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!
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Post by Dan @ 08:39am 09/07/14 | 3 Comments
Borderlands and Aliens Colonial Marines developer Gearbox Software has announced and revealed Battleborn, a new fantasy-themed first person shooter with (very MOBA sounding) heroes, cooperative play, and competitive modes geared for eSports.
Battleborn involves our heroes – called the battleborn, conveniently enough – teaming up to fight the Varelsi, an unstoppable menace trying to destroy the last star in a dying universe. You can play with up to four friends in our five-player cooperative campaign, or try out one of several different competitive multiplayer match types in games of up to 10 players.
Further details on the game are currently limited to Game Informer magazine's exclusive coverage, of which an advertisement article seems to confirm that the game is very much Gearbox's attempt at a slice of the lucrative eSports pie presently dominated by the likes of Dota 2 and League of Legends:
Battleborn takes the minion smashing and fast leveling often associated with MOBAs and injects it into an intergalactic first-person battle arena. The game's dramatic story assembles a universe's worth of disparate heroes, from an immortal samurai to a minigun-wielding giant, all battling over the last star in the cosmos. The absurd premise blows open the doors for creativity, allowing the innovative minds at Gearbox to create a tremendous rogue's gallery of playable characters.

We visited Gearbox's studio in Plano, Texas to talk with the developers about Battleborn and play the first announced competitive match type for Game Informer's August cover story. We played hours of Incursion, an inventive 5 vs. 5 mode that combines fast-paced first-person gameplay with the strategic team-based elements of games like League of Legends and Dota 2. Rival battleborn hunt one another in lush jungles and arid deserts while robotic NPC minions wage an ongoing tug-of-war. Players start on a level playing field at the beginning of each match, progressing along a streamlined skill path up to level 20 filled with customizable abilities that unlock a variety of different play styles. Many of these gameplay elements will also bleed into Battleborn's five-player cooperative campaign, which Gearbox isn't saying much about yet.
Battleborn is being developed for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Watch the debut trailer below.

Post by Dan @ 08:23am 09/07/14 | 3 Comments
Publisher 2K Games has gotten in on the popular Humble Bundle promotion, offering up an assortment of Steam PC versions of some of its worthwhile games from recent years, including three that can be had for as little as 1 US dollar: The Darkness 2, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, and the original BioShock.
This bundle has a 100% chance to hit. You won't need to worry about losing your veterans today. 2K is here to save us with XCOM, BioShock and more from its killer library. Pay $1 or more for BioShock, The Darkness II and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. If you pay more than the average price, you'll also get BioShock 2, Mafia II and Spec Ops: The Line. Those who pay $20 or more will receive all of the above, plus BioShock Infinite and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
As per usual, head over to humblebundle.com for the goods.

Post by Dan @ 08:13am 09/07/14 | 1 Comments
Almost three years since the game's original teaser reveal at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards, Epic Games has served up some actually substantial gameplay footage from Fortnite, the Unreal Engine 4 powered, free-to-play PC shooter. Epic describes the game thusly:
In Fortnite, players and their friends lead a group of Heroes to reclaim and rebuild a homeland that has been left empty by a mysterious darkness only known as “the Storm.” Players will band together online to explore the world for resources, build extravagant forts, find or build insane weapons and traps as they protect their towns from the strange monsters that emerge during the Storm.

TL;DR: Build forts. Co-op. Kill monsters. Find stuff. Craft stuff. Huge procedural worlds. Save the day. Bacon.
The new reveal is accompanied by a press embargo lift of hands-on previews from publications fortunate enough to demo the game at Epic's North Carolina headquarters, and you can read impressions at the likes of RPS, Eurogamer, Escapist, and Polygon.

Sign-ups are currently open for Alpha teasting at fortnite.com, and Epic explains that "some players will be let into the game this year, with even more players in 2015", suggesting any actual launch of the game won't be until at least late next year.

Also reaffirmed is that the game is still currently being developed exclusively for PC, with the (seemingly likely) possibility of other platforms later on.

