Riot revealed the official ability list and backstory for League of Legend’s next champion, tree-wizard Moakai, who’s slated to be released tomorrow. Avid readers of our fine website won’t find too many surprises–it’s almost identical to the list that we announced last week in our massive preview of Maokai and Jarvan VI, which was based on our exclusive hands-on with the champion in December.
Seeing how closely the release version of Maokai matches the version that we played with, we’re wondering if our ability list for Jarvan IV (the next champion slated for release) is going to be nearly identical to his final ability list as well. Stay tuned to PC Gamer for more champion updates in the future; you can amaze your friends, families, and pets with your mystical knowledge of what lies in the future for League of Legends. For now, here’s the breakdown on this ornery oak tree.
The twisting magical energies unleashed by mages during the Rune Wars caused an incredible amount of devastation to the natural world. The League was established to control the use of this magic by confining it to the Fields of Justice. By limiting its use to there, they thought that they could prevent it from doing further harm to the environment. It seemed that they were successful until Maokai came into being. During a League match on The Twisted Treeline, Maokai, an ancient oak that stood above the upper jungle, spontaneously roared to life. Ripped from the natural balance by arcane forces, his sentience was forged in chaos. Before the Adjudicators of the League could step in and suppress him, he slew all six champions participating in the match. The scholars of the Arcanum Majoris took a keen interest in him, as they were eager to discover the secrets of his animation.
Maokai was furious, however. He abhorred the existence that was thrust upon him; he felt it was a corruption of nature. He learned to communicate with people in hopes of finding a way to be returned to his former, true state. Seizing the opportunity, the League offered a trade. They would research a way to revert him so long as he agreed to fight in the League of Legends. Maokai was indifferent to verdicts rendered by the League, but he was eager to punish summoners for their wanton use of magic. He agreed to the terms under one condition: once they learned how to turn him back, they would never animate another tree again. He wears a lantern on the Fields of Justice to set him apart from the other trees, and as a warning to the “animals” that would do him harm.
“I will use this power until I am free of it.” –Maokai
- (Q) Arcane Smash: Maokai slams the ground, the force of which knocks nearby enemies back and sends an arcane shockwave forward damaging and slowing his enemies.
- (W) Twisted Advance: Maokai dissolves into a cloud of arcane energies. He regrows near a target enemy, dealing damage and rooting it in place.
- (E) Sapling Toss: Maokai hurls a sapling, dealing damage on impact. The sapling becomes implanted in the ground warding a nearby area. When enemies approach, the sapling attacks, exploding in an arcane blast that damages enemies.
- (R) Vengeful Maelstrom (Ultimate): Maokai shields his allies by drawing power from hostile spells and attacks, reducing non-tower damage done to allied champions in the area. Maokai can prolong the effect as long as he has mana to spend on it. When the effect ends, Maokai unleashes the absorbed energy to deal damage to enemies within the vortex.
- Sap Magic (Passive): Each time a champion near Maokai casts a spell, he gains a charge of Magical Sap. When he has 5 charges, his next melee attack drains energy from his target, healing Maokai for a percentage of his maximum HP.
What do you think? Is he a day-one purchase for you?
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ArenaNet have updated their Guild Wars 2 FAQ, mentioning that they will be running closed alpha and beta events later this year. The success of the closed testing events will decide when a public beta will go live, and will be used to nail down a release date for the game.
ArenaNet posted the news on the Guild Wars 2 FAQ “We will be conducting small closed alpha and beta tests in 2011. The feedback from these tests will determine when we will do public beta tests and ship the game. Guild Wars 2 is a very large and ambitious game, and Guild Wars players rightfully have very high expectations. We want players to be absolutely blown away by the game the first time they experience it.”
Posting on the Guild Wars 2 Guru forums, ArenaNet’s Regina Buenaobra said that “the existence of friends and family closed alpha and closed beta this year has changed nothing about the release date. The release date continues to be: when the game is ready.” There’s currently no way to sign up for the Guild Wars 2 beta, in spite of a series of scam sites claiming that there is. We’ll let you know when ArenaNet start offering beta invites.
ArenaNet have recently revealed the Guardian profession, and have been talking about how combat will work in Guild Wars 2. We’ve had some first hand experience with Guild Wars 2’s scraps. Read our preview for a taste of ArenaNet’s refreshing take on MMO combat.
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I’m some sort of purple, googly-eyed jellyfish, and the world around me is a blocky maze. I’m using the WASD keys to steer my character and using the mouse to aim and shoot at an array of colourful, bouncing, shooting fishblobs . I am collecting the power-ups. I understand this.
I do not understand this. I’m picking up power-ups, but they aren’t doing anything. Why aren’t they doing anything?
Inside A Star-filled Sky is made by Jason Rohrer, the creator of Passage and Sleep Is Death. It’s an infinite, recursive shooter. Like when you play rounds of Counter-Strike for a really long time? No. Let me tell you what like.
At the top centre of the screen is a list of the three power-ups I currently possess. Right now it’s increases to health, bullet speed and bullet size. In the top left of the screen is a list of the three power-ups held by the creature I’m currently inside. Those start as the same three power-ups I currently hold, until I pick up a bullet spray power-up, which replaces the health increase. But the character I’m controlling doesn’t change until I find the level exit and head upwards. The screen blurs and pulls out, giant pixels filling the screen and then shrinking down until they’re the same, small size of my previous character. I look completely different now. Now I’m a green, googly-eyed bloctopus.
I look different because I’m now controlling the creature I was previously inside. The me I was previously inside. As a consequence of the power-ups I collected and replaced, the new me has less health than on the last level, but has the three-bullet spread given by the bullet spray power-up. I have become the changes I made inside of myself.
In Sleep is Death, one player controlled the main character in a story, while a second player directed the world around them. It was a mixture of adventure gaming and pen-and-paper, cooperative storytelling, and it was remarkable. Inside A Star Filled Sky is remarkable, too.
I don’t like the changes I’ve made inside myself. I shift-click on my new character and go back inside, pick up some different power-ups – a heart again, seeking bullet, a bouncing bullet – and then pop back through the same exit to become them. My appearance hasn’t change since I was last on this level, just my powers. I understand this!
I don’t understand this. I start exploring the level, and come across a large room filled with enemies. The music becomes more complex, generating its beats from the movements and bullets on screen. I dodge around the enemies, find a corridor and slip down it.
