#egmr » A-G Sonday http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:45:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 is currently working on the game which will be absolutely free and 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 this is 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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2K Is Already Teasing Us With A New BioShock http://egmr.net/2014/07/2k-already-teasing-us-new-bioshock/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/2k-already-teasing-us-new-bioshock/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152391 The dirt has barely settled on Irrational Games’ grave although that’s not entirely true, the studio got a burial at sea, but my statement still holds enough water to be […]

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The dirt has barely settled on Irrational Games’ grave although that’s not entirely true, the studio got a burial at sea, but my statement still holds enough water to be considered as safe as Rapture. The point is, the studio has barely been gone and already 2K is lining up to hit us with more BioShock.

This isn’t exactly a plot twists considering the immense popularity of the BioShock franchise you’d be surprised if they didn’t cash in on the IP. That doesn’t necessaruily mean that they should but hey, who are we to let decency get in the way of a publisher and some money?

2K Games posted the following on Twitter yesterday:

Now, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to make the jump that this has just a little bit to do with BioShock. The image looks like a poster for Eve’s Garden, a gentlemen’s club in the original BioShock.

Other than that the poster offers up nothing.

This could mean any of a number of things. It certainly means 2K is working on a new BioShock game. That’s not a terrible thing considering that BioShock 2 was nowhere near as stellar as its Big Daddy but still managed to be a good game. With some more effort, 2K could put out a genuinely great game sans the creative genius of Ken Levine with all his political and philosophical undertones.

The poster could mean we’re returning to Rapture to which I think many of us would say, “Oh hell no.”

It cvould also be simply a teaser that there is more BioShock coming and 2K is simply using something we’re familiar with to allow us to make the connection. This theory is sketchy at best.

Finally, we could be getting the much-touted BioShock on PS Vita. This is something that Ken Levine wanted to do since 2011 but couldn’t due to needing a deal to be struck between Sony and 2K Games.

Assuming 2K is taking us somewhere new with this BioShock, where do you want to go? Space seems overdone, the inside of a mountain seems kitsch so where to next? Perhaps a return to Columbia? Maybe BioShock in the dessert or tundra. It’s just a thought.

The bigger question is do you want to see more BioShock?

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Steam Controller Gets A Third Nipple http://egmr.net/2014/07/steam-controller-gets-third-nipple/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/steam-controller-gets-third-nipple/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152348 I’m just a boy looking for attention okay, appease my sensational headline. The Steam Controller is meant to compliment the myriad Steam Machines currently in the works and help cement […]

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I’m just a boy looking for attention okay, appease my sensational headline.

The Steam Controller is meant to compliment the myriad Steam Machines currently in the works and help cement them as having a place in your living room. Nothing looks more out of place than a mouse and keyboard on the coffee table. Aside from maybe a severed horse head. Those always look out of place anywhere.

It is also supposed to be a nice alternative to plugging your Xbox controller into your PC for games that really don’t translate well to PC.

Initially the controller looked more revolutionary than anything Sony or Microsoft could come up with. Instead of analogue sticks it’s got concave touch pads and buttons in some weird places.

Watching it in action, this maps very well onto a few games.

An image circulating suggests the controller has been updated and made… weirder. Like, “what the hell” kind of weird. The image was found in the latest Steam client beta thanks to SteamDB and a user on the Facepunch forums.

The new design looks exactly like the old one except for a traditional analogue stick in addition to the touch pads. That’s just plain crazy. Or it renders the left touch pad useless which is just as strange.

Which ever way you slice it, I can’t see a reason for that stick existing. Especially since it takes the place of a traditional D-pad.

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Lords Of The Fallen Teases Us With Sex, Fire And Magic http://egmr.net/2014/07/lords-fallen-teases-us-sex-fire-magic/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/lords-fallen-teases-us-sex-fire-magic/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:45:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152277 And maybe just a hint of blood. Okay, there’s a lot of blood but at no point do the sex and blood intersect. That’s a good thing, trust me. Unless […]

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And maybe just a hint of blood. Okay, there’s a lot of blood but at no point do the sex and blood intersect. That’s a good thing, trust me. Unless of course you’re Kratos, in which case the bloodier the better.

Our resident Dark Souls knowitall describes Lords of the Fallen as Dark Souls without the soul-crushing weight of constant failure or perennial crying (from the player). This too, is a good thing. I mean, there’s enough of that in everyday life. No? Just me then.

Moving swiftly on, Lords of the Fallen is pretty much like Dark Souls. There’s a bit of magic, fantastic beasts and enemies to fight and lots of death. However, it’s designed to be more of a hack ‘n slash RPG. Oh and it looks pretty dark, visually.

Out here in the real world Comic-Con is underway in San Diego and since people go there for movies, figurines, collectibles, cosplay and TV shows, you can bet Square Enix/ Bandai Namco put out a trailer for the game at the expo.

The trailer features some cool action, a healthy dose of blood, three nude women and other things.

Lords of the Fallen is one of those games brave enough to release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in October, bless its (dark) soul.

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Red Hood To Make An Appearance In Arkham Knight http://egmr.net/2014/07/red-hood-make-appearance-arkham-knight/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/red-hood-make-appearance-arkham-knight/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152268 The Red Hood is a big part of Batman lore. The Red Hood gang is infamous and depending on what you believe to be cannon or not, The Joker was […]

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The Red Hood is a big part of Batman lore. The Red Hood gang is infamous and depending on what you believe to be cannon or not, The Joker was a member of that gang which is what led him to being chased by Batman at Ace Chemicals and what caused him to become The Joker. In more recent years Red Hood is the villain turned vigilante alter-ego of Jason Todd AKA just another Robin AKA the one that went crazy AKA the one that Joker beat with a crowbar because fans really wanted him dead.

What i’m getting at is that it’s a big deal for Red Hood to be making an appearance in Batman: Arkham Knight and not just because the Arkham Knight’s helmet looks kind of like Red Hood’s. However, there is one hell of a catch.

It was recently announced that GameStop would be working more hands-on with developers and publishers in order to secure exclusive pre-order content for games. Today we’re getting our first taste of what that can result in and I fucking hate it.

If you pre-order Batman: Arkham Knight from GameStop you’ll get the Red Hood story pack. GameStop, giddy with glee at securing this deal tweeted about it.

Now, I would absolutely love to get my hands on that DLC, as would any Batfan, and I probably will once it eventually gets made available to the public. Fair enough, it’s not going to be GameStop exclusive forever but the fact that this is a thing is deplorable.

Pre-order culture is getting worse and publishers are happy to shill off bits of a game to appease the retail overlords when the retailers really shouldn’t have that power. It’s not like GameStop can just say, “Well, then we’re not going to stock Arkham Knight.”

Publishers need to grow a backbone and stop this from happening especially on a Batman game. It’s goddamn Batman, you could have ZUr en Arrh Batman fighting Kite-man and it would still sell, because he’s Batman.

Also, ripoff of AC IV’s cover is ripped off.

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Review: Ratchet & Clank Trilogy Has Aged Better Than Most Things From The 00′s http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-racthet-clank-trilogy/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-racthet-clank-trilogy/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:30:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151836 Visit review on site for scoring. Back when games were fun and there was no shortage of protagonists so inclusive that they weren’t even human gaming was a delightful place […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.


Back when games were fun and there was no shortage of protagonists so inclusive that they weren’t even human gaming was a delightful place to be. I enjoy these HD collections and PS2 throwback trilogies purely because they almost always take me back to a simpler time before churned out sequels, pre-order culture or the need for every single game to be scrutinised by every individual with a cause on their shoulder. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the games releasing today and I love immersing myself in the industry but it does get tedious.

Once in a while it’s nice to step back and play a game from a simpler time when you aren’t constantly reminded of social features or that you missed out on oodles of pre-order exclusive content or that the game you’re playing exists purely so that someone can make money. Like I said, tedious.

Two years into the PS2′s life-cycle we got Ratchet & Clank, a game with a furry protagonist and a shiny companion from the folks who gave us Spyro. I’m talking about Insomniac Games. Coincidentally they’re the same people making Sunset Overdrive which I don’t think needs any introduction at this point but there’s a link just in case. Go ahead, click on it. Nobody will know.

Insomniac cut their teeth on Spyro but Ratchet & Clank is where the studio honed its craft for making fun-filled games packed with good humour and insane weapons. The series kept itself going all through the PS3′s lifecycle and is on its way to becoming an animated movie but let’s go back to its roots.

Like Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter, The Prince of Persia and so many other beloved franchises from back then, Ratchet & Clank was planned as a trilogy.

The first game sees unlikely heroes Ratchet and Clank teaming up to save the universe although the original mission is to track down Captain Qwark and get him to save the universe. Ratchet is a Lombax, a furry race of catlike creature things and the last of his kind. Clank is a defective and rejected robot. An unlikely pairing, even more unlikely heroes.

Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded sees our heroes enjoying life as heroes when they’re called to action by Megacorp, an intergalactic corporation that needs an experiment recovered. The plot unravels to reveal a more intriguing and unexpected plot.

By the time Ratchet & Clank 3 starts, our heroes are sitting around at home without much to do when they discover that Veldin, Ratchet’s home planet, is under siege. Upon investigation they discover that an evil mastermind named Dr Nefarious is behind it.

A space opera, this is not. If that’s what you’re looking for then go bark up Destiny’s tree. This here is a combat platformer. Blending all the timing, jumping and environment traversal of platforming with the guns, weapons and munitions of combat. Also, there’s a high-tech wrench that packs a wallop.

For those of you versed in the ways of Ratchet, there’s not a whole lot to say but we’ll say it later. Stick around while we explain to the uninitiated what they’ve been missing out on.

A common thread in each Ratchet & Clank is that players will have to do a fair amount of platforming but in a fun and non-tedious way that is occasionally challenging. The platforming in questions will be done in a variety of different environments from rural land to urban jungle, swampland and tundra. Each level is on a different planet, this being an intergalactic game and all and each level feels different. There’s a huge variety of enemies in all three games and the first two games allow for a little more exploration with divergent paths to each level. Ratchet 3 takes a more straight line approach which still works but results in levels feeling a little less expansive.

You spend the bulk of your time playing as Ratchet; jumping around, meleeing enemies with your wrench and blasting them with any one of your many weapons. The weapons are really where ratchet & Clank has always shone. You get all sorts from your typical blasters, bomb launchers to more exotic kinds that turn enemies into sheep, suck enemies up and turn them into explosives or something called the Spitting Hydra. Forget your Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Ratchet & Clank as a trilogy has some of the most kickass, bonkers weapons around and they just happen to be far more deadly and devastating than an AC130 airstrike. Okay, slight exaggeration but sue me. No seriously, come at me. I’ll blast you with a Morph-O-Ray.