Post by Dan @ 07:58am 09/07/14 | 0 Comments
Boss Key -- the brand new North Carolina-based indie studio founded by former Epic Games designer Cliff Bleszinski and Guerilla Games co-founder Arjan Brussee -- has revealed that its first game will be a sci-fi themed, free-to-play arena shooter, currently codenamed Bluestreak (reportedly a nod to the transformers character, and not the 1999 Martin Lawrence film), and published by Korean firm Nexon.

As all information so far has currently come by way of Bleszinski's heavily followed Twitter account, not much else is know about the game, however, Cliff has said not to expect "a fake CG trailer showing "Gameplay" because that's not how @bosskey does it".

Keeping us on the hook, Bleszinski has further promised tomorrow to explain "why: F2P, PC, Nexon, Not a MOBA, etc...".

Despite the free-to-play stigma, Brussee's experience with the popular PlayStation shooter series Killzone and Bleszinski's history with the Gears of War and Unreal Tournament makes Bluestreak worth paying attention to.
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Post by Eorl @ 02:20pm 08/07/14 | 1 Comments
Those still enjoying the spelunking lifestyle of Spelunky Classic will be glad to know that a new mod by creator Yellowafterlife now allows two-player co-op.

The mod, which is available for free from the developer, includes a number of fixes and improvements to the original game on top of its co-op mode.

"Of course, there are still more things that I would like to add to this," reads a statement from the designer. "It would be nice to allow the game to support more than two players. It would be nice to have a PVP mode (akin to Spelunky HD). It would be pretty great to get level editor and sharing back in, as well as some other forms of extensibility (to let the fun last even longer). Although right now a semi-distant dream, it would be great to have this work on Mac and Linux too (and maybe something else as well). And endless count of smaller things that matter."

If you want to know more about the design process behind the co-op mod, hit up the developer's official website. You can also support the designer's Patreon page over here.
Post by Eorl @ 02:08pm 08/07/14 | 0 Comments
In celebration of 100 million Global Trade Station deals, Nintendo and The Pokemon Co. are distributing a special Fancy Pattern Vivillon to Pokemon X and Y trainers.

The Fancy Pattern Vivillon is a limited-time offer on the Nintendo Network and can't be found in the wild of Pokemon X and Y, according to The Pokemon Co. Players can obtain the exclusive Pokemon by selecting Mystery Gift on the main menu for the 3DS title, then speaking to the delivery girl at the nearest Pokemon Center.

Nintendo's super popular series has seen the sale of more than 12 million copies for Pokemon X and Y, so its no surprise to see them following up with reboots of the classic Ruby and Sapphire editions. Titled Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, these two remakes will be available later this year on 2DS and 3DS handhelds.
Post by Eorl @ 12:20pm 08/07/14 | 6 Comments
Notoriously known as one of the harder games on the Internet due in part to its hard-to-read ASCII art style, Dwarf Fortress has now been given a 3D makeover thanks to the daisy-chained modders Stonesense.

Officially titled Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress, the 2D ASCII art strategy game has been running since early 2006, and since then has gathered a rather dedicated following from those who have braved the difficulty. While it may look like it comes from the 1980's, Dwarf Fortress actually holds a rather complex physics engine. Due to this, modders have been able to improve the graphics of the game over time, and players can now enjoy a 3-D isometric improvement.

Those responsible for the graphical overhaul go by the name Stonesense, with the Stonesense utility rendering the game in 3D. According to Wired, early member of the team and modder Japa Illo has said that the utility relies on DFHack, a "ommunity-made library that reads the game’s memory and can be parsed, thus allowing for additional utilities to render things while bypassing the initial ASCII output."

For more on the utility and instructions on how to get it all running, check out the official forum thread. Be warned though, Dwarf Fortress is dastardly difficult, so don't expect an easy cakewalk.
Post by Eorl @ 11:26am 08/07/14 | 0 Comments
Oculus VR, creator of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, will be holding their first-ever developer conference, Oculus Connect, in Los Angeles this September, the company announced today.

