All posts under Promoted
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

By on October 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

When you’ve been overseas for a fairly long time, you start to yearn for something more familiar. Not cane sugar Coke, Tim Tams or any of that rubbish, but the basic elements of social interaction that genuinely make you feel comfortable. Deep inside the Alps about 10 years ago, homesick and lonely, the Byron Bay-born bartender at my hostel became my best friend for three hours.

Hearing a genuine Australian accent within 20 minutes of starting Borderlands: The Pre Sequel instantly gave me a rapport with the game that only a few thousand other people would share. For once, there was regional humour, slang, and jokes in a game that weren’t painfully ripped out of a failed Crocodile Dundee script, and I fully appreciated all of the touches that said “Yes, this game was made in Australia, by Australians, and we should be proud of that”. But The Pre-Sequel is the sum of all its parts, and I wouldn’t be a very good critic if my entire review was simply an acknowledgement of the fact that 2K Australia exists, would I?

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The Evil Within

By on October 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

The Evil Within is a lot like being a teenager again. The world is full of rules that you have to follow, but all around you people are constantly breaking them and flaunting it in your face. You can use a hatchet to kill a bad guy, but then it breaks instantly for some reason. Enemies shoot at you with guns, but you can’t pick up their guns because they disappear when they’re killed. If you use a torch to burn an enemy’s body, it disappears. But if you don’t burn the body, it’ll come back to life and kill you. Oh, you hesitated and thought about it for too long. Now you’re dead.

The Evil Within is not really a game. It’s sort of an interactive punishment simulator.

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Exit Sign

By on August 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm

When it comes time to make a point about an important issue the tool I usually default to is humour, or satire, because I find it’s easiest to change people’s minds if you can make them laugh along with you. A lot of awful things have happened this week, and in the week before, and I’ve tried a few times to think of a clever way I could write them up while still getting the point across that, hey, things are really bad. I can’t. So here we are.

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Shadow Realms

By on August 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

BioWare Austin — now best known for Star Wars: The Old Republic – is trying to do something very different to what they’ve done before. Shadow Realms is an episodic, 4 versus 1 dungeon crawler that might even be free-to-play come its 2015 launch. Taking a risk.

The idea, though, is an interesting and commendable one. Inspired by pen and paper RPGs of the Dungeons and Dragons mould,  Shadow Realms aims to put the rules and the design of player-to-player conflict back into the hands of the participants and away from the designers. The ‘Shadow Lord’ is controlled by a single player, with the goal of destroying four heroes… think of him like a Dungeon Master, the person that dictates the pacing and the difficulty of the challenge facing the four.

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Dragon Age Inquistion

By on August 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not a heterophobe — I know plenty of straight people in real life, and they’re all kind, good, loving souls. But I feel like we have to draw the line somewhere and say: does every game really need to have a token straight character? It’s like, we get it: you’re attracted to the opposite sex. Wow. What an interesting character trait.

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