The SteelSeries range of peripherals is one that keeps a level of quality and performance no matter the cost of entry - which is something we discovered when taking the SteelSeries Rival 3 for a spin, click, and scroll.
It’s a sentiment that we’ve discussed in peripheral reviews before but it’s worth repeating here – price can factor into the quality of a product. Or more precisely, the price point which begins at affordable takes a ride through mid-range town and ends up in premium-ville. How much you spend at the register or digital checkout can determine worth. The SteelSeries Rival 3 falls into the affordable range with a price at around $69 AUD, but it does so with an eye to quality and performance comparable to mice twice the cost.
Coming from SteelSeries there’s an expectation that the hardware maker has managed to do just that with the Rival 3. Based on the company’s reputation, and previous mice we’ve covered like the excellent Sensei Ten living up to specs and marketing. The Rival 3 sits somewhere in between, but mostly in the former. Thanks to performance and reliability that is exceptional for the cost of entry, with a few genuinely surprising and welcome touches.
And, most importantly, it's an Aussie-designed game from Brisbane-based, 5 Lives Studios (who some regular forum members might know quite well), who look to be heading to the big time. With art and a game-style that looks hybrid The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker meets The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, this gem might just be what the doctors didn't know to order during isolation. That's why we're here... to help.
Here's what the Brissy lads had to say after being able to speak past embargo:
After years of quietly toiling away, 5 Lives Studios is excited to emerge from the shadows and reveal our latest creation. Once we had completed the rain-slicked neon streets of our debut title Satellite Reign, we turned our attention to the beauty of nature and set sail on our next adventure: Windbound.
Windbound takes place on a long-forgotten archipelago, once home to an ancient civilisation. The game begins shortly after Kara — our protagonist — is separated from her fleet during a fierce and mysterious storm.
Awakening on the shore of a strange island, the player’s initial motivations are purely survival-focused, with the goal of simply returning to their tribe. However, with the storm seemingly surrounding the whole area, it’s immediately apparent that there’s something unusual about these islands, with strange structures and monuments left behind by a long-gone people.
As players progress through the world they’ll uncover the history of the ancient people, their relationship with the sea and the mysterious sea creatures that still swim beneath the waves. Survival will be their initial focus, but the world is also rich with materials they can use to craft items to make their journey easier.
Critical to success is building seafaring vessels. Starting with simple grass canoes and escalating to large multi-hull boats with a number of sails, players will learn to harness the power of the seemingly never-ending wind to traverse uncharted waters. But the seas are not always friendly, and the player is certainly not alone in the water.
Throughout their adventure players will travel to unique islands, featuring a cornucopia of flora and fauna in varied environments. Truly no two adventures will be the same with the archipelagos procedurally generated every time a new adventure begins. Each environment has different resources available, from wild berries to hitherto unknown beasts. To truly prosper players will need to craft new weapons and develop new strategies to neutralize natural threats.
Explore the scattered ruins and artifacts, unlock pieces of the islands’ past and uncover Kara’s connection to it. Unravel the mystery that enshrouds the islands and you may find your way home.
We can’t wait for you to set sail into the world of Windbound, coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch August 28.
Watch the game's debut trailer embedded below, folowed by a handful of screenshots.
With some of the brighted RGB lighting you're likely to find thanks to its exposed LEDs. Thankfully there's a dimming option. The new HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a lot like it's older brother the HyperX Alloy Origins in that it's identical - but this time in a sleek tenkeyless design.
When we reviewed the HyperX Alloy Origins mechanical keyboard late last year, we were impressed by the build quality, performance of the mechanical switches, and the bright, vibrant, RGB lighting. Which is to say that plugging in the tenkeyless version – the HyperX Alloy Origins Core - it was the latter that brought those impressions back. Like a light being turned on to reveal a rainbow-lit room of mechanical keyboard memories. With exposed LEDs the RGB featured in the new Alloy Origins range from HyperX can be tuned to be as bright or subtle as you want it to be – and then even, brighter still.
Beneath the flashy lights though the latest HyperX keyboards house the hardware maker’s first proper go at developing its own line of mechanical switches,
Old mate, Joab "Joaby" Gilroy recently swung by and decided to drop a hefty, in-depth and at times, philosophical, Half-Life: Alyx review on us. And it landed with a thud. But, his take on this Half-Life 3Half-Life gap-filler is poignant, apt and incredibly informed. And we've published it in full.
I mean, why wouldn't we? Here's a snippet:
The attention-to-detail on show is second-to-none. The Citadel — the mighty monolith at the centre of Half-Life 2 — is being constructed in the distance. There are small objects all around for you to grab and throw, and because you're playing in Virtual Reality there's a tactile element that enhances the impact this has. A pigeon flutters away when I peg an empty can at it. I can grab a dry eraser and clean a nearby window. I can draw a penis on that same window.
