The Obsolete Gamer Show: Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel (GaCuCon)


12-time world FPS champion Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel returns to talk about the upcoming GaCuCon gamer cruise leaving out of Miami Florida on Jan 26th. He will be on that cruise along with several other guests and we wanted to get his thoughts on the event as well as what he and his brand has been up too.

You can check out information on the GaCuCon gamer cruise here.

Catlateral Damage

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Catlateral Damage

Goat Simulator with a Cat?

Perhaps not, but this indie game caught my eye when I saw it. First it is called, Catlateral Damage which is awesome in itself. What it is, is a first person mischievous cat simulator. Just like that damn goat, your mission is to knock over your owners belonging making a mess on the floor, just like real life am I right?

Catlateral Damage

You have 2 minutes to achieve this and just like the Table Flipping Game, the fun is in the knowledge that you are messing up someone else’s stuff. So the Dev is going to be adding more to the game so there will be different rooms and more stuff to knock off and the game is Greenlit and will support Occulus Rift.

Catlateral Damage Catlateral Damage Catlateral Damage

  • Visit the Greelight page & leave gameplay suggestions & feedback HERE
  • Play in a Unity supported browser HERE or Download the Alpha HERE

 

Thanks to PressHeartToContinue for the video review.

Battlefield 1942 (PC)

battlefield-1942-pc

Developer: Digital Illusions

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Genre: First Person Shooter

Release Date: 2002

Awesome little FPS this, many hours of addiction and therapy needed to drag myself away. Even though the game is getting on a bit now, the graphics for one are certainly looking dated I still keep coming back for the odd game now and again, especially multi-player. The main game consists of capturing and controlling certain strategic points on the game map, almost a multiple capture the flag scenario. Once a team captures a point team members can spawn there, however when a team loses control of all of these points they cannot respawn and if all the players are killed the team with no spawn points loses (deep breath).

battlefield-1942-pc

The player can choose to play as either the Allied powers or the Axis powers. The Allies consists of the US, UK, Soviet Union, Canada and the French. The Axis consists of Germany, Japan and Italy. Regardless of which side you chose you’ll get a choice of five different character classes to choose from; Scout, Assault, Medic, Anti-tank, and Engineer. All have certain distinct advantages depending on individual tastes, I tended to stick with Scout and Assault as they move quicker, helpful in making it to the coolest vehicle first or for general running away.

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Some of my favourite scenarios in this game feature air combat. Let’s be honest, running across the vast maps, especially El Alamein, is a tad boring, driving or flying is much more fun and recommended. The game has a nice choice of vehicles to use and destroy and it’s always satisfying landing that bomb on target or engaging the enemy in a dogfight.

battlefield-1942-pc

Although the game play remains fun (there’s nothing like trying to fly a bomber like a fighter, or seeing the pilot parachuting out of the plane you’re all in) the graphics are  looking a bit naff, and the control system seems slow and clunky, especially if you’ve been sitting there playing something newer and shinier. It’s a game for Sunday afternoon when it’s raining and you’re not in the mood for anything to stressful from the gaming library.

battlefield-1942-pc

Also released were several expansion packs for the original Battlefield 1942 titled; Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome and Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII. Both added various new game play modes and design concepts but in my opinion didn’t really offer anything amazing or new in terms of playability.

I enjoy this game probably more than I should but then I can’t help it. The catchy intro music even has a certain appeal, so much so I even looked up the composer Joel Eriksson for this blog, see his IMDB page here! If any of you have played Dogfight for the Amiga the theme tune gives me the same sense of nostalgia and charm for a game, on its release, I couldn’t put down for 5 minutes without getting the urge to play it again.

Dark Arena

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

Format- Gameboy Advanced

Genre- First Person Shooter

I’ve tried to revisit the 12 FPS games for the GBA in the order they were released, but have sadly messed it up a bit. Doom came after Ecks Vs Sever – a fact that i’m ashamed I overlooked.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

But i’m putting that right, and the next game on my revisit radar is Dark Arena. Perhaps the most forgotten of the whole flock of GBA FPS – apart from perhaps the too late for the party Ice Nine – this is was actually the first FPS announced for the handheld.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

It’s also the only GBA FPS that isn’t a port or continuation of an existing shooter series, or without any conceivable tie to a movie (Ice Nine was based on the film The Recruit but the licensing fell through).

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

This fact probably didn’t help Dark Arena reach a wider audience, but it’s hard to feel too sorry for it, due to the fact it’s a rather turgid effort all round.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

Perhaps it was rushed to a release in an attempt to be the first GBA FPS, in which case it failed in a truly dismal fashion due to the fact three games beat it to the punch, but ia lack of attention to detail does show through in the final product.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

It’s opening is very effective though, in an adorably budget stricken kind of way. Green text is type out on a black screen, with a sinister soundtrack burbling away in the background.

