Three years ago I walked into the doors of AusGamers' secret hideout not really knowing what I was getting myself into, but as I was greeted by some of the coolest people I've ever met I knew that AusGamers was going to be an instrumental part to my life. Today, that journey comes to an end, but not without leaving me with some of the best memories I could ever have of the industry I love.
I want to thank each and every one of the readers of AusGamers for coming to the website and reading my daily spiel of news. It has been absolutely wonderful working with such a talented team, especially Chief Editor Stephen Farrelly who has not only been a great friend but an amazing mentor on how the world of gaming journalism works. If it wasn't for his enthusiasm I don't think AusGamers would be where it is today.
While I may be leaving the gaming journalism world to venture out into other career opportunities I will definitely be sticking around the gaming world. So if you happen to see an Eorl running around don't be shy and come say hi. I've made a lot of friendships thanks to the ever-evolving world of gaming, and I wouldn't want to stop now.
So, thank you both AusGamers and our fans for taking me through this amazing journey. I truly could not have seen the guts of our billion dollar hobby without you all, and for that I will always be grateful. AusGamers can only continue to grow, and I can't wait to see where that journey leads to.
Turn-based strategy A Druid's Duel has launched itself onto Steam, with indie developer Thoughtshelter Games offering a 20% discount to celebrate its fantastical launch.
Residing in the Realm of Six Seasons, which takes a nice dollop of Bastion's floating island-like level design, players will be challenged with controlling territories and resources as they fight their way through various tough conditions. Boasting over 130 levels in either a single-player or four-player co-op campaign, A Druid's Duel definitely has the content value secured.
The game is available now on Steam for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, plus it currently features a 20% discount putting it at only $7.99USD. Check out the launch trailer below to see it in action.
ArenaNet has announced new changes coming to their March 10th update for Guild Wars 2 that will finally see a first-person camera option added to the game, one that has been missing since the game's official launch three years ago.
Like other MMO's, activating the first-person view will be as simple as scrolling the camera all the way forward, and no restrictions are in place as to when or where you can use it. Finally, its time to see those vistas in glorious first-person view.
Of course like any update to an MMO it isn't just first-person view coming in the March 10th update, with additional camera changes being added. These include: a field of view slider for struggling users; a position slider split between horizontal position and vertical position; collision sensitivity that will determine when the camera will "snap in" upon how much stuff is between the character and camera; and changes to the camera now focusing on the player's head, which should make us Norn players feel rather tall compared to the puny Asura.
ArenaNet will be showing off the update in a Twitch stream later tonight, but further information can also be read in the blog update here.
Data miners have reportedly uncovered clues as to what Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft's next big adventure content could be, pointing to a possible Blackrock Mountain setting for the free-to-play card game.
World of Warcraft fans will know of Blackrock Mountain and its significance in the Warcraft lore, having served as the birthing place for the fiery lord Ragnaros. According to Hearthstone fansite Hearthhead, the information obtained by the data mining points to an achievement called "brm presale," as well as three card backs for Ragnaros, Molten Core and Golden Celebration.
The fansite suggests that the card backs are definitely relevant to a Blackrock Mountain setting, considering Ragnaros' powerplay in the mountains and of course Molten Core being located in Blackrock Mountain. The "Golden Celebration" card back could also be used for Hearthstone's one-year anniversary.
Blizzard has of course not confirmed any of the rumours suggested today, neither have they mentioned anything about the game's one-year anniversary. IGN had previously reported that the next expansion could be seen in April though, so we may be getting some more information sooner than later.
NetherRealm confirmed in an early morning Twitch stream that upcoming arcade fighter Mortal Kombat X will be bringing back the series much loved Brutality feature, with over 100 expected to be seen in the game.
The actual feature hasn't been seen since the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, though Mortal Kombat X was said to be using the same principle of beating your opponent to a bloody pulp of mush. This time round though, the Brutalities will end with leaving your opponent dismembered in some fashion.
Brutalities for Mortal Kombat X will also be more accessible and easier to perform, NetherRealm mentioned in the stream. Do note that these finishers are performed towards the end of the match, but not after the long-running "FINISH HIM" tradition. Like the old school days, Brutalities will require a specific set of conditions that will need to be filled before performing the gory moves.
Discussion on Mortal Kombat X's Kombat Pack was also revealed during the stream, with NetherRealm noting that it will act as something of a season pass. DLC characters will be featured in the pack, which are currently in-development now (and not on the disc as emphasised by NetherRealm), along with some additional skins for variety. The Kombat Pack will come in the game's Special Edition, but also be sold separately.
