Stop, Drop, Roll: Action Half-Life 2 V2 Out

By Quintin Smith on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:41 am.

Two men dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight, yesterday.

I played a lot of Action Half-Life back in the day- it’s a mod which adds leaps, rolls, kung-fu and so on to Half-Life multiplayer, as well as a small collection of colourful weapons, each of which is (in theory) the equal of any of the others. It also boasted some of gaming’s most legendary map secrets. You can read my love letter to AHL here, or read my account of an expedition into one of those secrets here.

It therefore fills me with a delicate, Monday morning joy to announce that Action Half-Life 2 version 2 has been released. If you own Half-Life 2 you can get the installer here, a Linux server binary here and read some details as to what’s new and watch a trailer after the jump.
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“Preinforcements”: Achron Is Coming

By Jim Rossignol on May 23rd, 2011 at 9:13 am.


You will remember that time-travelling RTS Achron made me a bit giddy last year, largely because it was one of the cleverest pieces of game design I have ever seen. Hopefully you’ll also have thought “whatever happened to that”, because now we have the answer: there’s a video and a detailed update from project lead Chris Hazard – including the phrase “I have briefed senior officials at the Pentagon” – below.
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Brink: Gets A Big Patch This Week

By Jim Rossignol on May 23rd, 2011 at 9:01 am.


Bethblog had the details on this late last week, and it looks promising for the PC version of Brink, with fixes to the server browser, the dedicated server, and some minor bugs. The weirdo sound bug on certain maps has been fixed, and also: “Graphical performance has been improved, especially when using Ambient Occlusion. We’ve worked closely with both AMD and NVIDIA, and you should see performance and stability improvements in future driver revisions from both parties.” No exact date yet, but it should be this week. I’ll make sure I schedule games on the servers when it’s all updated so we can take a look at the improvements.

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The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on May 22nd, 2011 at 11:04 am.


Sundays are for trying to ignore the amount of work you have to do on Monday, because today you are free in the oceans of leisure. Languidly sail through hours of videogames, drinking tea and thinking about magic swords and maybe, if you find the time, do a little reading. Here’s something you might want to browse through:

  • Robert “Radiator” Yang says “Welcome To The Indie FPS”, and then goes on to examine how the FPS genre has failed to capitalise on its huge potential for alternative mechanics. Not to worry, though, because there are some first-person indie games that are exploring the possibilities and potential of the genre. I would absolutely add the Mondo games to that list. Can you think of any others, readers?
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Spotlight On Biscuit – S.P.A.Z.

By Quintin Smith on May 21st, 2011 at 4:21 pm.

Jim wrote a musical titled 'Laser! Laser!' back in the day. He doesn't like to talk about it.

This week’s Spotlight on Biscuit sees UK games commenter Total Biscuit asking WTF is Space Pirates and Zombies, a commendably eccentric top-down action RPG in space type thing. If what you see takes your fancy, you can pick up a demo of S.P.A.Z. or pre-order for beta access over on the game’s official site. Speaking of fancies, when was the last time any of you lot had a French Fancy?
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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Anti-Money Solution

By Lewie Procter on May 21st, 2011 at 1:19 pm.

Looking to part ways with a bit o’ cash in exchange for some cheap games? Why not throw your coins into the Bargain Bucket, and see what leaps back out at you. For cheap games every day of the week, SavyGamer‘s got you covered. Read on for this week’s best digital discounts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gaming Made Me: Counter-Strike

By RPS on May 21st, 2011 at 12:00 pm.

This week in our ongoing retrospective series on games journalists’ most formative games, we very proudly welcome Eurogamer‘s god-king and operations director Tom Bramwell to the word-stage. He’s here to tell you about his long years spent with arguably one of the most definitive PC games of all time, and what for one generation of gamers was a global obsession that today’s shooters, no matter how much bigger they might be, just can’t seem to match…

I also wanted to write this about Grand Theft Auto, and I might still do that another time if RPS will have me back. There were probably other factors, but no one game is so singularly responsible for my being a games journalist (or at least having been one) as DMA Design’s original PC game. But I’m really here today to bang on about Counter-Strike, and I owe that game a massive debt too, because it’s thanks to Counter-Strike that I don’t play Call of Duty or Battlefield or Medal of Honor or any of that stuff on the internet nowadays for a moment longer than my job requires.
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Lego Of Tradition: On Traveller’s Tales

By John Walker on May 20th, 2011 at 5:58 pm.

