We know that people make some crazy shit in Minecraft, but after nine years of collaborative work "Minecraft Middle-earth", as it's known, has been completed and boy, does this thing highlight both creativity and dedication, alongside people maybe having too much time to do whatever they want.
While the books, maps and movies give us stationary glimpses at the world of Middle-earth, a fully realised 3D representation of the space has never been done. And the team behind the build went even so far as to include the footprints of the Fellowship of the Ring and their journey into Morder for people who jump into the server to follow.
Truly, this is an incredible feat and one worth either jumping into yourself by clicking here, or by watching the 15+ minute by Node embedded below.
While the likes of Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat, among many others, enjoy a mainstreamish spotlight, other fighting games continue to wait for a new challenger. This year we get the charming, yet demanding SNK classic, Samurai Shodown with updated visuals new faces and the same old depth waiting for those with character drive.
Here's a snippet from our review:
The game’s unique mechanics rely heavily on a construct of risk-reward, where heavies deal major damage, while light attacks chip away, but also add to an admittedly superfluous combo meter. Essentially what this means is you need to strike the right balance between the two. And animations count in this series -- heavy attacks take longer to play out, while lighter attacks are quicker, obviously. One can, however, interrupt the other though getting the timing right for each is the tricky part. Moreover, failure to get that timing right essentially leaves you open to a smart, reactive player capable of truly reading the play.
With Microsoft opening up in-game mouse and keyboard support for developers, it's a feature that we're starting to see crop up more and more. Even in first party titles like Sea of Thieves and others. The new Razer Turret for Xbox One is not only designed specifically for the console, it's quite possibly the best couch gaming wireless mouse and keyboard combo out there.
When Microsoft announced that it was finally adding mouse and keyboard support to the Xbox One, the news was met with a resounding and polite “well I do say, it’s about time old chap”. It quickly resolved the whole ‘but will it be fair to competitive gamers playing on controller’ by stating that the functionality was there for developers to turn on or off or tweak as necessary – game by game or mode by mode. So far, the list of games that support mouse and keyboard isn’t massive, but with Sea of Thieves, Warframe, Warhammer: Vermintide II, They Are Billions, Fortnite, and more – there’s more than enough reason to connect the dynamic PC-duo to your nearest Xbox One console.
Designed specifically for Xbox One the Turret is a two-in-one device from Razer, and a pricey one at that. But that part of the equation quickly dissolves, at least partially, once the Turret immediately makes the case for itself as one of if not the very best couch gaming wireless keyboard and mouse combos available today. It does so by combining existing high-quality hardware, like the Razer BlackWidow and the Razer Mamba and combine them with enough features and design elements of its own to stand out.
The current South Australian government has welcomed a move by Sony Interactive Entertainment to set up shop in the state's capital of Adelaide. The Marshall Liberal Government will also throw some AUD$480,000 behind the move to the state in an effort to help with "economic and business growth".
Initially the move will generate 32 jobs, it's reported, though growth in the move and continued governmental backing should help this number grow over a period. Here's what the Marshall Liberal Government had to say on the new venture officially:
Acting Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Tim Whetstone said the new Adelaide premises will provide highly skilled engineers an opportunity to progress their careers with a high-profile, global company without the need to relocate nationally or internationally.
“By building a culture of creativity and innovation, we are not only encouraging major companies to South Australia, we are giving young students who want to work in this field the ability to stay here in SA and not have to travel interstate for these types of exciting opportunities,” Minister Whetstone said.
“To attract a household name like Sony Interactive Entertainment to South Australia is a fantastic win for our state and I thank the company for their investment,” Mr Whetstone said.
“This investment brings a whole new skillset to the state but also complements the strengths we already have in digital media including visual effects (VFX), game development, and data centre/network infrastructure.
“South Australia is building a culture of creativity and innovation that is helping to inspire new enterprises and encourage leading creative companies like Sony Interactive Entertainment to invest in our state.”
The Economic and Business Growth Fund promotes economic development by encouraging growth of existing businesses, developing new industries, building international connections, and attracting foreign and national direct investment.
The fund aims for industry-wide, sector-wide or economy-wide outcomes, rather than benefits to just one company or small supply chain.
If you're an Adelaide-based person and want to know more, click here.
With the release of the latest major content update for World of Warfraft, Rise of Azshara, we sat down with Blizzard to discuss the creation of its visually striking new zones – Nazjatar and Mechagon.
“The real question is, and the thing that we ask ourselves often is, “Does it break the story?”, Ely continues. “And if it doesn't, then how can we make all these awesome ideas and concepts that each individual person has, come together. We see a lot of that in Nazjatar, when we were inventing their architectural kit there really wasn't a reference. This is an underwater space that's now been exposed to the air. The buildings wouldn't be on the ground, they'd be swimming up to these conical structures that we see on the underside of these overhangs. And that, that was really an evolution, or an invention out of the necessity of telling the story of what this place was before. An interesting way to not only get more of the Naga civilisation into a much smaller space, but also support the fact that this was once an underwater area.”
Having played the upcoming Age of Wonder 3: Planetfall at this year's E3, this is a very good deal. From now until July 15, you'll get Age of Wonders III for free an in doing so will gain a discount towards the Premium Edition of Planetfall, no strings attached.
Best described as Civilization meets XCOM, Age of Wonders II: Planetfall from Paradox Interactive is a sprawling sc-fi 4X title, and now ahead of the game's August 6 release date, you can check out where it all started, for a third time, with Age of Wonders 3, free on Steam.