It recites the plot of Doom pretty much ad verbatim – lone marine stranded in a infested space station, blah blah blah, escaping is a near impossible task, etcetera etcetera – only with a slightly more clunky syntax.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

Only a rubbish looking pic of a red beast attacking a bald space marine sullies the dark-edged tone.

When you enter the first stage though, all the effort gone into this set-up evaporates very quickly indeed.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

This is not a scary game. Not by a long shot. There’s no music here, just the sounds of enemies and gunfire. On a system with more graphical oomph this could have worked – but here it mutes, quite literally, any potential atmosphere.

Controls are simple and work well however. Shooting enemies higher than your current level can be fired at by simply aiming in their vague direction, Doom style.

Dark Arena - Gameboy Advanced

Guns are plentiful, but most are ineffectual in terms of their power. You can be tooled up with a rocket launcher, sniper or laser gun, but there’s no real satisfying clunk-click- bam feel to the game – like, say, Doom (sorry for constantly making the comparison).

This is something most of the FPS’ on GBA suffered with actually, but was not a problem in Doom or Duken Nukem Advance – perhaps as much to the way your enemies die more than anything else.

In Dark Arena they simply slump straight to the ground once you’ve pumped enough bullets into them, like sad cardboard cut-outs.

There’s no real sense that you’ve conquered anything evil at all, and this doesn’t help to stimulate you to push on through the game’s fifteen levels.

Most of the alien beasties don’t even carry any tangible threat either. Most can be defeated without you you needing to exert any caution – just walk near them and fire away.

Only the robot mechs and larger aliens near the end of the game can do much damage to you in a straight up firefight. And the final boss of course, is a challenge, as you’d expect.

Dark Arena is miles ahead of, say, BackTrack – it’s got clearer graphics and a proper single player for one – but it does very little to set itself apart from the GBA FPS pack.

Although when I was younger I think I got scared a little for abut 30 seconds in one of Dark Arena’s stages, it was probably because I was at the end of the stage and had to beat several tough enemies – and had to go back to the start if I died, something I was very keen not to do.

Generally, attempting to mimic Doom is unwise at the best of times – but especially when Doom has already been released for the system you’re coming out on.

Homefront

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If you’ve read other reviews or talked to folks who have played Homefront, no doubt you’ve heard it described as “a worse version of Call of Duty.” This is accurate in some respects: it’s not, overall, quite as tightly executed and the range of available weapons is smaller. ~Seth Rosen

Homefront

Homefront packs a punch, and it doesn’t wait for the first bell to ring before socking you hard, right in the belly. The game starts with the player being abducted and put on a bus to Somewhere Bad. I sit on the bus for a few minutes, peering out the windows, unable to move or twist around to get a better view of the proceedings of a depressed suburban Colorado town. At first, the restriction on my view bothered me, but then I realized that it had to be this way: the Korean People’s Army (KPA) guards wouldn’t take too kindly to me jumping around the bus, repeatedly ducking and standing back up on top of the seats (which is exactly what I did on the trains in Half-Life and Half-Life 2). So, I settled in, ready to play their way. Soon I saw that “their way” really delivers on the game’s tagline: “Home is where the war is.” The bus trundles through the town and I see several limp bodies, their heads covered in blood-spattered sacks, strewn across the sidewalk. I see people desperately pleading for mercy. I see parents gunned down in front of their wailing child. Truly a horrible and disturbing scene. What’s more, given Unified Korea’s rise to power as laid out by the game’s alternate history in the introduction, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

Homefront

Though Homefront is not really an adaptation to the interactive medium of writer John Milius’ previous work (Apocalypse NowRed Dawn), you can see their ehem influence throughout the game’s story and setting. The world is intricately and brutally realized and I was itching to join the fight. In short order, my bus was rammed by a Resistance cell in order to secure me, the all-important pilot, for their mission. Unfortunately, the the game’s mechanics immediately got in my way. I was hot-blooded and ready for the warpath, but I had to wait for my savior to finish what he was saying before the game prompted me to press ‘E’ to climb out of the bus, rather than let me duck and crawl out on my own when I wanted to, which would have been immediately. It was primarily little things like this that prevented me from fully engaging with my tasks at hand and immersing myself in the world. All-too-often, I would end up waiting for the game to catch up to me (sometimes dialog and sometimes the actual characters) before I could proceed, despite the fact that I was the slowest runner in the entire resistance force. I would get frustrated watching my comrades press their bodies against cover and lean out, while I was stuck with standing, crouching and going prone. Summed together, these small annoyances would periodically break my immersion.

