World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2010/04/17

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Details, Concept Art

Some of this info that’s been released recently from Ubisoft has been known of for some time, including the release date, which is “Fall 2010”, and that it will be released for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. The PC version is to arrive later on, and there are also Wii, Nintendo DS and PSP versions planned.

As for other details, it seems as though in addition to the optical camo and shoulder mounted mortar, there will also be air and ground drones, I suppose similar to the UAVs in Bad Company 2. There will be devices like these and others based on real prototypes in use by the military, like exoskeletons [think Stalker – those dudes with the suits].

The game is said to take place 15 years in the future, the 2020’s, and the singleplayer campaign is said to span a generous sounding 14 missions – about the standard set in previous Ghost Recon titles. You can play the campaign on your own, or in co-op mode.

And there’s some new artwork that’s popped up on the net. There were a few screenshots and so on that I’d seen before, so I just posted the artwork here.

Ghost-Recon-Future-SoldierGhost-Recon-Future-Soldier (1) Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (2)Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (5) Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (6)Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (7) Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (8)Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (9) Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (10)Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (3)Ghost-Recon-Future-Soldier (4)

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Sources:

“Ghost Recon Future Soldier Details Emerge: 'You Are an F-16 on Legs” [Shacknews]

Gamingbolt.com [concept art]


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Ghost Sighting: Even UN Peacekeepers play Modern Warfare 2

I saw this is in the local Weekend Argus, and couldn’t help but smile. For anyone whose ever played Modern Warfare 2, you must know who this reminds you of:

scan0001 Ghost-MW2

UN peacekeeper [Left] and  Ghost from Modern Warfare 2 [Right]

This picture above is of a UN peacekeeper in Darfur, Sudan [check the caption]. I scanned it earlier and posted it here for you to see. Obviously the guy is imitating Ghost from Modern Warfare 2. Check the skull on the balaclava, and he even has the sunglasses too. And the gloves.

It’s pretty impressive, apart from the helmet, seeing as Ghost doesn’t wear one [and probably should], but you’re right if you’re thinking that a peacekeeper shouldn't really be in this sort of garb. If you look closely he’s also got his iPod hooked up
.
Whether he’s actually played the game, or just saw the character, I don’t know, but it was a great find to see this.


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Source: Weekend Argus – Associated Press [Photo]
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Possible New XCOM Details Revealed, Similar to BioShock in Theme

XCOMa The new X-com game, called XCOM, was revealed this week, under development at 2K Marin/Australia.

But I came across a thread at the NAG forum just now, where Miktar, otherwise known as Miktar Dracon, a NAG magazine staff member and international correspondent, and forum dweller talked about how he’s witnessed the game first hand:

“I got to see this first-hand a few weeks ago, at a private demonstration. It's pretty awesome.

As for the new Xcom: love the 50s theme, systemic gameplay we've come to love from bioshock, and the creepy atmosphere they're going for.”

So, if this is true, then we have another 50’s or mid-twentieth century themed game like BioShock and Fallout 3. And both games were massive hits. There might be a formula developing here; a recipe for success perhaps?.

I tried to check the thread for further information just now, but the website, and forums, is down currently, at least for me. I really wanted to see if this was some sort of joke or something, but it could be true.

Update: I was just able to check the thread now and managed to get more details:

“It does still have management (you still have to get Research (take photos of things in the field), Money, bring it back to the Xcom base and fund research into weapons that defeat aliens, etc.

It's plenty creepy too.

The 50s theme the game plays into, is the idyllic fantasy of the 50s, the nuclear-family imagery, that America sold to itself during that decade. The game takes it that the fantasy of the American 50s was indeed real, and plays off it. So, when you visit a three-block neighbourhood to check out alien sign, it's the type of location, housing and thematic appeal of the 50s. It's not the baroque-chic retro 50s theme that BioShock plays off.”

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Source: XCOM - reborn as an FPS, dev'ed by BioShock team [NAG Online Forums]


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2010/04/16

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days Box Art, Available for Pre-order

kaneandlynch The box art for Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days has been released [see the image to the right], and it’s being hailed as one of the most original box arts of the year so far. That’s one thing it’s done right so far.