They have a really weird thing about bananas.

It’s a mistake, in light of Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean, to accuse Traveller’s Tales of diminishing returns with their Lego series. I keep seeing that happening. It’s wrong. If anything the problem is the stability of their consistency. I’ve had a think about why.

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Making Torchlight II’s Levels And Stuff

By Jim Rossignol on May 20th, 2011 at 5:56 pm.


Torchlight II is due in July. That’s only ten minutes from now! Quickly, we must read as much as we can about the creation of its randomized worlds! Oh God, if only there was something to hand… but maybe there is, because Runic have published this piece on the creation of Torchlight II’s world, and this Q&A on level design. It contains gems such as this: “We do have random events! A few examples of these are, maybe you run into a injured person on the road with a broken down wagon that asks you to do something for him/her in the immediate area. Or you could be out exploring and find a campfire with bandits that have tied up hostages that you can rescue for a reward. We are still working on these, and coming up with new ideas to keep them exciting for players.” Cor!

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Funderbolts & Lightning: Storm Announced

By Quintin Smith on May 20th, 2011 at 4:24 pm.

All hail video games.

Eko Software have announced Storm, a physics puzzle game where you play a force of nature guiding a seed towards fertile ground. Which sounds a bit like how I spent my university days. The game will see players using lightning, rain, wind, tornados and so on to guide the seed through each of the game’s single-screen levels, which sounds nice enough, but seeing as it’s coming out this Summer it’ll almost certainly have to duel with Confetti Carnival for my affections, the poor thing. Debut trailer after the jump.
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Bang: Bulletstorm Gun Sonata DLC Released

By Quintin Smith on May 20th, 2011 at 3:23 pm.

Bang bang, he shot me down, bang bang, I hit the ground, bang bang, he pushed me back off the ground again

Did you like Bulletstorm? Did you enjoy the multiplayer modes? So did I! I can’t imagine anybody’s still playing them, but that’s for Epic and not me to decide. They’ve just released the Gun Sonata DLC pack, offering three new maps for Anarchy, the game’s arena co-op point-scoring mode, and two new maps for Echo, the game’s corridor-shooter point-scoring mode. For this they are charging ten American dollars, which is a number that is a little more than nine dollars, but significantly less than twelve dollars.

I think I need another mug of tea. Press release after the jump.
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My Propeller: SKYDRIFT Announced

By Quintin Smith on May 20th, 2011 at 2:54 pm.

How did everyone feel about the third Arctic Monkeys album, anyway?

Digital Reality, who Wikipedia assures me is the oldest Hungarian “video game developer company” in existence, has gone and announced SKYDRIFT, a download-only racing game that looks a bit like Crimson Skies crossed with Playstation high-speed headtrip Wipeout. Why do I feel the need to make all these comparisons? I suppose it’s so my brain doesn’t drown in all these games, each of which is secretly as unique and beautiful as a snowflake. Trailer and press release (“spectacular and exotic locations,” “extreme maneuvers,” “aircrafts”!) after the jump.
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Zombie Cow Is Dead: It’s Size Five Games

By John Walker on May 20th, 2011 at 1:57 pm.

Much more mature.

In a rather peculiar move, Zombie Cow – the indie developers behind the brilliant Ben There, Dan That, and Time Gentlemen, Please – have changed their name. No longer are they post-bovine, and have now become Size Five Games. Why? I’m not sure even they know why. Something about “Zombie Cow” being embarrassing to say in business situations. Well, I recommend trying to be “Rock, Paper, Shotgun” in a meeting with accountants. But Dan Marshall, the main man behind the name, has always hated it. And now he has the far more official sounding title, would everyone mind awfully rewriting their memories such that it was always the case? I think he’d prefer that. It also seems they’re quite close to announcing a new game, which is rather spiffy news.

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