Engineers from Oculus VR, as well as other luminaries from the virtual reality industry, will lead panels and workshops during Oculus Connect. And attendees will get the latest updates on upcoming Oculus technology, along with feedback from the Oculus team in hands-on labs. Keynote speakers include Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, founder Palmer Luckey, chief technology officer John Carmack and chief scientist Michael Abrash; the keynotes will be livestreamed.

Oculus Connect will take place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California, from September 19th to 20th. Those interested in heading over can find registrations opening up on July 10th at the Oculus Connect website.

Along with the developer conference, Oculus announced today that it has acquired RakNet, the C++ networking middleware developed by Jenkins Software, and has made the technology open-source under a modified BSD license. RakNet has been used by developers from indie studios to major companies such as Unity Technologies, Havok and Sony Online Entertainment. The acquisition has also offered up a newly open-sourced version of RakNet, available directly through Oculus VR's GitHub.
Post by Dan @ 10:59am 08/07/14 | 1 Comments
If the concept of a Dynasty Warriors game licensing characters from The Legend of Zelda wasn't already strange enough, one of those playable characters is going to be Midna, the shadowy little imp-like creature from the Twilight Realm in 2006's The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess.

In addition to the giant hand from the head move and various other shadowy tentacle appendages, Midna can also rock around on Link's wolf form while laying waste to the game's obligatory hordes of opponents.

Hyrule Warriors is due exclusively on Wii U in Australia on September 20th, about a month after the game's local Japanese launch.

Post by Dan @ 10:30am 08/07/14 | 0 Comments
2K Games has let loose some new video footage for Borderlands: The Pre-sequel, the forthcoming new addition to the shooter RPG hybrid series that takes place between the first and second games, and on the Moon.

The latest clip is actually 14 minutes of narrated gameplay action, walking through the same section of game that press were being shown at the E3 expo last month. As the game is being co-developed by Gearbox Software in Dallas and 2K Australia in Canberra, producers from both studios, Gearbox's James Lopez, and fellow Aussie Joel Eschler are on hand to explain everything you're seeing.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 14th.

Post by Eorl @ 10:26am 08/07/14 | 2 Comments
Five years after it debuted as a fan-crafted Half-Life 2 modification, and following a lengthy Greenlight campaign, NeoTokyo has finally arrived onto digital platform Steam as its own standalone title.

Best described as a mix of Counter-Strike's gunplay and influences from sci-fi titles like Neuromancer and Ghost In The Shell, NeoTokyo has had the chance to build a rather reputable community. That community should only increase, as the standalone Steam release bears a $0 price tag, and does not require players own Half-Life 2 or any other game containing the Source engine.

For more on the game, head over to the official Steam page which includes a rundown of technical specs plus developer comments and more. Those enjoying the OST and want to hear it on a more official level can find purchase options through the game's official website.
Post by Dan @ 09:46am 08/07/14 | 1 Comments
Enterprising software engineers have recently found a way into the Wii U's file system through an exploit with the consoles browser. However, the particular entry point has reportedly already been closed inadvertently by to Nintendo's recent version 5.0 firmware update (via GI.biz):
"The bug is still in the browser, but when they added the quick boot menu in 5.0.0, it moved a bunch of code around and broke our ROP (Return Oriented Programming) chain that allows us to gain code execution," a post from the hacking group on the GBAtemp forum reads. "So it IS possible to get it working, we just need to find where the addresses are, which is difficult if you don't have any way to see (with the earlier versions we had binaries and so we could see where the code was), so it may take some time.

"This doesn't work on 5.0.0 since they changed stuff up on us, so first we'd need to port it to 5.0.0, and then our main priority is to start disassembling and looking for an exploit in the kernel which will allow us to do a lot more and allow for homebrew.
Although accessing the Wii U filesystem does not allow running unsigned code on the device, it can help pave the way for the kind of kernal exploits that do.

