Posts Tagged ‘Monolith’

Middle-earth: Shadow of War details microtransactions

As exciting as an expanded Nemesis system and an itsy busty spider might sound for Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site], Warner Bros. had been sitting on a hot, juicy, and thrilling marketing blast. Now they have finally let rip: heck yes Shadow of War will have optional microtransactions to hasten powering-up in this singleplayer game. Come on gang, give me a “Hell yeah!”

I said give me a “Hell yeah!”

No? I thought one of you Willennials would at least do it ‘ironically’. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle-earth: Shadow of War turns spider Shelob all sexy

If you’re anything like me, you’ve likely often wished that spiders were hot babes. “This giant spider is okay,” you thought while watching the biggun in Peter Jackson’s And Then And Then, “but I wouldn’t kiss her. That’s far too many eyes for me to stare lustily into. I wouldn’t stroke her spinnerets. And she’s not even wearing a dress for thigh to cheekily peek though.” Mate, we’re in luck, you and I: Shelob is back in Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site], and this time she is hot. Here, watch Shelob take human form to be all magic and cryptic: Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy of Shadow Of Mordor’s combat

Shadow of Mordor [official site] has one of the most satisfying combat moves in gaming. It’s a simple double counter, performed by tapping the counter button twice when separate enemies attack you at the same time. You, the ranger Talion, block one attack. To deal with the other you summon an undead elvish Lord called Celebrimbor, who springs out of your body in wraith form to parry the shocked orc’s sword and pummels them into the ground. Every time it happens part of me wants to jump from my seat and whoop.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War & the Truman Show Effect

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War [official site] expands on its predecessor’s innovative Nemesis System and its believable NPCs take us one step further away from the static worlds of most open world games. I’ve been thinking about how that works, and why so many games make me think of The Truman Show.

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Have You Played… Blood II: The Chosen?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Delivered to me on a CD of assorted bootleg delights, a gift from a university friend with ties to the thriving software piracy scene of South Wales in the late 90s, first-person shooter Blood II meant nothing to me. I had not played Monolith’s first Blood, and I found the in-game story to be almost incomprehensible. (Only years later would I discover that Blood II wouldn’t play most of its cutscenes in the event the player did not choose the one canonical option from the four offered playable characters). But I found something uncommonly dark. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… The Operative: No One Lives Forever?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Perhaps the reason the rights to make a No One Lives Forever game are permanently stuck in limbo is because everyone keeps looking for them under ‘N’, forgetting that the name by which everyone refers to this fabbo FPS was only ever the post-colon tagline. Read the rest of this entry »

Unknown Pleasures: 10 of the best new Steam games

Welcome back to Unknown Pleasures, our weekly round-up of ten promising but under-reported games from the torrent of new releases on Steam over the past seven days. I play a glut of titles for ten minutes each, discard any rotten ones, then choose which ten make the weekly round-up, as well as picking one stand-out favourite.

This week: myriad monochrome, haunted ice stations, smart shump remixes and the singular glory of painted lines.
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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War delayed ’til October

Morrrrrrdorrrrr

“A wizard is never late,” said Merlin in that documentary about New Zealand. “Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.” I forget what happens after that – probably not much – BUT the quote felt applicable to this entirely separate bit of news where the open world combat of Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] is being delayed for release until 10 October 2017. Unless you’re Merlin in New Zealand because they have a different release date anyway.

Let’s unpick this! Read the rest of this entry »

Free Loaders: Phantom pain in the Ghost Hospital

Boo! Ha ha ha. I got you, you genuinely believed I was a ghost. You foolish person. I’m not a ghost, just a guy with some free games. But one of those free games has ghosts in it, which I understand give you the willies. Don’t worry about that, most of these ghosts are the Caspery kind. They’re there to make you feel better, after all, they work in a hospital.
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Why F.E.A.R.’s AI is still the best in first-person shooters

The shadows on the wall tell me they’re coming. Two of them, both with assault rifles swinging idly at their hips. If I’m quick enough, I’m sure I can take them both out in one go. I peek out of cover as they round the corner, and let my stake gun sing, pinning the first enemy to the wall with 10mm steel projectiles. But at the sound of gunfire the other one legs it back the way he came, hunkers down in cover, and yells for reinforcements down his radio.

