And while we all love those grains of sodium chloride, there's a bit of credence here based on a few loose facts, a retail listing, the timing associated with said listing, a cheeky fan-tease within another game that emerged out of nowhere, and in some good old praying to the Mother Chozo to let her adopted daughter, Samus Aran, out to play.
First, the listing: Swedish retailer Inet dropped the bombshell recently, and as you'll note with the above link, it has since been removed, but not before the likes of VG247 and a number of other gaming outlets nabbed a screengrab of the posting, submitting the error or gaff into the Internet pit of purgatorial shame, lest it be turned to triumph should the game actually release on the leaked date of June 19.
Secondly, Nintendo recently dropped its own bombshell out of absolutely nowhere, announcing the existence and rapidly approaching release date for Paper Mario: The Origami King which had what looked to be a cheeky bit of fan-service with Mario donning a papier-mâché Samus helmet, sending the Internet and fanpeeps into overdrive.
The rumour is timely given the sudden announcement of Origami King, meaning Nintendo is happy to just play the game their own way now, but we're encroaching on E3 time where at least some exciting news comes out of Nintendo's Direct showcases and Treehouse streams, so there's also that.
Finally, if we all just wish hard enough at the exact same time, who knows what we're all capable of.
If any of this is true, we only hope controls have been handed back to non-waggle players, because if I'm going to have to use those Joy-Cons in order to play the game with motion control, I'm going to be "something something". Stay tuned as we keep an ear to the Chozo grindstone for any further bounty hunter rumblings.
Graphics hardware is an area NVIDIA has been an industry leader for some time - its GeForce RTX line, powered by Turing architecture, has ushered in the arrival of next-gen real-time ray-tracing effects and advanced AI-based rendering in the games we play. The company’s latest graphics revolution, though, comes in the laptop space.
And in the age of social distancing and working from home we've partnered with NVIDIA to dig deep into both the gaming and creative side of laptops powered by NVIDIA tech. With NVIDIA Studio and the GeForce RTX SUPER gaming range your home becomes a place of work, play, or something in-between.
Mojang's Minecraft meets Diablo effort drops tomorrow, positioning itself as an accessible and entry-level version of the action-RPG. The only problem with that is, it kind of goes against the whole Minecraft aesthetic - making Minecraft Dungeons a somewhat fun but shallow and finite dungeon experience.
The accessibility angle is commendable, and in a sense Minecraft Dungeons could be a gateway to a wider swathe of more stat-heavy experiences – traditional action-RPGs like Diablo III, Path of Exile, or Wolcen. Using an established and iconic franchise to present a genre that may not have the same appeal or recognition is always a good thing. The biggest problem here, weirdly, is the Minecraft aesthetic.
In the sense that Minecraft isn’t simple, it’s visuals are. Players are given tools that foster and nurture limitless creativity. Minecraft Dungeons foregoes any real connection to its source outside of aesthetic and set dressing. There is depth to the mechanics and the free-flow nature of the class-free customisation, but Minecraft Dungeons is painfully simple. To the point where nothing in the actual world, save for hitting mobs, reacts to your weapon. No destructible objects, only the odd pull-this-lever to open-this-door interaction. Or, find the key.
Desperados could be considered something of a fringe title; hardcore real-time strategy for the ballsy tacticians out there. It's also not a new franchise, with this upcoming release being the third entry, but for many Desperados might not mean anything, and this has prompted THQ Nordic and developer Mimimi Games to string together a breakdown on just what to expect here, all the while building hype on a series that *should* be in everyone's vision cone.
Here's the official skinny ahead of the video.
"Desperados III is a real-time tactical stealth game!" - Yeah. And what exactly does that mean? Well, we're going to show you! When Desperados III will release on June 16th for PC, PlayStation® and Xbox One™, players can experience the origins of the beloved Desperados and dive deep into a demanding tactical game with a lot of freedom: Each of the many different scenarios will offer multiple ways to reach your goal and Desperados III gives you five unique heroes, each one with its own set of skills.
In the new trailer, you will see what view cones, the noise from gunfire, or sniffing guard dogs can do - or how you can use the environment to your advantage.
Play five unique characters, each with a very particular set of skills.
Experience true freedom of choice with countless different ways to overcome any obstacle.
Defeat large groups of enemies with careful planning and execution.
Witness the glory of classic Wild West scenarios like frontier towns, mysterious swamps, sprawling modern cities, and many more.
Choose between non-lethal and deadly attacks, stealth and blazing guns.
Adjust the game to your playstyle with various difficulty settings and special replay challenges.
