At BlizzCon, the surprise Diablo announcement was the existence of a brand new game built from the ground up for mobile devices called Diablo Immortal. The initial reaction and backlash by certain fans proved to be somewhat deafening, even though the game itself looked solid. Mainly it all boils down to Blizzard still waiting for the right time to officially acknowledge the existence of Diablo 4.
'Multiple projects in the works' is so close, they might as well just say it at this point. But, Diablo Immortal - regardless of your feelings on the mobile platform - is a lot of fun to play. It feels like Diablo and the team is going to great lengths to ensure that it's a full-featured experience at launch. Which means the same greet loot-based combat and progression alongside a cinematic story that can be tackled alone or with others.
“We wanted to bring this game, and the Diablo universe to a completely new audience and to make the community grow,” Matthew Berger, senior content designer on Blizzard's Diablo Immortal team explains. “And so that was our goal from the beginning, but for this to be meaningful it had to be a real Diablo experience.” Matthew Berger has been with the Diablo III team since it launched in 2012, where in addition to designing new content played a key role in bringing the game to consoles. Diablo Immortal, by all accounts is being treated with the same focus on quality and attention to detail found across Blizzard’s entire library. In other words, regardless of your opinion of the mobile platform – this is a real Diablo game.
We've taken a bit of time with Cyanide's Call of Cthulhu -- a game we've been hoping would break through some invisible barrier to tentacle its way into our Triple-A loving hearts. Unfortunately, those tentacles are shy the number of rings (read: dollar signs) they needs to truly deliver on what is, and remains to be, a fantastic premise and promise.
Here's a slither from our review:
In the immortally terribly-delivered, fakely accented words of John Malkovich as Russian gambler and organised crime heavy, Teddy KGB, from the seminal not-classic, Rounders, “pay that man his money”, only here let’s change it up to “pay that studio more money”. Because their poker hand; their river, if you will, is deep and full of winning promise. They just have zero ante and no means to go “all in”.
And that’s the shame of Call of Cthulhu -- this is effectively a point-and-click adventure represented in [poor] 3D form, with wonderful audio, limited scripting, even more limited gameplay and gameplay presented in disparate form: often with no direction and hardfails that are at odds with what appears to be an attempt at a streamlined experience into descending madness. And yep, that’s a mouthful to take in, but I’ll do my best now to dissect the bad and the good for a comprehensive take on what should have been knocked over the fence for six, given the subject matter.
We've taken Battlefield V to the same races we took Battlefield IV, but this time there's skylight above and fish in the water, writes Nathan Lawrence, in our naturally in-depth review.
Here's a snippet:
I was on the infamous Battlefield 4 review trip. It’s “infamous” because the game I played in Redwood, San Francisco and the game that launched felt like two different beasts. What I played was a stable online experience, afforded by controlled online matches powered by the kind of internet that, to this day, still seems like science fiction in Australia. For those who played Battlefield 4 at launch, though, they’d know how unplayable it was.
Ever since then, playing any sort of multiplayer-focused game, especially one built by DICE, under controlled review conditions breeds nervousness as to whether what I’ve played will compare to what is delivered. Despite its very apparent warts, last year’s Battlefront II had stable networking at launch. The same is true of Battlefield 1 and the recent Battlefield V beta was promising. Enough time has passed and DICE has learnt its lessons, it would seem, but I wanted to flag upfront that my experience of Battlefield V was played under controlled conditions in Sweden.
While Red Dead Redemption 2 does its record-breaking thing, Ubisoft has confidently reminded everyone their own open-world game, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, is still out in the wild and are also sharing a stack of new content for it, for everyone, for free.
Specifically, two major side questlines will emerge in The Lost Tales of Greece and Divine Intervention:
Among the biggest additions are the Lost Tales of Greece, which kicks off with two new, self-contained questlines: The Show Must Go On, in which you get a chance to portray Leonidas on stage (and go off-script); and Divine Intervention, in which a mysterious woman will test you with divine trials.
These, along with future Lost Tales of Greece, will be automatically unlocked after reaching Episode 5 in the story, and will appear on the map as yellow side quests. Completing them can yield multiple possible outcomes and new rewards, and there's no time limit to tackle or complete them.
The Lost Tales of Greece aren't the only new activities coming this month, either. Steropes the Cyclops will join the game's roster of mythical creatures on November 13. You can try and challenge him by taking on a new quest called The Lightning Bringer; succeed, and you can get your hands on a new Legendary Bow.
