beware your nemesis
Blizzard spoke with us recently about what separates the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition experience over the PC and spoke about platform differences. Click here!
inquiring minds
We chat with friend of the site Cameron Lee about Dragon Age Inquisition's endgame content, theorycrafting, tactical play and much more. Click here for our interview!
welcome to you're doom
AusGamers got a 15-minute live sneak-peek at the totally reimagined Doom at this year's QuakeCon. Read our in-depth first-look impressions right here!
highway to the danger zone
We caught up with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's game director, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, to talk all things Witcher, monsters and open-world! Click here!
Friday, 18 July 2014
Post by Dan @ 02:42pm 18/07/14 | 19 Comments
Following up on the details we gleamed from Twitter accounts of those present at today's DOOM reveal at Quakecon 2014, we now have a first hand report on the event from our own man on the ground.

One of AusGamers resident PC shooter aficionados, Nathan "nachosjustice" Lawrence is currently kicking on at QuakeCon 2014, and was suitably impressed by the fifteen minutes of DOOM that the crowd at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas were treated to earlier today.
While the live demo didn’t offer anything particularly novel to the FPS genre, it was refreshing to see Doom steer away from the faux-survival-horror gameplay of Doom 3 and back towards what made it feel awesome to play shooters back in the ’90s. If you’re a fan of the original games or old-school shooter mechanics, the first-look at Doom absolutely ticks the right boxes.
Find out all his thoughts in this in-depth hands-off preview writeup.
Post by Eorl @ 11:06am 18/07/14 | 1 Comments
Publisher Bethesda Softworks has today announced at the annual QuakeCon that survival horror fans won't have to wait as long as expected when it comes to The Evil Within, with the publisher announcing the game's launch will be pushed forward a week to October 14th.

Earlier this year, Bethesda pushed The Evil Within back from its original August launch date and announced a release date of October 21st. Today, Bethesda's Pete Hines said the game will be ready ahead of previous expectations.

"Shinji [Mikami] asked us for a little extra time with the game, but we're really happy with it," Hines said. "It's ready a week early, so we're releasing it a week early."

The Evil Within will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. For more on The Evil Within, check out our recent interview with survival-horror grandaddy Shini Mikami himself.
Post by Dan @ 10:50am 18/07/14 | 6 Comments
Bethesda and id Software publicy revealed the first look at the new DOOM game today, however the first glimpse of the game was as expected, only shown to attendees present at the Quakecon 2014 event in Dallas, Texas.

The publisher has informed us that no media assets for DOOM will be publicly released during Quakecon, so we can't show you anything new yet ourselves, but as Quakecon is a public event, there were obviously plenty of people in attendance to tell us what they saw.

Between the Twitter accounts of PCGamer, and well known industry figures Dave Oshry and Geoff Keighley we can paint a pretty good picture of the reveal demonstration.

Here's some of the key points derived from these various reports of the Quakecon live demo, which was hosted by executive producer Marty Stratton who started off by explaining that "The game is called Doom, not Doom 4. It's an origin game, reimagining everything about the originals":
  • PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 confirmed, with 1080p 60FPS targetted on all platforms.
  • It is built on the id Tech 6 engine, a new iteration of id Software's impressive tech.
  • Levels demonstrated were set in a research facility on Mars, true to Doom's heritage.
  • Shotgun, Plasma Rifle, Rocket Launcher and Chainsaw were present, with procedural/dynamic damage on enemies.
  • A wheel interface was used to switch between the multitude of weapons.
  • "Its not about taking cover and letting your health regenerate", armour and health pickups were shown dropping from vanquished enemies.
  • Focus was very much on combat with a fast movement pace.
  • Coloured keys and doors were mentioned, and a dead character's arm was ripped off to use a palm scanner.
  • Enemies noticed include undead marines, imps, revenants, two barons of hell, a Mancubus and pinky demons, Oshry described "whole rooms of demons".
  • Double jumping was noted, with a "light parkour" element", and some gory finishing moves.
  • Oshry, who was instrumental in the recent remake of Rise of the Triad described the Doom demo as "slower for sure" than the original games, but noted that "Our ROTT was a straight 90s remake. This is definitely more evolved but still faithful".
  • Only single-player content was shown, with mention that they will "talk about the fast paced competitive multiplayer later".
Bethesda has said that it will "have plenty more to show everyone next year", but hopefully we don't have to wait that long to get our own look at the footage shown today. For the time being, we only have this old teaser trailer.

