I should probably have seen this coming, what with Beamdog's 'Enhanced' editions of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, but the news that a new version of Icewind Dale is on the way still came as a pleasant surprise. Beamdog's rejigged Baldur's Gate isn't the one we'd recommend, but it's always nice to see old BioWare/Black Isle favourites back in the limelight, even if buying the originals and modding the heck out of them is probably the best approach. Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition will add new spells, weapons, items and classes to the first game and its expansions, in addition to changing the interface, restoring/finishing cut content, and allowing cross-platform multiplayer between PC and Mac.
If you've been taken by the desire to purchase Fallout, Fallout 2 or Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood this year, then you know what disappointment is. The games disappeared from Steam and GOG in January following a protracted legal stoush between former series owner Interplay and current owner Bethesda. The battle eventually resulted in a $2 million settlement which saw the transferal of the Fallout MMO rights to Bethesda, as well as all other related IP.
GOG don't want to set the world on fire, they just want to impart Fallout in your (shopping) cart. The easiest way to do that, of course, is to make Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics completely free for the next couple of days, which is what they've done. Why? Firstly, because it's an apocalyptically good way to launch their Winter Sale. Secondly, because rights to the series are currently pending a change in ownership, which may see the classic RPGs removed from sale on the service.
In the rush to place dibs on THQ's former properties, Freespace must have been kicked into some dusty corner of the office. Surely that's the only reason it was so neglected, with the space combat sim's IP rights finally being sold to Interplay for a meagre $7,500. That's according to a court document, filed on June 4th, and unearthed by Polygon.
Okay, so the recent enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate wasn't quite the triumph we hoped it to be—it scored decently in our review, but still didn't manage to match a modded-up version of the original release. Ah, but will playing in full 3D change things? We can find out now thanks to Baldur's Gate: Reloaded, a lovingly crafted fan mod that uproots the entire game and rearranges it in Neverwinter Nights 2.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Richard Cobbett returns to the post-nuclear isometric wonderland of Fallout 2.
Let me tell you the story of a town called New Reno. Isolated and protected from the worst of the Great War by its mountains, it rose from the wasteland like a phoenix addicted to a deadly drug. Folks called it the capital of sin and whores, safe for tourists only while their pockets jangled with precious bottle caps. At least, that’s how it was before you arrived.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Richard Cobbett delves into the questions of human nature while beating up monsters in Planescape: Torment.
Most RPGs give you a quest. Torment gives you a question: “What can change the nature of a man?” It’s not a riddle. It’s not a puzzle. It’s simply the first hint that you’re about to embark on the smartest, most philosophical quest of your life.
Torment is the story of The Nameless One, a grey, scarred immortal who wakes up with amnesia on a mortuary slab in the middle of a filthy city built on filth, fear and backstabbing. With the help of a cheerful, slightly perverted skull called Morte, he soon discovers that he’s an immortal trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth.
The Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera has been a resounding success thus far. A success that would not have been possible without its storied predecessor, Planescape: Torment. The 1999 RPG is widely heralded as one of the best-written games of all time. But is it still enjoyable to pick up for the first time, over 12 years later, without the benefit of nostalgia? We have the answer.
It's been nearly a decade since anyone released a decent PC space combat game. The masses of overlooked, under-appreciated space shooter fans and I are still pissed about it (though at least Chris Roberts has given us something to look forward to). Some of us may own boxed retail copies of the ’90s classics, but getting them up and running on modern Windows PC environments takes more effort than it's worth. We wanna toast alien fighters with plasma weapons and missiles, not barrel-roll into subdirectories to apply patches or edit config files.
Don't call it a comeback: T.J. is misguidedly given dominion over the podcast for a second week running as we discuss whether the new Black Isle Studios has anything to do with the old Black Isle Studios, what our plans are for the launch of Guild Wars 2, and whether we will actually see the World of Darkness MMO before the apocalypse. Plus, new DayZ storytime from Evan, T.J. proposes to Crusader Kings II, and Tyler asks new Associate Editor Omri Petitte what (railgun) is best in life?
Saddle up for the content-crammed extravaganza that is PC Gamer US Podcast 327: Pixel Blood
Brian Fargo and The Wasteland 2 team yoinked more than $3m in funding with a massively successful Kickstarter campaign back in April. All of the excitement of the big money win has died down a little as the devs get their heads down and start making the game. Now No Mutants Allowed note that Wasteland 2 will come packed with a nice nostalgic bonus, a free copy of the 1988 original that inspired Fallout.
