Cam Lee Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Cameron Lee has become a fixture here at AusGamers. The Aussie ex-pat took tie out of his Gamescom duties to chat with us again. Check it out!
couch slayer
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition is now upon us, but it might as well be called "definitive edition". Read our review to find out why - click here!
Resident Evil Within
The Evil Within is creeping up just around the release corner, so we decided to take a look back at Shinji Mikami's incredible Resident Evil 4. Click here for more!
fella!
Wrapping up a tour in Australia and with Summerslam dominating August, we had a chance to chat with the Great White himself, Sheamus! Check it out right here!
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
Post by Eorl @ 11:36am 06/05/14 | 2 Comments
Horror games are one of the more difficult genres to get right in the gaming world, and one that is still struggling to hit that perfect cord. Developers have found time and time again that horror games require a fair amount of balance in how they scare people, from overuse of jump scares to not enough scares or even how voice acting is handled. Many of these complicated structures to the genre can be both a curse and a gift, and using them well can really tell how dedicated the developer is.

Daylight, the procedurally generated first-person horror that relies on your cellphone as a means of light source, is now out and about in the world of light, trying to convince you that it is just as scary. To help us see whether it truly is a scary title is our own Nathan "NachosJustice" Lawrence, who finds that Daylight has the smart ideas, but the execution is rather poor.
If you scare easily, the low asking price may entice you into a purchase but, for everyone else, Daylight represents a dull and missed opportunity for effective horror.
Check out whether his screams of horror were real or not in the Daylight review.
Post by Dan @ 11:03am 06/05/14 | 8 Comments
Oculus has issued a formal public response to the recent legal notice filed by Zenimax that stated the virtual reality start-up owed it compensation for intellectual property it alleged was contributed by programming luminary John Carmack while he was a Zenimax employee at id Software.

Oculus' statement tells its side of the story:
OCULUS RESPONSE

We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false. In the meantime, we would like to clarify a few key points:
  • There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products.
  • John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from Zenimax.
  • Zenimax has misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non-disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed.
  • A key reason that John permanently left Zenimax in August of 2013 was that Zenimax prevented John from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company.
  • Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.
  • Zenimax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, Zenimax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only after the Facebook deal was announced has Zenimax now made these claims through its lawyers.
  • Despite the fact that the full source code for the Oculus SDK is available online (developer.oculusvr.com), Zenimax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.
As a heavy promoter of the Oculus Rift headset during its early days, John Carmack undoubtedly contributed to the start-up's success and net worth (which Facebook recent purchased for $2billion) while he was still working for Zenimax. But whether any of those efforts amount to Zenimax intellectual property will be up to the US legal system to decide.
Post by Eorl @ 10:52am 06/05/14 | 0 Comments
Telltale Games has shared the first batch of screenshots for their newest episodic series, Tales from the Borderlands, which is set in the world of Gearbox Software's Borderlands universe.

Tales takes place after the events of 2012 role-playing shooter Borderlands 2 and stars two new characters: the con-artist Fiona, born on Pandora and out to make the "grift of a lifetime," and data-miner Rhys, who works for weapons manufacturer Hyperion and is out on a mission to serve his own greedy needs.

The game will follow these two characters across Pandora as they seek to fulfill their own ambitions and encounter some familiar and new Borderlands faces along the way — including Zero the assassin, a playable character from Borderlands 2. The story will be told from both Fiona and Rhys' perspectives, which will change as the story unfolds.

Producer on the new series, Adam Sarasohn, has revealed some new details about the title as well through the PlayStation Blog, including the fact that players will be able to use loot found in the episodes inside other Borderlands games. According to Sarasohn, the loot players collect in the epsodic downloadable series will be "available to use in other areas of the Borderlands franchise." Additional, like with Telltale's The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, the choices players make will affect the storyline for their own personal game.

Tales from the Borderlands is slated to launch sometime later this year. Check out the screens below.

Post by Dan @ 10:18am 06/05/14 | 0 Comments
Esteemed rythym game developers Harmonix -- of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central fame -- are going back to their roots with a reboot of the 2003 PS2 music action game Amplitude, this time for the PlayStation 3 and 4.
With the advancements in technology and the huge creative leaps forward our studio has taken, we believe we can rebuild Amplitude for current consoles and make it an even more amazing experience than before. We're aiming to deliver an updated soundtrack, incredible visuals, and fine-tuned controls. These improvements will be layered on top of the core mechanics and hallmark difficulty that made both FreQuency and Amplitude such amazing experiences when they first debuted. We’re confident that we can make a game that will do its predecessors justice!

