Friday, March 11, 2011

New Teaser Trailer for Tribes Ascend!


Hey everyone I may have mentioned earlier that the makers of Global Agenda had gotten their hands on the license to the Tribes franchise and that they were planning on making a new Tribes game called Tribes Universe that would blend the epic jetpack fueled combat that made that franchise memorable with MMORPG leveling and massive persistent battles.


Well, they just released their first teaser trailer for another game they have been working on, Tribes Ascend. Which will apparently will be a more traditional Tribes game for both the PC and XBox 360. It is being promoted as the spiritual successor to Tribes 2 and will have new vehicles, new weapons and more jetpack/skiing action! The best part is that even though we will have to wait a while for the MMO this game is scheduled for release this year, news that is just pure unadulterated awesomeness with a candy shell.

Check out the trailer:



Also you can follow and get more information at their official website:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Halo Reach- Sometimes Redundancy Is A Good Thing.

I see a lot of people arguing about how this new game on a new engine looks pretty close to the previous games and thus does not appear to have any new graphical improvements over the other titles in the series or against competing franchises in the same genre. I hate to have to bring this up but I thought it was obvious that artistic and aesthetic direction and style are not the same thing as graphical fidelity. The main reason why this game looks very much the same as it's former incarnations is because Bungie made a conscious decision to keep the art direction and visual style as close to the previous games as possible. When I talk about art direction, I am talking about things like color pallet choices and the artistic look and feel of the world and the characters that inhabit it.

Couple the similar art styles and the fact that the core game play has not changed since the first Halo was released in 2001. And to tell the truth, that is a good thing. Halo has some things that a lot of other FPS titles are lacking these days: things like COLOR and setting that isn't based on either the current two wars or a revival of 80's style machismo through the pursuit of dated rivalries and over-the-top, Reagan era patriotism.

The series has a decidedly old school (and remember that the franchise is now almost a decade old) feel that works for it and does not need to be changed that much to keep making money. The art style and core game mechanics may stay the same but the graphics have tightened up and become more detailed and refined, so has the storytelling in the single player game.

Granted has become a symbol of what is wrong with online antagonism and redundant progression, redundancy is a good thing. When I look out and see the vast brown and gray landscape of shooter titles looming on the horizon I cannot help but feel a little happier knowing that Halo is still around and still has a bright, colorful, space marine aesthetic that is fun to play and isn't focused on the grueling, bombed-out setting of realistic warfare as much as it is in doing it's best to make every player feel like a bad ass against the alien horde.

Plus the grunts are just too funny when they get scared.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mac's As A Gaming Platform


You may have noticed that Steam has begun releasing games for Macintosh in an attempt at turning the platform into a viable outlet for gaming, no it's not a joke it is actually happening. Some of you may be laughing at the idea but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. Macintosh and it's respective products (iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc...) have never been more popular than they are now and thus have never been more viable a candidate for gaming. Back in the heydays of video games when the PC was the end-all-be-all experience for the medium, Mac wasn't considered much by developers and/or consumers for anything but running basic programs and being used as the chief source of computers for public schools. I remember being a kid stuck with a Mac at the time and it was a sad state of affairs watching the small Macintosh gaming market wither and die right before my eyes. Apple itself barely survived it and would have collapsed entirely if it weren't for some innovative industrial design and internet surfing becoming a viable leg for them to stand on.

Now, with both the gaming industry in general and Apple being at the heights of their respective popularity it would be stupid not to dip the peanut butter in the proverbial chocolate and make solid fucking gold as a result.

Of course you may be asking yourself, "Why would someone buy a Mac for gaming when you could run most of the games that are now being released on Steam right now on a $100 PC?" Because Mac owners aren't gamers, at least not yet. Most people who buy Macs don't do it because they are thinking about what programs it will run, all most of their customer base really cares about is convenience, save the few people who are graphics and media professionals who own them because they are industry standards.

"Will it surf the web? Will it play media?" that is all they really care about in terms of functionality, other than that people buy them because they are trendy and they want a sleek accessory that is mildly functional rather than an actual computer.

Personally I think this is a good thing, because it will give those students who were given Macs for college and have always wanted a PC to play games on a chance to do so; remember, I may be a PC gamer now but I grew up on Macs at the height of PC gaming and I can tell you that it is a torturous experience to know that you will never play the games or programs you want to because they are on PC and not Mac. It will also give those people who own a mac and didn't even think about games as an option a chance to see what they have been missing.

