If you read my Nosgoth preview earlier in the week, you'll know that things are coming along very nicely indeed with Square's F2P PvP arena shooter. In fact, I'll let Past Matt tell you exactly what I thought:
I had a blast with Nosgoth but I want to see more. We were only playing 4-v-4 team deathmatch. I want more modes, inventive game types. I'd love to see bigger maps and more combatants. Beacham mentioned the War For Nosgoth mode, which is basically the ranked tournament mode for the game that'll become available at regular time intervals, but I'm still curious as to how Psyonix and Square are planning on keeping players hooked for the long haul. I had fun, sure, but I'll need more if I'm going to invest time, let alone money, in the long term. Hopefully, we'll be able to bring you an update on that soon as we jump into the game's beta.
As for that last line, well, we're in! And to give you a better idea of how matches unfold in Nosgoth, here's a little Dealspwn Playthrough video showcasing my first match in the beta, and delivering some more information on the three basic classes for each faction and how battles unfold in the war between Humans and Vampires.
0RBITALIS is game all about flinging a satellite into the orbit(s) of various gravitationally significant bodies and trying to keep it within the boundaries of the onscreen star system for a distinct handful of seconds. It's a simple-but-tricky little game, and it requires a fair amount of thought. You can't simply bumble in and hope for the best beyond the first few levels.
The game was originally conceived by Alan Zucconi for Ludum Dare 28 last year, and the theme of the game jam was "You Only Get One".
In the case of 0RBITALIS, that "one" refers to the satellite itself. You only have one shot at plotting the course and measuring out the power of projection, and then it's up to physics to decide what happens to your little space module. You move the cursor to alter your trajectory, and then launch your craft with a single click.Click here to read more...
We've all got a Steam backlog. No matter how fastidious or frugal you are, those Humble Bundles and Christmas sales are just too tasty to resist.
Don't deny it - and don't worry, because you're in good company. In fact, it transpires that almost 37% of all Steam games ever purchased have never been played or even installed.Click here to read more...
Virtual Reality is all about immersion. You've doubtlessly watched us hacks overuse this somewhat nebulous term to within an inch of its life over the last few years, but being able to get into our games, to be absorbed by them and enter a new reality for a while, is what many of us strive for. Considering that Oculus Rift is designed to effectively create a new reality around us, it's absolutely perfect for atmospheric games.
Private Eye is all about harnessing that power for a psychological thriller set in 1950s New York, wherein players become a wheelchair-bound gumshoe forced to relive the events that led up to his disablement, all while cracking a new case. It surrounds you with the videogame equivalent of Rear Window, letting you look around the environments in 360 degrees and spy on your neighbours from an intimate new perspective, all while building a sinister and tense atmosphere around us. Considering that the pitch was created as part of a VR Jam by single developer Jake Slack, Private Eye is already rather impressive.
It also has the privilege of being my first hands-on with Oculus Rift -- should that be eyes on? -- so naturally I was nearly violently ill all over the fine folks at EGX Rezzed 2014. At least we managed to interview Slack afterwards.Click here to read more...
We're huge fans of Traveller's Tales' LEGO games, due to their accessible platforming, fun factor, respect for their source material and gently anarchic sense of humour, so this massive Steam sale is right up our alley. They're charging between £2.49 to £3.79 for the likes of Batman and LOTR, but the headline act is the fantastic LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, which costs less than £4. Do it.
Anyway, here's the selection - thanks to and courtesy of Webhead @ HUKD!
£9.99 won't buy you much heroin, but it will get you something infinitely more addictive courtesy of The Game Collection. Thanks to Arsenal1234 @ HUKD!
Things are getting a little more interesting of late in The Elder Scrolls Online, especially now that I've reached Cyrodiil. There'll be a big, fat article PvP and the heartland of Tamriel later this week, but for now here are eight reason why The Elder Scrolls Online is filling me with ambivalence...
I LOVE... Skill Progression
The organic process of getting better by doing something repeatedly has long been a staple of the Elder Scrolls games in the past. But it's not how MMOs have traditionally worked. Thankfully, TESO said bollocks to tradition and stuck to its guns, proving all the better for it. Thanks to the implementation of Skyshards, there's not so much pressure put on levelling, instead giving more weight to exploration. Besides, actually improving your skills works outside of general levelling anyway, meaning that whatever you're doing out in the wide world, you're probably getting better at something.
Reached level 23 and want to turn your Dragonknight into a staff-wielding bringer of rain? Well you can.
