Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Games I have been playing.

I think I didn't do this last month due to being busy with Christmas and New Year and such. I will start off with Nuclear Dawn. I picked it up through the Indie Royale. I did first thoughts post on the game earlier this month. The game has merged FPS and RTS together. When I first heard about I wasn't sure how it would work. You have a commander who plays in RTS view and uses resources gathered by the FPS players to expand their base and build turrets, spawn points and supply depots to help the rest of the team. I've put a good 30 hours in to the game so far and as I was writing this I noticed it has been updated and this patch includes a new map so I will be jumping on the game once I have finished here.  
Next on my list we have Super Monday Night Combat. I recently got into the beta for this game. It is very similar to its predecessor Monday Night Combat which came out a couple years ago. It was a great game but definitely under rated. The game is in beta at the moment and only has one playable game mode at the moment which is damn near the same as the gameplay described below in the video. With a couple of changes that I have noticed. Instead of having to build turrets they are already in place, along with the fact you can not repair them as the support class like you could in MNC. I am hoping they will change that back in later patches. 

I've only got a couple more. The first of which is Sven Coop. It is an old Half-Life coop mod, in which you can play through the original Half-Life game, other single player mods such as They Hunger and Opposing Force along with literally hundreds of custom maps and original levels made purely for the mod itself. Lastly I have started a complete Half-Life series play through starting with Half-Life obviously then I will venture on to Blue Shift and Opposing Force before making my way to city 17 and work through Half-Life 2 and it's episodes.

1,000 Player FPS Sets World Record

A few days ago I came across news about a game named Man vs Machine which planned on hosting a game for 1,000 players simultaneously. It would appear they have done it. While they never peaked at the 1,000 players they had hoped for they got extremely close falling only one player short of their target. Setting a new world record for most people on a single FPS battlefield. I completely forgot about it on Sunday night. I could have been that 1,000th player.

Anyway it is a hell of an achievement and it would be cool if in the future we saw full blown FPS MMO. You could take make a war shooter where you have a number of squads in various locations. You could have a bunch of people playing as pilots flying to transport players behind enemy lines. The people dropping in to enemy territory could have to hold out until reinforcements come along with the time on them getting to you depending on how well the other team is doing. The possibilities for a shooter with say the numbers of an MMO you could completely re enact wars by making it co-op rather than pvp. Something like that is probably still a fair way off, but give it a few years and I can see them popping up.

Cheap Games on Origin

Like it or loathe it. It seems like EA's Origin client is here to stay. I got an email from EA advertising some offers they have on games. To be honest they are decently priced. If they keep doing offers like this regularly. I will consider using them a lot more than I do now. The offer stands until the 5th February.

  • Mass Effect 2 - £10
  • Dead Space 2 - £7.50
  • Dragon Age 2 - £7.50
  • Bulletstorm - £7.50
  • Shank - £5
  • Gatling Gears - £5
  • Mirrors Edge - £5
  • Command & Conquer 4 - £10 
  • Medal of Honour - £7.50 (It's Honour not Honor)
  • Alice: Madness Returns - £7.50
  • Mass Effect - £3
  • Dead Space - £3
  • Spore - £6
  • Darkspore - £4.50
For the prices they are you can't really complain. Sure, you could probably wait for most of them to come round to Steam sales for a lot of them, but if they keep up with offers similarly priced to Steam sales I reckon they could definitely sway some people over. It is a step in the right direction for Origin. They need to keep this up and keep working on their desktop client as well and let me have a changeable profile name dammit.

Hard Reset: Extended Edition

Hard Reset was one of my favourite games of last year. It came along with a little bit of nostalgia for those that like their shooters more run and gun (Painkiller, Serious Sam, Quake etc) rather than duck and cover (eg CoD, Battlefield, Gears). While the game had a rather short campaign, it was still was rather enjoyable. Hard and frustrating, but definitely enjoyable.

Anyway it would appear the guys at Flying Wild Hog have some extra content in the works for this game. The expansion of the game will give you an extra 3 hours along with new areas and environments, four new enemy types and an upgraded graphics engine to go along beside it all. Some screenshots of the upcoming footage can be found over at PCGamer which is where I came across this news.

Let's Play Half-Life 2

A while back a bunch of Valve fans started a Steam Group named A Call for Communication, this is basically them just wanting better communication between Valve and the fans in question. This is all Half-Life 3/Episode 3 related as fans are becoming seemingly impatient with their wait for the return of a certain Mr Freeman. Along with fans making this page along with a Facebook page, twitter and a Steam forum thread. We have also seen Operation Crowbar put in to place as well where fans bought and sent crowbars to Valve HQ as yet another not so subtle hint.

