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October 16, 2018

The next Developer Diary for Control is here


Remedy and 505 Games have released another dev diary for Control, the upcoming game, which is coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2019.

The dev diary goes behind the scenes at the game’s cast and characters. Remedy Creative Director Sam Lake, along with voice-actors, James McCaffrey (Max Payne series) and Courtney Hope (Control), shed more light on Control’s characters, their motivations and actions in this sci-fi adventure thrill ride.



The game has no set date yet, beyond 2019, so be sure to keep checking back as once I know it, you will know it.

Elite Dangerous Beyond is wrapping up 2018 with a bang


Frontier have announced the final chapter in the Beyond season, and the largest Elite Dangerous update of the year, arrives in 2018 with new, significant additions to exploration, mining, multiplayer and more.



Players will be able to experience a wealth of new content in the update, including:

Exploration

A new Analysis Mode, with the improved Exploration Discovery Scanner and Detailed Discovery Scanner, is a game-changing, brand new way for all Commanders to explore the galaxy. After an initial scan of the system, players will then be able to tune their scanners to find stellar bodies and other phenomena. Unidentified Signal Sources and conflict zones will also appear, allowing players to easily track down interesting or important things within the system. Not only is this new system a more realistic, satisfying and engaging exploration experience, but also provides players with the freedom to make more informed decisions on where to look next, and be ultimately better rewarded for time spent exploring. Commanders will now have probes that can be arced onto planetary surfaces, and planetary rings, to map them in detail, locate points of interest and leave their mark on the galaxy in a new way.

Mining

Asteroid belts and planetary rings are about to get very busy. New tools and mechanics will provide a fresh, exciting and lucrative mining experience for all Elite Dangerous Commanders. Using new exploration mechanics, miners can investigate rings to locate the best spots to start their mining sessions. With the right amount of skill and expertise, Commanders can create an awesome asteroid detonation before sweeping up the spoils.



Squadrons

Squadrons is a new way of uniting like-minded Commanders in Elite Dangerous. Players will be able to take part in Community Goals together and compete for top spots, and bragging rights, in weekly leaderboards. New communication tools such as in-game chat channels and a new web portal, give players the freedom to manage their Squadron and collectively blaze their trail across the galaxy.

More

There's a number of additional improvements coming to Elite Dangerous, including visual improvements, background simulation updates, and (yet to be revealed) new ships and cockpit interface changes

Frontier will be hosting some chapter four content reveal livestreams, and they will be on the following dates:

Exploration, Codex and Visual Improvements – 18 October (19:00 BST)

BGS and Scenario Interactions – 25 October (19:00 BST)

Squadrons – 30 October (19:00 BST)

Mining – 01 November (19:00 BST)

The Ships – 8 November (19:00 GMT)

October 15, 2018

Discover the weapons of Red Dead Redemption 2


Rockstar has announced more details ahead of the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, this time focusing on the weapons that players will have a chance to use in the game.

With over 50 unique usable weapons available to Arthur, each with a massive range of options for customization and a wide selection of different ammunition types for improved accuracy, range or damage; detail, depth and choice define every aspect of Red Dead Redemption 2 - even when it comes to your pistol or rifle.


Like other details, you will need to head to the official site to get the complete lowdown, but it is looking like players will have a fair amount of choice, as to the weapons they

Gfinity kicks off Season 2 this November


Are you having withdrawls from the Gfinity series that debuted back in June, well worry not as it has been announced today that the Gfinity Elite Series Australia, presented by Alienware, returns for its second season of 2018, kicking off Saturday 3 November.



The competition displayed in season 1 was well received by local esports fans, who tuned in regularly to barrack for their favourite clubs. Gfinity Elite Series Season 1 delivered higher average viewership and average minutes watched per broadcast than League of Legends OPL at the same time of year. Audiences are embracing the multi-game format, and Dominic Remond, Chief Executive Officer for Gfinity Esports Australia is confident the popularity will continue.

“Melbourne ORDER’s dominant victory last season has set the tone for Season 2”, said Dominic Remond, Gfinity Esports Australia’s CEO. “We expect to see old rivalries reignited, Melbourne ORDER have a target on their back, and with roster changes across the clubs, fans are in for our most competitive season yet. Aussies love a dark horse, and now we have five.”

Returning city-based clubs Sydney Chiefs, Sydney Roar, Melbourne Avant, Melbourne ORDER, Brisbane Deceptors and Perth Ground Zero have all drafted their rosters for Season 2, drawing the pool of talented draftees from the recent Gfinity Challenger Series.

All the details you need to know can be found here, and if you want to make a bookmark for the the stream, you can do that here.

