It's felt a bit like I've had a phone plastered to my ear this past fortnight, I'm surrounded by Excel spreadsheets and colour-coded timetables, I've started dreaming about closed-door interviews, and that can only mean one thing in August: we're gearing up for Gamescom.
The world's largest gaming event - during a week that will see over a quarter of a million members of the public cram themselves into the Koelnmesse convention centre - has risen to become something of a European equivalent to E3. Expect some new reveals, Sony in particular have taken to making Cologne their preferred location for dropping big news, plenty of things to shout about, one or two surprises, and reams of content for the next couple of weeks.
But unlike E3, Gamescom provides an opportunity to put one's upcoming wares in the hands of the most important people: the consumers.
It's for this reason that one might raise an eyebrow at some of this year's absentees. Microsoft won't be at the show, aside from Major Nelson and Acey Bongos on hand at Activision's stand to help deliver the world's first Black Ops II multiplayer opportunity. Now, Microsoft don't have the largest cupboard of exclusive, but with Master Chief returning this year, one might have thought that giving the public a taste would have been a good idea. Halo is an immensely strong brand, but with a new studio at the helm there have been many questions asked of this latest instalment, and a strong Gamescom showing would have done much to answer those.Click here to read more...
We’re almost at the finish line with our review for Funcom’s latest MMORPG The Secret World. This week will we be exclusively looking at the Player Vs Player options in the game, as we detail the three modes that are currently available. If you are late to the party and wish to catch up on my musings so far, be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
I have written at length about the stories that blend between the missions in TSW, and rightly so; they are entertaining and engrossing when combined with a little bit of investigation. But what happens when the stories end? What can you do if you decide to take a break from the missions around? Sure, you can revisit your favourite missions that have previously been completed and earn some more PAX to spend, perhaps gain those last few SP and AP you need to unlock your last few skills and abilities, but what else is there? A three-way battle for supremacy, that’s what.
In PvE everybody, regardless of their allegiance, gets along in the fight against the darkness, but alongside the missions that take place over Solomon Island, Egypt, and (eventually) Transylvania, players can jump into PvP battles and fight for the honour of their chosen secret society. It’s not just a matter of pride either, or even tokens to spend on improved gear (although that does help to incentivise matters a little.) No, the real reason to take part in the PvP is for the advantages it brings to your society, with buffs which improve XP gain, health, and other various attributes all for the side that stands victoriousClick here to read more...
In this episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, we dive headfirst into the world of Player Vs Player content within Funcom's MMORPG The Secret World. We have a full length match of the Stonehenge battlefield, and we take a look at the basic mechanics of the persistent warzone of the Fusang Projects. Find out how Dealspwn's virtual representative McGarnagle did after the jump.Click here to read more...
We've got three new screenshots for Battlefield 3's Armored Kill Expansion, which will bring some enormous maps, pitched tank battles, artillery and gunships to the multiplayer arena this September. More details and a trailer here.
Spoiler alert: pictures may contain tanks.Click here for the Battlefield 3: Armored Kill screenshots >>
BioWare has confirmed two new expansions for Mass Effect 3, the most exciting being the Leviathan singleplayer story DLC. Which would have been a nice surprise, had we not known about it for weeks. A premium singleplayer weapons pack is also on the way - full details and screenshots below.Click here to read more...
EA has blown the lid off a third Army Of Two title, currently in development by Dead Space developer Visceral Games. Subtitled The Devil's Cartel and powered by Frostbite 2.0, this new outing will see mercenary partnerships hit the gritty streets of Mexico. However, it plans to take a "more mature and grittier" tone than its predecessor, and almost certainly won't star series mainstays Salem and Rios.Click here to read more...
We’re still going full steam ahead with our review for The Secret World. In this week’s instalment we’ll be taking a look at the economics, give an overview of the crafting, and analyse the art direction throughout Funcom’s MMORPG. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already to get caught up on all the action so far.
