Oh Dragon Age II. For many, this was the disappointment of 2011, but there have been staunch defenders of this sequel's charms. Zavvi's under-£8 price is the cheapest around on Xbox 360, but being a Monday you can bet that it won't last long so get in there quick. Carl's review is relatively favourable, although sceptics might want a peek at my rant for balance's sake. Nice one missgem @ HUKD.
BioWare has announced that SWTOR's first major patch is currently live on their public test server, and it's seriously meaty. The new update plans to bolt on a new level 50 Flashpoint, new bosses, loads of class tweaks and a cavalcade of bug fixes. No word as yet on when the patch will be fully rolled out, but we'll keep our eyes peeled.
We've got the full changelog after the break, if you're interested.Click here to read more...
We all know that Star Wars: The Old Republic is a pretty big game, but with 200,000 lines of dialogue provided by hundreds of voice actors, it's also grabbed the Guinness World Record for the Largest Entertainment Voice Over Project in history, which I'm sure you'll agree is impressive . . . most impressive (sorry, I couldn't resist!).Click here for more info!
I'm hoping that my apathy towards Mass Effect 3 will be replaced with enthusiastic surprise when the game is finally released. I really, really want my fears in Bioware's conclusion to their bombastic space-opera to be misplaced; but I can't shake the feeling that the third entry in the series could be the worst. However, in the meantime, let's dissect these latest screenshots, shall we?Click here to read more...
Star Wars The Old Republic is finally available, with PC players across the globe currently exploring the vast universe Bioware has crafted - when they're not waiting in hours-long queues. However, while Windows users have been swinging custom lightsabers and casting Force lightning, Mac owners have - as usual - been twiddling their toes, awaiting word from Bioware on a port. Well, said word has arrived, but it's not quite good news; nor bad, admittedly.Click here to read more...
It's been almost three years since Mass Effect Galaxy, the top-down iOS shooter. It wasn't particularly well-received, but Bioware has announced plans to renew its interest in mobile development, but is cautious to jump the gun. Speaking to Joystiq, co-founder Greg Zeschuk revealed Android and iOS development is "definitely something we're looking at", but of Bioware's hundreds of staff, Zeschuk has tasked just one individual to explore "logical extensions to what we do".Click here to read more...
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Two weeks have now passed since Bioware unleashed the Star Wars shaped beast that is The Old Republic, and there have been plenty of talking points in recent days on how well things have been handled. Server queues that reached the heights of two hours, and the inability to access the website to register account keys have caused disgruntled users to flock to the interwebs to voice their annoyance. I did have a chuckle at it all, bring reminded of my experiences when World of Warcraft launched many moons ago. You could argue that EA and Bioware should have been more prepared for the heavy traffic that was obviously going to come with the Star Wars name, but I took the queues as an excuse to make a sandwich… and clean my study. However here we are a couple weeks later, and apart from a few five minute waits the majority of queues have all but evaporated, allowing us to finally return to that galaxy far, far away to begin the adventure unhindered.
MMORPG’s are huge in nature, so SWTOR will not be reviewed in the traditional form you are accustomed to here at Dealspwn. We will be chopping up the content and updating you with our impressions over time, as this is a colossal game with copious amount of content. As such, consider this first instalment more of an assessment of the starting experience and the launch, with reviews on Flashpoints, end-game content, Space Combat, Legacy progression, PvP, and focused looks at character roles and classes in the near future.Click here to read more...
The fact that some Star Wars: The Old Republic players have had to virtually queue for up to two hours in order to play online is no secret, and the situation has become so dire that BioWare has officially warned players to avoid creating new characters on high population servers. BioWare has also publicly identified the main offenders that are reaching their population caps so you can steer clear. We've got the full details below.Click here to read more...
Here it is, folks: one of the greatest games of all time and the benchmark by which many players still measure RPGs. Baldur's Gate 2 is astoundingly expansive, massively deep and features some of the best charaterisation you'll ever witness (not to mention beautiful artwork courtesy of the beloved Infinity Engine). Exploring the sprawling city of Athkatla and its surrounding shires is engrossing, satisfying and contains many dozens of hours of gameplay. This complete edition download includes the original game and the Throne Of Bhaal expansion pack... for much less than you can get them used. Note, however, that Win7 compatibility is not assured.
