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There's something wonderfully nostalgic about cruising through pixelated 2D levels KOing everything in my path, just like I did back in Double Dragon. Multiplayer beat 'em up Dungeon Fighter Online lets you continue the pain-dispensing alongside the more than 300 million other players signed up for the game. This month, Nexon is adding a new class to the mix, the Male Mage, and we've the exclusive first look at how you'll be tearing up the world with fire, ice, and plenty of magic.
And lo, in the Kingdom of Ehb, at a time of warring factions, the weakened King did fall. And the King’s daughter, the beautiful Jeyne Kassyndar, didst blame the 10th Legion, the warriors who had, in previous games, been known for their excellent fighting skills, pulling offst such tricks as the shield bash and swordrelated shit that gave rise to a “whoa” from nearby peasants. And Jeyne went off on a massive one, and didst hunt down the 10th Legion across the lands, diverting funds that couldst, truth be told, more effectively have been spent on public services. That’s the rough story behind Lucas Montbarren, son of a tenth legionnaire, and the hero I was allowed to play in the first hands-on of the new Dungeon Siege game. With the blessing and occasional advice of Chris Taylor and original developers Gas Powered Games, development duties have passed to Obsidian – the prince regents of taking another company’s IP baton and running with it. PC exclusives such as Neverwinter Nights, revered shared platform classics like Knights of the Old Republic, and emotional reunions with their prodigal Vault Boy – Obsidian are sequel masters.
Every modern Elder Scrolls game has had a moment near the beginning where you step out into a new landscape and think I've never been somewhere like this before. In Morrowind it hit as you left Seyda Neen and realised that the road ahead went in two directions, and that you could follow either of them, and that each direction would take you on an entirely different journey through the world. In Oblivion it occurred when you escaped out onto the edge of Lake Rumare and saw the hills rise ahead of you along the road to Bruma. In Skyrim you emerged onto a mountainside with the Throat of the World on one side, the valley of Falkreath on the other, and a dragon in the skies above. I have spent thirty hours playing The Elder Scrolls Online and I'm still waiting for that moment. I'm waiting for anything like that moment. I'm waiting for the point when this MMO sits up and makes a claim to be anything but familiar. This isn't simply about whether The Elder Scrolls Online works as an Elder Scrolls game in its own right—it doesn't, let's put paid to that notion now—but whether it can justify being one of the most expensive games on PC. Those 'stepping into the light' moments weren't just about showing off fancy new tech; they were a promise. You are going to have an adventure. This is going to be worth your time. It does not seem unjust or unrealistic to hold The Elder Scrolls Online to account along similar lines.
Batman relies on lightning-fast reflexes to dodge a Joker bomb, not a lucky dice roll, and he certainly never auto-attacks Bane. So when I leapt onto the streets of Gotham, clad in the tights and gadget-belt of a newly minted villain named Cat’s Pajamas, to study at the feet of the Clown Prince of Crime, I wanted something other than the stodgy combat of a typical MMO. And DC Universe Online doesn’t disappoint—its fast-paced, kinetic combat and story-driven quests are a breath of fresh air in a genre short on innovation.
The Elder Scrolls Online launched last Friday. Chris' review of the game will be published following at least a week of play on the game's live servers. This 'review in progress' will document his experiences with the game as they happen. Find the first part below, check out page 2 for Saturday's update, and page 3 for the third part. The final part is available here. Level 1-4 My time in the live version of TESO begins a few hours later than I'd hoped. The PC that I use to test games in the office has a hard drive failure before I can start playing, so I rush home to play the game there. By the time I begin, it's midday on the day of the game's launch. If there were ever going to be a time when an MMO wasn't going to work properly, it'd be now—but to TESO's credit, I experience no problems getting connected.
Dungeons and Dragons Online was one of the first wave of western MMOs to experiment with free to play (along with Lord of the Rings Online and Age of Conan) revitalising the game's playerbase. Nowadays of course everyone and his hat is going FTP, but back then Dungeons and Dragons was a trailblazer, so it's with a whiff of nostalgia that we hear news of the game's newest expansion, Menace of the Underdark.
Pathfinder Online, based on the popular, Dungeons & Dragons-based Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Paizo Publishing, has launched a second Kickstarter. While the devs at Goblinworks raised over $300,000 earlier this year to produce a tech demo and secure investors, they're now seeking an additional $1 million to expand their team and resources, potentially bringing the game to beta and release a whole year early. They're calling the project a "hybrid sandbox/theme park-style MMO," promising a dynamic world with player-made kingdoms.
At a press event at Zenimax Online Studios last week, the Elder Scrolls Online developer waited until the end of a lengthy presentation to deliver arguably the most important piece of news about their upcoming MMO. In short: TESO will have a full first-person mode in the Elder Scrolls style. This is, I suspect, what the majority of fans have been waiting to hear. It should certainly delay the inevitable “meh” in the comments below, if such a thing is possible. First person wasn’t available in the build I played - we were shown it in a video, but it looks great. The constraints of MMO development mean that The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t as technically impressive as Skyrim, but this was the moment when the penny dropped for me. Having powered through two and a bit zones’ worth of content - the first six levels of the game, playing as the Daggerfall Covenant faction - there’s much that makes TESO distinct and interesting as an MMO: but proper first person play is the thing. T.J. will be writing about his experience of the game from the perspective of a longstanding Elder Scrolls fan later on today: in this article, I’m going to cover the new information that came to light in my three hours with the game. Up front, though, I will say this: I went in worried and came out pretty pleased. There are new ideas here. I don’t believe that there’s a single type of person defined by the phrase ‘Elder Scrolls fan’ and I can see it working for some but not others. If your time in Skyrim was exclusively spent tooling around with emergent systems, murdering townspeople in their beds and stacking cheese wheels, then you’ll feel the absence of those things from TESO. If you’re up for something a bit more structured, then keep it on your radar.
