Author: David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.

The AU Review’s Game of the Year 2019

December 17, 2019

It hasn’t been easy to choose as a Game of the Year for 2019. This has been a pivotal year for the games industry. With new consoles on the horizon, and several high profile AAA titles delaying into early 2020, independent games have been able to take the spotlight in a big way. The games […]

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Every trailer from today’s PlayStation State of Play

December 10, 2019

PlayStation have dropped the latest State of Play broadcast overnight. The broadcast, PlayStation’s first since October, covered PS4 and PSVR titles launching in 2020. So what was on the docket? Untitled Goose Game Untitled Goose Game by Melbourne developer House House will make its PlayStation 4 debut next week, December 17, just in time for […]

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Eberron: Rising from the Last War revives a beloved D&D setting

December 9, 2019

Eberron is one of Dungeons & Dragons greatest settings. A world still sifting through the wreckage of a recent global war, a place where sorcery and ambition have created technological marvels. The second major campaign setting for D&D 5th Edition is a palate cleanser, a very different flavour to the game’s traditional home in the […]

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New BioShock in development at new 2K studio

December 9, 2019

Fresh from resurrecting their popular Borderlands property this year, 2K Games has announced the return of another fan favourite — BioShock. 2K believes newly created 2K studio, Cloud Chamber, are the team to make it. Cloud Chamber will be based at 2K’s headquarters in San Francisco, California and Montreal, Quebec. The move to Quebec marks […]

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GB Studio lets you make your own GameBoy games

December 6, 2019

Making a video game is hard. The disciplines involved in creating a video game are so far-ranging that most beginners give up. If only there were easier, less intimidating paths of entry into game design available to beginners. That’s where apps like GB Studio by programmer Chris Maltby come in. The Nintendo GameBoy was a […]

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Rockstar Games

We played Red Dead Redemption 2 on a $5000 laptop

December 2, 2019

The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo UX181GV is a legitimate monster. Two 4K touchscreens. A 9th Gen Intel i9 processor running at 2.4GHz, speed boosted up to a crazy 5.0GHz. A huge 32GB DDR4 RAM. A 1TB SSD. A 6GG GDDR6 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. One of the most powerful laptops I’ve ever encountered, […]

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WD Black P10 Review: Big storage, low price

December 1, 2019

The WD Black P10 Game Drive is a pretty tight little piece of kit. It understands that game file sizes are larger than ever and growing as a new hardware generation looms. You can see this in real terms — models start at 2TB before hitting a monstrous 4TB and 5TB. The drive is USB […]

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Death Stranding Review: Hideo Kojima vs The World

November 18, 2019

I don’t really know how to review a game like Death Stranding. Try as I might to collect my thoughts for review, it seems designed to defy critical appraisal at every turn. This may make it a work of high and complex art, a kind of long-form interactive Rorschach test, but I don’t know that […]

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Warcraft III Reforged Beta Impressions: Feels like home

November 11, 2019

Warcraft III has loomed large in my mind ever since its launch in 2002. A natural evolution of the real-time strategy games that birthed the franchise, Warcraft III turned the genre on its ear. The introduction of hero units, named characters more powerful than a typical soldier, made it unique within the genre. To see Blizzard […]

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Dell XPS 13 7390 Review: Style and substance

November 10, 2019

I like Dell’s range of XPS ultrabooks. They’re workhorse machines designed for portability and power in equal measure. The XPS 13 7390 iterates subtly on previous designs, projecting confidence in its look and feel. Spec sheet As work machines go, this one has a spec sheet with the works: a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 […]

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The Outer Worlds Review: Tales from the Outer Rim

November 8, 2019

For some time now, there’s been a growing sense that Bethesda has lost the thread of what made The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series’ so great. If you’ve been feeling the same way, it’s likely that The Outer Worlds will be game you’ve been hoping they would make. Bethesda didn’t make it, but it sure feels […]

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Sennheiser GSP-370 Review: Big improvements at a price

November 4, 2019

The last time I got to play with Sennheiser’s GSP range of gaming headphones, I came away rather unimpressed. Happily, I’ve found their revised design to be a great deal more agreeable. The GSP-370 range sits at the more affordable end of the scale for Sennheiser, coming in at about $350 AUD. As gaming headsets […]

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BlizzCon 2019: Overwatch 2 announced, adds new PvE

November 1, 2019

Blizzard Entertainment have announced Overwatch 2 during their annual BlizzCon convention in Anaheim, California. The sequel to the team-based shooter that rocketed to global popularity in 2016, Overwatch 2 promises more heroes, more maps, more modes and a fully-flegded PvE mode. The newest PvP game mode is called Push. It features a large robot that […]

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BlizzCon 2019: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands pits players against the old gods of Azeroth

November 1, 2019

The next expansion in the long-running World of Warcraft series is World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. Sylvanas has taken the crown of the Lich King, crowning herself the Lich Queen and doubling down on her seemingly endless downward spiral into madness and destruction. With the doorway to afterlife torn wide open, the expansion will allow players […]

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BlizzCon 2019: Diablo 4 announced, returns to grimdark roots

November 1, 2019

Blizzard have announced Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019. Marking a return to the series grimdark, gothic horror roots, the publisher debuted both a cinematic trailer and a quick look at gameplay. The game’s look has clearly been inspired by Diablo 2, taking a sincere and “reverent approach” to design. There’s no changes to POV or […]

