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Brendan Griffiths

The Sunday Seven: Why Far Cry 4 is Set to Own 2014

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Far Cry 4, PC games, PS4 games, The Sunday Seven, Xbox One Games

The Sunday Seven: Why Far Cry 4 is Set to Own 2014

With one short month to go before Far Cry 4 lands, we take a decisive look at all the available evidence, including our very own hands-on sessions, to make the case that we could be looking at a Game of the Year contender here. So dive into this week’s Sunday Seven: Why Far Cry 4 is Set to Own 2014.

The Sunday Seven: Why Far Cry 4 is Set to Own 2014

The honey badgers will mess you up

You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but the honey badgers are arguably the most vicious creatures in Kyrat. Hunting missions will make a return, but using fire or explosions to kill animals will result in damaged pelts that are worth less cash and possibly not be as useful for crafting. Looks like we’ll have to avoid using rocket launchers and mines on the monochrome missile-like bastards then. Other animals that want to eat your eyes include wolves, rhinos, leopards, eagles, cave bears and much more. Come at me, nature!

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At A Glance: Roundup 13th - 19th October 2014

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
At A Glance, Game news, Game previews, Games reviews, News Roundup, Weekly Roundup

At A Glance: Roundup 13th - 19th October 2014

We've been getting stuck into the long-awaited Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel this week, so take break and check out our Opening Scenes video and Top Ten survival guide. Elsewhere in the features Carl has been playing with some new ships in Star Citizen and even took them out for a race or two. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has rocketed up our most wanted lists thanks to Jon's recent hands-on report and interview, ensuring it's a perfect title for you and the little ones, although we all know that's just an excuse. Matt's Interactive Narrative series continues this week with a look at sports games and he also chats with the team behind Company of Heroes: Ardennes Assault before getting a hands-on for himself too. Our weekly guide to next week's releases is up too, including links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices on the leading formats. There's even more packed into the features section and you can find all the links below.

In the reviews Matt's been blown away by the mighty Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U, but had his buzz mildly dampened by the surprisingly awful F1 2014. Jon's been reviewing his usual selection of questionable Japanese material again in the stacked forms of Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus and Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed. He also reviewed the really rather boobless, but excellent Defense Grid 2.

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Next Week’s Releases: Witches, Wangs and Warriors

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
New Releases
Tags:
New Releases, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Wii U games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

 

Next Week’s Releases: Witches, Wangs and Warriors

A great week for Wii U owners who can feel super smug as the Umbran witch makes her Nintendo debut. There’s quite the musical theme elsewhere with the latest Just Dance title and Harmonix’s motion-controlled take on Fantasia. The words Firaxis and Alpha Centauri are probably enough to get our PC-gaming readers excited, not to mention a certain Dreamfall title. Read on for the full rundown along with links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices.

October 21st

Next Week’s Releases: Witches, Wangs and Warriors

Dreamfall Chapters: Book 1 – LONGEST WAIT AWARD OF THE WEEK!

Fans have only been waiting since 2006 to find out what happens next in the Dreamfall saga, so yeah, they’re pretty pumped for this one. We get the feeling this is going to be a Kickstarter success story and can’t wait to play the new episodic format. The game is also coming to PS4 at some point, but release dates vary from next week (wrong), to November, to next year. Expect reviews of the PC version from our very own Carl Phillips soon.

> VIDEO PREVIEW | The exploration & decision making of Dreamfall Chapters

> INTERVIEW | Tornquist & Scheve on why Dreamfall Chapters will "evolve narrative experiences in games"

> Dreamfall Chapters: Sony more "proactive” than Microsoft, "it made sense to go with PlayStation"

> Only 3 weeks to go until Dreamfall Chapters Book One

> Didn't back Dreamfall Chapters? GOG have a season pass pre-order now available

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The Morning Papers | More 2015 recruits

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
News
Tags:
The Morning Papers

The Morning Papers | More 2015 recruits

Morning, folks! Here's a link to some of the larger stories of yesterday for some breakfast reading. Although, we're beginning to think that DriveClub not being online is starting to become the status quo rather than news. It seems like everyone had a rough day though with delays for our favourite upcoming racer and the latest Hitman movie. I'd clear some hard-drive space on your XO too, as Master Chief seems to have put on a bit of weight.

The Morning Papers | More 2015 recruits

In Case You Missed It...

