Oct 29, 2012
Maybe you held off from getting and playing Skyrim last year, thanks to either the tingling of your wizardly instincts or an emptiness of wallet. Whether you waited or couldn't get it a year ago, you can get a Premium edition of Bethesda's hit action/RPG hybrid.
According to Examiner.com, the enhanced release of The Elder Scrolls V will be packed in with a bonus disc with behind-the-scenes content, trailers, walkthroughs, five music tracks and a 600-page e-book. The Premium Edition reportedly also comes with a map of the game's environs, a t-shirt with the dragon emblem and postcards featuring concept art.
Amazon.de lists the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the Premium Edition at €59.99 (about $77.36) with a PC counterpart costing €49.99 on the PC (approximately $64.47). The product has a release date of December 7 on the online retailer listing.
Bethesda Softworks—publisher of Skyrim—has told Kotaku that the Premium Edition will be only available in some territories in Europe, with the U.K., Benelux, and Germany the only ones announced so far.
First images and details for premium edition of ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' [Examiner.com, via Polygon]
A dance party with corpses?! Corpses that I made?! Sign me up!
The guys are RoosterTeeth have outdone themselves yet again. *slow clap*
Oct 25, 2012
Maybe you've already finished Arkane Studios' critically acclaimed stealth/action hybrid. Maybe you yearn for more blinking, possession and sneaky killing through Dunwall's cobblestone streets. This December, you'll get your wish as challenge-based and story-centric DLC starts rolling out for Dishonored.
Dunwall City Trials—which will cost $4.99 or 400 Microsoft points—will offer up ten skill-centered tests where you'll be made to battles waves of enemies in arenas, perform drop assassinations and run through point-to-point races as fast as you can.
The other DLC will hit in 2013, but don't have prices attached yet. They'll focus on story including one that lets you play as a major character from Dishonored: (Mild spoilers for those who haven't finished the game)
Daud, the leader of a group of supernatural assassins known as ‘The Whalers', will be the focus of the second add-on pack, scheduled for release in early Spring 2013. Make your way through new Dunwall locales and discover Daud's own set of weapons, powers and gadgets in this story-driven campaign. How you play and the choices you make will impact the final outcome…
Over the past couple of weeks, I've been getting my open-world RPG fix with Fallout: New Vegas. Yesterday I talked about how to mod the game to look nice and pretty, and from here on in I'm going to share some things I've noticed while playing the game.
So here's a thing: The Silver Rush. I tend to play Fallout games as an energy weapon specialist. And energy weapons are scarce, especially in Fallout 3. I remember when I finally figured out that the Enclave had plasma weapons, I'd farm their locations just to have enough plasma rifles to keep mine repaired.
So in New Vegas, I was happy to find that energy weapons were easier to come across in the early goings than they had been in Fallout 3. But then… the Silver Rush happens. And it almost breaks the game.
This store, run by a shady organized crime family, is on a corner in Freeside. The minute I walked in, I thought the same thing that I bet every single other person who played this game thought: I am going to steal every mother-lovin thing in this store.
The inside of the Silver Rush is an orgy of energy weaponry. Laser rifles lie next to beautiful rows of microfusion cells and energy cells, plasma pistols lie next to a plasma defender (!) a tri-beam laser rifle (!!) and a massive, all-destroying plasma caster (!!!). There are enough plasma grenades, pulse mines, and other weaponry to equip an army. And thanks to Bethesda's notoriously weird sneaking system, you can steal it all.
It's so easy. You just walk up to the table and crouch. At some point, you'll become "hidden," and then you can just… grab every single thing on the table. This happened the first time I played New Vegas, and this time around, I was waiting for it. I walked out of Silver Rush with enough plasma weaponry to last me the entire rest of the game. I even sold back some of the stuff I sold to get some mods for my weapons.
Was this on purpose? Did Obsidian intend for energy weapon players to find a ridiculous explosion of armaments to use? We may never know. All I know is that there's no way I'm the only one who robbed the Silver Rush blind. So come on, fess up. It's okay, you're in good company.
Oct 23, 2012
There's no question that Dishonored has great art. But in addition to Viktor Antonov's wonderful visual design direction and Sebastien Mitton's art direction, the game also has a lot of great art. As in, there are some really cool paintings in the game? Okay, you get it.
Bethesda has pulled together shots of all (I think?) of Anton Sokolov's collectable paintings from the game. These are sorta-spoilers, technically, since some of them are characters that turn up a little later on, but then again, as spoilery things go, they're… kind of just cool paintings of people. The paintings were done by real-world artist Cedric Peyravernay.
Have you found all of these in the game? I've only found a couple, mostly because the heart doesn't highlight them on my screen when I ask her. And if the heart don't point to it, Kirk don't go collect it. Maybe I should reconsider that approach…
Dishonored Sololov Paintings [Tumblr]
Oct 22, 2012
Having got the fancy ending for Dishonored, I thought I had some skills. Turns out my only skills were patience and cowardice. The way Flakked gets things done in this video shows me that my second, more violent playthrough might be a lot more interesting.
That slide near the end is the stuff of highlight reels.
Dishonored - Spring Razors and Messin' With Guards [YouTube, via PC Gamer]
There are so many good games out this fall. So, so many. There's a type of video game for just about every type of video game player. But there is one thing missing: There's no vast, open-world role-playing game.
Bethesda, scions of the vast open-world RPG, have dedicated this year to the fantastic but decidedly not-open-world Dishonored. I had to go somewhere to get my fix of wandering, leveling, and exploring. And so I decided to return to Fallout: New Vegas.