Check out the full stream below (or on Twitch) to get your first glimpse at the Brutalities (skip to 18:15 for a montage).
This week's Throwback Thursday almost needs no introduction - it is Monolith's epic, blood-curdling (attempted) Doom-squisher, Blood from 1997.
From this week's feature:
Blood from Monolith Productions is very much a Doom-clone. An overly violent, sadistically fun shooter where the focus is squarely on action, set across a number of levels where the goals are based around finding different keys and exits. Built utilising 3D Realms’ Build Engine, the platform that helped make Duke Nukem a household name, Blood was one of the higher profile Doom-clones of the ‘90s. A lot of that probably had to do with the name and setting, which fittingly brought a lot of media attention to the game thanks to a number of weapons that could turn enemies into screaming fireballs before they exploded in a firework display of blood and bone. Like the flare gun, napalm launcher, and aerosol can and lighter combo.
The MOBA genre is ever-growing, and today's addition is one that will surely bring out a gleeful cheer from any Games Workshop fans: Dark Nexus Arena, a Warhammer 40k-inspired MOBA in-development by Whitebox Interactive.
Details on what exactly we can expect are still light, though the official website does show a glimpse at three "Veterans" that the player will choose to control. So far the confirmed are; Ork Stormboys, Space Marine Assault Terminators and Tau Empire Fire Warriors, each with a variety of different moves.
What does seem apparent is that the veteran makeup of skills is almost a direct liking to Dota 2's, with included passives, three normal abilities and an ultimate to deal devastating effects. For you lore fans the game will be set in the Dark Eldar homeworld of Commorragh.
Early access is expected to go live some in Q2 of 2015, however limited edition game bundles are being offered for those who aren't quite of the waiting variety. They range from $25 for basic early access through to $250 for a "Flesh-Sculptor" pack that is sure to woo the ladies. Find out more through the official site or checking out the trailer below.
Upcoming non-combat MMO Wander has had a new trailer released today giving us an overlook of the environment players will be able to explore as they shift and change into a variety of unique forms, one of which is the amphibious Azertash.
Previously we hadn't seen the Azertash in action, but in this trailer we get to see the water creatures chill out and take some sun in. As Azertash you'll be able to explore the depths of the ocean and discover its various mysteries contained within, something Australian developer Wander MMO (yes, that is their real name) talks in great detail about in their new blog update.
Among the Azertash are a variety of different forms seen in the trailer, including the Oren, an ambulant tree that players will start as when entering the game. You'll also be able to take control of the Hira, a character form that the developers have finally unveiled in today's blog post.
Wander will be heading to PC and PlayStation 4 "soon", though expect more to come out about the game as we approach its release.
Dennaton Games' highly-anticipated top-down ultra-violent sequel Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has finally been given a solid release date of March 10th, though the game is sadly still banned here in Australia.
Back in January our Australian Classification Board ruled that Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number would not receive a classification due to an apparent scene in the game that implied sexual rape. A refused classification means the game can not be sold publicly or advertised, though developer Dennaton Games has suggested that Australian fans simply pirate the game.
For those who are able to purchase Hotline Miami 2 and happen to also own PayDay 2 will receive a Jacket character pack and exclusive masks for free. Purchasing the standard edition of Hotline Miami 2 gets you the Hotline Miami Mask Pack, which comes with six masks: Richter the Rat, Jake the Snake, Alex the Swan, Tony the Tiger, Corey the Zebra, and Helmet. The mask pack also adds 5 gallons of Hype Fuel for PayDay 2’s Hype Train event.
Those purchasing the Digital Special Edition of Hotline Miami 2 will receive the Jacket character set, all six masks plus the additional “Richard Returns” mask, a Sociopath perk deck, the Carpenter’s Delight hammer weapon, an SMG called Jacket’s Piece, and 10 gallons of Hype Fuel.
Due to Australia not selling the game, Dennaton has asked that those who do happen to find a way to buy the game send Overkill an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Australian Heister calling in” as the subject line.
You’ll then need to verify your Australian citizenship with an ID or passport in order to receive a special code for the PayDay 2 content.
Local indie developer Stegabyte has sent over word that their amazing 4D puzzler Under the Sun is now available for free on iOS, with an Android version expected to launch sometime soon after.
In Under the Sun you are tasked with reaching the campfire before nightfall. Simple enough task, however the tricky part is in time itself: you only have a set amount of moves before nightfall. Moving along block by block counts as one "turn" of time, meaning you don't want to waste a block move just to see what happens.
