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March 23, 2018

Metro Exodus will use the new RTX tech on PC

Metro Exodus was unveiled at E3 2017 and it went radio silent for months, popping back up in January at Game Informer, but GDC has given us another look.

A partnership has been announced between Metro developer 4A Games and Nvidia, where Metro Exodus is going to use the brand new RTX tech, to give the game some impressive visuals, check out the full statement below.

We are happy to announce our collaboration with NVIDIA using RTX technology to include real-time ray traced Global Illumination in our upcoming game, Metro Exodus.
During the NVIDIA press conference at GDC 2018, NVIDIA and Microsoft announced a graphic technology that video game developers have been waiting for. At 4A Games, we have always strived to be at the cutting edge of technology with the 4A Engine, and we’ve had a long standing relationship with NVIDIA that has always enabled us to achieve that goal.
Rather than create a theoretical tech demo to showcase this new RTX technology running in the 4A Engine, we wanted to explore a practical application in an in-game scenario that our fans could directly benefit from. This demonstration shows RTX implemented and running in Metro Exodus, on our proprietary 4A Engine, using actual game content - you might recognise this environment from our 2017 E3 trailer! We have utilized true raytracing to render both Ambient Occlusion and Indirect Lighting in full realtime, in a practical in-game scenario. The demo can be seen running at NVIDIA’s booth at GDC 2018.
“For many years, proper global illumination has been the holy grail of real-time rendering. There have been various solutions in the past, but all have had to compromise in some critical area.
Offline pre-rendered GI offers a great visual target, but sacrifices flexibility in production, in-game dynamics, and uses a lot of memory. Prior realtime solutions were always limited by distance of light propagation, lack of data behind objects or screen edges and produced visual issues like leaks or unnatural lighting.
But this is the point where hardware steps in bringing truly scale-independent ambient occlusion by allowing brute force tracing of multiple rays from each pixel several hundreds of meters each frame.
Dynamic lighting has always been a priority for the Metro series. We intentionally avoided pre-baked data and were relying on real-time methods to build our visuals to support more flexible, dynamic gameplay. Global Illumination is highly important for the proper "grounding" of objects and readability of shapes, which in turn create improved ease of navigation and enhanced visual impact for the player.
Previously, we had utilized a mix of several custom-made systems to satisfy our hungry demand for dynamic content of varying scale. Now we are able to replace it with one single system that covers all our needs and outputs the quality of offline renderers.” - 4A Games’ Chief Technical Officer, Oleksandr Shyshkovtsov.

Impact Winter finally comes to consoles next month

Announced last year and already released on PC, the console release of Impact Winter has been something lost in the wind, but now developer Mojo Bones has announced that the game will hit Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on April 5.

Players will need to help Jacob and his team of 4 survivors – all holed-up in an abandoned church – and try to survive until the rescue timer reaches zero. Team management and survival skills will be essential! Thanks to a robot companion named Ako-Light, it will be easier to drill for supplies, explore new areas, light darkened interiors and empty nights, carry your supplies, and track the location. Help is coming, will you survive until then ?
“Since the release of the PC version, we have genuinely appreciated your feedback and sought to make the game an increasingly better and tighter experience. And so it is without further ado that after this long road of blood, snow and tears, we can finally announce that Impact Winter will be coming to you digitally on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this April 5th"
If you own a PlayStation 4 and plan on getting the game, you will score a dynamic theme for free with the purchase, while not a massive bonus, its always nice to get free things. Sorry Xbox One players, nothing for you.

Get the best bragging rights with Far Cry 5 and the ultimate Platinum Trophy

Attention Platinum Hunters, the next chance to win is almost here, as PlayStation has announced that Far Cry 5 will be the next game you can use to enter.

Entering is quite simple, you only need to claim the Platinum trophy for the game, something which will take you some time, then once you have it, you only need to share your winning screenshot to Facebook or Twitter. 

