So, Sydney. Good news for event-starved Sydney-siders given Melbourne has locked down every other event in history to its ever-growing 'cultural expansion' (and I can say all that because I'm originally from Melbourne), anyway... oh yeah, the Gran Turismo Championship -- an FIA certified e-racing event will be making its first stop of the 2020 World Tour in Sydney at Luna Park.
Here's the official line on how it all goes down:
The FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships arrive in Sydney on Saturday, 15th and Sunday, 16th February. The Gran Turismo World Tour Sydney event is the first of the 2020 season and will take place at the Big Top in Luna Park in front of a live audience and the TV cameras that will broadcast the spectacular racing around the world.
Fifty of the world’s fastest Gran Turismo racers will fly in from Europe, North and South America, Asia and New Zealand to join some home-grown talent in two competitions - the Manufacturer Series, that pits 12 teams of three representing different manufacturers against each other, and the Nations Cup, an individual competition with 24 players representing their respective countries.
Australian hopes will ride high with regular front-runner Cody Nikola Latkovski having finished second in both the Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series at the 2019 World Finals in Monaco in December. Latkovski will be joined at the Sydney event by former GT Academy winner Matt Simmons and World Tour-regular Adam Wilk.
An esport–motorsport hybrid, the FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships is entering its third year in 2020 and continues to grow in popularity. The exciting racing is played out on racing seats on stage equipped with the PlayStation PS4 Pro and the Gran Turismo Sport game, with the action shown to a live audience on a huge screen and broadcast around the world on YouTube and Facebook.
Within one evening, the audience can be transported from watching formula cars racing around Interlagos in Brazil, to exotic concept cars on a street circuit in Tokyo or perfect recreations of Group 3 race cars on Bathurst’s Mount Panorama.
"I'm deeply moved to be able to host the FIA-Gran Turismo Championships in Australia," said Polyphony Digital's Kazunori Yamauchi via press release. "I felt from way back during the first Gran Turismo that Australia is home to some of the most passionate GT fans of the world. Australia is also a very forward-thinking country that took notice of the Japanese sports car culture which ultimately led to the creation of Gran Turismo, with cars like the iconic Nissan GT-R, which even became a part of their own sports car culture.
“Not only that but the Bathurst (Mount Panorama) Circuit is one of the most unique tracks in the world, with its beautiful scenery and frighteningly difficult course lay out. I think it’s the robust car culture of Australia that nurtured fans of Gran Turismo over the last 20 years and led to the birth of top Gran Turismo athletes such as Cody Nikola Latkovski and Adam Wilk. I'm looking forward to seeing them perform well in this world class championship which is being held for the first time on their home turf.”
Our first hardware review covering the renowned SteelSeries range of peripherals focuses on the new Sensei Ten gaming mouse - which even though is seemingly focusesed on its place in competitive esports is great for day-to-day use. Outside of the usual "hey, it's got a great optical sensor", which it does, it's matte finish is also silky smooth to the touch.
Which, as suckers for comfort, we factored into our review.
The Sensei Ten features an ambidextrous design in the traditional sense, with side-buttons on both sides and support for palm, claw, and fingertip grips. It’s the approach we’ve seen in several esports-focused peripherals in the past and works well here. But, setting that aside for a moment, let’s get back to its ‘silky’ feel. The soft matte finish is the first thing you notice when taking the Sensei Ten for a spin, and the silkiness of it immediately adds a level of comfort not found in mice that opt for a hard-plastic-shell finish. A weird thing to highlight and go on about sure, but as a diehard fan and supporter of rubberised grips on the side of my own gaming mouse of choice – the comfort and grip of the Sensei Ten is of a sort that made me forget about the notion of rubber grips pretty quick.
The long-awaited showdown between the League of E.V.I.L. and League of Explorers is now live and thanks to the lovely people at Blizzard Entertainment we've got 5 x Hearthstone Galakrond's Awakening Solo Adventure bundles to give away!
Valued at $26.95 AUD each bundle contains:
8 Captivating Chapters in two separate 4 chapter campaigns with their own unique endings.
35 collectible cards to unlock as you play through the Explorers and E.V.I.L. campaigns in story mode.
