• Throwback Thursday: Bad Mojo

    Good day NAG denizens, and welcome to the first instalment of a new weekly column. In Throwback Thursday, we’ll be delving into the past and examining random bits of…
  • NAG Magazine: May 2014 issue

    HACK THE PLANET! We can’t resist a good Hackers reference, so we’ve unashamedly used that one twice in the span of a single issue of this magazine we do. Except…
  • Five awesome things to come out of PAX this year

    PAX East has come and gone (a couple of weeks ago, to be honest), but I can’t help feeling like maybe we neglected the poor expo a little this…
  • Five amazing gaming documentaries you need to watch (now)

    I’ve been on a bit of a documentary binge lately. As part of that binge, I’ve become obsessed with video game documentaries. There’s something endearing, exciting and completely fascinating…
  • Review: Infamous: Second Son

    Infamous: Second Son is the first big exclusive game PS4 owners can use as a weapon and shield against advocates of the other systems in the ongoing circus-act that…
  • Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2

    Editor’s note: Seeing as this review concerns a piece of DLC, it may contain things that could be considered spoiler-ish. If you haven’t played Infinite or the first Burial…

amd never settle forever new additions

AMD’s Never Settle campaign has been really successful in the past, driving sales of their graphics cards well thanks top a great selection of bundled games. Never Settle has been without new games for a while now and AMD has been casting around to look for games that it thinks gamers will appreciate and in a few cases it’ll include games which run really well on AMD hardware. For 2014, the new Never Settle Forever lineup includes a roster of many modern titles released in the last year as well as some popular indie games and a few classics. For the first time ever, the Never Settle campaign also stretches down to the very cheapest graphics cards in AMD’s stable. Hit the jump to find out more.

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Ubisoft just released a neat little company fact sheet providing a handful of interesting odds and ends about the third biggest publisher in the world. One of those interesting bits of info regards the Assassin’s Creed IP, which has sold 73 million units worldwide since it debuted in 2007. The second biggest IP in Ubisoft’s stable? Just Dance, with 48 million units sold worldwide. THAT is why we get a new Assassin’s Creed every year – it’s pretty much Ubisoft’s money printer.

Source: Ubisoft

System-builders-600-x-272

In this, our last System Builder’s Guide of the month, we take a look at some pants-sweatingly expensive hardware that most of us could only dream of owning. This time, however, there’s a bit of a twist at the end and it’s all thanks to Intel’s launch of the Haswell-E and LGA2011-3 platform later this year. It throws a spanner in the works when considering my highest-value recommendation and it also makes things a bit uncertain for buyers today eyeing out a X79 system. If you’re shopping anywhere at this level, be sure to check out this week’s episode of the guide to know more about why I think you should wait if you have R30,000 burning a hole in your pocket.

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grid_autosport_screenshot_1

Codemasters’ GRID series holds a special place in a lot car fanatics’ hearts. Sure, GRID 2 didn’t exactly push all the right buttons, but the franchise remains something many people are excited about. Rumours regarding a third entry into the series have been swirling for a while now, and Codemasters has just put those rumours to rest with the reveal of GRID Autosport, a new entry in the franchise heading to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Codemasters has a lengthy post over on their blog in which they discuss how they’ve approached development of GRID Autosport. They’ve taken much of the criticisms levelled at GRID 2 and built a game that is “inspired by you guys, our core community”.

That means a return to what made the original Race Driver: GRID so appealing. “If GRID 2 raced off into a more narrative-led world of racing with more accessible controls, it’s clear that for many of you, that wasn’t what you wanted or expected from GRID 2.”

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A recent study conducted by the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, has used StarCraft II to demonstrate how our cognitive performance deteriorates once we reach the age of 24.

The study measured the performance of over 3,000 gamers ranging in age from 16 to 44, and found that there was a considerable slowdown in reaction time among those in the 24-and-over group – a factor that seems to increase as the individual gets older.

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naughty_dog_logo

Right then, we’re up to high profile Naughty Dog departure number three in less than two months. Nate Wells, the lead artist on The Last of Us, has just revealed that he bowed out from Naughty Dog in early April. He’s taken up a position with The Unfinished Swan development team Giant Sparrow.

Back in March, Unchartered 4 creative director and lead writer Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog to join EA’s Visceral Games in heading up development of a new Star Wars title. After Hennig’s departure, Justin Richmond (who filled the position of game director for Uncharted 4) followed suit and left to join Riot Games.

Interestingly, writer and actor Todd Stashwick has been dropped from Uncharted 4. He was down to do voice-over work for the game; his voice can be heard in the game’s reveal teaser, which had him pegged as a major new character in the franchise. Stashwick revealed that he would be helping Hennig on the new Visceral Games Star Wars project. Perhaps that didn’t sit well with Hennig’s previous employers, because Stashwick has revealed that Naughty Dog has chosen to “recast my role”.

