Posts Tagged ‘Hidden Path Entertainment’

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive reworking Negev again

Valve are again tinkering with the Negev light machine gun in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, trying to find its role as a support weapon. The changes are relatively minor on the scale of things, but I’m still fascinated by the fact that CS has held basically the same form for almost 19 years yet the developers are still tinkering with fine details. Samuel Horti was jolly excited when the initial Negev rework in 2017 turned a joke gun into a murderous bullet beam intended to deny areas to enemies, but the devs are not quite happy with its suppressive fire. And so, changes! Read the rest of this entry »

Age Of Empires II HD Expands In The African Kingdoms

Many ‘HD’ re-releases of older games fix them to run easily on modern systems, tart them up a touch, then pop them onto (virtual) shop shelves, but Age of Empires II HD has actually brought the game back into active development. Sixteen years after AoE 2’s initial release, AoE 2 HD has received its second new expansion. Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms [official site] just came out, adding four new civilizations with four new campaigns, along with new maps, units, and, y’know, expansion stuff.

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Hidden Path Drop Early Access Game Windborne

The alphafunding/Early Access model has given us some of the biggest games around, but it’s still a gamble – especially in bustling genres like the Minecraftbut. Hidden Path Entertainment, the Defense Grid and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive folks, took to Steam Early Access last February with Windborne [official site]. It was Minecraft but prettier, with quests and treasure and things to befriend. Now they’ve stopped development and pulled the £20 game from sale.

Hidden Path simply didn’t have enough money to finish it, they say, claiming they invested ten times more money into development than the game ever made back. That means they can’t give refunds, but they are offering more copies of Winborne to owners so they can share it.

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Elaborate Safety Measures: Defense Grid 2 Gets a Demo

DF2

Alec reviewed Defense Grid 2 in September, a game about building elaborate techno mazes to try to keep waves of enemies away from magical power cores. While the first Defense Grid was a great experience wrapped up in a quiet solitude, Alec was unfortunately pretty put off by the new narration, which came a little too close to zany for his comfort. However, maybe you don’t mind a little over-the-top weird with your tower defense? Maybe you want to see if it’s really that irksome? Maybe you enjoyed the first Defense Grid enough to want to give this new one a try? If that’s the case, this is the news story for you. Defense Grid 2 now has a demo on Steam. Hooray!

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DG 2: Defense Grid 2 – Wot I Think

Defense Grid 2 sees you building elaborate mazes of mounted guns which shoot, burn, zap, freeze and otherwise slaughter vast armies of dumb aliens who are attempting to steal ‘cores’ from a techno-thingy at the centre of the level. In other words, it’s tower defence. It’s also the sequel to one of the most-acclaimed and charming tower defence games around. Privately invested into existence after a failed Kickstarter last year, it was released on Steam last week. Here’s wot I think.
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A-Mazing: Defense Grid 2 Reducing TD Clutter

Towers, defending.

Playing tower defence is a lot like planning a holiday for someone you hate. Start their day with a sticky honey massage, then a beekeeping demonstration, followed by wrestling, and finally bring the children back from the funfair. Every TD has this core of arranging a terrible stroll of damage types and status effects, but many dabble in mazing too–building obstacles to making routes twist round and double back, sending the tour bus past that landfill as many times as possible.

This usually involves plonking down the cheapest tower simply to fill space or a plain wall block, which are no fun at all. Continuing to look like one of the most polished TDs, Defense Grid 2 has shown off a fancy multipurpose mazing block and oh, the aliens’ holiday will be awful.

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Powering Up: New Defense Grid 2 Trailer

Zap

The late noughties were a time when we all wore baggy ‘boyfriend’ jeans, ate frozen yoghurt, longed for a Zune, and discovered the exciting new sound of bearded men playing guitars, a quick Google search tells me. It all sounds about right, though I also remember an awful lot of tower defence games. Perhaps the most polished of these, and certainly my favourite, was Defense Grid: The Awakening. “Just the right amount of mazing,” I’ll say, “and an AI companion voice that sounds like it came from behind a very respectable moustache.”

