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



Potential Far Cry futures revealed

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Tuesday 6 January 2015Comments Off
The world’s most badass boy band.

The world’s most badass boy band.

While many developers remain passionate about pursuing their own artistic goals, there are also creative (not to mention financial) incentives to respond to the demands of an increasingly engaged audience. The notion that players have a real role to play in determining the output of major studios was reinforced this week with the emergence of the latest Ubisoft user survey, this time centred around the future of the Far Cry series of open world action games.

Each game in the series has featured a different location and a fresh set of goons to overcome. As revealed by Eurogamer, Ubisoft is seeking user input on future settings and scenarios. If the options presented in the survey can be taken at face value, a future Far Cry game could take place in the old west or even a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Players could even be asked to take on hordes of zombies, vampires or dinosaurs.

The question is: will any of these options be part of a core Far Cry experience like Far Cry 4, or will they pop up in a downloadable spinoff a la Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon?



Xbox now boasting extra grunt?

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 5 January 2015Comments Off
If you look closely, you can almost see the extra power.

If you look closely, you can almost see the extra power.

While the original Xbox was the 400 pound gorilla of the console world (both in terms of graphical power and physical size), Microsoft’s latest hardware offering is considered by some to be a relative lightweight. Industry insiders have long speculated that the machine’s focus on gesture and voice based usability left the Xbox One at a disadvantage. It has now emerged that Microsoft recently took steps to address this issue.

Xbox One developers have traditionally had access to six cores, with a further two allocated to the background operating system. It has emerged, via a Eurogamer report based on leaked documentation, that developers are now able to take advantage of 50-80% of one of the two system cores. In order to make use of the additional power, developers will not be able to incorporate certain gesture and voice based Kinect functions.

Given the lack of attention that the Kinect has received from the majority of developers, this news is likely to be well received by many.


Test Tube – Vainglory

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Sunday 4 January 2015Comments Off

Vainglory-Tube-Header

Welcome to Test Tube. Not to be confused with our full reviews, these ‘two hour test’ articles see us tackle remakes, ports, expansions, mobile games and other titles of interest.

Available on iOS l Published by Super Evil Megacorp l Developed by Super Evil Megacorp l Classified PG l Supports multiple players

Vainglory caught my eye while I was idly browsing through the app store. It was in an editor’s choice list and the tag line proudly boasted that it was featured by Apple during their September 2014 keynote presentation. Although I am was not much of a MOBA player, I decided to check it out.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Black List 277

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 3 January 2015Comments Off

Black-List-Header-277

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

SUNDAY NEWS Cyanide’s Stealthy Styx Surprise > As reported by PC Gamer, developer Cyanide Studios and publisher Focus Home Interactive have recently released Christmas themed teaser hinting at a sequel to their game, Styx: Master of Shadows. Near the end of the trailer, the following words appear, “Styx will be back in a new adventure, without his Santa hat… Stay tuned!” READ MORE

MONDAY NEWS Get That Omnipotent Feeling in January > Getting a little tired of the holidays? Have you ever thought that perhaps, if you were God, you might do things a little differently? Well, you just might get that chance when indie developer Squatting Penguins release their new God-like game called, The Mims Beginning”, on Steam Early Access on January 14th next year. READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Cry On for What Might Have Been > As covered in Destructoid, Mistwalker game design studio founder, Hironobu Sakaguchi, has recently posted a long trailer for their cancelled game, Cry On. The Mistwalker crew had worked on the game with the now disbanded Cavia (known for work on franchises such as Ghost in the Shell and One Piece). READ MORE

WEDNESDAY SUMMARY 2014: The year in reviews > The end of 2014 has finally arrived, so it’s a great time to take a look back at the 57 games reviewed by the Black Panel over the course of the year. When something works, why change it? The list is once again ranked in order of best (at being close to the beginning of the alphabet) to worst. READ MORE

THURSDAY REVIEW Assassin’s Creed:Rogue > A last hurrah for the series on previous generation consoles, Assassin’s Creed Rogue plays like a highlights reel of the American story arc, showcasing gameplay mechanics and characters in a way that feels a little bit like fan service that unfortunately went over the head of this newcomer. As an Ubisoft game it adheres rigidly to the formulas the studio has put in place and will keep players entertained, provided they aren’t currently playing any other Ubisoft games. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Developer GSC World Make a Comeback > Way back in 2010 we reported a small snippet mentioning that Ukrainian developer GSC Game World had begun work on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. Their hope was to deliver the game in 2012. READ MORE