Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sleeping Dogs Go For A Drive

Sleeping Dogs, also known as the reincarnation of True Crime: Hong Kong, has a new trailer out. This one focuses primarily on the driving aspect of the game, and features a variety of high-speed shenanigans. From the look of things, Sleeping Dogs seems like it’s going to be in the same sort of physical universe as Just Cause and Saints Row; which is to say that you needn’t worry about the laws of physics getting in between you and a good time.

Full press release after the break.

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A First Look At Max Payne 3’s Multiplayer

The latest in Rockstar’s ongoing series of Max Payne 3 videos gives us our first look at the multiplayer. For an atmospheric story-driven game like Max Payne, creating a solid multiplayer component was always going to be a challenge; and that’s without even taking into account just how tough the proper implementation of bullet-time must be. Either way, it looks like Rockstar’s putting some effort into this, so hopefully it won’t be just some tacked-on, half-assed feature that was only included for the sake of an extra bullet-point on the box.

In related news, Dan Houser (co-founder of Rockstar) spoke to IGN recently about the differences between designing  Rockstar’s traditional open-world sandbox games as compared to more linear experiences, such as Max Payne. He also talks about ‘Crews’, Max Payne 3’s equivalent of online clans, how they work and – most interestingly – how they’ll carry over to Grand Theft Auto V when it releases this…well, whenever it releases.

Minecraft’s Creator Aims To Misbehave With Next Project

Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, founder of Mojang and creator of Minecraft, spoke to PC Gamer recently about his plans now that he’s stepped down from his role as lead developer on Minecraft. He expressed his desire to do something inspired like Elite (the 1984 space trading simulator), only better. Instead of restricting players to piloting their spaceships and trading with planets through menus, Notch wants to make it so that players are actual characters within their spaceships.

“I want the space game that’s more like Firefly. I want to run around on my ship and have to put out a fire. Like, oh crap, the cooling system failed, I have to put out the fire here.”

Realizing what he had done, Notch later tweeted this in a belated attempt to douse the raging fanboy fires that were already sweeping the Internet :

Not doing a great job of lowering expectations, is he?

Too late.

The creator of Minecraft + sandbox space simulator + Firefly?

NAO.

I insist.

Far Cry 3 – If you wanna hang out…

Far Cry 3’s latest trailer introduces Dr. Earnhardt, a…somewhat erratic character who Jason Brody, the protagonist, will encounter during his attempts to escape the island he’s stuck on. Watch the trailer, then click on through past the break for a couple more pictures and reactions.

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In Retrospect – Why You Should Buy Heavy Rain

Seeing as how the Internet’s still buzzing over the awesome Kara video from last week, I thought that this would be a good time to revisit Quantic Dream’s last major effort – Heavy Rain. I wrote this piece back in 2010, but I think it’s still valid today. Without further ado, here you go.

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Why You Should Buy Heavy Rain

An Unashamedly Subjective Article

First things first : this is not a review of Heavy Rain. In fact, portions of this article were written before Heavy Rain even launched here in India. If I might quote Tenacious D here, this is just a tribute.

Heavy Rain is an interactive drama psychological thriller video game created by Quantic Dream exclusively for the PlayStation 3. The game is written and directed by Quantic Dream’s founder and CEO David Cage. Heavy Rain’s story is a dramatic thriller modeled after film noir, featuring four protagonists involved with the mystery of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who uses extended periods of rainfall to drown his victims.

The player’s decisions and actions during the game will affect the narrative; the main characters can be killed, and certain actions may lead to different scenes and endings.

[taken from Wikipedia]
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Each of us has at least one game that he will remember for as long as he clicks a mouse button in anger. The reasons behind our choices are about as varied as you’d expect from a bunch of gamers, with all the choices that our chosen passion offers us. For a lot of us, Half-Life was such a game. For others, it might have been Diablo. A more recent candidate for the honor would be the Call of Duty series, and I’m sure GTA’s there or thereabouts as well. For some of us, it might even have been Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and who are we to judge? My point is that each of us have had the fortune to encounter at least one game in our gaming histories that proceeded to shake things up and leave us, as gamers, the better for it. A lot of us, I’m sure, have thought at some point that they had it all figured out and seen all there is to see in gaming; the boundaries were mapped, the concept was clear. No surprises. And each and every one of us has had a game that came along just when we were getting comfy on our couch of jaded cynicism and proceeded to blow the ever-loving stuffing out of our minds. For me, that game was Indigo Prophecy aka Fahrenheit.

