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



Bungie finally plays O’Donnell’s tune

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Friday 25 July 2014No Comments

Happier days.

Marty O’Donnell, the maestro behind the rousing musical scores of Halo and its sequels, has achieved victory in his efforts to claim compensation and back pay after his sudden firing. As reported by VentureBeat, a US court has approved a settlement that will see O’Donnell receive a little over US $95,000, which is broken up into back pay, damages and legal costs.

O’Donnell said in his court filing that he was given no explanation for the firing and that despite Bungie’s policy of paying out accrued leave and other benefits, this never occurred. Bungie of course saw things differently, but luckily for O’Donnell, Bungie felt forced to enter into the settlement.

Hopefully this hasn’t soured O’Donnell on the games industry as his work in the Halo series is exceptional. Maybe 343 Industries can entice him to join their studios to offer guidance on future Halo releases if only to keep those Gregorian chanting monks and 80’s synth players in gainful employment.



EA bumps Battlefield and Dragon Age from October

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Thursday 24 July 2014No Comments

That’s one way to get the heck out of 2014.

EA knows its Battlefield fans are positively aching to get their gloves on its upcoming shooter, Battlefield Hardline. The bad news is that fans are now going to have to wait until early 2015 for it to hit shelves. While it would have been nice to receive it in October, the good news is that this will give EA’s Visceral team time to polish it until it gleams like a general’s boots before morning reveille.

If you are fan, you shouldn’t be disappointed because, according to EA, it is listening to your feedback. Who, after all, doesn’t want better stability, a deeper single player story and multiplayer innovation! Our own Matt Hewson previewed the game and although he enjoyed the beta of Hardline, he did note some concerns. Hopefully EA is taking time to address these points along with feedback from other beta players.

Visceral is certainly not the only guilty (or conscientious?) EA studio to delay a title this week to allow delivery of a (hopefully) better product. BioWare has just announced that it has bumped Dragon Age: Inquisition from its October release date to apply an extra coat of turtle wax (for dragons). Those scales should be gleaming come Thursday 20 November.

What do you think about publishers and developers delaying their games? Do you think it’s worth the wait (and potential cost implications) to get a better product, or should these companies follow their project plans and release on budget and on schedule?


Valiant Hearts: The Great War Review

Posted by Peter Nickless On Wednesday 23 July 2014No Comments

Available on XBO, PS4, PC, 360 and PS3 l Published by Ubisoft l Developed by Ubisoft Montpellier l Classified PG l Supports 1 player

REVIEW IN BRIEF > Valiant Hearts places an emphasis on storytelling over gameplay, but that’s okay when the whole experience is as enjoyable as this. You’ll feel the human impact of war on the characters as they strive to maintain family and friendship and delight in the beautiful art style and emotive music on offer.  While simple to play and easy to complete, Valiant Hearts will stay with you long after you have reached the end of your first play-through. Read the rest of this entry »


We haven’t seen The Last of Us

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Tuesday 22 July 2014No Comments

Joel and Ellie prepare for the painful remastering process.

There are rumblings of a future sequel to the critical and commercial success story of 2013 The Last of Us. In an interview with VideoGamer, community strategist for Naughty Dog Arne Meyer stated, “We’re just starting to explore ideas of what more could there be in this universe and starting that decision process. That doesn’t mean the end result is guaranteed.”

For those who were asleep in 2013, The Last of Us was a survival horror game widely praised for its rich story and characters. The potential of a sequel would certain excite many, including those at The Black Panel. Meyer and Naughty Dog don’t seem to be eager to churn out a quick sequel to cash in, stating “It really comes down to is there something interesting in this universe we’ve created that we want to continue to explore?”

An enhanced version of the game, known as The Last of Us Remastered, is due to hit PS4 later this month.