The design reflects the game’s content and art direction. See under the number 2, the Chinese writing, and the pixelated look overall which is similar to the look of the actual game, like what you’ll find on a low quality user-uploaded video on YouTube or some other site, or perhaps on a picture that hasn’t loaded fully on a slow internet connection.

In addition to this, the game is now available for preorder. The game will release on August 24, 2010 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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Source: “Kane & Lynch 2 Box Art Doesn't Want Its Picture Taken” [Kotaku]


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New Syndicate Revival Title Seemingly Confirmed

syndicatedude2 The rumours have been flying around this week, with this particular one floating on the internet for about the last two years. They said that there would be a resurrection of the acclaimed Syndicate series from the 90’s.

Now there’s evidence of this, as there have been copyright filings discovered that have made clear the developer of this revival: Starbreeze Studios, a Swedish company who worked on The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, and the sequel, Assault on Dark Athena. They now apparently have the rights to the IP. This was internally known as “Project RedLime” for some time. It’s not known what this Syndicate’s full title will be.

Electronic Arts will be the publisher. This took place last year in June. This and other rumours before it seem to confirm that the game has been in development for the last couple of years. There’s hope for an official word come E3 this year.

syndicate Syndicate_wars

                     Syndicate [1993] and Syndicate Wars [1996]

Another title in development at the studio, based on the Bourne series of movies, starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, was cancelled earlier on this year.

The original Syndicate games, that started with Syndicate in 1993, Syndicate: American Revolt in 1995, and Syndicate Wars in 1996, were isometric strategy titles developed by Bullfrog Productions, headed by the legendary Peter Molyneux, who went on to form Lionhead Studios.

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Source: Superannuation – The Escapist


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New X-Com Title Confirmed, FPS Title Called XCOM, First Screenshot

XCOM

A rumour that’s been around a long time is that another series of games from the 90’s, X-Com, will be getting a modern resurrection of sorts. 2K Australia is planning to make another X-Com title, but with a twist: it will be an FPS, or first-person shooter, title this time.

For a while, it was suspected that 2K Boston, now known once again as Irrational Games, the team who worked on the original BioShock, would be working on this title. But Ken Levine is adamant that he has a game in development that is the first in a new IP.

2K Marin, developers of BioShock 2 was then also widely reported as the team handling this new title, referred to as XCOM, but it’s been said that 2K Australia is the lucky bunch that will head development on the project. 2K Marin and 2K Australia are sister studios, along with 2K Novato, 2K California, and 2K Canberra. 2K acquired the license to the IP from Atari a few years back.

2K president Christoph Hartmann:

"With BioShock 2, the team at 2K Marin proved themselves as masters of first-person, suspenseful storytelling, and with XCOM they will re-imagine and expand the rich lore of this revered franchise. Players will explore the world of XCOM from an immersive new perspective and experience firsthand the fear and tension of this gripping narrative ride."

Teaser site write-up:

XCOM is the re-imagining of the classic tale of humanity’s struggle against an unknown enemy that puts players directly into the shoes of an FBI agent tasked with identifying and eliminating the growing threat. True to the roots of the franchise, players will be placed in charge of overcoming high-stake odds through risky strategic gambits coupled with heart-stopping combat experiences that pit human ingenuity – and frailty – against a foe beyond comprehension. By setting the game in a first-person perspective, players will be able to feel the tension and fear that comes with combating a faceless enemy that is violently probing and plotting its way into our world.

There are some concerns about this whole XCOM FPS business though, seeing as X-Com: Enforcer, a TPS [third-person shooter], was a flop. The games before this were turn-based strategy titles similar to Jagged Alliance or Fallout, except they had you fighting against UFOs and aliens and such.

This new XCOM will be available for PC and Xbox 360.

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Sources:

Press release

“X-Com 'Re-Imagined' as FPS by BioShock 2 Dev” [Shacknews]


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2010/04/15

Saw II Video Game Coming, Coming to the PC, Maybe

saw The first Saw movie was quite chilling. Unfortunately it ended up being milked for everything it was worth as sequel after sequel came out, and it even ended up getting parodied in the Scary Movie series by the moronic Wayans brothers.