Homefront

These complaints are valid, but plenty of excellent games came before Homefront, overcoming somewhat clunky controls, so I didn’t want to abandon it. And I didn’t have to stick with it for very long: I finished the single player campaign on Hard in about 5 hours. Though the recent trend of military shooters sporting such short single player components is a disappointing one, it sort of worked in Homefront’s favor. Over the course of the entire game, though your path is oft waylaid, your mission is relatively small in scope: escape the bus rescue, commandeer a few fuel trucks, drive them to San Francisco and then lase a target on the Golden Gate bridge for the newly-fueled air support to bomb the ever-living shit out of.
Homefront
On that note, Homefront rarely lets you lead the charge, resulting in a genuine sense that you’re just another foot soldier, though there are some set-pieces that you have to take down in order to advance.  Your comrades do a good bit of killing themselves and some of their dialog excellently portrayed the atmosphere of the resistance and their venomous hate of the KPA. You’ll also find old newspapers scattered throughout the game that relate more background of how the U.S. got to be in such a dire position. Interesting stuff that helps build the world, but the interface for the blurbs felt more like a game menu than a newspaper in your hand.
Homefront
When it came to handling the futuristic high-tech weapons, it seemed like an order had come down from on-high that you were the only resistance fighter capable of wielding the blasted things. This was to the detriment of the fun and believability of the game. For one, you had a tech-wiz with you for at least half of the game who I’m sure was capable of using the weaponry. Second, the technology behind the Gladiator (a vehicle that riddles with holes any enemy you can look at for a full second) just doesn’t seem to fit with the grittiness of the rest of the world. Lastly, the Gladiator targeter simply wasn’t very satisfying to use. I found it significantly less fun to pop out from cover and target the next KPA soldier and have a vehicle drive over to him and unload a machine gun in his face when compared to the visceral experience of creeping around the suburban yards and through the White Castle, shooting baddies as you went.
Homefront
Similar to this imbalance of how enjoyable the different weapons were to use, Homefront suffered from some uneven pacing. In particular, I found the levels taking place in and around the countryside to be a bit slower. It didn’t help that the vehicle sections were significantly easier than the ground-fighting (which, inexplicably, was suddenly against extremist American conspiracy theorists). I found a few spots to be massively more difficult. Some of these sections I died and reloaded at the last checkpoint 10-20 times. There was, however, one moment that I really enjoyed in the country level: our small force was attempting to cross the camp of the extremists undetected and we came upon a pair of hooligans that were torturing a KPA soldier, shooting at his feet to make him dance. I saw this and I was disgusted. Without considering my actions, I walked up behind one of the men and sank my knife into his back. The mission was failed (I guess the other guy standing there noticed his buddy getting shanked), but I felt vindicated. For me, Homefront was about doing what needed to be done to get our land back, not about acting maliciously towards the  invaders.
Homefront
To that end, it’s in the first few and final levels (out of 7) that Homefront truly shines. These are the levels that take place in the remnants of civilization and you find yourself battling across yards, sneaking through gaps in broken fences, and dashing through a burning computer parts store next to a Hooters. You see what this war has done to our homeland and you are compelled to right the situation. It truly feels like you’re fighting to get America back to its rightful owners when you’re running from abandoned car to abandoned car on the Golden Gate Bridge, getting into a position where you can call in air support and kickstart the rebellion.
Homefront
While the game’s environments were very rich, its graphical fidelity wasn’t top notch. The music, on the other hand, was spectacularly done and very effectively instilled in me a sense of patriotism. I played Homefront on the PC and I am forced to wonder whether the fact that Kaos Studios outsourced the PC development toDigital Extremes impacted the quality of the port.
Homefront
If you’ve read other reviews or talked to folks who have played Homefront, no doubt you’ve heard it described as “a worse version of Call of Duty.” This is accurate in some respects: it’s not, overall, quite as tightly executed and the range of available weapons is smaller. As for the multiplayer, which I played briefly, it is more or less what you should expect from a military shooter: realistic weapons and environments with unlockable content based on your performance. The maps seemed to differ wildly in quality, with the better ones tending to be smaller, more tactical suburban environments and the worse ones being large, open country settings that beg for snipers. Homefront’s multiplayer does feature some ground and air vehicles, which mixes up the gameplay a bit. As far as I’m concerned, there are two interesting aspects of the multiplayer. The first is small deployable bots (also ground and air) that players can pilot remotely. The second is Homefront’s capture point game mode, which has a tug-of-war dynamic: only 3 points active at any time and in order to access and capture the points beyond those, one team had to control that section of the map.
Homefront
Yes, Homefront is, on some level a worse Call of Duty. Honestly, though, how different can military shooters truly be? I say, “so be it, judge the game on its own merits.” Homefront, unlike a certain other recent release, had a somewhat humbler goal in mind than to be the next Call of Duty: tell a compelling story in a rich and emotionally-charged environment where the player is not playing the hero at every turn. Though it wasn’t stellar all the way through, I think it succeeded in that respect.
Should you play it? If you’re interested in emancipating the United States of America from the control of United Korea, hell yes. If you’re a Communist and just want to shoot more dudes so you can rank up and get a new scope, don’t bother. Seriously, Homefront is not one of the best executed interactive experiences I’ve ever had, but if you were at all interested in playing the game just based on the premise, I’d say go for it.

