Day Zero at E3 2014 – Sony Media Conference


The Best Place to Play. Exclusively.

It’s an exciting time of year for those of us who call themselves gamers. People all over the world were watching the E3 press conferences in person and online, all waiting for their own personal favourite titles to be shown. Out of all the conferences today, Sony was by far my favourite.

Sony had a lot to say in their press conference today, with exciting reveals, some big surprises and even a little love for the Vita, Vita TV and the movie/television aspects of their company.

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Destiny was the first title that Sony showed off, utilising the amazing extended screen they had set up in the arena to tell the backstory of the game. As the scene played out across the long screen we were treated to a glimpse into the universe gamers will be able to jump into come September 9th.

While the game is once again looking pretty amazing, Sony used Destiny to announce an even more exciting bundle, featuring the game, a special edition White Glacier PS4, white controller and a 30 day PS+ subscription. This bundle will launch with the game at US$449.

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Sony also announced that on top of the PS4 receiving Destiny’s Beta first, PS4 users will be able to take part in a closed alpha launching this Thursday. The full beta will be available to PS4 users on July 17th.

The Order: 1886 was the next on the list, giving is another taste of the combat as well as introducing us to a gruesome werewolf transformation. This small amount of footage highlighted the more horror themed elements of this title, but it was quite a small spot compared to the rest of the show.

Next came one of my favourite titles emerging at this year’s E3, a game called Entwined. This previously unheard of indie centres around two origami-like creatures who are in love but can’t be together. You play as both characters with one controller, using each dualshock to control one creature, and upon finishing a level they combine to become a powerful dragon. The biggest surprise is the game is available right now on PSN for the PS4 at only US$9.99. The dev team, Pixelopus, is made up from student developers at the Carnegie Mellon University, who are currently working on the Vita and PS3 versions, available soon through Cross-Buy.

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Following Entwined, Sucker Punch revealed Infamous: Second Son is getting a new stand alone DLC pack entitled “First Light.” While we have no more info as yet it seems the DLC will focus on Fetch’s backstory from the original game.

As this title lit up the screen, the crowd went a little crazy. Little Big Planet 3 was revealed in a surprise move, featuring three new characters and four player co-op. Aside from Sackboy, players will control Oddsock, a fast dog-like sack creature, Toggle, the largest and strongest of the group, but able to shrink to get around obstacles and lastly Swoop, a bird sack creature with the ability to fly. The game will launch this November on PS4, with the added ability to play the entire catalogue of user created content from Little Big Planet 1 and 2 on your PS4 with updated graphics.

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Next, Project Beast got an official announcement in Bloodborne, the new IP from Dark Souls developers FromSoftware. The trailer shown gave us a look at the monster filled world as well as the main character slicing up (quite graphically) a fair few of these zombie-like monsters. I’m looking to see a lot more about this game, the setting and tone it gave off look really neat!

After being shown Far Cry 4’s big opening at the Ubisoft conference gamers were treated to a live gameplay demo, featuring some awesome new weapons, two player co-op and a rampaging elephant. This game is looking phenomenally good, with amazing graphics an incredible setting. Adam Boyes also announced that you can even play co-op with friends who don’t own the game by simply inviting them, able to jump right into the chaos.

The Dead Island 2 reveal featured a comical cinematic trailer showing off Deep Silver’s next entry to the franchise. We didn’t get much more than the fact that it’s a new zombie game from the trailer, but I expect we’ll see a lot more over the next few days of E3.

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Battlefield Hardline was mainly shown to keep the exclusivity theme of the presentation going, with PS4 currently having an exclusive beta for the title. The trailer shown was a short condensing of the gameplay demo shown at EA’s earlier conference.

Sony also announced a partnership with Disney that will allow more exclusive content for the Playstation platform in Disney Infinity 2.0. The Hulk figure will be a timed exclusive and come in the Playstation Exclusive special edition of the game, featuring a total of six Marvel super heroes.

Continuing on with exclusivity, when Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil edition drops it will feature a PS exclusive dungeon featuring enemies from The Last of Us such as clickers and bloaters!

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Sony has also signed up with Devolver Digital to bring a whole host of indie games to the PS4, showing a trailer for Magicka 2. They’ve also set up a whole lot more games to come to PS4 and vita including Hardline Miami 2 and Broforce.

Once again thanks to a unique partnership with Disney Sony have made a big move to excite fans with the announcement that Double Fine is remastering Grim Fandango for PS4 and Vita. It’s nice to see some games that truly deserve remastered versions actually receiving them!