2 Unique Card Backs for completing the campaigns on Heroic Mode.
After the excellent Dragon Ball FighterZ from 2018, Bandai Namco and developer CyberConnect2 bring the same impressive anime aesthetic and visual detail to the new story-driven action-RPG - Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. A game that retells stories and arcs from the classic anime series - which is why we got our DBZ expert Edan Burg to review it.
Growing up on the DBZ as a kid (I’m actually rewatching the anime at the moment) I was more than a little keen to check out this new action-RPG set in the universe. Finally, a Dragon Ball Z game that would focus on story as much as it did combat and other weirdness - in the impressive visual style seen in 2018’s excellent Dragon Ball FighterZ. On the story front there’s an immediate sense of familiarity and comfort when you hear the Head-Cha-La theme song from the anime series, and even more when Goku and Gohan jump onto the flying Nimbus and head off to see Chi Chi.
Hearing Head-Cha-La as you’re getting a beating from an iconic character of the Dragon Ball Z universe is also a nice touch that pulls on the old nostalgia strings.
After spending three hours with a near-final build of DOOM Eternal thanks to Bethesda, we discover that id Software has been quietly building a stunning genre-defining experience that could potentially become the high watermark for the FPS genre.
A snipper from our preview.
After playing through a lengthy section of DOOM Eternal’s final campaign (about three hours all up) there was a sense that this could have been a sequel in the traditional sense. A sentiment born from the impressive ambition and scope we saw in the game last year, where elements return but are expanded upon. New stuff found around every corner, but with a look and feel that is still every bit DOOM. As a movie poster might tell you – ‘Bigger and better, the Slayer is back!’.
On that note DOOM Eternal is a revelation. Almost overwhelming in its scope and seamless execution of pure first-person action. An experience chock full of genuinely fascinating ideas of how a first-person shooter can play. Or could. With story, level design, platforming, and intuitive puzzles that feel like they belong. Familiar and refreshing and unlike anything else in the shooter space.
Which is a round about way of saying "watch this space". Revealed via the all-important Twitter-sphere, Techland dropped the bombshell overnight saying that Dying Light 2 -- the studio's "biggest project to date", would need "more development time to fulfill [its] vision".
Check out the full post in text form:
To our dedicated Community:
It was a busy year for us as we continued working on our biggest project to date. We know you are awaiting the game eagerly, and we want to deliver exactly what we promised.
We were initially aiming for a Spring 2020 release with Dying Light 2, but unfortunately we need more development time to fulfill our vision. We will have more details to share in the coming months, and we will get back to you as soon as we have more information. We apologize for this unwelcome news. Our priority is to deliver an experience that lives up to our own high standards and to the expectations of you, our fans.
Please stay tuned, and thank you to our fans around the world for your continued support, patience, and understanding.
In news most of us were *kind of* expecting, CD Projekt RED has delayed the release of the hotly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 by more than five months. Citing a requirement to spend more time playtesting and bug-fixing, the studio has moved release of the game to September 17.
As we know with projects of this magnitude, more time is actually a good thing and speaks to a commitment to polish (heh) the release by the devs. Here's what CDPR had to say on the matter:
Our resident Ninty expert (and thus, my protege), put together a bit of a think-piece one where he sees the Big N taking their sustained Nintendo Switch success to, in 2020, and potentially beyond. It's your hand, Nintendo.
(Get it? Because they used to dabble in play cards? And we're in a console transition year... oh, never mind.)
Here's a snippet from his Nindostradamus prediction feature:
We saw it with the Switch Lite last year, and perhaps we’ll see it again this year. Nintendo now have two main Switch models out in the wild, with the handheld-only Switch Lite nestled up nicely next to its do-it-all hybrid big brother. The Japanese-based company isn’t afraid of delivering multiple SKUs across a product range — with the brain-melting amount of different SKUs for the 3DS and 2DS line a pertinent example — and we can’t shake the feeling that we’re due another major shake up later this year.