Doom (GBA)

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

Format- Gameboy Advance

Genre- FPS

Doom! Doom. Doom. Doooooooom!

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

This is probably the most well known game i’ve looked at yet, but it’s also the title i’ve put the most hours into, the GBA version in particular, so permit me to talk a little about the game that’s firmly rooted in my top ten videogames of all time.

I own the game on GBA, SNES and Jaguar (expect me to look over each port in individual entries), as well as wasting countless hours watching my dad play it on out PC back in the day.

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

I even recall putting ‘watching my dad play Doom’ on a list of my hobbies back in Middle School – only for the teacher to cross it out.

So to have Doom on my own handheld was a joy, and I completed the game several times over.

The main disappointment is that the GBA version is scaled down version of the PC version, with certain levels missing and replaced with slightly smaller ones. There’s no Cyberdemon or Spider Mastermind showdowns here – a major let down.

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

Still, the game crammed in an impressive amount into the tiny cartridge, and is miles better than the SNES version in terms of looks (probably because of the smaller screen).

When I play through the game it’s odd that some levels i’m more than happy to play through for the billionth time, whereas some I really can’t stand to trudge through, to the point of not wanting to play the game anymore.

Containment Area, the one with all the boxes, is a level I can’t stand playing for example. It just doesn’t feel right, and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the game.

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

Unholy Cathedral is another. It’s the one with all the teleporters placed in sets of four everywhere. Can’t stand that one. There are others, but i’ll spare you the details.

In fact, the game makes me realize how great its sequel is. There’s a huge amount of variety in Doom 2, and even the GBA version of it doesn’t miss anything out (the huge final boss, for example, is present and correct).

The original started off the series though, and for that i’m eternally grateful. The GBA conversion is solid, but falls a little short of offering the ultimate handheld version of Doom.

The iPhone version is impressive though – but despite having a fair crack with touch screen controls, the wait for a definitive portable version of ID’s classic shooter continues…

Lost Planet 2

Lost-Planet-2-

Everyone knows that it’s more fun to read a bad review than it is to read a good one. One thing you learn quickly in journalism school is that it’s also more fun to write a bad review. This simple fact has led me to always let myself cool off before writing a piece on something that has gotten under my skin. Even with this cool down period, I still find myself cursing Lost Planet 2.

The original Lost Planet was released in early 2007 for the Xbox 360 and later for the PC and Playstation 3. The third-person shooter showcased battles against massive bugs called the Akrid and impressive snow-covered environments. The story focused on Wayne, a young man who joins up with a group of Snow Pirates to combat the nefarious plans of NEVEC, your typical evil corporation.

The unmemorable story was given a pass because of how fun it was to jump in mechs known as Vital Suits (VS) and blast away soldiers and Akrid alike.

Lost Planet 2 receives no such pass. Now, in addition to an even more forgettable story, gamers must slog through a fundamentally broken game.

Lost-Planet-2-

Set a decade after the original, Lost Planet 2 features six episodes, each told from a different perspective. The snow-covered world of EDN III has been thawing for 10 years, causing an increase in Akrid activity. Many rival factions are fighting for the precious thermal energy (T-ENG) that is harvested from the big bugs. The plots of each individual episode intertwine in various ways but the ties are not strong enough to form a decent narrative. Characters in each episode are interchangeable thanks to Capcom’s decision to mask every character in the game. Your armor clad heroes are so indistinguishable that in one cutscene I believed my character had been killed, when in reality it was just a teammate that looked identical to the protagonist.

Lost-Planet-2-

The few times the plot gains momentum it fails due to the game’s pace-killing mission structure. Each episode is divided into chapters and each chapter is divided into several missions. The missions last at most 15 minutes, so any action packed sections end just as they really get going. Some of the shorter missions barely last five minutes making the front and back-end loading and statistics reports jarring and disruptive. Breaking up the chapters in this manner seems even more pointless when you consider the fact that you can’t save your game between missions.

The episode environments are varied but you’ll end up doing basically the same thing in every one. While the game tells you that the objective is to take control of a train or cause a mining drill to spin out of control it always comes down the same thing: taking control points. The T-ENG data-posts from the original game seem to be the most important thing on EDN III. These points are apparently the only control scheme on the planet so every mission has you capturing all of the posts on the map while shooting waves of faceless goons.

Lost-Planet-2-

While gaining control of the precious posts various small forms of Akrid will harass your squad and every so often a massive Category-G beast will show up. The battles against these colossal Akrid should be the thrilling highlights of the game. In reality they’re just as tedious as the standard objectives. Everyone weapon in the game, including those attached to the various Vital Suits, slowly chip away at the Cat-Gs’ life bars. The battles start out thrilling but a few minutes in it devolves into shooting the glowing weak point with your pea-shooters until the bug drops.