You need to ensure that you get the right hashtag for the right platform, so head over to the official site for those, as well as all the details you need to know. The past games covered were Gran Turismo Sport, FIFA 18, Star Wars Battlefront II, Call of Duty: WWII and Monster Hunter: World, which means that no matter what type of gamer you are, there is likely to be one that you can try for.

The competition runs from March 27, when the game releases, to May 22.

Fire & Ice come to Gravel next week

Gravel, the off-road racer from Milestone will get even crazier, with the announcement that the first DLC for the game, will and Ice and Fire based locations, with the DLC being called, Ice & Fire, simple.

Experience a brand new cross-country map set in Iceland. The new location includes 10 brand new checkpoint tracks, a new career episode, the Ice and Fire race, and new events featuring extreme snow tracks in three different settings: Coast, Mountain, and Valley. Illuminated by the aurora borealis, players can race inside dormant volcanoes and visit iconic fishing villages. Gamers can enjoy the modes Capture the Flag and King’s Run in a never-before-seen multiplayer arena.  

The below infographic will show you the planned content for the game, including the paid and free packs, note though, the prices listed are in US dollars, so just keep that in mind.

Nintendo announce Smash Bros and Splatoon 2 events for E3

Nintendo have announced, the first of their E3 plans, this year they will host both a Super Smash Bros Invitational and the Splatoon 2 World Championship, during the week of E3.

The event will showcase players from around the globe in the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018 tournament for the newly announced Super Smash Bros. game coming to Nintendo Switch this year. It will also include the winning teams from their respective tournaments from across the world as they battle to become victorious at the Splatoon 2 World Championship.

While the Smash Bros Invitational is just that, an invite only event, anyone can enter for a chance to win and play in the Splatoon 2 World Championship. In fact, the 2018 AUNZ Splatoon 2 Cup will decide which team from Australia and New Zealand will have the opportunity to compete at the Splatoon 2 World Championship.
Players aged 17 and over can still register to compete, with the tournament kicking off with online qualifiers on 31st March and 7th April, where the teams will battle it out for a coveted spot in the final two and official 2018 AUNZ Splatoon 2 Cup t-shirts with their player and team names.

Then, on 21st April, the top two teams will be flown to Melbourne to compete in the grand final at Supanova Melbourne, with members of the winning team walking away with the title of Australian and New Zealand Splatoon 2 champions.

Further details about Nintendo's E3 2018 plans were not revealed, yet, but giving the recent trend, expect a Spotlight event and likely Treehouse Live again during the show. You can keep an eye here for details, but also over on the official site.

Masters of Anima gets a new trailer and a release date

Focus Home Interactive have released a new overview trailer for the upcoming game, Masters of Anima, giving players a look at how things work. In addition, the release date was also announced, check out the trailer below.

Players will follow Otto in his quest against the forces of evil in strategic, action-packed battles, where your ability to make tactical decisions quickly is vital. Summon and control large armies of up to 100 Guardians, who obey your commands with intuitive and innovative gameplay made from the ground up for controller play, as well as keyboard and mouse.

The game is set to release for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on April 10th, so not long to go now.

Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom is out now

Bandai Namco have announced that Ni No Kuni II Revenant Kingdom is out now for PlayStation 4 and PC, built by Level-5, but characters designed by Studio Ghibli, this is one big RPG.

A treacherous coup has dethroned Evan Pettywhisker Tildrum, the young ruler of Ding Dong Dell. Evan - along with the help of his friends; Roland, Tani, Batu, Lofty, and many others they’ll meet along their journey – will build a new kingdom free of strife while uniting the whole world of Ni no Kuni. Across Evan’s grand adventure, players can explore a beautifully crafted world filled with exotic locations, a wide cast of characters to encounter, dangerous foes, and plenty of allies eager to help.

