From SEGA's Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, and the talented team behind the Yakuza series comes a new nightlife adventure where you take on the role of private detective Takayuki Yagami. To uncover the mystery behind a string of recent grisly murders. And eat delicious food, beat-up thugs, play some Virtua Fighter 5 at an arcade, and to catch a dastardly Panty Thief.
Judgment, a Yakuza series off-shoot from SEGA’s Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, presents a gritty crime drama surrounding a mysterious series of murders involving low ranking members of Japanese crime families. The Yakuza. Left in alleys with eyes gouged out of their eye homes, the story begins with ex-lawyer turned private detective Yagami approached to free a Yakuza captain who was falsely arrested for the most recent murder. At least that’s the version he’s presenting.
From there, a dense and cinematic story plays out. One dealing with police corruption, Yakuza gangs, politics, justice, and cover-ups. Plus, a string of Side Cases to tackle ranging from spousal fidelity, to locating someone’s lucky jacket, to bringing perverts to justice.
There was a time during my formative years in the early 90s where the sheer mention of "mutant", "turtle", "sewer", "pizza" and words I'd never heard of before like "cowabunga", "Leonardo", "Donatello", "Michelangelo" and "Raphael" got me all giddy inside. (I did actually know of the artists before a few mutated turtles and a rat popularised them to heights they'd never thought they'd ever be known for, but that's another story altogether.)
Ahem. Anyway, a few fans of the TMNT arcade and console classics of old have put together a free-to-play mashup with 60 playable characters.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rescue-Palooza! is a passion project from a handful of fans and is available to play now. And if "free" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" wasn't enough to get you hyped, just watch a trailer for the game embedded below.
That's one nugget we learnt from our in-depth interview we did with Ubisoft'sShelley Johnson, which we've already teased once, and trust us when we say she unloads on the goods awaiting us in this ambitious new angle for both the franchise, and open-world games in general.
This is the full interview in Q&A form with a bit of a twist, and is definitely worth a read if you want to know just how deep this new angle actually goes.
Shelley Johnson: So it's... everybody has a life. Like, a real life. They go to work, they have hobbies, they have families, they have relationships. And like I was saying before, they have a different willingness to fight. And the player's mission is to win people over to him or her. And you need to hack into each person's life for you to profile them, research them, hack into their lives, help them with their problems, and it's... there is a great deal of depth to how far you go down that route. You can follow everybody's relationships. You can do something to a distant relation that may have a knock-on effect later. If you do something violently to somebody, you may find that you have someone coming and chasing a relation that's out to get you, that's hunting you down within the city. You may not even know about it for some time. Everything you do has an impact on the world, and how you're perceived.
AusGamers: Technically, how did you pull that off? Is it a procedural...
In the immortal words of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, "It's a good vibration, it's such a sweet sensation." And so with that, you probably don't need to read our review of the Razer Nari Ultimate wireless gaming headset. Except you probably should, as it introduces a first in the gaming headset space. Haptic feedback for a head shaking good time.
Where the Razer Nari Ultimate excels, and clearly where Razer has placed its design focus, is when it comes to the surround sound and the head-shaking build coming together. Connected to a PC, the Nari Ultimate showcases it’s purpose the moment you turn on both THX Spatial Audio and Razer HyperSense. Though, we do recommend running the HyperSense force feedback intensity on the lower end of the spectrum. Turning this up is like cranking bass levels to maximum – the boom becomes overwhelmingly overwhelming.
From there firing up something like Battlefield V or RAGE 2, and you’ll briefly be transported to the moment you first played a game on a big screen. It’s revelatory and using haptic feedback in this way is part theme park ride, part cinematic thrill.
My Friend Pedro, at its core is a stylish new action game where blending classic John Woo gunplay with a dedicated 'slow-time' button. Also, there's a talking banana that guides you on your quest to kill everyone.
Wielding dual pistols and jumping into the air in slow-motion, or bullet-time, is a thing of action movie legend. Almost literally as it’s the sort of badass move we associate with the 1990s and the era that brought us Hong Kong action movies, the Matrix, videogames like Max Payne and that underrated John Woo joint Stranglehold. My Friend Pedro, as fun and energetic as its masked assassin and giant talking banana protagonist comb might be, at its core is a throwback to mechanics born from this stylish blend of guns, bullets, and physics.
Taken quite by surprise, across our [digital] desk this morning, we were briefed on an upcoming handheld 'console' PC. Sound confusing? It sort of is, but based on a number of videos shared with us from the SMACH Z handheld's presence at E3, we're pretty bummed we (or at least I) didn't know about the platform beforehand to get our (my) own mits on it.
So what's a SMACH Z?
It's a handheld device sporting an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B SoC with AMD Radeon Vega 8-powered visuals. It allegedly has an operating time of between two and seven hours (presumably based on what applications you're running, or how many at once), and can have Windows or Linux installed as its OS. It also features a front-facing camera to be utilised like a laptop or desktop webcam and can also be used with a mouse and keyboard. The screen is a 6" high-definition touchscreen. So yeah, it's essentially a handheld PC, and we want one.