The truth is that Macs have basically been PC's with a different OS ever since Intel started making their chip sets so it wasn't really hard for them to consider running PC games on a mac when the hardware is basically the same, you can even install windows and duel boot if you want to now. The only thing this will really do is broaden the gaming market and make Mac users pay more attention to the hardware compatibility of their machines.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Green Day: Rock Band? Why?


Is Green Day really the band we want for a new Rock Band game, after the Beatles? I'm not bashing Green Day, but I'm not really sure they have the chops to follow the Beatles either on a musical level or any level of influence or impact upon the world. The Beatles game was great because it was a visual and auditory celebration of the Beatles and the mark they had made on the world through their music. It was a no-brainer doing a game for them because no matter how many generations go by they will always be universally considered one of the greatest musical groups of the 20th century. Green Day? Not so much, at least not following the Beatles.

I can think of at least 12 other bands that have a much larger and broader catalog to pull from and have had more influence than Green Day that they could do and make totally awesome games celebrating that fact. Here is my list, I'm sure that everyone else has their own:

The Rolling Stones
The Doors
Led Zeppelin
Pearl Jam
U2
The Clash
Stone Temple Pilots
Black Sabbath
The Who
R.E.M.
Pink Floyd
The Ramones

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Guild Wars 2 Announcements/Gameplay Video

A-Net just released new game play video of their new Elementalist attacks, some rework old moves others are new. Still looks gorgeous, you will also notice that the environment plays more of a role too, you see two elementalists pulling water out of a pond to use as a weapon, environmental weapons are a big part for a lot of the classes, as well as combo attacks. In an interview with Gamespot, Lead designer Eric Flannum made reference to the video of the "Static Field" attack shown in one of the videos, when it is used it creates a circle of electrically charged air that damages and stuns anyone and anything trapped inside, if a warrior then uses his gun to fire through the energy field at the enemies inside his shots will become electrically charged and do more damage, which is awesome. You can also pick up items from around the environment to be used as weapons and alot of your attacks are tied more directly to whatever you are holding in your hands, so if you pick up a boulder you can gain the ability to throw it, if you take it to a catapult you can aim and fire the catapult. Also, if an elementalist picks up the same boulder they can do more than throw it, they can launch it into the air and have it come crashing down as a meteor.

There are many more examples of this, like when you are battling the Jotun, they will sometimes throw their giant swords at you and miss, if that happens party members can grab the sword and use it against their enemies. Apparently elementalists can even summon a flaming sword that party members can use as well. It's looking like the new combat revisions will be really fun and interesting and the boys and gals at A-Net did a bunch of interviews to discuss the elementalist class and the new changes to combat that will be in GW2, check them out at the links below. Also, the new footage shows just how good the base game will look if you have a PC that can push it, the original trailers made it seem much closer to the original game but the level of detail in these new videos makes me quiver in my special place.

Videos, Elementalist Powers:

Churning Earth-


Meteor Shower-


Water Trident-


Phoenix-


Static Field-


Interviews:

Gamespot

MMORPG.com

TenTonHammer, NCSoft Special Podcast

Massively.com

Arenanet's Manifesto at Slashdot Games

Official Announcements:

Eric Flannum explains how skills work, also some funny comics from the boys who do PVP

Eric Flannum's Combat article part 2- Weapons, Professions and Races

Introducing the Elementalist (There is a really cool elementalist wallpaper at the bottom of this page too, enjoy!)

Official Arenanet Blog Launched Yesterday, follow it

P.S: It is the ArenaNet tenth anniversary today, have some cake. Also, for those uber nerds out there, Felicia Day from The Guild and Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog is apparently voicing one of the characters in Guild Wars 2, one by the name of Zojja, if you are unfamiliar with The Guild, get familiar with it, it's hilarious

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Upgrade Packs Let You Change The Look Of You Soldiers


This morning on their Battlefield Blog, EA announced that they have just released new DLC for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the XBox Live Marketplace. The new content is an optional download that allows you to give your favorite soldier a new outfit and new camouflaged weapons to help you blend in to cover.

