Thursday, 30 June 2016

NZIFF Questions for Ant Timpson, curator of the Incredibly Strange Film Festival

NZIFF Questions for Ant Timpson, curator of the Incredibly Strange Film Festival

The New Zealand International Film Festival is about to kick off.
And contained within its hallowed pages are some more out there films curated as part of the Incredibly Strange Film Festival.
The head honcho there is one Ant Timpson who I caught up with to get some words - and some thinly veiled abuse - about this year's selections.

Ant Timpson (we suspect)

Well, the past few years have been somewhat fractured in our interactions around this time of year with the festival – are you feeling in a better mood this year on our 5th annual Q&A?

I was feeling fine before I read your passive aggressive intro to this year’s Q&A in which you infer that at every other time you have done a Q&A with me I have not been in a good mood. 
Just to set the record straight - Me being annoyed with your style of inane fluffy questioning is in no way a reflection of my state of being, it is just a reflection of your inability to ask me things that will engage the readers. 

I am left to do the heavy lifting while you sit back and earn a paycheck from TVNZ or whoever the hell pays you.

Previous questionnaires have involved me holding a gun to your head or faux court proceedings – how would you like to proceed with this year’s?

Well those setups were real knee slappers that I’m sure your family enjoyed greatly. I’d like to proceed as if you knew how to do your job and I was a willing participant in the proceedings.

Assuming you don’t object to my line of questioning carrying on again, let’s take a look at the selection this year – what’s it been like on the scene?

What’s it like on the ‘scene’? Err I apologise I truly didn’t realise you were like 90 years old. The ‘scene’ grandpa is called "The Movies" and it’s been the same for over 100 years which is amusing because you’re nearly as old as the ‘scene’.
Beware the Slendermen

First film, Beware The Slendermen seems frighteningly timely. An investigative doco on the urban legend and Creepypasta – is it quite a disturbing piece?

It’s not as disturbing as the thought of you, a hydro slide, small children and an ill-fitting speedo but it’s up there. 
All seriousness aside, you are quite correct – this is an insightful, raw and jarring documentary that manages to capture the phenomenon of online urban legends and the king daddy of all internet boogeymen – the Slenderman and a crime that shocked the world. Any parent who has kids with over- active imaginations may want to take a valium after seeing this doc, it really is a heart-breaking story told exceptionally well.

I’m intrigued to know what kind of information you have on the programmers given you’ve got your film The Greasy Strangler on the slate this year (cough, nepotism, cough)– Housebound, Deathgasm; do you just make films for the Incredibly Strange secretly?

I see what you did there – you put the word nepotism between two coughs – inferring that I keep managing to programme films I produced in my own section. 
Congrats, Sherlock you solved the mystery.
Unfortunately I said exactly the same thing in my introduction to this year's festival. The truth is rather less exciting than me exploiting my position as programmer. The films I produce have all proved their salt on the international circuit either premiering at Sundance or similar festival premieres. They’re well received and they’re perfect fits for my section. It’s not simply a case of me accepting my own submission, I have to send the film to the other programmers who have to agree that it’s okay to screen. Luckily so far they’ve agreed with me on all counts.

The Greasy Strangler

Talking of things that are out there, singing mermaids, vampirism and sultriness – The Lure has it all, doesn’t it?

Well it doesn’t have it all. I don’t want to mislead your readers. You may be okay with doing that but I’m not going to lie to them.
Sure the film is a hybrid – and yes, it does contain singing mermaids, dance routines, brazen sexuality and vampiric violence but I’m not going to say Bigfoot makes an appearance. For a debut feature film it has that same “all or nothing” approach by filmmakers who want to leave an indelible impression – the way it mixes decadent Warsaw history with some western genre tropes is very clever and unique. I’m really happy it’s playing in the section because some of the films are heavy going this for most of its run-time is super upbeat and poppy.

Ben Wheatley’s back with High-Rise with a score from Clint Mansell, famed for Black Swan among others and of course, Loki in the buff in one shot. Sell me other reasons to see this?