Epic Events also join the content drop with new Epic ships and Epic mercenaries and are recommended for players at or above level 30. Two new item packs will also be a part of this major content freebie with the Odysseus Pack which features a new gear set, a new mount and a new weapon. The Odysseus Naval pack, also free, features a new figurehead, a new crew theme and a new ship design.
Other updates in November include:
A level cap increase, from 50 to 70, with level-50 players automatically rewarded with Ability Points to match any XP overflow they've already earned
A layer of visual customization over your armor, enabling you to use the stats of one item and the appearance of another
Customizable gamepad controls
The option to auto-craft regular arrows when ammo runs low, so long as they have enough materials
Lower upgrade costs for gear
The ability to pause and resume any XP or Drachmae boosters that you own.
Ubisoft promised to support Assassin's Creed Odyssey post-release richly, and with just this content announcement for November they've already lived up to that promise, and then some.
And as topical as that sounds in this day and age, nope, it's not a real-life sentence, in the physical sense. Rather, players have found a crack in the invisible digital wall in Red Dead Redemption 2 and have started wandering into Mexico, which featured as its own content and story-heavy biome in the original game, but exists seemingly in the prequel as either DLC placeholder, or as North Korean-like proof of place through player binoculars.
As originally reported by Eurogamer, and shared by YouTuber ZacCoxTV, it's not really anything other than a barren desert with a single building left in from the original game, though something could be taken from this in regards to a true remaster of the first Red Dead being wholly in the works, and now hopefully PC-friendly. But please acknowledge right now, that's us clutching at very invisible straws.
Either way, the fact that true in-game geometry for the space exists is something we can clutch at, and we'd certainly love to see more content rise from this unique discovery, but since Rockstar is always so tight-lipped about its games and plans, we'll just have to glitch and wait and see.
Not to be outdone by other markets and locations around the world, Trade Media has officially unveiled the Aussie-specific Australian Game Awards, or AGAs, which will take place this December under the Big Top at Luna Park in Sydney.
On December 19, Aussies will be able to vote on a huge list of categories surrounding games, games media, personalities and more.
The awards will be the most complete recognition of Australian gaming culture, with awards across games, accessories, games journalism, esports and content creation.
Built for and voted on by the Australian gaming community, 29 categories will be recognised at the inaugural awards. Nominations have opened today and will run through until midnight AEDT on Sunday, November 18. Voting will then open later that week, closing in early December.
In addition to helping decide this year’s winners, 200 Ultimate Fans will also be able to celebrate alongside finalists and the Australian Games Industry. Tickets are available through EB Games, the official retail partner of the AGAs, at $199. Along with all the celebrations, these fans will receive food, drinks, and commemorative exclusive swag – with further inclusions to be announced in the lead up to the event.
Speaking on the launch of the Australian Games Awards, Trade Media Director, Joel Van Daal said, “I’m so thrilled to finally reveal the event.”
Joel added, “This will be the biggest ever celebration of Australian gaming culture, and will give the community the opportunity to have their say. Games are the premier form of entertainment, and we are just pleased to be able to give them the platform it deserves.”
The official site for the new initiative can be found here, while a full list of categories to vote in can be found below.
2018 Awards List
Action/Adventure Title of the Year
Audio Brand of the Year
Australian Developed Game of the Year presented by Bethesda
Breakout Creator of the Year
Controller and Accessories Brand of the Year (includes chairs, travel cases etc.)
Cosplayer of the Year
Creator of the Year
Esports Personality of the Year
Esports Title of the Year
Family/Kids Title of Year
Game Of The Year
Gaming Publication of the Year
Independent Game of the Year presented by Nintendo
Journalist of the Year
Mixer Creator of the Year
Mobile/Handheld Title of the Year
Multiplayer/Online Title of the Year
Organisation of the Year
Play of the Year
Player of the Year
RPG of the Year
Shooter of the Year
Social Media God (best use of social media/community engagement)
Sports, Racing or Fighting Title of the Year
Strategy Title of the Year
Team of the Year
The Gamechanger (has influenced positive change in games)
Twitch Creator of the Year
YouTube Creator of the Year
Personally, I'm going to nominate Kosta for all of these.
Darksiders 3 finally releases into the wild on November 27, and we couldn't be happier. However, ahead of that release THQ Nordic has revealed that Gunfire Games has also been working on updating both Darksiders: Warmastered Edition and Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition, to take full advantage of Xbox One X.
Beginning today, gamers who pre-order Darksiders III: Blades & Whip Edition from the Microsoft Store will be able to download and play the enhanced Darksiders: Warmastered Edition. The enhanced version of Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition will be available later this month, enabling players to enjoy both games in 4K before beginning their journey into Darksiders III on November 27!
