Monthly Archives: April 2012

Go Right – This is what we do

Gaming’s changed a lot through the years; but through it all, some fundamental tenets have stayed true.

Red barrels blow up, this is known; people standing around town with exclamation marks over their heads usually have something to say to you; and Nazis suck, all the way from the Wolfenstein variety (alive) through to the Call of Duty variant (not so much).

Even before all of these, however, there was one mandate, one prime directive, one basic impulse that kept us forging onward.

Go right, my son.

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Diablo III Releases New TV Spot, May Or May Not Have Done It To Taunt You

Must…hold…on…not…long…now.

 

Portal 2’s Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC Is Never Going To Give You Up

If you needed a reason to dust off your copy of Portal 2, here you go : Aperture Science is about to introduce the Perpetual Testing Initiative, as Cave Johnson announces with his customary style in the above trailer. On one level, this announcement is about the release of free DLC that will let players create and share their own Portal puzzles; and, on another level, it’s about Aperture Science taking outsourcing to new levels by conning the Multiverse (as depicted by a rather pathetic cephalopod) into doing its dirty work for it. What it’s really about, however, is the fact that once user-created puzzles start hitting the Steam Workshop, Valve/Aperture (it’s getting harder to tell them apart, isn’t it?) is going to have you testing for a long, long time.

You won’t really care too much about that, though, because Cave Johnson laughs at an octopus. No, really.

Full press release after the break.

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Finally, Conclusive Proof : Google Plays Zerg

!@#!@$@#%$#^@%#@$!#$@#$!

If you’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the folks at Google lived and died for the Swarm:

a) You overthink things, dude.

b) This is probably the greatest day of your life.

Head on over to Google, search for the phrase ‘zerg rush’ (or just click here) and try to get as many of them as you can before they – inevitably – get you.

Crysis 3 – First Look

Crytek and EA have released a first gameplay trailer for Crysis 3. The game, which was announced last week, takes place in a ruined and overgrown version of New York City. For fans of the series, this might well be reason for optimism, as this might help Crysis 3 pull off that Predator-esque vibe that the first game so memorably had (and the second one, well….didn’t). And, while we’re being optimistic, we might as well hope for a return to the original game’s sandbox gameplay, right?

It doesn’t look a whole lot different from Crysis 2, it has to be said. Still, it’s early days yet; there’s plenty of time to see if the latest member of the Crysis family lives up to that ‘3’ on the end.

So, a Max Payne 3 press kit arrived this morning…

Yeah. That’s just how I roll 😀

More pictures after the break!

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5th Avenue Frogger Is Full Of Win

If you want to have your mind (nostalgically) blown by a talking Cockney frog without the use of any illegal substances, this video is for you.

And if you don’t, you either need therapy or a kind and understanding cell-mate.

Diablo III Beta Opens Up This Weekend

Pretty much as it says on the label. All you need is a Battle.net account, and (ideally) nothing really important to do for the next couple of days. The beta will be playable at 12:01 PM PDT, which puts it a little after midnight over here.; but you can head on over here and start downloading the client right away.

…why are you still here?

God of War Returns With ‘Ascension’

Everyone’s favourite Spartan with anger issues is making a comeback, as revealed by the above teaser trailer. Posted to the PlayStation Blog earlier today, the teaser reveals that Ascension will be set sometime before Kratos becomes the terrifying Ghost of Sparta. (Somehow, though, I think the game will still involve copious amounts of violence; call it a hunch.) More will be revealed via a live streaming event on Monday, April 30th.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, there’s going to be more God of War – and I do love God of War – but, on the other, I thought that God of War III wrapped things up to the point where the franchise was done, and I was okay with that. Not because I was sick of it, but because it was a satisfying resolution to the story that had been building momentum for three games. (Mass Effect says hel-…what? Too soon?) The fact that it’s a prequel means that they’re not messing with the established canon of the last game, which is a huge plus for me. Then again, that’s a double-edged sword – I, along with quite a few others on the Internet, am simply having trouble mustering enthusiasm for Ascension because of that very fact – did God of War really need another prequel?

Ah well. In Santa Monica Studios I trust. More to come on the 30th of April.

On another note, is it just me or was it strangely comforting to hear Gaia’s voice again? I should get that voice actress to narrate my dreams. Her, and Samuel L. Jackson. (They speak English in ‘What’?!)

Behind the Scenes at Valve

I always found their bald-guy-logo rather disturbing

This is a bit of a departure from Friendly Fire’s usual fare, but I urge you to check out this blog post:

Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing

It was written by Michael Abrash. I’m prepared to admit that that name didn’t mean anything to me when I started reading the article; and I’ll also admit that, when I was done, I was rather ashamed of myself.

Monsieur Abrash worked at id Software, where he and John Carmack double-handedly (technically, I suppose, that could be construed as quad-handage) programmed Quake. Then, Mike Harrington and Gabe Newell asked him on their way out of Microsoft if he wanted to be the third founder of this company they were putting together, tentatively titled ‘Valve’. He said ‘nah, not really’ and went back to walking on water or whatever he was doing; along the way, though, he managed to contribute to what would eventually become Half-Life. Eventually, he gave in to Valve’s persistent wooing and joined them sometime last year.This post talks about part of the journey that landed him at Valve, but mostly about Valve itself. It’s pretty fascinating to be given this peek behind the curtains of one of the biggest companies in the gaming industry.

Thanks for the opportunity, Mr. Abrash. I’d wish you all the best for your new career at Valve; but, based on the above paragraph, I don’t think you really need it.

PS : You had me at ‘Snow Crash’. Why, oh why haven’t more people read Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk masterpiece?