Author Archive

Diablo III 2.1.2 Changes Goblins, Rifts, Hubs

By Ben Barrett on November 10th, 2014.

Diablo was the awkward child of this BlizzCon. With WoW’s expansion coming soon and StarCraft’s Legacy of the Void now being shown off, Diablo is the only currently-released game without a paid update on the horizon. I figured another expansion would be announced this weekend, but between a new game, movie news and the like, nothing was forthcoming. When asked, the reply was “nothing to announce.” Instead, the panel on Friday was focused on upcoming patches, the next of which is 2.1.2, and what changes they’ll bring. Check out the details below.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Shown Off At Blizzcon

By Ben Barrett on November 8th, 2014.

Well gosh, isn’t it around time? Blizzard have finally revealed and officially begun to speak about the third instalment of StarCraft II’s trilogy, Legacy of the Void, at Blizzcon this weekend. It’s focused on those enigmatic space-elves the Protoss for its singleplayer along with the usual spread of balance update and unit additions for multiplayer. The campaign is about your man in the middle there, Artanis, as he forms an army to take back his homeworld and coincidentally runs into the universe-ending machinations of the series’ big bad. Meanwhile the changes to the online game hope to bring the foundation of modern e-sports back to some of its former glory. Get the deets below.

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Heroes Of The Storm Enters Beta In January

By Ben Barrett on November 8th, 2014.

“Blizzard: The Game” as Mike Morhaime named it marches ever on toward release. Heroes of the Storm will be entering closed beta on January 13th. The difference between this and their current technical alpha, which is also invite only, will be a ramping up of frequency of invites and more polish in various areas. This was the most major of Blizzard’s announcements for the game during Blizzcon, but they detailed some other upcoming changes.

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New Hearthstone Expansion Is Gnomes vs. Goblins

By Ben Barrett on November 7th, 2014.

Panel over, all the info and some thoughts below.

The new Hearthstone expansion, some details of which were already reported, has been revealed as Gnomes vs. Goblins in the Blizzcon 2014 opening ceremony. It contains 120 new cards, increasing the current pool by about 25%. The focus is on the explosive developments of the Warcraft universe’s two diminuitive races, introducing Mechs as a creature type and with a focus on more random effects. Battle.net’s got the details including some new card previews and the announcement trailer is below.

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Blizzard’s Overwatch Is A Team Based FPS

By Ben Barrett on November 7th, 2014.

The Blizzcon reveal panel has now finished, liveblog and all the footage below.

To kick off the 2014 version of fan convention Blizzcon, Blizzard have announced Overwatch, a new game not set in any of their established universes. It’s in the future of Earth, featuring a number of superhero-styled characters battling it out for control points in 6v6 multiplayer FPS battles. The Team Fortress 2 inspiration is clear, both in the art style and how it plays out. Some more details below and I’ll add in the Pixar-quality announcement trailer once it goes live.

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Eitr, A Viking Themed Isometric Soulslike

By Ben Barrett on November 3rd, 2014.

Eitr combines Souls-style combat with the ultra-dark isometric dungeons of the original Diablo. Not sold? The world is Norse-inspired, with a nameless, shieldmaiden protagonist who’s birth was tampered with by Loki, causing all all light to be drained from the world in the process. Not sold? There’s a new trailer below, showing lots of in-game stuff, and I’ve had some hands-on time with a preview build and will tell you about it below.

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Star Citizen Reveals FPS Component, Illfonic Developing

By Ben Barrett on November 3rd, 2014.

Star Citizen is all-consuming. It is the devouring omni-game, always in need of more genres to absorb. So comes the official reveal of the FPS ‘module’ of the game, used when not in the pilot seat, be that during planetfall, on stations or just popping out for a quick absolute zero stroll. As rumoured, it’s being outsourced to Nexuiz developers Illfonic. Admiral Chris Roberts, complete in space uniform, was at PAX Australia to show off the first footage of four vs four team battles on a space station. Check it out below.

