2K Games, via various forms of social media, posting a website to a company called ‘Advent’, which suggests to have some kind of utopian society, but with some dark undertones.
Certain parts of the site appear as if they have been hacked or modified as part of the campaign, to reveal that ADVENT is not all that it seems to be, messages like ‘THE ADVENT LIES”, “SIGN UP AT YOUR PERIL” even “Millions have gone missing the ADVENT way. Meet your future neighbors.”
Quoted from the site:
Amazing advanecments in architectural construction have led to a new kind of city. The gleaming towers are specifically designed to utilize space in efficient ways never before seen, as well as provide the comforts and amentities of a resort. Each living unit is outlined with the very best in high-tech comfort and utilitarian style.
Protected 24 hours a day by ADVENT forces, citizens can have a peace of mind with the knowledge that their familiies are always safe.
ADVENT Cities are a fresh start. Join us and help us build a brighter future today.
Nothing else is revealed on the teaser site, other than a few city landscape images, which may be possible concept art for said game.
As of this morning, Ubisoft have teased the incoming announcement of the next chapter in the Assassin’s Creed universe.
With only a bladed gauntlet and gilded walking stick to offer any information, the setting of the next instalment is still well hidden away.
What can you make of the illusive image? Is it an industrial era escapade, or a steampunk world of clockwork machinery? Time will tell, and you can find the answers at 2:00AM Sydney time on Wednesday the 13th of May at the youtube link below:
We’re deeply excited for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt here at OXCGN. We wrote about the game back in July of 2014 which you can read here, and again this year in February. The world of The Witcher 3 is not only beautiful but alive. As made apparent by the latest trailer titled “Monsters’ released by CD Projekt Red.
If you can’t wait until May 19th to get your fix, why not watch the video embedded below and learn about the terrors that wait for you.
We’ve been a little slowly recently on the front of updating the website with the latest news, trailers, screenshots and original content due to the collective of our staff being over whelmed by work and study. Couple of days ago CD Projekt RED released a trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and what better way to get back into the groove of things with this amazing 5 minute gameplay trailer.
Earlier in the week I got the opportunity to try out Evolve new DLC which will be available March 31. Along with many updates to the game, it will be the first set of new hunters and a new monster to the game, the Behemoth.
The Behemoth is a huge rock like monster, who can turn into a massive ball for faster movement speed. The Behemoth has more armour and health than the previous three monsters, and can also do the most damage.
On those facts alone, one would think the Behemoth is a game breaking monster, and simply a means of ‘pay to win’, but as opposed to the Wraith, the Behemoth moves significantly slower in combat, and his abilities are far more defensive than aggressive.
Lava Bombs can be used in certain closed off areas, that will damage and hunters within the damage radius. In combination with Rock Wall, can either leave the hunter trapped inside with the monster, or allow the monster get increase it’s distance from the hunters when trying to eat and evolve.
The Tongue Grab works similar to the Wraith’s Abduction, where it will extend its tongue in the direction of the hunter being attacked and and bring them into close quarters to apply massive damage.
Fissure is a wave the Behemoth sends out, that sends a blast of damage along the ground, stunning and hunters caught in it.
But monster loves aren’t the only ones who got some love, with four brand new hunters, Torvald the Assault, Crow the Trapper, Slim the Medic, and Sunny the Support. All of which have their own dialogue options, whether they are partied together or with existing hunters.
Slim, the Medic
Sunny, the Support
Torvald, the Assault
Crow, the Trapper
The four new hunters bring their own style to the game, and although the obviously have traits similar to other Assaults, Trapper, Medics and Support, they bring their own traits, personality and backstory.
Torald, the Assault is the main damage dealer in the group. With the ability to shoot Mortar Cannons from a long distance, but when in short range, using Shrapnel Grenades to cover the target in weak points, then following up with his Autofire Shotgun.
Crow, the Trapper has brought his pet with him, Gobi, a batray. Unlike Daisy, Gobi is not a party member, but can assist the party by scouting from above to track down the monster and other wildlife. Crow also brings his own arsenal, his Stasis Gun can be used to temporarily slow the monster and can be charged up to prolong the slowed effect. While his Kinetic Long Rifle can be used two different ways, in quick bursts it will deal more damage per second, but when charging a show, it can bypass a monsters armour, doing direct damage to his health.
