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!
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Post by Dan @ 02:31pm 01/04/14 | 9 Comments
Sony Computer Entertainment Australia has announced that support for video-on-demand service Foxtel Play has launched on PlayStation 3, allowing subscribers of the service to view content from the console.
“Whether it’s music, TV, movies or games, PlayStation fans love all forms of digital entertainment and we remain committed to delivering the most immersive digital entertainment experiences on our platforms through PlayStation Network,” said Michael Ephraim, Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia. “Foxtel Play is a fantastic addition to our suite of entertainment services, one that all the family can enjoy.”

Rohan Lund, Foxtel’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “We’re thrilled to continue our drive to expand availability of Foxtel Play for Australian subscribers. With the addition of PS3, that expansion just got a massive boost for the 2 million Australians already enjoying great digital experiences on their PlayStation 3 consoles. Today that experience gets even better.”
Support for PlayStation 4 is also said to be "coming soon". Foxtel Play can also already be accessed via Xbox 360 consoles, PCs and several Smart TVs.

Sony and Foxtel are promoting the deal with a focus on the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, which premieres on April 7, controversially exclusive to Foxtel in Australia.
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:05pm 01/04/14 | 2 Comments
It's been a hot-topic ever since The Phantom Pain was pushed back into 2015 and Ground Zeroes was revealed to be only roughly two-hours long, with the price-point being one of the major talking-points.

Rather than get bogged down in the answer to that question though, we've just thoroughly reviewed the game for you, revealing all that it has to offer, and all that it doesn't. The biggest spoiler though (and let's be honest, this applies to all games, really) is that it all boils down to preference -- especially in what it is you ultimately want out of a gaming experience.

Click here for our full Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes review.
Post by Eorl @ 11:48am 01/04/14 | 4 Comments
Metro series developer 4A Games will be bringing their post-apocalyptic franchise to both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, publisher Deep Silver announced today.

What originally began as a rumour with Italian site Everyeye posting up images over the weekend of the new-gen Metro Redux version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Deep Silver has today officially confirmed that there is indeed such a thing. The new edition will include both 2010's Metro 2033 and 2013's Metro: Last Light, as well as all downloadable content. The series is set in the post-apocalyptic universe created by the Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, who started it all in 2005 with the novel Metro 2033.

"Is Metro Redux real? Yes. We never made any secret of 4A's desire to bring Metro to the latest generation of console hardware," the company said. However, the publisher noted that the leaked images came from an "old, internal planning presentation" and contain "some nuggets of truth but a lot of hypothetical ideas and placeholder material."

Deep Silver seem to have been caught ahead of their schedule, revealing that they aren't quite ready to reveal the game officially, but did say that plans are being made ahead of E3. "We think the reality is a lot more exciting than the outdated material that got leaked shows, and we're itching to share it with you. Just not yet," the company said. It wasn't made clear whether PC would be getting any of the remastered versions, but we'll have to wait for the official announcement for those details.
Post by Dan @ 10:58am 01/04/14 | 0 Comments
Indie developer Might and Delight has revealed a sequel to its well-received mother badger simulator, with Shelter 2 putting players in the paws of a mother lynx in an open world environment.
"The essence of Shelter as a concept is keeping your family alive. But we have decided to let the animal itself set the pace and character of the gameplay. The badger translated into a slow and linear journey - with the lynx however, Shelter 2 will become a much more forceful experience, where improving your techniques for hunting prey takes a much bigger role." says Anders Westin, CEO of Might and Delight.

The game follows the life cycle of a mother lynx, starting as a pregnant animal preparing her den for the coming litter, giving birth, and continuing in to a journey of parenthood where nurturing her cubs is paramount for survival. Shelter 2 includes more elaborate gameplay features than its predecessor, such as stamina, different types of movements, jumps and a variety of prey to kill. Besides hunting there are several maternal features such as calling the cubs closer, making sure they drink water from rivers and lifting and carrying your cubs from harm’s way.

"We are basing the game features on the lynx´s life and behavior. That aspect makes Shelter 2 closer to realism, and oddly enough more gamey at the same time. To simply roam the world finding prey to hunt is thrilling in itself. That´s something we wanted to bring in to Shelter before, and it’s fantastic to see it come to life now" added Anders Westin
Catch the debut trailer below. Shelter 2 is expected on Steam, GOG and "other digital platform" in 2014.

Post by Eorl @ 10:48am 01/04/14 | 4 Comments
After being delayed for almost a week, the PC version of Battlefield 4's third expansion, Naval Strike, is now available for premium members to jump in and cause some destruction.