Speaking of morphing, the first Ratchet introduced us to the fact that this series was going to be all about awesome weapons but the second game is where we got a chance to upgrade over a dozen insane guns. Then you could eventually upgrade each of them. The third game offered just as many weapons, slightly less crazy and a lot more upgrading. In fact, Ratchet 3 allows you to upgrade each of the weapons on five levels and a further 3 levels once you’ve completed the game.

There’s not just a great variety of weapons but a huge variety of enemies, something most games tend to lack. This means that combat never feels stale.

Narratively, the first two games have genuinely interesting stories to follow with great dollops of humour and some interesting characters. The second game opts for more physical humour rather than verbal which still works but gets a bit tiresome. Ratchet 3 still has some madcap elements and wackiness but overall feels a bit humourless.

All things considered, the trilogy does what all great trilogies do whereby each title ramps things up a little more. The first game introduces us to the world of Ratchet & Clank. It also happens to have the best humour. The second blows it all up with more humour (though unfortunately not better), a crazier array of weapons complete with upgrades and a campaign that feels bigger. The third puts all its efforts into the weapons and leaves the humour some ways behind.

Overall you’re looking at a great gem of a trilogy.

Visually, the games have received a slight bump in visual quality but the Vita’s small screen prevents the games’ age from showing as much as they would on a big screen. Overall PS2 games tend to translate great onto the Vita. Even the controls map nicely onto the Vita.

It is a pity however that Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction didn’t get bundled with the original trilogy. The game released right at the beginning of the PS3′s lifecycle and is what I regard to be the pinnacle of the series. It would have been a great addition.

As it is, the trilogy is still fantastic on its own. It’s aged better than a wine from the same period, not that I’d know much about wine or aging or periods.

The narratives, weapons and gameplay remain great. In fact, these games still stand tall as outstanding action games and only suffer in some small ways. For example, platforming is a little iffy and controls feel imprecise not only in terms of aiming but also movement. It never becomes an issue and you learn to work with it but does feel different when compared to the precise movements we’ve grown accustomed to.

There’s scant reason to not play this wonderful trilogy. The games were great when they released and not surprisingly they’re still great and bundles of fun. Gaming may have moved on from wacky games with anthropomorphic protagonists but that doesn’t mean Ratchet & Clank has lost any of its fun factor over the years.

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Lie To People While Aboard A Yacht, This Is Velvet Sundown http://egmr.net/2014/07/lie-people-aboard-yacht-velvet-sundown/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/lie-people-aboard-yacht-velvet-sundown/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:45:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152169 Velvet Sundown is kind of a terrible name but then so is Battlefield: Hardline and EA got away with it. That being said, have you ever wanted to be a […]

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Velvet Sundown is kind of a terrible name but then so is Battlefield: Hardline and EA got away with it. That being said, have you ever wanted to be a black market dealer? No? How about being a reformed black market dealer who lies to people in order to conceal his identity? Fine, how would you like a game that’s all about deception and secrets?

Is that good enough? Have I sufficiently got your interest? Could I possibly use more question marks in this article? Maybe?

Don’t judge me.

Incidentally, that’s pretty much the aim of a new game from Tribe Studios called Velvet Sundown. That could easily be the name of a cocktail too.

It’s a social multiplayer RPG that puts you on a yacht, out in the middle of the ocean with 10 other people. It’s a big enough boat. The catch is that unlike that yacht level in Call of Duty: Something or Other you won’t be running around stabbing people. Well, you could possibly stab them in the back… figuratively speaking.

You see, there is no combat and no weapons in Velvet Sundown. There is simply social interaction with the aim being to lie, cheat and charm way to learning the dank and dirty secrets of the other passengers aboard the yacht. All the while trying to keep your secrets close to your chest.

If you love manipulating people for information then you may have just found our spirit game. Each game you play will provide you with a randomised objective to achieve.

The game looks a little visually poor but hopefully the gameplay makes up for it. Did I mention that it’s free to play?

All the characters look to be hard stereotypes and chances are this will be to the game’s detriment. Also the black guy is a black market dealer. Come on, seriously?

Velvet Sundown is out now on Steam if you care to manipulate some people on a boat.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Gets Delayed, Don’t Panic http://egmr.net/2014/07/dragon-age-inquisition-gets-delayed-dont-panic/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/dragon-age-inquisition-gets-delayed-dont-panic/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152168 Like sands through the hourglass, so are the delays of our lives. Dragon Age: Inquisition was looking set for its October release date. We were seeing plenty of gameplay, the […]

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Like sands through the hourglass, so are the delays of our lives.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was looking set for its October release date. We were seeing plenty of gameplay, the game looked good, the developers were excited about it and all was well. However, this being a title published by EA you can bet there was going to be a hitch.

The issue is that the hitch doesn’t altogether make sense. Dragon Age: Inquisition was set to release in October, widely regarded as “the month that will take all my money” by many gamers.

It’s a month filled with Alien: Isolation, Shadow or Mordor, Borderlands: the Pre-sequel, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and so many more. It no longer contains Dragon Age: Inquisition though.

The game has been delayed indefinitely.

I’m just fucking with you, lower the gun from your temple.

Instead, Inquisition will release in the slightly less chaotic month of November. A delay of just a few weeks. You’d be tempted to consider this a stroke of good luck considering that the in vogue thing is to delay a game into 2015.

According to executive producer Mark Darrah in a blog post, the extra few weeks will make the wait “all the better for it.”

“Since we began working on Dragon Age: Inquisition almost four years ago, our goal was to create the best Dragon Age experience ever,” said Darrah. “It was that goal that motivated many of our decisions: moving to Frostbite, bringing race choice and customization back, improving tactical camera, building a team of characters whose relationships evolve based on your actions, and most importantly, crafting an epic, nation-spanning story that both draws upon past games and takes you to many new places in the realm of Thedas.

“This last bit of time is about polishing the experience we want you to see. Ensuring that our open spaces are as engaging as possible. Strengthening the emotional impact of the Hero’s choices. And ensuring the experience you get is the best it can be in the platform you choose to play on.”

Essentially, the game needs some polishing and perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to not release in the busiest week on the gaming release schedule as was initially slated.

It’s doubtful that the Inquisition delay is wholly necessary from a polishing perspective but this being EA it makes sense from a business point of view to get out of October where games will be coming at us way too fast.

Do you think Inquisition needs the delay? Despite the crowding, it was still one of the headline acts of what I’m now calling Oktoberfest.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is now releasing on November 21 on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, toasters and dishwashers. It had better run smooth as greased silk t5o justify the delay.

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Cliffy B’s Blue Streak Gets Help From The Last of Us’ Concept Art Studio http://egmr.net/2014/07/cliffy-bs-blue-streak-gets-help-last-us-concept-art-studio/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/cliffy-bs-blue-streak-gets-help-last-us-concept-art-studio/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:45:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=152094 Cliffy b and his new studio Boss Key Productions have been steadily dropping details on their upcoming free-to-play arena shooter currently codenamed Blue Streak. That wouldn’t even be a bad […]

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Cliffy b and his new studio Boss Key Productions have been steadily dropping details on their upcoming free-to-play arena shooter currently codenamed Blue Streak. That wouldn’t even be a bad final name.

You’d be remiss to think it’s a coincidence that Cliff Belszinski decided to unveil his new studio and its game around the same time that Epic Games, his former home, lifted the covers on a new Unreal Tournamenet.

It will be mighty interesting to see how the two match up and which will be the game that current UT fans move over to.

While Epic may have the Unreal Engine and pretty much everybody who worked on Gears of War, as well as some of the folks who actually worked on the old Unreal Tournament games, Blue Key has revealed one of their cohorts; it’s concept art studio One Pixel Brush.

If that name doesn’t sound familiar, don’t worry you’re not an ignorant fool. Well, I say that but you might well be. I don’t know you, I don’t know your life. Let’s just assume everybody is ignorant, mkay?

You might be familiar with some of their work as done on BioShock Infinite or The last of us or The Division. They did some work on Ryse: Son of Rome too but it doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the others.

To add to their pedigree, the studio’s art director is former Naughty Dog senior concept artist, Shaddy Safadi, who worked there from 2006-2011 and on titled such as the first two Uncharted titles.

The concept art studio also showed off a work in process sequence of images which shows the process taken to produce a piece of concept art. That sequence is right here, below these words.

Or maybe it’s below these words.

BlueStreakProcess

It’s still way too early to say anything at all about either Unreal Tournament or Blue Streak but it seems that they will both reinvigorate the arena shooter.

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Crytek’s Lead Graphics Engineer Leaves A Doomed Studio To Work On Doom http://egmr.net/2014/07/cryteks-lead-graphics-engineer-leaves-doomed-studio-work-doom/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/cryteks-lead-graphics-engineer-leaves-doomed-studio-work-doom/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:45:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151989 Crytek is going down like the generic “it” in that one Ke$ha song. If there’s one thing the developer has been known for in recent years it’s graphics. Pretty much […]

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Crytek is going down like the generic “it” in that one Ke$ha song. If there’s one thing the developer has been known for in recent years it’s graphics. Pretty much only graphics. Seriously, their games are little more than hyped up tech demos at this point and a study in how little they know about human physics (I’m looking at you, Ryse boob physics). The company has also been known for a CEO with a loud mouth and more recently for being in trouble of collapsing.

The irony is that last year Crytek bought up Vigil Studios from the crumbling THQ. Those poor Vigil kids just can’t catch a break.

It shouldn’t be a surprise then that Crytek’s top developers would be seeking employment elsewhere before the company’s crisis reaches a critical level. Well, so far it’s just the one guy.

Crytek’s Lead Research and Development Graphics Engineer Tiago Sousa announced via Twitter that he was leaving the company to go work for id Software on the new Doom.

According to his Linkedin profile, Sousa was with Crytek for more than a decade, working as a graphics programmer and engineer on the company’s proprietary CryEngine and games like the first Far Cry, Crysis, Xbox One-exclusive Ryse: Son of Rome and other “undisclosed multiplatform projects.”

At id, Sousa will also work on the engine underpinning Doom, the idTech 6. From what we’ve seen and what we understand the engine is capable of some truly stunning visuals so Sousa should have tons of fun coming over to it from working on CryEngine.

He even changed his Twitter handle to reflect the new job. I guess Crytek is a distant memory for him now.

