Watch This, Appreciate Minecraft

29 07 2011

I’ve not played Minecraft. It might be the biggest indie hit that has ever been, with over 11 million registered users on the site, with 2.5m of those having rummaged through their pockets to pay for the newer version. It might have a presence on the internet through videos, memes and general gaming consciousness that far outstrips that of a lot of top-dollar games. The most I’ve toyed with it, though, was…well, just now actually, a quick two minutes of the free version just to see how it plays. That first sentence was true when I wrote it, honest.


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PMQ’s, But With Critical Hits

27 07 2011

Go and play this now. It is funny, quick and very different. It is Prime Minister’s Questions: The Game. I’m becoming a little bit obliged to Rock Paper Shotgun for giving me stuff to put in this blog, but if they will keep telling us about such wonderfully quirky games as this then what am I supposed to do?

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The Shepardess

25 07 2011

We recently learned that the marketing material for Mass Effect 3 will not only feature the default male version of Commander Shepard, but also the female version. Thanks in part to Jennifer Hale’s terrific voice acting, this version of the character has slowly become a standard-bearer for female protagonists in games, although only 18% of players choose to save the galaxy as a woman rather than a man.

The default faces of male and female Shepard from Mass Effect 1 and 2.

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A Chance to Shout at Germans

22 07 2011

I’m not sure if I’ve seen a more amusing competition that this one in many, many years. City Interactive are currently developing Combat Wings: The Great Battles of WWII for the PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, an game it looks set to provide decidedly typical dogfighting fare with not much going for it that hasn’t been seen in a hundred other such titles. Except for the fact that you could be doing voice over work for it.

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Review Supplement – Panzer Corps

20 07 2011

Well that wasn’t what I was expecting. After hearing that Panzer Corps was going to be my next review, I happened upon this brief article on Rock Paper Shotgun. It wasn’t promising. I find RPS a great read because its writers go into loving depth on any number of niche games, but in this case all that was merited was five lines, a press release and a video that presented a very backward-looking product with cheesy World War 2 music and grainy sound effects. It looked grim.

How wrong I was. Panzer Corps is a well put together title, providing tidy, expansive war-gaming with no frills but a good degree of depth. You’ll be able to read more about it in my review, which should pop up on Gamedot in the next few days (EDIT: here it is now), but for now I’d like to look at something else. I’m going mildly theoretical again, so brace yourselves for some rambling. Read the rest of this entry »

Team Fortress 3

18 07 2011

When you consider that Team Fortress 2 originally launched with no extra weapons or items beyond the basic class loadouts, its progression to the game of a million variations today is quite impressive. That it launched with no plot or lore to speak of now seems strange after the latest ‘Meet the Team’ video and the many comics that have been launched to explain the bizarre humour behind it. Even more impressively, TF2 was released with just six maps, but twenty-nine more have since been added, with the map-making community playing a large role. Then there’s trading, crafting, replay editing…the list goes on. The current version, after over 200 updates, is more of a sequel than it is an extension of the original.

Is this game the most complete multiplayer offering currently available? Read the rest of this entry »

Why The Old Republic Will Succeed

15 07 2011

Last week’s update on Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s official website was pretty amusing. For more than two and a half years, Bioware have released an update of some sort every single week, from 15-minute gameplay walkthroughs to the much-dreaded Fan Fridays. They don’t always appear at the same time each Friday, but last week’s took a little time to emerge, spawning an enormous thread on the forums that quickly moved past the 1,000 post mark. Some users were spluttering angrily, most were having a good laugh and revelling in the ridiculousness of the game’s hype machine.

Then it emerged – a blog post about the in-game map system. Good stuff for the sensible community member, but the internet is not particularly known for being sensible. Cue riled posts about Bioware’s lack of concern for their fans and their general stinginess. Read the rest of this entry »