I come across an enemy, a one-eyed squigglefish spewing fast, giant, sprays of bullets. The corridor’s too thin to avoid it, and there’s no way I can kill it with my current load-out, but I don’t want to change myself yet. I shift-click on the enemy and head inside it.
Hey, squigglefish! I’m inside your body, ruining your dude. I pick up some power-ups – the worst, lamest power-ups I can find. I locate the exit and pop back up to my former level. The fierce, venomous squigglefish is now sad, firing one, lonely bullet forward. I pop him easily and move past.
You can go inside enemies! I understand this.
I go inside the next enemy I find. Silly blobby enemies. Wait, can I—
I go inside the next enemy I find – again. I’m inside an enemy inside an enemy. I understand this! This is great.
I head inside another enemy. I keep going. I am inside an enemy inside an enemy inside an enemy inside an enemy inside a power-up.
Inside a power-up? Damn.
I don’t understand this.
After an initial fixed price, Sleep Is Death switched to a “name your donation” payment model. It was successful enough that Inside A Star Filled Sky is going to start that way when it’s released later this month. There will be a minimum cost of $1.75 to cover bandwidth and credit card fees, but you can pay whatever you think it’s worth above that.
While inside a power-up, you can pick up more power-ups. Just like with enemies, when you shift back up and out, the power-up has taken on the properties of those you collected inside. Enter a power-up that boosts bullet speed and collect three health power-ups, and the power-up on the level above changes to become a 3x health boost.
I enter a power-up within a power-up and discover more powerful power-ups, and consequently every enemy here is a raging, spewing, speeding, bouncing, chasing globulous, wiggle-eyed slushball. It is terrifying, but by travelling inside these enemies and changing them, I could render them all inert. I don’t. I die, I get sent back down a level, I try again and head back up.
I understand this. I am inside a power-up inside a power-up inside an enemy inside a power-up inside myself inside an infinite number of selves I haven’t become yet. Inside A Star Filled Sky is extremely clever, and rife with metaphor. I die, I get sent back down, try again and head back up.
I understand this. I am one upward exit away from having a fantastic power-up combo made from level four health, bullet size and bullet speed increases. This will be amazing. I will be unstoppable. Inside A Star Filled Sky is a pretty dreadful name. I die, get sent back down, head back up.
I understand this. Inside A Star Filled Sky is bigger than the known universe, and though goalless, it pushes you to continue just to find out how much better you can make the next you, where “better” means giant, bouncing bullets spewing from all sides of you and popping anyone you meet.
I understand this now!
It is like when you play rounds of Counter-Strike for a really long time.
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Every Sunday, PC Gamer is going to bring the best in PC game video: including trailers, casts, clips, fan films and anything else we can find.
Shogun II’s CGI trailer above is a work of intro art. Funny story – each of the three lead characters in this short were provided as options for PC Gamer cover art. I love the guy with the mirror fan, but he’s not exactly going to sell the magazine at the news-stands. We eventually went with an angry Samurai. Probably for the best.
“Is that a second spire? Oooh, Catz, you suave, sexy guy.” I think of all the men in PC gaming, I love Day9 the most. There’s a bit in this Funday Monday where he can’t quite believe how well his massed Queens requirements have worked out. He may have just broken Starcraft 2’s ladder meta-game. Even if you’re not into Starcraft 2, it’s worth it just for his turn of phrase.
Epic Terran vs Zerg casted by Artosis. I’m not going to say who’s playing, because it will spoil the GSL series that Tom’s slowly working his way through. But this is a great, great match.
The first two minutes of Dragon Age 2. Hnnnhg. Rich completed it two weeks ago. Git.
You can tell that all involved had a ball of a time making Fallout Nuka Break – a Fallout 3 fan film. Although I did spend most of the piece wondering whether short shorts are appropriate attire for a post apocalyptic landscape.
The Battlefield 3 teaser trailer inspired me to watch the original Battlefield 1942 introduction. Funny. I think every gamer will watch a rendered intro and immediately think “I can’t wait until all games look this good”. Well, now they do. But we’re already wondering when games will look as good as the intros we see today. The fidelity treadmill is a bitch.
*We spent all of two minutes thinking of this title. You can probably do better. Please help. Alternatives included:
The Sunday Matinee
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What would it look like if Diablo was rocketed into space and populated by aliens? We want to give you a chance to find out with a key for Darkspore’s closed beta! The codes give you access to every beta event, the first of which starts tomorrow!
The first 100 people to send an e-mail to email@example.com with “Darkspore” in the subject line will receive a code.
The beta events will occur on:
- Friday, Feb. 11th from 6pm PT until 11:59pm PT Saturday, Feb 12th
- Friday, Feb. 18th from 6pm PT until 11:59pm PT Saturday, Feb 19th
- Friday, Feb. 25th from 6pm PT until 11:59pm PT Sunday, Feb 27th
- Friday, March 4th from 6pm PT until 11:59pm PT Sunday, March 6th
- Friday, March 11th from 6pm PT until 11:59pm PT Sunday, March 13th
Beta access includes both the campaign and multiplayer, where you can play as countless creatures and swap between a set of three on the fly. We’ll have a large preview of the game online next week, but for now, you can see for yourself what you think of the game. You know you want to see it before everyone else does…e-mail us now!
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In three hours time, the Winter Assembly pro Team Fortress 2 tournament will begin. The event is being covered live on TF2 TV and Cadred. Read on for details of what’s in store, and how to tune in.
TF2 TV will be livecasting a number of matches in the Winter Assembly tournament, kicking off in less than three hours in Helsinki. Heavy hitters like Team Dignitas, Team Immortal and Power Gaming will be battling for a share of the 3110 Euro prize pot. You can find the whole schedule for TF2 TV’s coverage of the event here, and a run down of each of the teams involved on Cadred. Tune in to TF2 TV at 3:30pm GMT for the start of the first game between Power Gaming and Team Immortal.
If you’ve never seen Team Fortress 2 played professionally before, you’re in for a treat. Pro-players can do things with a rocket launcher you wouldn’t believe. For a taste of what’s in store, have a look at some of the matches in the TF2 TV archive.
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Activision have revealed that the First Strike map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops will be out on PC by the end of March. Activision have also set up a new company devoted to creating new DLC for Call of Duty. Read on for details and the First Strike trailer.
