#egmr » A-G Sonday http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:36:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Lords Of The Fallen Shows Us What Epic Dungeons Should Look Like http://egmr.net/2014/08/lords-fallen-shows-us-epic-dungeons-look-like/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/lords-fallen-shows-us-epic-dungeons-look-like/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:45:11 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155364 Lords of the Fallen hasn’t been getting has much attention as it probably should. It may just turn out to be one of the sleeper hits of 2014. With that […]

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Lords of the Fallen hasn’t been getting has much attention as it probably should. It may just turn out to be one of the sleeper hits of 2014.

With that said, there’s a new trailer for the game so here’s your chance to get in on the action.

Lords of the Fallen is best described as a Dark Souls type game but with faster combat, a shallower difficulty curve (probably) and really just everything else being pretty much similar. It also looks better. basically, think of it as a Bloodborne alternative.

The latest trailer gives us a look at some great landscapes and creepy dungeons. You also get a look at the limited edition because that needs to be shown in a trailer. Obviously.

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Unbelievable! Assassin’s Creed: Unity Gets Delayed http://egmr.net/2014/08/unbelievable-assassins-creed-unity-gets-delayed/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/unbelievable-assassins-creed-unity-gets-delayed/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155361 I have three words for you: this surprises nobody. I have some more words for you: I’m happy as an otter who just cracked an oyster open about this because […]

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I have three words for you: this surprises nobody.
I have some more words for you: I’m happy as an otter who just cracked an oyster open about this because now AC: Unity releases one day after my exams end. Go go next-gen video game delays!

Perhaps UCT students will be the only ones happy about this delay.

It’s hardly a shock anymore. In fact, it’s a surprise when a game does not get delayed. Unity joins The Evil Within, Halo 5, The Division, Batman: Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield: Hardline and a few more, whose names escape me, on the list of games scheduled for release in 2014 that have either been pushed further into 2014 or all the way right into 2015.

What’s next? Are we going to delay betas for games too? Wait, this just in. The beta for PS4 exclusive Deep Down has been pushed to 2015. So there’s that…

The evidence is damning though, publishers are clearly trying to rush games out and I can almost guarantee that Unity will release with more than a few bugs.

Unless the delay is simply to move it out of the hell that is October because by the time October 28th rolls around people will have no money due to all the other games releasing in that month. Then again, by then they should have been paid.

According to Ubisoft, Unity needed more time to be exceptional.

“As we got close to the finish, we realized we were near the target but still needed a bit more time to hone some of the details to make sure Assassin’s Creed Unity is exceptional,” says Vincent Pontbriand, senior producer at Ubisoft.

“We sincerely appreciate players’ commitment to the game and their patience. It’s just a couple more weeks. And it’s going to be worth it.”

So how much longer will you have to wait to go all neck-stabby on people? If you’re really itching to stab people then grab a knife and go forth into the world. If you fear incarceration then stick around until November 13.

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People Are Watching Porn On Their 3DS According To Pornhub’s Epic Statistics Breakdown http://egmr.net/2014/08/people-watching-porn-3ds-according-pornhubs-epic-statistics-breakdown/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/people-watching-porn-3ds-according-pornhubs-epic-statistics-breakdown/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:15:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155257 Have you ever wondered about the statistics of porn? Has your desire to see a statistical breakdown of porn viewership by device and operating system left you unable to perform […]

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Have you ever wondered about the statistics of porn? Has your desire to see a statistical breakdown of porn viewership by device and operating system left you unable to perform sexually? If so then you might want to grab some tissues and maybe seek help. Or become an actuary. You’ll be aroused indefinitely.

I would’ve gone for a racier header image if I wasn’t in a public space and already getting weird looks for the Pornhub logo simply being present on my screen.

Protip: think twice before you open a link relating to Pornhub in a computer lab with other people in it.

So it turns out Pornhub does more than just porn. While Youporn is off trying to sponsor a pro gaming team, Pornhub has more scientific questions. For example, how long does a BlackBerry user take compared to the rest or which gaming console is the best for porn?

These are pertinent questions, people. It is actually kind of cool that the people running Pornhub are doing more than just jerking off to their own content. Apparently there’s a whole stats division over there called Pornhub Insights.

Now, for your enjoyment only, here’s a hot load of graphs all over your face.

You can find everything in the gallery down below but we’ll just highlight the more interesting ones.