Originally scheduled for release on March 25th, the DLC was delayed by developer DICE due to a "combination of the pack and planned PC updates [that] would increase performance issues on mid-range to high-end PCs." The Xbox One version also saw a delay due to animation issues, though it was later released during last weekend.

Naval Strike brings four new maps with some watery themes, ten assignments, five new weapons, two gadgets and of course a hovercraft to manoeuvre around on. The expansion also features a new Carrier Assault mode, a remake of the classic Titan mode from Battlefield 2142 in which players will fight to sink the opposing sides ship while keeping their own afloat.

You can read up on more of the new content over at the official blog post, but also check out the launch trailer below to see it in action. Non-premium members will be getting access to the expansion sometime during April, so stay tuned for a more solid date.

Post by Eorl @ 10:35am 01/04/14 | 1 Comments
Phil Spencer, who was most recently serving as chief of Microsoft Studios, will now be taking over as head of Microsoft's Xbox branch the company announced today. Not only will Spencer lead the his previous Microsoft Studios division, but the Xbox branch also includes Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video.

"Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world's most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself," said Spencer in a statement on Xbox Wire. "It's been a remarkable year for Xbox and I am honored to lead the team at this incredible time for Microsoft and the games industry."

The announcement comes as part of a company wide email from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who also officially announced Stephen Elop as Executive Vice President of Microsoft Devices Group. Elop, said Nadella, will work with Spencer and Myerson when it comes to the Xbox platform.

"Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the [Operating Systems Group] team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones," said Nadella. "I love the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences (go, Titanfall!), connects with its fans, pushes the boundary of entertainment and has embraced the power of the cloud in such interesting and impactful ways. Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward."

Spencer hasn't let the dust settle, already teasing further announcements for the Xbox brand come E3 2014 this June. Speaking with Polygon, Spencer revealed that the team are now focusing more "on the games: what new IP we are investing in, what's going on in Japan, what are we doing with Halo." The new Chief of Xbox Division also believes Microsoft will catch up to Sony's PlayStation 4, which is currently outpacing the Xbox One by quite a large margin.

"We're early on in the console generation, and obviously Sony's having a great launch," he said. "Console gaming is doing incredibly well right now. Six months ago, everybody wondered if console gaming was dead... but this is a long, multi-year generation and my fundamental belief is that great games create the best platforms."
Post by Dan @ 10:28am 01/04/14 | 0 Comments
Activision and Infinity Ward have rolled out the full trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts's upcoming Devastation DLC pack, which in addition to the four new multiplayer maps, and a couple of weapons, also features some manner of licensing deal with 20th Century Fox films' iconic Predator character. The video's description neglects any mention of it, but the trailer clearly shows the alien trophy hunter in a South American themed map similar to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film:
Devastation brings four small to medium-sized Multiplayer maps: Ruins, Behemoth, Collision, and Unearthed -- which is a re-imagined version of Dome, the fan-favorite map from Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3.

Devastation also includes the "Ripper," a brand new tactical 2-in-1 weapon with the unique ability to switch from SMG to AR and back on the fly, in the middle of combat.

The Extinction saga picks up with Episode 2: Mayday. Following the events of Nightfall, players board an abandoned research vessel, in search of answers. Players will face two new alien foes - Seeders, and the 100ft tall "Kraken." This exciting new chapter comes packed with new weapon mods and paths to explore
Devastation is due on Xbox 360 and Xbox One first on April 3rd, with "other platforms to follow".



Monday, 31 March 2014
Post by Dan @ 03:26pm 31/03/14 | 0 Comments
BioWare continues the trickle of Dragon Age: Inquisition promotion, serving up a developer diary style video that takes viewers behind the scenes with two of the game's prominent voice actors, Claudia Black and Brian Bloom, both reprising their respective roles as Morrigan and Varric.

As VG247 notes, fans probably shouldn't read too much into any of the dialogue in the video as for all we know the voice booth footage might be from years ago. Regardless, it's still an informative look into the craft of videogame voice acting.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is due on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in late 2014.