While moving forward in time, you'll also notice that the level itself changes. Trees grow, bridges rot and creatures move, all changing the layout of the level as you move through it.
The other unique feature about Under the Sun is that it isn't just going forward in time that players take part in, but also going backwards. With a simple cog wheel to the side of the screen, players can unwind back their steps, figuring out just where they went wrong. This opens up the ability to retrace your steps and correct your mistakes, but also run the wheel forward to see what changes due to the time mechanic.
Under the Sun offers an extremely unique take on the square-by-square puzzle genre. While you are mindful of your steps needed to complete the game, you also have to keep an eye on the environment shifting around you, changing how your current approach is to finding that campfire. Difficulty ramps up as you get further into the game, and the developers have stated that more unique locations are in the works that will bring about new mechanics. These can include snow-based levels that may freeze certain parts of the level, rising tides and even shifting land masses.
You can grab yourself a copy of the game over here, with an optional purchase available to remove those pesky ads.
Words can not describe how excited I am for Rockstar's next addition to the Arkham series, and today's release of a new trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight has extended that hype even further thanks to some amazing looking gameplay in action.
Titled "Gotham is Mine", the trailer takes a look at just how controlling the villains of Gotham City truly are since we last saw them, including some big names like Harley, Joker, Riddler and even Cobblepot. Leading those is the nightmare-inducing man himself, Scarecrow, and his mysterious guest Arkham Knight who we hope to discover their true identity during the game.
Check out the trailer below which shows you just how expansive Gotham is this time around, and also a nice look at how you'll interact with the Batmobile on your journey to save Gotham City. Batman: Arkham Knight is out June 3rd for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
After a successful Steam Greenlight campaign, first-person puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life will be heading for an official Steam release on February 27th, developers Deco Digital and Bevel Studios announced today.
The February release also coincides with the puzzler's launch on Xbox One, where it will be served as an exclusive for 30 days. Both versions are priced at $19.99 each, although a 10% discount will be available for launch on Steam.
If the idea of a first-person puzzler isn't enough for you, the game will also be releasing with Oculus Rift DK2 support, showing off the shiny Unreal Engine 4 details in full perspective.
"Pneuma: Breath of Life is an enthralling first person puzzler putting gamers' minds to the test in a visually stunning world using Unreal Engine 4 and Physically Based Rendering. Pneuma provides players with an unrivalled sense of adventure and a relentless determination to solve each puzzle and progress through a story of self-discovery, exploring the fundamental nature of being."
Delivering the bad news again, developer Rockstar has revealed in a new update that the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V is once again delayed, pushing the release to April 14th.
Originally scheduled for January 27th, Rockstar previously pushed the game back to March 24th, however we hope that the April release is final and won't be changing again.
"Our apologies to PC gamers worldwide who have been counting down the days until the launch of the game, but a bit more time is needed to ensure that the game is as polished as possible, and to make certain that both Heists and the GTA Online experience are ready to roll out on day one for PC."
It isn't all bad news though, with Rockstar offering $200,000 in-game cash for those who pre-order the game. Also mentioned is that Online Heists - a four-player cooperative mission mode - will finally be going live on March 10th for PlayStation and Xbox, with PC gaining access on its launch.
Publisher Perfect World has today revealed an in-depth look into what we can expect for the Xbox One version of free-to-play MMO Neverwinter, which is due to arrive early this year.
The console version will be including all content from the Tyranny of Dragons expansions, which on PC increased the number of playable classes to seven (Guardian Fighter, Great Weapon Fighter, Control Wizard, Trickster Rogue, Devoted Cleric, Hunter Ranger and Scourge Warlock). As well as the expansion, the console version will also include all current content and balancing in the PC version, up to and including Tyranny of Dragons. PC's latest class addition, Oathbound Paladin, will be coming to Xbox One after launch.
Sadly PC and Xbox One servers will be separate, however all free and premium races available on PC will be making their way to Xbox One come launch. While free-to-play, Neverwinter does include a variety of microtransactions ranging from companions, mounts and various boosts.
Valve has today announced its plans for next week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, noting that it will be showing off a family of new Steam devices alongside the final Steam Controller, plus an assortment of new living room devices and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system.
Valve's own virtual reality has been shrouded in mystery for awhile now, but in June of last year we got a glimpse at the headset thanks to a showing in Boston. According to a Reddit recount of the event, the headset consisted of "dual vertical S4 (OLED) screens, running a total of 2160x1280," though we aren't sure if that has been revised but time will tell.
