• Mod Showcase: Portal: Prelude

    Ever since George Lucas decided to retcon the Star Wars continuity, prequels have been all the rage. Some attempts have been more successful than others: compare Star Trek: Enterprise…
  • Review: Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion

    Admit it: the name alone perked your interest. I mean, how can you ignore a game with “flatulent rebellion” in its title? It has the potential to be a…
  • Today I learnt about a game called Wings of Saint Nazaire

    Oh hi! I kind of enjoy these little features despite them being sporadic by nature; they’re also really a means of getting the word out on some games that…
  • NAG Magazine: July 2014 issue

    In the July issue of NAG, RedTide uses half a puppy, a wet rag and a bag of elastic bands to create a flying submarine which has no business being…
  • Review: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II

    The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II takes place in Borgovia, a land where gothic meets geek and dark creatures are met with darker puns. It’s an action RPG in the tradition…
  • Review: Sir, You Are Being Hunted

    Early Access. Now there’s a concept I’ll never understand as it relates to video games. Okay, I get the logic: you buy the game before it’s finished so the…

Google Chromebook header

Google Chrome is known for being one of the faster and more fluid browsers out there, regularly showing up the more established competition like Microsoft and Mozilla. However this speed comes at a price and it’s been known for a while that Chrome is a system resource hog – it regularly chews up gigabytes of RAM on my system and it uses the GPU as much as possible to accelerate the UI and certain content shown in the web page. But according to Forbes, Chrome has long been a hog for a different reason altogether – they pin is as the source of a lot of unnecessary battery drain. Hit the jump to find out more.

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Long-time Bungie employee, Marty O’Donnell, has won his case against the developer and its president Harold Ryan. In May of this year, O’Donnell, who was Bungie’s in-house music composer since the original Halo, was fired, according to court papers, “without cause”. O’Donnell took Bungie to court for unpaid leave, unpaid sabbatical, and unpaid time off.

O’Donnell’s case has been concluded, and a King County Superior Court judge has ordered Bungie to pay O’Donnell damages amounting to around $95,000.00, or just over R1 million. This amount is made up of $38,385.00 in unpaid vacation time, and another $38,385.00 because the judge awarded O’Donnell double damages. Bungie also has to pay for the legal fees.

O’Donnell is one of the industry’s top composers and was behind the now iconic soundtrack for Halo. At the time of his firing, he’d been working on the Destiny soundtrack, which looks set to become just as memorable and influential.

Source: VentureBeat
Via: IGN

If you’re keen on dropping some cash for The Last of Us: Remastered on the Playstation 4, make sure you do it on disc. GamePur reports that the game requires 50GB of drive space on Sony’s newest console and the download size applies to the digital version as well, although it’ll be possible to play the game while it’s still downloading after you grab most of the assets required for the beginning levels. The Remastered edition features the PS4 port of the base game, the Left Behind story DLC, all the multiplayer enhancements as well as improved audio, higher quality textures and a jump in resolution and detail for all the cut scenes, moving from 720p 30fps to 1080p 60fps.

The Last of Us: Remastered hits stores on 1 August 2014 with a recommended retail price of R699.90.

Source: GamePur

Just over a month ago, a modder (called TheWorse) located and reactivated a bunch of graphics settings that had been hidden inside the PC version of the Watch Dogs code. That resulted in said modder releasing a “mod” (really just a minor file tweak) so that all PC gamers could experience Watch Dogs the way it looked when it was first unveiled in 2012. This caused a bit of a scene and Ubisoft had to release an official statement. The graphics tweak stopped working shortly afterwards thanks to a Watch Dogs update. Good news then: TheWorse is back with a final build of the mod. It comes in two flavours: one with a built-in high-res texture pack (the work of a separate modder) and one without the texture pack. Grab the texture pack bundled option here (about 770MB) and the straight graphics mod option (about 125MB) here.

Source: TheWorse Blog

The-Sims-4

Developer Maxis has released a 20 minute gameplay walkthrough of upcoming The Sims 4. This is the same game content that was shown off to attendees at E3 in June of this year. Maxis cautions that this is beta gameplay that is at least a month old already. Still, it’s looking good.