Now it would seem they are going to try and get Half-Life 2 to the top of the most played list on Steam as an attempt to grab the attention of Valve. This mass play through of the Valve game is set to start at 7pm gmt (11am pst) this Saturday. I am actually playing through Half-Life with intentions of moving on to Half-Life 2 once I have finished. I believe I could finish off the first game by Saturday and join in with this. If anything, it's an excuse to play through the game again.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Aliens: Colonial Marines - Contact Trailer

The new Aliens game by Gearbox, hasn't really been on my radar up to this point in time. I came across this teaser. I can say it does do what it's meant to. I really want to see more of this game now purely due to this short teaser of a video.

Defining 'Indie'

This topic arose due to this article about Notch and his thoughts about if Mojang are indie any more due to their increase in popularity and size. I was sat reading through the comments, a lot of them about what exactly is Indie. How is it defined? 

I have always thought of indie games to be developed by a person or group of people that are an independent company. A company that are in charge of the structure of their business and development of their own games. A company that doesn't rely on third party publishers such as EA, THQ and Activision. Others define indie developers as a company or group of individuals that make games purely due to a desire to make one over making money, not to say making your cost back isn't important, it just shouldn't be the primary goal, or that they have a low or none existent budget and are generally small in the amount of people working on a project.

While I agree with those points, the last one not so much. An indie developer usually do start off small. But this leads to the question, "When are an indie development team no longer classed as an indie developer?" This is why I believe indie is more about having control over your own company and product than the actual size and finances behind it. 

Take indie music for instance. At one point indie bands were the likes of garage bands and bands without labels going round getting themselves gigs and venues by them self rather than being signed and under a record company label of some sort, and of course there still are many bands like that, infact they are on the rise, just as indie games are. This is because publishers and third parties are needed less and less these days due to the amount of ways artists/developers etc can communicate with their audience. This is largely due to the openness of the internet these days. But getting back to my point there are many indie bands that have had major success over the years. They are still an indie band though the fact that they have become successful doesn't change that fact. The principle is the same no matter the medium. 

Is Mojang still an indie developer? Until they lose control of development of their games, budgets and deadlines by third party publishers I would say yes, they still are. Just because a development team is indie doesn't limit them to the likes of casual games such as Super Meat Boy, Limbo and Bastion. Most of them choose to go down the more casual game type due to smaller budgets. If they have the time and dedication, I see no reason we can't see much bigger Indie titles in the future. It will just take them longer get it finished and out to the public than you big name developers.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Steam Mobile App

Valve are branching out to mobile phones and have a Steam app for iOS and Android. You will be able to connect with friends and see what they are up to and even chat to them. You will also be able to shop and browse the Steam store. There is no word if any games will be available through this at the moment, but being Steam I'm guessing it's just a matter of time. There are plenty of little indie games on Steam that would be suitable as phone games. The app is currently in closed beta form. But Valve will be sending out more invites as the it's popularity grows.

Gabe Newell has commented on the app saying:
“Seeing which of your friends are online and playing a game, sending quick messages, looking at screenshots for an upcoming game, or catching a sale – these are all features customers have requested. Mobile is changing way people interact, play games and consume media, and the Steam app is part of our commitment to meet customer demands and expand the service functionality of Steam to make it richer and more accessible for everyone.”

By that he really means is "We can now rape you wallets on the go. Where ever you are, you can not hide. We will find you and we will take you money. Here at Valve have come up with the most genius evil scheme which is to bankrupt the world little by little and slowly but surely we are doing it."

Improvements for Steam

I was reading an article over on IGN about how Netflix are dropping out of the game rental service. I got to thinking and thought that Steam (or any other Steam like client for that matter) should implement something like that. They are big enough to pull it off and in this day and age there should be somewhere for PC gamers to rent games from. The used/rental market in the PC community is pretty much none existent due to DRM. Every other platform has a decent rental services so why can't we. I believe a lot of people would appreciate a rental service for their PC. There are a couple services like this in place such as:
Gamefly, which by the looks of the game list for their Unlimited PC Play service seems to be a bunch of small and indie games.
Onlive has some bigger titles at its helm however that is a streaming service, so unless you have a fast and reliable ISP. They are not for you I would actually use Onlive if I had faster internet. But it takes ages to buffer a 20 minute YouTube video I dread to think how my poor little connection would cope with a fairly new video game.

