One of last year's biggest, most visually impressive games in Assassin's Creed Origins will be getting its first bout of downloadable content on January 24 for all platforms, while Ubisoft has also revealed details and release dates around more post-release content.
DLC 1 -- The Hidden Ones (January 24):
This story-driven expansion builds upon the growth of the Brotherhood, taking players four years after the events of Assassin’s Creed Origins as they clash with an occupying Roman force in a new region of the world, the Sinai. This expansion will increase the level cap to 45, allowing players to continue to upgrade and customize their character. Players will have access to four new legendary weapons, a new outfit, two new mounts and multiple new weapons as well as two new levels for all crafted gear. The Hidden Ones DLC is available for all season pass owners or can be purchased separately for $13.95AUD on January 23, 2018.
The level cap increase is going to be one of the more popular parts of this additional content as well as an all-new open-world space to explore, and at a budget price with hours of new gameplay, it's not a bad deal at all.
DLC 2 -- The Curse of the Pharaohs (March 6):
This new expansion offers players a completely new storyline to delve into as they travel to Thebes to investigate an ancient curse that is plaguing the region. The Curse of the Pharaohs focuses on Egyptian mythology, pitting players against famous pharaohs and Egyptian beasts as they investigate the cause of the curse that has brought the dead pharaohs back to life. This new piece of content will increase the level cap to 55 and give players access to new outfits and gear, including rare and legendary weapons, all themed around classic Egyptian mythology. The Curse of the Pharaohs DLC will be available for season pass owners or can be purchased separately for $29.95AUD on March 6, 2018.
Additionally (and something I'm personally pretty excited about), the non-combat Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt update will be landing next month on February 20:
This new educational mode of the game lets everyone, from players to history-enthusiasts and non-gamers, choose between free roaming the beautiful world of Ancient Egypt to learn more about its history and daily life or embarking on guided tours curated by historians and Egyptologists. People can discover and explore a world free of conflict, time pressure or gameplay constraints, where storyline and quests are not active and the world of Ancient Egypt evolves into a combat-free living museum.
It's a pretty cool concept considering how much research went into creating such a visceral and visually-stunning game-world, and as a history buff, having actual Egyptologists and Historians giving us the guided tours is a new kind of educational tool. This add-on will set you back AUD$29.95, however, you can opt to buy into the Season Pass for AUD$59.95 which gives you a bit of a saving on buying them all separately.
Read our in-depth review here if you still haven't gotten the game, and watch a trailer (pre-release) with some (visual) details on all of the above below. We also have a batch of new screens after the trailer.
Today Blizzard unleashed a batch of new skins for its popular Blizzard-verse MOBA Heroes of the Storm. With the update called Mecha Storm you can probably guess where the team drew its inspiration from. The original Transformers cartoon series from the 1980s, the entire robo-anime genre, figurines with bulky and movable parts.
Turning iconic Blizzard heroes into anime inspired robots isn't as easy as it sounds. As Michael Cuevas, Senior 3D Animator on the Heroes of the Storm team explains.
Transforming a character like Tyrael, the angelic force of power from the Diablo franchise was not as simple turning his wings into shiny pieces of metal. “[Tyrael] was actually more challenging and his look was one of the things that wasn’t a one-to-one transition,” Michael tells me. “The wings on Tyrael are programmatically animated in the engine (via ribbon FX) and there are only two organic wings on Seraphim which behaved completely different. On top of that, there’s a total of six wings on Mecha Tyrael that had to be considered. Iterations ranged from “did absolutely nothing” to “always in the way”. In the end I think we found a good balance.”
Before you begin to post the question as to why, be sure to have a long look in the mirror and come to the same realisation that we did - why not? Yes, we simply took at look in our hardware room and noticed both a Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240 Closed Loop Watercooler and Geforce GTX 1070 Founders Edition just sitting there. So we decided to play cupid.
