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, 11 July 2014
Post by Eorl @ 03:23pm 11/07/14 | 3 Comments
Indie game developer Wadjet Eye (Gemini Rue, Resonance) has announced iOS ports of the first three games in its supernatural noir point-and-click adventure series Blackwell.

The series follows a New York-based freelance writer named Rosa Blackwell, who just so happens to also be a spirit medium. She befriends a wayward jazz-era ghost named Joey Mallone and together they solve mysteries and help the recently departed move on to the next world. They're kind of funny, kind of sad - like that Tears for Fears song.

The first game in the series, Blackwell 1: Legacy, was released in 2006 and was followed by 2007's Blackwell 2: Unbound and 2009's Blackwell 3: Convergence. Legacy will cost $2.99 while Unbound and Convergence will go for $3.99 on the App Store, but until July 17th each entry is a dollar off.

Wadjet Eye noted that the series' later releases, 2011's Blackwell: Deception and 2014's Blackwell Epiphany (the final chapter in the saga), will come to iOS later this year, while Android, Mac and Linux ports of the series are on the way.
Post by Eorl @ 10:34am 11/07/14 | 0 Comments
Ubisoft's year over year sales have been significantly increased, thanks in part to the significant success of Watch Dogs, the company announced today.

According to a report focused solely on sales during Q1 2015, which ended June 30th, they totaled €360 million (approximately $490 million), an increase of 374 percent over the €76 million in sales reported for Q1 2014. Ubisoft also reported strong sales in its digital segment, whose performance increased 149 percent to €84 million ($114 million), thanks to recent titles like Child of Light, Trials Fusion and Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

"Although the financial year has only just started, our confidence for fiscal-year 2014-15 has been reinforced by our first-quarter performance and the keen anticipation for our upcoming games," said Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot, who also noted during the conference call that a new Assassin's Creed title is in the works for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Watch Dogs now sits at a respectable 8 million copies sold, though that number reflects sales into the retail channel, not copies sold to consumers. It was previously reported that Watch Dogs had sold 4 million copies in its first week.
Post by Eorl @ 10:17am 11/07/14 | 2 Comments
Battlefield developer DICE will be bringing a new in-game event, Battlefest, to the battlegrounds of Battlefield 4 that they describe as a "festival built for gamers."

"Battlefest is just a small token of our appreciation and commitment to Battlefield 4," write DICE. "In addition to this, we have DICE teams in Stockholm and LA continually working on improving the gameplay experience, adding new initiatives like the CTE environment, and also developing the next two expansions packs."

DICE will be launching the event this weekend, starting with a round of double-XP before moving onto a series of community missions. "Each week we will be hosting a global community challenge to reach a specific goal in-game," they explain on the official post. The first is to collectively reach 15 million revives across all platforms, and, if successful, participants will be given a gold Battlepack the following week.

If that doesn't sound community-themed enough, the Battlefest will also introduce Battleshot (have you figured out the theme yet?) competitions. Players will be tasked with taking a Battlefield 4 screenshot showcasing the day's criteria, with the chance to win big. Prizes include an AMD graphics card, $50 gift card to the DICE Store and a Battlefield 4 Premium membership. There's also a month-long stunt video competition that promises "a massive prize", and free in-game camo unlocks for all players each week.
Post by Eorl @ 09:30am 11/07/14 | 9 Comments
Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has today revealed that a whopping 3.8 million Chinese players have picked up the buy-to-play MMO since its launch two months ago, an amazing feat for any developer.

According to the numbers posted on Reddit, this means that Guild Wars 2 has more than doubled its global playerbase thanks to the China launch. The last update we got on Guild Wars 2 player counts was back in August 2013, when the figure stood at roughly 3.5 million. Taking into account those figures, its safe to say that Guild Wars 2's global sales have surpassed the 7 million mark.

