BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Games magazine. Volume 3, issue 11

Vol. 3 No. 11
June 2015
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The Games magazine is all about the
gaming community. Whether youre actively
involved in the gaming industry, have played
games since the Atari Pong or just pick up a
controller every now and then, the gaming
community is all about connecting people,
telling stories, fun, and about passion.
We want to connect you, the gamers of
Australia and beyond, to what you are
passionate about. We uncover upcoming
talent, review new and retro games, and
bring you features, previews, opinions, and
interviews from the gaming industry.
We welcome your feedback and
contributions as well – after all, we are your
voice in this diverse and ever-changing
landscape. So whether youre a Pokemon
Master or can remember when
Call of Duty
was cool, here’s your chance to sit back,
press Start, and jump right in.
We oer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
Have something to communicate, or an opinion to state, we are your voice!
Want to join a like minded community in a great project
Editor’s Note ......................................................................... 4
Byte Sized News .................................................................. 6
New Releases ....................................................................... 9
Video Gaming .................................................................... 12
Hanging with Achievement Hunter ........................... 18
Games that started their franchise: The Witcher .. 22
Hidden Gems and Buried Treasures: Indie highlights
of May ................................................................................... 24
Review :
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt ............................................... 34
Magnetic: Cage Closed .................................................. 40
Game of Thrones Episode Four – Sons of Winter . 46
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ou’re gonna make a fool out
of me. Here I am about to rave
on about
The Witcher 3
though in last fortnight’s issue I
complained about lacking the time for a
50 - 200+hour RPG adventure.
Guys, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t
continue brushing past the game in
Target catalogues. Couldn’t ignore
the continuous screenshots on Reddit.
Couldn’t unplug from the sounds of my
friends’ jovial enthusiasm discussing the
many adventures they’ve encountered.
I caved and picked up a copy of
Witcher 3
. And I only have some regrets.
Productivity ceases to an absolute halt
once the temptation to plunder the
Northern Kingdoms begins to rear its
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lustrous head. Pressing matters are
given a back seat the moment I’ve
booted up the whimsical world of wolves
and witchers. Publication schedules and
knocking over that pile of dishes are
necessities in my home, but sometimes
they can wait; my friends need another
Snapchat of the latest weapon I ripped
from the hands of a decrepit corpse.
I’ve been fortunate enough to run the
game on Ultra; a godsend from the
NVidia deities, since I was once rich
enough to purchase a beast of a gaming
rig. However, herein lays the fault of
such an impressive looking game: I’m
literally overwhelmed by the game’s
gorgeous, painstakingly immaculate
detail. I can practically count every
single whisker on Geralt’s fuzzed face
but I won’t pick up some herbs for
that lady dying of a fatal wound. I
can gallant through the wonderful
wilderness, stopping to watch the ora
and fauna dance in complete intrinsic
unison, though I won’t fast travel for
convenience’s sake. I keep calling my
partner in to watch the mesmerising
sway of trees and the tranquil ows of
long grass, yet she hasn’t even seen
me kill a beast. I’ve played for hours,
sunk in so much of my time into this
immaculately realised world, and I’ve
hardly done a thing.
CD Projekt Red, I know you’re the nice
guys of the gaming world, but you’ve
created a monster. A beautiful monster
*cue Ne-Yo*
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Oculus VR, the company behind the highly-anticipated Oculus Rift, are facing a lawsuit which questions
their legitimacy. Filed by the company, Total Recall Technologies, the lawsuit claims that Oculus
creator, Palmer Luckey took “condential information he learned while working for another company
and taking it as his own”. The company claimed that they hired Luckey to work on a VR headset and
even signed a condentiality agreement. He received feedback from them on the project but then
left the company to create Oculus VR and begin his own ventures. Total Recall Technologies seek
nancial compensation but did not specify exactly how much. In other news, Oculus Rift is expected
to hit retailers in 2016.
Image © VG247
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The Nintendo Entertainment System (otherwise
known as the NES for short) will be celebrating
its thirtieth anniversary in style; and how
much more stylish can you get than receiving
your own museum exhibit? New York-based
videogame museum, The Strong, claims it
will host a special NES exhibit later this year.
Named ‘Playing with Power: 30 Years of the
Nintendo Entertainment System’, the exhibit will
feature unseen interviews with NES Hardware
developer, Masayuki Uemura and a number of
After being a major-selling racing series for many years,
Need For Speed
has done the thing that is
pretty much inevitable to movie and videogame franchises nowadays; it’s receiving a reboot. Ghost’s
General Manager, Marcus Nilsson and his team thought it to be the best decision for the brand after
a year of “trying to understand what people think Need for Speed should be standing for”. Not much
is know about the game pre-E3 aside from the fact it will be inspired by the
games and
will feature an open-world sandbox-style environment for players to roam around in. Nilsson also
teased the possibility of an emotionally-driven narrative, something he feel is missing from previous
games. Ultimately, he wants the
Need For Speed
brand to stand out from the other competitors in
the racing genre.
games will be available to play including classics
Super Mario Bros.
Duck Hunt.
A pioneering
gaming system during the 80’s, the NES paved the way for more modern console gaming and is
considered a truly classic console by many gamers.
Image © Eurogamer
Need For Speed is following the modern reboot craze Image © VG247
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Did Bin Laden enjoy playing videogames? Maybe not, but it is believed that one of his associates
may have. Following the declassication of documents from the 2011 raid on the infamous terrorist’s
Abbottabad compound, one of the documents reads that someone in the compound was in possession
of a
Delta Force Extreme 2
strategy guide and a
Game Spot
[sic] guide. Yes, that’s right, the website
GameSpot! It’s unlikely any of the persons who owned these documents will need them anymore.
Even terrorists love a bit of videogame Delta Force action apparently... Image © Oyunde Pesinde
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Act of Aggression
Did you grow up on classic RTS games like
Command and Conquer and Age of Empires
? Act of
Aggression aims to take the genre back to its classic roots in the same vein as those classic games.
