Wednesday 11 November 2009
Activision doe seem hellbent on exploiting this licence and the Guitar/DJ Hero games along with Blizzards usual Midas touch with WoW continuing to dominate the MMO space alongside the new IP they are cooking up and Starcraft II/Diablo 3 selling millions of unit each. I blogged a while back about the £55 price tag for the game, thankfully before Christmas market forces kicked in and retailers have been cutting the price. The PC version of the game is roughly £30 on amazon.
Yet the game itself has garnered huge attention, gaming websites and magazines have been falling over themselves at every teaser trailer and announcement. It has already reached the mainstream press, something only the launch of a Warcraft expansion usually does and even the negatives have gathered responses which have not been totally hysterical.
The UK's leading critic of video games, Keith Vaz MP, has raised his head above the parapet to lob his opinion into the mix. Vaz is a staunch opponent of violence in video games, but he is also a media hungry MP who sees these controversies as a great way to get himself in the Daily Mail and other newspapers which make a living off peddling fear, this is very reminiscent of the "Video Nasties" of the 1980's which griped the UK.
Thankfully there are MP's (via facebook) and newspapers who realise that games have come a long way and now are on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream, while MW2 may not be the greatest game of the decade it certainly maybe the one which alongside the Wii and guitar based games (rock band/guitar hero) could bring the games industry into the mainstream with people realising they are on a par with the movie and music industry in terms of what they produce and its popularity.
Tuesday 3 November 2009
Hat tip GamePex
Bioshock 2 also seems to be coming along nicely, in the last few months it has disappeared from my radar but several recently released trailers along side news on the storyline mean this is now firmly back in my top 5 most wanted PC games.
Certainly the new weapons and plasmids look good and combining them is something that should really have been done in the original Bioshock as they seemed a really cool idea which instead became just another set of weapons. The architecture builds upon the unique look of Rapture and adds in some great sounding areas. Adopting little sisters to harvest Adam for you is another good idea tying in with you as a Prototype Big Daddy.
However I hope there is more beyond a few new areas and weapons, the storyline of bioshock was centered around the "WTF!" moment 2/3 of the way through - this time I would like to see some more characters beyond some clones of Ryan/Tenerbaun/Atlas from the original. The main protagonist this time around is called Dr. Sophia Lamb who is the head of a cult rejecting Ryan's ideas - I hope she is elaborated more than this and other characters are brought in.
Hat tip Gamespy
Finally again on Gamespy Metro 2033 looks quite promising, a cross between STALKERs survivalist game play and the underground&urban ruins that remind me of Hellgate London or Fallout 3. This will hit in early 2010 and could be impressive, I have included the preview trailer which doesn't give to much away but does look impresive.
The more I see games within this Genre the more I want to play an MMO based around this, I may have to give Fallen Earth a try.
Wednesday 21 October 2009
At the moment I am unsure of what to do with Vulcan, the Librarian+terminators will be hammering into an opponents line via the LandRaider which will also deal with any infantry with its flamestorm cannons. The pred gives me some roving firepower as the scouts + combat squaded tactical 3 (plasma cannon) secure my back field. I just don't know what to do with him.
Tactical Squad 1&2 as well as the other combat squad (flamer) will follow behind the LandRaider in their Rhino's to exploit the gap and secure objectives. The Landspeeder and Attack Bike will be tank hunting and moving around the flanks.
|Storm Shield (40)|
|Troop||Tactical Squad 1 x9 (170)||250|
|Sgt with Power fist (25)|
|Rhino - extra armour (50)|
|Troop||Tactical Squad 2 x9 (170)||245|
|Sgt with Power fist (25)|
|Rhino - extra armour (50)|
|Troop||Tactical Squad 3 x9 (170)||250|
|Sgt with Power fist (25)|
|Plasma Cannon (5)|
|Rhino - extra armour (50)|
|Missile Launcher (10)|
|Camo Cloaks (27)|
|Elite||Terminator Assault Squad x5 (200)||200|
|Thunder Hammers x 3|
|Lightning Claws x2|
|Heavy||Land Raider Redeemer (240)||250|
|Multi Melta (10)|
|Auto Cannon (60)|
|Heavy Bolters (25)|
|Fast Attack||Attack Bike (40)||50|
|Multi Melta (10)|
|Fast Attack||Land Speeder (50)||70|
|Heavy Flamer (20)|
|Multi Melta (0)|
PR wise the move gathered only praise and pushed a year old game back into the main news streams of most big game websites. Apparently 57,000 people purchased the game and a 40% increase in purchases over Steam.
