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Matt Gardner

SimCity Launch Review | The Omnishambles

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA Games, Launch review, Maxis, PC games, SimCity

SimCity Launch Review | The Omnishambles

Platforms: PC

Developers: Maxis

Publishers: EA Games

Just to clarify, this is not a review of SimCity. We can't provide you with a value judgement on the finished product just yet, and we certainly wouldn't feel comfortable picking apart the nuances of the city-building experiences we've been enjoying.

Mainly because there haven't been any.

Put simply, EA's launch of SimCity has been an embarrassing failure for all concerned. First of all, there was the pricing. A quick pop into your local GAME will see SimCity listed for sale at a price point of £42.99. That's more than most console games! It's been dictated by a digital price point on Origin that is frankly ludicrous. But don't forget, that's not for the full game. You see, EA pulled a bunch of stuff out of the game so that they could make gullible folk shell out for a Super Bumper Wicked Awesome Digital Deluxe version of the game. Don't be fooled. That's the full game. For £65.

SimCity Launch Review | The Omnishambles

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Team Meat Rather Apathetic Over Next-Gen

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Edmund McMillen, Next-gen, Team Meat, Tommy Refenes

Team Meat Rather Apathetic Over Next-Gen

It's fair to say that Team Meat's Tommy Refenes and Ed McMillen aren't the biggest fans of the console publishing carousel of hoop-jumping. Going on past performance from the console bigwigs, they're not exactly chomping at the bit for the next generation of consoles. In fact, they don't think Durango, the PS4, or the Wii U will have too much of an impact, mainly because hardcore gamers are no longer the ones dictating trends.

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Dishonored Dev: PS4's Expanded 8GB Memory "A Joy"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Arkane Studios, Dishonored, Game development, PS4, System memory
Discuss:
PlayStation 4

Dishonored Dev: PS4's Expanded 8GB Memory "A Joy"

Dishonored's lead level designer Christophe Carrier has labelled the PlayStation 4's impressive memory specs - 8GB of super speedyt GDDR5 RAM - "a joy".

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Epic: Still More To Be Squeezed Out Of The Xbox 360

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Epic Games, Gears of War: Judgment, People Can Fly, Xbox 360 games

Epic: Still More To Be Squeezed Out Of The Xbox 360

Epic Games and People Can Fly have suggested that there's life yet in the Xbox 360, saying that they've managed to make a significant step up in terms of squeezing greater levels of performance out of the ageing console.

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Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS Not Being Developed By Retro

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
3DS Games, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Nintendo, Retro Studios

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS Not Being Developed By Retro

What are you working on, Retro Studios? Well, at least we know it's not the 3DS port of their 2D-throwback platformer Donkey Kong Country Returns.

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"White Dude" Industry: EA's LGBT Summit Calls For Greater Diversity

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Diversity, EA, Gender, LGBT

"White Dude" Industry: EA's LGBT Summit Calls For Greater Diversity

EA held a Full Spectrum event in New York yesterday, to discuss the games industry’s approach to LGBT issues. Though the industry is slowly becoming more inclusive, the general consensus was that more diversity is needed from top to bottom, and that the nature of the development culture around video games - as being a predominantly "white dude-ly" industry - needs to change.

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Daily Bite | North Korea Jam: Supreme Hoops

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Funnies
Tags:
Daily Bite

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman jetted off to North Korea a few weeks ago to apparently try and broker some peace talks.

No, really.

Well it didn't work, as the news overnight reported that Pyongyang had severed all ties with its southern sibling. Seriously, Rodman. What did you do?!

Microsoft Dismiss Valve Competition Threat

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Console wars, Don Mattrick, Gabe Newell, Microsoft, Valve

Microsoft Dismiss Valve Competition Threat

Does Microsoft see Valve as a competitor in the battle for the living room? Not really. Don Mattrick, Xbox president of Interactive Entertainment, has stated rather emphatically that although Valve are clearly  looking to innovate in that space, Microsoft's main competition will arise from more traditional, familiar names.

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Devil Survivor Release Date Moved Forward By A Week

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
3DS Games, Atlus, Ghostlight, JRPGs, Release dates, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor EU publishers Ghostlight got in touch today to report that the game's release on 3DS has been moved forward by a week.

The tactical JRPG, which sees you capturing and creating demons to battle even more demons taking over your city, will now release on March 29th.

Bioshock Infinite Music Vid Features No Gameplay, Still Breaks Our Hearts

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Bioshock Infinite, Irrational Games, Soundtrack, Videos

Remember that video of Bastion's audio director Darren Korb and vocalist Ashley Barrett performing a simple acoustic rendition of 'Build That Wall'? Well, Bioshock Infinite's Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper – who perform VO for the characters of Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth respectively – have released a video of two of them in the studio, recording an acoustic duet of the song “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” from Bioshock Infinite's OST.

Bioshock Infinite release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on March 26th. [Irrational]

FISTBUMPS AHOY! New Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Trailer Is Brotacular

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, TPS games, Trailers, Visceral Games

FISTBUMPS AHOY! New Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Trailer Is Brotacular

As someone who really didn't mind the fratastic boneheaded lunacy of the first two Army of Two games (hey, at least they knew exactly what they were, right?), I've been missing that bro-verloaded absence of seriousness in what I've seen of the third game thus far.

But this trailer features a little dash of Salem and Rios...and...AND...there's even a cheeky little fistbump in there.