Over the weekend and running up until 7pm tonight (Tuesday, January 16), we took part in the open beta for Dragon Ball FighterZ and had our asses handed to us, but it was all very, very fun. Check out our impressions.
Releasing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One January 26, Dragon Ball FighterZ is not just a flashy, gorgeous fighting game recreation of the Dragon Ball anime series, it's already proving much, much more. Here's a snippet from our impressions:
I spent a lot of time in the Tutorial portion of the game -- an area you physically need to walk to with your cute Chibi DBZ avatar because the game’s ‘menu’ is basically a little 3D village. If you’ve played Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, it’s a lot like that, only Chibi in its own right. Within the ‘menu’ hub, there were five locked out areas, with the aforementioned Tutorial section, a Replay area, Versus and a Ranking area. The Tutorial, thankfully, is lengthy and eases you into the game’s actual complexity slowly enough that by the time you’re attempting to summon Shenron, you don’t realise just how far you’ve come.
Controls and attacks are more Street Fighter-like than any other fighting games, but there are specific DBZ mechanics that work super well and helps give the game its own flavour and strategy. The aforementioned summoning of Shenron, for example, requires seven Dragon Balls collected throughout a fight based on combo numbers and a few other variables. Once you’ve collected them, you just need to land a perfect X or Square Super (basically just hitting X or Square and landing enough consecutive hits to pull off the Super), and the famous dragon appears to give you an over-the-top hand -- you can revive an ally, restore your health, gain the ultimate power of even become immortal (for a limited time).
While we all fight the summer heat and count down the days to a cooler Australia, Ubisoft has made the wait for Autumn that much more exciting by revealing all-new downloadable content coming for the very excellent Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, featuring Donkey Kong.
And what's more, is this isn't simply a character addition to the game's roster, it will also feature a new DK-specific story, lengthening the game's campaign mode while serving up the renowned challenge Mario + Rabbids was praised for.
Check out the reveal trailer for the new DLC embedded below.
To Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The original Dark Souls was first released in 2011 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, so this version is touting "stunning high-definition detail". For the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and PC that means an impressive 4K 60 frames-per-second presentation, with even the Nintendo Switch version said to hit 1080p 30 frames-per-second.
Why all the resolution talk? Well, the press release was full of it.
The announcement first came during a surprise Nintendo Direct overnight, which highlighted Dark Souls Remastered as one of the Nintendo Switch console highlights for the first half of 2018.
Planet Coaster is a creator's dream. Not only a competent and fully functional theme park simulator, it also offers players the ability to customise and create just about anything they can imagine. Which has led to a number of jaw-dropping creations, including this one from YouTuber Hin Nya. An immersive and truly impressive 15-minute thrill ride inspired by James Cameron's Aliens.
From the music to the slow methodical building of tension (and cork-screw roller coaster fun times), it even effectively simulates orbital space travel. Very cool. And really, we'd love to see someone spend however many hundreds of millions of dollars it will take to make this a reality.
With 2017 now officially over, thanks to our overlord The Calender, it’s time to look to the future. The near future, and what digital interactive gems it might bring. With so many great games released last year, even without whatever Bethesda has in store for 2018, or Nintendo, this year is looking to be chock full of great games. Here are our picks for what we’re excited to check out.
And of course Red Dead Redemption 2 is in there. How could it not be.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
It’s hard to look past Rockstar’s next entry in its open-world classic Western opus, Red Dead Redemption. A lot is still unknown about its forthcoming sequel, but what we’ve at least seen, and posited, leaves even the driest of desert mouths watering. Frontier America is so ripe for story and open-world pickings -- two of Rockstar’s biggest design assets, sitting alongside this being built from the ground-up for the newer, more powerful consoles. Really, the barebones content we’ve seen so far is not even surface-scratching and although a delay was announced, we know that is only going to be good for the game. The only negative: no PC release announced or even hinted at -- a factor of the original that still brings a tear to the PC faithful (even if there is a way to actually play Red Dead Redemption on Windows 10 PCs). Steve
Live Streams aren't usually my thing, but in the case of a grand event held by Unknown Worlds for Subnatica, I'll make an exception.