The new outfits are inspired by those worn by Special Operations units, such as Delta Force for the US and Spetnaz for the Russians. As they say in their announcement, these so-called "Special Activities" groups or SPECACT, are the "elite of the elite." So who wouldn't want to deck out their soldier in some swanky new threads designed to help them blend in more with their environment? As a recon player, I can say that I will be happy to pick them up when they come out for PC a little later so I can sit in the bushes and maybe have a chance to eat a sandwich while I blow people's heads off from 400 yards away.

The new camo will not be applied to all weapons, just the highest unlocks for the main weapons on each kit will get a new paint job. One could say that it would be nice if we could choose the camo patterns for all out guns like in Modern Warfare 2 but this is at least something nice for the people who have unlocked all their kit specific weapons. If you don't know them off the top of your head that's OK, the weapons effected by the upgrade kit are the M16A2 for the Assault, the UMP-45 for the Engineer, the MG3 for the Medic and M95 SNIPER for the Recon. As a recon myself I don't use the M95 that much, accept when taking down those pesky helicopters, so I probably won't have much use for this as I mainly just rely on the superior accuracy of the GOL (Sniping Tip: if you land head shots then you don't need to worry about stopping power, so the M95 becomes less useful). Anyway, it will at least me nice to see something new in the game, even if I don't get much personal use out of it.

This in itself would be enough in DLC that is little more than a palette swap, the boys at DICE decided to throw in just a little bit more for those of you who are crazy about achievement hunting. The pack will also contain 4 new achievements and 12 new awards. The achievements for 360 and PS3 will most likely be recognition of you equipping the new skins to your soldiers, one for each class but I have no idea what the new awards could be. In any case, this pack is well worth the change in your sock drawer that it will take to get it as it is priced at 160 Microsoft Points ($2) per kit upgrade or 440 Microsoft Points ($5.50) for bundle pack that includes all kits. You actually save about 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50) when you buy the bundle so I would encourage you to get that if you plan on getting this, as $5.50 is not a bad price for all of them but it is really nice that you aren't forced to get them all if you don't want to.

Anyway, keep your eyes on the Battlefield Blog in the immediate future to find out when the release dates for the PC and PS3 versions of this pack are coming out. I am assuming that the pricing will be pretty similar to that of the 360 version on the PS3 but I would bet money that the PC version will be free just like the VIP map pack was.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 VIP Map Pack 2 Trailer-

Monday, April 12, 2010

Star Wars: Battlefront Game Cancelled (Again...)

A recent story on Kotaku reported that Slant Six, makers of SOCOM: Confrontation, recently had to "temporarily" lay off a large portion of their staff. This was due to the fact that LucasArts has apparently put a halt, yet again, on the production of the next game in their most successful franchise, Star Wars: Battlefront.

You remember it, right? All those advertisements for Battlefront 2 that said it was the sequel to the "Most Successful Star Wars Game of All time?"


And All those TV Spots for the unending waves of PSP Battlefront titles that said they were part of the "biggest Star Wars Franchise?"



You would think that LucasArts putting out another game on PC, PS3 and XBox 360 would be a no-brainer, right? It seems that a next-gen game with such an illustrious pedigree would sell like crazy, but no. Apparently, the game was lagging in production again and was not expected to make the 2010 deadline that Lucas wanted. Since the publisher has become primarily more of a Star Wars factory than an independent game studio in recent years they have tried to make sure that they never had more than 2 major Star Wars titles released in the same fiscal year. They already have both Star Wars: Force Unleashed 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic slated for release in 2010, so Battlefront again gets the short end of the stick and was canceled yet again, before it was even officially announced.

If you are a Battlefront fan, like I am, then I am sure this type of move doesn't surprise you. With the fall of the series original developer, Pandemic Studios in November and the buying out of Free Radical by Crytek and the subsequent cancellation of their Battlefront III game, following footage of unfinished game play leaking as a result of the buyout.



I will tell you this though, the game that Slant Six was working on was not officially Battlefront III. It was tentatively dubbed, "Star Wars: Battlefront Online" and was supposed to be a multiplayer only title. There is still hope for Battlefront III or at the very least a new Battlefront on next gen consoles, but I don't see it happening any time in the near future. If Lucas does decide to revive this series and make these titles a reality it is likely that we won't see if until around 2012 at the earliest. But the sad fact is that if the franchise doesn't get some new luck sometime soon then I am afraid that the end of the world is a more likely 2012 event than it's release.