What I suggest is the ability to download the full game as you would do if you were buying the game out right. The you pay a fraction of the price and you can rent the game for a day, a weekend, a week or a month with the price varying depending on how long you wish to rent the game for. Along with the ability to download rented games as you would purchased games, you would also be able to have your save games and acheivements saved to your account so you can pick up where you left off next time you want to rent the game or even if you decide to buy it. They could also do discounts for the games you rent as an incentive to actually buy game. So say save 10% when buying a game you have rented in the past.

I have another couple of ideas which are frankly quite simple. The first of which is about the Steam client browser. It needs tabs, simple as that. They have tabs on the in game browser when you open it up using the shift and tab, I don't see why they can't put them in the desktop client.

Lastly is something my brother found on Reddit and pointed out to me a while back. They should put in a feature like this. Basically add an option to do a quick and simple scan of your hardware and tell you whether or not you can run a particular game. It would be an expansion of the worded system requirement at the bottom of each game page.

Next Gen Xbox Might Not Support Used Games

This is only rumoured at the moment but I know a fair amount of people that would be pushed away from buying an Xbox (I refuse to call it a 720 because I very much doubt it will be called that) if this is the case. This would also hurt small video game stores that rely on renting and selling used games as their primary source of income. There is a couple of them in my town. Would be a shame for them to lose out on business due to some harsh policy on Microsofts end. I know exactly the reason behind this and it is the likes of EA and other such companies that are against the sale of used games because they won't get a cut. Which is the exact reason we are starting to see an rise in the likes of online passes.

If this is to happen they will need to drop the price of games brand new or I can see a lot of people taking their gaming needs elsewhere, be it Playstation, Nintendo or anyone else that decides to make a move in the console market (I mention the latter point as I read an article the other day about Neo Geo making a comeback with a portable device, this is again just rumoured but if they start off with a portable device I see no reason they can't come out with a full fledged console). A lot of gamers rely on used games to actually be able to afford all the different games they want to play.

Now for a little bit of good news about Microsofts latest console. First of all it is to be believed that the next Xbox will be six times as powerful as the current gen counterpart, which I find believable as the 360 is sitting on some dated tech, the thing came out in 2005 and technology has evolved a lot since then. It will also be stepping up on the disc format used,  from DVD to Blu-ray, which to be honest is the obvious thing to do as Blu-ray discs can hold up to 5 times as much data as DVD's. It may also be used as a DVR giving you the ability to record the media of your choice through your Xbox be it television and films or your gaming experience.

And lastly whether you like it or not Kinect is here to stay. I personally am a fan of the technology, and before the masses get out their pitchforks saying how it is a crappy little gimmick. The way they are using now for the likes of crappy dance games, yes, yes it is. However this tech has amazing potential behind it. All they need to do is replace the camera with a projector and we have augmented reality, granted I just made that sound a lot easier than it would be to do that but my point still stands. I don't really care who does this but someone should, be it Microsoft or be it a third party. If that were to happen it would be amazing.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

DRM "costs money and makes you lose money"

So says Paradox CEO Fred Wester in an interview with Gamespy, it's actually a good read. I would totally agree with this. If you take a look at damn near every game with DRM, then look at torrent sites a number of days after you will usually fine a patch to bypass the DRM in question. At best you will stop your game getting pirated for the first couple weeks or so while a crack is being worked on. 

I have always seen games as a long term investment, which is of the reasons I don't like games such as Call of Duty, they focus on sales until the next rendition of the game comes out which is when they generally stop supporting the game. Good games should be supported for years to come, look at the likes of Counter Strike, Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead those games are what about 5 years old? and they still get constant updates from the developers which is why to this day people still buy these games. Anyway getting back to my point, If a game is a long term investment and DRM is a short term solution, surely you would be better off investing the money spent on DRM (which I'm guessing isn't that cheap, especially if you use a third party solution, I really don't know how much these things cost tbh) on developing the game further. At the end of the day if release good quality goods at a reasonable price people will buy it. Like it or not piracy isn't going any where and pirates will always find a loophole in whatever system you put in place. So focus more on putting out better quality things than worrying about keeping pirates at bay (see what I did there) for a couple of weeks.

If DRM intrudes on my gaming I'm not going to play those games (I'm looking at you Ubisoft). If it comes out in the form of say Steam for example, which actually benefits me (cheap games, library of my games to download at my leisure, social features) I'm okay with it. DRM isn't necessarily a bad thing but you have to make it worth putting up with.

