All posts under Promoted
civilization_beyond_earth_1

By on July 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

What does Australia look like in 250 years time? The task of imagining that — and the fate of other nations — fell upon the shoulders of Firaxis’ Will Miller and David McDonough in Civilization: Beyond Earth. Will and David are both sharing the role of lead designer, which is quite unusual for a game project, but both of them readily admit that they’re “relatively young designers”.

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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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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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