Introducing Ghost Mode in Hitman 2 - a new way to compete


IO Interactive and Warner Bros Games have announced that when Hitman 2 comes out on November 13, it will add an all new multiplayer mode, Ghost Mode.



Agent 47 is the world’s deadliest assassin, and the only person who can match him in skill, stealth and execution is… himself. Therefore, Ghost Mode allows two players to compete against each other online, both as Agent 47, to assassinate the most targets in a match. At the start of each round, both players begin side-by-side and must race to take out the same targets faster and cleaner than their opponent, while utilizing weapons, items, outfits and ghost crate supply drops along the way to help accomplish the overall mission.


The unique twist with Ghost Mode in Hitman 2 is that players will simultaneously hunt targets while in the same location and can see a “ghost” version of their rival gamer to track progress against their own, but they exist in separate realities unaffected by the actions of their adversary. In Ghost Mode, the player who can outsmart, outplay and outkill their opponent by eliminating five targets first, will declare victory.


PlayStation are bringing the hits to PAX Australia


PlayStation Australia have announced what they are bringing to PAX Australia in just under 2 weeks. Anyone who stops by the booth, will have the chance to sample Resident Evil 2 and Dreams, ahead of their releases,

In addition, younger players or series fans will be able to stop by and check out Spyro Reignited Trilogy on the platform and those in groups can always battle their way to the top with game show quiz Knowledge Is Power Decades, or swing into the monkey mayhem of Chimparty, via Playlink.



Those looking for a real challenge will be able to play FromSoftware's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the first time it will be playable in Australia.

Finally, a host of PlayStation VR titles will also be available to play at the PlayStation Booth.  Players will have the opportunity to tackle the gritty and glamorous London underworld in Blood and Truth, take to the skies in the adrenaline-fueled Ace Combat 7, or slash the beat with Beat Saber, plus more.

Patrick Lagana, Director of Marketing, Sony Interactive Entertainment Australia, said “The global Penny Arcade community is very important to PlayStation and our development community. The fact that we are now entering our 4th year of partnership with PAX Aus with the biggest booth and the most playable opportunities we’ve ever had, is something the team is very excited to bring to our Aussie players.  We will ignite play within everyone visiting our booth, giving players the opportunity to get hands & heads on with some of the best & exclusive games for PS4 and PlayStation VR.”

The recently released Spider-Man will also be on show for those, who have yet to manage to avoid falling into the games web.

October 14, 2018

Luigi’s Mansion 3DS - Review


When Luigi’s Mansion first released for the Gamecube, I played it in that launch week and made it to the final boss, without a single death, but died fighting him. The reason I remember it, was at the time I had no memory card, so could not save my progress, which meant I had to start over, not wanting to do it then, the game being remade on the Nintendo 3DS was the perfect chance to experience the game over.


The game starts out with Luigi following a bright and cheerful map, indicating the path to his new mansion, however the closer he gets, the more dark and ominous things become. After walking inside, he is quickly overcome with fear as ghosts appear around him and after making a getaway, he encounters Professor E. Gadd, who is attempting to defeat a ghost, using his invention the Poltergust 3000, which is a modified vacuum. After the two make a move back to the Professor’s lab, Luigi explains why he is here, and the Professor explains what is going on and tasks Luigi to clear the mansion of ghosts, so after donning the Poltergust 3000 and picking up the GameBoy Horror, Luigi steps back into the mansion, but things are not all what they seem inside.


The mansion is full of ghosts, some are quite basic, some require a bit of skill to defeat and some require a heck of a lot of patience and then, there are the bosses. Your basic ghosts like to jump out of the ground, usually behind Luigi and they move to you, but a quick flash of the flashlight stuns them and lets Luigi taken them down. As the game progresses, you will encounter some ghosts, that are imbued with elemental effects, and you need to use the right effect to counter them, before you can stun and defeat. However, the best ghosts are the ones that are using the rooms, as if they were alive, the Nanna ghost sitting in a rocking chair knitting, the couple in love, dancing around the ballroom, and beyond (ghost pun), each of them requires you to complete a specific action in order to trigger their stunning window. Sometimes it is simple as pulling a curtain open, other times you need to combine multiple takedowns and more, to get them angry.


Though while not as complex, there are a whole host of Boo’s that are all around the place, that you need to track down as well, however they only become visible to searching, once you have returned lights back to the room, something that happens when you catch all the other ghosts located within. It is this mechanic that you are going to get used to a lot in the game, as each room requires the same actions to be undertaken, in order to clear it. Some rooms have many ghosts, some have a single one, but not all rooms need to be cleared. In fact, there are a host of rooms that are, what one might call bonus rooms and are not relevant to your progressing in the game, though doing so will get you a better reward in the end. The boo’s though can be tricky to track down, for the most part, they follow the same pattern, they appear when you find them, claim a boo themed name, like Booigi and then proceed to roam around the place, but as you collect them, they will start to flee the rooms, making you chase them down.


