And in other PC gaming news…

Posted on March 10, 2011

GDC is over, but there’s no resting here in the PC Gamer office. A quick oil change and some coffee brewed in the heart of a black hole was all it took to get us back into the action. What’s more, we’re armed. Should invading forces again breach the walls of PC Gamer towers, we’ll be ready. Read on for your daily dose of PC gaming news, and a clue as to what we’ve been fighting each other with all day.

  • A CryEngine 3 tech demo escapes from GDC.
  • Good Old Games tell Adventure Classic Gaming that DRM scares off players.
  • Gas Powered Games announce that they’ve taken over development of Age of Empires the only way they know how,a video in which a developer dressed as a Roman warrior fights Master Chief, and Chris Taylor is startled by a dinosaur.
  • Here’s some shakycam footage of the Unreal Engine 3 GDC tech demo.
  • Bioware have released another video of The Old Republic’s Bounty Hunter.
  • Here’s the latest Homefront multiplayer trailer.
  • Bioware go over some of the graphical technology behind Dragon Age 2.
  • What if Minecraft was a sidescrolling platformer?
  • Lego Star Wars 3 is one of the few games where beating a foe to death with the dismembered head of another enemy is cute instead of completely horrifying.
  • The latest version of Doom 3 Thief mod, the Dark Project, is out now.
  • GamersFirst have posted some of their observations from the APB Reloaded closed beta. “Last week we had to de-power the shotgun that could blow up a car in (almost) one shot.”

Recently we discovered what happens when three people all play as the Imperial Guard Lord General in Dawn of War 2: Retribution’s Last Stand mode. Last Stand throws you into a small arena and throws ever more powerful waves your way. Your stoic heroes must fend them off for experience and new wargear. That wargear includes turrets and entire units of Guardsmen. It’s possible to hole up in the corner of a map behind a wall of cannons and expendable infantrymen, sniping xenos from afar. We love to turtle, how about you?


Go to Source (PC Gamer)

Reviews: Dragon Age II Review Supplement

Posted on March 10, 2011

The Escapist reviews Dragon Age II.

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Go to Source (The Escapist – EscapistMagazine.com)

Dragon Age II Review

Posted on March 10, 2011

Kirkwall, where everybody knows your name.

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Go to Source (The Escapist – EscapistMagazine.com)

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MANUFACTURER MONDAY || FIVE NEW REAVEALS

Posted on March 10, 2011

 

We’re getting into the last couple weeks of the SHIFT 2 Unleashed Manufacturer Mondays and this week is a big one.  Today we revealed another five manufacturers with a total of thirteen new cars.  They are:

AUDI:
- Audi R8 Coupé 4.2 FSI quattro
- AUDI R8 LMS
- AUDI RS 4
- AUDI S3
- AUDI S4
- Audi TT Coupé 3.2 quattro

JAGUAR:
- JAGUAR XKR

LEXUS:
- Lexus IS-F
- Lexus LFA

LOTUS:
- Lotus Elise 111R
- Lotus Exige S

MASERATI:
- Maserati GranTurismo S
- Maserati MC12 GT1

Just click the links above to check out some of the new cars and read all about the manufacturers.

Enjoy!

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

Double Dragon punches iOS in the gut

Posted on March 10, 2011

Beat-‘em-ups are woefully under-represented on the App Store, but one of the genre’s earliest classics has arrived to help fill the void. Enter the … Double Dragon. Aksys Games has released Taito’s seminal scrapper in updated form, compliments of developer Brizo Interactive, for an “introductory price” of $3.99 — steep, yes, but set to increase to $7.99 at an unspecified point.

App Store reviews of the game — which is ported from the Zeebo platform — are mixed so far, with most complaints focused on the unnecessarily large (and opaque) “control panel.” Still, it’s said to be faithful to the original’s gameplay and features multiple unlockable characters. See Billy and Jimmy get their clobber on after the break.

Continue reading Double Dragon punches iOS in the gut

JoystiqDouble Dragon punches iOS in the gut originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 23:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Save The Kingdom With Tandem Teamwork

Posted on March 10, 2011

Two years ago, Trine surprised PC and PS3 users with a fresh spin on platforming and puzzle solving. The unique mechanic of swapping between characters gave the title a Lost Vikings feel, but with fun physics-based brain-teasers. If switching between three complementary protagonists by yourself didn’t suit your fancy, the sequel allows you and two friends to simultaneously don the wizard’s robes, thief’s cowl, and knight’s armor. Better yet, the enchanting tale’s next chapter is also coming to XBLA.

