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Tuesday, 28th September 2021
Basement Dweller - Hot Wheels Unleashed Review [Steve Farrelly- 04:56pm] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
Hot Wheels Unleashed is out in the wild. It's a game we know has been popular among regular readers and punters on the whole, largely because of the IP and how promising it's looked up until here.

So the question then is, has it delivered upon that promise, and will it meet the lofty expectations of its eager potential fans?

Well, that's what reviews are for, right? Here's a snippet from what we took from our time with it:
And while my misgivings here in regards to how it all ties together might sound trivial to readers who haven’t played it, the long and short of it is City Rumble’s presentation and makeup just doesn’t marry with decking out your Basement (more on this shortly) or racing through the mish-mash of backdrops initially on offer -- Skate Park, College, Garage and Skyscraper (under construction) and the aforementioned Basement. All of this impacts the game’s overall hook, or lack thereof.

And thus proof of Unleashed’s whiteboard ideation process, without an eraser, comes to the fore. Nothing, it seems, was off limits in what to offer the player as far as a reason to play is concerned.
Click here for our Hot Wheels Unleashed review.

Monday, 27th September 2021
FIFA 22 Review - Is the Hype(rMotion) Real? [Steve Farrelly- 05:21pm] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
We set our FIFA specialist, and all round soccer (football) fanatic, Toby Berger, to task on FIFA 22, an entry in the series that has promised to redefine the game and how it's played.

So, how does our expert reviewer feel the series has fared?

Here's a snippet from his in-depth review:
With over 4000 new animations added to the game, FIFA feels seriously different thanks to the aforementioned new technology. And it’s safe to say that’s for the better -- janky animations are few and far between in matches, with realistic reactions from players looking more the part than ever before. As someone who’s watched a lot of football over the years, it’s nice to see natural reactions finally achievable in the game. It’s a significant step up from the days of the ‘Ignite Engine’, and I’m hopeful this is just the beginning for the technology.
Click here for our full FIFA 22 review.

Friday, 24th September 2021
Dying Light 2: Stay Human - Cloud Version will be the Poster Child for Cloud Streamed Games on Nintendo Switch [Steve Farrelly- 12:31pm] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
A bit of a mouthful there, and I didn't even have room to announce that the OG Dying Light by way of "Platinum Edition", which is a full game, was also part of Techland's plans to win over the Ninty crowd. The kicker, though, being that a streamable version of Dying Light 2: Stay Human would be released day and date with other platforms for the game.

This means the game is basically using the Switch as a screen and user interface, while the game itself is running off higher-end hardware elsewhere. This is the future of games, and we've seen examples running before (Control, Hitman 3) but as a massive game running off a proprietary engine that is very, very next-gen, Dying Light 2: Stay Human - Cloud Version will essentially land as the platform's poster-child for the service.

It will be interesting, however, to see how regions such as ours handles this given our subpar networking. Is it viable, will there be optimisation from a networking perspective for Aussies and our geo-challenged ilk? A free demo of the game might answer those questions, and will release alongside the retail option in an essentially "try before you buy" setup.

As for Dying Light: Platinum Edition, punters can expect that this October 19, according to the Nintendo Direct, though locally our Nintendo AU press release had no mention of either game. We've reached out to other contacts for clarity on both games and what we can expect here in Australia.

Watch the trailer for Dying Light: Platinum Edition embedded below.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021
If You Only Watch One Creepy Trailer Today, Make it Happy's Humble Burger Farm [Steve Farrelly- 10:52am] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
And really, the game's description as a "first-person cooking horror game" should be more than enough to pique your interest, or have holding up your hand in some sort of "no, nope. Nuh-uh. No way, not for me" kind of fashion. But be warned, this is definitely a creepy old trailer. And yep, now we absolutely want to play Happy's Humble Burger Farm.

Here's some menu descriptions on just what to expect with this decidedly sketchy setup:
Game Features:
  • Heat up the grill, turn on the fryer, set up the drinking machines, and get ready to serve customers.

  • Manage the entire establishment: cook, put out fires, take out the trash, and get rid of unwanted rat guests while fulfilling customers’ orders in time to avoid infractions and end up meeting the wrath of Happy the Humble Heifer.

  • Uncover the secrets of the franchise and your own existence in Story Mode or unlock the Endless Mode for a non-stop cooking experience.

  • Stalk the streets and storefronts of New Elysian City, uncover audio logs and research pages to figure out the mystery of the place you call home.

  • Enjoy the night shift to the tune of nine brand new albums recorded exclusively for the game plus five returning classics through an interactive jukebox.

  • During your spare time, listen to up to two hours of talk show and watch more than 60 television programs featuring epic cameos.
Not a lot is known about the full structure of the game, but the trailer embedded below should give you something to bite into. Happy's Humble Burger Farm is due to hit PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Switch in "Q4 2021".