1,000 player FPS

I came across a piece over at PC gamer about a game called Man vs. Machine. This game hopes to create a world record by hosting a 1,000 player FPS battle. At 500 a side this will be a hell of battle. This will take place this Sunday at 3pm GMT. To be part of this you can take your chances at getting on the server as slots work on first come, first serves. However you can guarantee yourself a spot by buying a ticket, detail of how to do so can be found in the FAQ page

World Record - 29 Jan 2012 from MuchDifferent on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Origin gains more clientele

I realise a lot of people aren't the biggest fan of Origin in its current state. From what I have heard complaint wise it does need a lot of work which over time hopefully will. EA have now partnered up with a number of new publishers wanting to use their Origin service. Origin will now be offering games from the following companies:

  • CD Projekt Red
  • Trion Worlds
  • Freebird Games
  • Recoil Games
  • Autumn Games
  • 1C Company
  • inXile Entertainment
  • Paradox Interactive
  • Core Learning Ltd
  • N3V Games

They seem to be getting a decent number of third party publishers on their digital download service. I hope they keep at it work on their Origin client and offer us more sales in hope to sway us away from Steam. If they can offer me games cheaper than them I will quite happily start using them. It would be good to see Steam with some true competition. Yes, there are a number of digital download services, but they are all rather small in comparison. Steam is the current reigning champion of PC gaming. If EA keep going the way they are in a few years I reckon they will be up there. If not it will just end up like GFWL. I have no problem with EA and what they are trying to do but if they want to win over the PC community they are going to have to work for it.

Indie Royale - The Serious Sam Lightning Pack

So once again the Indie Royale has returned. This time it offers (as you may have guessed from the title) a bunch of Serious Sam games. If you fancy some Serious Sam goodies for not all that much I would totally get in on this. The current minimum as of writing this is £2.52 and of course will no doubt have changed by the time I have finished saying what I have to say. The games included in this bundle are:

That is a lot of Sam for your money. I already have the first and second encounter from way back. But I gave the last £3.01 of my money to these guys. All of the games above are available on both Desura and Steam except Kamikaze Attack which is not on Steam. I believe it is actually a smart phone game ported to PC, possibly the other way round, don't quote me on that though.

Don't miss out on some cheap and fun games, you only have 98 hours, which is about 4 days if my maths is correct, to get in on the action.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Ofcom aren't happy with ITV's ARMA blunder

If you remember a few months back ITV did a documentary about Gaddafi and the IRA which had a clip of ARMA II used as a IRA film from 1988. While I still laugh at the complete and utter ass-hattery of the whole situation. It appears Ofcom have come back with an official report on the matter which the Guardian did a piece on.

Basically they have said ITV have breached viewers trust and that there were significant and easily identifiable differences between the two piece of footage. I'm not going to go in to a rant about the ridiculousness of this situation as I did that back in September when I first heard about the news. Not that I watched ITV much back then but I now completely boycott them. If they can't see that the footage was obviously not fit for the purpose intended, it shows just how good the TV channel is, doesn't it?

Guild Wars 2 Beta

Guild Wars 2 has been in it's first closed beta since mid December for a lucky select few. According to a quote from Arena Nets blog.

"We recently finished our first closed beta test, and we’re now ready to hold progressively larger events. In February we’ll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we’ll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate. And of course, this all leads to the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year."

I see this as them saying we will be getting a shot at their latest title in beta form in the next few months. As selected press are getting in on the beta as of next month I will be on the look out for beta keys giveaways from gaming new sites along with following Guild Wars news extremely closely in hope to be one of the first on board what I am assuming will be a public beta . Anyway I can't wait for this game to be released and it looks like it's on the home stretch.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Idea for next Half-Life game.

I came up with a idea while I was half asleep this morning about something that Valve should do with the next installment of Half-Life. Basically you have three campaigns. One you play through as Gordon, one as Alyx and one as Barney. During these campaigns you will come across the other two and tag along with them for awhile, just as you did in Half-Life 2, so it would be single player with a hint of coop thrown in.

An example of what I mean is near the beginning you (Gordon) are at Dr Kleiners labs along with Alyx and Barney. Alyx gets teleported fine while Gordon's teleport experience is not the greatest and it takes him else where. This leaves Barney at Kleiners lab. This would lead to each character going along on their own story line and meeting up later on in the game. There is a part in HL2 later on I believe it's when your going to rescue Alyxs dad. I could well be wrong, but I know which part I'm on about. You are in a control room with some supplies and a couple sentry turrets. You have to hold out against a bunch of combine until Alyx gets there so she can do her computer thing. So depending on how well the person playing Alyx is doing (assuming you are co-oping with buddies instead of playing with the AI) you may have to hold out longer if they are having trouble getting to you.