Trine 2 can still be played like the first game, with a single player controlling the characters one at a time. Players familiarize themselves with some of the characters’ subtle changes during a brief introductory tutorial. For instance, the spellcaster Amadeus is no longer shackled by limited mana, allowing him to draw unlimited boxes and ladders into life. Sir Pontius can block enemy attacks with his shield to deliver a swift counterattack, and has his massive battle hammer available from the start. Zoya, the arrow-wielding, high-flying thief remains mostly unchanged, but we still love her.

Most of our time with the game was spent with the new three-player co-op. Having all three characters on screen at once doesn’t change the structure of the campaign’s levels or puzzles, but it does allow for dynamic teamwork. Many puzzles have multiple solutions, and having three minds at work leads to the most creative “eureka” moments. For example, the wizard can create boxes and levitate allies to unreachable ledges, or the thief can use her grappling hook to gain higher ground, then knock down an object the others can use to climb up. The wizard’s power to manipulate certain objects is far and away the most useful ability. In one situation he sloshes water down a log with ladle-shaped fauna to water a cabbage sprout, which then lures a gigantic, hungry snail out of our heroes’ path.

Atlus emphasized the importance of water as a new puzzle mechanic in Trine 2. The new physics behind the beautifully rendered fluid will force players to think about gravity and their environments in different ways. Water puzzles will be used to open up new pathways to discover and explore, as evidenced by the roughage-loving snail.

Having three players sharing screen time also comes in handy when ambushed by a pack of goblins. The knight is still the primary combatant, but the wizard and thief now have interesting support roles. The wizard can run interference from afar by drawing boxes to keep enemies at bay, helping with crowd control and keeping his fragile frame out of harm’s way. The thief can also whittle away foes’ HP with a few well-placed arrows. Players also gain experience and unique gear throughout their journey, but Atlus isn’t saying anything about progression yet.

The original Trine was a beautiful, atmospheric downloadable game, and the visual fidelity is carrying over to the sequel. Plants overrun the world of Trine, and the wild, vibrant foliage is everywhere. Vines coil and invade almost every piece of scenery, with bright greens, oranges, and other exotic colors spicing up the game’s palette. The thriving, immersive atmosphere of Trine 2 will suck in any fan of fantasy with its living environments.

Our time with this early build of the game left us with a slew of information, but also some new questions. We now know that three-player co-op works perfectly in combat and puzzle-solving scenarios, and that the overgrown world is a visual treat. What we don’t know yet is how the leveling and equipment system works, what the large-scale boss encounters entail, or when exactly the game hits this year. We’re intrigued enough by this 360/PS3/PC downloadable that when the answers do bloom, we won’t miss them.


Go to Source (Game Informer)

Spotlight On – Prius Online, Iris Online (updates), and Allods Online (Launch)

Posted on March 10, 2011

We take a look at a trio of free-to-play online games in the upcoming Prius Online (formerly known as Anima Online), along with the recently-launched Iris and Allods.

Get the full article at GameSpot


Spotlight On – Prius Online, Iris Online (updates), and Allods Online (Launch)” was posted by Andrew Park on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 18:32:39 -0800

Men of War: Assault Squad (Review)

Posted on March 09, 2011

Let’s get the cold hard facts out there right away – Men of War: Assault Squad is a deep and complicated multiplayer-focused RTS that is not a good choice for those new to the series. It exists as a stand-alone expansion of the original Men of War, and while the bolstered gameplay and balance fixes will excite some, the steep learning curve and lack of campaign will send others running for the trenches. It’s a game that’s either too complicated for its own good or a dream come true for hardcore RTS fans, and it certainly makes no attempt to bridge that gap…

Go to Source (GamesRadar)

Bulletstorm [Review]

Posted on March 09, 2011

 

Overall Feeling:

While lacking a few features, the game campaign alone makes this game worth everything it costs.