Activision made the reveal when announcing its quarterly financial results last night. They mentioned that the pack would be out on PC this financial quarter, which ends in March. Activision also announced the formation of a new company devoted exclusively to creating digital downloads for Call of Duty. The team will be called Beachhead, and have been tasked with creating “best in class digital experience for Call of Duty.” It looks as though we can look forward to more Call of Duty: Black Ops map packs and expansions in future.
First Strike contains four new multiplayer maps and a new “zombie experience.”
- Stadium – competitive map set in an Ice Hockey rink.
- Kowloon – multiplayer map that takes place on the rooftops of Kowloon
- Berlin Wall – A multiplayer fight for checkpoint Charlie.
- Discovery – A competitive map set in an Antarctic research facility, based on the Reznov mission from the singleplayer campaign.
- Ascension – New zombie map with new weapons and creatures to fight.
There’s no exact release date or price set for the PC version yet, but it should be out before April 1. Check out the official Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike site for more information. Here’s the First Strike trailer.
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There’s an M60 machinegunner on the floor above me that’s ruining my team’s kill/death ratio. I’m carrying a sniper rifle, so storming up the stairs (which might be mined with tripwire explosives) into close-quarters combat won’t end well. I check my bag of tricks for a solution, and bingo: breaching charges! I look up and tap Q to strap a gift-wrapped chunk of C4 to the ceiling. Five seconds later the section of ceiling is reduced to a hailstorm of falling rubble, spilling bricks and a player’s corpse—still clutching his M60—through to the floor in front of me.
Breach handles anti-architecture warfare similarly to the way Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does it—RPGs and other bombs take bites out of bridges, wooden terraces and houses to terrify and reveal those inside. The biggest difference here is that there’s more incidental cover to explode (like rows of sandbags), and Breach’s latch-on cover system.
But Breach isn’t just a cover-based game about killing walls—it feels more like a Battlefield from a parallel universe (which I like). Its four all-outdoor levels resemble BFBC2 design—each has a main path dotted with breakable shacks and walled in by mountains. They’re great layouts, and they encourage firefights with a pace slow enough to let teams build momentum, but fast enough to keep the action hot.
Convoy mode is the best of Breach. Here, attackers try to disable two slow-moving, AI-driven vans that snake through the level by hitting them with explosives; defenders man turrets mounted on the vans, repairing the vehicles and blowing barricades that block their path. It paces just as brilliantly as Team Fortress 2’s Payload mode: picking off a defender who steps away from repairing the convoy or plowing the road so the vehicles can move feels like tug-of-war with assault rifles.
The holes in Breach’s design are mostly graphical. Other than the destruction physics, it feels like it’s built on tech that’s three or four years old—mixed texture quality and odd details like shooting a truck’s tires sounding like bullets pinging against metal clash with the fidelity of blowing pinpoint-accurate holes in walls and rooftops for a clear shot. The upside, of course, is that it’ll run well on most systems.
I hope Breach doesn’t end up as this year’s Lead and Gold. Both games are outstanding multiplayer experiences for their price, with novel bits of design that many triple-A shooters wouldn’t attempt. But L&G has been abandoned due to its limited content, and Breach is similarly lean. It may not be enough to woo large populations away from the other FPSes where they’ve entrenched—but if you try it, it’s a blast.
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In Magicka, you’re a wizard. You’ve got eight elements that you can stack up, mix, multiply, and unleash. You can cast them at goblins, cast them at anything next to you, cast them at your specially blunted sword, cast them at your own face.
Singleplayer mode is a light comic fantasy, narrated by your dodgy mentor, Vlad. The black-clad Romanian wizard keeps pointing out that he’s not a vampire, and making bad puns about sinking his teeth into things. It’s a mix of satire and pop culture references that’ll have you smirking dangerously throughout.
Lots of care has gone into the way the elements combine and contort in your spells. Combinations shape the form (Missile? Beam? Cone? Wall?) and function (Healing? Burning? Shielding? Exploding? Freezing? Drenching? Zapping?) of each glorious experiment. There’s enough variety for every wizard to have his or her own favourite attack style. Mine is a steamy lightning beam that scalds you before dealing bonus lightning damage from the water element in steam. See ‘A wizard did it’ for more.
Concocting these spells is a little confusing at first, as you’re commanding eight elements across eight keys, but you’re rarely faced with enemies that can’t be killed by particular elements. Button mashing will get you far, and a mistake might just surprise you.
The environments are top-down, linear jaunts through bright and breezy fantasy tropes: forests full of goblins, orcish trenches, swamps, mines, the land of the dead. Wander off the beaten path, and you can find powerful equipment and new magic spell recipes that reach beyond the scope of your regular elemental concoctions – spells such as Revive and Teleport.
Singleplayer will soon wear thin, sadly. It’s not that you can’t beat it with the right spells and an awful lot of goes – it’s that if you make a mistake and burst like a sticky water balloon, you get chucked back to the last checkpoint you reached. In once case, that involves fighting three big groups of face-pounding orcs and one-hit-smash-to-deathing ogres, in a row, before you hit another checkpoint. If you quit before you complete that level (perhaps out of, ooh, say, frustration), you’ll have to start it all over again when you boot up the game again. Ultimately, you’ll hit this annoying boss or that overpowered yeti thing or this boring underworld level and you’ll just give up on singleplayer. Then you’ll turn to multiplayer.
And multiplayer is good, when it works. If you’ve got a few networked computers and three eager friends with Magicka on their Steam accounts, you can enjoy the splendour of four death lasers combining neatly into a super-beam that bursts ogres in seconds. You can have tactics and gambits and laugh as they end with one wizard left, deciding if he wants your gear before he resurrects you.
The bulk of us, however, will be butting our heads against the brick wall of online multiplayer. At the time of writing, developers Arrowhead have been releasing patches every 24 hours, and they’re gradually improving on the terrible connectivity issues. Despite their efforts, you no sooner host a game than Steam Chat dies, Skype calls drop, and flatmates start inspecting the router for flashing lights. For a game so reliant on multiplayer to be fun, there are lots of missed opportunities. There’s no chapter select function, no joining mid-session for latecomers or disconnected players, no voice chat, no dedicated servers, and tons of lengthy, wordy cutscenes that only the host can skip.
Get it working, and it’s great. For £8, you’ll get your money’s worth before everyone forgets about it. But it could have been game of the year material! Silly wizards.