At A Glance: Roundup 6th - 12th October 2014

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
At A Glance, Game news, Game previews, Games reviews, News Roundup, Weekly Roundup

At A Glance: Roundup 6th - 12th October 2014

Poor DriveClub, it's finally out in the wild and its main feature -online connectivity- has almost constantly been offline since launch. So it shouldn't comes as a surprise that it has a few features dedicated to it this week, including a Sunday Seven that looks at the ups and downs since launch, a podcast and article laughing at it and a First Contact video. Fingers crossed I'll be able to get online next week and bring you a full review.

Elsewhere, we have lots of other videos for you, including Carl's The Hunt series set in Shadow of Mordor, Matt's examination of horror in games compared to movies, a DieselStormers GameNight, a look at the PS4 parity issue around Assassin's Creed: Unity, First Contact Videos for This War of Mine and The Long Dark and a few sneaky video recordings of the Bloodborne Alpha. Other article pieces provide a survival guide for Alien: Isolation, Chris tells us about finding time for gaming since getting hitched, Jon details his launch impressions of Project Spark and the Dieselstormers alpha, I shake off the Demon's Souls nightmares for a hands-on preview of Bloodborne and take a look at next week's release lineup.

In-between bouts of laughing and swearing at DriveClub, we squeezed in a few reviews. Middle-Earth: Shaodw of Mordor proved to be one of the best surprises of the year by not only being 'not awful' but also quite 'bloody great.' Other high scoring efforts this week included Alien: Isolation (a decent Aliens' game?!), FIFA 15, Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and new PS+ freebie, Pix the Cat. A couple of sixes brought the average down a little on a great week for releases with Styx: Master of Shadows and Team Indie bringing up the rear.

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The Sunday Seven: DriveClub's Ups and Downs

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
DriveClub, Evolution Studios, PS4 games, Racing Games, Sony, The Sunday Seven

The Sunday Seven: DriveClub's Ups and Downs

The racing game PS4 owners have been waiting for since launch is finally here and it's facing a hell of a lot of pressure after a prolonged development that has seen some mixed messages emerge during the course. It's not been the smoothest of launches either, with the online side of the game being blocked off to most gamers. So, our review is going to be a short while yet as there's no point reviewing half a game. In the meantime though, let's have a look at some of the highs and lows we've experienced in our first four days with the game.

The Sunday Seven: DriveClub's Ups and Downs

Superb Track Design

With so many games opting to recreate real-life professional racing circuits, it's always nice to race on brand new track, especially road ones. DriveClub excels with its collection of unique tracks spread around countries like India, Scotland, Chile, Canada and Norway. If you found the recent Need For Speed entries' abundance of straight roads to be a bore, then you'll adore the curves and wriggles offered in DriveClub. To be honest, they feel more like rally tracks, minus the handbrake turns, which is just fantastic seeing as rallying has been on the backfoot in recent years on PlayStation.

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Next Week’s Releases – Bikes, balls, blood and boomsticks

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
New Releases
Tags:
New Releases, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Next Week’s Releases – Bikes, balls, blood and boomsticks

There’s a lot to be excited about with next week’s releases. Take a trip to Pandora’s moon with friends, explore creepy mansions packed with gibbering lunatics and well, probably buckets of giblets too. Fans of racing are sorted this week too (you know, because DriveClub is probably still offline) as they get to choose between a super light set of four wheels or mud-encrusted bikes. Forget all those pretenders though, what you really want to do is drop a ball and watch it bounce around...

October 14th

Next Week’s Releases – Bikes, balls, blood and boomsticks

Peggle 2 (PS4) – TIME STEALING RELEASE OF THE WEEK!

Exciting! Of all the early exclusives on the Xbox One, this is the one that had most PS4 owners seething with jealousy. If you're yet to experience Peggle, you should really go and check out a PC or mobile demo and then be prepared to throw money at the sequel on PSN next week. There's no word on pricing yet, but we expect it to be around a tenner.

> XO Review

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Shadow of Mordor £34.85 on PS4

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, PS4 games, Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor £34.85 on PS4

Shadow of Mordor | Simply Games | £34.85
Tips Guide | Review | Videos

We can't get enough of Monolith's Shadow of Mordor here at Dealspwn and we thoroughly recommend you dust off your Uruk hunting skills to get a taste too. Turns out the Nemesis system has managed to back up its bold ambitions with a neat set of mechanics that sees enemies remember you and you can even brainwash them into fighting for you as you infiltrate the highest ranks of Sauron's army. There's an excellent set of skills available to take advantage of an enemy's weaknesses too to create unique experiences throughout.

