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ISSUE 99 / Vol.9 September 2017

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Express Yourself!

MSI’s X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Agents of Mayhem Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Everybody’s Golf F1 2017 and more...

Under Pressure!

Cooler Master’s Masterfan 140

For e!

Everybody’s Golf

Madness

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Lock and Load!

Speed & Skill F1 2017

In India Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Agents of Mayhem

A NEW QUEST Destiny returns for another round

Free Online Mag


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Read Online for Free! Read all new and back original and unaltered issues free at:

Bronze Award SCORE 80-84

Read on www/gameccamag.com Read on Issuu (Also available on your App Store) Read on Facebook

Silver Award SCORE 85-89

Gold Award SCORE 90-94

Platinum Award SCORE 95-100

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All Game Reviews in Gamecca Magazine are based on code provided by Publishers / Official Distributers. Nova Mentis (Pty) Ltd / Gamecca Magazine do not hold any responsibility for any malicious exploitation that any reader should experience due to unauthorised distribution. Nova Mentis (Pty) Ltd / Gamecca Magazine will not be held accountable for any injurious detriment or pernicious damage to personal equipment or software due to use of unauthorised downloaded files. Action will be taken against any person or persons engaging in unauthorised distribution of Gamecca Magazine.

Gamecca Magazine: © Copyright Nova Mentis (Pty) Ltd. (2009 – 2017)

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gamecca99

Ed’s Choice Awar


From the Editor

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SummerisComing

H

by Walt Pretorius

ere in the Southern

from single player epics through to

Hemisphere we are

multiplayer chaos, there is a lot of

enjoying great spring

truly great gaming on the way (in

weather. Our summer is

theory, at least… the proof is always

rolling in, and everyone

in the pudding). At very least, there

is gearing towards a

is a lot to look forward to.

hot one. And we don’t

And going with all those great

just mean in terms of temperature.

releases, the beginning of next

The gaming is looking really good.

month sees South Africa’s rAge

Starting with the any-minute-now

video game expo taking place, too,

release of Destiny 2, the rest of 2017

which is always an exciting event to

looks pretty damned great…

catch up on what we can expect for

Forza Motorsport 7, PES 2018, Dishonored: Death of an Outsider, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, Project

later in the year – as well as pick up a few great deals. Next month also marks a milestone

CARS 2, WRC 7, FIFA 18, NBA

for Gamecca – it will be our 100th

2K18, The Evil Within 2, WWE 2K18,

issue. It’s a pretty big landmark for a

South Park: The Fractured But

magazine to achieve, and one that I

Whole, Just Dance 2018, Assassin’s

am particularly proud of. But I am not

Creed: Origins, Wolfenstein II:

going to mention any more about it

The New Colossus, Star Wars:

here, because I will likely be gushing

Battlefront 2 and Call of Duty: World

a lot in my next Ed’s Note, and I

War 2 are all names that will arrive

don’t want to overdo it.

before this year is out. And there are

So, amid all the issues that South

others that may still arrive as well,

Africa and the rest of globe are

although many have not yet been

having – and there is some pretty

confirmed.

alarming stuff going on, in all honesty

Even if nothing else arrives, you

– at least we know we’ll have our

have to admit that these AAA hold

escape, in the form of some pretty

a little something for everyone. So,

awesome games to lead us into

without a doubt, there’s a lot of

(and through) the upcoming festive

gaming heat adding to our summer

season. The year has rocketed past,

here in South Africa. From high

so hopefully the longer days will slow

action combat simulations through

things down and let us get some

to frantic driving and sporting action,

great gaming in. g

mgeect 2 c7a 9 9 ggl a ad

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THIS MONTH’S COVER

A new battle awaits the heroes of Destiny 2...

Publishing Editor Walt Pretorius

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Feature: The Big Fight Destiny 2 looks primed for success

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Previews: Games 10 upcoming titles

walt@novamentis.co.za

Art Director Katia Taliadoros katia@novamentis.co.za

Writers: Alex Scanlon Clive Burmeister Iwan Pienaar Noelle Adams Nthato Morakabi Rob Edwards Sibonisile Motha Suvesh Arumugam Walt Pretorius

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Reviews: Games 7 games deeply probed

76

Regular: IndieView What ifs abound...

Letters: letters@gameccamag.com

Competition Entries: competitions@gameccamag.com

Newsletter Subscriptions: www.gameccamag.com

Marketing Contact:

Copyright Š Nova Mentis (Pty) Ltd 2009 - 2017

walt@novamentis.co.za

Taking fun seriously! All rights reserved. No content may be reproduced, copied or transmitted without the express permission of the publishers. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editors and publishers. All Trademarks and Registered Trademarks are the sole property of the respective owners.

GAMECCA is published by Nova Mentis (Pty) Ltd

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Gamecca Vol. 9 Issue 99 September 2017

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Feature: Chill Out! Keep it cool this summer

88

reviews: Hardware 4 tech toys

94

Regular: Internet Hack the planet!

98

Regular: Living Digital HThe hidden menace

102

COOL STUFF: Movies Everybody floats...

112

COOL STUFF: Comics Books with pictures

120

COOL STUFF: Books Books without pictures

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s e d’ c E oi h C

“This game is about far more than bashing enemies – in fact, the experience is only spiced by combat, with the main flavour deriving from the game’s beautiful, almost flawless presentation.”


Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice


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18 22 24 28 30 34 36 40 42 43

Features The Big Fight

PReviews Assassin’s Creed Origins Dragon Ball FighterZ The Evil Within 2 Just Dance 2018 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Brawlout Forza Motorsport 7 Fall of Light LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game RAID: World War II

Reviews 46 52 58 64 68 72 74

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Agents of Mayhem Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice F1 2017 Everybody’s Golf Matterfall Patapon: Remastered

RegularS 76

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IndieView

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The Big The wildly popular D 10

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Destiny 2

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lmost two years ago, in November 2015, Destiny had 25 million registered players. That’s a lot of people playing a game that is the first part of a new franchise, without a doubt. But if you consider the credentials behind the developers of Destiny, it might seem a little less surprising. The team that brought Destiny to life, with the help of their new publisher Activision, was Bungie; the same Bungie who created the extremely popular Halo series, back when Xbox was in its infancy. The fact that this was only 16 years ago doesn’t really play here – video game technology and techniques develop so fast that

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anything past two or three years is ancient history. At that point, Bungie had been in the development game for a decade. Some titles that they worked on did better than others… but with titles like Oni, Myth (both parts) and Marathon under their belts, Bungie was obviously ready to take on something big. And Halo was big… breaking record after record and solidifying the idea of first person shooters on console. However, with the release of the original Destiny in 2014, Bungie was getting ready to beat their own records. It became, at the time, the most successful new franchise launch, with 9.5 million users registering

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Destiny 2

for the game in just a few months. It was also, at the time, the biggest launch yet on PS4. And Activision couldn’t have been happier – the company revealed, in May 2015 that Destiny, along with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, generated almost US$1 billion for the publisher. Not bad, considering that many reviewers gave Destiny slightly less than glowing reviews. For the uninitiated, Destiny is something of a combination between an FPS title and an MMO title – although Bungie prefer to call it a ‘shared world shooter’. Set in a distant future, players took on one of three roles in order to help protect the last free city. Accompanied

by a hovering, robotic guide called a ghost, players had to make their way through several missions to progress and unlock equipment. This was one of the main initial complaints about Destiny – the grinding. The second was that the plot felt a little weak. And yet millions of people took to the Destiny servers to explore, fight, discover and improve their characters, making Destiny an undeniable success. So the release of Destiny 2 really comes as no surprise – successful starts to new IPs see sequels more often than not, and the industry is often driven by sequels. It provides players with a degree of certainty, and it

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provides publishers with a knowledge that fans of the previous games in the series will likely return for another helping. In the case of Destiny 2, it might be even more than that. Because this time around, Destiny will be available on PC, and will be the first non-Blizzard product using Battle.net. “Destiny was the biggest launch of a new console video game franchise ever. Along with our incredibly talented partners at Bungie, we are focusing on making Destiny 2 even better, with state of the art first person action, an awesome new story, great characters, and thoughtful innovations that make the

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game more accessible to all different kinds of players,” Activision CEO, Eric Hirshberg, said. “We’re also bringing Destiny 2 to the PC platform for the first time. Destiny 2 will make an already great game franchise better than ever.” “The past three years have been incredibly inspiring and rewarding for Bungie,” Pete Parsons, Bungie CEO, said. “To know that millions of players around the world have forged lasting Destiny memories and even made it their hobby is truly humbling and we can’t wait to continue the journey.” who will get a glimpse of the new adventures that will unfold for all of us. Together, with

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Destiny 2

our partners at Activision, we are thrilled to get Destiny 2 in the hands of players in September.” “As Destiny fans, we were excited to learn that the sequel was coming to PC,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re pleased to support Destiny 2 as the first non-Blizzard game on our platform, and we look forward to joining fellow Guardians in their fight against the Red Legion.” Wait, the who now? Well, in Destiny 2, the Last City has fallen (despite the efforts of all those millions of players around the globe) and players now form part of a resistance, intent on reclaiming their lost home from the

Red Legion. Destiny 2 promises new game modes and ideas, as well as a host of new weapons, armour and other cool stuff, all wrapped up in a package that has proven to be one of the most successful ever made. There is a ton to look forward to in Destiny 2, and it will be interesting to see if it surpasses its predecessor in terms of success. From responses that have been gathered after the Beta, it might just do that. And if you’re going to take the plunge, you can pretty much do so right away – Destiny 2 launches for console on the 6th of September, 2017, and for PC on the 24th of October. g

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Assassin’s Cree GAMING

Another chance for Assassin’s Cree

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Assassin’s Creed Origins

by Sibonisile Motha

ed Origins

ed

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an empire on shaky ground. Ubisoft seems rather excited at this title being a unique origin story. Our Assassin protagonist in this game is said to have a story that is what ultimately results in the formation of the Assassin’s Brotherhood itself. Although not much has been revealed about the actual storyline or character background, Egypt is one heck of a playground to get your hands, blades and arrows into. Speaking of arrows, the reveal trailer showed a pretty awesome simultaneous five-arrow shot made by our hooded hero while on a horse. To be honest, I have missed the joys of horses in Assassin’s Creed. Horses were the real MVP’s of combat for me (most of the time, especially in the

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ight off the bat I’m going to come out and say that I am sad at the fact that I am more anxious than excited for the next Assassin’s Creed instalment. This has stemmed from disappointments I have had with the series since titles after Black Flag. And although I know that I will always be asking for too much to have an Assassin’s Creed game that brings the joy and love of the series like the Ezio trilogy, I will never stop wishing. But let’s take a moment to be fair to Ubisoft and (try to) objectively view its upcoming game for Assassin’s Creed – Origins. Set in Egypt, you will once again don the infamous hooded cloak and go through a world of beauty, danger and

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Assassin’s Creed Origins

first game). Smooth combat transitions were what made certain titles in the franchise standout. Being able to go from long range to short range to straight up melee combat made the game feel more fluid and enjoyable. This goes hand-in-hand with the kinds of weapons you will have at your disposal. Whether or not the new setting will bring with it new kinds of weapons will be seen upon release. The game’s open environment is quite spectacular in capturing the beauty and harshness of Egypt. From the dunes, to the pyramids, to the crocodiles and even cavalry, all these elements are presented in great colour and light. It would be great to see an incorporation of in-game Egypt’s strict and precise relationship with

religion, rituals, gods and the birth of a movement that is governed by two statements: Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. My wish list may actually stand a chance because exploration of this huge open world is a major component of this title. You will be able to not only explore the Mediterranean and Giza, but finally enter those amazing (and probably deadly cursed) pyramids and tombs. Seeing as the tomb exploration in Assassin’s Creed II was well done, Origins should be able to deliver on this. I can only hope that this will be the game to bring Assassin’s Creed back to its legendary status among fans. We don’t need much, just a really great game. Please. g

AT A GLANCE Action-adventure

Let’s give Ubisoft a fair chance in reviving the iconic series with this title. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft Megarom

Oct 2017

Platforms

GENRE

ETA

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

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Feb 2018 Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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Arc System Works Bandai Namco Megarom

PLATFORMS

Spectacular battles reminiscent of the anime... finally! PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

GENRE

AT A GLANCE Fighting

The Z-Fighters return in 2.5D beauty for an intense fighter we’ve all been waiting for.

