All posts by David Smith

Games and technology editor, Dungeons and Dragons fanboy and your new best friend. You can reach me at david.smith@theaureview.com with news tips, pitches, press releases, invites, review content and more.

Telltale Games lays off 90 employees as company refocuses on smaller teams

Telltale Games, a developer known for narrative-focused episodic games like The Wolf Among UsThe Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands has laid off a whopping 25% of its entire workforce this morning. The retrenchments, which leave 90 staff members without jobs, come as part of an internal restructuring that will see the company running a smaller team and releasing fewer games. Continue reading Telltale Games lays off 90 employees as company refocuses on smaller teams

Games Review: Xbox One X (2017): Raw power, same mistakes

Boy, Don Mattrick really fucked Xbox, didn’t he? It’s been five years since Microsoft’s now-infamous E3 2013 presentation, the unveiling of an All-in-One corporate fantasy wildly out of step with what its audience actually wanted and expected. Microsoft have been trying to course correct ever since. So dominated have they been by the runaway success of the competing PlayStation 4 that Xbox stopped reporting sales numbers entirely over a year ago, only beginning again when pre-orders for the Xbox One X went big.

To that end, the Xbox One X has been positioned as something of a saviour. A powerhouse console built to cater to the hardcore gamer and herald of a new age of ultra high definition content. To read between the lines of Microsoft’s breathless marketing for the machine, it feels a bit like this is the make-or-break moment for the Xbox One as a brand and as a hardware family. They really seem to want to convey that they have a lot riding on this machine. The questions that leap to mind then are: Can the Xbox One be saved this late in the game? And, could the Xbox One X save them if it had to? Continue reading Games Review: Xbox One X (2017): Raw power, same mistakes

Getting an Xbox One X? Don’t have NBN? It’s important to know what you’re signing up for

As of this writing I have had our Xbox One X review unit in my home for eight days. The console, along with a generous care package of games including console exclusives, new releases and a few November headliners, arrived the Thursday afternoon before PAX Aus. I’ve been able to play three of these games so far — Super Lucky’s Tale, Disneyland Adventures and Zoo Tycoon. Why? Because over the course of those eight days, our Xbox One X has been locked in a digital war of attrition against my humble ADSL2 connection. Continue reading Getting an Xbox One X? Don’t have NBN? It’s important to know what you’re signing up for

Games Review: Rugby 18 (PS4, 2017) doesn’t seem to understand how rugby works

If you, or someone you know, could be considered a fan of rugby then there might come a point in your life where playing Rugby 18 seems like a good idea. I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that that won’t be true. That way lies disappointment and regret because in Rugby 18, developer Eko Software have created a digital representation of a popular sport so fundamentally broken that it makes WWE 2K18 look polished. Continue reading Games Review: Rugby 18 (PS4, 2017) doesn’t seem to understand how rugby works

Pause Festival 2018 launches in Melbourne, features “injectable” NFC chips

Pause Festival held a event at Melbourne’s Federation Square this morning for the launch of its 2018 program. The technology and innovation festival, now in its eighth year, brings together some of the best and brightest from across the tech world for a multi-day event in the heart of Melbourne. None of that was particularly weird for a media event. It didn’t get weird until they started injecting people with microchips. Continue reading Pause Festival 2018 launches in Melbourne, features “injectable” NFC chips

EA and DICE retool Star Wars Battlefront II‘s loot box and progression systems

Following player ire regarding Star Wars Battlefront II‘s implementation of loot box and XP progression systems during the game’s last beta period, Electronic Arts and developer DICE have announced a re-balancing of both systems in time for launch. Continue reading EA and DICE retool Star Wars Battlefront II‘s loot box and progression systems

Paris Games Week 2017: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sets a release date for Xbox One

The most popular game in the world, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, is coming to Xbox One. This we’ve known since E3 earlier this year. What we haven’t known was when. Now we have an answer, and it’s way sooner than you were expecting. Continue reading Paris Games Week 2017: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sets a release date for Xbox One

Games Review: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox One, 2017): Complexity and nuance with a hint of dead Nazi

Oh boy, where does one start with an experience like the one Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus offers? The second game in a week to prove that the single-player experience as we know it is still very much alive and well, Wolfenstein II is the kind of shooter we haven’t had in a while — one with a lot on its mind and a willingness, some might say a fevered desire, to push its audience’s buttons. Continue reading Games Review: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox One, 2017): Complexity and nuance with a hint of dead Nazi

Paris Games Week 2017: Every trailer from the PlayStation media conference

Christmas arrived a little early this year. PlayStation’s media conference kicked off Paris Games Week with a bang — some solid AAA trailers and a metric tonne of fabulous indie titles to look forward to. There’s a lot to cover so we’ve put every trailer Sony had to show off in one place just because we love you. Continue reading Paris Games Week 2017: Every trailer from the PlayStation media conference

Paris Games Week 2017: The Last of Us Part II gets a brutal new trailer

Sony have unveiled a brand new trailer for Naughty Dog’s upcoming The Last of Us Part II during their Paris Games Week media conference. The trailer is curiously devoid of any appearance by series heroes Ellie or Joel, but does feature another popular Naughty Dog player. It is also not for the squeamish. Continue reading Paris Games Week 2017: The Last of Us Part II gets a brutal new trailer