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Back to the Future is about a young Michael J Fox accidentally going back in time to 1955 using a time-travelling DeLorean. While there, he threatens his own existence by altering history, and in trying to save himself gains a greater understanding of his parents, saves his friend Doc Brown from Libyan terrorists, and builds himself a better future. It still holds up today as a wonderfully written adventure film, filled with exciting set-pieces, funny dialogue and plenty of heart.
Near the start of this first chapter of the episodic Back to the Future: The Game, the DeLorean returns to Marty containing only Doc Brown’s dog Einstein, and a shoe. To find out what time period the car has come from, Marty Uses Shoe on Dog, and Einstein leads him to a little old lady’s house. Marty solves the mystery by having a chat, turning a radiator on, and hunting through some old newspapers.
It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Back to the Future is a great film filled with thrilling adventure. Telltale make adventure games. The word ‘adventure’ is right there in the genre name, but Back to the Future is perhaps the least adventurous game I’ve ever played. Over the course of an easy 90-minute borefest you prop open a door, make some barrels roll around, and solve multiple puzzles using a tape recorder.
It’s not Back to the Future in spirit or style. It’s the same formula Telltale have been peddling since their first Sam & Max series, dressed up in a red life-preserver.
If all you’re looking for is nostalgia, maybe that’s enough. The story follows a familiar formula: the DeLorean has appeared back in 1986 because the Doc is in trouble. He’s been missing for months, trapped in prohibition-era Hill Valley and accused of burning down a speakeasy belonging to Kid Tannen, another relative of the original movie’s villain, Biff. You travel to 1931 to rescue him.
Plot aside, there are plenty of winks and nods to the original films, as when the game intro lets you play a twist on the original film’s first time travel experiment. Or when the old lady you meet turns out to be Edna Strickland, a relation to the screaming, bald vice-principal from the original film. Or when you get to Use Marty’s Guitar on Doc’s Giant Amp. If you loved the original films, you’ll play it and say, “Oh, yeah, I remember that,” while wondering when you’re going to get to the exciting skateboard chases and the flying trains.
When the action does pick up the pace in this chapter’s high-speed finale, it serves only to underline why this shouldn’t have been a point-andclick adventure in the first place. There’s an enemy who fires a gun at you repeatedly at near point-blank range and misses every time. Pointand- click is a format that can’t cope with putting you in genuine physical peril, and so any moment of danger deflates instantly.
Those who want more than faint reminders of better entertainment are only going to feel cheated by this game, which is too easy and too rushed. The complexity of the puzzles has been dialled back to aid casual gamers attracted by the licence, the environments feel small and empty, the lip-synching is nonexistent and there are multiple lines of dialogue that are completely missing. It’s a mess.
There are four more episodes of Back to the Future: The Game planned, shifting between the ’30s and an alternate 1986. It still has time to be good. But based on this first episode, your time would be better spent re-watching the movies.
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Richard Cobbett has… nothing to add to that. In fact, after seeing the name of this week’s bit of obscura, you should know all you need. Stick around though. The Muppets turn up near the end. Honest.
Drinking leper vomit. Being served a beloved pet in a bun. Being dragged naked behind the Orient Express on train tracks sprinkled with salt and broken glass. Drowning in a vat of live maggots.
Oh, hello there, readers. You just joined us, the PC Gamer team, in our weekly game of “Things That Are More Fun Than Microshaft Winblows 98″. We’ve been playing it for the last decade and a half, for an hour a day, and unlike this terrible excuse for a CD-ROM, we never seem to run out of material. So far, only three things have been disqualified for going too far: the movies of Seltzer and Friedberg, because at least Microshaft doesn’t risk being sued by Satan for removing his writing credit, a dentist getting the hiccups during root canal surgery, and the other parodies from creator Parroty Interactive: Star Warped, The X-Fools, and one of the few games to specifically spoof another: Pyst. Shudder.
Amazing! It’s a perfect recreation
of something that doesn’t look like Windows!
Microshaft Winblows 98 is simply content to be the funniest thing this side of spelling Microsoft with a $ in the middle. It’s not really a game, although it has a few of them in it, but more of an interactive comedy CD-ROM. The premise is that two Microsoft employees, Meg and Graham, have secretly put together this game to break into software development – Meg to stick it to the Man, Graham to gently poke fun at his idol, Billy G – and somehow you’ve found it on the network. Your challenge is to climb your way up the corporate ladder from the Tech Support department all the way to a meeting with Bill Gates himself,
enduring enjoying riffs like the Microsoft slogan being “Who Does He Want To Own Today?”
CLARIFICATION: Yes, that was supposed to be funny.
Almost from the start, you can smell the desperation. Winblows feels like a game that was agreed on, everyone involved high-fived each other, sat down to work, and froze as they realised how little material they actually had to work with. In fact, I imagine it going a little something like this…
“Okay, so what’s on our hit-list? Thing #1: Bill Gates is a nerd. Everyone okay with that?”
“Definitely comedy value there, yep. And Microsoft… well, everyone knows they like money.”
“Not sure we can fill a whole disc with just corporate jokes. I know, let’s do some hilarious TV parodies!”
“Awesome! Um… how about Star Trek? Only instead of Trek, we’ll say… Tech. Star Tech!”
“Brilliant. Go write it. Don’t make it too funny though!”
“Well, you definitely didn’t make it too funny. Well done.”
“Thanks. Okay, we’ve used up our most obvious joke, and now we need nine more.”
“Oh, Christ, I don’t know. What’s that popular show with the friends?”
“Yeah. Do that, only… they work at Microsoft now. Or something. We’ll be fine, just as long as we come up with a really clever, imaginative name to set up the hilarity.”
“I just felt my soul leak out of my anus.”
“You’re a comedy writer. You won’t need it.”
Most of the parodies on offer suffer not just from being about as funny as waking up in the morning to find you’ve suddenly got your mother’s herpes, which is admittedly a fairly serious flaw, but being incredibly tenuous. “Xena: Code Warrior” is a lazy idea, but you can at least vaguely see how it came together. “Mister Gates’ Neighbourhood” is a reasonable concept. But “Bill Watch” instead of Baywatch? “Touched By Bill” instead of Touched By An Angel? Stop! Parodies do not work like that!
(At the very least, they could have been “Touched By A Nerd” and “Elliot Baywatch”.)