That said, that limitation hasn't stopped tinkering modders from playing around with game assets to alter the experience of Wii U games, as the below video of Mario Kart 8 demonstrates a couple of crude hacks including altering race music and changing course names.

Post by Eorl @ 09:19am 08/07/14 | 1 Comments
Publisher Activision has today revealed new details on when we can expect Bungie's online sci-fi FPS Destiny to hit the beta stages, with PlayStation platforms gaining access first come July 18th at 3:00 AM AEST.

Following the launch on PlayStation, a brief two-day downtime is expected on July 22nd to July 23rd, and once finished Xbox One and Xbox 360 players will be able to gain access to the beta. Sadly that means that Xbox players will only get access to the beta servers for maximum four days, compared to PlayStation's nearly week-long access.

Alongside the beta dates, Bungie and Activision also revealed three "epic" collector's edition versions of the game. The Destiny Ghost Edition and the Destiny Limited Edition both include a copy of the game in a limited edition SteelBook, an assortment of physical collections in the Guardian Folio (Arms & Armament Field Guide, Postcards from the Golden Age and Antique Star Chart), plus the usual assortment of Collector's Edition DLC that will no doubt be sold separately at a later date. A season pass is also included, which is detailed below on what to expect:
Destiny Expansion Pass – expands the Destiny adventure post-launch with the following two expansions, which will include brand new story missions, cooperative activities and competitive multiplayer arenas, and a wealth of all new weapons, armour and gear to earn:
  • Expansion I: The Dark Below – Set deep beneath the surface of the Moon, fans will discover an ancient tomb that has been unsealed, and a dark god who has risen an evil army in the depths of the Hellmouth, the home of the Hive enemy race
  • Expansion II: House of Wolves – Details will be revealed later
  • PlayStation platforms will also include additional exclusive content with each expansion
  • A Destiny Ghost Edition will also be available for purchase, though scouring the web it looks like most retailers have sold out on this edition so far. The edition includes a replica of the Ghost companion that lights up and makes sounds, plus a Letter of Introduction and Golden Age Relics, which include a Photo, Patch, Sticker and two Chrome slides of the Traveler.

    Destiny will be launching come September 9th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360
    Monday, 7 July 2014
    Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:54pm 07/07/14 | 1 Comments
    AusGamers not only had a chance to get hands-on with a recent build of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition on PS4, but also to chat with the game's senior producer Julia Humphreys and senior level designer (and friend of the site) Matthew Berger.

    In tandem the two went into great detail about what separates this latest console offering from its desktop counterpart while also giving us the skinny on how the game will differ cross-generationally and also between PS4 and Xbox One.

    Click here for our full interview and hands-on feature with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition.
    Post by Dan @ 02:31pm 07/07/14 | 1 Comments
    PC Gamer has spotted that the official Microsoft Store now has a July 15 2014 release date listed for purchases for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor -- the forthcoming PC supported version of the upgraded motion controller sensor that's currently only available for Xbox One.
    The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor gives developers more of the precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice- and gesture-based applications for the Windows desktop and Windows Store. The v2 sensor is intended for use with the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 2.0.
    The product summary notes that the device is intended for developers and that it doesn't ship with any software, however that hasn't stopped purchasers of the original (Xbox 360 equivalent) version of Kinect for Windows from doing some pretty impressive stuff.

    Unlike on Xbox One, the purpose of Kinect for Windows V2 isn't neccessarily videogames, but other innovative uses of environment scanning and user motion control. With experimental "near-field firmware" Microsoft is said to have the useable distance down to between 10cm to 1m, which along with higher resolution, faster processing and lower latency mean big improvements from the previous version.
    Post by Dan @ 10:41am 07/07/14 | 1 Comments
    Microsoft Xbox has released a new promotional video for the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the bundle of older Halo titles that notably features a remastered version of original Xbox classic Halo 2.

    The latest vid features what is presumably in-engine footage from that remastered second adventure, focusing on Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, the former Covenant Elite turned Master Chief ally voiced by Keith David.