The Showdown mode allows you to pause the game anytime and react to ambushes or surprise attacks.
Desperados III releases for PC, PS4 and Xbox One this June 16. Watch the new video embedded below.
While I reviewed the game on Xbox One, and it looks gorgeous on my Q9 Samsung 4K HDR QLED, our man Kosta "Kbit" Andreadis (aka "Toadovsky"), captured the first near 30 minutes of the game's PC release and I'm not too proud to say, I'm jelly of the visual fidelity he's playing it in.
To set it up, this is where the game establishes story, so if you don't want spoilers, head on over to my spolier-free review for more, but there isn't much here by way of taking the experience away from you, rather this is a good indication of motivation, movement, environments and world-building as well as tone, beyond our words, this might be a good way to make a choice on whether or not you feel like diving into this toothy affair.
Tripwire Interactive's Maneater is a breath of fresh oxygenated water through the gills, as far as gaming is concerned, where we take on the role of a young Bull Shark and nurse her through a life less loved by humans and other beasties of the sea, graduating her from a young 'un through to an elder statesfish. And all while eating up as much trash as possible -- in this case "trash" is interchangeable between literal trash and figurative humans as trash.
It's not without its faults, but the game goes to a lot of lengths to keep players engaged, enlightened and entertained. Here's a snippet:
It’s an odd reference to make, but Maneater reminds me a lot of games from the late 90s and early noughties. In fact, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came to mind early, if only for the checklist-styled objectives riddled throughout the game-world, alongside the irreverent humour and the permeation of pop-culture Easter eggs. And this helps the game remain one step ahead of itself -- it doesn’t take itself seriously, but the setup alone is a thinker for us bipeds, giving food for thought on just what the world beneath any watery surface looks like to the actual custodians of those spaces. Naturally liberty has been taken on the social commentary side of the game, so it’s (hopefully) more over-the-top than the real world, but in our current climate with those in charge… I dunno. And I also digress.
With the recent release of Fallout 76: Wastelanders, the return of NPCs and traditional Fallout-style storytelling has seen the online Fallout find some post-apocalyptic redemption. We sit down with Bethesda Game Studios to discuss its development, the troubled launch, and the road ahead.
A snippet from our chat with Fallout 76 Project Lead Jeff Gardine and Lead Designer Ferret Baudoin.
The return of NPCs sees tension and mystery return to the simple act of exploration. With Wastelanders the spotlight not only hits the Settlers that have created a new village called Foundation. Or, the Raiders that have turned the wreckage of a crashed space station into a shanty town called Crater. It hits the stage too – West Virginia.
“You need those quests, those drivers, to get lost in the world,” Ferret continues. “It's this weird sort of Catch 22, which we didn't realise when we were making Fallout 76. We were so focused on just making multiplayer Fallout. We were enamoured with things like the first time we heard gunshots over a hill, knowing it was another player. There are so many games that already do that, but we were lost in it. Bringing NPCs back, for me as a player, gives the context needed to head out and power up and get materials for my C.A.M.P.”
Out today Saints Row The Third Remastered adds a shiny coat of paint to the fan-favourite and brings the experience to current-gen consoles. As the third game in the Saints Row series it's the one that fully embraced its comical, juvenile, and silly side wholeheartedly. Although a little aged on the design front, it's an experience that is still a co-op treat.
For the videogame scholars out there, this is the entry that introduced the dildo-bat, a floppy and bright purple melee weapon shaped like a sex toy. In that it is a sex toy you can use to beat up members of rival gangs. Or stand there hitting the bonnet of a supped-up cop car. Which really, tells you all you need to know. The over-the-top and comic tone of the third Saints Row game from developer Volition is fun pure and simple. Crass, sure – but the democratic approach to most of what you see and do is refreshing.
You can (and should) dress up your fellow Saints NPC “Homies” in gimp suits, which makes their encounters against cyberspace goths look nothing short of hilarious. And when you team up with a real-world homie to tackle missions and activities in co-op, it borders on brilliant.
If you were a child of the 80s and 90s, the sheer mention of movie monster mashups was as fervent a topic as Nintendo versus SEGA. The Aliens versus Predator concept would have been born in the playground first, as well as Freddy versus Jason, Batman versus Wolverine, Arnie versus Stallone, Arnie versus Van Damme, Arnie versus Bruce, Arnie versus... Everyone.
But perhaps one of the biggest high-concept playground mashups of all was the robot versus robot one, starring... you guessed it -- Arnie. Or, more specifically, Terminator versus RoboCop.