Post by Eorl @ 10:36am 18/07/14 | 0 Comments
Hardware for the US NPD results has revealed a large 106 percent increases year-over-year thanks in part to the continued success of Sony's PlayStation 4 plus both Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8 topping software charts.

According the NPD Group (via Games Industry), total industry sales for the month of June are up 24 percent to $736.4 million, while hardware climbed the incredible 106 percent marker to $292.7 million. “The 106 percent increase in hardware sales (vs. June 2013) was lifted entirely by console hardware sales, which were up by over 200 percent. The strong sales performance of console hardware helped to offset the declines seen in portable hardware,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

Callahan continued, stating that the combined sales of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are over 80 percent higher than the combined sales of last-gens PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The high sales continue to prove the strength of the start of this new console generation, with more consumers jumping on board each and every day.

Software meanwhile dipped three percent to $286.8 million, with accessories falling flat at $156.9 million. The PlayStation 4 also continues to thrive as America's number one console, topping the hardware charts while Mario Kart 8 has done exceptionally well for a game only available to one console, taking number two spot.
Post by Eorl @ 10:11am 18/07/14 | 0 Comments
Sold Out Sales & Marketing Ltd. announced today a collector’s edition for indie turn-based strategy game The Banner Saga.

This is the game’s first physical release and will include its official soundtrack, as well as an add-on called the “Insane Viking Pack” – something previously offered as a preorder bonus, but now exclusively available through this collector’s edition.

“This is the definitive version of the game,” says James Cato, Sales Director of Sold Out Sales. “We’ve worked really closely with Stoic to create a pack which does their stunning game justice – we know it’ll go down well with fans new and old alike.”

The Banner Saga: The Collector’s Edition will release on PC on July 25th for £19.99 British Pounds – roughly $36 AUD.
Post by Eorl @ 09:54am 18/07/14 | 0 Comments
Blizzard has today announced that its first major expansion for popular free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be arriving next week.

The single-player orientated expansion Curse of Naxxramas will be opening its first "wing" come July 22nd. The wing will be available completely free to those who log in during the game's month-long launch event. Each of the next four wings will open on a weekly basis, going at a cost of $6.99 per wing or 700 in-game gold.

Curse of Naxxramas will pit players against AI-controlled bosses as they overcome the challenging nature of the original World of Warcraft raid. Overcoming these enemies will unlock 30 new cards that players can then use in the more traditional multiplayer scenario. For more on the Naxxramas pricing, check out our previous post detailing all the various way to gain access.
Post by Dan @ 09:32am 18/07/14 | 0 Comments
According to a report on tech blog Recode (by way of The Verge), Xbox Entertainment Studios -- the department that had been developing TV content for online streaming on Xbox platforms -- is due to shutdown only a little over a year after it was first introduced to the world at E3 2013.
Xbox Entertainment Studios fit with Microsoft’s plan to dominate the living room through its game console. But the unit has struggled to deliver on its promise.

