December 19th, 2009

This could be what saves mods from being marginalized into extinction. Bringing mods to the fore of a digital distribution platform could be what gives mods which don’t get attention from press or developers (which is most of them) a chance at being played.

Never have I wanted to be a Korean citizen so hard.

Considering Carmack’s talk of not wanting to compete against their publisher’s own games — BRINK, in this instance — I’m lead to think we won’t be playing Rage until at least 2011.

Enjoy the first 30 minutes of Indigo Prophecy — with commentary. I’ve played through these opening scenes many times, but I never get over them.


December 5th, 2009

For now, I’m in favor of this. Although Microsoft’s efforts with the Games For Windows Live software have done little but bring the Xbox experience to PC gamers, so have Valve’s efforts with Steamworks and Modern Warfare 2. And if anyone’s capable of muscling some marketshare away from Steam, it’s Microsoft.

I was skeptical of Stardock’s claims as well. It makes sense to me that, based on seniority alone, Direct 2 Drive’s marketshare would be larger than Impulse’s. But is Impulse’s share really so small that it doesn’t even chart?

Happy 10th Birthday to my second favorite game of all time.

This story originally reported that Threewave was to shut down, and I’m glad to see that’s not the case. I have no affinity for their recent games, but I was an avid Threewave CTF player in Quake 3. I would hate to see them simply run out of work.

I’ve read four novels based on BioWare games and haven’t been disappointed yet, but I may skip these. Maybe. Okay, probably not.

I’ve never played a Medal of Honor game, but bully to EA for the timing of this announcement.

And Area 5, too. I hope this relaunch works out; I’ve gotten nothing but bad vibes from the idea of it until now.

To clarify, these same bans (in addition to server-specific bans) could have still happened with dedicated servers.

There’s nothing remarkable about this post except that the headline is ridiculous. But do check out all this Brink gameplay footage.

September 12th, 2009

I’ll be glad when the word “save,” as a verb, is no longer used when speaking of PC gaming. While not without its problems, the platform is no longer in danger. Regardless, Brad Wardell is making some valuable observations here.

Speaking of Stardock and digital distribution, Impulse Phase IV has just launched. The new website design is much easier to navigate, and I appreciate being able to filter by price. Ready To Play appears to be Stardock’s answer to Steam Community; I’m interested to see if Impulse will capitalize on what I think is a unique opportunity to one-up Steam on community features.

On a related note, EA has just partnered with, and added several games to, Impulse. Among them is Dragon Age: Origins (pre-order), The Sims 3, and Red Alert 3 along with its expansion, Uprising, which was previously exclusive to EA’s own digital distribution service.

Although Peter Moore’s view is probably limited to consoles, technically, the PC platform should be credited with having “laid the ground” for online multiplayer, communication, and content distribution.

News of this acquisition came as a relief to me because, due to 3D Realms’ tenuous existence, I’ve had concerns about Prey 2′s status. There is no telling if Human Head is still developing it, but the Prey IP should be in good hands now, at any rate.

This is nearly 30 minues of Jeff Gerstmann and Tim Schafer walking around at PAX while talking and letting their humor play off each other. Also, nerds.


September 10th, 2009

Me and DogmeatAlthough I purchased Fallout 3 when it first released in October of 2008, I made up my mind that I would wait until two conditions had been met before playing. First, I wanted to wait for the first three official add-ons to be released. Second, I wanted to play using a mature version of the DarNified UI, a Fallout 3 PC mod (of which there is also a version for Oblivion) that overhauls the game’s interface (HUD, Pip-Boy, etc.) to look and feel as if they were designed for PC controls and displays. I finally began playing in May of 2009, when both conditions had been met. I’ve since logged just over 56 hours of play; the main quest and a slew of side quests are now completed, and I have impressions and experiences to share.
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June 27th, 2009

Paul Wedgwood of Splash Damage brings to our attention what seems to be common sense, but may not be. I’ve never considered, for example (and maybe I’m just out of touch here), that I can’t think of a single developer who has a history of making licensed games and/or ports that eventually went on to make a break-out hit. I’m sure there has to be some exception to the rule, but I can’t think of one.

Maybe I didn’t react as harshly as John Romero did, but I was definitely caught way off guard by the news of ZeniMax buying out id Software. Once my brain caught up with my gut, though, I decided it might not be such a bad thing for id to have some stability in a publisher. Reading this interview earlier today put me further at ease.

The only thing I’m left wondering about now is, how does Splash Damage and their collaboration with Bethesda on Brink fit into all of this? Did SD play matchmaker? Is an acquisition in their future as well? After all, the partnership was announced way back in May of 2008, well before the E3 meeting between id Software and ZeniMax.

Ah! News like this frightens me. Remember Westwood? What’s left of them are called EA LA now. Admittedly, this is a different EA than the one that acquired Westwood, but this development still gives me pause. For purely selfish reasons, I’m glad to see that BioWare seems to be The Top in the relationship.

June 6th, 2009

It’s impossible to not make this weeks’ Bearly Noteworthy post completely about E3 and E3-related announcements. Since most of the E3 coverage that I consumed originated at GiantBomb.com, I’m also finding it difficult not to make this a post that links solely to GiantBomb.com. So fuck it. They simply killed it on coverage with basically five dudes. Tons of video content, daily podcasts, interviews, wrap-up posts, and very little of the premature, judgmental snark that is endemic to rapid-fire coverage.

Bullet-point highlights from the Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft conferences. My favorites from Microsoft: Crackdown 2, Alan Wake. From EA: Crysis 2, hooray! The Saboteur looks rad. And Ubisoft: I am stupid amounts of excited for Splinter Cell. Rabbids make me sick.

Sequels! More Mario looks good.

Price drop? Aw. Really, though, I was glad to see Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to PC in addition to PS3 just as XI did.

Brink is the game that I most wanted information about when going into E3. I haven’t made up my mind on S.M.A.R.T. yet (it’s explained in the video embedded below), but I think it may make more sense within the context of the game. I hope we get to see some gameplay soon. I’d also like to know what Bethesda’s involvement is with this project; they haven’t said much, only Splash Damage has. I’ve got a feeling Bethesda may just be publishing on this one.