"The #1 request we had during our Kickstarter campaign was to have the ability to play the first game," Brian Fargo said to someone writing a press release. "Fortunately EA has continued to support us on this project and has granted us the ability to bring the original to the players.
After a 24 year wait, we could be getting a sequel to Wastelend. The post-apocalyptic RPG that inspired Fallout is being resurrected by its creators, but they need a little bit of help. Yesterday, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to try and raise $900,000 to fund the project.
"This is probably the last chance for a Wasteland sequel," say the team on the Kickstarter site. "We have tried to pitch this game multiple times to game publishers, but they’ve balked. They don’t think there’s any interest in a solid, old school type of game. This is our shot at proving them wrong. And more importantly this could help bring back an entire genre of RPGs."
After just a day, nearly 10,000 backers have contributed more than half a million dollars to the project. There are 34 days to go until the Kickstarter page closes. In other words, it looks like we're getting Wasteland 2. Wooo!
The bombs have dropped, the dust has settled, and Fallout Online, sadly, is no more. After an ugly legal scuffle that lasted nearly two years, Bethesda and Interplay have cased trading blows and started trading cash. More specifically, $2 million - for which Bethesda receives all Fallout MMO-related rights, according to VG247. Interplay, meanwhile, can continue to peddle its own post-apocalyptic wares in the form of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics - but only until December 2013.
For the time being, Bethesda's merely happy to be "able to develop future Fallout titles for our fans without third party involvement or the overhang of others’ legal claims," but could a Bethesda-born attempt at some irradiated online action be headed our way? At this point, it's a toss up. But given Skyrim's all-consuming success with an allegedly draconian single-player-only approach, I'm not counting on it.
All's fair in love and war. Fortunately, however, no one had to break out the apocalyptic nuke salvos this time around, as Bethesda and original Fallout owner Interplay have finally reached a settlement in their tooth-and-nail struggle over Fallout Online.
After Bethesda whipped out the legal equivalent of a Rock-It Launcher and fired off everything from a (failed) development-halting injunction to a claim that Interplay could use Fallout's name and nothing else, Duck and Cover claims that the two have declared a cease fire. The site cites a "source" that took part in the hearings and claims that we'll learn of Fallout Online's fate later this month. Fingers crossed for good news, but given Interplay's recent agonized-wail-inducing financial woes, I wouldn't count on it.
Interplay’s Fallout MMO has scored another small victory against Bethesda, who are trying to stop the post-apocalyptic multiplayer title getting off the ground, according to CVG.
Bethesda wanted a preliminary injunction against the MMO, which would stop Interplay’s continuing development of the title. However, the United States Court of Appeals has denied the move.
Bioware's sequel to one of the strangest games ever made is getting a HD reboot. Space janitor turned war suited saviour of humanity, Kurt Hectic returns, this time accompanied by a six legged talking dog and and mad scientist Dr. (not Steven) Hawkins. The rebooted version will feature revamped textures, new art, improved lighting and rebuilt particle effects created by some of the original MDK2 devs. We spoke to Overhaul Games’ Trent Oster about putting the HD into MDK2 HD. It will be released this Wednesday October 12 exclusively on digital distribution platform, Beamdog.
The ‘feeding on excrement’ and ‘laying eggs on rotten flesh’ part of being a fly has never really appealed, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t occasionally watched a Musca Domestica alight on a ceiling or dodge a rolled-up magazine, and thought “Blimey. Imagine being able to aviate like that.”
Having just played through the still-special Descent 3, I’m more convinced than ever that our compound-eyed companions are having a whale of a time. In this 1999 sci-fi flight curio not only can you move forwards, backwards and sideways at the touch of a key, you can also rise, sink, tilt, rotate, and hover. Combine these abilities with gravity-less maps crammed with aggressive aerobots and you have the recipe for one of the most liberating and disorientating combat games ever made.
Fallout Online may not have released any trailers, screens, or even concept art, but they are taking registrations for the beta. Interplay have said that "interested players who sign up are on the fast-track for beta-testing", and will also receive some sort of newsletter with "tales from the wastelands". There's even an intro video where a hand looks at some polaroids, or something. Mysterious indeed.