Bohemia Interactive have just announced a free-to-play version of their outstanding war sim, Arma 2. It's going to be totally free, but 100% Arma. Click through for the details.
In 1938, CBS Radio aired a radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Among the gullible, there was panic: the broadcast had sounded so realistic that people genuinely believed an alien invasion was in process. Those idiots.
But wait! Here's a transmission we just received from E3 that says there IS a real-life alien invasion happening, and we ARE all going to die! And it's happening worldwide! The French are calling it an 'attaque globale'! I don't speak French, but I think that means a global attack! There's a race of sentient spaceships come back to kill us all! Why did no-one tell us about this before!
Oh no wait, it's just a mad live-action teaser trailer for Mass Effect 3. Phew, eh?
Christian Elverdam is Hitman: Absolution's gameplay director, and that's his face hovering just above these words. Our combined E3 force caught up with Christian in LA, and pinned him to the wall with the full force of our questioning. In response, he talked about the varied approaches players can take in Absolution. Blood Money fans (of whom our own Tom Francis leads the charge) will be pleased to hear that the videos and demos they've shown so far aren't pointing toward a linear, prescribed route through the game. Instead, Christian points out that 47 will have a range of options at his disposal to complete his grisly duty.
Personally, I wouldn't have booked a flight to a place called 'Dead Island' in the first place. At the very least, I wouldn't be surprised when a swarm of zombies turned up when I tried to check in at the hotel.
I jest, of course. The dead island of Dead Island's open-world world is the fictional Banoi, and I totally would've booked a holiday to a place called Dead Island. Imagine how cool it'd sound at work? "How was your time on DEAD ISLAND, Rich?" "Pretty good: I had to work together with three friends to hold off a horde of shambling corpses, and we jury-rigged weapons out of machinery and tools left around the Palms Resort." "Oh, cool! Can I see your photos?" "Sure, they're IN THIS VERY POST."
Payday: The Heist came out of nowhere to shock Tim yesterday, forcing him down onto the ground with its co-operative bank robbing action, and raiding his figurative vault of interest. Today, we get to see a set of videos: the trailer, above, and an in-game video below the cut.
Answer: like Left 4 Dead, but with much more swearing and much more cop murder. A heady blend. Click through to see the game in action on the PC.
On this second of the E3 2011 special podcast presentations we get the lowdown from Chris, Evan, Tyler, Josh, and Lucas on everything PC game related that you absolutely need to know about direct from the E3 epicenter.
Watch this space for more E3 podcasts that will transport your curious mind straight to the show floor.
PC Gamer US Podcast E3 2011 Special #2
Just ten days ago, the world didn’t know of Payday: The Heist, nor did they know of the existence of the developers working on it, Overkill Software, formed out of the ashes of the collapse of GRIN. The game they’re working on is a shooter in which you play armed robbers. Think Left 4 Dead, set it in a bank/casino/celebrity party/skyscraper. Take out the zombies. Replace them with cops. That’s Payday. It’s not going to remain a secret for long; I thought it was superb.
Our fellow spies at E3 managed to track down id Software's Tim Willits for a few interesting words about Rage's vehicle sections. Willits says he's gained a new respect for racing games after developing Rage's post apocalyptic buggies, but assures us that we won't be forced to go racing if we don't want to. It sounds as though they'll mostly be there to use to crash into things and as a roving platform from which to launch rockets. That sounds good to us.
We caught up with John Carmack recently, too. He told why Rage will look best on PC, and compared current PCs to the consoles, saying that modern PCs are "an order of magnitude" more powerful.
Rocksteady have released some more superb screenshots of Batman: Arkham City, showing the Dark Knight taking on a wide variety of uglified goons. it's good to see Bats back in action after the recent rush of Catwoman information. In fact, Warner Brothers have told CVG that while Catwoman will be playable in Arkham City, it'll only be for about ten percent of the game. Her sections will pop up intermittently, and interweave with Batman's adventure.
The game will also have the Penguin, who is apparently a cockney geezer now. We'll have more on that when we see the game. Until then, 'ave a gander at the screens below, guv'nor. There's a piccy of The Riddler an' all.
Sword of the Stars 2 brings the new Mars 2 graphics engine to the 4X space domination game. You can see the effects of the new engine above in the E3 trailer, which showcases many of the new ship designs.
