Archive for April, 2008

Duke Nukem Not Never

Something about parking bricks

Just a brief note on something we really should have mentioned a couple of days back – Shacknews have, they claim, actually seen Duke Nukem Forever in action. Like, with their eyes and stuff. The very scant report they gave had some calling shenanigans, but 3D Realms’ George Broussard later popped his head into the thick of it to offer some apparent corroboration.

All the detail on offer is this:

“We actually got to see the truth of Duke curator George Broussard’s many past claims, including environmental puzzles and interactivity, a host of finished weapons, the existence of an in-game forklift, and plenty of heads and arms being blown off. We both confidently agree that after seeing this demonstration, Duke Nukem Forever is looking great, and will easily stand apart from the crowd in both visual and gameplay styles.”

An in-game forklift! Stop the fricking presses!

I jest, of course. The info-embargo is understandable, and it’s good to hear more evidence that DNF is at last on its way, even if there’s nothing whatsoever to yet prove if and how it’s a triumph.

Want Want Want: Sledgehammer

UPDATE: Russian demo available here. Still downloading at the mo, impressions may follow later.

One reason GTA is quite so successful is because it fulfils the innate fantasies of modern existence – I would like to drive cars really fast wherever I wanted, I would like to kill people without moral, legal or awkward body-disposal consequence, and most of all I want to be the most baddass badass in all existence. Unfortunately, it neglects a very, very important part of that fantasy – controlling giant, jet-propelled, transforming trucks loaded with enough heavy weaponry to level a small farming town.

Introducing… Sledgehammer:

Crunchy thanks, Gametrailers.

18 Wheels of Steel + Carmageddon = Whee! Read the rest of this entry »

The Guardian: Peter Molyneux Interview

I do like the white backgrounds. It makes me feel like as pretty as a princess.

I’ve spent the week doing a couple of short, if dense interviews with major gaming figures for the Guardian Online. First one’s up, where I talk to Peter Molyneux about the idea of name-creators, why there hasn’t been a refresh of them for a long time, where they may arise and why he hopes they do arrive. The quote the Guardian chose to open on: “I’ve been credited unduly”.

Dinner With Rod Humble: Sims Style Stuff

Last week we brought you part one of our interview with EA’s Rod Humble. This week we bring you the second part, where we get down to talking about Rod’s day job: The Sims. When you’re sat down for dinner with the man in charge of one the biggest selling gaming franchise ever, and have a chance to find out more about the forthcoming The Sims 3, what do you ask about? Peeing. And then some slightly more practical questions. Along the way we discussed The Sims’ sociology on a wider scale, how Rod finds freezing to death endlessly funny, and why The Sims’ expansion packs deserve a better time than the gaming press gives them.

In future, could girls be more subtle when rejecting me?

RPS: You said that you want Sims 3 to welcome back the hardcore.

RH: Yeah. We’re adding systems which add depth and longevity to the gameplay. In addition to being able to go up many different advancement tracks, such as gardening or hobbies. The game also gives you little tasks to do. The game has an added depth that I think we’ve learned from other games that have come out in the last four or five years. It adds that extra meat of challenge. I think a lot of current players love all the Sims games as creative tools, but quite often I think core gamers like challenge and depth, and we’re always trying to strike a balance. I hope Sims 3 adds a little bit more to that balance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eurogamer: TrackMania Nations Forever

There are seriously not enough loops in regular driving.

After yesterday’s Verdict, quickly following is my review of Nations Forever for Eurogamer. It begins like this:

At 1.30am last night, I couldn’t tell you whether I loved or hated TrackMania. What I can tell you is that I was playing it. Or more specifically, playing one track. Again and again. Determined to beat it. Increasingly tired, and as such increasingly unable to make the perfectly timed turns to get that Gold medal that sat between me and sleep.

And then carries on when you click here. (But don’t click here).

EA-Land To Close Borders

Sorry, EA-Land fans.

Eurogamer report that EA-Land, née The Sims Online, is to come to an end. According to a post on EA-Land’s blog, the online world will be entering the /dev/null on August 1st, but for the next three months will be completely free to all players. EA says,

“Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of players (of which you are one) and we certainly appreciate your participation in the EA-Land community. The lifetime of the game has drawn to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative concepts in the games arena. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world.”

Read the rest of this entry »