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Looks Fantastic, Plays Fantastic: Interloper

By Ben Barrett on November 2nd, 2014.

Oh jeez, oh jeez. I was far more excited about Interloper than I let on in my first glance back in September. For those that missed that, it’s a gorgeous 2D RTS that evokes Hearthstone in how it breaks down the genre to its simplest form.

Games are won through capturing territory with an unarmed but invulnerable Sentinal. Some areas have structures in them with special properties – constructing smaller ships, combining them into larger ones with different abilities or simply blocking the way. Each match takes less than five minutes and is a hectic affair of attack, counter-attack and positioning. Before I had just a trailer to base my hopes on, showing off the basics. Now I’ve had a go of an alpha build and it is superb.

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Frozen Synapse Prime PC Announced, Reforges Original

By Ben Barrett on November 2nd, 2014.

Hang on, that’s not the contrasting green, blue and red I’m used to! There’s been a robbery of extreme colour, replacing it with bluish greys and skyline backdrops! Just one of the changes made to Frozen Synapse in the Prime version that’s coming to Steam on November 14th. It’s a port of the Vita, uh, port with some added goodies. I actually quite like the old Synapse art, it’s simple but unique and nicely abstracted enough from the usually quite extreme violence being committed. Fit the tactical feel of the game as a whole, too. The other changes are less controversial and there’s a trailer to show them off.

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Conspiratorial Majestic Nights Out, Demo Available

By Ben Barrett on November 2nd, 2014.

I have fallen and cannot get up.

Alice gave the low-down on conspiracy-focused adventure-RPG Majestic Nights back in July. I liked the look of it for cramming every last UFO-spotting and government crop-dusting rumour into one storyline. Ambitious, yes, but an interesting concept I’d like to see the endgame of. What’s it like navigating a world where these things are obviously true? Now there’s a demo that also serves as a prequel, which you can read my thoughts on below, and a launch trailer for the first episode of the planned six.

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CCP Start Major EVE PvP Changes With Phoebe

By Ben Barrett on November 1st, 2014.

See, the wonderful thing about video games is war can change, but only when it optimises fun levels and has been through rigorous testing procedures. Such is the philosophy of Phoebe, the next update for long running internet spaceship generator EVE Online. As the first stage of CCP’s multi-year plan to revitalise the massive corporation combat that is EVE’s driving force and primary attraction, Phoebe shakes up how movement works in PvP sectors. There’s also the usual injection of quality of life changes, specifically targeting skill training and industry this time around.

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BattleCry Trailer Spouts Blood, Alt-History

By Ben Barrett on November 1st, 2014.

I’m pretty sure I knew of BattleCry before today, but its maximo-genericus name got me confused with Warcry, Battlefield and, of course, Game of War: Fire Age. It’s a free-to-player third-person Team Fortress 2-‘em-up, replacing the cartoon whimsy of Valve’s game with decapitations and, um, Cossacks. Set in an alternate timeline where a world war at the end of the 19th century put a ban on gunpowder and conflict, it’s about elite teams of soldiers sent into “WarZones” to settle disputes. The imaginatively named BattleCry Studios have just put out the first in-game trailer, which you can see below.

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Vroom, Vroom, Kaboom: BlazeRush

By Ben Barrett on November 1st, 2014.

F1'll be this interesting eventually.

“Don’t worry, our races are all safe” advises the tutorial-spouting character of isometric destructo-racer BlazeRush, shortly before I strafe his car with a 12 foot minigun, sending him spiraling off the track into an explosion-punctuated death fall. He respawns at the back of the pack, naturally. All safe, you see? And fast, hectic, sprinkled nicely with over the top cartoon violence. Power ups litter tracks, laps take 30 seconds or less and cars shunt each other around with exceedingly low regard for the laws of physics. It came out this last week and I’ve had a surprising amount of fun with the first hour or so.

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