Although vexingly it looks like it's in a cutscene.

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Deadpool Trailer Features Cable's Man-Bazookas

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, Activison, Deadpool, High Moon Studios, Trailers, Videos

Deadpool Trailer Features Cable's Man-Bazookas

The latest trailer for The Merc With A Mouth's upcoming game from High Moon Studios is suitably funny, foul-mouthed, and fourth-wall-breaking.

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Return To Stauf's Mansion - The 7th Guest: 3 Is In Development

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Adventure Games, Puzzle games, The 7th Guest, The 7th Guest: 3, Trilobyte Games

Return To Stauf's Mansion - The 7th Guest: 3 Is In Development

The 7th Guest: 3, an upcoming third instalment in Trilobyte's gloriously cheesy, classic adventure-puzzle franchise, has been announced, and is in development for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC.

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Gears of War: Judgment Trailer Features The Tripwire Crossbow

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Epic Games, Gears of War: Judgment, Microsoft Studios, Trailers, Xbox 360 games

Gears of War: Judgment has gotten itself a new weapon trailer, featuring another variation on  the trusty bow and arrow formula that seems so in vogue right now: the Tripwire Crossbow. It's typically visceral, and allows you to place laser tripwires that slice those Locust bastards up real nice if they walk into them.

Witcher 3's Combat To Be More Tactically-Oriented

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
CD Projekt, CD Projekt RED, Down At McDonnelzzz, RPGs, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Witcher 3's Combat To Be More Tactically-Oriented

CD Projekt RED have been listening to their fanbase. With a number of Geraltfollowers a little unhappy with the more arcadey feel to combat in The Witcher 2, the developers are changing things up for the third game to present the player with more control on the battlefield.

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Gore Verbinksi's Kinect Game Cancelled

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Gore Verbinski, Kinect games, Matter, XBLA

Gore Verbinski - the acclaimed director of Pirates of the Caribbean - was due to release a Kinect title this year for XBLA, in conjunction with Blind Wink.  The game was to be called Matter.

And now it's dead.

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Hands-On With Obscure: A First Look At Mighty Rocket's Horror Spin-Off

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Focus Home Interactive, Games previews, Mighty Rocket Studios, Obscure, PSN, XBLA

Hands-On With Obscure: A First Look At Mighty Rocket's Horror Spin-Off

Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA

Developers: Mighty Rocket Studios

Publishers: Focus Home Interactive

On the one hand, it could be argued that Obscure is everything that is wrong with IP mismanagement. After all, the original was a quirky survival horror title from nearly a decade ago (which received mixed reviews), set in a high school, with four teenagers investigating strange goings-on, odd disappearances, and students turning into hideous monsters. On the other, this reboot seems like pick-up-and-play fun and, considering that Mighty Rocket Studios are made up of a number of the key development staff who  worked on the original, it's pretty much theirs to do whatever they want with it.

"“It was impossible for us not to finish this game, because it’s our baby," expresses Mighty Rocket CEO Francois Potentier. We can see he's excited. He takes us through the game in breathless fashion, clearly thankful to be showcasing the revived IP. Considering that one direct sequel shipped and sank, a change of direction has clearly been deemed necessary. The scares and the scarce items are out, but the high school setting and the youthful protagonists are retained.

Potentier explains that whilst the original game's were attempting to tap into a popular genre at the time, survival horror has (arguably perhaps) fallen by the wayside in recent years. This reboot intends to provide some immediately accessible fun, attempting to poke fun at reams of horror cliches as it does so. "On the way to what should be the party of their lives, a group of young students will instead face off against hordes of aggressive and frightening creatures," reads the official tagline. "No horror cliche is safe from the chainsaw of the developer, Mighty Rocket Studio. It’s a wild mash-up of monsters, baseball bats, chainsaws, flamethrowers, and bursts of laughter!”

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Tomb Raider Review | Take A Bow

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Crystal Dynamics, Lara Croft, Square Enix, Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider Review | Take A Bow

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Developers: Crystal Dynamics | Eidos Montreal (Multiplayer)

Publishers: Square Enix

"Are you watching porn?" my flatmate asks me, no doubt hearing the yelps, squeals, and screams coming from the television. I can't really blame him. The last half an hour has been a cavalcade of torment for young Lara Croft, who's bruised, bloodied, battered from numerous scrapes, scraps, and sorties. This is a more human Lara, perhaps even a more relatable heroine; one who gasps in exclamation with each brutal blow she is dealt, and who's latest adventure has caused this writer to wince and grimace in sympathy at the vicious gauntlet she  is thrown down time and time again.

We're so used to seeing impenetrable heroic stereotypes that it's jarring at first to be in the company of a protagonist who seems so in her touch with her basic, human fragility. But then, this is the story of a Lara who's only just started raiding tombs.

Not that I want to make out that Tomb Raider presents us with anything particularly new, though that in itself is not necessarily a problem. It's stunning to behold - an absolutely beautiful game both when staring out across the horizon, and at close-quarters, in-motion, fending off adversaries - but there's precious little of the solitude that marked early Tomb Raider titles, not until you've finished the game anyway. This is Fully-Flavoured, Triple-A, Big Budget Gameplay to bring the series up to date, and therefore is liberally peppered with exceptionally tight and responsive action; slick, scripted moments of drama littered with quick time events; regenerating heath and upgradable weapons; and a large amount of collectibles to find, many of which tie into the game's story and flesh out the narrative.

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