 

 

ShogunGamer.com Rating :
8

 

I’ve never played a game that so encouraged shooting people in the balls. Bulletstorm not only encourages it, but rewards it. In fact, some of the hardest shots in the game require some serious punishment to the ‘funzone.’ A good thirty minutes of my time was spent with the sniper rifle, guiding bullets into testicles. The AI made sure it was hard too, because nutshots were more protected against than having their head blown off. Despite all that, Bulletstorm happens to be one of the highest quality FPS games to come out in the recent set of releases.

read more (Shogun Gamer)

EDF Insect Armageddon preview: Bug spray

Posted on March 08, 2011

 

It’s natural to worry about the new Earth Defense Force game, Insect Armageddon. D3 has taken the series away from developer Sandlot and handed it to a Western team, its own Vicious Cycle, best known for the Matt Hazard series. However — and this works out in the new game’s favor — the EDF games were never technically good to start with. So if Vicious Cycle designed it too well, it would feel inauthentic.

 

So far, it seems that the team has been good to the source material, making worthwhile changes and keeping what works, all in an engine that can actually keep up.

Continue reading EDF Insect Armageddon preview: Bug spray

JoystiqEDF Insect Armageddon preview: Bug spray originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 07 Mar 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Big Smile Reviews: Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Posted on March 08, 2011

 

Three on three fights, attacks that fill up the whole screen, plenty of booty and cleavage; oh yes this must be another new entry from Capcom’s VS Series. Capcom has finally blessed the fighting community with Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

read more (Shogun Gamer)

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Bangai-O HD Missile Fury preview: Co-overboard

Posted on March 08, 2011
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury

Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury feels a lot more like an Xbox 360 successor to Bangai-O Spirits than it did when I played it at TGS. The demo available in Tokyo seemed a lot more straightforward, more “here are a bunch of enemies for you to shoot” — in other words, more original Bangai-O — than the cleverly-designed, semi-puzzle stage design that the DS game brought.

But that was just the TGS demo. Most of the elements that made Bangai-O Spirits what it was have carried over into the XBLA game, with a few important changes. Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of multiplayer. You might not think putting one more thing (another player) on the screen in a game about filling the screen with objects would be a big deal, but it doubles the unfathomable insanity.

Continue reading Bangai-O HD Missile Fury preview: Co-overboard

JoystiqBangai-O HD Missile Fury preview: Co-overboard originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 06 Mar 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Crysis 2 Demo

Posted on March 08, 2011

I decided to throw together a bit of video (below) from my first experiment with the Crysis 2 demo recently made available via Steam. It has some of the video you see when the demo first loads and some gameplay video. If the demo is any indicator the game will be well worth buying in my opinion.

I was a bit surprised to see controlling the nano suit is different than it was in the first Crysis and after quickly learning the new keys it became obvious it is much better this way. Hitting a single key to enable stealth mode alone is a huge improvement if you ask me.

Great graphics and lots of improvements have me convinced I need to add it to my list.

Living Training for Morrowind

Posted on March 08, 2011

Below is the latest list of community submitted entries to our databases. Morrowind Mods – Living Training by etmorrowindb (Stores/Merchants) Guild of…

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Go to Source (Planet Elder Scrolls)

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If You Like Dungeon Crawlers, You’ll Love Castle Ravenloft

Posted on March 08, 2011

In our continuing series on tabletop games that are fun for video
gamers, we look at this cooperative fantasy board game of horror and
adventure.

No one reading this website needs to be sold
on the fun of online cooperative play. The ability to shoot your way
through a Covenant army in Halo or tackle a big boss in World of
Warcraft with a bunch of friends is thrilling. But the cooperative
gaming experience isn’t just available in the video game sphere. As we
continue to examine tabletop games that we think are a good fit for the
video gaming crowd, we zero in on a new game from the folks who bring us
the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game.

Castle Ravenloft
strips away much of the complexity inherent to a true D&D game, and
delivers a cooperative dungeon crawl that is perfect for gamers fond of
Diablo, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, or Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but
uninterested in spending hours bogged down in complicated rules.

Gameplay

Castle Ravenloft is a 1 to 5-player cooperative game of dungeon
exploration and questing. The game uses a dramatically pared down set of
4th edition D&D rules, minus the need for a dungeon master or a
doctorate in the game rules in order to enjoy. Every player takes on the
role of a pre-made hero with a set of special abilities and stats,
mostly represented on a large cardboard card. The group works together
to tackle one of several unique scenarios. In one, the characters need
to escape the dungeon before waves of monsters destroy them. In another,
the adventurers must hunt down the villainous vampire at the heart of
the castle. Each quest has its own special rules and setup, assuring a
variation in the story and objectives. On top of that, the dungeon is
created randomly over the course of the game as the heroes explore, so
the adventure feels unexpected and challenging every time.