Then last year the series got its first video game, which was available for PC via digital download. I haven’t played it, but it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel, arriving this year, named Saw II.

The game is set to be released for PS3 and Xbox 360, but there is supposedly a possibility of another PC release. The game is being developed by Zombie Studios, as was the prequel, and it will be published by Konami. Saw II is set between the second and third movie, story-wise, although some reports say it’s between the first and second.

Bloody hell.

Konami says:

"all-new stomach-twisting traps and puzzles, more visceral combat, and an all-new storyline that takes place between the second and third movie."

There. A trailer’s been released for the game as well.

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Sources:

“Saw II game announced; still could come to the PC” [Big Download]
“SAW 2 Konami Gamers Night Trailer” [Gaming Today]


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Dead Space Novel, Dead Space: Martyr Coming Soon

Dead Space Martyr I read that a new Dead Space novel is coming this year, and it’s called Dead Space: Martyr. The novel supposedly takes a look at some on the unexplained occurrences that take place in the original game, hundreds of years before it the events of DS took place, with the Church of Unitology and the Black Marker being main focuses.

The 368 page book is authored by Brian Evenson, an award-winning author, published by Tor Books, with a July 20 release date penned.

Eric Raab, Tor editor:

"One of the most compelling storytelling aspects of Dead Space has been the Church of Unitology: It’s origins, power, and role in Dead Space. Writer B.K. Evenson gets into the terrifying aspects of mob mentality like no other writer today. This isn't only a great story within the Dead Space universe; it's a great novel on its own."

Novel Blurb:

When geophysicist Michael Altman learns of a mysterious signal emitting from deep within the Chicxulub crater, he cannot resist the lure of an undiscovered artefact. He soon learns that being in close proximity to the artefact causes strange occurrences – visions of the dead, vivid dreams, and violent murders. Altman’s experience with the alien artefact leads to this crucial first chapter in the Dead Space saga.

DSnovel You’ll notice that at the beginning of the post, I said that a new novel will be out. That’s because it isn’t the first one. There was another eponymously titled Dead Space book released in 2008, more or less the same time as the game came out, which acted as a prequel to the title, and a sequel to the comic series.

The next part in the series, which would probably be Dead Space 2 – the video game- will reportedly come out later this year, for consoles and handhelds only it seems. A PC version is under consideration, but looking doubtful.

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Sources:

Amazon

“Dead Space: Martyr Novel Coming This Summer” [The Escapist]


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Tom Hall, man Behind Rise of the Triad, Suffers Stroke

Tom Hall in 2003 Tom Hall, known as the man and mind behind games like Commander Keen, and Rise of the Triad, along with others, suffered a stroke recently.  He’s currently in hospital undergoing rehabilitation.

I was surprised to see, while checking through the feeds of twitter accounts that I follow that contained a tweet where Tom admitted to having a stroke yesterday.
“Um, had a stroke. Yeah, I know right! The hospital food is decent though. (Excuse if I don't respond quickly though--lotsa tests.)”
“Thx for all the good thoughts. Start rehab tomorrow to fix strength/coordination in right hand/foot. Woo hoo! Rockin' the rehab! Oh yeeeah!”
“Thx for the love but don't send flowers! Hay fever! Send a card if you must. But facebook love is enough!”
“They took 20 vials of blood this morning. My arml went flat like apiece of paper. Lucky I had that inflation tube installed.”
George Broussard of 3DR Realms tweeted the following:
“Tom Hall, @tommune, had a stroke and is in hospital. Designed Keen, ROTT, Anachronox, more. id, 3dr, ion and king's isle. Wish him well.”
John Romero tweeted the following as well:
“@tommune had a stroke yesterday. He's in the hospital. Send him well wishes, please.”
George and Tom know each other quite well seeing Tom worked at Apogee Software back in the 90’s after leaving id Software supposedly after a disagreement with John Carmack over the creative direction Doom was taking.