Players will have to build and defend their bases on detailed, authentic maps while producing units to
outwit and outmatch their opponents. You’ll have to extend your base network to o-base reneries to
harvest resources and protect supply networks to ensure a steady income and minerals. The player can
also take prisoners of war to gain an advantage over their opponent. All in all, a promising-sounding
game that is also pretty impressive to look at.
(PC) 28
May 2015
Image © cloudfront.net
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Blood Bowl 2
What is likely to be one of May’s more unique releases, Australian gamers will be able to bask
in the surreal cartoon nature of
Blood Bowl 2
. Based on the popular Games Workshop game,
which is best described as American football and Warhammer smashed together, the game
will retain the same brutality and humour of its source material and improve the features of
its predecessor. One of these is an improved graphics engine; there is no doubt from what has
been seen that the game looks fantastic. It will also feature a new solo player story campaign
featuring the hilarious commentary of Cablevisions Jim and Bob. If that wasn’t enough, there
is an excellent choice of races including humans, dark elves, high elves, dwarfs, elves, etc and
a multiplayer mode where you can manage your team the way you choose. For those who
love sport with a little bit of fantasy and gore, this is may be your choice du jour.
(PS4/Xbox One/PC) release date: 28
May 2015 (pushed back to September 2015)
Image © Vg247
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Plumbers that jump on turtles, elf boys that ride on talking boats and monkeys called
. Who says Nintendo isn’t the King of Weird? This is what comes to mind when we see
Splatoon – although, like the franchises referenced above, this is a very good thing. The
premise of this colourful game is this; its a four vs. four multiplayer third-person shooter
where each player controls an ‘Inkling’, that can turn into squid-like creatures. The aim of the
game is to cover as much of the level as possible and the team that has managed to cover the
most wins the game. In the player’s humanoid form, they move much slower - in the squid-
form, however, players can cover ground at a far more rapid pace. Cartoonish, stylish and fun,
should denitely be on your to-play list if you own a Wii-U. Theres soemthing here
to oer players of all abilities.
(Wii U) release date: 30
May 2015
Image © Kotaku
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BEN WHITE shares his latest picks from
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BEN WHITE shares his latest picks from
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E3 is just around the corner and gamers everywhere are getting really excited about what the developers
have in store for us this year. In this episode of The Lobby, the guys at Gamespot discuss E3 and talk
about what to expect from this year’s event and what it means for the future of gaming. This is the
whole episode it is a long one, but the discussion is worth a watch because it builds the E3 hype.
Dreams are weird, and so are video game and movie dream sequences. In this list watchmojo have
put together 10 of the best video game dream sequences from Scarecrow’s dream in Batman Arkham
Asylum to the nightmare in Alan Wake. This is an interesting top 10 gaming list as dream sequences
aren’t always a common thing in most games. watchmojo have made there list based on anything
from hallucinations to actual dreams, so long as the sequence in question is only a small segment of
the game, and not the game in it’s entirety
E3 2015 Predictions (The Lobby)
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Ark Survival Evolved is a new survival multiplayer game which is in early access on steam. The game
sees players pitted against each other and dinasours. This game looks really good and while not 100%
complete still looks good for early access. In this video Delirious and the gang get up to some funny
prehistoic shenanigans.
Top 10 Video Game Dream Sequences
Ark Survival Evolved Episode 1 -
H2O Delirious
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Hanging with
We talk with Jack Pattillo by Clare Belshaw
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The quick evolution of video games into one of the dominant forms of art and entertainment
of the current world has had some remarkable unexpected results. To have a group of
friends start with just a small series using gameplay footage and voiceovers to being a large
company with its own movie coming out this year would have been inconceivable only half
a century ago. That small series is still going.
Rooster Teeth has continued to grow, brining members of its community through to help
create new content, new brands and build new audiences. One of the major facets of Rooster
Teeth is the Achievement Hunter crew. I was able to talk to one of the Achievement Hunters,
one of the Gents, Jack Pattillo.
So Jack, could you rst give us a bit of your background, how you got into gaming
and came to work with Rooster Teeth?
I’ve been gaming for as long as I can remember. My rst job was at an arcade and I landed
at Rooster Teeth after spending time writing for a site about video games and working at a
video game company putting together trailers.
You’ve been producing Achievement Hunter Videos for a while now, do you nd it
difcult to keep coming up with new ideas? The Minecraft Let’s Plays are approaching
their 150th episode, do you ever have any indication about which games will become
long running ones for Achievement Hunter?
It has become more difcult to come up with solid ideas, but we’re open to try anything
new. Mainly it comes down to what is enjoyable for us. If we’re having a good time playing
and recording, it comes across in our videos. As far as what videos have longevity, it really
depends on the audience. If they are begging for more, we typically give it to them.
There has been a lot of changes within Achievement Hunter, such as Ray leaving,
considering how some of the fans have had difculty accepting some of the new
members. Do you think that as members retire and are replaced fans with be able to
stay with the channel?
I think our brand of humour will continue to evolve as we grow older. We’re aware of our
community at all times and we know that sometimes they can be very reactionary, so we
are careful when we make big moves. The beauty of having a larger team is that there is
someone for everyone. You’re bound to nd someone you can relate to in the group and if
someone leaves, there are some great people waiting to jump in with the comedy.
What have been some of your favourite videos to lm, the Let’s Plays or some of the
things such as the Podcast or The Patch? What are the video’s you are most proud of
from your work with Rooster Teeth.
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I still love playing Minecraft with the team. That game just radiates entertainment. Any
time we build something as a team, I’m happy. I’m also proud of the videos that have
broken me. When Gavin killed himself in Rainbow Six Vegas, I nearly broke myself
laughing. Those are the best.
What’s an average day for an Achievement Hunter, how many videos would be
lmed in an average day?
It really depends on the day, but a general day starts with getting to the ofce around
9:30am and catching up on gaming news. From there, depending on who is there, we
try to record at least one piece of content before lunch. Either a Let’s Play or a Things
To Do, Go, VS… pretty much whatever we are behind on. Then lunch, then repeat a few
more times in the afternoon. We can record up to about 5 longer videos a day when
we’re pushing hard, but we don’t want to get burnt out on recording, so we are careful
not to do that too often.
