Archive for April, 2008

Duke Nukem Not Never

By Alec Meer on April 30th, 2008.

Something about parking bricks

Just a brief note on something we really should have mentioned a couple of days back – Shacknews have, they claim, actually seen Duke Nukem Forever in action. Like, with their eyes and stuff. The very scant report they gave had some calling shenanigans, but 3D Realms’ George Broussard later popped his head into the thick of it to offer some apparent corroboration.

All the detail on offer is this:

“We actually got to see the truth of Duke curator George Broussard’s many past claims, including environmental puzzles and interactivity, a host of finished weapons, the existence of an in-game forklift, and plenty of heads and arms being blown off. We both confidently agree that after seeing this demonstration, Duke Nukem Forever is looking great, and will easily stand apart from the crowd in both visual and gameplay styles.”

An in-game forklift! Stop the fricking presses!

I jest, of course. The info-embargo is understandable, and it’s good to hear more evidence that DNF is at last on its way, even if there’s nothing whatsoever to yet prove if and how it’s a triumph.

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Want Want Want: Sledgehammer

By Alec Meer on April 30th, 2008.

UPDATE: Russian demo available here. Still downloading at the mo, impressions may follow later.

One reason GTA is quite so successful is because it fulfils the innate fantasies of modern existence – I would like to drive cars really fast wherever I wanted, I would like to kill people without moral, legal or awkward body-disposal consequence, and most of all I want to be the most baddass badass in all existence. Unfortunately, it neglects a very, very important part of that fantasy – controlling giant, jet-propelled, transforming trucks loaded with enough heavy weaponry to level a small farming town.

Introducing… Sledgehammer:

Crunchy thanks, Gametrailers.

18 Wheels of Steel + Carmageddon = Whee! Read the rest of this entry »

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The Guardian: Peter Molyneux Interview

By Kieron Gillen on April 30th, 2008.

I do like the white backgrounds. It makes me feel like as pretty as a princess.

I’ve spent the week doing a couple of short, if dense interviews with major gaming figures for the Guardian Online. First one’s up, where I talk to Peter Molyneux about the idea of name-creators, why there hasn’t been a refresh of them for a long time, where they may arise and why he hopes they do arrive. The quote the Guardian chose to open on: “I’ve been credited unduly”.

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Dinner With Rod Humble: Sims Style Stuff

By John Walker on April 30th, 2008.

Last week we brought you part one of our interview with EA’s Rod Humble. This week we bring you the second part, where we get down to talking about Rod’s day job: The Sims. When you’re sat down for dinner with the man in charge of one the biggest selling gaming franchise ever, and have a chance to find out more about the forthcoming The Sims 3, what do you ask about? Peeing. And then some slightly more practical questions. Along the way we discussed The Sims’ sociology on a wider scale, how Rod finds freezing to death endlessly funny, and why The Sims’ expansion packs deserve a better time than the gaming press gives them.

In future, could girls be more subtle when rejecting me?

RPS: You said that you want Sims 3 to welcome back the hardcore.

RH: Yeah. We’re adding systems which add depth and longevity to the gameplay. In addition to being able to go up many different advancement tracks, such as gardening or hobbies. The game also gives you little tasks to do. The game has an added depth that I think we’ve learned from other games that have come out in the last four or five years. It adds that extra meat of challenge. I think a lot of current players love all the Sims games as creative tools, but quite often I think core gamers like challenge and depth, and we’re always trying to strike a balance. I hope Sims 3 adds a little bit more to that balance.

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Eurogamer: TrackMania Nations Forever

By John Walker on April 30th, 2008.

There are seriously not enough loops in regular driving.

After yesterday’s Verdict, quickly following is my review of Nations Forever for Eurogamer. It begins like this:

At 1.30am last night, I couldn’t tell you whether I loved or hated TrackMania. What I can tell you is that I was playing it. Or more specifically, playing one track. Again and again. Determined to beat it. Increasingly tired, and as such increasingly unable to make the perfectly timed turns to get that Gold medal that sat between me and sleep.

And then carries on when you click here. (But don’t click here).

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EA-Land To Close Borders

By John Walker on April 30th, 2008.

Sorry, EA-Land fans.

Eurogamer report that EA-Land, née The Sims Online, is to come to an end. According to a post on EA-Land’s blog, the online world will be entering the /dev/null on August 1st, but for the next three months will be completely free to all players. EA says,

“Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of players (of which you are one) and we certainly appreciate your participation in the EA-Land community. The lifetime of the game has drawn to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative concepts in the games arena. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world.”

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GRID Drivers Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on April 30th, 2008.