Where this falls down a little is the price - the average was $2.03 paid and 17,000 paid $0.01. Personally I thought it would be around the $5 mark as I had hoped gamers would react in a more positive way. This is after all a company giving them a choice of what to pay for a game and not putting any shitty DRM in it, something many people in favour of file sharing have argued for.
I guess those people who paid a cent would probably not have ever bought the game so $170 for thos downloads is something and if even a few thousand enjoy it enough they may buy any follow up games from the studio. The main response on the survey for people buying World of Goo was "I Like the Pay-What-You-Want Model and Wanted to Support It" with 24% so it got a postive response.
I hope that gamers would rally around developers like 2D-Boy and support them when they act in such a way, similar to the way Stardock has acted with its game. Who knows maybe people will not pirate their games because all the arguements in support of file sharing can;t argue with the way they have acted....
Whats that, this is the internet....oh well!
Monday 19 October 2009
World of Goo is on special offer until the end of today.
The publishers 2D-Boy are allowing people to make donations for whatever you feel the game is is worth. There will have been people paying $0.01 for the game but with DRM i assume those same people will have pirated it anyway, for me i paid $15 as i felt that was a fair price for a few hours of fun. It also makes a great deal of sense, creating interest in a game that has been out for a year. Steams special offer weekends seems to use the same idea as it normally propels games into the top 10 downloads when thee is 50% off such as with left4dead which I purchased recently (more on that in another post).
My girlfriend certainly agrees that it was a good deal and has been happily directing those cute balls of goo around all day. What makes her happy makes me happy so thanks 2D-boy!
Monday 12 October 2009
Well my painting is going really slow at the moment as I am lacking motivation. It seems to easy to blob out in front of the PC than get stuck in. However I am determined to get moving again and have a squad of Sniper Scouts, Assualt Terminators and another squad of Tactical Marines assembled and ready for undercoating.
I was torn about using a new Marine Chapter of my own but have decided to stick with my Sons of Orar rather than start again as I like the Fluff around them.
“Orar is a mythical figure in the histories of the Space Marines, an Ultramarines Captain who won great reknown during the Horus Heresy. Details of the Sons of Orar's founding are lost to Imperial records. The legends of the Chapter claim Orar as spiritual patriarch."
My Marines will now be part of the 4th Company and I will also be fielding lots more Multi Meltas and Flamers to go with a scratch built Vulkan proxy. I know it is ultra cheese to use him but he seems like a great chance to scratch build an HQ and also scratch build some Sternguard/Vanguard venterans which I call "Shield guard" and "Spear guard".
I also have ideas for my custom chapter, the Emperors Shieldbearers. Shown here using B&C space marine painter I am still not 100% sure I should not start again so who knows I may about turn and start something new entirely.
Hopefully have pictures of my progress coming soon.
Wednesday 7 October 2009
It doesn't even stop there as Blizzard even have "two full-time lore historians, keepers of blizzard's past"
So I guess this post is to recognise all the hard work members of games companies put in without ever really getting recoginition from gamers.
Monday 28 September 2009
Thursday 3 September 2009
"Below you will find the link to the new Indy GT Dwarfs of Chaos Army
Book, a complete, 92-page Army Book in the Games Workshop tradition.
The book, professionally written, designed, illustrated, and thoroughly
play tested, will be legal for use in participating Independent Grand
Tournaments. As of this writing, the Crossroads, Conflict, Colonial,
Destruction Derby, NEWCC, and War Camp GTs will allow the book as
legal, and we expect the number to grow with the publication of the
Great to see this kind of things being put out for free - certainly it looks good!
Dwarfs of Chaos Army Book
Tuesday 1 September 2009
This High Elf model is a test of where I am at after 10 years of not doing anything even remotely related to painting. I am quite pleased with how he has turned out and the frosting on his armour and weapons took quite a while to get right.
I have been working on getting my Space Marines into a fit state for the table top with the plan being to have 1500 points finished by the end of the year. The three above are part of the first squad I have painted up for my "Sons of Orar" chapter.
Once they are done my Orcs and Goblins will be next along with a small scale Tau project and after painting this would quite like to get some High Elves as well. So thats four projects I need to get on with before I allow myself to buy anything new.
Wednesday 26 August 2009
But why do this, does Microsoft believe the guy isn't photogenic or do they believe all Polish people are racists but then why leave the asian guy in.