Good lord you really are a lurid little fanboy aren’t you? Loki in the buff? You think I programme films based on any salacious material they may house? 
Grow up. 
High-Rise by the brilliant writer JG Ballard was the novel that could never be filmed. Since 1975 it has eluded many major talents. 'Til now. And it's been made by one of the brightest directing talents in the UK. 
It’s a stylish thought-provoking and at times confounding affair. It’s not an easy watch. That phrase loved by horrible critics “turn your brain off and enjoy” – will never be used in a review of this film. There are going to be arguments amongst viewers afterwards, some will get it and some will be left frustrated. Like all strong art, it demands something in return from the viewer.
Maybe you should just go check out Captain America 3, Darren.
High Rise

Green Room’s likely to pick up interest due to the sad passing of Anton Yelchin. Having seen it at programme launch, this film’s about as far from sentiment as you can muster; tense, claustrophobic and thrilling, plus a heart-breaking final shot of a dog and master– what was it about Green Room that struck you?

I’m a enthusiast of any siege scenario in cinema. There’s something just inherently compulsive to me about the simple setup. Obviously relatable to all of us because there’s a primal fear about being stuck with every exit blocked and an enemy who just wants to snuff you out.  We think about these scenarios in unknown threatening areas, it flashes from deep within our subconscious and so when we see a film like GREEN ROOM we’re continually self-examining what we’d do in the same situation as the protagonists. I’d already played the director's breakout film BLUE RUIN and so it was natural to want to showcase his latest effort which has made a big impact on the circuit – getting rave reviews for the performances and his tight direction. A punk band take a gig in the boonies at the headquarters of some neo-Nazis – they see something they shouldn’t and then things start going very, very badly.

Documentary Tower captures the timely and continual horror of campus shootings , combined with animation. Are you hoping this is the film that shakes out of our continual numbness of America’s gun laws?

Yes, Darren, this is the film that will change the US gun laws and erase the 2nd amendment after a single viewing. The NRA membership will watch it, then strip naked and finally burn their guns in a giant bonfire while dancing around in the nude singing kumbaya. 
Do I think this is a powerful effective doc? Absolutely.
Based on a riveting oral history of the infamous shootings, this doc uses different story-telling techniques to convey different perspectives and moods. It’s really a knock-out and I don’t think anyone is prepared for how good this doc actually is. I’d be surprised if they didn’t position in for an Oscar next year.

What can you tell us about Under The Shadow ?
Under the Shadow

Do you know how to use WIKI? Here you go…
Under the Shadow is a 2016 Iranian-British horror film written and directed by Babak Anvari as his directorial debut, in which a mother and daughter are haunted by a mysterious evil in 1980s Tehran. The film stars Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian and Arash Marandi.

I’ll just say that this was the must-see film that everyone was talking about at Sundance this year. That it's one of the most unique and solid debuts for sometime it’s surely going to follow in the footsteps of other Sundance notable horrors like IT FOLLOWS and THE WITCH.

I’m fascinated by the subject of Operation Avalanche – a film that continues our obsession with the moon-landings?

Do you want a medal for being fascinated by the Moon? Congrats mate.. do you feel special? I mean it’s just you and every other bloody person on the planet who has ever looked up at that shining orb and wondered about it.
You should be fascinated because this is the followup to The Dirties one of the best independent films made in the past 10 years but one of the most exciting young directors to come out of Canada. This is a bona fide indie classic that pulls off a miracle. A meta faux doc thriller that manages to encapsulate everything that’s wonderful about the race to the moon and cold war thrillers.

Operation Avalanche

And Swiss Army Man – I’m not sure where to stand with this film. Its mix of the profound and the puerile plays well, but I can’t quite work out whether the whole thing is for one final fart gag – it’s quite extraordinary the flights of fancy and imaginative visuals on this one, though, right?

What’s your problem? You seem unsure of how you feel about the film.. that because the film has some silly puerile humour it instantly means that it can’t achieve poignancy or profundity? Well guess what Einstein.. it can do both. And this film does both. It’s also one of the most playful imaginative films since Michel Gondry was on fire. I can’t imagine anyone not having fun with the film. A flatulent corpse teaches a young man about the value of the human existence? With two great young actors tearing the hell up onscreen?! Come on.. you must be dead inside.
Swiss Army Man

Overall, how do you rate your section this year – it seems to be infused with a little more heart and emotionally resonant themes this year, rather than just guaranteed good times. Are you getting a bit softer do you think?

