Another week has passed, I hope that for you it was more productive than mine was. The biggest news that you can expect from me this week is that I completed Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Xbox and despite constantly saving and being more careful than a very careful thing I managed to set off a bloody alarm at SOME point during the game without noticing and thus missed out on an extra 100 achievement points for my gamer-score. Honestly, I think that has thrown me into a bad mood and I… Oh you’re here for some REAL news? I forgot that this Deus Ex stuff wasn’t important…
So what is important eh? What important shiz has been happiziling?
Guardians of Middle Earth – a TDHBRTSG (also known as a MOBA)
Some of you may recall that a few weeks ago I posted the cinematic trailer for a new game called Guardians of Middle Earth. Now the trailer is pretty awesome but I’m pretty sure you’d be forgiven if you watched the thing, thought “That’s cool” and then never thought about it again. This is what I did. However it turns out that my dismissal of the game may have done it a diservice because it turns out that I am actually kind of interested in the premise. You see I originally thought it would be another single-player LotR game and would be nothing special. HOWEVER, I was wrong.
Guardians of Middle Earth will in fact be another top-down, hero-based, real-time-strategy game (also known amongst less interesting people as an MOBA) like LoL or DotA 2. The game will, like LoL and DotA be between two teams of five. The forces of good and the forces of evil. However the mechanic has been changed from the other big MOBAs because GoME will only be out on PSN and XBL (at least I understand that is the plan). The locations of the maps will be familiar to all Tolkien fans and Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum or Thráin are unlocked from the start with a further 20 characters only available after the release of The Hobbit movie later this year.
When you choose a character players have to customise the load-out of the character. You choose you magic spells, potions and the stats given by your “Relic Belt”. You also get to choose one of four basic attacks which are mapped to the “main face buttons of a console controller” (so I assume Y, X, B, A or Square, Triangle, X, Circle). The right trigger then activates the attack. Potions and spells are handled by the d-pad.
All in all it does sound quite well thought out actually and might well be worth a look… As a starting point why not scroll down to the bottom where I have posted the recent gameplay trailer for the game.
Dishonored – Stealth vs. Leeroy
Here’s some interesting stuff about the campaign of the upcoming magic-powered, steampunk world of Dishonoured (I’m still going on about how they SPELT IT WRONG!). According to developers Arkane Studios the end of the game and in fact the changes in the world of the game all depend on your play style as you work your way through it. You can choose in every single situation when you are given a target whether to charge straight into the middle of the fray, shoot crossbow bolts and magic every which way and then slice your target up into a dozen pieces before leaving, or you can make every single kill look like an accident where your target dies in not at all suspicious circumstances, OR you can even do side-quests and extra pieces about the place and not kill ANYONE at all.
The game length is actually shockingly different for the play-styles as well. The devs say that a direct and gung-ho player can expect to complete the game in 12 to 14 hours whereas the sneaky, eavesdropping assassin’s will be looking at play times of DOUBLE that. However, as well as less play-time the “Let’s Fuck Shit Up”er’s amongst you will also have to deal with unknown “consequences” for your brash and wild approach to your kills. It will affect the ending and it will affect the world as you play through it.
You can now scroll to the bottom where I have posted two recent gameplay videos of Dishonoured of one of the missions where the assassin has to get into the Golden Cat Brothel and kill two slave-owning politicians. One video shows our hero charging in with a blaze of crossbow bolts and magic like spontaneous plagues of rats. The other shows sneaking and planning and eavesdropping, plus two completely unfortunate deaths. The “violent” playthrough takes under four minutes while the sneaky one takes up to about 14 minutes. I’d say it’s definitely worth a watch!
And honestly… How is it that everything I hear about this game just makes me want it MORE?!
The Last of Us will not be co-op
Here’s some sad news folks, Naughty Dog’s post apocalyptic survival game, The Last of Us will not have co-op capabilities. It will be possible to play online against others, but other than the knowledge of it’s existence nothing has been revealed about the multiplayer. The main campaign though will be entirely single player, which is a bit of a shame if you ask me. This is simply because I am of the personal opinion that most games should offer a co-op experience as there just are not enough games where you can sit down with some of your friends and play through the game together and not against each other.
By the power of Freeman!
Before I say ANYTHING else I don’t want anybody to get their hopes up here. What I’m going to show you is indeed some concept art for Half Life 2: Episode 3 and has been confirmed as such, but they were created in 2008 and so almost certainly don’t represent what the game will look like when it is released… If it is ever released (seriously it can’t just be me who think that Valve have just too hard an act to follow in Half Life 2). The 30 odd concept pictures were released by ValveTime who confirmed that they were legit and show Alyx Vance (looking a little worse for wear) and the Freeman himself in various bits of cold-weather gear. Whether this indicates at all how close Episode 3 is to release (or even a reveal), who can tell? Anyway, if you like you can head over to Eurogamer or the above link to check out the full set.