As with every MMO on the market, economics are an important to progression and lasting appeal. Beyond XP (and in the case of TSW, abilities and skills acquisition) currency really is the second biggest reward when ploughing through content (after new gear, of course.) With the release of the first post-launch content patch, titled “Issue #1: Unleashed”, all of the economic systems are now implemented in the game, so we’re going to take a look at how you earn money, the different types of currency, and how effective the systems are.
The basic form of currency players earn in TSW is PAX. This is given whenever a quest is completed, or whenever an item is sold to an NPC vendor. For the most part, PAX can be spent on lower level or entry level weapons and talismans, weaker buffs, character upgrades, and additional clothing, with tokens used to buy the more advanced items (more on those later.) The UI for vendors is laid out well, with monetary cost displayed clearly to the side along with any QL requirements. In the case of clothing, when I item is bought it cannot be purchased again, with the item in question greyed out and the “Buy” button made inoperable until something else is selected. All vendors also have the ability to repair your equipped items which suffer durability damage whenever you are defeated.Click here to read more...
EA has announced that they'll be livestreaming tomorrow's summer showcase, with highlights including Battlefield 3: Armored Kill, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, FIFA 13, Madden NFL 13 and SimCity. The coverage will feature live presentations and guided gameplay demonstrations, along with possibly a couple of announcements.
You'll be able to watch it here from 20:00 GMT tomorrow.
The latest singleplayer story trailer for Medal Of Honor: Warfighter gives a glimpse into Preacher's story, as he and his team of Tier 1 Operators descend into global hotspots to tackle emergent threats while worrying about their families back home. Check it out below.
On the multiplayer side, Warfighter is shaping rather up nicely. Check out our Medal Of Honor: Warfighter multiplayer preview for more details ahead of its October launch.Click here to read more...
It is the news that many were expecting to hear for some time now, but it has finally happened. EA and BioWare announced last night that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going Free-To-Play later this year. A microtransaction store will be implemented into the game, with bonus “Cartel Coins” being handed out to all current and former subscribers. We have all of the details after the jump.Click here to read more...
DICE has once again spoken out to soothe fan concerns over whether Battlefield 3 will become obsolete once its successor launches next year, suggesting that they'll support the multiplayer experience even after Battlefield 4 hits shelves. We've also got a few more details about September's Armored Kill expansion.Click here to read more...
EA and DICE have blown the lid off Battlefield 3's Aftermath expansion, which will take place in the aftermath (ooh, now I get it) of a devastating earthquake in Tehran. Expect four new urban maps, modified civilian vehicles and ravaged terrain that should provide new tactical opportunities.Click here to read more...
We’re back with the second part of our extensive review of Funcom’s MMORPG The Secret World. This time we will be taking a look at the various types of missions you can expect to find in the game, as well as delving into character progression within the Deck system. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out Part 1 of our review for the initial impressions, which includes our very first Dealspwn Playthrough video.
Before we go any further, I wanted to address something I wrote at the end of the previous instalment about server loads and limits. I had previously stated that due to Dimensions stopping the creation of new characters after a certain amount had been created, it prevented current players from being able to play with any latecomers. After this was published, I was informed (and later confirmed for myself) that this is not the case.
Thanks to the single-server technology that Funcom uses for the game, any players from any dimension (or any country) can team up to experience the missions together, join the same cabal (aka guild) or take part in PvP battlefields. The only exception to this rule is the PVP Warzones, which are dimension specific due to the persistent nature of the mode. In short, it means that dimensions are effectively shard servers that players can hop between. For more details you can read more about the server system in this blog post, but the gist of it is this; unless you want to do Warzones with your friends, just hop in anywhere and play. Many thanks to Funcom’s Erling Ellingsen for letting me know!
Right then, with that out the way, let’s get back to business, shall we?
