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

Hotline Miami 2 knocked back by Classification Board

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Thursday 15 January 2015Comments Off
An example of the stylized 2D violence in Hotline Miami 2.

An example of the stylized 2D violence in Hotline Miami 2.

Highly anticipated indie sequel Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has failed to secure the expected R18+ rating. As reported by Player Attack, the game instead incurred the dreaded RC (Refused Classification). Unless the publisher of the game, Devolver Digital, is able to successfully appeal the Classification Board’s decision, Hotline Miami 2 will effectively remain banned from sale in this country.

According to the Board, the decision relates to some degree to a graphic scene in which a female character is overpowered and raped by a male character. Such a depiction would represent an escalation over the already brutal standards of the original Hotline Miami, released to widespread acclaim back in 2012.

In technical terms, Hotline Miami 2 was knocked back because it belongs to a category of games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”

While numerous observers have expressed their discomfort with some of the themes of the game, Devolver Digital’s Chief Financial Officer has advised Australia to “chill the fuck out”.

PC players will get to wield the Hellblade

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Wednesday 14 January 20151 Comment

Independent developer Ninja Theory has announced that its forthcoming third person hack and slash title, Hellblade will be coming to the PC platform. Hellblade had been previously announced to arrive on PS4.

Ninja Theory creative chief, Tameem Antoniades, spoke to PC Gamer about the merits of bringing the game to PC compared with releasing their work on consoles. Antoniades also mentioned wanting to support PC related features such as 4K resolution, and possibly enable modding on the game.

The short teaser trailer shows a woman we assume is the game’s heroine readying herself for a battle against some dark force. A sword, which is probably the titular blade is in evidence. No actual gameplay was shown, but considering the studio’s past games, such as DMC and Enslaved, it is sure to be an action packed, high adrenaline adventure. I guess it will also feature an ass-kicking, femme fatale and big sword, but I’ve been know to be wrong occasionally.

It’s still early days, however, and no release date has been announced, but if you fancy yourself in leather armor and helmet, wielding a big sword, you’ve got something to look forward to.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Review

Posted by Stevie McDonald On Tuesday 13 January 2015Comments Off

Assassin's Creed Unity Review Header

Available on XBO, PS4 and PC l Published by Ubisoft l Developed by Ubisoft Montreal l Classified MA15+ l Supports 1-4 players

REVIEW IN BRIEF > There is so much potential in Assassin’s Creed: Unity but everything just falls short. How can a game have one of the most detailed digital recreations of Notre Dame ever yet still have the wrong button prompt for entering windows show up four patches after release?! This game should have been called Assassin’s Creed: Ennui. If you must try it, wait until it turns up on the discount rack. It probably won’t take long. Read the rest of this entry »

A new adventure in a Forgotten Realm

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Monday 12 January 2015Comments Off

Looking forward to a scandal so that we can call it Baldur’s Gate-gate.

The pre-sequel is a concept that I never thought would take hold. The insane term was coined by the equally insane (and enjoyable) Borderlands series. But lo and behold another franchise is going down the pre-sequel route and it is a title that has a lineage that dates back to the PC games of yore.

The venerable Baldur’s Gate franchise is the guilty party, getting a new instalment after all these years that is set between the events of BG1 and BG2. The game is being developed by Beamdog, which was also in charge of the recent HD upgrades of the first two entries.

The new game will be built using the Infinity engine and will once again be a hardcore team-based RPG using the Dungeons and Dragons rule set from the first two games. I am sure that thousands of olds chool RPGers are salivating at the chance to once again dip their toes into the world of Baldur’s Gate.

Beamdog also teased another future project, one it claims will be very different from past work and which may or may not involve sharks.

No release date has been given for Baldur’s Gate: The Pre-Sequel* or Untitled Shark Project but more info has been promised in the next few months.

*Disclaimer: The new game has never been referred to as ‘Pre-Sequel’. I just want to encourage the use of this term.