gamecca99

by Nthato Morakabi

Dragon Ball FighterZ

he number of Dragon Ball games is crazy, spanning every console and appearing in many forms. It’s not surprising considering the anime captured many young hearts who are gamers today. So much so that it has returned with the anime continuation, Dragonball Super. While the fighting games have grown and improved over time, for the first time in a long while, Bandai gets it right for current gen consoles. Dragon Ball FighterZ moves away from its usual “Storybased” adventure as seen in Budokai, Tenkaichi, Raging Blast, and Xenoverse, for a completely different approach. This includes the “What-If” story mode featuring a revived Android 16 and an unknown force defeating the warriors. This story won’t follow the manga or anime and may not have the usual “free-roam” seen in previous titles. In terms of graphics, the 2.5D style of a 2D fighter with 3D characters, is all about capturing the beautym and spectacularly intense fighting that fans of the anime love. Developed by Arc System Works, the same company behind BlazBlue, and GuiltyGear, it should be expected that elements from those fighters will appear in this new rendition. The gameplay will be 3v3 where one character is the point fighter and two others appear as tag/ support fighters, similar to the Marvel vs. Capcom titles. Once the point character is KO’d, the next support character will jump in as the new point, following a dramatic cinematic entrance. DBZ-style! There have also been hints of ingame transformations although how it will work is yet to be revealed. Confirmed characters include Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Kid Gohan, Future Trunks, Android 16, Android 18, Frieza, Perfect Cell and Majin Buu. Now we wait with anticipation. g

Dragon Ball FighterZ

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The Evil Within 2 GAMING

You thought your nightmares sucke

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The Evil Within 2

by Sibonisile Motha

2

ed‌

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love. Let’s get straight into them. The previous title saw our protagonist Sebastian Castellanos - a detective with a borderline drinking problem who lost both his wife and daughter – respond to a case of multiple homicide. This would be the case that would see him ultimately hooked up to the STEM machine that basically messed with his head pretty good. For those not familiar with the franchise, the STEM is a machine where the user is plugged into a machine into a virtual world filled with the user’s consciousness (and the consciousness ‘of others that may be plugged in as well). What made this “simple” idea turn into a survival horror is due to the brain that controlled it (an evil mastermind

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ow did someone like myself (someone who is rather a coward when it comes to the horror genre in general), stammer the courage to write about The Evil Within 2? I firstly had to seek pre-writing counselling sessions to mentally prepare myself for what I knew I had to see. Secondly, I had to make sure that all viewing and writing about this game was done in the bright of day (night wouldn’t work for me). Once I had done this, I can safely say that I made it through. And not only made it through, but I would like to believe that I flourished at this. I came to this realization after I noted a lot of elements to this title that I actually admire and

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The Evil Within 2

hell-bent on destroying you and anyone getting in his way). Fighting against creatures he created to kill you, plus the haunting demons within your head made for a nail-biting journey. It didn’t help that there was always this mysterious organization, Mobius, that used you for its own purposes. The Evil Within 2 takes place sometime after the events of the first game. Our dear detective is faced with the nightmare of having to re-enter the STEM. But this time is different. This time, he has no choice. This time, the life of his daughter is on the line. Yes, you heard me right: his daughter! Yes, the one who supposedly died years ago? Yup, her. This harrowing task at hand is now driven by a dangerous force

– love. So yes you will have to face off with ugly beings that just absolutely refuse to have a decent conversation with you, and now there seems to be another deadly enemy in the midst. A murderous photographer/artist who is obsessed with images of destruction, particularly of humans suffering through death and after. Sebastian’s daughter is the key according to this guy. On a less grim note however, the art and visuals of this game are stunning to me. This game will force you to pay attention to your environment, the devil is in the details. Although it’s your mind, never forget that you’re not alone, the visuals will always remind you of this. g

AT A GLANCE Survival Horror

A beautiful blend of art, anxiety and of course horror with a more personal reason to survive this time around. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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Tango Gameworks Bethesda Softworks Ster Kinekor

Oct 2017

Platforms

GENRE

ETA

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

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Just Dance 2018

E M W A VIE G E R P

Just Dance 2018 Yes, there will be twerking.

Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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Ubisoft Paris Ubisoft Megarom

PLATFORMS

GAMING

Q3 2014

with the device in hand, syncing movements with the game during your dance sessions. So players will not necessarily need a move controller to play the game. The most important aspect of the Just Dance games is of course the playlist. Top tracks across different genres are chosen to be choreographed and ultimately grooved to by you. This year’s playlist includes Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” “Bubble Pop” by Hyuna, “Daddy Cool” by Groove Century, and more tracks that will be announced and added to the list over the next month. My personal

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV NS

GENRE

AT A GLANCE

Same old game with new songs.

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favourite revealed song so far is “Make it Jingle” by Big Freedia. Not because the bass is strong, no. Not because it’s a funny kind of Christmas season song, but rather because the dance mascot in the video is a yellow reindeer with blinged-out Christmas decorations and sneakers (oh, and the reindeer twerks). When it comes to games like this, there really aren’t super expectations except for the game to do for players and fans what it needs to without hiccups. And who knows? Maybe you don’t have two left feet. g

Dance

by Sibonisile Motha

A

nother year and new hits grace our speakers. Another year and Just Dane takes those hits with very noble intentions of teaching people how to dance to these songs they most likely sing off-key in the shower. Is this always a success? Who cares? It’s pretty cool to just have an excuse to let loose and have fun to music. Although the concept of the game is relatively the same – just dance – Ubisoft introduced an app to play the game on your mobile device for Just Dance 2017. The app in essence lets players dance


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Ubisoft Paris Ub Megarom GAMING

Return to Wolfenstein… They did Na

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

by Nthato Morakabi

bisoft

azi that coming‌

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actually the culmination of a foreshadowing appearing in The New Order, as the main character recites a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus in the final scene. The poem is called The New Colossus. Jens Matthies, the director of both titles has been in the game development industry for 19 years. This is his first sequel. Ever. In a recent interview, he said he envisioned Wolfenstein as a trilogy and as things are going, we might get exactly that. The New Colossus takes place in America, 1961, where the assassination of Nazi General Wilhelm “Deathshead” Strasse hasn’t changed much about the war. The Nazis continue their relentless dominion with seemingly nothing able to stop them. William BJ Blazkowicz, aka “TerrorBilly,” stars once again as the main protagonist and

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olfenstein is a game that should need no introduction. It bears a legacy spanning over 30 years and eleven iconic instalments of which eight are regarded as main entries. One of these, Wolfenstein 3D, was noted for popularising the first-person genre back in 1992. As technology improved, Wolfenstein has undergone massive changes, moving from side-scrolling, pixelated 3D, an RPG, and in 2009, a reboot that would continue the Wolfenstein legacy. Although it was met with mixed reviews, fans of the series got their taste of nostalgia, and when MachineGames took over the project to develop Wolfenstein: The New Order, a new fan base was born. The New Colossus is a sequel to The New Order. It’s

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

scourge of the Nazi empire. His role in the Resistance, once again, is to do everything in his power to rid the world of the Nazi stranglehold and liberate the world. The second American Revolution lies in his hands; he is humanity’s last hope. The story line takes a very fantastical approach, where the Nazis have excelled technologically beyond anything their time. They are truly a force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, players will get to utilise this technology to bring down the regime and in various ways. The developers are giving players various ways to play. One way will be gunning down enemies as they come – which may not be as easy as it sounds. The second approach will be stealth, but as Arcade Berg, Senior Game Designer

at Bethesda says, “It’s not about avoiding contact or avoiding killing. It’s about how to kill them silently, taking them out one by one.” And with melee attacks, silencers, scopes and more, the game should give plenty opportunity to do so. Wolfenstein is going to be an epic, fast-paced, adrenaline fuelled FPS. The New Colossus is taking old elements and revamping them with refurbished weapons and upgraded enemies, as well as new additions to both. Also, the game will be a gateway to an alternative past where players get to kill Nazis. As Jerk Gustafsson, executive producer at Bethesda Softworks UK says, “Who doesn’t want to kill Nazis.” Like, in the game, you know… g

AT A GLANCE FPS

William BJ Blazkowicz returns to kick more Nazi ass and spark the second American Revolution with guns blazing. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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MachineGames Bethesda Softworks Ster Kinekor

Oct 2017

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Brawlout

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Brawlout T

he Evolution Championship Series (EVO) should sound familiar to gamers who either watch or have wanted to be part of the big-league competitive fighter scene. Every year the event hosts a tournament that exclusively focuses on fighting games. At EVO 2016, a new game peeked its head in a side event. That game was Brawlout, a Super Smash Bros. inspired title that… well play like Super Smash Bros. Off the bat you can anticipate this upcoming title to be a platform fighter. Streamlined combat means there won’t be any shields or blocking. It will be fast paced action, coupled with heavily aggressive combat in the form of combos and environment navigation. The game seeks to cater to veteran platform fighters, and casual fans getting into the scene. An array of fighters will offer versatile and unique fighting styles. Movesets will include grapples, dive kicks, freezing, bombs. Advanced techniques include ledge grabs, air dodging, and wave dashes. Fighters will also have a Rage Meter that grows with each attack to ultimately unleash special attacks called Rage Bursts. The developers, Angry Mob Games, put up that Brawlout’s goal is “Striking the balance between the growing competitive scene and the genre’s party game roots.” Speaking of party games, Brawlout is all about multiplayer. Whether in a casual 1v1 or the highly recommended 2-4 quick matches in private lobbies. There will be a robust ranking system, Brawlout TV to provide live spectating, and the Brawlout Network where replays, match history and fights stats will be viewable. Whether this title will eventually break into the competitive scene and feature as another title at EVO is something we can only wait to see. g

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Q4 2017 Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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Angry Mob Games Angry Mob Games TBC

PLATFORMS

by Nthato Morakabi

Rage your way to victory!

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV NS

GENRE

AT A GLANCE Fighting

A Smash Bros inspired platform fighter hoping to enter the competitive fighting scene.

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Forza Motorspo GAMING

See the beauty. Display the power. F

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Forza Motorsport 7

by Nthato Morakabi

ort 7

Feel the Forza.

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gorgeous Porsche. Microsoft/Xbox are also make massive efforts to bring ultra-high definition gaming, with 4K resolution, to many of its titles. In the case of Forza, the game has been built from the ground up to play at 60 fps and at Ultra HD. We’re talking ambient occlusion, improved shaders, state of the art lighting models, and other advanced graphical techniques set to look absolutely gorgeous. If the trailers are anything to go by, Forza may truly be the premiere 4K gaming experience. And what is the point of having these impressive graphical capabilities without testing them, right? Well dynamic racing weather is sure to test the realism Forza is gunning for. From the shimmer of asphalt as the searing

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orza Motorsport was at one point referred to as a wanna-be Gran Turismo. In fact, many still think Forza is inferior to the legacy that GT carries. However, Forza has continued to tirelessly push boundaries, looking to emulate the authenticity of racing in both its track based series, Forza Motorsport, and its open-world series, Forza Horizon. The focus of the game across both series, is to mirror the beauty, power, performance, and handling of real-life modified and racing cars, with their in-game counterparts. So much so, that at the E3 Microsoft press conference, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS was unveiled on-stage, along with Forza Motorsport 7, and a six-year licensing deal with Porsche. And yes, you can tear down the tracks in this

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Forza Motorsport 7

heat waves glimmer off Dubai’s city centre. Or the intense rains leaving puddles across the race courses. Even through the heavy rainfall limiting visibility or the sandstorms and winds affecting the car’s handling. Let’s just say that the graphical beauty of Forza is looking to be absolutely top notch for both 4K ready screens as well as regular 1080p resolution screens. It’s a win-win for all looking to own Forza 7. The other pull when it comes to Forza (one of which is the beauty of the game) is the number of cars available. This isn’t going to change either, and as it stands, Forza 7 will have more than 700 vehicles. These will include a large number Audis’, Bentley’s, BMW’s, Cadillac’s and the largest list of Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis any

racing game has ever featured. Of course, Porsche will be featuring that gorgeous 2018 Porsche 911 GTS RS. That, on its own, displays the influence Forza is having on the racing simulation scene. The remaining features to appear in Forza are new leagues including six Major Championships, spectating modes, and a return of Showcase Events. The driver avatar’s gear is going to have personalisation options with hundreds of selections. These will range from vintage suits to modern racing suits. There’s talks of in-game prize crates too, holding rare items such as cars, gear and other exclusive items. Forza once again looks to put its best foot forward to be the ultimate racing simulation. g

AT A GLANCE Racing

Over 700 cars are waiting to tear through beautifully recreated tracks in gorgeous UHD. Forza displays its prowess once again. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

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Turn 10 Studios Microsoft Studios Microsoft

Oct 2017

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PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

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RuneHeads 1C Company Online

PLATFORMS

Is there always light at the end of the tunnel? PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

GENRE

AT A GLANCE RPG

With a beautiful story driving the game, this can make for a delightful purpose-filled RPG journey through darkness.