I would seriously love it if something like this was in the next Half Life game. I came up with the idea as I was thinking about Blue Shift 2 and Opposing Force 2, which I am still waiting on coming out (I can only hope). As BS and OP are both in the same time line as the first actual Half-Life game I thought you know what would be good, is if they took the principle of Half-Life side projects (ie same time line different characters) and added it in to the game making one massive game instead of having a number of smaller games. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

New Half-Life Game

And by new, I mean old and unreleased. A version of Half-Life which was due to be released for the Sega Dreamcast back in 2000, which ended up getting cancelled, is now being ported over to the PC which is where Mr Freeman belongs really. It's like inception, a pc port of a console port. I'm going to give it a download. I was just about to start another Half-Life run through when I came across this as well. I think I'll play Half-Life then this and see the differences.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Ubisoft are at it again.

As we all know. PC gamers aren't exactly the biggest fan of Ubisoft due to the likes of their restrictive DRM, but I'm not here to bitch and moan about that. I'm going to bitch and moan about a new (and frankly stupid) policy they have implemented. It would seem that they do not allow more than three separate installs.

There have been many games I have installed more than that over the years. I buy a game I play it for awhile either finish the game or get bored with it. I then uninstall it to make space for some other crap. A few months later I want to play the game, so I reinstall. It's fine I can still install it once more. Let's see I decide to buy a new computer and sell the old one. It's still fine I'm on my final install now. Wait, no... it gets a virus or the hard drive dies, or even you have to much crap on your computer again and need more space, can't afford a new hard drive so we'll just uninstall it. Now my game is useless. Ubisoft you useless bunch of *insert word of choice here*. I buy a game I expect to be able to use it whenever I want.

That's not the best bit yet, according to a article at Rock, Paper, Shogun, just swapping graphics cards will use up one of your three installs. So this DRM monitors hardware changes and apparently can't tell the difference between you upgrading hardware to the game actually being freshly installed. It's like they want people to hate them and not buy their games, I wasn't the greatest fan of their DRM on PC but I still buy their games if they are cheap on Steam. From now on I am completely avoiding them and I hope everyone else does too.

I'm sorry but what they fuck are they thinking. Surely they realise people upgrade their computer. They must realise that people are not going to buy their games if they can not choose where and when to play their own games. It amazes me how Ubisoft can actually be in business with this frankly retarded frame of mind. Hell I just reinstalled Red Alert 2 the other week for about the 20th time. If it just stopped working because I installed it too many times I would be extremely pissed. Anyway I'm going to stop ranting now as I'm going to start going round in circles now.

Long story short Ubisoft can fuck off and we should all boycott their PC games. They do make decent console games but when it comes to the PC side of things they haven't got a clue.

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet on PC

ESRB have rated a PC version of that strange little Xbox Arcade game. It would appear us PC gamers are getting another Indie title to add to our arsenal of games. As for its release date, that has yet to be set or at least released to the public. From the gameplay I have seen, it does look like a cool game but due to me not having an Xbox I haven't had the chance to play it. Well all that will change soon. I hope more games follow suit.

Borderlands 2 Lilith Reveal

A while ago Gearbox started auditions to find someone to be Lilith in their upcoming game Borderlands 2. It would appear they have a winner, Yasmine Aislan.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Wii U Tech Demo

I came across this video showing off some nifty features of Nintendos new console the Wii U. While I still think the name is pretty stupid I am getting ever so more interested in it with the more news I read about it. Below is a video showing off the ability to fully control the camera angles with the tablet controller. I know it doesn't like that big a deal but bare with me and watch the video. It is pretty cool. Whether your a fan or Nintendo or not you have to admit they do come out with some cool ideas.

Gabe Newell Trolling

It's simple as the title suggests really. A certain Mr Newell is playing with knives in the office. You know every day work stuff. But wait what is that lurking in the background. It's a monitor with the words Half-Life 3 scrawled on it. Is it real? Is it fake? Is it photo shopped? (which I guess would fall under the fake category but nevermind.) They always are working on their arsonal. After Dota and the new Counter Strike I don't think they have anything else on the table. My guess is Half-Life 2 Episode 3, a few hours in to wet your whistle followed shortly by Half-Life 3 a month or two later, with what I'm guessing will be a majorly updated Source engine. Whether they choose to rename it as they did between Half-Life 1 and 2, who knows. As for time line, I'm going to guess next year at the earliest. They have DotA and CS:GO to tweak and play with throughout this year.

