Archive for August, 2011

Resorting To Violence: Dead Island Trailer

Life's a beach. Aha! Sorry, that wasn't very clever. I saw it on a t-shirt or something.
Just when you thought it was safe to get back out of the water, Dead Island is ready to gobble up your brains. Out September 6th in North America and on the 9th everywhere else, the game already boasts one of the most talked about trailers of the year. This latest one still has evocative (and strangely triumphant) music in the background but the foreground looks a lot more like an actual game. Along with the emphasis on co-op we’ve seen from previous marketing material, there’s some enemy variety on show and an urban-type environment alongside the beaches and resorts. Enjoy. We’ll have words about our experiences with the game next week, which unfortunately makes them too late to be featured on the side of a boat or plane wreck. Boo. If the trailer doesn’t contain enough zombies for you, check out this Marvel digital comic prequel to the game. That’s got some zombies in it too.

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Zeboyd Are On the Rain-Slick Precipice

Nothing compared to SPONG IN A POSTY
So here’s a bit of unexpected news. It comes out of leftfield for us to learn that Penny Arcade’s Penny Arcade Adventures episodes are to get a third and final episode – since it was abandoned by Hothead to work on Deathspank – but it’s even more surprising to learn that Zeboyd (they of lo-fi RPG treat Cthulhu Saves the World) are making it. Really? Apparently so. Zeboyd say: “Zeboyd Games is pleased to announce that we are currently working on Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rainslick Precipice of Darkness Episode 3. Yes, we’re serious.”

Expect something 16-bitlike, by the looks of it.

Rawr: Telltale Show Jurassic Park Action

I tell you, the dinosaurs died out because they spent too much on videogames, and not enough on dino-NASA.
If Alec’s preview of the upcoming dinosaur adventure from Telltale intrigued you, then it’s possible you’ll want to look at the trailer below, which features a number of the exciting dino-based moments from the game. Yeah, and there’s quite a lot of that T-Rex roar. Cheer up, T-Rex, it’s not like everyone makes jokes about your tiny arms.
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Eyes-On: Battlefield 3’s Operation Guillotine

People with camper-vans? Basically terrorists.
Just two months ahead of release, Battlefield 3’s singleplayer mode remains something of a mystery – oddly so, given this game is DICE’s attempt to make their biggest franchise as appealing to lone gunners as team gunners. So getting eyes-on with a never-before-seen singleplayer level yesterday went some way to explaining BF3’s approach. That approach: MEGA-GRAPHICS, MEGA-EXPLOSIONS, MEGA-WAR. And yet, somehow, it’s also far more subtle and convincing than COD and its recent raft of wannabe crown-stealers.
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Undead To Rights: Project Zomboid Update

Zombies are basically some kind of metaphor, man. But a metaphor that can chew your leg.
The Indie Stone have announced that the first update for Project Zomboid is now available for download. And that’s not all! They’ve also answered some questions regarding Steam availability and the frequency and girth of future updates. If you’ve already pre-purchased the game and have access to the in development version, the update is available now. The free demo, however, will not be updated so if you want to see the changes in action, it’s time to hand over the clams. Fortunately, that just got easier because the game is now available through Desura. Not Steam though. Not yet.

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Uh-Oh: Iron Helmet Announce Jupiter’s Folly

Folly indeed, sitting-at-home fans!
Iron Helmet (they of superb multiplayer web-strategies Neptune’s Pride and Blight Of The Immortals) send word that they have a new game out! It’s called Jupiter’s Folly, and well, I’ll let Jay explain: “It’s kind of like Neptune’s Pride and kind of like Blight of the Immortals but to make things a bit different we’ve added some card game mechanics. Everything you can do in the game is represented by a card. If you want more troops you play a card, if you want to call in an orbital strike, that’s a card too. The object of the game is to be the first to mine 5000 tons of “Crystal”. It’s a race. You build mines around the map and then have to protect them from the other players.”

You can already sign up and play. Go! Go! Go! Oh my God. We’re in real danger of it happening again, aren’t we? Video below!
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There’s Also Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

Sniper? Or armed vagrant guy?
A profound lack of sleep has left me with a unique super-power: to be impressed and moved by anything at all. I was welling up just watching these five minutes of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 footage. Those poor bullets! Fired off into people’s icky headbits without a second thought. Separated from their cartridge buddies forever. Awful.

