The new HyperX Cloud Mix could be described as a headset that aims to double as a pair of stylish headphone, and in terms of features and build that certainly rings true. Bluetooth wireless, a lightweight and comfortable build with full aluminum frame, and even the addition of Hi-Res Audio.
So, the quest then becomes - can a premium all in one excel at doing it all?
As an everything headset, HyperX has factored into the design the prospect of taking the Cloud Mix with you on-the-go. So, you get both a higher-end detachable microphone designed for gaming, in addition to an inbuilt microphone for when you’re out and about. This conscious effort on the part of HyperX is impressive in that all of this was packed into a small and lightweight frame. There’s a premium feel to the Cloud Mix too, with the detachable microphone offering up near broadcast quality voice recording.
Hypnospace Outlaw is strange no matter how you describe it. Part late 1990s internet simulator, part detective game where you need to solve cases and puzzles. Like a vaporware album come to life it's also full of weird and bizarre renditions of the familiar - with creativity to spare. Funny too.
Hypnospace Outlaw has an authentic feel that is full of exceptional detail - from local middle-aged parents creating homepages that simply list their hobbies and likes, to hidden underground communities full of file-sharing and the spread of illegal content. It also presents a full World Wide Web or Information Super Highway to explore, where you can take your time to visit websites, read about fake popular culture, buy apps, download music, or switch up your desktop’s wallpaper.
The game is almost upon us, but ahead of its release, and our subsequent review, Adam "Griz" Mathew, our resident Souls-like expert and punterrific wordsmith, went hands-on with Miyazaki's potential next masterpiece.
Though questions do abound around its size, its structure, some gameplay mechanics and a number of departures from previous Miyazaki outings.
Here's a snippet:
"Getting your chop on is a very different experience to both Dark Souls and Bloodborne. I've played the crotch out of everything Miyazaki has ever made, and rocking in with the old tactics had me hitting walls (and death screens) aplenty. For starters, I don't think veterans will find too much success with getting their excessive Dark Souls roll on (Sekiro uses a quick-step instead of a commando tumble, and it somehow feels slightly less controllable and effective).
Also worth noting: your new ability to ceaselessly leap like a jackrabbit isn't much of an escape option, either. Enemy attacks will track you, snip off your ankles and put you on your back for some follow-up pruning. You'd best save it for the obviously telegraphed “unstoppable” enemy attacks designed to sweep your leg harder than a Kobra Kai alumni."
This one caught us a little bit by surprise. When it was announced earlier in the year, based on the look alone, we were keen to check out the new ASUS TUF Gaming K7 mechanical keyboard. After spending some quality time with it in recent weeks were happy to report that it's one the best ASUS TUF peripherals out there.
With a number of great features.
Of course, looks aren’t everything. And on that front the TUF Gaming K7 features a couple of build innovations that we haven’t seen before. Namely, IP56 water and dust resistance which according to regulations means “water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.” Now, that’s not something that we normally put to the test when it comes to keyboards, we don’t have the right hose. But it plays into the TUF branding. Which extends to the lifespan of the opti-mechanical switches that are rated at an impressive 100 million clicks.
When Warhammer: Chaosbane first appeared on our radar, the fact that it reminded us of Diablo 3 was enough to get us excited for some Warhammer-based hack-and-sash. And loot. After spending time with the Closed Beta though, the result is mixed to say the least.
The good news is that the foundation is solid, but early game is a repetitive imitation of Blizzard's classic.
Looking at it’s inspiration, Diablo 3, no matter your opinion on the game’s longevity – the variety between each Act that extends to how each location leads into the next adds context and a framework for the action. Warhammer: Chaosbane, in the playable Chapter presented, offers a small hub area and missions that have you venturing into sewers with the same tile-set and map over and over and over. It gets to the point where you complete a story-beat only to be told to head back down to the same sewer three times in a row in the same layout with the same monsters. The entire world feels like a medieval castle and church built on top of a sewer system with nowhere else to go.
And they've partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive for the release. Unfortunately there's currently no media barring a press release around the game, but given the success of Left 4 Dead and the learnings they will have taken from the Evolve debacle, Back 4 Blood is likely on the right path.
And so as to that press release:
Next-gen Co-operative FPS from Zombie Video game Visionaries to Propel Beloved Genre Forward
BURBANK, CA – March 14, 2019 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Turtle Rock Studios today announced Back 4 Blood, from the creators and development team behind the critically acclaimed, co-op phenomenon Left 4 Dead. Back 4 Blood is designed from the ground-up as an original, premium title and marries the best of what made the co-op zombie shooter so successful with new features and state-of-the-art technology.
“We are thrilled to partner with the proven Turtle Rock Studios team on Back 4 Blood to advance the co-op zombie genre forward with innovative multiplayer gameplay,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The talented team at Turtle Rock has been developing amazing games together for a long time, and this is a great opportunity to work with them to create a new gaming universe built specifically with the large co-op zombie shooter community in mind.”
“It’s hard to overstate what an awesome opportunity this is. We get to return to a genre that was born in our studio with over ten years of additional experience and zombie ideas racked up in our brains,” said Chris Ashton, Co-founder and Design Director, Turtle Rock Studios. “We also have some of the best teammates in the business at WBIE who understand our development process and are equally committed to our player-first mentality. We love being able to announce, so we can start working with the community right away.”
