What happens when you combine Arma with D&D? Goblins assaulting Greek islands with M4 Carbines? Possibly, but in this instance, it's a new multiplayer mode in which an Arma 3 player becomes dungeon master of an outfit's military manoeuvres. Zeus is an upcoming free DLC pack that lets an all-powerful player look down upon the others, like some god-like entity in control of a real-time scenario editor.
Steam has a new feature. Users can now add tags to games. In theory it gives customers a new way to sort Steam's massive library, and lets the community collectively decide on its own genre definitions. It also forms the foundation of a new recommendation system that offers up tags Steam thinks you'll like. It offered me a "mechs" tag, providing a positive glimpse of how the system is supposed to work.
Unfortunately, almost anything can be entered as a tag, which has granted some corners of the gaming community the opportunity to graffiti store pages with abuse and massive spoilers. Anyone dropping in on Final Fantasy's store page will have a major plot point ruined, as will anyone who clicks to add a tag to Bioshock Infinite. Strategy game Supreme Ruler 1936 currently has been tagged with "the holocoast never happened" and "Jews did 9/11".
Ever since Irrational Games announced that its BioShock Infinite downloadable content would take place in Rapture, fans have speculated about how the worlds in the BioShock franchise could be connected. As we get ever closer to the release of Burial At Sea Episode 2, a new, very spoilery video starts to hint at answers—while showing off a whole host of returning characters from both Rapture and Columbia.
Seriously, spoilers ahead. You've been warned.
Update 72 of Pillars of Eternity's regularly updated Kickstarter development blog has a statement from "newest producer" Rose Gomez saying Obsidian are "looking good to release Eternity by Winter 2014". It seems so far away, but the cold season is a good time to settle into a massive, sumptuous RPG.
We're quite excited about Eternity. We spent ten minutes yesterday crowded around a screen looking at the reassuringly detailed map, pointing at places like the "Lake of Drowned Tombs" and "Fort Bonepicker" and saying "I'm going to explore the hell out of that". Obsidian have been dropping occasional screenshots into their Kickstarter update feed to provide a sense of how the old ruins and murky dungeons will look in the final game. Click on each environment, and imagine tiny fantasy warriors moving around like magical figurines. If you have some old dice nearby, give them a roll, just to get in the mood.
Every Tuesday, DayZ Diaries recounts Andy's adventures in post-apocalyptic survival sim DayZ, where beans and friends are frequently in short supply.
Since the most recent update, a dark cloud of gloom has descended upon Chernarus. Most servers I join are now lashed with rain, and it’s completely transformed the atmosphere of the game. The ominous grey skies, pounding rain, and booming thunder are much more post-apocalyptic than those cloudless, sunny days. Everything is just so damn cinematic now, whether I’m in a standoff at an airfield or looting a deserted town.
“Are you French?” I’m a few miles north of Kamyshovo, and two players in military gear and clown masks have approached me. I’m wearing basic civilian clothes, but the hunting backpack and modded M4 rifle on my back betray the fact that I’m geared up. “No.” I respond, putting my hands up. By now I’ve accepted the fact that I’m going to die, because only two types of people wear the Payday masks these days: new players who don’t know any better, and jerks.
Guild Wars 2's main city of Lion's Arch has seen plenty of drama across the Living Story. Over the last year, there's been an assassination attempt, an election, and a hidden pirate airship. Mostly, though, there's been those two jerks by the Leatherworking station endlessly repeating their infuriating conversation about outhouses and sewage disposal. Why, if I had my way, I'd burn the whole damn place to the ground.
If this video teaser for the next update is anything to go by, ArenaNet might be granting my wish.
Kentucky Route Zero act three is "significantly more involved" than previous acts, has no firm release date
From the outside, the Cardboard Computer had appeared dormant. The developers of lovely episodic adventure Kentucky Route Zero have been quiet on the status of Act III, refusing to divulge the episode's release status. Now, in a recent progress update on its progress, the studio has explained their silence, noting any previously planned launch dates had always been missed. As a result, the team are following game development trick #32: if you never announce a release date, it can never be delayed.
The Elder Scrolls Online may be getting all of the attention right now, but for many of us, the soul of the series will always be Bethesda's sprawling, open-world single-player games. It seems likely that we'll see a new Fallout before we see a new numbered titled in the beloved fantasy RPG series, but that doesn't mean we can't start to dream, right?
The EverQuest Next Landmark alpha—which I've been playing a ton of—introduces the MMO's voxel building tools with patient restraint. By pacing players with a crafting game (advanced resources and building tools must be earned, and not quickly), it encourages a lot of observing and dirt block prototyping, giving its architects time to establish a sense of scale and plan out their first project. When Cory and I visited SOE in San Diego a few months ago, we didn't have that benefit, as you can see in this timelapse video of an apparently drunk construction crew building a pub.
If you're anything like me, everything you know about Australia comes from Mad Max, the first half of Crocodile Dundee, the second half of Crocodile Dundee II, and that Monty Python sketch about the Bruces. Let's change that right now with a history lesson! No, not recited out of some stuffy history textbook full of facts, but with a mod that brings Australia into Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World!