This footage is actually a bit old, being from GamesCom, but I missed it last week, to the annoyance of readers who sent it in. Sorry, Annoyed Men! Love you! The CryEngine-powered manshooter is out in Q1 of next year, which seems to be a true of a lot of games currently in development.
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Shogun 2: Rise of the Samurai Preview

HAPPY SHOGUN SAY HAPPY ARROW TIME!
Last week we sent Will Porter to The Creative Assembly to find out about their forthcoming campaign DLC for Shogun 2. These are his findings.

Shogun 2 Total War wasn’t fascinating for its campaign map politics and tactical intricacies alone. To my mind – a mind squeezed through an entirely western-orientated educational cookie-cutter – a primary draw was olden-time Japan itself. My own historical knowledge has only ever been gently simmered by Henry VIII being miffed with the Pope, or perhaps Harold bullshitting William the Conqueror in the presence of some special bones, so for Shogun 2 to suddenly present those fabulous castles, that intricate history and that awesome array of weaponry was faintly mindblowing. Everything was just so alien, and alluring, to my closed-off western hemisphere brain. It was like stumbling across this incredible new universe on the scale of LOTR or Star Wars, but this one was somehow real.
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Oh, What a Knight: Maldita Castilla

 Knight, knight. Man, I am tired.
Chivalry is not dead! Phew. It’s been a long time since I’ve chivalled so when Maldita Castilla’s demo asked me to don armour and beard to fight off a wave of evil in the cursed Kingdom of Castile, I immediately sprang into action. We’ve talked about Locomalito’s lovingly crafted games before and this is shaping up to be a beauty. But what is it? Well, the most important thing about Maldita Castilla is that it’s not Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. The second most important thing is that it’s really bloody close to being Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins.

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Overgrowth Still Going, Awesome Footage

Ugly business.
Breathtaking indie furry fighting gaming Overgrowth is still growing to full size in the warm, fleshy pouch of pre-order funded development, but the videos released by the team are beginning to really show where all that time and effort are going. Honestly, this is the best video of anthropomorphic rabbits kicking the living shit out of each other that you are going to see today. Watch it.

(Thanks to everyone who sent this in.)
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Trackmania 2’s “Educational” Trailer

My car would totally ghost mode your car.
What’s educational about it? Well, it teaches you about the game, I suppose. It shows you how there’s a bunch of customisation options, and how the game’s editor allows you to build elaborate race course for the cars wot go fast. Most of all though, it teaches that Trackmania is basically crazy. And that is why we love it. (It’s the bit at 1:35 which really sums up what the game is all about, I think.)
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Why You Can’t Shoot Civilians In Battlefield 3

Spotter's guide - visible gun = not a civilian.

I’ve just come back from a fascinating and noisy day at EA DICE, seeing and playing Battlefield 3 with the winners of our recent competition. I have quite a few BF3-related posts due over the next couple of days as a result, but let’s start off with the game’s executive producer Patrick Bach talking about why he believes it can be tricky for games to present more authentic situations, such as a Battlefield level containing innocent, unarmed civilians. He reckons that, given the option, many gamers can’t resist an opportunity to be bad – and, he fears, game-makers would be the ones blamed for their players’ naughtier choices. For instance, shooting one of said innocent, unarmed civilians…
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Bioware’s Dragon Age III Plans Collated


Yes, obviously there’s going to be a third game. It’s a long way off, still. But what are they going to do with it? Match-3 puzzler? We should be so lucky. Instead it’s going to feature an art style similar to DA2, and you’ll be able to full tinker with the loadouts of your party members. Fighting will also be encounter-based, rather than surviving waves of enemies. Hooray!

You see, using my sneaky internet-enabled “eyes” to read this comprehensive thread on NeoGaf, I am able reveal that the game is about “Saving the world from… itself” (you have to include a little pause there when speaking aloud, with dramatic turn to camera) and that whether you play as a set character as in Dragon Age II, or as a player-created character, has yet to be decided and will based on player feedback. Hmm, I think I’ll use my magical ear-trumpet to collect that feedback for you from the howling winds of the internet, Bioware: player-created character. Lots more detail in the thread. There might even be co-op! Maybe. A yes please there, too.