Tom and John are friends who co-founded id Software along with John Carmack and Adrian Carmack.
Tom, in addition to being credited to working on ROTT and the Keen series, also worked at id Software on Wolf 3D, Spear of Destiny. After leaving Apogee after working on Duke Nukem II, ROTT, Terminal Velocity and Duke Nukem 3D, later on he worked on a little game called Deus Ex as well as Anachronox at Ion Storm with his friend John Romero.

He’s now at KingsIsle Entertainment.

Tom is also credited with naming the popular file format WAD, or "Where's All the Data?".
On a personal note, I wish Tom all the best. I’ve enjoyed playing his games over the years.
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Source: Twitter
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2010/04/14

Video Game Deals on Amazon [April 14th, 2010 Edition]- Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Limited Edition, The Saboteur

Brothers_in_ArmsHH Middle of the week, and it’s that time again for video game deals. Some good ones this week, too. The Saboteur is still on discount, for the PS3 this time. Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Limited Edition is nearly 50% off for the PC. Played the game, and like I’ve read before, pretty damn good story in this one to back up the gameplay.

You can also get some good deals on Rock Band Special Edition for the PS3, and DJ Hero Renegade Edition Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem for multiple consoles.

The biggest saving would be on Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun, where you save 66%.

Video Games that have $7.00 [R50,00] or more off make the list, with games that have deals where you save more than $10 make the shortlist below.

Best Deals:

Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun - $13.48 - Save $26.51 [PC]
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Limited Edition - $19.33 - Save $18.33 [PC]
The Saboteur - $19.79 - Save $18.20 [PS3]
Rock Band Special Edition - $79.99 - Save $16.00 [PS3]
DJ Hero Renegade Edition Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem Save $ 10.48 – $ 11.29 [Multi]
Charm Girls Club: My Fashion Mall - $17.98 - Save $11.51 [DS]
Legend Hand of God - $7.56 - Save $11.40 [PC]

[PC]

Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun - $13.48 - Save $26.51
Legend Hand of God - $7.59 - Save $11.40
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Limited Edition - $19.33 - Save $18.33

[PS3]

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - $49.99 - Save $10.00
DJ Hero Renegade Edition Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem - $128.29 - Save $10.48
Rock Band Special Edition - $79.99 - Save $16.00
The Saboteur - $19.79 - Save $18.20 

[Xbox 360] 

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - $49.99 - Save $10.00

[PSP]

Dragonball Evolution - $9.59 - Save $10.35
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass - $32.98 - Save $7.01

[Nintendo DS]

Charm Girls Club: My Fashion Mall - $17.98 - Save $11.51
Charm Girls Club: My Fashion Show - $17.98 - Save $10.01
Legend of Kay - $19.99 - Save $10.00
Backyard Baseball 2009 - $9.93 - Save $9.40
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass - $33.43 - Save $6.56

[Nintendo Wii]

DJ Hero Renegade Edition Featuring Jay-Z and Eminem - $132.05 - Save $11.29

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Sources: Amazon - Nowinstock


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The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Coming to the Mac This Week

Assault_on_Dark_Athena The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena came out about a year and a week ago on PC and other consoles. I played through it, and although there were some new enemies and weapons, and although it wasn’t a bad game, to many it didn’t live up to the success of Escape From Butcher Bay, released in 2004, which is considered on of the best movie-inspired video game adaptations of all time.

Luckily, that game was included with Assault on Dark Athena, except it was a remastered, updated version. That was the main aim of the project. AoDA, labelled as a sequel, was really just an afterthought.

Now a year later, and it’s been reported that The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is coming to the Mac, and it’s this week: Friday, April 16th to be exact. It seemingly just snuck up on everyone.

By the way, if you find the game to be too dark, then you should try switching to Riddick’s eyeshine mode, or vision augmentation.