What do you mean? I am hard. Always. 
What did you hear? Who’s been using the word soft and my name in the same sentence? I’m not going soft – if anything I’m harder than I have ever been. I’m like a diamond that’s being crushed into something that’s even harder. 
Yeah, sure I like the good times but life's not always about the party. Sometimes I like to sit at parties and just ponder about my place in the world. Sure, that may look a bit morose and sad from a distance but I’m okay with that because even though I give off the air of being deflated with everything I’m still hard as, mate.

Were there any other films you’d targeted for the festival?


What’s your pick from the rest of the film programme this year? And what do you hope your 2016 NZIFF moment will be?

They all look good. 
My moment this year will be when the lights come up after the first screening of THE GREASY STRANGLER and I see the audience’s collective astonishment about what they’ve just experienced.

The New Zealand International film Festival kicks off in Auckland on July 14th and heads around the country shortly after.

For all the details on the films, head to the official site at

NZIFF 2016 - Q&A with festival director Bill Gosden

NZIFF 2016 - Q&A with festival director Bill Gosden

The New Zealand International Film Festival is just a few weeks away in Auckland and will then be rolling out across the country.
It's a great time to luxuriate in the cinematic offerings but also an even better time to catch up with festival director Bill Gosden to talk the 2016 festival.

Welcome back - it only seems like yesterday since the start of Autumn Events season. What's been going on in the background to the run up this year?
A frantic scramble to haul in the films we fancied NZIFF audiences would want to see from Cannes.

NZIFF in Auckland seems a bolder proposition - expanding out to the likes of Westgate and Manukau - what's precipitated such a measure?
Spreading the gospel is in our DNA, but we go only where there’s a supportive partner sharing some ownership of the event (and the risk). In this case ATEED’s objectives gelled very nicely with ours.

And the launch of an Animation Now! strand too - at least in Auckland. Are there any plans to expand that nationwide?
We’d love to see that happen. Programmer Malcolm Turner knows the animation world backwards, sideways and upside down. Each one of his programmes is extravagantly good, a mini festival in itself.

Last year was the biggest ever year in Auckland for audiences - can this year's festival maintain that pace?
We’d like to think so.  NZIFF 2015 was our biggest elsewhere too, spectacularly so in Wellington, thanks to a new ticketing system, and Christchurch, thanks to a glorious new venue at the Isaac Theatre Royal.

The ten-trip online booking is a new thing too, a sign that you're listening to audience feedback year on year?
It’s more a sign that Ticketmaster have developed an online redemption system that makes listening to audience feedback a little less painful.

As for the films this year, I think it's fair to say this is the first year that the programme to me has required more in-depth reading than in previous years; how have you managed to pull together something so diverse, with so many topics from comedy to human rights, horror to the environment - it's hard to see a common thread?
It takes many different audiences to make NZIFF so diversity is always essential. We hope that festival goers don’t have too much trouble identifying the films that will appeal to them personally. The website, with its genre breakdowns and Must-See lists, can certainly provide more instant shortcuts and pathways than the printed brochure in that respect.

Strong female characters constitute the most immediately apparent trend emerging in the year’s top films. It’s also been a great year for Spanish and Latin American cinema.

Animation is perhaps the first thing that springs out to me - last year's Song of the Sea and this year's remastered Iron Giant at Autumn Events were perhaps festival formative experiences. Can we hope for that with The Red Turtle and Long Way North?
The Red Turtle is a luminous, exquisitely simple, though often surprising fable of a shipwrecked sailor. There’s an almost zen quality to it: even the most suspenseful moments unfold in a mesmerising hush (and for anyone as phobic as I am about narrow spaces under water, there’s no shortage of suspense.) The Studio Ghibli imprimatur is utterly fitting, given the film’s intensely animist rendering of nature.
Long Way North

Long Way North is a great Girls’ Own Adventure, sending its young heroine to an evocatively rendered North Pole to rescue her explorer grandad. Robert Falcon Scott could have used such a granddaughter.