Is that a... Viking Longhouse Buried in that Mound? Assassin's Creed Valhalla Discovery Tour: Viking Age Coming this October [Steve Farrelly- 10:20am] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
I've been personally waiting for this one. The past Discovery Tour add-ons for Origins and Odyssey were amazing tools, full of creative educational wonder. And with Valhalla's England settlement period, it's not just the Vikings worthy of a page in the digital history book, but the land and time itself.

We've poured over Assassin's Creed Valhalla in many forms, so from a content perspective where new opportunities arise, this is not only an educational tool for those interested, or the young 'uns as many of us navigate home-schooling, but a tantalising option to explore new stories and tangents to tell as far as the series goes.

Here's more from Ubisoft:
Following Discovery Tour: Ancient Egypt and Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece’s line, the brand-new chapter of the Assassin’s Creed educational expansion will shed light on the Viking era and allow players to discover more about the history and traditions of the time. Designed in close collaboration with historians and archaeologists, this non-violent, interactive learning experience is an engaging deep dive into the Viking Age in ninth-century Norway and England.

For this new opus in the series, the development team in Ubisoft Montreal has changed the formula to make the experience even more fun and informative. Discovery Tour: Viking Age puts the narrative and storytelling at the heart of the experience; players will step into the shoes of Viking and Anglo-Saxon characters of the time and live their big and small stories. During their memorable adventure, they will interact with the world and its inhabitants while discovering many details and anecdotes about the time period.

Since its beginnings, the Discovery Tour Team has always worked with a wide variety of partners. The immersive approach of the Discovery Tour, the knowledge of our experts and historians, and the featuring of real artefacts from our partners’ collections give rise to many collaborations and projects. The museum partners that have contributed images for Discovery Tour: Viking Age include:
  • Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) is Ubisoft’s main partner for Discovery Tour: Viking Age, managing 23 museum and arts attractions across Hampshire and caring for 2.5 million objects relating to Hampshire’s rich and internationally important heritage. The Discovery Tour provides a unique glimpse into the lives of ordinary people in and around Winchester through a selection of rare objects, including the exceptional Winchester Reliquary, the sole surviving holy relic in Britain from the time. In addition to this collaboration with the Discovery Tour: Viking Age, Ubisoft’s strategic partnership with HCT will bring history to life in spring 2022 in Winchester through a unique, immersive cultural experience, which will blend real action with video projection, storytelling and objects from the trust’s collections; the experience will be complemented by an Augmented Reality tour of Winchester in the lore of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla produced by Sugar Creative, one of the UK’s leading creative studios.

  • The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It has a vast collection of items including artefacts from every age of written civilisation. A partnership with the British Library was key to Ubisoft to give players the best access to medieval manuscripts and illustrations directly linked with the Viking Age.

  • The Réunion des Musées Nationaux - Grand Palais photo agency is a public industrial and commercial institution under the authority of the French Ministry of Culture. It has been officially responsible for promoting collections of France’s national museums. Each year, it captures more than 20,000 new on-site shots to further expand the agency’s collection, which is universally available online. They have been an essential partner since the very first Discovery Tour. Their vast collections have been key in supporting Ubisoft’s artefact driven approach to the Discovery Tour: Viking Age, enabling players to look at items such as the Bayeux Tapestry or the Sutton Hoo helmet.

  • York Archaeological Trust operates the Jorvik Viking Centre in the UK, which has interpreted the archaeology of York's Coppergate dig for the benefit of all audiences. The Discovery Tour has allowed Ubisoft to present some of these finds in a new medium, adding authentic period detail to the immersive environment of the Discovery Tour and demonstrating the importance of the city during the Viking Age as a commercial, religious and political hub.

  • The National Museum of Denmark, Nationalmuseet, consists of a network of 20 museums all over the country with a collection of unique items covering a large part of Danish history. Putting artefacts under the spotlight from the National Museum of Denmark’s collections truly added depth to the Discovery Tour, demonstrating amazing crafting skills and esthetics and a chance to see how reputation, family and social bounds are described as such vital elements.

  • Preston Park Museum & Grounds is the local Museum serving the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees. Preston Park Museums & Ground gave the Discovery Tour team the unique opportunity to highlight two key elements from the Viking Era; the new Anglo-Scandinavian culture that emerged from funerary art, and one of only two near-complete Viking era helmets in the world; the Yarm Helmet. Preston Park Museum has a special Viking touring exhibition arriving early 2022 in which there will be events that incorporate the Discovery Tour: Viking Age.
As you can maybe tell from the messaging from Ubisoft, it's looking like Discovery Tour is on the brink of expanding beyond it's Assassin's Creed roots and into numerous lands proper, as its own thing. This is further evidenced by the fact Discovery Tour: Viking Age will be a standalone release coming to PC, Stadia, Luna, PS5 and PS$, Xbox One and Xbos Series X|S early next year for around $30.

