2012 April

April 29, 2012

Silent Hunter Online Announced

 

 

This week Ubisoft announced free to play, browser-based Silent Hunter Online. Ubi has revealed that Silent Hunter Online will have player wolfpacks and dynamic campaigns, as well as fully realized 3D graphics. Ubi’s always-on DRM seems like it has been left out of this title, however.

Notice the entertaining and never old "This is Sparta!" jokes in chat

 

As an avid fan of the third and fourth Silent Hunter games, I was moderately excited to see the announcement for this, but I’m also cautiously reserved. Part of what made those entertaining was the thrill of the hunt, scouring a sector for days on end searching for targets before finding one. Then there was the feeling of accomplishment when manually calculating a firing solution and sinking a target, completely devoid of any aides. So far this looks as if it may have distilled all of that into a World of Tanks-esque “click for fight then shoot bad guys” formula. But I also enjoy myself some World of Tanks, so that’s not a bad thing in the least.

 

So Dynamic!

 

Obviously mod support is out, which took already great games and made them better. To bide time until it’s officially out, I recommend playing Silent Hunter 3 with the massive Grey Wolves mod, which adds incredible amounts of depth and breadth to the game.

April 26, 2012

New Portal 2 DLC Announced

A new free DLC for Portal 2 was announced today. The DLC is titled “Perpetual Testing Initiative” and will be released May 8th. The DLC allows players to design and test their own maps for Portal. A new surprise from valve, when Portal 2 seemed like although successful, would not produce any new material. I am curious to see how the map creator will work, and if it will expand the game above and beyond or just be a bunch of semi functional maps. A lot of thought and effort goes into puzzles like the ones found in the portal games. If you don’t believe me, try designing your own in a few days.

April 25, 2012

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Cancelled

Stalker fans just got a little screwed, as the development for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has been cancelled. Ukrainian studio GSC was shut down in December of last year when GSC Game World founder and CEO Sergei Grigorovich decided he was closing the studio, up to this point there was little to no indication that GSC was having such problems. In Jan. however the company announced that they were continuing work on the title but were in dire need of financial backing and that nothing was guaranteed. Since then the team had been working without pay while trying to bring in investors.

 

The reason for the games ultimate demise was the fact that the companies new investors was unable to reach an agreement with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. rights owners. However not all is lost, GSC, now known as Vostok Games is currently working on a free-to-play MMO titled Survarium. Survarium is set in the near future and centers on a “mass-scale ecological catastrophe” that ravages Earth. Survarium is expected to release near the end of 2013.

The cancellation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a disappointing blow to say the least, however a sister MMO that is free-to-play set in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe, or at the very least the same theme, is something to look forward to.

April 23, 2012

Crusader Kings II on sale on Steam for 48 hours!

 

I cannot cannot CANNOT preach this game’s deserved praise enough. Crusader Kings 2 is one of my top games this year already. I was a huge fan of the first, and now they’ve only expanded and improved upon it in this sequel. It’s a Paradox title that launched relatively bug-free, and that alone speaks more volumes than I could.

 

But for a quick synopsis, it’s a game set in medieval Europe where you assume control of a count, duke, king, or sometimes emperor, and then try to keep your family dynasty in power, all while vying for MORE power and more land. While that in and of itself may not sound exciting, every character has various traits that drive their actions and opinions,and that’s what makes this game truly fun to play. It’s a crazy character soap opera that has you trying to keep everything under control while managing a drunken wrathful uncle and trying to keep your sons from killing each other over the line of succession.

 

It’s currently on sale on Steam for $5 under its normal price of $50, which includes all the DLC released so far (Mongol faces, music packs, dynasty shields, and the ruler designer) as well as the typical Paradox post-release support. The latest patch for the game added in several new features and revamped how de jure kingdoms work, and this is only a few months after release. The sale is only lasting 48 hours though, so you must be quick about getting it! There’s also a demo available here if you want to try-before-you-buy.

 

Just as a quick example of how crazy the game can be, I was ruling as a count in my single-county game of Weimar in the Holy Roman Empire. Out of the blue my ruler is stricken with an illness and passes away within a few months, dumping control to my 10-year-old son. When he’s struck down by the same illness passing through our lands, it goes to his thiry-something sister who’s married and has two sons by another dynasty, meaning that as soon as she dies I’m out of the game for good. So I divorced my current husband and remarried matrilineally the first random young man I could find. A few months later I have another son of MY dynasty. But the succession still goes to my sons by the other dynasty. So I had to kill them. And so I did. Now, while my countess was labeled a tyrant and loathed by all her subjects, the son of her dynasty was now next in line for the throne. She lived to be seventy-something and outlived her tyrant status, dying with no one in her court having a negative opinion of her.

 

And that’s just the single-player. It supports up to 32 players in multiplayer.

April 23, 2012

Space Marines… Why Are You So Captivating?

I know I will endure all sorts of flack for this but before playing Warhammer: Dawn of War I had never been exposed to the Warhammer universe.  Yes I’d see the game sitting on Best Buys ever dwindling PC selections but I never decided to pick it because I thought it would be stupid.  The truth is I was the stupid one.  I managed to get the games as part of the THQ Complete Pack that was on sale for $50 on steam and man had I been missing out.  Ever since I’ve picked up every Warhammer 40k game and now book that I can get my hands on.  Currently I am reading “The Ultramarines Omnibus” by Graham McNeil and I can’t get enough.  In fact I spend half my day dreaming about the Warhammer Universe lately which is what prompted me to write this article.

 

While Warhammer does bear similarities to other franchises there really isn’t anything else like it.  The only franchises that come close it in my opinion are Gears of War and Starship Troopers.  All 3 universes utilize the powersuit soldier.

