All posts under Feature
Destiny

By on July 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm

The more I play Destiny, the more I struggle to define what keeps drawing me back in.

On the surface, there’s a lot to offer. Perhaps it’s the way Destiny manages to recycle much of the same content while still keeping it fresh and enjoyable — something many other MMOs have not been able to do. The combat is satisfying in a way that many shooters fail to execute correctly, because they either make the enemies too easy or too difficult. Charging through the nameless hordes, organically pouring out of dropships or quietly shuffling around the guarded shells of a dead Earth, continues to excite especially after you find that great new weapon or apply that upgrade.

The grind still exists and Destiny isn’t pretending it isn’t there — it’s just going out of its way to make sure you’re still having fun while doing it.

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Survarium

By on July 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

There are times when I’m playing a game — during those crucial stages where you desperately search for some sort of new mechanic or interesting function to latch on to — where I audibly sigh. I sigh because the game is uninspired, because I feel overly cynical for making such a snap judgement, and because I realise I’ve been playing and critiquing games for so long that it becomes second nature. Survarium made me sigh because I struggled to see the point of why it existed, in a sea of titles that were genuinely attempting to make a mark on the landscape and taking risks. The fact that the game took a shocking 36 hours to download should have given me an indication that the PVP-only beta I was about to play wasn’t even hosted properly.

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Heroes of the Storm

By on July 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

It’s hardly a secret to anyone that the learning curve of a MOBA is about as close to vertical as any game gets, right up there with EVE Online, DCS UH-1H Huey and Battletoads. All of DOTA’s various successors have tried in one way or another to bolt some rungs onto that vertical wall: League of Legends removed denying and tried to sort players based on skill, DOTA 2 added an impressive in-game help system, and Heroes of Newerth… okay, HoN did nothing.

All of these things are great, but they didn’t go far enough. Let’s look at why Heroes of the Storm is knocking it out of the park and then punching the park in the face.

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Valiant Hearts

By on July 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm

It’s hard to reconcile the fact that there are actually two Ubisofts.

On the one hand you have BlockBuster Ubisoft who push out AAA games out a mile a minute with the best open-world technology and more side-quests and DLC than you can poke a stick at — and on the other hand you have Quirky Ubisoft, responsible for titles like the ridiculously fun Rayman Legends and the haunting Child of Light. Valiant Hearts, quite frankly, only makes this worse.

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Sniper Elite 3

By on July 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

I share a longstanding joke with a colleague where every single Nazi-themed game instantly fails if you do not get the chance to kill Hitler. Hitler can be in any sort of form: Robot, Zombie, Art Deco, whatever. He just needs to have the iconic mustache, short stocky stature and a strong dose of facist dogma in order to meet the grade, and provide that most excellent of releases that video games were designed for.

The problem is that World War 2 was, frankly, a World War, and Hitler couldn’t exactly be in every theatre at once. So, unfortunately, in Sniper Elite 3 you do not get to kill Hitler.

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Warhammer 40000 Eternal Crusade

By on June 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I’m forcing myself to be awake and coherent at 6:30 in the morning so I can have a chin-wag with Behaviour Interactive. This isn’t the most outrageous thing I’ve done in the name of Warhammer 40,000 — after all I have worked retail for Games Workshop, ahaha, aha — but as I blearily spoon porridge into my mouth and listen to the voices coming down the other end of my Skype call from Montreal, I can’t help but get a little bit excited.

With the sudden implosion of Dark Millennium Online in 2012 and the rapid advances in server technology, the time is definitely right for a balls-out, action-packed and above-all war-filled 40K MMO. Can Behaviour Interactive deliver? After chatting with lead game designer Brent Ellison and lead programmer Patrick Balthazar, I believe they can.

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GRID Autosport

By on June 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

Fans of Codemaster’s 2008 release Racedriver: GRID and its 2013 sequel, GRID 2, know what to expect from the series; beautiful graphics, a mix of real-world and fantasy racing tracks and a lengthy career progression system. Had 2014′s sequel, GRID Autosport, been released just a few years earlier, it might have easily delivered a top of the line racing experience. But in a market brimming with high-octane content, can this title fire on all cylinders and stay ahead of the competition?

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Steam Sale

By on June 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm

The Steam Sales (starting tonight!) have ceased just being a great excuse to buy cheap games, and instead turned into a sort of terrifying seasonal force to be feared and kept at bay by regular sacrifices.

It’s hard to know quite when this transformation occurred, but somewhere along the line somebody started making hilarious YouTube videos about it, and now no Steam Sale is complete without one.

Mostly for my own amusement and convenience, I’ve rounded up my eleven favourites below. Perhaps you will sit and watch them with me as we huddle in terror at the approach of our lord.

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Piracy

By on June 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm

This guest post contributed by our Chief Regulatory Officer at iiNet, Steve Dalby. 

Another news cycle, and yet again we see the recycled claims suggesting Australia is the worst nation in the world for Internet piracy. This may not actually be the case, but there can be no debate that work still remains to be done to effectively combat piracy.

The Australian Government is readying legislation, if news reports are to be believed, which would require ISPs such as iiNet to send infringement notices to our customers while, at the same time, blocking certain websites which provide access for customers to download and share unauthorised content.

We believe the Government is heading down the wrong path if they’re serious about protecting copyright.

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Destiny

By on June 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Activision’s brand new console-exclusive IP Destiny is a huge risk — the whopping $500 million dollar budget makes it the most expensive video game production ever, almost doubling GTA V‘s development cost of $267 million. There’s no denying that developers Bungie have got the goods, and their hallowed Halo history makes them well-placed to build the most expensive and expansive shooter ever — but can it deliver where others have failed? I took a look at the recent alpha weekend on PS4 and asked myself: will this work, and does it also deserve to have a place on PC?

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Assassin's Creed Unity

By on June 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Ubisoft are copping a lot of flak today from WHINY FEMINISTS because there aren’t any playable female characters in Assassin’s Creed: Unity or in Far Cry 4. Ubisoft say it’s not because they didn’t WANT to include women, they just couldn’t figure it out or didn’t have the money.

But apparently that’s not enough for these bleeding heart idiots! Well I’m here to issue some STRAIGHT DOPE on why women should just shut up about this and get back to whatever it is women do (I don’t know, I’m between relationships right now).

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RimWorld

By on June 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Nowadays, the average gamer finds themselves awash with choices of game to Kickstart, Access Early, or otherwise crowdsource. Much to my chagrin, this seems to have caught on – but as it turns out, sometimes a particular game has a proof of concept so compelling, so goddamn fun to play, that even a few months in it’s proven totally worthwhile.

Enter the unfortunately titled RimWorld – a survival sim set to a sci-fi/Western backdrop.

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murdered_soul_suspect

By on June 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Murdered: Soul Suspect feels hollow, and that’s not just because you’re a ghost. Remember the good-looking but detached dalliances you might’ve had with Asura’s Wrath and/or Beyond: Two Souls? This is like that. It has that exact same inconsequential feel of having been intended as a movie, but made by people who ended up in games.

Which sucks even more in this case, because MSS’ narrative is only compelling in so far as it’s a mystery. Every well-worn cinematic cliché and dramatic device of the afterlife is good and accounted for here…

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