This five-second episode tells you a lot about the attention to detail in F.E.A.R., a 12-year-old game with AI that puts many modern-day shooters to shame. Its army of clone soldiers feel smarter than any enemy I’ve faced in an FPS since, and remain razor-sharp to this day. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle-earth: Shadow Of War trailer shows the new Nemesis system

There’s a moment in the 16 minutes of footage of Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] below where the clipped voice-over refers to the “RPG systems” as player finds some new armour. It seems odd to me to think of that as the RPG system though when the rest of the game greatly expands the original’s Nemesis system and is about relationships forming dynamically between procedurally created characters. That sounds more like roleplay, to me. Watch it below, it’s cool.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War announced [update]

Update: Following a little leak, Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] is now officially announced. It’s coming on August 22nd and yup, it sounds like more of the same but with an expanded Nemesis system. Check out the announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Shogo: Mobile Armor Division

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Monolith released Blood in 1997. It instantly became one of my favourite games, the hammy mixture of gore, horror-comedy and Build engine destructibility the perfect cocktail for my teenage mindset. A year later, the studio released another FPS game that I didn’t look forward to nearly as much due to its anime mech theme, which appealed a whole less than Evil Dead fan fiction had. It turned to be a fine game though, going by the name Shogo: Mobile Armor Division.

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Face-Breaking News: Condemned’s Possible Indie Future

BIFF!

What if publishers and rightsholders were more willing to experiment with unused or squandered series, taking chances on handing them to new developers? Square Enix have thought about opening some older Eidos series to third-party developers through their weird crowdfunding Collective thing, I know folks have agitated for Sega to stop making horrible Sonic games and give someone not-awful a chance, and now the chap who owns first-person puncher Condemned is musing about handing the homeless-hammering simulator over to an indie team.

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Shadow of More-dor: Playing With Permadeath In The DLC

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor came out last year to widespread appeal. Sure, the combat’s just a gorier, hyper deadly version of what we’ve already seen in the Batman Arkham games. Yeah, open world icon assassination was clearly lifted from Assassin’s Creed. But this time those icons were orcs, with actual memories and personalities, balanced on a power structure which the player was free to tinker with.

It’s great, but by the end of the game, messing with those systems felt unnecessary. You were powerful enough to just wade into the fortresses and kill your targets willy-nilly. What’s held my attention instead are the extra modes added since launch (one free, the rest paid-for DLC), which allow you to play the game as something approximating a roguelike. The free ‘Test of Defiance’ is the only mode that actually limits you to a single death, but it also doesn’t randomize the enemies or require you to gather intel on them.. Instead, I’m playing the ‘Test of the Wild’, which tasks you with ‘killing all 5 Warchiefs plus all 20 Captains’. I’m only giving myself one life, and to make things more interesting I’ll only use runes which I find as I play, ignoring the haul I gathered while playing the main game. Bring it on, hordes of Sauron.

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The Bestest Best Action: Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s moment-to-moment biffing is a trick we’ve seen before, but it’s still impressive to watch your wraith-Ranger shift and flip with seamless animations between punching one gribbly uruk and gutting another. Yet it’s the Nemesis system, which gives the action context within the larger army of Sauron and world of Mordor, that makes every assassination matter so much more and which makes Middle-earth the best action game of 2014.

John: The highest compliment I can pay Mordor is to say it was 2014’s Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning. Which is to say, the game I found the most enjoyable, the most effortlessly absorbing, this year. Yes, it’s vapid, but that’s part of its appeal.

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Commander Ladystab: Another Shadow Of Mordor Outfit

Stabs.

Dear Video Games,
Please observe what Monolith are doing with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Recognising that its bland-o hero could be anything with two legs, two arms, and two blades, they’ve been releasing free outfits that turn Johnny Stabman into other people. First he became gothy villain the Black Hand of Sauron, and now we can play as a lady – Lithariel, the warrior commander met in the campaign. If your story is mostly dressing, why not let us stab-stab away as a variety of people?

Yr pal,
A

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Cosplay And Runes In Free Shadow of Mordor DLC

I AM SAD.

If you’ve been playing Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for a while, you’re probably thinking “Hey! Why did Johnny Stabman here stop being so angsty? I miss that angst! When will he be angsty again?” Well, my friend, you’re in luck. Warner Bros. yesterday released a free little DLC pack with a costume that lets you dress like a… I was thinking like a black metal lifestyler, but look how chipper and delightful the Vegan Black Metal Chef is. Why can’t Johnny Stabman be more like him?

Perhaps the free Epic-level runes the pack gives you too might cheer him up.

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