Slim, the Medic is the most interesting of the new hunters, with his bug-like features, he’s the only non-human hunter, aside from Bucket. Slim main damage dealing weapon is his Leech Gun, when shot at a target, helps speed up the cool down his class ability Heal Burst, which is also much wider than all other medics. His Spore Cloud Launcher, when shot at the monster, stops the monster from smelling and identifying the hunters, making it difficult to tell them apart. Finally, Slim has a bug looking Healing Drone, which he can send to teammates from a distance to heal or revive.
Finally, there is Sunny, the Support. Her main weapon, a Mininuke Grenade Launcher, does more damage in a single projective than any other handheld weapon for any other hunter. Similar to Hank, she can shield other hunters, but it’s done automatically by deploying the Shield Drone. Lastly, Sunny can use her Jetpack Booster, which she can use on other teammates to either shorten the distance between them and the monster, or help them get out of a bad situation.
Although the new hunters and monster are paid DLC, the first major update brings free content to everyone, including Observation Mode, which is designed to allow a sixth player, giving them the ability to switch between the view of all the hunters and the monster, which also shows an informative HUD that shows players health, survival odds, perks and more.
Lastly, two new maps will be available, Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill Foundry, which include destructible entryways, which give the monster new shortcuts throughout the map.
The new content will be available on March 31st for all versions of Evolve on Xbox One, PS4 and PC users.
With the release of Dying Light just 2 weeks away, with no official word from Warner Bros., publishers of Dying Light in Australia, we’ve hear multiple reports from a few sources that Dying Light has been delayed in Australia with a new release date set to be issued out within the next week or two.
We have contacted a few JB Hi-fi Stores and asked to see if it was delayed and one person did confirm this. Also looks like JB Hi-Fi stores have been instructed to change their signage to state ‘Coming Soon’ as opposed to the 28 January release. Meanwhile EB Games knew nothing about the game being pushed back. We’ve contacted Warner Bros. to find out more. Will keep everyone posted as we hear more about it.
With all the huge titles about to debut, its easy to forget about the wealth of incredible and unique indies out now, coming soon and in early access. I’d love to list all the games I played on show at PAX Australia, but here’s some of my favourites direct from the show floor.
Never Alone – Upper One Games
Never Alone is a unique game that puts you in the shoes of Nuna, a young Alaskan girl. With a newly befriended arctic fox, the two of you set off on a tale based in Alaskan culture to find the source of a never-ending blizzard.
This game has an absolutely gorgeous aesthetic and does things only a few games have even attempted, immortalising a culture and their history, while showcasing it to and educating an audience that may never have experienced it before. The game plays as a puzzle platformer akin to Limbo or Braid with a co-op aspect, but also takes inspiration from some of the recent UbiArt Framework titles, Valiant Hearts and Child of Light in its approach to narrative. Another interesting factor of Never Alone is that each of the collectibles in game unlocks a small documentary style video relevant to its place in the game, giving cultural insight from the Inuit people that expands and contextualises what you’re experiencing at that moment.
Never alone launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on November 18 as a download only product from the digital stores. You can read more about it here. It’s an exciting new step for games, and it’s co-op features make it perfect for playing with a friend, family member, or even on date night!
Screencheat – Surprise Attack
Screencheating isn’t cheating right? It’s a legitimate strategy!
Screencheat keeps this philosophy at it’s core, creating a four person multiplayer game where you’re all invisible and the only way to shoot each other is by watching other players screens to track them down. The game plays surprisingly well, after one or two matches you really get a feel for the way it works – it has this real sense of nostalgia about it with quite a unique spin. The weapons you can wield in game are as zany as the concept, with electro-crossbows, a blunderbuss and even a hobby horse which allows you to charge into enemies. There is a lot of fun and laughs to be had here, a game that can bring even strangers together in a tense and fun match of old school inspired shooting.
Screencheat is available now for PC on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store. You can find those links and read up on the game here. So what are you waiting for? Grab a few friends and settle in for some seriously entertaining multiplayer sessions!
