I'm not sure how I feel about getting emails from Neptune's Pride. Dirty, I guess? It was a game responsible for some pretty reprehensible behaviour, as part of a month-long campaign of stress, plotting and backstabbing. After it was over, I swore never to play it again. Then Neptune's Pride 2: Triton appeared, so naturally I played it again. Now it's emailing me, seemingly for no reason other reason than to taunt me with a reminder of its existence, and to reveal that its developers are testing out 64-player games of mammoth machination and mental manoeuvring.
I'm being attacked by splicers again. I've got little health, no EVE, and only a few bullets for each of my four guns. I'm about to die, which is annoying, because I'd prefer to spend that money refilling all the things I'm low on.
Elizabeth calls out: she's found some EVE. I can use this. I catch a splicer with the Possession plasmid and, in the confusion, use my last shotgun shell to blast another. I then call for Elizabeth to materialise a freight hook, so that by the time I've Sky-Hooked (sorry, Air Grabbed) to reposition, my shield has recharged. I dismount, slamming into another splicer, and finish by using my buffed melee range to execute the last enemy, just as his possession wears off.
Bundles are so 2012. Okay, they're still pretty 2013 too, and the Humble Bundle organisers are planning to run both them and the Weekly Sale offers in future. Now, though, they've expanded their Humble enterprise to include a permanent store front, from which you can buy a selection of indie and indie-ish games. To celebrate the store's launch, they're running a sale that knocks 50-75% off the entirety of the (currently small) catalogue. More deals - and therefore more games - are scheduled to appear over the next few days.
Action RPG Path of Exile sees its first post-launch patch go live this Wednesday, the first update of seven planned before Grinding Gears releases an expansion in March 2014. While the 1.0.1 update includes its share of mysterious new items to try out, it's also set to kick off the free-to-play game's fifth season of competitive events, according to lead designer Chris Wilson.
Arma III’s release had its fair share of hitches, but it appears as though the bugs and optimizations issues plaguing DayZ Standalone's development are of a different breed—enough to push back the game's launch window.
FTL, last year’s breakout hit from two-person studio Subset Games, will receive a free update that adds new ship systems, weapons, events and environments. Called FTL: Advanced Edition, the update will be timed to coincide with an iPad edition of the game set for release in 2014.
It might surprise you to learn that the Portal 2 Steam Workshop is the busiest of all Workshop's mod repositories. There are over 302,000 items on there, so I had to narrow the search down somewhat. I chose innovation as my main filter. I've been on the lookout for game-changing mods: the new challenges that haven't been seen before, creative level-design that Valve forgot, and additions to the base game that creates new ways of solving puzzles. Here are the best I found.
The problem with writing about Take On Mars is that, at some point, I will get that song stuck in my head. This is the curse of being born in the '80s. It's particularly annoying in this instance, because the update doesn't take place on the red planet, but its moon, Deimos, as well as some surrounding asteroids. We'll never know if "Take On Deimos" would prove less ear-worm inducing, but hopefully its trailer's electro-beeps can dispel the New Wave spectre.
Between Warlords of Draenor, Reaper of Souls, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard must be nearing their quota of "X of Y" named games. But if modern Blizzard has a penchant for expanding and advancing its key franchises through a standardised nomenclature, they haven't completely abandoned the days when they could release games that were just called Warcraft. Or Warcraft 2: Tides of... Oh, come on.
Well, if the names haven't changed, the style has, which is something you'll hopefully be able to re-experience soon. During a panel over this last weekend's Blizzcon, it was revealed that a team within Blizzard hope to bring the classic RTS games to modern PCs.
Sony Online Entertainment today announced a Founder's Pack for EverQuest Next Landmark, its upcoming MMO-meets-sandbox building game and spin-off of the in-development EverQuest Next. Starting today, you can purchase one of three packs for the game, two of which include early alpha access when the game launches early next year, plus a whole bunch of in-game items and tools.
