With Microsoft's recent shopping spree, one of the acquisitions of the century not talked about enough was the one featuring Double Fine Productions. You know, that studio behind classics such as Day of the Tentacle, The Cave and my all-time DFP favourite, Brutal Legend. Oh, and a little game called Psychonauts.
With Psychonauts 2 on the way and an Xbox Series S|X and PC exclusive, you're going to get a chance to see where it all began and familiarise yourself with Schafer's mind-bending game-verse with Psychonauts now available via Game Pass.
Today we’re excited to share that Psychonauts is available now with Xbox Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC. Psychonauts is a psychic-comedy adventure from the mind of Tim Schafer and brought to life by the strange game-wizards at Double Fine Productions. The game follows the story of a young psychic acrobat named Razputin, where you explore the fantastic realm of the inner mind – join the Psychonauts!
Originally released in 2005, Psychonauts has resonated with fans of all ages for nearly two decades thanks to its mixture of comedic storytelling and inventive level-design. As Raz expands his psychic abilities, he must leap into the minds of those around him and explore levels based on their personalities and neuroses. A happy-go-lucky Psychonaut agent’s mind is a constant dance party with secrets lurking in the unlit corners; the mind of a conspiracy theorist is full of twisting roads and pathways that loop in every direction imaginable. Combined with sharp wit and a cast of memorable characters, every step forward in Psychonauts is a step into the unknown and wonderful world of our minds.
Double Fine Productions is immensely pleased to bring Psychonauts to Xbox Game Pass, allowing diehard fans and new players alike to experience the classic that started everything ahead of the release of Psychonauts 2 later this year.
So if you haven't yet experienced the design and charm of the OG title, get in and get your freak on.
As varied as genre titles and descriptions for games and game-types are these days, the simulation genre just keeps one simulated foot ahead of everything else, it seems. There's simulation games for building cities, managing fleets of buses and seeing that trains arrive on time, but have you ever just wanted to be as redneck as all get up while managing inmates in a high security prison? Well, here's the thing...
Soon you can.
The aptly-titled Prison Simulator, from Baled Games, is as advertised: a game that has you in charge of keeping inmates in line, order in check and the whole prison system running as smoothly as you can.
Prison Simulator is an opportunity to play the role of a prison guard! Will you survive your promotion, balancing on a thin line between the satisfaction of the prison management and aggressive and dangerous convicts?
And that's all she wrote, for now. Thankfully a prologue is coming soon to Steam which you can Wishlist, as we have. But ahead of that, check out the teaser trailer for Prison Simulator embedded below.
Devolver Digital has already showcased a handful of new levels for the upcoming Shadow Warriors 3, and today comes visual proof of not all thing being doom and gloom in Lo Wang's world, with a bright and colourful look at "Motoko's Thunderdome".
Here's what the messenger left before we beheaded them for the bad news (as was the way, natch):
Motoko’s Thunderdome - the latest mission revealed from Shadow Warrior 3 - plunges Lo Wang into the dynamic depths of Motoko’s caves. Using all of the new techniques at his disposal, Lo Wang battles his way through countless creatures while traversing cavernous arenas, grappling out of danger while descending further into chaos. However, the mysterious Motoko assists our hero by summoning explosive lighting attacks capable of blasting enemies into the ether...
Yeah, not a lot to go on. You can see just why we were brought to the aforementioned gruesome action.
Watch the new map reveal trailer embedded below. Shadow Warrio 3 is out sometime this year for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
We sit down with Insomniac Games to talk about its upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive, and the benefits and challenges that come with developing a true next-gen adventure. And by that we mean it, with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart looking incredible running on PS5 hardware.
And so after seeing lots (and lots) of gameplay as part of a preview event, our own resident Ratchet-orian, Adam 'Griz' Mathew sat down with Mike Daly, Lead Designer at Insomniac Games to talk about the upcoming release.
Here's a snippet that includes some unfortunate news about Captain Copernicus Leslie Qwark.
AusGamers: Something has been gnawing at us since the first reveal. In many ways, Captain Copernicus Leslie Qwark has been quite integral to Ratchet and Clank's comedic stylings – he's almost as iconic as your two titular heroes. From everything I've seen, his appearance in Rift Apart seems somewhat token. Are you pulling back a little bit on this character -- is he sort of like a cameo now?
Mike Daly: So in the story of our game, Ratchet and Clank start out in their dimension, where Captain Qwark is a larger than life character and basically impossible to avoid. He sort of leads you through the intro and is present there, but when the dimensional cataclysm occurs, Ratchet and Clank get sucked through while Captain Qwark gets left behind.
That's not the last you see of him in the game, but he's not one of the major characters.This freed us up a little bit more with storytelling and cinematics and bandwidth to expand on the new characters you meet in the new dimension.
AG: Interesting. I also strained my ears to tune into him during our demo session, but the results came back inconclusive. Is that Jim Ward reprising his role as Qwark? I ask because it's recently become public knowledge that he's been quite ill of health.
