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PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For All

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
F2P, Freemium, MMOs, Planetside 2, Podcast, PWNCAST, Star Wars The Old Republic

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For All

This week on the PWNCAST we get stuck into the subject of free-to-play games. We ask why the term is still considered by some to be a dirty phrase, we look at some of our favourite F2P titles and what developers and publishers can do to take full advantage of the model, and we cast our minds ahead and try to determine what the future holds regarding freemium titles.

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For All, Recorded: April 19th, 2013

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be a few instances of strong language.

Click the banner at the top to play the file, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.

Want more? Check out the rest of our PWNCAST posts onsite, hit us up on iTunes, or subscribe to the PWNCAST Feed here.

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For All PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For AllPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For AllPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For AllPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 13 - Free For All

Dealspwn Playthrough | Surgeon Simulator 2013

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bossa Studios, Dealspwn Playthrough, PC games, Surgeon Simulator 2013

Dealspwn Playthrough | Surgeon Simulator 2013

Today's Dealspwn Playthrough sees Matt rope Ludovic into helping him perform a heart transplant in Surgeon Simulator 2013. Let's just say that things don't exactly go terribly smoothly.

You can check out our review of Bossa's retail version of their GameJam hit here: http://bit.ly/119rt0S

Do be warned, there's a fair amount of strong language in this one. And blood. Lots of blood.

Click here to read more...

Blast From The Past | Captain America and the Avengers

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Captain America and the Avengers, Data East, Marvel, Retro, SEGA Mega Drive, SNES

Blast From The Past | Captain America and the Avengers

I've been meaning to do this one for a while, pretty much ever since the Avengers movie came out. But then something else happened, probably a new game, and I forgot about and wandered off to check out the new shiny thing. However, with Injustice out this week, it got me thinking about superhero games and some of my favourites, and I figured it would be a good time to bring up Captain America and the Avengers.

It's important to note that the game of which I speak is the side-scrolling beat 'em up that hit the arcades in 1991 before making a jump to the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1992, rather than the 1991 NES version of the same name. In the latter, the only two characters you could play as were Captain America and Hawkeye, as Iron Man and Vision had been kidnapped by the Mandarin.

Blast From The Past | Captain America and the Avengers

No, we're talking about the former: a game that managed somehow to release in the shadow of the vastly superior Streets of Rage and its sequel, dealt with Red Skull controlling the minds of a whole bunch of nefarious Marvel villains including Ultron, Klaw, the Living Laser, Whirlwind, the Mandarin, and Juggernaut, and let you play as any of the four characters to unload cans of whoop-ass on innumerable goons.

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The Voice | Why Legacy And Continuity In Vocal Work Is Such A Big Deal

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Charles Martinet, James Bond, Jennifer Hale, Nolan North, Performance capture, Voice acting, Voice actors

The Voice | Why Legacy And Continuity In Vocal Work Is Such A Big Deal

Revisiting characters with new actors is always something of a risky business. Even in the world of theatre, where roles are recast and reimagined everyday, you'll find what people refer to as 'definitive performances'. For some Hamlet will always be synonymous with John Gielgud in the same way that Colm Wilkinson defines Jean Valjean for others.

But theatrical revivals are essential to ensure a work survives beyond its initial run, and the same cannot be said of the permanent snapshots in time provided by films and games. That's not to say the products of these mediums are above reinterpretation in a creative sense, but executives (that's a key word right there) must always balance the risk of destroying franchise potential (and there's another) with the chancer's reward of cashing in on a big name.

Even when it's understood that a role is one that requires a change of personnel every so often, the new pretender is run ragged through the media mill. Remember the headlines scoffing at 'James Blond'?

The Voice | Why Legacy And Continuity In Vocal Work Is Such A Big Deal

The news over the past few weeks has been littered with disgruntled folks posting grumbling comments on forums regarding the recasting of some of their favourite characters. The tributes poured in for Solid Snake and Big Boss actor David Hayter when the news emerged that Kojima Productions had not approached him to work on Metal Gear Solid V. There were plenty of dissenting voices when Ubisoft had Michael Ironside step aside from the role of Sam Fisher for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, even when the gravelly-voiced pro spoke up to praise the work his replacement, Eric Johnson, had done. Fans petitioned Ubisoft to get Ironside back in the recording booth. They didn't.