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by Sibonisile Motha

Fall of Light

he team over at RuneHeads with the help of 1C Company, came up with a beautiful story and then developed it into a game called Fall of Light. This heartfelt story tells the tale of an old retired warrior who embarks on a deadly but noble quest to escort his daughter, Aether, to see light. Now the pursuit of light may not seem like much, but when you are living in a world that is completely surrounded by darkness, knowing that there is one spot left in the world where light is seen, this may be a journey worth taking. The challenge you will be faced with, apart from the evils and creature that dwell within the shadows, is protecting your daughter. She is not only your daughter, but she herself is a light. This RPG will have many puzzles to solve in order to get through, each varying in difficulty. Discover secret pathways and passages and retrieve clues about the beyond melancholy world you call home. Combat. There only way out is to go through it. You will find yourself right in the thick of battle with two lives at stake. Your weapons and strategic approach to facing off with your enemies will help you closer to that ray of light yonder. No confirmation or word as yet about whether or not there will be an upgrades system in gameplay. A game like this would in some way benefit off a good reward and upgrade feature. I would hate to not be able to get better in combat when the enemies harder each time around. Journey into the bright white light brave warrior. g

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LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game

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LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game LEGO-style ninjas to the rescue.

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one to pass up an opportunity to create more stans out of mostly children, they teamed up with TT Games and Warner Bros. to create a video game version of the movie that will be released around the same time as each other. Hence why it is called LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game. Set in the world of Ninjago, the place on brink of chaos with many enemies taking the opportunity to destroy Ninjago and claim victory, the colour coordinated ninjas may be the only hope the city has to survive. You will get to play as the

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main characters whose individual abilities are linked to the elements: Zane (the power of ice), Lloyd (the power of energy), Jay (the power of lightning), Kai (the power of fire), Cole (the power of earth), and Nya (the power of water). Master the ways of the ninjago according to each character’s powers and unlock new skills to be quite simply badass (sorry kids) at what you do. It is a LEGO-looking game. The animated series has moments of humour, but wouldn’t it be great if the game had LEGO Batman humour? g

AT A GLANCE Action

Just in case you miss the movie, you can get the game.

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by Sibonisile Motha

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EGO has become much more than bright coloured building blocks that come in bucket packs of 50, 100 and 250 pieces. Today, many young ones know the LEGO name from TV. From LEGO Star Wars, to the LEGO Batman movie (Batman really is good in any form) and now LEGO Ninjago. For those unaware of the latter, Ninjago is the story of ninjas that each have unique abilities and come together to face off with powerful enemies. It has been on Cartoon Network for a while now. With LEGO never being


RAID: World War II

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RAID: World War II I

t’s World War II. Europe is on its knees as hope filters away with the advancing Nazi forces. The war is on the brink of being won. Four reckless men are brought together and sent into Europe with only one goal as their main objective; stop the Nazis. Their wild, uncontrolled ways are perfect for sabotaging, assassinating and pulverizing anything bearing the accursed Swastika. Unfortunately for them, the Reich is not willing to lose his influence and does everything in his power to stop them. Developers have been jumping onto this “co-op play” bandwagon for a while now and RAID: World War II follows suit. However, unlike titles like Gears of War or Tom Clancy’s Division, RAID is a four-player, first-person, co-op shooter. Players will work together as a Raid crew, traveling through the epic events that occurred during World War II. Rather than focus on a realistic rendition of the war as other games tend to do, the game will concentrate on action and missions inspired by real combat scenarios. While not a lot has been revealed about the game as it stands, we do know that the developers, Liongame Lion a Croatian Starbreeze partner studio, developed DLC content for Pay Day 2. Gameplay trailers show elements that are very similar to Pay Day such as highlighting friendly players, outlining items like bags, and pointing out objectives. The stealth element also seems to have been passed on… it’s basically a World War II version of Pay Day. I mean spiritual successor. Despite these similarities, RAID: World War II looks promising. The cinematics are great and the Pay Day references might work to their advantage. g

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Sep 2017 Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Liongame Lion 505 Games TBC

PLATFORMS

by Nthato Morakabi

Or Pay Day: World War II…

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GENRE

AT A GLANCE FPS Co-Op

Four bank robbers come together to rebel against Nazi oppression, by sabotaging all things Nazi as a raid crew.

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Uncharted: The GAMING

A new direction…

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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

by Walt Pretorius

e Lost Legacy

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Naughty Dog is hardly tiny… And so, as a South African playing Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, you have to suffer through Nadine Ross’ sometimes almost OK, mostly no that’s wrong depiction of the way we speak here at the southern tip of Africa. It’s a small quibble, really, and one that doesn’t result in more than eye rolling and tongueclicking, but it’s still there. As off-point as Nadine’s accent may be, it’s a small aspect of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and one that can be sort-of overlooked (by South Africans, anyway) as the action unfolds. The last time we saw Nathan Drake take to an adventure in the Uncharted series was, pretty clearly, the last time Nathan Drake was ever going to go looking for something rare and mysterious. The end of Uncharted 4 made that pretty plain. But when you

GAMING

here are, really, thousands of South Africans living around the globe. Many – if not most – still have their original accent, a tilt on the English language that is, for some or other reason, extremely difficult to imitate for those not native to our shores. Perhaps it is because there are a wide variety of accents here, depending on a wide range of factors. There is no one, unique, catch-all South African accent. But imitation shouldn’t be necessary for those that want an (invariably villainous) South African character in their movie or game because, as said before, there are lots of us all over the world, and many of them are actors. So why, oh why, can a game development studio not find one to provide a believable voice for their in-game character? I could understand it from a smaller studio, sure, but

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are sitting on a cash cow like the Uncharted series, there are ways and means to make things work, even when your main protagonist has hung up his guns. Enter Nadine Ross and Chloe Frazer. Series veterans will remember Chloe as the treasure hunter who had a romantic entanglement with Nathan Drake – she featured in Uncharted 2 and 3. Nadine appeared in Uncharted 4 as the head of a mercenary group that provided most of the targets in the game. The two unlikely heroes team up in this latest instalment, which takes them to India in search of the legendary Tusk of Ganesh, amid a civil war. The setting, as expected, is beautiful. The surroundings through which you will adventure (using Chloe as the main character and Nadine as a side kick) starts off in a slum city, which is rich in its detailed squalor. But

this setting soon gives way to a massive Indian jungle setting that is almost breath-taking to behold. And it’s completely open. In fact, this represents the largest open world setting of any Uncharted game ever. Considering, though, that “open” is a fairly new concept in the franchise, that might not seem like it is a big statement but, realistically, it really is a massive play area. To traverse it, Nadine and Chloe have their trusty bright red jeep (because when you’re racing the bad guys to the prize and staying hidden is not a bad idea, bright red really is the way to go) armed with its winch. Thankfully, the winch is not the hassle it was in Uncharted 4. In fact, a lot of the more painful aspects of Uncharted 4 (like moving crates around to solve puzzles) have been expunged from this latest game in the series. The

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will fit through. Every so often the path will be blocked by a brain-teasing puzzle, too, for a nice change in pace. There are issues with the environment, though, in that is isn’t as traversable as it might appear. For example, an object that looks climbable might not be, which can lead to frustration at times. With a number of puzzles being environmentally based, this really can be frustrating. What isn’t a problem, though, are the set pieces. Running along collapsing platforms and the like is as heart-pounding as ever, and there are more than enough of these kinds of sequences in the game’s roughly six hours of game play. The characters may be different, but the spirit of Uncharted lives on in The Lost legacy.

GAMING

puzzles are much more varied as a result, making playing through the game a lot fresher than one would necessarily expect. The same cannot be said for combat or driving, though. The combat, while fast paced and furious, features that same wonderful mobility that we discovered in Uncharted 4, but it lacks much variety. Bad guys pop up, you dash around like a mad hen to defeat them, you move on. Rinse, repeat. It’s fun, at first, but it does get a little old before too long. Similarly, driving is a pain, thanks to a floaty feel to the vehicle, and environments that don’t always reveal the obvious route quickly. That later aspect is part of the adventure, though, and players will need to pick through the highly detailed environments for a number of reasons, including finding where the car

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Speaking of characters… Nadine and Chloe, as well as their developing relationship, really are the highlights of the show. Even if you initially miss Nathan Drake, you’ll soon come to enjoy the interplay between these two characters, who are beautifully acted. Their development is solid and believable too, and the chemistry between the characters, whether driven by comedy or solemnity, is excellent. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the game’s villain, who comes across a little flat. He is well acted, sure, but he seems to be bad just for the sake of it, with motivations and goals that are never really well explored. In the end, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy could be called “yet another Uncharted game”. That’s exactly what it is. But, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t

necessarily a bad thing – the franchise didn’t become as popular as it is because it was rubbish, after all. And while Nathan Drake is missed (by some of us, at least) the action is the same, and the two strong female protagonists do a lot to bring a breath of fresh air into the series. Whether this is a new direction for Uncharted, and whether we will see more games with different characters at the fore, remains to be seen. But, quite honestly, that would not be a bad thing; Uncharted: The Lost Legacy brings a somewhat fresh perspective to the series, and more games exploring the rich worlds that Naughty Dog creates will be more than a little welcome. This is a great addition for fans, even at its weakest points. It’s no Uncharted 4, but it certainly is worth playing. g

AT A GLANCE Adventure

REVIEWED ON

With new faces and a massive new playground, The Lost legacy will certainly provide Uncharted fans with lots to enjoy – even at its weakest points. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Naughty Dog SCEE Ster Kinekor

PARENTAL ADVISORY

16+ gamecca99

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

AWARDS

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Casual Ed’s Choice

PS4 PLATFORMS

GENRE

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Score

84 51


E M W A IE G EV R

Agents of Mayh GAMING

Less mayhem than expected…

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Agents of Mayhem

by Walt Pretorius

hem

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two, but Agents of Mayhem, unlike its name implies, moves away from the over the top nature of Sant’s Row in a number of ways. The story behind the game is that LEGION (the League of Evil Gentlemen intent on Obliterating Nations) has performed something of a hostile takeover on a global scale. The only ones that can stop them are MAYHEM (the Multinational Agency for Hunting Evil Masterminds). The player controls teams of Mayhem Agents (three in all main missions) in order to combat LEGION’s nefarious schemes. If it sounds a lot like an ‘80s Saturday morning cartoon series, well… it is. And it knows it. Agents of Mayhem not only draws a lot of inspiration from shows like GI Joe, it celebrates it. The references are numerous, and often quite funny, and span quite a number of sources

GAMING

hen Saint’s Row was first released, the game was accused of being a GTA clone. It wasn’t really an unfair statement, and so, as more games were added to the mix, developers Volition took things in a zanier direction. The series culminated in the main “hero” Johnny Gat, finding himself in hell. It got, quite honestly, so far over the top that it bordered on ridiculous. After Gat Out of Hell, Saint’s Row all but disappeared… until now. While Agents of Mayhem might arguably be a new franchise, the Saint’s Row DNA is strong – even down to the stylised fleur de lis symbol found in all the Saint’s Row titles. In fact, Johnny Gat is a downloadable character in the game, although he is no longer voiced by the talented Nolan North. There is an undeniable connection between the

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– even including a talking car nod to “Knight Rider”. But the references and comments from the cast of characters does, after a while, get a little tired. Where Saint’s Row often had totally off-colour humour for the most part, Agents of Mayhem plays things a bit safer. You won’t cringe as much playing this game, and after a while the jokes won’t feel as fresh or surprising. What does remain fairly fresh is the cast of characters that the player will get to employ while playing. There are twelve in total, ranging in abilities and even nationalities. They become, more or less, the weapons in your load-out, and each offers unique abilities that can be combined in a wide variety of ways. Johnny Gat, incidentally, is a thirteenth character, should you decide to add him to your game. Each character has a number of factors to consider.

First of all, there are the weapons, which vary in range, damage, ammo capacity and firing rate, to mention a few. Next up, each character has a special ability, as well as a more powerful ability that charges more slowly. These range from effects that debilitate enemies (like an impromptu dance session) through to giant space lasers. These can also be changed as the player progresses through the game, adding new equippable abilities for the various characters. But more on that a bit later. The last factor to consider is the character’s method of traversal. There are three, essentially – a mid-air dash, wall-climbing and a stealth cloak. This last difference isn’t too much of a head scratcher when it comes to selecting characters to include in a team, mind you – the stealth cloak is the only real stand-out option, but it’s limited duration makes it a little weak.