During Rock Band, we perfected our methodology for “beatmatching”, which we intend to apply to this new title. We’ll also be moving the game into the new proprietary engine Harmonix has developed over the past 10 years. In addition to better control over timing windows, this will also allow us to run at 60 frames per second and smoothly port the existing mechanics to PS3 and PS4.

The game, as designed for this Kickstarter, focuses on the core Amplitude experience. Single player and local multiplayer are included in the design, as are leaderboards for online bragging rights. The Beat Blaster (the ship), music notes, tracks and FX will all be modernized and gorgeous. The cyberworld around the tracks will be designed by artists and crafted by coders so that every pixel on screen can be driven by the underlying music. Even as we work through our plans for this Kickstarter, the game is beginning to take shape – an HD reinvisioning of the cult classic, smartly updated for today on every axis. We believe this is the game that fans of Amplitude have been asking for and a game that can only come from Harmonix.
The project has a funding target of US$775,000, and has currently raised over $100k from 3500 backers.

Check out the pitch video below, and head over to the Kickstarter page where a pledge starting at US$15 will entitle you to a cross-buy copy of the game on both PS3 and PS4 upon completion.

Post by Eorl @ 09:44am 06/05/14 | 2 Comments
The latest trailer for Bound by Flame, developer Spiders Studios' action role-playing game, takes a look at the internal struggles the main protagonist is facing with a demon inside them, while also giving us a brief look at the rather impending doom that the Deadarmy pose.
Bound by Flame puts players in the role of a mercenary possessed by a flame demon who must choose between the powers offered by their host, or to keep their humanity with heroic talents. There will also be temptations to acquire more power in the game by giving up part of the hero’s soul to the demon. Progression of the demonic influence will also be reflected by the transformation of the hero’s body.

Real-time battles and three different skill trees are part of the game along with character customization which will have a direct influence on the demon’s appearance. Bound by Flame also includes a crafting system, allowing players to create and improve equipment, including their armor and weapons. Several companions will join the player during his quest, and will, depending on the player’s actions, develop friendship, romance or rivalry.
Bound by Flame also offers armor, skill and weapon customization for each warrior and a crafting system. Bound by Flame launches on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Windows PC on May 15th, with Steam for PC gaining access on May 9th.

Post by Eorl @ 09:28am 06/05/14 | 0 Comments
Independent developer Hit the Sticks has today announced that their Kickstarter efforts for 2.5 dimensional Metroidvania physics platformer Mark of the Old Ones has now reached over 75%, with just over two days left to go for crowd funding to hit the $46,000 goal.

In Mark of the Old Ones, players explore Namaset, a cavernous metropolis underneath a mountain built for Kraal, "a great and eternal being." Players take on the role of the powerful Mogal to traverse the "shunned and long banished civilization" and "unwind the mistakes of eons past." It also takes some rather generous inspirations from Metroid, Zelda and the works of HP Lovecraft, combined with dynamic inverse kinematic gameplay.

"Mogal was never touched by an artist. An artist never gave Mogal a model or a rig. An artist never animated Mogal," creator Jordan Brock wrote. "100 percent of Mogal's animation is done in real-time, based off of the input that YOU give to the analogue sticks. That means that you aren't limited to walking, running, ducking, jumping, shooting (the typical animations/actions a character would be able to perform in a typical game). With no pre-baked animations, and everything under your control in real-time...you can do basically anything you could do with a pair of arms in real life."

Mark of the Old Ones is in development for Windows PC, Mac and Linux. Releasing the game on Steam is being considered and the team is also interested in releasing on SteamOS. It also has aspirations of launching on PS4 but can not confirm anything. At this stage, "hundreds of puzzles and obstacles" are already created for the game that require more testing and artwork. You can find the pitch video below, or head over to the Kickstarter for more on the title including reward tiers.

Post by Dan @ 09:26am 06/05/14 | 0 Comments
The official PlayStation blog has published a new developer diary style trailer for Destiny, feature several Bungie developers dicussing the game's loot, weapons and armor -- describing the nuances of gear and the meticulous design that has reportedly gone into each peice.
Destiny’s arsenal is vast and varied: fire-spewing shotguns and head-melting fusion rifles coexist beside traditional pistols and rifles. Weapons span three broad categories: Primary (autorifles and hand cannons), Special (shotguns and sniper rifles), and Heavy (rockets and belt-fed machineguns).