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Civilization V: Brave New World Interview | Tourism, Tomb Raiding & The Future Of Civ

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Civilization, Civilization V, Civilization V: Brave New World, DLC, Expansion Pack, Firaxis, PC games, Strategy games

Civilization V: Brave New World Interview | Tourism, Tomb Raiding & The Future Of Civ

Having sampled Civilization V's latest expansion pack in our Brave New World hands-on preview, we were keen to explore some of the deeper and persistent gameplay systems that Firaxis' latest offering brings to the experience. To this end, we sat down with producer Dennis Shirk to discuss the totally revamped Culture Victory, archaeology, tourism, new Civs and the future of the Civilization franchise.

Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us, Dennis. In an age where "dumbing down" and "shooter fatigue" are fast becoming buzzwords, why do you think that Civilization is so enduring?

Dennis Shirk (Firaxis): That's a tough one. I think it has to do with Sid [Meier]'s original design, you know, as Mel Brooks would say: "it's good to be the king." Letting players have all the decision-making throughout the game - they make all of the decisions in terms of what happens to their people and their civilizations, from the stone age to the space age - it empowers the player. You don't just play through and then the story's done, you go back and play a different story that unfolds in a completely different way.

You can do it over and over again. There's just limitless amounts of options for players in Civ V, or any Civilization. I think that's the genius of his foundation: there's a limitless amounts of possibilities in terms of what you can do.

Civilization V: Brave New World Interview | Tourism, Tomb Raiding & The Future Of Civ

Dealspwn: Let's get down to business: Brave New World. Your latest DLC pack totally revamps the culture system. Could you tell us about that?

Dennis Shirk: Sure! We basically changed the way the Culture Victory works. Before, you had a really exciting beginning of the game, you were building your wonders etc. But you got to a point in the middle of the game where you're just hitting next turn, you're just trying to get the broadcast towers that's going to make your culture blast. But you're just hitting next turn and trying to fill up your five policy trees, and it just wasn't as interesting or compelling as the other victories in the game.

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Civilization V: Brave New World Preview | Culture Vulture

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
2K Games, Civilization V, Civilization V: Brave New World, Firaxis Games, Games previews

Civilization V: Brave New World Preview | Culture Vulture

Platform: PC

Developer: Firaxis

Publisher: 2K Games

Considering that Brave New World is designed to be the final expansion for Civilization V, it's only fitting that it focuses on the endgame. While Gods & Kings did a great job of freshening up the mid-game, Firaxis' latest content drop is all about sweetening the pot for more culturally sensitive players or economy-focused traders, granting us a host of new features and systems to dominate the world through tourism, money or diplomacy. Artists slave away on immortal masterpieces, archaeologists scamper around to secure priceless artefacts, and powerful game-changing rules can be voted on in the new World Congress; conferring lasting boons or devastating embargoes.

If this is all sounding a little too refined and cultured for your tastes, you'll also be pleased to know that Shaka Of The Zulus is finally making a comeback, meaning that the more warlike amongst us will be able to crush their rivals before they've even researched gunpowder. Indeed, the only evidence they ever existed will be the occasional arrowhead dug up by modern day tomb raiders.

Civilization V: Brave New World Preview | Culture Vulture

I recently sat down with Brave New World for a couple of hours, and suffice to say that Civilization players are probably going to get dragged back in for yet another long haul.

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Games at Retail: Adapt or Die

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Administration, Blockbuster, Digital vs Retail, GAME, GAME Group, Games articles, HMV, UK retail

Games at Retail: Adapt or Die

Last week finally saw HMV find a new buyer, ensuring one more traditional bricks and mortar business would enable gaming to have a high street presence alongside Blockbuster and Game. With most of us using online retailers to buy and pre-order games nowadays, you may wonder why we still need video games to be represented on the high street.

As this console generation winds down, we’ve seen a steep decline in game sales across the board. In 2012, retail sales were hit the most and dropped by over 20%. Game, Blockbuster and HMV barely survived, as gamers’ attention wavered. The original Wii’s bubble burst and there was a lack of any serious mass appeal products to renew lapsed players’ (read: more casual than you and I for example) interest. The numbers for Call of Duty are down and we’re repeatedly hearing of sequels selling only a shadow of what the previous game did – hello DMC.

So much rests on the shoulders of the next gen machines. Jaded consumers need to be blown away again with powerful graphics and innovative concepts that they can’t find on current gen consoles. If you think these things aren’t important then take a look at the Wii U. If retail stores can be a big part of the launch of next-gen consoles then they stand a better chance of being carried through with the renewed enthusiasm that gaming is crying out for and more importantly, customers might keep coming back.