Warner Bros. Games Montreal have revealed that they won't be releasing a patch for the remaining - potentially gamebreaking - bugs and glitches in Batman: Arkham Origins. Instead, the game's development team is "working hard on upcoming story DLC". Understandably, that means it's time to reset the "days since last community outrage" timer back to zero.
SOE have released a new Building Blocks video, rounding up the foundations of their construct-'em-up MMO alpha. This time, it's to introduce the desert environment; "environment" being the oldey-timey word we used to use before "biomes". As you can see from the video, deserts are big fans of cacti and weird looking trees. I'm sure it won't take long for players to put their own spin on the theme. As I type, someone's sure to be drawing up the blueprints to a raggedy RV, to be placed inconspicuously in the badlands.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, an adventure into the known-unknown - back in time to a world of text that still thrives atop four giant elephants riding through space on a giant turtle.
Officially, the PC has had three Discworld games so far - two episodes of what can best be summed up as Rincewind's Scavenger Hunt (based on the novels Guards Guards! and Reaper Man, with the first not unfairly held up as one of the hardest adventures ever made), and the awesomely atmospheric Discworld Noir that pastiched The Maltese Falcon and HP Lovecraft. Beyond that, there's only been two others that I'm aware of, both based on the first book, The Colour Of Magic - one straight up text adventure way back on the Spectrum/C64, and a mobile phone top-down arcade thing that, ah, existed. Apparently.
Back in 1992 though, fans released their own take on the Discworld in MUD form - MUD of course standing for Multi User Dungeon, unlike the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, who stands for nothing. And it's still running, because otherwise this would be a very short column. Join me for a quick visit?
The Elder Scrolls Online is a gorgeous game, so much so that we had to see how it looks on the Large Pixel Collider. We cranked every setting to maximum, but it was no match for the world's most dangerous gaming rig. Here are the results, along with gameplay impressions from Editor-in-chief Evan Lahti and Managing Editor Cory Banks.
The year is 2015. The twin capital ship combo of Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous have warped on our hard drives and PC gamers now live almost exclusively in virtual cockpits, trading and killing one another in an era of interstellar gaming bliss. Star Citizen now has a bigger budget than the British government and Elite: Dangerous is being used to train a future generation of space pilots. The space games have arrived.
Sorry, drifted off a bit there. I can't help but imagine a time when these crowdfunded monsters are finally finished and we'll be free from the teasing feed of trailers. Elite: Dangerous' latest example covers a recent multiplayer test that had backers defending capital ship from waves of enemies, and mugging asteroid harvesters in space. Mmmm, that's good space.
Easter eggs are a fine tradition in game development. From quickfire references to full hidden levels, these comedy vignettes provide surreal non-sequiturs that reward the most thorough with an unexpected laugh. Jazzpunk is what happens when a game's every interaction leads to some form of easter egg.
It's a first-person comedy adventure about espionage and technology, although to describe it as such is to misjudge the balance of comedy to adventure. Instead, picture the word comedy in block capitals, surrounded by flashing lights. Also, imagine the letter M has been formed from the outline of a pair of bum cheeks, and that they're mooning the word adventure. I didn't say its humour was always sophisticated.
Murder, prostitution, black magic and cigarettes are the four staples of '80s New York Fabletown. The Wolf Among Us is an adventure game about once-idealistic fairytale archetypes clashing with contemporary urban decay. Toad of Toad Hall, the Big Bad Wolf and their compatriots are ghettoised, poor and distanced by eons-old grudges. It's a great setting for a hardboiled detective story.
Welcome to the early access report, a regular round-up looking at the most interesting early access games of the moment. Here we try new alphas and revisit old ones to separate the promising gems from the bug-ravaged time wasters.
Early Access was always going to have a large number of games 'inspired' by classics. Developers everywhere are thinking: "A lone-man - probably in his pants - made the PC's fourth biggest game? So can I..." And then trousers are discarded and coding starts. Two Early Access games clearly have origin stories entwined with Minecraft: FortressCraft Evolved is the most obvious 're-interpretation' of the game I've ever played, while Signs of Life at least has the confidence to strike out on its own, in a 2D block-built world. Finally, there's Arcane Worlds, which wants you all to remember Magic Carpet. Are you remembering?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s surge in popularity over the past few months makes now a great time to join one of the most competitive multiplayer shooters on PC. This visual guide will teach you how to set up your game for the maximum competitive advantage. There’s no singular best practice, as a lot of configuration is personal preference, but there are tweaks you can make to graphics and network settings, keybindings, and more to help outplay the competition.
Thief is a game about a thief. Not just any thief either, but a master thief. That means he's silent, untraceable, and likely has permanent spinal damage from all that time spent crouching. All of which (well, except maybe the back injuries) are in direct opposition to the development of Thief, which has been loud enough to rouse the elderly statesmen whose jewellery box you've been rifling through.
Case in point: the new trailer, which takes six minutes to fully detail almost every aspect of how the game plays. Criminals would normally need a Crimewatch episode to get that sort of exposure.