Posts Tagged ‘Blue Byte’

Never Pre-Order: Anno 2205 Pre-order Bonus Beta Canned

“Never pre-order” is something we say a lot around here, along with “Who am I?” and “How did I get here?” and “Are these your guts or mine?” But really, never pre-order. (Well, what I mean is “the risk of a game not living up to its marketing is rarely worth the trinkets and discounts offered as pre-order perks” but that’s less catchy.) Even those tempting offers of getting to play a game early might be pulled; that’s what Ubisoft have done with Anno 2205 [official site].

Ubisoft have scrapped plans for a closed beta for pre-orders, and are instead offering an exclusive command ship (in the game) and emblem. Never pre-order.

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The RPG Scrollbars: A Visit To Old Albion

Albion really should be better known. It’s one of the more obscure beloved 90s RPGs, rarely brought up in conversation like the Ultimas or the Gold Box games or for the true aficionados, games like Darklands. Since release though it’s had a decent nostalgic following, and its recent re-launch on GOG produced what can only be described as a small yet dignified whoop from many a corner. So what is it about this obscure offering from the publisher of The Settlers that’s managed to stay in players’ minds for so long? Let’s take a look, shall we? Seems a good time.

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Impressions: Anno 2205 Takes City-building To The Moon

“We choose to go to the Moon” says Dirk Riegert, the creative director of Ubisoft Blue Byte. Except he doesn’t – he actually says something like “we will go to the Moon”, which is nowhere near as good a quote, and the reason he’ll probably never be elected as President of the United States.

Fabricated quotes aside, I’m in a German town called Mainz – home of the printing press and the Gutenberg bible – to see something a little more futuristic. It’s Anno 2205 – the newest entry in the strategic city-building series where the numbers always add up to nine, and Riegert’s explaining how this entry differs from the previous ones. “We are leaving Earth for the first time,” he says. “2205? It’s time for the space elevator to go up through the stratosphere.”

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Build And Battle: The Settlers – Kingdoms Of Anteria

I would settle for this

The new Settlers game, Kingdoms of Anteria, is about ‘persitent city building’. Hurrah! The news arrives in the form of a press release from Ubisoft, who will be presenting Kingdoms at Gamescom next week. There are other elements alongside that city building though.

Players will work to build up, control and optimise their production chains and economy to unlock building upgrades and new sectors, resulting in kingdoms growing larger than ever before. They will also have the opportunity to face-off against fierce enemies and frightening bosses in tactical battles to earn resources and special loot as they level up. Players can choose the champion class and skill set that best suits their play style from the thousands of different combinations possible.

So what am I? A town planner or a champion?

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Anteria Decorating: The Settlers – Kingdoms Of Anteria

And so it has come to pass. Revelation chapter thirteen tells of the beast that rose from the sea, “upon his heads the name of blasphemy”, and old blaspheme-bonce is followed by other portents of the end-times. The final chapters of Revelation introduce yet more incredible signs of doom, so incredible in fact that they have long been considered apocryphal. Take this excerpt from chapter 47: “Yea, from the mountain a rumbling, a crack in the firmament, a host cried out in anguish and looked upon the plummy terror of a third-person Settlers action game. Or maybe even a sodding MOBA.” Can it be that we live in those times even now? A trailer for the newly announced Kingdoms Of Anteria caused me to tremble and gnash.

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Hexing: Panzer General Online Open Beta Deployed

Nyoooom!

In the vain hope of whipping Team RPS into a lean, mean, organised video game words-writing machine, I have instituted use of collaboration software. We have a nice big virtual pinboard covered in useful notes like “Panzer General Online enters open beta,” under which we can write insightful comments such as “Is it any good? Does anyone care? I have no idea.” But is it, and do you? I genuinely don’t know. Be a pet and sign up then let us know, won’t you? (Hot insider gossip: Alec’s first post on the board was a picture of the Chuckle Brothers.)