Final Fight. Streets of Rage. Turtles in Time. These are games that many of us hold dear to our hearts, filling us with fond memories of roughing up thugs, beating on bosses with our buddies, and picking up loot that just happened to be stashed in random barrels. Perfect World knows the appeal of a good old beat-'em-up, and the addictive combo you get when you mix RPG elements with arcade-style combat. If you like fighting-game MMOs, like Dungeon Fighter Online, you'll love Perfect World's upcoming action MMO, Rusty Hearts. Want to play it before everyone else? Read on to see how you can win a closed beta key!
UPDATE: The 30 winners have been selected and contacted! Go check your e-mail and see if you'll finally be able to clothe yourself. But be warned: once you put on these items of clothing... THEY DON'T COME OFF. Thanks to everyone that entered! Times are tough. The economic turmoils of late have cost some people their homes, their jobs and even the shirts off their backs! Well, PC Gamer is here to right this wrong and bring a little more justice into this cruel, cruel world like an unstoppable superhero made of pure gaming bliss. This weekend, we'll be opening our cargo holds to give away 30 articles of clothing--all of which have been conveniently branded with different videogames' or developers' logos and artwork by the PR contacts that distributed them to us. While their fashion value may sometimes be questionable, their ability to cover your body and advertise your gaming inclination to the world is unquestionable.
Tim Willits has been talking to Eurogamer about Diablo 3's controversial always-online DRM. The id software creative director thinks Blizzard's contentious dungeon crawler could be the game to legitimise the increasingly common anti-piracy measures, saying "Diablo 3 will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected. If you have a juggernaut, you can make change." "In the end, it's better for everybody", continued Willits. Diablo 3 will require players to always be connected to the internet in order to play. Blizzard announced the plan, along with the controversial real money auction house at a recent event.
An MMOFPS based on the Ghost in the Shell Standalone Complex anime is due out in "the first half of 2014." It'll feature "fierce hacking battles between cyborgs fighting over strategic resources" and "a new concept that integrates artificial intelligence with the player"- wait, WHAT.
In honour of the recent Ludum Dare (theme: minimalism), this week's Free Webgame Round-Up was so minimal that it was invisible to the naked eye when it was originally published this Friday. Unless you were in the know, it was almost as if it hadn't actually been written – but it definitely, definitely had. I'm reprinting it here for no particular reason, so prepare yourself for dancing llamas, sci-fi survival, wabbit-hunting, scepters and dungeon-crawling. Enjoy!
We love free games, and according to our 100 games giveaway currently underway, you love free games too! That's why we're sharing our 1,000-use beta code for Gunshine.net, a browser-based online isometric RPG dungeon crawler set in a dystopian future, with you all. There's no restrictions on the code: use it, give it to your best friend and make him use it, write it on public bathroom walls or tattoo it to your forehead--whatever you want to do with it, we approve. The only hitch is that you have to go to a very specific URL to redeem the code (both are listed below). So if you share the code with your friends (or tattoo it on your body), be sure to include the URL as well.
This isn’t the first time that Neverwinter has featured in an MMO. Back in 1991, AOL, Stormfront Studios and SSI released the original Neverwinter Nights – one of the first ever graphical MMOs. Built on the back of the SSI Gold Box games of the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was mostly known for its large and very active guilds, as well as its extensive multiplayer rankings. A decade later, BioWare released their own, much better-known variant of Neverwinter Nights, an ostensibly singleplayer RPG where Dungeon Masters could run their own custom modules online, making it a D&D game in the truest sense of the word. Cryptic’s free-to-play Neverwinter will draw on both these legacies.
For reference, here's our list of the 100 games we think rule over all other PC games.
If it happens in videogames, it happens on the PC first. Every year, developers conjure new ways to dazzle, mystify, challenge, and entertain us—some with a handful of deceptively simple game mechanics and a unique art style, others by building entire worlds that accommodate whatever role we choose to play in them. Whatever the approach, the big advancements always take place on the only platform without masters or limitations. That makes handing out our awards every year an excruciating task. Because there are plenty of games that did things well and many games that do them extraordinarily well, but only one that can be said to have done something best. These awards are a tribute to those games—the ones that, in a year of outstanding work, stood above the rest; the games that set the high mark for each category and put the challenge to developers in 2012: top that.
Gas Powered Games, developers of Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege, are now mashing those two things together into an RPG/RTS hybrid called Wildman. You play as one warrior in a large battle, gradually upgrading yourself, the allied army, and your control over them. And they're asking you to fund it, through Kickstarter.
This month we bring you the world's first review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Is it as good as we all hope? Can it possibly live up to the towering original? We punched criminals, hacked terminals, turned invisible and threw a vending machine off a rooftop at an army of gangsters to find out. You can read all about it in our eight page analysis in the September issue of PC Gamer UK which is landing with subscribers shortly, and will be available in print and on tablets on Wednesday 3rd August. That's not all, of course. There are 122 more pages to account for. Read on to find out what else lies within the golden covers of our latest issue.