I HATE... Level Grinding
The gap between levels becomes interminable pretty quickly. I get that MMO developers want to keep you playing for as long as possible, and that TESO isn't all about the rush to the endgame content, but this is ridiculous. Combat counts for virtually nothing when it comes to rising through the ranks, nor does exploration or crafting or anything, really. It's not long at all before progression slows to a crawl, and that's even when you're doing every quest that you find and battling every creature you come across. Making you work for it is one thing, but too often TESO turns into a bit of an interminable slog.Click here to read more...
Unreal Tournament is the best multiplayer FPS ever made. Ever. Ever.
Epic Games' superb shooter is still the benchmark for online multiplayer, featuring an extraordinarily enormous selection of the best maps ever made, the best guns of all time, loads of mutators, a bountiful cornucopia of modes (most of which laid the foundations of the games we play today) and even a fabulous singleplayer campaign. Not to mention more than a decade of fantastic mods and user-generated content. It's superb, a skill-based arena that you can play on your terms and a game for the ages. The GOTY Edition is only £1.49 at GOG.com, so you don't have to take our word for it.
HOWEVER, I assume that the impending GameSpy shutdown is going to cripple its server list, so you might need to swap some IP addresses or organise some LAN events if modders can't cobble something together...
When we look back at sequels that took a long, hard look at their predecessors and simply made everything better, that list of success might well include Warlock II: The Exiled. Ino-Co Plus have crafted a game that improves on Masters of the Arcane in almost every way possible, delivering a hex-based slice of deep, turn-based strategy that comes out firing on all cylinders.
Though the game's sandbox mode bears much resemblance to the original Warlock, and there are tweaks aplenty to the core gameplay that we'll get to in due course, the big addition to Warlock II, comes in the form of a new mode.
"The Exiled" refers to you, the player, along with a host of other mages who've all been cast out of the realm of Ardania by a super evil grand wizard calling himself The United One. Not only has The United One kicked out anyone who could pose a threat to him, but he's gone and shattered the realms surrounding Ardania, meaning that the worlds have splintered into shards, connected only by ethereal portals. As a super awesome mage yourself, it's up to you to consolidate your power, raise an army or two, navigate those pesky portals, and take back Ardania.Click here to read more...
Bundle Stars' Toxic bundle is another seriously impressive compilation, at least in terms of the potential savings. £3.59 will net you Darkout, Desperados 2: Cooper’s Revenge, Heroes of Annihilated Empires, Runespell: Overture, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky, Shadow Man, The 11th Hour, The 7th Guest, Tribloos 2 & Xotic Complete on Steam: a whole heap and helping of game.
I'd personally recommend Runespell: Overture, Xotic and STALKER: Clear Sky as the standout games of the pack - alongside the dated if hilariously cheesy (and incredibly difficult) puzzle classic The 7th Guest. Darkout is a reasonable craftbox but never quite delivered on its promises.
Platform: PC (reviewed, £6.99) | iPad version in development
Developer: Lightmare Studio
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Aliens are out to steal our cows and it's up to us to defend them. With towers.
Beyond its B-Movie premise, Beware Planet Earth! initially appears to be a friendly if incredibly generic tower defence title. As adorable martians trundle along their preset paths with bovine abduction on their minds, we'll place a small selection of static turrets to halt their advance. Some deal direct damage. Others slow or debilitate the hordes. Our war economy is fuelled by currency dispensing machines that create a cog every few seconds, which we have to click to redeem -- thus adding a hectic resource collection minigame to the proceedings -- but otherwise it definitely feels like a retread of very old ground.
Stick with it, though, and Beware Planet Earth! might just surprise you.Click here to read more...
TT Games know how to make a game fun, hilarious and involving no matter how old the player - and LEGO Lord Of The Rings is no exception. Gentle yet compelling gameplay, anarchic humour and all your favourite characters in LEGO form has to be worth £4.00, no?
Why not wait for the new Hobbit tie-in to depreciate and play this to tide you over. Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!
Final Fantasy VIII | Greenman Gaming | £4.00 (RRP: £9.99)
Story: boring and convoluted | Characters: Terrible | Controversy level: high
Voucher Code: O3H7FE-D4NFO0-F0LIGK
Final Fantasy VIII is only £4.00 on PC thanks to Greenman Gaming's O3H7FE-D4NFO0-F0LIGK voucher code, which is the good news. The bad news is that, in my opinion, it's not particularly good. A moany tosspot goes on a convoluted adventure with a bunch of forgettable idiots, experiencing gameplay and a Junctioning system that resembles an Excel spreadsheet.
