Third Impressions: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Over the past few days, I’ve been trawling forums and comments online and one thing that keeps cropping up is that The Witcher series is slowly being ‘dumbed-down’ to cater to the console gaming crowd. It isn’t ‘hard core’ anymore, they cry. And sure, I can understand where they are coming from… to a point. Things have changed and things have been made more accessible. Continue reading

First Impressions: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

After patiently waiting for what seems like forever and salivating over images and trailers, after reading a number of early impressions and final reviews, after watching people play the game on YouTube and Twitch… what are my final thoughts on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, now that I’ve had the chance to experience it for myself? I’m not totally sure yet, if I’m being honest. Continue reading

Tuesday News: Witcher 3, Witcher 3, Witcher 3!

Rather than run a single news post every five minutes, I’ve decided to group them together. Less fluff and more interesting stuff! Consider this your chance to chill out for a few minutes and catch up on some local gaming news.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Is Out Now… -Finally! I’m really looking forward to playing through CD Projekt Red’s latest beast, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game is out now across Australia and New Zealand for the Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4.

We’ll have out full review up shortly. But until then, here is a launch trailer for your enjoyment:

… And So Is Life Is Strange: Episode 3 – Whaaaa… another game besides The Witcher 3 is out today? Yep – Life Is Strange: Episode 3 is out now for your downloading pleasure for the Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 across Australia and New Zealand.

Monday News: VR and Cows

Rather than run a single news post every five minutes, I’ve decided to group them together. Less fluff and more interesting stuff! Consider this your chance to chill out for a few minutes and catch up on some local gaming news.

Oculus Rift Recommended Specs Revealed – Apparently VR is set to becoming the biggest thing, like, ever. I’m not so sure. We’ll see I guess. Anyway, the Oculus Rift (you may have heard of this little piece of hardware), is set to launch its consumer model next year and we now know what it will take to run this bad boy:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture

Three Years Of Diablo 3… And We Get Cows – To celebrate three years of Diablo 3, Blizzard have added a cool secret cow level into the game. From May 15 until May 21, players will need to seek out an Elite cow by the name of the Herald of the Queen roaming the Sanctuary. When killed, players will be dropped into a secret level filled with wonderful, wonderful cows!

Project CARS Review

Dear Slightly Mad Studios,

I’m not a huge lover of the racing simulation genre… if I’m being honest, I’ve not played more than a few hours of Grand Turismo (you know… that other popular racing game). But there was something about the way your game, Project CARS, was advertised that prompted me to take a closer look.

My initial impressions of the game was that it looked amazing. Really, really amazing. But nothing could properly prepare me for just how darn good the game looked in action (for the record, I was playing the game on the PC… which I wholeheartedly recommend). From the little things, like the shades of colour used throughout the menus, through to the dirt that kicks up behind the wheel when you decide to take an adventure off the track… your attention to detail is phenomenal. I was truly blown away.

I felt the same way about the sound as well… very authentic. I’m certainly no expert in the car racing scene… but this sounded just like I imagine it would if you were standing track-side at the big race. It was enough to get my blood pumping!

From a presentation point of view, I find it hard to point out any faults… you’ve done an amazing job.

Which is why it saddens me to say that your game isn’t perfect. I have my share of gripes. Certainly nothing game-breaking and probably more related to my experience with the genre than anything else.

For starters, you’ve made the game super-confusing to understand. There are so many menus to navigate and so many little bits and pieces that make up a whole… it is extremely overwhelming. And I know that everything you’ve included was done with the best intentions. You wanted to make sure that your game catered to the hard-core racing simulation fanatic. You wanted players to be fully absorbed in this world you’ve built. I get it.

But surely you could have streamlined things a little… made it easier for a newbie like myself to fully appreciate the hard work you’ve done.

I also wanted to mention a few issues I had with the actual racing itself. I tinkered about with the gameplay settings for a good while after coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of your pre-set options. Most of the time, my experience was reasonably good. I got excited, I lost my temper, I shook my head in shame… it was fun.

But there were those little things… little things that took away from my fun for a few seconds. I’m talking about occasions when my car just wouldn’t respond to my command (I used an Xbox Controller for Windows, btw), turning corners at times felt way too sharp, my car flinging off the track when slightly touched by another car, and getting caught in environments or other cars during a race.

Maybe I’m being pedantic… with so much going on, there is bound to be a few hiccups. I know that you can’t iron out every little bug in the game before release, but even the most minor of things is going to stand out in a game that has been so carefully refined.

Still, I dug the game. I really, truly enjoyed it. I liked it for what it is, knowing full-well that I’m no expert in the field of car racing and most certainly not a member of the target audience.

Hell, I liked it enough that I’ll most likely continue playing it well into the future and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’ll cook up next.

See you on the road!

  • Anton

Wednesday News: Guitars and Assassins

Rather than run a single news post every five minutes, I’ve decided to group them together. Less fluff and more interesting stuff! Consider this your chance to chill out for a few minutes and catch up on some local gaming news.

First set list from Guitar Hero Live is revealed – We’ve finally got some sort of an idea as to what sort of tracks we’ll be rocking out to in the upcoming Guitar Hero Live. Alter Bridge, Pierce the Veil and System of a Down, plus Black Veil Brides, Sleigh Bells and The Pretty Reckless, as well as classics from Judas Priest and Pantera stand out from the pack, but with hundreds of songs expected to be in the game, I’m sure there will be something for everyone.

New track announcements are expected to drop each week, so you can be sure you’ll be reading something similat to this post around the same time next week.

Ubisoft announce Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Today, Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the newest installment in the bloated Assassin’s Creed franchise, will be available worldwide on October 23 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version is due to follow a little later.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is an epic single player experience set in London during the height of the Industrial Revolution, an incredible age of invention that transforms the lives of millions. During this time, the gap between the poor and the rich expands exponentially, making workers’ lives little more than legalised slavery. The lower classes fight for survival by forming a new kind of family – gangs — and adapting to life in the underworld. Players will embody both Jacob Frye and Evie Frye, twin Assassins raised to follow the Creed. Jacob, a determined, hot-headed and rebellious leader of an underground gang, is vastly different than his sister Evie, a master of stealth and control. Together, Jacob and Evie team up to challenge rivals, plutocrats and Templars alike to free the masses from poverty and corruption, and ultimately wrestle back control of London.

“The ability to lead an underground gang, commandeer any vehicle on hand and use modern tools to take on an expansive and fast-paced Victorian London sets this game apart,” said Marc-Alexis Côté, creative director, Ubisoft. “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has been in development for more than two years and this new modern take on the living open world will please Assassin’s Creed fans and newcomers alike.”