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



Desperate measures at Crytek

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 3 August 2014No Comments

Homefront fans react to the news.

Just days after fending off rumours of impending closure by claiming receipt of a capital injection, Crytek’s leadership has been forced to take what appear to be desperate measures to ensure the financial health of the company.

First of all, Crytek is in the process of selling Homefront: The Revolution to Koch Media, along with the Nottingham team working on the recently announced FPS sequel.

The parent company of European publishing label Deep Silver, Koch Media scooped up former THQ brands Metro 2033 and Saints Row in the now defunct publisher’s January 2013 fire sale. Interestingly enough, Crytek secured the Homefront rights at the same auction, only to now pass them on to Koch.

The shake-up doesn’t end there either, with Crytek’s Austin studio being relieved of development duties pertaining to Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age and downsized to serve as an engine support crew. The game is being reassigned to Crytek’s Frankfurt operation and the terminated staff “invited to apply for new positions at Crytek in Germany”.

With assets going under the hammer and layoffs mounting, Crytek’s long-term viability will no doubt continue to be questioned in the weeks and months ahead.



The Black List 256

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 2 August 2014No Comments


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

SUNDAY REVIEW Abyss Odyssey > Abyss Odyssey is a beautiful and insane action platformer that tries really hard to take advantage of some currently popular mechanics, but ultimately fails in the attempt. Its refreshingly uncommon setting harkens from Chile, and brings with it a form of mythology most players will find unfamiliar and distinct. Having said that, its failings and lack of longevity are somewhat forgivable thanks to its modest price tag. READ MORE

MONDAY PREVIEW The Forest > Coming from four-person development team Endnight Games, The Forest is a first person horror game with a heavy dose of building and survival elements. Currently available in Early Access on Steam, it follows the template set by contemporaries such as Day Z and Rust while providing a different take on the gameplay found in those titles due to a focus on solo play. While showing promise in some areas, my time with The Forest has me concerned that certain elements of its design are at odds with one another. READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Crytek battling on > After weeks of rumours suggesting that the company was of the verge of collapse, Crytek has issued a statement claiming to have secured new capital. The statement, printed in full by PC Gamer notes that the team most famous for its work on the Far Cry and Crysis franchises has been attempting to restructure its business. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Majestic Nights > Our informants at Sydney based Epiphany Games know something. Something about various conspiracies that have occurred in the past few decades. The first of these revelations are presented in the debut season of its RPG series Majestic Nights, “an episodic role-playing-thriller set in an alternate 1980s where all conspiracy theories, past and present, are True.” READ MORE

THURSDAY PREVIEW The Crew > E3 2013 was a great event for Ubisoft. The French publisher came out of the gate swinging with big titles like Assassin’s Creed Unity and Watch Dogs, as well as new announcements like The Division. There was one title in there that didn’t get the water coolers buzzing like the other games shown, but for me it was almost the highlight of the show. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS EA subscription service revealed > Console gamers have gotten used to receiving extra benefits for paying for their multiplayer access to games. Learning from the generous PlayStation Plus model, Microsoft has offered free games as well as weekly discounts through its Games With Gold program.  It was only a matter of time until a major third party publisher saw the benefits of the subscription model. READ MORE


EA sub service coming exclusively to Xbox One

Posted by Peter Nickless On Friday 1 August 2014No Comments

Young lads enjoying the benefits of their EA subscriptions.

Console gamers have gotten used to receiving extra benefits for paying for their multiplayer access to games. Learning from the generous PlayStation Plus model, Microsoft has offered free games as well as weekly discounts through its Games With Gold program.  It was only a matter of time until a major third party publisher saw the benefits of the subscription model.

EA is now bringing an AU $6.99 per month subscription service dubbed EA Access to the Xbox One, launching with unlimited digital access to four key games: Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25 and, most importantly, Peggle 2. Subscribers will also see benefits of a 10% discount off new EA digital releases and access to trial versions of games five days before the general public.

So far there is no word on how long each game will be available, nor how often they will change.  Certainly not all publishers have the depth of games to offer a similar service, but I’m sure others will be watching in the wings to see how this goes.

With Sony recently telling Game Informer that The EA Access program “does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect”, it’s probably fair to assume that it will remain exclusive to the Xbox One for the time being.


The Crew Preview

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Thursday 31 July 2014No Comments

Coming to XBO, PS4 and PC l Published by Ubisoft l Developed by Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections l Classification TBA l Massively multiplayer l Due to arrive 11.11.14

E3 2013 was a great event for Ubisoft. The French publisher came out of the gate swinging with big titles like Assassin’s Creed Unity and Watch Dogs, as well as new announcements like The Division. There was one title in there that didn’t get the water coolers buzzing like the other games shown, but for me it was almost the highlight of the show. That title was The Crew, an open world MMO racing game that would allow players to drive across the entirety of the USA, all without loading screens. That simple idea struck me as one of the most “next-gen” ideas of the whole show. It was an idea that was something more than prettier graphics and really could only be accomplished with the power of the new systems. Read the rest of this entry »