Mass Effect 3 will require Origin

News has it that Mass Effect 3 will require Origin for both physical and digital copies. So for those not a fan of Origin you may want to give this a miss.

Biowares Chris Priestly has come out to say quite obvious things related to the games connection to EAs digital distribution system like both digital and physical copies will require "a one time, single authorisation for the for the single player" and that "there is no limit to the number of installs. Playing Mass Effect 3 multi-player will require will require a constant connection". 

Who would have thought playing multi-player would require an online connection. You know because we haven't been playing multiplayer games online for years now have we. Why he even mentioned the limit on the amount you can install a game you have rightly purchased I don't even know. I install games I own on a number of different computers and have uninstalled and reinstalled games numerous times. I don't need someone to tell me I can install my game where ever and when I want, I already know that. 

According to IGNs piece on this he has mentioned it not being on Steam due to their "restrictive terms of service", the exact phrase that was used last time Valve and EA had problems, I think with Battlefield along with some other games getting pulled. We can sit and debate all day long about the reasoning behind it whether you think Steam have got restrictive ToS or it's EAs way to narrow the competition a little. The thing that annoys me most is the fact that neither side have actually came out and said exactly what these terms are. Every bit of news about this is vague, "it limits how developers interact with customers to sell downloadable content". That doesn't explain anything. How does it do that? It can't be about only selling DLC through Steam as many GFWL games do exactly that, Bioshock 2 being a prime example as I have bought DLC through the GFWL store for my Steam copy of Bioshock 2, I'm sure many other games apply to my theory here as well. I would be less annoyed if they just came out and said we don't like it due to this, this and these parts of your terms and actually provide these terms for people so they actually understand what is going on, rather than sitting behind vague and blatantly prepared comments on the matter. I want actual answers, not pish (I'm bringing pish back it's not used enough) people will be "yeah, okay, whatever" then forget about.

Anyway I digress, long story short if you were hoping on picking up the latest installment of Mass Effect on Steam, think again. Just remember you have an unlimited amount of installs when you get it.......

Friday, 13 January 2012


Q.U.B.E has grabbed my attention as of late. The little news I have read about it has compared it to Portal. So I downloaded the demo and gave it a shot. Upon loading up the game you can definitely where it's been influenced from. A first person puzzle game with a bright and light colour scheme has Portal written all over it. Instead of explaining the game below is my play through of the demo available on Steam. It seems little a fun little game and I reckon I'll get it some point down the line.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Nuclear Dawn

I recently picked up Nuclear Dawn through the Indie Royale bundle. I had heard of this game through a free weekend that it had on Steam a while back. The idea of the game is actually quite brilliant. When I first heard the game had merged FPS and RTS I wasn't really sure how it would work. But what they have done works quite well. 

There are two teams Empire and Consortium, each team has a commander which plays in RTS view. As commander you have to use resources to build defences for your base while expanding forward to help your team mates by building forward spawn points and supply depots for them. The resources needed to do this are gained at resource points by the rest of the team who play in FPS view. 