Warning: the following bar graphs and pie charts are considered NSFW (provided bar graphs and pie charts turn you on).

Unsurprisingly, Windows 7 is the go-to OS for porn aficionados but crazily, people are still getting off on Windows 95, 98 and 2000 systems. Linux users are also really into cartoon porn. Not hentai, just cartoon porn. There’s a difference I guess.

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When it comes to mobile devices though, you’re going to want to go with a BlackBerry. On average, these folks last 30% longer. Like they say, once you go black, you never go back.

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You might want to steer clear of that friend who got an Android tablet over a iPad though. they’re probably into cartoon porn. Like really into it. Any fools with a Windows phone is probably a little freakier though because there’s a good chance they’re into cartoons and Miley Cyrus. You can bet they came like a wrecking ball when they watched that video.

Finally we get to the gaming consoles. Gaming has long been a bastion of gender equality and equal opportunity rather the subjugation and objectification of women so it is shocking. Shocking, I say! That people are using innocent video game consoles to watch their smut. For shame!

That said, anybody with a PS Vita needs a little more foreplay to get going but will finish before you even know it. For the record, three of our writers own PS Vita consoles. You figure out who.

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The last little nugget to come out of this is that some people, 1.4% of console owners watching porn, are doing so on a motherfucking 3DS. I bet they wish porn made use of that second screen.

That’s all folks, go log onto Pornhub and become a statistic. Masturbate for science!

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Miyamoto Doesn’t Want To Make Games For Casuals http://egmr.net/2014/08/miyamoto-doesnt-want-make-games-casuals/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/miyamoto-doesnt-want-make-games-casuals/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:45:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155253 When you think Nintendo you certainly don’t think “hardcore developer for the hardcore gamers.” Nay, instead you think of fun, wide-appeal games and weird Japanese stuff. Like Bayonetta 2. Legendary […]

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When you think Nintendo you certainly don’t think “hardcore developer for the hardcore gamers.” Nay, instead you think of fun, wide-appeal games and weird Japanese stuff. Like Bayonetta 2. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto said  in a recent interview with Edge Magazine that Nintendo wants to focus more on core games in the future.

Because someone needs to make us forget that Nintendogs was ever a thing.

To be specific, Miyamoto does not want to design games for people who “passively” enjoy games.

I’m not sure how that will gel with the way Nintendo has been making games but I do like that approach a hell of a lot more than the industry-wide notion of dumbing down, simplifying and yet bloating games so that they have the widest appeal possible.

“[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland,” he said.

“Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].”

Miyamoto’s candid comments signal the first time a Nintendo executive has outlined intentions to move away from casual gamers. hell, the entire shtick of the Wii, the reason it sold so many units, is that it appealed to literally anything. Even your dog could play Wii Fit.

The Wii U was supposed to be Nintendo’s link between the two worlds of casual and core gaming but instead it’s stuck in some sort of void between the two.

Miyamoto is of the opinion that with mobile devices being the frontrunners for causal gaming, Nintendo no longer needs to exist in that market.

“In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population,” he said.

“Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It’s a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people’s daily lives.”

Edge’s interview with Miyamoto forms part of a wider feature on Nintendo’s new R&D offices in Kyoto. Miyamoto was also asked about the inherent challenges of playing games on both the TV and the Wii U’s touch-screen GamePad – a hardware design choice which has been routinely questioned within the industry.

“Of course we had some concerns,” Miyamoto says. “After all, we’re human beings: our eyes cannot see two objects at the same time. But we were sure that, even with that kind of, say, weak point, we would be able to make something unprecedented and revolutionary.”

Perhaps it is time that Nintendo shift their focus away from casuals and more to core gamers. It is certainly time for the company to evolve a little however, I do wonder whether Nintendo is up to it and whether they will find the market they’re looking for.

I do believe that Nintendo has the ability to offer something different to all the rest witht eh stable of IPs they have. E3 alone shows how much the world wants a Zelda game that draws from the likes of The Witcher and Dragon Age series in terms of exploration and world.