Christchurch gets a premiere for one of its own with Phil Keoghan's Le Ride. Having seen the doco, it's a testament to one of NZ's unsung heroes Harry Watson - do you expect Phil Keoghan's film to inspire a new generation of bikers and fans?
The film is now confirmed for the whole circuit. I can’t imagine many people will want to emulate Phil’s choice of bike, a replica of the steel-framed monster that Harry Watson rode in the Tour de France of 1928.

It's another strong line up from Cannes this year - what are the favourites from your perspective and why? And can you give us an insight into why Winding Refn's Neon Demon didn't make it this far?
I, Daniel Blake is the most powerful Ken Loach film in years: it is simple, direct, fuelled by an anger many of us share, and superbly well acted. The two Romanian films are completely enthralling: how bracing it is to experience such powerful, fluid cinema powered by dialogue, character and ideas. Of those I have not seen, I am eager to catch Toni Erdmann, Neruda, Aquarius and Paterson in particular.
We counted on local distribution on the Refn film, but it never happened, so you can say we missed the bus on that one. If you must.
I, Daniel Blake

I'll get back to the films in a moment, but I wanted to comment on the visiting talent to NZIFF this year - as stronger a selection as ever I've seen; from Terence Davies to Taryn Brumfitt, these are quite the gamut?
Hosting Terence Davies is such an honour. He’s one of the greats and we’ve been screening his films since his trilogy in the early 80s. I’m pleased that we can also host a breaking young filmmaker like Babak Anvari. His Under the Shadow is a highlight of Ant’s programme this year.

What about the Kiwi contingent of film-makers' offerings this year - is it another strong one? Is Poi E as opening night likely to become as classic as The Dark Horse?
I’m sure it’s just as clearly destined to be taught in schools!  It would be a daring teacher that took Alison Maclean’s The Rehearsal into the classroom though: it definitely prods some sensitive areas in the teacher-student dynamic.
The Rehearsal

 I’m delighted to showing new docos from several NZIFF alumni, notably Pietra Brettkelly (A Flickering Truth) Abi King-Jones and Errol Wright (The 5th Eye) and Luit and Jan Bieringa (The heART of the Matter). Sam Hamilton (Apple Pie) and Summer Agnew and Adam Luxton (On an Unknown Beach) have much less straightforward non-fiction to offer. Their perseverance in the experimental domain is inspiring considering the generally overwhelming lack of institutional support available to them. Big ups to the Wallace Arts Trust for supporting Sam and the Film Commission for chipping in some completion money for Adam and Summer.

What's your stand out film from Ant Timpson's Incredibly Strange Film Festival - and what's your second choice?
For me the Polish disco mermaids have the edge on the marauding djinn.

It's another strong year for female directors as we reach midway through the #52filmsbywomen challenge - which stand out here and why?
Things to Come: a young woman’s beautifully rounded appreciation of an older woman’s hard-won assurance.
Cameraperson:  A great film from about photography and compassion from a woman who has thought a lot about the ‘observer effect’.
Sand Storm and As I Open My Eyes: Fresh, deeply felt perspectives on the lives of Middle Eastern women.
Certain Women: Kelly Reichardt, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams
Lovesong: An intimate view of the complexity and fluidity of friendship
McCabe and Mrs Miller

Give us your picks for crowd favourites and which of the Retro films do you believe will see audiences heading to
McCabe & Mrs Miller is one of the all-time greats, imho, though its melancholic beauty can take some time to seep in. Any lover of Shakespeare who’s never seen Chimes at Midnight is in for a big surprise. And why would you miss the rare chance to see Tokyo Story on the giant screen?  It currently sits at #3 on the much-quoted Sight & Sound poll. And of course A Touch of Zen features the ultimate woman warrior: actress Hsu Feng funded the restoration herself, and who could blame her.

