Once Valve gets around to releasing its magical future goggles, I’m hoping it’ll just start constantly beaming clever trailers for its games straight to my eyeballs. Between TF2′s “Meet The ___” series and Portal’s cavalcade of comedic excellence, I could spend all the rest of my days awkwardly cackling to myself on buses, in restaurants, and while committing the most unforgivable crime of them all: wearing sunglasses at night>. Everyone will hate me and take tremendous pleasure every time I stumble blindly into low-hanging signs or taller-than-ordinary children. Which brings us to Valve’s latest bit of advertorial brilliance: the story justification for the Perpetual Testing Initiative, as narrated by Aperture founder Cave Johnson.
In retrospect, it’d be kind of silly to name a game “Origins” and then bury the franchise immediately afterward, wouldn’t it? And so, somewhat unsurprisingly, Ubisoft’s given an official magically levitating thumbs-up to all the Rayman scuttlebutt that’s been floating around for the past couple days. Specifically, the game’s called Rayman Legends, and – true to the leaked screenshots and video (after the break, courtesy of Gamekult) – it takes place in a pleasantly painterly fantasy land. That said, Ubisoft cautions that those materials were intended for internal use only and “in NO way” represent the final game. So, for all we know, it could take place in space or (fingers crossed) a 1940s black-and-white detective film before it’s all said and done.
The world of PC ports is a dark and treacherous place. DRM, 30 FPS framerate locks, and preset graphical options? Oh goodness, I need to go hide under a warm blanket while clutching my stuffed animal representations of anti-aliasing and V-sync. And yet, within those seedy alleyways, there’s corner so pitch-black that most PC gamers dare not even utter its name: iOS ports. They are, the legends say, rife with snooze-worthily simple mechanics and graphics one slight step up from an Etch-A-Sketch.
Don’t tell that to Camouflaj, though. In Republique, it aims to create an iOS game capable of going toe-to-toe with triple-A gaming’s heaviest hitters. And now, the stealth-focused Metroidvania with a “symbiotic relationship” between the player and main character, Hope, is coming to PC. But how, exactly, will a game intended to leverage iPhone’s, er, phone-ness >make the jump to our very un-phone-like platform of choice? Well, if Republique lead Ryan Payton has his way, all the talk of “ports” will die the second we start playing.
I’m not an EVE player. I know it sucks in some people like a massively multiplayer black hole, but the actual act of playing it has never exerted much of a gravitational pull on my attention. I’m probably dumb. Regardless, though, I can’t help but admire the sheer insanity this place> constantly generates. Years-in-the-making corporate conspiracies, thousands-strong space battles, the very existence of Dust 514 – it is, at times, nearly unbelievable. Case in point: the ever-mischievous Goonswarm is up to its old tricks again. And by “tricks,” I mean bringing an entire economy to its knees>. The best part? CCP’s totally loving it.
So Survarium – the pre-apocalpytic project that’s emerged from the ruins of STALKER 2 – is an MMOFPS. In spite of that, Vostok Games told us that it’s the STALKER franchise’s “next evolutionary step.” The results of a recent Twitter Q&A session, however, have me wondering if fans will soon be cursing evolution in much the same way I do every time I remember that I don’t have wings, eagle vision, or every power conferred to honey badgers. Don’t get me wrong: a lot of this stuff sounds incredibly interesting and – at least, in my eyes – goes quite a way toward putting the ghost of STALKER at peace. There are, however, some major structural changes that you might find tough to swallow.
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission has entered a “play & contribute” beta, a familiar sort of exercise in which you get to play a slice of the strategy campaign – the meaty archipelago-conquering core of the game – in exchange for your pre-order. Having already dabbled in some of the story mission elements of this action-heavy strategy, I was keep to get stuck into this deeper challenge. Read into the depths to see how I got on.>
The dynamic, strategic multiplayer European campaign at the heart of Heroes & Generals ensures that scripted events aren’t necessary, but let’s pretend the headline is at least vaguely appropriate. John provided millions of details on how the first person shooting, cycling and strategising will work together, but if you refuse to believe a word that comes out of his keyboard you could watch the developer diary below instead. Campaign selection, faction choice and spawning are all covered, as are the number of graphics being added as development progresses, and the uses for purchasable credits.
On the cold floor, a summoning circle has been drawn and, around it, several Paradox employees sway, their forms disguised by wizard’s robes. A susurration builds to a roar, like the scratching of the pebbles at Dover Beach, the air trembles, twisting into new intangible forms, and then a demo version of Warlock: Master of the Arcane appears. Unnatural, I know, but it’s just the way things are done in that neck of the woods. Bet you didn’t know that Crusader Kings II was actually built by a blacksmith, hammering away in his forge? Fact. The Warlock demo can be found on Steam and it includes the tutorial, a preset map, two enemy mages and one to play as. The full game allows customisation of both mages and maps. My thoughts on the beta are here and we’ll have more on the game as the May 8th launch approaches.
Shortly after seeing the new SimCity in its full bendy-road glory, I had a quick chat with one of its architects, EA Maxis’ producer Jason Haber. Tackled – its lengthy development, why we’ve waited so long for a sequel, why it’s a ‘real’ Sim City, difficulty, whether important content is being sectioned off for pre-order bonuses and DLC, and how a traffic jam could make your whole city burn down. > (more…)
Thomas Was Alone first came to my attention while I was trying not to watch the GTA V trailer six thousand times to work out if one of the character models was a fatter, older version of an important bloke from a previous entry in the series. I wasn’t sure whether a platform game about quadrilateral quandaries was all that interesting but David Housden’s music decided me, mysterious and melancholy it brought about a quivering of the lip and, having just listened again, definitely reminds me of The Postal Service more than a bit. It’s something of a shame then that the music now has to fade out to make room for narrator Danny Wallace, who you may know from radio, television and books.