If you own Valhalla though, this new addition is entirely free and arrives on your platform of choice this October 19.

Friday, 10th September 2021
God of War Ragnarök is All Kinds of Buy All of the PS5s For [Steve Farrelly- 04:39pm] From: AusGamers News [ 2 Comments ]
The idea of a killer app in the modern era almost seems silly. Spending upwards of $700 dollarydoos for just one experience because it's exclusive could be considered -- for those on the outside looking in -- like a huge waste of money.

Those people haven't played God of War. And certainly won't understand the IMMEDIATE need for a PS5 upon first watch of the God of War Ragnarök trailer.

Those people are silly. Not the God of War killer app.

Seriously. These are almost wasted words. You've probably seen the trailer a handful of times now. You've maybe watched reaction videos, or trailer deep-dives that pick apart every little thing. Maybe you noticed that Svartalfheim is now accessible and that the reason for its being locked by Odin was because that's where Tyr is hidden. Maybe you know he's hidden there so Fenrir can't sever his arm, which is one of the fates set to come to pass as Ragnarök descends upon the nine realms. You could be questioning why Freya is attacking Kratos in what is definitely the beginning of the game. You probably gasped at the sight of Thor's hammer, Mjölnir (as we did) and at the promise of his inclusion in this sequel. You might, at this point, just be out of breath at all of the possibilities, hidden teases embedded within the trailer and at the thought of waiting any longer for this next Kratos adventure.

Here's more from Santa Monica Studios themselves:
Fans who played the last game know they were able to visit six of the Nine Realms during their journey. In God of War Ragnarök, you will be able to visit all nine!

God of War Ragnarök will take you to the previously unreachable Vanaheim, Svartalfheim, and Asgard – as well as to new areas from locations featured in the last game. Exploring the realms will take you everywhere from verdant, otherworldly jungles to intricate subterranean mining networks.

This next installment in the series will bring you a more diverse, beautiful, and mysterious variety of locations than in any other God of War game.
At any rate, none of this is even close to playable in 2021, which is a shame, because we really need it. But at least we have more than just putting 2021 behind us to look forward to now. Watch the full debut trailer embedded below.

Thursday, 9th September 2021
The Artful Escape Review - The Not So Dark Side of the Moon [Steve Farrelly- 12:12pm] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
Aussie made The Artful Escape is a rare slice of media that goes above and beyond its likely elevator pitch. This is a project whose creators wear openly influence-laden sleeves on the way to work , and we're all the better for it. An absolute trip from tip to tale, this is a journey into sound you won't want to miss.

But what is it? I hear you say... well, it's a lot of things, really. Here's a snippet from our review to count you in:
So in getting to matters quickly, as the game does, the folk stuff gets left back in your home town of Calypso and you find yourself jutting about in space and time; shredding your axe between worlds along paths of pure light, alien terra firma and even aboard a spaceship. Inside that ship is a live-in fanbase to the almighty Lightman (Carl Weathers) -- a human who came before you, played and left the known universe on its knees, begging for more. You’re here as the next great prodigy in line, though you don’t really know this yet. Instead, it’s left to you and your teenage devices to take an enthusiastic and not at all concerned step through the cosmic door, where upon you’ll just stylishly shred as you almost skate, or grind, your way along a prism pathway, nebulae and trippy art fill the periphery as your wailing permeates the space, as if it were an atmosphere all its own, resonating sonic emotion.

It’s extraordinary, really. But ultimately it’s also a one way trip, meaning the game’s greatest achievement is also its biggest downfall.
Click here for our full The Artful Escape review.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021
Far Cry 6 Hands-On Preview and Developer Interview [Steve Farrelly- 02:08am] From: AusGamers News [ 0 Comments ]
If you're jockeying for a familiar ride, Far Cry 6 might just take you down a path of familiarity. It definitely plays like a traditional Far Cry outing -- large open-world, super-villain-esque err... villain. Big guns. Big explosions. Co-op. Lots of vehicles -- the works. But beneath that familiar sheen lies a number of small things designed to freshen up the experience, and to potentially change it in fundamental ways.

How do we know this? Well, not only have we played the game, we also had a chance to chat with the game's lead gameplay designer, David Grivel about what we played.

Here's a snippet:
“So I like that we have these ingredients, because now chaos is either something that you want to embrace -- and we have many systems for you to do so -- or you can decide to holster your weapon and not be the centre of attention,” David says. “And that's the first time [we’ve done] this in this brand. And I'm saying, just to finish, that this ties to the guerilla [side of the game], because in my mind, guerilla warfare is usually about ambushing. And if you holster your weapon, now you have... as the player you have the autonomy, you have the agency to trigger combat when you feel like it."
Click here for our hands-on preview and developer interview feature.

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