There’s plenty of variety within each category, too. The autorifle sub-category includes burst-fire pulse rifles, single-shot carbines, and an array of full-auto assault rifles that prove murderously effective at close range. Despite the sprawling arsenal, Bungie’s designers are taking pains to hand-tune each weapon’s look, feel, and lore, making them feel like natural extensions of the game’s fiction, not the expressions of some rampant computer algorithm.

Helpfully, you can break down unwanted gear into raw components that reinforce your favorite weapon with new effects, including “elemental” damage in the form of Arc, Thermal, or Void damage that can stack on top of your weapon’s base damage and introduce new strategic wrinkles.

Armor, meanwhile, fortifies your defenses and augments your class stats. Destiny’s armor designs look strikingly different, running the gamut from space marine to neo-Roman, retro ‘60s-inspired and beyond. Off the battlefield, you’ll visit the Tower to show off your new gear, decode salvaged equipment, or pick through the nearby shops.
Watch the clip below, and find out more about Destiny in our own recent interview with David Dague, and hands-on preview.

Destiny is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on September 9th, but sadly, still no word on PC.

Monday, 5 May 2014
Post by Dan @ 04:05pm 05/05/14 | 5 Comments
At its annual EVE Fanfest community event over the weekend, Icelandic studio CCP revealed Project Legion, a free-to-play MMO shooter for the PC, set in the Eve Online universe, and being built using assets from the PlayStation 3 exclusive Dust 514.

A developer blog post over at Dust514.com describes the ambitious Project Legion in detail, explaining why its being geared as new title, rather than a port of the PlayStation 3 game:
When I came to CCP several months ago, it was to fulfill a vision that was our goal since DUST 514 was first announced: Merge a deep sandbox experience with an FPS in New Eden, to create a massive living world more meaningful as real life. As the team and I worked on that vision, we came to understand the effort centered around four pillars. We had to build the right ecosystem incorporating a fun and balanced competitive shooter; player vs. environment allowing for emergent behaviors; a player-driven economy that is distinctly CCP; and deep immersion that brings it all together.

We realized we would never be able to do it by iteration, any more than one could overhaul the engines of a plane in flight, and to do this right it would need to become something new -- a distinct and separate experience from what we’ve previously offered on DUST 514. We also feel that, to do this right, we need to do it on the PC platform first.

To achieve this, we'll need much more focus on the user experience than ever before. As I mentioned during my keynote today, the starmap will play a larger role in the way you'll interact with that huge universe. I envision New Eden’s mercenaries scanning the universe for loot, battles, Guristas-sponsored tournaments and such, and then making meaningful choices from there.
Several European publications that were present at the event have some art and environment stills accompanying their coverage. Swing by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Eurogamer, and Polygon for more info.
Post by Dan @ 03:51pm 05/05/14 | 3 Comments
Joining Blackthorne and Rock n' Roll Racing, The Lost Vikings is the latest SNES era title to be released for free over on Battle.net.

The adventure platformer was developed in the 90s by Blizzard under its original studio name Silicon & Synapse, and can now be played on Windows PC, served up as a DRM-free zip file. Thanks Blizzard, Lost Vikings II next please.
Post by Dan @ 10:14am 05/05/14 | 7 Comments
Following last week's trailer slip up reveal, Activision has now formally unveiled Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the next new game in its blockbuster annual franchise, said to be the first in the series developed under a three year development cycle, rather than the usual two.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare jolts players forward in a groundbreaking experience that’s ripped-from-the-headlines-of-tomorrow, envisioning a future where both technology and tactics have evolved to usher in a new era of combat for the franchise. Set in the year 2054, a private military corporation (PMC) has emerged with the power to rescue humanity from a devastated world struggling to rebuild after a global attack on its military and infrastructure. You are the advanced soldier. Empowered with new, cutting-edge exoskeleton abilities, technological advancements and high-tech gear, players join the ranks of a highly-trained, specialized unit committed to restoring order in a state of advanced warfare.

“It’s been a lot of fun working with the team to bring Jonathan Irons to life. The technology is truly remarkable and unlike anything I’ve done before. I’m excited to see where this goes,” said Academy Award ® winner Kevin Spacey.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is being developed specifically for next gen consoles and PC. This is the first iteration of publisher Activision’s expanded three-year development cycle allowing the debut lead title from Sledgehammer Games an added year of studio development. With the expanded production capabilities, Sledgehammer Games is able to create an astonishing new, next generation experience, featuring an array of technical advancements from the sights and sounds that create a near photorealistic world unlike any Call of Duty before, to new performance capture and facial animation technologies that deliver lifelike characters, to a rich and immersive story that brings the fiction to life.
Target platforms are Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC, due on November 4th 2014, with pre-orders already now on offer at "retail outlets worldwide". Check out the first screenshots below.