Seriously can we get some more Half Life soon please? Just so I can die happy?
Where in Hollywood is Carmen Sandiego
It’s true folks, writer Darren Lembke is apparently working on a script (working with production company Walden Media) for a Hollywood, big budget film version of Carmen Sandiego. Also apparently with her eye on the role of the leading lady herself is Jennifer Lopez (she’s also working as a producer for the film). The film will supposedly be something like National Treasure and The Thomas Crown Affair, so action and probably fairly silly. Honestly, films aren’t as much my forte as video games are so my knowledge stops there.
Did anyone else just feel that? Seriously? That wave of nostalgia that swept through your body carrying you back to your early years where you huddled around the warm glow of a 20 inch think computer monitor and played Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego (you guys might have played the predecessor Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego). Oh my god the good times I had in that game… I remember the Egyptian level where you get a ride on a boat made of a paper and I remember the Viking level where you meet Leaf Eriksson and get his smith some silver for a sword. Good, good times my friends…
Age of Empries Online goes F2P
Good news everyone! Developers Gaslight Games have announced that Age of Empires Online, the sort of free but not entirely strategy game which me, Tim and Nick have enjoyed mucking about in on more than one occasion. Originally the game was “free to try” where you got access to most of the game but not the higher end content or all of the civilisations, items and units. Well now the game has shifted and has become essentially completely free to play with “fewer pay walls”. As well as this rather radical shift in the business model of the game which I think will now only use microtransactions Gaslight have released a new team based multiplayer mode for those players above level 40 called Alliance Wars. AND all current players have been rewarded with 500 Empire Points (the in-game currency) as a gift, while new accounts will get 100.
Some more about Halo 4
Some interesting stuff about the upcoming FPS from 343 Industries. First off, the game will contain ten new weapons, two of which were demonstrated in the gameplay videos shown at E3, the Light Rifle and the Scattershot (both Forerunner weapons), and 2 new vehicles. Aside from the stuff showcased at E3 most of this new stuff is still top secret and for nobody’s eyes only. As well as this though the game will have the old favourites for people to muck about with. I want me a level with a Scorpion… There should ALWAYS be a level where you can get in a Scorpion tank just to kick… some… ass…
Moving on to War Games (the multiplayer) the game will be released with 10 maps but more will almost certainly be added through DLC. I do wonder what these maps will be like and I also wonder what map will become the new Lockout or Guardian.
Finally, the thing that I am most interested in about Halo 4, some more details have been released about Spartan Ops. The episodic DLC will be released in sets of 50 missions per season with each season lasting a maximum of 10 weeks, so 5 missions every week. The missions will be introduced with a “high quality cinematic” and Season One will be completely free! The first season adds an extra 12 hours of gameplay on top of the game as well, which if you ask me is absolutely epic! I swear I feel good about this one guys. This could be the Halo that reinvigorates the series!
Scrolls Alpha Incoming
While it’s probably still a touchy subject at Bethesda, Mojang have not stopped work on their new game Scrolls which is now fast approaching it’s alpha release. The closed alpha will apparently contain multiplayer, singleplayer versus the AI, the “Deck Builder” with over 100 scrolls already in game. After this they will then release an open beta at which point you will be able to buy in for a reduced price to get straight into another Mojang game. For a a gameplay trailer of the world of Scrolls you should scroll down to the videos section!
Far Cry 3 release delayed
Unfortunately for those of you who want to spend some time engaged in vicious combat on a tropical island against heartless mercenaries Ubisoft have announced that the release date for Far Cry 3 has been pushed back from September to November 30th for PC, Xbox and PS3. The North American release is oddly a few days later on the 4th.
Honestly Ubisoft… Always with the delays?
Team Fortress 2 – Updates and Pyromania
Now this is something you may well be aware of. Valve have last week released a massive update for their free-to-play FPS Team Fortress 2 of which the highlight was a new game-mode that comes with a new map: Doomsday. According to the wizards at Valve themselves:
“Doomsday pits BLU against RED, with only one team getting the honor of transporting a suitcase nuke full of recalled Mann Co. Australium to American monkeynaut Poopy Joe’s rocket, so he can blast off and hunt down Soviet space chimp Vladimir Bananas. It’s the same spirit of competitive enterprise that stalled the moon landing by three years when Buzz Aldrin suplexed Neil Armstrong into a pile of folding chairs at Astromania ’69! Both teams will attempt to get the necessary fuel up a preposterously slow-moving elevator and into Poopy Joe’s Australium-powered rocket to the stars.”