Age of Wonders III is the long anticipated sequel to the award-winning strategy series. Delivering a unique mix of Empire Building, Role Playing and Warfare, Age of Wonders III offers the ultimate in turn-based fantasy strategy for veterans of the series and new players alike!
Which might not sound exciting to some, but I've actually had the privilege of playing it, and as far as reforming an entire system goes, it's pretty damn good. With a number of new and unique modes and full cross-platform support between PC, PS4 and Xbox One, the game's multiplayer looks set to redefine how we think about MP in the series.
Here's Activision's official line on the upcoming reveal:
Mark your calendars for Friday, August 2, when Activision and Infinity Ward will reveal the multiplayer universe of Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare®. Recently named “Best Online Multiplayer” by Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2019, Modern Warfare multiplayer delivers a game-changing online experience.
As players enlist in the heart-racing Modern Warfare story, multiplayer continues the experience as players head online into the ultimate playground for the global balance of power. Featuring unified progression across modes, Modern Warfare seeks to unite the community with plans to support cross-play across platforms and the removal of the traditional season pass in order to deliver a greater mix of more free maps, content and community events post-launch.
We sit down with Sunside Games, and Stay in the Light’s one-man studio Richard Cowgill to talk about his new fantasy dungeon horror game. And just how real-time ray-tracing, thanks to technology supported by NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX graphics cards, can change gameplay.
Visual effects and graphics quality are never the hallmark or one thing that identifies a great game. Although they can and often do represent one part of a larger, broader picture. Immediate impressions are often born from visuals and their impact, and this is a sentiment that rings very true when it comes to the horror genre. A style of game where lighting, shadow, and mood often sets the scene.
Being chased through a labyrinthian dungeon holding a mirror and getting to see a large monster staring back at you, in real-time, is chilling in its immediacy. Knowing that if you turn around you might be presented with true horror.
“I've always wanted to do a horror game, so it just seemed like a perfect fit,” Richard Cowgill aka Sunside Games tells me. “Everything you can do with real-time ray-tracing, from deep shadows to lighting is extremely powerful. That has a big advantage just in the development process, it allows me to not be worried about different rendering techniques for different objects in the world. I've got a unified lighting model that works for everything and looks good for everything.”
It's been in the rumour mill now for a while, but Nintendo has finally confirmed the existence of the Nintendo Switch Lite, a 'watered' down handheld version of their, erm... handheld console.
Essentially, what Switch Lite is, appears to be a true successor to the Nintendo DS family of systems that have ruled the roost for a number of years now. And while Switch Lite looks like Nintendo Switch it features a solid casing with no removable Joy-Cons, no rumble or IR, and cannot be docked to a TV, which might be the strangest omission. As far as connectivity to other Switch's go, all of that is intact, but any games that require Joy-Con rumble will require Joy-Cons, which is also a bit odd.
In Australia the unit is priced at AUD$329.95 and comes in three colours: Grey, Yellow and Turquoise. The machine will also launch locally from September 20. Interestingly, a "flagship" Nintendo Switch at EB Games in Australia right now retails for AUD$399.00 with plenty of preowned options at a cheaper price-point as well. And so for an extra $70-odd dollerdoos you can own the same thing that does the same thing, only can also be docked to a TV and has removable Joy-Cons for the games that require it, or use it from a multiplayer sense. But it's your wallet at the end of the day.
Watch a trailer outlining the new console's 'features' embedded below.
With multiple topics covered across a sprawling interview, we had a chance to speak with CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077 lead quest designer, Paweł Sasko, around a number of topics. Touching on building a modern 'retrofuture' while maintaining faith to the IP's source material, through to the world, missions, characters, relationships and beyond, this massive interview feature has it all. If you're keen on Cyberpunk 2077, this is must-read material.
Paweł Sasko emphatically goes into detail around design and process, giving us an excellent overview of the growth the studio has enjoyed since the success of The Witcher 3 and how that has translated to development of Cyberpunk 2077. We also go into detail around what handing the reins to a studio like CD Projekt RED means to the legacy, and now growth, of Cyberpunk from its Pen & Paper origins.
Here's a snippet:
Importantly, however, the studio has maintained a sense of tone alongside what a retrofuture might look like, because the source material was ahead of its time, no retro pun intended. And Pondsmith is steadfast CDPR’s 57-year jump from 2020 and the “fourth corporate war”; its cumulative social, governmental, corporate and ‘street’ fallout, remains within his original vision, as he stated a number of years ago when he started working with the Polish-based developer.
“In Cyberpunk it’s not the technology, it’s the feel; getting that dark, gritty rain-wet street feeling,” he impassioned. “But at the same time getting that rock and roll ‘lost and desperate’ dangerous quality...
“People have technology but that wouldn’t fundamentally change the fact that there [is] a lot of treacherous, nasty behaviour… the street finds its uses for things.”
Last year’s reveal talked up Night City being voted the “worst place to live in America”, but emphasised that it’s a place of opportunity. And it’s here in this concept that “streets” and “retrofuture” coalesce. It’s easy to consider our current place in the world. Technology and communication are ubiquitous, but on a simplified lean. The retrofuture we look at now, was the future in the 80s. It’s kind of a fantastical irony of vision on multiple plains. Look, feel, use -- all of it is required to placate what we considered futuristic, and “back in the day” that was sort of easier to manifest from an ‘out there perspective’, I mean, our videos and broadcasts were captured on literal fucking tape.