The video is introduced and commented on by producers Ryan Vaughan and Graham Nardone – both waste no time in showing off the new features you can expect to see. The new emotion-based gameplay is front-and-centre for most of the video, but what’s more interesting are the new Build Mode features that appear in the last half of the video. They’ve added some nice new tools and tricks, including the much requested ability to change foundation and wall height on the fly. At last!

Despite the neat glimpse at some fun-looking gameplay, the video has caused some online controversy, which is unsurprising because EA. This time the fuss is thanks to a glimpse of the game’s UI at around the 13:00 minute mark, when a prompt to sign up for a Sims 4 Premium Subscription appears on screen.

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Team Newbee raising the Aegis to a sold-out stadium at The International 4.

Last night, The International’s Grand Finals played out with teams Newbee and ViCi Gaming battling for the largest monetary prize in eSports history to date, a massive US$5 million. In a stadium packed with fans eager to watch this clash between the two Chinese teams, any fears that the showdown would be a repeat of last year’s largely reviled Alliance versus Na’Vi match (partly because of the strategy employed by The Alliance — which favoured split-pushing and avoiding direct confrontation — but mostly because Na’Vi were the favoured sons in that bout, yet went on to lose the match) were eradicated early, with the balance of play shifting completely to risky gambles and game-winning engagements.

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Research team SuperData has published its latest findings on the state of subscription-based MMOs. They’ve ranked the top 10 MMO titles based on the amount of revenue generated from subscriptions and in-game transactions. These statistics are based off the earnings of each game throughout 2013, which is why you’re not seeing recent entries like Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online, both of which only launched this year. The latter reportedly has 772,000 subscribers as of June 2014.

Unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft remains the undisputed king of the MMOs; it’s still managing to generate over $1 billion in revenue per year. The closest behind that? NCsoft’s Lineage 1, which barely manages to generate a quarter of what World of Warcraft does. Still, that’s an MMO from 1998 that’s managing to generate a quarter of a billion US dollars a year – impressive indeed.

NCsoft owns 40% of the top 10 spots on the list. Interestingly, EA and BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic is sitting in fourth place with an annual turnover of $165 million. That game introduced freemium membership options less than a year after launching as a subscription-only MMORPG.

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Don’t bother him with details.

Ever since George Lucas decided to retcon the Star Wars continuity, prequels have been all the rage. Some attempts have been more successful than others: compare Star Trek: Enterprise and Hannibal Rising to, say, Smallville, and it quickly becomes apparent that prequels are a hit-or-miss affair. On the gaming side of things, The Legend of Zelda is the biggest culprit when it comes to endless retconning, but fans can hardly fault the series since they love it so much. With regressive storytelling being so risky, it’s no wonder companies like Valve opted to ditch prequels entirely and mainly resort to exploring backstory to flesh out their scenarios. It’s therefore been up to fans to take up the mantle of fully imagining a pre-GLaDOS Aperture Science facility in the aptly-named Portal: Prelude.

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last_of_us_left_behind

The Last of Us was easily the highlight of 2013 for any Playstation 3 owner. It’s a magical and simultaneously depressing experience that puts Naughty Dog firmly in the hot seat moving forward and I doubt that there’s any other AAA studio today willing to take the same risks and bring a story as heart-wrenching as Joel and Ellie’s to gamers. In case you missed the announcement, Sony and Naughty Dog are bringing The Last of Us Remastered to the Playstation 4 and it’ll come with the Left Behind story DLC as well. Hit the jump to see the glorious pixel quality.

Also, SPOILER ALERT!

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tesla_model_s

Internet-connected cars of the future have a particular problem in that they have an open avenue for hackers to exploit loopholes or backdoors left in the car’s operating system, giving them access to the hardware and allowing them to get into it and going within sixty seconds (Randall Raines couldn’t possibly do it today). At the SyScan & Qihoo 360 hackathon held in Beijing, China this past weekend, some super-smart geeks were able to bypass the car’s security and do a number of fun things with it.

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microsoft_france_offices

We already know that Microsoft is embarking on a job-cutting rampage now that new CEO Satya Nadella is at the helm of the company. Last week we saw these job cuts resulting in the closure of the just-opened Xbox Entertainment Studios and the ending of Xbox Originals planned TV series. Now, however, the job cuts have hit across the pond from Microsoft’s US home.