Development of Defense Grid 2 has been a bit bumpy, being saved by an investor after falling short with a Kickstarter, but the game seems to be coming along nicely. Following an iffy trailer from an early alpha build last August, lacking in the polish that made the first game stand out, Hidden Path has shared a new trailer that’s got more of ‘the stuff.’

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Soothing Breeze: Windborne Early Access

Totes adorbs quota: met.

When we first posted about Windborne, Jim commented on what a departure from Hidden Path’s usual fare it was. Social sandboxing is far enough from their bang-bang, pew-pew norm, but the tone is perhaps the biggest change. It’s tranquil in the extreme, expanding the theme of creation and peaceful co-habitation to encompass not only the mechanics but the world as well. They’ve taken the Early Access plunge and I’ve never felt calmer watching a trailer. I’m slightly worried I dreamed the whole experience. Am I even awake now? As a test, check it out below.

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Pretty Up CS: GO’s Guns In The Arms Deal Update

Who is this guy? I don't know, so it must be an ARG.
I have a jar of ball bearings on my desk. For each kill in CS: GO, I drop a ball into a hole in desk. The bearing rolls into a rat’s cage. The rat squeaks in terror, and a noise-activated switch turns on a fan. The fan blows a toy boat across a bucket of water, and the boat’s mast tips a small bucket of sand into another bucket. That bucket is on a string that’s tied to a switch, and it gently tugs at it, releasing another ball bearing from a small cage on a shelf above me. That other ball bearing drops into another jar. If I want to know how many kills I have, I count the balls in the jar. How do you track your kills in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? You just use one of the StatTrak modules from the now live Arms Deal update? Show off.
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Hidden Path’s Windborne Looks Lovely


You will probably be most familiar with Hidden Path via Defense Grid or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which are games quite unlike what they are working on now, which is Windborne. This is a game where the players have floating islands full of weird fluffy creatures and perhaps dragons. It’s a game of exploration, puzzle solving, crafting, questing, doing things with dragons, and construction. It also mingles single-player and multiplayer worlds to tantalising effect. Speaking with Destructoid, Hidden Path’s Michael Austin explained that there is “an evolving single-player mystery that players can choose to investigate at their own pace, and you can continue to invest time in your island or guide it towards a self-sustaining state in order to focus more on exploration, interaction, and collaboration with other players… just completely ignore the quest lines and just build, and at any point you can take your single-player world online.”

Cor! Feel-good trailer below.
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Crate Expectations: CS: GO Getting TF2 Style Drops


I have a recurring nightmare: I’m sat at my desk and everything is soft-focus and great. I feel happy, and turn to say as much to my girlfriend. But she’s not there. It’s Gabe Newell, who is definitely not my girlfriend, and he’s using one of those old school accounting machines. On the floor is a pile of paper that he gathers up and hands to me, saying: “In Half-Life 2, destroyed 1200 crates. This is your bill.” And I say I don’t have that kind of money, then I wake up crying. I don’t think Valve would retroactively charge me for opening crates, but then I didn’t imagine that their strangely popular unlock system that drives both Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 would end up in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But that looks like it’s going to happen.
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Hurrah! – Defense Grid 2 Funded By Secret Investor

But who defends the defenders?

Last summer, with our wallets combined, we nearly came together to form Defense Grid 2. But not quite. The cruel genie-in-a-bottle that is Kickstarter gave us most of what we wanted, but not all of it. So yes, surprise expansion Defense Grid: Containment got funded, but the promise of Defense Grid 2 melted like ash in our mouths when Hidden Path’s crowdfunding drive fell well short of $1,000,000. Jim and Alec have been weeping incessantly ever since. Now, however, I’m excited to report that they’ve stopped – and also that we’re getting a full Defense Grid sequel after all I guess! Some glorious tower-defending angel investor swept in from on high, and the day is saved.

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Age Of Empires II HD Advancing To The Steam Age

These aren't your father's textures. And who does he think he is, trying to lay claim to them anyway?