Riiiiight… Well nobody ever said TF2 was a sane game!
As well as the massive content patch, I understand players got some new hats in game (always a cause for celebration) and the whole thing has coincided with the long-awaited release of the new Team Fortress 2 short cinematic: Meet the Pyro (which I have posted down below).
Free to Play Shooter – Warframe
Here’s something new coming your way, from the developers of The Darkness 2 (Digital Extremes) is coming Warframe. It’s a new co-op based shooter which will be completely free-to-play. If you’re interested by anything I just said or by the trailer in the videos section then you ought to head along here to sign up for the beta now.
Colour Me Intrigued
This is a new section for the Endweek News where I will be talking about new games which I have just heard about, it might be a concept or it might be a game which is soon to be released. Either way I will be telling you guys a little bit about some new projects which catch my eye.
First up we have developer Kalypso who have an upcoming game called Dark in which you play as Eric Bane (excellent name for the situation) who was a “special unit member” who has been turned into a vampire and is trying to find out what happened to him. The game is based around stealth and involves sneaking around taking on big corporations, munching the occasional homeless person and having your base in a nightclub. While all this isn’t particularly eye-catching, the games major mechanic of having your health AND “mana” being derived from the same bar. Your “blood points” give you your powers but if it runs out entirely you die, so it makes the game a lot more tactical and decision based.
As well as this, Eric can’t feed from dead things so he has to find targets to feast on who are living in order to replenish his health and mana simultaneously. It does seem like there’s some really good ideas in the game and while it is still only in it’s pre-alpha stages and doesn’t have the massive budget of some games, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on for the future.
Here’s another interesting tidbit as well! Symphony by Empty Clip Studios (the screenshot at the top is from this) is a music based arcade game in which you play as a customisable spaceship fighting waves of enemy ships and destroy them with lazers and blasts of music. Now while it does look cool (see the video at the bottom), if that was it I wouldn’t really be interested. HOWEVER, the levels and missions of the game will be based around your own music!
Now I don’t pretend to fully understand how it will work but I think what you will do is basically choose any piece of music on your computer and then the game takes the beat of the song and paces the level to match the beat. And if it does work like that it sounds AWESOME! I mean picture it, first you’ll be listening to some crazy dubstep while blasting hordes of enemy starships but then you’ll go full epic with some Lord of the Rings soundtrack! At least, that’s what I hope…
Finally we have the ridiculously ambitious MMO The Repopulation by Above & Beyond Technology. The game is set on an alien world with sci-fi technology and all the trappings that come with it. The game’s combat looks fairly standard MMO style, albeit with lazer guns, but there also seems to be a base building mini-game and it seems like the team are determined to make the game stand out from the crowd. It is however a small team and a small budget for a massive open-world and ambitious MMO. Ifany of what I have just said, or the trailer at the bottom attract your interest then you should click here to sign up for the alpha and lend the team your support.
Release Dates City
As usual, last but not least, I have a bunch of release dates to share with you all of upcoming games!
First off, the long awaited release date for Guild Wars 2 has finally been announced by ArenaNet. The game is set for release on the 28th of August, a Tuesday, and will launch simultaneously in both Europe and America. As well as this they have announced the date of the games final beta weekend which will be from the 20th to the 22nd of July and anyone who has pre-ordered the game will be able to take part. It’s gonna be legen we-only-have-to-wait-for-it-for-another-2-months dary! Legendary!
Next up something I’ve never even heard of but which might interest some of you. Inversion from Namco Bandai will be launching in the UK on the 13th of July for Xbox and PS3, followed by a release date on the 27th of July for the PC. It’s a gravity bending shooter and honestly that’s all I know… Other than it got some pretty poor to average reviews. Nothing exciting.
For those of you interested in arcade games and/or Indie games you might be excited to know that the famous and popular game Spelunky is coming to XBLA in a few days on the 4th of July and will cost 1200 microsoft points.
Finally, the last week saw two massive DLCs released. Dawnguard for Skyrim and the Extended Cut for Mass Effect 3 were both released last week and cost 1600 microsoft points and nothing respectively. Also Dawnguard is a smaller than expected file of only 581.70MB whereas the extended cut for ME3 is over a whopping 1.9GB in size. Reviews for both hopefully coming soon!
We haven’t really got that many videos for you today. No new trailers or announcements and, unfortunately, no Song of the Week. Anyway, outside of all the videos mentioned in the above articles we only have one extra thing to show you this week and that is a video of the brand new level editor for Legends of Grimrock which I believe is still in development and is looking… well… really rather good!
That’s all for this week folks, enjoy the videos and please remember to head over to our Facebook page and our Twitter to spread the word! Seb out!