While Sousa’s future seems secure, Crytek’s future is rocky and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more Crytek developers follow-suit.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Has Romances Of All Kinds Because They Tell Different Stories http://egmr.net/2014/07/dragon-age-inquisition-romances-kinds-tell-different-stories/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/dragon-age-inquisition-romances-kinds-tell-different-stories/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151988 Dragon Age: Inquisition made a small stir not long ago because one of its developers was so proud to unveil BioWare’s first “fully gay” character. That’s a different whine for […]

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Dragon Age: Inquisition made a small stir not long ago because one of its developers was so proud to unveil BioWare’s first “fully gay” character. That’s a different whine for a different day but today we’re talking about BioWare talking about something at an expo that’s all about everything. Well, actually it’s not. GaymerX2 is a gaming expo that caters specifically to LGBTQ gamers because the only way to be inclusive is to be exclusive. I’m not entirely sure if I mean that sarcastically yet.

Bioware held a panel at GaymerX2 this past week in San Francisco titled “Building a Better Romance.” Unfortunately it is not about the construction of love-bots.

Lead writer for the Dragon Age series David Gaider stated that the Inquisition doesn’t simply have inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake but rather because having a straight, gay or bisexual character allows the game to tell you a different story and shape a different story around that character.

“In Inquisition we got the go ahead to include a lot more total romances, so the decision was made that we don’t need to compromise,” Gaider said. “So we are going to have straight romances, alongside bisexual romances, alongside gay romances. I thought that was pretty important because those are different stories to tell.” This is why, for example, Inquisition includes characters like Dorian, who will only romance other men.

You can catch the full 48 minute panel in the video up top and it’s worth watching if you’re interested in the process and challenges behind actually making these romances mesh into the narrative organically. BioWare had a second panel titles “Freaking out the Neightbours” which delves into why games ought to be more inclusive. For inclusivity’s sake I’ve included a a link; inclusively.

I have a lot of respect for Bioware for trying to make their game’s inclusive and since these are RPGs you expect them to cater to whatever role the player may want to fulfill. With games like Tomodachi Life flat out ignoring the fact that some gamers don’t want to hook with someone from the opposite sex studios like BioWare are essential.

However, without having the time to listen to the panel I’m merely speculating here but I would wager that the notion of inclusivity came before the notion of being it being a vessel for telling different stories. It seems like a case of “well, we just have to be inclusive so how can we make this work for the game instead of simply exist within it?”

Kudos to BioWare for hopefully finding a way to do that. We’ll have to actually play the game to find out whether they’re full of BS or there really is a difference whether you’re straight, gay or anything in between.

On a side note, why is there no romance option for inanimate objects? Surely that would tell the most different story of all?

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Comments Of The Week — “#NOTPELOMA2014″ http://egmr.net/2014/07/comments-week-notpeloma2014/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/comments-week-notpeloma2014/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 13:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151828 This week, Ubisoft decided to employ a Chief Parkour Officer and it’s as silly as it sounds while elsewhere The Last of Us Remastered looks better on PS4 than PS3 because that’s a surprise. […]

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This week, Ubisoft decided to employ a Chief Parkour Officer and it’s as silly as it sounds while elsewhere The Last of Us Remastered looks better on PS4 than PS3 because that’s a surprise. Destiny and Titanfall are fighting to the death, BioWare is promising to talk about Mass Effect at Comic-Con and The Evil Within is the first game in 2014 to get an anti-delay.

The big news of course is that Azhar wrote an article about N4G… and that we rustled up some new people to bang their heads against keyboards and make words appear. They’re pretty awesome people if slightly generic and interchangeable. That’s okay though, it’ll be a useful feature when we kill one of them. Speaking of features, these newbies did come with spellcheck and wit as pre-order bonuses but we skimped on that because seriously, fuck pre-orders.

  • 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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Farewell Xbox Entertainment Studios, We Barely Knew Ye http://egmr.net/2014/07/farewell-xbox-entertainment-studios-barely-knew-ye/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/farewell-xbox-entertainment-studios-barely-knew-ye/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:45:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151777 Microsoft’s vision for the Xbox One is that of more than just a box to play games on but rather a unified hub for all your entertainment needs. Part of […]

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Microsoft’s vision for the Xbox One is that of more than just a box to play games on but rather a unified hub for all your entertainment needs. Part of that vision was to be fulfilled by Xbox Entertainment Studios. The studio was conceived to produce original viewing content and series for Xbox users.

It’s not a half bad idea and if Microsoft wanted to achieve that vision for the Xbox One who better to facilitate it than themselves. However, it hasn’t worked out. It’s not you, Xbox Entertainment Studios, it’s them.

Amid a massive reshuffle comprising some 18 000 layoffs, XES was one of the unlucky elements under Microsoft’s umbrella to get cut.

The studio was working on a few original TV series for Xbox and may have even had a revival of Heroes going but alas most of its projects have been shut down. That said, work on some series including Halo: Nightfall, the series being produced by Steven Spielberg, and an Atari documentary titled Signal to Noise will continue. A small team from Xbox Entertainment Studios has been retained to oversee the remaining projects.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed the news to Xbox Entertainment Studios staff on Thursday in an email. Here’s the full statement, courtesy of Game Informer:

I hope you have had a chance to read today’s mails from Satya. I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts on what this means for our team and some of the changes we are making as a result.

In last week’s mail outlining some of the steps towards creating the culture and organization to bring our ambitions to life, Satya called out the strategic importance of Xbox as a strong consumer brand, a creative center for gaming and a leader in bold innovation. Every member of Team Xbox should be incredibly proud of the impact and reach your work has within the walls of Microsoft, with our developer community and most importantly, with consumers.

Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for a mobile-first and cloud-first world, and games are the single biggest digital life category in a mobile-first world. Success in this category, by growing a robust Xbox business, brings additional value to Microsoft. I have stated this before, but for Xbox to be successful, we must remain committed to being a consumer-driven organization with the mission of meeting the high expectations of a passionate fan base, to create the best games and to drive technical innovation.

As part of the planned reduction to our overall workforce announced today and in light of our organization’s mission, we plan to streamline a handful of portfolio and engineering development efforts across Xbox. One such plan is that, in the coming months, we expect to close Xbox Entertainment Studios. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the accomplishments from the entire team in XES. They have built an impressive slate of original programming and pioneered interactive entertainment on Xbox, such as the innovative reality series ‘Every Street United’ that succeeded in uniting audiences around the globe during the recent World Cup. I am pleased that Nancy, Jordan and members of the XES team remain committed to new, original programming already in production like the upcoming documentary series ‘Signal to Noise’ whose first installment takes on the rise and fall of gaming icon Atari and of course, the upcoming game franchise series ‘Halo: Nightfall,’ and the ‘Halo’ Television series which will continue as planned with 343 Industries. Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like ‘NFL on Xbox,’ and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates. Additionally, our app partnerships with world-class content providers bringing entertainment, sports and TV content to Xbox customers around the world are not impacted by this organizational change in any way and remain an important component of our Xbox strategy.

Change is never easy, but I believe the changes announced today help us better align with our long-term goals. We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us to define what the next generation of gaming looks like for the growing Xbox community. I have a great deal of confidence in this team and know that with clarity of focus on our mission and our customers we can accomplish great things together. We already have.

Thank you again for all you do for Xbox.

Phil

The LA-based Xbox Entertainment Studios opened in February 2013 with a mission to “create true interactive content for Xbox and other devices that will change the way entertainment content is experienced and delivered”.

Xbox Entertainment Studios put out its first project in June. It was a street football reality offering called Every Street United intended to coincide with the World Cup.

It’s hard to feel much attachment to something that barely ever existed but you can’t help but wonder what might have been produced if XES got to stick around. Maybe it’s for the best that we don’t see Milo Ventimiglia talk like he’s had a mild stroke.

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The New Doom Is Gory, Features Double-Jumping http://egmr.net/2014/07/new-doom-gory-features-double-jumping/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/new-doom-gory-features-double-jumping/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151775 If you grew up on the PS One or PS2 then double-jumping is an integral part of your gaming experience, there was a time when I tried to physically do […]

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If you grew up on the PS One or PS2 then double-jumping is an integral part of your gaming experience, there was a time when I tried to physically do a double-jump. The results were painful. You might say I was a stupid kid for trying and that I was doomed to fail and I’d say, “Speaking of doomed, have you heard about the new Doom game?”

QuakeCon 2014 is currently happening and Bethesda took the opportunity to show attendees a rather massive 20 minute serving of gameplay for the new Doom, technically Doom 4 but it’s not being called that. That’s quite insane considering that all we’ve seen thus far is a teaser trailer that doesn’t even last two minutes.

Doom has been in the works for a long time with the game first being announced at QuakeCon back in 2007 by id Software co-founder and now ex-id employee John Carmack.

Unfortunately the gameplay shown was not allowed to be captured, no doubt Bethesda and id Software will release it piecemeal in a few trailers. However, strap on some imagination, read the description below and picture it. IGN has highlighted some key points to take away from the 20 minutes of gameplay shown:

  • Fast-paced combat against multiple enemies at once – Doom 3 this ain’t.
  • Set outside a massive UAC research facility on Mars as it’s being invaded by the forces of Hell.
  • Hellknights, cyberdemons, revenants, mancubii, and other classic monsters were spotted throughout the demo.
  • Classic Doom weapons, including the fan-favorite double-barrell shotgun return. Plasma rifle, rocket launcher, and the good old chainsaw were also shown off.
  • Go fast. “Doom is not about about taking cover” said executive producer Marty Stratton.
  • Doom is powered by IdTech 6, and will be for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. They are “committed” to 1080P at 60 frames-per-second.
  • Wonderfully gory close range executions, including special ones for dropping down on enemies from above.
  • Revenants now have jetpacks and can hover about while firing rockets at you.
  • At least one weapon, the combat shotgun, has an alternate fire mode, which allows you to charge up and release multiple shells in rapid succession.
  • Sprinting, double-jumping and mantling are all possible, making for very fluid motion during combat.
  • Enemies can teleport in for old-school style ambushes
  • Dying results in a crazy fatality scene depending on what killed you a la Dead Space. Revenants rip your arms off and punch straight through your combat helmet.
  • Old school mechanics. No reloading your clip, hold as many weapons as you want, health and ammo pick-ups etc. NO REGENERATING HEALTH.

If there’s one thing to take away from this it’s that Doom is gory. If there are two things to take away from this, it’s that Doom is gory and old school.