It feels like everything is interactable. Before long, you're making your way through the backroads of the quarantine zone, the Combine losing its shit all-around you about some unknown alarm. They're a multi-dimensional occupying force, who knows what sets them off, right? All that matters is that you're there, sneaking over rooftops and through buildings as you try to reach your dad. Things don't work out that way, of course. You reach Eli Vance, the leader of the resistance (and your father), but only in time to see him being captured by the Combine,
With Hearthstone’s Year of the Phoenix ready to kick off, it’s doing so in style – with Blizzard’s competitive card game set in the Warcraft universe getting a truly massive influx of content in the first half of 2020. We sit down with members of the development team to talk about the past, present, and future of Hearthstone.
“The volume of content that we released during the Year of the Dragon was significantly higher than anything that's been done before,” Hearthstone Game Director Ben Lee tells me. A simple realisation with the equation being, the more you release the more players are having a good time. “That was a big lesson for us, seeing that reflected in player engagement and behaviour. The reality is the more content we make, the happier our players are. Which makes logical sense. We want to try and put out a bunch of content, and we want to make a lot of that free. We don't want things to become expensive.”
For the Hearthstone team at Blizzard, more of the same isn’t the order of the day. Nor is it, if it makes money keep doing it. Experimentation, trying new things, and keeping things fresh is key. This was reflected in last year’s yearlong narrative that injected Hearthstone characters deep into Warcraft lore surrounding dragons and well-known cities. Also, with the release of Battlegrounds -- a new and free-to-play mode inspired by the auto-battler genre. One that presented a new way to play. “We're planning to release more interesting stuff during the Year of the Phoenix too,” Ben confirms, reflecting on the success of Battlegrounds. “We want to give players different things to see and do.”
As long as any contributors aren't Flat-Earthers, that is. But let's be real, there shouldn't be. So yeah, a 1:1 Earth build with a number of mods in Minecraft that break its ruleset as it currently stands, and with a shoutout for people to contribute city-to-city, country-to-country, this is a project that might actually see realisation.
As reported by PC Gamer, the project aims to utilise a handful of mods with Google Earth and other earth-mapping applications in an effort to create the earth, within Minecraft 1:1. Currently, it's possible through some mods to do this based on the topographical information mentioned above, but none of that has transferred human creation, ala cities, buildings, homes, etc. However, YouTuber, PippenFTS, plans to change all of that. Most of this is actually over my head, so I'll let his video do the talking. My son, who is a Minecraft freak, mind, was blown away for different reasons beyond scale.
Capcom's follow-up to last year's excellent Resident Evil 2 Remake is here with the same visual makeover and RE Engine treatment given to 1999's Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, now simply called Resident Evil 3. A game that opts for the bigger, louder, approach to sequels bolstered by a never-ending chase between Jill and Mr. Nemesis.
As a follow-up to last year’s excellent and impressive Resident Evil 2 Remake – which saw Capcom utilise the RE Engine to stunning effect – it’s a little weird playing Resident Evil 3 for the first time in 2020. And not because we’re in the middle of an actual viral outbreak with the entire world under quarantine. No, the reason for the weirdness stems from the story and tone of this Resident Evil 3 remake feeling very much like the product of its time. A misguided release along the lines of a Windows Vista, Nintendo Virtual Boy, or Robocop 3.
More accurately, a mostly bland Hollywood sequel where subtlety is traded-in for over-the-top spectacle. One of those releases that doesn’t really get what made Aliens a different but worthy sequel to Alien. In Resident Evil 3 big explosions, automatic rifles, and stakes so high that a vampire would spontaneously combust just by hearing about them, are the order of the day.
As part of the yearlong Dark Heart of Skyrim storyline, Greymoor represents the big, meaty 30-hour or story campaign and expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online. One that will let players re-visit familiar sights both above and below the pristine waters next to the land the Nords call home. In a gothic vampire and witch-filled tale set 1,000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
And we’ve had the pleasure of checking out an early preview build to bring you this preview. And by pleasure we mean it took three of us roughly 40-minutes or so to take down the large Dwemer World Boss. Barely. It was, actually kind of awesome.
In addition to being able to visit well-known cities and towns like Solitude and Morthal, converse with Nords, and spot the odd Giant or two, you’ll also venture underground and explore Blackreach. A location that in terms of size, The Elder Scrolls Online’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert, says makes up about 40% or so of the new Greymoor expansion. And builds on the foundation seen in TES V: Skyrim. Blackreach is a fascinating location to explore and in The Elder Scrolls Online its unique look and feel paves the way for staple ESO elements like Delves, World Bosses, World Events and questing to appear alongside uncovering new bits of history under the light of crystals and Dwemer lamps.
Which will also illuminate those Chaurus centipede creatures – the creepy crawly ones. They’re still everywhere down there.
With all the uncertainty and stresses we face at the moment there's still room for distractions that are well worth it. Case in point, one of the key founders and developers from id Software's rise in the 1990s, and one of the creative leads on the original Doom - John Romero - playing DOOM Eternal. Developed and released by id Software in 2020.