Over the past couple of years, I've heard a lot of people rave about the underratedness and overlookedness of Obsidian's take on Bethesda's first-person reinvention of the Fallout universe. I actually played a big chunk of New Vegas when it first came out, but I never finished it. I just sort of ran out of steam not too long after I'd arrived on the strip.
Two years later, with a healthy gaming PC and a new appreciation for how much modding can improve these types of games, I thought I'd dig back in. After so, so many hours in Skyrim, I'm increasingly hungry to return to the darker and, frankly, more interesting Fallout universe. (That's a mouthful! But you get it, right? Obsidian made New Vegas, Bethesda just published it.) I've also heard nothing but good things about the New Vegas DLC, which is now so cheap that I couldn't help but download all of it.
I'll be writing a few articles about my time in New Vegas—it's a crazy time of year, and I can't guarantee that I'll be able to play the game all the way through or anything, but I've already put in a big chunk of time and have noticed a lot of interesting stuff while doing so.
For the first post, I thought I'd write about how I've modded the game to get it looking as good as possible. I haven't gone nearly as overboard with mods as I did with Skyrim; lots of New Vegas mods make the game unstable, and seeing as how it's already pretty crash-y, I wanted to stick with the biggest cosmetic upgrades and not much else.
So, here's what I've got installed. These mods, coupled with my solid gaming PC (I'm running an i5 2.8GHz with 8GB of RAM and a GeForce 660Ti) certainly make New Vegas a better-looking, more tweakable, and more interesting game than it was when I played it on Xbox in 2010.
I've downloaded all of these mods from The Nexusmods Site for New Vegas, and most have been installed using the Nexus Mod Manager. I've made a note of the mods that require manual installation. Here goes:
Project Nevada is the only overhaul-ish mod I'm using, but it's a heck of an overhaul. It adds all kinds of crap to the game—hotkeys for grenades, a sprint button, bullet-time, stealth modes, cybernetic implants… honestly, it makes New Vegas feel like a much different—and much better—game. I particularly like the cybernetic implants—my sneaky fast-talker now has a stealth mod installed in her chest, and with a press of the "X" button, I can activate a stealth field akin to a Stealth Boy. This is great, since I always hoarded stealth boys in the original game and never used them.
To get Project Nevada to work, you'll have to install the latest version of the New Vegas Script Extender, which is very easy to do. Just follow the directions at the site. You'll also have to check the boxes for the four .esm files in the "Plugins" tab in the Nexus Mod Manager.
This one does just what it sounds like—it centers the third-person camera. Very nice, as the up-close third person camera is weird and claustrophobic. It's especially good for those early hours when you need to run/jump away from radscorpions to get where you're going. It's much easier to see when one of the little biters is right on your heels.
Fellout is a mod that, just like the previous version for Fallout 3, removes the orange tint that the game previously had. It, in combination with a couple of other mods, makes the game a much more welcoming-looking thing, and makes daytime in the desert a more arid, clear affair. I dig it.
NMC's texture overhaul for New Vegas is definitely the biggest graphical boost you can give the game, though it can also be a bit persnickety. You can't use the mod manager, and have to extract the archives straight into your New Vegas directory. That's no sweat, but after installing the large version of the pack, my game became hugely unstable. You'll also want to install the 4GB New Vegas Mod, which allows the game to use 4GB of virtual memory. Unfortunately, even with that mod installed, the texture pack caused constant crashes.
I downgraded to the medium texture pack, and things are much, much more stable now. The game still looks great, and while it does crash every hour or two, I'm A) not certain the crashes are due to the textures and B) can live with it.
Nevada Skies adds a bunch of new weather effects and sky textures to the game, and makes everything that much prettier.
This is another big one—I've actually installed the lite version of this mod, since the most recent one forces me to turn off AA and also slows my framerate down. The lite version still looks nice though, and adds a lot of good lighting effects. I generally turn it off when I'm in dungeons, however, as it just makes things too dark. Fortunately, you can turn it off with a simple keystroke at any time.
And that's that. There are, of course, a ton of other mods I could install, but I don't want to change the core experience too much—I'm interested in looking back at how the game feels a few years after it came out, and Project Nevada brings enough changes to keep me happy.
I've been playing the game sort of casually between other big fall releases, but I've already noticed a lot of things that are interesting, particularly after spending so much time playing Skyrim (and so much more time theorizing about Bethesda's presumed Fallout follow-up). I'll have some more articles throughout the week about New Vegas, and hey, if you've got any free time between the alien-blasting and stealth-stabbing, download some mods and join in.
As Kirk and Jason noted last week, Dishonored is in many ways an "old-timey" classic, but there's more to that idea than just its design. Because it's a singleplayer game, with no ladderboards or auction houses, you can install "trainers" for the game that let you cheat.
In the clip above, you'll see just what you can do when you have unlimited blink, super speed and a pistol that acts more like a machine gun.
As PC Gamer notes, the places you get such programs that enable these abilities can be a little shady, so we're not going to link them here. But if you know what these things are, you probably know where to get one.
Also, mild spoiler warning above, since it's a runthrough of the game's first mission.
As you'd know if you were reading Fine Art last week, Dishonored was originally intended to be a game set in 17th century London, rather than the whalepunk fictional universe it ended up creating for itself.
The decision to switch settings wasn't made instantly; there had been time for some art to be drawn up imagining a stealthy 1666 London, and the fact the period's garb makes hero Corvo so much like the star of the Thief series might explain why things moved on.
That said, there's a Brotherhood of the Wolf vibe coming from those sketches that would have been nice to see in the final version.
To see the larger pics in all their glory (or, if they're big enough, so you can save them as wallpaper), right-click on them below and select "open in new tab".
Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!