Aside from being able to quote both Terminator 1 and 2 word-for-word, as well as RoboCop (in a delightfully good Peter Weller voice), I used to imagine, draw, write and debate how this confrontation would go down. Would RoboCop's Prime Directives override those of the T-800? Would his compassion be a boon, or a weakness against an unstoppable killing machine? Could he just hack into the T-800's OS and reprogram him? I mean, if John Connor could do it, then surely Murphy could too?
I spent so much time thinking about this coming together of flesh and metal, I'd get in trouble for fixating so much. The video tapes we hired of both movies at the local video store were never returned, and my penchant for pausing and rewinding over and over and over meant the tapes had permanent stress points on them. The only other movie that saw more play time in my VCR in that era was Predator, and that's entirely understandable.
So here we are today, on the cusp of being able to finally match robot versus robot through the magic of NetherRealms' forthcoming expansion for Mortal Kombat 11, Aftermath. And as if reading my 14 year-old mind in some sort of retro-future time-loop throwback... thingy, NetherRealms has today dropped a visual representation of all of the above in glorious fashion.
Oh yeah, also, here's some actual information on the upcoming expansion:
RoboCop in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath features the voice and likeness of actor Peter Weller, who portrayed the popular character in both the original “RoboCop” (1987) film and “RoboCop 2” (1990) sequel, while his opponent, the Terminator is based on actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from the “Terminator: Dark Fate” film.
Those who have already purchased Mortal Kombat 11 can preorder the Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath expansion now, which includes the franchise-first story expansion, three new playable characters (Fujin, Sheeva and RoboCop), three character skin packs (incl. three skins each) to be released over time and the “Thanks a Million” Johnny Cage skin, all $59.95 (SRP) Players can also preorder the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath + Kombat Pack Bundle for $69.95 (SRP).
New players can join the fight with the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection, including Mortal Kombat 11 along with all content from Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath and the previously released Kombat Pack (incl. the Terminator). The Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection will be available digitally on May 26 and can be pre-ordered now* for $89.95 (SRP) with digital preorders offering immediate access to Mortal Kombat 11 and the Kombat Pack upon purchase.
All preorders will receive the Eternal Klash Skin Pack at launch, featuring three new character skin variants – “Unbound Rage” Scorpion inspired by Mortal Kombat (2011), “Son of Arctika” Sub-Zero inspired by Mortal Kombat: Deception and “Kori Power” Frost, a Klassic version of the Lin Kuei warrior.
Watch RoboCop versus Terminator in Mortal Kombat 11 embedded below.
Everspace 2 from developer ROCKFISH Games is currently in development with an Early Access release planned for later in the year on PC. As a sequel to the visually impressive and responsive original it presents a far more ambitious take on the rogue-lite action-RPG space combat of the first outing. Planet-side missions, deeper customisation, and even more stunning space vistas are coming. Thanks to the team we've got 30 codes for the demo to check it out on PC.
Previously only available to Kickstarter backers this polished demo showcases the fast and fluid space combat of Everspace 2 whilst also highlighting the versatile ship customisation.
But first, a taste.
EVERSPACE 2 is a fast-paced single-player space shooter with deep exploration, tons of loot and classic RPG elements. Experience a thrilling story set in a vivid, handcrafted open-world full of secrets and perils on your journey to become human after all.
In the campaign, you will make some friends with their own story to tell. They will join you on side missions and provide certain benefits in the endgame, where vicious encounters and brutal challenges will stand between you and that next epic loot drop.
Discover alien species, unveil mysteries, find hidden treasures and defend your valuables against outlaw clans. But don’t get cocky: there will be some high-risk/high-reward areas waiting for you where grabbing that ultra-special gear and getting out alive will require some serious piloting skills and all your talent for improvisation.
To grab the demo head here for a code or use the form below.
For more on Everspace 2 be sure to check out the main site where this deep dive into planetary locations gives a glimpse at the impressive scope of the sequel.
Which, compared to the built from the ground-up remake we're getting for the original Mafia the result here is a crisper version of the 2010 original. But, Mafia II: Definitive Edition does pack the original game and DLC content together, and on PC at least it performs and runs better than ever.
There’s always been a bit of confusion about Mafia II, a mob-epic released at a time where the mere act of driving from one side of a digital city to another was viewed as a riff on Grand Theft Auto. Or, an open-world crime simulator where running over pedestrians was a sure-fire way to rack up some wanted status and cause the fuzz to dispatch a few boys in blue to chase you down. Naturally, they’ll bypass the whole arrest thing by giving you a lead-filled send off.