It doesn’t help that Winblows is stuck mining geek humour almost exclusively, rendering many of the jokes that do work (I counted about three) more a case of ‘Oh, okay, yes, that was fairly clever’ rather than actually laugh-out-loud funny. Most of the time, it smacks of non-technical people desperately trying to write jokes in what may as well be a foreign language, and sounding about as convincing as your average Oxbridge politician trying to ‘get down’ with his ‘homies’ in ‘da hood’. In the intro alone, Graham tells a suddenly worried Meg “They could never fire you, my little megabyte,” to which she wittily replies “Call me that again and I’ll rip out your modem.” Good grief. Cue the tumbleweed of failure…
The basic game is that you watch everything on offer, then an e-mail arrives with a cryptic password hint that lets you into the next level, which unlocks more stuff. The different sections are CampusCam, where you watch lousy security camera footage, the MSTV Network with the above parodies, Bill’s Personal Outlook with some uninteresting diary entries, and the Reject Bin, which shows some appallingly rendered box-shots of failed Microsoft projects like the ‘Live Mouse’ and ‘Naughty Net Nanny’. They don’t even pretend to have taken the time to make them look like real products, never mind Microsoft ones.
Hey, it’s a mouse! Like a computer
mouse! Only it’s a real mouse!
Oh, Winblows. You spoil us so.
For educational purposes, here’s the exact same basic concept done much better in Space Quest IV – real parodies (although obviously dated now – the game came out in 1991), descriptions that actually build on the title gags, and art that bothers to help the humour out instead of leaving it to die alone.
By far the most painful parts of Winblows 98 though are the mini-games it throws in. Think of Windows. What are the traditional games provided with it? Minesweeper. Solitaire. Drawing willies in MS Paint. Obviously, Winblows serves up hilarious parodies of all of these to…
…wait, one second. I’m pretending to be told something I clearly already know…
…nope, none of those are in. Instead, your random parodies are a board game called The Roll Ahead, based on Gates’ book “The Road Ahead”, in which Bill Gates and Steve Jobs race by rolling a die and making you wish you could just do exactly that. There’s Pinbill, which actually isn’t much worse than the actual Microsoft pinball game, even if its only real joke is Bill having a large nose, which he doesn’t, Winblows Exploder, which may be one of the worst shooters ever, and… Win Bill Gates’ Money.
This one is just weird. It’s based on a show called Win Ben Stein’s Money (which came out in the UK as Win Beadle’s Money), but doesn’t use its format. Instead, it’s a blatant, unfunny, and above all else, incredibly cheap rip-off of the excellent quiz series You Don’t Know Jack. (I was willing to write this off as a coincidence until it actually namechecked it during one of the questions.) It’s so cack-handed, it doesn’t bother randomising the questions, just which chain of them you get. It’s so lazy, there isn’t even a custom line if you don’t bother answering – when the time expires, it just acts like you chose the wrong answer. It’s so awful, it… it really sucks! What’s more, Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life comedy interactive kinda-game had already done a rubbish You Don’t Know Jack parody the year before.
Even if we ignore all of that though, just look at this! People were paid to make this!
Doesn’t matter when your
whole game is ‘Sans Comic’.
There’s a reason there weren’t many games like Microshaft Winblows 98, beyond the fact that we live in a world where concepts like hope and sanity exist. Even if you had the requisite lobotomy to find them hilarious, there was never much content for your money. You can see everything that Winblows has to offer in five minutes, and the rest of its videos in a couple of hours. Not even the game part slows you down, since there’s nothing more to it than working out a password, and if you don’t guess that “PAMELA ANDERSON’S CLEAVAGE” should translate as “SILICON VALLEY”, Meg and Graham only let you give two wrong answers before just telling you what to type and calling you an idiot. They also call you an idiot if you don’t move the cursor for more that 0.2 picoseconds and for a few other things… up to, but not actually including, installing and playing this worthless game. The one time it would be deserved.
But maybe it’s not Winblows 98’s fault that it can’t even get close to comedy without being slapped with a restraining order. Maybe Windows and geek jokes just aren’t funny enough to carry a CD-ROM.
Or maybe… just maybe… it’s all a question of how you tell ‘em.
Winblows’ Bill Gates sounds
like Kermit with a cold. Coincidentally,
Kermit sounds like Bill Gates without one.
Muppets Inside was released in 1995, but still makes Winblows 98 look older. The premise is that the Muppets are trapped in your computer and need your help to escape – in practice, by joining them on a tour of your own motherboard. As a game, it’s nothing to write home about – made up entirely of simple challenges that just repeat and repeat and repeat ad infinitum.
As a geeky comedy experience though, it wins out over Winblows for one big reason – it feels comfortable with its material. There’s plenty of new footage, lots of clips, but more importantly, lots and lots of genuinely funny bits and pieces, from the hyper-geeky jokes (you get around the computer by driving a ‘Data Bus’) to the completely random asides like Rizzo singing a song about Jim Henson trademark enforcement to the tune of Carmen’s Toreador song. Most importantly of all though, there’s this:
This game can now
officially do no wrong.
The limited number of games on offer quickly get a bit dull, and none of them are much fun. The style and humour carries it much further than any similar game though, with by far the most memorable bit being its intro. I won’t spoil the details, but this is how you do a geek joke, Winblows. Watch and weep:
HISTORICAL NOTES: Since Winblows’ release, Bill Gates became the biggest philanthropist of all time, the Office Assistant became the most hated thing to appear on a screen since Scrappy Doo, and Microsoft even released its own joke version of Windows: Vista. (Nobody laughed much at that one either.)
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Of all the open-world roleplaying games of the past decade, Two Worlds was likely the worst. Its titular globes represented an unpolished, badly translated Gothic-clone orbiting an interminable, lifeless Oblivion-clone. Yet this sequel almost completely redeems the series. Its combat is innovative, character choices are meaningful, it’s gorgeous to explore and it’s largely bug-free. Until it peters to a linear, inglorious finale, Two Worlds 2 offers remarkably satisfying open-world adventuring. In two words: much better.
Act like an orc
The original game was little more than an open-world sandbox with a skeletal plot to serve as a navigational aid. NPCs had little to say, and even that dialog was barely coherent. TW2 fleshes out its world with a more substantive storyline and characters who, while still not loquacious, are personable and articulate. The plot remains simple—your haplessly bound and uncomfortably attractive sister needs rescue—but the improved story and colorful NPCs, including some unlikely orc allies, make exploring this world purposeful and rewarding.
