Here's some "working concept art" from the upcoming Unreal Tournament. And it does look like concept art, thanks to the clean environments and stylised lighting. In fact, this is an early look at a work-in-progress level, and Epic are taking you on a flythrough tour in their new development video.
first person shooter
No, no, no, no, this isn't right. Shooters today are brown and serious, and about real-life things like war, swearing and using helicopters to airlift a single jerk sniper to a nearby rooftop. They're not fast and twitchy, and they're definitely not colourful. And yet, Lovely Planet is defiantly breaking all the rules, by being about a planet of colourful things... that you shoot.
I've been falling down an Arma hole recently, and so my initial reaction to this video was one of alarm. Driving tanks into the path of an oncoming train? Absconding with a flag while riding a jet-ski? Running willy-nilly into the incoming fire of your enemies? Riding a digger?! That's not how you do a war. Of course, that's also not the point. The point: to be a loud and explosive playground filled with destructive possibility. If this trailer's two minutes of action are anything to go by, the Dragon's Teeth DLC could be a success in that regard.
For those not familiar with its particular brand of simulation, Arma 3 can be a daunting thing to approach. Don't let our recent, barely competent shenanigans fool you; there's a deep vein of realism at the heart of Bohemia's shooter and, with it, a level of complexity that can be difficult to parse. Hope comes in the form of the just released Bootcamp update. More than just a tutorial, it's designed to teach you the underlying principles powering the game. And all without R. Lee Ermey screaming in your face.
DICE are launching Battlefest, an event they describe as a "festival built for gamers". Picture crowds gathered in massive tents, raising their lighters in appreciation of an on-stage presentation on the merits of mid-range firefights with an AR160. And now forget that image, because this "festival" takes place entirely in-game. It begins this Saturday with a double-XP weekend.
Valve took a three day run-up to its Love and War update, with daily teasers for what, in reality, amounted to some new taunts and weapons. You'd think, then, that the introduction of a new game mode would warrant something spectacular. Instead—perhaps fittingly for a game made by the company responsible for Steam—it's being launched into Early Access. Yesterday's TF2 update added two new "beta maps" to the game. They're rough, unbalanced, and, in some cases, untextured, but one of them is our first taste of the new Robot Destruction game type.
For the British, July 4th is a time for looking sheepishly at your feet as you're reminded of the, er, impoliteness of your ancestors. Then again, nearly every day is a time for that. For the US, it's an apparently much more festive occasion. And so, in honour of the day, Battlefield 4's CTE broke out the red, blue and white fireworks, and an appropriately raucous version of The Star-Spangled Banner. You can see all the Premium-only test client's celebrations, courtesy of YouTube user 'Jackfrags'.
Where next on the terrorism/counter-terrorism world tour that is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Valve have launched Operation: Breakout—the latest in a series of seasonal events for the competitive shooter. This time, the community-created maps that it spotlights are available in official matchmaking to all players.
PlanetSide 2 is two years old in November, and has changed a lot. In constant contact with the community, SOE have reformed the economy, restructured Auraxis' vast planetary bases, redesigned the UI, and even added entire continents, like the long-awaited Hossin swampland. PlanetSide has a proud legacy, but PS2 has evolved into something unique—a free-to-play game that supports multiplayer warfare on a startling scale. If you haven't played since launch, it's time for another visit.
“Save often,” says one of the tips in Sniper Elite 3’s loading screen. I’m perplexed. The phrase used to be in every game, but among today’s auto-saving checkpoints it feels anachronistic—impossible, even. You mean, I can save wherever I want? What is this, 2003?
Sniper Elite 3 is a third-person shooter with emphasis on stealth and long-range sniping, and it remembers the old days fondly—which is great. In the campaign, I expected to sneak between checkpoints in more or less a straight line, but I found big open maps and the freedom to solve problems how I wanted. In multiplayer, I expected to be asked to log in to something or other, but I found custom player-hosted matches and dedicated servers with 23 possible rules modifiers. Can we really have it so good in 2014?
It's a double-whammy of weather news, courtesy of SOE's John Smedley. The studio's CEO dropped falling facts across Twitter last night, showing a series of snow-covered landscapes from the upcoming H1Z1. In addition, Smedley revealed that weather effects are being planned for Planetside 2.
Last month, DICE launched the Community Test Environment—a beta branch of the game that let Premium players test and give feedback on a variety of (much needed) updates. Soon, it'll be time for those improvements to invade the game proper. DICE recently rounded up some of the changes we can expect, including Rush mode tweaks, balance changes to Dragon's Teeth's Ballistics Shield, and, once again, "improvements to the 'Netcode'".
It must be hard being a robot-riding parkour space marine of the future. It's no longer enough to just kill your enemies; you've got to do it in weird ways. The next Titanfall patch will introduce "Featured Game Modes", which provide limited-time variations on the game's standard objectives. The first of these, "Marked For Death", challenge you to kill a specific enemy player, all while protecting your own VIP-pilot.
Origin are currently giving away Peggle. It's a happy game about rainbows and Beethoven, and is therefore at odds with the majority of EA's catalogue. To redress the balance, they're also planning a free trial for a game about big robots and loud noises that go "SHHHHHLUNK". Titanfall will be free to download and play this weekend, and—while it'll take the majority of that time to download and install the thing—that should still leave a few solid hours of robo-falling, parkour-jumping action.
Sorry, Battlefield: Hardline, it's nothing personal. Your cops and robbers CTF battles have the subtlety of a playground pile-on, but I've managed to extract a few moments of fun from the chaos. I like the violent, bass fart of your P-90, as I did in Battlefield 4, and Battlefield 3. And I like the way you use the Frostbite engine to fill the air with floaty bits of burning chaff even though I have no idea where it all comes from. The problem is the competition. There's just so much more laughter and joy to be had in a seven year old free game called Team Fortress 2.
After kneading the community into a yeasty mush of excitement, Valve have finally pulled their update out of the oven. Love and War is available now, bringing a selection of new taunts and weapons. In addition, they've slightly tweaked their long-standing secret recipe. By which I mean they've seriously altered the balance of the Demoman's Sticky Launcher.
The Team Fortress 2 blog has updated with a brief and mysterious message. It leads to a countdown page, called "suspense.html", ticking down to... something. Whatever that something is, it'll happen in just over 13 hours, at 1am BST.
Those are the facts, all that remain now are questions. Questions like, what do Valve have planned? Why are Reddit's TF2 community suddenly obsessed by bread? And how are Valve managing to reignite my interest in TF2 for the first time in almost a year?
Rainbow 6 is back, and not in the noisy, deliberately provocative, trying-too-hard manner of Rainbow 6: Patriots. Siege made its first appearance at Ubisoft's conference yesterday, showing an encouraging return to the tactical roots of the series, with the bonus addition of total destructability and tight 5 vs. 5 multiplayer. There's plenty to glean from the video demonstration, so we've picked out ten points of interest ahead of Evan's hands-on impressions.
The only thing potentially sillier than this Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel trailer would be the expectation that it would be anything other than silly. As you watch, you'll hover on a knife's edge between thinking "this is brilliant," and "this is genuinely the worse thing that I've ever seen, and everybody involved should be arrested." Which way will you fall? There's only one way to find out...