Empire Bay, the fictional city found in Mafia II, isn’t so much a sandbox in which you get to play in as it is a lavish bit of set-dressing to help set the mood. That mood, a mob epic in the style of Scorsese’s Goodfellas with a slice of Coppola’s The Godfather. Digital sets, vehicles, and NPC extras, all there to create the illusion of life as a mobster in the 1940s and 1950s. And as far as capturing the spirit of its inspirations, Mafia II does a commendable job. Thanks to the authentic fashion plus the look, feel, and sounds of the cars you get to drive - and the radio stations you get to listen to. A large part of the appeal with Mafia II comes down to simple aesthetic immersion.
With one of the most highly anticipated games of 2020 set to release as something of a swansong for the PS4 (alongside Ghost of Tsushima), before we usher in the age of the PS5, The Last of Us II stands tall and proud with diehard Sony fanpeeps, and today Sony has celebrated that fact, revealing a PS4 Pro bundle centred around the game's release next month.
Here's Sony's official line:
This special bundle features a fully customised matte finish PS4 Pro console engraved with Ellie’s tattoo design, a Limited Edition DualShock 4 Wireless Controller, a physical copy of The Last of Us Part II, as well as a code to redeem digital content* such as The Last of Us Part II PS4 dynamic theme, avatars, and more. This limited edition bundle* will be available at participating retailers, pre-orders start today.
The Limited Edition DualShock 4 Wireless Controller also will be available as a standalone. Presented in a Steel Black matte finish with white detailing and PlayStation shapes, this Limited Edition wireless controller features Ellie’s iconic fern tattoo engraved on the lower right-hand side and The Last of Us Part II logo on the touchpad.
Furthermore, also launching is a Limited Edition Gold Wireless Headset that features a steel black matte colour with dark red interior headset cups – this stylish wireless headset features Ellie’s fern tattoo and the game logo.
Lastly, Sony is partnering with Seagate to introduce the Limited Edition The Last of Us Part II Officially Licensed Seagate 2TB Game Drive. The officially licensed Game Drive features a laser-etched design of Ellie’s tattoo, and offers an external hard drive upgrade for PS4 systems (software version 4.50 or higher), with the capacity to install 50+ games**.
*Voucher expires 5/29/2023. Internet connection and account for PlayStation Network required to redeem voucher.
**Based on an average storage requirement of 39GB for PS4 games published on or before June 2018.
If you've got deep pockets, this is the year of Limited Edition Collector's Editions for just about everything. This one alone, coupled with CD Projekt RED's Limited Edition Cyberpunk 2077Xbox One X console, will be both penny-pinchers but longterm investments. Check out a video detailing the above, embedded below. For even more info, head over to the PlayStation Blog.
Weird times aside, the rise of streaming and DIY digital recording has seen a meteoric rise in the past decade or so. And even though we're all struggling to find a microphone and webcam to join in on Zoom meetings, the Blue Yeti X is here to stake a claim for the very best USB microphone available today.
the Blue Yeti X features what you would call high-fidelity recording with the ability to capture a wide frequency of sounds with the clarity and depth you’d find on a professional recording. A USB microphone that can stand up to an XLR setup.
Where it excels comes from the harmonious unity between the analogue and the digital thanks to the USB interface and the robust Blue VO!CE audio software. But it’s with the hands-on approach to the physical design of the Yet X – where you have direct control and visual feedback over its main features without the need for software – that highlight its stellar design. Tactile feedback without having to look at a screen is something of a god-send in the audio world, and the Yeti X features things like a high-quality LED meter for your voice/recording in addition to being able to switch between the various Polar Patterns on the fly.
From the studio behind Broforce and Genital Jousting and the publishing team at Devolver Digital, Gorn presents an ultra-violent and comical take of gladiatorial combat. And as is the way with VR, swinging those digital weapons for hours on end can become a workout in and of itself.
As Adam 'GrizGaming' Mathew discovered.
By the time you brutalise your way through Gorn's six or so arenas, you'll be a veritable master of crowd-control and cold, economical death-strikes.
Your arms will ache to buggery too. Fighting for your life for three hours is sweaty, sweaty work. It'll tone the hell out of your trapezius. In a very literal sense, Gorn will make a gladiator out of you.
The mild pain I put myself through to finish Gorn is a testament to just how fun an addictive it is. For me, Gorn's claws dug in when I realised you could make a variety of rude gestures with your hands. Being able to ninja-parry incoming strikes and disarm (or “dis-head”) people got me hooked even more. But really, it's the evolving access to increasingly nasty weapons that will keep the PSVR stuck on your head, long after those lenses have fogged and your forehead is running like Niagara.