Tell us the films we may have overlooked in our cinematic overload that you reckon are worth seeking out?
Les Démons, Being 17, Neon Bull, Under the Sun and Love-Sick Shorts, a programme of brilliant shorts you won’t soon forget, curated from a year of avid short-film watching by my colleague Michael McDonnell.

Just finally, which is the one film you will be in the crowd for, with your phone off and luxuriating in?
Safety Last!  Live Cinema with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.  Only one film to go in Auckland after that. I can’t believe I am thinking about the final day already.
Safety Last

The New Zealand International film Festival kicks off in Auckland on July 14th and heads around the country shortly after.
For all the details on the films, head to the official site at

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited | Update 11 Detailed!

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited | Update 11 Detailed!

Hi all,

We have revealed the details of Update 11 for the award-winning The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, which brings two new Argonian-themed dungeons to explore, the long-awaited Style Parlor, Costume Dyeing, as well as a large selection of cosmetic and quality of life additions. In addition, console players will receive the highly anticipated implementation of text chat for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Update 11 will be available August 1 for PC and Mac, and on August 16 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The Shadows of the Hist DLC Dungeon Pack—featuring two new four-player dungeons -- Ruins of Mazzatun and Cradle of Shadows -- will be accessible at no cost to players with an active ESO Plus membership. Otherwise, the DLC Dungeon Pack will be available for 1,500 crowns in the ESO Crown Store.

Cradle of Shadows
Players can join the Argonians of the Dark Brotherhood in their battle against rogue assassins threatening to hurl all of Black Marsh into bloody chaos. Cradle of Shadows is a four-player group dungeon featuring both Normal and Veteran modes, and features three new item sets, challenging new achievements with an appearance reward, and a new monster mask set.

Ruins of Mazzatun
In Ruins of Mazzatun, players will venture into the ruins of the "Puzzle City" of the Argonian Xit-Xaht tribe to overcome the slavelords and free their helpless victims. Ruins of Mazzatun is a 4-player group dungeon with Normal and Veteran modes, and features three new item sets, challenging new achievements with an appearance reward, and a new monster mask set.

With the highly anticipated Style Parlor, players can now purchase Appearance Change and Race Change tokens in the Crown Store to alter their appearance in the game.

Appearance and Race Change (Crown Store)
Players can purchase tokens in the Crown Store that will allow them to completely redefine their appearance, including but not limited to hair styles and colors, adornments, face and body markings, facial features, eye color, age, body and face shape, as well as selected voice.

Name Change (Crown Store)
Players will now be able to change their name by purchasing a Name Change token in the Crown Store. Once purchased, players can use the Name Change token on the Character Select screen to change one character’s name.

Premium Hairstyles and New Adornments and Markings (Crown Store)
A bounty of new hair styles, adornments, and markings have been added to the Crown Store. Players can purchase new items from the Appearance category. Once purchased, items can be used to change a character’s hair style, adornments, and markings as often as a player wishes.


ESO Plus Costume Dyes (Exclusive to ESO Plus)
Anyone who has an active ESO Plus membership will have the ability to dye their equipped costume (and hats!) at any Dye Station using dyes unlocked via achievements. Applied dyes are saved separately for each character, so that the same costume or hat can be dyed differently for every one of your characters.

Dye Stamps (Crown Store)
One-time-use consumable Dye Stamps are available for purchase in the Crown Store for a modest price. Each Dye Stamp comes pre-loaded with a specific set of colors. One Dye Stamp can be applied to your active costume and hat—they are a one-use consumable item. New Dye Stamps will appear in the Crown Store every week.

When Update 11 launches, everyone who owns The Elder Scrolls Online will receive the base-game patch at no cost. The Update 11 base-game patch includes many changes and improvements, including:
·         Console text chat
·         Aetherian Archive and Hel Ra Citadel Trial improvements, including Normal and Veteran modes, revamped rewards, and level scaling
·         Dragonstar Arena improvements, including increased monster difficulty and revamped rewards
·         The ability to trade bind-on-pickup items to group members in dungeons and Trials
·         The introduction of the Cyrodiil town capture system
·         Champion Point cap increase
·         Rebalancing and adjustments to Racial Passive abilities
·         Improved Undaunted reward chests (Gold, Silver, and Bronze)
·         Improved Clothier Surveys
·         Improved face effects and animations
·         New achievements for each of the scaled Trials
·         Ability tooltip tags that display the primary role for certain abilities
·         Ongoing Cyrodiil performance improvements
·         17 updated older item sets that now drop at Champion 160
o    Six available in Aetherian Archive
o    Seven available in Hel Ra Citadel
o    Four available in Dragonstar Arena

