All posts under Feature
destiny

By on September 4, 2015 at 9:25 am

The hotly-anticipated Destiny expansion, The Taken King, launches very soon on September 15.  In an exclusive livestream to me last night while I was asleep, Bungie revealed all the changes you can expect as part of this blockbuster expansion. I don’t know anything about Destiny, so I’ve transcribed everything as best I can. Please enjoy.

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Dragon Age Inquisition The Descent

By on August 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm

There are a few different kinds of story-based DLC. The upcoming Trespasser DLC, as we can see from this trailer, has been designed for the player who has finished the main game and is looking for closure. Other kinds, like previous Dragon Age DLC Jaws of Hakkon, can be enjoyed at any time, before or after the main campaign is finished. And there is the last category, that I feel The Descent falls into – the kind meant to be played while you’re still completing the main storyline.

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Until Dawn

By on August 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Being a PS4-exclusive interactive movie, the temptation to compare Until Dawn to previous titles like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls is obvious. With its focus on choice and consequence, though, as you play through you’ll find yourself comparing it more and more to a Telltale game, specifically The Walking Dead, in my case.

But while the gameplay might remind you of a Telltale title, Until Dawn is placed firmly and deliberately in the “interactive movie” genre. It studiously and overtly uses tropes common in the “teen slasher” subgenre of horror – teens alone in a cabin in the wilderness, easily definable character stereotypes like “the bitchy cheerleader” or “the loveable nerd” – so that the player immediately understands what’s going on.

Once the setting is quickly and easily established, the player can then focus on what the game wants you to focus on – your choices and their consequences for the characters.

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StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void

By on August 10, 2015 at 4:43 pm

With Legacy of the Void fast approaching, don’t you wish that you could get in ahead of launch and practice to make sure that you’ll be able to thrash your stupid friends into the ground as soon as the servers go live? No? Well, I think you should, and thanks to Blizzard I’m here to hand out 165 beta keys to Legacy of the Void so that your relentless assault on your friends’ faces can begin.

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Doom

By on July 28, 2015 at 9:14 am

Doom 3 was a surprisingly slower-paced sequel to fast-paced predecessors. It emphasised horror and had just as many troughs as it did peaks. You should absolutely not expect that kind of treatment of the material with id Software’s 2016 take on Doom. It’s fast as hell and has distilled a lot of what was great about the first two games in the series, splicing it into an unholy union of old-school mechanics and contemporary design.

In terms of multiplayer, it’s more Strogg than hell spawn, borrowing heavily from id’s other big dormant shooter IP, Quake, while simultaneously cheekily appropriating from Quake’s biggest foe, Unreal. Doom’s single-player is mostly under wraps in terms of the story – although the team hinted at the story being on par with the first two games – but the multiplayer was fair game for us to get our hands on at QuakeCon 2015.

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Fallout 4

By on July 27, 2015 at 10:06 am

Bethesda Game Studios last three games – Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim – have all received a lot of love from the Game of the Year category. That’s the no-pressure titbit that the vice president of marketing and PR at Bethesda, Pete Hines, led with in his brief introduction to one of the main events at QuakeCon 2015: an exclusive presentation of Fallout 4.

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avcon_indies_2015

By on July 23, 2015 at 3:31 pm

There’s nothing like an indie area at a convention to remind a games journalist how comparatively easy their job is. On all three days of AVCon, Adelaide’s favourite anime and videogame expo, I walked in at midday and spent a few hours sauntering around the Indie Games Room, playing incredible feats of artistic achievement and chatting with the nervous, exhausted geniuses who made them, all the while making a mental list of the five games I’d end up briefly covering in this article afterwards.

It’s impossible to do full justice to the level of quality of our local game developers: I didn’t play a single game all weekend that wasn’t admirable in some wonderful way. But still, here are the awards we’d hand out if we could afford the precious metals and plaques.

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Heroes of the Storm

By on July 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm

When Heroes of the Storm came along and stripped out much of what makes the MOBA genre so insanely difficult for new players to learn, hardcore players rejected it almost immediately.

It was a “MOBA for casuals”, it “wasn’t difficult”, it “wouldn’t have staying power”. By allowing new players to feel accepted and competent within a much quicker period of time, older players instantly felt upset that their experience wasn’t being valued. They figured that this accessibility was due to an innate lack of challenge or depth – in much of the same way many people derided Hearthstone in its infancy.

But confusing accessibility with a lack of difficulty is a common mistake.

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battlecry

By on July 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

It is going to be an extraordinarily rough year for any developer or publisher who wants you to spend money on their team shooter. There are at least three new heavy duty contenders (including Dirty Bomb, Overwatch and, now, BattleCry) competing with a host of established F2P offerings like Team Fortress 2, Warface and Blacklight.

BattleCry enters the arena at an unusual time – after a a brief public showing at PAX last year, its developer team promised me that they had gone back and worked over a number of the complaints players had with hit registration and class differentiation. So it was with interest that I took an invitation to jump the queue at Bethesda’s E3 booth, strapped on some headphones and feel into the world of BattleCry.

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pax_aus_2015

By on July 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm

As we approach this year’s PAX Australia — October 30 to November 1, don’tchaknow — we’re as painfully aware as everyone else that those elusive 3-Day Passes, valued at $160 each, are all sold out.

If only there was some sort of gaming website that was giving them away! Wait, hang on a tick, I’m getting a call [indistinct whispering]… Oh! Okay! We are giving away two 3-Day Double Passes. We are. There you go.

