Warner Bros

Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project mod for Skyrim petitions WB to revoke cease and desist

Omri Petitte at

Last week, Warner Bros. sent a cease-and-desist letter to the development team of the Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project (MERP), a detailed Skyrim mega-mod portraying the Lord of the Rings experience with quests, iconic characters, locations, and visuals lifted from the books and films. Ambition, like a tenacious hobbit, won't diminish easily, as MERP's team set up a petition earlier this week asking fans and followers to convince Warner Bros. to rescind the order.

LEGO Lord of the Rings E3 trailer features voice acted mini-Frodo, brick Balrog, plastic Gandalf

Chris Thursten at

The LEGO Lord of the Rings trailer is proof of something I've long believed: that the more plastic and adorable a wizard becomes, the more awesome they actually are. Also, LEGO Sean Bean makes me want someone to make LEGO Game of Thrones. Just think of the intro sequence.

LEGO Lord of the Rings is due out in the Autumn and will cover the full trilogy. It'll be the first LEGO game with voice acting and, as per series tradition, will include full co-op.

If anyone makes a 'LEGOlas' pun in the comments I will give you a stern look over the internet. You can do better.

Lord of the Rings receiving the Lego treatment next summer

Nathan Grayson at

Generally, it's bad form to put every last ounce of an article's info in its headline, but that is - quite literally - all the information available. Via a teaser page, Lego's announced that it's giving Frodo and friends a nice, blocky makeover. Which, of course, raises the question: How does one wear the one ring of power when they, er, don't have fingers? Frightening claw appendages are great for many things (holding cups, imitating Darth Vader's force choke, frightening children, etc), but evil jewelry isn't one of them. Regardless, I'm sure the game will be charming as a puppy that communicates entirely with hugs and rainbows. It is, as the headline and image suggest, launching in summer of 2012.

Arkham City's DirectX 11 support is some kind of joker

Henry Winchester at

Arkham City’s been out on those awful plastic box things for a good month or so now, but us PC gamers have had to put up with a wait. We know that this is because developers Rocksteady are cramming lots of cracking stuff into the game for the PC version. We know that when it’s finally released we’re going to have the most realistic experience you can have short of dressing like a gravity-defying flying rodent and fighting crime on the streets of Ipswich.

But all is not well in Arkham City. It appears that a number of gamers are having problems with all the shiny bells and whistles DirectX 11 brings to the game. For example, Jared Walton of AnandTech has an ultra-powerful gaming PC, but experienced huge frame rate drops until he scaled back the game from DirectX 11 to DirectX 9. It seems to be the experience many other PC gamers are having, too.

Bastion developer talks indie publishing

Henry Winchester at

Bastion developers Supergiant Games have talked about the ins and outs of publishing at GDC China in Shanghai, according to Gamasutra. Started by a couple of ex-Command and Conquer chaps who quit their jobs and invested in the company, Supergiant’s success or failure as a company relied on Bastion.

Although Bastion was intended to be an indie release, the game was picked up by uber-publishers Warner Bros. Interactive. However, Supergiant chose not to accept any money from Warner Bros., instead relying on their clout as publishers. "It's important to note that they did not give us any money," said Amir Rao, Supergiant’s co-founder and studio director. "They certainly paid for things, but it was one of those things early on where we decided we weren't going to take money."

EA’s Origin to sell third-party titles like Batman: Arkham City and Saints Row: The Third

Henry Winchester at

EA’s Steam-challenging Origin digital distribution service will begin selling third-party titles from the likes of Warner Bros Interactive and THQ in November, according to Gamasutra. The service, which EA claims has over six million subscribers, is required to play obscure indie game Battlefield 3 on the PC.

Joining Battlefield 3 are Warner Bros’ Batman: Arkham City and THQ’s Saints Row: The Third, both of which are the very definition of “eagerly awaited.” These will join some “top new releases” from the publishers, but there’s no word on what these are. EA hasn’t disclosed if Warner Bros or THQ’s back catalogues will show up on the service.

Gotham City Impostors announced. Play as "The Bats" and "The Jokerz"

Owen Hill at

Warner Bros and Monolith Productions have announced Gotham City Impostors - an upcoming first-person shooter where you play as your own character in either "The Bats" or "The Jokerz" tribute gangs.

All sounds a bit "I'm not wearing hockey pads" to us.

Celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien's Birthday in LOTRO [giveaway]

Chris Perry at

On January 3rd, 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. To commemorate this momentous occasion, fans from around the world raise their glasses "To the Professor" and drink a toast in his honor. The PC Gamer staff toasted with LotR-styled shot glasses in the office today, and I'm personally celebrating by going through the Ered Luin starter zone revamp in Lord of the Rings Online. This re-structuring of the zone has made some dramatic changes, and I was wonderfully surprised by the new pacing and major changes to the early dwarf area.

Giveaway Update: Closed! Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to winners Raliant, fest_freak, Jimangi, Malachi and Slie_amos!

Have some free wintry fun over the holidays with LOTRO

Chris Perry at

One of my greatest pleasures while playing LOTRO is taking part in the seasonal festivals that Turbine rolls out four times a year. These festivals are always a great part of the game, and lately, Turbine has been adding new content to each festival as it comes out. During the Fall festival, we had the addition of the Haunted Cellar under Bilbo's house, and now, for the Yule Festival (which started on December 14th and runs to January 11th) they have added an entire zone, Winter-Home. And now that LOTRO's free to play, you can enjoy it over the holidays as well!

Lego Universe review

Josh Augustine at

I don’t know who Redboy31 is, but I want to be his friend. His player-built property, The League of Engineers, is everything I wanted my treehouse fort to be when I was a kid. It’s got a high wall guarded by big guns, friendly robots, a secret meeting room at the top of a huge elevator, and a prank lever that playfully zaps anyone who touches it!

It wasn’t until I began exploring the player-owned properties – the plots of land where players can build freely – that I understood what Lego Universe really is: an online realm of imagination where kids (and kids at heart) build secret forts and craft huge castles guarded by pirate boats in the sky; where ninja hideouts are protected by giant samurai robots and pirates who find cursed treasure are transformed into skeletons.

FEAR 3 hands-on E3 impressions

Dan Stapleton at

I think I'm going to need a co-op partner to play FEAR 3 with me, for very selfish reasons. Played in single-player as The Point Man, it's pretty much the same old paranormal shooter, slow motion power and all. In co-op however, you can assume control of the vastly more interesting Paxton Fettle - the first game's villain, now a ghost - and run around stunning and possessing people while your partner does the shooting.

More impressions and a ton of screenshots below the fold.