Internet communities can often by, vocal in their complaints, all the Achievement
Hunter crew seems to have a good sense of humour about themselves but do you
ever nd it difcult to deal with? Aside from the completely valid complaint that
you and Ryan do sound identical at times that is.
Everyone within Achievement Hunter has been working on the Internet for a while,
so we’ve developed a thick skin. The key is focus on doing your job and making the
people who gave you that job happy.
In your own gaming what are the genres you really connect with, favourite games
and games you’re most looking forward to in 2015?
My favourite games are ones you can pick up and play for as few as 5 minutes or for
a few hours. I’m currently loving Battleeld: Hardline and I’m anxious for Halo 5 and
whatever happens with Destiny.
You’ve put in a lot of effort and raised quite a bit of money for the charity Extra
Life, would you mind telling me a bit about your experience with Extra Life?
Working with Extra Life is important to me because it shows that gamers can come
together to do some real good. I have nothing but the best to say about the guys
behind Extra Life. They are doing incredible work and I’m happy to contribute every
year in whatever way I can.
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Rapid Fire - ok, so here are just a few quick questions for fun. Please answer as quickly
as you can.
1. Best game of 2014?
2. Fanart you would most like to see of yourself and a ctional character/situation?
Assassin’s Creed
3. Favourite Marvel Movie?
Avengers 1
Captain America 2
4. Batman/Superman
. (He has the coolest toys.)
5. Co-worker you would most enjoy punching?
None! Punching is bad.
Thanks Jack for chatting with us and giving us a bit of an insight into what it’s like
to be an Achievement Hunter as well as a bit more about you. Rooster Teeth has
a large following in Australia with their convention appearances usually having
lines throughout the hall but in case you haven’t checked them out; they can be
found on YouTube and on RoosterTeeth.com.
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A descriptive revisit of the Witcher franchise and how it became the award-winning success it is now.
by Richard Eldridge
After the unprecedented success of
Bethesda’s Oblivion in 2006, Polish
video game developer CD Projekt
RED tried to emulate Bethesda’s
prot by releasing their own
RPG a year later titled The Witcher
- powered by BioWare’s Aurora
2007 engine. This action-RPG
essentially became the rst in a
series of games that started a
prosperous and critically acclaimed
franchise. Based on the novels by
Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher
follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster
slayer adventuring his way through
the Northern Kingdoms, part of the
continent of Temeria.
The initial cut- scene shows Geralt
being assigned to cure a curse
on King Foltest’s daughter, where
she turns into a monster called a
striga at night and roams from a
sarcophagus in this manner. Geralt
nds the traitor who gave the
princess the curse and has him as
bait for the striga. He seemingly
cures the curse by getting inside
the sarcophagus to shut himself
away from the cursed princess. He
emerges in the morning to nd
the princess on the ground in her
person accounts of both present
and future events - whether
it’s at the beginning or end of
a chapter, or during a world
dening confrontation with a main
protagonist. These cut scenes
are based on the choices of the
player and the organisation that
you decide to aid in the Northern
Kingdoms.These events are set
around the city of Vizima which
houses King Foltest and his court,
as well as a majority of human
inhabitants (non-humans, such as
dwarves, elves and half-elves are
housed within the Temple Quarter
of Vizima). There are a number
of other districts Geralt explores
such as the Trade Quarter and the
Merchant Quarter, which houses
wealthier residents and more
opulent establishments to ply your
witcher trade. Within their walls you
can take part in a drinking contest,
have a meal and ale with the inns’
clientele, play a round of ‘dice
poker’ or even venture out into
the streets to see the inhabitants
of Vizima turn heads towards your
anomalous appearance.
After the success of the original,
human form, from which she opens
her eyes, which reveal the eyes of
the striga and she attacks. The scene
fades to black and proceeds to the
beginning of the game’s narrative.
The narrative begins when a dazed
Geralt awakens with amnesia after
he’s rescued from the wilderness
and brought back to Kaer Mohen’s
witcher stronghold. Geralt’s
quest sends him on a mission to
dismantle a sinister organisation
called Salamandra that stole
the witcher secrets from Kaer
Mohen while trying to recover his
memory. Witchers are professional
monster slayers who mutated at
an early age to defeat creatures
using swords, potions and powers
known as ‘signs’. Their powers
and appearance cause them to
be derided by many ignorant and
fearful inhabitants of this world
as ‘freaks’. This distrust and fear is
shared throughout Temeria and
the city of Vizima and even spreads
to the religious order known as
the Knights of the Flaming Rose.
Regardless of this distrust, most
witchers maintain neutrality in
relation to world events and only
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developers CD Projekt RED released
The Witcher Enhanced Edition in
2008, which enhanced the overall
game. The Enhanced Edition
includes faster load times for game
scenes as well as additional NPC
models and additional adventures
to play through called Side Effects
and The Price of Neutrality. It also
includes the ofcial strategy guide, a
short story called The Last Wish and
a map of Temeria on high quality
paper. If you have not experienced
The Witcher yet, it’s a roleplaying
experience you’ll remember for a
long time.
Additionally, a sequel titled
Assassins of Kings was released in
May 2011 and features a higher
focus on fast paced action. It
provided a new array of alchemy
and offensive manoeuvres for Geralt
to utilise - in other words, you’re in
for another exhilarating ride from
prologue to epilogue. For those
wanting the ultimate experience,
it’s imperative to play through the
original game before settling into
the sequel as they both follow a
chapter-by-chapter narrative.
CD Projeck RED’s third instalment
in the series, The Wild Hunt, is
due for release May 2015. From
what’s been seen through released
screenshots and promotional game
play at E3, The Wild Hunt will only
build upon the fast paced game
play of the rst two instalments
and will place heavy emphasis on
choice and consequence.
intervene to restore the balance
between good and evil. However,
Geralt’s is constantly challenged.
As we proceed through the game
it’s soon evident that players are
faced with many choices on how
they can deal with events and
NPCs. This consequential balance
places a great deal of emphasis on
each decision as it highlights how
each choice affects their alignment.