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LEGO Batman 3 Will Sate Your 2014 Batman Cravings, Release Date Announced http://egmr.net/2014/08/lego-batman-3-will-fill-2014-batman-cravings-release-date-announced/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/lego-batman-3-will-fill-2014-batman-cravings-release-date-announced/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:15:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155208 After playing LEGO Marvel Superheroes earlier this year I’m pretty eager to play LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for a few reasons. I know I’ll have fun with this game. […]

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After playing LEGO Marvel Superheroes earlier this year I’m pretty eager to play LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham for a few reasons. I know I’ll have fun with this game. It will sate my Batman needs until Arkham Knight drops next year. It’s Batman, even in moulded plastic form he’s still Batman. On that note, The LEGO Movie has made me hope that Kevin Conroy gets swapped out for Will Arnett.

 

The game, as the title implies, will take players beyond Gotham and beyond our planet in fact to various Lantern worlds in an attempt to stop Brainiac, in cahoots with some of DC’s biggest villains, from using the power of the Lantern rings to shrink the worlds.

 

As with the previous LEGO Batman and Marvel Superheroes the game will feature a huge roster of characters from the DC universe. Including Adam West because what better real-world representation of The Dark Knight Returns’ Bruce Wayne is there than Adam West?

Oh and that image up top? That’s the box art. Look at it.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is due out on November 14 for pretty much anything you’d care to stick a game disc into. Except a toaster.

 

I repeat: LEGO Batman 3 will not be releasing on toasters. Toaster fanboys are going to be up in arms about this for sure.

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Fight Democracy With The Most American Game Ever Made http://egmr.net/2014/08/fight-democracy-american-game-ever-made/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/fight-democracy-american-game-ever-made/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:45:12 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155129 What’s more American than apple die in a chevy on the shores of Guantanamo Bay? Duke Nukem. What’s more American than Duke Nuke? Steve Rogers. What’s more American than Steve […]

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What’s more American than apple die in a chevy on the shores of Guantanamo Bay? Duke Nukem. What’s more American than Duke Nuke? Steve Rogers. What’s more American than Steve Rogers? Broforce, of course.

However, there is a higher level of all-out American-ness that not even the bald eagle can reach. It’s a game called Mission Majority. In it you play as Giopi, the Republican elephant.

You can’t make this shit up.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)–the group devoted to electing Republicans to the United States Senate–has released an 8-bit video game called Mission Majority. It’s free, and you can play it right now at this link.

As Giopi, your job is to stop terrorism and the Democratic agenda by gaining majority in the Senate. You do this by collecting keys which do something politcal. Let’s assume that unlock the door to Malema’s cage. Or Dick Cheney. Same thing.

You must also avoid Taxers, evil-looking characters dispatched by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama to thwart your efforts, according to the game.

“As a party, Republicans have a great opportunity to win the Senate majority and create positive change in Washington,” the NRSC wrote on its website. “This year’s Republican Senate candidates are the strongest in decades (if not ever), and we want to raise awareness in every possible way. With that in mind, we are having a bit of fun with our approach.”

Politics is now a real game. Mass Effect did it better though.

And now rise for the national anthem.

O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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Capcom Is Now Charging Developers For Day-One DLC http://egmr.net/2014/08/capcom-now-charging-developers-day-one-dlc/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/capcom-now-charging-developers-day-one-dlc/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155128 Capcom, ever looking for news ways to garner the ire of gamers and media, has this time turned its attention on developers because not enough people are trying to throw […]

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Capcom, ever looking for news ways to garner the ire of gamers and media, has this time turned its attention on developers because not enough people are trying to throw developers into a fit of rage.

That said, it could be the developer that’s at fault here. Let’s assess the facts, shall we?

Koei Tecmo is well-known for giving us the Ninja Gaiden and Dynasty Warriors series. However, according to a report from Japanese publications Sankei the studio is being sued by Capcom for copyright infringement to the tune of $9.4 million. That’s a lot of copies. A lot of infringed copies. That is what copyright infringement means, right?

The lawsuit charges Koei Tecmo with infringing on Capcom’s 2002 patent with a system that lets players unlock content from previous games. The report also claims Koei Tecmo infringed on a Capcom patent that covers a feature that makes a controller vibrate when enemies are close.

Capcom says that Koei Tecmo’s use of these patents “has greatly contributed to the sales” of its games.

In all, Capcom claims that 50 Koei Tecmo games infringe upon the publisher’s patents. As a result, Capcom is suing for ¥980 million (about $9.43 million) in damages related to licensing fees, which covers about 10 percent of Koei Tecmo’s total profits from the games. The publisher is also hoping to curb the sale of some Koei Tecmo titles, though these were not mentioned outright.