The game is finally releasing later this month, and the studio that has been building this 'thing' (because it is a MONSTER of design), wants you to truly see what they've done for open-world, adventure, fantasy gaming.
I stopped playing about six months ago. Not because it was bad, but because I kept losing saves of significant progress due to the game's extensive updates. As good as it is and was, I just couldn't keep putting myself through that over and over again and decided, "guys, when you finally release, I'll deep-dive in then (get it?!)".
So here we are, just under two weeks out from the official PC release of the game (other platforms are yet to be announced for official release):
If you've followed us at all over the past little while, you might know that I love this game. But more importantly, this is an indie triumph -- a studio usually known for multiplayer games going single-player and open-world, to boot!
Or very own Hogfather, Nathan McCarthy, is back with another hardware review this time for the excellent HyperX Alloy FPS Pro compact mechanical keyboard. Hot on the heels of the announcement of HyperX going RGB in 2018 - it's a friendly reminder that the hardware maker is a name to keep an eye on when it comes to PC peripherals.
When it comes to keyboards the HyperX Alloy FPS has a definite premium feel. From the moment you pick up the box there is a satisfactory feeling of weight and, well, permanence. This carries through to the keyboard itself – which for the price point, immediately raised my eyebrows. And for those that know me, it usually takes a bit to get those puppies moving.
And in one fell swoop checking off two big ticket items on the VR enthusiast wish-list. That being higher resolution displays for each eye and an option to remove at least some of the ungodly amount of wires required in setting up and playing in VR. Both announcements came at CES 2018, alongside word of updates to HTC Viveport subscription and Vive Video services.
Of course the big announcement comes with the HTC Vive Pro, which will come with dual OLED displays sporting resolutions of 2880 x 1600. Not quite 4K, but a big improvement none the less, representing a 78% increase over the current Vive. Not limited to a resolution bump the Vive Pro also introduces built-in, high-performance headphones, dual microphones with active noise cancellation and dual front-facing cameras. Plus, a redesign to the headset that aims to decrease the weight on the front.
The second big announcement, the Vive Wireless Adaptor is based on Intel’s WiGig technology and will support both the HTC Vive and Vive Pro when it debuts later in the year.
“Wireless VR has been on nearly every VR user’s wishlist since the technology was unveiled,” said Frank Soqui, General Manager Virtual Reality Group at Intel Corporation. “By collaborating with HTC to commercialize Intel’s WiGig technology, we will guarantee that wireless VR meets the most discerning quality bar for home users and business VR customers.”
Also announced, a partnership with streaming service Vimeo for curated VR-specific video content and a revamp to Viveport VR that will see the service introduce immersive room-scale previews.
Which Nvidia are calling Big Format Gaming Displays or BFGDs. You might know them as large screen TVs, but with the added bonus of full 120Hz HDR displays and G-SYNC compatibility. And yes, they will be 4K with full-array direct backlighting, 1,000-nit peak luminance for decent HDR performance, and DCI-P3 color gamut.
Throw in some Andoid-based Nvidia SHIELD tech, a large 65" display and models currently expected from the likes of Acer, ASUS and HP, and colour us - interested. Keenly interested.
“PC gamers expect high performance and instant response times, but, until now, they’ve been largely limited to traditional desktop displays,” said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at NVIDIA. “BFGDs change that. With NVIDIA’s latest technology built into these new displays, PC gamers can now experience their favorite titles in all the low-latency glory they deserve.”
Although we don't have word on the specific latency, compared to competitive UHD TVs on the market expect these to be more suited for gaming. Especially if they're G-Sync compatible. With the rise of 4K UHD displays in the past year, and a wide range of displays currently on the market - some of which not exactly ideal for gaming - this is great news.
Okay, we're more than interested. We're excited. Expect more news as it drops, with the first batch of BFGDs expected to launch sometime mid-2018.