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Suda 51’s Let it Die shocked and scared us all a little, showing us a gruesome and dark trailer full of vicious killing. The game comes from the creator of No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw, arriving exclusively on PS4.

Next up Journey’s art director and Giant Squid had a chance to show of their game Abzû. The game takes place under water and has a very similar style to games like Journey and Flower. It looks to be a gorgeous title and I’m super excited to see more!

After the Gamescom trailer that blew so many people away No Man’s Sky returns to the stage with a new trailer and new gameplay. Everything I see about this game looks more and more incredible, from the scale to the art style there’s so much to love here. The game is coming to PS4, and so far I’m very excited for it.

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PS Camera and Project Morpheus are two of Sony’s peripherals that are seeing a huge push with the PS4. Sony announced that they will have two new demos and Morpheus on the E3 show floor, ready for fans to check out.

Sharing is also a big feature of the PS4, with an integrated Youtube app coming later this year. Sony have also partnered with Twitch to create ‘Ustream’, an exclusive part of Twitch social streaming from the PS4 which allows users to directly interact with livestreamers while playing.

On top of these new streaming services and apps Sony confirmed that the PS Vita TV will be coming to America and Europe later in 2014 for US$99, or in a bundle for US$139, including a Dualshock 3, an 8gb memory card and a download token Lego movie game. Sony also noted that you will be able to use the device with select Sony televisions too, bypassing the need to own a Sony console for the device completely.

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After all this tech talk it’s back to the games, we’re finally treated some gameplay from Mortal Kombat X. Looking as violent as it should, gore and fatalities galore. The game is looking great on next-gen if the trailer is to be believed, another game I’m very keen to get my hands on.

The first of Sony’s new television programming was announced today, adapting quite a large comic book with its show ‘Powers’. The show has been green lit for two seasons and is currently at the casting stage, but from the concept art shown, comic fans should get excited.

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After the announcement of the Ratchet & Clank movie last year I was pretty excited, especially as an avid fan of the series. Sony gave us another trailer for this awesome looking film set to release first quarter next year and also confirmed we’ll see a remastered Ratchet and Clank 1 coming to PS4 around the same time, featuring not just an overhaul but new content and additions. Once again I’m very keen to see what they do with this remaster!

Speaking of remasters, we now have a release date for The Last of Us Remastered. It’s releasing for PS4 on July 29th!

MGSV Phantom Pain slipped a nice long new trailer to break up the remastered announcements, serving to give us a lot of pretty footage but not give very much information at all. It does look awfully nice though.

In a not so surprising announcement, Rockstar have confirmed GTA V will be ported to PS4 (as well as Xbox One and PC), with ‘increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic and enhanced resolutions’. This next gen version will allow transfer of GTA Online characters and progress from the last gen version and It will also include all content released for GTA Online as well.

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Before the final speech we were given a look at new Batman: Arkham Knight gameplay focusing on the Batmobile, or should I say Bat Tank. The game will see you racing through the streets of Gotham, able to transform in to a weapon laden agile tank at a moments notice. The trailer closes with a tease of this game’s villain, Scarecrow. From all footage, he looks to be an awesome villain to set the tone for this game.

Closing the show, Naughty Dog gives us our first proper Uncharted 4 trailer. Entitled “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End”, the trailer claims to be captured on a PS4 and is looking incredible. This one trailer was more than enough to get fans like me super excited.

In my books Sony hosted an amazing press conference, with some amazing reveals, surprises and announcements. My top picks are definitely No Man’s Sky and Entwined, alongside Far Cry 4, Uncharted 4 and Little Big Planet 3, but pretty much everything Sony showed was very impressive.

It’ll be great to see more over the coming days and weeks about all these games and more, and I’m looking forward to trying some of these myself at E3.

For more from E3 including our wrap ups, thoughts and previews, stay tuned to OXCGN!

© Jayden Perry 2014

Nine things we DON’T want to see at E3 2014


On one of the biggest gaming events of the year, millions of people watching, you really don’t want to screw up

It’s that time of year again and E3 is drawing near. I’m more excited about this E3 than previous years, looking forward to all the new announcements to be made for all the next-gen console games, but there are plenty of mistakes and mishaps that happen at E3, which no one wants to see. Here’s our list of thing we DON’T want to see at this year’s E3.

9. DRM

One way to really botch your console or game launch is to lock down your product completely. Don’t have an internet connection? Guess you can’t play our games.

Want to borrow your friends games? Sorry, no can do.

Microsoft quickly realised this was a terrible mistake and quickly back-peddled on a lot of their launch announcements, but the damage was already done, and affected their pre-orders and sales at launch.

