Author Archive

Sublevel Zero, Radlevel 9001

By Ben Barrett on March 3rd, 2015.

Record high levels of pew pew pew.

As genres go, 6 Degrees Of Freedom Descent-em-ups haven’t quite had the same crowdfunding-fueled resurgence as other 90s classics. They’re fast paced shooters, offering free movement in a 3D space usually by means of spaceship or other zero-gravity craft exploring a complex. Sublevel Zero [official site] is no exception, with the added spice of procedurally generated levels, permadeath and VR support. Originally an entry into the Ludum Dare game jam under the Beneath The Surface theme, it’s now being funded by publisher Mastertronic into a commercial release. Trailer, more details and thoughts on the Ludum Dare version below.

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Buttsliding Around Early Access: Action Henk

By Ben Barrett on March 3rd, 2015.

Let me buttslide you to funky town

We last checked up on action figure speedrun simulator Action Henk [official site] when the dearly departed Mr. Grayson gave it the Chatter Over treatment in July last year. It’s continued development since, nearing a full release some time in the next couple of months. It caught my eye with the combo of speed-platforming and ludicrously caricatured style. Betsy may be the most terrifying character in video game history. Latest footage and some more in-depth thoughts below.

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Buy World Of Warcraft Subscriptions For In-Game Gold

By Ben Barrett on March 2nd, 2015.

Blizzard offices, today.

Blizzard have announced that an “upcoming patch” will introduce the ability to buy World of Warcraft [official site] game time tokens to be sold on the in-game auction house for gold, the game’s primary currency.

This means two things: there is now a first party, risk free way to buy WoW gold for real cash, cutting the legs out from under a long-standing and TOS-breaking mini industry of gold farming and selling. Secondly, game subscriptions can now be purchased using game riches rather than real ones.

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SUPERHOT Super-Alpha Super-Footage Is … Alright

By Ben Barrett on March 2nd, 2015.

My face :(

What’s left to be said about the stylish and genius SUPERHOT [official site] beyond “is it out yet?” and “when is it out?” The prototype, coming out of the 7DFPS 2013 gamejam, captured everyone’s attention with a mix of minimalist style and time manipulation. If you’ve somehow not played it, go do so right now (if it works for you, as the RPS hivemind can’t get it to load).

SUPERHOT’s been flung back into the spotlight as the first alpha version was sent out to $200+ backers of the highly successful Kickstarter on February 28th. One young killtrepreneur has posted up eleven minutes of footage from the game’s new endless mode, fighting off waves of neon bad guys. Check it out below.

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Winning The Election One Bullet At A Time: Not A Hero

By Ben Barrett on March 2nd, 2015.

Bunnies and helicoptors, a lethal combination.

As anthropomorphic animals go, Not A Hero’s [official site] giant time-traveling purple mayoral candidate BunnyLord (no prizes for guessing the species of this guy) is up there with the best of them. His cover-hiding, gun-toting campaign manager, aka you, is a regular old human tasked with taking a tough stance on crime as part of the election run. “Tough stance” here meaning “extreme Hotline Miami-style violence” playing out in a side-scrolling world. Vote for me to get a trailer below.

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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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