The third installment in the Bioshock series is a first person shooter set in 1912. Players assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt on a rescue mission to save a young woman named Elizabeth. During their escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond – together they fight their way through a storyline packed with twists and turns.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Release: 26th March 2013
Defiance is a science-fiction MMO shooter from Trion Worlds. Players are enlisted as Ark Hunters to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area in search of advanced alien technology after a massive world-wide event led to the the fall of plant and animal species and the rise to new species. Futhermore, several alien species came to Earth which led to war, further devastating the planet.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Release: 2nd April 2013
This is a third-person action-adventure game, developed by Digital Extremes and co-published by Namco Bandai Games and Paramount Pictures. Players can assume either the role of Captain Kirk or Spock, the two characters are intended to show different gameplay techniques, with Kirk being the more typical shooter while Spock has stealth techniques – but each are armed with weapons to reflect their gameplay style.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Release: 26th April 2013
A racing video game developed by Codemasters, Grid 2 is the sequel to Race Driver: Grid. It includes real world locations such as Abu Dhabi, Paris and US states to name a few and lets you choose cars spanning four decades. Check out the trailer below, there are some seriously sexy rides going on.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Release: 31st May 2013
According to Valve’s Gabe Newell, a new kind of PC will be released next year which aims to compete with the living room console. These PCs will be designed to be connected to your TV and enable you to run steam to play all your game titles. The ‘Steam PC’ will not be as flexible and open-source as a normal PC due to it’s function in being a method of bridging the gap between playing games on a console and playing games on a PC, but Valve think that this is something that people will really want for their living rooms and will compete with other companies such as Sony with their next generation consoles. We are going to have to wait until next year for more details however, we’ll keep you posted as more news is released.
Activision Blizzard have announced that the Call of Duty Elite Services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will be made free. Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg said in a statement “What we have realized is that several of the Call of Duty Elite services which are currently only available to our premium members for Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 are things that would further unite, engage and delight our player community. So we are going to make them free for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”
As a free service for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the Call of Duty Elite platform includes new and enhanced features such as:
Call of Duty Elite TV
Social Sharing and Notifications
Now don’t say us Brits never give you anything! This weekend saw Smithfield Meat Market in the east end of London host a pop-up art installation sponsored by Capcom entitled ‘Wesker & Son Resident Evil Human Butchery’ as reported by Neatorama. The exhibition displays meat that has been shaped into edible human body parts available to sample and purchase. This exhibition has been set-up to promote the upcoming release of Resident Evil 6 and all proceeds from the sale of the meat on display will go to the Limbless Association, which provides support to those who have lost limbs.
This ran alongside a series of lectures at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Pathology Museum, which explored how the the game themes track and can be linked to the real world.
Unfortunately this exhibition is only running until Saturday 29th September, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing more like this in the future if it proves popular.
Players of the award-winning sci-fi FPS Half-Life 2, developed by Valve, would have been able to finally play the long awaited re-make of the game when it was released on September 14th 2012. Black Mesa, a free total conversion modification of Half-Life, began in 2004 being driven by a volunteer development team who are also fans of the game – the project came about due to the belief that Half-Life didn’t quite live up to the potential of the Source engine’s capabilities (used by the Half-Life sequel, Half-Life 2) and so they took the storyline and packaged it up into a new polished version which included work on new models, maps, soundtrack, voice acting and textures.
Of course, this is definitely not news to any Half-Life fans who have been eagerly awaiting this mod for some time, but when I actually saw the transformation of the old game to the new one I must admit that I was totally blown away and was kicking myself for not having played Half-Life sooner. So much effort has gone into this that I’d challenge anyone not to be impressed with the results, take a look a the example below from the Black Mesa website:
In this release fans are able to play in single-player mode only, Black Mesa have confirmed that co-op play would potentially arrive after the release of single-player but that the development of this part of the game would not be delivered by the Black Mesa team. Also, in this release you will be playing from the chapter ‘Inbound’ (where our main character Dr. Gordon Freeman starts his day riding a tram headed to the Sector C Test Labs) until Lambda Core (when Gordon finally arrives at the Lambda Complex, an advanced teleportation research lab where the remnants of the Lambda team have taken refuge), the Black Mesa re-vamp of the game ends here when you jump in the portal to Xen. The second part of the single-player release will add the Xen chapters and will be done in the form of an update to the game.
What do you need to play it?
1. You must have a source game. You cannot use the free Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Lost coast or any demos.
2. The 2007 Source SDK. You can install this from the Library > Tools menu in Steam.
Access your Steam games library.
Click the dropdown beside the Search bar and select Tools.
Find Source SDK Base 2007 in the list and select ‘Install game’.
Once installation is complete restart your computer to ensure all files update correctly.