As an FPS player you get to choose to play as one of four different classes. Assault, Exo, Stealth or Support. As Assault you get to choose 3 different load outs. Infantry Kit, Grenadier Kit and Marksman Kit. 
  • Infantry you get you play as Infantry with an assault rifle, a pistol and grenades as your weapon of choice. 
  • Grenadier you get a grenade launcher, a shotgun, a pistol and grenades, this setup is extremely good if you buddy up with a siege Exo to take down the enemy base. 
  • Lastly as Marksman you get a sniper rifle, a pistol and anti personnel mines. Also as Assault you get thermal vision which you have regardless of load out. This is essential for taking out those pesky cloaked stealth players. I really hate them they are really annoying for anyone that doesn't play assault.
Next we have the Exo class. Easiest way to explain this class is. Think heavy in Team Fortress. You have lots of health, and a big ass chain gun to start you off. As Exo there are only 2 load outs you get to choose from which are: Suppression Kit and Siege Kit. 
  • Suppression as you might think is you and your chain gun you also get a pistol for your secondary weapon. 
  • Then we have the Siege kits which vary a little depending on your team. They both do the same job none the less which is destroy enemy buildings. If you are on the Empire team you get a big chunky rail gun, where as Consortium get a rocket launcher. You also get a pistol as secondary just like the suppression kits.
Stealth is the next choice of class, and how I hate them. Just as I hate spies in TF. The sneaky little bastards. Anyway as Stealth you have 2 load outs. First of which is the more annoying of the two. 
  • The Assassin kit which includes a sub machine gun, a pistol and depending on team again either Knives (Consortium) or Arm Blades (Empire). Combining your melee weaponry with the sneaking bastardness of the tactical cloak can be quite the annoyance as if you back stab someone it's instant death for the unsuspecting victim. 
  • Don't want to get up close and personal with the enemy but enjoy the stealth aspect? Not to worry this game has you covered with the Sniper kit. Yes, we already have snipers with the Assault class. However if you are going to go down the sniping road. I would suggest being a stealth sniper. Why? Think about it you have the ability to kill from a distance and if people cotton on to where you are just stealth up and cheese it out of there. Snipers can be difficult to spot on the best of days, so a sniper with cloaking abilities it's a smart move. You do have to watch out for Assault snipers though as they can spot you with their thermal vision.
Last but not least I would say is the most important class of the game. The support class. As support your role is none other than to support (who would have guessed) the rest of the team which you can do in a number of ways depending which of the three load outs you choose. 
  • First choice is the Medic kit and this doesn't really need an explanation. You play as a medic and help heal team mates when you can. You are equipped with a machine pistol, a regular pistol, med pack and some poison grenades. The poison grenades are quite interesting choice of weaponry. They are handy to deter enemies from capturing resource points.
  • Next you can choose the Engineer kit. As an engineer your primary role is to help maintain buildings from enemy siege. They can also help out on offence as well with the EMP grenades in their arsenal which can disable enemy turrets which let the likes for Exos get in and do some serious damage. Along with your EMP grenades and repair tool you are also equipped with a shotgun, a pistol and anti personnel mines.
  • Lastly is probably the most annoying of the support class. It is the flamer kit, which as you may have guessed includes a flame thrower, you also get a pistol and both poison and frag grenades. If played right this can be one of the most devastating classes to play with the ability to wipe out an enemy team trying to capture a resource point. As you don't have any long range weapons you have to be a little sneaky and try flank unsuspecting victims flaming them then disappearing again letting them all burn to death. 
At the moment the game has a total of six maps: Clock Tower, Downtown, Hydro, Metro, Oasis and Silo. Interwave have released SDK with the game so no doubt we have a bunch of modders on the case to expand this along with more coming for the developers in the future. It's a fun little game, but does rely on good team work. I have joined many random servers with my team running about all over the place which has lead to the other team who were more organised to kick our ass. Communication between players and the commander is essential for success in this game. I am glad I got this game and for the price I got it for is laughable. I would be more than willing to pay above the going price for it which stands at £14.99 on Steam. I have played a good dozen or so hours so far and will get more than my moneys worth out of this game.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Macho Man Skyrim Mod

I came across news of a new mod for Skyrim. A mod that is quite frankly hilarious and a reason for everyone to get Skyrim whether you are a fan of the Elder Scrolls or not. This mod changes dragons in to Macho Man Randy Savage which can be found and downloaded here.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sven Co-op 4.6 Update

For those that don't know Sven Co-op. It is an old Half-Life mod allowing a number of players to play through levels co-operatively including but not limited to the Original Half Life game. Even after all these years the mod is still being updated with the release of version 4.6.

This release features:
  • They Hunger Co-op: Episode 2
  • A new boss monster: The Kingpin
  • Many new and improved maps
  • Greatly improved HLSP and Opposing Force storyline support
  • Half-Life: Uplink co-op
  • Lots of powerful new mapping features
  • Tons of bug fixes and changes (e.g. Shock rifle secondary fire can now charge player HEV suits)
  • AI improvements
  • All-new custom sounds for the Bodyguard
Along with much more, full details on the update can be found here. It is good to see after all this time an old mod like this still getting updates and support.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Ubisoft to make AAA MMO

I came across an article on GameRant stating that Ubisoft will be heading in to the world of MMOs. This has got me quite intrigued considering Ubisoft are mainly a console developer and the majority of their games have been majorly single player with the likes of: Assassins Creed, Prince of Persia, everything Tom Clancy and others that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Whether or not they will be making a brand new title for this is undetermined, this would make more sense as none of their current IPs seem very fitting for multi player especially on the scale MMOs tend to be. There has been some speculation that it may be Assassins Creed attempting to make this leap. That is pure speculation though, I really don't see that happening though, I can't picture how that would work.

