Planetary Annihilation, Kickstarter mammoth, has launched its pricey beta. To celebrate, there’s a video of a lot of things blowing up. That’s the way.
Currently in beta, Fields of War is “a massive multiplayer third-person-shooter focused on large scale battles, territory control, skill and most importantly team play.” When I read that description, I expected the video to contain tiny computer men running around and shooting at one another but the synopsis conceals the game’s trump card. The tiny computer men are concealed within mechs, with up to a hundred player-controlled war machines on each side. AI bots are also available to fill in any gaps. The closed beta has now finished but you can play in the current version by purchasing the game for $15. Now, let’s look at some combat and customisation.
Neverwinter goes into a proper open beta very soon (today in fact, for those with the head start, 30th for the plebs), and we’ll finally be able to have enough time with it to properly get to grips. The all-too-short beta weekends have shown a game that’s definitely bursting with potential, not least because of the Foundry in which users can create their own in-game quests and campaigns for others to play. Also, today is the day that Perfect World release the one billionth trailer for the game! Congratulations all involved.
If Wildstar existed back when WoW had me pinned under its hulking gorilla girth, I think my head would’ve exploded. It has pretty much all the things every fiber of my hunched, addiction-ravaged being could’ve wished for – and then some. Player housing? You betcha. Customizable guild death lairs? Oh my yes. Highly mobile combat? Try standing still and find out. Bizarrely out-of-place anime bunny people? Well, they can’t all be winners. But you get my point. Its personality reminds me of less obnoxious 3D-animated kid films, too, and it definitely has heart. I can practically feel Past Me grossing up his portion of the space-time continuum with puddles of anticipatory froth. Current Me, though? He’s living in a post-WoW world, and he’s got a family of largely inconsequential desk cacti to be responsible for. Is Wildstar’s take on the tried-and-true MMO formula too little, too late, even with a generous helping of all the things? Perhaps the now up-and-running closed beta can help us find out.
“RF Online” are words that sow fear into my heart. 160 years ago, in 2006, I had yet to come to the realisation that “No!” was the only sensible answer to, “Would you like to review this MMO for meagre freelance pay?” So it was I took on the task of RF Online, a Korean MMO that put the “grrrrrrr” in “grind”. It is with… confusion, really, that I notice an open beta is beginning for a game called RF Online 1.5.
It is not every day that one gets to write about space chickens. But today RPS has scrambled me, Dame Cara of Ellison, to inform you that the lovely space avians at Sumom Games have served their eggchick Humans Must Answer up on a platter for us to have a morsel of. It features Colonel Ram and Professor Bez (pictured) as your guiding companions aboard the shooty-ship The Golden Eagle.
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Someday, Firefall will come out. Maybe. Or perhaps it’ll forever lurk in the bug-riddled shadows of beta, only emerging on weekends for a refreshing hover about town. For now, we can only hold out hope for the former, but at least take solace in the latter, given that the gravity-loathing MMO’s penciled in the whole of humanity for a quick flying lesson this weekend. Get an idea of what you’re in for – set to music that suggests you’re both flying and winning a gold medal in every Olympic sporting event at once – after the break.
With Unwritten: That Which Happened now a thing That Is Happening and Ritual Dementia still a distinct possibility, 7 Grand Steps isn’t the only multi-generational story in gaming, but it’s still the only one I’ve played and therefore the one I’m most capable of writing about. It’s a fascinating game, with the appearance of a mechanical device, token-operated and belonging to another time. Mousechief’s earlier work, Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble, was a parlour game packed full of moxie and 7 Grand Steps has similarities in design, but is a much more open, user-directed experience. The demo provides a taste of the cultural voyage through the ages and the beta of the clever IGF-nominated oddity is now available to pre-purchasers. The cost is $9.99 now or $14.99 at release.
RPS Feature Winter Isn't Coming
Cryptic’s Neverwinter had its first beta weekend these last couple of days. I jumped in, rolled a young half-elf, and had a look around for a couple of days. With the game still without a fixed release date, there’s clearly still a lot of time for change. But as it stands, here are my hands-on impressions of the game so far.
I’ve kept Neverwinter at arm’s length. I don’t know what to think about it. I loved NWN2, and while the series more immediately lends itself to the shared world of an MMO than other BioWare properties, I’ve got those fan-nerves of seeing a completely separate studio take it on. But then that studio is Cryptic, they of the glorious City Of Heroes, so… I get in a muddle. The good news is, the first beta weekend is coming up tomorrow, so minds can start to be made.
It is a wonderful week for insanely inventive videogames. The long-awaited Antichamber (which I’m splattering my feeble brain against right now) lands on Thursday, and 2013’s Global Game Jam just forced a hand inside its own sternum and produced a glistening goldmine of bloody great games. But in between all that, I know I’ll be needing a slightly more traditional palette cleanser. Enter Crysis 3’s open beta. Men get shot, and they neither spray you with chunky metaphysical sophistries nor make you suddenly aware of the faintly fluttering organ that could stop sustaining your life at any given moment. They just, you know, stop shooting back. And so on and so forth. But oh, there are neat powers. And bows. And some – in the grand scheme of shooters – fairly novel modes. Study up on their mysterious ways after the break.
