Room to Expand

9 08 2012

Dear me, but that elven babe on the box looks bored.  She’s got a PhD in international law, you know.  She could’ve been a big shot at the UN, but alas, like most elven babes, she ends up modelling for low-end game marketing.  “What’s this Spellforce job involve?” she asks her agent excitedly.  “Er…steel bikini and loincloth.”  “Again?”  “Yeah, but you get a sword this time. It’s very empowering.”  Not quite the Security Council, though, is it?

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Why are Valve So Generous?

16 09 2011

First it was endless free Team Fortress 2 updates. Then it was Team Fortress 2 becoming free to play in the first place. Then there were the little things, like making the Portal 2 soundtrack available for nothing. People complain about Valve’s download platform, Steam, holding a massive share of the digital games market, but at least it’s made them so rich that they don’t even have to bother charging for what could be otherwise lucrative content.

So simple, but so clever.

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Holiday Post 1/3 – Battlefield 3

22 08 2011

I’m pleased that my holidays seem to coincide with big gaming shows. Back in June E3 came to the rescue when I went gallivanting off to Rome and this time it’s Gamescom coming to my aid as I clear off for the week. It’s three updates on trailers I’m afraid, but they are quite pretty. Honestly.

  I’ve written previously on the hilarious slagging match between Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, making it perfectly clear that I have no allegiance to either side. I think that supposed impartiality is now gone. The sheer scale of BF3 in this 64-player mission is immense, from infantry battles to tank rushes to helicopter strafing runs and dogfights in jets. That clip at 0:38 is brilliantly terrifying: a vehicle rush of that sort could only be coordinated by an experienced team, but can you imagine seeing that lot rushing at you across the map?

EA and DICE have done it – they’ve lured me in. For the first time I’m considering buying one of the big military FPSs and it’s pretty much because of this trailer. So much for me being fair and balanced…

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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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 »

The Big Fight, Round 2

13 07 2011

Wheee! They’re at it again! This post should really be named ‘Round n‘, given the amount of fighting that’s gone on between the Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, but I’ve only recently become interested in the whole thing, especially now this comedy slagging match has moved up to the next level. My other post on it was all about frame rates, graphics versus gameplay, technical prowess, snore, zzzz…but this one is just golden.

"Right lads, we circle around the Activision HQ and catch those Modern Warfare types with their trousers down." "OORAH!"

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Fight! Fight! Fight!

29 06 2011

How much fun is the hoo-ha between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3? The disguised mud-slinging! The faux-manly posturing! Bobby Kotick trying to play BF3 at E3! I’ve been in fanboy arguments before and they aren’t particularly pleasant, but in this case I don’t give a monkeys about either title, so the whole shebang is just ludicrous fun. The FPS champ takes on the past master; it’s like watching José Mourinho against Brian Clough in a match laid on especially for my benefit.

Oh fine, I’ll lay off the footballing analogies. Read the rest of this entry »