Bethesda and Machine Games had success with reinvigorating an old franchise while keeping it old school earlier this year with Wolfenstein: The New Order and is looking to do it again with Doom. The game isn’t titled Doom 4 because it is indeed a slight reboot and refreshing of the series. After so many years you’d expect as much.

Reports suggest that the crowd went apeshit for the gameplay shown so hopefully that is an indication that Doom is something good.

We don’t have a release date or even a vague release window just yet however, until then why don’t you open your wallets and embrace the sale Steam currently has on Bethesda titles with savings ranging from 66-75% off.

What do you make of this brave new Doom that’s a lot like the brave old Doom but really pretty looking?

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Activision Is Being Sued By A Vicious Dictator http://egmr.net/2014/07/activision-sued-vicious-dictator/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/activision-sued-vicious-dictator/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:45:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151679 This headline means exactly what you think it means. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Black Ops II both feature prominent figures from history. The first Black Ops actually starts […]

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This headline means exactly what you think it means.

Call of Duty: Black Ops and Black Ops II both feature prominent figures from history. The first Black Ops actually starts out with a failed assassination attempt on Fidel Castro. Black Ops II took it one step further with a mission wherein Woods and Mason have to track down Panama’s former militant dictator, Manuel Noriega. Check it out above.

It’s called Suffer With Me, which is apt considering that Noriega, now in his 80s, is currently incarcerated in a Panama prison after jail stints in the US and France for crimes committed during his 1983 -1989 rule.

Noriega is suing Activision over “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain” of his name and likeness in Black Ops II.

According to Courthouse News in the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Noriega’s lawyers stated: “In an effort to increase the popularity and revenue generated by Black Ops 2, defendants used, without authorization or consent, the image and likeness of plaintiff in Black Ops 2.

“Defendants’ use of plaintiff’s image and likeness caused damage to plaintiff. Plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist and portrayed as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that defendants are authorized to use plaintiff’s image and likeness. This caused plaintiffs to receive profits they would not have otherwise received.”

The former dictator states the game portrays him as “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state”. Well, you know, if the shoe fits.

Noriega wants damages for “unjust enrichment, unfair business practices, violation of common-law publicity rights, and lost profits.”

So you’re just in jail for fun then, Mr Noriega? I hear it’s a great way to take a break from running a country.

Activision is yet to file its response, but Eurogamer spoke with tech lawyer Jas Purewal who stated the publisher doesn’t have to answer the lawsuit due to Noriega not being a US citizen or resident.

“This means that his legal claim becomes questionable, because it’s unclear on what legal basis he can actually bring a case against Activision,” said Purewal.

In some cases the US extends its publicity rights laws to foreigners but it’s doubtful they’re going to do that for a murderous dictator. Unless it’s one of those that the US itself helped keep in power.

The US and France incarcerated him for various crimes such as murdering a US Marines, killings which took place while he was the de facto ruler, drug trafficking racketeering, and money laundering among others.

In Panama he was incarcerated on corruption, human rights violations and murder charges.

This begs the question, does Noriega have a leg to stand on here? He has been found guilty of exactly what he’s portrayed doing in Black Ops II so how does he see things? Maybe he just hates the way Call of Duty’s engine rendered his face.

That certainly counts as misappropriation of his face. Noriega certainly has a stronger case than Lindsay Lohan with GTA V.

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Ubisoft Is Now Employing A “Chief Parkour Officer” For Assassin’s Creed http://egmr.net/2014/07/ubisoft-now-employing-chief-parkour-officer-assassins-creed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ubisoft-now-employing-chief-parkour-officer-assassins-creed/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151680 Assassin’s Creed has changed a lot over the years but what’s always remained key is the parkour. There are few games that give players the sense of a city being […]

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Assassin’s Creed has changed a lot over the years but what’s always remained key is the parkour. There are few games that give players the sense of a city being their playground as much as Assassin’s Creed. You’d think then that Ubisoft has been consulting parkour experts for years to get the free-running just right. It turns out they just played Mirror’s Edge for a bit instead.

Maybe they didn’t.

If you’ve seen anything of Assassin’s Creed: Unity then you know that a) it’s a video game and b) the parkour looks absolutely incredible. Here at EGMR we tend to say a lot of bad things about the Assassin’s Creed franchise so when we actually have something nice to say, it’s a little surprising.

Unity is trying to make the freerunning more fluid and organic than ever before and it looks like it might just be doing that. You can approach a wall diagonally now and Arno will start climbing. Diagonally! Okay, it’s probably not that big a deal but… diagonally!

Part of this could be down to Ubisoft creating and then filling the preposterous title of ‘chief parkour officer.’ Seriously, it’s a stupid title. Just call the guy a consultant. Of course then he might be mistaken for one of Ubisoft’s hitmen who execute rowdy gaming journalists.

Ubisoft has hired world-class freerunner Michael ‘Frosti’ Zernow as their chief parkour officer to consult on Assassin’s Creed titles to improve the “authenticity and accuracy” of the series’ freerunning. Zernow is a member of Tempest Freerunning and has done parkour motion-capture sessions for games before.

At Ubisoft, Zernow will “serve in a strategic advisory role, ensuring an ongoing commitment to the authenticity and accuracy of parkour beginning with the October 28 launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity”, according to the announcement.

Zernow will also be present at the Assassin’s Creed Experience at the San Diego Comic-Con next week. The Assassin’s Creed Experience is an obstacle course, designed by Zernow and Tempest Freerunning to “bring to life the French Revolution setting of Assassin’s Creed Unity”.

“Open to the public, the engaging live event is designed to teach consumers the same moves they would perform in Assassin’s Creed Unity and provide an exciting opportunity to try their hand at in-game techniques including running across rooftops and performing a 25-foot ‘Leap of Faith’ Inspired by the franchise’s iconic move,” explains Ubi.

Unity seems to have given the freerunning a major upgrade and while I’m doubtful Zernow is really needed in an official position with such a silly title, his influence seems to have helped the franchise with one of its most notable aspects.

Now if only they could employ a woman to serve as chief female animations officer.

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Visceral Learnt A Lot From Battlefield Hardline’s Beta http://egmr.net/2014/07/visceral-learnt-lot-battlefield-hardlines-beta/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/visceral-learnt-lot-battlefield-hardlines-beta/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:30:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151577 Battlefield Hardline is best described as Battlefield minus the war, divided by tanks plus a little GTA with just a hint of Payday. Basically, we’re not in Battlefield territory anymore. […]

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Battlefield Hardline is best described as Battlefield minus the war, divided by tanks plus a little GTA with just a hint of Payday. Basically, we’re not in Battlefield territory anymore.

Hardline isn’t even being made by DICE, it’s being made by the folks at Visceral who created the Dead Space franchise and promptly diluted it down by process of homogenisation. It’s a good thing then that Battlefield Hardline is a mash of things straight out the box.

I’m a little hard on Hardline but hey, it’s asking for it. It’s in the name after all. A lot of people are quite interested in this though as it’s something very different for the series.

During E3 the beta launched for Hardline and Visceral has learnt a great deal from it. This is the part where you’d expect a quote from one of the core dev team members telling us how helpful the community feedback was and how this is really helping to shape the process and ensure Hardline is what people want it to be.

That’s not going to happen. Instead we’ve got actual cold hard changes that have been made to Hardline in the wake of the beta. Check out the changes below as posted on the Battlefield blog:

1. REDUCING FREQUENCY OF EXPLOSIVES
We have heard your complaints about breaking the cops and robbers experience with the amount of heavy explosive weaponry available – but we didn’t want to sacrifice fun! We’ve made changes to reduce the frequency of explosive use to focus on the core gameplay, and we’ve made the use of explosives much more believable now.

2. REBALANCING AND RENAMING THE MECHANIC CLASS
We’ve made the class better in more situations – without sacrificing his ability to take down a vehicle. We’re also looking at renaming it – post your favourite suggestions in the comments!

3. REVISITING THE IN-GAME HUD
We’re working on establishing a clearer visual difference from BF4 and improving the messaging of the in-game HUD, from objectives to player status information.

4. REVISITING THE CUSTOMIZE SCREEN
We’ve taken a new pass at how the customize screen is laid out, and are making it clearer and easier to manage your gear and weapon attachments. This should address the majority of issues reported.

5. MAKING THE WORLD DEEPER AND MORE INTERACTIVE
We’ve been working on adding more touches to the game world, giving players more options and things to do that impact play. Look for interactive objects like doors, radios, ammo lockers, and more!

6. MAKING ROUNDS LAST LONGER
A significant amount of feedback during the Beta was received regarding the quick progression of rounds. We’ve made tweaks to both Heist and Blood Money that should help make the experiences last longer without sacrificing any of the fun.

7. INCREASING TRANSPORT VEHICLE HEALTH
There were a lot of comments about cars dying too easily from gunfire. We agree that one magazine from the AKM should probably not turn your sedan into a 4-person death trap quite so easily. We’ve also increased the survivability of the utility van.

8. IMPROVING AUDIO SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
In some of our game modes, situational awareness is very important. We’re working on improving the audio cues in the environment to help you detect and locate your enemies before they do the same to you.

9. MEDKITS AND AMMO BOXES SHOULD NO LONGER BLOCK L.O.S. CHECKS FOR REVIVE
Previously, you could fail to revive someone if a medkit or ammo bag was blocking the line of sight check for the revive mechanic. We are fixing this so that these no longer block you from reviving.

10. IMPROVING INTERROGATION
We’ve worked out some changes to the T62 CEW and the Interrogation mechanic. We’re working on making Interrogation only show enemies in a radius around the captured enemy, but show the marked enemies as if they had been Active Spotted by a teammate – making it both more useful and less powerful at the same time.

I have personally not touched Hardline but if you did how did that make you feel?

It looks as if Visceral actually did something with what they learnt from the beta and maybe Hardline will be pretty good when it releases. That said, it’s a game where cops destroy an entire city to apprehend some robbers. It’s about as ridiculous as Michael Bay’s plans to adapt My Little Pony into a summer blockbuster.

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Take A Look At Dark Souls II’s DLC Before It Kills You http://egmr.net/2014/07/take-look-dark-souls-iis-dlc-kills/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/take-look-dark-souls-iis-dlc-kills/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:15:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151536 I wonder what effect Dark Souls II has on suicidal people. Does it allow them to live out their suicidal fantasies or does it make them more depressed because death […]

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I wonder what effect Dark Souls II has on suicidal people. Does it allow them to live out their suicidal fantasies or does it make them more depressed because death comes so easily to their character? These are the questions that plague my mind, sometimes. Actually no, I literally just thought of it. Nobody cares about suicidal people except these people.