Sources paint a picture of a disorganized studio that struggled to close deals and lacked a fully fleshed-out business model. This inability to execute has turned off potential studio partners, they say, complicating the process of securing premium content.
The Verge follows up the article with an internal memo allegedly from Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer, that explains that the department will be gradually wound down, but that projects such as the Stephen Speilberg produced Halo TV series will still be completed.
I am pleased that Nancy, Jordan and members of the XES team remain committed to new, original programming already in production like the upcoming documentary series ‘Signal to Noise’ whose first installment takes on the rise and fall of gaming icon Atari and of course, the upcoming game franchise series ‘Halo: Nightfall,’ and the ‘Halo’ Television series which will continue as planned with 343 Industries. Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like ‘NFL on Xbox,’ and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates.
The development goes some way to explain why almost all mention of TV content had been completely absent from Microsoft's E3 2014 media briefing.
Post by Eorl @ 09:29am 18/07/14 | 10 Comments
Microsoft has announced that it will be cutting 18,000 jobs from across a number of its various divisions, with CEO Satya Nadella confirming in an email to employees just where these cuts will be seen.

According to the email (via Polygon), a majority of the 18,000 cuts will be seen in the Nokia Devices and Services division, a company that Microsoft only recently acquired late last year in September. "The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce," Nadella wrote.
"With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months."
While it's obvious that a number of employees are going to be losing their jobs over the next year, Nadella notes that the restructure will create other jobs. Microsoft will offer severance packages to those affected, and will also help with job transitions where needed.

Nadella, who was named CEO of Microsoft only in February of this year, noted that the changes are designed to "simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability" and allow Microsoft to be more agile. The changes will include some organisational flattening, will eliminate the layers that Microsoft has grown over the years, and foster greater teamwork, according to the CEO.
Post by Eorl @ 09:16am 18/07/14 | 4 Comments
The closed PC beta for open-world driving game The Crew will launch this upcoming Monday, July 21 — a few days earlier than previously announced — Ubisoft revealed today.

Originally set to rev its engines on July 23rd, The Crew's closed beta will instead choose to race ahead starting on Monday and run through Friday, July 25th. The beta will feature the game's entire version of the U.S. for exploration. For now, missions will only be available in the Midwest and East Coast map areas, although Ubisoft plans to add more challenges in different areas before the game goes live on November 11th.

Beta players will also have access to two PvP lobbies in the challenge areas, where they can race against other beta participants. As for the cars, players can tweak their vehicles with the Street Spec and Dirt Spec customization options for now. The beta will offer limited access to the game's remaining three Specs — Perf, Raid and Circuit.

"The Crew was built from the ground up as a breathing, living world, meaning that in this Closed Beta you will be able to play with your friends at any time - or challenge rivals from all around the world," Ubisoft's announcement states.
Post by Dan @ 09:15am 18/07/14 | 3 Comments
Celebrating the annual Quakecon festival and LAN event that just kicked off for 2014 in Dallas, Texas, publisher Bethesda -- which adopted the event after its 2009 acquisition of developer id Software -- has launched the now expected discount sale of its PC games library on Steam.

For US$99, the 2014 Quakecon Steam bundle includes the following:
  • Dishonored
  • Dishonored – The Knife of Dunwall
  • Dishonored – Void Walker Arsenal
  • Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials
  • Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches
  • Doom 3: BFG Edition
  • DOOM 2
  • Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
  • Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
  • Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
  • Final DOOM
  • Master Levels for Doom 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Dawnguard
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Dragonborn
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Hearthfire
  • Ultimate Doom
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
Dishonored is also being offered up for 75% as a daily deal today, with others expected over the coming days as the event goes on.

Hit up the Quakecon 2014 sale page on Steam for more details.
Post by Eorl @ 09:09am 18/07/14 | 1 Comments
The fourth episode of The Walking Dead Season 2, "Amid the Ruins," hits next week, developer Telltale Games announced today.

The episode will launch on July 22nd for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita and on July 23rd for Xbox 360. The iOS version of Episode 4 will hit the following day, July 24th.

Check out the trailer below (though be warned there are spoilers) for a look at what's in store for Clementine and her friends — including your typical amount of zombies and even more pain for the poor girl. Now free of Carver, the group heads north plagued by hunger, violence and conflicts between group members that are always on a slow burn.

Post by Eorl @ 09:06am 18/07/14 | 61 Comments
Bungie has sent word that their beta phase for sci-fi shooter Destiny has now gone live, bringing the action to the big screens of those on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 consoles.

