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

Composer of Halo and Destiny soundtracks shown the door

Posted by Erin Marcon On Thursday 17 April 2014No Comments

Could Martin O’Donnell actually be Master Chief?

There are few sounds more closely associated with the original Xbox than the ethereal soundtrack of Halo. The man responsible for this iconic soundscape, Martin O’Donnell, went on to score several further instalments in this bestselling series for Bungie.

In more recent times, O’Donnell has been contributing to the soundtrack for Bungie’s forthcoming Destiny, a project has seen him collaborate Beatles legend Paul McCartney.

Despite these past successes, O’Donnell and Bungie have this week parted ways in rather mysterious circumstances.

The former revealed the split by telling his Twitter followers that, “I’m saddened to say that Bungie’s board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014.”

The latter responded with “For more than a decade, Marty O’Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans. Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future. We wish him luck in all his future endeavors.”

Neither party has commented any further following these initial statements.

Guacamelee devs cut loose with Severed

Posted by Erin Marcon On Wednesday 16 April 2014No Comments

Lend me a hand?

The team responsible for diabolically challenging action platformer Guacamelee is working on a new fantasy action project. While the developer’s previous releases have been more traditional in nature, Drink Box Studios is focusing its attention on the mobile arena this time around.

The new game will carry the rather grisly sounding title of Severed. We can only hope that the players will be doing most of the severing. Believe it or not, the hero of the piece will be expected to retrieve the disembodied limbs of fallen foes and attach them to his own body. That can’t be hygienic.

In a recent discussion with Destructoid, Lead Designer Greg Lesky described Severed as a blend of Mega Man (in terms of structure), Infinity Blade (swipe based combat) and Punch-Out (identifying each enemy’s ‘tells’). The action will take place in an open world and from the first person perspective.

Severed is due for release in 2015.

Civ prepares for lift-off

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Tuesday 15 April 2014No Comments

A new Civilization game has been announced. Civilization: Beyond Earth will challenge you to create a new society after the collapse of the old one. According to the Civilization website, you will “colonise an alien planet, research new technologies, amass mighty armies, build incredible Wonders and shape the face of your new world”. (That’s a lot of responsibility).

Every decision you make has consequences and you’ll be trudging through political and corporate minefields as you attempt to build a new world. The announcement trailer provides a brief idea of just how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place with the poignant voiceover stating that “our time on Earth is ending”. There is also an overt (and ironic) warning about the dangers of progress. Essentially, it seems that long-time fans of the series are to blame for this dystopian future.

Of course fans of Sid Meier’s work would not be unfamiliar with a futuristic setting, given that Beyond Earth is seen as the spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri. This critically acclaimed 1999 release saw players hold the future of mankind in their hands as they colonised a new planet.

If you’ve been waiting for 15 years for this unofficial sequel, you’ll only have to wait a few more months. It should be hitting shelves in spring of this year.

Respawn still banging the ‘story’ drum with Titanfall DLC

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 14 April 2014No Comments

You have to supply your own Creedance.

Since the release of Titanfall in March, Repawn Entertainment has been quietly tinkering with its multiplayer show pony in an attempt to create a better experience for its fan base. While the current focus behind the scenes appears to be on improving matchmaking, the developer this week revealed the first significant wave of contents updates for its futuristic shooter.

The forthcoming Expedition DLC will contain three new multiplayer maps. Despite the core game’s seemingly lacklustre approach to setting and narrative, Respawn appears to be taking the fiction behind the new locales at least somewhat seriously. If the promo material is anything to go by, the action will take in newly minted IMC base, a nearby swamp that is being drained to make way for said base and (oops, wouldn’t you know it) the ancient ruins what were uncovered during the construction process.

As reported by Kotaku, the Expedition DLC will be backed by a free update for all players. This update will add new game modes (for example a two-on-two Last Titan Standing mode) and a range of new burn cards.

The Expedition DLC will be followed by two additional expansion packs.