There's killing time, and then there's killing time. In my review for Sniper Elite 3 I extolled the virtues of pissing away minutes setting up the perfect testicle shot, and how for all its faults Sniper Elite 3 was a brilliant game because of it. I also wondered whether the formula was getting stale, and whether I'd still be happy to shoot testicles in slow-motion when the next game came around.
We got our hands on the next game, and spoiler alert I still enjoy shooting Nazis in the dick. Read more in our hands-on preview!
Until January 30 Microsoft are offering up a new Halo Wars 2 multiplayer beta, this time focusing on a mode called Blitz that aims to "card-based strategy with explosive combat." In real world terms that means armies are deployed around specific cards in a player's deck that eliminates the usual preparation phase one normally associates with RTS combat.
The demo is available now for both Xbox One and Windows 10.
And we're pretty excited about this. Mainly because we have fond memories of playing both the NES and SNES versions of Micro Machines, both brilliant multiplayer games. Plus, it's just plain fun to race around in tiny cars dodging cutlery and cereal. And with the announcement of Micro Machines World Series for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, we're hoping that it remains true to the series' roots. And that's because all we've got so far is a slick CG trailer.
One that you can check out below.
Micro Machines World Series comes from developer Codemasters and Bandai Namco Entertainment, and will be out sometime in April. If the name sounds familiar that's because its based off the recent mobile version of Micro Machines. But, as per confirmation from Codemasters’ VP of Publishing, Jonathan Bunney, this is a brand new game. "The original Micro Machines was a breakthrough multiplayer racing game and remains much loved in the gaming community. We saw great success earlier this year with our free-to-play mobile game but this brand new console title takes the franchise to its greatest levels of multiplayer mayhem and enables you to play with your friends on the same sofa or across the world."
Ubisoft's Ghost Recon: Wildlands offers up a massive open world co-op experience where players will get to team up to take down drug cartels. But, the game can also be played solo. And in the latest look at gameplay we get a decent chunk of single-player stuff that includes a run and gun style mission, taking to the skies to show off the open-world, and finally a stealthy take-down of an installation.
The game certainly looks pretty (we're assuming this is the PC or PS4 Pro version), and the squad mechanics are very much like the ones we've seen in Ghost Recons of the past.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is out March 7.
Plus, an expanded Dark Zone as part of a larger 1.6 update coming to the game. The third and hopefully not final bit of The Division content, 'Last Stand', looks to expand on the game's PvP offering by adding a separate objective-based mode where players a thrown into an instanced version of the Dark Zone and tasked with retrieving important data.
The Last Stand game mode offers session based player versus player combat in The Division, mixed with a strong PvE aspect, and a brand new way to experience the Dark Zone separate from the regular game. In it, two teams of eight players are fighting each other on an instanced map to control the aforementioned terminals, until one team has transferred enough information to win the match. When taking part in Last Stand, the game will always assume that your team are the Division agents while the enemy team will be seen as Rogues (note that they are just labeled as Rogue for lore reasons, as the actual Rogue mechanics do not apply in Last Stand). In other words, you will always be the good guy when playing Last Stand. When the match is over you can go straight back to the queue and don’t have to return to the main game to queue up again.
By all accounts Last Stand sounds like an interesting take on the Dark Zone formula, as it retains the PvE aspect but without the threat of being ambushed and losing all your items. And some rank too. One of the more interesting aspects of Last Stand is that in addition to the PvP combat and securing data, or what have you, players will also have a home base that they can fortify and upgrade via SHD tech obtained from PvE encounters.
No release date has been announced but Last Stand will launch simultaneously on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Assassin's Creed: The Major Motion Picture was savaged by a lot of critics when it was released this past December. It currently sits at 17% over at Rotten Tomatoes, making it yet another failed video game to movie experiment. Naturally, it has its fans (like all duds) -- but you get the picture. And as the hit R&B song from the '90s goes, "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again." Which is what Ubisoft is looking to do, as today they've tapped Hollywood heavyweight Stephen Gaghan to write and direct the upcoming 'The Divsion: The Movie.'
You might recall the name from such prestige pictures as Traffic and Syriana. Or to a lesser extent, that one season of Entourage where Vinny Chase's Pablo Escobar biopic ran in to a bit of production trouble and they needed the help of a seasoned Hollywood script doctor. Anyway, Stephen Gaghan joins attached stars Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal to help bring The Division to the big screen.
Certainly there's a lot of talent involved in this adaptation, and we're hoping that the end result breaks the curse that just about every game-to-movie seems to have been plagued with. And, the setting of The Division, its near apocalyptic vision of Manhattan post-viral outbreak, is one that could serve as a the basis for a great film.