The new engine is often stunning, and definitely a graphical leap above recent open-world RPGs. TW2 offers some great hand-crafted environments, including dense forests, imposing swamps and scenic grasslands. They’re inhabited by far more critter types than in similar games, including an abundance of natural wildlife and supernatural beasties. The AI isn’t sophisticated—enemies largely just charge you—but NPCs have schedules and humanoid foes display some organization, breathing life into environments. (To mitigate the hassle of waiting for NPCs to arrive at their jobs, nighttime is accelerated to pass in moments.)
The open-ended skill system eschews classes and gives you an abundance of tactical options to consider. I decided that I was going to be a death-dealing spelunker to solve a chain of labyrinth quests, so I equipped an axe and a torch (a necessity in TW2’s pitch-black dungeons). After acquiring the Fire Strike skill, a portion of the physical damage I inflicted became fire damage, thanks to the equipped torch. Once I gained Shield Pull, I could disarm enemies with my axe. After realizing that undead were more vulnerable to blunt trauma, I nabbed a skill book to unlock a mace-specific feat that stuns opponents. Many undead bones can attest to the usefulness of non-combat skills—whenever I overloaded, I dismantled extra loot into components which I used to substantially improve my equipped gear.
Magic is similarly customizable, and allows you freedom to alter spell effects at any time by substituting collectible modifiers. Only the stealth system feels underdeveloped, although instantly assassinating surprised opponents is hugely satisfying.
TW2 still has plenty of room to grow, though. You can’t fight on horseback, for instance. Many skills are unbalanced—some are of dubious utility while others, such as Alchemy, feel half-baked. The single-player story gets increasingly linear for little payoff; we still get a sizable map out of the deal, but later areas aren’t as fleshed-out since the plot isn’t compelling enough to justify limiting open-world exploration. Multiplayer is improved, but is disappointingly mission-based instead of allowing co-op wandering.
Yet it is such a huge improvement over its dismal predecessor that it’s oh-so-close to being an outstanding RPG. Its design just needs some rationalization and focus to achieve something great.
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A Game Director at Treyarch has said that a Call of Duty game set in the future “would be pretty fantastic”. When asked if Treyarch would be up for creating a futuristic Call of Duty, he said “I think the answer is ‘yes.’”
Game Director David Vonderhaar was talking to Machinima about the future of the Call of Duty series when he made the comments, saying “we have not announced any new Call of Duty games at this time but to answer his specific question I think, personally, it would be pretty fantastic to do near-future, you know? Not necessarily far-future,” adding that “I think it would be kind of a unique opportunity but the way that this works out is obviously more complicated than ‘Hey. Me and Treyarch are going to make a near-future shooter.’ It’s a tough question to answer.”
Development of the Call of Duty games is handed off between Treyarch and Infinity Ward. Treyarch made last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, and it looks as though a team effort from Infinity Ward, Raven and Sledgehammer will bring us Modern Warfare 3 later this year. Beyond that, the baton will likely pass back to Treyarch. What do you think, would you like to see a Call of Duty game set in the future?
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Arenanet designer Jon Peters has been talking about combat in Guild Wars 2, specifically about how Guild Wars 2 plans to reject the traditional MMO damage dealer, tank and healer roles in favour of something new. He explains that “holy trinity” of combat roles won’t be a part of Guild Wars 2, saying “frankly, we built a combat system that just doesn’t allow it.”
Peters shared his thoughts on Guild Wars 2’s combat on the ArenaNet blog. In the place of typical MMO classes, there are professions. Each will have their own play-style, but won’t fit into a typical DPS, tank or healer role. Each profession will be able to do a little bit of everything. As Peters explains: “Everyone has a dedicated slot on their skill bar where they must place a healing skill. These vary greatly and are an intimate part of the Guild Wars 2 build-making process, but ultimately they are your most efficient and reliable way to sustain yourself in battle. Why did we do this? Because we think it is a more interesting way to create sustained encounters for solo players AND groups while keeping players focused on themselves and their surroundings.”
This extends to reviving players, too. “From level 1, every profession has the ability to revive everyone else. This means that players don’t have to rely on one profession in case someone is defeated both during and after combat.”
There are a few other key differences between Guild Wars 2’s combat system and other MMOs. One is a lack of any allied targeting. Typically you’d expect to be able to target a healing spell or buff by clicking on an ally in the world, his health bar in the group section of the HUD. In Guild Wars 2, all friendly abilities must be aimed. “Everything must be done using positioning, ground targeting or other unconventional methods.”
“Instead of watching red bars, we want you to watch your allies in the world.”
With player positioning playing such an important role in combat, player mobility is even more important. Arrows can be dodged, double tapping on a key will cause your character to roll, and spells can be cast on the move. Peters says Arenanet’s aim is to “create a combat system that is more like a first person shooter where finding real cover, flanking and other more realistic fighting techniques find a lot more use.”
“In a first person shooter there can be a variety of weapons, from sniper rifles to rocket launchers to machine guns and shotguns. No one looks at these weapons and says, “They’re all the same, they all just do DPS.” Why should an MMO be any different?”
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The community manager for Call of Duty: Black Ops has spoken out against what he says is a “negative” culture among gamers, labelling it as one of the biggest problems facing the game industry.
Community Manager Josh Olin made the comments in an interview with NowGamer. When asked what the biggest problem facing the games industry today was, he said “as a community manager who lives in the media or social media world every day, I think the social culture of video games is moving in a more negative direction as technology and social media continues to grow. Rather than growing with it, the trend seems to be devolving.”
“More and more gamers seem to forget what this industry is all about,” he adds, saying “It’s a creative industry – the most creative form of entertainment in existence. Too many developers who try new things are getting burned by “pundits” and angry entitled fans who look to be contrarian, sometimes simply for the sake of being contrarian. The only thing this attitude aims to achieve is stunt that creativity and innovation even further, which is something that no rational gamer looking to be entertained would want to do.”
What do you reckon, have gamers forgotten what the industry is all about?
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GamersFirst have released details on the changes they’re planning on making to APB when they re-release it as a free-to-play title later this year. Plans include the addition of a new district and a couple of new game modes.
The latest information was posted on the APB blog, and mentions a whole new district called “the Asylum expansion” which the development team are currently “working on to turn into an awesome map, and which will drastically alter how players can engage each other, and potentially alter the whole idea of missions, while leaving in place some of the ideas behind the original gameplay.”
As well as the new area, two more game modes are to be added, “one of the key changes for a future release is the expansion of game modes (especially the addition of “Chaos” and the creation of the completely new mode called “Turf Wars’).