Dark Souls II killed many, many people in March but it’s time for the game to draw people in again so it can claim your souls for the glory of goat-Satan. In other words, there’s some big DLC on the way.

It’s called Crown of the Sunken King and will give players tons to explore. It’s the first in the episodic adventure of the Lost Crowns DLC. There are set to be three episodes and the first is looking to hook players with new areas such as the Black Gulch or the Sanctum City.

From Software definitely isn’t holding back with the level design, just look at those splendid locations. I don’t even care about Dark Souls II but this DLC looks tasty.

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LittleBigPlanet 3 Creation Tools Will Be More Accessible http://egmr.net/2014/07/littlebigplanet-3-creation-tools-will-accessible/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/littlebigplanet-3-creation-tools-will-accessible/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:45:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151529 LittleBigPlanet has always been immense fun, especially if you jump into some of the amazing user-generated content. However, the learning curve was a little steep when going from playing to […]

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LittleBigPlanet has always been immense fun, especially if you jump into some of the amazing user-generated content. However, the learning curve was a little steep when going from playing to creating.

In an effort to make the creation tools more accessible and allow players to familiarise themselves with the tools, LittleBigPlanet 3 will incorporate the creation tools into the game’s story mode.

Puzzle solving will require players to make use of the Popit menu which houses the creation tools. This could also be a huge step forward for puzzle-platformers.

“There’s a lot more integration of Create mode within the single player campaign,” lead community manager of Sony Xdev Studios Europe Sarah Wellock told Digital Spy. “We wanted to make it much more accessible.

“The feedback we’ve had previously has been [that] the leap from player to creator was too big… We want to try and make it as inclusive an experience as possible.”

The article cited an example where players must build a bridge in order to progress. LittleBigPlanet 3 will feature 16 new creation tools, six editing layers and a spruced up interface.

Previous LBP titles had the story and creation completely divorced from each other so when it came to attempting to create content users were assaulted with almost too many options that required hours just to learn the basics.

By combining creations and story LittleBigPlanet 3 should eliminate this problem while also reinvigorating the gameplay. With four playable characters instead of three, each with their own unique abilities, the game should feel dramatically different.

LittleBigPlanet 3 is due out in November on PS4 and PS3 and is being co-developed by Sony Xdev and British studio Sumo Digital.

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GTA V PC Release Date Outed http://egmr.net/2014/07/gta-v-pc-release-date-outed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/gta-v-pc-release-date-outed/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151528 As the prophecies predicted verily GTA V will be releasing on PC. It’s hardly a surprise and it’s even coming to PS4 and Xbox One just to show all these […]

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As the prophecies predicted verily GTA V will be releasing on PC. It’s hardly a surprise and it’s even coming to PS4 and Xbox One just to show all these next-gen kids how you do an open-world sandbox.

Back when the game’s re-release was announced at E3 all we got was a spring release window. Now, Danish pastries are pretty delicious but other than that the Danes aren’t known for all too much. Until now!

Maybe. It depends on whether you’re willing to trust the word of a Danish retailer.

Danish retailer Coolstop (which also operates in the UK) has a listing for GTA V on PC as spotted by PCGamer.

gta

The listing previously showed November 14 as the release date but that was quickly changed to December 31. For some reason that’s the usual placeholder date for undated titles. Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little odd?

We can only hope that in the year since GTA V released Rockstar has made some improvements and changes to the game.

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Destiny And Titanfall Community Teams Will Fight To The Death http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-titanfall-community-teams-will-fight-death/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-titanfall-community-teams-will-fight-death/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:30:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151411 Do you remember Titanfall? Was the hype believable? Maybe. We’re staring down the barrel of the same thing with Destiny due out in September. Titanfall and Destiny are easily two […]

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Do you remember Titanfall? Was the hype believable? Maybe.

We’re staring down the barrel of the same thing with Destiny due out in September. Titanfall and Destiny are easily two of the year’s most hyped games so a fight between the two games’ community teams makes perfect sense, right?

Spoiler: it’s not a fight to the death although that would be kind of awesome.

Before review scores and sales numbers determine which is the more successful hype machine, the two teams will battle it out for supremacy the old-fashioned way.

The Respawn.com and Bungie.net communities are organising two teams led by Respawn moderator Zython and Bungie community member Burritosenior. On Saturday at 4PM PDT the teams will face off in a series of Titanfall matches on Xbox One with a rematch set to happen after Destiny releases.

The matches will be streamed on Zython’s Twitch channel. Below is the list of matches and the team rosters:

-GAMES:
1: CTF: Training Ground.
-Respawn & Bungie bases launch a full scale attack to capture the other’s flag as ceasefire agreements fail
2: Pilot Hunter: Angel City
-The aftermath of the flag theft has left Respawn & Bungie forces seeking to assassinate opposing pilots
3: Last Titan Standing: Demeter
-In order to cripple eachother’s Titan supply, Respawn & Bungie forces engage in heavy warfare
4: Hardpoint: Outpost 207
-The final battle for control of orbital defense cannons will turn the tide of the war
5: Tungle (infinite titans): Colony
-Respawn & Bungie forces have secured infinite funds from an anonymous donor, and plan to use every cent

RESPAWN TEAM:
-Zython (GT: zython)
-LordPuck (GT: LordPuck)
-AshenWolf (GT: Ashen Wolf)
-Bassani (GT: Bassani 079)
-HotJuicyPie (GT: Hot Juicy Pie)

Alternates:
-CAT4 (GT: CAT4)
-JTR277 (GT: JTR277)

BUNGIE TEAM:
-burritosenior (GT: burritosenior)
-Hylebos (GT: Hylebos)
-Fridge Gnome (GT: Fridge Gnome)
-Viperconn (GT: Viperconn)
-DMHCook (GT: DmH HALO)
-Braydzz (GT: Braydzz)

Alternates:
-Im Here To Help (GT: Jaywalkas)
-Said teh Beat (GT: Said teh Bear)

Will you be watching?

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Mirror’s Edge Devs Wants Fan Feedback, Says DICE Lost Its Way With Battlefield http://egmr.net/2014/07/mirrors-edge-devs-wants-fan-feedback-says-dice-lost-way-battlefield/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/mirrors-edge-devs-wants-fan-feedback-says-dice-lost-way-battlefield/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:45:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151413 At present we don’t know much about what DICE is currently working on. We know they’re working on the new Mirror’s Edge and Star Wars: Battlefront but we have yet to […]

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At present we don’t know much about what DICE is currently working on. We know they’re working on the new Mirror’s Edge and Star Wars: Battlefront but we have yet to see anything of the actual games. That’s a little sad considering the games were announced a year ago. There is such a thing as waiting for a game to actually be in a presentable state, EA.

DICE is extending the spirit of EA’s E3 conference by talking about the way it’s going about development.

General manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson recently spoke to GamesIndustry International about the way in which DICE is approaching feedback and market research. He also stated that the decision to make the game came out of love for the original Mirror’s Edge. He even went so far as to say that it’s a game which “needs to be built.”

According to Troedsson, “We’re so passionate about this product; it’s a game that needs to be built, basically. Is there an element of a leap of faith here, no pun intended? Yes, there probably is, as there is with all games as they’re being built. You don’t know if they’re going to be a smash hit from the beginning. But do we feel like we’re swimming out into an unknown ocean? Absolutely not.”

Troedsson went on to say that the success the studio had with the Battlefield franchise started causing a distancing between DICE and its community and it only got worse as the studio got bigger. Troedsson believes they’ve lost touch with the community.

In the journey of Battlefield he said, “we started to become pretty big, and maybe we lost contact a little bit with our players.”

But now, the studio is trying to make itself better and more in tune with the audience.

Troedsson explained, “We want to get closer to our players as much as possible. And some people are going to say, ‘That’s buzz word bingo, direct-to-consumer, feedback, whatever.’ But it is very important for us. We want to listen to what our players have to say.”

He also mentions that DICE has learned valuable lessons (probably the biggest one coming from Battlefield 4) and knows now how to approach community feedback. He described it as a balancing act between the creative vision and what the community wants.

He said, “Any great game team that delivers a great game has a very strong idea of what they want to do. If you have a game team who starts listening to every piece of feedback, you can feedback your game to death just by having people like me and executives and everyone else pulling the team in different directions.”

Troedsson continued: “But the team itself needs to have the integrity to stand up and say, ‘No. This is not in line with our vision. Remember, this is what we said is the core of the game. That’s great feedback, I’ll take that. We can mold that into it.’”

We can only hope DICE really has learnt their lesson but one wonders when we’ll see these games in action. Fingers crossed for Gamescom.

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BioWare Promises To Talk Mass Effect At Comic Con http://egmr.net/2014/07/bioware-promises-talk-mass-effect-comic-con/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/bioware-promises-talk-mass-effect-comic-con/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151412 At E3 in June BioWare gave us a glimpse of… something. We’re not really sure what we saw. It was one of many videos in which developers under EA spoke […]

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At E3 in June BioWare gave us a glimpse of… something. We’re not really sure what we saw. It was one of many videos in which developers under EA spoke about things that they’re working on but in the broadest and most frustrating terms. BioWare spoke about their process but not much else and we got to see a whole lot of nothing.

There was test footage and what looked like character models for the next Mass Effect.

BioWare has promised to start talking about the next step in Mass Effect at the San Diego Comic-Con at a panel titled “Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect.”

It’s been described as follows by BioWare:

Mass Effect developers from the Edmonton and Montreal studios discuss what it’s like to expand on a well-established and beloved video game franchise. Panelists Carl Boulay (lead animator), Fabrice Condominas (producer), Mike Gamble (producer), Noel Lukasewich (senior artist), and Jessica Merizan (community manager), share their experiences in shaping the next Mass Effect game with new possibilities while staying true to the critically acclaimed series. Moderated by Nerdist.com.

Will BioWare go for a soft reboot? That seems to be what tends to happen after the third installment in a series. It’s either that or a prequel but with Shepard’s trilogy now over where would you like to see the series head?

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Activision Is Obligated To Do Something With Crash Bandicoot Eventually http://egmr.net/2014/07/activision-obligated-something-crash-bandicoot-eventually/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/activision-obligated-something-crash-bandicoot-eventually/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151344 Fans of the anthropomorphic protagonist have been clamouring for something resembling the Crash Bandicoot games of old but the character trademark is currently with Activision as opposed to Sony and […]

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Fans of the anthropomorphic protagonist have been clamouring for something resembling the Crash Bandicoot games of old but the character trademark is currently with Activision as opposed to Sony and Naughty Dog who created the games we all know and love.