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Luigi’s Mansion 3 Review: Kid spooky

October 28, 2019

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is exactly the kind of game to get your kids if they love Halloween. Uncomplicated in design and low on overall difficulty, it smoothes over any potential wrinkles with trademark Nintendo charm. It’s spooky in the ways that kids love and is always careful to undercut its low-grade scares with good humour. […]

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The Last of Us Part II has been delayed

October 24, 2019

Only weeks ago, Naughty Dog announced that The Last of Us Part II would launch on March 20, 2020. This morning, creative director Neil Druckmann announced on the PlayStation Blog that the game has been delayed. The Last of Us Part II will now ship on May 20, 2020. “I know,” reads Druckmann’s post, “It was […]

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review: The world goes with you

October 20, 2019

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the greatest role-playing games ever made. I knew that the first time I played it at a preview in January 2015 and it remains true now over four years after its release. CD Projekt Red’s masterpiece/labour of love operates at a scale that would make other genre […]

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Playing Dungeons & Dragons at PAX Aus is great and you should do it

October 16, 2019

I’ve wanted to play a pick-up game of Dungeons & Dragons since attending the very first PAX Australia back in 2013. That inaugural year was the only time I’ve ever attended the show as a punter — by the time the show moved from Melbourne Showgrounds to Jeff’s Shed in 2014, I’d started writing here […]

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PAX Aus 2019: Biomutant feels like it could have been made in Australia

October 11, 2019

Biomutant was extremely weird, and the PAX build was rather janky but that didn’t change one important factor: I think I love it. Biomutant is a game about survival as a tiny mammalian mutant that looks a bit like a koala. Surviving on what seems to be a version of Earth that suffered some massive […]

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ASUS’ powerful, stylish 2019-20 lineup is determined to impress

October 9, 2019

I went to an ASUS ANZ product briefing in Sydney last night. It was about three different shows crammed into one — industry mixer, product show-and-tell, influencer meet and cocktail party. There were popular YouTubers I had quite literally never heard of before. Except for Ozzy Man, I’ve heard of him. It was fun hearing […]

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The PlayStation 5 will launch “Holiday 2020”

October 9, 2019

Months of rampant corporate hints, internal leaks, wild fan speculation and educated media guesses have paid off. Sony have announced that the fifth iteration of their dominant home console will arrive in time for “Holiday 2020.” It also officially has a name: PlayStation 5. PlayStation 5 launches holiday 2020: https://t.co/VuaxUVoBaR #PS5 pic.twitter.com/MPkKyRaHio — PlayStation (@PlayStation) […]

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Destiny 2: Shadowkeep review: Ghosts of the past

October 6, 2019

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is the first major expansion for the popular MMO shooter since developer Bungie’s split from Activision Blizzard in January. Though Bungie has maintained a parade of events and updates for the game throughout 2019, they set themselves a rather high bar to jump over with the new expansion. Here was what Bungie’s […]

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Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Review: Learning from the greats

October 3, 2019

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair gets a lot of things right, and chief among them: it proves that the character platformer genre, the long-dead moneymaker of the 16-bit era, can still engage and excite in 2019. The original Yooka-Laylee was considered by most to be a good if unremarkable 3D platformer. Created by many of the […]

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Blasphemous review: Blood for the blood god

October 3, 2019

I’ve heard it suggested that the Dark Souls series is a modern take on the Metroidvania genre, and I generally think that’s correct. There are many parallels, from exploration and frequent backtracking, specific save locations, the memorisation of enemy patterns, slow power creep and subtle environmental storytelling. Developers The Game Kitchen have taken this comparison […]

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Infinity Ward’s Dino Verano on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, producer life and the value of a community beta

September 26, 2019

Dino Verano has a long career in games, working as a producer on numerous Activision titles. He’s also someone who understands the value of community in helping to polish and balance a game ahead of launch thanks to his prior career in quality assurance. Now a producer and team lead on Infinity Ward’s Call of […]

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The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review: A beautiful recurring dream

September 20, 2019

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a remake of the 1993 Game Boy title of the same name. In many ways, Link’s Awakening is an ideal game to remake — because it appeared on a system that many players today would never have owned, and has never been considered a must-play entry in the series, it will […]

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Jaybird Tarah Pro Review: Utility and comfort

September 18, 2019

Jaybird’s Tarah Pro wireless sport headphones are exactly what I need for my commute. That’s not really their purpose, they’re actually built for people who run a lot. I’m not talking about people who run a short 10k before work here, I mean they’re for people who run actual marathons. The closest I ever get […]

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Borderlands 3 Review: That sure is a lot of guns

September 17, 2019

My relationship with Borderlands might be different from that of other people, I don’t know. What I do know is that, contrary to a lot of other games I tend to like, I don’t come to Borderlands for the story or the characters or the world. I show up because Gearbox Software makes an idiot […]

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Wear your love of the COG with this custom Gears 5 bling

September 5, 2019

When most people think of Gears of War, they’re probably not thinking about high fashion. For games about blood and guns with chainsaws attached, jewelry seems like an odd merchandising vertical to explore — but finding an unexpected point of connection and running with it has become Xbox Australia’s signature approach to promoting new games. […]

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