However you have to love the Internet, these kinds of gaffs get picked up almost as soon as they appear. Plus they have a macbook in the shot as well....(facepalm)
Also a comment by Veronica made me chuckle "I think the intention was to make this ad even more PC, since you now have an Asian guy, a woman and a black guys body with a white guys head. When you can't add more people, fuse them together!"Hat tip Photoshop Disasters
Saturday 22 August 2009
Speaking of that massive surprise - World of Warcraft Cataclysm is on the way for 2010 and Blizzard announced the following
Two New Playable Races: Adventure as one of two new races--the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.
Level Cap Increased to 85: Earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to improve characters.
Classic Zones Remade: Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been altered forever and updated with new content, from the devastated Badlands to the broken Barrens, which has been sundered in two.
New High-Level Zones: Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great Sunken City of Vashj'ir beneath the sea.
More Raid Content than Ever Before: Enjoy more high-level raid content than previous expansions, with optional more challenging versions of all encounters.
New Race and Class Combinations: Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.
Guild Advancement: Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.
New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds: Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.
Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.
Flying Mounts in Azeroth: Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms like never before.
"Blizzard Entertainment has moved the anticipated release date of StarCraft II to the first half of 2010 to coincide with the relaunch of its upgraded Battle.net® online -gaming service." (hat-tip SC2.blog)
Plus quite a bit of info about multiplayer and the single player campaign is already out in a series of videos and preview pieces dotted around gaming sites.
Anyway got to hand it to Blizz they do know how to get players going! Even though i quit WoW quite a while back after 2 burnout years of playing practically nothing else, it still excites me to read all this stuff and may tempt me back. However.....
It will be going head to head with probably the most eagerly anticipated MMO to date - Star Wars The Old Republic. The Hype train is full steam ahead and it has a lot going for it if and if they deliver it could be a real match up for WoW if they release within a few months of each other.
I guess many gamers will play both if SWTOR is as good as many people hope it to be, i confidently predict as long as SWTOR doesn't pull a WAR maneuver and release without being polished to a fine shine of excellent content and gameplay it will be the second most popular MMO easy enough and break a million plus subscribers. If it fails there is no wrath compared to how Starwars fan+the MMO community and the Internet in general will react and Bioware better re-hire Mark Jacobs to have someone to blame for it.
Still good news from Blizzcon so far - have to look into it more as 12.30am in the UK so bed time :)
Wednesday 19 August 2009
The last part of the downloadable content for Fallout 3 seems to be getting relatively good reviews and Bethesda has confirmed this was the last one of the batch they were working on. I assume this means Fallout: New Vegas is well into development and other games based around the Fallout universe are also coming together, perhaps even an MMO if the rights have passed from Interplay to Bethesda.
The first of the DLC was a bit hit and miss, “Operation Anchorage” was nothing more than a prolonged run and gun segment which lasted an evening and the only memorable thing about it is at the end it gives you access to power armour much earlier in the game than usual.
I enjoyed “The Pitt” and it’s imagining of Pittsburgh as an industrial nightmare you must navigate through some profound moral choices about slavery and order in the wastelands, playing through as an evil character after being a goody two shoes when I first completed the game I spent most of it being a complete and utter bastard but still it was complex.
I must admit “Mothership Zeta” is a weird end to the DLC and Fallout 3. I would have thought a climatic ending to the adventures in the capital wastelands would have been in order and requiring a few visits to old haunts rather than spending the entire time away from one of the stars of Fallout 3 – the haunting post nuclear image of Washington DC which was so well done. Still along with Broken Steel and Point Lookout it has certainly kept players occupied over a year after its release.
My real interest outside of the gaming side and the fact it prolongs such a great RPG is the whole idea of DLC, for sports games it normally is nothing more than updating teams and adding more aesthetic things. With First Person Shooters it is multiplayer map packs and Real Time Strategies have extra unit and maps for DLC.
With RPG’s adding in extra storylines is normally reserved for an expansion pack or two, I remember eagerly awaiting expansions to Baldur’s gate and Oblivion to stretch out the experience. DLC also gives developers to go in different directions from the main game, while “Operation Anchorage” was not my cup of tea it did introduce new areas and storylines to Fallout 3.