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Baldur’s Gate : Enhanced Edition Releases This Summer

So sayeth we all.

Finally, the speculation can be laid to rest. The Baldur’s Gate : Enhanced Edition, as is helpfully proclaimed above, will be coming your way in summer 2012. That alone would be cause for much celebration amongst D&D aficionados, but it was closely followed by news that Baldur’s Gate II would be receiving the Enhanced Edition treatment as well! Here’s what we know so far :

  • Both Enhanced Editions are being handled by Overhaul Games, the development division of Beamdog (the developer in charge of the MDK HD remakes, amongst others). Atari (publishing) and Wizards of the Coast (licensing) will be involved as well.
  • As borne out by this tweet from Trent Oster, Beamdog’s creative director, Baldur’s Gate : Enhanced Edition will include the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion; similarly, Throne of Bhaal will be included in Baldur’s Gate II : Enhanced Edition.
  • As of now, there’s no release window for Baldur’s Gate II : Enhanced Edition.
  • Baldur’s Gate : Enhanced Edition will contain new, original content (including new characters!) and some of the original developers will be helping out.
  • If you’re still carrying around your original Baldur’s Gate/Baldur’s Gate II save games, we would’ve said you need to move on a couple of days ago; but not any more, because you can totally use them with the Enhanced Edition! (as of now, anyway)
  • The multiplayer system will be completely overhauled and reworked.
  • Just like the originals, the Enhanced Editions will utilize the 2nd Edition D&D rule-set.
  • Both the remakes will be based on the source code from Throne of Bhaal; so a lot of the tweaks and updates from there should make their way into the Baldur’s Gate : Enhanced Edition.

I don’t know about you guys, but I call that a win!

The official announcement can be seen in all its glory past the break.

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Evil Is Back – Diablo III Will Be Unleashed on May 15th

The news we’ve all been waiting for – Diablo III will release on May 15th. That’s a mere two – two! – months from now; and what’s more, you can pre-purchase it right this very instant over on Battle.net and download it in advance of the release date so that you can be ready to play the minute the servers go live.

Twelve years. It’s been twelve years since Diablo II, and eleven since Lord of Destruction. I’ve been waiting for Diablo III almost as long as I’ve been playing games. My pre-order’s done, my download should be starting in the next few minutes. Two more months of waiting, and then…see you in Tristram!

For The Good Of All Of Us – A Look At What Portal 2 Might Have Been

Speaking at GDC 2013, Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw – Valve’s head writers – discussed the brainstorming process that resulted in Portal 2. Specifically, they spoke about all the features that never made it into the final release. Given the success and adulation enjoyed by the original Portal, creating a worthy successor was never going to be an easy task. So it proved, as their long list of discarded ideas indicates. This is why I love the Game Developer’s Conference; we get to peek at a lot of stuff that might never have seen the light of day otherwise.

Given that this is effectively a post-mortem discussion, some important plot points are discussed. If you haven’t played Portal 2 yet, I find your lack of win disturbing.

Oh, and you should probably not read on.

Links after the break.

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Quantic Dream’s Done It Again – Say Hello to Kara

Quantic Dream, the people behind the critically acclaimed Heavy Rain, released the above tech demo – titled ‘Kara’ – during the Game Developer’s Conference. David Cage, founder and lead game designer, was quick to stress that Kara is not an announcement of a game in itself, but rather an indicator as to the direction Quantic Dream will be heading in with its next release. Cage wasn’t very forthcoming with more details, only revealing that the technology behind Kara was at version 1.0 when the clip was made but is now at version 3.0, and that he hopes to show us even more impressive examples of this technology soon.

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New SimCity Will Reticulate Your Splines in 2013

If, like me, you have fond memories of whiling away hours in SimCity 2000 – or, indeed, any of those lighthearted simulations with a ‘Sim-‘ on the front – you’ve got one more reason to pray that the Mayans got it wrong. Accompanied by the above trailer, Electronic Arts and Maxis have announced a new SimCity game at this year’s Game Developers Conference. As of now, there’s no word on whether this new title (which is already available for preorder on Origin) marks a reboot of the SimCity series, or if this game will slot into the lineup as SimCity 5. Either way, for those of you who might be concerned about whether the franchise’s trademark zany sense of humour is still alive and kicking, here’s a quote from Maxis Senior Vice President Lucy Bradshaw : “You never know when a giant lizard might just trundle around the corner and kick the buildings down.”

Welcome back, SimCity. We’ve missed you.

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