This is John firing up the campaign for the first time, playing on Ultra Violence. It's wholesome ripping and tearing.
Romero worked at id Software from its inception in 1991 until 1996. He was involved in the creation of several milestone games, including Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth and Quake. He served as executive producer (and game designer) on Heretic and Hexen. He designed most of the first episode of Doom, a fourth of the levels in Quake, and half the levels in the Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny. He wrote many of the tools used at id Software to create their games, including DoomEd (level editor), QuakeEd (level editor), DM (for deathmatch launching), DWANGO client (to connect the game to DWANGO's servers), TED5 (level editor for the Commander Keen series, Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny), IGRAB (for grabbing assets and putting them in WAD files), the installers for all the games up to and including Quake, the SETUP program used to configure the games, and several others. In his keynote speech at WeAreDevelopers Conference 2017, Romero named this period Turbo Mode, in which he emphasizes having created 28 games, in 5.5 years with a team consisting of fewer than 10 developers.
For the full Twitch VOD - head here. It's awesome being able to watch one of the creators of Doom learn the re-imagined mechanics and have fun with Eternal -- even if that first Arachnotron encounter takes a while. It's the sort of entertainment we need right now -- after completing a Glory Kill he notes "that's a lot of health for killing stuff".
Can't afford the real thing, or even a joy ride when it comes to yachting? Never fear Yacht Mechanic Simulator is coming to shore up your desires, giving you the chance to not only fix up wrecked yachts, but test drive them, sell them and slowly build out a million dollar yacht empire.
I actually wanted to use a "not the Onion" headline opener because it would be easy to see how this could be seen as the sim world taking the piss, but given the expanse of differing simulation games and vocations, we dug in and now we're afloat with desire to get our yacht mechanic dreams into full gear. Here's a bit more on the official side of things:
Become a millionaire and build your own yacht empire!
Yacht Mechanic Simulator lets you have a taste of luxury as you renovate, redecorate, test, and sell state-of-the-art yachts of various sizes.
Scout for abandoned motorboats and give them a new life. Repair fractured hulls at your workshop and get to work on any damaged equipment. Remove the bolts that hold your engines in place and use a crane to take them out of your yacht. You can fix them, upgrade them, or even replace them entirely with better ones!
Cater to your clientele by creating gorgeous interiors! Edit, move, and replace hundreds of different decorative elements and turn your yacht into a temple of beauty.
Admire your work thanks to incredible, photorealistic graphics. Test your yachts in a breathtaking environment and see how they handle on the water. Earn money and start working on even bigger and even more luxurious vessels. Turn your workshop into a proper shipyard and become a corporate giant with your very own fleet of yachts.
Several different yachts to work on.
Beautiful, photorealistic graphics.
Various repair mechanics to patch the hull, fix the engines or upgrade navigation.
Plenty of parts to use, which you can either repair, or purchase from a store.
Open water where you can test your yachts.
Career mode with story missions.
Randomly generated missions.
Ability to upgrade your workshop and grow your yacht fleet.
Decorative elements that let you create both cozy and luxurious interiors.
Paint tools and various different materials to use.
Watch an enticing reveal trailer for the game embedded below. You can also add it to your Steam Wishlist via the game's Steam page.
And as if having the number one game-engine on the planet, or the number one (for the last little while) multiplayer game on the planet alongside a clear glove slap to the industry with Epic Games Store, its exclusives and more, Epic is now going deep on the publisher side of things, throwing down the other glove by landing deals with three of the most unique and influential studios, and their creators, in the modern era to nurse "new projects".
Control'sRemedy (our GOTY for 2019), the unique Inside'sPlaydead and the now independent gen DESIGN (Shadow of the Colossus), and each of their respective creatives and studios have signed a deal to be published by Epic Games Publishing for their next projects. See more below:
Today, Epic Games is announcing a new multiplatform publishing effort with a developer-first approach. gen DESIGN (The Last Guardian), Playdead (Inside, Limbo), and Remedy Entertainment (Control) are the first partners to announce relationships with Epic Games Publishing.
The Epic Games approach to publishing fundamentally changes the developer/publisher model, and aims to have the most developer-friendly terms in the industry, so that creators can focus on making great games.
Full creative freedom and ownership. Developers retain 100% of all intellectual property and full creative control of their work.
Fully-funded projects. Epic Games Publishing will cover up to 100% of development costs, from developer salaries to go-to-market expenses such as QA, localization, marketing, and all publishing costs.
50/50 profit sharing. Developers earn a fair share for their work -- once costs are recouped, developers earn at least 50% of all profits.
“We’re building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves when we worked with publishers,” said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games.
"gen DESIGN, Remedy, and Playdead are among the most innovative and talented studios in the industry, with strong visions for their next games,” said Hector Sanchez, Head of Epic Games Publishing. “They will have full creative control, while Epic will provide a solid foundation of project funding and services.
More is set to come, but for now, watch a short video highlighting the above embedded below.