Posts Tagged ‘Monolith’

The RPS Verdict: Middle-Earth – Shadow Of Mordor

MOOOOOORRRRRRRRRDDDOOOOOOOOORRRRRRR, is the primary form of communication about Monolith’s Middle-hyphen-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor. However, we managed to break free of this trapping, and instead converse about the game in ever-so-slightly more erudite form. Below Jim, Alec and John have a natter about orc killing matter.
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Wot I Think Now I’ve Finished Shadow Of Mordor

Now I’ve played for a large proportion of the last five days, with the main storyline completed, and a worrying number of the collectibles and side quests ticked off, I feel far more prepared to give a more definitive statement on Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor: I love it.

When I wrote my Wot I Think So Far of the game last week, I already knew it was great. Now I know it’s brilliant.

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Wot I Think (So Far): Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

I haven’t finished Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor, because for whatever tiresome reasons Warner refused to give us (and seemingly us alone) code before the game’s release. This is after a couple of lengthy days spent plugging away at what is a huge, detailed, and really rather fantastic brawling action game, set betwixt Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings (and importantly, it’s fun even if you don’t care about either). Here’s wot I think (so far).

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Shadow Of Mordor Out 30th, But We Won’t Have A Review

Middle-Earth: Shadows Of Mordor looks like quite the prospect. An open world RPG in Tolkein’s universe, developed by Monolith. And you play as the best of all the classes, a ranger! It sounds rather exciting, but we’ve just learned that we’re not going to be able to tell you if it is or not before the game’s released, on the 30th September in the US. Huh.

Update: We’re being informed that console outlets already have review code, after attending a special event, and will have reviews online by the 26th. It seems this is a special treat for the PC version. We will keep you up to date.

Second update: Sadly, when we asked for details as to why PC code was not available when console was, we were told by Warner, “We have no further comment… at this stage.”

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New Middle Earth: Shadows Of Mordor Trailer Is Zeitgeisty

Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor grabs the current zeitgeist like only licensed games can, cobbling together a third-person action game from bits of Batman: Arkham Asylum, bits of Assassin’s Creed, bits of Michael Bay-derived editing and sound effects. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. I like some of those things! I also like punching orcs. This could be a pleasant game, and the new cutscenes-and-combat trailer (mostly cutscenes) below introduces i) some new villains ii) your motivation as the player (not-spoilers: your family are killed).

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The Placing Of Products: Middle Earth – Shadows Of Mordor

While watching the latest trailer for Middle Earth: God of War-dor, I realised that I’d started to think of the Lord of the Rings references as a sort of product placement. There’s a splatter of blood, a decapitation, a roaring of monsters, and then the narrator mentions something about Sauron. It’s branded decapitation, y’see. In the latest video, a ranger uses ‘wraith’ powers to see into the minds of his enemies, seeking their weaknesses and fears. It seems like a perfect opportunity for more product placement, which is something I’d like to encourage in games as in films. The industry needs a new pair of shoes, after all.

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It Lives Again: Blood Rises On Steam

If I wrote a post every time an old game popped up on Steam, I wouldn’t have time to gather my thoughts about new games, or to drink this delicious cuppa. I’d also be wasting a lot of words on Putt-Putt And Fatty Bear’s Flatulent Festival, along with various other fetid blasts from the past. Blood is different though. It isn’t a difficult game to find but when I spotted that it had emerged on Steam, I felt the butterflies that live in my stomach fluttering into action (assistance required – send a lepidopterist with a scalpel). It’s a brilliant FPS, with credible environments and intelligent enemy placement, particularly throughout the first episode, which I’ve probably played more than any other collection of levels.

Do not buy the sequel though. It’s a rotten mess.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor Has Assassins, No Creeds

I swear I'm not Eziooooooooooooooooooooo

I remember when Lord of the Rings games legitimately excited me. Of course, I was roughly 12 seconds old back then and wanted to grow up to be Legolas (life experience has since taught me that Aragorn is where it’s at and also that far better fantasy literature exists), but there was a time when the prospect of mowing down a million orcs like so many blades of sickly green grass seemed like an idyllic, Shire-worthy way to spend an afternoon. I wondered, then, if Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s latest trailer would rekindle that feeling in me, that wide-eyed reverence of a youth boxed away in the basements of time. Long story short, it didn’t. Kinda made me want to play Assassin’s Creed, though.