“These future changes will truly change the game play of APB and will make the game much more sustainable (imagine defending areas in the Asylum in a team vs team or even Clan vs Clan setup).”
GamersFirst are also making ongoing changes to the closed beta, including changes to the starting car “The biggest change is the removal of the “Han Cellente,” ie. the starting vehicle. We thought it looked pretty awful and handled terribly, leading many to concludes that cars sucked in general (when in fact, they had just been given a really badly behaved one to start with).” Weapon upgrades and progression is also being changed. Players will now be able to unlock weapons by improving in certain roles “shotguns and SMGs are all unlocked through the Pointman role, along with upgrades such as Magazine Pull and Reflex Sight), while higher level equipment is unlocked through performing the activity that relates to it (for example Performing Arsons unlocks better Petrol Cans).”
GamersFirst are also planning changes to the mission system, to make levelling up more satisfying. For more information on APB: Reloaded, check out the official APB: Reloaded blog.
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Man, we love PCs. We sit in front of them all day to look up PC gaming news. At lunchtime we play games to gain more insight, then at the end of the day we go home and get online as soon as possible without starving/getting into trouble. We’re a bit obsessed.
But you already know all this right? That’s why you visit. Click more for today’s potpourri of PC gaming linkage.
- Minecraft + Predator = Win
- Red Faction developers underestimate the power of a PC’s higher resolution. End up looking a bit silly.
- Batman gets funky.
- Remember when Buzz went all L4D Hunter in the first Toy Story?
- Will we ever see Timesplitters 4 on PC?
- Warhammer Online updates detailed
- This Two Worlds 2 dev diary is worth a watch.
- How death is going to work in The Old Republic.
- Ringo Starr: The Game? Warning: this may not be a joke.
- Look what you get if you finish Dead Space 2 in hardcore mode (spoilers within).
- Are you dying to ask the WoW devs something? Solved.
As for office happenings, Tim played some TF2 at lunchtime. He’s currently obsessed with pinning heads with his Huntsman, though most of his kills have appear to have been assisted by a mysterious medic and his deadly Blutsauger. Odd that. Tom and Graham have almost completed Rainbow 6: Vegas 2’s campaign in co-op. They’re an incredibly coordinated pair. Oh, and Craig wants me to mention that he spent a lot of the weekend dancing to chip music in Stockholm.
PS. Don’t forget to enter our Eve competition. It’s free and easy.
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Richard Cobbett boards the Orient Express as it heads for straight for murder, action, suspense, and hopefully as far away from that snotty little Belgian detective as possible.
Please, get your wallet. Get your purse. Prepare to search behind the back of your sofa. This week, I’m not simply going to talk about an obscure game – I’m going to do everything I can to sell it to you. As of this week, The Last Express costs $5.99 from GOG. If you’ve never played it before, you should buy it. Six dollars. Less than four quid. If you went to a pub, you’d pay that much for a pint of cheap booze, bartender spit and little bits of unidentifiable grit. If you spend it here, you’ll get to play one of the most unique adventure games ever made, and see that in the right hands, absolutely anything – even walking up and down a train corridor for several hours – can be a captivating, unforgettable experience.
Robert Cath. Worst friend ever.
The Last Express is the game that Jordan Mechner made between Prince of Persia and… well… Prince of Persia. It’s a game that’s not so much played as experienced; a mix of adventure game and atmosphere piece set on the final journey of the Orient Express before World War 1. You play an American called Robert Cath, summoned to the train by a man called Tyler Whitney, and if that sounds vague, it’s intentional. At the start of the game, you don’t even know that. You don’t know who you are, not because of some silly amnesia, but because Cath feels no need to explain himself. If you check his coat, you’ll find a newspaper clipping that suggests he’s on the run, but nothing about whether he’s innocent or guilty, a good man or a villain, or anything else that you’d normally know off the bat. This only gets more complicated when Tyler shows up dead, and Cath immediately decides to steal his identity.
In short, you’re a man you know nothing about, pretending to be another man you know nothing about, stuck in the middle of a complex mystery you have no idea about, on a train which holds… amongst others… the last of the Russian royal family and a budding anarchist, a German industrialist who thinks you’re buying ‘merchandise’ from him, a group of sinister Serbians, and… the man in the final carriage, who ignores your facade in favour of “What an unexpected pleasure. Mr. Robert. Cath.” There’s also missing treasure, at least one dead body on board, a mysterious poem, and in just a couple of days, the Great War is going to explode in everyone’s face. Not that they know it, or can do anything to stop it.
Welcome aboard The Last Express. Enjoy your journey!
This is definitely one of those games where the less you know, the more you’ll get out of it. If you already know you’re going to buy it, stop now. Come back if you don’t find it clicking for you though, as that’s quite common. A bit like Planescape, a very slow start masks how good it is, and it’s easy to feel either lost, or stressed out by the constantly ticking clock. The best advice here is not to worry about it. You can rewind as much as you want, most of what happens in the game is there for atmosphere more than anything else, and if something is important, it’s good at letting you know. There aren’t actually that many real puzzles in the game, although there are several… call them… ’situations’ to deal with, all but one of which are well telegraphed and give you plenty of chance to get where you need to be.
(There are also some truly dire fight sequences, but if you just spam right-clicks, after a few attempts the game will just continue as if you’d won. Try to play them, but don’t feel bad about cheating.)
What really sells The Last Express is its amazing atmosphere and attention to detail. The train itself is an excellent recreation, with a life of its own. Characters are always moving back and forth, chatting, sitting around in their cars or just generally marking what is, for them, a fairly uneventful journey. One of the best little touches is that the game takes place over several days, and one of the conductors likes to while away his time by drawing pictures of the current passengers. Sneak a peek at his sketchbook at the start of the game, and it’s empty. Take another look near the end and it’s full of little drawings. Steal something, and you’ll overhear people talking about it. Need to hide from someone who wants to hurt you? If you simply lock yourself in your room, they can’t get in. Sit there long enough, and eventually they’ll have to leave.
The whole game is packed with this kind of small but beautiful detail, some of it plot-related, some of it just thrown in for the hell of it. For example, at one point, two of the characters decide to put on a private concert, which you’re invited to. You’re supposed to make your excuses and take the opportunity to go raid some of other guests’ rooms while they’re distracted, but if you just want to sit where you are and enjoy the music, that’s fine too. You can always turn the clock back later on and go snooping in your own time.
When Cath catches a train, he doesn’t mess around.