Will it be the long-rumoured Switch Pro model? I’d say so. It makes the most sense, and with the new consoles on the way it’d give Nintendo a bit of staying power in that conversation. If this does come to fruition, I’d say it’d be a sure-fire bet to launch alongside a major exclusive, much like the Lite launching with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening in September last year. Breath of the Wild 2 seems the most obvious candidate if everything was to all line up smoothly, of course...
Sometimes a headline just speaks for itself, and when the trailer you're highlighting begins with "In 1945, Hitler summoned a Nazi zombie army...", you just sort of pay attention, you know?
Zombie Army 4: Dead War from Rebellion is as advertised, you slaying zombies in co-op madness. I actually had a chance to play this at last year's E3 and it was a lot of over-the-top fun, especially with a bunch of us.
Here's the lite skinny:
The year is 1946. Europe lies in ruins, torn apart by the nefarious “Plan Z.” A brave band of heroes cast the Führer into hell but little do they know… Hitler’s Hordes are back for more!
Face the darkness in single player or team up with friends as you blast your way through Nazi undead in this spine-chilling shooter from the makers of Sniper Elite 4.
A new story campaign for 1-4 players
Skills, special abilities, and upgrades
The Famous X-ray kill camera returns
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is due out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One early February. Watch the new 101 trailer embedded below.
Which is to say, yes, we've covered off our actual Top 10 Best Games, BUT we make the list out of 20 potentials, and always remember to acknowledge those who made a cut, just not the final cut. Here's our 10 runners up to the Top 10 Best Games of 2019...
And in no specific order, each one of these challenged the final group as if it were a Royal Rumble (timing), resting beneath belt-buckles or having been knocked out of the ring, but not over the top rope... yet finally succumbing to the pops, cheers and 'officials'' calls of the all-feud. Here's a small snippet from one enter:
The Eternal Castle - PC
Leonard Menchiari, Giulio Perrone, Daniele Vicinanzo | Review
There’s something immediately striking about The Eternal Castle’s authentic CGA 4-colour visuals -- showcasing an era of PC gaming when Emperor Palpatine was the main villain in a Star Wars film. Well, the first time he was. This release is also somewhat of a hoax, presenting itself as the long-lost remastered release of a 1980s computer game. It’s not, and there are a few modern touches to be found in the gameplay, but where The Eternal Castle stands out is how it leverages its primitive look to deliver some wonderfully minimal art and animation. Stuff that evokes the sort of mystery and wonder you got when games like the original Prince of Persia were king of the videogame sandcastle.
After years of games-specific shows like E3 and Gamescom this year we trekked all the way to Las Vegas for CES 2020 - easily one of the biggest tech events on any calendar year. Amid all the robots, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars we managed to check out the latest in gaming tech. And judging by what we saw - 2020 is going to be great year.
CES is huge, several times the size and scope of something like E3 and covers just about anything and everything with silicon or a microchip of some-kind. In addition to hypothetical futures where we all go from business meeting to business meeting in automated Hyundai helicopter Uber things, CES is also the place where the biggest names in the industry showcase upcoming products.
From LG to Samsung to AMD to Dell to Lenovo and others like ASUS, Razer, and MSI. When it comes to gaming the biggest innovations at CES this year centred around the advances coming to display technology in 2020. So much so that even though our main gaming display is only a few months old – we’re already looking to upgrade. The way we perceive portable on-the-go gaming and laptops will continue to evolve throughout 2020 too, thanks to the line between performance and portability continuing to blur. Now, that doesn’t mean that the traditional desktop PC is dead – it isn’t and won’t be for a while. In fact, from what we saw at CES the desktop is about to become more versatile than ever.
And it's bloody awesome. In part because the presentation is awesome and very on-point when you consider how games are presented on-stage at press events, or now through streaming reveals and other video. Basically, this is a glimpse at what Cyberpunk would look like if it was released on PSOne.
There's not a lot of info we can share beyond the fact this is very, very awesome. It's a very good example of just how far you can go as a creator in Media Molecule's Dreams, and as the creator of the demo -- Barely Regal points out in the Comments, this is a full-blown project for him he plans on finishing, which should be very interesting. Check it out embedded below.