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razer mamba

By on June 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

The Razer-staple Mamba mouse is changing for the better. Last week, as part of Razer’s E3 product launch, they demonstrated the capabilities of the new device, headlined by the 16,000 DPI laser sensor, dual click force customisation, and the addition of its “Chroma” LED colour system. As is the case with most of their hardware, Razer mean business when it comes to ensuring quality and backing up their claims with facts. Not one but three very expensive looking machines filled the small meeting room in the West Hall, each with a mouse filling a custom cut hole. My guide Cherry flicked them on with a flourish and invited me to check out the monitors.

The first two machines monitored click force as relative to travel pressure (I’m honestly not kidding here, check the pictures), showing how the new, simple screw mechanisms on the bottom of the mouse allow each button to supply individual force. Like your buttons to be ultra quick and responsive for those MOBA and RTS micro movements? Or maybe a little more dense and secure for those shots. I was skeptical at first, especially since I didn’t honestly think it mattered… until I set my right mouse button to be quite firm and the left quite light. Oh my. I could get used to that sort of control, thank you very much.

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The Division

By on June 19, 2015 at 3:12 pm

The scenario behind The Division is one of those Tom Clancy archetypes that really gets my shadowy organisation blood flowing. People trained as sleeper cells of sorts that spring into action when serious disaster strikes in order to retain security is a fantastic idea for a game – namely because very few have considered it as an option. As each cell operates independently, but under the same organisational umbrella, what happens when central control has been destroyed? Do the cells start forming their own loose coalition government, or do they end up morphing into warring factions?

The Division leans towards the former but offers a small taste that the former may end up being a possible dilemma that could very well be faced. In a closed room session at Ubisoft’s E3 booth I was offered a chance to go either way. I was teamed up with one other journalist and a member of Ubisoft Montreal’s developer team, who gave us a short rundown on the controls, loadouts and our mission – to enter the “Dead Zone” and secure territory.

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razer forge

By on June 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm

From the moment the Ouya broke onto the scene and broke Kickstarter records, many people have asked: is there even a need for a device that offers mobile gaming options for home use? The common (mis)conception is that many people would prefer to use a console or PC with their TV simply due to their versatility and accessibility. The problem with this argument is that not only are you limited by price (good luck finding an Xbox One or PS4 for less than $400), but what you’re paying for is generally well and truly overpowered for what many people actually use. I have friends who own a PS4 but spend 85% of the time watching Netflix and Hulu Plus on it, with nary a Blu-Ray entering its bowels through the optical orifice.

Unfortunately Ouya turned out to be what many originally expected — underpowered, poorly designed, and lacking a critical mass of quality software. Which it got the size right, its controller was a hot mess of cheap engineering and little quality control, coupled with a user interface that took too long to get right. But there’s still hope for a product to fill this gap — announced earlier this year, I got a chance to check out the Forge TV at Razer’s E3 booth.

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Mirror's Edge Catalyst

By on June 18, 2015 at 4:29 pm

This is embarrassing to admit, but when I play Mirrors Edge I get really nauseous. This is a problem, since the original game is on my top 10 list of all time favourites and I actually kind of dreaded loading it up – the feeling I imagine people who are lactose intolerant have when they want a delicious pizza. But I bought some sea sickness tablets and pushed through the pain, hopping from skyscraper to skyscraper, punching guns out of the hands of nameless corporate drones. Aside from one particular level (CONSTRUCTION SITE AHHHH) I loved the risk that DICE took by creating a title that focused so little time on combat and much more on the graceful and fluid movement of a pretty fantastic female lead.

So when I saw Catalyst teased and finally announced to the world, I was ecstatic. The problem is that I forgot to bring any sea sickness medicine to EA’s booth.

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Star Wars Battlefront

By on June 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Few games in recent times have been more anticipated than Star Wars Battlefront.

Since its announcement last year, it seems to be the title that unites almost every gamer in universal excitement. The full trailer at the EA conference just days ago whipped up an enormous fervour on both social media and live at the conference, so I didn’t mind waiting in line for over an hour to get my hands on a single round of multiplayer. After all, this isn’t just Star Wars. It’s Star Wars inside one of the best FPS engines ever created, coupled with multiple assurances that so much research has gone into the game that even the guy who spent four hours arguing on forums that Han shot first will appreciate the attention to detail.

So I when I sat down into the bottom-most level of EA’s public pavilion, PS4 controller in hand, I was more than ready to become a stormtrooper fighting to dominate Hoth.