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lacks, sadly, is variety. The missions are fun, but they do get pretty stale after a while. The villainous lairs that players will purge don’t vary much, and mission objectives are generally lost when everything really becomes about shooting everything that moves. Even boss fights are a little lacklustre, although they do break the pace a bit. There are side missions available as well, which are sometimes a nice change of pace – because they often require only one agent. Some of these are used to unlock new characters as well, which have the secondary purpose of serving as a tutorial for that new character. It’s a nice touch, and the side missions can help a player progress through the game quite nicely – thanks to the fact that all missions add to the level of the agents, as well as the overall level of MAYHEM.

GAMING

Back to developing the characters… each character, aside from unlockable abilities and a variety of outfits that can be added, also gains skills. These come in two varieties – “normal” skills, which can be added to up to ten levels, and core skills, which are more powerful, one shot upgrades. Additionally, equipment can be upgraded using LEGION technology, once these upgrades are unlocked. There are tons of other toys, too, like Gremlin Tech (team based weapons ranging from giant crushing balls to performance boosters) as well as a host of vehicles to select from. Agents of Mayhem has everything that is required for it to be a truly great game… a fresh setting (a futuristic version of Seoul), interesting characters and lots of tweaks and adjustments to be made. What it

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Agents of Mayhem

The game can get pretty fast and furious when it wants to, and higher difficulty levels are extremely challenging. Every now and then a new enemy type will be thrown in but, overall, playing for long periods of time will start showing those variety cracks. Still, blasting through the bad guys can be very satisfying, and the instant change when swapping out heroes adds a great level of strategy to the game. You will likely find that you’ll be prone to using the same characters for the most part, but the steady flow of new additions keeps things fresh, and you may well be changing up favourites more than once. Agents of Mayhem has a lot going for it. It is a great third person shooter with lots of character, tons to do and a large playground to explore. It feels pretty polished, too, which seems to be becoming a rare thing

these days. So if you’re willing to look past the fact that you will be shooting the same kinds of bad guys, in very similar settings, time and again, there may well be something here for you. If you prefer more variety, Agents of Mayhem does offer that in terms of the characters (they are all very different) but not really in mission style and environments. While Agents of Mayhem might not win Game of the Year, it is still a lot of fun to play, particularly in short bursts. It’s cheeky and entertaining, overall, and the action can be extremely satisfying. It is a decent start to what may become a new franchise, and it offers the kind of gaming that doesn’t demand too much, even though the player can put a lot of work into strategies. Not everyone is going to love it, but if you enjoy sandbox style third-person action, it is worth a look. g

AT A GLANCE Action

REVIEWED ON

While Agents of Mayhem lacks in a few areas, it is an undemanding, fun and fastpaced action game, with tons to do.

Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Volition Deep Silver Apex Interactive

PARENTAL ADVISORY

18+ gamecca99

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

AWARDS

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Casual Ed’s Choice

PS4 PLATFORMS

GENRE

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Score

80 57


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Hellblade: Senua GAMING

In the realms of madness

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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

by Walt Pretorius

a’s Sacrifice

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nsanity has long featured in works of art and entertainment. Whether it was HP Lovecraft’s investigation of the fragile human mind in his literary works of horror, or movies like Jacob’s Ladder plumbing the depths of human mental infirmity (to mention two among literally thousands) the way that the human mind bends, and breaks, is fascinating. There have been more than a few video games that have tried their hand at mental health problems too, but none have come anywhere near as close to capturing the frightening, confusing and sometimes terrifying realms of insanity as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The story told in this game is of a young Celtic woman, named Senua, who travels to the lands of the Norsemen. There she plans to enter their version of Hell, called Helheim, to find the soul of her lover (who was presumably killed). But Senua doesn’t travel alone… her first companion is a skull wrapped in rough cloth. And her other companions are the myriad voices in her head. These voices, which form a large part of Senua’s psychosis, are integral to the overall experience offered by the game. They contribute in a number of ways, but perhaps most importantly, they deliver a large chunk of the atmosphere created within the title. They chatter incessantly, filling the audio scape of the game with a clutter of whispers, giggles, questions and statements that wonderfully elaborate on the noise going on inside the heroine’s head. Beyond that, developers Ninja Theory have enhanced the soundscape by including a virtual surround sound effect for these voices. In fact, it is suggested at

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the beginning of the game that the player makes use of headphones to play Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Doing so – even with good old stereo headphones – places the player in the centre of a whirl of voices; questioning, chastising, criticising, imploring, motivating and encouraging. The atmosphere is further enhanced by the visual element of the game. Every now and then colours seem a little too bright, or a little too dull. Visual aberrations creep in from time to time (not bugs, but carefully crafted elements). Hallucinations dance across the screen. And, sometimes accompanying the voices, “people” from Senua’s broken psyche take on ethereal form to communicate with her. All of this is woven together with great acting, both in terms of motion and voice. Senua’s fear is made more visceral through a great performance on the part of the actor, and the player soon starts feeling that debilitating panic and paranoia that grips the character in almost real terms. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is presented beautifully. And that’s a good thing, because it draws the player into the telling of the tale, almost to the point at which they don’t realise that the combat portions of the game leave a lot to be desired. It seems, almost, as if combat has been included in the game to merely give the player more to do. Sure, it is a part of the story, because Senua has to battle her way into Helheim, but there is a never a real point (until maybe very late in the game) that the combat feels threatening in any way. Enemies come in waves, and Senua’s progress through a section gamecca99


Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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GENRE

Here’s a game that manages to present the inside of a mentally unstable character’s head

with style, grace

and strange beauty... even if the combat is a

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

18+ AWARDS Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Ed’s Choice

Score

85

AT A GLANCE

PARENTAL ADVISORY

REVIEWED ON

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little weak.

Ninja Theory Ninja Theory Online

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Adventure

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the premise of the game… so no harm, no foul, really. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is the kind of game that fuels the arguments of those that see video game design as an art form. It is a powerful experience, but not really one that puts gaming (in the traditional sense) at the fore. The player sometimes feels a little too passive in their role of controlling Senua, even though they are controlling her at all times. This really comes down to the combat system which, if overhauled a little, could have been stellar, and could have tied into the madness and panic that infuse the whole title. With that said, it is important to say that one shouldn’t walk away from Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice because the combat is a little unimaginative. This game is about far more than bashing enemies – in fact, the experience is only spiced by combat, with the main flavour deriving from the game’s beautiful, almost flawless presentation. The long and the short of it is that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is not a game for everyone. If you’re the kind of player that has twitchy trigger fingers and likes the action hard and fast, then you may find the somewhat pedantic, heavily atmospheric nature of this game doesn’t suit your liking. However, if you are the type that plays games for the experience they offer, the vicarious glimpses at things that you may not have experienced before, it is a game that you simply must play – this is a story well told, and beautifully presented… and it’s about more than swinging swords. g

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is blocked until they are defeated. Her attacks are pretty standard thirdperson action stuff: light, heavy and block. The player will quickly pick up the rhythm of enemy attacks, so combat never really poses a problem. Which might be a good thing… See, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice makes use of a permadeath system. The character develops – at a specific point in the game – a sort of black rot on their arm. Each time they die, the rot spreads a little more. Die too often, the rot reaches Senua’s heart, and the save game is deleted. You have to start all over again. And this counts for any death, really – anything Senua would, in her fragile state, consider a failure. It’s a decent idea, but the game doean’t ever really capitalise on it because, as beautiful and engrossing as it is, it makes not dying a little too easy. Other things, not so much. There is no HUD here, which is a nice touch. In fact, those voices in Senua’s head offer the most guidance, often warning about dangers (like unseen attacks) before they happen. But you need to learn to cut through the clutter to really take advantage of that. The lack of HUD can really make things confusing. For example, to unlock certain doors, Senua needs to find rune shapes in her surroundings. This might come down to an angled branch, a fence post and a rock lining up to form the shape, or something similar. While the game gives decent enough clues to where to find these configurations, getting lost while you’re doing so is a possibility. But one could argue that this ties in to

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F1 2017 GAMING

The serious simulator

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F1 2017

by Walt Pretorius

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seem to stick to the road just a little more in this outing. Because there were no track changes to the 2017 F1 calendar, you’ll be experiencing the same virtual version this year. A handful of the tracks have shorter version available for various modes, but the overall impact on the game of these is not really significant. A change to the tracks, however, comes in the visuals. Codemasters seem to have lost their palette of muted tones (thankfully) and so everything here looks brighter, livelier and much more vibrant. Things just look better in this new version, which is great. Until you get to the pits, that is. While tracks and cars are great, anything else looks a little… poor. The graphics on the periphery have never been great in F1, so we can sort of forgive them. And besides, you’ll be too busy working through an extensive and deep career to care too

GAMING

hen you have a system of yearly releases making up a franchise, there are generally two types of games that get released – those that make sweeping changes, and those that tweak things. Laat year’s F1 was a big change title, improving massively on the 2015 version. This year, as expected, it’s more about tweaking things into place. The changes, on the surface, seem less significant, but to be honest F1 2017 adds a number of things to the mix that are really great. The first is the most obvious. Changes to the rules of F1 this year (real world F1, that is) meant that bigger, more powerful cars with increased down-force were seen on-track. These cars are here, too, and the change is noticeable. Naturally, you’ll experience it best with a steering wheel setup, but even with a controller, the cars

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much… F1 2017 has a fantastic career, complete with a long, complete upgrade list to keep you busy. Additionally, you’ll need to be super-conscious of your vehicle’s wear and tear. Parts that aren’t replaced will break, leaving you either unable to complete races, or spending protracted periods in the pits. At no point does this system feel like a punishment – it feels like a realistic aspect of F1 racing… and it is. And it is scaled, too… doing shorter, five lap races means that parts will wear faster, meaning that you cannot avoid this important and significant aspect of F1. In fact, almost everything in F1 2017 feels significant. There is no time at which you will feel like you are wasting your time, particularly if you approach the game with the right degree of seriousness. Codemasters have once again

managed to inject into the title. In addition to all of the above, Codemasters have managed to create a believable and challenging AI for players to do battle against – not the rubber banding sort that just leads to frustration, but computerised drivers that fight for position, and even make mistakes. Although the improvements this year aren’t as big and bold as they were in the previous F1 game, Codemasters have managed, in F1 2017, to create their best F1 racing simulation yet. It is crammed with detail and challenge, and goes beyond just recreating elements of the sport – with this game, you can vicariously live the life of an F1 driver, from the comfort of your arm chair. And even though a lot of the emotion of the sport is not well presented in the game, the challenge is. This is a great racing simulator for those who like things on the serious side. g

AT A GLANCE Racing

REVIEWED ON

Although not the big leap forward that was F1 2016, F1 2017 is the best title in this franchise yet.

Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Codemasters Codemaster Apex Interactive

PARENTAL ADVISORY

3+ gamecca99

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

AWARDS

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Casual Ed’s Choice

x0 PLATFORMS

GENRE

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Score

89 67


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Everybody’s Go GAMING

Grinding the greens

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Everybody’s Golf

by Alex Scanlon

olf

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title. As the name implies, Everybody’s Golf is for everyone. This means, then, that isn’t particularly challenging, and calling if a “golf simulator” is pretty inaccurate. In fact, it’s more of a golf arcade game, with a mini-game or two (most notably fishing, because… well, who knows?) attached. But with the lack of EA golfing titles hitting the shelves, there isn’t a lot else for golfing fans to turn to right now. Initially, the game is extremely simple and easy. The player earns experience with each club they use, which is a fantastic idea: do well with a particular club, and your performance with it will be improved the next time. However, with the massive amount of grinding you have to do to unlock courses here, you might have very little issue with the more difficult courses by the time you get

GAMING

here are many things that are very popular in Japan. Some of them might be a bit strange to Western mindsets (like dating a video game) but some are extremely familiar. Take, for example, anime and golf. We know these things well here in the West. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Everybody’s Golf has been so popular for the more than twenty years that the franchise has ben around. This anime flavoured golf simulation has been a long time coming for the PlayStation 4. In fact, there hasn’t been an Everybody’s Golf game for ages. But it’s here now, and the upgraded visuals allowed by Sony’s powerhouse console are really, truly beautiful. The five courses in the game look fantastic – if you ever get to see all of them. This is one of the issues with this new

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Everybody’s Golf

to them. Everybody’s Golf is intended to be played online, in a sort of golfing MMO style. This is also a great idea, and leads to a true feeling of community and liveliness around the courses. Sure, you can play a single player mode, but online is far more fun. There is even a sort of “battle” mode called Turf War, which can be great fun. It sees players rushing around on two teams, trying to score as many points for their team within a time limit. How you get those points is immaterial – you can play the same hole over and over again. It would have been more fun if the developers hadn’t included the ability to warp to new holes, using collectible (and in-game purchasable) tokens. This breaks the balance of the mode, because players who warp to holes won’t need to rush to get to the next one manually, giving them a

definite advantage. With a huge array of character options in terms of looks (and more unlockable) there is a great amount of creativity that can go into Everybody’s Golf. And it really is fun to play, even if it isn’t quite challenging enough, its multiplayer modes have definite balancing issues, and you will need to grind your way to unlocking new courses for what seems like far too long. Speaking of balancing, it seems that there isn’t really any in Everybody’s Golf. You might, as a new player, come up against someone who has already racked up a ton of experience, putting you at a disadvantage. Additionally, daily challenges may be offered on courses that you haven’t unlocked yet – sorry for you. Still, it’s good fun and a relaxing way to kill a few hours… as long as you can see past its warts. g

AT A GLANCE Sports

REVIEWED ON

Despite a ton of grinding and some online balancing issues, Everybody’s Golf is a relaxed and enjoyable arcade golf title.

Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Clap Hanz SCEE Ster Kinekor

PARENTAL ADVISORY

3+ gamecca99

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

AWARDS

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Casual Ed’s Choice

PS4 PLATFORMS

GENRE

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Score

79 71


E M W A IE G EV R

Matterfall Bullets. Bad guys. Again.

B

that’s fine – not every game has to have a deep, emotional narrative – but other things get a little shaky quite early on. What Housemarque do get right are the visuals and effects. Matterfall is great to watch, because of its lively environments and great particle effects. It also sounds excellent, as to be expected from one of this Finnish developer’s games. Additionally, it manages to hide quite a lot of depth in its strategies, thanks to a simple but effective augmentation system that will have the player tinkering with loadouts for ages as they take on tougher and tougher enemies. Where it falls a little flat is in terms of controls. Bullethell games require a lot of precision as a standard, but Matterfall doesn’t seem to want to go there. Controlling the character feels cumbersome at times, and some expected abilities, like effective double jumping, are missing. Add to

GAMING

ullet-hell games are ever-popular, and Housemarque knows this. Housemarque also knows how to develop great twin-stick bullethell action fests, including the likes of Resogun and Nex Machina. These are games that will go down in history as some of the greatest of their ilk, which is something that can’t really be said for Matterfall. While the game is enjoyable, there are surprising chinks in its armour that may leave you wanting just a little. The premise behind the game is that earth has been invaded by an alien technology. Amid massive evacuations, the player’s character (Avalon Darrow) acts as a freelance Hunter taking on the alien scourge. The plot will hardly win any awards – it’s a tired premise, really, that serves little more than to be a reason to dodge lots of bullets and kill tons of bad guys. And

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As to be expected, Matterfall can be a chaotic and challenging game, like any other in its category. Sadly, it doesn’t feel like a step forward for Housemarque, though – it is a fun, but unremarkable 2.5D platform shooter that ends right about the time it really gets good. It looks and sounds fantastic, and provides a decent distraction for its slightly short play time. Like other games in its genre, it is also all about score (something which Housemarque apparently delights in) so there is a reason to play it again once you’re done. But whether that is enough of a reason remains to be seen – Matterfall simply doesn’t stand out enough to be the exceptional kind of title we expect from this independent developer. It feels somewhat pedantic and derivative, ultimately, with not enough new ideas to really make it shine.g

AT A GLANCE Action Platformer

Another bullet-hell game from Housemarque... it ticks the boxes, but doesn’t seem particularly fresh.

Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Housemarque SCEE Online

PARENTAL ADVISORY

16+ gamecca99

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

AWARDS

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Casual Ed’s Choice

REVIEWED ON

PS4 PLATFORMS

GENRE

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Score

70 73

by Rob Edwards

that the fact that the control scheme is… odd… and getting to grips with Matterfall can become quite the chore. Add lots of enemies and bullets to dodge into the mix, and the frustration levels can get exceptionally high. Thankfully, Housemarque implemented a “strike” ability into the mix. This gives the player the ability to dash forward, emitting a sort of energy wave that neutralises projectiles and stuns enemies. It also adds score bonuses, and can even be used as a form of traversal to get to those hard to reach places. It’s pretty effective but, even though it has a short recharge period, its availability in-game is not clearly communicated. And, of course, there are trapped humans to save. There pretty much always are. These recued folks are the source of augmentations, so getting them to safety is a pretty big thing in the game.


E M W A IE G EV R

Patapon: Remastered The beat of an older drum…

R

the remastered version of Patapon is as much fun as the original game was. In this game, the Patapon tribe has fallen on hard times; the Zigatons oved into their lands and lay waste to the powerful civilisation that the Patapon were once at the head of. But all is not lost, because the Patapon have great faith in their god, the Almighty. That, in case you were wondering, is the player. As the Almighty, the player guides the Patapon into battle, amng other things. This guidance is simply achieved (at least on the surface) by matching on-screen rhythm cues with face button presses. The premise is simple enough, but Patapon: Remastered can get pretty challenging. This is not helped by one of the two issues that has crept into the remastering process… lag. It doesn’t always happen, and certain setups will be

GAMING

hythm games can be quite a lot of fun, as evidenced by Patapon, which was first released on Sony’s PSP handheld platform in 2009. It became something of a game to play, with those that had experienced it becoming nothing short of addicted to the game’s simple mechanic, stylised graphics and engaging dynamics. Almost ten years later, Patapon has been given a new lease on life. It has been remastered for the PS4, and has aptly been names Patapon: Remastered. There have been many games remastered for the PS4, mostly from PS3 and PS Vita. These have generally made the transition well, particularly the later PS3 releases like The Last of Us. But Patapon bridges an even longer gap, and so there are many areas in which the remastering can go awry. And, in some, it does. However, for the most part,

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Patapon: Remastered

d onto the much more powerful PS4. This isn’t a game that shows off the system’s capabilities, really – it is pretty much a walk in the park for the hardware, if not necessarily for the player. But the addictiveness of the title has carried through, as has the adorable nature of the surprisingly emotive disembodies eyeballs that are the Patapon. That raises another question: should this remaster have happened at all? It’s complicated, really… a stylised, technically simple game from almost a decade ago seems sort-of alien to the amazing things we’re seeing these days. On the other hand, this game was wildly popular in its time and, with PSPs becoming hens teeth, playing Patapon without a remastered version is becoming increasingly difficult. So while it is an old game – one that has made a massive leap to land where it has – fans of the original will, no doubt, be glad that Patapon: Remastered has arrived. g

AT A GLANCE Rhythm

REVIEWED ON

This decade old game might have a few issues arising from remastering, but it is still a welcome addition to the PS4 library.

Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Sony Interactive SCEE Ster Kinekor

PARENTAL ADVISORY

7+ gamecca99

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

AWARDS

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Casual Ed’s Choice

PS4 PLATFORMS

GENRE

PC X0 PS4 Wii U X360 PS3 PSV 3DS

Score

75 75

by Alex Scanlon

immune to the problem. But there are cases in which Patapon: Remastered suffers from audio lag which, for a rhythm game, is pretty detrimental. Thankfully it is not a very common occurrence, apparently happening only on certain TVs, but it can be an extremely frustrating one. The other issue is one of presentation. While the stylised graphics of the main part of the game appear fine in Patapon: Remastered, the cut scenes, movies and menus haven’t been given the right kind of overhaul. This means that they look pretty fuzzy, standing in strong contrast with the crisply reworked main game looks. It’s not a ruinous matter, but it does yank one out of any immersion that this game creates. Other than that, the complex series of rhythm inputs (some for attacking, some for defending, some for harvesting resources, and so on) and mini-games have translated well


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Gaining new perspectives with Ohio

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Indie View

o-based developers, Skookum-arts.

By Nthato Morakabi

T IF? Life

is full of possibilities, even for three guys in a small Ohio town. We speak to Joel Hornsby on their introduction to independent game development, and their latest game The Pedestrian. gamecca99

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EW GM: With such a unique R E name as Skookum-arts, we T IN gotta know how that name came about. JH: Our name was originally Vapor Arts, but we were never 100% happy with it. So, we brainstormed, which consisted of scouring the dictionary for weird words. Skookum (impressive, excellent, large) was a word that we kept going back to because it defined what we hoped to become, what we wanted to be remembered as, and it sounded cool so win-win-win!? GM: That is just brilliant… and who makes up Skookum-arts? What’s the history of the company? JH: The Skookum team is made up of two brothers, Daniel and Jed, and a childhood friend, Joel. We started playing around with game development about 8 years ago. It began as a creative outlet, experimenting with 3d modeling and animation as well as programming in various languages. We used our skills for school projects and creating small games. Our first project was a modern-day kids’ RPG, sort of like Bully in a way but with less bullying. Then came a 2.5D dark survival game that was loosely inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. Most recently we created a small multiplayer toy-tank arena shooter set inside a sandbox. These were internal projects and not really near completion but they were definitely learning experiences. Once ‘The Pedestrian’ came about in 2013, we decided we wanted to make a go of the game development thing and created Skookum Arts. GM: I guess it all paid off then. So when and why did you all start developing games? JH: We all started developing at the same time, around 2009 or 2010. Living in a small town surrounded by farmland in Ohio, we had to be creative in order to entertain ourselves. Writing

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stories, drawing and building things became a very big part of our lives. Once our obsession with video games came into view, we were not content just playing them. We had to let our itching creativity take a swing at making something. GM: Ah, the joys of discovering gaming. What became your source of inspiration both in gaming once you started? JH: Inspiration in gaming has been an interesting thing for us. Because we didn’t have a heavy video game influence when we were younger, we got into game development with a clean slate so to speak. We had few preconceived ideas of what a game was supposed to be. We just made what we thought was fun. This worked to our advantage as we realized the ideas a lot of game developers have, come from games they played when they were younger. Nostalgia is what drives a lot of devs. Originality is hard with too much external influence. GM: That is a really unique perspective. Fantastic! And did you guys study? Was it specifically to go into gaming? JH: We studied through books and YouTube videos mostly. None of us were traditionally taught in anything related to game development. It’s been “self-teaching” all the way. GM: Sometimes that really is the best way to go. So, with your introduction to gaming, are you gamers? What role does it play in your lives? JH: Yeah, I think we’re all gamers in our own ways. We’ve always liked games, while that wasn’t necessarily video games, early on it was about card and board games. However, as we’ve grown, video games began to take more of an important role in our lives. Sometimes we play for research purposes, other times just for fun. GM: And with that in gamecca99

mind, what does being a Game Developer mean to you both as a gamer and as a developer? JH: I think since we’ve delved into game development it’s been a change of perspective when looking at games. We’ve begun to analyze the games in different ways than we have before. We’re starting to understand the amount of work it takes to create a game and the sheer amount of design decisions that could make or break a game. Just as an aspiring filmmaker begins to see the beauty and genius of someone like Hitchcock, we’ve begun to see the elegance of many games around us. GM: Yep, that’s what happens. How have you found the indie industry? Care to share any struggles and advice you’ve faced? JH: The indie scene is packed! There are hundreds of games coming out at any point in time. Many of them are student projects, clones, or just bad games. However, there are also many unknown games that are just plain amazing. The problem is visibility. Many developers, ourselves included, are not good at marketing. We’ve been blessed with the visibility that we’ve had. Through attending gaming conventions and our Kickstarter campaign, we’ve reached more people than we ever dreamed possible. Advice would be to make a game you are proud of and be active online. Learning from others’ mistakes while also creating an online presence around your project. Then once you either kickstart or release the game you won’t be going in as a nobody. GM: Are you guys part of an Indie Community? JH: We started going to a local meetup a couple years ago. It’s been nothing but a positive experience. Everyone there was supportive and encouraging which really helped break us out