While it is no doubt a successful story to tell, it is a strange one considering China's love for free-to-play titles. With Guild Wars 2 being a buy-to-play title, whereby an initial box purchase is required then the game is completely free, it is definitely an unusual and very impressive story to tell.
Post by Dan @ 08:48am 11/07/14 | 1 Comments
Halo developers 343 Industries and Certain Affinity have posted up a recording of the full developer panel they hosted at the recent RTX 2014 expo in Austin, offering up an hours worth of chatter about the upcoming Halo: The Master Cheif Collection which promises to pack in four older Halo games, with Halo 2 getting a remastered makeover for the Xbox One.
Watch to learn about our development journey, Halo 2: Anniversary, a brand new vehicle, a re-made map, and more!
The panel features 343's Andy "Bravo" Dudynsky, Dennis Ries, Max Szlagor, and Certain Affinity's Max Hoberman and David Mertz. Check it out below.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is due to precede the Spring 2015 (Northern Autumn) launch of Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One.


Post by Dan @ 08:41am 11/07/14 | 0 Comments
IGN reports that the previously announced Heavenly Sword animated film now has a September 2nd release date, heading straight for DVD and Blu Ray.
Once considered the failure of a legendary prophesy, Nariko must wield a sword that was ultimately meant for another. This ancient Heavenly Sword, once belonging to a powerful deity, can never be wielded by a mortal without it slowly but inevitably killing them. For Nariko it is a race against time to avenge her clan before her life is irreparably overtaken by the omnipotent Heavenly Sword.
As previously noted, the film is directed Gun Ho Jang (Dangerous Liasons) with actors Anna Torv (Fringe) and Thomas Jane (The Punisher, Hung) reprising their roles from the PlayStation 3 game, joined by Alfred Molina as King Bohan.

Pre-orders are available from Amazon, and a new trailer has been released, seen below.

Post by Dan @ 08:31am 11/07/14 | 0 Comments
Accompanying a new Road Ahead blog update, developer Zenimax Online Studios has released a new trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online, featuring some of the new additions due in the game's third major content update.

The biggest features in this next wave are guild tabards that will allow teams of players to suit up in uniform, dyes for players to change the colour of their armour and clothing, and a new harder difficulty mode for both the Aetherian Archive and Hel Ra Citadel 12 man trial dungeons. Also promised is a new guild vendor system that will allow player guilds to hire out certain publicly accessible stores throughout Tamriel.

Early August 2014 has been offered as the tentative release date for the content, which is a little bit of a slip from previous indications toward late July. Watch the video below.

Post by Dan @ 08:12am 11/07/14 | 0 Comments
We've been hearing for a while that Ubisoft has a second major Assassin's Creed game baking in addition to the recently announced Assassin's Creed Unity. Both games were rumoured in a Kotaku report back in March, but only Unity has so far been formally revealed.

Seeming to confirm details from that original rumour during an investor call today, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has hinted that the other Assassin's Creed game will be targeting PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in contrast to Assasssin's Creed: Unity's shift to new generation platforms and PC only. Via Polygon:
In response to a question about Ubisoft's plans for the franchise on "current-gen" systems, a term the questioner used to exclude "next-gen" systems PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Guillemot said that news about other systems will come soon.

"At the moment, that's what we have, yes," he said, referring to the company's plans to release Assassin's Creed Unity, on PS4 and Xbox One. "We said that we were going to give more info soon on that, and it will come soon."
The Kotaku report claimed that the second Assassin's Creed project was currently codenamed "Comet".
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Post by Eorl @ 05:08pm 10/07/14 | 2 Comments
Telltale Games' fifth and final episode is now out for their episodic adventure series The Wolf Among Us, and it is time to see whether this tale will have a happy ending or not.

Our investigator on the scene, James "Jickle" O'Connor, takes a look at just how Bigsby the Big Bad Wolf is taking to his new findings, discovering that while it may not have the lasting effect of Telltale's The Walking Dead, it still tries hard to pull at those heart strings.
It doesn't have The Walking Dead’s gut-punch moments, and the absence of traditional point ‘n click puzzles is perhaps a step too far for a game about solving a mystery, but right at the end the season came together as an effective study of these characters, and how their choices and beliefs have affected their community.
Find out more in the full review of The Wolf Among Us - Episode 5: Cry Wolf.
Post by Eorl @ 03:36pm 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer isn't taking shortcuts when it comes to sound design for the next title in the series, Advanced Warfare, with a new behind-the-scenes video exploring just how the developers make weapon sounds.