“We are not resting on any past laurels. Our goal is to take all we’ve learned and push forward. We know that’s a tall order,” said Phil Robb, Co-founder and Creative Director, Turtle Rock Studios. “We’re growing the team considerably because we’re stepping up to the biggest challenge in this studio’s history. We know this title has to stand out and we fully intend to make that happen.”
And yeah, that was a genuine question I composed to my cohort, Kosta. I mean, Microsoft basically paid Notch a quadzillion dollars, stretched the game to other competing platforms, work on it tirelessly, stole my son from me, and it's one of its (if not the) biggest franchises.
Exasperation aside, turns out it was never on Game Pass, but it will be soon, which is good news for me, because now I don't have to keep being logged off the central Xbox One when my son goes to his room to play the game. I mean, I almost nailed that last Trials Rising course, Lanik. Why do you do this to me?
Here's what Microsoft had to say:
Excitement is building! Soon, Xbox Game Pass members will be able to build, create, and explore infinite worlds with Minecraft.
Beginning April 4, Xbox Game Pass members can join the Minecraft community of millions of players from around the world. Discover limitless ways to play and create anything you can imagine. Try to survive the night alone or share your adventure with friends in both split-screen or online multiplayer*. Build anything you can think of, explore your own unique overworld, discover mobs (both creepy and cute!) and play your Minecraft adventure your way!
Since its launch in 2009, the Minecraft community has remained one of the most active and passionate in gaming, attracting over 91 million players of all ages from virtually every country in the world. Those joining through Xbox Game Pass will enter a vibrant, global community that plays across 20 unique platforms like Windows 10, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and mobile. Xbox Game Pass players will also gain access to an ever-expanding array of content for purchase via the in-game Minecraft Marketplace, which contains over 1,000 pieces of content from 60 distinct creators.
Plus, with Minecraft´s free content updates, you´ll always find new environments to explore, tools to create, and mobs to meet. Last summer, the Update Aquatic filled Minecraft´s oceans with new items, blocks, and mobs like Turtles and Dolphins, and the upcoming Village & Pillage update will expand the game even further later this spring. There´s no better time to bring Minecraft to Xbox Game Pass!
Microsoft also reminds us that you can get your first Game Pass month on Xbox One for just USD$1 (so $50,000000 AUD). But seriously, it is a good service -- affordable and with an ever-growing, massive library. And if you have NBN you'll have games way more quickly than the rest of us waiting, still struggling with Inner City ADSL.
From phasing out tactical planning, to underground LANs, a discarded project and now 45 Million players and counting, Rainbow Six's history has been one of the most interesting in the shooter and tactical multiplayer space. We managed to chat with the current Rainbow Six Siege team to explore that very history in a revealing and in-depth analysis of the series' impact in gaming.
This is must-read content.
Recently our very own Nathan Lawrence was invited out to Ubisoft Montreal to cover the Six Invitational. We asked for one better -- can we speak to the team about the history of Rainbow Six and even probe what it means to each of them? The answer was a firm yes, and the outcome is a piece for the historical ages.
Here's a snippet:
Rose-tinted nostalgia is one thing, but that doesn’t change the fact that both Marquis and I remember how the complicated systems sometimes got in the way of the fun in Rainbow Six. “It’s maybe not the best memory, but I remember that, ‘Oh, fuck, it’s complicated to open a door without starting an alert. Oh, fuck. Everyone knows! I’m dead.’
"This is my first memory.”
But that complexity also tied into an awesome part of the tension of what made the original Rainbow Six so compelling. “But I remember this tension of putting the rope of explosives around the lock. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s so good. And it’s starting. The action is already engaging.’ And it was something different. Before, when I played Quake and Doom, it was mainly roaming and shooting. Boom! Only reflexes.
“With Rainbow Six you have time to make decisions. You’re already in the game, but you’re not in a fight, which was not common for a shooter. Shooters, in general, are just roam and shoot. And here you have the time to put a strategy in place. Start the strategy. That’s it.”
Just when we erased all memory of the dreadful 2005 film adaptation of DOOM, starring The Rock and that dude from The Lord of the Rings, this arrives. DOOM: Annihilation, a direct-to-video or streaming-services-first film based on the same id Software universe.
So much so that this looks like a really bad fan film. Which somehow manages to look worse than the 2005 film in just about every way.
Written and directed by Tony Giglio (Death Race sequels, Soccer Dog: The Movie), since the trailer went live id Software has responded to fan questions on social media to confirm that they had no involvement with the production.
Of course making a quality judgement on a film based on a 30 second trailer isn't the right move, and sight unseen there's always a chance DOOM: Annihilation could be good. Or a bit of fun.
Leaving Sydney once again locked out of any fun. Ahem. So today the event's organisers dropped a Tweet detailing that the event would be taking place once again in Melbourne, at the Melbourne Convention Centre, this October.