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PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber Throw

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
3DS, Dark Forces, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Podcast, PWNCAST, Star Wars, Star Wars 1313, Star Wars Extended Universe, X-Wing

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber Throw

This week on the PWNCAST, Jon and Carl give their initial impressions of Defiance; we wax lyrical over Fire Emblem: Awakening and the notion of the 3DS as a must-have device due to its now-stellar lineup; and Matt goes bonkers and goes eBaying while drunk on nostalgia, leading to something of a Star Wars love-in.

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber Throw, Recorded: April 11th, 2013

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be a few instances of strong language.

Click the banner at the top to play the file, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.

Want more? Check out the rest of our PWNCAST posts onsite, hit us up on iTunes, or subscribe to the PWNCAST Feed here.

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber Throw PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber ThrowPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber ThrowPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber ThrowPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 12 - Saber Throw

Flashback Interview | Co-Writer Simon McKenzie On Rewriting A Classic

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Flashback, Platformer, PSN, Ubisoft, VectorCell, XBLA

Flashback Interview | Co-Writer Simon McKenzie On Rewriting A Classic

"I Didn't Want To Be The I Ruined Your Childhood Guy'"

As we discussed in today's hands-on preview, Paul Cuisset's Flashback remake is cause for both celebration and trepidation. Beyond some new gameplay features, the PSN and XBLA-bound reboot plans to inject the legendary platformer with more in the way of traditional videogame storytelling, complete with fully-voiced dialogue, cutscenes, plenty of NPCs and even more twists to discover in the overarching plot. Appealing to fans of classic games while attracting a new audience is always tough, and doubly so when trying to flesh out characters like Conrad, who are effectively blank slates filled in by our imaginations and tidbits.

Keen to know about the challenges facing the writing team, I recently sat down for a chat with co-writer Simon McKenzie, who explained that he's a fan of the original game with a clear vision in mind.

Flashback Interview | Co-Writer Simon McKenzie On Rewriting A Classic

Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us, Simon. We've been waiting 20 years for Flashback to return, but many of us were just expecting an HD version. What is this new project attempting to do? Is it a reboot, a remake or... what?

Simon McKenzie: It is a remake of Flashback, so it's not just an HD shiny version, it's a remake of the game. I was a fan of the original, so when it came up on my radar and they wanted a writer, hands up in the air, I said "let me!"

The main thing is that it's done by Paul Cuisset, who did the original. He said, this was the game in his head back in the 90s, but there were technological limitations. We were able to work with him, put some new ideas in there, but all the classic elements that you remember from Flashback - from the Death Tower to finding the fragments of your memory and piecing together the larger scheme of things  - they're all there in the new game.

Click here to read more...

Flashback Hands-On Preview | Repressed Memories

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Flashback, Platformer, PSN, Ubisoft, VectorCell, XBLA

Flashback Hands-On Preview | Repressed Memories

Platforms: PSN | XBLA

Developer: VectorCell

Publisher: Ubisoft

Paul Cuisset is totally rebooting Flashback, and I'll give you a second to recover if you missed the news yesterday. Breathe. And relax. Since the timeless platformer is such a beloved piece of gaming history, genuinely tense and frightening in parts, seeing Conrad's struggle to regain his fractured memories get the shiny Unreal treatment is both exciting and horribly worrying. On the one hand, this new version is apparently the game that Cuisset always wanted to make, but simply couldn't due to the technological constraints of the early nineties - and he's back at the helm. On the other, he and VectorCell were also responsible for Amy.

Flashback Hands-On Preview | Repressed Memories

At first glance, everything seems to be exactly where you left it. Delphine Software's colourful hand-drawn aesthetic may have been replaced by the more realistic stylings of Unreal Engine 3, but after a pleasingly accurate rendition of the action-packed intro complete with harrowing aerial chase, the lush forest is pleasingly familiar. Everything from Conrad's jacket to the design of the foliage, enemies and collectible holocube looks spot-on, but now boasts a fine level of environmental detail. Plenty of disarmingly classic elements remain, not limited to jumping into a random hole in the middle of the woods to access New Washington after performing a favour for an old man.

But then Conrad opens his mouth, delivers a sarcastic wisecrack and scampers off to collect some exploding fruit.

It's still early days, but this reboot will rely on how closely it resembles your Flashback, the version that you both remember and created in your mind's eye.