8. Awful Press Conferences

This video sums up anything I could really say.

7. Over promise, under deliver

Remember how excited you were when you first saw the trailer for Watch_Dogs at E3 2012? Remember the Q3 2013 release date? Kind of crazy to think that it came out in May 2014.

Now, I know a lot can happen in two years, and Watch_Dogs is a great game, and this scene in the original trailer for Watch_Dogs back in 2012 does not actually happen in the final product, but please don’t build a huge hype train behind something when you can’t meet your deadlines.

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Ubisoft had a change of heart after playing GTAV. Clearly, more time was needed in Los Santos.

6. Game demos full of QTEs

QTEs (Quick Time Events) have come a long way since the early 2000’s and Shenmue on the Dreamcast. and while it may have been a major deal at the time, showing off your game on stage with a series of QTEs is not how to get someone interested in your title. A perfect example of this is one of the Xbox One’s launch titles, Ryse: Son of Rome.

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Shenmue 2 pictures here. The Shenmue series pioneered QTE’s, but where’s my Shenmue 3?

After it got poor showing at E3 2013, Crytek went back to work on the game to improve on it’s combat system, still only to get mediocre review scores.

5. Pre-Order bonuses & Console exclusive content

E3 is (mostly) a media event, designed to generate buzz around the latest announcements from the major game developers.

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Crysis 3 trying to sell it’s pre-order bonuses at E3.

It is not a way to sell your ‘collectors editions’ with a few extra digital items or try to get people to buy multiple copies because you put one extra mission in the Xbox One version of the game. This is not your local GameStop or EB Games. We shouldn’t be hearing about a games pre-order bonuses and exclusives before you even show off any game footage.

I’m looking at you, Farcry 4.

4. Celebrities 

Lets be honest, we don’t care who is playing the game, we are not there to see Ice-T play the new Gears of War, we are there to see what’s going to amaze us.  Now I’m aware he did voicing in the game, but you mainly have him on stage for the celebrity appeal.

And hey, lets not just single out Ice-T, lets name all the other pointless celebrity on-stage appearances at E3:

  • Usher
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Jamie Kennedy
  • Donald Trump

I will make an exception for celebrities who are there mostly for comic relief, so no, Jaime Kennedy stays on the list.

Painful
Painful

3. Unnecessary remakes

There are some games that deserve remakes, Final Fantasy X / X-2, Kingdom Hearts 1/2  (although maybe a little bias towards Square-Enix) and even some classic Dreamcast and arcade titles, like Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi and Daytona USA, however games like The Last OF Us and Metro: Last Light (although it will be a collection of Metro games) which are barely a year old on previous generation consoles, are being re-released on next-generation consoles and retailing at $99 AUS.

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$99 for a game I already own? No thanks.

I have no problem with seeing a remake/remaster/redux of any particular game, however, don’t expect your customers to pay $99 AUS for something they’ve potentially already purchased. If anything, they should be a cheap, digital purchase, or a $40 – $60 on-disc game, certainly not a $99 re-release.

There are plenty of remakes or remastered versions of games I’d love to see, but certainly not games that came out in 2013, unless it’s Grand Theft Auto V.

2. Non-game related content/Catering only to the US demographic

Consoles have certainly evolved in the last few generations, they do more than just play games and these days they’re focused around your digital content, whether it’s your favourite TV shows, sports, movies and digital media on the internet.

The problem is the content is focused around an American demographic. A lot of the features for Xbox One, like NFL coverage, Netflix and Hulu cannot be accessed outside of the US legitimately. E3 may be hosted in Los Angeles, but it does have a worldwide audience, which unfortunately seems to be forgotten about.

1. Motion Controlled Games/Tacked on Motion Controls

Motion controlled games had their moment in the sun, but I really am tired of witnessing people on stage making fools out of themselves showing off the latest Kinect or dance game.

Speaking of Kinect, don’t ruin your game by making the Kinect the main means of playing the game. One perfect example of this is Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, a game that was a complete failure due to the original Kinect’s capabilities of determining how you were positioned when sitting down and holding the controller.

© Yvan Zivkovic 2014

Thoughts on an Elongated Console Generation


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Thoughts on an Elongated Console Generation

Editors weigh in their thoughts

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

It’s been a good run, but like most good runs it has to come to an end. For the PS3 and the Xbox 360, they have both definitely outlived their welcome. Providing gamers around the world with endless hours of entertainment, but as with anything they have started to grow tiresome of old toys.