Long War 2, the total conversion mod for XCOM 2, is available now and comes from developer Pavonis Interactive with the full blessing of both Firaxis and 2K Games. Long War 2 offers considerable changes to the core experience with a number of new mission types, a new soldier class, plus several changes to enemy tactics and more. So if you're of the opinion that the already excellent XCOM 2 could use an extra dose of strategy, difficulty, and complexity, then Long War 2 is for you.
As per the description campaigns in Long War 2 run upward of 100 to 120 missions on average, providing a considerably longer experience than the base game. So there's also that. Check it out.
And you can watch Part 2, which gives a closer look at the new Technical Class, here. Long War 2 is available now, free for XCOM 2 players, via the Steam Workshop.
Ubisoft's Might & Magic series has been around for longer than we can remember, and has seen so many different entries that it even rivals Ultima in the roman numeral stakes. And today comes the announcement of a new entry, Might & Magic Showdown. A game that looks to takes the series in a new direction -- that of the world of tabletop figures. And the painting of said figures. And the battling of said figures. This actually looks pretty cool, especially for those out there that dabble in tabletop gaming.
"Might & Magic SHOWDOWN is inspired by our childhood memories of playing with figurines," said Philippe Ducharme, producer. "The rich lore of Might & Magic was the perfect starting point to bring our innovative gameplay to life."
Players will not only get to battle these digital figurines but also perosnalise them using the details in-game Paint Workshop tool. Check it out.
A new graphic adventure game from Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the creators of Maniac Mansion, is certainly something to look forward to. And with a release date of 'early 2017', we hopefully don't have long to wait until Thimbleweed Park hits our screens. The latest trailer, featuring narration from one of the playable characters in the game -- the crude clown Ransome -- definitely captures the look and feel of classic LucasArts titles.
And we couldn't be happier.
Like with the classic Maniac Mansion, Thimbleweed Park features a number of playable characters. Albeit this time without the ability to die or miss out on nabbing an item leaving you no choice but to restart the game.
Out April 11, Banjo Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee is certainly one of our most anticipated game releases of 2017. You can chalk that up to a affinity for '90s 3D platformers, especially those that came from Rare. In addition to the single-player campaign, developer Playtonic Games is also bringing a number of multiplayer modes to Yooka-Laylee. And in typical Banjo fashion they'll be tied to the in-game Rextro's Arcade location.
With 8 arcade games on offer, including isometric four-player combat and racing, Yooka-Laylee will also offer a unique co-op mode for the single-player game. There a second player will be able to take control of a literal Bee Team and help out by collecting stuff and making certain obstacles easier to maneuver around.
Although no footage of that has been provided a new trailer has been released to showcase Rextro's Arcade, and all of its multiplayer cabinet-based delights. Check it out.
Path of Exile, the popular PC action-RPG is branching out this year with an Xbox One release. From Auckland-based Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile made its debut on PC in 2013, where it quickly gained a loyal following. In the subsequent years its fans have been treated to several expansions and additional content. And mostly, for free. The Xbox One version of the game will be inline with the upcoming massive 3.0.0 expansion, that includes the long-awaited Act V.
"For three years, PC players have enjoyed Path of Exile's visceral combat, deep character customization and addictive item hunt," said Chris Wilson, co-founder of Grinding Gear Games. "We have spent over a year adapting Path of Exile specifically to the Xbox One, creating an experience equivalent to playing with mouse and keyboard on PC."
Sounds awesome. And looks it too.
Old-school Diablo fans (that also own an Xbox One) rejoice!
With the simple tagline of "Good luck and great fortune await!" Overwatch's next seasonal event is scheduled to kick off on January 24 and is themed around the Chinese New Year. Based on past events we can probably expect to see find a few new skins and other cosmetic items, plus perhaps a visual overhaul for at least one of the in-game maps. To tease the upcoming event Blizzard naturally chose the game's Chinese hero, Mei, who can be seen donning a very traditional Chinese outfit.
With an iOS release listed as "coming soon". Following up from the successful Super Mario Run for iOS, Nintendo's next mobile offering will be Fire Emblem: Heroes. A series that, thanks to several handheld titles in the past, is perfectly suited to the mobile market. The announcement came via a Fire Emblem specific Nintendo Direct earlier today, and the debut trailer showcases a game very much in-line with Fire Emblem's we've seen before.
And as fans of the series, that's not a bad thing.