The Cat-G fights showcase just how little thought was put into Lost Planet 2′s design. In the very first encounter you’ll be forced to spend 15 minutes slowly killing the Akrid with the default machine gun. As the beast rises out of a lake you get a great view of Vital Suits and rocket launchers. The problem is, they’re on the other side of a door that doesn’t open until after thebattle. All the wonderful toys are for mopping up leftover Akrid while activating, you guessed it, data-posts.

Lost-Planet-2-

The design missteps drive the fun from Lost Planet 2. The clear focus on co-op makes playing solo an exercise in futility. The mini-map doesn’t indicate the altitude of objectives making finding data-posts in cluttered levels more tedious than normal. There are quicktime events peppered throughout the cutscenes but they’re so infrequent that it’s easy to put the controller down and forget they even exist. When one does pop up you have to fumble to find it and input a single button press. I know just about everyone complains about QTE-heavy games but putting just a random few into a title doesn’t solve anything. Unlocks provided by a slot machine more likely to give you nick-names than weapons, the fact that when hit you can’t fire back, being knocked-back by every attack (often sending you off a level), atrocious AI; the list of poor ideas grows more and more as you play the game.

Then there’s the unnecessarily convoluted controls. Buttons are given four or five uses causing you to often do the exact opposite of what you meant to. Want to transfer T-ENG to teammates so they can heal themselves? Press triangle and L1. Press triangle a split-second too soon and you’ll switch weapons instead. Press L1 a split-second too soon and you’ll throw a grenade at your pals. To activate a data-post you repeatedly tap circle. That also happens to be the button for melee attacks. I often found myself smacking data-posts with the butt of my rifle instead of activating them. It’s also sprint so you could very well just run past the posts.

Lost-Planet-2-

Capcom also expects you to read the game’s manual. While this is something I frequently do, major features should also get a mention in the in-game tutorial. The dodge roll, an very important maneuver, isn’t even referenced in the control page of the options menu. By the way, it’s executed by pressing X and L3 at the same time. Yes, dodge rolling forces you to either use the uncomfortable claw method of holding the controller or take your thumb off the right stick, causing you to lose the ability to stay focused on what you’re escaping from.

Also omitted from the game’s tutorial are the T-ENG powered weapon caches. The glowing boxes require an infusion of the precious energy to open up. The weapons inside are almost always worth the sacrifice but if you don’t read the manual there’s no clue about how to open them.

I desperately wanted to like Lost Planet 2. Capcom’s MT Framework engine does a stellar job making the massive Akrid and environments look great. The music conveys an epic feeling and the front-end menus are well-crafted. The game isn’t completely devoid of fun. Playing with friends greatly improves the experience but in the end it’s still a prime example of wasted potential. For every thing the game does right there are three or four truly awful design choices. Lost Planet 2 is easily the biggest disappointment, so far, of 2010.

Lost Planet 2 was developed and published by Capcom. It was released on May 11, 2010 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. A PC version will be released on May 18, 2010. A copy was purchased by this author for review on the Playstation 3.

Medal of Honor

I originally reviewed this game on the PSP and PS3, and at that point there was a bug that would stop you from continuing, if you A. Died, B. completed a mission, or C. looked at your console funny. Now on the Vita, it seems like those problems are behind us, so I managed to complete the game and here it is, another review.

Medal of Honor - PSOne

Original release date: November 11th, 1999

Release date on PSN: June 2nd, 2009

Price : 5.99

Story

Medal of Honor - PSOne

For the uninitiated Medal of Honor is a World War 2 game, you take control of agent Patterson a member of the OSS, the “Office of Strategic Services” which was a honest to god military intelligence service that was the pre-cursor to the CIA. You and Mr. Patterson go behind enemy lines and kill lots of Germans, and stop a lot of secret Nazi weapons programs too, that are also based in history.

Character wise you’re not going to get a lot out of it. Even though the story was written by the great Stephen Spielberg, there is no real story other than see Nazi, shoot Nazi. There’s no dialogue with other characters, as you’re a single operator through-out the game. Any narration you hear is in the cut-scenes between missions, they’re really interesting actually because they’re historical films of real WW2 weapons. But don’t expect to see you character grow or there be any twists in the story.

Gameplay

Medal of Honor - PSOne

This was built to be a Goldeneye like experience, and gameplay wise I agree, it plays a lot like it. You get many different weapons, the standards, hand guns, shot guns, etc. The accuracy of the weapons are a little off it seems though, making some weapons way overpowered. If you have a rifle, you’ll headshot everyone you see, being stuck with a shotgun and a machine gun in later levels though can be a pain. While playing on the Vita touching the back pad (where R2 would be) you get the cross hairs just like you remember on Goldeneye. This was a lot tougher on the PSP,  the dual analog sticks on the Vita make this game much easier to control

The missions are objective based, but there isn’t a lot of variety. You collect this list here, then plant a bomb here, sometimes you have to show a passport for a little stealth action, but that’s a very small portion of the game. There aren’t any escort missions which might be a godsend, but it probably would have given you someone to talk to at least. It gets to be a bit of a grind without a story.