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War Browser: Panzer General Online Trailer

Neawwwww.
Trailersoft, a division of Ubisoft that was funded when Yves Guillemot’s cat stood on his keyboard and added an extra zero to the trailer team’s budget, has been very busy lately. The pressure of releasing the hourly reminders that they have Splinter Cell and Assassin Creed games coming out has tired the poor folk out. They’ve gone a little bit avant garde with this trailer for the newly unveiled Panzer General Online. The game is a free-to-play turn-based wargame for browser generals. You will stare at your hexagons and make tactical decisions about the Battle of Omaha Beach, the Battle of Monte Cassino, and more. The trailer shows that off with a plastic army man fighting off a tank.
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Anno Online Is Even More Online: Open Beta


Hey, everyone! What’s free and now available to everyone with an internet connection? Hang on, my phone’s ringing… What? She’s crying! You’re right, I should stop and think before posting open-ended questions to a popular website. No, I guess I didn’t think it through. Look, Dad, there’s no smoke withou – okay! Jeez. Tell her I’m sorry. Hey, everyone! What game’s now free and now available to everyone with an internet connection? Everyone answering Anno Online, I appreciate your ability to see past a “your mother” joke. You’ve made a retirement age lady very happy.
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Deep Transmissions: Silent Hunter Online Dev Diaries

vrooooooooooom

John was manning the RPS periscope when he spotted what appeared to be a Youtube video bobbing about in the ocean. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the sodden flotsam was a development diary that explains fleet management in Silent Hunter Online. The specific submarines in a fleet can be chosen, repaired customised and crewed, which I kind of assumed would be the case but it’s nice to have confirmation, I suppose. The man sounds terribly bored as he tells us these things. There was a previous diary too and a quick glance into the murky depths suggests we neglected to post it. It’s also below and contains a more excitable man and some (distant) explosions. Signups for the closed beta are open now.

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Anno Online Sets Sail For New F2P World

Remember, if you don't think you can split your attention between God and Mammon, on this island Mammon is our bro.

Two things immediately jumped up and waved pointedly when I heard about Anno Online. First, ‘Online’ isn’t a year – that name is Silly. Second, doesn’t Ubisoft/Blue Byte already have a historical, economics focused city-builder game called The Settlers Online? For the first, the answer was ‘Nobody likes a padent’. As for the second, yes, there are definite similarities, but Anno Online takes a rather different approach to creating the perfect society…

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That Sinking Feeling: At Sea With Silent Hunter Online

I saw three ships come sailing by, come sailing by in the morning. So I sank the bastards. Mwah-ha-ha!

There’s no such thing as playing fair when you’re the captain of a submarine. It’s your job to hide, literally, under the radar; to hit your enemy when they’re least expecting it and be away before swift retaliation arrives to send you drowning to Davy Jones’ endless locker. Silent Hunter Online is a cut-down version of the experience, but looks to make up for it by letting you bring friends, and taking the F2P route to putting the You Bastard into U-Boat.

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Might And Magic Heroes Online Begins Quest For F2P

Um. Lady on the left? You're not fooling anyone with that chinny-thinky stuff.

Might and Magic Heroes Online (not to be confused with the recently closed Heroes Of Might And Magic Online) looks a hell of a lot like regular Might and Magic Heroes. That’s a good thing. It’s got microtransactions and maps where you’ll see other players running around, but when battle starts, it’s to that familiar zoomed-in view you’ll be taken, and the same strategy that awaits. There’s simply more to conquer. Potentially much, much more.

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Death From Below: Silent Hunter Online

Let's hope it's not sub standard, eh?

It’s only a matter of time before every game is released for free and not long after that, people will realise that in many cases that ‘free to play’ aspect is a little like a shop not charging admittance. There may still be a bouncer on the door, his fists like cans of spam, checking that you have a stable internet connection before he lets you inside. Silent Hunter Online is free to play and the title suggests it has a preference for the connected consumer. Despite that, I’m intrigued because I’ve spent some of the most deliciously tense hours of my gaming life pretending to be the Atlantean captain of a submersible murder machine. Radar detects an irrelevant cinematic and more details in the depths below.

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