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Blast From The Past | Day of the Tentacle

Author:
Chris Hyde
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Blast From The Past, Day of the Tentacle, LucasArts, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer

Blast From The Past | Day of the Tentacle

Developer: LucasArts

Publisher: LucasArts

Year of Release: 1992

Original Platform(s) of Release: PC (DOS)

Due to the Easter bank holiday – and me contracting this national lurgy that’s going round – you may have noticed last week I was usurped from regular BFTP article by the loveable trio of Matt, Jon and Carl. Given Disney’s decision to close LucasArts, they mused on their favourite LucasArts games of years gone by. Luckily I’m here this week to show them all how wrong they were. In fairness to Jon, he gave this game an honourable mention, but I’m here to give it its very own BFTP, and that game is the hilarious Day of the Tentacle.

DOTT was released in 1993 as a sequel to the 1987 Commodore 64 game Maniac Mansion – which saw you play as Dave Miller in an attempt to rescue your girlfriend from the clutches of an evil scientist with the help of your friends. In that game you could select 2 friends to join you from a group of 6 – Scooby Doo style. In DOTT, you play as one of those friends – Bernard Bernouilli – but this time your 2 companions are fixed for the entire adventure, and comprise of a slightly disturbed medical student called Laverne and wannabe rocker Hoagie.

Blast From The Past | Day of the Tentacle

The game starts with us discovering that chemical waste is spewing from Dr Ed’s laboratory. This waste cause Purple Tentacle (One of the two tentacles created as experiments in the original game) to grow a pair of arms, and have a heightened intelligence. So naturally he now has dreams of world domination – we’ve all been there. His kinder-natured counterpart – Green Tentacle – fears what Purple might do, so enlists the help of Bernard and his friends to stop him. When they arrive, the plan of action is to time travel to the previous day (using Dr Ed’s latest time travelling machine that uses a crystal and three suspect looking porta-loos) and turn off the chemical waste before Purple got infected – hence preventing any possible world domination.

Click here to read more...

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Hands-On Preview | Jumping The (Cyber) Shark

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, PC games, PSN, Ubisoft, XBLA

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Hands-On Preview | Jumping The (Cyber) Shark

Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA | Commodore 64000

Developer: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is real, and utterly ridiculous.

It's clearly built on Far Cry 3's DNA. Despite being a downloadable marketplace title destined for Steam, the PSN and XBLA, you'll explore an expansive patch of open world real estate, liberate garrisons, commandeer vehicles and hunt all manner of dangerous wildlife.

But now, the whole thing has been punched up to 11... or should that be 1981. Instead of a displaced party boy, you play as Rex "Power" Colt, a Mark IV cyborg commando hammed up by none other than Aliens and Terminator star Michael Biehn. Rather than a lush paradise, we'll romp around a neon-soaked 80s blockbuster movie set, populated by an army of overblown extras wielding cheap props cobbled together from bits of old vacuum cleaner. And the wildlife? Enormous glowing dragons who shoot omega-lasers out of their eyes, and can be tamed to your advantage by feeding them the cybernetic hearts ripped from your fallen foes.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Hands-On Preview | Jumping The (Cyber) Shark

Put simply, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon does its best to embrace the silly, brash and downright stupid aspects of every terrible action movie you've ever seen. After playing through the first 45 minutes, I'm hard-pressed to think of another game that takes itself less seriously in the pursuit of big, nostalgic fun.

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Smooth Criminal: A Chat With Overkill About Payday 2

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
FPS games, Games previews, Overkill Software, Payday 2, Starbreeze

Smooth Criminal: A Chat With Overkill About Payday 2

Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA

Developers: Overkill Software

Publishers: 505 Games

The original PayDay: The Heist was something of a mixed bag, also taking the crown for having a slightly disingenuous title in that there was only really one level in which you actually got the chance to pull off an awesome heist: the aptly named 'Diamond Heist'.

Indeed, Diamond Heist is the level I bring up when the chaps at Overkill ask me if I enjoyed the first game. Out of the six jobs in the original Payday, it's Diamond Heist that sticks in the brain: a multi-stage, near-impossible mission. There are diamonds in a vault on the top floor of a skyscraper. It's a level that can be completed stealthily, but the random elements (changing keycodes, hostage willpower, alarm sensitivity) mean that almost never happens.

Smooth Criminal: A Chat With Overkill About Payday 2

It's fantastic. And to think, that last level was a bit of an afterthought.