Of course, Valve isn't the only one at GDC that will be showing virtual reality gear, with Oculus, Sony and most likely Samsung all heading to the event to show off their respective hardware. One thing is for sure, virtual reality is definitely becoming a true reality.
GDC will also mark the 13th anniversary of Valve's first public announcement of Steam, which has now grown to over 4500 games, 400 million user-generated content and 125 million active accounts. That is definitely one milestone to celebrate, and hopefully we may get a hint at the elusive Half Life 3.
The rumour mill is churning thanks to a recent piece from Bloomberg that suggests a new Rock Band could be making its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, though you may want to take this with a huge grain of salt.
According to an anonymous source "familiar with the plan", developer Harmonix are currently working on the new-gen version. Of course this isn't a large surprise thanks to a number of recent hints from the developer.
Back in January new DLC for the past-gen Rock Band 3 began releasing, almost two years after it was retired. A few recent polls have also made their way to the public, gauging interest on a revitalised Rock Band plus asking rather specific questions like "do you want to use your old instruments."
Would you be interested in a new Rock Band? What songs would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!
The 3DS is now a time-travel device designed to have you relive the last three days over and over again so that you can listen to everyone around you and fix their time-looped lives. At least that's what occurs when you dive into the dark and tangential world of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
From our review:
In a first for the Zelda series, and a tangent that hasn’t happened since, Majora’s Mask is not a grand adventure the size of A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword. This isn’t to say it’s purpose is without a grandiose finale. After all, successful completion of Link’s Groundhog Day adventure stops a creepy moon from crushing the land of Termina, saving the lives of everyone you meet, but it’s the point of those personalities that gives this game its momentum. The hapless and helpless denizens of Termina are each a milestone in your progressive gameplay, they’re like individual levels you gain through a masterful understanding of their movements and desires. And sometimes their torments.
Patch 2.2.0 is on the horizon for Diablo 3, and Blizzard has jumped in early to warn that recent datamined information won't be relevant to all regions; specifically of the microtransaction nature, which we can expect to be secluded to the Asian market.
Community manager Brandy ‘Nevalistis’ Camel took to the Battle.net forums to outline that the recent datamined Platinum currency, times experience boosts, stash space and character slot expansions as well as some new cosmetic items will be excluded from the Western release.
“While the above features will not apply to this region, players will still benefit from some of the quality of life perks tied to these additions, such as a streamlined UI for selecting cosmetic benefits like pets and Collector’s Edition wings,” noted Camel.
“We recognize that many players have expressed an interest in microtransactions being added to Diablo 3. While we may explore this model in some regions, we have no immediate plans to implement such purchases anytime soon for the Americas (nor European) region.”
What are your thoughts on introducing microtransactions to Diablo 3, even in a limited region fashion? Let us know in the comments!
AusGamers was given a chance to have a chat with Blizzard's Justin Klinchuch, who is furiously working on Heroes of the Storm, about the game's transition from alpha to beta and beyond.
Being something of a battle-arena nub, I ask silly questions like, "have you ever considered the game being playable with a controller because that worked well for Diablo III?" and getting interesting answers like, "yeah, that’s something we should try I think".
Here's some more:
Justin: There are certain things we feel are pretty stable. For instance movement speed, we’re pretty happy with that in terms of [it] being one of those very core, set elements. But in terms of individual heroes, we are going back and evaluating some of our older heroes who’ve been in the game for a long time and seeing if maybe [they could] do with a bit of touching up and tuning and there are other heroes whose talents could use a bit of improvement, like, making each tier as compelling a choice as possible, so yeah, we’re definitely going to keep going back and visiting that stuff.
Warner Bros. has today announced a new DLC pack for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor that will have players take control of Talion's companion Celebrimbor to fight against the true ruler of the rings, Dark Lord Sauron.
Titled The Bright Lord, the DLC will include ten campaign missions set thousands of years before the main events of Shadow of Mordor, and will follow Celebrimbor's attempts to face Sauron himself. Going by the tales of Lord of the Rings, that won't be an easy fight.
IGN spoke with director Michael de Plater, who noted that player feedback has been taken into consideration for the Dark Lord's final countdown showdown. "...what I'm most excited about in The Bright Lord is that we got the chance to respond to player feedback from the main game," he said. "In particular we got to deliver a really epic final Boss Fight against the Dark Lord himself that combines battling against Sauron with enemies from the Nemesis System and making full use of the power of the One Ring."