In the video below, audio director Don Veca details the changes made to the sound system for Advanced Warfare, an "audio intelligence system" that aims to deliver a unique sound in each explosion and bout of gunfire. Veca says the change to weapon sounds is particularly great, with gunfire designed to "go through you" as players take to combat. The idea, he said, is to make players feel like they are actually holding the weapon.

Of course, the new tech isn't just about improving the design phase for "cool sounds," instead aiming to give players a more accurate feel for the weaponry that they will be using. Impacts, collisions and other massive noises have also been revamped, giving Advanced Warfare a movie-like feel, Veca said.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will launch on November 4th for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:38pm 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
In an interview with AusGamers, BioWare's Cameron Lee -- Aussie expat and friend of the site -- told us that the game is being designed to have players continue to play even after the endgame story content, even going so far as to say some content will only be conquerable after you finish the story.

"When you finish the game, you’re still in the world," Lee explains to us. "So you’re still going to do all of these different things. There’s parts of the game that we’ve built that are so difficult that we would only really want players to go there after they finish the story, because it’s just that high level. So it all sort of changes as you go through the story, and we want people to, as you said, have a lot of longevity in the game."

The full interview also covers user-generated content, how the pause-tactical element works, clearing zones, story dynamism and much, much more.

Click here for our full Dragon Age: Inquisition interview with Cameron lee.
Post by Eorl @ 11:35am 10/07/14 | 11 Comments
Magicka developer Paradox has spoken out about piracy on the PC platform, revealing that the developer would rather incentivise players than push them into a corner. Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester shared his thoughts on the matter in a recent interview with GameSpot, saying he dislikes digital rights management (DRM) schemes as a form of stopping piracy.

"It can punish players who actually bought the game," Wester said. "I remember buying Civilization III, and I couldn't install it because I had something else installed. I had to uninstall two different programs, change settings...it was a hassle."

On the other hand, those who pirated the game had a faster, more convenient experience. Wester would prefer those who actually purchase his games receive the optimal experience, an attitude that defines the Paradox approach to dealing with piracy, and one that others like Good Old Games are trying to bring back.

"I have no idea how many of our games are pirated," Wester said. "We don't really have any intention of finding out or hunting these people. What we want to do is provide people who bought the game legally a better service. With frequent updates; good and convenient services; that's how we fight piracy. I hope it works. I keep my fingers crossed."
Post by Eorl @ 11:18am 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
Last week, space sci-fi title Star Citizen opened its gates to new players for the Arena Commander module's dogfighting multiplayer, a decision that led to "an unacceptable amount" of problems, Chris Roberts wrote on the game's official blog.

Patch 12.4 for the pre-alpha version available to backers introduced "lag and occurrence of rubber-banding (the effect when ships seem to ‘jump back' in space)," and by Monday the developers were working to find out what caused the problems.
"We've already implemented a number of fixes which we believe will improve the multiplayer experience in 12.5," Roberts wrote, "and we're continuing investigating several other possibilities that we hope will improve the experience. Was one of these items the ‘magic bullet' that fixes the multiplayer experience? Our tests are promising, but we won't know for sure until we've patched Arena Commander and seen how it impacts players around the world. We know it can be frustrating not to see a ‘one button' fix, but kind of extended process is necessary to preparing for the future launch of the Persistent Universe. Expect to see an improvement in 12.5, and greater improvements as we continue our work!"
Roberts also said that the developers Cloud Imperium updated their server software to better understand the number of players in the game concurrently.

"Knowing more specifically how many players are in the game in a given interval will be a valuable tool for investigating how the server behaves where changes are introduced in the future," he wrote. "Next, QA will use this tool to test 12.3 compared to 12.4 to try and discover where the performance changes were introduced."
Post by Eorl @ 10:39am 10/07/14 | 3 Comments
WildStar developer Carbine Studios has announced a new addition to their already lucrative 2-step account verification system, offering up a free mount for those who secure their account.