Sources: Polygon & IGN

valve-logo

If you NAGlings reading this are one of the millions of gamers currently using Steam, please pay attention. A security workaround has been discovered in Valve’s Steam Guard software that allows unauthorised access to your Steam account. Although the workaround is not a hack into Valve’s Steam client or its online services, it is a phishing attack that requires you to upload a file to the attacker pretending to be Valve. Hit the jump for more information.

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easter bunny

Hello once more NAGykees, and thanks for coming back for this Easter special This Week In Gaming. Why is it an Easter special? Because today’s Friday, not Saturday. Yeah, that’s it basically. Also there’s an Easter bunny up there, so I suppose there’s that. Anyway, this week we have some exciting news for people who like to take extended “bathroom” breaks at work, some internal gossip on Titanfall dev Respawn Entertainment, some facts on Steam that will make you feel less lonely, and Microsoft is making a new game. Maybe. There’s other stuff too, but it’s a long weekend and this summary is long enough to not look too suspicious to the editors – at a glance, anyway. So, stuff your face with chocolate and hit the jump.

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MSI Gaming series logo 600x

As the world gears up for a refresh on Intel’s Haswell processors (the majority of which don’t look that interesting) motherboard manufacturers are lining up their new products in preparation. While Haswell refresh brings nothing new to the table processor-wise, these new motherboards will pack in better hardware along with options to add in a M.2 solid state drive. Unlike m-SATA drives, M.2 uses the PCI-Express bus to speed up things considerably, going way beyond the current capabilities of SATA 3.

Plus, these new motherboards from MSI are dead sexy. I don’t know who’s designing them, but they are taking the “Gaming” range pretty seriously. Geek out on some extremely detailed hardware porn after the jump!

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squareenix_01

Long-time partners Sony and Square Enix look set for a bit of a break-up as Sony will, in days to come, be selling all of its shares in a company that appeared at the beginning of the year to have turned its fortunes around, but is still trading lower than its all-time high in 2000.

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arssteamsales_01

Steam has always been a little… opaque when it comes to its numbers, both for sales figures and user activity. The inner workings that drive its infernal money vortex have been well-hidden from prying eyes, barring the occasional escaped squeak of its gears and pistons greased by the tears and blood of developers.

Well, no more. While certainly not official by any means, Ars Technica has prepared a very thorough analysis of Steam activity based on readily available information from Steam user pages (currently at around 172 million user IDs), and random sampling of 100,000 pages a day to get an idea of everything from the most-owned versus most-played games, time spent in multiplayer versus single-player, and other interesting facts.

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If you’re one of the many thousands of South Africans using a DNS service like Unotelly to access online streaming services like Netflix, be warned that there is a e-mail scam doing the rounds that asks people to either call a toll-free US-based number for more help, or to log into a fake website to enter your username and password details to keep your account active. Just like those utterly retarded Blackberry chain messages that say you need to spam fifteen friends to keep your account open, don’t trust any e-mails ostensibly sent to you by Netflix that use Uppercase Letters For Every Word In A Sentence and have poor grammar.

intel-logo

Intel is almost at the ready for a slew of new processors to be fed into the consumer market, but they aren’t the ones you were probably hoping for – instead these processors are still based on the Haswell architecture. They still use regular thermal paste under the heatspreader. Clock speeds are still mostly the same. There won’t even be any new features on the CPUs themselves, although the new 9-series motherboard chipsets will pack in some interesting storage options. Intel should be shipping the “refreshed” processors this week with availability in mid-May 2014.

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bioshock_infinite_liz_changes_cropped

BioShock Infinite didn’t win very many awards for outstanding gameplay; it was a pretty generic first-person shooter that played it safe and didn’t stray too far from the BioShock formula. It did, however, perfect the AI companion. We all hate AI companions, but Irrational Games went out of their way to ensure that Elizabeth would be highlighted as the quintessential AI companion for years to come.

She did, however, go through a bunch of visual changes over the development period. Website IGN has just shared a video detailing the evolution of Elizabeth, who originally started out as a much older, mute woman who could control the weather. Nobody has seen that Elizabeth before; she was simply referred to as the “Gibson Girl” back then.

Additionally, a Reddit thread has shared a neat evolution picture, part of which you can see above in the header image. Full picture and evolution video after the jump.

Booker, catch!

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heartbleed bud

Although Heartbleed has been patched out of most websites in the last week following the revelations that OpenSSL had a bug that allowed anyone to steal information from websites, most companies have not yet reported if their information was compromised or not, as Heartbleed leaves no trace of its intrusion. However, two websites have since come forward after patching the bug and revealed that they have detected unauthorised access to their servers and services and that user information had been stolen. Neither of these sites are based in South Africa, but the way the attacks were carried out is very interesting.

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king of chinatown

I’ve been on a bit of a documentary binge lately. As part of that binge, I’ve become obsessed with video game documentaries. There’s something endearing, exciting and completely fascinating about all the passionate subcultures within the industry.

There are a good many bad and downright boring films out there, but amongst them are some real gems; with more drama, emotion and engrossing characters than you’d ever expect. I’ve waded through a heap of them, good and bad, and managed to hammer out a top five you need to watch – right now.

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