·         Four new crafting styles: Akatosh, Dark Brotherhood, dro-m’Athra, and Minotaur

For more information about Shadows of Hist and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, please visit 

The Legend of Tarzan: Film Review

The Legend of Tarzan: Film Review

Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson, Christoph Waltz
Director: David Yates

Mixing colonialism, historical figures and fictional figures, The Legend of Tarzan is a potent mix of jungle based drama, complete with some very prominent displays of abs.

Harry Potter director David Yates brings his eye for teen obsessions and otherworldly elements to the story of John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, this time played by True Blood’s rather buffed up Alexander Skarsgard.

Working as a trade emissary for Parliament, Greystoke’s lured back to the jungles of Africa under a  pretext orchestrated by Leon Rom (the usual malevolent smirking Christoph Waltz). Taking along his wife Jane (a sparky Margot Robbie, the best thing about the film) and Samuel L Jackson’s quipping George Washington Williams, Greystoke soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy.

The Legend Of Tarzan may come out swinging at times as it revamps the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic, but its attempts to mesh elements of Twilight (a romance between two leads, complete with swoon worthy kissing in trees moments), the CGI gorilla shenanigans of Planet of the Apes, some broad laughs and a revenge tale don’t quite hang together as well as they could.

Yates has made a great fist of a few of the CGI animals in the jungle, and there’s a tenderness and brutality between Tarzan’s interactions with the various critters that’s endemic to the law of the jungle.

(Though this is perhaps one of the most bloodless films I’ve seen in its representation of colonialism, with fights and fatalities feeling less than real, contributing to an overall feeling of not fully committing).

Sadly, the would be stronger elements of the film don’t stand on their own two legs as much as they should.

Djimon Hounsou’s African tribe leader’s desire for revenge crumbles as quickly as the now infamous clash between Superman and Batman did earlier in the year and is a narrative flop; by the same token, Waltz’s quietly wannabe menacing Rom, complete with his white suit, lacks any real sinister edge.

As for Skarsgard’s brooding lord of the jungle, there’s no doubting his commitment to his physique, but there is a nagging feeling simply standing looking moody or running while being sullen aren’t enough to bring any real life to the so-called Ghost of the trees, with more spirit on show with Johnny Weissmuller’s interpretation of the loin cloth god.

He has solid chemistry with Robbie though (even if frustratingly, Robbie’s Jane is presented as strong before turning into damsel in distress midway through, which is deeply annoying) which makes their bond and personal tragedy feel more real in among the more CGI elements.

But the Legend of Tarzan is hampered by repeated flashbacks to Jane and Tarzan’s meeting and endless unnecessary fleshing out of back-story that is relatively unwarranted, as well as an overall story that has no legs. Its melancholy elements are well rendered but its continual reliance on rote exposition hampers things from progressing with a pace during the 1hr 50 min run time.

A mismatched tonal mix of tongue in cheek moments, serious and relatively dour flashbacks, hints of genocide and slavery and unfleshed out narrative proves fatal to The Legend of Tarzan. 

It’s not an abs-olutely bad interpretation of the Lord Greystoke story, but it certainly not one to go ape about or prove to be the legendary romp it should be. 