However, I daresay you'll find a billion people who strongly disagree, and you could well be one of them!
This open-world action movie manages to be both gritty and over-the-top in the most gratuitous of ways. It's awesome. We'd suggest going out to watch The Raid 2, then coming back for some Sleeping Dogs afterwards, perhaps - especially since Greenman Gaming are practically giving it away as part of their weeklong dealsplosion. Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!
These three high-profile games have all been individually discounted to around the £4.99 mark over the last few months, but if you're in the market for the lot, MacGameStore's Aspyr Fantastic 3 bundle is pretty impressive. $19.95 equates to roughly £12 over here, which is a decent saving. Thanks to pgregg @ HUKD!
Psyonix and Square Enix's free-to-play, asymmetrical PvP shooter Nosgoth is in closed beta right now, and we had a chance to check out some of the new classes and muck about in the game last week.
You can check out my Nosgoth preview here, and here are a few thought I had following my hands-on:
I had a blast with Nosgoth but I want to see more. We were only playing 4-v-4 team deathmatch. I want more modes, inventive game types. I'd love to see bigger maps and more combatants. Beacham mentioned the War For Nosgoth mode, which is basically the ranked tournament mode for the game that'll become available at regular time intervals, but I'm still curious as to how Psyonix and Square are planning on keeping players hooked for the long haul. I had fun, sure, but I'll need more if I'm going to invest time, let alone money, in the long term. Hopefully, we'll be able to bring you an update on that soon as we jump into the game's beta for an extended stint.
Afterwards, I sat down for a chat with Square Enix game director Bill Beacham to talk about Nosgoth, how important its been to the dev team to leverage the extensive lore that the universe and the Kain IP have to offer, the challenges faced in creating a game that has two tyeams with very different playstyles, and how Square Enix are looking to make a F2P game that is all about growing the community first and monetising second.
We love you CD Projekt. We really do. And it's not just about the Witcher series, which is utterly fantastic, but also that DRM-free slice of digital distribution awesomeness called GOG.com.
When both come together in a money-saving initiative of wondrous brilliance, it's hard not to swoon.
GOG have launched a new discount series, kicking off with a bunch of my personal favourite games, including Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3, and both Witcher titles. Seriously, The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for just over £2? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!
You can nab them here for up to 80% off, and while you're there, be sure to vote on what you'd like to see discounted in tomorrow's deal.
Developer: Neocore Games
I can't wait for Van Helsing's next adventure.
Neocore Games came out swinging with a fantastic idea: a massive loot-grinding RPG delivered in three episodes, each lasting 12-15 hours apiece with save file compatibility. We therefore get an enormous slab of gunslinging, swordswinging, swashbuckling and teh phattest of lewtz delivered on our terms, allowing us to test the waters for £11.99 apiece and buy the whole thing for the same price as Diablo III's expansion pack. The first episode was solid, versatile, challenging and off-kilter; a real rip-roaring adventure that didn't take itself too seriously yet was deadly serious about its gameplay.
Now the legendary monster hunter finds himself defending a city under siege by the villainous General Harker, who throws an army of steampunk horrors at the grim defenders. It's time to don the floppy hat, grab our ghostly companion and unleash our inner Van Helsing... with a little more strategy this time around.Click here to read more...
Nosgoth is a free-to-play, third-person, asymmetrical PVP arena shooter set in the Legacy of Kain universe.
Frankly just typing that sentence feels weird; wrong, almost. But for all of the scepticism I had about Nosgoth, it plays pretty damn well and is underpinned by an absolute truckload of lore. Psyonix and Square Enix have their eyes on an untapped niche in the free-to-play, competitive market. They're gunning for the e-sports scene and are determined to make a splash, not by copying the successes of those games such as League of Legends or Warface that have gone before, but by trying something rather different.
Nosgoth is certainly that. Pitting Humans against Vampires, the game sets teams of four players against one another, before changing things up at halftime and swapping teams over to the other faction. We've seen that most recently in games of Capture the Flag in Titanfall, forcing players to attack and defend both sides of the map, but here the implementation is designed to showcase the two very different playstyles of the warring factions.
In order to be good at Nosgoth, you need to be adept with both Humans and Vampires.Click here to read more...
Yes, Firaxis. Yes. YESSSSSSS!
Ahem.Click here to read more...