Hazardless Journey: Antichamber

How high??
Last time we talked about Antichamber it was called Hazard: The Journey of Life, which means we’ve never specifically talked about Antichamber. Hazard was a non-commercial Unreal mod whereas Antichamber is a UDK-developed game that should be out before the end of the year. It’s a first person puzzler, or a “mind-bending psychological exploration game”, with a striking art style. The version shown off at PAX this week appears to be close to finished. For those of us who’ve been following development for the last couple of years, this is all rather exciting. Why? Stay a while and listen.

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Guild Wars 2 Has Player-Made PvP Servers


Here’s an interesting little bit of GW2 info over on MMORPG.com, who have been talking to ArenaNet at PAX: “Not only will ArenaNet be making up their own servers for the quick and dirty PVP matches, much like the shooter genre’s setup, but Eric and Colin said they plan for players to be able to create and host their own servers or games with specific rule-sets as well.” I’ll be fascinated to see how that actually works. I have to admit that despite the original game’s heavy PvP focus, I’d barely paid any attention to how PvP will work in the new game. (I just want to wander around those environments.)

Anyone here a GW PvP with great expectations for the sequel?

Casual Terror: Jurassic Park Preview

I'm writing this in a room in Sweden full of games journalists, and not a one of them could think up a good dinosaur pun. It is the saddest moment of my life.

Trespasser it ain’t, but despite being a far easier sell Jurassic Park: The Game: Episode One: The Intruder is likely to be the title which confounds the argument that Telltale make formula adventure games, simply variations upon a structure and style they hit upon with the first series of their Sam & Max episodes. This is something a little different, the moment when Telltale prove their design ethos isn’t frozen in amber after all. While seasoned adventure nuts will perhaps bounce right off this officially-sanctioned side-story to the first film due to its very casual approach puzzling and danger-dodging, it clearly aims to draw a crowd far beyond nostalgic Lucasartisans. Specifically, a crowd who want to see people om-nom-nommed by bloody great dinosaurs.
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Press Down To Cry: Is It Time?

I am not a cruel enough man to recommend that anyone plays Is It Time?, for it is not enjoyable and it contains a bleak message of despair that made me feel empty inside. Even more so than usual. It’s also quite definitely one of those indie art games that a lot of people simply have no time for. If that is the case, may I suggest that it probably has no time for you either. Or maybe it has all the time in its rapidly diminishing world. Despite not being able to recommend you play it, I am going to leave a link here and suggest that you consider clicking on it. Be warned, it’s bleak and in many ways it’s boring, but then it’s a game about loneliness and death so I could perhaps also call it honest.

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Arkham City Is A GFWL Title


There was some talk over the weekend that Batman: Arkham City would not be using GFWL. That turned out to not be true, according to this article on VG247, who contacted Warner for comment. A Warner rep said: “Arkham City is indeed a G4WL [sic] title.” Did he say [sic] of his own esoteric spelling? I just don’t know.

The game is out on October 18th. I will still be playing it.

Blue Blistering Bashi Bazouks: Tintin


Roving reporter Dan Griliopoulos is driving home from GamesCom, but he turned the wrong way at the Baltic. Today he’s passing through Belgium.

Belgium! Where the only heroes are fictional! Hercule Poirot, Tintin and… The Smurfs? Anyway, it’s easy to sneer at Tintin; the plucky Belgian journalist went through an odd inception, passing quickly through the same facist, colonialist and racist phase as much literature of the 1930s. (Tintin in the Congo is essential reading if you want to understand why your great-grandparents in all probability shared these traits). But his adventures were always Jolly Good fun, in that way that inter-war kids stuff could be; all villainous millionaires and smugglers, where no-one who mattered was ever hurt except by fisticuffs, and the Cluedo-esque cast retired to Marlinspike Manor after an adventure to have their lugholes rent asunder by Bianca Castafiore’s rendition of the Jewel Song from Faust. When I was a kid, he was up there with Asterix and, um, Johnny Alpha. Apparently, Simon Pegg loved him as much as I did, because they’re making a film. And John Walker’s beloved Ubisoft have the rights to the tie-in!
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