It does seem a weird move by Ubisoft considering their back catalogue of games. I'm definitely interested to see what happens with this as I have no idea how they are going to pull it off. It just seems too out of place for Ubisoft for me to comprehend.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Operation Crowbar

It appears a group of Valve fans have started what they have named 'Operation Crowbar' which involves buying a crowbar and sending it to Valve HQ. A lot of people have resorted to posting pictures of crowbars on the Valves facebook page as well. This is trolling at it's finest. It's just plain funny the random crap people of the internet do these days. At least the guys at Valve will have plenty of crowbars after this.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Indie Royale

Just like the Humble Bundle and the Indie Gala. The Indie Royale is another bunch of games which you can pay whatever you want for. This is slightly different though. It has a minimum amount you have to pay which at the minute is £2.78.

As people buy the bundle, the minimum price for the bundle rises. However, people can also pay over the minimum amount to knock the price down. This bundle includes the following games:
All of these games with exception of Super Crossfire (which is only available through the Indie Royale) are available on Steam. I am heading down the bank tomorrow to put some cash in my account to get this. I want it purely for Nuclear Dawn, the rest are just a bonus. 


Dreamkiller was on offer on Steam for £1.75 (Usual price £6.99) so I decided to pick it up. I did attempt to play this a couple years back when Steam had a free weekend for it but my then crappy computer couldn't run it properly.

This is a weird little FPS. You play as Alice Drake who has the ability to go into peoples minds and destroy their fears from within. After a short intro video introducing Alice (below) it starts you in the mind of some one suffering from Arachnophobia and you guessed it, you have to fight your way through hordes of giant spiders and finally killing a huge evil spider boss thing at the end. Doing so cures him of his phobia. Each level you enter the mind of someone with a different phobia which you cure by killing things. Which is always a good way to fix problems. It is an interesting twist on the standard 'get guns and go kill stuff' side of the shooter genre.

It does seem to be influenced by the likes of Painkiller, Serious Sam and those kind of games. I feel it should have more than the three difficulties that the game has: Bad Dream (Easy), Nightmare (Normal) and Insanity (Hard). Nightmare isn't all that difficult as I finished the first level without coming close to dying, where as Insanity is quite ridiculous and I died 2-3 times on the first part of the first level and numerous times after that as well. I think Insanity should be the 'Serious' difficulty (a la Serious Sam) and have a less brutal difficulty between Insanity and Nightmare. The AI isn't exactly the greatest but I guess as the levels progress and you face harder and more numerous foes it is less noticable, it's more when there are not many enemies about.

Overall it is a fun little game and for the few quid I did spend on it. I'm more than happy with it.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Super Meat Boy Sells One Million Copies

It's the game everyone loves to hate. Or just plain hates because it's so rage inducing. Anyway according to a recent tweet from Team Meat. This annoying yet addictive little platformer has breached the one million marker since it's release last year in October on Xbox. No doubt it's release on Steam and it's appearance in the Humble Bundle has definitely helped up the amount of copies sold

EA ban SWTOR players for 'Exploit'

It seems EA are wielding the ban hammer in their new Star Wars mmo. The reason? Design flaws. Apparently low level characters can do a chest run in a 40+ area resulting in loot for those that dare it. So instead of doing the reasonable thing and patching this flaw out. You know like most other mmos would do. Put some enemies near the chests which would kill them or lock the area for lower levels, they throw around bans and warnings. Most game have or have had design flaws which allow people who find them to exploit them. But in this day and age we have the ability to easily distribute patches to the masses that play these game. Patches with could easily solve this problem and not make people lose out on the money they pay to play this game. I don't agree with this at all. Welcome to the world of mmos, if people find flaws in designs and take advantage of it while they can before it's patched, it's happened in many well known ones such as WoW and Guild Wars, the game ecomony all ways balances its self out over time as the players control it.

By the logic they are using there power levelling should be a bannable offence as well as the low levels will be in high level areas getting you guessed it high level loot. Meh I don't really care anyway as the next MMO I am getting is Guild Wars 2. But is finding flaws really a bannable offense? I wouldn't say so. If people find out about them, the developers will as well. Which leads to them patching it which leads to less flaws which leads to a better game in general. So does it matter that a few people get a little extra from this? No. Ecomonys in mmos always fluctuate. The sooner they learn that the better. The loot in the chests will be quite high in price at the moment but as more and more people get to that stage in the game it will cancel it out. It's how these things work ffs.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Indie Gala

The Indie Gala is quite similar to the more well known Humble Bundle. It is a bunch of indie games for sale at what ever price you want to pay with the option to split your payment between the Developers of the games for sale, charity (Save The Children + Child's Play) and the Indie Gala team. There is 3 days left to get in on this offer which includes 7 games if you pay over the average which is $1.82 at the time of writing this or 5 if you don't but with the average as low as it is there is no reason not to pay more than it. The games in question are below with the last two in the list the extra games when paying over the average.