Post by Dan @ 09:54am 05/05/14 | 0 Comments
Armello, the role-playing slash card strategy game pitched on Kickstarter by Australian indie team League of Geeks has passed its ambitious AUD$200,000, locking in the funding required for the project to complete development on PC, Mac and Linux.

With four days now left on the clock, the team has its sights set on a series of stretch goals outlined up to AUD$300k, which include additional heroes and an Android and Windows tablet version. Head over to the Kickstarter page for more details.

Post by Dan @ 09:42am 05/05/14 | 8 Comments
In a series of Twitter posts over the weekend, Epic Games VPs Mark Rein and Paul Meegan teased that the studio will be revealing "the future of Unreal Tournament" in a livestream video event later this week, suggesting a long awaited return to its popular arena shooter franchise.
You want to know about the future of #UnrealTournament ? Tune in to http://t.co/zCmqLttIuZ Thursday at 2pm ET. #unrealdev #FirstBlood
— Mark Rein (@MarkRein) May 2, 2014

RT @CodeSe7en: @MarkRein @Storm360 UT is coming back!? I've been begging for this very thing! <-Yes UT coming back! https://t.co/9XUToORA4c
— Mark Rein (@MarkRein) May 2, 2014

UE4 Dev Community + Epic. The future of Unreal Tournament. Tune in to http://t.co/hPLc5jcZSv Thursday at 2pm ET. #unrealdev #FirstBlood
— Paul Meegan (@PaulMeegan) May 2, 2014
2007's Unreal Tournament 3 was the last we saw of the series, and quite a bit has changed in the world of competitive shooters since then, so it will be interesting to see what the Epic Games team has planned. Stay tuned.
Friday, 2 May 2014
Post by Dan @ 03:07pm 02/05/14 | 35 Comments
Pre-empting publisher Activision's intended unveiling date for its next Call of Duty title, the game's debut trailer appears to have leaked online, revealing the title of the game as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and a good look at in-engine visuals.

Destructoid claims to have received the intel from a "trusted source", but you don't really have to take their word for it, just watch the video yourself below.
Destructoid has learned the new Call of Duty, subtitled Advanced Warfare, revolves around a soldier of fortune group run by Spacey's character that has turned on the United States government. As shown in the leaked media attached to this post, players will wear exosuits to jump super high, scale buildings, and cloak themselves. Also, hoverbikes.
The trailer closes our with a November 4th 2014 launch date for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and although only Xbox One has been confirmed, going by the series' heritage, it's pretty safe to assume we'll be seeing this one on PC and all major console platforms too.

Update: It looks like the leak prompted Acti to release the video officially on the Call of Duty Youtube channel, so catch the (very upscaled looking) 1080p clip below.

Post by Eorl @ 02:43pm 02/05/14 | 3 Comments
Dragon: Age Inquisition is heading into alpha testing stages according to BioWare writer David Gaider in his new blog, which has revealed a rather in-depth look behind the development scenes for the third title in the series.

“So there’s still new content being created, but at this point it’s more about dealing with the content we have and getting it all to work," wrote Gaider in his new blog post. "This is also the stage where most of the big cuts happen, since we can still create new content to deal with those cuts (as in ‘change the writing to accommodate a change in the story flow’). Once we hit Alpha, cuts are generally things that are simply excised in their entirety, without any ability to really work around them for the sake of logic or flow."

Gaider explained that this process is rather common, and is usually dubbed the cutting stage where the team weeds out weaker ideas to give stronger ones more shine. While he didn't go into any detail on what may be cut, he did offer some insight into the process that BioWare are doing.

“The writing team is mostly out of the pool insofar as voiced dialogue goes. So the last of it can go through the pipeline and get edited, recorded and localized before being passed on to the cinematics people. At this point we’re mostly working on what we call ‘non-VO text’ …the codex entries, item and talent descriptions, GUI text. Pretty much anything that needs words."

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be available for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One come October 9th. Want to know more on BioWare's new RPG? Check out our latest interview with producer Cameron Lee on all things Dragon Age.
Post by Eorl @ 02:31pm 02/05/14 | 8 Comments
Sony has issued a statement to investors late last night revising their expected losses for the end of the financial year, saying it will lose nearly $200 million more than originally expected.