Indie View

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our understanding of our own puzzles. Having a video catalog on YouTube of people playing the game has been invaluable for game development. GM: Is there a game you are currently developing following The Pedestrian? JH: Currently The Pedestrian is our sole focus. Game ideas are always popping up, but we try to keep them from distracting us. We don’t want our focus split, until The Pedestrian is complete. GM: How did The Pedestrian come to fruition? JH: It started as a two-month project while we were designing another project. The scale of other game was too big for us to accomplish. It was an early American frontier community builder with time advancement, technology advancing over time as others invented. It was a fun idea, but with only three of us it wouldn’t have ever reached completion without some serious cuts. So we switched over to The Pedestrian and haven’t looked back. GM: What makes The Pedestrian unique for gamers? JH: I think people are drawn to the integration of a 2D sign environment in a 3d world. Playing inside signs and traveling between them has a very cinematic feeling. But the main gameplay feature is definitely the sign connection and sign manipulation. The ability to create your own path and travel through it has always been satisfying. A build-yourown-solution of sorts. GM: That is a clever idea. Brilliant. What inspired it? JH: ‘What if’ scenarios. What if the bathroom sign symbols were just trying to get to a toilet? What if they could travel between signs when no one was looking. What if a story was going on inside signs yet no one noticed. All these little questions merged together gamecca99

to form what is now The Pedestrian. GM: I love it! And what platform can we expect to play it on? JH: The plan is PC/Mac/ Linux, then once all is well on those platforms we’ll work on the PS4 version. We don’t really want to do a simultaneous release because of the sheer amount of unknowns that come with releasing to multiple platforms. We want to take them on in as small of chunks as possible. GM: And the release date? JH: Currently there is no release date. As it’s our first time getting this far in development our estimations wouldn’t be accurate. So, we won’t even try. GM: Fair enough. Last question, what is one thing you have loved about being an indie developer and what would you change? JH: The indie community is so open it’s very refreshing. Developers are constantly streaming their work, sharing work-in-progress on social media, and are willing to share advice. Before our Kickstarter, we reached out to some successful campaigns to get their thoughts on our page and many of them were nice enough to go above and beyond, and wrote out very comprehensive analyses. Going above and beyond what we expected. Unlike other industries, people aren’t cutthroat like you would expect. They genuinely care and want to see your project succeed. As with any industry there are hurdles when starting a business and creating your first product. But looking back through the years we thoroughly enjoyed the journey and are thankful to be a part of this thriving community. With that being said we don’t think we would change a thing. g

Indie View

of the isolated box that we’d been developing in. They helped us at a local game convention, which was the first time we had shown it to a larger audience. Without their advice and encouragement, we wouldn’t have shown our game to anyone or received any feedback during development. I can’t imagine where we’d be without it. GM: And are there any other Indie Developers you look up to? JH: The big boys of the indie world were a great inspiration to us. Jonathan Blow, Edmund McMillen, the PlayDead team. They were our introduction into the indie game world. Since we’ve been around, we’ve met so many talented developers and that never fails to inspire us or make us look critically at our games. GM: As for the gaming community, are you part of one and how has it helped your development? JH: They are so helpful from a morale standpoint. Seeing for the first time, random people having a discussion online about our game, is encouraging beyond words. I think we’ve always been too critical of ourselves and seeing others talk about our game and give feedback helps to keep us motivated and focused. The quality of our game greatly benefited from their helpful critiques. The community helped us financially through Kickstarter and Itch.io, which keeps the lights on and our tummies filled! Watching people play The Pedestrian has helped us refine all aspects of the game. From the puzzles, to the user experience, to helping us cater a better experience. We’ve been challenged in determining the difficulty of levels in our game. We want to make sure our difficulty curve is headed in the right direction, and seeing how people struggle with different things helps expand

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Features 84

Chill Out!

HARDWARE Reviews 88 90 92 93

MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard Cooler Master Masterfan Pro 140 RGB Fan Kit MSI Graphics Card Bolster Roccat Raivo Mouse Pad

RegularS 94 98

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Keeping things cool this summer.

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mgeect 2 c4a 9 9 ggl a ad


by Rod Edwards

Chill Out!

ut!

S

ummer is almost here – although

most sensitive to heat. This is one of

if you stick your head outside for

the reasons why CPUs have dedicated

a few moments, you might think

coolers.

it has arrived already. As the northern

The graphics card, or GPU:

hemisphere prepares for winter, we

Another sensitive component, all GPUs

people of the south are getting ready for

come with integrated cooling systems…

long, lazy (hopefully) summer days with

but this doesn’t mean that they won’t

lots of opportunities for having a great

suffer if the environment within the PC

time. Of course, as gamers, having a

case isn’t cool enough.

good time means avoiding those bright,

High performance RAM: They

sunny outdoors places and spending time

don’t put heat spreaders on high-end

with our PCs.

RAM for fun. RAM can generate fantastic

But even though we may be spending our time indoors rather than getting a

amounts of heat while under strain. •

Voltage regulator modules,

healthy tan, the truth of the matter is

or VRMs: Located around the CPU

that there are certain aspects of summer

socket on your motherboard, VRMs are

that we simply cannot escape – like

responsible for protecting components

longer days meaning more light reflecting

from too much power. This means

on your monitor. And, of course, the

that they produce a lot of heat during

heat… and if the old folks sitting on their

operation.

porches are anything to go by (and they

Chipset: Your motherboard’s

probably are, due to lots of experience)

native chip also has a heat sink attached,

we’re in for a hot summer.

due to the heat generated in its governing

That means that your PC may be subject to higher degrees on heat. And

of motherboard processes. •

PSU: Although not the biggest

unless you’re in a hermetically sealed,

culprit, thanks to internal venting and

temperature controlled environment

cooling systems, a higher-end PSU can

(which you likely aren’t, because you

still generate a lot of heat.

spend all your money on your PC) you will

Naturally, everything within a PC

need to ensure that your PC isn’t going

potentially generates heat. Components

to fall victim to the rising temperatures of

that have a lot of electricity flowing

the African summer.

through them have a tendency to do that.

Effectively cooling a PC is not all that

But hard-drives and similar are not at the

difficult, thankfully, as long as you apply

top of the list for heat offenders – not like

a little logic to the process. But to make

the list above.

the correct decisions, you need to keep

There are essentially three effects

in mind the areas that generate the most

of heat on a PC system. The first is

heat during PC operation. These come

accelerated wear and decreased stability.

down to the following:

This could be due to performance level, of

The processor, or CPU: The brain

course, with overclocked systems being

of the computer is a fairly big heat culprit,

the most prone to this kind of problem.

but it is also one of the components

Reducing the performance may well

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counter these effects. Next up is thermal stress. This is caused

serves as a blanket to keep the heat in.

As they heat up, they expand, and as they

In addition, it can clog up the workings of

cool, they contract. Repeat this process

fans, which can also result in more heat

enough, and the materials can become

(due to reduced air flow).

cracking and breaking. The last one shouldn’t be too much of

The long and the short of it is that, at least once a month, you should perform maintenance on the inside of your PC,

a concern, unless your system is running

in terms of getting all of the dust out

extremely hot. Called thermal runaway.

of your system. This can be done most

It happens when the resistance of a

effectively by blowing the dust out, using

semiconductor decreases, allowing more

a compressor or a can of compressed air.

current to flow to a component, resulting

Be sure to blow air through the fans, and

in more heat.

clean all filters as well. Leaving dust on

So what can you do to prevent this. Short of liquid nitrogen (which is a quick

either of these will result in poor air flow. Never use a cloth or duster to do this –

fix, really) or submerging your PC in a

they may generate static electricity, which

non-conductive mineral oil, you are left

is fatal to your components.

with two commercially viable options: air and water. Liquid cooling is not necessarily a

Setting up your case fans can also help prevent dust entering, if not totally eliminate it. While most people use a

system-wide solution. Most closed loop

negative pressure system for their fans

systems address the CPU only, and even

(more air being pushed out of the PC than

if you build an expensive, modular, open

brought in) this can create a “vacuum”

loop system, not everything is going

that will attract dust. Employing a positive

to get the benefits of the liquid cooling

pressure system (more air in than out)

system. Even with an extensive liquid

prevents dust from slipping through the

cooling system, you’re going to need some

cracks, but you do will need effective dust

case fans.

filtration on every intake fan.

Air cooling is by far the most viable,

There is a lot of debate about the whole

affordable way to keep a PC chilly, even if

idea of fan setup for the case, of course,

it isn’t necessarily as effective the cooling

and even with a positive pressure system,

provided by liquid systems. However, air

dust still needs to be cleaned out. Be

cooling comes with its own set of issues.

diligent, and do it regularly. Monitor your

The worst of these is dust. It’s all around

TECHNOLOGY

dust gathers on any given component, it

by the heating and cooling of components.

fatigued, even to the point of warping,

system, and try to keep the ambient

us. We breath it in. It coats every surface.

temperature around the system cooler. By

And no matter where you go, you’re going

taking a few simple steps, your beloved

to find it. Keeping it out of your PC is

PC will perform optimally, and have a

almost impossible.

much longer lifespan. And that’s worth a

The biggest problem with dust is that

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it is an excellent heat insulator. When

little effort. g

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H C EW E T VI E R MSI

X299 Gaming Pr

TECHNOLOGY

Cutomise to your heart’s content!

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Motherboard

A top-notch performer, using X299 technology, with all the features and customisation options you could want.

AWARDS

AT A GLANCE:

SUMMARY

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Ed’s Choice

gamecca99

X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is capable of a high degree or performance, when all is said and done. It integrates numerous speed enhancing technologies, as well as stability supporting features. These include features like DDR4 Boost and high-speed Turbo U.2 implementations, as well as boosted USB performance and a host of others. Speaking of RAM, the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC supports up to eight DDR4 DIMMs. It also offers four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, and is Intel Optane ready. Another really nice aspect of this board is that it ships with integrated dual-band Wi-Fi, with an 867MHz upper speed limit. And if you prefer to stick to a cables connection, it has WTFast technology boosting its wired LAN connection. And, of course, the combination of Audio Boost 4 and Nahimic 2+ technologies means that the audio performance of the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is really excellent. Add to that the fact that it is trimmed towards VR, and you have quite an entertainment focussed performer. As part of MSI’s five-star performance gaming range, the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC certainly is a quick board. Pairing it with the right components will result in a PC that is quick and agile, as well as extremely stable. It serves as an excellent backbone for an X299 based system. g

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MSI TVR Distribution www.tvr.co.za

TECH SPECS • • • • • • • • •

X299 chipset DDR4 compatible Integrated Wi-Fi VR ready Mystic Light Interchangeable plates

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by Rob Edwards

here are two certainties in the world of PC hardware. The first is that things will move at a break-neck speed, getting faster and faster each year as our grasp of technology increases. The second is that a certain sector of PC users – more often than not those who would identify themselves as gamers – love customising their PCs. It’s not a new phenomenon – customising PCs has been around for ages. But customisable hardware is quite a new concept, relatively speaking. And the advent of 3D printing has made that kind of customisation even more accessible. MSI have a keen understanding of the fact that gamers don’t only want power – they want options in terms of looks, too. So one of the bigger aspects of the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard is that it can be customised. Naturally, it features MSI’s Mystic Light system, which allows for numerous illuminated areas of the motherboard to be set and adjusted to the user’s heart’s content. But it also features four customisable cover plates, and ships complete with mounts to enable users to change the design of these areas – the I/O port cover, the audio area cover and two heat sink covers. That means that those that have the time and resources can truly make the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC their own. Working with Intel’s new X299 chipset means that the

MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard

ro Carbon AC T


H C EW E T VI E R Cooler

Master

Masterfan Pro 14 Light ‘em up!

TECHNOLOGY

C

resort to systems like water cooling for their CPU, but getting air flowing through the case is still essential, even with those kinds of higher-end solutions. It doesn’t help that you’re dragging heat away from components if it is not going to be expelled from the case. Case fans are something that need to be taken seriously. There have been many funky case fans for ages. They were one of the first customisation options for case builders, with LED lit fans being one of the first internal case light sources commercially available. But as motherboards continue moving towards being more customisable solutions, new technologies have emerged that make the humble case fan even cooler. And that’s where something like the Cooler Master Masterfan Pro 140 kit comes into play. This kit – the one we have on review, at least – comes with three

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Cooler Master Air Pressure fans (140mm) as well as an RGB control unit. Using a special fin design, the fans create a high pressure in the case, forcing air out simply by pushing a lot in. It works well, even with a three fan setup, provided the case in question has plenty of vents. The fans are also almost completely silent, which is always a plus, and they feature specialised jam protection that stops the motor when a foreign object prevents the fan from spinning, greatly increasing the lifespan of the fan. And they look cool, too, sporting a rounded design, rather than the blocky framed design of other fans. While these fans can be plugged directly into compatible RGB controller ports on motherboards from manufacturers including Asus, Asrock, Gigabyte and MSI, they also have a controller unit that can govern up to four fans. Installing the unit is quite a effort – it

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Cooler Master Masterfan Pro 140 RGB Fan Kit

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RGB Fan Kit

by Alex Scanlon

AT A GLANCE: SUMMARY

TECH SPECS

Compatible with RGB and non-RGB enabled motherboards, this kit adds three 140mm fans and millions of colours to your PC case. Ma nuf a c t ure r: D i s t ri but e r: Onl i ne :

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• • • • • • •

3 140mm fans Pressure Fan Technology Anti-jam system RGB controller RGB motherboard compatible

Co o l e r Ma s t e r Co o l e r Ma s t e r w w w . c o o l e rma s t e r. c o m

AWARDS

requires a USB connection to the motherboard (using that second bank of USB pins that are so rarely used) as well as a SATA power connection. It sits within the case and, using Cooler Master software, turns even a non-RGB enabled system into one that the user can adjust beautifully. It does result in a number of new cables, however, so you’ll likely want to figure the cable management out carefully before you begin your installation. If you’re sporting a PC case with a good viewing window, and you want to be able to add a massive variety of coloured illumination to your case, you really cannot go wrong with this particular kit. The 140mm fans are generous in size and powerful, while the controller is sleek and unobtrusive, and can be positioned well out of sight. This is a great customisation option. g

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Ed’s Choice

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Graphics Card

MSI Graphics Card Bolster

H C EW E T VI E R MSI

Bolster

A helping hand…

SUMMARY A smart way to avoid damage to your system caused by oversized graphics cards.