The publisher gained control of Crash Bandicoot after absorbing Sierra but has failed to actually do anything with it much to the frustration of Crash fans. Crash Bandicoot is one of the franchises that cement the foundation that PlayStation built itself on.

However, Activision can’t just sit on the IP forever. The Crash Bandicoot trademark was renewed in 2011 but legalities ensure that it cannot simply be renewed again, Activision is required to do something with the trademark.

The infamous (between trademark holders, at least) Section 8 of the Lanham Act dictates that a company needs to provide a declaration of use or excusable non-use and a specimen of said use to the United States Patent and Trademark Office between the 5th and 6th year after the registration of a trademark, then between the 9th and 10th year, and subsequently every ten years.

If the company fails to provide that kind of documentation, the USPTO simply cancels the trademark and it becomes fair game.

Former Activision parent company, Vivendi Games, used Crash Bandicoot Action Pack on PS2 as the specimen of use in 2011. The next date on the calendar then for Activision is 2021. By then the company needs to provide a new specimen of use of the trademark.

Technically the four Crash Bandicoot titles on PSN available as PlayStation Classics would count if they were officially supported on PS Vita which should still be around in 2021. The same can’t be said for PS3 or PSP so by 2021 there will essentially be no official specimen of use.

Without a valid declaration of use, Activision would have to file a declaration of excusable non-use, and the following are the reasons accepted by trademark law:

  • Decreased Demand. Decreased demand for the product sold under the mark, resulting in its discontinuance for an indefinite period, does not excuse nonuse. The purpose of the affidavit requirement is to eliminate registrations of marks that are in nonuse due to ordinary changes in social or economic conditions. See In re Conusa Corp., supra; In re Parmalat S.p.A., 32 USPQ2d 1860 (Comm’r Pats. 1991); Ex parte Astra Pharmaceutical Products, Inc., supra; Ex parte Denver Chemical Mfg. Co., supra.
  • Trade Embargo or Other Circumstance Beyond Owner’s Control. Nonuse may be considered excusable where the owner of the registration is willing and able to continue use of the mark in commerce, but is unable to do so due to a trade embargo.
  • Sale of a Business. Temporary nonuse due to the sale of a business might be considered excusable.
  • Retooling. The mark might be out of use temporarily because of an interruption of production for retooling of a plant or equipment, with production possible again at a scheduled time. However, nonuse due to retooling is excusable only if the owner shows that the plant or equipment being retooled was essential to the production of the goods and that alternative equipment was unavailable on the market. In re New England Mutual Life Insurance Co., 33 USPQ2d 1532 (Comm’r Pats. 1991).
  • Orders on Hand. If the product is of a type that cannot be produced quickly or in large numbers (e.g., airplanes), yet there are orders on hand and activity toward filling them, nonuse might be considered excusable.
  • Illness, Fire and Other Catastrophes. Illness, fire and other catastrophes may create situations of temporary nonuse, with the owner being able to outline arrangements and plans for resumption of use. Such nonuse is often excusable. However, a mere statement that the owner is ill and cannot conduct his or her business will not in itself excuse nonuse; the owner must show that the business is an operation that could not continue without his or her presence. New England Mutual Life Insurance, supra.
  • Negotiations With Distributors. A recitation of efforts to negotiate agreements that would allow for resumption of use of the mark, or a statement that samples of the goods have been shipped to potential distributors, may establish lack of intention to abandon the mark, but does not establish the existence of special circumstances that excuse the nonuse. In re Parmalat, supra; In re Moorman, supra.
  • Use in Foreign Country. Use of the mark in a foreign country has no bearing on excusable nonuse of a mark in commerce that can be regulated by the United States Congress. In re Conusa, supra.
  • Use of Mark on Different Goods/Services. Use of the mark on goods/services other than those recited in the registration does not establish either special circumstances or lack of intention to abandon the mark. Ex parte Kelley-How-Thomson Co., supra.
  • Use of Mark in Another Form. Use of a mark as an essential part of a materially different composite mark does not excuse the failure to use the mark at issue. In re Continental Distilling Corp., 254 F.2d 139, 117 USPQ 300 (C.C.P.A. 1958).

None of those really seem to apply to Crash Bandicoot and it’s highly likely that Activision will bash out a Vita title or some such tripe if they’re really intent on keeping the trademark.

However, perhaps it would be best to just lose it and give us all some closure on the matter. That said, 2021 is still a long way off so there’s no telling what could happen between now and then.

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New Far Cry 4 Video Discusses The Game’s Yin And Yang http://egmr.net/2014/07/new-far-cry-4-video-discusses-games-yin-yang/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/new-far-cry-4-video-discusses-games-yin-yang/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 07:30:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151338 Let’s hope that the Far Cry 4 controversy is behind us because it’s time to start actually focusing on the game. A new video has been released focusing on, as […]

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Let’s hope that the Far Cry 4 controversy is behind us because it’s time to start actually focusing on the game. A new video has been released focusing on, as the title implies, the good and the bad in Far Cry 4.

The video features Far Cry 4 executive producer Dan Hay as he discusses the protagonist Ajay Gahle and villain Pagan Min. That’s one hell of a name if ever there was one.

When Far Cry 4 starts out Min has ruled the fictional region of Kyrat for two decades thus the eccentricities such as the pink suit. Speaking of the pink suit, it’s not just a fashion statement. It’s an homage to Pagan Min’s mother. What?

“Pagan Min wears that suit as an homage to his mom. So when you’re making fun of the suit, you’re making fun of his mom. And I would not make fun of Pagan Min’s mom.”

The Ghale family is well known in the region but the link between the Ghale and Min families remains to be seen.

Far Cry 4 is due out in November.

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Take In A 15 Minute Cross-Section Dragon Age: Inquisition http://egmr.net/2014/07/take-look-redcliffe-castle-twisted-magister-dragon-age-inquisition/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/take-look-redcliffe-castle-twisted-magister-dragon-age-inquisition/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:45:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151337 Dragon Age: Inquisition is incredibly close to release and BioWare is giving us a look at a new demo for Inquisition which showcases a climactic setpiece wherein the Inquisitor and […]

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is incredibly close to release and BioWare is giving us a look at a new demo for Inquisition which showcases a climactic setpiece wherein the Inquisitor and her companions lay siege to Redcliffe Castle.

It’s a 15 minute rescue mission for Leilana and climaxes in a drawn out battle with a magister. The video is narrated by creative director Mike Laidlaw and gives us a good cross-sectional view of dialogue, combat and exploration with the walkthrough jumping between the Qunari leader and her party.

If mild spoilers bother you then turn away now.

Inquisition is due out on  October 10.

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Tekken 7 Officially Announced http://egmr.net/2014/07/tekken-7-officially-announced/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/tekken-7-officially-announced/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 06:00:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151336 Street Fighter is currently on its third or fourth (it’s hard to keep track) iteration but Tekken is swiftly moving onto its seventh installment. At EVO 2014, Tekken producer Katsuhiro […]

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Street Fighter is currently on its third or fourth (it’s hard to keep track) iteration but Tekken is swiftly moving onto its seventh installment. At EVO 2014, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada announced Tekken 7.

The game will run on Unreal Engine 4 and is billed as “The Final Battle” according to the teaser.

Full details and a full trailer will be shown at the San Diego Comic Con on June 25 but for now, here’s a brief teaser, just to prove the game exists.

 

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Comments Of The Week — “GORDON FREEMAN IS MY ONE TRUE LOVE” http://egmr.net/2014/07/comments-week-great-journey/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/comments-week-great-journey/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151300 This week, Jaden Smith became a Twitter messiah, we told you to get over Half-Life 3 and how to play Haerthstone. It was that kind of week. Elsewhere, Cliffy B […]

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This week, Jaden Smith became a Twitter messiah, we told you to get over Half-Life 3 and how to play Haerthstone. It was that kind of week.

Elsewhere, Cliffy B is back whether that’s a good thing remains to be seen. Valiant Hearts is super sad, everything gets a remaster on PS4 and a Watch Dogs mod  gives us an Asian, a nude but not a nude Asian (sorry to all you Hangover fans).

  • 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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Xbox Exec Calls Resolutiongate A “Perception Challenge” http://egmr.net/2014/07/xbox-exec-calls-resolutiongate-perception-challenge/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/xbox-exec-calls-resolutiongate-perception-challenge/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:00:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151281 I searched for 1080p, instead I got Gandalf. My conclusion? 1080p is sorcery. The fact that the term resolutiongate even exists is a mini travesty in its own right. The […]

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I searched for 1080p, instead I got Gandalf. My conclusion? 1080p is sorcery.

The fact that the term resolutiongate even exists is a mini travesty in its own right. The matter has gotten so out of hand that someone decided to Christen it like some sort of presidential scandal. For shame! I’ll use it anyway because it has a cutesy ring to it. As opposed to Watergate which simply sounds like a component in a typical sewerage system.

Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle recently spoke to CVG and voiced his thoughts on the resolution debates surrounding PS4 and Xbox One. The debates are silly, pointless and largely carried out by people who don’t really know what the difference between 1080p and 720p is let alone 30fps or 60 fps.

Eagle stated that he personally doesn’t see a meaningful graphical difference between the two consoles but can understand why any difference at all could cause the negativity it has.

“I think it’s a perception challenge, absolutely,” Eagle told CVG.

“If you put third-party games side-by-side that are running at slightly different resolutions or frame rates, then unless you are using a screen that’s more than 60 inches big, I defy you to really see the difference. I personally struggle to see the difference.”

This was a thing on the old consoles too thought not nearly as big of a deal.

Eagle stated this problem as a challenge because the Xbox team is working to overcome it. He added that a system update will give developers more GPU resources to play around with.

“It’s important, certainly. It’s something the media has certainly picked up on. If that leads to the perception that one machine is more powerful than another, then it’s important, and we’re trying to allow developers to bring games to Xbox One at the highest resolution and frame rate as possible.”

“There is some GPU power that can be allocated to Kinect that we’re now freeing up for developers if they want to increase the fidelity of their games. I want to point out though that this is absolutely up to the developer on how they deploy the power.”

The graphical differences between Xbox One and PS4 are minuscule and as many would agree, if that’s your primary concern then get a PC. How much do graphics matter to you?