In my more soulful, reflective moments, I can’t help but look out into the vast sea of human suffering and ask myself, “Why? Why do we Crysis?” The answers, of course, are many and multifarious – like some kind of gigantic, infini-brained wisdom hydra – but they all boil down to one core: single-player. Case in point: Crysis 2’s multiplayer wasn’t terrible by any means, but it just didn’t do enough to stand out. Crytek, however, seems to think the series has multiplayer greatness encoded in its nanomachine-bloated DNA, so it’s once again aiming high with Crysis 3. And while things like the hunted-becomes-the-hunter, er, Hunter mode sound fun on paper, they’re far from proven quantities. So that’s where you come in, with your hideously calloused testing fingers and unrelentingly skewering skepticism. Details after the break.
Left hand, meet right hand. Yesterday, EA armed SimCity with a ticking time bomb of a perma-ban EULA, but today, it decided to vehemently disagree with, er, itself. In short, the not-so-fine print would’ve seen players agreeing to report any and all bugs they encountered in SimCity’s closed beta or risk being locked out of all EA products. Yes, all. That’s what it said. But oh, what a difference a day – and probably a few additional pairs of eyes – makes.
Games and TV haven’t exactly had the best relationship over the years. Nor have games and movies, or books, or pretty much anything that’s not games. I’ve wondered for quite a while, though, whether transmedia’s series of spectacular face-plants has been due to fundamental incompatibility between mediums or a simple lack of meaningful collaboration. Defiance – with its frequent, meticulously planned crossovers – might be able to answer that question. But honestly, if the game’s not any good, why should anyone care about what the tiny people who live inside their televisions do or say? Naturally, then, Defiance’s upcoming beta events are of interest. You can scope out its vision of an alien-overrun Wild West future San Francisco and maybe help make it better. A little. Details after the break.
RPS Feature Squawkin' About Hawken
Hawken‘s evolution from jaw-dropping, I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-triple-A indie to investor-powered multimedia behemoth has been utterly fascinating. At the end of the day, though, it’s a game about robots rocking, socking, and shooting other robots. The glitz and glamour just won’t stick if the core’s a prime candidate for the scrap heap. So then, how does Hawken’s surprisingly high-speed mech warring fare? I fired up RPS’ patented Judge-O-Tron (it is maybe a washing machine with a very mean face drawn on it) and took aim at Hawken’s open beta.
Do you fancy yourself a go-getter? Someone with big, earth-shaking ideas and the wide-eyed capacity to realize them? Well then, go save/destroy the world, you mad genius, you. But for everyone else, Valve’s now offering the opportunity to salvage your savaged entrepreneurial dreams. By selling hats, naturally. Yes, the real-money-based Steam Community Market‘s now open for business, and Team Fortress 2’s its all-too-willing test bed.
The current IO Interactive may not be developing the next Hitman game but some of the studio’s founders didn’t work on Absolution either – they’ve been working on multilayered multiplayer WWII FPS Heroes & Generals at their new company Reto-Moto. I don’t play many multiplayer games and I wish I could take back the few hours I spent with Guild Wars 2 and spend them cycling through a war instead. It’s the strategic component that primarily interests me, the large-scale European conflict that the Generals prod at, but I don’t spend much time as a soldier in my gaming life and having the greater purpose of the greater war beyond the battlefield might provide enough purpose to engage me. Latest vid below.
Clairvoyance convinced me that I’d like to sample its asynchronous multiplayer charms by means of an illustrated video of admiration and affection between strangers, interspersed with footage of the game and funky nightclub dancing. Players have control of four boxy robots and, before each round, both must submit their orders. The board, made up of cubes at different heights, can be destroyed by lobbed grenades as the robots attempt to destroy one another. Because turns play out simultaneously, the trick is to predict the opponent’s tactics by knowing their innermost fears and desires. Two videos below and the beta is available now if you spend $5 on a pre-purchase.
Update: Huzzah! The issue is all fixed, and the beta now loads.
It’s been a mere nine months since The Banner Saga was a twinkle in the internet’s eye. But now the teeny team of former BioWare artists have put their tactical RPG into open beta. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, providing a big funding boost, those who backed have been in the beta for a while. But as of today, the rest of the world is invited to form an orderly queue. And pay. There’s a new trailer to celebrate, below,
but there are also some technical issues getting the beta working at the moment.
Firefall. Among the made-up words I’ve met in my many travels, it definitely stands out as quite, er, aggressive. I mean, there’s fire and falling involved. Both tend to perform their designated actions in fairly short order – leaving behind little question as to what happened and usually also some form of smoking crater. And yet, for all that, Firefall the game is taking its sweet time en route to release, polishing up an extended beta with no intentions of going live (or even into open beta) until its good and ready. But now, you can at least drop in for a brief stay in Red 5’s colorful world of shooting and looting. And by “drop in,” I mean never actually touch the ground for more than three seconds at a time, because jetpacks.