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Sources:

“The Chronicles Of Riddick Coming To Macs April 16” [Inside Mac Games]
”Riddick assaults Dark Athena on Mac April 16th” [D’toid]


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New Silent Hill Game Could be Coming to PC, Could be a Remake of Silent Hill 2

Silent_Hill_2

The next Silent Hill title will be revealed at E3 in June, but until then, details about the game say that the game will be developed by Vatra Games, and that the title is part of a major franchise and will be published for the PC as well as other platforms, to be released in Q1 2011.

Other rumours suggest that this new, yet to be titled, Silent Hill game could be a remake or “re-imagining” of Silent Hill 2, which has angered some fans of the series, who regard it as a classic, and claim that that it would be like trying to do a modern remake of a classic horror film. And we know how those end up.

Answer: rubbish.

But it may not be so far-fetched, even though little more than a rumour at this point, seeing as Shattered Memories was a remake of the original Silent Hill.

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Sources:

“Konami Announces the Next Silent Hill” [1UP]
"Silent Hill shown, details to become less foggy at E3” [Joystiq]


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2010/04/13

Video Game Character Lookalikes: B.J. Blazkowicz from Return to Castle Wolfenstein

This is going to be a bit different from most of the other posts I’ve done on lookalikes in the past, seeing as their have been at least three incarnations of B.J. Blazkowicz in the Wolfenstein series. There’s B.J. in Wolf 3D, RTCW, and Wolfenstein, and they all look pretty different from one another.

Finding a lookalike for B.J. in RTCW wasn’t too difficult, as I remembered Michael Cudlitz who played Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman in Band of Brothers, which is coincidentally playing right now each week on DSTV.

wolfenstein-hero-490tve27735-3-1365  

Captain William Joseph [B.J.] Blazkowicz [left], and Michael Cudlitz [right]

wolf5 Michael-Cudlitz-4


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Major Spring Sale on Direct2Drive, Up to 88% Off on PC Games

direct2drivejuly15 Here in the southern hemisphere, you might have realised that it’s now Autumn, or “Fall” as our American cousins call it. But, in the northern hemisphere, America included, it’s spring time.

Direct2Drive is suffering from “Spring Gaming Fever” and is running a sale for the occasion for the next 4 weeks, from April 12 to May 9th where you can get up to 88% on selected games. Some of these include Fallout 3, Dark Void and Call of Cthulhu, at $15 and $10 respectively. The lowest price reduction will be 50%, with some games going at 80% off and more.

Deals will change every Monday, with over 20 games in total getting a price drop. This week, there’s an Atari games bundle for $74.95, which has thirteen games that would normally cost $268.35 purchased separately. That’s nearly $200 off.

They also have a deal where if you spend $75 at the D2D store, you get $15 back in D2D cash - credit going towards other purchases that’s valid until June 8th.

Games on sale this week [Qualify for credit]:

Atari 2010 Spring bundle - 76% off
King’s Bounty Gold Edition - 67% off
Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold - 75% off
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Combo Park Pack - 75% off
Call of Cthulhu:Dark Corners of the Earth – 83% off
Dark Void – 70% off
Battlestations: Pacific – 50% off
Elven Legacy Complete Edition – 67% off
DCS: Black Shark – 63% off
Fallout 3 – 50% off
Gothic III – 83% off

More Spring Sales:

Downfall – 50% off
King's Bounty: Armored Princess – 75% off
GUN – 50% off
MotoGP 08 – 88% off
DiRT 2 - 75% off
STALKER: Clear Sky - 75% off
Tropico 3 - 50% off
Just Cause – 47% off
Reservoir Dogs: The Game – 50% off
Democracy 2  - 78% off

You can visit the page here which will show you everything.

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Source: Direct2Drive


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Apocalypse Now Video Game Could be in the Works

Apocnow1 Apocalypse Now is considered one of the best Vietnam War films ever made, along with others like Platoon and Full Metal Jacket. I find it quite odd that here in SA, Apocalypse Now isn’t shown on TV as often as the other two.

Now the movie might be getting some renewed interest, as Killspace Entertainment has registered two domains called “apocalypsenowgame.com”, and “warisnotagame.net.” This suggests obviously that a game based on the movie is in the works.