The difficulty ramps up like crazy by the end of the game as well, (someone decided to give the Nazi’s rocket launchers at some point). That can get a little frustrating, but it’s not too bad.

There’s a multiplayer mode as well, but I didn’t test that out, but I heard you can get cheats to challenge a Velociraptor as William Shakespeare.

Shooting nazi’s pretty simple concept.

Graphics

Medal of Honor - PSOne

Medal of Honor is not a looker. It’s strength comes though animations. It was one of the first games where enemies would react depending where you shot them. They catch a bullet in the foot they hop around, the arm, they cover it and etc. They will even follow you by crawling into vents something I haven’t seen in games in the latest generation, which sort of surprised me. The music is excellent though, orchestral score by Michael Giacchino the Academy Award winning composer of films like Mission Impossible 3, Up, the Incredibles etc.

The levels are a bit like mazes, and you do get caught in a lot of corridor shooting. This is mostly due to the draw distance in Medal of Honor, it is really short. It’s even tough to use a Sniper rifle, because most of the time you can’t see the soldiers shooting at you due to the distance problem. This is obviously due to the PSX limitations at the time, but it’s still frustrating getting shot at by someone you can’t see, so you have to fire wildly into the night hoping you hit the source of lead.

Is Medal of Honor worth playing?

Medal of Honor - PSOne

I had fun with it, but going through the review has really made me a bit more negative on the whole thing. It’s an interesting game that’s for sure, but the little annoyances really nip at your heels. The end of the game does sort of end abruptly as well. You would have thought with a game backed by Spielberg you would get something, instead you get a 15 second clip announcing victory. The gameplay is decent in Medal of Honor, but the total lack of story doesn’t really drive you forward to complete it.

Medal of Honor is a functional shooter, but with nothing to really get you invested other than shooting Nazis.

7/10

Call of Duty: Finest Hour

 call of duty-finest-hour
Though it may be overshadowed by it’s Modern Warfare and Black Ops big brothers, I still regard it as one of the better WWII shooters out there and fine addition to the Call of Duty series.
 call of duty-finest-hour
I think my favorite catch to this game, is that it goes to all major sides to the Eastern front. You take control of Soviet, American, and British troops. All them have their memorable moments, weapons, and areas such as Germany, Stalingrad, and North Africa. I think my favorite mission is the one with the Russian sniper lady with all the Nazis coming to attack the building she was in.
call of duty-finest-hour
I suppose it might get a little lost in the WWII crowd, and wasn’t greatly reviewed, but it was one of the first enjoyable WWII shooters for me. Though I do have to say the multi-player was crap, though only available through the PS2 and Xbox version which I’m sure have been shut-down.

Free Stuff – Pure Pwnage

Pure Pwnage logo
Pure Pwnage logo

Pure Pwnage is the show about the “uber gamer”. If you don’t know Jeremy and his friends, you’ve been missing out. The show is about The Pwner, an uber gamer that has no life and is worse than a Korean Gamer. He owns at every kind of game but really shines in RTS games. The show is about Jeremy and his friends and how they deal with being hardcore gamers when all the normal people in the real world try to bring them down. Get a job? WTF. Cooking food, oh you mean crafting food… that kind of stuff.

The link to watch the entire show on hulu the show is http://www.hulu.com/pure-pwnage Click here for the main website of Pure Pwnage.

Gaming PC Benchmarking Guide August 2011

Gaming PC Benchmarking stopwatch

It’s been a couple of months since I last wrote a benchmarking guide and since then the video card of my old machine started to fail more eventually leading to me replacing it, not being happy with the performance and last month building a nearly state of the art gaming system.

All the theory I talked about in my original benchmarking guide still applies but my new system is able to run all modern games with every setting super maxed out. Since everybody will not have a super new computer, I will keep my recommended benchmarking settings high but still reasonable so you can compare new systems to legacy systems.

The specifications for my new main gaming PC, which I built, now are:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 3.7 Ghz per core 6 MB L3 cache AM3+ socket processor
Video Card: Sapphire ATI 6870 1 GB
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16 GB (4 X 4 GB) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Quad Channel Kit non-ECC unbuffered CAS 9 1.65V RAM
Sound Card: onboard sound via a Realtek ALC889 chipset
Storage: Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3 TB 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache SATA 6.0 Gb/s 3.5″ internal hard drive OEM
Case: Thermaltake Xaser III LANFire VM2000A Case
Power Supply: hec X-Power 780W (peak) 600W (mean) ATX12V v2.3/EPS 12V v2.91 SLI nVidia Hybrid-SLI Certified CrossFire power supply
Peripherals: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner

Again, this benchmarking guide consists ONLY of things you can download for free. Everybody can test with these free tools so it requires no spending on your part, just time and patience.