Post by Dan @ 03:17pm 31/03/14 | 0 Comments
As promised, UK-based indie studio Team 17 lifted the veil of the recently announced Flockers at the EGX Rezzed expo in Birmingham over the weekend, and revealed what is self described as a "twisted blend of Lemmings' inspired gameplay and Tim Burton style macabre, all topped off with a dose of that classic Worms humour!":
Held for years within the evil thrall of the Worms, the sheep are finally making a dash for freedom! Escaping the tyrannical Worms, the flock must dodge their way past all manner of lethal machinery and traps as they negotiate their path through the confinement of the Worms weapons factory and onwards to pastures green.
Flockers will be heading to PC by way of Steam Early Access in Q2 2014. Watch the debut trailer "meat the flockers" below, and click though to our game page for some screenshots.

Post by Dan @ 02:56pm 31/03/14 | 6 Comments
By way of the official Kinect for Windows blog, Microsoft has revealed some new details on the long expected updated Windows PC version of the motion control peripheral, and rather obviously it looks pretty similar to the Xbox One version.
The sensor closely resembles the Kinect for Xbox One, except that it says “Kinect” on the top panel, and the Xbox Nexus—the stylized green “x”—has been changed to a simple, more understated power indicator.

The sensor requires a couple other components to work: the hub and the power supply. Tying everything together is the hub (top item pictured below), which accepts three connections: the sensor, USB 3.0 output to PC, and power. The power supply (bottom item pictured below) does just what its name implies: it supplies all the power the sensor requires to operate. The power cables will vary by country or region, but the power supply itself supports voltages from 100–240 volts.
A launch date for the Windows hardware has still not been confirmed, only that we're "getting closer and closer" to launch. Comments made shortly after the Xbox One was unveiled last year flagged the device for a 2014 launch.

Post by Dan @ 10:35am 31/03/14 | 3 Comments
SEGA and Creative Assembly have set an October 7th 2014 release date for Alien: Isolation, the much anticipated first person action game promising to take the popular licensed sci-fi franchise back to its horror-themed roots.
“We couldn’t be happier to finally announce a date for Alien: Isolation,” said Alistair Hope, Creative Lead at Creative Assembly. “The reaction we have seen so far has been simply incredible, from the screams and shrieks to the cold sweats and racing hearts. It’s the Alien game that we’ve always wanted to play and we can’t wait to let everyone get their hands on it this fall.”

Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror game capturing the fear and tension evoked by Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film. Players find themselves in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger as an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph is stalking and killing deep in the shadows. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.
The October 7th date includes all five planned platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
Saturday, 29 March 2014
Post by Eorl @ 01:52pm 29/03/14 | 7 Comments
While some may be feeling the burn when it comes to the Assassin's Creed series, Ubisoft's VP of creative Lionel Raynaud has revealed that the developer and publisher doesn't plan on slowing down, stating that the company would be "very stupid" not to satisfy consumer's need for yearly releases.

In an interview with Edge (thanks VG247), Raynaud believes that as long as fans want an Assassin's Creed game, Ubisoft will continue to provide one.

“We are able to offer people a new Assassin’s Creed every year because they want Assassin’s Creed every year,” Raynaud said. “As long as this is true we would be very stupid to not satisfy this need, but it puts a lot of pressure on us to create something that will never disappoint."

Of course, Raynaud does believe that if the company is to continue yearly releases, it needs to "keep the series core values and we need to really make sure that we have a good, high level understanding of what it is to be an Assassin." We've seen time and time again that pumping out yearly releases for franchises can indeed burn the audience, so it is welcoming to know that Ubisoft at least recognise the damage they could do.

"We have to make sure we always deliver a better feel and overall experience every time while still bringing something that they haven’t seen before that’s consistent with being an Assassin in the world we’ve created.”

Ubisoft's recently teased Assassin's Creed: Unity seems to be doing just that, by aiming directly at the new-gen consoles and PC in hopes of bringing about new mechanics and rather updated graphical changes. Raynaud kept quiet on the subject of the rumoured Assassin's Creed: Comet for past-gen consoles, though it seems the developer is still keen on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with Raynaud confirming that Ubisoft plans to continue support "this year and probably the years after."

“We want to be able to provide games to people who are playing on these consoles,” he said.

Assassin's Creed: Unity is expected sometime later this year for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. What are your thoughts on annual game titles? Do you like where the Assassin's Creed franchise is going so far? Let us know in the comments!

Post by Eorl @ 01:19pm 29/03/14 | 6 Comments
Strategy game Company of Heroes 2 will soon be returning to the Second World War's western battleground with new standalone multiplayer DLC that offers two new factions - the US Forces and the German Oberkommando West - alongside eight new maps.

The DLC's called Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies and players will be able to buy either of the factions separately or together as a bundle. According to Relic Entertainment's executive producer Greg Wilson, each army offers "distinct units, new abilities, new upgrades and new tactical and strategic elements".

