Posts Tagged ‘games-for-2008’

Games For 2008: Age Of Conan

By John Walker on January 17th, 2008.

An MMO in development is like a soufflé made to an improvised recipe. People know which ingredients to include, but what quantity of each, what temperature to cook it at, and how long for? So many come out heavy and inedible, or completely sunk in the middle. Others, well they’re delicious and we can’t stop going back for another bowl. The difficulty is, spotting which will be which before they’re out of the gaming… oh this metaphor has made me want to die.

The wheel metaphor joke thing was actually Jim's joke, John

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has so much potential. So much. Source material is key, and Robert Howard’s novels could almost have been written with a computer game in mind. Hardcore, stubby, violent. I’m going to write that Howard invented fantasy fiction, just so people get cross in the comments. Howard invented fantasy fiction. The madman mother’s boy demonstrated a vast amount of historical knowledge, working it into his intense novels, before offing himself in his 30s. So ignoring the utterly abysmal Arnie movie, Funcom – developers of the Longest Journey games, and previous MMO success, Anarchy Online – have a lot of material with which to work.

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Games For 2008: Alan Wake

By Jim Rossignol on January 16th, 2008.

Ah-haaa! Sorry, wrong Alan.
Well, it’s probably coming out in 2008. Rumours report it looking finished this time a year ago, so hopefully all those additional months are polishing the game up to a glowy sheen. Alan Wake is one of those projects that has rumbled along beneath the gaming radar, without ever revealing much in the way of content or planned release schedules. Nevertheless it’s a significant release: the game that the Max Payne team, Remedy, did next, and a title that Microsoft has pegged as “Vista Only” in an unsubtle attempt to nudge more gamers out of XP and into the latest operating system.

Not only that, but what we have seen of Alan Wake so far suggests it could be a genuinely interesting survival horror, mixing up the action of Max Payne with a freeform world and Resident Evil-style frighteners.

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Games For 2008: Space Siege

By Alec Meer on January 15th, 2008.


Gas Powered Games make mechanical games. Games where story and character are entirely secondary concerns to the underlying weights and balances: Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege are creations of honed function, not form. These are games that do not understand this human thing you call ‘love.’

It’s a very deliberate methodology, and one to celebrate. It’s quite the rarity these days, a time of graphical plenty, wherein cheap-to-make in-engine cutscenes see so many games overwhelmed by their own self-indulgent, exposition-choked narratives. At least someone’s still aware that you’ve paid your money to play a game.

With Space Siege though, everything changes.
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Games for 2008: Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

By Kieron Gillen on January 14th, 2008.


Things like this throw me. A sequel of an enormously successful Console game arrives on the PC. What do we presume people know? And how do you best contextualise it. I suppose a little grounding is in order. Out of the first wave of clearly GTA inspired games that were more inspired than just do another crime game, Mercenaries was arguably the finest. Set around playing one of the eponymous soldiers of fortunes, you went on missions in an open world, generally shooting things and causing a frankly disturbing amount of devastation. Its explosions were a bit on the nifty side. It was fun, if disposable – in a “DISPOSE EVERYTHING WITH PYROKENETICS” way. And, generally speaking, this is something I’m glad to see come to the PC. Admitedly, It’s nothing to do with the ancient 8-bit ultraclassic, but don’t hold that against it.
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Games For 2008: Far Cry 2

By Jim Rossignol on January 11th, 2008.

Despite some rumbling in the games industry jungle about the status of Far Cry 2, we have every reason to believe that this could be one of the finest games of 2008. The team have already shown off some aspects of the open-ended world, reminiscent of Just Cause, Stalker, or those opening islands of the original Far Cry game, and that alone is enough to get my non-linearity glands swollen with anticipation. I think it’s clear that after the various degrees dissatisfaction we’ve all expressed with last year’s batch of shooters, we all need a big, bold, freeform explosion to clear our conscience. Far Cry 2 could well be the game that provides it.
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Games For 2008: Warhammer Online

By John Walker on January 10th, 2008.

He's mean, he's gree... kill me.

Two conflicting positions: I have very high hopes for Warhammer Online, and believe it will be a great MMO with fresh ideas, and a unique way of dealing with global conflict. Also: I really worry about Warhammer Online, concerned that by the time it comes out it will have devolved into a very generic WoW clone.

The very first time I saw WAR, back in February 2006, it was more conceptual than physical. They had built a bit of the beginning ground for the Dwarves and Greenskins, and that was just about it. But they had some really exciting ideas. The world of the Games Workshop monolith was going to take some really original approaches to the genre, and the most immediately exciting was the abandoning of levels. Instead they had this fantastic structure in mind that let you micro-manage your character’s skills, picking three at a time and then letting the XP you accrue fill each until it’s complete. This was then broken down into five distinct stages, and, well, it doesn’t exist so it’s not worth explaining. But they were excited about it, and so was I. It’s very telling that the MMO genre seems to have the power to force developers to lose anything that strays too far from the familiar. You’ve got to get a player-base, and if you want them, you’ve got to make it familiar enough. Which means, of course, you’ve got to make it feel like World of Warcraft. Sigh.

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Games For 2008: Spore

By Alec Meer on January 9th, 2008.

Before I discuss the game formerly known as Sim Everything, an anecdote relevant to our recent collapse into the scatological:

I once had a wee next to Will Wright. At a urinal, you understand – I didn’t just stride into his office and evacuate my bladder by his chair. It was at E3, back in 2003, I believe. I’m bad at chit-chat at the best of times, but trying to think of something to say to one of the industry’s finest minds, over the sound of splashing micturition, was impossible. Read the rest of this entry »

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Games for 2008: Fallout 3

By Kieron Gillen on January 8th, 2008.


You don’t envy Bethesda.

I’ve said this before, but the nagging question is why they’d take up this particular poisoned chalice of post-apocalypse role-playing anyway. “A new game by the makers of Oblivion” is a much bigger story to the gaming mainstream than “Sequel to old PC game you haven’t played”. Hell, the “3” even risks alienating people who’ve never played (or heard of) the original, dismissing it out of hand – there’s eighteen year old PC Gamers who’d have been six when the thing comes out. Even putting aside that, the friends it buys you will brook no compromise. The Fallout fanbase epitomised by the cheery souls of No Mutants Allowed, having had a decade to stew over disappointment after disappointment, are openly fanatical. As much as they’d protest it, no-one can see them accepting anything Bethesda would produce.

A Fallout licence gives you… what? A post-apocalyptic world. Make your own up and save yourself the hassle of dealing with friends who hate you and strangers who look just at you strangely.

So why do it?

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Games For 2008: Starcraft 2

By Jim Rossignol on January 7th, 2008.

This is the first in a month-or-so of pieces on the games we’re interested in for 2008. Please do leave your comments and let us know why you’re anxious, excited, or apathetic towards these games. We need to know.

pew, also: zap

There’s an anecdote about Blizzard’s office in Irvine that I’ve promised not to publish. It’s so absurdly appropriate to their nature as games designers that I had to stand in front of a mirror and smack myself around the face to avoid reproducing it here. It’s also the /perfect/ introduction to a piece about Starcraft 2, and it’s painful to have promised not to use it.

Anyway, that same office is where I sat down and played Starcraft 2, just prior to its demonstration at last year’s BlizzCon. I should first point out that I thrashed the pants offa’ my colleague from PC Gamer Sweden in our second multiplayer session, and that I was just testing in the first game… then perhaps we should move on to some details about Starcraft 2 itself.
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