Supporting Evan on his adventure will be natural phenomena known as Higgledies; The Higgledies will provide invaluable support during battles including offensive and defensive buffs, increasing special attack power for Evan and his friends, and assist in attacking enemies. There are 100 unique Higgledies to collect, each with its own special powers. Mix and match different combinations of Higgledies during combat to strategically secure the upper hand in battles.

March 22, 2018

The Elder Scrolls Online welcomes you back to Summerset Isle

Bethesda teased something for The Elder Scrolls Online earlier in the week and now we know what it is, welcome to Summerset Isle, the new location in the next DLC pack, Summerset.

This is not the first time that players will get to experience Summerset Isle, it first appeared in The Elder Scrolls: Arena, the first title in the Elder Scrolls series. While it has been a while since players entered the world, 1994 to be exact, this years expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online, will give all players a fresh look at the world again. With a massive and vibrant new zone, an epic main story, a new skill line based on the Psijiic Order, and the introduction of Jewelry Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset offers an expansive installment for both new and veteran players. Here is your first look at the gameplay itself:

I for one, love a good dot point list and Bethesda have created one, showing off the highlights for what players can expect here, check it out.

• A New Zone: Summerset Isle, a uniquely beautiful land that’s an even larger addition than last year’s massive Vvardenfell from ESO: Morrowind
• An Epic Main Story: More of ESO’s award-winning story concludes the Daedric drama that began in 2015’ Orsinium DLC 
• The Psijic Order: For the first time in an Elder Scrolls game, join the mysterious Psijic Order and explore their secretive home city of Artaeum
• New Skill Line: Master the magic of the mages of the Psijic Order to gain a new combat skill line and wield control over time itself
• Jewelry Crafting: ESO’s latest crafting skill allows players to create powerful gear for their characters
• New Group PvE Challenges: Players can band together to face the challenges of Cloudrest, a new 12-player Trial, new Delves and Bosses, and other content including the Abyssal Geysers

For those looking to jump in, Summerset will release on June 5th, right before E3 (just like last year, sigh) and it will be available on PC and Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, no Switch version people. 

If you are new to the series, you can enjoy the full game right now as a Free Week has also been announced, find all the details and get started on the official site.

Assassin's Creed Origins: Curse of the Pharaohs - Review

When Assassin’s Creed Origins first released, it did a great job of capturing the essence of Egypt, but if you ask most people what they think of when they think of the country, mummy’s, gods and curses are likely at the top of the list, alongside pyramids of course and now with the Curse of the Pharaohs DLC, we finally get a chance to delve into the myths of Ancient Egypt.

The story starts off with Aya telling Bayek, about Thebes and how people are being terrorised by a curse, the old gods are coming back to life, hunting down the people in the streets and killing them. As soon as Bayek arrives, a shadow appears and starts to kill; Upon defeating it, Bayek begins to learn just what is going on and seeks to stop it. While the people believe it to be a curse, Bayek believes it to be an artefact, like the one he took from Flavius and he begins to hunt it down. A few people in Thebes seek to mislead him, with false promises, but a few of the citizens are honestly willing to help out, in order to see the curse lifted and the people saved. The new characters are interesting, at least some of them and there are a few more that could be considered better than the main quest ones.

The city of Thebes is fun to explore, the Temple of Karnak is vast and dots the skyline from almost every view point you can find, but while its nice, the city itself ends up feeling like just another city from the main game. However; once you step into the afterlife, which is something you do, things look and feel remarkably different, from the reed swept fields in Aaru or the Duat itself, they feel mystical in almost every aspect. Visiting Akhenaten was one of the ones I liked the best, purely because it was a multi-layered space, full of underwater environments to discover, but it also had some very interesting quests to partake and some wicked cool things to fight. At the end of each afterlife section, you end up fighting the god of that location and while each has a distinct fighting style, meaning you need to adapt, the result is the completion of a quest, yes, but more importantly, their weapon.

