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Square Enix is launching a new Web-based gaming portal that offers some of the company's back catalog for free. The "CoreOnline" service lets you play Hitman: Blood Money or Mini Ninjas by either watching advertisements between chunks of the games, or paying a fee to bypass them.
The CoreOnline site (via GI.biz) only boasts those two games so far, but promises others on the way like Tomb Raider Underworld and Gyromancer. Save data is also stored on the cloud, so you can pick up from a different computer or browser at any time.
This isn't the first time the publisher has experimented with cloud gaming. During the launch of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the publisher included a free OnLive version of the game with every retail copy, leading to a scuffle with GameStop. It appears Square Enix is now more interested in pursuing its own platform, instead of partnering with the beleaguered streaming company.
"Square Enix is at the forefront of experimentation of new business and services models in the game industry," said Square CEO Yoichi Wada. "Through our CoreOnline technology service, users can access our content easily through the browser."
Virtual vendor of vintage video games Good Old Games has enlisted another big publisher in its missions to stop PC classics from vanishing into obscurity, announcing today that it's signed up Square Enix. The pair are starting slowly, though, with two games available almost everywhere under the Sun--Hitman: Codename 47 and Deus Ex
More Square Enix GOG re-releases are to be announced "in coming weeks." We'll most likely see more of the fruits it picked up through acquiring Eidos, such as the Thief, Tomb Raider, Legacy of Kain, and Championship Manager series. Let's not forget that Final Fantasy VII and VIII both hit PC too, back in the day.
Deus Ex sounds something of a lark, some manner of cyberpunk FPS-RPG going by GOG's description. Apparently it boasts "expansive environments, ambitious and non-linear storyline, varied gameplay, and great replayability," but it seems every game claims that, don't they? Still, for $9.99, it could be worth a try.
Then there's Hitman, where for $5.99 you can pretend to be a hitman. If you've missed IO's classic series, you're given a target then turned loose into open levels to take them out as you please, adopting disguises, causing distractions, going in guns blazing, sniping from afar, or even staging accidents. Fun stuff. A new one's coming out soon, y'know.
Both Deus Ex and Hitman have been on heaps of digital distribution platforms for years now, but if you've been holding out for the DRM-free GOG treatment, here you go.
Hot on the heels of the revelation that the original Killzone is making the trek to the PlayStation 3 as a downloadable game, an ESRB rating has outed another PS2-for-PSN game. PlayStation 3 has been added to the list of platforms for Hitman: Blood Money.
Blood Money is a fairly well-regarded game in the series, having hit just as Microsoft was transitioning platforms. It released on both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360, but as the PS3 came later, only a PS2 version had been previously released for Sony platforms.
PS2 re-releases do not include upgrades featured in HD translations. They are presented in their original resolution and do not include trophies or other network features.