Killspace Entertainment's LinkedIn profile suggests that its working on two titles, one of which is a “licensed IP to be announced.” Wonder what the other one is then?

There are some concerns that a game based on this particular movie might not be such a good idea, as it isn’t as action-packed as some of the afore-mentioned titles. We all know a game based on a movie isn’t exactly a recipe for success. They should rather have taken inspiration from the movies as well as done research on the real war, and made their own.

But then again, it’s better than getting another World War II FPS in an over-saturated market, or another Modern Warfare…

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Source: Superannuation


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Commandos 4 Possibly Under Development [Rumblings]

commandosgroup Last year there were rumours  started about another Commandos game possibly being in development, but these rumours were later denied by Pyro Studios, the developers of the series, which saw three great RTS type games enter the market, along with one FPS spin-off which didn’t turn out so well.

But even though Pyro said the company wasn’t currently working on a game at the time, didn’t mean that there weren’t plans for the future.

Now it seems that is the case, as these rumours have resurfaced, as a LinkedIn profile of a former Pyro Studios lead designer, Marcos Domenech, was discovered, and lists Commandos 4 as a game he has worked on. He is currently working on Brink with Splash Damage.

There’s also another LinkedIn profile belonging to José Ramón Díaz Martín, which also states he worked on the game, and still is.

Obviously there’s no official confirmation, and the profile will either be edited or taken down soon, which usually says a lot on its own. On a side note, I’d be totally stoked to play another Commandos game. It’s been too long. Maybe I’ll get one of the other three out and play.

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Source: Superannuation


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2010/04/12

NAG Magazine AKA New Age Gaming Turns 12 This Month

NAG magazine is one of South Africa’s best gaming magazines. Those of you who bought the last issue, the April 2010 issue released last month, would have realised that NAG is now twelve years old. The magazine was started in April 1998.

And hey, it’s the 12th of April too. April 12th, twelve years… just fits, doesn’t it?

          nagmagNAG CD

                 My first issue of NAG I bought, with the Cover CD.

To celebrate this, I guess I could write about my experiences with NAG magazine and when I first bought a copy. It was the January& February issue of 1999 [contained content for both months for a few years, nowadays they’re separate issues], Volume 1, issue 8, and it had my first NAG Cover CD, which I still have to this day, over eleven years later.

Unfortunately I did throw the magazine away. But there are archived editions of volume 1 and 2 in PDF format which I have. You can find these PDFs on the April 2008 issue Cover DVD, by looking under “10 Anniversary Bonus” Yes, that was to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the magazine, two years ago. So I can say that I’ve read every single issue of the magazine, ever.

On it was the demo of Thief: The Dark Project, a game which ranks as one of my favourites of all time nowadays, succeeded only by its sequel, Thief II: The Metal Age.

The magazine also had a review of Thief: The Dark Project to go along with the demo. There was also a review of the now legendary Half-Life, and Tomb Raider III – probably the last great TR title by Core Design, which went on to become Rebellion Derby, but is now closed as of this year. A street in Derby was named Lara Croft Way in the games’ [and possibly the studio’s] honour.

Since I’ve bought magazine every month without fail for a dozen years. I’ve watched it grow from a sixty-odd page magazine to over a hundred pages, only to drop back down again due to the recession, slowly climbing its way back up. I’ve seen the format change constantly too. The price has gone from R11.95 to R18.95 [first issue I bought], to R24.95, and so on until today; the price currently sits at R42,00.

I’ve seen the Cover DVD change as well, the format of it, the contents, the size. It was once a Cover CD, then it went on to two Cover CDs, then a 4.7 GB DVD, now a 9 GB DVD. NAG is now possibly planning to go up in price again this year with the addition of another Cover DVD. That’s 18 GBs worth of stuff. Eventually it’ll be Blu-Ray or something.

And I’ve also seen the magazine go from print only, to having a website called NAG Online, which recently moved to its very own domain, with forums and the whole lot, with online exclusive reviews and news.

Ah, memories. Here’s to another twelve years.