Let’s see what programs now got added, and why, and which ones got removed and why:

The RealStorm Benchmark 2006 test has been removed. This is rather unfortunate as this IS the ultimate single core CPU performance test I’ve ever used. The reason for the removal is that the real storm website was permanently taken offline and there are no plans for it to be brought back online in the future. If you can still find it somehow, I recommend using it. I might post it in the future for download and I can give you a copy via Skype or chat if you really need it. Just ask.

The Battleforge 1024×768 test has been removed as this resolution is too low and most people won’t use it to game anymore. I usually just run every game these days at a minimum 1280X1024. Yeah, my system can run stuff at much higher but I’d rather get 200 FPS than 120 FPS just to get more eyecandy. I’m more concerned with the smoothness of the graphics such as anti-aliasing options being turned on and high framerates. Like always, LAG is a killer.

Battleforge is a FANTASTIC free-mmo-rts that has kind of been abandoned by EA but it’s still free and many, many people still play it. I have mastered everything in the game and my friends are now all bored of it but I will play it once in a while. You can check my original review of the game here as well as check out my first strategy guide here for doing Battlegrounds as well as my second strategy guide for Battleforge here that shows you how to farm the mission Raven’s End by yourself.

Anyways, this full game is FREE and it includes a built in benchmarking tool. The way to use it is to login first to the game and then not login to your character, instead hit back, and select options, and go to the graphics screen and select to run the benchmark.

Again, if you never checked out the game, I encourage you to do so, especially if you are a massive RTS player. I like this game and benchmark because it taxes your CPU, RAM, and GPU. Every unit in the game moves and attacks in a complex way and it’s a great example of showing how well your system performs playing a real time war game with a ton of units.

The updated criteria for benchmarking with Battleforge is the following:

Shadow Quality: Very High
Resolution: 1280×1024
Texture Quality: High
Fullscreen: On
Shader Quality: High
Anti-Aliasing: 8x
SSAO: Off
MultiThread Rendering: Auto-Detect
FX Quality: Very High
VSynch: Off
Cloud Shadows: Off
Glow: Off

Download the Battleforge benchmark and full game from: http://www.battleforge.com/

Some of the options in this benchmark and others to come are either off or set not to max because the benchmarks are too picky and unless you have a 700 dollar video card, it will not let you run them. I’d rather everybody be able to test. The faster systems will yield insane numbers anyway.

My new PC got an average of 78.5 FPS, a minimum FPS of 7.1, and a maximum FPS of 182.7. You can compare that respectively to my old computer’s 6.8 FPS, 0.5 FPS, 53.5 FPS. It just blows it out of the water.

The Dirt 2 benchmark test still stays because it’s still a modern game engine and DiRT 3 is almost the same thing. That one was added too to the list as we’ll see below.

Dirt 2 Test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024
Refresh Rate: 60
Multisampling: 8x MSAA
Vsync: Off
Aspect Ratio: Normal
Gamma: 1.0
Night Lighting: High
Shadows: High
Particles: High
Mirrors: Ultra
Crowd: Ultra
Ground Cover: High
Drivers: Ultra
Distant Vehicles: Ultra
Objects: Ultra
Trees: Ultra
Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: Ultra
Post Process: Medium (this setting is annoying and usually defaults to this)
Skidmarks: On
Ambient Occlusion: High
Cloth: High

Download from: http://download.cnet.com/DiRT-2-demo/3000-7513_4-10977053.html

Codemasters games are pure unadulturated eye candy, especially Dirt 2, GRID, and F1 2010. The games keep getting prettier and still run very efficiently despite the graphic quality increase. These games are also system killers because of how great they simulate the physics needed to create a realistic racing and driving experience.

My current gaming machine yielded an average framerate of 105.5 FPS and a minimum framerate of 85.7 FPS versus my old machine’s 15.7 FPS and 13.4 FPS.

Moving on to a newer game we are now using the DiRT 3 game to benchmark as well. It’s the same as DiRT 2 but the game engine is tweaked a little more. The game is usually bundled often with most current video cards so either get it from there or download the demo for testing. You can check out my review for DiRT 3 here.