The problem with the game is that it is short, even with this being only the second time I played the game, and beat it, it still did not take me a full 2 hours. A lot of the time you will invest in the game is making your way back up to rooms, from the lobby, you can return to the lobby by using the GameBoy Horror on a mirror, but you have to manually trek all the way back. The boss battles, bar the final one are interesting, requiring you to take stock of the skills you have learnt up to that point and use them against the ghost of the moment. The final boss however, is more on pure luck than anything else, whilst it is possible to die, something I did on the Gamecube one and once here, it just depends on how, playful, the final boss is. This time, beating the boss occurred on my second try, so its not that difficult, in fact the most difficult thing is the controls, they are confusing and awkward as heck to use.


The game enables motion controls, if there is a way to turn it off, I did not find it, the problem is that Luigi can move in a 3D space, but the controls don’t allow for that. Sure, if you have a New 3DS or New 2DS or, a Circle Pad Pro, you can use the secondary stick for some slight aim options, but that takes a whole lot of patience to master. Because the game forces motion on you, if you move the 3DS in any sort of up or down pattern, then the aiming can move off your target, it is honestly a bit of a nightmare. The other issue is that when you press X to interact with things, it is also the same button that you use to make Luigi call out to Mario, the problem with this is that sometimes, Luigi would call out for Mario, whilst the icon to prompt opening a door was there, or he would bang on the door, instead of opening it.


From a presentation point of view, the game looks like the Gamecube version, which is a shame as the sequel, New Moon perfected the style a lot nicer. This is not to say that the visuals are bad, not by a long shot, just there is a lot more detail than the 3ds is really capable of showing off and it ends up becoming lost to the action. If you play the game with the 3D enabled, you are in for a treat, most of the time, as the game really looks amazing with that enabled, especially when walking to or from the camera, the extra sense of depth adds another layer to the atmosphere. The audio is once again a standout for the game, as Luigi hums along to the games main themes, whenever the lights are out, the ghosts are suitably ghost like, with a lot of boos and wu-ahs! thrown in for good measure.


If you never played the game originally, then you should give yourself the chance to enjoy it now, though anyone who complete the game before, should be a little cautious of this spooky tale, as there is nothing new to it, to reward you for venturing back in. The game plays really well and offers an enjoyable experience, but its overall length and lack of modern controls will like frustrate rather than satisfy.


Review copy supplied by Nintendo

EA Sports NHL 19 - Review


HE SHOOTS!!! HE SCOOOOOOOOORES!!!! But does EA Sports NHL 19 Score? Read on to find out!

EA Sports NHL franchise returns this year and throws in a bunch of new features such as "Real Player Motion  Technology", legendary players such as Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux and the introduction of pond hockey via the new CHEL mode.

The biggest addition this year is World Of CHEL, CHEL is surprisingly not an acronym, its named after the fact if you say NHL the last two letters sound like you are saying CHEL, there is your interesting fact for the day. CHEL mode acts as the central hub for your created character and ties together game modes such as 1v1v1 and NHL threes. 1v1v1 is a new addition to the NHL series and is an online-only mode takes hockey back to its roots, this mode has you playing on ponds and frozen lakes against a spectacular backdrop of mountainous scenery listening to an over the top announcer commentate the on-ice action. 1v1v1 features no penalties and has you playing against two other players who are also both playing against each other which makes this a frantic battle to gain possession of the puck and slam it into the back of the net in order to score the most goals and win the game.

NHL Threes also returns as part of CHEL this year and amplifies the over the top action from the previous version (think NBA jam on skates) and sees you dishing out over the top hits and even has you playing as a mascot in an attempt to score more goals and beat the other team, this mode is a lot of fun even for people not that interested in hockey as it strips back the rules and regulations and just delivers hard-hitting, fast-paced action. Progressing through the various modes in CHEL earns you cosmetic upgrades for you to use in customising your character, the customisation options are quite vast and ensure you can tailor your character to your tastes.



Be A Pro mode returns this year and while it lacks the in-depth storyline of games such as the NBA 2K series, the fact you can create your character and get straight into playing through games in the minor leagues and start earning points to upgrade your character is highly refreshing. Without being weighed down by poorly written and cheesy storylines the bare bones nature of NHL's be a pro mode sees you doing much more of what you came here to do, play hockey! I am usually a big franchise and dynasty mode player in most sports video games but this year I spent most of my time in NHL's Be A Pro Mode and had a blast upgrading my player and progressing him through the minor leagues all the way through to the NHL.