Story

Castle Ravenloft carries the Dungeons & Dragons logo on its
front, but don’t be fooled. There’s not much in the way of complex
character interactions or storytelling at play here, unless, of course,
you put them in yourself. Instead, Castle Ravenloft presents a simple
premise. A dangerous castle filled with ghastly undead and their
terrifying vampire master loom over an unfortunate town, and you must
act to save its people. Each scenario offers a little more detail to
flesh out the fiction, but things are kept simple in order to get to
what the game is really about — combat.

Unique Features

Castle Ravenloft is all about exploring a mysterious dungeon and
fighting monsters along the way. You’re fighting monsters at nearly
every turn, and there’s a fantastic terror connected to feeling
overwhelmed by the attacking baddies.

The game does a great job
of keeping the intensity high and the action moving quickly around the
table. Turns occur at a fast pace, with clearly delineated phases for
each turn. Players move and act, then potentially place a new tile, and
finally control designated monsters as they spawn. Every player
participates in “running the board.” The creatures that spawn move by
preset rules on their own monster cards, which usually involve attacking the nearest character to
where the creature appears. The game’s random dungeon tiles keep things
interesting, as do the large number of surprising encounters that arise.
Between unique treasure items, numerous monsters, lots of traps and
other event-based challenges, and customizable characters, there’s
plenty to keep the game feeling fresh and exciting. Even though the game is pretty easy to pick up, don’t mistake that for the game being easy. Your party will be defeated almost as much as it will win the day.

The game also comes with a bunch of great looking unpainted mini figures to help visualize the action.

Up Next: Do I need an advanced degree to play?


Go to Source (Game Informer)

SOCOM 4 hands-on multiplayer preview: new mode, beta plans revealed (SOCOM 4)

Posted on March 08, 2011

Back in January, we got what we thought was a pretty comprehensive look at what’s in store for SOCOM 4’s multiplayer. We saw the new additions, like cover, regenerating health and airstrikes; we leveled up our weapons to unlock new mods; and we quickly learned that, regenerating health or no, one or two well-aimed shots are usually enough to make you dead. But as we found out during GDC, there were two things developer Zipper was holding back from us…

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Go to Source (GamesRadar)

GDC 2011: Halcyon

Posted on March 08, 2011

 

The Indie game booth is one of the largest ones at GDC this year and there are a few games being shown that really stand out. For me, one of the stand-out games was Halcyon, a puzzle game for the iPad. Mobile gaming is not my usual preference, but seeing this game really made me want to play it and I’m really glad that I did.

Halcyon Trailer from zach gage on Vimeo.

read more (Shogun Gamer)

Bungie’s new MMO announcement was a joke

Posted on March 07, 2011

Last week at GDC Bungie network engineer David Aldrige seemed to announce that Bungie’s next project would be an MMO, apparently confirming that recent rumours of such a project were true. According to a new post on Bungie.net, the mention of a Bungie MMO was intended as a joke lol.

Bungie representative Urk wrote that “in rehearsal Aldridge was convinced that everybody got the joke. It was all in the delivery, he assured us, and he was certain it was clear that he was playfully riffing off of the recent rumors.” In a published internal email, spotted by Kotaku, Aldrige says “the tape will exonerate me, but I’m sorry anyway.” Bungie haven’t explicitly denied that they’re working on an MMO, but it looks as though last week’s confirmation was bogus.


Go to Source (PC Gamer)

Saturday Crapshoot: 3D Construction Kit

Posted on March 07, 2011

Play enough games, and at some point your mind is going to start creating your own. If you can program, if you can draw, maybe you can sit down and make them happen. If not, there are tools like GameMaker and Unity and the UDK to make them happen. But what if you’d been inspired before these modern marvels came along? What if you’d had a genius idea for your own 3D world back in 1991? Then maybe, just maybe, you’d have found the 3D Construction Kit (or Virtual Reality Studio) the answer to your prayers. If so, you’d be the only one. 3D Construction Kit was where your ambitions went to die.

Very rarely has such an awesome toy been this useless. And yes, awesome is the word. 3D Construction Kit offered incredible technology by the standards of the time, not simply on the PC, but on everything from the Amiga to the ZX Spectrum. It gave you a complete polygon based 3D engine, scripting, compilation tools, and more. But don’t take my word for it. Check out this official video to see the kind of experiences you too could dare to dream of one day creating. Beware! Your mind may be blown.