The announcement was revealed through the official website, noting that while many players may feel secure without an authenticator attached to their account, the day may come where they suddenly find themselves naked and stranded in the middle of the capital city without their precious items. To help further push the idea of securing your account against hackers and gold farmers, Carbine has added a fourth reward: the Retroblade Mount.

Carbine notes that once 2-step authentication has been setup, you'll be able to log in as normal with your username and password, however you'll also be required to enter in a randomly generated number using the on-screen numpad and mouse. How does it keep your account safe? We'll let Carbine answer that;
If you think of your account like a house, your password is the door. Adding 2-Step Verification to that is like putting a heavy-duty lock on that door. You wouldn't leave your door unlocked, would you?
In addition to the new Retroblade mount, 2-step verification rewards also include the Cybernetic Eyepatch, an in-game title that’ll make you the envy of Nexus. You also get a buff that boosts your XP, Prestige, and Renown. Who can say no to free stuff?
Post by Eorl @ 09:59am 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
Platforming action roguelike Rogue Legacy will be sneaking its way onto Sony's home and handheld consoles come July 30th, developer Cellar Door Games has announced.

The PlayStation port of last year's PC, Mac and Linux release will feature Cross-Buy and Cross-Save compatibility between all three of Sony's contemporary platforms, so you only need to buy it once to play and migrate your progress between the various platforms.

The console port was handled by Abstraction Games, who worked on the PlayStation adaptation of Hotline Miami. Sony's version will feature all of the previous content, with a smidgen of new stuff that shouldn't worry fans of the old. "But only a tiny bit," the developer noted on the PlayStation Blog.

"When we originally made Rogue Legacy, we made it with the PS Vita buttons in mind. No joke," said Cellar Door game designer Teddy Lee. "That crazy gamble we made over a year ago paid off, and that means the Vita version plays perfectly!"

Post by Eorl @ 09:29am 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
Sony's Japanese arm of the PlayStation gaming division has released a new video today discussing its "Official Licensed Product" promotions. While an interesting topic nonetheless, hidden within the video is an interesting piece of data: the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita combined sales have now reached 100 million sold to customers worldwide.

While the company may have specifically brought up the nicely rounded number to further push third party support, the admission of numbers definitely helps prove a healthy ecosystem for Sony. The new overall number has now allowed us to deduce just what makes up the 100 million, though its clear the PlayStation 3 is leading that charge with more than 80 million sold since its launch.

As for Sony's newest console, the PlayStation 4, we last heard that it had passed the 7 million mark in April. With the PS4 still selling relatively well despite slow title releases, we can easily expect a number north of 8 million. On the handheld front, Sony has been rather quiet about the PlayStation Vita which is probably due to the lack of enthusiasm from customers. Still, it has seen some movement thanks to a recent Borderlands 2 bundle, which going by the numbers may put it close to the 10 million mark.

Do you own a PlayStation 4? How are you liking the console so far? Let us know in the comments!

Post by Eorl @ 08:59am 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
Upcoming Square Enix role-playing game Lords of the Fallen is set to launch on October 31st, the game's distributor announced today.

With a touch of playstyle from From Software's Souls series, the game sets players in the shoes of a man named Harkyn who lives in a world where "Gods have failed mankind," and where he must take up arms against the Fallen God. Decisions players make will affect their individual storyline and the overall world as they fight among those who both serve and defy the God. There is also a lot of death, so prepare yourself

Users can take on the role of a cleric, rogue or warrior class; however, they can later switch between classes after adopting new class-specific armor. Classes each have special moves they can unleash based on action points.

Lords of the Fallen is in development from Polish studio CI Games and Germany's Deck 13, and is scheduled for release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Post by Dan @ 08:47am 10/07/14 | 0 Comments
Cliff Bleszinski, famed Gears of War and Unreal Tournament designer has hosted a Reddit AMA to discuss his newly founded indie studio Boss Key and its first project, a free-to-play, sci-fi themed first person shooter codenamed BlueStreak to be published by Korean firm Nexon.