The additions being made for the by the sequel aren't just skin deep. There's a whole new playable race called the Suul’ka. The technology tree has been expanded as well. It will begin in the Fusion era, and progress "beyond the Anti-matter era," which is probably is the most exciting of all the made up future eras. Find out more on the Sword of the Stars 2 on the official site.
Rock of Ages looks awesome. Rolling a ball around is always fun, but a really heavy one that can smash down buildings and wizards? We're into that. Rock of Ages will include a multiplayer mode which revolves around the concept of two fortresses under siege - you'll settle that dispute by chucking rocks too. It's developed by ACE Team, responsible for the brain-twistingly weird, but Top 100-breaking, first-person puncher, Zeno Clash.
The new Lord of the Rings: War in the North trailer gives us a good look at the fourth member of the co-op fellowship. It's a great eagle called Beleram. He's not directly playable, but can be called upon at key moments to strike your enemies from above, and by strike, I mean eat.
The best part of the trailer shows a fight between Beleram and an Ogre. I use the word 'fight' generously. Fighting suggests some semblance of competition. Beleram has just surpassed the Colossal Otter to take the top spot on my list of Brilliant Animals That Should Exist But Don't. The game's out August 24.
Forget about checked shirts and skimpy jeans. All the cool kids in Gotham dress up like Batman and the Joker. Only not exactly like Bats and Jokes - that wouldn't be cool at all - they just use them as inspiration. Then the ruffians have Team Fortress 2-style battles in chemical plants and amusement parks all over the city. Gotham City Impostors is a multiplayer FPS that will be available to download in 2012.
The King Arthur series is one of the few to try and steal Total War's hybrid turn based and real time strategy crown (it's a big and very complicated crown). King Arthur put a neat twist on the formula with the addition of magic, and an endearing recreation of ye olde British folke myths. The sequel ups the ante by adding huge new beasts, hordes of flying units and more powerful spells, all of which feature in the surprisingly stirring trailer above. It has a lot of dragons, sure, but does it have unlimited dragons?
A man creates a TrackMania 2: Canyon level right before Tim's eyes in this demonstration of the powerful level editing tools that come with the game. The demonstrator then loads up the game in real time to test his creation out, and we get to see the upgraded physics engine in action as he flings his sports car across the sandy landscape.
Tim and Graham have seen the fifth Hitman game in action now, and it comes with some surprises. A cover system? Actual stealth? Donnie Darko predicto-vision? A rooftop chase under helicopter fire? What is this, a game that's slightly different in some way?
I don't know how any of those things will work out yet, or how much of the game they really represent. But the last game, Hitman: Blood Money, was so nearly perfect that you can see what they need to do next. This is what they need to do next.
It's easy for PC gamers to get dishearted at E3. As Tim mentioned to John Carmack yesterday, we don't have our own conference to look forward to. The Xbots, PS3-cool-kids, and Nint-infants/oldies each have a few hours dedicated to them each year.
And silly as the conferences are, it makes me sad that we haven't got one. Give a console gamer a live stream and they'll instantly start developing new memes based on how crap the presenters of the conference are. The presenters themselves will stroke the rounded edges of their new hardware and talk about "expanding demographics" until a montage kicks in.
This is the TrackMania 2: Canyon footage shown at the E3 2011 Ubisoft press conference. All of the tracks shown have been created using the level editing tools that will come with the game. The original TrackMania was known for being a superbly fun, but lo-fi racer. TrackMania: Canyon's desert locales and graphical upgrades give it a new level of polish. It looks gorgeous, and we can't wait to play it. You can get Tim's impressions of the demo from his overview of the Ubisoft Conference here.
Defenders of Ardania is a new tower defense game from Paradox. As well as organising and upgrading a series of keeps to make a mazy city of death, you'll be training and controlling troops to try and push back the enemy hordes. It's not all about defending, mind. Multiplayer modes will let you attack your friend's fortresses, or you can gang up to take on AI opponents.
With three different races and a brace of elf-squashing spells to hand, it looks as though Defenders of Arcania could bring a bit of extra depth to the oh-so-addictive tower defense formula. Check out the Defenders of Ardania Facebook page for more.