Which is this Friday for those of you in the nosebleeds. The event: AFL Stream King Featuring Fortnite, kicks off from 7pm AEST this Friday and features 40 AFL players and 40 of the country's top Fortnite players in a duo competition with $100,000 dollarydoos up for grabs.
Headlined by the Brisbane Lions' Mitch Robinson -- who is a Fortnite and stream fanatic, he's joined by Sydney star-in-the-making Nick Blakey, Collingwood's Jaidyn Stephenson, Hawthorn serial pest James Siciliy and the explosive Connor Rozee from Port Adelaide, among other TBA.
On the gamer side of things, top streamers in Muselk, MrAsianFresh and x2Twins also join the fray with more to equally be revealed this week in the lead up to the event.
Launched in late May to cater for footy lovers and gaming fanatics alike, and harnessing the popularity of gaming across the AFL and AFLW playing group, the AFL Games Network has already clocked up over 6,500 hours of content watched by over 75,000 fans within its first fortnight of streaming. Ben Sellenger, AFL Head of Commercial Growth, said the appeal of the network is no surprise due to the access it provides fans.
“We are proud to partner with global giant Epic Games to put on this charity tournament, harnessing the strengths of both organisations, and providing what should be an amazing product for footy fans and gamers alike. Bringing together some of the biggest names in footy with the biggest names in Fortnite - we can’t wait to see who takes out the title.
“The strength of the AFL Gamers Network is the ability to allow our next generation of fans to interact and engage with players in a what is a native environment for them – it’s an enormous difference to the experience they get within our traditional game and broadcast environment. It offers a different and authentic gaming experience to a new generation of fans that may not have otherwise interacted with our game.
“The AFL has been involved in gaming for a number of years in various ways, and the AFL Gamers Network now allows us to deliver a product which gives our players who game a platform to unite under and grow their own fan base,” said Sellenger.
You can check out a stack of the AFL Gamers Network action by clicking here. There are four prize pools up for grabs for the top four duos with winnings being given to their charity of choice:
First Place - $50,000 dollarydoos
Second Place - $30,000 dollarydoos
Third Place - $15,000 dollarydoos
Fourth Place - $5000 dollarydoos
While we're all cooped up at home, more and more games of varying interests are starting to froth to the surface. New experiences we might not have delved headlong into in the past -- even in our case, despite the number of games that reach our inbox or mailbox, we often don't get access to everything. Which is why when we saw a bit of hype percolating around a little Indie called Coffee Talk, we jumped right in, bought it, and haven't had a single regret since.
As is our lot in life, we also decided to review it, despite the fact it's been out in the wild for a few months, because there might be some, or a lot, of you who haven't heard much about this little gem just yet.
Here's a snippet:
The interesting part of Coffee Talk is that the gameplay really only comes in the form of making coffee. Which might sound boring, and at times you’ll crave that tiny slice of interaction, but as with Lucas Pope’s brilliant Papers Please, much of Coffee Talk is about conversation and observation. You learn each character’s plight night-to-night and as the game progresses, they’ll need new types of drinks to help them relax, perk them up or to just sip away the time. It’s a game unlike anything else, but the writing within is exquisite and on-point as a reflection of the world we live in right now. What helps, however, is that Toge has taken the fantasy basis of so much gaming and baked into a believable world. This isn’t a coffee shop that serves only humans, its clientele is as rich and vast and the wider fantasy world outside in the rain-drenched Emerald City (and beyond).
When it comes to next-gen storage, and the sort of stuff you'll find in the new consoles later in the year, what we're really talking about is the benefits that have come from PCI Express 4.0. The bandwidth improvements can be seen in the latest PC processors from AMD in addition to upcoming GPUs. Equally as important - PCIe Gen4 can be found in the latest SSD drives. As seen with the latest Seagate FireCuda 520.
In the PC space, storage has seen gradual and steady improvements for years. From the arrival of fast SSD storage that can look like a credit card wearing some Kevlar to the stick-it-on-your-motherboard shot of nitros that is NVMe M.2. Fast forward to 2020 and the adoption of PCI Express 4.0 is ushering in a new type of storage. Next-generation NVMe speeds that comes from increased bandwidth and Autobahn-like data express lanes.
The SeaGate FireCuda 520 SSD is a PCIe Gen4 M.2 drive that presents the company’s fastest SSD storage solution to date. And the results are exactly that – fast. A generational leap forward that offers a 30% improvement over the SeaGate FireCuda 510.