Unity 5 Is Out Now, Has Free No-Royalty “Personal Edition”

By Graham Smith on March 3rd, 2015 at 4:35 pm.

I’m at a Unity [official site] special event at GDC and I’ve had a donut for breakfast. Take everything I’m writing below with a pinch of the sugar rushing through my veins, but Unity have just announced that Unity 5 is available to download now and that there’s a free, no-royalty Personal Edition for use by small companies.

There’s a livestream of the event and more details below.

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The Buddy System: Resi Rev 2 Adds Local Co-op

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm.

Without local co-op, there are no boybands. This is a boyband.

When Resident Evil Revelations 2 [official site] Episode One released without the local co-op feature that had been promised on the Steam Store page, I was outraged. So outraged that anyone in the same room might have heard a faint sigh if they’d been paying particularly close attention. It seems likely that Capcom were listening because they’ve added local co-op to the campaign and raid modes of the game, currently in the form of an open beta patch. For anyone who is still unhappy, “refunds are available through Steam”.

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Watch Us Play Cities Skylines Live

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015 at 3:38 pm.

OH GOD. Why am I doing this? Well, partly because it’s high time I learned how, and partly because we’re allowed to stream Cities Skylines before we’re allowed to write reviews. Thus, in a few minutes I shall leave my comfort zone to bring you live footage of me playing (trying to play) Paradox’s new city-builder. It’s due to go live at 3.45pm UK time, but you’ll be able to watch the whole thing retroactively later if you prefer.
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Dress Like A Sofa With Advanced Warfare Master Prestige

By Philippa Warr on March 3rd, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

Inspired by Liberace

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare [official site] has introduced Master Prestige ranks which are another way to earn elite weapon drops and culminate in a Grand Master Prestige gear set which kind of makes you look like your character has been mistaken for a couch and upholstered.

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First Look: Guild Wars 2 – Heart of Thorns

By Tom Mayo on March 3rd, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

Well, hello there!

Guild Wars 2 [official site] launched with a promise – to fix MMOs. Strident, attention-grabbing, patently doomed schtick that was nevertheless suffused with just enough gosh-shucks-darn-it-I-want-to-see-them-try zest to make it a journey worth tracking. That was two years ago.

The mission met with mixed results, as lead designer Isaiah Cartwright admitted to me when we spoke in Brighton during a hands-on with the game’s first expansion, Heart of Thorns. We were among the first to play the expansion and all of the details are below.

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Unreal ‘Free’ To Devs, Unreal Tournament Free To All

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Ultra-graphicsed Facing Worlds next pls

Even the tallest of titans couldn’t stand against the tide of free game-making for long. With so many developers turning to Unity to make their own games, and Unity’s capabilities improving rapidly, Ye Olde Unreal Engine was starting to look like something of a dinosaur despite being the go-to framework for a great many blockbuster action titles. And now it, too, is free, albeit with one big proviso. While this is primarily big news for devs (more on that below), it does also mean that anyone can now make their own maps for the work-in-progress, community-made Unreal Tournament sequel/remake. Which is currently also free. There’s also a new, super-shiny map to try out the next-gen engine with.

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23 Observations On 17 Minutes Of Firewatch

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

'Control, I need to report a giant orange circle taking up space in the sky'

I haven’t been entirely sure what to make of Firewatch [official site], the upcoming great outdoors adventure/exploration title from a mini-supergroup of ex-Double Fine/ Telltale/ Lucasarts/ Klei/ Lionhead devs, because I wasn’t entirely sure what it was. Having just watched a quarter of an hour of it, I still don’t entirely know what it’s going to become, but I really, really like it. It seems to have this laid-back pace and tone and tons of slow-burn character-building while still being very, well, gamey. I really hope that pace and tone can be maintained throughout. Also it looks like somewhere I’d really love to go and live in for a while.

The footage and my own assorted as-they-happened thoughts, including observations on underwear, caves and wedding rings, are below.
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Freeware Garden: Our Personal Space

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on March 3rd, 2015 at 11:00 am.

You are Kelly. You are the newlywed doctor who’s in love with charming Jack and has followed him to far away planet Talaam. It’s a place that excellent sci-fi marriage simulation Our Personal Space [alternate download link] lets you live in, explore and influence.

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Sublevel Zero, Radlevel 9001

By Ben Barrett on March 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 am.

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 at 9:00 am.

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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EA Offers Up Battlefield Hardline Premium Details

By Philippa Warr on March 3rd, 2015 at 8:00 am.

I don't think Roy Walker hosts Catchphrase anymore

Is a trailer really a trailer when it’s actually just different bits of a still image of a man with some particle effects? I’d say that was closer to those bonus Catchphrase rounds where they gradually reveal the image for contestants to guess until one of them says “Uh, is is Battlefield Hardline Premium?” and Roy Walker shouts “RIIIIIIGHT!” even though it’s not a catchphrase.

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Premature Evaluation: Medieval Engineers

By Marsh Davies on March 2nd, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

The toothy, undulating stonework battlements is often called crenelation, crenels being the gaps (from which we get the word 'cranny') and the protrusions being called, variously, cops or merlons. It's not entirely clear where the word 'merlon' comes from - conflicting attributions give it a Latin origin meaning pitchfork and, oddly, blackbird. One suggestion is that the word for blackbird is used in this way because it suggests things perched along a wall. Bit of a stretch, I think.

Each week Marsh Davies punches a hole through the vertiginous walls of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or watches with grotesque, wet-lipped arousal as the entire structure disassembles in a shower of hot, hot physics. This week, he makes, then mounts, the battlements in Medieval Engineers, a castle construction sandbox. And then he unmakes them, too.

Once you’ve built a castle in Medieval Engineers, you can look at it, hit CTRL-C, then CTRL-V and paste a brick-for-brick duplicate of your entire complex anywhere else in the level. Including the sky – though they are not wont to stay there for very long. Castles, despite a plethora of idiomatic song titles suggesting otherwise, are very much a ground based medium, and when placed in the sky, they attempt to revert to form, with glorious physics-enabled results.

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Vocal: Conflicting Instructions And Player Control

By Philippa Warr on March 2nd, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

From Vocal's poster (a pox on portrait images)

The National Film and Television School recently held a showcase of games being developed by students on its game design and development MA. One which stuck out for me was Vocal [temporary site] by Paul Dillon.

Vocal is a game about conflict and control. You play as a voice inside a man named Adam Hamilton’s head as he goes through astronaut training on an abandoned and repurposed oil rig in preparation for a journey to Mars. As Adam begins to lose control – both to the player and to other voices – you’re trying to work out what’s happening to him.

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