Siding yourself with the right people
such as non-humans, Knights of
the Flaming Rose or even witcher
allies are benecial in defeating
the game’s main antagonist
organisation Salamandra.
Combat within The Witcher is more
sophisticated than most RPGs of its
kind as it focusses upon different
ghting styles for certain enemies
whilst using your witcher swords. If
you are ghting a heavily armoured
knight, then you would use the
‘Strong Style’ which does more
damage to your enemy but is much
slower than the ‘Fast Style’ which is
for fast and nimble enemies such as
assassins, ghosts and vampires.
The third and nal ghting style
is ‘Group Style’, which is primarily
used for ghting a number of
weak enemies simultaneously
and damaging them all with a
single arc of your sword. You can
pause the game during combat
to change your ghting style if
there is a mix of strong or fast
enemies to contend with. This
gives the player copious options
in terms of changing your strategy
according to new circumstances.
The advantages and disadvantages
of aligning yourselves with these
particular groups or organisations
is what made The Witcher largely
unique from many other games of
the roleplaying genre. Your choices
within the game make the game
such an intriguing and scintillating
ride from start to nish.
There are also three different story
paths that you can take based on
your moral choices within the game.
These paths aren’t good, neutral
and evil, but rather the option of
being neutral as a witcher or helping
a particular organisation achieve
their goal in the game world. This
is part of what makes The Witcher
unique from other games in the RPG
genre. Furthermore, there’s no clear
delineation of good and evil in The
Witcher; only choices and penalties
that affect how other people view
Geralt. Depending on a player’s
afliation with a character, NPCs
might see him as an acquaintance,
an ally, a friend, a lover or even an
enemy. This is different to other
games in the RPG genre which that
often focus on a struggle between
good and evil. It’s part of what
makes The Witcher unique from
most other RPGs. Additionally, you
can set the difculty from easy,
medium and hard plus a nightmare
mode. This enhances the game’s
value in terms of re-playability and
challenging the player’s mastery of
potions, skills and weapons within
the game.
This is also interspersed with cut-
scenes when Geralt’s giving rst-
OF May
by Daniel King
We hope you didn’t miss this hidden delights
by Daniel King
Invisible, Inc.
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy
Buy it here
There’s no such thing as a bad Klei Entertainment game. Heck, I’ve never even played an
average one! This Vancouver based team out in British Columbia, Canada are one of the
few developers that can effectively deliver the soul and innovation of an indie title with
Triple-A prominence. Gameplay? Immaculate! Art design? Indistinguishable! Klei couldn’t
spit out a op if it were pushed down their collectively gurative throats.
Innovation is the impeccable driving force behind the team’s motivation to excel; always
striving to evolve quickly as if a critic was close on their tail wielding a sticker that reads
‘one-trick-pony.’ Klei are constantly pushing themselves into new directions; welcoming
the acceleration of variety by diving into new genres with almost each new game. We’ve
bounced through Eets’ puzzled worlds, beat-em-up in Shank, played in the shadows during
Mark of Ninja, and now we’re sleuthing it up with
Invisible, Inc
- a top down, turn-based
strategy with a stealthy twist.
Invisible, Inc
. is by far the biggest star on their belt of achievement in terms of sophistication.
While I love splattering heads in Shank and playing peek-a-boo during Mark of the Ninja,
Invisible, Inc
.’s delectable charm infused with the intelligence of a turn-based strategy
speaks volumes for its elegance and addictive nature.
The year is 2074 and the world’s been plagued by mega corporations; dismantling any sign
of democratic government order. You work for Invisible: a private intelligence agency that
inltrates these villainous enterprises to overthrow their balance of power. A HQ breach
sends what’s left of your team into hiding so your only option is scavenge enough resources
to phoenix your way back into power.
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Invisible’s ace in the hole is an articial intelligence known as Incognita whose omnipresent
power can change the tide of war. However the AI is now running on emergency power
after the breach and its expiration has a countdown. There’s only a limited amount of time
to nd Incognita a new home and arm yourself for round two.
Inspired by the strategic yet punishing nature of X-COM,
Invisible, Inc
. harnesses the intricate
method of top-down, turn based strategy with a heavy focus on being inconspicuous.
You’ll control a small group of agents, each specialising in different careers such as hacking,
inltration and combat, tted with unique perks and augments to better suit their path.
Once the world opens up you’ll choose from a various amount of bountiful objectives to
strengthen your team - from discovering new augments, stealing credits (currency used to
upgrade stats and purchase goodies) or recruiting rescued agents. Every mission drops you
into a single room that expands out into a randomly generated plethora of riches guarded
by technical and biological defences.
You’ll navigate your agents through these grid-based maps, peeking through doors,
dodging lines of sight and hacking into the mainframe to further expand your exploration.
Using Incognita you’ll hack into terminals, turn off alarms, unlock safes and identify
daemons hidden in hackable devices to make detection less accomplishable. All you have
to do is direct your sleuths to clear out safes rather than clearing out rooms and leg it with
credits dripping out of your pocket. Simple? Not quite.
One wrong step could throw your entire operation into jeopardy. Covering your tracks,
monitoring a guards movement and avoiding detection is paramount to a successful
inltration. Precise, delicate steps can get you through unscathed but there’s little to
predict what’s waiting behind every door. You won’t often be able to hack into everything
because doing so requires a nite amount of PWR so there will come many a time where
sacricing luxuries becomes a priority. We can go without those extra dollars if a camera’s
halting our progression.
Time is rarely on your side and
Invisible, Inc
. loves to make you feel against the odds. The
game’s alarm counter, which spawns extra guardsmen, increases at the conclusion of each
turn, dropping new obstacles after varying increments. Stay too long trying to pick up
extra dough and you’ll welcome enforcers who have a higher range of detection skills. Kill
or knock out any guard and you’ll hasten the alarm’s countdown. Seriously, don’t risk the
latter unless you REALLY need to.