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Yesssss: No One Lives Forever Finally Getting Re-Released

'Hey, get off me!' the mime did not say.

Yes yes yes thank goodness hooray finally oh gosh woooo wheeeee yeah excellent fantastic wonderful groovy there should be a parade.

No One Lives Forever, the excellent tongue-in-cheek spy series from Monolith whose rights mysteriously went missing, is very likely about to get an online re-release. Finally. So, where in the world has Carmen Sandiego Cate Archer been hiding all this time? Well, it looks like Night Dive Studios – they of the System Shock 2 and Humongous Entertainment re-releases – got ahold of the series, though they’re not committing to anything just yet.

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You Will NOLF True FEAR: Betrayer Out Now

AGH NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU KNOW I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE TAKE PICTURES OF ME GET THAT CAMERA OUT OF MY FACE

Once upon a time Monolith made the candy/1970s-colored No One Lives Forever, but then the years passed and the colors drained away. The result? F.E.A.R., which traded NOLF’s yuck-yuck-yucks for some spooky, splattery “oh… yucks.” Flash forward to today: all of the color is gone, with six Monolith vets producing the gloomily black-and-white Betrayer. It’s got scares in spades and thick cobwebs of dread lingering in every corner of its 1604 Roanoke colony setting, but is it any good? Now you can find out. Launch trailer below.

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A Dead Ringer: Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

Clang!
Huh? If there’s one thing I didn’t expect the next big Lord of the Rings game to resemble, it was Assassin’s Creed. But that’s all I could think about when watching this footage of Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor (well that, Bacon Pancakes, and this otter). It’s an open-world action RPG, and when Wraith-possessed (sigh) Ranger Talion sauntered up a wall and rope-walked over a courtyard, it was right out of Ezio’s* skillset. When he then used his Wraith powers (sigh-sigh) to scan the crowd, they might as well have added an eagle screech and a wink. Not that it didn’t look like fun, and there’s some stuff in here about a nemesis systems that you should look at, but the inspiration is incredibly obvious.
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You’re Not Allowed To See Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

now that's what I call next-generation

The reason you’re not allowed to see this new Lord of the Rings game, announced earlier today, is because it’s all bound up in a multi-day slow-reveal at Big Game Retailer’s In-Store Magazine, which has not as yet progressed past ‘lone piece of concept art’ stage. So what you’re expected to do is feel a surge of desire for this “next-generation, third-person action game set in Middle-earth that explores an original story of vengeance and redemption” even though you don’t have the foggiest idea what it looks like.

I was going to be terribly stroppy and refuse to post about the Monolith-developed Shadow Of Mordor until such exclusive silliness had passed, but then I read a thing that sounds rather interesting even though the general grimdark stuff was somewhat turning me off. I’ll tell you what the thing is, if you’ll indulge my clearly exploitative lead-in.
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Dark Signal: The Origins Of FEAR


Update: A second conversation with Craig Hubbard revealed a few more details, so I’ve added them where appropriate. The section ‘Mergers And Executions’ now talks more about cut villain Conrad Krige and the game’s improbable original opening (a car chase), while a new section on its famous radio chatter has been added to the end.

In this second of three conversations with the Monolith veterans at Blackpowder Games, whose debut Betrayer is kind of available now, it’s time to look at FEAR: First Encounter Assault Recon. Well, it is if you do things backwards.
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MOBA Of Sauron: The Guardians of Middle-earth


Popular culture is slowly dripping into the MOBA genre. It’s remained fairly resistant to the wider world until now (probably because the wider world is a noob and was shouted at until it logged off), and I can only think of DC’s Infinite Crisis as an interloper from elsewhere. Now it’s time for Tolkien’s Middle-earth to form some lanes and take on Dota 2 and LoL: Guardians of Middle-earth, a console-based MOBA from Monolith, is coming to the PC this month. I have a trailer.
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No One Lives Forever Rights Nowhere To Be Found

Where in the world is Cate Archer? Not even Carmen Sandiego knows. Presumably. We also couldn't find her, only complicating the matter.