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Happy Birthday! :D


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Maximum Hype: Crysis 2 Information Overload –Trailer, Plot Details

Cry2

Over the past few days, there’s been an overload of information on Crysis 2, so much that I couldn’t handle posting separate posts about everything. I’m just one man here you know.

I much prefer little leaks of info every now an again, but Crysis 2 has blown up.

I decided to do a mash up of all the best information that’s been online so far. I’ve noticed that other blogs with little manpower have done the same, or else they just provide a list of links to blogs which have covered all the stories.

Last week, a trailer was shown in Times Square for Crysis 2, and now there’s an extended trailer on the net too. It’s called "The Wall", and was rendered real time in CryEngine 3. You can watch it below. The song is by Polly Scattergood, called “New York New York”.

Author Richard Morgan will be handling the story of Crysis 2, even commenting on Modern Warfare 2 being a “big disappointment”. Some more information has been unveiled to add more to what we all ready know about the game: that it takes place in New York City in 2023, 3 years after the events of the first game, and you have to fight off an alien invasion.

“In Crysis 2, the aliens have returned with a full invasion force bent on nothing less than the total annihilation of mankind. In New York, terrifying alien invaders stalk the streets and a nightmare plague strikes down the city’s myriad inhabitants with brutal epidemic speed. The city’s systems are in chaos, its streets and skyline are smashed and in flaming ruin. Neither paramilitary law enforcement nor the might of the US military machine can stand against the invaders, and all who choose not to flee are dead men walking. Just to survive in this maelstrom of death will require technology beyond anything any modern soldier has ever seen. One man will inherit that means to survive. You alone must wield the combat technology of Nanosuit 2, and make the last stand to save humanity from destruction in the urban jungle that is New York City.”

cry2a

It’s also been said that Nomad, the player character from Crysis, as well as Prophet, the squad leader, will reappear in this title. And there’s word that Nomad will keep being mistaken for Prophet throughout the game. Prophet all but disappeared in the first game when he set off on a one man suicide mission to fight the aliens.

Crysis 2 is scheduled for a “holiday 2010” release which likely means Q4 2010 or September to December, but probably more towards the latter. The development is being handled by Crytek Frankfurt, with Crytek UK doing the multiplayer, and the game will be available on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Consoles are something new for the Crysis series, seeing as the original game, Crysis, as well as Crysis Warhead, were PC exclusives. 

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Source: Cinemablend


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StarCraft II: Pricing Details, Collector’s Edition Goodies, Box Arts

SCIIThere is now confirmation that a Collector’s Edition for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty exists.

Items that it contains include StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page art book, a 'Thor' unit pet for World of WarCraft, the original StarCraft plus the Brood War expansion on a USB thumb drive shaped like Jim Raynor's dog tag, behind-the-scenes DVD, the official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, StarCraft comic book issue #0, and exclusive Battle.net downloadable content.

This is said to be one of the best collectors editions ever, and for good reason. There’s a lot of good stuff there. The Collectors Edition goes for $99.99 and is no doubt a retail product only. The standard edition is $59.99. [1]

SCIICE  SCOBW

Wings of Liberty is the first in a trilogy in StarCraft II, with Zerg and Protoss campaigns to come later, after the game is released this year. So far StarCraft II is in closed beta, which just received a patch the other day, resulting in some game balancing.

It’s also been confirmed that unlike Command& Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, StarCraft II will be playable offline, and doesn’t require any of this always online, new DRM malarkey. You only need to activate it once with a Battle.net account. There won’t be any LAN play though [3].

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Source: [1] Shacknews - [2] Examiner [Box Arts] - [3] Fudzilla


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2010/04/11

Video Games Coming out This Week [April 11-17, 2010] -Splinter Cell: Conviction

TCSCGTAEFLCDarkVoidZero 

AAA’s Targets of the Week - Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Dark Void Zero

After a bit of a bland week last week, this week explodes with games in comparison. We have the actual release of Splinter Cell: Conviction. After all these years, and delays, and after scrapping some of the original game and rebuilding it, it’s here. And from what I’ve seen it’s set to be pretty damn good, with IGN giving it a 9.3 in their exclusive review.