I defy you to not fall in love with Aerie. Your emotions cannot repel character development of this magnitude.
The hype train has had many stops this year, some good, others less so. We've seen big companies laid low through their own lack of caution, undermined by smack talk, and the best laid plans revealed to be sorely misjudged. In terms of games, we've had darlings of the press - games that have won critics over through previews and interviews, buffet spreads and bright lights - only for the end product to be rather lacking.
In the midst of our Game of the Year Season, it is only right the we look back and reflect for a moment upon some of the disappointments of the past twelve months. It should be noted that the games that make this list aren't necessarily bad (although one or two are), but rather proved to dash our hopes in some way. We weren't necessarily cross...just disappointed.
Though there's room for both at the top end.
Forget Dead Island...anyone who finds themselves disappointed by a game on the grounds of a CG trailer only has themselves to blame. The worst culprit of any sort of trailer fiasco this year probably has to go to We Dare. Did we get a raunchy party game for adults? No. Did we get girl-on-girl spanking? No. Were PEGI right to give the game a 12+ rating? Yes. The mainstream press went nuts, with the Daily Fail as usual doing absolutely no research into the actual game; but the disconnect between the trailer and the actual game was pertinent. At the end of the day, We Dare failed to launch in this country, with reports from across the Channel being that the game was about as sexy as Salacious Crumb.
What was it that Silicon Knights did with that multi-million dollar bankroll from the Canadian government? Well it can't all have gone on X-Men Destiny? Can it? Really? Oh dear. Having an X-Men game in which you can't actually play as any of the X-Men was a warning from the start...the awful combat and mind-numbingly boring missions didn't help. We knew it was going to be bad, just not this bad, hence the low position on the list.Click here to read more...
With reports emerging of players enduring server queues for up to two hours, Star Wars The Old Republic executive producer Jeff Hickman has posted an official notice informing players that Bioware takes the issue "seriously" and is actively addressing the problem. 140 servers were up and active over the weekend, but despite both Bioware and EA's best efforts to ensure the launch was as smooth as possible, even players who pre-ordered the game are being forced to wait before entering the clogged universe.Click here to read more...
If you’re gearing up for the official release on Tuesday, or even if you’re currently in the Early Access period, this one will save you a fair few pounds in a couple of ways. With this Time Card you can extend your stay beyond the free month, and it works out at £7.33 a month. With the next best offer at Bee being over £3.50 more expensive, and it saving you £1.50 over a standard monthly subscription from EA, it’s definitely worth noting for a genre where every little helps. Thanks to Aeschylus @ HUKD!
A year is a long time in this industry and Dead Space 2 suddenly seems an age away, but it's only been eleven months since that game hit. I was also quite surprised to find that Dragon Age II came out this year, hunting through the archives for earlier releases to make sure I hadn't skipped over any gems; but then again I'm pretty sure I'd attempted to erase it from my memory after I vented my disappointment at that game upon this very site. Such is the nature of Silly Season. The effect of having triple-A games coming out of the industry ears every week makes for an enormous backlog.
Thankfully, that's what December is for.
Depending on who you talk to, it's either been a great year for the industry or a frankly worrying one. The range of blockbuster titles has been enormous, but we've seen the middle ground suffer a lot, with studios closing left, right and centre, industry luminaries abandoning their grand sweeping legacies for smaller, less risky ventures where they can unleash their creativity without fear of publisher backlash. New IPs have been scarce, with quotes rolling in week after week regarding how dangerous it can be to dump a completely new game onto shelves in the middle of a recession.