I experienced so many thrilling rushes of adrenaline trying to decide if escaping took
precedence over the goodies in an unlocked safe, all the while I had enemies honing in on
my presence. There’s a dangerous mix of risking your incognito status and, in most cases,
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your life just to step foot in that unexplored room, hoping to pocket a couple more bucks
to buy another augment from the black market. Knowing what to steal and when to escape
creates an insurmountable amount of intensity because any overstepped boundary could
domino into a mess of events.
Invisible, Inc
. is meant to be replayed several times. For a game this good, it will be. Aside
from the plentiful modes such as Time Attack, Endless and Expert Plus which ups the
difculty severely by reducing the amount of times you can retry or rewind a wrong move,
the actual campaign asks for another playthrough. The recommended, chronological order
consists of getting your hands dirty in beginner and working your way through the higher
difculties. Each step-up in challenge grants you a wider range of abilities for Incognita
and can unlock other uniquely decked out characters, multiplying the degrees of strategy.
Every run-through inches you closer to the game’s true ending so purists will want to stay
for the long haul.
Invisible, Inc
. truly is a terric game. The rst half of 2015 has already had so many GOTY
contenders and I guarantee this’ll be up in the nominations. Even if you’re not a fan of the
top down, turn based strategy, you’ll want to play Klei Entertainment’s stylish, neo-noir
thriller. It’s one of the year’s best.
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Developer: Team Junksh
Genre: Survival-Horror
Buy it here
I don’t consider myself a gambling man. Sometimes I just need to know everything that’s
in store to better equip myself against disappointment. Horror games especially. What
you might nd scary could be very tame for me, and what terries me could just be a
picture of an animatronic teddy bear holding a microphone. So when I heard this new indie
developed horror survival
had been receiving rave reviews throughout its stint
in Early Access on Steam, I played my cards with condence and prepared for a predictable,
but enjoyable, walking simulator with a couple jump scares here and there.
was a gamble. I lost.
This game genuinely catalysed a few embarrassing screams out of me. Not only did I spend
most of my time quivering underneath a desk or inside a locker, I also foolishly broadcast
my playthrough to a friend where he could laugh at the way I jerked around ever so quickly
at so much as a monster’s whisker.
Developer Team Junksh’s nightmare begins not long after you awake to discover you’re
hopelessly helpless on a deserted cargo ship with nothing but the clothes on your back
and a torch at your feet. Barnacled, blood-curdling monsters host the evening of terror by
strolling through their claustrophobic, metal-laden halls on the hunt for this new eshy
stowaway, while you, said stowaway, are just trying to nd a means of escape.
Your best defence against the frights comes in the form of a torch to help vanquish your
fear of the unknown. It’s a handy staple of survival horror games because you’ll often nd
yourself face-to-face with one of Poseidon’s many rejects, and a light in the dark or a
re extinguisher blast to the face gives you ample opportunity to turn a different corner.
Furthermore, tossing a cup or setting off an egg timer might lure them away from the
trembling feet they were just about to trip over, though you’ll be mostly pulling a 180 and
sprinting out of their sight. Just be wary of those exploding steam pipes.
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cleverly elucidates variety in its roguelike exposition through randomly
generated levels and alternating monsters. Rarely, if ever, will you experience the same
layout twice so there’s no point memorising the ship’s blueprints. A different monster is
always assigned to your playthrough, but knowing which one is after you isn’t obvious until
it’s chomping down on your trail. Will you be Shaken and stunned by the brickhouse Brute?
Followed by the Fiend whose spectral tentacles thicken around your body? Or pursued by
the skeletal-gured Hunter who moves silently throughout the environment? There’s only
ever one monster per level so you can thank Odin you don’t have to deal with both the
Fiend and Hunter at once.
Like many other successful horror titles,
utilises puzzle solving to heighten the
stress of thinking logically and quickly while an enemy breathes down your neck. There
are various methods of getting off the ship though which one you choose to pursue relies
on the necessary items needed to piece together said vehicle. The helicopter won’t go
anywhere without some fuel and that life raft won’t inate if those tears aren’t sealed up.
isn’t a long game, though you won’t be able to nish it quickly. Permadeath
and randomly generated levels grants new experiences after each game over, but also
changes up the scenery and locations of every object. Speedrunners needn’t apply if they’re
expecting a runthrough based on memory alone.
What I really loved about
was its focus on the smaller details other survival
horrors overlook. Having the ability to lock a door behind you when chased adds some
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fantastic realism into the mix. It might only save you a few precious seconds, but you’re still
breathing. Additionally, covering up cameras with duct tape so they’re dubstep-emulative
alarm doesn’t alert a monster to your location cleverly injects a great amount of depth and
strategy. I originally planned on using the tape to seal the holes in that life raft but I guess
now a oatable sea escape is out of the question.
Horror is at its nest when our defence has been stripped away and our visibility severely
does exactly that but offers you a wide variety of options to buy yourself
a little more time before succumbing to Davy Jones’ Locker.
has so much
potential to be a cult classic like Slender or even the more recent Spooky’s House of Jump
Scares with its community fan base and rogue-like elements and I really hope it gets the
attention it surely deserves. There’s even some wiggle room to welcome a longer shelf life
if it embraces the inclusion of new monsters in future updates.
Here’s hoping the game attracts a bigger audience so I can joke around with my friends
about which one had to clean their pants rst.
Flame Over
Developer: Laughing Jackal
Genre: Top down, twin-stick “squirter”
Buy it here
Anyone who has at least held a job for 12 months or spent too much time burning down
kitchens in The Sims would be fairly educated in how to handle a re: don’t use a hose on
electrical res, always aim the extinguisher’s nozzle towards the base and leg it when the
heat’s too much. But I honestly think I’ve learned more about re precautions in one
play through than I have at all those early morning work compulsory re inductions.
The best part? I didn’t have to drag myself to work at 7am on a Saturday to hear an
enthusiastic re chief explain how to read an evacuation map.
Laughing Jackal’s twin stick shooter
Flame Over
is a godsend for pyromaniacs and a
nightmare for remen. You play as Blaze, the only fella assigned to extinguishing this
cavalcade of a disaster that has spread throughout numerous skyscrapers. Armed with just
a portable hose, a durable axe and rellable extinguisher, it’s your job to clear the ames
and pull hapless civilians out of their inferno torture chamber. How’s one guy meant to
extinguish 16 levels of re on his lonesome? The answer: happily.
