Author: David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously worked as a freelance games journalist and critic, appearing on PC World Australia. He tweets at @RhunWords and plays the odd game at twitch.tv/RhunWords when the internet works.

Crackdown 3‘s Director Goodwin is the one villain the game won’t let me kill

February 16, 2019

Crackdown 3 is a game about an agency of highly trained, superpowered cops taking back the city of New Providence from the claws of an evil corporate empire called Terranova. Each sector of the city is overseen by a different brutal crimelord under Terranova’s control. The game’s main campaign has the player baiting these supervillains […]

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Games Review: Crackdown 3 is not the platform exclusive the Xbox One badly needs right now

February 15, 2019

I think we all knew, deep down, that Crackdown 3 was never going to be anything special. Years of delays don’t seem to have given developer Sumo Digital the space they needed to build on even the original game’s most basic concepts. It seems content to replicate the parts of the original that worked best […]

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Games Review: Aragami: Shadow Edition rewards patience with deeply satisfying stealth

February 14, 2019

Aragami: Shadow Edition is a rather clever blend of modern stealth elements and old school action-adventure. Its most obvious mechanical influence seems to be Tenchu: Stealth Assassins with a little of Splinter Cell‘s shadow cover thrown in for good measure. It adopts an animated look reminiscent of Okami. Indeed, like Okami, Aragami is steeped in […]

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Games Review: Apex Legends is the best Battle Royale title in the world right now

February 13, 2019

I haven’t enjoyed any title in the Battle Royale genre before Apex Legends. Not one. To date, my firmly held opinion has been that BR is a multiplayer mode that has risen well above its station, lacking the substance required to be a genre unto itself. Apex Legends not only changed my opinion on Battle […]

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Activision Blizzard sacks 8% of its workforce despite “record” revenues

February 13, 2019

Activision Blizzard has laid off 800 people, a total 8% of the company’s entire workforce after ~only~ making an extra $100 million in profit last year. As retrenched employees began to tweet that they were out of a job, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told shareholders the company had experienced a record year, raking in […]

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Games Review: OlliOlli Switch Stance is better than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. There, I said it.

February 13, 2019

There are only four good skateboarding video games, and the OlliOlli series are two of them.* Roll7’s OlliOlli and its follow-up OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood are side-scrolling skateboarding titles that are all about putting the sickest runs together and racking up massive score multipliers. Both games have a deceptively simple 2D look that belie […]

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Games Review: Astroneer lets you science the sh*t out of this, together

February 9, 2019

Astroneer has a lot in common with No Man’s Sky. It has a lot of the same ideas, the same goals, but its ambition is much smaller. This is in no way a bad thing. There’s less flying around the galaxy looking for planets and more spending time on planets, mining deep into their crust […]

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Tech Review: Elgato Stream Deck Mini makes levelling up your Twitch stream a breeze

February 8, 2019

You’d have to look pretty far and wide to find a serious streamer that doesn’t use one of Elgato’s Stream Deck devices. The desk-mounted broadcast enhancement device allows users to bind custom functions to its face buttons, making certain tasks like activating overlays or switching between cameras while streaming that much easier. One of the […]

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Tech Review: The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a great gaming keyboard under $100

February 6, 2019

I really like HyperX’s keyboards. I’m on record as a fan of their gear. The thing is, I’ve really only had experience with their top-of-the-line mechanical boards. The HyperX Alloy Core RGB gaming keyboard is not one of these top-of-the-line boards. But just because it isn’t a mechanical board doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your […]

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Tech Review: The Razer Phone 2 is a solid smartphone that can’t stop getting in its own way

February 6, 2019

Holy wow, the Razer Phone 2 is a powerful handset. If ever a mobile phone has been built from the ground up to make games look better and run more smoothly, its this one. The strong specs are hard to argue with. Its exterior design, however, brings a pretty solid Android phone down a few […]

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Games Preview: The Division 2 focuses on the endgame, would like you to stick around this time

February 5, 2019

If you haven’t checked in on the original Tom Clancy’s The Division in a while, it might surprise you to know that that game is in the best shape of its life right now. Numerous development studios within Ubisoft, including lead developer Massive Entertainment and multiplayer specialist Ubisoft Annecy, have regularly added new content throughout […]

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Tech Review: The HyperX Fury RGB SSD is beautiful but outclassed by the competition

February 4, 2019

On paper, the HyperX Fury RGB SSD sounds like a really impressive little hard drive. Up to 550/440MB/s of sequential read/write, and lots of lovely, fully customisable onboard LEDs for those who like their desktop lit up like Dutch new year. In practice, however, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. The Fury RGB […]

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Games Review: Wargroove is the Advance Wars revival of your dreams

February 4, 2019

It’s been 16 years since the release of Intelligent Systems’ Advance Wars 2, widely considered one of the greatest turn-based strategy titles ever made, and 11 years since Advance Wars: Dark Conflict (titled Days of Ruin in the US). The intervening period saw the popularity of Intelligent’s Fire Emblem series explode in the West, an unexpected turn […]

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Games Preview: Playing Crackdown 3 feels like opening a time capsule

February 2, 2019

After spending three and a half hours with Crackdown 3, I’m still not sure I know how to feel about it. On one hand, Crackdown 3‘s multiplayer is superlative and legitimately thrilling, a mix of classic Quake III era team deathmatch with modern mobility and verticality. On the other, the time I spent with the early […]

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Can’t afford to visit NZ IRL? Virtual Wellington will get you there for free

January 30, 2019

Gamification in the tech industry is nothing new. Apps like Habitica have taken even the most mundane tasks like ticking items off a checklist and turned them into a role playing game in which you, personally, are the star. You might think that’s pretty full on, but hold on a sec because it gets way […]

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Games Impressions: Anthem‘s VIP Demo combines strong world building with kinetic combat

January 27, 2019

I’ve had questions about Anthem ever since it was announced. It’s been about a year and a half since Anthem was first announced and my questions are finally getting some answers. While EA’s desire for an ongoing MMO shooter in the Destiny mould was understandable, it was the tapping of legendary RPG studio Bioware to create […]

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Games Preview: Far Cry New Dawn feels like Ubisoft’s way of owning past mistakes

January 24, 2019

I’d been playing Far Cry New Dawn for about an hour when a dusty neuron in the back of my brain began to fire, two thoughts connecting in real time. New Dawn is a spin-off title in the Far Cry series, but is a direct sequel to 2018’s Far Cry 5. The cynical view of […]

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Games Review: Resident Evil 2 sets a new standard for video game remasters

January 23, 2019

The following admission may be considered scandalous by Resident Evil devotees: My first experience with the series was when Resident Evil 2 was first ported to the Nintendo 64. It was no small feat getting the game to run on the N64, given the storage limitations presented by its cartridges. FMV cutscenes and large amounts […]

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Games Review: Gris is a beautiful, wordless ode to overcoming trauma

January 20, 2019

Gris is pretty special experience. It’s a game with a lot to say, but never actually says a word out loud. Instead, Gris uses its strident, beautiful art style to convey its every thought — linework, animation and colour all have a part to play in this story about finding your way back from a […]

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Days Gone gets Collector’s Edition, Australian pricing details

January 18, 2019

It might be fair to call Days Gone the PS4 exclusive most of us kind of forgot about. PlayStation’s stellar year of exclusives in 2018, coupled with the decision to skip the end-of-year PlayStation Experience event, meant going a long while between trailers and announcements. It dropped off the radar a bit. But with the […]

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