Posts by Dylan:
The weeks leading up to E3 are always interesting, as every now and then something will leak out just a few days before it was intended, and just like that any and all pomp and circumstance is forced to shift itself around, throwing marketing campaigns awry and making a game reveal a much more interesting affair.
It seems that we’ve got one such leak on our hands as the official Dead Space website recently underwent an interesting little change. On the main site is a short (2:55) “graphic novel short” that seems to set up the idea of the series’ rather virulent Necromorph plague falling upon a frozen outpost, where a man by the name of John Carver seemingly has to deal with both horrible alien/human abberations and family issues. That’s all well and good, seemingly existing to set up the next installment of the Dead Space franchise.
Peeling back the layers of the website offers us a few stronger hints of what to expect from what we can almost definitely call “Dead Space 3″, and they’re more or less confirming a rumor or two that’s built up around the next installment in Visceral’s scary-shooty adventure. If the phrases “team up in co-op” and “thrilling story” don’t seem like things you’d expect from a rather grisly murder simulator, you may be surprised to learn that both phrases can be found in the source code as highlights! Given the chance to guess, I would say series mainstay Isaac Clarke will be bumping into this John Carver fellow.
As for when EA will actually shed light on this, it’s rather obvious to expect a related announcement in the near future; perhaps at that big convention happening next week. For what it’s worth, the graphic novel short is pretty cool to watch.
My first experience with Guild Wars 2 occurred just over a year ago amid the hustle and bustle of the San Diego Comic-Con. As I walked up to the demo station where the game was playable in 45-minute-session form, just one of many games on display that year, I wasn’t aware of just how deeply the game would infest itself into my memory. My time in the land of Tyria passed quickly and before I knew it, I was back among the countless hordes of convention attendees, excited about what I had seen and eager to hear more about the game…but part of me just wanted to get right back in line and go for another round.
That’s the catch with Guild Wars 2: after spending nearly seven years invested in a singular MMO, I didn’t think I had it in me to really get interested in another one. Too many titles had thrown themselves at the heels of the monolith that is World of Warcraft, and I simply hadn’t seen enough of the game to judge for myself if it was worth the plunge. That changed a few weekends ago, when I was able to spend every waking moment of my free time with ArenaNet’s upcoming MMO. It’s safe to say that not only is my interest in what they’re bringing to the table satisfied, but I am more than ready to shout the praises of this game from the highest peaks.
It’s finally here, you guys: a chance to sit down for an entire weekend and play Guild Wars 2 in a hopefully only moderately restricted fashion. I haven’t played the game since August, and I’m incredibly pumped to see what’s been changed up since then. Next weekend, April 27th-29th, anyone that’s pre-purchased (like I managed to do today) the game will be able to romp around in the wilds of Tyria and kill all sorts of things in a dynamic fashion.
No lie, I’m super pumped. If you’ve already pre-purchased but you haven’t registered your account yet, that may be something you want to address. Do so right here.
There is a distinctly foreign feeling to your first game of Tribes: Ascend. It seems strangely familiar at first glance, a sci-fi shooter with teams, loadouts, objectives, all the jazz you’ve come to expect from a FPS in today’s market. Ascend, however, is wrapped up in packaging that hearkens back to the days when PC shooters were the way to kill people over the Internet, and it revels in the knowledge that a player cannot just jump in and start wrecking things. Instead, they have to sit down and relearn how to move, shoot and survive. A first-person shooter with a lengthy learning curve is a rare thing these days, but when everything clicks and that player feels the surge of adrenaline that can only come from what Hi-Rez is bringing back to the shooter scene in Tribes: Ascend, it’s all incredibly worth it.
City of Heroes, which I guess has a subtitle of FREEDOM now, has always struck me as the MMO that everyone has at least tried. It’s got a nifty angle on the genre with its superhero-centrism and the shift to free-to-play that it underwent last year, and the content updates have just kept on finding their way into the limelight. That’s a good thing!
The latest content update is entitled “Where Shadows Lie” and from the sounds of things it’s more of a story conclusion to many of the plot threads that have been building up since the Going Rogue expansion began. Heroes of the world will be able to reunite to finish the Praetorian War against Emperor Cole, who in all likelihood has some nasty tricks up his sleeve. There’s also a new zone, “Night Ward” for mid-level players (30-35) and what I can only assume is a raid of sorts in the “Magisterium Incarnate Trial”…boy, that’s a mouthful.
In addition to the bigger actual “content” things coming to CoH, there’s a flurry of extra stuff you would normally expect in a big content update like this – new mobs, armor, a bunch of VIP content including new quest chains, costume sets and a “Hybrid Incarnate” specialization tree for level-capped folks. Other things slated for this patch are more “quality of life” implementations: look forward to a portal system so people don’t have to rely on those damn heliplanes all the time, as well as a server-wide LFG channel and the ability to join Super Groups at any point you want.
I might have to pop back to Professor Beaksmith, my hulking blue-toned basher with an afro and a sweet beak mask. There’s no official release on this yet, but I imagine it’ll be fairly “soon”. We’ve got some pictures beyond the cut for you, if that sort of thing tickles your fancy.
Hey all, quick little note for ya today out there in Internet Land. Last year, Steam and iOS-types had a chance to flip up the tower defense trope with Anomaly: Warzone Earth, the first game from 11 bit Studios which put you in the shoes of the tower offenders rather than an omnipotent overseer who carefully placed towers where he was allowed to place them. It was a lot of fun and had some great ideas, and now it seems as if it’s landed on Xbox Live.