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I can see why other publications are calling
Flame Over
a Spelunky of sorts. Obvious
comparisons can’t shy away from rogue-like elements such as randomly generated levels,
challenging difculty and in-level shops. They can say what they want about this being
a reman’s Spelunky, but to me this is more of a top down Luigi’s Mansion or Mario
Sunshine. Much like the aforementioned titles, you’ll use weapons not conventionally seen
in more modern releases such as water bombs and a device that sprays water to clean up
non-anthropomorphised threats, though the real villain are those federal budget cuts to
the emergency service department.
Flame Over
may read like a re-ghters résumé; though the game’s effervescent charm and
arcade action makes this top down shooter feel like an energetic and vibrant investment.
As Blaze you’ll manoeuvre your way through a plethora of rooms, snaking the stream of
water over ames until you’ve completely vaporised every icker of re to progress on
to the next level. Dampening ames materialises into coins that you can use to purchase
new gear and upgrades, reminding us all that we’re clearly in the wrong money-making
Electric res that spread like wild re can only be cleared with your extinguisher, teaching
us a thing or two about proper extinguishing, though it primarily serves as an additional
layer of difculty. Even leaving just one spark in a room can quickly erupt into a re-
ghter’s nightmare, spreading to other rooms if you helplessly open too many doors, so
eliminating these threats become more than just a leisurely satisfaction.
Blaze can only withstand so much re before he needs to eject himself out of the frying
pan. This can be monitored by his tolerance threshold that is circulated around his body
and increases when exposed to ames. If the threshold lls up all the way then you’ll lose
a heart. Lose all hearts and it’s game over. Hopefully you made it to the next checkpoint
increment or you’ll be sent all the way back to the very rst oor, ready to start over.
All the while you’re hosing down the place there’s a ve minute timer counting down from
the moment you boot up a new game, pushing you to clear a multitude of levels in such
a short amount of time. Once the clock reaches zero, the personication of death himself
starts to pursue you with his fatal touch. You can keep the grim reaper at bay a little longer
by escorting civilians and cats back to the exit to earn extra minutes and a heart rell, but
that comes at the price of sacricing valuable seconds.
Additionally, completing optional side quests appear while you’re gunning down the ames
to tempt you with upgrade coins used to earn certain perks like making items at the shop
cheaper or granting you a higher chance of nding secrets. Focusing on these missions
costs valuable time so there’s some strategy layered in the game’s core asking whether or
not you should risk failure for a potential buff.
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Flame Over
isn’t a simple aim-and-shoot; there’s a lot of planning involved with prioritising
which area to target rst. If you play like me then you’re probably aiming down the main
power outlet to make ghting electrical res easier and stacking up cats for hearts. Others
might want to bank up civilians to y through later levels. There’s much to be celebrated
when you nish a level faster than what with you started. How you play makes for interesting
water cooler conversation when discussing strategies amongst friends and
Flame Over
host many an enticing conversation.
Laughing Jackal’s
Flame Over
will trigger a huge investment for leaderboard gunners and
a delightful romp for the casual gamers, though others might be turned off by its difculty.
The game’s charm, quirky characters and effervescent liveliness make for a very enjoyable
test of perseverance, not the mention the accompaniment of a funky tune to add comic
mischief to the manic mayhem, while encompassing the right ingredients to make such an
addictive score chaser.
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Join Josiah as he treks the land of Temeria for the rst time in
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
by Josiah Roche
Magic and swordplay are a great mix in The Witcher 3
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Arguably one of the most confounding yet insatiably fun games of 2015,
The Witcher 3:
Wild Hunt
demands a patient audience.
Ideally, this game deserves a review from those whom have stuck with the series from
the beginning; whom have tirelessly lavished hundreds of precious hours into the game;
those who’ve held high prestige because of their hard-core Witcher skills. But I’m here to
tell you that you can take that shit somewhere else - theres fresh blood in town.
Yes, thats right. I’ve not played The Witcher or The Witcher 2 and I feel as though a newborn
babe craving to suckle on the teat of closure. Although this is the case, I’ve ploughed
through the storyline and in all my greatest eorts to succeed in time, it just didn’t happen.
I am so used to cramming in enough hours to ll up a googolplex to achieve satisfaction
with games; however, CD Projekt Red built their game to last – averting me from nishing
it before deadline.
Without going into specics, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what the game is about.
There are a group of lone mercenaries in the world known as Witchers. They are highly
skilled warriors that are learned in the arts of magic and monster slaying. However, there
is a catch: Witchers have undergone special mutations that not only make them stronger,
but have heightened all of their senses, making them superhuman if you will.
Contrary to what youd think, Witchers are actually hated among the common folk; theyre
considered as lesser humans, or in other words, dogs. Not only that, but the authorities
consider them as vicious mercenaries that are only out to get a bit of coin for the use of
their unique services.
Anyway, back to the story. As Witchers are slowly becoming extinct (so it seems), there
lives one who goes by the name of Geralt (the main protagonist of the series) aka The
White Wolf. Geralt has an epic backstory that I won’t delve into, but for those who don’t
know of him – he’s not one to mess with, lets leave it at that.
After recovering from his recent memory loss, Geralt sets out on a journey to track down
his lost love Yennefer, who has been on the run and rumoured to be in a nearby land. After
tracking down Yen an event far more important arises; Geralt’s student/adopted daughter
named Cirilla has been discovered after disappearing yonks ago and just so happens to
be in danger! With her location unknown, Geralt and Yen must nd Cirilla and harbour her
back to safety, naturally
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
is truly one the most hard-core, strategic A-RPG’s that is actually
fun to play – no oence to the
Dark Souls
players. To get a feel for it, it’s like playing Fable
but all of the monsters are from
Dark Souls
–that’s not to say that I cry every time I verse
a boss or anything
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Moreover, its also quite akin to
. The quests and exploration, the graphics and the
mood all ow similarly to it, which make me feel all the more at home.
