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Every time Hearthstone launches the first thing you see is a box. The camera lingers on the bevelled edges of the lid, gaining height before tilting to settle on a top-down view. The inset stone glows with restive energy, clunks backwards and spins in a surprise twist, the lid doesn’t flip open but splits vertically. Hearthstone‘s roots are in the real-world, and a big part of the joy in card games is the physical pleasure of playing with them. This lovingly-crafted box is the opening volley in answering one question; can Blizzard make a digital card game that feels like a real one? (more…)
Humbly I present to you, our bundle of readers, this week’s Humble Weekly Bundle. It concerns seven games from venerable Brit publisher Codemasters, which are on average Quite Good. Racing! Man-shooting! Very sweary man-shooting! Imp-herding! An ARPG I’ve never played! More racing! More imp-herding! (more…)
The LHS Bikeshed is a project that has transformed a battered old caravan into a space shuttle simulator. Players enter the caravan, take a seat at one of the three stations and prepare for launch. We sent Brendan and some old friends along to see how well they would fare in the dark reaches of space. (more…)
We’ve played EverQuest Next Landmark and spoken with SOE about their mad (yet not entirely impossible) ambitions for the game/world creation Photoshop thing as it grows and evolves, but now it’s your turn. Well, maybe. If you’re willing to pay and also not talk about it for a while (hip-hip-hurrNDA, etc). EQNL’s roughly 60 percent complete paid alpha will launch later today, but it won’t be without its bumps in the road. We spoke with SOE about how it’ll handle progression, character wipes, and other growing pains typically associated with bouncing baby entire universes. Tunnel to the chewy, nougaty center of this post for everything you’ll need to know.
Following the news of possible financial infringements a couple of days ago, we reached out to Funcom to find out if the situation would affect the company’s in-development Lego Minifigs title, as well as continued expansions and support for their ongoing MMOs, including The Secret World. Today, we received an update from the developer and I’ve included it in full below. Here’s a taste:
Production on all Funcom games continues as normal, and the company remains fully committed to games in development as well as the continued operation and updating of existing live games. Yesterday’s events is not expected to have any impact on the company’s continued operation or the development on future releases.
Good news then? It seems so.
There’s a video containing nine minutes of Dark Souls II action just below the break, but if you’re anything like me you’ll be waiting to play the blasted thing rather than watching every piece of footage that emerges. I skimmed through and can confidently state that ragged cloaks are this season’s must have accessory, whether you’re beast or barbarian. If you skip to the end of the video, or stick with it for the duration, you’ll be able to hear the thoughtful tones of Peter Serafinowicz, a surprise addition to the cast. Surprising to me, at least, since I’ll always think of him as plum-gobbed Duane Benzie, who you can also see below.
I love the purity of the fast-paced deathmatch shooter, and I’ll drunkenly slam my fists down on any pub table in the country while shouting about the beauty of Quake 3: Arena. I’m a little sad though that so few games are trying to move that style of game in new directions.
I’m consequently excited by Telos, an in-development fast-paced first-person shooter about two-storey tall spidermechs with grappling hooks fighting in partially zero-g levels built out of abstract, purple shapes. Video below.
Okay, okay. God.> OK. I will finally consider upgrading my processor after five years of this Core i7 920 being just fine. Between Steam Home Streaming needing to encode video eversoquickly and now Oxide/Stardock’s Star Swarm offering me the awesome sight of several thousand on-screen spaceships, I am ready to accept that my PC’s futureproofed days might at last be behind it. Fasterfasterfaster.
Star Swarm isn’t a game. It’s a benchmark for a game I want, a space RTS on a massive scale. We saw the video earlier this month, but the actual demo/bench is out now, and it wants to make your PC have a little cry. (more…)
My internet connection during the Paradox Convention was about as spotty as Superted’s best chum, forcing me to return with a satchel full of hand-written notes. There’s still plenty to write about, not least my dangerous new Wizard Wars obsession, but buried at the bottom of my inky papers are six pages of scribbles about Hearts of Iron IV. As the latest representative of the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve consistently failed to penetrate, HOI IV is an exciting prospect for several reasons. EU IV and CK II are the friendliest incarnations of their respective series to date, and while HOI IV isn’t due until 2015, early signs are promising. At the heart of the Hearts is the most attractive map Paradox have ever produced and a new battle plan system that allows players to evade micromanagement if they so choose.
When a Flare Path Friday falls on Chinese New Year, it s traditional for all the stories to be Sino centred. Back in 1997 that meant coverage of Taiwan invasion TBS , thoughts on Ding Ding, a work-in-progress Hong Kong tramway sim, and an interview with Implicit Sextant, the team behind heavenly 14th Century fireworks sandbox, The Fire Drake of Fuzhou. Today it means Silent Service II patrols in the South China Sea, and a swift inspection of Just Trains’ new SS7C CR electric loco. (more…)