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AT A GLANCE:

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by Rob Edwards

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he physical strain that oversized GPUs can put on your system – particularly your motherboard – can be quite damaging. Sure, if your PC stays in one place most of the time, there shouldn’t be too many problems. But if you move your PC around a lot, even metal reinforced PCI-E ports may not be enough. To combat this, MSI have a Graphics Card Bolster. This simple device fits inside any case between 390mm and 680mm in height, and features a gas spring support system, complete with three horizontal supports to hold graphics cards on the side away from the rear of the case. The gas spring system also helps absorb unwanted vibration, adding an extra level of component protection. It really is a simple idea, but one that works very well, and is essential for any user who transports their case a lot, and has oversized GPUs inside. g

Platinum Gold Silver Bronze Ed’s Choice

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SCORE

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Ma nuf a c t ure r: D i s t ri but e r: Onl i ne :

MSI TVR Distribution www.tvr.co.za

TECH SPECS • • • • • • • • •

Supports up to 3 GPUs 390mm min height 680mm max height Gas spring system Anti-shock rubber base


Raivo

Roccat Raivo Mouse Pad

H C EW E T VI E R Roccat

Mouse Pad

by Alex Scanlon

Serious surface

AT A GLANCE: SUMMARY A great mouse pad for high performance devices, complete with great shaping and a non-slip base material. TECH SPECS • • • • • • •

Compatible up to 16800 dpi Microgranular surface Non-slip Dirt resistant Flex support plate

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etting the right mouse surface is an important thing, if you’re taking your gaming seriously. While many people are happy to use whatever surface comes along, those serious about their performance should well consider a mouse pad that lets them get the most from their peripherals. Roccat’s Raivo mouse pad has a micro-granular speed surface that is designed to work with gaming mice with resolutions of up to 16,800 dpi. It has been tested with numerous mice, and not just Roccat ones either – Razer, SteelSeries, Logitech and Microsoft all featured in the testing of this product, to ensure the best surface possible. The underside of the pad is non-slip rubber, to ensure that the mouse pad doesn’t go anywhere in the heat of battle. The surface is also dirt-resistant, and the whole affair is ergonomically shaped for the best comfort and effectiveness. This is a long life pad for serious players. g

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Hacking Schmacking TECHNOLOGY

Is Anyone Safe!

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by Suvesh Arumugam

of a certain assassination attempt in

stream of hacking scares

“Homeland”, you wouldn’t be far off.

and crises. The WannaCry

Once overridden, hackers could control

Hacking Schmacking

gg

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ecently there have been a

ransomeware attack was one of the

anything from heart-rate to device

biggest acts of cyber-terrorism the world

battery life. While you might wonder

has ever seen. Hundreds of thousands

how many assassinations would be of

of computers, including some belonging

interest to cybercriminals, think about

to major corporates and banks, were

how much you would pay if a hacker

hacked and encrypted - demanding a

uploaded a firmware patch onto your life-

hefty ransom to decrypt. Later we saw

giving pacemaker and then demanded a

a similar attack called Petya, which

ransom not to turn it off. While we might

tried to similar ransom private data for

be averse to negotiating large sums for

cryptocurrency. 2017 has so far been

encrypted data, an encrypted heart-

something of a wakeup call to many how

machine might be a little more difficult to

the spread of broadband connectivity

ignore.

and smart devices has played into the hands of cybercriminals in ways

We’ve also seen a lot of fear mongering

Pacemakers made vulnerable to hacking!

when it comes to leaked or hacked databases. Yahoo got into a lot of

we never

hot water when it finally

expected.

admitted that they had

Recently, the first known Android

been hacked several times and billions of

DDOS attack was launched through

users had had their personal information

infected apps from the Google Pay Store.

compromises. Users were enraged that

Once the infested apps were installed,

Yahoo had known about this for a while

the WireX bonnet attack sent junk traffic

before revealing it to the public, and

to specific sites in order to render them

it led to some high-level resignations,

unresponsive or cause them to crash

and Yahoo’s CEO forgoing her bonus as

completely. The attack was sending out

a public act of contrition. While some

approximately 20,000 packets of data

may have applauded Mayer for her

per second, emanating from over 100

transparency, others believe this was

different countries. With traffic coming

a major reason for Mayer’s resignation

from all over the world and from different

being made part of the deal in the

IP ranges, it was virtually impossible for

Verizon take later in the year.

site admins to defend themselves. Almost half a million pacemakers made

Security researchers recently discovered a database of over 700 million

by US manufacturer St Jude Medical

emails being used by a spambot called

were found to be vulnerable to hacking.

Online. The spambot was using this data

The radio frequency enabled devices

to send banking malware to vulnerable

were found to be vulnerable to intercept

Windows computers, siphoning

using basic equipment that’s available

passwords and credit card details for

to most consumers. If it reminds you

fraudulent purposes. The real

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problem with infected computers is that

clearly a wakeup call for the internet

they spread the malware through their

and free speech activists. In the past,

own networks. So, one infected computer

OurMine have claimed to have hacked

on a network can potentially compromise

the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg,

many. It’s already estimated that the

Buzzfeed and even Pokemon Go!

banking malware has infected over 100,000 machines globally. Even hackers aren’t safe from hacking.

What does this mean for the rest of us ordinary citizens, who might watch an occasional YouTube vid, or write an email

Ever since Edward Snowden revealed all

or two? Should we live in cyber fear?

about the NSA’s surveillance programs,

The answer is probably yes and no, but

it’s been assumed that the American

maybe more yes than no. The advent of

government (as well as others) have

cryptocurrency means that technology

an interest in hacking into private

has finally given cyberterrorists the

information, and might not always be

means to commit crimes in relative

doing so in very ethical ways. In March

safety within the cyber realms, with no

Wikileaks dumped almost 9,000 secret

bank or traces. This means that they can now achieve a kind of scale that was

“Should

we live in cyber fear?”

previously unprecedented. Whether they steal big or steal little is of little consequence, since the internet has taught us that small things become big things with scale. Why risk the

CIA documents on the internet, mostly

big security firms coming after you by

detailing vulnerabilities in Windows,

hacking the Microsofts of the world? It

iOS and Android that could be exploited

would make more sense to target small

for spying purposes. It even detailed

businesses, families and individuals,

how smart tv’s could be turned into

many of whom are probably more

surveillance devices.

vulnerable and likely to capitulate to

While Wikileaks are not technically hackers, must of their information

software and the anonymity of the

is obtained by hackers who feed the

internet, this could be even easier than

website. Wikileaks.org was also recently

mining Bitcoin.

TECHNOLOGY

hacked by the Saudi group, OurMine.

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ransom demands. With the aid of servers,

It’s hard to see how cybercrime will

Traffic to the website was diverted

evolve in the future, but with our personal

to a page defacing the Wikileaks

data, passwords and our resources

homepage and claiming that the hack

more available than ever for criminals to

was in response to a challenge issued by

exploit, it’s clear that everyday citizens

Wikileaks themselves. While Wikileaks

are going to need to become more

servers were not actually compromised

vigilant and security conscious to protect

(the DNS servers were altered to point

themselves (and watch other) from the

traffic to the new IP address), it was

threat for cyber-criminals. g

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Hidden Threats

Look at what the cat dragged in.

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So, What Happens?

Quoting Kaspersky Lab, a typical targeted cyberattack sees “a threat actor collects valuable information to subsequently transfer to the command and control server (C&C). In most cases, proven security solutions or professional security analytics can identify the presence of the threat actor in the network at each stage of an attack, including the exfiltration stage. This is because the exfiltration part usually leaves tracks, for example logged connections to an unknown or blacklisted IP address; however, when it comes to attacks where steganography is used, the detection of data exfiltration becomes a difficult task.” And it is in that last bit that you should start feeling a chill in the air. While many of us are almost religious about not opening links or emails from strange people, there seems to be little regard for clicking on images on the internet or downloading them to your computer or mobile device. If these attacks are so difficult to detect, just imagine the consequences of us happily sharing infected photographs to all and sundry.

By Iwan Pienaar

In the previous scenario, malicious users insert information to be stolen right inside the code of a trivial visual image or video file which is then sent to the C&C. It is unlikely that such an event would trigger any security alarms or data protection technology. This is because after modification by the attacker, the image itself would not be changed visually and its size and most other parameters would also not be altered, therefore not raising any cause for concern. This makes steganography a lucrative technique for malicious users when it comes to choosing the way to get data from an infected network.

A Bad Moon Rising

Perhaps more frighteningly, the technique is not only being adopted by large-scale cyberespionage operations but also ‘regular’ cybercriminals. For the most part, it seems these malicious users are targeting financial organisations and people who use financial services. Okay, so that probably does not set your mind at ease. Not wanting to scare you even more, but security specialists believe the fact that more individual criminals are using this attack technique, signal that there is likely to be an upcoming mass adoption of steganography by nefarious users. And, with this, the malicious code will be continually improved, refined, and tweaked to require even more complex detection solutions. Even though this is not the first time a malicious technique is finding its way into the more mainstream malware landscape, the most concerning thing is how difficult it is to accurately detect against steganography infections. Fortunately, while the security industry has not found a way to reliably to do so yet, attention to the problem will increase awareness resulting in (hopefully) the development of reliable and affordable technologies to safeguard against this dangerous attack method. Reckon I’ll leave the final words to that classic philosopher, Alfred E. Neuman – “Me worry?” g gamecca99

Hidden Threats

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teganography…for those that know what it is, you would be forgiven to think this is something best relegated to the days of yore. And yet, it is one of the fastest-growing areas in the world of cybercrime. To the uninitiated, steganography is the practice of sending data in a concealed format. In human-speak, this translates to hiding messages inside images. In the digital world, messages can translate to anything with bits and bytes in it. This means that even malicious software can be embedded inside that nice cat photograph you are sharing to aunt Petunia and the cousins on Facebook and WhatsApp. Already, several cyber-security companies have identified global malware operations focused on cyberespionage that use steganography to steal financial information from governments, organisations, and even individuals.

Steganographic methods In LSB steganography, the payload (in this case, the malicious software) is encoded into and communicated in one or several least significant bits of the carrier (the frequency that carries information). DCT-based steganography is a sub-type of LSB steganography that is often applied on JPEGformat carriers. In this method, the communicated data is secretly encoded into the image. Palette-based image steganography is basically another sub-type of LSB steganography, in which the communicated data is encoded into least significant bits of the image palette rather than into those of the carrier. Use of service fields in data formats. This is a relatively simple method, in which the payload is embedded into the service fields of the carrier’s headers (think of those metatags used when describing your holiday snaps). Payload embedding is a method where the payload is encoded into the carrier and, upon delivery, is decoded using an algorithm known to both parties. Wideband methods fall into the following types - Pseudorandom sequence method, in which a secret carrier signal is modulated by a pseudorandom signal; and Frequency hopping method, in which the frequency of the carrier signal changes according to a specific pseudorandom law. Source: Securelist.com

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Horror movie remakes are nothing new. Over the few decades we’ve been subjected to fresh takes on everything from Nightmare on Elm Street to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho and Halloween. This month sees the release of one of the most highly anticipated horror remakes to date: It. To be fair, the 2017 It isn’t technically a remake of another movie. It’s the second adaptation of the bestselling 1986 novel by horror master Steven King. There’s just little doubt that the new film will be compared to the 1990 miniseries of the same name – which was also released as a single movie. To this day, children of the 90s shudder at the thought of that older onscreen It. More specifically, they’re probably thinking of It’s iconic villain: Pennywise the clown, played by British actor Tim Curry.