 

So what is it about Space Marines that makes them so capitvating.  They don’t live comfortable lives, they spend centuries fighting for the emperor, they aren’t empathetic and they find the sight of regular humans to be… annoying.  I’ve always been mesmerized by soldiers, even as a child, there is something larger than life about them even though it may not necessarily be true.  Then you add in powersuited armor and have them stand 7 – 10 feet tall, give them guns the size of a cake eating 12 year old child,  and drop them into a war torn universe fighting Orcs, Elves and demons and suddenly someone is in nerd heaven.

 

The Space Marines powersuit is what gives them their persona.  They treat their suits much as we would treat their home.  They adorne them with decorations, keep them immaculately clean unless in combat.  They attach ribbons of honor and power to them.   The suit is what separates them from a normal soldier.

 

Space Marines fight against all odds to ensure humanities survival and for the glory of the dying emperor.  They are fanatically loyal and spend their entire lives training to fight and possibley die.  They live a life of apparent grand adventure and constant action.  They dive into situations where their doom is certain, the chances of winning are slim to non-existent but yet they persevere.  Perhaps that is why they are so capitivating… tall, larger than life, full of adventure, or perhaps they are just bad ass and I think their suit looks cool because it’s shiney.  What do you guys think?  Are Space Marines as captivating to you as they are to me?

 

Check out some of these pics and videos:

 

 

 

April 23, 2012

RAPTR

Have you been looking for a venue to keep track of all your gaming endeavors? well look no more. RAPTR gives gamers a way to keep track of all your games, friends, time spent playing, achievements trophies and more all in a neat little package. You can create an account online or through the PC app, and add your gamer tag for X360, your PSN profile name, and your STEAM user name. With your gamer info entered RAPTR will then track what games you have, which achievements and trophies you’ve obtained and how much time you’ve spent playing any given game. It also allows you to launch your game through the desktop app, it will even launch steam games with the steam overlay. And to top it off it has a chat feature that combines all your gaming chat services into one.

What really makes RAPTR shine though is its reward system. You simply earn rewards by playing your games, you dont have to spend money or do anything out of your way, if you play you get rewarded. They offer things such as coupons for gaming gear, BETA keys, and so on. RAPTR is definitely worth a look. you can go to www.raptr.com to check it out, create an account and download the PC app.

April 18, 2012

Darksiders II delayed 2 more months

 

Darksiders 2 Delayed August Release

THQ has confirmed that Darksiders II has been pushed back to an Aug release for the X360, PS3 and PC. The game has been pushed back to give the devs more time to polish the game and iron out as many bugs as possible to ensure Darksiders II is does nothing less than shine upon release. Anyone who has been keeping up with the gaming world knows that THQ is on the verge of collapse and if they have any hope of recovering sooner rather than later Darksiders needs to outshine every other title in its time frame. However pushing Darksiders II release date back two months, while for good reason, isnt a helping THQ at the moment. Hopefully this isnt an excuse for more time and THQ is getting it back together.

April 18, 2012

Sniper Elite V2 PC demo is Kind of Live

While the 360 demo has been out for a week now, the PC demo of Sniper Elite V2 has JUST hit Steam. And it’s so fresh that trying to download it currently will give you a “servers busy” error, but regardless, you can get it from here:

 

store.steampowered.com/app/63380/

 

Having been a huge fan of the original, and playing the demo of this one on the 360, I can assure you it’s great stuff. It’s the only demo in recent memory I have played back-to-back 5 times over, at least. That doesn’t even include the time I spent reloading checkpoints just to hone my sniping skills. It was a good feeling getting to the point where I could tell someone who was watching, “See that dude’s X?” and shoot it.

April 18, 2012

En Masse Entertainment Hosting TERA Open Beta Event This Weekend, April 20–23

 

In preparation for the May 1 launch of its intense action MMO, TERA™, En Masse Entertainment is excited to host the game’s open beta weekend, which takes place from Friday, April 20 to Monday, April 23.

 

Players who want an early taste of TERA’s beautiful world and visceral combat can try the game’s all-new playable prologue. As the game begins, the first explorers to the mysterious Island of Dawn are shipwrecked and attacked by demons the moment they land. Players reach the beach, then struggle to regroup before the demons descend upon the survivors.

 

From the beach, players join a group of soldiers who have ventured up the cliffs to attack the demons directly, learning the basics of swimming, jumping, and climbing along the way. Then they dive into TERA’s contextual action combat and learn the importance of using skill rather than stats to take down enemies, including one of the game’s fearsome big-ass monsters, the kumas.

 

As players level up and move through the game’s world, they will join an alliance of races fighting to save their world from destruction by the menacing and vicious argon invaders. During open beta, players will be able to progress their characters as high as level 32, and if they pre-ordered TERA, their characters will continue into the launch version of the game come May 1. Pre-order customers will also have access to TERA’s Head Start period taking place from Saturday, April 28 to Tuesday, May 1.

 

To access TERA’s open beta, please follow these instructions:

 

  1. Log in (https://account.enmasse.com/) to your En Masse account. If you do not have an En Masse account yet, create one! (https://account.enmasse.com/users/new)
  2. Click the Enter Code button on the right.
  3. Enter the open beta test code: TERABETA
  4. Click the Submit button.
  5. Click the Download Game button under the Account Overview tab.
  6. This will start downloading the game launcher.
  7. Run the launcher and install the game so you’ll be ready to go when the servers open!

 

Open Beta Event

  • Begins: Friday, April 20 at noon PST
  • Ends: Monday, April 23 at 11:59 p.m. PST

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