Thanks to mcoliver88 at HotUkDeals.

Final Fantasy XIV £3 on PS3 with FREE PS4 Upgrade

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, MMORPG, PS3 games, PS4 games

Final Fantasy XIV £3 on PS3 with FREE PS4 Upgrade

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornTesco | £3
Price Comparison

Ok, bear with me here. Buy this on PS3 and not only will you get a code for 30 days of play in this subscription-based MMORPG, but you will also get the option to upgrade to the PS4 version for free if you register by the end of the year. Once you do though, you'll no longer be able to use the PS3 version. We're presuming there'll be a hefty PS4 download involved too. This is a great incentive to give the RPG a go regardless of which Sony platform you're using. Considering the PS4 disc version is at least £20, this really is a no brainer.

Thanks to Transformers at HotUkDeals.

Hitman HD Trilogy £7 at Tesco on PS3

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PS3 games, Stealth Games

Hitman HD Trilogy £7 at Tesco on PS3

Hitman HD Trilogy | Tesco | £7

We can add Hitman to the list of HD Trilogy's that annoyingly omit the first game, especially annoying seeing as it never made its way to PS2 or Xbox back in the day. Oh well, we'll just have to murder our way through the 75 hits on offer here. New players left a little unsure about Agent 47 with Absolution should check out this collection to see why expectations were so high for that one.

Thanks to Transformers at HotUkDeals.

Bloodborne Hands-On Preview | Battle Ready

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Bloodborne, From Software, Games previews, PS4 games, Videos

Bloodborne Hands-On Preview | Battle Ready

Chances are, you're either a big fan of the Dark Souls series or you just can't be doing with their brand of no-nonsense difficulty and downright unresponsive controls.

Me? I'm not a fan and haven't been since I played the original Demon's Souls. So why am I the one talking to you about Bloodborne, a game by the same devs and seen as a potential killer exclusive on the PS4 for fans of From Software’s series? Well, after trying out the recent Alpha, I'm thinking maybe Bloodborne will be worth a look after all and those of you that aren't fans of the Souls games probably shouldn't dismiss it so soon.

Is it still hard? Of course, and the checkpoints (or lack of them in the Alpha) will certainly make your eyes water a little and I'm sure there will be plenty of difficulty settings to nail that feel of trapping your junk in your zip, or stubbing your toe for hours on end or what other kink that makes you keep playing these bastards.

So, let's dive into the Alpha demo. First of all you're given the option of four different characters with four varying weapon loadouts. The first is the one you may have seen in past footage with a blunderbuss gun and a saw cleaver, this was the first one I tried. The second was armed with a pistol and a sword that could split into two blades at the touch of a button.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Review | Boromir Was Wrong

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions, PC games, PS4 games, Shadow of Mordor, Warner Bros. Interactive, Xbox One Games

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Review | Boromir Was Wrong

With the Hobbit movies proving to be one of the longest train wrecks in recent memory, it’s a relief to see developers looking elsewhere for inspiration of doing Tolkien’s world justice. So, to fill the gap between the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we find ourselves deep in the heart of Mordor.

Enter Talion, a ranger working on the Black Gate who, along with his family, is killed almost immediately by invading Uruks. Luckily (sort of) for him, an Elven Wraith spirit invades his body just before death. Meaning that a short while later he is resurrected and will continue to do so each time he is killed.

Throughout the adventure we’ll learn more about life in Mordor for humans before the orcs and Uruks invaded and Sauron took over and we’ll even learn how the One Ring was forged and how Sauron betrayed the nine. The time setting and location are ripe for gaming territory and Tolkien nuts should definitely take a look.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Review | Boromir Was Wrong

Shadow of Mordor brandishes its base influences with little shame, but in fairness, Monolith has chose some of the best brands to initiate, namely Assassin’s Creed and Rocksteady’s Batman titles. So expect an open world where you can climb any surface and find lots of side-missions and collectibles to keep you entertained between story missions. These distractions also help to fund your numerous combat upgrades, so it rarely feels like time wasting. The climbing mechanics are solid and the animations have a pleasing weight to them too.