Unsurprisingly it would seem that our initial assessment was right and Capcom really is just being its usual, awful self.

It seems absurd that a company can have a patent on what a controller does if they have not designed and created said controller.

Secondly of all, that “great contribution” likely comes from offering the stuff, which Koei Tecmo is giving away for free, at a price as DLC. Sometimes post-release and too often right there on the disc from day-one.

This is how Capcom operates. They were perhaps a forerunner of the recent pre-order culture whereby chunks of games are lobbed off and distributed to various retailers or locked behind that elusive term, DLC.

There seems to be no doubt that Koei Tecmo did violate Capcom’s patent and legally, Capcom has a case here. But my God, what a horrible, truly despicable patent it is.

It’s essentially ensuring that Capcom can lock bonus content and content from previous games in a series behind the DLC wall which the company loves to cower behind.

Capcom is by no means the victim here. Koei Tecmo tried to do something, foolishly overlooked the legal ramifications and will likely now pay for it dearly.

It’s a sad, sad state of affairs.

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Far Cry 4 Has Its Own Citra, Say Hello To Yuma http://egmr.net/2014/08/far-cry-4-citra-say-hello-yuma/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/far-cry-4-citra-say-hello-yuma/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:15:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155110 Hey, wasn’t that part of the title of the movie where Batman re-enacted the story of Red Dead Redemption? I never was one for Westerns. Thus far Far Cry 4 […]

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Hey, wasn’t that part of the title of the movie where Batman re-enacted the story of Red Dead Redemption? I never was one for Westerns.

Thus far Far Cry 4 has the relatively mild protagonist Ajay, his phallic symbol of a sidekick named Hurk and the game’s prime antagonist (and likely star of the show) named Pagan Min.

Now, Far Cry 3 arguably had a secondary villain/ally in Citra, Vaas’ equally insane sister. so where’s that in the new game? Well, let’s hope Far Cry 4 isn’t following that formula verbatim but it seems the new game might have something similar in Pagan Min’s right-hand, Yuma.

Ubisoft Montreal introduced the new character via a Twitter post on Monday, which read: “Meet Yuma: Deadly tactician, general of the Royal Army, and Pagan Min’s right-hand woman.”

So what will Yuma’s role be in all this? Love interest, unexpected ally, alien?

All I know is that she has pink hair.

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Amazon Steals Twitch From Under Google http://egmr.net/2014/08/amazon-steals-twitch-google/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/amazon-steals-twitch-google/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:45:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155058 So Google/YouTube bought Twitch, right? I mean that deal was as done as a bun in the oven out in the sun, right? Wrong. We all thought so, especially with […]

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So Google/YouTube bought Twitch, right? I mean that deal was as done as a bun in the oven out in the sun, right? Wrong. We all thought so, especially with Twitch changing the way it handles copyright music playing during stream archives in order to align itself with the YouTube does things.

However, it seems the changes were not to suit Google but rather because the people in charge at Twitch realised that the cashflow the company wanted from the Google deal wasn’t going to happen so cost-cutting was in order.

It turns out none of that really matters because Google has been pushed out of the picture by Amazon of all companies. Amazon has recently tried its hand at rapid expansion with the Fire Phone, Fire TV and why is this company so pyromanic? Amazon also tried to break into game development with the acquisition of Double Helix (the folks who gave us Killer Instinct on Xbox one). Amazon also has one of the largest server farms in the world which is something that twitch could sue to break into new markets and improve existing infrastructure.

Amazon has confirmed the acquisition of Twitch for $970 million with the deal set to close over the next few months.

“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month — from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

“Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”

“Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear also sounded off, posting an update on the Twitch blog in which he thanked fans and confirmed the Amazon acquisition.

“Dear Twitch Community,

It’s almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn’t exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special. But what followed surprised us as much as anyone else, and the impact it’s had on both the community and us has been truly profound.

Your talent, your passion, your dedication to gaming, your memes, your brilliance – these have made Twitch what it is today. Every day, we strive to live up to the standard set by you, the community. We want to create the very best place to share your gaming and life online, and that mission continues to guide us.

Together with you, we’ve found new ways of connecting developers and publishers with their fans. We’ve created a whole new kind of career that lets people make a living sharing their love of games. We’ve brought billions of hours of entertainment, laughter, joy and the occasional ragequit. I think we can all call that a pretty good start.

Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.