Players will be able to compete in a wide range of content including the ability to level up to the respectable level 8, though we are told that this can take a fair few hours. Players will also get access to the PvP battlegrounds, the community-hub Tower and of course Destiny's infamous hovering bikes. More on what the beta has to offer can be found at the official website.

Destiny's beta will continue exclusively on the PlayStation consoles until July 23rd, with Xbox One and Xbox 360 players gaining access then. Maintenance is planned for July 21st and July 23rd, with the beta finishing on July 27th. Destiny will then launch on September 9th, so the wait won't be entirely long.

Get into the Destiny Beta? Don't be shy and share all your details in the comments below on how you are enjoying the fight for Earth, and show us how your Guardian looks in-game!
Post by Dan @ 08:50am 18/07/14 | 0 Comments
As the annual Quakecon event kicks off in Dallas, Texas, publisher Bethesda has made its debut MMO available via the popular Steam service for PC and Mac. For the duration of Quakecon (until July 22), the game is also enjoying a 50% off sale.

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any outlet for existing owners of The Elder Scrolls Online to convert to a native Steam version of the game. However, the Steam offering still reportedly uses the propriety launcher for downloading and patching anyway, so adding TESO to your Steam library as a "Non-Steam Game" already achieves a similar result anyway.

Head over to The Elder Scrolls Online's Steam page to take advantage of the sale.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
Post by Eorl @ 05:08pm 17/07/14 | 0 Comments
Blizzard has unveiled two new blog posts detailing upcoming content for their currently alpha MOBA, Heroes of the Storm. These include a new battleground and several new "Master" skins for players to obtain.

Titled Garden of Terror, the new 3-lane battleground will feature a unique day and night cycle aiming to shuffle up just how myself and others typically play the MOBA. "When night falls, the night horrors will come out in the garden area of the Battleground and all normal mercenary camps will disappear," describes the blog post.
"Garden of Terror provides us with the opportunity to feature our dynamic lighting. During the night, we turn down the brightness of your hero’s vision, so the map becomes much darker. We recommend players to stay alert and keep your allies close, night is the perfect time for enemies to strike and take advantage of your reduced visibility.

As a side note, the night sequence will not end until all the night horrors are killed. Since the nature of the map changes and the day/night cycle is controlled by the players, it becomes part of the strategy whether to try and keep the map on the night cycle or try and shift it back to daytime."
Players looking to pretty up their characters will be happy to hear that Blizzard will also be introducing new Master skins that will evolve their players base skin. Examples given were Arthas, Falstad, Li Li, and Stitches from the Warcraft side of things. Though details on how these new skins will be obtained are still forthcoming, the showcased examples offer a glimpse at how each hero's base skin might evolve.

Heroes of the Storm is currently available as an invite-only technical alpha, though will launch later this year as a free-to-play title similar to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Need a helping hand for Heroes of the Storm? Well we've got you covered with Joaby's most recent video offering a "How to" guide on all things Storm-related so check it out!

Post by Eorl @ 04:50pm 17/07/14 | 8 Comments
Hallmark developer Bungie has today confirmed that the Xbox One version of their sci-fi MMO shooter Destiny will be running at the fabled 1080p resolution, though it won't be doing so during the beta starting next week.

The news was confirmed in a recent IGN Live segment, which the (unofficial) Destiny Blog was nice enough to spot. Bungie community manager David Daguee (Deej) confirmed the Xbox One news, noting that the 1080p visual upgrade will only be available on the launch of the game. Sadly this means that those joining in on the beta come next week will have to endure a lower res until its launch. PlayStation 4 will be running at 1080p in both beta and launch.

Destiny will begin its beta tomorrow morning at 3AM AEST for PlayStation players, with Xbox fans will have to wait until next week for their turn.