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Learn About The Division In No Time At All http://egmr.net/2014/07/learn-division-time/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/learn-division-time/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:15:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151282 Some games are impossible to describe. This is not always the fault of the describer, unless you’re adjectivally (is that seriously a real word? Huh, thought I was just making […]

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Some games are impossible to describe. This is not always the fault of the describer, unless you’re adjectivally (is that seriously a real word? Huh, thought I was just making it up) challenged. Games are audio-visual so often enough it’s easier to just show someone the game. I encountered this yesterday when trying to describe Transistor and Child of Light to someone.

“So, you play as a girl and you restore light to the realm with magic and in this other game you play as a girl with a swordy thing that turns people into magical powers and stuff. Oh and she can’t talk but she hums really well.”

Eventually, I provided links to trailers and it was just so much easier.

Before I forgot, this is an article about The Division and up top is a video about The Division. In it you can find out everything you need to know about The Division in a neat little sub-four minute package.

I’m really just saying The Division as many times as possible at this point.

Off-topic Fridays, sometimes off-topic in the most unexpected of places.

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Guerilla Cambridge Working On A “High Profile, Multi-Million Selling Franchise” http://egmr.net/2014/07/guerilla-cambridge-working-high-profile-multi-million-selling-franchise/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/guerilla-cambridge-working-high-profile-multi-million-selling-franchise/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:15:45 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151273 Guerilla Studios is known solely for its Killzone franchise. Guerilla Cambridge however, is a subsidiary of the studio which is best known for assisting on LittleBigPlanet and for developing last […]

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Guerilla Studios is known solely for its Killzone franchise. Guerilla Cambridge however, is a subsidiary of the studio which is best known for assisting on LittleBigPlanet and for developing last year’s Killzone: Mercenary. At present the studio is working on something big. We know this because an ad published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe seeking an audio programmer said so.

Guerrilla’s Cambridge Studio (UK) is looking for an experienced Audio programmer to work on forthcoming projects in a high profile, multi-million selling franchise.

The successful candidate should have at least 3 years experience in the industry and possess excellent working knowledge of game audio systems. Ideally they should be a gamer who is driven to make the best sounding games available on any platform.

It’s Killzone, right? What else could it possible be?

The ad also requires prior experience in console audio development and mentions “Improving and implementing in-house tools, engine and gameplay audio features” within the candidate’s responsibilities.

We already know that Guerilla Cambridge is working on a PS4 title and that Guerilla proper is working on a new IP so it makes sense for Sony to have passed on the duties of Killzone to the Cambridge studio.

It’s not a new IP so which of Sony’s franchises would you like to see Guerilla Cambridge tackling for PS4? If anybody mentions Crash Bandcioot I will punch them… and then have a cry.

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Early Access Could Come To PlayStation Someday http://egmr.net/2014/07/early-access-come-playstation-someday/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/early-access-come-playstation-someday/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 07:30:43 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151272 Steam Early Access is perhaps worth more bad than good given how many utterly broken and horrifically awful games make it onto the platform. That said, it is great for […]

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Steam Early Access is perhaps worth more bad than good given how many utterly broken and horrifically awful games make it onto the platform. That said, it is great for some indie developers who require the funding to complete their game. In theory it’s win-win. Release your game in alpha stages, charge a reduced price, get money to complete the game and also get community feedback on what needs changing.

The trouble is just how easily the system gets exploited, especially with absolutely no curation from Steam. Couple that with the fact that triple-A publishers want to get in on Early Access and the notion of Sony bringing that platform to their consoles is a little scary.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president Adam Boyes stated that the company is looking into allowing developers to release in-progress versions of their games. “That’s one of the massive conversations we have internally,” he explained, “that, at what point does [a game meet standards of release]? We still at some point ensure that we’re being mindful of the consumer. We don’t want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience. At the same time, I want to help bootstrap people, to help them out. Like supporting the underdog for a sports team.”

When pressed, Boyes affirmed that Sony is attempting to work out the problems of such a program so that it might pave the way for developers to make their games available in early states. “We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to,” he said. “So we’re internally discussing, what does that list look like this? What are the caveats? Stuff like this. So it’s still a project that a lot of minds are considering. No details yet, but it’s something on the top of my mind every day.”

In an interview with Kotaku, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer spoke of the company’s thoughts on implementing an Early Access program. He said, “I have thought: ‘Is there a way to look at that platform all up for games, so you have this environment where, yeah, sometimes you have games where things might not work as perfectly as you would want but you’re able to see things a bit early?’ I don’t have a plan that’s locked on that.”

With any luck, should Sony follow through on this plan, they will learn from Valve’s mistakes with Steam Early Access.

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Destiny Beta Invites Are More Than Meets The Eye http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-beta-invites-meets-eye/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/destiny-beta-invites-meets-eye/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:45:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151271 Destiny More than meets the eye Destiny More than meets the eye Destiny Wizards from the moon So Destiny’s beta is out soon, July 17 to be exact, and it […]

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Destiny
More than meets the eye

Destiny
More than meets the eye
Destiny
Wizards from the moon

So Destiny’s beta is out soon, July 17 to be exact, and it offers more than you might have thought. The beta is out on all platforms, unlike the elitist PS4 only alpha.

Beta invites are only available to those who pre-order though but the great news is that each invite comes with three codes so that you can get two mates to join in with you.

I don’t know about you but that is pretty damn awesome and sends the perfect message about just how social Bungie and Activision want the experience to be on Destiny.

“Platform selection for the Beta is now available! Each code will grant you 3 download keys, enough to field a full Fireteam on the console of your choosing!” Bungie wrote.

PlayStation codes will be sent out on July 17 while Xbox codes will be mailed out on July 23.

Meanwhile, you can select your platform on Bungie.net already but the caveat is that PS4 users must wait until July 17 to select their platform. It’s weird, I know but hey, what were you expecting in an article that started out with the Transformers theme song?

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Ubisoft Hasn’t Forgotten About PS3/Xbox 360 For Assassin’s Creed http://egmr.net/2014/07/ubisoft-hasnt-forgotten-ps3xbox-360-assassins-creed/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/ubisoft-hasnt-forgotten-ps3xbox-360-assassins-creed/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151270 Assassin’s Creed: Unity looks pretty great but only if you’re the owner of a PS4, Xbox One One or PC. If you’re one of the many still toiling away on […]

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Assassin’s Creed: Unity looks pretty great but only if you’re the owner of a PS4, Xbox One One or PC. If you’re one of the many still toiling away on the previous generation of consoles, PS3 and Xbox 360, then you’re not quite so lucky. In fact, Unity has had a whole ton of controversy, gameplay and details for itself while we don’t even know the name of the Assassin’s Creed title for the old-gen consoles.

The rumours suggest something called Assassin’s Creed: Comet, a trademark which was registered concurrently with Unity.

During an investors call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was asked about the currently announced plans for Assassin’s Creed. He confirmed that the only official game at present is Unity but that we’ll be hearing about something other than Unity “soon.”

Ubisoft confirmed this is the case with GameSpot. In a statement, the company told us, “We are not forgetting 360 and PS3 players. You will hear more about our plans soon.”

Comet is just a name right now although it sounds like it should be some sort of East European tale.

What would you like to see from Assassin’s Creed on the old consoles?

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Mark Cerny And Andrew House Discuss The Future Of Sony http://egmr.net/2014/07/mark-cerny-andrew-house-discuss-future-sony/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/mark-cerny-andrew-house-discuss-future-sony/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:00:32 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151196 Sony executives Mark Cerny and Andrew House hosted the opening keynote of the Develop Conference in Brighton yesterday. The organisation’s YouTube channel was kind enough to post a highlights reel […]

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Sony executives Mark Cerny and Andrew House hosted the opening keynote of the Develop Conference in Brighton yesterday. The organisation’s YouTube channel was kind enough to post a highlights reel and unlike Sony’s E3 conference, this is actually interesting.

In the videos above and below Cerny and House discuss the future of Sony, PlayStation Now and of course where gaming is headed.

Andrew House was a little hyperbolic in his predictions whereas Cerny was more reserved, saying it’s not possible to predict where things may go in the next six or eight years.

Cerny did say that he believes Sony is close to having a continuity comparable to Nintendo where people have been working together for many years. Whether that’s a good thing is up to interpretation but Cerny is of the opinion that a strong understanding of the company’s past will guide them into the future.

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No Man’s Sky To Have Traditional Multiplayer In Case Of Loneliness http://egmr.net/2014/07/mans-sky-traditional-multiplayer-case-loneliness/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/mans-sky-traditional-multiplayer-case-loneliness/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:15:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151195 No Man’s Sky is all the rage right now, if you aren’t talking about it then you shouldn’t be talking at all. Snark aside, it is a genuinely intriguing and […]

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No Man’s Sky is all the rage right now, if you aren’t talking about it then you shouldn’t be talking at all. Snark aside, it is a genuinely intriguing and innovative game that stole the show at E3 in June for its procedurally generated universe which players are free to explore. That and the incredible fact that you can hop in your ship and fly from a planet’s surface out into space seamlessly.

The one catch is that this might get lonely. Other players populate the universe too but each player starts out at the edge of the cosmos so your interactions and encounters with fellow players will be infrequent.

Hello Games founder Sean Murray recently spoke to GameSpot about player interaction being difficult to begin with.

“You can cross paths with other players. That’s just not a core component of the game,” Murray said, and added, “You’re not going out and seeking [other players] out or whatever, but it’s lovely to play and just see a little touch of, you know, playing with other people. You and your friends — you know, we’re doing the worst possible thing, probably — we’re gonna fling you out really far apart.”

No Man’s Sky does feature a more conventional multiplayer that dumps two players together so neither gets lonely or suicidal.

“There is this thing, which I’m not going to talk about now,” Murray teased, “that is a plan for multiplayer and for people to have a more traditional multiplayer experience within the game, and that’s something that we’ll deal with down the line that is exciting but that is not what’s core to the game right now.”

Does loneliness bother you or are you eager to explore the universe on your lonesome?

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Review: Valiant Hearts: The Great War Is Sadder Than The Brazilian National Team http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-valiant-hearts-great-war/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/review-valiant-hearts-great-war/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:15:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=150802 Visit review on site for scoring. We’ve seen hundreds of dozens of World War II era games, so many that we find ourselves saying “never again”. Valiant Hearts is about […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

We’ve seen hundreds of dozens of World War II era games, so many that we find ourselves saying “never again”. Valiant Hearts is about the First World War, the one that was started when Nemanja Vidic’s granddad shot Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father in the face. It wasn’t so much a Great War as it was a “why are we doing this again?!” kind of war.