MD: I can confirm that, unfortunately, Jim Ward has retired, and so he did not reprise his role as Captain Qwark for this game.
We've been waiting with baited breath for the first major expansion for Assassin's Creed Valhalla by way of Wrath of the Druids, having lived it up in pagan Xmas and Easter to tide us over. So does it stack up to the lofty heights set within the base game?
Well, this snippet will tease you with an answer:
Ireland’s rabbit hole history is an interesting one, not too unlike that of the vikings. Most information we know in modernity stems from stories and traditions that live on, mostly, as oral in origin, and therefore open to accuracy conjecture. But as with any fiction, there’s magic and mayhem that stems from this unsteady stream of knowledge and Ubisoft has seen fit to explore the story of Ireland, a land seeded in mystery, fae, wylds, magic and worlds beyond worlds to its fantastical fullest. And Wrath of the Druids’ entire narrative arc is woven from this history with poetic license thrown in, and it’s honestly one of the best reasons to jump in, if you’re not already nestling into brook somewhere by way of Valhalla’s Season Pass.
To celebrate its partnership with World of Tanks ANZ Pro League Season 2 we've got 4 x Limited Edition World of Tanks ANZPL themed HyperX Cloud II Wireless headsets to give away!
As worn by the players the HyperX Cloud II Wireless headset features premium leatherette ear cups, HyperX 7.1 Surround Sound, a detachable noise-cancelling microphone, and an impressive 30 hours of battery life.
Which is to say the event is centred around going up against other like-minded and like-skilled aficionados in the realm of all things modern re-gen'd Birdman by way of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. This is also the first event of its kind in Australia and is open to all and sundry, just make sure you pack them skills along with you should you decide to drop in.
Here's the ultimate jam-packed drop of information from the organisers of this event and opportunity:
The THPS 1+2 Ultimate Jam will pit players against each other, submitting their best Jam, Combo, Speedrun and Create-A-Park entries. The finals will be broadcast on FUEL TV through 7plus with the chance to win your very own Tony Hawk signed Birdhouse deck.
What: Australia’s leading esports team ORDER has partnered with action sports channel FUEL TV, digital channel 7plus and leading digital entertainment provider Activision to bring you the Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 1+2 Ultimate Jam tournament. The competition will fuse skating and gaming audiences together in a community-focused competition in which participants play and record their favourite runs within set formats - Jam, Combo, Speedrun and Create-A-Park. Players are then pitted against each other to decide the winner, featuring a series of competitions utilising the unique gameplay that’s known and loved by THPS players.
Why: The best, most creative and entertaining runs will be broadcast across a multi-channel platform including TV and digital. All entries into THPS Ultimate Jam will receive in-game rewards, and overall format winners will take home their very own Tony Hawk signed Birdhouse deck.
When: Submissions are now open and will close June 15, with the first broadcast expected from June 6, weekly for six weeks.
Where: The tournament will take place in the award-winning Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 game, a recently released remaster of the original Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 1 and Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 2 titles. Fans can tune into the action on FUEL TV broadcast through 7plus.
We'll deep dive on this soon, but for now, put it on your radar. Submissions close in over a month, giving you ample time to warm up those fingers and hands. And stay tuned for more info as we get closer to the event proper.
It’s 2007 by the way of 2021, and with The Dark Portal about to open on June 1 we sit down with Blizzard to talk about bringing back another classic WoW experience and why some changes are better than none. It's our big World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic interview.
The Dark Portal Re-Opens
By the time of its release back in 2007, as the first expansion to WoW, Blizzard’s new online-RPG was becoming one of the most talked about and played videogames of all time. As something of a cultural touchstone, the opening of the Dark Portal as seen in the opening moments of Burning Crusade became synonymous with the game, franchise, and studio, expanding its reach and scope to a much larger and wider audience.
Where Blizzard had a pretty set-in-stone ‘no changes’ policy with Classic, one that meant no modern features or changes to that 2004-experience no matter how small, the studio has loosened its belt -- so to speak -- with Burning Crusade. “We learned a lot with Classic, we learned that sometimes some changes are okay,” Holly Longdale says. “The community seems to be more open-minded about that, now that we've been living with Classic for a while.”
With Burning Crusade Classic’s Beta, this minor shift in direction became one of the touchstones the team was looking for in terms of player feedback. “I think an important thing to call out is that ‘some changes’ isn’t ‘a lot of changes’,” Brian Birmingham, Lead Software Engineer on The Burning Crusade Classic, explains. “We are still anchored in the past, what we originally did back then. It’s really targeted, and we made sure we identified places where we wanted to make changes.”
We came out strong in relation to the written article that preceded the Four Corners report on gaming. The report covered so-called gaming addiction, loot boxes, gambling tactics in games to get people to spend more money on them, and a few other hot topics in relation to some of the perceived negatives around gaming. Our response to this wasn't done so with a view to quiet those points of concern, but to call out the way in which they were first framed in the written piece, and then second to discuss them further after seeing the full video report.