I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much.

It’s dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us.

Emmett Shear, CEO”

We assume that by “retain independence” Shear means that Twitch will continue to function as it always has with no interference from its new daddy.

With luck this won’t mean much to any of us Twitch will continue on as if nothing happened.

What Amazon’s plans are for Twitch remain unclear but it seems that this is just part of their plan to embed themselves within gaming.

Google has yet to offer up a statement as to why the deal fell through.

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Could Destiny Have Dragons? http://egmr.net/2014/08/destiny-dragons/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/destiny-dragons/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:30:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=155026 If there’s one thing nerds love, it’s a conspiracy but also dragons. This is why Game of Thrones is so excessively popular. It appeals to the inner nerd in all […]

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If there’s one thing nerds love, it’s a conspiracy but also dragons. This is why Game of Thrones is so excessively popular. It appeals to the inner nerd in all of us. Now, Destiny is a space opera so there’ll be lost of pew-pew and Halo-esque things going on. Maybe a bit of Mass Effect too. Dragons meanwhile are typically confined to medieval settings ala Skyrim, Game of Thrones etc. However, in the same way that Eragon took Star Wars and replaced everything with dragons, Destiny might be taking Star wars and simply appending it with dragons.

The image you see above. What is that flying across the moon? Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a wizard or is it… a dragon? The frame comes from the game’s launch trailer which you can watch here.

It seems a little far-fetched but strap on a tinfoil hat because it’s time to start reaching and drawing thin links between things.

There are weapons with dragon names such as a legendary scout rile called the Crypic Dragon. The description says: “Those who doubt the existence of dragons are always the first devoured.”

Add in the Dragon Slayer achievement and you have at least two hints on the matter.

Down here we have a a video wherein MoreConsole theorises about the existence of dragons in Destiny’s universe. Could this be an ace up Bungie’s sleeve or simply a theory so ridiculous that it can’t be true?

My advice? It’s a fun theory but don’t hold your breath. Unless you can breathe fire.

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Someone Has Cracked The P.T. Puzzle http://egmr.net/2014/08/someone-cracked-p-t-puzzle/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/someone-cracked-p-t-puzzle/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 07:30:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154987 P.T. aka the teaser demo for Silent Hills aka that thing that involved Guillermo del Toro, Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus has been doing a lot more than just scaring […]

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P.T. aka the teaser demo for Silent Hills aka that thing that involved Guillermo del Toro, Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus has been doing a lot more than just scaring the shit out of people. It’s also been breaking their brains as people have been trying to crack the code of how to definitely “beat” the demo to unlock the Silent Hills teaser at the end.

Once the demo had been beaten people were coming up with theories all over the place. Some crazy, some crazier and some downright weird. Then again, this is something with Kojima’s name attached to it. Weird is to be expected.

People have solved bits and pieces of the puzzle but not the whole thing, not until @tortioseontour came along.

They seem to have cracked the P.T. puzzle and as any scientist will tell you, repeatable results are what you want. This method has been tested and proven at least 30 times by multiple people.

Up top is a video showcasing the solution but also how he solved aspects of the intricate puzzle. It gets really crazy and you might want to strap on a tinfoil hat, things get weird.

Kojima may be clinically insane but damn, he knows how to generate genuine intrigue around a game. P.T. is perhaps an example of Kojima at his most demented yet.

P.T. may still hold other, undiscovered secrets but there’s certainly a lot more to it than simply being a teaser for a game.

Once you’ve watched the video and your brain is in pieces from just how absurd and yet ingenious the puzzles are, take a break with P.T. meets The Stanley Parable. You will not be disappointed.

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PSN and Sony Online Entertainment Boss Targeted By Terrorists http://egmr.net/2014/08/psn-sony-online-entertainment-boss-targeted-terorists/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/psn-sony-online-entertainment-boss-targeted-terorists/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:45:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154986 In this instance “terrorists” is kind of interchangeable with “pests.” Sony’s PSN is no stranger to attacks, hacks and other manner of just generally being broken. Remember a few years […]

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In this instance “terrorists” is kind of interchangeable with “pests.”

Sony’s PSN is no stranger to attacks, hacks and other manner of just generally being broken. Remember a few years ago when PSN was brought down for  over a month? Yeah, this isn’t nearly as bad.