Content is always king when it comes to MMOs, with the quantity, fun factor, and delivery of the storyline objectives all playing a factor into proceedings. In recent years MMOs have provided a system where the player doesn’t necessarily have to think and can complete tasks , but with TSW aiming to be a mature MMO it allowed Funcom to look into making their content a little different in terms of how players would be engaged, and this is down to one golden rule; less “hand-holding”. Players will need to be prepared to use some brain power when playing TSW, because even though it is still essentially a “theme park” MMO (where PvE content is generally static, eg. WoW or SWTOR) the clues to solving puzzles will not be given to players. No, in this MMO, the answers need to be earned.Click here to read more...
Tech company Uniloc has filed lawsuits against Mojang, Halfbrick and other studios, claiming that their games infringe on a patent for online authentication.
However, Notch plans to defend "Mindcraft" (yes, Uniloc misspelled their own litigation target) to the hilt - calling out the practice as "evil."Click here to read more...
It wasn't so long ago that analysts and publishers were forecasting doom and gloom for the PC games market, trumpeting "PC gaming is dying out" or words to that effect. Now, however, EA boss John Riccitiello admits that the PC is currently the "fastest growing" gaming platform, thanks to a surge in Free To Play gaming, digital distribution and microtransactions.Click here to read more...
What we all need on this boring Thursday afternoon is two solid minutes of tanks, guns, guns and tanks. And artillery. And warplanes. And explosions. A tankgunsplanesplosion, if you will.
Which is why we're very grateful that Battlefield 3's upcoming expansion - Armored Kill - has gotten a new trailer. Armored Kill will feature five new vehicles, twenty vehicle equipment unlocks and the ability to spawn in a gunship, alongside the very promising-sounding Tank Superiority mode. EA describe the Bandar Desert map as "the biggest" in Battlefield history, and you can have a look at it below. Somewhere behind the tanks. And guns. And explosions.
Battlefield 3: Armoured Kill comes out in September, with Battlefield Premium members getting early access.
Poor, poor Origin. They really can’t catch a break. Then again, they are going up against Steam during its ridiculous Summer Sale season. In one of the latest Flash deals, you can now get all of the Dragon Age: Origins content for a fiver, which is £4 cheaper than the next best offer. Act fast if you want it though, as this deal will expire at 4pm today.
Along with the main game, you will get all nine DLC packs, along with the Awakenings expansion, meaning for the price you’re getting many, many hours of content in what some would describe as the superior entry in the series. Thanks to Vladimir @ HUKD!
Released at the beginning of the month, Funcom’s latest foray into the MMORPG genre has been a long time coming. Ever since its engrossing ARG started back in 2007, I’ve kept a close eye on the development of The Secret World. Coming from the minds that gave us Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, there was plenty of expectation on creating a rich and engaging world to explore. While Funcom’s previous MMO Age of Conan may not have been the success they had hoped for, The Secret World provides a brand new opportunity to capture the market thanks to an incredibly unique premise.
For those of you who have not delved into our coverage, The Secret World takes place in a modern day setting where every myth and every conspiracy theory you have ever known is real. Imagine if our reality and the works of H.P Lovecraft had collided to form a brave new world, with you thrown right into the middle of it to face off against twisted horrors that want to destroy everything we hold dear, and you’ll have the basic gist of what is going down. Three secret societies stand in the way of the forces of evil to ensure humanity survives, and it is up to you which one you join. Firstly, there are the Illuminati, who above everything desire power, control, and ecsentrism. Secondly, there are the Templar, an ancient order who wish to vanquish evil through tradition and order. Finally, we have the Dragon, an enigmatic group who believe in Chaos theory, using manipulation to bring balance to the world.
Also, there are magic bees. LOTS of magic bees, and they are going to change everything.Click here to read more...
EA has detailed a new "landmark" update for their Origin PC download client, which adds some nifty GUI tweaks and performance improvements. More details after the break.
In other news, EA has announced that Origin will be going offline from 6:00 until 09:30 tomorrow morning. Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 PC multiplayer will naturally be affected. We don't know whether this has anything to do with the update, but it's mightily suggestive.Click here to read more...