Website MCVUK is reporting that Microsoft will be axing 75% of their EMEA workforce. For those perhaps unfamiliar, Microsoft’s EMEA teams look after the company’s presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The remaining 25% of the jobs available to EMEA teams have been vacated, with those applicable staff members being asked to reapply for those positions.

Most of the time the EMEA teams are the companies the local gaming media deals with when heading overseas for assignments. Insofar as consumers are concerned, a Microsoft spokesperson has said that these cuts will not affect the release schedule for the Xbox One in EMEA territories.

Source: MCVUK

techiesreveal_01

Those familiar with the original DotA will no doubt have their own tale to tell of one of the game’s most beloved/reviled heroes, the Goblin Techies. More trolls than goblins, the Techies relied on both hidden bombs and their ability to suicide for kills, ensconcing themselves as a character fit for tricksters of the highest order.

Their absence in Dota 2 has long been a point of contention, but no more. During The International’s All-Star Match — featuring players voted for by the community — Artour “Arteezy” Babaev of Evil Geniuses got a surprise when he picked Sniper, only to be dealt a sudden draft of Techies. Hit the jump for the crowd reaction (the one guy is seriously happy about Techies showing up) and some screenshots of the Techies in action during the All-Star Match.

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With the rise of the internet and the fall of free time everywhere, we realise that not everyone has the time to sit around and read articles and go into long-winded arguments over the internet whether “Most t-bag crouches in a multiplayer match” is a valid world record attempt or not. Sometimes you just want to play your games or lie back and relax and listen to the peaceful sound of people talking about games and occasionally hardware.

Well, now you can! This is the first-ever NAG Online podcast starring myself, Rick de Klerk and Delano. This is the first time any of us has ever done this and it’s also not a bad run. With any luck, this’ll turn into a regular feature on Wednesday nights at 7PM and, for now, you can even listen and interact with us as we record it live. How cool is that? Hit the jump for the podcast list so you can follow what we’re talking about and download the audio-only version of the same that you’ll see on the Youtube video embedded below. Give it a listen and let us know what you think!

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alien_isolation_alien_reveal

Hello again NAG.. people (sorry, long week) and thanks again for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This week we had some rather interesting (and somewhat scandalous) news regarding YouTube content providers, a household name in hacking scores a cushy job, and Microsoft addresses concerns regarding the resolution capabilities of the Xbox One. Then on the gaming side we have a new game that seems trying hard to pretends it’s something other than what it is, a cult classic makes a comeback on the Wii U, Google Play makes some big changes to the way they distribute games and Alien Isolation‘s designer reveals something quite interesting about the game. Then of course there’s a whole crop of videos and highlights from the week you may have missed. Hit the jump!

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Laptop-buyer's-guides-600-x-272

It’s been a long time coming and I never thought that this would ever get really going again. While the System Builder’s Guide has been relatively straightforward to lay out, the mobile market is a different beast altogether. There’s a distinct lack of choice when it comes to which vendor to support and the minefield of laptop OEMs with their own ideas of what a ultraportable, or an ultrabook or a gaming laptop should look and feel like makes this a much more difficult subject to consider. Throw in the convertible tablets and tablets and you have a recipe for disaster as you try to wade your way through 40-plus tabs of options with anything between 3-5 open looking at slight variances of the same model from the same name brand.

The desktop market is sensible, clean and doesn’t put you in a box as much. Still, a lot of NAG Online readers do so from a mobile device and it’s time to get back into helping you figure out what you need to buy and what needs to be prioritised when you finally get to deciding what notebook or tablet you need to buy. Head on in for the first episode of the Laptop Buyer’s Guide in over a year!

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Admit it: the name alone perked your interest. I mean, how can you ignore a game with “flatulent rebellion” in its title? It has the potential to be a money magnet that every kid will want to get just to offend their parents, whilst the older of us indulge our inner juveniles. It’d be great if there was a great game to go with the toilet humour, but as you’ll soon see, our expectations have been somewhat flushed.

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