Submerged – Uppercut Games
Imagine the world of Wind Waker combined with that of Lara Croft. Throw in some survival aspects and you have the basis for Submerged, a narrative driven exploration game in a sunken wasteland.
The game starts with a young girl and a young boy in a boat, sailing amongst sunken buildings. You play as the girl, Miku, and carry the boy, Taku, to safety in a ruined clock tower, then begin to search for supplies and an explanation of where you’ve found yourself. After sailing around for a little while I knew this was a world I wanted to get lost in. The environments in this game lend themselves perfectly to the premise, blending mystery with a sense of adventure. The story is one which unfolds the more you play, taking you on a journey of discovery with the protagonist. This really looks to be an ambitious project, one which will be very exciting to dive into when it releases.
Expand is a ‘meditative’ game that follows a small, black square through an ever unfolding circular labyrinth, and strangely enough, manages to be one of the most powerful games on the market.
As you move about this evolving worrld, paths and arcs unfold and shift in quite an evocative manner. It’s one of those things you could watch for hours, with new and unique forms shifting out of the humble sphere. Add to this a truly incredible soundtrack and short, simple phrases and the game becomes a much deeper experience, hinting at higher meaning and allowing you to relate this small square’s journey to your own life experience. It’s simple, tranquil and ultimately emotionally resonant, and I’m sure each player will have new and unique experiences when playing it.
Expand is set to release sometime in 2015, and you can follow updates on the title here. The game will also ship with a level editor, something that personally I’m pretty excited to play around with myself.
Metrocide – Flat Earth Games
Metrocide is like old school Grand Theft Auto and Bladerunner had a baby. A pixel art, kickass baby.
As a famed contract killer you must navigate through this dark futuristic world, avoiding enemies like gangs and cops as you hunt down your targets. Permadeath is present here, making all your movements and actions even more important if you don’t want to wind up back at the start. The top down view and visual style really allow the tone of the game to come through without being over-complex, making way for a game that’s challenging but also a lot of fun. Fans of action-stealth games or anything retro inspired should really give this one a go.
Metrocide is out on Steam Early Access right now, which you can find here. You can keep up with the game’s progress on Steam or on the official website.
So there you have it, a few of my personal favourite indie titles from PAX Australia this year. There are countless more exciting and awesome indies out there, don’t forget to check out what else was on offer – and if I’ve missed your favourite please let me know in the comments or on social media!
The Co-Founder of Hi-Rez Studios Talks about SMITE!
During PAX Australia the team from Hi-Rez studios were on hand to show off their MOBA, SMITE, to the general public. The game has been released and is free to play, available to download here, and I got the chance to chat to Todd Harris who walked me through what SMITE is, how it works and what the future holds for the title.
Jayden – First off, could you take us through SMITE a little? Its a MOBA, but it’s not as widespread as games like League of Legends or DOTA2, games people are quite familiar with. What makes SMITE different to these titles?
Todd – Of course it’s newer, so it’s still on the growth phase, but really what makes it different in terms of gameplay is how we treat the camera and controls. In most of those other MOBAs its sort of a 2D isometric perspective, the camera is way up above the map, like a bird’s eye view and you’re clicking to move your character. In SMITE you’re actually moving your character as the camera is right behind them. The combat plays much more like a third person shooter – you directly move your character, you’re right there in the environment. If your friend is sneaking up behind you, you can’t see them, you’ve actually got to turn your camera in order to see them. So the camera and the controls definitely are different, and that kind of trickles through the whole combat.
All of your attacks in SMITE are aimed skill shots, where in the other MOBAs some are but a lot are lock ons and you’re just managing cool downs. In SMITE if you play a ranged character, which we call a hunter, similar to an ADC role, all of the arrows or ranged attacks have to be aimed, they have a travel time and you have to lead the enemy. Same goes with melee characters, having to aim their damage cone at enemies. So for aiming and evading it comes down to player skill with the controls combined with the strategy. From a mechanics stand point these make it different.
From a theme perspective, you’re playing gods and godesses from mythology, so there’s a lot of characters people already know. Characters like Thor, Odin, Anubis, Zues or Hades, plus some that are a lot more obscure.