Bridget Jones Baby - New Trailer

Bridget Jones Baby - New Trailer

Oscar® winners Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey for the next chapter of the world’s favorite singleton in Bridget Jones’s Baby.  Directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary), the new film in the beloved comedy series based on creator Helen Fielding’s heroine finds Bridget unexpectedly expecting.
After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones’s (Zellweger) “happily ever after” hasn’t quite gone according to plan.  Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new.  For once, Bridget has everything completely under control.  What could possibly go wrong?
Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not.  In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch…she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.
Bridget Jones Baby releases 22nd September

New I Am Setsuna Artwork

New I Am Setsuna Artwork

Exclusive pre-order incentives for PlayStation®4 and STEAM® Confirmed

SYDNEY, 29TH June 2016 – In a selection of new artwork released today Square Enix Ltd., showcased the characters and beautiful watercolour environments from the upcoming I AM SETSUNA, the debut title from the all-new studio Tokyo RPG Factory. The new artwork introduces some of the additional characters players can expect to encounter in the game, including the energetic Aeterna and the reliable Nidr who join Setsuna on her sacrificial pilgrimage.

Releasing across Australia & New Zealand next month, I AM SETSUNA introduces the authentic JRPG style of yesteryear to the PlayStation 4 and STEAM - with various features inspired by legendary titles from the golden era of JRPGs, including CHRONO TRIGGER®’s memorable battle system.

To watch I AM SETSUNA’s gameplay in action, visit:

I AM SETSUNA will be available digitally across Australia & New Zealand on 19th July 2016 on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Steam®. Those who pre-order from the PlayStation Network will receive two dynamic themes - “Kuro” (meaning black, for a night-time theme) and “Shiro” (meaning white, for a daytime theme), as well as an exclusive digital track ‘Eternal Winter’, by composer Tomoki Miyoshi.
Pre-orders via STEAM will also include and exclusive digital track - ‘The Warmth of Hope’’. For more information, visit:

I AM SETSUNA tells the sorrowful story of Setsuna; a young woman of incredible inner strength and the sacrifice she must undertake to the save the people of her land. As Setsuna leaves with her two safeguards for the farthest land, players will be immersed in an emotional and unforgettable story of true bravery.

The Art of Dishonored 2 | Dark Horse Art Book and Fan Art Contest Announced!

The Art of Dishonored 2 | Dark Horse Art Book and Fan Art Contest Announced!

We’re excited to reveal that Bethesda and Dark Horse are teaming up to publish The Art of Dishonored® 2, featuring hundreds of pieces of exclusive, never-before-seen concept art chronicling the development  of Dishonored® 2 - the next chapter in the series from the creators of the 2012 ‘Game of the Year’, Dishonored®.

In addition, we’re happy to announce the #drawDishonored Fan Art Contest where fans of the series will have the opportunity to have their illustrations featured in The Art of Dishonored 2. Beginning today, fans can submit their art for consideration by using the #drawDishonored hashtag. For rules on how to participate visit:

The Art of Dishonored 2 will be available in stores November 22. You can preorder your copy today at participating retailers.

Reprise your role as a supernatural assassin in Dishonored 2, the highly-anticipated first-person action game from Arkane® Studios, when it is release worldwide on Friday, November 11, 2016 for the Xbox One, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and PC.

For more information on Dishonored 2 visit:

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Descent

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Descent


The Third Action-Packed Call of Duty: Black Ops III DLC Offering
Includes Four Diverse Multiplayer Maps and
the Next Chilling Instalment in Treyarch’s Zombies Saga

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – June 29, 2016 – Look out below Call of Duty® fans!  Descent, the third DLC pack for the best-selling console video game on next generation platforms*, Call of Duty®: Black Ops III, arrives first on PlayStation 4 on July 12, with other next-gen platforms to follow**.  Call of Duty®: Black Ops III Descent, from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. [Nasdaq: ATVI], drops players into four new unique, multiplayer maps and an all-new Zombies experience that continues the fan-favourite Origins storyline in an alternate- U.S.S.R. universe. 