The device is available now for pre-order, and comes in three options: Base (AUD$999.00) -- 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, no camera. Pro (AUD$1399.00) -- 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage and a 5MP camera. Ultra (AUD$1799.00) -- 16GB RAM, 256GB Storage and a 5MP camera.
"The visitors seemed very interested in our console," said Daniel Fernandez, CEO of SMACH Z via press release. "We did not expect so many people to visit us and to get enthusiastic about the SMACH Z. We saw a positive effect also in terms of reservations: the number of people in the waiting list are increasing day by day.
To celebrate the Early Access release of Pagan Online we've partnered with Wargraming to give away twenty copies of the game now available via Steam. This new take on the action-RPG offers up fast-paced combat with a unique control scheme set in a fantastical world inspired by Slavic myth.
Pagan Online’s combat is as much skill focused and fast-paced reactionary engagement as it is dependant on the colour of the current weapon you have equipped. It sets a tone and pacing that is unlike anything else in the genre, complimented by some already exceptional animation with hit detection that sells every axe swipe, ground slam, and whirlwind spin.
And as lovers of all things action-RPG and isometric, we're excited to offer up this chance for you to dive in. Codes are redeemable via Steam, so be sure to check this page for PC hardware requirements.
Oh, and entry is easy - all you have to do is name your favourite action-RPG game of all time. Okay, maybe not that easy. Competition page link below.
We take the new Dell G7 15 Gaming Laptop for a spin in its new look 2019 model now powered by NVIDIA RTX. When Dell debuted this line last year the goal was to offer a range of affordable yet powerful gaming laptops that could sit alongside the more premium Alienware offerings.
The big change here comes with the addition of the RTX 2060 – which is proving itself to be a great way to keep overall costs down whilst offering great performance. Paired with the Intel Core i7 8750H it certainly has the stuff to take on even the most demanding titles – as seen in our performance breakdown.
Sometimes, when it comes to the isometric action-RPG what you see is not always what you get. In the case of Pagan Online the sentiment is more 'WASD you get' as it implements a control scheme more commonly found in a hero shooter to present an engaging new spin of the genre.
Here's a snippet of gameplay and our full preview.
Pagan Online immediately stands out and feels like its own thing based purely on the control method implemented – which is more Overwatch than Diablo III.
With the WASD keys used for hero movement and then a combination of mouse buttons and other keys to trigger abilities, it's a setup that owes a lot to the MOBA and hero shooter genres. Pagan Online’s combat is as much skill focused and fast-paced reactionary engagement as it is dependant on the colour of the current weapon you have equipped. It sets a tone and pacing that is unlike anything else in the genre, complimented by some already exceptional animation with hit detection that sells every axe swipe, ground slam, and whirlwind spin.
In a far-reaching interview with us at E3, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint associate producer, Nouredine Abboud spoke at length about designing Breakpoint, what they learnt from Ghost Recon Wildlands, how they absolutely intend to keep the game-world alive, and just why story is as important as player-freedom in an open-world.
"What you said is clearly because you have the experience of Wildlands," says when we ask about educating players on open-world expectations after our own hands-on with it. "We made the decision [that] because we knew how to create the missions for Wildlands we were able to add more variety in the way you play the game. And we really worked on both legs where it's more the story-based elements that are going to prove the story path for a while [whereas] the elements mentioned above; giving the character and players [more open-world] freedom -- I would say that somehow by clearly identifying what works for you: story [or the] extra elements -- I think it's probably clearer for the players to [understand] what’s in store...
"I think you always need to work on end of game mechanics but also enough storytelling elements around it so it makes sense so it feels right and doesn't seem to push in [one direction] -- it's very important because no matter how much work you do on the design side, if you don't make the right storytelling decisions very early, you're going to get stuck either by feeling like you’ve made it too complicated to do, and you're going to lose control of the logic of the world and you're going to, in the end, lose control of the players who might think it's like a mindless playground."
Void Bastards is currently available to play on PC and Xbox One, available to purchase or as part of Xbox Game Pass. From a team made-up of ex-Irratiional Games employees it mixes the rogue light genre with sci-fi survival and a vibrant comic book presentation.
"... Void Bastards succeeds mainly because it doesn’t feel like a slog or grind or padded rogue light. Where the difficulty outweighs the reward and the upgrades you discover over several hours moving you forward just an inch. Weapons in Void Bastards have a great feel, grow more powerful over time, and are inventive to boot. Kittybots not only attract attention like a metallic car alarm with whiskers, but they also explode in an array of grenades once destroyed. Certain weapons are better against certain enemies, and being limited to what you can carry alongside having to source ammunition often leads to some great moments where all you might have to clear out a ship full of high-level Janitors is a pack full of Kittytbots and a few proximity mines."