If you had trouble logging onto PSN over the weekend rest assured you were not alone. The network was attacked in an attempt to artificially overload it with high traffic. A group calling themselves LizardSquad are taking credit for the attack and targeted other services as well such as battle.net, League of Legends and Path of Exile. These DDoS or denial-of-service attacks are carried out by bombarding a service with enough communications requests to artificially strain the network and make it unavailable to legitimate users.

 

Sony responded with the following statement via the PlayStation Blog:

“Like other major networks around the world, the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.
Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed.
We will continue to work towards fixing this issue and hope to have our services up and running as soon as possible.
We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.”

A minor inconvenience was caused but it’s really not the worst PSN users have had to deal with. However, things go awry when internet tough guys start taking things into the real world.

LizardSquad tweeted a bomb threat to American Airlines yesterday and while this might seem completely random, it wasn’t. Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley happened to be booked on that flight.

Smedley was initially unaware of the cause for his flight’s diversion and delay but later found out that US federal authorities had stepped in. The FBI is now investigating the matter to find the source of the threat.

“The FBI is currently handling the situation at this time. We have no further comment,” Sony told GameInformer.

Smedley doesn’t seem too shaken up about it. Apart from a delayed flight he didn’t go through much.

LizardSquad doesn’t even seem to have kinship with its contemporaries such as Anonymous. Instead, the group has been discredited in black and white hat circles for taking false credit and taking matters too far with the bomb threat. The alleged real perpetrator has taken offense to LizardSquad’s false claims and has reportedly taken revenge by revealing members’ details to authorities and Anonymous.

It’s certainly tasteful to be making bomb threats ahead of 9/11. Stay classy, LizardSquad. Let’s hope we don’t hear more from these clowns anytime soon.

In the wake of this one has to wonder just how much Sony stepped up their security following the hack by Anonymous that toppled PSN a few years ago.

Also, does anyone else have The Doors’ The Lizard King in their head now?

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Comments Of The Week — “ERROR 404: Article Unfinished!” http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-error-404-article-unfinished/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/comments-week-error-404-article-unfinished/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154909 It’s almost a relief that after a week of heavy commenting and stirring the pot we could sit back and watch other people get in trouble. People like oh… Zoe […]

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It’s almost a relief that after a week of heavy commenting and stirring the pot we could sit back and watch other people get in trouble. People like oh… Zoe Quinn.

Of course, the industry is always looking to lend a helping hand with its own steady stream idiocy such as EA being EA or the reactions the Quinnspiracy has sparked. Then there’s Ubisoft who are scaling back their last-gen support while releasing a last-gen only Assassin’s Creed game.

Also, we screwed up a lot this week but what do you expect from unskilled labour.

Be sure to check out #WeLoveGameDevs if you’re tired of seeing the bad side of the industry.

  • 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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Claims That Destiny Is Too Small Baffled Bungie http://egmr.net/2014/08/claims-destiny-small-baffled-bungie/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/claims-destiny-small-baffled-bungie/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:45:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154856 Destiny is one of the most ambitious games of this generation, putting a lot of money and its success largely behind the players and how well a community forms around […]

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Destiny is one of the most ambitious games of this generation, putting a lot of money and its success largely behind the players and how well a community forms around the game. It’s also the most ambitious game Bungie has ever made because all they’ve really done before this is Halo. A pew pew space opera is hardly ambitious. That said, the machinima series Red vs Blue was pretty ambitious and great. That’s besides the point though.

Destiny features a number of desolate locations on Earth, some sections of the Moon and even Mars. Three celestial bodies should equal a lot of land, right? Wrong.

After the Destiny beta dropped last month, some fans criticised the game for only having on location to explore on Earth, Mars and the Moon respectively.

Bungie immediately quelled these criticisms with claims that these locations will have a far deeper scope than as seen in the beta. The developer doesn’t see a problem either with the game’s size although their reasoning is a little wonky.

Bungie director of production Jonty Barnes told Eurogamer, “If I’m honest with you, it blew my mind, because it’s the biggest game we’ve ever made. I don’t think people understand the depth and amount of gameplay there is in Destiny.” He added that people were basing their opinions on the beta version of Destiny, which represents just a slice of what the full game has to offer. “I don’t understand how people could have that concern when you think about that and all the different planets we’re going to open up and the gameplay we’ve got there,” he said.