Cliff's responses immediately indicate that the game is still very early in development, as a very transparent development process is planned, with a team of only "15-20 folks for the first year". Former Epic Games Producer Chris Mielke is mentioned as one of the studio's first hires.

As you would hope, there's a lot of words of assurance that they intend to do free-to-play in the right way:
Free to Play is one of those genres that means something entirely different depending on the game. For every model that feels like Las Vegas methods (Zynga, Candy Crush) there's folks who do it right, like League of Legends, or WarFrame.

I've never shipped a Free to Play game before. That's one of the MANY reasons why we're going with Nexon, they can provide server structures and a global peek into gamers of all types and guide us into a game that's more "Shut up and take my money" as opposed to "shaking you down for your hard earned cash."
In terms of what the game will actually offer, this response is probably the most enlightening, suggesting a faster pace than most modern shooters:
There's still PLENTY that can be done in regards to environmental manipulation, weaponry, and player movement in the FPS space.

TitanFall tapped into some of the things that excite me in this area - wall running, double jumping, the smart pistol, the mech "absorb bullets and fire them back at people." That's the kind of thinking the FPS market needs, less damned red dot iron sights.
Multiplayer will be a key component, but Bleszinski recognises that you "can't just make an Esport", noting that "It's like trying to force a meme, it doesn't work that way".

In terms of user-created content they hope to be able to offer at least user map creation, and the plans to go PC first stem largely from the desktop platform's stronger online community presence "PC is where the comments generally are, the community gathers, and it's got that big global audience".

Thematically, Bleszinski hinted that previously teased concept art was all "very early and is of course likely to change", but that "it all ties together, giant basketball players and everything".
Post by Dan @ 08:13am 10/07/14 | 3 Comments
SEGA sends word that key cast members from the original 1979 Alien film will feature in some additional bonus misssions for Creative Assembly's upcoming Alien: Isolation game, but offered only as an exclusive pre-order incentive.

Impressively, they've even secured voice acting and the license to use the likenesses of the film's key actors, making it peculiar that it's limited to those who pre-order, at select retailers no less:
The bonus content in the Nostromo Edition features Academy Award-nominated actress, Sigourney Weaver (Ellen Ripley), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), Tom Skerritt (Dallas) and Yaphet Kotto (Parker) as the original crew, reunited on the ship.

In these terrifying moments, Brett and Kane are dead. Along with Ash and Lambert, it’s down to you – as Dallas, Parker or the formidable Ellen Ripley – to find a way to isolate the Alien and overcome the terror that confronts them.

Continuing on the legacy of Ellen Ripley, players will finally be able to discover the story of her daughter, Amanda Ripley in the full length game of Alien: Isolation

“Working with the original cast has been an incredible experience,” said Alistair Hope, Creative Lead on Alien: Isolation. “It was important to us to have the key original cast members reprise their roles in order to perfectly capture the atmosphere of the movie. For some of the original cast, this is their first appearance in an Alien video game. Seeing them reprise those roles after 35 years was an unforgettable experience.”
In more 'exclusive' madness, IGN appears to have exclusivity on the Nostromo Edition's trailer, which we've embedded from their Youtube channel below.

Alien: Isolation is due on October 7th 2014 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

Post by Dan @ 07:50am 10/07/14 | 1 Comments
As it was originally revealed by Tim Schafer at Sony's E3 2014 press conference, Double Fine Production's upcoming remastered release of the classic Lucasarts adventure game Grim Fandango was only initially announced as a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game.

Desktop players can now rejoice however, as a Twitter post from double fine has now confirmed some additional platforms:
@DoubleFine 10:01 AM - 9 Jul 2014
Reap your heart out! We're pleased to announce Grim Fandango will also be available on PC, Mac, and Linux alongside PlayStation 4 and Vita!
If you missed it, catch the PlayStation even reveal segment below.

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