What’s On

GX Australia 2017

After an incredibly successful first year in 2016, GX Australia is returning once more to Sydney. For those who are still unaware, GX prides itself on being the most inclusive convention for gamers and geeks of all types. No matter what your identity, hobby choice or interest, the convention aims to provide a safe and inclusive space for everyone.

Taking place from Saturday April 29 – Sunday April 30, the event will be bigger and better with a more impressive venue (this time at the iconic Sydney Showgrounds), expanded tabletop and card game selections, cosplay tournaments and more. Plus, special guests for the event include Fallout creator Tim Cain, lead designer of Monument Valley Ken Wong, and ex-Good Game host Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen. Tickets start from $47.55. For more information, visit gxaustralia.com.

Library After Dark: Tabletop Games

If you’re aged 16 or over and love gaming, why not check out Randwick City Library’s Library After Dark? On Wednesday April 5 from 6pm, the whole building will be transformed into a nerd haven with a wide assortment of games to play. The best part about it? All are welcome, no matter your skill level, and it’s completely free to enter! To register for the event, visit eventbrite.com. Should you be too late, don’t fear, as it takes place on the first Wednesday of each month. For more updates, stay locked to Randwick City Library’s Facebook page.

NEWS

Re-Crafting

Fans of the 1998 strategy game classic, StarCraft, should get excited with Blizzard confirming that a remaster is now on its way. StarCraft Remastered is set to include a full graphical overhaul, with widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution. The game’s soundtrack and dialogue has also been updated, while cloud saves, custom maps and replays should help round out the package.

“While these improvements will bring StarCraft to the modern era, gameplay and balance have been precisely preserved, for an experience that will feel identical to veteran players,” Blizzard said in its announcement. An exact release date is yet to be confirmed.

Outlast At Last

In slightly confusing news, Red Barrels’ horror sequel Outlast 2[above] was initially denied classification (and therefore banned) in Australia, due to a scene involving implied sexual violence, only for the board to then seemingly reverse that decision and classify it as R18+.

Much confusion followed soon after, with Kotaku reporting a censor claiming that “the original version of the game that was refused classification has been modified to allow the game to be classified”.

The mess was finally cleared up with a final comment from the game’s publisher. “The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game,” a statement read. “This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.”

REVIEW ROUND-UP

Review: The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (Switch, Wii U)

★★★★★

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A lot of fuss has been made over The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild thus far, but for good reason. It takes much of what we know about the Zelda formula and then twists it right on its head. Its structure, for instance, is unlike any entry in the series before it. Once exiting the main hub, Link is right down to business and must find/free the four ‘divine beasts’ – magical creations that are central to defeating regular series villain Ganon and saving Princess Zelda.

These beats act as the game’s traditional dungeons (placed near each corner of the map) but can be tackled in any order should you feel confident. Each of these battles, like the puzzles that come before them, are smart, well-thought-out and spectacular.

In amongst that, Breath Of The Wild is brimming with side quests and additional content. Each is just as polished and enjoyable as the last, enriching the whole experience. Make no doubt about it, this isn’t just the best Zelda game of all time, but bound to become one of the best games of the decade. Even if you’re not a hardcore fan, you owe it to yourself to at least try it.

Review: Ghost Recon: Wildlands (PS4, XBO, PC)

★★★☆

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After the US embassy is attacked in the Bolivian capital and a DEA agent taken hostage, the United States green lights a covert unit whose sole design is to disrupt the area’s drug cartel operations and take out its leader, El Sueño. Such is the set-up for Ghost Recon: Wildlands, the first game in the series to truly adopt Ubisoft’s online open-world style.

Without any kind of assistance like supply drops or air support, the Ghosts are on their own, which is a refreshing change of pace that grants you a great deal of control over your Bolivian vacation. Slowly gathering intelligence to launch discrete missions that break down the various branches of the Santa Blanca cartel is a lot of fun, even though the missions themselves feel a little samey.

It’s worth noting, however, that this is a game designed to be played with friends in your corner. Ordering around your AI team is entirely serviceable, but you’ll still feel as though you’re missing out on a core component of the game… because you kind of are.