Games Industry reported on the news, explaining that the company is now predicting a net loss of ¥130 billion ($1.27 billion) where in February it forecast a loss of ¥110 billion ($1.07 billion). Moving back further, at the end of the last financial year it expected a ¥50 billion ($489 million) profit. This is all despite Sony Computer Entertainment's rather successful start to the PlayStation 4 life cycle, which has seen the new-gen console already surpass 7 million units sold since launching in November 2013.

A Sony statement reads, "Consequently, Sony expects to record write-downs for excess components in inventory and accrual of expenses to compensate suppliers for unused components ordered for Sony's spring PC lineup.

"In addition, certain restructuring charges are expected to be recorded ahead of schedule. As a result of these factors, an additional total amount of approximately ¥30 billion in expenses is anticipated to be recorded in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014."
Post by Eorl @ 02:15pm 02/05/14 | 0 Comments
EVE: Valkyrie, the Oculus Rift game in development by Eve Online developer CCP, will now make use of Unreal Engine 4 the studio announced today.

CCP is demonstrating that version on the new Oculus Rift DK2 headset at EVE FanFest in Reykjavik this week, so hopefully we'll be able to hear impressions soon enough from the public. CCP Games also announced that Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) will be voice you hear when strapping on the headset. Specifically she'll voice Rán Kavik, who's at the heart of the game.

Ran Kavik, stalwart leader of the Valkyrie pilots, has been brought to life by the voice of critically acclaimed actress Katee Sackhoff, who has been featured in some of the biggest entertainment franchises of all time, including Battlestar Galactica, Riddick, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Katee is currently starring in Longmire on A&E.

“The first time I played EVE: Valkyrie I immediately knew I had to be a part of it. Even with the roles I have played, it is the closest I have ever felt to being a real spaceship pilot. It is a truly transformative video game experience."
Post by Eorl @ 01:20pm 02/05/14 | 8 Comments
After running a closed beta where pretty much anyone who joined the Steam group was guaranteed an invite, Valve has finally opened up the In-Home Streaming feature to any and all with a Steam account.

For those who may have been living under several rocks since its announcement last year, Steam's In-Home Streaming option will allow users to stream their favourite games across to other devices, providing your network is up to scratch. The system utilises your local network (thus, In-Home) and can offer a gateway to more mobile gaming where your beefy desktop computer can stream some BioShock Infinite to any compatible device.

To gain access to the open beta all you need to do is have a Steam account and opt into the Steam Client Beta across all devices. For more on what Steam In-Home Streaming is check out the official page.
Post by Eorl @ 11:58am 02/05/14 | 5 Comments
The upcoming Warcraft movie adaptation will be ending its filming in three weeks time, film director Duncan Jones revealed on Twitter.

“For those counting down with me, we’re done shooting Warcraft in three weeks as of tomorrow,” the director stated on his Twitter. This follows the very first picture of the movie set, which depicted Jones behind monitors looking at what seems to be Stormwind-like guards and the Alliance banner.

The Warcraft film is an adaptation on Blizzard's popular RTS and now MMORPG franchise, and will be based on the lore as a whole. It is expected to release in March 2016 and stars Dominic Cooper, telling the story of first contact between Orcs and Humans.
Post by Eorl @ 11:53am 02/05/14 | 0 Comments
Stealth Inc. 2, the upcoming sequel to Curve Studios' 2D infiltration game, will launch exclusively on Wii U this year, CVG is reporting (via Polygon).

"There isn't much competition on Nintendo's store, so we thought that commercially it's a really good opportunity for us," managing director Jason Perkins told the website.

"Nintendo has sold a few million Wii Us too, so the audience is there. We want to see what the market is like. We want to test it."

The indie studios choice has marked a change in the typical platforms of choice seen in their past games. Previously Curve has ported games including Thomas Was Alone and Proteus to PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
Post by Eorl @ 11:45am 02/05/14 | 0 Comments
Microsoft has revealed that they are still working on giving Xbox One owners the opportunity to preload games they've pre-ordered from the Xbox Games Store, said company spokesperson Larry Hryb on Reddit yesterday.

Hryb responded to the thread titled "Xbox One Needs Pre Loading Feature" by teasing that "All I can say right now is that yes, we want this feature as well." While the company has previously spoken about preloading pre-ordered digital games, they have yet to give a deadline on when exactly we can expect it on the Xbox One. It was previously suggested that those ordering Titanfall would be able to download it ahead of time, however Microsoft quickly took the page advertising the feature down stating it was "posted in error."

On the other side of the console fence, Sony has just added preloading to their PlayStation 4 with yesterday's firmware update 1.70. Other features included the in-depth video editing tool SHAREFactory, DualShock 4 lightbar settings and friend notification changes.
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