The comprehensive Darksiders III pre-order campaign is ongoing and promises major rewards for Darksiders fans who have patiently waited more than six years for the release of Darksiders III. Pre-order here: Darksiders III Pre-Order.
If you're not across Darksiders III -- a game that very nearly didn't see the light of day once the original THQ's demise kicked in, here's some light reading for you:
Players return to an apocalyptic planet Earth in Darksiders III, a hack-n-slash action-adventure where players take on the role of FURY in her quest to hunt down and dispose of the Seven Deadly Sins. The Charred Council calls upon FURY to battle from the heights of heaven down through the depths of hell in a quest to restore the balance between good and evil and prove that she is the fiercest of the FOUR HORSEMEN. FURY is a mage, her form evolving throughout gameplay and with it, her powers and weaponry. The expansive Darksiders III game world is presented as an open-ended, living, free-form planet Earth, dilapidated by war and decay, and overrun by nature. FURY will traverse back and forth between environments, battling other-worldly creatures and unlocking puzzles while advancing the Darksiders story. Scheduled to release worldwide November 27, 2018 for PC, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox® One family of devices, including Xbox One X.
At BlizzCon, Blizzard showcased a new major content update for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. Called Tides of Vengeance, the new update will feature the Battle of Dazar’alor raid and the Battle for Darkshore warfront, among much more.
Accompanied by a classic Blizzard cinematic that will blow your mind, called Lost Honor (watch it embedded below):
A prisoner within the heart of the Alliance seat of power, Varok Saurfang is confronted not only by King Anduin Wrynn, but the choices that lie before him.
On top of the announcements above, WoW Classic is slated for a Winter AU release in 2019, while a new in-game pet and plushie is now available. Purchasing Whomper in either form will have proceeds going to
Back before it was an entire world enjoyed by millions of adventurers Blizzard's Warcraft was best known for being one of the biggest names in the RTS or real-time strategy game. At BlizzCon this year, Blizzard announced the existence of Warcraft III: Reforged, which brings back the 2002 classic with updated 4K visuals and other goodies.
Like, over four-hours of in-game cut-scenes reworked with new voices and wonderfully detailed characters like Arthas and Sylvanas to help re-tell the Warcraft III story. Night Elves, Humans, Orcs, Undead - yeah, there's a lot that happens that also sets the scene for major World of Warcraft events we've seen over the years. Visual upgrades also extend to the environment and buildings and units and animation - whilst retaining the look and feel of the original. The brightest green that ever greened apparently.
“Warcraft III is monumentally important to us here at Blizzard, and its influence is evident in everything we’ve done since,” said J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard Entertainment. “A project like Warcraft III: Reforged isn’t something we undertake lightly, partly because of this legacy, but more importantly, because we know what it means to our players.”
Warcraft III: Reforged includes both Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the expansion, The Frozen Throne - and has a release window of 2019 where it will be available for $44.95 AUD. In fact pre-orders are now open with in-game bonuses for other Blizzard games, including a Meat Wagon mount for World of Warcraft.
We'll have more on this remaster soon, but for more info - head here.
The big Diablo announcement for BlizzCon wasn't the long-awaited Diablo 4 reveal, seems we have to wait a bit longer for that - but instead a brand-new game called Diablo Immortal. "A mobile massively multiplayer online action–role-playing game for Android and iOS devices" that is set between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3.
Which admittedly looks really good in action thanks to the pair of trailers we got, one cinematic and one showing gameplay. The trailers also confirm that Diablo Immortal is a joint development project between Blizzard and NetEase.
Here's the cinematic.
And here's the fast-paced gameplay, which is reminiscent of Diablo 3 in quite a few ways.
Six classes have been confirmed so far - Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, and Wizard. And the world itself is said to be one that will evolve and change over time. It definitely sounds interesting and the multiplayer side will feature public zones in addition to instanced dungeons for groups alongside a full story and crafting, leveling, and looting in classic Diablo style.
“Diablo Immortal takes the series’ dark, gothic fantasy world of Sanctuary and inimitable Diablo gameplay, and puts it in your pocket,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “With their incredible passion for Diablo and proven mobile expertise, the development team has spawned an ultra-responsive and breathtakingly beautiful mobile game, and we can’t wait for players to get their hands on it.”
We'll have more on Diablo Immortal as we go hands-on with the game at BlizzCon and speak to Blizzard about this new direction. Plus, sneak in the usual "Diablo 4?" question.