Nonetheless, I was anticipating state of the art graphics with
The Witcher 3
and to be
frank, it didn’t live up to my expectations. Yes, I am told that the PC version plays much
smoother and looks a treat with the graphics at max capacity; but the console version of
the game really, and I mean REALLY disappointed me.
Even with the update on day one, the game plays really sluggish and static. The graphics
are dumbed down and the console’s processor can’t keep up with the games processes.
For example, when I walk into a room, I generally have to wait a minute until the NPCs
load in the room; it’s somewhat ridiculous at times.
Don’t get me wrong though, there are a numerous amount of reasons to fall in love with
The Witcher 3
, but it denitely has some aws. All the same, I wouldnt give it 10/10 like one
publisher recently did - thats like saying that the game is perfect, in which I completely
After a while however, you tend to take advantage of the aws. For instance, you could
be travelling for days upon days and still not regenerate your health gauge. Yet, if you just
sit and meditate for ten minutes, your health gauge would be full - you can do this in the
middle of a mission. Chasing an enemy down and have no health? That’s ne, take all the
time in the world and meditate for a day. What’s that? The enemy is in the same spot and
its been eight hours? No problem, would you like a coee while you wait? The enemy will
wait for you even though hes trying to escape…you get the drift.
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Secondly, the voiceovers in the game repeat and overlap each other at the same time;
hence Geralt would be saying two sentences at the same time. Moreover, the game still
has wall hacks and textures overlying each other. Occurrences like these certainly make
me question the games integrity.
Oh yes, one more thing: lets talk about the concept of falling for a minute. So youre trying
to tell me, developer, that it’s realistic when falling from a couple of metres to nearly die?
Ludicrous. I’ve seen soldiers in real life fall from at-least ten metres and still be ne. Its a
joke to have a character that has supernatural abilities to be so fragile when encountering
a little gravity. But no, I have to climb a ladder in order to stay alive…seriously?
Well as much as I’d love to pick at the rest of the aws in the game, I’d also like to give
credit to the developers for the things they actually got right.
Facial gestures in
The Witcher 3
are astounding. They are probably the most realistic facial
gestures I’ve ever seen in a video game; this allows you to personalise with characters a
lot more. Additionally, Geralts beard can grow when he travels between regions, so if you
like clean-shaved, you’ll have to visit the barber a lot.
Sounds eects are some of the best I’ve ever experienced in the industry thus far. I’ve
been using surround- sound in all of my gameplay as of recent and nothing stood out
The Witcher 3
. The audio was so immerse, that I thought the noises were real; from
whistling wind to crushing waves – CD Projekt Red deserve applaud just on the basis of
their audio alone.
One of the cool things is that you can actually play as other characters. Subsequently
to the beginning of the storyline, Geralt investigates clues for Cirillas location. In which
Geralt has a ashback of what happened to her; hence, you actually get to play as Cirilla
and acquire more of a taste of what ensued.
Another innovative concept borrowed from titles like
Mass Eect
, is that you can import
Witcher 2
save le to determine what sort of character Geralt would be in
The Witcher
. This governs any decisions Geralt would be more likely to choose and in what attitude
he would have.
Finally, (before sounding like an encyclopaedia) the game world is so freakin huge! I mean
seriously, it would take you easily in excess of 100 hours and still not have trekked the map
fully. There are hidden treasures, rare monsters, secret side quests and magic statues that
imbue Geralts powers.
Before I conclude this review, there are a few extra aws that I’d like to point out.
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Other than the stagnant gameplay, herbs are a pain in the arse to gather. Trekking the
map on foot and gathering much-needed herbs to brew potions can be one of the most
throbbing tasks to do in this game.
Furthermore, Geralt can steal whatever he wants in this game. Walk into a house, steal shit
and not get arrested? Too easy. Hell, you can walk right up to a guard and take someone
elses belongings and get away with it.
Some of the scenes are dreadful as well and they don’t make sense. In one case, after I
travelled across the sea to another land, a thug of some type met me at the shores. We
got on talking alright then all of a sudden, I choose to say “I don’t like you and I feel like
slapping you. Thereafter we got into a ght after a death-threat response and I won. Then
Geralt and the thug congratulated each other on the ght…that’s after I thought they
were going to kill each other.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
is a rewarding experience for single player gamers. The graphics
are good on console and even better on PC. The gameplay and combat is challenging but
fun; the storyline has some contrast to it that keeps it from being bland; the voice acting
and audio is some of the best to date and the game is worth every cent when comparing
the value for money.
Whether youre a die-hard fan or a newcomer, this game has something that is sure to
keep you reeled in for hours.
Geralt and his trusty horse Roach
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Magnetic: Cage Closed
Like Portal, but better.
Magnetic: Cage Closed, the game created by
development studio Guru Games, is a rst person
puzzle game where the player manipulates
magnetic forces to accomplish their goals. The
mechanics are focused around a single tool:
The Magnet Gun which allows you to create
electromagnetic elds with either positive or
negative charges. This power is used to either
repel or attract magnetic objects. However, if the
objects are heavier than you, you’ll be the one
ying through the room.
Magnetic: Cage Closed bases itself heavily on the
Portal franchise which is one of my favourite video
game franchises ever. Running around solving
puzzles in a rst-person perspective is thrilling.
For me, Magnetic is even better than Portal both
in story and basic mechanics. Magnetic looks
better, plays better and is more challenging than
Portal will ever be!
You are a prisoner trapped in a strange facility. This
facility is lled with deadly traps and whispered
secrets. The place itself is called Facility 7 and for
me it resembles something Jigsaw would make if
he could scrape together a few coins. It’s a deadly
environment and each challenge is created to
test your skills with various aspects of the game.
Your only choice is to master the Magnet Gun
and survive all the deadly challengers, though
by Mitchell Rogers
not all of them are lethal. Some have you testing
your jumping or timing skills in order to complete
the challenge. There are various characters in game
that “help you” (not really) in game and give you
“condence”. I just found a lot of them to be plain
mean. But this makes their character more diverse
and interesting. They treat you like a prisoner; a
no hoper and I really liked that because it leads to
some interesting dialogue. Magnetic has several
choices in game which affect the ending as well.