Fire Emblem Heroes is an original strategy-RPG about two warring kingdoms in a bitter clash. As a summoner, players build their army by calling upon Fire Emblem heroes from worlds that span the breadth of the series. Players will wage strategic tactical battles streamlined for on-the-go play and level up a mix of new combatants and legendary heroes. Some familiar hero characters will become allies, while others will become enemy generals and take arms against you. Players can enjoy the full majesty of tactical role playing on bite sized maps designed fit nicely on a smartphone screen, even when playing in short bursts. Lead your army with easy touch and drag controls, including the ability to attack by simply swiping an ally hero over an enemy. If you manage to defeat every enemy on a given map, victory will be yours.
The press release for the game also hints at additional DLC content that may include new characters to battle and chapters to play.
Announced at the Nintendo Switch reveal we now know that Fire Emblem Warriors comes from the same partnership between Nintendo and Koei Tecmo (with a dash of Team Ninja) that resulted in Hyrule Warriors -- the Legend of Zelda meets Dynasty Warriors hybrid. Now, if your a fan of the series this news may not be ideal, but, Nintendo has also confirmed that a proper Fire Emblem title is coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
Fire Emblem Warriors is also headed to the Nintendo 3DS and both versions are due for release later in the year. The announcement came via a Fire Emblem specific Nintendo Direct earlier today, where the following extended trailer that showcases a bit of gameplay also debuted.
With the episodic release schedule I kind of never got around to playing the latest HITMAN from IO Interactive. But that's going to change very soon thanks to the HITMAN – The Complete First Season physical release on January 31 for PS4 and Xbox One. That and the new 'HITMAN 101' trailer that reminds you why you fell in love with this series in the first place.
Like many of you, we were left more than a little confused when we got our first look at the next game in the Super Mario series, Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch. And that confusion boiled down to the fact that Mario was first shown running around a city. And not just any city, but a stylised version of New York City reminiscent of GTA 4's Liberty City.
And now, thanks to YouTuber CrowbCat we can actually see what Super Mario in GTA 4 actually looks like. And the results are pretty hilarious.
In a recent Reddit AMA with Valve head honcho Gabe Newell, among the sea of Half-Life 3 questions, the somewhat more sensible "Is Valve still working on any fully-fledged single player games?" was asked. Cue the audible from the International Space Station sound of readers adjusting their posture to the more ergonomically friendly upright position as they awaited the response.
And the answer from Gabe was simple one word, "Yes." Now, make of that what you will. It's neither here nor there, and could very well be in reference to Valve's unique setup where developers are free to experiment and work on projects that may never see the light of day. But, Gabe also re-iterated Valve's hope that the Source engine would be adopted en-masse for game development. And that internally Source was the foundation of a few unannounced products.
Deep End, a studio made up of veteran developers who have lent a hand to the development of classic titles like BioShock and Dead Space, are hard at work prepping their debut title Perception. It's an intriguing game where players take on the role of Cassie, a blind heroine that can use echolocation to visualise her surroundings. And what better way to do that than explore an abandoned mansion filled with mystery!
Perception was successfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. And now thanks to a new partnership with Feardemic, Perception will also be making its way to PS4 in addition to the already announced PC version.
For those that need a refresher here's the debut trailer that showcases the stunning 'echolocation' visuals.
The developers made the announcement via the PlayStation Blog where they gave a quick rundown on the premise.
Perception is a first-person narrative horror adventure that tells the story of Cassie, a blind heroine who uses her extraordinary hearing and razor-sharp wits to unravel the mysteries of an abandoned estate that haunts her dreams.
After months of research, she discovers an abandoned mansion in Gloucester, MA. Once there, Cassie finds that Echo Bluff is worse than her nightmares. A ghostly Presence has tormented its inhabitants over generations, and it now hunts Cassie. She must solve the estate’s mysteries or become one of its victims.
Cassie finds her way by tapping her cane and can “see” via echolocation. She needs to avoid detection and uses ambient sounds of the house to help her navigate or uses objects to create distractions. Every sound creates a visual. But there is a cost…sound will attract your enemies and reveal your location.
So yeah, chalk this up as another 2017 title to keep and eye out for. Or, ear.
Now, is it just me or does Batman look kind of evil in that mask? Maybe it's just the serious tone. Injustice 2, from Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm Studios, is the sequel to the hit fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us. And like the original it will offer up a stable of DC heroes and super villains for players to power-up in what's being touted as an "epic cinematic story." And judging by the new trailer, we're inclined to agree.
Ubisoft has announced that a Free Trial for Watch Dogs 2 is now available to download for PlayStation 4 (it's also coming to Xbox One on January 25). The Free Trial gives players access to 3 hours of game time that includes access to the seamless multiplayer modes, co-op, story missions and side activities in the game's virtual San Francisco. So, basically a demo but with a fancy new title.