3. The Black Mesa mod. Which you can download from the Black Mesa homepage.
If you are like me and haven’t played Half-Life then why not download a copy from Steam where Half-Life 2 is only £6.99. Black Mesa is a great piece of work and an amazing achievement for the development team, I’ll definitely be adding this to my library.
Are these two upcoming games really in competition for our game time?
PC gamers should be extremely happy at the moment, not only do we have one big upcoming release, we have two! Not to mention that we’ve just had The Secret World release, labelled as a new modern MMO, on July 3rd. The decision by Blizzard to launch the WoW expansion Mists of Pandaria (MoP) only one month after the launch of ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 (GW2) created quite a stir in the gaming community, sparking speculation of some type of ‘secret agenda’, but it looks like Blizzard are just releasing when Blizzard is ready, and we know that for Blizzard this totally normal. But does this mean that there will be a split within the MMO gaming community for our affections? Or can both games co-exist? We’ve all now had a chance to look at the betas and there have been many attempts at comparing the two and weighing up which is better, but does pitting one against the other really make sense? Except for both being MMOs, they really are two completely different games – or am I wrong? GW2 seems to be all about having a great PvE experience right from the first level, negating the ‘endgame’ that is attributed to WoW, whereas WoW tends to give you certain content up to the max level cap and then you start endgame. Similarly, although WoW has PvP, GW2 seems to be much more geared up for this. Plus, I just don’t think you can compare GW2 to WoW with it’s massive subscriber base – it may not be right but WoW fans are going to get MoP no matter what.
Personally I (and I think that a lot of other WoW players) will be getting GW2, playing up to the MoP release and then switching over, at that point GW2 will still be on the radar but in a more casual sense; since it doesn’t have a subscription you can just pick it up again whenever you want – this is actually why I was happy with Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR) going F2P. I’ll probably be working a little SWTOR into the equation, I know they have made a lot of changes since I’ve been gone and I’m actually quite excited to see those changes.
I think both games are going to be successful in their own right and I’m happy we’ve got so much new content coming out, I guess that only time will tell to see how the player base reacts. These are two amazing games and so I can’t see them going the way of SWTOR and Star Trek Online. What do you think? Will you being playing MoP, GW2 or both?
The wait is finally over, Blizzard has announced that the next World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, will be released on the 25th September 2012. MoP is now available on the Blizzard site for pre-order, the standard edition coming in at £29.99/$39.99, while the Deluxe Digital Edition will be £39.99/$59.99; the Deluxe Digital Edition giving you the Imperial Quilen flying mount and Lucky Quilen Cub pet, as well as extras for both Diablo III and Starcraft. There is also a collectors edition available which gives you a behind-the-scenes DVD, an MoP artwork book, the game soundtrack and a mouse pad; of course you’ll have to actually pick this one up yourself.
It’s true to say that subscriber numbers have fallen since World of Warcraft’s last expansion, Cataclysm, was released back in December 2010, but from what I’ve heard in the forums and from gamers in the WoW community in general, this number will again be on the increase as lapsed gamers come back for the brand new content – I definitely will be.
Don’t forget that the world premiere of the Mists of Pandaria opening cinematic will be shown at gamescom 2012! This will be at 2pm on Thursday 16th August, go to the Blizzard booth in Halle 6.1 (B21) where the opening cinematic will be shown on giant screens.
Although I didn’t have time to sign up to the beta for this game, I’ve heard great things about it online and from friends who have been playing the beta. The original Guild Wars, released five years ago, sold over 6 million copies, but wasn’t classed as a MMORPG; this time around Guild Wars 2 is definitely a MMORPG and will be following the free-to-play model like the original. The development team at ArenaNet are adament that it doesn’t fall into the traps of traditional MMORPGs, forcing you onto a grinding treadmill and making you spend hours preparing to have fun rather than just having fun. Love or loathe MMOs they want you to try this game and see for yourselves.
Guild Wars 2 is set in the fantasy world of Tyria which has long been ravaged by war between the five races: Sylvari; Norn; Charr; Asura and Humans. Now, the undead Elder Dragon Zhaitan has raised the sunken nation of Orr triggering earthquakes and tidal waves which has caused widespread destruction and devastated cities. With the people of Tyria corrupted the disbanded guild ‘Destiny’s Edge’, made up of the five races of Tyria, must put their rivalries aside and reunite to take down Zhaitan. Definitely check out the Guild Wars 2 website for the whole story, the background to the five races is particularly interesting: www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/.
The game is now available for pre-order at buy.guildwars2.com or at select retailers. Pre-ordering Guild Wars 2 gives you guaranteed entry into beta weekend events, three-day headstart access to the final game, and the Hero’s Band in-game item. Players of the original are able to reserve their in-game name from Guild Wars so they can guarantee its availability in the sequel. By logging in since 1st January 2012, a player’s name will be added to an active list, preventing anyone from registering it on the title’s launch day.
The next and final beta test weekend is planned for 20-22 July and the release date is set for 28th August 2012.