While the video package certainly presented a more rounded and deeper discussion around the issues raised, it still felt and came across a little one-sided for ours, and while we absolutely should be having discussions around things like tactics to grab more money from unaware punters, or people with control issues when it comes to impulse buying, or just how loot boxes differ from real-world purchases like trading cards or the exampled Kinder Surprises, we still want these kinds of points raised in more measured ways.
Our original post features discourse from our regulars, and in those Comments I've linked the podcast, but for any newcomers, you can find it embedded below.
There is a lot to talk about, and at least even with push back across numerous entities, at least discussions are being had around all topics of concern. Ours, specifically, was based heavily in how these things are framed, especially when they get presented to people who might not understand gaming to the degree a lot of us do. With great power, comes great responsibility and all that.
With roughly half a hand and a smidge of ammo, we've been trouncing through rural Europe in a forgotten part of the world that may as well have been home to The Brothers Grimm, for what its worth. And all in an effort to swing you an in-depth review of Resident Evil Village, the direct follow-on from Resident Evil VII, making it also Resident Evil VIII.
And if that confused you, or seemed odd to mention, consider the topic at hand here, will ya?!?! Anywhoo, here's a snippet from our review:
I mean, if you were to try and work out every Resident Evil timeline, experimental thread, underhanded deal, double-cross, good intentions gone wrong fallout, ammo and specialist locksmith shortage, et al, presented throughout the series’ 25 year life, you’d hate dolls too. But with Resi Village, it feels like the reach and stretch of the series’ fantastical steroid boosts where suspension of disbelief is concerned, has gone up maybe one too many notches. It’s not all bad, nor is it a difficult stretch to come to terms with, but Village, at times, feels like it could actually have been its own game. Dead Rising managed to be a different zombie IP under the same roof as Resident Evil, after all, and with keeping that in mind here, know at least that while played out in a pacing-correct Resi crawl, Village is definitely a new kind of beast.
I mentioned Resident Evil 4 earlier, and its influence is massive here. (That game also took us beyond zombies, and look how it turned out, so… .)
Thanks to a partnership with local distributors Bluemouth Interactive the 8BitDo is set to hit our shores in a big way -- which is a good thing because the new 8BitDo Pro 2 Bluetooth Gamepad is, well, awesome. From the retro-cool aesthetic to the comfortable feel and the great build quality.
No doubt, the designers and engineers over at 8BitDo are something of a group of videogame peripheral historians. So when you see SNES-style flourishes in the L1 and R1 buttons, followed by a PlayStation-feel in the L2 and R2, the result is, yeah, very cool. As is the classic d-pad design and DualShock analogue-stick placement. The result is also supremely comfortable, more so than the SNES and DualShock inspirations the 8BitDo Pro 2 draws on.
Make no mistake though, the Pro 2 is still a product of its time -- that being now, the year 2021. Programmable back-paddle buttons found underneath add that modern touch, as does the impressive build quality, textured grips, and durable nature of all buttons and sticks.
In our review of Corsair's Katar Pro XT gaming mouse we refer to its design as no-frills -- in the sense that it looks like a mouse, and acts like a mouse. Which is a good thing because the end result is a great 'ultra-light' that won't break the bank. And offer up impressive performance to boot.
Weighing in at 73-grams the Corsair Katar Pro XT is definitely what you’d call an ‘ultra-light’, something designed for gaming. When you add in the PTFE underside and unobtrusive paracord-style USB-cable gaming mouse though, the picture begins to become clearer. There’s a focus in Corsair’s design that’s commendable -- again, it does that thing that it promises to do. Provide a great option for those looking for a mouse designed specifically with FPS/MOBA or other competitive style gaming in mind.
That said the Katar Pro XT is not the lightest ultra-light on the market, nore is it the sleekest in terms of look or even grip. The symmetrical design here is functional and supports multiple grip styles without pushing ergonomics in any particular direction.
When it comes to gaming keyboards those serious about their game time would probably limit the search to the many mechanical offerings out there. That is keyboard with mechanical per-key switches for that added dose of precision and tactile feel. The MSI Vigor GK50 Elite falls into this category, and does so with an eye towards affordability.
The MSI Vigor GK50 Elite is a mechanical keyboard, one featuring Kailh switches and a sleek minimal design that would suit just about any setup. The kicker though is that at $119 AUS it just so happens to be one of the most affordable on the market. And as we’ve seen with other MSI peripherals recently (the MSI Clutch GM50 Gaming Mouse and the MSI Immerse Gaming Headset), this affordability arrives alongside impressive performance and got-to-have features like software support and per-key RGB action.
Even though the MSI Vigor GK50 Elite falls into the affordable range of mechanical keyboards, it does so without any immediate compromises. The brushed metal top-plate, the vibrant lighting, and the somewhat uniquely octagonal keycaps all sport a distinct style that is very much in-line with MSI’s overall aesthetic. It’s a looker, and the traditional MSI dragon logo is presented in a way that fits in perfectly too. Above all though it’s sturdy and the build quality is great.