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At A Glance: Roundup 29th September - 5th October 2014

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
At A Glance, EGX, Game news, Game previews, Games reviews, News Roundup, Weekly Roundup

At A Glance: Roundup 29th September - 5th October 2014

After spending the week recovering from another packed EGX Eurogamer Expo, I'm back with your weekly roundup of everything that's been happening around Dealspwn.com. We've been tearing up the tarmac with all the hottest racers coming to consoles and PC in the coming months and have hands-on reports for the likes of Project Cars, F1 2014 and Driveclub. More hands-on previews include Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2, Might & Magic: Heroes VII, The Evil Within and we have our usual roundup of next week's releases complete with links to the best pre-order deals and our past coverage.

Video content this week includes lots of fresh material for the hottest games like Alien: Isolation, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Fenix Rage and Quake Live. Want to play something right now? Then check out Mr Spilbox on our Click to Play feature or if you're planning a trip to Sauron's doorstep, be sure to check out my Sunday Seven tips guide for Shadow of Mordor. You want more? Well, you better enter out WildStar competition then.

Our review section kicks off with a review of the premier of From Bedrooms to Billions, the documentary on the birth of the UK gaming industry, which has some interesting anecdotes, but has some criminal editing. Talking of crime, Matt's got a review of the new Sherlock Holmes title, Crimes and Punishments. Be sure to check out our other verdicts on Endless Legend, Natural Doctrine and *deep breath* Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution.

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The Sunday Seven: Shadow of Mordor Tips

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, PS4 games, Shadow of Mordor, Survival Guide, The Sunday Seven, Tips, Xbox One Games

The Sunday Seven: Shadow of Mordor Tips

We’ve been playing a lot of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor here at tower Dealspwn and have frankly been loving it. As keen Tolkien geeks, the Mordor setting provides an intriguing look at an area of Middle Earth for so long trapped behind those daunting Black Gates. Taking place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is a great idea and rich with potential. Monolith tells how the one ring was forged and how a solitary ranger can play an important part when paired with an elven wraith. Carl’s review will be ready soon, but to warm you up I’ve put together a few tips to get you started. As ever readers, be sure to share any you might have too.

Stick with stealth

Talion is a bit rubbish with a sword and takes ages to finish off enemies in a straight fight. So, be as sneaky as possible by using dagger strikes from behind, above or while hanging from ledges to thin out a crowd before attacking a Captain or Warchief. Don’t worry if you’re seen, you usually have a second or two to rush forwards and silence any Uruk before they get into a battle stance. The bow is also a neat weapon for silenced headshots which can get rid of those pesky archers.

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Next Week’s Releases – Xenos, hoops and shiny cars

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
New Releases
Tags:
New Releases, PC games, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Wii U games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Next Week’s Releases – Xenos, hoops and shiny cars

The release schedules are fattening up nicely now and we have a great selection of titles hitting the stores this week. Like hiding in lockers? Well the horror fan in you might find something Alien-related to enjoy, while the perv in you is also catered for via the latest browser-troubling release from Japan. PS4 racing fans rejoice as a certain much delayed racer is finally on the starting grid and XO owners, get those creative juices flowing for your answer to LBP. Failing that you’ll have to settle for some basketball or running around Hong Kong with a meat cleaver and handcuffs.

October 7th

Next Week’s Releases – Xenos, hoops and shiny cars

Alien: Isolation (PS3, PS4, 360, XO, PC)

Creative Assembly’s title ditches the pulse rifles for a survival horror experience which seems so well suited to the Alien universe we don’t know why it’s taken someone this long to try it. Early reviews are largely positive and we’ll have our own soon. Be sure to check out our past coverage below.

Best Price: Simply Games: £32.85 (PS4/XO)

> Alien: Isolation PS4 Gameplay | Opening Scenes

> PREVIEW | Four Hours With Alien Isolation's Perfect Killing Machine

> Alien: Isolation Interview | Al Hope on making a game worthy of Ridley Scott's film

> Alien: Isolation Hands-On Preview | Monstrous Potential, But With A Great Big "If"

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Xbox One console now available for £289.99

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
console deals, hardware deals, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

Xbox One console now available for £289.99

Xbox One console | Shop Play | £289.99
Console ReviewController Review

Who is winning the console war? The gamer, that's who. With the PS4 and XO releasing alongside each other, we've seen near constant price drops at retailers. This deal is without the Kinect, which has been dropped by most devs since Microsoft made it optional for XO gamers. Like the PS4 deal we posted earlier, this could be one of the best prices we see in the run up to Xmas.

Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII at HotUkDeals.