Valiant Hearts starts out by setting itself apart from the rest by not being a shooter nor is it trying to be uber-realistic with the latest cutting-edge next-gen hyphenated-words-filled technology. It’s a 2D side-scrolling puzzle-platformer built using the UbiArt Framework.

You play as four characters over the course of the game, five if you include the dog. You’ve got German-born Karl who is forced into the German army, his father in-law Emille who is drafted into the French army, American Freddie who enlists himself in the French army and Belgian nurse Anna. Each has their own narrative that runs to completion with their tales interweaving and overlapping. They play largely the same but with some variances. Anna will have to heal people, Freddie does some pretty destructive things, Karl spends a lot of time trying to escape the army and Emille just does a lot of weird stuff with a giant ladle.

The game isn’t so much about fighting the war as it is about living the war. You spend time escaping mortar fire on the frontlines, carrying a flag, assisting people, escaping enemies and there is some great gameplay in the trenches and tunnels that became infamous during the First World War.

There is no real dialogue, merely an occasional bit of narration but the game’s narrative conveys itself powerfully. Essentially, both Emille and Karl are trying to get back to their home while Freddie is on a path of vengeance against the Germans who killed his French wife. Anna is attempting to rescue her father from a German Baron who is exploiting his scientific knowledge.

It’s not a wholly original narrative but it is given freshness by the four different perspectives, four different ways of experiencing it and the way the four individual narratives move around each other. The things these characters go through are actually pretty harrowing. Bombings, gas attacks, dealing with death, PoW camps. Ubisoft Montpellier didn’t leave much out when doing their WW I research.

The fact that it is delivered in this cutesy hand-drawn style is almost jarring and yet makes it easier to consume. It’s certainly got a more powerful and meaningful message than the ultra gritty “war simulators” out there.

Despite the lack of dialogue, we get a glimpse into each character’s thoughts through diary entries. These are heavy-handed and wooden but are useful if you can’t quite follow what’s going on. I’d recommend avoiding them as they were completely sundry to the experience and in fact were detrimental to the manner in which the narrative is told. What I do recommend reading though is the historical facts. Each new section or area of the game hits you with a few historical facts relevant to the section you’re playing. I knew enough about the First World War going in but these facts give you an insight into what life was like during those times.

What Valiant Hearts tries to do is give you a sense of what living through a war must have been like and I swear on the life of an Austrian Archduke it does just that.

The gameplay is simple, the puzzles less so. Controls are so basic you could play with one hand but this is essential because Valiant Hearts stresses the puzzle aspect of “puzzle platformer.” There are intricate puzzles that involve all manner of things from producing a machine part using a press to something far more elaborate like distracting a guard so you can steal a uniform in order to steal a bottle of wine for the intents of sabotaging an army captain to steal his uniform for the purpose of getting past a bunch of guards to get a wheel in order to replace the broken one on your car. Then each of those tasks has a smaller puzzle within itself.

Is that elaborate enough for you?

The game is filled with puzzles like that and they’re pretty great once you figure out what needs to be done in which order and how to do it. It feels like genuine problem solving. However, there are some rather obtuse puzzles which simply don’t make any sense until you look at the hints which the game will drop periodically unless you tell it to stop. For the most part, all the game’s mechanics work well and are simple to grasp but must be applied to complex problems. That right there is the perfect approach; it’s what makes the likes of Portal so damn great.

The way the puzzles are constructed allows them to mesh well with the narrative so that you don’t get this jarring effect whereby you’re constantly jumping in and out of the narrative. All the puzzles are very much tied to the narrative, some in brilliant ways.

What adds to the ambiance of war is Valiant Hearts’ sound. The soundtrack comprises mostly the sort of tunes you’d expect to hear warbling out of a gramophone. There are plenty of classical tunes but also a fair bit of original soundtrack that helps sell the scene. What really stands out though is the background noise. The constant drone of planes overhead, the cacophony of mortars but most hauntingly the pained screams of the wounded. Anna’s healing consists of rhythm-based mini-games which sounds simple enough if you’ve played any game ever but try doing it with people screaming in agony.
Under its skin Valiant Hearts is genuinely good little puzzle platformer. It isn’t innovative in that regard but it does its puzzles well and with pride. The real hook here is a narrative so sad you’d need to be Silvia Plath crying while Placebo plays in the background to top it.

The story in Valiant Hearts constantly finds ways to pull at your heartstrings and strum them like a bloody harp. In some cases the emotional element may be a touch heavy-handed but it always works. The ending in particular is right up there with some of the best. By the end of this game you feel like you know these characters. You haven’t heard a single line of dialogue from them but you feel for them, you know what they’ve been through. Pulling that off is no easy feat from Ubisoft Montpellier.

Valiant Hearts is not a long game but you can run through it in a decent 7 or 8 hours and at this price it’s worth it. Did I mention the game is peppered with some truly memorable moments? Like aiding a group of soldiers to lift the Canadian flag. Canada, fuck yeah! There are better examples, I swear.

Despite the fact that Valiant Hearts left me so sad it was three days before I stopped wallowing and wrote this review, it is a great little piece of work. Here we have a game that is pretty simple in its mechanics but competent as a puzzle platformer while delivering a brilliant wartime story told in an intriguing yet engaging way. Grab a box of tissues and get this one.

And now, we shall close with a verse from Kanye West’s latest single:

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

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Driveclub Shows Us Why Bad Weather Is Good http://egmr.net/2014/07/driveclub-shows-us-bad-weather-good/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/driveclub-shows-us-bad-weather-good/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:30:57 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151089 Any modern day racer worth its salt needs to handle well in the wet which is to say it needs to look great in the bad weather. Driveclub is no […]

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Any modern day racer worth its salt needs to handle well in the wet which is to say it needs to look great in the bad weather. Driveclub is no different, Sony Computer Entertainment and Evolution Studios have lifted the veil on the game’s dynamic weather system and it’s pretty.

PlayStation Access has dropped a lovely video showing off the weather system along with some clips on Instagram. Check it all out here.

The bad news however is that the dynamic weather system will not be available at launch, it will come in through a patch. An 11 month delay and they still won’t have it ready. Well done.

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From Software Pins A Release Window On Bloodborne http://egmr.net/2014/07/software-pins-release-window-bloodborne/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/software-pins-release-window-bloodborne/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:30:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151091 From Software revealed Dark Souls 3 Bloodborne at E3 this year at Sony’s press conference. We just got a tease but it garnered a great amount of interest, especially from […]

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From Software revealed Dark Souls 3 Bloodborne at E3 this year at Sony’s press conference. We just got a tease but it garnered a great amount of interest, especially from Dark Souls fans.

Demon’s Souls 2 Bloodborne is set to retain a lot from Demon’s Souls in its strategic approach but with a focus on being faster and more offensive. Not in the racist way though.

It’s not a sequel to either game per se but rather a spiritual successor in that it will draw heavily from Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. It is being directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki after all.

From Software is working hard to get it out in 2015 and despite it being just announced Bloodborne will be playable at Gamescom in August.

“We’re really working flat out to get this game out for early 2015,” producer Jun Yoshino said during a recent event attended by Digital Spy.

“We’re going to be there at all upcoming major game shows like Gamescom, where we’ll have our first hands-on demo on pods on the show floor. There we can gauge first hand the reaction to the game.”

Does this excite you?

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Gearbox Announces Its Own MOBA, Battleborn http://egmr.net/2014/07/gearbox-announces-moba-battleborn/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/gearbox-announces-moba-battleborn/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:45:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151090 Gearbox Software is best known for Borderlands so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they are capable of cobbling together a MOBA. There’s nothing to suggest that Gearbox […]

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Gearbox Software is best known for Borderlands so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they are capable of cobbling together a MOBA. There’s nothing to suggest that Gearbox will make this fly with the likes of Dota 2 and League of Legends out there but hey, it’s their money.

It’s called Battleborn and was revealed in Game Informer. The new IP is described as an “intergalactic first-person battle arena” which borrows the “minion smashing and fast levelling” associated with MOBAs.

“If Borderlands 2 is a shooter-looter, Battleborn is a hero-shooter,” said Gearbox president Randy Pitchford in a statement.

“As a genre-fused, hobby-grade, co-operative and competitive FPS exploding with eye-popping style and an imaginative universe, Battleborn is the most ambitious video game that Gearbox has ever created.”

The game is set to feature a huge cast of characters spread over a few rivaling factions with Gearbox’s signature humour. Rival players will hunt each other in various environments while robotic NPCs war on in the background. As you would expect, players start each match on a even plane and will then proceed to progress along a streamlined skill path up to level 20 filled with customisable abilities that open players up to a number of play styles.

The game’s story sees a ragtag group of heroes assemble (not unlike the Guardians of the Galaxy) ranging from an immortal samurai to a mini-gun wielding giant fight over the last star in the cosmos.

What does one even do with a star?

Gearbox is said to have created “a tremendous rogue’s gallery” of playable characters, which look different and control “like they’re from entirely different first-person games.”

GI explains: “The consummate space marine feels like he’s been ripped from any modern shooter. A spry elven huntress leaps far above other players’ heads and rains down volleys of deadly arrows, evoking memories of high fantasy heroes.”

Battleborn is scheduled to release sometime during 2K’s fiscal 2016, which ends March 31 2016, on PS4 and PC.

It sounds decent enough but why does this exist?

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Get All Three BioShock Titles And More For Only $20 With The Humble 2K Bundle http://egmr.net/2014/07/get-three-bioshock-titles-20-humble-2k-bundle/ http://egmr.net/2014/07/get-three-bioshock-titles-20-humble-2k-bundle/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:00:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=151088 Humble bundles are an amazing thing, get a bunch of good games for next to nothing and it’s all for a good cause. You get to be a cheapskate and […]

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Humble bundles are an amazing thing, get a bunch of good games for next to nothing and it’s all for a good cause. You get to be a cheapskate and help the needy while avoiding the guilt brought on by Steam sales.

The latest one, the Humble 2K Bundle, is a doozy though, you’re not just getting a bunch of good games but some downright great ones.

Pay whatever you want and get The Darkness II, BioShock and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. One of those games is a classic. The other two can give you some fun.

Pay higher than the average amount donated (currently at $7.16) and you get BioShock 2, Mafia II and Spec Ops: The Line tossed in too. Good lord, why are you still reading this. Go now.

I guess you’re still here. Fine, let me give you some more incentive.

Fork over a colossal $20 and you get BioShock Infinite and XCOM: Enemy Unknown too. In case you lost track, that’s eight games for $20. Do it now.

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