By far the best though is how it handles different languages. Cath speaks a few, including French and Russian, and when he overhears them, you get subtitles (in one of the earliest cases, two young women talking about him in French, oblivious to the fact that he understands every single word). Overhear anyone speaking one he doesn’t know, and you only get the sound, regardless of how important the contents may be to the plot. All of the acting however, no matter which country it comes from, is handled by one of its native speakers, adding immeasurably to the atmosphere and authenticity. If there’s one thing that truly marks The Last Express out as a labour of love, it’s this. They could have cheaped out. They could have assumed nobody would care and just told some local American actors to put on accents.
They didn’t. They chose to do it properly. And it’s fantastic.
The problem with The Last Express is that when you first fire it up, it’s very, very slow. You have to sink into it, and a number of the design choices that feel very natural by the end don’t really help with this. The flick-book animation style is easily the most divisive. It was done by hiring actors, filming them, and then hand-painting individual frames to get a very unique, art-deco look. As with a lot of unusual games, it’s a style that starts off incredibly jarring, but you don’t even notice after a while. Many other elements are animated however, including characters walking up and down the corridors, the fight sequences, and – most subtly – the fantastic way that the characters meet your eyes as they step past you and comment as they step past, making you feel like you’re actually a physical character in the world, and not some ghost they can just walk straight through. It’s amazing how much a simple ‘excuse me’ can show their personality, or how the tiny detail of the conductors standing up whenever you go past helps to boost the environment’s believability ten-fold. It may seem like an empty game at points… and it is… but the sheer amount of stuff that takes place in it, important and otherwise, is really, really impressive. You really get to know your fellow passengers, regardless of how much or little they have to do with you.
For instance, Milos turns out to be a big knife fan.
(Don’t even ask about Vesna)
All I’m going to say about the actual story is that I like it a lot. The Last Express is very specifically built to be a microcosm of the great powers on the eve of the war, and you don’t need to get too literary minded to observe the metaphor of it barrelling in a straight line towards conflict. Beyond that, it’s best to take it at its own pace and on its own terms – drinking in the fine atmosphere, and using your observational skills to help keep Cath both alive and on the train as it travels from Paris to Constantinople. There are periods where not much happens and it gets a bit dull. There are bits where it absolutely races along, especially as you approach the final destination. There are bits you’ll feel smart about. There are bits you’ll be glad you can simply rewind time and try again. And there’s one of the finest pieces of credits music in the history of games. I’m whistling it right now. In fact, I’ll embed it here, so that you can too…
In the end, what matters is that whether you like it, love it, or hate it, The Last Express is both unique, and everything it promises. It brought so many phenomenal ideas to the table, most of which have been stuck growing mouldy ever since, from the extra-dynamics of a real-time world, to the design advantages of such a tight, limited location where even the smallest of plot elements can bounce and ricochet off the walls and have real consequences. It presents problems rather than puzzles, it treats the smallest of details with as much care as the big explosive ones, and while it absolutely died on the shelves, it still lives on in the hearts of almost everyone with a soul who played it. Even if you absolutely hate it, and the mere thought of it makes you want to grab a knife and stage an audience-participation version of Murder On The Orient Express, you can console yourself with the thought that you’ve played a game like no other.
You’ve read this far. Doesn’t all this sound worth a measly $5.99?
Yes. Yes it does. Go here and buy it at once, before it yet again disappears into the cold, dark night.
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The Sims 3 is now on Steam, bringing interactive soap operas, dysfunctional families and suburban nudist colonies to your Steam account. The game’s many expansion packs are also on Valve’s digital download service, including World Adventures, which lets you take your sims treasure hunting in exotic and often booby-trapped locations, and Late Night, which lets you take your sims out on the town. There’s also a bundle deal offering the Sims 3 and all five expansions for half price. I’m off to build my sims a glorious mansion, and then delete all the doors and watch the carnage unfold.
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ArenaNet have just revealed the fifth profession in Guild Wars 2, the Guardian. The Guardian is a master warrior who can summon spiritual weapons to devastate his enemies, or employ a variety of virtues to protect his allies. Read on for a summary of the Guardian’s skills, and videos of a few of them in action.
Like all of Guild Wars 2’s professions, the Guardian is multi-talented. He can protect himself and his friends with special wards that can freeze foes in place, and can use his Aegis ability to block incoming attacks. He can also throw down arcane symbols that can be triggered by allies or enemies, healing and protecting brothers in arms and blowing up monsters. He can wield a variety of weapons, too, from staffs to huge double handed hammers and greatswords.
Here’s a summary of the Guardian’s skills and specialties. You’ll find full details over on the Guild Wars 2 site. Below you’ll also find four videos of the Guardian’s abilities.
- Spirit Weapons—The guardian can summon spirit weapons to fight at his side for a limited time. Spirit weapons cannot be attacked by enemies and can be commanded to inflict a powerful attack before disappearing. For example, Hammer of Wisdom can be summoned to fight alongside a guardian, then commanded to knock down an enemy and vanish.
- Symbols—The guardian places symbols on the ground, where they inflict damage to enemies or deliver a benefit to allies. Symbols persist for a few seconds and then go away. For instance, Symbol of Faith is a hammer attack that leaves a transient symbol on the ground, giving allies the Vigor boon.
- Wards—A ward is a marked area on the ground that stops enemies from passing through while allowing allies to move freely. For example, a staff-wielding guardian can create a Line of Warding in front of him that keeps enemies from reaching the allies behind him.
- Aegis—Guardians are adept in the use of Aegis, a removable boon that blocks the next attack. Guardians have access to this boon through the virtue of Courage.
Guardians also have their own range of ‘virtue’ abilities which offer passive combat buffs. The benefits of these virtues can be exchanged for an area of affect ability that confers the effects of the skill onto the allies around the Guardian. The virtues come in three flavours, including:
- Justice—Every fifth attack causes burning. Use this skill to make nearby allies’ next attacks cause burning. (This disables your Justice for 30 seconds.)
- Courage—Every 30 seconds you are granted Aegis, blocking the next attack. Use this skill to apply Aegis to all nearby allies. (This disables your Courage for 120 seconds.)
- Resolve—You regenerate health. Use this skill to remove conditions and apply Regeneration to all nearby allies. (This disables your Resolve for 120 seconds.)
Hammer of Wisdom
Shield of Absorption
For more Guild Wars 2 information check out our Guild Wars 2 preview.
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