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IT IN A NUT SHELL What is It about? The story takes place in the town of Derry, Maine, where every thirty years, the community is plagued by a spate of disappearances and violent deaths, particularly of children. A group of seven misfit kids known as the Losers’ Club decide to investigate when the younger brother of one of their members becomes a victim. What they find is a malevolent supernatural entity that lives in Derry’s sewers, and comes out of hibernation every three decades to feed. Shapeshifting It takes the form of people’s fears, and to children It most often appears as Pennywise, a clown touting red balloons. The Losers’ Club vows to defeat It, but that means facing their personal demons in the process.

PART 1 OF 2 This summary of It actually only covers half of the full story. In the 1000+ pages of the novel, once the kids confront It the action jumps forward decades. After thirty years of peace, the malevolent creature returns, and the members of the Losers’ Club, now all adults, must reunite in their hometown to fight It one final time. This second part of It’s plot won’t feature in the 2017 movie, which has a confirmed running time of 132 minutes – already unusually long for a horror film. The plan is to save the “grown-up” material for a second movie, supposedly out at some point in 2018-2019. This month’s release actually has the full title of It – Part 1: The Losers’ Club, while the planned sequel will be titled It – Part 2: Pennywise. Out of interest, the 1990 miniseries was initially going to consist of eight hour-long episodes. The project was eventually shortened to three hours of content, meaning

LIFESTYLE

that a lot had to be chopped from the literary source material.

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ALMOST A DECADE IN THE MAKING Although the fidelity and popularity of the It miniseries meant that nobody was desperate for another adaptation, the new It movie has been in development at New Line Cinema since 2009. The first director attached to the project was Cary Fukunaga, highly acclaimed for True Detective Season 1, and atmospheric movies like Jane Eyre. But three weeks before filming was to begin in 2015, he withdrew from the project because of creative disagreements with the studio. Fukunaga was eventually replaced by Andrés Muschietti, who was responsible for child-centric supernatural horror Mama. With It’s director in place, casting could begin. Of the young performers portraying the Losers’ Club, probably the most recognisable is Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, who plays loud-mouth Richie Tozier. The other child actors in It are Jaeden Lieberher (as group leader Bill Denbrough), Jeremy Ray Taylor (as overweight Ben Hanscom), Wyatt Oleff (as pragmatic Stanley Uris), Jack Dylan Grazer (as hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak), Chosen Jacobs (as African American history buff Mike Hanlon) and Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh, the only girl in the gang). As for the all-important role of Pennywise, comedian Will Poulter was originally set to play the killer clown. When Poulter had to drop out due to scheduling issues, he was replaced by young Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård of the TV series Hemlock Grove. Skargard obviously has big shoes to fill, but the still images and trailers for It 2017 suggest his Pennywise will be a lot more sinister and serious than Tim Curry’s take on the character. The only other notably bit of information about the making of It is that Part 1 will be set in the 1980s and the intended Part 2 in our present day, to make it more identifiable for modern audiences. This is an update from the novel, which was split between the 1950s and 1980s. So expect inevitable comparisons to Stranger Things and The Goonies, which are

LIFESTYLE

also darker coming-of-age adventures set in the Eighties and centred on bands of bullied outcasts. R-rated It pops up in American cinemas on 8 September. South African audiences will have to wait one week longer for this highly anticipated horror, which releases locally on 15 September.

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STEPHEN KING: KING OF THE MOVIE ADAPTATIO

Not only is Stephen King one of the most successful authors of the past forty the most frequently adapted for other media. To date over 60 big screen film Tower) and almost 30 shows, miniseries and made-for-TV movies have been just a handful of King on-screen classics.

Carrie (1974) The very first King adaptation was a dark revenge fantasy starring Sissy Spacek as a shy teenager with telekinetic powers. John Travolta’s band of bullies target her on prom night with tragic results. Along with a sequel, Carrie was remade in 2013 with Chloë Grace Moretz.

The Shining (1980) “Here’s Johnny!” Although the 1997 miniseries was more faithful to the book, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is now regarded as one of the most influential horror movies of all time. Struggling writer Jack Nicholson goes mad while snowed in at the haunted Overlook Hotel, and tries to murder his family.

Misery (1990) Psychological horror Misery won an Oscar for Kathy Bates. She plays an evidently sweet, but in reality psychotic, fan who rescues her favourite romance author (James Caan) after a car accident. She then keeps him a prisoner in her home, forcing him to write new stories about her favourite character.

It (1990) The original three-hour miniseries, also released later on video to terrorise a generation. A band of adolescent outsiders fight a monster that murders children. Thirty years later they must return to their hometown to destroy It when it resurfaces. The all-star adult cast included John Ritter, Annette O’Toole and Tim Curry.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) LIFESTYLE

Stephen King hasn’t only written horror and thrillers. The Shawshank Redemption is about a mild-mannered banker (Tim Robbins) wrongly imprisoned for the murder of his wife. King was also responsible for another powerful prison tale, The Green Mile, with Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan.

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years, his work ranks among ms (including last month’s Dark based on his writing. Here are

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Title: Writer:

Grumpy Cat / Garfield #1 Mark Evanier

Artist:

Steve Uy

Publisher:

Dynamite

Rated:

COOL STUFF: Comics

GET GRAPHIC All Ages

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by Clive Burmeister

It’s here! The grumpiest and laziest cross-over you’re ever likely to see in comics. Grumpy Cat meets Garfield! But it’s not all playing tricks on their eager friends, making humorous quips at the expense of others and eating lasagne (and other food, but mostly lasagne), there’s some serious trouble afoot. The evil Pet Mogul corporation has decided that since according to their polls dogs are considered the world’s favourite pet, they will try to make cats more like dogs: obedient, playful, happy and cheerful. And since Garfield and Grumpy Cat optimize all the sour attitudes that they seek to change in the feline species, the poor cats are kidnapped to become test subjects in this terrible scheme.

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GET GRAPHIC Lark’s Killer #1 Bill Willingham Mark Dos Santos Devil’s Due Teen +

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by Clive Burmeister

As many of you know, Bill Willingham is the writer and creator of the amazing Fables comic series, published by DC’s Vertigo line, which has inspired and influenced many books and television series since it first started coming out. Willingham is one of the most gifted storytellers in the fantasy genre, with his very distinctive style of writing, his intricately planned plots and sub-plots, and his incredibly immersive settings; so it is of no surprise that after a fairly long break in releases, when he launches a new comic it’s something of a work of art. Lark’s Killer seems to be a little faster paced and fluid than Fables was, with the cartoon style art of Dos Santos and plenty of action, but still maintaining the evidence of the complex narratives that Willingham is known for.

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GET GRAPHIC Quake Champions #1 Ram V Alan Quah Titan Teen +

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by Clive Burmeister

It’s been a while since Quake first launched on PC, and it has built quite a following since those early days. Renowned for its PVP matches, Quake soon became the benchmark for player versus player gaming. Quake Champions tries to capture that PVP legacy with a story centred around the old marine still trying to make it home, but now trapped in a new tournament. To have any chance of finding his way back, he will need to stand up to whatever opponents are trapped in this place with him, and beat them all. Detailed artwork, bloody action sequences, and a story that feels very “Quake”, combine to make the comic enjoyable for a fan of the franchise, while plenty of back story and flashbacks allow for new comers to enjoy the book as well.

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Title:

Robotech #1

Writer:

Brian Wood

Artist:

Marco Turini

Publisher:

Titan

Rated:

Teen

COOL STUFF: Comics

GET GRAPHIC

by Clive Burmeister

Robotech has a long and proud history with its 85-episode TV series, which for many western kids was their first exposure to anime style storytelling in the 80’s, and multiple forays into the comic market as well. Now Robotech is back, and one of comics most acclaimed writers, Brian Wood, is recapturing the magic, action, and nostalgia of the original series in this new comic re-launch. The sentinel battle ship SDF-1 (Super Dimension Fortress One), housing the Veritech Fighter Squadron, keeps watch over Macross Island. Using their amazing advances in Robo-Technology, they are the best defence of the entire planet. But when, what appears to be, a large scale extra terrestrial attack on the planet, wrecks havoc through Macross City, will the Robotech Project live up to its name in facing this new threat. 119

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Gluttony Bay

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A full plate..

Title:

Gluttony Bay

Author:

Matt Wallace

Publisher: Genre:

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ollowing their recent escapade with politics, the Presidential elect of the United States, and the Presidential elect of the supernatural world, the cooks of Sin Du Jour have more than they can handle on their plates. A war is on the rise and single entity

still stands on the outskirts, controlling the events like a master puppeteer in the shadows. Only the disastrous events of their last outing have put them on the wrong side of the law, supernatural and otherwise. In this sixth book of the Sin Du Jour affair, and the penultimate book in the series, the cooks find themselves in a heap of trouble in the form of Gluttony Bay High Security Supernatural Prison. Matt Wallace continues to combine humour, tense relationship dynamics, and the slowly culminating fate of his characters with a weird and bizarre world. It is a truly unique urban fantasy. There is also a lot of growth and change from the first few books to this particular novel. Nonetheless, the chefs of Sin Du Jour must once again overcome all obstacles, dishing up their best once again for the sake of themselves and‌ the world. g

by Nthato Morakabi

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Ruin of Angels Ever-changing

Title:

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Ruin of Angels Max Gladstone Tor Books Urban Fantasy


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he city of Alikand was destroyed during the God Wars, as many things were. It is a century and half since, and Agdel Lex rises from many constructions that followed Alikland. In the years after the God Wars, times have changed drastically, even as

dead deities litter the surrounding desert and a squidlike tower dominates the skyline. For Priestess Investment Banker Kai Phala visits her sister Ley, only to find the estranged sister in the middle of an unfavourable situation. Ruin of Angels is the sixth instalment in the Craft Sequence series written by the very talented Max Gladstone. More than just an Urban Fantasy, Ruin of Angels has the depth of a modern society at its core, augmented by elements of a mystical and supernatural fantasy. It is also a thriller with questions thrown in about faith, religion, and family. It is written superbly well, capturing the relationship between Kai and Ley, while also revealing the dark twisted world of Alikand and its nefarious inhabitants. If you’re looking for a truly unique urban fantasy series to dive in to, then the ever expanding, and chronologically changing Craft

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by Nthato Morakabi

Sequence books are definitely worth getting. g

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Ramjet’s rantality

o this isn’t strictly gaming related, but it is something that happens in gaming circles all the time. It’s an idea that has evolved over the last few decades, particularly with the rise of the internet and, more specifically, social networks. And it shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that humanity is doomed. It is one of the watchwords of our generation: fake news. So when I was growing up, shortly after man discovered how to use fire, we didn’t have the internet. We had libraries and the like. We had TV, too, and radio, of course, but information was more… governed? Is that the right term? Things published in books seemed to have more credibility, because not everyone could do it. And if things were wrong in those books, it became common knowledge fairly quickly. People were more… responsible (I guess) with the information they produced, because it was something that took a lot of time and money to do.

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Enter the internet, and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. Sure, I am all for free information and seeing the world become more educated as a result but, if you ask me, it seems that the exact opposite has happened. People have become infinitely more stupid, thanks to these supposedly empowering technologies. The reasons for this are principally the fact that anyone can publish anything on the internet, combined with the fact that being a gullible idiot is less work than actually doing some research, or even a little logical thought. It takes effort to make your brain work. Spoon-feeding is much easier. As long as there are flashing lights attached, it’s all good. The end result is this absolutely amazing reaction that happens every day. Step one, someone posts some bullshit somewhere. Let’s call it fake news. Like a new console has been announced already, so soon after the last generation was released. Step two,

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BY rAMJET

Fake Nutters...

an idiot reads it. Probably just the headline, mind you, because reading is hard work. Step three, idiot overreacts, does no research whatsoever, applied not even an ounce of logical thought, and reacts online, sharing and ranting on social media. Step four, add more idiots. Pretty soon, you have an anti0intellectual chain reaction that spreads like wildfire, with only a few online firefighters trying to beat out the flames with logic and reason. They invariably fail, but the flames eventually die out. Because the idiots have short attention spans, and soon get distracted by new rubbish. Next time you want to react… check the article date, check the article source, and corroborate the story from as many credible sources as you can. Or, even better, turn off your PC and go read a freakin’ book. It might teach you a little about being a gullible, reactionary fire-brand. If you can muster the effort to actually think, that is. g


Gamecca Magazine September 2017  

Gamecca Magazine September 2017 [Volume 9 | Issue 99]. September marks some of the biggest names of the year arriving, starting with Destin...