It's certainly been an odd year, that's for sure, one I'll cover in more detail in my retrospective editorial at the end of the month, but review scores have been going up. 8 is the new 7, which was the new 5. Content is king these days, alongside production values, with bang for your buck being a crucial consideration. Gamers have aguably never had it so good, with a slew of AAA titles to choose from this year (too many?) and a wealth of creativity to be found in the indie scene. That said, publishers have been looking for sustainable franchises above all else, multiplayer is to be found in nigh on every game, shooters are everywhere and you'd better have a zombie mode...people will bitch and moan if you don't.
The slew of sequels means choosing the lists this year has been easy, but picking a winner less so. We'll be running our revised annual awards later this month, but for now let me kick off a week of staff highlights and personal accounts from the last year.Click here to read more...
If you're the lucky owner of an Early Game Access pass for Star Wars: The Old Republic, Bioware's sprawling, ambitious MMO is available right now. We don't expect to hear from you for quite a while. For the rest of us mere mortals, the game is set to release later this month, but Bioware is already hard at work on post-release content to keep their growing fanbase sated and content.Click here to read more...
Ahead of next week’s early access program for pre-order customers, EA and Origin have announced that players can now start pre-loading the game so they can be ready to jump into Bioware’s MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic the moment it becomes available from the 13th December onwards.Click here to read more...
Rumour states that you could get hold of this one for even less in a few weeks’ time, but if you really want to get hold of Dragon Age II on the PC this is currently the best deal around. Along with a saving of £2.50 you will get access to the Black Emporium DLC, which offers players an additional shop vendor and special items.
However, some may question whether, even at this price, this title is worth the purchase. Let me state it bluntly; chances are you’ll only give it one play through due to the lack of variation in the content, and you’ll probably not be blown away by the storyline, but the action is visually impressive and doing everything will clock up at least 40+ hours, which for less than a tenner is pretty good going these days. I would suggest checking out my review and Matt’s rant to help you decide. Thanks to Crybaby4ever @ HUKD!
BioWare (and Victory Games?) are clearly working on a military project that features tanks, APCs and what appears to be an isometric perspective. Rumours have linked them to the dormant Command & Conquer franchise... and if new domain registrations are to be believed, the new title may well be entitled Command & Conquer: Alliance. Fusible spotted fifteen domains that feature the game's title, which include EA in their registrant and contact fields. This certainly isn't a smoking gun - and could be a defensive measure - but it's very easy to add two and two together.
We'll know more at the VGAs later this month, when the title is set for a full reveal.
You know how every game needs multiplayer to sell copies, right? Right? Wrong, actually (just look at Skyrim) - but someone might need to patiently explain that to EA if a recent report is to be believed. According to another "insider" source from Kotaku, Dragon Age multiplayer is on the cards. The report alleges that it'll be an arena-based PvP and PvE experience, with playable dragons as well as more traditional warriors. Gah. Bleh. Wha?
Ignore my pained outbursts, though, because It's not all bad news. In fact, it's actually quite exciting. The new multiplayer project is rumoured to powered by Frostbite 2.0, and may ship as a standalone game as opposed to being part of the next Dragon Age title. Plus, playable dragons. If true, this could be one to watch.
On the other hand, BioWare certainly needs to nail the singleplayer component after Dragon Age II failed to wow critics and players earier this year.
Dragon Age II is a solid and enjoyable RPG in its own right, but its brutally cut corners and amorphous, hopeless storyline shook the faith of many BioWare fans. For £9.85, however, the PS3 version is probably worth a punt if you enjoyed Origins.
Spike TV has dangled a couple of seconds of footage featuring BioWare's latest title, which will be fully revealed at the VGA 2011 ceremony next month. You'll notice tanks and APCs shooting each other in gritty, modern surroundings... oh lord. This isn't Jade Empire 2. Many of us were still holding out hope despite the debut picture.
We've got the embed after the break, and we'd wager that this has something to do with the "military-genre FPS" that BioWare were hiring for a while back. Since this new studio is technically an entirely new outfit who are included under the BioWare branding, it will be interesting to see if they break with tradition. There are rumours linking this project to the Command & Conquer franchise - which ties in nicely with the military themes.
Anyway, let us know what you make of it. Not that there's much to go on at this stage.Click here to read more...