There's EverQuest Next, and then there's EverQuest Next Landmark—two different MMOs linked by Sony Online Entertainment's unusual development process. Landmark will come first, sometime in early 2014, as a free-to-play MMO focused on exploring and Minecraft-style building, except with tools that go far beyond block stacking. Later on, however, Landmark will grow into the platform for EverQuest Next, and players will get all the tools SOE is using to build its flagship fantasy MMO.
I was recently linked a video of Overgrowth's 201 Alpha, which showed some incredibly impactful spear based violence. Unfortunately, it was released in September - which is so long ago, I might as well have been alerting everyone to the existence of this exciting new game called Chess. Fortunately, a new build has just been released, providing both a new dialogue editor, and an excuse for me to talk about rabbits beating the snot out of each other.
Minecraft is tied inexorably to YouTube, both through those who have used the site to share their own in-game creations, and through the communities that have risen up around dedicated video makers. Really then, it makes sense that 2 Player Production's documentary, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang, has found a home on the site, and is available to stream for free. Head over to YouTube to see it nestled lovingly amid related videos for various Let's Plays, possibly featuring two zany friends shrieking at each other over a Creeper attack.
Like an unpopular and neglected combination of game client, social platform and DRM system, Games for Windows Live is fast approaching its ultimate shutdown. Oh, hold on, that wasn't a clever analogy. That's what Games for Windows Live is. In preparation for its sort-of announced shutdown, a variety of games have been looking at ways to hack off the dying flesh, in the hope that such self-amputation will stop the creep of necrotic tissue, thus ensuring the survival of the host. Okay, that was a better analogy.
Here's a second trailer for The Forest, an upcoming open-world survival game being developed by Endnight Games (née SKS Games). In the first, we saw the direct aftermath of the plane crash that left the player's character stranded on an inhospitable island. Now we move forward a few weeks. A basic shelter has been built, supplies are coming together, limbs are erected into a challenging art installation, and monsters subsequently attack. Typical philistines.
Look at the assorted items up there. A ghetto blaster. A baseball. Bog roll. A saw. Will any of these come in useful when it comes to removing a scorpion from a turtle enclosure without killing the creatures inside? This - like every week - is the question we must ask ourselves, and it's one that has particular resonance to witty adventure game The Scorpion Box. Also this week: tactical bullet management, fussy thievery, a punny take on a platforming classic, and a pretty darn terrifying text adventure. Enjoy!
Valve sorta kinda in a roundabout way added In-Home Streaming in a Steam beta update a little while ago, but not in a way you could actually, you know, use. If you like the idea of streaming games to another PC in your household, however, you should probably keep an eye on this Steam group. And by 'keep an eye on' I mean 'join the heck out of', as Valve will be randomly picking members for an upcoming beta test "later this year".
When they weren't strutting around in their stupid spiky helmets or having a go at poor old Grendel, the Vikings loved nothing better than to gather in mead halls and beat each other to bloody pulps. We know this from the historical document The Banner Saga: Factions, the free-to-play multiplayer prologue to Stoic's upcoming single-player turn-based RPG. We weren't overly enamoured of that morsel, despite the high beard quotient, but maybe the full feast will taste better. The fully fledged Banner Saga has just been given a release date: 14th January 2014.
If you feel like being Batman these days, there's no shortage of options. There's a new Batman game. There are several old Batman games. You could buy a heavily discounted Batman Halloween costume, put it on, and start punching crooks. Or, you can do what I did this week: install a Batmobile mod for GTA IV, and bring a little Gotham to Liberty City.
As you may have noticed, Blizzard are coincidentally at this weekend's gigantic Blizzcon event, where they've so far shown off lots of very exciting stuff involving orcs, demons, aliens and - most exciting of all - playing cards. They also pooh-poohed any idea of World of Warcraft going free-to-play any time soon, with the quite concrete exclamation that WoW "wasn't designed as a free-to-play game".