The event will take place between October 11 - October 13:
Hey listen! Book in your annual leave or get your doctors cert now! PAX Aus 2019 is back! 11-13th October! pic.twitter.com/eyValZD6BK
In an absolute steal, Sony has come up trumps with new Cyberpunk 2077 details. Microsoft famously ended their 2018 E3 press conference with a Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, but it looks like CD Projekt RED has decided to play the field, with a new behind-the-scenes video detailing the game (in short form), from the PlayStation Blog.
And it's voiced by Geralt (or Doug Cockle, if you're a humanist), which makes it doubly cool. Talking about how to highlight the world in deeper form, making the baseline narrative exist in a parallel universe to that of the pen and paper game, the option to choose your gender and character instead of driving an established character, such as Geralt -- all of it is explored here. And while the video ends with an "when it's ready" release date, this video coupled with news the game will be at E3, and my own leanings over the past little bit since its reveal, suggests we'll be seeing the game in 2019.
Sorry about the pun there, it's been a long summer. Ahem. So ahead of this year's upcoming Ashes test series, a new Ashes Cricket has been announced as having been in the works, though now it's called Cricket 19 - The Official Game of the Ashes which is a bit of a mouthful, but as Cricket.com.au has revealed, the game will feature both the men and woman's competition surrounding the Ashes.
Coming again from Big Ant Studios, Cricket 19 - The Official Game of the Ashes, is also supported by both Cricket Australia and England & Wales Cricket Board, which should give purists some faith that the final product will be as nuanced as needed. It will be delivered on all major systems: PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, though there's no current word on a PC release, according to the reveal information.
"Big Ant Studios did a superb job in creating an authentic and realistic cricket simulation with ‘Ashes Cricket', and we're thrilled to be working with them again to bring ‘Cricket 19' to Australian fans," Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager for Fan Engagement Anthony Everard said.
"With a remarkable level of authenticity and all-new features that we know fans will love, we're sure Cricket 19 will provide the definitive cricket gaming experience as Australia's elite teams take on the old enemy in the UK."
Big Ant Studios has revealed that the game will feature a Scenario Mode which allows you to play through historic moments in classic matches of the past, with the ability to then share them online and have others challenge the outcome.
"We have the most active and passionate community. Many of our players logged thousands of hours with our previous cricket titles, and Cricket 19 is very much built on the experience of those players," said Big Ant Studios CEO Ross Symons.
"Whether you're looking to enjoy a 20-year cricket career that takes you from the club level to captaining the national team, re-create an ODI or IT20 series or take part in the Ashes, or just bash some balls around with friends, Cricket 19 has you covered."
The game is due to release later this year ahead of the Ashes.
Sonyphiles, Sony hierarchy and the industry have been lauding the PS4's lineup of exclusives since last year (and even before then), and a much-anticipated part of this roster is the out-of-leftfield Days Gone -- an open-world survival action-RPG hybrid that gives us some new heroes in a few bikers covered in tattoos. But is giving us new character archetypes enough? We played the game in preview form for a few hours, and we'll give you our verdict on that very question, plus many more.
Namely, now with open-world action-RPG experiences quickly becoming the norm, where does this new IP stack up? Is it doing anything different? Is it doing too much the same? Will you care about a backwards-cap wearing tattooed biker type (hint, I wear caps backward and have tattoos, so please care).
Anyway here's a snippet from our preview:
This “hybrid of ideas” I mentioned earlier, comes in the form of a coalescence of an open-world to explore, action, RPG-like character growth through progression and skill trees, and NPC interaction. On top of these elements is the all-important concept of looting in modern gaming (though in the context of the game, this actually makes sense), crafting as a result of this and, even more importantly, riding your sweet, sweet ride.
If I can focus on one component of Days Gone for a minute, it’s that riding your bike in the game is very rewarding. Nailing motorbikes in games that don’t start with “Trials” in their title(s) is hard. And Trials nails it because it’s a side-scrolling arcade anxiety-inducing product. But Deacon’s bike you get to ride early on -- his KITT, his 1973 XB Falcon, his Airwolf (for variety), his General Lee (maybe more than we realise) -- it’s glorious. The road almost beckons to just keep on motoring across, but as is the case with many an open-world game, tutorials and narrative setup gets in the way. Though a promise of “riding north” does loom from dialogue. And so that red herring hangs wet, smelly and scale-loosening in the air (any fishing people out there?).
So yeah, definitely Devil May Cry then. Very much something that fans of the series will dig, this new entry also serves as a new visual benchmark for real-time cinematics. Which, as over the top and stylish as they are (and they most certainly are), they also look incredible. Especially if your playing on a 4K console or high-end PC.
The action's still just as stylish too.
If you’ve never played a game in the series, the early moments can come across as borderline incomprehensible, but even for a tale as surprisingly off-beat as Devil May Cry 5’s – the characters all feel and behave and react in a larger-than-life way befitting a cinematic action game. This translates to the structure and ambition of the core combat, which splits its lengthy story and 20 missions across three playable heroes – Nero, V, and Dante. Each with their own weapons, move sets, and combat style. And looks too, with Nero being the scrappy and full of attitude youngster, V a cross between Criss Angel and Prince, and Dante the scoundrel with white hair and a perpetual smirk.