilogy
  • The Sly Trilogy

Notice also that LittleBigPlanet 3 is set to be playable and Surgeon Simulator will be making its way to PS4 too it seems.

Journey on PS4 is something fans of the game have been yearning for. Sure we’ve played it but to play it again would be bliss.

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Comments Of The Week — “Yoh, What A Terrible Article” http://egmr.net/2014/07/comments-week-yoh-terrible-article/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/comments-week-yoh-terrible-article/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:00:22 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152440 This week in our whimsical wonderland of… whimsy… and wonder, there was news. There was controversy! There was 1080p! Let us not forget there was also some peasant tournament for […]

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This week in our whimsical wonderland of… whimsy… and wonder, there was news. There was controversy! There was 1080p! Let us not forget there was also some peasant tournament for proletariat PC gamers.

This week saw lots of people driven stark raving mad by how absolutely amazing Destiny is (although they’ve only played the beta). When asked to elaborate, Destiny beta players have been known to sit in a glazed stupor while humming some of the game’s epic themes.

Elsewhere there was news and then there was news about The Last of Us Remastered. There were more articles about this one PS4 remaster than for Gaza and the various plane crashes combined.

Oh, and Cavie did a thing but that’s a distant memory because Comic-Con!

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

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

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

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

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EA Outs BioWare’s Secret Project http://egmr.net/2014/07/ea-outs-biowares-secret-project/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ea-outs-biowares-secret-project/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152423 Bioware, being the enigmatic and mysterious developer that they are (they’re not really but imagine they are) decided to tease their next project with a mysterious nightmare teaser titled “You’ve […]

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Bioware, being the enigmatic and mysterious developer that they are (they’re not really but imagine they are) decided to tease their next project with a mysterious nightmare teaser titled “You’ve Been Chosen.”

Chosen for what? By whom? Will I need pants? Why?

You get my point, it’s the kind of thing that generates some excitement and intrigue prior to an actual announcement of anything factual. Much like a presidential election campaign or foreplay.

EA then went and done goofed it up by naming the video “ShadowRealms teaser” in this thumbnail. As you can see in the video above, this image just happens to be the cover thumbnail for the YouTube posting. The first to point this out was Tom from UltimatePS3.fr.

This suggests that the teaser is for BioWare’s unnamed new IP although it seems as if it’s going to be named ShadowRealm. Thanks, EA!

BioWare has a history of Gamescom reveals and with the German expo taking place next month, you can bet that whatever this is (even though we know it’s called ShadowRealm) it will be shown at Gamescom.

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The Original Cast Of Alien Talks Alien: Isolation http://egmr.net/2014/07/original-cast-alien-talks-alien-isolation/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/original-cast-alien-talks-alien-isolation/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:45:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152390 It’s $9.99 to actually hear what they’re saying though. Since pre-orders are the be-all and end-all of modern gaming, a lot of focus was put into incentivising pre-orders for Alien: […]

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It’s $9.99 to actually hear what they’re saying though.

Since pre-orders are the be-all and end-all of modern gaming, a lot of focus was put into incentivising pre-orders for Alien: Isolation. How do you do that? By taking what would be the coolest DLC for any fan of the original Alien film and packaging it as a pre-order exclusive. Those who pre-order now will get DLC featuring the original cast, complete with the original actors doing voice work.

In the latest hype video for Alien: Isolation members of the original movie cast discuss how Alien became such a classic and also what makes the upcoming game so scary. It boils down to a sense of not knowing what lurks in the shadows in both cases.

It’s a great watch, especially if you’re a fan but it will make you a teensy bit sad for the fact that you can only play as these people should you concede to pre-order culture.

The only question that remains is whether the game can keep that fear factor and tension going for over 12 hours.

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