With DLC becoming more and more common I enjoy the fact that now gamers can receive extra storylines for a small fee. As well as this future DLC has now become a major selling point for gamers, Microsoft seems to have taken the lead on this by securing DLC to games such as GTA IV and Fallout 3 while the PS3 the DLC is only just rolling out for Fallout 3. I must admit if a game is exactly the same on both consoles then things like the option of DLC would swing my purchase. I guess with Microsoft putting a low price and Xbox live/DLC spin on the Xbox 360 the PS3 superior graphics and Blu-Ray is not making the impact Sony expected.
It’s a moot point however for me as I am predominately a PC gamer and we thankfully get most DLC for free or at least at the same time as the consoles.
But what about the dangers, of course it is the problem of what the developers cut out of a game to save for DLC, do they detract from the main game to make sure they have enough to fill a few bits of DLC to make some extra money. I am happy if a DLC fleshes out quests and areas beyond the main storyline or carries it on like an expansion but if I pay £40 for a game I expect it to be enjoyable and not requiring buying another £20+ worth of DLC to make the game what it should have been to begin with. Developers could also be tempted to throw in all the cuts they made to the original game to maximise profit, after all they are businesses and if you have worked on something I guess slapping a price tag on it some people will download it.
On the whole I felt that Bethesda got the number and quality of DLC right in the end, it was a little ropey to begin with and the fact all my old save games got deleted was a major cluster F***up I have enjoyed each one and can see the two RPG’s on my radar - Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age Origins – making good use of DLC to flesh out the experience and I hope not cash in to much.
Monday 17 August 2009
After some great marketing from Games workshop which got fans on both blogs and forums into a right tizz with their "mystery box" we now know they are re-releasing the classic space hulk. My parents bought this for my cousin back in the 90's and endless hours were spent playing it with him and his friend. When my brother was old enough we bought a second box set and had four a four way game with my cousin and his friend versus us. Certainly really excited to see this old classic reborn and it is already on pre-order, expensive at nearly 60 quid but worth it for the nostalgia factor alone.
From Games Workshops site the blurb sounds interesting...
From the depths of space an ancient vessel drifts slowly towards the Imperium of Mankind - a space hulk. Within its confines, untold thousands of Genestealers slowly emerge from hibernation. The Space Marines must enter the cramped corridors and tomb-like chambers of the ancient ship to defeat this alien menace.
Space Hulk is a board game for two players, recreating the
battles fought between the Space Marines and Genestealers. One player commands
the Space Marines as they carry out deadly missions in the ancient Space Hulk, and the other commands the horde of Genestealers opposing them. Space Hulk's fast-paced rules simulate the tense atmosphere of a mission deep inside the cramped confines of a derelict space hulk, where split-second decisions are needed for victory.
This boxed game contains: a 23-page Rulebook, a 47-page Mission book and 35 finely-detailed, plastic Citadel miniatures, including: 11 Space Marine Terminators, one Space Marine Terminator Librarian, 22 Genestealers, and one Broodlord.
Also included are: 105 gaming counters, 24 corridors, 10 rooms, eight crossroads, eight T-junctions, six corner sections, four dead ends, four end pieces, 20 doors with plastic stands, one mission status display, and three plastic mission objectives, including: a dead Space Marine on throne, a Blood Angels artefact and a Cyber-Altered Task Unit. Plus a sand timer and five bone-coloured dice unique to this game.
I think the Terminators show some of the new Blood Angel miniatures’ they will be working on next year after Space Wolves are released and those Genestealers look quite nifty. One of the good things about Games Workshop in recent years is the amount of models you get in its starter game sets. Assault on Black Reach had a sizeable number of Orks and space marines which you could build a starter army around. The fantasy equivalent - contains equally a substantial number of Goblins and Dwarves which i have based a good part of my army around.
I might look to make these terminators along with the 5 from Black Reach into the "Deathwing" an elite force of the Dark Angels Chapter who are exclusively in Terminator armour hunting their traitorous former brethren around the galaxy. Might be an idea for a new army....doh!
Friday 14 August 2009
While having my usual morning peruse of blogs and gaming sites I nearly spat porridge over my computer when I saw on WoW.com that Worgen and Goblins will be the new races for the next WoW expansion “Cataclysm”.
Having the new races and expansion revealed by leaks two weeks before you go….Fail!
This news comes apparently from “multiple sources close to the situation” although of course caveats still apply to this as might be a load of crap. However sites like Massively and Gamespy have been running with it so I assume they may have heard similar rumours to not treat the news as mere speculation. Certainly rumours have been floating around for quite a while going back to Burning Crusade that the Worgen would be a playable race. I am surprised by the Goblins, I always assumed it would be some offshoot of ogres but I guess they want to give the horde a diminutive cutsey class and the Alliance a savage class so as to try and rebalance the factions.