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection is due to precede the Spring 2015 (Northern Autumn) launch of Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One. And in case you missed it, be sure to check out our in-depth developer-lead preview session of the Collection here.

    Post by Dan @ 10:22am 07/07/14 | 0 Comments
    Following earlier reports of financial trouble at Crysis and CryEngine creators Crytek, Kotaku is now reporting that employees of Crytek UK -- the Nottingham-based studio currently tasked with the development of Homefront: The Revolution -- have walked out due to unpaid salaries, reportedly handing in formal grievance letters and going home.

    Citing two anonymous sources "connected to the studio", Kotaku claims that "around 100 people have left", but notes that its unclear whether they are permanent resignations or temporary work strikers.

    As the licensed publisher of Homefront: The Revolution, Deep Silver is said to be negotiating a potential purchase of Crytek UK for continued development, but neither Deep Silver or Crytek have officially mentioned anything regarding the whole ordeal.

    It's been a rocky ride for the Homefront series and everyone involved. The first Homefront game was developed by New York-based Kaos Studios, which was shuttered shortly after the game's completion by embattled publisher THQ, which didn't last much longer itself. Crytek UK was established when Crytek purchased Free Radical, the defunct developer of the acclaimed Timesplitters series, and tasked with Homefront: The Revolution, which Crytek had acquired during THQ's bankruptcy proceedings.
    Post by Dan @ 09:53am 07/07/14 | 0 Comments
    Boss Key Productions has been revealed as a new independent game development studio co-founded by Epic Games veteran Cliff Bleszinski, along with Arjan Brussee, also a former Epic Games employee, but more notably the co-founder of Killzone developer Guerilla Games.

    Although Bleszinski is best known for his design work on Unreal Tournament and Gears of War, he's also credited as the creator of 90's platformers Jazz Jackrabbit and Jazz Jackrabbit 2, on which Brussee was the Lead Programmer.

    There's currently no details about Boss Key's first project, but a couple of links on the studio's currently-sparse new official website suggests that it will be titled or codenamed "bluestreak".

    In addition to suggesting that Boss Key should "totally hire Phil Fish as community manager", Bleszinski has promised "more news this coming week".
    Saturday, 5 July 2014
    Post by Eorl @ 11:01am 05/07/14 | 6 Comments
    505 Games has once again returned to the war-torn setting of World War II to continue on from where they left off with Sniper Elite 2, bringing back the fan-favourite X-Ray vision goggles and even more deadly weaponry. Oh, and also Hitler, again.

    To help us understand just how awesome X-Ray vision still is in the series is our own Joab "Joaby" Gilroy, who contemplates that the X-Ray vision may be the only real winner here.
    If it wasn't for that one brilliant thing it does -- Slow-Mo X-Ray Bullet-Cam -- it'd be the sort of game only your dad might pick up in a bargain bin sale, years after it released. Instead it's the KFC's popcorn chicken of videogames, literal trash you cannot stop cramming in your face.
    Check out the full review of Sniper Elite 3 for Joaby's complete thoughts.
    Post by Eorl @ 10:15am 05/07/14 | 1 Comments
    Upcoming digital board game The Witcher Adventure Game has moved into closed beta, developer CD Projekt RED announced.

    Revealed early last month, The Witcher Adventure Game is a digital version of CD Projekt Red's tabletop board game headed to Mac, Windows PC, Android and iOS. The first wave of beta invites went out to those who pre-ordered The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt through GOG. Those interested in catching future waves can sign up at the GOG.com website.

    "We're really eager to hear your feedback, as the closed beta of The Witcher Adventure Game also serves as the first test of the infrastructure and services of the upcoming GOG Galaxy — GOG.com's DRM-free online gaming platform," said Piotr Karwowski, VP of Online Technologies at GOG.

    You can see a trailer for The Witcher Adventure Game below. Learn more about Geralt's upcoming adventures in our latest interview with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's game director, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz.

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