 

This VHS originally came with the 3D Construction Kit, and it’s notable for being a little… how can I put this tactfully… full of shit. Yes, you could indeed create a car. You wouldn’t however be able to drive it anywhere, or have other 3D cars on the track doing anything. You’ll note how the only movement you see the car doing is courtesy of the camera sweeping past it. There is a Reason. You could, in theory, create adventure games, but since your only interaction method was shooting stuff and banging into it, there wasn’t much scope for creating puzzles. You could create a 10,000 seater stadium, ignoring the lack of actual seats and such, but you had precisely zero chance of actually playing football in it.

Really, all you could do with the 3DCK was create very simplistic scenes, a few tiny bits of them moving or wobbling around, by painstakingly shoving every last primitive into place, and adding a bit of scripting to make bits move around a bit, vanish from the gameworld, or fire deadly lasers. As soon as you wanted to go beyond that, you were either out of luck or in a world of hurt. Usually both. I know many people who owned the 3DCK. I don’t know any who managed to put together an actual game with it.

In any toolkit, the demo project sets the tone. This was 3DCK’s (albeit running in a more updated version of the engine with a far higher resolution than the original’s 320×200). If you’re wondering what the game version of Inception is going to be like, consider this a surreal little preview. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on, but as far as I can tell, your job is to buy scuba gear from an alien so that you can find a desert island that lets you bypass a vision of Satan in order to hump the Space Shuttle.

Suddenly my own life goals seem so… ordinary.


 

Despite being barely usable (and this was on PC – the 8-bit versions had single-digit framerates) for anything serious, 3DCK was an impressive release. It was ridiculously ahead of its time, for good or bad, and the first consumer level tool that really make playing with 3D seem cool. This was a couple of years before Doom, and even commercial 3D games of the time looked pretty terrible. 3DCK also had an excellent heritage. It was based on the Freescape engine, as made famous by games like Driller, Total Eclipse and Castle Master and while those names may not mean much now, they were justifiably well-regarded at the time. Technologically, anyway. As games, they were largely terrible.

Freescape was also (in a way, via its successor, Superscape) the engine that powered a truly ghastly TV show called Cyber Zone, about which YouTube has precisely one surviving clip. It came out two years after 3DCK, starring Craig Charles as himself and James Grout as Thesp, a virtual fat man who acted a little bit snooty. Knightmare, it was not. It wasn’t even Time Busters. Or Incredible Games.

Nothing about this show worked, not for a single solitary second. Despite trying far too hard to be futuristic and cyber and other nonsense that was embarassing even in 1993, it was instantly out-dated. The world may have been fully 3D, but it ran like a dog, and the interaction was barely more advanced for being professionally designed. One team ran on pressure pads to move around, go into rooms and solve incredibly clumsy puzzles that usually boiled down to shooting ducks or similarly embarrassingly simple stuff even by Crystal Maze standards, while the other got to drive or fly around the world and… pretty much just watch them. The set was all dark and trashy. The main world used in the show was a recreation of a boring modern town. The prize was Craig Charles asking the winner what they wanted, and when they said ‘a sports car’ or whatever, handing them a disk and saying there was a virtual one on there. Words can barely describe how toe-curling this show was. Luckily, a minute or so is enough.


 

(Craig Charles went on to host the even more painful Heaven and Hell, while the BBC inflicted the astoundingly dull Fightbox on the world. At least Time Commanders was pretty entertaining though, proving that you can make a decent TV show out of a game if you try…)

3D Construction Kit wasn’t a bad product. For the £25 or so it cost, or the £7 I originally bought it for, you weren’t really paying for a game creator tool, but a kind of game creator role-playing game. You may never have made anything with it, but that wasn’t the point. You could always have made something tomorrow, or next week, or in that even more nebulous world of ’some time in the future’. For most of us, that’s really no different to the tools available now. They’re simply better, easier to use, and permit humping the space station in glorious high-definition. Thank goodness. Anything else would be rubbish.


Go to Source (PC Gamer)

NCAA Football 12 cover athlete determined by fan vote

Posted on March 06, 2011

Cover athletes for EA Sports’ NCAA Football series may not get the same attention as Madden’s leading men — but hey, at least they’re not cursed. In fact, you can help the next young star get “lucky” by voting him onto the cover of NCAA Football 12.


Continue reading NCAA Football 12 cover athlete determined by fan vote

JoystiqNCAA Football 12 cover athlete determined by fan vote originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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