No One Lives Forever was basically the greatest. This is an incontrovertible truth of the universe. The unabashedly groovy stealth shooter (and its sequel; though not blah blah blam blam spin-off Contract J.A.C.K) was equal parts silly and smart, with a peeling back of the proverbial weaponized banana peel yielding everything from lowbrow stereotypes to startlingly nuanced dissections of sexism and the criminal mind. Also, it had the best phonetic title acronym ever. NOLF. Just say that out loud. Isn’t it wonderful? It’s like the yelp a dog would make if its nose were being pinched by an enraged yet largely harmless lobster. But anyway, point being, wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow get another from somebody? Please? Well, happily, there appear to be at least a couple interested parties. Problem is, Cate Archer’s performed a disappearing act so formidable that even the likes of the maniacal *lightning crackles* Activision Corp can’t track her down.

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Cauterised: Atari “Decline To Proceed” With Blood Update

Monolith founder Jace Hall has been attempting to organise the release of an updated version of the company’s gloriously gory Build engine FPS Blood for some time, as we mentioned last August. At that time, confidence was high: “I certainly will be able to and will get all the support I need from all/any parties that may have legal interest in the game.” Unfortunately, one of the parties involved is Atari and, as you may recall, the gaming world’s own Lazarus recently perished yet again and in its state of pending rebirth has contacted Hall with bad news: “I just got an unusually short, one sentence e-mail from Atari, letting me know that given the current set of circumstances, they are choosing to decline to proceed.”

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Gotham City Imposters Now Free To Play On Steam


Aha, perhaps rather predictable, eh? So predictable, in fact, that when Craig wrote his thoughts about the game down for us, he said: “You feel awfully like you’ve just bought into a free-to-play shooter. On one hand it offers a range customisations for you to trim the fat from the character, or add to it if you want a tougher head to deflect the bullets. There’s an overwhelming number of weapons, body types, and costumes you can tweak. But on the other hand it’s stingy in the way that f2p games are.” But now, with it quietly going free on Steam, the primary element of stingyness, actually having to pay for it, has been removed. That probably doesn’t make it a better game, but hey, at least you can try it for nowt…

Blood Remake For The Blood God

Let's start a petition to replace that weapon with a spork

It’s been all too long since Monolith did anything that made me want to camp outside their premises waving a banner reading ‘I LOVE YOU! YOU MAKE GAMING A BETTER PLACE! NO-ONE LIVES FOREVER FOREVER!’ Who knows which staff left, what parts of the company were sold to which other companies, who got cold feet about risk-taking – all I know is that the all-too-ordinary FEAR games make me mourn for what was and what might have been.

At least one Monolither wants to revisit past glories, specifically the reasonably batshit and enthusiastically gruesome Doomlike and horror pastiche Blood. Founder Jace Hall isn’t looking to Kickstarter or a reboot, however – he just wants to get the game back into fans’ hands with a few modernised bells and whistles attached.
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Dark Knight Prizes: Gotham City Impostors’ Free Update

This? Yeah, totally fake. Just a wig. Oh, the arrow, you mean? Yes, I am constantly in tremendous pain.
Craig may have found Gotham City Impostors to be a run-of-the-mill shooter with the F2P-esque currency equivalent of a hundred-headed hydra, but its zany take on Batman’s mythos, at least, kept him from completely giving it the old POW, THWACK, GARBAGE CAN SOUND. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not its recently released update is up that (hopefully not) orphan-spawning alley. At the very least, all of it’s free and will grant you access to a new map, the up-close-and-personal East End, and a new coin-collecting mode called Bounty Hunter. More importantly, though, you can now make your character say silly things in other languages. Would you like a trailer? Then put on your ill-fitting batsuit and grapple-flail past the break.

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Gotham City Impostors THWOCKed Into Feb

Don't make us wait too long.

Gotham City Impostors, the bonkers-looking multiplayer from Monolith, has had a bit of a slip, presumably due to the icy weather. According to a press release (or “media alert” as a troubling number of people are now saying when saying their game has a new picture, etc), the 11th January release isn’t going to happen. In fact, it now gets no more specific than “February”, which is rarely a great sign, but could mean they’re hedging their bets.