Ultimate team mode also returns this year and plays much the same here as it does in Madden with the idea being to open packs of cards and put together a team to play through challenges and also to go head to head against other players online, and in doing so earn more packs of cards in order to upgrade your team further, this mode is totally not my cup of tea but tonnes of people play this mode exclusively every year and it only seems to be growing in popularity.



The obligatory franchise mode returns once again this year with a much deeper and improved scouting system allowing you to hire both amateur and professional scouts to scrutinise available amateur talent with the hopes of luring them to your organisation if they prove capable enough. Adding to the realism this year is the fact that if you do not scout a player enough then a player's true rating will not be revealed to you making you have to guess in their true worth to your team. All of the usual budget juggling, stadium upgrades and concession pricing also return this year making this a true franchise mode, especially when compared to the meagre financial depth and customisation included in games such as Madden Football or MLB The Show.

The game itself looks and controls much better this year due to the addition of Real Player Motion which has been brought across from EA's other popular sports titles Madden and the NBA live series and has sparked new life into the game, the player animations at times look absolutely incredible. Real Player Motion makes players control much more realistically and carry more believable weight such as their real-life counterparts. This is a great addition to the series as in previous editions player control was sometimes a big problem, now instead of slipping and sliding unrealistically all over the ice players actually behave and control much more predictably just as their real-life counterparts.

Hitting was a bit, pardon the pun, hit and miss in past editions of the game but it has been beefed up and is now a viable option this year due to the players being much easier to control. The analogue skill stick controls remain largely the same but this year a retro two button pass and shoot (ala NHL 94) control option has been added, simplifying the game for hockey fans who do not want to learn the sometimes complicated intricacies of playing with the skill stick-based control system.


In my review of NHL 18 last year some of my biggest criticisms were directed towards the game's presentation, unfortunately, those issues have not been addressed in this edition. The same commentary team of Eddie Olczyk and Mike Emrick return once again this year and their lines are really starting to sound tired, I was never a big fan of this duo in the first place and can't wait for these two to depart the series so a new team can be brought in, I would love to see the return of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement to the series as these guys know how to provide a soundtrack to the constantly shifting momentum that transpires during a real NHL game.

Stats overlays are once again minimal and are mostly limited to showing how many goals a player has scored in a game or saves a goalie has made, in this day and age of sports games this just isn't enough, players want more than this and want to see things like upcoming schedules, opponent breakdowns, scoring leaders and standings peppered through the game just like in a real NHL broadcast. EA could do much worse than take a leaf out of the NBA 2K series book as that game has absolutely nailed what presentation should be like in a current gen sports game.


While this years game is devoid of any groundbreaking updates EA has significantly improved the way the game controls this edition and has also added the new CHEL mode which is an important first step to establishing an online hub for the series, I feel EA has done enough to improve over last years edition to warrant a purchase of NHL 19, I am just really hoping that next  year EA start to overhaul the tired and dated presentation of the game.


Review copy provided by Electronic Arts

October 13, 2018

Operation Enigma is still on going


Did you know that Operation Enigma is still running, as of right now at the time of writing this, the final mission is live and if you manage to crack it, you will win a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

Designed around the Battlefield  community’s love of gaming Easter-eggs, Operation Enigma is a series of five tactical missions centred on the Battlefield  V World War II storyline. Combining modern technology with WWII spy mechanics, players are challenged to crack cryptic codes and unlock hidden messages in a race to solve each mission.

The first mission was launched with a secret link, hidden in plain site on the Battlefield  V website. Once the link to Operation Enigma was discovered, Battlefield  fans created a Discord channel dedicated to solving each mission together.

Will the final mission be completed before the game is released on November 20th, who knows, but you can jump in, and see if you can solve it.

Bethesda are bringing big names to PAX Australia


Bethesda have announced that some big names are coming to PAX Australia, Pete Hines, Tim Willits and Matt Firor. The three have had massive careers in the gaming industry, with this being the second time at PAX Australia for Pete.

The three of them will be on a variety of panels, throughout the weekend, the details of which are below.

Friday 26 October | 12:00pm | Utopia/Dystopia: Environment-Drive Storytelling | Galah Theatre

As more continues to be revealed about the upcoming release of post-apocalyptic Rage 2, Tim Willits will join Rae Johnston, Editor of Junkee and Al Gibb, CEO of Mighty Serious, in a panel diving into all things “utopian perfection” and “dystopian worlds”.