I’ve got to tell you though that only the Xbox 360 version comes out this week, as the PC version has been pushed back to April 27. Ha! So much for no more delays, and “set in stone”, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, the game also has a collector’s edition, and a Xbox 360 bundle that you might want to have a look at, if you want more than just the game. There’s no PS3 version of the game by the way, but there were rumours going around about one. Not sure if they’re true; could have been an April Fool’s Joke.

Another big release this week is Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, which is the retail pack containing the two DLCs for Grand Theft Auto IV, namely The Lost and Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Previously you could only get these via digital distribution, online. Once again, it’s only for PC and PS3. This time 360 owners lose out. Then again they all ready received the pack in October last year, alongside The Ballad of Gay Tony.

Another game that was said to be coming to the PC this week is Dark Void Zero, a 8-bit spin-off of Dark Void, released earlier in the year. It also arrives on iPhone.

As for the rest, there’s Blood Bowl for the PSP, which looks like fun from what I’ve seen. And there’s a lot of digital distribution titles this week, either from Steam, XBLA, or PSN, including another Sam & Max.

Available links go to game detail pages at Amazon, Steam, and other stores where you can pick up the game of your choice.

Check my Amazon aStore to see the latest and greatest releases of 2010 as well.

[PC]

Booster Trooper [Digital]
Dark Void Zero [Steam - Digital]
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Rig'n'Roll [Digital]
Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Episode 1 - The Penal Zone [Steam - Digital]
Sleep Is Death [Digital]

[Mac]

Brothers in Arms: Double Time

[Xbox 360]

Final Fight: Double Impact [XBLA]
Final Saga
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Collector's Edition
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Xbox 360 Hardware Bundle

[PlayStation 3]

Final Fight: Double Impact [PSN]
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Episode 1 - The Penal Zone [PSN]

[PSP]

Blood Bowl

[Wii]

Arcade Shooter: Ilvelo
Military Madness: Nectaris

[DS]

AlphaBounce
Easy Piano

[iPhone]

Dark Void Zero [App Store]

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Sources: Shacknews - Gamespot


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Tom Clancy’s First Book in Seven Years, Dead or Alive, Coming This Christmas

DoA If you’re a gamer, and you likely are if you’re on this site, then you’ve heard of Tom Clancy. Even the spell checker on most word editors knows of Tom Clancy. His name has appeared on so many games, right from Rainbow Six, to Ghost Recon, to Splinter Cell, to EndWar, to H.A.W.X., and others. And there were the movies as well, like The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears.

But did you know that long before those video games, Tom was all ready an established writer?

I read the other day that Tom is going to have another book out sometime this year called Dead or Alive – his first book in seven years. He has had others in this time period, but they were actually written by other people, if that makes sense; a ghost writer, if you will. They just had his name on it, like a brand.

The book will put all of Clancy's heroes together, including Jack Ryan, John Clark, and Ding Chavez [characters that Rainbow Six players should know very well – I’ve played the original and read the book] among others, in an attempt to join forces and combat terrorism.

Ivan Held, President of G.P. Putnam’s Sons:

“This is Tom Clancy for the first time bringing all his all-stars together, including Jack Ryan. They will be going after modern terrorism.”

The book will be written by Tom, along with Grant Blackwood, a former US Navy veteran, whose also worked on other Clancy novels. Penguin Group, the publisher, says the 848 page book should be out on December 7, 2010 - a few weeks before Christmas.

Amazon blurb:

“For years, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus have waged an unofficial and highly effective campaign against the terrorists who threaten western civilization. The most dangerous of these is the Emir. This sadistic killer has masterminded the most vicious attacks on the west and has eluded capture by the world’s law enforcement agencies. Now the Campus is on his trail. Joined by their latest recruits, John Clark and Ding Chavez, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his cousins, Dominick and Brian Caruso, are determined to catch the Emir and they will bring him in . . . dead or alive.”

By the way, I thought I would add that Tom Clancy will turn 63 tomorrow, as it’s apparently his birthday on the 12th of April.

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Sources: Reuters - Weekend Argus


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