This XBLA version might be up your alley if you loved what was in the original game and wanted just a bit more; it’s launching with a series of six “Tactical Trials” that, apart from not coming out for Steam, will allow people to be more tacti-cool with their assault approaches. It’s launching for 800 points, which seems like a good buy-in to me. If my Xbox wasn’t a useless, non-functional brick, I’d toss up a review for the port…but alas.
Give the demo a run-through, and if you’ve picked up the full game what do you think of it so far on the 360? Drop a line in the comments below. There’s an official “launch” trailer for the game just beyond the cut, if you like watchin’ fancy things explode.
The ME3 train just keeps on a rollin’, folks. Hot off the announcement of a new “Extended Cut” to the ending which basically amounts to “you guys win, we’re adding more cutscenes to this”, BioWare is making another foray into the realm of “free DLC”, something that I’m sure EA is just thrilled about.
Dubbed the “Resurgence Pack” and due on April 11th for all three platforms (but only free until 2014, so act quickly, I guess), this flurry of extra “things” for the multiplayer side of the final step in the Mass Effect trilogy is adding a lot of things that…well, to be honest it’s a lot of things that people said they were going to add. We’re talking about new maps, character race/class combinations, weapons and the one-time consumables that populate your micro-transaction laden “Equipment Packs”.
To be a little more specific, the two “Firebases”, Hydra and Condor, are quarian and turian outposts that get blasted by bad guys. No word if they’re going to be locations directly from the main campaign a la every other multiplayer map, but I’d say it’s somewhat likely. You’ve also got three new weapons: an assault rifle, “harpoon gun”, and a Geth-produced SMG, and some extra new power-ups like “increased headshot damage” or “increased melee damage”…y’know, what you’ve come to expect from the Equipment Packs if you’ve been playing the multiplayer a bit.
The classes are the biggest draw here, with six new ones filling in some unexpected slots. You’ve got two Geth representatives (Infiltrator / Engineer), two Batarians (Soldier / Sentinel), a Krogan “Battlemaster”Vanguard and an Asari Adept. It’ll be nice to finally play in a 4-player Geth v Geth conflict, if I do say so myself.
Of humorous note is the fact that most of the words down in the image past the cut (which we pulled straight from BioWare’s blog, mind you) has a bunch of Word processor “unrecognized” words pop up.
I’ve got to admit that I’m pretty biased in how I’m approaching this news, but that’s how we do a lot of our actual “news posts”: stuff that we think is interesting, no matter what era of gaming it pertains to. The Polish game developers over at CD Projekt held a big “spring conference” today, announcing a whole mess of things that touched on both their “retro marketplace” GoG.com and their upcoming 360 re-release of last year’s The Witcher 2. There’s a lot of really cool stuff to cover, and it’s broken down into segments just past the cut.
Highlights include the original Witcher being on the Mac…today for real cheap, along with the “Enhanced Edition” (pseudo-expansion) coming to The Witcher 2 on PC “before April 17th”. Read on for more juicy news from today!
Really quick news bite for all of you out there in the Internets, but it’s something that totally merits the news post. I’m a big fan of Harmonix, the studio behind Dance Central and the Rock Band titles, to the point where I’ve probably sunk in upwards of $600 on DLC tracks for the 360 version of RB alone, along with multiple instruments that have a dedicated closet and a second copy of RB2 (again, with all the instruments) for the PS3. To say I desire more Rock Band in my life is a very accurate statement.
Leave it to Harmonix to give me exactly that, although not in a form I was expecting in any way. On tonight’s episode of X-Play, Blair Herter flipped the lid off Rock Band Blitz, a strange amalgamation of influences both from Rock Band itself and previous HMX releases like Amplitude and Frequency, along with PSP release Rock Band: Unplugged. It’s going to be an XBLA/PSN release, and I know what you’re thinking: “But Dylan, you’ve already thrown all that money for DLC tracks for the first three games! Are they still going to be usable in this strange new world of single-player arcade-like gameplay?!”
The answer to that is “YES”. All of the 3700+ tracks from the first three games are entirely usable in RBB, and from the sounds of things even if you don’t have a single downloaded track, the game itself is going to ship with 25 songs that are also usable in good ol’ Rock Band 3. Color me super, duper excited. The official “announcement/reveal” and a trailer are both over on G4′s site, and for convenience’s sake we’ve linked that below.
[ X-Play ]
We have yet another file to place firmly in the “I Wasn’t Expecting This, But Now That I’m Aware of It, I Think It’s Pretty Rad” folder. Some of you may be familiar with Dungeon Defenders, the “Action-RPG Tower Defense” mash-up from Trendy Entertainment - we’ve talked about it several times and I had a great interview with Philip Asher with regards to their DLC philosophies and where they’d like to take the game next. It just so happens that the next big place they’re going to is in fact PAX East, which is coming up this weekend (side-note: Toastervision is not going to be in attendance there, because we just plain can’t afford it).
To celebrate their being-at-PAX-ness, or perhaps just because they felt like it (and, given the characters that I’m about to tell you about, is an entirely possible proposition), Trendy has announced a strange sort of partnership with the rad dudes over at Penny Arcade: namely, four character skins appropriately dubbed the “Penny Arcade Character Pack”. PAX East attendees will have a chance to get the pack for free by stopping by the Reverb Publishing booth (#808), but thankfully for those poor souls that can’t attend the expo (in other words, me), the pack o’ skins will be on sale through Steam on Friday.
As far as which character correlates to which class, the handy link below will help you in your time of need!
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