It's easy in this day and age to slap together a cohesive, alive open-world and have single protagonist running around in it. Open-world gaming is now just a popular as annual mainstays like Call of Duty and Battlefield. It's a lot more difficult to take that formula though, and remove the concept of a single hero, which is exactly what Ubisoft has done with Watch Dogs Legion.
What's just as difficult is explaining just how this works, and why it's both fascinatingly ambitious and downright scary in concept. Here's a snippet from our own hands-on:
In Watch Dogs Legion, every person populating this futuristic dystopian London also has purpose. They each have skills, relationships to other people in the world, jobs, criminal records, dodgy or altruist agendas. They have personalities that define all of the above, and you need to work with them to gain their trust and hopefully recruit them to the cause of Dedsec. Sometimes this doesn’t work, sometimes you can fail at helping them and produce a knock-on effect of negativity that goes against Dedsec’s goals. But if it does work, you can use their skills and jump between any active person on your roster at any moment in the game. If they find themselves in trouble, they can also be dropped at death’s door (figuratively) where you’re given a choice to revive them for another go at it, in real-time right in front of what dropped them in the first place, or you can surrender.
CD Projekt RED has been busy. With the likes of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, GWENT: The Witcher Card Game and the much-hyped and E3 show-stealer, Cyberpunk 2077 (thanks to some Keanu magic), news that Nintendo Switch fans would also be playing in the world of the critically acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been met more than favourably.
It's also not really all that surprising, but now one of the highest rated games of all time can find an audience it might never have broken through to, and they get to play it on the go.
Winner of over 800 awards, including 250 Game of the Year awards, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an RPG set in a fantastic open world full of adventure, danger, and mystery. As professional monster slayer Geralt of Rivia, gamers must set out to find the Child of Prophecy — a powerful entity that may send the world spiraling toward destruction. Along the way, the witcher will find himself facing not only mighty foes, but also difficult choices, the consequences of which will ripple throughout the game’s epic narrative.
Set to launch this year both digitally and in retail, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for Nintendo Switch comes with the base game, as well as every piece of additional content ever released. This includes both story expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, as well as all 16 free DLCs. In total, the Complete Edition offers over 150 hours of gameplay, for the first time playable truly on the go. The game is being ported to Nintendo Switch by Saber Interactive in close cooperation with CD PROJEKT RED.
In addition to the game card housing the entirety of the Complete Edition’s content, the box will also come with a set of physical goodies: The Witcher Universe compendium, game map, and stickers.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the first game from the franchise to be released on a Nintendo console, introducing the series to brand new audience, as well as giving anyone who already played Geralt of Rivia’s final adventure a chance to experience it again on the go. The release of the game on Nintendo Switch is also bound to further cement Wild Hunt’s status as the best-selling title of the franchise, which currently makes for more than half of the series’ 40 million copies sold.
Ahead of E3 we had the chance to go hands on with Wolfenstein: Youngblood the new co-op adventure starring B.J. Blazkowicz's daughters. And plenty of Nazi killing action. So, does anything change with the introduction of a second player? Sure, but this is still very much a Wolfenstein game.
Although designed as a co-op shooter, Youngblood feels like the next game in the series. After a lengthy cinematic featuring a tender moment at Casa de Blazkowicz set decades after the events of New Colossus, you’re introduced to B.J.’s twin daughters Jess and Soph. Long story short papa goes missing and it’s up to his kids to track him down. Behind enemy territory, in the neon-streets of 1980s Paris. The City of Light, and giant swastikas. Because, yeah, those guys are still around.
That setup might sound like someone put Super Mario Bros. and any one of Liam Neeson’s dozen or so action films released in the past year inside a Story Blender 5000, but its execution is handled rather well.
At a pre-E3 press event to get actual time with the game, we were invited to play the freshly revealed Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint where we mixed it up, co-op styles, with a few local friends and caused a fair amount of chaos amidst headaches.
The headaches came by way of just not being very stealthy in a game about soldiers who live for the stealth. Here's a snippet:
his setup allows for a unique follow-up to Wildlands in that combat and story are now far more intimate in active unison. Your backs are more against the wall and with a seemingly endless supply of military tech, strongholds and what can only be a fast track chopper conveyor belt, Walker and his army are far more dangerous. Ubisoft tells us the game will also support AI Ghosts for the soloists of us out there, but in reality these games are far more fun with friends given the systems upon systems you can play with, that can only be disrupted in chaotic harmony by nefarious individuals.
It’s clear there’s two ways to play Breakpoint: seriously, or randomly. The game itself fosters the idea of guns-a-blazing or stealth, though it must be said the latter proved difficult to not just master, but to even actively perform. This might be a balance issue, or it might be that we just didn’t get a chance to spend the required amount of time with the game to work like the well-oiled Ghost machine we should be. But it was still fun, and often hilarious.