Alien: Isolation is tempting at £32.85 on PS4/XO

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Alien: Isolation, PS4 games, Survival Horror Games, Xbox One Games

Alien: Isolation is tempting at £32.85 on PS4/XO

Alien: Isolation | SimplyGames PS4 / XO | £32.85 | Opening Scenes Video

Could Alien: Isolation be the game the series has deserved all these years? Most early reviews have a positive vibe to them and our very own Matt Gardner is shrieking his way through a review for us as we speak. Be sure to check out his Opening Scenes video from the link above. You should act on this deal fast too if you want to get the game for an astonishingly cheap £32.85 as we expect it'll be back up to £40 soon.

Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII at HotUkDeals.

PS4 Console now available for £295.95

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
console deals, hardware deals, PS4, PS4 games

PS4 Console now available for £295.95

PS4 Console | SimplyGames | £295.95 (inc. delivery)

Best not think about this one too hard, this is the cheapest price I've seen for a PS4 and should be snapped up immediately if you're on the hunt for a new console. I can't see it going much cheaper before Xmas, so this may be a good time to buy if it's on someone's list.

Thanks to eggbarker at HotUkDeals.

The Evil Within Hands-on Preview | Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Hands-On Preview, PC games, PS4 games, Shinji Mikami, Survival Horror Games, The Evil Within, Xbox One Games

The Evil Within Hands-on Preview | Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Today’s session sees our detective leading man making his way through a sinister mansion full of strange noises, tortured sobbing, wet ripping sounds and a host of nasties sporting dead-eyed barbwire couture. Forget any concerns about the ‘haunted mansion’ cliché, this is the sort of nasty setting we’ve missed in recent years. And don’t forget, this is just one stage of Shinji Mikami’s blood-soaked love letter to the genre he helped to define.

It’s also the first decent taste of horror on new-gen hardware and it suitably impresses on the graphical front from the start. It’s the shadows that really put you on edge though. Be it the flickering shards emitted by your gas lamp as you edge down a dim corridor, the light behind a sheet betraying the twitching silhouette or the gradual pouring of light into a dark room as you slowly creak open a door into the unknown.

Enemies are often first spotted via their shadow as they stagger around a room in a daze before the smell of your flesh sends them into a frenzy. The crazed residents certainly have an undead look to them, but they aren’t your usual shufflers, instead they’ll dash at you, bringing up memories of everything from 28 Days Later to Siren: Blood Curse. Why they’re often wrapped in barbwire is the sort of question we’re not sure we’re ready to answer.

The Evil Within Hands-on Preview | Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Some will attack with gaping maws and scratching paws, but others carry knives or even shotguns. Headshots are often the best tactic, although blasting half a skull apart isn’t always guaranteed to stop them. Wilier enemies wear bullet-proof masks, so you’ll either have to shoot them in the back of the head or give them a belly full of lead. Because life needs to be tougher for Sebastian, some enemies reanimate and come back at you, either straight away or the next time you come back to the area. He can burn a corpse to put them down for good if he has any matches, but just like bullets and health packs, they’re in short supply.

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Project CARS Hands-on Preview | Racing’s Hottest New Contender

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
PC games, Project CARS, PS4 games, Racing Games, Slightly Mad Studios, Xbox One Games

Project CARS Hands-on Preview | Racing’s Hottest New Contender

“Try to catch that car in front or just bring it back in one piece.” These are the deflating words of my pit manager when skidding around in last place on the final lap in Project Cars.

Project Cars is tough. With no driving aids turned on for my first play session with the new racing IP, I can't help but feel the pressure mount as every time I look up in the Bandai Namco offices, I see a Dark Souls II poster - judging, mocking and not helping my blood temperature one bit.

Things improve though and despite the harsh challenge, which comes mainly from the handling rather than the AI (but more on those guys later), I found myself keen to iron out my racing sim wrinkles and lose those pesky kart racer habits. To be fair, it's not like PS4 is exactly packed with skill-honing racing sims right now.

Project CARS Hands-on Preview | Racing’s Hottest New Contender

The initial cause of most of my accidents was trying to find a suitable camera angle. The game will spoil you for choice including low road, bonnet, roof, following, interior middle, interior driver's side and a helmet cam which puts you directly behind the eyes of the driver, complete with the helmet's inner cushioning viewable underneath. The new take on the helmet cam is slightly let down by the blurring effect during hard braking and tighter turns, it’s a real strain on the eyes and hopefully something we can toggle in the final build. Surely pro-drivers don’t get this much motion-blur in real life or they’d be filling their helmets with vom all the time.

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