Codies release another GRID trailer, this time with Le Mans drivers talking up the realism of the game.

Thanks GameTrailers, you’re cleary the Le Mans of videogame trailer hosts.

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Valve Announce Gold Rush For TF2

By RPS on April 30th, 2008.

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Some breaking news before RPS heads bedwards: There’s a new Team Fortress 2 map available. And more, as part of the free Gold Rush update.

Valve explain,

“The Gold Rush Update introduces the new Gold Rush map and Payload gameplay style, the first set of unlockable weapons, and a new set of achievements for the Medic.”

If you don’t own it and that’s not enough to tempt you, perhaps a free weekend might do that. Starting Friday at noon PDT, TF2 will be free to everyone until Sunday. You can begin pre-loading the files now, with all the details you’ll need here.

More Gold Rush in the morning. But first some shots fresh from The Night Of A Thousand Medics.
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7 Commandments Get Cracked

By John Walker on April 30th, 2008.

Not enough stuff is written in stone these days.

The excellent folks at Cracked.com have announced some new rules for videogames, and by the law of Enough Of Them Being PC, we link away.

We are here to condemn Grand Theft Auto IV, and other equally great games, not out of hatred, but out of love. For it does no good to point out the flaws in bad games as bad games by definition cannot be saved. No, we aim to save gaming from the abyss by pointing out the sins of games like the Elder Scrolls and Half Life series, games made by creators who actually care. It is in that spirit that we proclaim the commandments that they have broken, so that they may be redeemed.

Some of it’s familiar – too much WW2, etc – but more importantly, a lot of it is filled with ire and rage. We like ire and rage. So yes, they missed your one. Post it below.

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Final Crysis

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2008.

Sulk.

Epic do it. id do it. Even educated fleas do it. And now Crytek have announced they too are dumping PC exclusives. VG247 spots Crytek’s Cevat Yerli telling PC Play about the aftershocks of Crysis:

“We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin. I believe that’s the core problem of PC gaming: PC gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform. Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we won’t have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive any more.”

Whether or not his mooted reason for it rings true, it’s sad news, and leaves me wondering who’ll next pick up the baton of bleeding-edge graphics. Crytek collected it from Epic, who’d collected it from id, but there’s no obvious successor – with the possible exception of Valve, who lately (and happily) have been concentrating more on eyecandy-via-art, not tech. That said, in these splendidly idea-rich times for PC, do we even still need someone pushing quite so hard against the graphical ceiling?

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GTA IV PC Release Confirmed (By Me, And I’m Lying)

By John Walker on April 29th, 2008.

As GTA IV enters its extensive beta-testing period on 360 and PS3, the question remains exactly when it will be released on PC.

Sorry PS3 owners, this must suck!

Okay, sure, they’ve yet to announce it for PC, but tradition dictates that it should be with us within the next year. And if that tradition continues, it will be a superior version designed for considerably more handsome people. Well, we’ve been down to the rumour mill, despite hazardous safety conditions and a lack of protective eyewear, and heard that it might be in November.

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A Hard Day’s Knight: Violent Trevor – Adventurer!

By Kieron Gillen on April 29th, 2008.

Where's my mount? Bastard.

We’ve never actually explained Mount & Blade properly, in terms of what you do. I figured the best way to actually capture the random adventuring lifestyle was to narrate the adventuring life-style. Since the demo stops at level eight, it struck me as the right sort of length for a sample. You know – with the added advantage of showing what you can get up to with just clicking on the download link. So I make my character, choosing options to make Violent Trevor a gruff nobleman character out for trouble. Click create and…

Damn. It’s hit one of the latest version bugs where you start in the wilderness, unarmed in your underwear.

I decide to find out what I can do even when the game goes wrong. And it all ends up working delightfully.
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Rise Of The Argonauts

By Jim Rossignol on April 29th, 2008.


EDIT: Codemasters drop us a line to say the June 1st release date I reported is erroneous, and the game is in fact due in the Autumn.

Codemasters mythologically-fueled action-RPG Rise Of The Argonauts is just a few weeks months off, with a June 1st an “Autumn” release date reported for PC. In anticipation of this, Codemasters have released some more screenshots, posted below. There’s very little other information on the title other than it being an RPG, with real-time combat, a single main character (Jason), and it having “deep exploration”, which presumably means there’s a big old ancient Mediterranean environment to wander round in. It’s an Unreal 3 engine game by industry veterans Liquid Entertainment, who did Battle Realms, Dragonshard, and er, Desperate Housewives, so it might just a solid game. Those screens and a (rather old) trailer after the jump.
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