So EA made a bit of boo-boo. The publishing behemoth recently came under fire for seemingly commandeering and conquering tank designs from Warhammer 40K for use in bite-sized browser-based disaster C&C: Tiberium Alliances. The resemblance was pretty much unmistakable. Every turret, tread, and grindy, mashy thing was replicated almost 1:1. So, EA, it all looks pretty incriminating, and I’ve heard prison is a rough place for giant multi-national conglomerates like yourself. What say you in your own defense?
If I’m reading Prototype 2 correctly, it’s actually an extremely subtle environmental message. I mean, just look at the evidence: main character James Heller goes out of his way time and time again to slice, dice, and skewer vehicles of all shapes and sizes. No car is safe from his bladed assault, and when helicopters try to lend their wheeled pollution-spewing compatriots a helping spritz of machine gun fire, Heller makes sky sushi out of them as well. He also sort of, you know, carves up a few people, but I’m sure it was a simple mistake. From the right angle, people do bear a striking resemblance to helicopters. Honestly, it can be kind of awkward. “Hey, Boeing AH-64 Apache,” people will call out to me on the street. “Oh, wait, I thought you were someone else. Never mind.” Now watch a very angry man slice a… wait, is that me?! No, no, just a helicopter. Phew. It’s after the break.
Valve doesn’t like to say things. Where’s Half-Life 2: Episode Three? Silence. Why has Left 4 Dead 2′s Cold Stream DLC taken nearly a year>? Silence. What does Gordon Freeman’s voice sound like? Silence. Yesterday, though, a Valve job listing seeking out new hardware tech wizards for its shadowy developer coven got the whole Internet talking. And, somewhat shockingly, Valve’s decided to talk back.
You there! Do you want to know when in the calendar year Square Enix’s open-world police drama Sleeping Dogs will be with us? If not, please disregard the next few lines. Here’s something to distract you while the rest of us discuss the nexus of time and a game about a man running around Hong Kong punching people in the face. For the rest of us, it’s time to talk. Me, you, August 17th, Sleeping Dogs. And to the surprise of nobody, you can pre-order and receive a few special bonuses. One of those is a flying punch. If you want to know more, and want to see eight minutes of footage of the game, just stick £10’000 in my Paypal account and click the pre-order link below. Don’t click it first, as I have no way of denying anyone access. Prove to me the honour system works.
We mentioned earlier in the week how impressed we are with Wargame: European Escalation, and it is about to get better – for free! This weekend’s DLC, which already has a Steam page here, adds new skirmish AI which allows up to seven players to take on an AI-driven opponent – meaning you can play out the kind of epic co-op that made the Men Of War games so special. Then there are seven fresh multiplayer maps, of which two are “asymmetric battlefields for Attack/Defense games”. Finally there are some new tools to enhance team coordination on the battle map. And that overhaul will cost you nothing. (The game is on sale, too.) Splendid.
I’m writing this in one tab as a tractor is idling away in another, and it’s not even a webgame: right now I have Farming Simulator 2011 running on Facebook, via Gaikai. That’s kind of neat. The cloud-streaming service is hosting seven demos of PC games, with five available in Europe and (Magicka, Sniper – Ghost Warrior, The Witcher 2 – Assassins of Kings, Orcs Must Die!, Farming Simulator 2011) the US, and two (Saints Row – The Third, Dead Rising 2 – Off the Record) only playable to US Facebookers. You get 30 minutes of gametime to test out potential buys, before you need to return to update your status as “Farmboy”. (more…)
Kickstarter is feeling like this quote from Blues Brothers. No, not the God part. The “we’re putting the band back together” bit. Jordan Weismen has already managed to set-up a triumphant stadium gig for Shadowrun, and he’s told ShackNews that if it’s a success it’ll have a major impact on the potential for the return of the sky-pirate alternate history flight thing, Crimson Skies.
I don’t want to bite off more than we can chew right now. First comes Shadowrun, and we want to make that great, and then we’ll figure out where to go after that.
I am making a hopeful face. (What kind of face is that?)
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending San Francisco’s parody-Twitter-account-inspired Molyjam and pestering roughly a million developers with my inane questions. In between digging for such crucial details as the number of weapons in a game about invisible guns and whether there’d a happier DLC ending for a tale primarily focused on hurling oneself off a cliff, I watched countless off-the-wall ideas blossom into playable games. Truly amazing, however, was the amount of mileage different people – some of them not even professional game developers – got out of a single idea: romantic free-running. > (more…)
While the Flare Path Network’s minuscule viewing figures did seem to suggest the world wasn’t ready for a TV channel devoted to military gaming, philately, and Edwardian erotica, I still believe the rebranding and reorientation was a dreadful mistake. The accountants are far happier now we’re SHiT TV (Sharks, Hitler, and Titanic TV) but Frank, Becky, and the rest of the old guard go around with a look of defeat in their eyes that’s painful to behold. Sometimes I yearn for the days before FP diversified. The days when I could just sit down on a Friday morning and tap out stories about obscure sims and obscurer wargames. (more…)