Of course most importantly is that The Western Front Armies is a standalone release - you won't need Company of Heroes 2 itself in order to play it. "This is a new entry point for the series," says Wilson. "You can play with and against the AI, you can play in comp stomp skirmish modes with your friends and you can also go into our automatch pool against other Company of Heroes players."

Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies will be releasing sometime during June. A North American announcement set US digital pricing at $19.99 for the complete Western Front Armies multiplayer game, or $12.99 for standalone purchase of the individual armies, with no Australian price yet to be announced.

Post by Eorl @ 12:17pm 29/03/14 | 12 Comments
DayZ mod and standalone creator Dean Hall has revealed further information about the standalone's roadmap plans during a presentation at EGX Rezzed, outlining exactly what we can expect for the zombie survival game including the possibility of the next update coming as soon as two weeks time.

Of the major points discussed, Hall revealed that crossbows, bows and of course arrows will be due in the immediate future, who described them as a "labour of love" by the team. In regards to the next update, Hall said that players can expect the update to roll out in two weeks as a “best-case scenario“, or the end of April as a “worst case scenario“.

With the bow and arrow update, players will be able to track their own arrows and bolts, Hall stating that this will allow you to reclaim any that aren't stuck in human (or zombie) flesh. Hall also noted that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a big influence in terms of hunting and skinning animals, so hopefully we'll see an interesting take on those mechanics.

Other more imminent changes include the addition of fireplaces, with the team consulting with developers of Project Zomboid for further expertise, and plans to allow fireplaces to upgrade into ovens. Ragdoll physics, neutral animals, persistent loot and objects are also due around the second quarter of the year, with Hall also briefly showing an AK-47 image for the third quarter update.

The long-awaited zombie behaviour overhaul will also be established in the second quarter says Hall, and become more advanced in the third quarter. Loot as well will be controller centrally - Hall stated that his team have been taking notes from games like EVE Online to ensure balance is kept. Advanced animals will also make an appearance in the third quarter of 2014, including animals such as bears and wolves for players to worry about plus companions like dogs from the mod and horses.

Barricading was also mentioned during the presentation, with the ability to place wood onto doors to protect buildings that will "dramatically changed the game,” said Hall, particularly combined with better and more aggressive zombie behaviour. Vehicles also gained a mention, though don't expect any advanced vehicular motion until next year, with more simple two or four-wheeled vehicles planned for fourth quarter.

You can read up on more on the slideshow presentation through these slides thanks to Reddit user jsroberts08. What are you currently looking forward to in the DayZ roadmap? Are you still playing and enjoying the game? Let us know in the comments below on your thoughts.
Post by Eorl @ 11:11am 29/03/14 | 0 Comments
With the full steam and general PC release on April 10th, Ubisoft has today revealed a new trailer that outlines exactly what you can expect from the quite large day-one update for its Ghost Recon Phantoms title.

Headlining the launch patch is a new, fairer matchmaking system that will take skill and equipment performance into account when putting you up against enemies and allies. A new ModMaster weapon customisation system will also be added into the game, which sees players given new scopes to tailor their guns and camouflage. Ten of these designs will be available at launch, with more set to rollout after release.

Lead designer Simon Davis said of the system, “We wanted to find a way for players to differentiate themselves on the battlefield and create weapons that fit their style, so we created ModMaster to put that power in the hands of our players. This new system is also more cost savvy for players and creates more than half a million weapon configuration possibilities including fire rate, handling, scope and ready-time decisions.”

Plenty of other additions to the game can be found outlined in the trailer below or on the official website. Ghost Recon Phantoms will be available on PC come April 10th.

Post by Eorl @ 10:16am 29/03/14 | 0 Comments
DICE has sent word that premium members on the Xbox One platform will now be able to gain access to the water-themed expansion Naval Strike after the developer delayed it earlier this week to address animation issues. Sadly, PC players are still left waiting for an update on when they will gain access to the new content, with last known date for "early April."

"We have delayed the PC version of Naval Strike because we are concerned that the combination of the pack and planned PC updates would increase performance issues on mid-range to high-end PCs," reads a new update on the Battlefield Blog. "We are working hard to resolve that issue now."

Naval Strike brings four new maps with some watery themes, ten assignments, five new weapons, two gadgets and of course a hovercraft to manoeuvre around on. The expansion also features a new Carrier Assault mode, a remake of the classic Titan mode from Battlefield 2142 in which players will fight to sink the opposing sides ship while keeping their own afloat.
Post by trog @ 05:52am 29/03/14 | 45 Comments
Industry veteran and programming hero Michael Abrash has announced that he has joined Oculus as their Chief Scientist to continue work on the Rift.