"In the first game we kind of said to one another, 'maybe we should incorporate some stealth mechanics', but we'd pretty much run out of time and money so we had to kind of shoehorn it into one of the stages: Diamond Heist," said the game's designer and composer Simon Viklund. "That level was a bit of a mess. We've put things right this time."

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Opening Scenes | Evoland - First 15 Mins

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Evoland, Indie Games, Opening Scenes, PC games, RPGs, Shiro Games, Videos

Opening Scenes | Evoland - First 15 Mins

Originally conceived and created by Nicolas Cannasse for a Ludum Dare contest, Evoland is a truly curious little game. It's short, sweet, and through its 5-7 hour running time essentially takes the player on a journey through the history of role-playing action - from the action-oriented stylings of The Legend of Zelda to the turn-based shenanigans of Final Fantasy. From 8-bit nostalgia to HD glory. You trek around an ever-changing landscape, unlocking new features, new technologies, and new challenges.

The review is coming, as is a version of the vid below with commentary, but for the moment here's a peek at the game's opening 15 minutes.

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The Sunday Seven | Things Disney Should Do With The LucasArts Licence

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
BioWare, Disney, GOG.com, Jedi Knight, LucasArts, Obsidian Entertainment, Platinum Games, Project Aces, Rogue Squadron, Star Wars: Battlefront III

The Sunday Seven | Things Disney Should Do With The LucasArts Licence

Now that Disney have closed the doors on LucasArts  and are instead planning shifting the outfit "from an internal development to a licensing model", we thought we'd give the Mickey Mouse company some advice on what to do with a licence that covers a treasure trove of games and IPs that gamers of all ages utterly adore.

With that in mind, here's this week's Sunday Seven in no particular order...

Stick the classics on GOG.com

The Sunday Seven | Things Disney Should Do With The LucasArts Licence

I said in no particular order, but this one is the ultimate no-brainer. We live in an age of easy digital distribution where elderly PC architecture can be easily emulated via software such as DOSbox, and there's a fat digital marketplace that specialises in retro PC games.

LucasArts sat on the likes of Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Day of the TentacleX-wing and its sequels for years. It's time that stopped. It's been long enough. You can't legitimately buy those games anywhere any more, save for bruised and battered used copies on eBay. Make some money from them Disney, stick them on GOG and let us delight in their delights once more. Everybody wins.

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COMMENT | We Need To Talk: An Industry's Stubborn Failure To Communicate

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adam Orth, Always-on, Comment, Commuication, EA, Marketing, Peter Moore, PR, SimCity, Valve

COMMENT | We Need To Talk: An Industry's Stubborn Failure To Communicate

We're living in an age where connectivity and communication has never been easier nor more widespread and accessible than ever before. The supercomputers in our pockets present an enormous virtual tapestry filled with thoughts, concepts, notions, and ideas. Consuming information has never been more immediate, and presenting it has never been easier. Yet in spite of this, there've been a number of gaffes, controversies, issues, spats, dramas, and follies to have emerged over the past couple of months, and one factor that has contributed to them all has been a failure to successfully communicate.

Of course, most of the little issues have centred around one topic: the concept of a game or console requiring a permanent connection to the internet.

This week's little drama came to a head with Microsoft Studios' Adam Orth playfully tweeting the following:

"Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console. Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit.”

Whether or not he meant it as part of a personal, jest-filled exchange or not, it clearly struck a chord.

Once again battle lines have seemingly been drawn between creators and consumers: big companies will do whatever the hell they like, and those who object will simply have to learn to like it, or lump it. From the alternative perspective the vocal mob are an impossible to please minority who don't know what's best for them, and are mired in conservative nostalgia.

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Warface Beta Preview | Show Me Your War Face!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Crytek, FPS, Free to play, Gface, Trion Worlds, Warface

Warface Beta Preview | Show Me Your War Face!

Platform: PC (Gface, F2P)

Developer: Crytek

Publisher: Trion Worlds

Much has been made of Warface's deeply silly name, but we rather like it. It's fun to say. Go on, try it out: Warface. Show me your Warface. Gears Of Warface. Full spread of photon torpedoes, Lieutenant Worface. Crytek's monicker might have been slightly lost in translation, but it has a certain goofy charm.

However, beyond these cheap laughs, Warface means serious business. Crytek's first foray into free to play has a lofty mission statement: to deliver a triple-A quality multiplayer experience, both in terms of gameplay and graphics, within your humble internet browser. Team-based deathmatches, co-op, customisation and clans. No clients. No down-payment or subscription. Just war. Face.