“One of things I love most about Treyarch is that team just keeps going for it,” said Mark Lamia, Studio Head, Treyarch.  “Descent doesn’t take its foot off the gas, serving up a flat-out scorching Zombies experience, as well as multiplayer map designs and gameplay opportunities that we think our fans are going to love.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Descent features four new multiplayer maps that takes the momentum-based, chained movement system across the globe to unique settings that include a cryogenic prison, a Viking village frozen in time, a giant robot combat arena and a modern day reconstruction of an ancient Roman villa:

·         Empire: Treyarch adapts its Black Ops III movement system to the Call of Duty®: Black Ops II fan favourite map Raid.  The re-imagining of this classic, medium-sized map features an authentic Roman villa that has been “recreated by a modern-day eccentric billionaire,” where a classic map structure mixes with the new gameplay mechanics of Black Ops III.
·         Cryogen: Located far off the coast in the Dead Sea, an isolated compound holds some of the world’s most dangerous criminals in frozen isolation.  Sentry towers keep watch over the small map’s circular design as frenetic combat is funnelled around the prison’s cryogenic tubes, where opportunities for wall running attacks abound.   
·         Berserk: Ancient sentinels from a lost civilisation guard the entrance to Berserk, a Viking village frozen in time.  Players will fight through blizzards, and control the centre bridge as they navigate this medium-sized map’s wooden buildings, deadly rocky outcroppings, and tight chokepoints.
·         Rumble: Gamers battle amongst larger-than-life mechanised warriors in Rumble, a stadium where giant robots battle to the roar of the crowd.  This medium-sized map funnels high-speed combat to the central arena, where players battle their way through fallen mechs and pyrotechnics.    

Descent also thrusts players to an alternate universe of Nikolai’s motherland, the 1940s Soviet Union, in the next highly-anticipated chapter of the Origins Zombies saga, Gorod Krovi.  Players face-off against a swarm of mechanized zombie infantry and dodge hell-fire from aerial dragon assaults, all in the middle of a raging battle within the remnants of Stalingrad.  Gorod Krovi delivers the most exciting Zombies experience yet, filled with horrifying new enemies, exciting new gameplay mechanics and an epic set of Zombie annihilating weapons. 

Descent is now available for pre-order on PlayStation 4 at a discounted rate via the Call of Duty: Black Ops III DLC Season Pass***, which features four DLC Map Packs planned for the year, as part of the discounted bundle offered.  Individual pre-purchase of the DLC Map Packs, including Descent, is also available. Starting today, pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops III Descent for PlayStation 4 to receive an exclusive Gorod Krovi dynamic theme.  Call of Duty: Black Ops III is rated R18+ for High Impact Violence and Online Interactivity by the Australian Classification Board.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Descent launches on July 12 for PlayStation 4 games and entertainment system from Sony, with other next-gen platform availability to follow*. 

The Division: Expansion 1 Underground now out

The Division: Expansion 1 Underground now out


Additional Free Content Also Coming with Update 1.3

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – June 29, 2016 – Ubisoft® has announced that the Underground expansion for Tom Clancy’s The Division™ is now available on Xbox One and Windows PC. Underground is available with the Season Pass or can be purchased separately for $19.95, and will be released for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system on August 2.

To view the trailer click the image below

In the Underground expansion, agents must fight a war on two fronts. Below the streets of New York, enemy factions are regrouping and preparing a large-scale attack. Players will confront these threats with up to three friends as they explore randomly generated dungeons comprised of subways, tunnels and sewers and recover powerful loot. While in Hell’s Kitchen, the Dragon’s Nest Incursion offers the biggest challenge to date where, the Cleaners are developing a devastating new weapon and have set their sights on the Base of Operations as their first target.

Additional Expansion I: Underground Feature
New Gear Sets
·         B.L.I.N.D. – Control the battlefield with an improved Pulse skill and flashbangs with this hybrid gear set.
·         DeadEYE – Dictate long-range engagements with powerful critical strikes or accurate headshots.
·         FireCrest – Set enemies ablaze with this offensive gear set.
·         Reclaimer – Boost the entire group with this ultimate support set.

In addition, Update 1.3 will add new free content for all players on Xbox One and Windows PC, and will be available from July 5th on PlayStation®4 system.

Update 1.3
·         Find and equip 9 new weapon types
·         Experience Hudson Refugee Camp and Queens Tunnel in Challenge mode for better rewards
·         Play the new Heroic difficulty to unlock top-tier rewards in incursions and select missions.
·         Get the all new Alpha Bridge gear set.
·         Discover the Terminal, a new shared social space inside the Base of Operations

For more information about Tom Clancy’s The Division, please visit

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