A final big difference is just the fact that there are multiple maps and modes. In most other MOBAs there’s your primary three lane map, and that’s the most popular, whereas in SMITE we have a three lane map called ‘conquest’ you can jump into if you like that MOBA style. If you’re not into that or want something easier to learn you can jump into other modes – here at PAX these guys are playing ‘arena’, which is a big, open Roman Colosseum, and more of a deathmatch experience. You don’t have to worry about lanes, you can just jump in there, have some good fun and be in and out in twenty minutes reliably. It just provides a different experience for players. We have five maps all with different art, gameplay rules for people to hop in and enjoy.
Jayden – Lots of MOBAs are notoriously hard to master and learn, but this seems a lot more accessible due to the third person camera and familiar feel. Do you think that this will be something that will lead to it gaining popularity into the future?
Todd – Yeah, I mean we’re trying to do both. We have a super competitive scene we could talk about, but when you’re coming in at first, whether from another MOBA and you need to learn all these new characters or if you’ve never played MOBAs before, we want to make it easy for people, so this game mode [deathmatch] is very easy to pick up.
The other thing we have that i think is a great system is by default when you start as a new character we have a system that gives an auto-build of your items and an auto level of your skills from our designers; it’s also customised a bit per game mode and per god. It may not be the ideal build but it’s gonna be pretty good. Your team mates aren’t going to yell at you for building wrong. You can just hop on in and all you have to worry about is mastering the skills with you god, not worrying about items, then later when you feel comfortable you can turn it off. It’s a pretty cool system and also something that helps expand the genre because a lot of people are intimidated by MOBAs; we think this will help get a lot of new people into it, whether it’s SMITE or other MOBAs out there.
Jayden – Could you tell us about the competitive side to SMITE? It seems you have some good tools for new people to learn the game, but what’s the competitive side like?
Todd – The competitive side is really important to us. Even in beta two years ago we began running tournaments every weekend just to see if there was going to be an appetite for competitive play, and there definitely was. We have teams at this point who play SMITE that players will recognise if they follow other eSports – names like Dignitas, Team Solo Mid, Cloud Nine, Cognitive, SK Gaming, all these have SMITE teams competing currently.
About two months ago we started the SMITE pro league which is six professional EU teams and six professional NA teams. We also have an amateur cup which lets people come up against these pros. In November there’s the regional championships in five different regions, leading to our first world championship in January.
Believe it or not SMITE is the fastest growing franchise to hit the 1 million plus event – there’s only three other franchises to reach this; League of Legends, DOTA2 and Call of Duty, and all of them have been around for a while but in the first year our prize pool is already 1.2 million, with two months left to go. Half of this has been crowdsourced through something we call the Odyssey – our version of Valve’s compendium, we really liked that model. With a January event, January 9 to 11 in Atlanta Georgia, we’ll see the best teams from NA, EU, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Brazil and two teams from China getting involved. We’re hoping that in Season 2, now that we have servers in Australia, we’ll see Australian teams entering the scene as well.
Jayden – SMITE is running on PC here at PAX, but it is coming to Xbox One in the future correct?
Todd – Yeah, so two months back in Germany Microsoft announced from their stage that it’s coming first to Xbox One; I think the quote they used was ‘finally, here’s a MOBA that wants to be played on consoles’. That’s true, today it’s free to play on PC and we do have controller support, some of our players plug-in a controller and it maps really well. We think it’s going to be a really nice experience on console, and when you see it in third person you get an idea in your head of how it would map to the controller and not feel awkward, it’ll feel really natural. A lot of the work we’re doing now is around some of the UI on things like the item store and god select to make it a much better experience for playing on a TV in your living room. We hope to start closed beta for Xbox One very early next year and have it released sometime in the first half of next year.
SMITE was played by a lot of people at PAX Australia and always had a long line, so that’s a great indication of interest in the product. We’re very excited to see where SMITE goes in the future, as well as how the first world championship turns out in January 2015. I’d like to thank Todd for speaking to me and giving us a good feel for the game, and to Surprise Attack for helping showcase the title and setting up appointments at PAX!