Abrash has been at Valve for the last few years, but anyone that has read any of his extensive blogging on the subject of virtual reality and the Oculus will know he's had a pretty keen interest in this area, so this is almost completely unsurprising news, especially to hardcore id Software junkies who remember his passion for VR when discussing things like the Metaverse from Neal Stephenson's sci-fi classic novel, Snow Crash. (If you have even a passing interest in VR, you should go and read that book.)

His passion for VR is evident in the article (which I strongly encourage you to read) and it is clear that this move for him - once again working with Carmack on a potentially world-changing technology - is a Big Deal.
We're on the cusp of what I think is not The Next Big Platform, but rather simply The Final Platform – the platform to end all platforms – and the path here has been so improbable that I can only shake my head.
He also comments on the Facebook acquisition, noting that it's the "final piece of the puzzle":
That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can.
For the many amongst us that have been waiting for years for this sort of technology to finally be ready, this is great news - a programming, technology and gaming legend rolled into one and joining what is looking like a genuine dream team of people.

While many gamers have expressed concerns about Facebook's acquisition of Oculus, I can still only see it as a good thing - and the addition of Abrash to the team simply bolsters my confidence that they're still on the right track. I look forward to seeing what they can do.

Check out Abrash's recent talk at the Steam Dev Days below for a first-hand look at his enthusiasm and commitment for a true virtual reality to emerge.

Friday, 28 March 2014
Post by Eorl @ 06:03pm 28/03/14 | 7 Comments
Marking the third title in the inFamous series, Sucker Punch's Second Son delivers on what many have been hoping to see since the original announcement of the PlayStation 4: true next-gen power. Bringing together quite remarkable graphical capabilities with an interesting setlist of powers, Second Son hopes to show off just what Sucker Punch is able to do with the PlayStation 4 tech.

To help review the PlayStation 4 exclusive title is our own Nathan Lawrence, who is well adept with the powers of a conduit.
It took me around 10 hours to knock over the main quest on a mostly undistracted play-through (with quite a few deaths), and I fully intend on sinking more hours into the beautifully rendered semi-futuristic world of Seattle. Despite the neat ending afforded by the epilogue, here’s to hoping Sucker Punch will give Delsin a sequel that addresses some of the detractors of Second Son and builds on the awesome foundation it’s laid down for the future of the series.
Find out all the intricate details in the full inFamous: Second Son review.
Post by Dan @ 05:35pm 28/03/14 | 4 Comments
A lot of technical discussion on videogames centres around content and aesthetics -- the visual fidelity of the cinematics, the fluidity of animations, polycounts, framerates, narratives, character development, etc, etc. But despite being a vital part of any online multiplayer game, networking architecture doesn't tend to get much air time.

Most of you have probably spent countless hours playing online multiplayer games, but how much do you know about how it all works?

In this series of articles we'll explore the nuances and merits of the different techniques game developers use to bring us together in their online worlds, and consider which methods and aspects are ultimately in the best interest of videogame consumers. Read on for Part 1 - What is a dedicated server?
Post by Eorl @ 05:20pm 28/03/14 | 8 Comments
The Elder Scrolls Online will be launching next week, though those who have pre-ordered the game will be able to jump in somewhat earlier starting tomorrow morning. Ahead of the launch, Zenimax Online has provided some new details on what you can expect to do in-game once you've hit max level, including PvP.

In a post on the game's blog, creative director Paul Sage outlined the typical content you'll encounter as you venture across the lands of Tamriel once you've completed the standard MMO levelling grind. On offer for high-level adventurers is the chance to participate in solo and duo PvE content, titled Veteran Rank zones, as well as four player Veteran dungeons, the Craiglorn Adventure Zone, 12 player Trials and boatload of PvP.

With the Elder Scrolls background being quite faction versus faction heavy, its no surprise to see that Zenimax Online has released a list of campaigns available on both the North American and European megaservers for when the game goes live. These campaigns are smaller battles in the ongoing Alliance War, so if you want to fight alongside your friends, you should consult this list and make sure you all choose the same one when you hit level ten and gain access.

The Elder Scrolls Online launches on Windows and Mac come April 4th, with console ports coming sometime later. Early access will be available starting March 29th in Australia, and previous beta testers won't need to download a new client to play.
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