Each console, whilst 6-7 years ago provided some decent hardware, cannot produce the same quality and/or fidelity as what they could before. It’s time for some new hardware that’ll allow developers to fully realise their creations of living worlds, smarter AI, higher quality character models and so forth.

The PS4 has already hit North America and the Xbox One will be hitting shelves as of the 22nd of November with the PS4 following suit a week later down under.

I asked a few close friends of mine from other websites to weigh in their thoughts on the current and next generation of consoles. What did they enjoy the most and what are they most looking forward to moving forward.

A tale of two sides
A tale of two sides

Continue reading Thoughts on an Elongated Console Generation

OXCGN’s Plantronics RIG Review


RIG Review HeaderOXCGN’s Plantronics RIG Review

All In One Gaming + Mobile Headset

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

rig-black-boomIn today’s world, you can use headsets for your gaming consoles to enjoy the brutal sounds of Borderlands 2, whilst chatting away to your friends in a party from the comfort of your lounge and you can be on a bus, enjoying the sights of the city whilst speaking to your friend via a bluetooth ear piece.

What you couldn’t do up until now, was use a gaming headset to speak to your party and listen to the footsteps behind you AND yap away on your mobile on a very important phone call.

Plantronics a brand better known for their mobile device peripherals, have released a new product that goes by the name of the RIG.

The RIG is specifically designed to combine your gaming and mobile phone, through the use of a mixer that will allow you to seamlessly answer a phone call whilst still having the ability to listen to what’s happening in the game.

Click to read more!

Mad Max Preview: Start Your Engines!


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Mad Max Preview: Start Your Engines!

A preview of this new next gen title

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

MadMax_Boarders get the jump on Max_screenshotSince it was revealed that the titular character in Mad Max would have an American accent the game came under quite a lot of scrutiny.

It took a petition from an Australian website Ausgamers to sway the developers, Avalanche Studios, to change voice actors really late in the game to keep the game close to its original roots.

Whilst it doesn’t continue on or have anything to do with the original movies or the new reboot, the game is still set in a post apocalyptic world.

Our titular character, Mad Max, having lost The Interceptor is on a mission to rebuild a brand new vehicle and venture forth in getting his treasure vehicle out and escaping the baron wasteland he finds himself in.

Continue reading Mad Max Preview: Start Your Engines!

OXCGN’s Grand Theft Auto V Review


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OXCGN’s Grand Theft Auto V Review

The Perfect Crime?

by Daniel Geikowski

©2013 Daniel Geikowski

I enjoy the finer things in life.

Whether it’s cruising down the open highway in a convertible, boating on a luxury yacht, shopping in high-end retail stores, golfing,  or senseless murder, Grand Theft Auto V allows me to enjoy all these favoured pastimes from the comfort of my couch.

Featuring more than just stealing cars, Rockstar Games have grown and molded the Grand Theft Auto series over time, into living, breathing worlds that aren’t just a hell of a lot of fun to cause mayhem in, they also poke fun at the society we live in today using their trademark dark humour and satirical nature.

501-1280It’s no secret that every Grand Theft Auto title is one of, if not the most anticipated title in most gamers’ eyes. You only need to hear that Rockstar made $1 billion in the first three days of GTAV‘s release, to understand how popular it is. Synonymous with controversy, the media love to create news about GTA, and people who never play games know of the series.

Check out our criminal record here!

Why March 2013 is the Greatest Month for Gaming in Years


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Why March 2013 is the Greatest Month for Gaming in Years

A month that packs a tremendous punch

by Nicholas Laborde

©2013 Nicholas Laborde

bioshock infinite cover2012 was an above average year for gaming.

We got tons of major franchise iterations like Far Cry 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Borderlands 2, and Assassin’s Creed III.

In addition to these solid titles, we also received a plethora of new IP and imaginative adventures: Dishonored, Journey, and Spec Ops: The Line, to name a few.

While these were excellent games, it feels as if not that many were actually released in 2012.

The first quarter of 2013 alone tops the entirety of 2012’s lineup, and you’ll see why. Continue reading Why March 2013 is the Greatest Month for Gaming in Years

GTA V Release Date Revealed


GTA V RELEASE DATE

GTA V Release Date?

March 26, 2013

by Nicholas Laborde

©2012 Nicholas Laborde

gta v logoIt’s safe to say that the entire gaming world is anticipating GTA V.

Rockstar has been elusive up until the last few months, finally nailing down the spring of 2013, but without informing us of a concrete date.

Today, Amazon has revealed that we could be jumping back into Los Santos a lot sooner than you think. Continue reading GTA V Release Date Revealed