Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

Tekken gets Unreal

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 15 July 2014No Comments

In what seems to becoming standard, a leak has forced a game to be announced early. In this case it is the latest iteration in the long running Tekken franchise. Tekken 7 was officially announced at the weekend’s EVO fighting game tournament where producer Katsuhiro Harada was forced to unveil it ahead of schedule.

As reported by CVG, the original leak revealed that the game will be running on Unreal Engine 4 and that it will be released on last gen systems. There has been no further information from Bandai Namco, so the game could well be coming to current gen as well. The use of  Unreal Engine 4 is sure to make it the best looking entry in the series. Harada gave no indication of a release date so it is fair to say that it is probably quite some time away.

The official teaser doesn’t reveal much in the way of gameplay but it does touch on a bit of the story. Fans I am sure will understand what is going on but for the rest of us…. well it isn’t exactly clear. There is also an indication in the trailer that it may be the last instalment in the series, but this will surely be negotiable depending on how well it sells.

Tekken 7 is coming in the not so near future to an undisclosed console that you may or may not have.

Blizzard continues to respond to diversity concerns

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 14 July 2014No Comments

Aiming for greater diversity.

Blizzard has taken further steps to address the perception that it isn’t listening to feedback about a lack of diversity in its character line-up and a tendency towards overly sexualised depictions of its female characters.

As reported by CVG, a fan going by the name of Starcunning recently wrote an open letter to Blizzard president Michael Morhaime to express his concerns. “Women and people of colour are present in Blizzard’s player base,” he wrote, “and are underrepresented as the heroes of Blizzard’s games.”

Morhaime has since issued a conciliatory response to Starcunning’s concerns, pledging that “we are challenging ourselves to draw from more diverse voices within and outside of the company and create more diverse heroes and content.”

Morhaime also noted that that Heroes of the Storm director Dustin Browder apologised last year for brushing aside criticism of sexualised heroines. “This is a serious topic,” Bowder wrote, “and I don’t want anyone to think that I, or anyone else at Blizzard, is insensitive about how we portray our characters.

Sony might adopt the early access concept

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 13 July 2014No Comments

Day Z is a prominent early access success story.

Sony’s Adam Boyes has confirmed that the company is seriously considering introducing an early access program. Speaking with Gamasutra, Boyes suggested that such a program is “on the top of my mind every day.”

While mainstream titles continue to adhere to traditional release models, the early access concept has taken off in a big way in indie circles. The runaway success of titles such as Minecraft and Day Z has certainly demonstrated that some players are willing to pay good money for a work in progress. With Sony already working hard to make the PS4 the indie console of choice, it almost feels like a natural fit.

The introduction of such as system is clearly not a done deal, though. “Honestly, we’re working through that right now,” Boyes said. “We’re figuring out what’s okay. We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to. So we’re internally discussing, what does that list look like this? What are the caveats? Stuff like this.”

The Black List 253

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 12 July 2014No Comments

Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Escape Dead Island > According to Deep Silver, the newly announced Escape Dead Island “unravels the origins of the zombie outbreak” and bridges the gap between “Dead Island and the recently announced successor Dead Island 2”. While the publisher describes the game’s visuals as “unique”, they’ll probably seem familiar to anyone acquainted with Jet Set Radio, Borderlands, No More Heroes and other cel-shaded offerings. READ MORE

MONDAY REVIEW Age of Empires goes offline > Another of Microsoft’s many attempts to revive its PC gaming fortunes has reached the end of the road. Age of Empires Online, the company’s free-to-play (but far from free) strategy revival, was last week retired with little fanfare. With no new content being produced for the game over the last 18 months, this decision will hardly come as a surprise to fans of the game. READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Blizzard loses Chief Creative Officer > In an impassioned message on the Battle.net forums, Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer with Blizzard Entertainment, has announced that he is leaving after 17 years. Probably best known as a Lead Designer on the company’s long running World of Warcraft MMO, Pardo has also made significant contributions to the long running StarCraft and Diablo franchises. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY REVIEW Lifeless Planet > Lifeless Planet invites players to visit a stark and mysterious world. In theory, danger lurks around ever corner, but players will have to traverse large portions of a mostly empty (though still striking) landscape in order to engage in some tricky platforming and simple puzzle solving. Some intriguing ideas and story elements propel the adventure, but some players may find their patience stretched. READ MORE

THURSDAY JUST ANNOUNCED BlueStreak > You heard it right, people. Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games’ former design director has popped his head up in the gaming world again. Bleszinski has a new studio, Bosskey Productions. Through his twitter feed, he recently announced Bosskey’s first project, a free-to-play science fiction shooter for PC, with the working title of BlueStreak. READ MORE

FRIDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Battleborn > League of Legends and Dota 2 may still be the biggest fish in the pond, but MOBA fans are now well and truly spoiled for choice. This week Battleborn from Borderlands developer Gearbox Software joined the likes of Dawngate, Battlecry, Dead Island: Epidemic, Sins of Dark Age and numerous others on the upcoming release roster. READ MORE