Our perceptions of our future environment is shaped by differing narratives in scientific research outcomes and pop-culture musings, which we are exposed to in many written and visual forms.

With video games using these perfect environments as key storytelling drivers; from Mirror’s Edge idealistic urban environment to Fallout’s bleak wastelands- are our actual future environments easily acknowledged thanks to repeat representation in our game worlds?


Friday 26 October | 2:30pm | Bethesda in Conversation | EB Theatre

Nuclear apocalypse. Killing demons on Mars. Saving Tamriel from destruction. Killing Nazis in the 60s. Another, different kind of apocalypse. More potatoes than you can physically carry. For over 30 years, Bethesda has been known for crafting award-winning, genre-defining games. Join Pete Hines, Tim Willits, and Matt Firor as they take you on a journey through their decades working in games. No fast travel, either.


Friday 26 October | 5:30pm | id Software Retrospective | Main

From Commander Keen to Rage 2, id Software is in the shooting baddies business. And since 1991, business has been booming. Join studio director Tim Willits as he delves into the history of id, hitting the highs, the lows and the untold stories of some of the longest-running franchises in gaming, including Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein.


Saturday 27 October | 2:00pm | Bethesda Trivia | Galah Theatre

Yes, it’s a PAX staple! We’re sure you know where to find a radscorpion that wears a pair of glasses, but can Bethesda bigwigs Pete Hines, Tim Willits, and Matt Firor guess Bradman’s batting average? This time, the questions go both ways! What do they know? Do they know things? Let’s find out!

Bethesda have yet to confirm any games on show, but with Fallout 76 launching only a few weeks later, one might expect it to be there.

Child of Light is out now on Switch


Ubisoft has announced that Child of Light is out now for Nintendo Switch, giving players another chance to experience this beautiful game.



Child of Light is a classic RPG featuring turn-based combat with an active-time battle system, allowing players to fight alongside Igniculus, and other members of Aurora’s party. Players will level up and gain skill points to unlock unique perks for the heroes. A deep crafting system allows players to combine gems to upgrade their swords, talisman, and armour abilities as they solve puzzles and take on the minions of Lemuria’s Dark Queen. In addition, each game has a unique gem profile where gems that are found in one player’s game are rare in another’s, encouraging players to make trades.

The Nintendo Switch™ System allows players to play anytime, anywhere and with friends through tabletop mode. Players can share their adventure with friends and family by having player two control Igniculus through the Nintendo Switch’s touch screen or by using the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con™ controllers. The Child of Light Ultimate Edition contains the full game plus seven add-on content packs that include a new quest, unique skills, gems and more.

No details have been given on the tease of the sequel, but with luck we shall here something soon.

Red Bull is levelling up your PAX Australia experience


Red Bull has partnered with Omen by HP, to give PAX Australia attendees something wicked, the chance to win, some incredible prizes, simply by playing games.

Those who attend the show and stop by the stand, will be able to play one of the following six games and a specific challenge within:

Project CARS 2 on a Motum Simulator - Drive Project CARS 2 in one of three Motum Simulation’s MP6-VR simulators, the best car-racing simulation experience available. It’s a high-performance 6-axis full motion professional racing simulator with VR Headset, touted by Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Jamie Whincup as ‘incredibly realistic’.

Forza Horizon 4 - Drive solo or compete against a friend for glory in real life supercar simulator.
RUSH - Experience the thrill of flying with wings in RUSH, a fast-paced immersive VR game challenging players to hurtle down a mountain side.
 
MotoGP™ 18 - Race around the MotoGP track to post the fastest lap and win VIP tickets to the 2018 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Phillip Island.

Overwatch - Take centre stage in the OMEN by HP truck, taking on friends and foes in 6v6 matches to be ranked the best.

MXGP - Race around the MXGP track to post the fastest lap and win a Red Bull KTM Factory Racing merchandise pack.
There are prizes to be one, but one winner will get an unforgettable experience, two VIP tickets and a helicopter ride to the 2018 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island on Sunday 28 October. To win this, you simply need to have the fastest lap on MotoGP 18 by 5pm Saturday.

The biggest prize however, will be won by the player who tops the overall leaderboard and they will receive an all expenses paid trip to the OMEN Challenger Series PUBG Finals in Thailand from 2-4 November, 2018.

"Normally, we don't get why people would want to leave PAX. It's a pretty cool show," said Luke Lancaster, content manager for PAX. "But, yeah, winning a helicopter ride to Phillip Island for the Moto GP or an all-expenses paid trip to Thailand seems like a good reason."

Tickets for the show are still available, so if you want your chance to win, be sure to get them and I will see you at the show.
 
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