Barnes said he’s not losing sleep over the concerns, however, because he knows just how massively larger Destiny is than anything Bungie has ever made before. “I honestly believe Destiny is a huge game,” he said. “I can tell you that through blood and sweat as well. It’s been a huge game and undertaking for us. Compared to anything we’ve done before, if you’re going to do a comparison, you’re laughing, honestly.”

Destiny may be bigger than we realise and have far denser worlds than the bet let on. If I recall the far Cry 3 demo, that game seemed a little sparse compared to its final release.

That said, when you’re making an openworld game, you will be compared to others. Chances are that it isn’t as big as the likes of Borderlands. Obviously it’s the biggest Bungie has ever made because all they’ve done previously is linear shooters.

I’m currently the tallest I’ve ever been but shockingly that doesn’t mean I’m a giant. No, I’m still below average height at 170cm. It’s all a matter of perspective. In an isolated system where only Bungie games exist, Destiny is frickin massive. In a world where we have Skyrim, Fallout, GTA V and more; no such luck.

By the way, that little video up top is the Destiny launch trailer. At most these things come out a week before release. Destiny’s trailer is out over a fortnight ahead of release. Activision were just so excited they couldn’t hold onto it.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Multiplayer Looks A Little Lonely http://egmr.net/2014/08/metal-gear-solid-v-phantom-pain-multiplayer-looks-little-lonely/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/metal-gear-solid-v-phantom-pain-multiplayer-looks-little-lonely/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154853 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain impressed most of us here at EGMR when we saw the gameplay footage out of Gamescom. Next to titles such as Quantum Break, MGS […]

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain impressed most of us here at EGMR when we saw the gameplay footage out of Gamescom. Next to titles such as Quantum Break, MGS V is probably the most interesting but did you know it’s going to have a multiplayer component?

Neither did I. Till now that is.

Hideo Kojima unveiled the game’s multiplayer in new footage streamed live via IGN last night. At first glance it looks awfully familiar and bares a striking resemblance to the gameplay we saw just last week at Gamescom. Don’t let that fool you. It’s exactly the same.

What you see above is not a 22 minute multiplayer video but the same 17 minutes of footage from gamescom with five minutes of multiplayer tacked on the end because now Kojima decides not to split things up. Curse you, Ground Zeroes.

The mulltiplayer bit takes place on Mother Base immediately after Snake is exfiltrated from Afghanistan.

Give it a look and decide whether this is something you’d want to do with a friend, you’d be forgiven for not having much of an answer because only the last few seconds of this overly long video actually allude to any sort of multiplayer but we never get to see it in action.

Jump to the 17 minute mark to see new gameplay.

As such, we’ll leave it up to you to imagine some Snake on Snake action and if you’re having trouble visualising it, I’m sure the large volume of fan fiction can help you out.

For the most part, the new footage just shows us that Snake will tie just about anything to a balloon.

Also, Snake’s ponytail is absolutely adorable.

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Sony Thinks That VR Can Save Kinect http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-thinks-vr-can-save-kinect/ http://egmr.net/2014/08/sony-thinks-vr-can-save-kinect/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:45:54 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=154718 Yesterday we reported on how Sony worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida and the rest of the the Sony execs don’t quite know why the PS4 is so damn successful. That’s […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you waiting for? Go watch the video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does indie still have relevance? You tell me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

agent-smith

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

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

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

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

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

Cookie

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

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

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

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

Maybe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At least it’s not the ice bucket challenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basically, Elise is going to die. Probably.

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

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

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

Yay esports?

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

Also also, that headline? Quite possibly ironic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Phrasing. Boom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What they created is Titanfall.

No, seriously.

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

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

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

Kudos to Sledgehammer Games on not copying old CoD games.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Possibly something to do with The Forest?

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

What are you hoping for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, seriously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you see what I’m getting at?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hooray for the wonders of next-gen gaming!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PC Master Race to the rescue!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The game features three classes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Onto the Borderlands aspect that people keep referring to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember Titanfall? Tread carefully, Bungie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Features

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

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

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

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

Vast Diverse Open World to Explore

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

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

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

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

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

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Shortest headline ever? Maybe.

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

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

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

Because evolution takes time.

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

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

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

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

Gameplay:

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

Companions:

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

Story:

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

Areas:

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

Miscellaneous:

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the main points he touched:

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

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

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

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EVOLVE ALPHA GAMEPLAY LEAKED by Lizyyyyyy

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

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

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

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

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

Update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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