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Razer OSVR

By on June 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

At the time of writing, there are now about seven proprietary VR systems (including Oculus, Morpheus, ValveVR, and a number of other less prominent startups) that I could count. All of these systems are being developed independently, ignoring the usual central consortium system to produce particular standards and a common software core — meaning that every publisher in the near future will probably require support for various SDKs and engines in order to ensure they can support virtual reality in their games.

This presents a large problem: multiple engines mean higher production costs to ensure that their software and peripherals are supported by the product that the end user — you, the gamer — happens to own.

As part of Razers new product platform, I was today introduced to Open Source Virtual Reality (or OSVR for short) – a Razer-lead consortium to produce a kind of DirectX for Virtual Reality, a central standard library that supports all sorts of VR based hardware and assorted devices.

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The Witcher 3

By on June 11, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I’ve played The Wild Hunt for close to 120 hours now. Only two RPGs spring to mind that have taken up such a huge block of my time – Skyrim and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Now I loved Skyrim, and I am an enormous BioWare fangirl but I won’t hesitate to say that — in my opinion, of course — The Wild Hunt is better than both of them. It’s more like a combination of both of them, in fact, with the open-world exploration we all loved about Skyrim and the epic storyline of a BioWare game.

But there’s more to it than that.

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Batman Arkham Knight

By on May 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm

A conveniently placed pane of glass shatters as Batman dives through the roof of the building he has been staking out. I’ve spent enough time admiring the gorgeous water effects and talking to the Warner Bros rep about how Gotham’s three islands have been designed to accommodate the Batmobile; it’s time to see whether Batman’s fighting system, oft-imitated in the years since Asylum, has expanded. For the fourth game in a row, I find myself controlling Batman as a room full of muscle men try their damnest to kill him.

This is a big fight, even by the standards of the Arkham games – I’m in the middle of foiling one of the Penguin’s schemes, and he seems to have crammed half of Gotham into the room. In Arkham Knight, Rocksteady’s opening presentation explained, Scarecrow has united all of Batman’s enemies – while the various factions were fractured before, now everyone is throwing everything they’ve got at you all at once. These men come at me with guns and baseball bats, men of all different shapes and sizes, different immunities and weaknesses: more men, I think, than I’ve ever faced at once in the previous games.

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Mad Max

By on May 26, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Fury Road is everything. It is the realisation that every action film before it was missing something. It is the pulsating heart of our hopes and dreams, beating at a million miles per hour. It’s a hell of an act for any videogame to follow, but based on the half-hour I spent playing Mad Max’s videogame debut, developers Avalanche Studios (of Just Cause fame) seem to be going for something a bit different from George Miller’s latest masterpiece.

In Mad Max you play as the eponymous hero, although it’s hard to say which version of Max this is – he doesn’t quite look or sound like either Tom Hardy nor Mel Gibson (despite actor Bren Foster’s heavy ocker accent). This is a slightly different Max from the one we’ve seen on the big screen, but that doesn’t really matter – Max has always been something of a folklore figure, someone who wanders the wastelands involving himself in conflicts, whose actual identity is hard to pin down.

The game puts the character into a position where he’s actually actively driving the story – his car has been stolen, so Max teams up with a resident wasteland weirdo (named Chumbucket) to build a new ‘magnum opus’ vehicle…

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Warhammer 40000 Regicide

By on May 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Interested in the Australian-made Warhammer 40K battle-chess simulator Regicide? You should be, because it’s actually pretty neat and a lot of fun to play, even though it’s only in Early Access.

We’ve happened to grab 20 game keys to give away to 20 lucky readers, and because I happen to know there’s quite a few 40K players in our audience (myself included!) we’re going to do this in two ways…

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By on May 18, 2015 at 11:15 am

Turtle Beach, makers of fine gaming peripherals, have hooked us up with seven double passes to the first-ever Game ON Interactive Festival, on this weekend (May 22 – 24) at Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

Game ON runs for three days, featuring some of the best-known games streamers from all across YouTube, as well as concerts, events, and much more.

If you’re interested in going and you want tickets express-posted to you, all you need to do is…

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By on May 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

Two months ago, a hacker broke into my PSN account, stole $100 off my credit card, and enjoyed a few hours of Dying Light before I was able to kick them out.

I got my account back — but Sony absolutely refused to give me back the $100, despite acknowledging that it was stolen money they should never have received in the first place. Here’s what happened to me, and how you can get your money back if it happens to you.

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