Destiny will be available come September 9th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Post by Eorl @ 11:27am 17/07/14 | 5 Comments
The MOBA genre is usually considered one of the more difficult of the many genres available in today's gaming world, so it should come as no surprise to hear that players can feel a little bit overwhelmed with the many elements that a MOBA entails.

Blizzard's latest take on the genre, Heroes of the Storm, is no exception to that stigma despite their more relaxed approach. While the game has no items, gold, XP is shared across the team and teams level as one, it still entails a fair learning curve for your average gamer.

To help us understand just what Heroes of the Storm really is, and to offer a few tips on the best way to enjoy your time in the Nexus is our very own Joab "Joaby" Gilroy. From hero overviews to the nitty gritty play styles that Heroes encourages, Joaby has you covered when it comes to learning the ropes on a new MOBA.

Check out the informative video below, and if you want to know more on Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm head over to our game page which includes even more on the MOBA title.

Post by Eorl @ 10:43am 17/07/14 | 0 Comments
Metrico, the unique "infographics action game" from developer Digital Dreams, will arrive on PlayStation Vita come August 6th, level designer Roy van de Mortel announced today on the PlayStation Blog.

Themed around an interesting take on infographics, Metrico provides players with an atmospheric puzzle action game that strives to create a unique mindset of its own. The game will also be launching with a demo alongside the official release, which will include the first level of the game.

"This demo consists of the entire first world," van de Mortel wrote. "In terms of gameplay time, the first world is about 5% of the entire game. Please note that this world merely touches the surface of what we're trying to do with Metrico. More inputs will be added in every world as complexity and difficulty increase. We sincerely hope you enjoy the demo and if you're up for much more exploration and mindbenders, it will only be a few inputs away."

Post by Dan @ 10:39am 17/07/14 | 1 Comments
In a new blog post to the official Xbox Newswire, the platform holder boasts that since launching the reduced price Xbox One on June 9th, they're now seeing sales numbers in North America of "more than double" whatever they were during the previous month.

The post largely waffles on about the upcoming holiday games lineup that new owners can look forward to, but conveniently neglects to remind readers that the more appealing lower price point was entirely due to the removal of the Kinect peripheral.

Clearly the sales boost validates the decision to unbundle Kinect and confirms the widely held view that the peripheral -- with its lack of compelling applications currently on the platform -- is a poor fit for the kind of early adopters buying an Xbox One in its first year.

With Kinect remove, the Xbox One console's RRP was reduced from AUD$599 to AUD$499 in Australia, and from USD$499 to USD$399 in North America.
Post by Eorl @ 10:29am 17/07/14 | 0 Comments
After ending their E3 press conference yet again with a bang, Ubisoft has today revealed a new accolades trailer for the surprise title Rainbow Six: Siege, showing off some more explosive teamwork.

Rainbow Six: Siege isn't due until sometime in 2015, but that isn't stopping fans and websites alike getting excited for the Tom Clancy addition. The new trailer splices in a number of accolades from various gaming sites alongside some heavy teamwork action seen in the 10-minute demo. Whether you are blasting you and your team directly through a floor or sending a bot camera to check out what's on the other side of the door, Siege is definitely looking heavy on the teamwork.

Check it out in action below. Rainbow Six: Siege will be out for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One come 2015.

Post by Eorl @ 09:44am 17/07/14 | 0 Comments
From Software has offered up a handful of new screenshots depicting the terribly spooky Sunken King DLC for dying simulator Dark Souls 2 coming later this month.

The Crown of the Sunken King is due out on July 22nd, and will be the first installment of a planned trilogy that will explore the very dark and very mysterious past of Dark Souls 2. Typical of the series, you can expect monsters that will happily destroy any and all of your squishy body parts, plus a number of new areas to explore themed along the line of the old kings. The screenshots below show a range of those in detail, so make sure you check them out for a heads up before the DLC goes live.

Crown of the Sunken King will be followed up by Crown of the Old Iron King on August 26th, with Crown of the Ivory King rounding out the trilogy on September 24th.

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