The fact Blizzard has its own convention and does not feel the need to attend big gaming events like E3 shows the incredible popularity their games have, companies would kill to even have one franchise with such recognition and sheer money making potential let alone three. Blizzcon is a major part of Blizzards yearly PR and I can’t even imagine how much work goes in to prepare for those two days.
So I do wonder where these rumours have come from and what “multiple sources” would have revealed it. I assume it is someone Activision side who has dropped these hints as Blizzard has always been very media savvy and ran a tight ship, while rumours always surround their games, in the past when they announce they will reveal a new game at a convention most people will have sussed which of their three main franchises it would be. Not to hard to work out Koreans love Starcraft – announce Starcraft 2 in Korea = Mass hype, Blizzard love and mountains of cash come 2010.
However while we may have known what was going to be announced we never knew any details. I was lucky enough to go to the worldwide invitational in Paris where they announced Diablo 3, while everyone I met apart from one insistent German pro gamer who told everyone who would listen that they were announcing World of Starcraft, knew that it would be Diablo 3 we didn’t know what else was being announced. I expected a few screenshots of early work and some artwork but instead we got an onstage demo and an in-depth look at the Barbarian. By the end of the weekend I was sold on Blizzard, bought Diablo 2/Starcraft again and even re-subbed Warcraft for 2 months before getting WoW fatigue.
Just thinking about this news I feel it is pretty big for World of Warcraft and how now Blizzard may need something else on the cards that weekend to blow the fans away; we all knew the name of the expansion when Blizzard did legal fillings for the name. That in itself isn’t much of a big deal but two entirely new races are pretty important to what they will do with WoW. With Aion getting good press, the Star wars Old Republic MMO creating hype tsunamis every time a little bit of information on the game comes out and a few existing MMO’s like Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings and Warhammer looking to siphon off as many bored WoW fans as possible a major announcement at Blizzcon of the expansion coupled with subsequent Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 announcements it would have helped Blizzard start up the hype train and maybe try and steal back the position of most eagerly awaited MMO from Starwars.
Of course this isn’t doom and gloom for Blizzard even if I may have made it out to be, the fans will still lap the convention up and I am sure Blizzard has some great ideas for the new races – if they are actually being introduced. It could very well be a bit of viral advertising to get the fans hyped up and then completely screw with WoW fans minds by showing something else entirely. There also is all the information behind “Cataclysm” which I assume will mean Vanilla WoW content being cluster bombed with new content via some kind of major world event and one or even two new hero classes. I expect a great amount to be revealed and another classy intro movie to be shown.
Then there will be the Starcraft 2 details plus the game will be playable, hopefully with even more screenshots of the campaign along with the next Diablo 3 class and Warcraft the movie getting a few mentions.
Just expect on the main stage at the opening announcement
Mike Morhaime: And now to announce Blizzards newest game…World of Warcraft:Cataclysm
Mike Morhaime: With new races…the savage Worgen and the enterprising Goblins
Mike Morhaime: AND …..MURLOC
(I can dream)
Monday 10 August 2009
I have been away this weekend so while catching up on gaming news I ran across this Blizzcon story. With 20,000 tickets on sale at $125 a pop the fact it sold out in a mere 8 minutes is pretty impressive. What's more it seems this 8 minutes is just the time it takes to process the payment so in fact the tickets probably sold out within a minute of going on sale. I was luck and went to the worldwide invitational event last year and was impressed by the scale of the event and how loyal a fan base Blizzard has built up that they are willing to pay 125 dollars plus travel/accommodation based upon the love of just three franchises.
As for what is going to be revealed this year - I am pretty sure more information on Starcraft 2 beta/campaign, another class for Diablo 3 and the next World of Warcraft expansion. I would love to know what the new MMO is that Blizzard is working upon but gut feeling is this will be 2010 with Blizzard using the release of Starcraft 2/WoW expansion as a launch pad for their latest endeavour.
Also Ozzy Osbourne is apparently going to perform after his stint as the prince of darkness it isn't to surprising he has been booked, certainly he has a degree of coolness associated with a Rock legend even if his wife wears the trousers and he seems incapable of even making a cheese sandwich because his brain is so addled by drink and drugs. Plus I am sure he will perform with level 80 elite Tauren chieftain - brilliant PR on Blizzards part.