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Batman: Arkham Knight

By on July 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT.

DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THE STORY OF BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT.

Gotham City is under siege. Its citizens have either fled or huddle indoors while gangs of deranged villains roam the streets with impunity. Batman’s villains, finally sick of the Dark Knight, have teamed up to take him down once and for all. Under pressure and in a race against time, Batman glides and swoops through the open world, fighting against overwhelming odds and chasing down collectibles and side missions while the Joker screams and laughs at him every five minutes.

What Arkham game am I talking about here? Don’t worry if you’re puzzled, we’ll come back to it.

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Batman: Arkham Knight

By on July 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Dark Rainy City is a tough place. That’s why Scary Mask Man is here to bring his two-fisted brand of justice to the dark, rainy streets — and this time he’s up against his old foe Fear Man and his new foe, Mystery Bad Man. Join Scary Mask Man as he punches crime to within an inch of its life (but not any further, because Scary Mask Man has sworn a solemn vow never to kill).

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EVE Valkyrie

By on July 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm

I’ve been in the very lucky position to go hands-on with quite a few different VR technologies over the past few years. From the original Oculus DK1 to Sony’s Morpheus to Razer’s OSVR, it’s plain to see that everyone is foreshadowing that our screens are going to be sitting a lot closer to our faces in coming years. At E3 2015, I got a chance to play EVE Valkyrie on the Oculus Rift consumer model. It was amazing.

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Rainbow Six Siege

By on July 1, 2015 at 3:10 pm

There are few things more satisfying than successfully executing a well laid plan. I still have fond memories of the map, dot and line system of the original Rainbow Six titles – where engagements were planned via a series of drawn lines, frantic circles and a few small arguments in regards to breach locations and what equipment to bring. Then there were the coordinated actions, that beautiful shock and awe moment when all four members simultaneously blast/rappel/storm one or many locations at once before the tangos even know the cavalry has arrived. Part of that appeal was the inevitable failure that accompanied a woefully nieve takedown plan — but then you just re-evaluate, and start again.

Ubisoft has taken yet another departure in its latest re-imagining of Rainbow Six, which they’re calling Siege.

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Ghost Recon Wildlands

By on June 29, 2015 at 4:51 pm

To be honest, Ghost Recon was not a title I expected to see at this year’s E3 — and after its out-of-nowhere reveal of Wildlands at the end of Ubisoft’s press conferences, I was ushered behind the curtain for my closed door session to find, sadly, that it was a strictly hands-off demo only.

Wildlands is Ghost Recon‘s first proper gameplay evolution since its inception, and from its fairly decent linear shooting roots Wildlands, like many other titles this E3, has expanded its scope to reduce its reliance on scripted gameplay and allow players to create their own unique experiences.

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Destiny the Taken King

By on June 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

If you clicked on this and wanted to know whether The Taken King is fun – it is. It’s a solid continuance of the Destiny story, alongside a bunch of new PVP and PVE content. If you are a Destiny fan, what this DLC offers is a solid effort that you will likely enjoy.

But I’m going to break preview protocol a little now and talk about why I don’t think this expansion is good value for money.

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Just Cause 3

By on June 25, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Originally a semi-serious attempt at producing a title where you attempt to take down of a totalitarian regime, Just Cause quickly evolved into arguably the best sandbox for creating almost every type of explosion you can think of.

In its two previous incarnations you could hijack vehicles, crash them into other vehicles, buildings, military installations, small towns and blow up almost every object in the world. There was some element of a story, sure, but no-one actually cared about it. Square Enix seems to have taken this to heart: during our hands-off gameplay demonstration of Just Cause 3, they didn’t even mention the story at all…

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

By on June 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Possible spoilers for Human Revolution within.

I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed that my first look at the long-awaited Human Revolution sequel was a hands off demo. But as was the case with many titles at this years’ E3, the games announced and shown are not actually going to out for at least 6-8 months. As a result, what we’re seeing is usually pre-alpha — largely feature complete, but without a lot of the polish and shine that will come through on the final release.

Still, there was much to see and what I did feast my eyes on was both revealing and as the same time a little relieving – enough has changed to be different, but the bulk of what made the original great is still shining through. Welcome to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

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Dark Souls 3

By on June 24, 2015 at 4:06 pm

It was in a very tight, dark and ominous meeting room upstairs in the back of Bandai Namco’s media area that Dark Souls 3 was very unceremoniously unveiled to me and a number of other press. Two representatives from the developer team, one who only spoke Japanese alongside his very patient translator, gradually walked us through about 20 minutes of footage (no hands-on for us, I’m afraid), highlighting a number of changes while being very careful not to spoil anything nor inadvertently reveal any information they weren’t ready to divulge.

But what I could see, frankly, was that Dark Souls 3 was looking utterly gorgeous.

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Total War Warhammer

By on June 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Let’s face it – Warhammer has always been crying out for an opportunity to hit the wide, digital, battlefield. Thousands of units, sprawling, epic, battle arenas with volcanoes, castles and the like. So it was with great excitement that Tim ordered me with great haste to Deep Silver’s media room, where I was offered a cold cranberry juice and the opportunity to check out a hands off gameplay demo of Total War: Warhammer. I was not disappointed with the results (although the cranberry juice was a little sugary for my liking — America, right?).

Total War: Warhammer is not your father’s Total War. Gone are the historical restrictions that once prevented the developers from branching out into the unordinary. With the license in hand, Creative Assembly have started cracking apart the engine to allow all sorts of weird and wacky additions to combat.

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