One part of the DLC that I did not like was how quests themselves were broken down, in the main game, if you were taking part in a quest that required you to visit multiple locations, then your map was dotted with icons to show where they were. Here however, if you need to collect three idols for someone, which you do, it lists each idol location as a separate quest, meaning you need to keep going into the menu to activate the next section of the quest. If this was a one-time thing, it would only be annoying, but as it happens all the time, its quite frustrating and makes you wonder, why the change. Thankfully, that is really the only change to how the quests are handled, for the rest, it’s just like the main game, so you don’t need to fret at all. For the rest of the experience, its just more of the same from the main game, which is a wonderful thing as that was done quite well, there are some issues of random people appearing I noticed, but they are few and far between. The addition of the Pharaohs Shadows and even the Anubis warriors help keep things fresh, because you never really know when danger might just appear.

The DLC look great as well, the new areas feel similar to those you will know from the main game, but also feel unique, The Valley of Kings especially, but the world feels great across the board. As I mentioned before, the character designs are better for some, while the general populous is based on the same basic look. The sound, especially when you enter the afterlife sections, is incredible, voices appear as chants, music has a deeper feeling to it, it just resonates more, thanks to the matching visuals. There are a few hiccups again, with sync between cutscenes and the audio contained with-in, but you will either accept them and move on or ignore them now.

The Curse of the Pharaohs is a great expansion to an already great game, while the addition of the gods and afterlife add some variety to the game, it still feels much like the experience released last year. What I wish more than anything though, was that the game leaned into the myths a little more, but sadly a foot must be kept in the real world it seems.

Review code provided by Ubisoft

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA releases on Switch this July

NIS America has announced that Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA will release on Nintendo Switch on June 29th Bandai Namco, the local distributor for all things NIS America have announced the game will now come out here on July 5, and they have released a new trailer showcasing the mystical maiden named Dana.

The Nintendo Switch edition of the game comes with content from both the PS4 and PS Vita versions. In addition, the Day One Adventurer's Edition contains a reversible cover, an exclusive foil pack of three character cards featuring Adol, Dana, and Dogi, as well as a double-sided poster featuring Dana and the Map of the Isle of Seiren. 

No word on if we will get that in Australia of course, but odds are good, as we usually do. 

Light Fall is a new type of puzzle game and is coming to Switch

During the recent Nindies event, it was announced that Light Fall is coming to the Switch and players can look for it next month. The game is also set to release on PC and Mac at the same time.

Light Fall follows the adventures of a young boy and his quest through Numbra, the land of eternal night, to be reunited with his dearest friend who vanished in the darkness. With the aid of the magical Shadow Core — a unique player-controllable platform — and his companion Stryx the old and grumpy owl, join him on his courageous journey, braving many challenges and foes, led only by a glimmer of a hope.

The game is set for release next month, though an exact date has yet to be announced.

Rocket League is ready to host it's own tournaments with the next update

Psyonix has announced the details of the new update coming to Rocket League in what is known as the Tournament Update and even better they gave the release date of April 3 for the update as well.

Besides the much-anticipated addition of the Tournaments feature, which allows players to create tournaments without leaving the game, the update will also introduce a number of quality of life improvements including Switch performance and visual quality updates.

Other notable content in the Tournaments Update includes:
• Connection Quality Information - New notification icons that will signal the types of online connection issues during online matches to better troubleshoot issues
• Enhanced Garage Options - New item stacking, filtering, searching, and sorting options
• Expanded Team Customization - More shades have been added to the primary color palette for Battle-Cars and players will now have the choice to “Equip to Blue” and “Equip to Orange” for painted car bodies
• Audio Improvements - Crowd audio has been tweaked to better react to saves, goals, and important plays, and the soundtrack will now be available to play during online and offline matches
• Samurai Battle-Car - New Import Battle-Car available as a limited-drop inside the new Triumph Crate

To ensure that people can play online the best, the game will now include some clearer 'Connection Quality' screens, here they are. So if you are playing at see any of the below, that means you will experience a bad game.

So does this new update give you enough reason to come back to the game if you left?

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