Having sampled the closed beta, we can report that Warface is certainly on course to set a new graphical standard for browser games, and provide impressively solid shooting for the bargain price of absolutely no money whatsoever.

Warface Beta Preview | Show Me Your War Face!

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Remember Me Preview | Hands-On Impressions

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Capcom, DONTNOD Entertainment, Gadget Show Live 2013, Game previews, PC games, PS3 games, Remember Me, Xbox 360 games

Remember Me Preview | Hands-On Impressions

Platforms: Xbox 360 (Tested) | PS3 | PC

Developer: DONTNOD Entertainment

Publisher: Capcom

At this year’s Gadget Show Live there really wasn’t much in the way of new games on the show floor, especially in the way of upcoming titles, but with the exception of the upcoming Star Trek movie tie-in (which you can read about here) there was only one unreleased game I had yet to get hands-on with… and that was DONTNOD’s sci-fi memory manipulation action title Remember Me. Having managed to intrigue us with its official unveiling last year, it has remained on our radars thanks to the steady flow of trailers (and topical character discussion) since then.

So, we naturally jumped at the chance to get hands on with the game while we were perusing the show floor. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any gameplay that had us remixing memories, with the demo instead highlighting the platforming, exploration, and combat mechanics. The level on show saw us controlling main character Nilin as she made her way through the slums of Neo-Paris, an incredibly dirty yet rather vibrant locale that had makeshift market stalls and flying advertisement bots insisting on gaining my attention. Along with a rather downtrodden populous, the city is also host to some faceless enemy creatures that seemed to suck the memories out of people (or at least that’s what I gathered during my time playing.) Upon gaining control, I began my trek across the bowels of the metropolis.

Remember Me Preview | Hands-On Impressions

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Blast From The Past | LucasArts

Author:
Staff
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Blast From The Past, Dark Forces, Grimm Fandango, LucasArts, SCUMM, Star Wars, The Secret of Monkey Island, TIE Fighter, X-Wing, X-Wing vs TIE Fighter

Blast From The Past | LucasArts

So LucasArts is no more. But let's be honest, will anyone really notice? In recent years, the studio once held in the highest of esteem for pioneering a golden age of adventure games, and (dare we say it) superlative licensed titles, has become a byword for everything wrong with the industry - once dominant hive of creativity laid low by quick-buck sequels, haemorrhaging talent, and shameless greed from the parent company overlords. We've had barely a peep out of the in-house development team in years, with a hands-off presentation of Star Wars 1313 last year and a vague leak surrounding Star Wars: First Assault the only hint of life behind those closed doors.

With that in mind, there's perhaps not much to lament with the news that Disney has called time on LucasArts' existence. However, to borrow the words of High Fidelity's Barry, is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great studio for their latter day sins?

Of course not. And those sins are the reason LucasArts is now defunct. But we should take a moment to remember some of the greatness that has borne the Gold Guy logo, and recall a time long ago, when LucasArts was synonymous with awesomeness...

Matt

Blast From The Past | LucasArts

I think of LucasArts and I think of two very separate things: Star Wars and adventure games. The former is a given, and remember this was back in the days when licensed games didn't have to suck as a rule. As a studio, they nailed wish fulfilment. We wanted to be crack pilots in the battle between the Rebels and the Empire, and the X-Wing series provided. We wanted to be a smuggler and a Jedi, and stepping into the boots of Kyle Katarn gave us that opportunity too. Dark Forces was my very first FPS, and I loved it. When LucasArts handed their license over in these early days, too, collaborations gave us Jedi Knight and KOTOR.

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PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. Friends

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
AI, Army of Two, Bioshock Infinite, Companions, Fallout 3, Gears of War, MMOs, Podcast, PWNCAST, Star Fox, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Uncharted, Wing Commander

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. Friends

We'll be honest, this week's podcast goes a little off of the rails. What we originally envisaged as a discussion centred around artificial intelligence programming in terms of companion characters in games became a hearty chinwag about some of our favourite companions.

We even manage to make a case for Slippy Toad being the Best Video Game Companion Ever!

PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. Friends, Recorded: March 28th, 2013

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be a few instances of strong language.

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PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. Friends PWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. FriendsPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. FriendsPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. FriendsPWNCAST | Season 3: Episode 11 - A.I. Friends