Each new play through will always be different the
second time around.
Magnetic has many mechanics which make it what
it is. The coolest one of the mall is the Magnet
Gun which is expected since it’s the game’s main
function.. The developers got the balancing for
the gun just right: It’s not too powerful and easy
to use, but it’s not overly difcult to use either
and it’s fairly easy to master. The Magnet Gun can
transform the environment, you can propel yourself
through the air with magnet pads or it can assist
you with box puzzles or to help you reach what
seems to be an unreachable ledge. The gun has
several power settings for positive and negative
chargers. There are also heaps of different Magnet
Guns you can receive depending on the decisions
you make. Though they all look the same they all
have different power settings and some are harder
to use than others.
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Fortunately the puzzles are diverse and never
repeat. They all have a unique shape, difculty or
bring in a new element. There is this one puzzle
that made me laugh quite loudly. The puzzle
looks very lazily done and holds no difculty
to the player which comes as no surprise once
the warden tells you that an intern created the
challenge. I am starting to think that maybe that
was the case in reality for the developers.
Overall Magnetic is a remarkable game with
its beautiful visuals, interesting characters and
challenging gameplay. It’s something that has
been done before, though Magnetic raises the
bar and shows us all what FPS puzzle games can
be and should be. I loved every minute of this
game and I will be playing it again. The puzzles
will have you confused and frustrated, but just
remember that there is a way to complete each
one.Magnetic: Cage Closed is a well-deserved
nine out of ten.
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by Daniel King
Iron from Ice!
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Warning: Contains spoilers for previous episodes.
“[I’m] really enjoying this
Game of Thrones
fan ction HBO has been putting out
lately, my friend sneered sarcastically in referral to the TV shows more recent
episodes. “I wonder if they’ll ever consider adapting the books. With a phrase like
that coming out of a fan so big that she literally has her own dragon eggs, this
comical jest evokes a string of alarms. HBO’s loose adaptation of
Game of Thrones
is losing momentum faster than its viewers are losing patience. Fans are jumping
o the hype train and everyone else is grunting through each episode, praying
something happens in between the chatter and bombardment of exposition.
“Have faith I whisper to the disloyal like a solemn whim of hope in the ear of a
non-believer. We still have Telltale.
Episode four in Telltale’s
Game of Thrones
adaptation injects plenty of credibility
back into the franchise with the intense dramas and dangerous decisions we’ve
come to expect from this developer. The fourth instalment steers Telltales vision
through the lulls of its prior downfalls and even grants us the luxury of a few st-
pumping moments. There may be a few more technical hindrances present in
this latest instalment, though this doesn’t challenge the overall games quality.
The fate of the Forresters lives hangs in the balance after an earthquake of
emotional events catalysts damaged relationships. Allegiances are pushed to
breaking point and The Forresters are doing the best they can with the terrible
hand they’ve been dealt. Fortunately Sons of Winter temporarily relieves players
of their eternal bad luck by contributing a few long awaited victories. They’re
short lived however as consequences of these triumphs have potential to ripple
out into further damage; paving the way for more corrosive harm down the line.
The game opens with a cold, decrepit corpse, reminding the audience that no
ones life is safe in Westeros. Were this far into the series and players are already
wearing their dire consequences like a badge of honour thats granted to tortured
veterans. We kick things o with Gared enduring the penalties of his actions from
the prior instalment, then busting out to pursue his mysterious fate. We meet up
with a new recruit and tangle with a few Wildlings to heat up some action, but
very few decisions in this section are noteworthy.
Meanwhile Rodriks preparing to retaliate against Gry and reinstate his position
as House Forresters true leader. No one is more deserving of a victory than Rodrik
and he nally gets his just desserts early on. After the Forresters snag their hands
on some leverage to win back Ryon theres room for some internal celebration.
Though how this newfound inuence shapes the rest of his adventure is a dierent
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Their narrative nears conclusion during a negotiation that doesn’t go quite the
way it was planned – as per Game of Thrones policy – and tensions have rarely
been higher. Toxic decisions are made amongst the screams of peril and anguish
and all logical thinking goes out the window when theres only seconds to decide
someones fate. I regret the decision I made during the Whitehill exchange,
but it could have been much worse. Only Telltale can make you question your
decisiveness quite like this.
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Over in King’s Landing Mira has her ear to the wall and is laying the foundations of
lies and deceit amongst the more prominent gures. Shes now able to manipulate
information out of the weakest of minds; an intimidating method I never expected to
see in this timid handmaiden. Her character has denitely developed insurmountably
in comparison to our other characters this episode and her devil may care attitude
makes for an interesting underdog. She spins a web of lies with a condently cocked
eyebrow and absorbs whatever information can benet her family. I love the new and
improved Mira. Lying has seldom felt so exciting.
While tensions are high across the myriad of Forresters, it’s still the sellswords subplot
that shines the brightest. Across the sea Asher makes an exchange with crowd
favourite Daenerys Targaryen and the results send the group running errands on
thin ice. Our companion Beshkas given a chance to unravel her tragic backstory and
were nally treated to the origin of her assertive independency. However the more
prominent feature of their narrative is the inclusion of a stealth-based objective.
Ashers inltration mission is exhilarating; something prior episodes have been sorely
missing. It utilises the beauty of stealth and picking o guards without so much as
a squeak and its absolutely refreshing to experience this in a game that’s so heavily
focused on narrative.
Sons of Winter
is an additional, tantalising piece of adrenaline-fuelled fan ction
that prides itself on an eclectic mix of memorable moments. There’s not a whole lot
distancing the game from its frontrunner inspirations, so much so that a new episode
of Telltales adaptation is far more enticing than HBO’s weekly instalments. My most
honest gripe with Telltales version is the sporadic releases. Alternate the schedule to
weekly investments and you’ll not only capture dedicated
Game of Thrones
but also the attention of video game newcomers who’ll welcome any opportunity to
bathe in the nostalgic hype its counterpart
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