Being that you take on the role of Celebrimbor in his prime time, players will have access to a rapid-fire bow thanks to his fine-tuned archery skills. He'll also have a variety of abilities granted by the Ring, considering he was the creator after all.
It isn't just Celebrimbor that looks to be getting some buffs, with enemies being bumped to level 25. de Plater confirmed that Uruk abilities have been tweaked as well to offer some challenging encounters.
No release date is currently known for The Bright Lord DLC, but we can probably expect a release soon enough. Likewise, pricing has yet to be confirmed but going by Lord of the Hunt's $10 tag it will probably be in the vicinity.
Visceral Games and Electronic Arts have today announced that those who have stuck around with the Battlefield franchise will be gaining some free boosts in the form of a Veteran's Pack for the upcoming cops and robbers Battlefield: Hardline.
The pack will be available on launch of the game, and will include an in-game Veteran's Patch, a 200 percent Objective Boost that remains active for 30 minutes and a 200 percent 30 minute Teamplay Boost. You'll need to own either Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4 to gain the pack.
Battlefield: Hardline is scheduled to launch on March 17th for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
ArenaNet has unleashed a flurry of new information for their upcoming paid expansion to the ever-popular MMO Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, detailing just what you can expect from the new Revenant class that will make its debut plus some new skill mechanics.
The upcoming expansion will see the addition of a new "unique" profession called the Revenant, one which ArenaNet is hyping as "not seen in other games." The Revenant is able to wear heavy armour, and invokes powers from "legends of the past" in order to deal devastation attacks to foes.
Unique to the class, the Revenant is able to slot two "legendary characters" sourced from the vast crypt of Guild Wars history. A player can choose only one to have active, and that choice determines what skills you have available in your right side skill bar, much like the current weapon system determines your left side skill bar. Due to this unique mechanic Revenants will not have access to any weapon swapping, but ArenaNet assures us that their abilities "more than make up for it."
Only two legendary characters have been revealed so far; Legendary Demon Stance: Mallyx the Unyielding, and Legendary Dwarf Stance: Jalis Ironhammer. Invoking a legendary character will reset your energy bar, putting it to halfway while it regenerates over time. "This creates a push-and-pull feel with the energy that you manage as you use your skills," says the blog.
It isn't all Revenant information though, with ArenaNet also discussing changes to boons, status effects and conditions. That can all be read up on at the official blog.
Throwback Thursday is finally back, with this week's entry kicking off the unique and creative list of games the N64 managed to produce from developers, especially Rare - Blast Corps.
From this week's Throwback:
So how does it stack up today? Pretty good for the most part. It’s important to note that at the time of Blast Corps release, having realistic physics in a 3D game just wasn’t possible. As the majority of Blast Corps is spent replaying stages to unlock new vehicles, find secrets, destroy all objects, and generally have fun within each stage’s sandbox setting, the lack of any realistic physics are only glaring in hindsight. And their omission only highlights some of the specific and weirdly punishing controls of certain vehicles. Specifically the dump truck, ie Backlash. Oh Backlash, why must you be the way that you be?
Microsoft has pushed through the much-awaited March system update for Xbox One's preview program, bringing a variety of new features to the console including a screenshot function.
The March update will see the Xbox One finally gain a screenshot function, which has been a requested feature from many console owners since its launch in 2013. Taking a screenshot is as simple as double-tapping the Xbox button and pressing Y to save the screenshot. Those with a Kinect can also say "Xbox Take a Screenshot" to snap a pretty picture.
In relation to the screenshot function the Upload app is now updated to handle screenshots. You can also use a screenshot as your background, by viewing the screenshot in full-screen mode from the Upload app, then, press the Menu button and select Set as background.
Suggested friends, sharing your name, tile transparency, privacy and online safe settings as well as a report spam option have all been included in the March preview. For Australian gamers the update sees continued support for OneGuide, and those who purchased a Xbox One digital TV Tuner can now use it with this month's preview.
The latest patch for World of Warcraft's expansion Warlords of Draenor will be leaving the PTR and heading to live servers come February 24th, and will include a host of new features for the game's ever-growing content.
Among the various tweaks and changes to the game's many facets, players will find a number of improvements to World of Warcraft including the release of the long-awaited Blood Elf model upgrades. That isn't all that is headlining this patch, with a stack of changes to player-run Garrisons, a new Heirloom UI that now shares them across your account, support for a colour blind system, Twitter integration and even some new graphical improvements.
If you are like me and enjoy reading all the nitty gritty details, Blizzard has the full patch notes available here. If you however prefer a more visual overview Blizzard also have a handy wrap-up video which you can check out below.