The Age of Empires series has seen better days. Days like the year 1999, for instance. That’s when Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings charged onto the itsy-bitsy adowwwwable killing fields, and oh what a grand thing it was. It even looked quite nice for the time, eschewing 3D razzle-dazzle in favor of goode ye-olde-fashioned sprites. Times, however, have changed, and monitors have grown wide and voracious in their appetites for tender, succulent resolutions. Thus, Microsoft’s deemed it high-time for a re-release, on that newfangled, installation-frisbee-free Steam contraption that’ll probably never catch on, no less. Graphics, however, aren’t the only thing getting a modern makeover here.

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Griddle Me This: Defense Grid 2 Kickstarter

Cook me up another helping of Defense Grid and serve it with plenty of relish, I almost said to the internet just days ago. OK, it might have responded, but it’ll cost you. How much? That’s where things become a little more complicated. Hidden Path’s Kickstarter has four major targets to reach: the first ($250,000) will lead to an eight level expansion with a new story; the second ($500,000) will allow development of a new engine with all original Defense Grid content upgraded to it, plus a new co-op mode; tier three brings a level editor, more multiplayer content, and Mac and Linux releases; and the final tier would bring a full sequel. The opening of the project video (below) is my favourite Kickstarter yet and there are more details on the page.

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Valve: PS3 And PC Crossplay Is CS: GONE

You hold them off while I go potty.
The initial announcement of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gave us the hope that we could all get along; that you there with your hand-build Intel i7 rig could be playing with a friend who might be sat on his sofa, starting at his giant television, holding a joypad. I wanted that, you (maybe?) wanted that, Valve initially wanted that. Now Valve do not want that. Speaking to Joystiq, Chet Faliszek told them it was because they need to frequently update the PC and Mac versions more frequently.

The beta has proved we want to update not just the beta, but the game itself post-launch frequently on the PC. To do that we need to separate the platforms so one doesn’t hamstring the other. So for that, we have removed the idea of cross-platform play — essentially make all platforms stronger by not mixing them.

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CS: GO, GO, GO: Full Beta, New Weapons And Maps

John's aim has improved
I was rather close to falling down a deep, dark Counter-Strike hole just after the Counter-Strike:Global Offensive launched in November, but a broken PC released me from a frightening future of constant de_dust2 battles and crying about how unfair it is. I’d actually forgotten I had it until Valve and Hidden Path updated it this week, switching from a stress test to a big-assed closed beta, with over 80 tweaks. The big changes are the addition of three reworked classic maps, de_inferno, de_train, and de_nuke, and new guns, the Nova shotgun, the Bizon and the MP7 SMGs. But there’s more.
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Defense Grid To Get GLaDOS Expansion


Hidden Path, the Defense Grid devs who are now so closely associated with Valve that they are working on CS:GO, have announced that Defense Grid will receive a Portal-themed called “You Monster.” The expansion, which will arrive on the 7th of December, guest-stars GLaDOS as a second narrator, and sees players take on Portal-themed levels. You Monster will apparently add eight new maps for the “all new” story and thirty five challenge missions, making about fifteen hours more defending of grids. No word on how much it’s going to cost, however. $5 apparently.

Trailer below!
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Go, Go, Go: CS:GO Footage (Go!)


Ah, so maybe we do have CS:GO beta keys after all… We’d probably better get on with playing that. (Also Tribes: Ascend, which we haven’t quite caught up with yet either.) Anyway! I am sure a few of you are already saving up for Desert Eagles, while the rest of the internet will have to make do with a few measly minutes of game footage here and there, such as that found below this post. I’ve also dropped in a comparison video which compares the Source version of CS with CS:GO. It certainly looks pretty, and I am sure Hidden Path/Valve are making a decent job of the manshoots, too. OR ARE THEY?
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Defense Grid Fills June With Map Packs


Defense Grid, you might recall, was one of our favourites from yesteryear – read about it here – and it’s being promised “resurgence” by a bunch of new content now up on Steam. There are going to be four new map packs for Defense Grid, one for each week of june, and each going for $0.99/£0.79. Each release will have two new maps and “for additional modes” alongside the normal campaign settings. The first pack is here.