And one where all progress will be carried over to the full version if you choose to purchase Watch Dogs 2. As one of the big holiday titles from 2016, Watch Dogs 2 comes highly recommended. Our very own Stephen Farrelly fell in love with the exploits of hacker Marcus Holloway stating that "This is a videogame with a voice, and while so much of it is built around the idea of player-engagement, it does so with a conscience not many other games are capable of pulling off, let alone trying."
Words that I, well, agree with! When it comes to the original Watch Dogs I basically gave up after a few hours with it. The dour and bleak presentation and map full of seemingly pointless activities felt like a poor mans version of GTA. Watch Dogs 2 on the other hand felt like a revelation. And taking on the persona of a hacker and playing through the game in a non-lethal manner was not only brilliant but fun too. Need to sneak past a group of security guards? Well, call in a gang and start a little turf war. And when they're fighting use an aerial drone to drop bombs. Did I say non-lethal? Okay, so that only lasted a few hours or so.
With a new instalment released each month throughout the latter half of 2016, Telltale concluded the first season of its highly-anticipated Batman – The Telltale Series in December. And so, we played through the entire game over the course of a single weekend. Yeah, we binged.
Thanks to the studio’s now well-known formula we knew going in that this version of video game Batman would be part interactive movie, part choose your own adventure, and part classic point-and-click. An experience structured similarly to other Telltale titles like The Walking Dead, Borderlands, and Game of Thrones. Make no mistake, playing through Batman – The Telltale Series is an experience closer to watching the ‘90s Batman animated series than it is playing something like Rocksteady’s excellent Arkham trilogy of Batman games. If you’re a fan of those titles, the contrast not only in how the action is presented but in the overall artistic direction is immediately apparent.
The real question we had going in though related to how the studio would handle such a well-known, and well-worn, character like Batman.
And it sold out in less than a day over at EB Games, with JB Hi-Fi still taking pre-orders. The Limited Edition comes with a copy of the game, a Master Sword of Resurrection Figurine, Sheikah Eye Collectible Coin, Soundtrack CD, and a weather-worn map. At $189 it ain't cheap, but it certainly looks like quite the collectors edition.
Available March 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of five game launching alongside the release of Nintendo's latest console the Nintendo Switch. The non-limited edition will retail for roughly $89, which includes the game, and, well, that's it.
We had a chance to go hand-on with the latest Zelda over the weekend, on the Switch too, and came away impressed. In a way it feels like the result of a steamy night roughly nine months ago between Wind Waker and Skyrim. And we can't wait to play more.
Releasing a cricket game in Australia during the summer is just about perfect timing, and by all accounts Don Bradman Cricket 17 is the most in-depth and realistic cricket game one could hope for. And now after its console debut the game has finally made its way to Steam, where you're now just a few clicks away from donning some digital zinc and taking to the pitch.
Big Ant Studios has today announced that the most realistic cricket game ever made, Don Bradman Cricket 17, is now available on PC via Steam.
Released on console last month, the game boasts an “unprecedented suite of customisation options,” and has been hailed as “the best cricket experience yet.” Players can jump into the career mode to take a young player from club cricket all the way to captaining his or her country (it is also the first cricket game of all time to have female players and competitions). Alternatively, players can jump into the game’s Cricket Academy, where they can build their local teams, cricket fields and competitions to recreate their own club league.
“We made customisation the core of the experience with this game,” Big Ant CEO, Ross Symons, said. “It’s always amazing to see what our dedicated community comes up with, and between the stadium, player, and logo creators, every player can truly make Don Bradman Cricket 17 their own experience.”
Like the turbo button that used to adorn many a '90s PC, Windows 10 is all set to receive a new Game Mode feature that is said to boost game performance across Win32 and Universal Windows Platform titles. As to what it'll do exactly speculation points to a system whereby non essential background processes are suspended in order to free up system resources. The new Game Mode is part of a number of updates coming to both Windows 10 and Xbox One.
With the latter of which also getting the planned revamp of the Guide, GameDVR, and Cortana features of the Xbox platform -- as part of the Creators Update.
Sadly, this is a story that you've heard multiple times before today. An Xbox One S controller, trying to make it home in time to celebrate Australia Day with its family, decides to take a shortcut through the Bermuda Triangle. A risky maneuver mainly because the downside to shaving off a few hours of travel time can be an unwanted dimensional leap to alternate plane -- one where tiny people live like we do. And that's what happened to the Xbox One S controller we're reporting about today.
But don't worry, the friendly locals who rescued its body after it appeared off shore have taken a liking to the Xbox One S controller. And they became the best of friends. Summertime friends.
A look at the daring off shore rescue.
It wasn't long before the Xbox One S controller made quick friends in this new tiny people world it found itself in.
* - Actually, it's an inflatable Xbox One S controller that Microsoft Australia are giving away via its Facebook Page to celebrate Australia Day