DiRT 3 test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1028
Refresh Rate: 60
Multisampling: 8 x MSAA
VSync: Off
Aspect Ratio: Auto
Gamma: 1.0
Night Lightning: High
Shadows: Ultra
Particles: High
Mirrors: Ultra
Characters: Ultra
Ground Cover: High
Distant Vehicles: High
Objects: Ultra
Trees: Ultra
Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: High
Post Process: Medium (again this loves to set itself to this over and over so just leave it like that)
Skidmarks: On
Ambient Occlusion: Ultra
Cloth: High

I couldn’t find a direct download link for the demo because Codemasters is crazy enough that they don’t really have a main website anymore. I recommend getting the demo from Steam. Having a demo not be available would proabably encourage piracy but since this game is now being bundled with everything you’d probably find a product key easily with any AMD or ATI purchase at this moment.

With all the added graphic features to DiRT 3, my system got lower framerates with this one compared to DiRT 2. It yielded 66.39 FPS average, and 55.74 minimum FPS in this test. The game looks amazing.

I was considering adding the HAWX 2 benchmark to this guide but since the demo even includes the draconian Ubisoft you-must-be-online-and-make-an-account-like-an-mmo copy protection SCHEME then I refuse to. Sure, the game looks amazing but I don’t want to subject people to Ubisoft’s bullshit. Let’s stick to the original HAWX, which is still a great benchmark and doesn’t require all that drama to run.

Tom Clancy’s HAWX test settings:

Game version: DirectX 9 for legacy compatibility purposes
Screen Resolution: 1280×1024
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Antialiasing: 8x
VSync: Off
Full Screen: On
View Distance: High
Forest: High
Environment: High
Texture Quality: High
HDR: On
Engine Heat: On
DOF: On

Download from: http://www.gamershell.com/download_40308.shtml

If you never play this game, I recommend it still, and you can read my Tom Clancy’s HAWX review here.

My new computer gets an average framerate of 163 FPS and a maximum framerate of 392 FPS… WOW. My old system got an average framerate of 23 fps and a maximum framerate of 127 fps. What a difference!

The X3 Terran Conflict benchmark demo continues to be an amazing testing tool not just for performance but for system stability. This IS the benchmark I use the most to either make or break a system.

X3 Terran Conflict benchmark test settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024 Fullscreen
Antialiasing: 8x
Ansitropic Texture Filtering: On
Anisotropic Texture Filtering: 16x
Glow enabled: On
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
More Dynamic Light Sources: On
Ship Colour Variations: On

Download from: http://www.egosoft.com/download/x3tc/demos_en.php

This game engine will rock the socks of your CPU, RAM, and GPU. I couldn’t believe my eyes as to how detailed the final part of the benchmark was when I saw the massive, super-detailed space station being rendered as it was, on my old gaming PC. Even on my new gaming PC, this benchmark will bring your system down to its knees and make it cry like a little girl.

This benchmark is old but it even comes with a built in warning that it WILL really ABUSE your video card.

My new computer got a score of 91.303 FPS. There were some parts in the benchmark when performance dropped to about 22 FPS, like the warnings said. My old machine used to get 17.012 FPS.

Trackmania Nations, free as always and still a solid full game with a simple benchmark feature built in.

Trackmania Nations test Settings:

Resolution: 1280×1024
Antialiasing: 16 samples
Shadows: Complex
Shader Quality: PC3 High
Texture Quality: High
Max Filtering: Anisotropic 16x
Geometry Details: Normal
PostProcess FXs: On
Force Dynamic Colors: On
Force Motion Blur: On
Force Bloom: On
Water Geometry: On
Stadium Water Geometry: On
Trees Always High Quality: On

Download from: http://trackmaniaforever.com/nations/

This benchmark now yields a 69.7 FPS on my new machine versus the 31.8 FPS I used to get from my old system. It’s much more enjoyable to play this again with everything on.

***

There is the updated list! I moved on from Windows XP especially since 32-bit Operating Systems have both RAM and hard drive allocation limitations. Windows 7 is okay but I’m surprised as to how few games have pure real DirectX 11 support. Only super megacorp insane-budget titles seem to have this so far, so I’m disappointed.

Share your benchmark numbers with us either as a comment below, on our facebook page, or forums. Stay tuned for more hardware reviews and articles.

Kudos

Kudos - PC Game - Screenshot
Indy games. Absolutely refreshing and interesting, that’s what they are. Well, that, and sometimes flawed, but surely not more mindless copies of horribly boring and deathly uninteresting RTS or FPSs. Take Kudos for example. It’s 100% indy, it’s smart and it’s one of those games you wouldn’t understand how it plays, unless you actually tried it out, and that’s a quality I love.
Then again Kudos isn’t just quirky. It’s a bloody great game. A game that managed to make the TOP 10 indy games list of Game Tunnel, while also earning a 7/10 (!) from the illustrious Eurogamer site and a rather unique “I really, really like it, even though it depresses the hell out of me sometimes / 10” from Angry-Gamer. Then again (yes, again!) this is the only game that happily informs you -a mere 20 seconds after installation- that you “had a bad day at work today, which will not help your mood. Today, after bills and tax, you earned 15,88$“. Nice.

Kudos - PC Game - Screenshot

It’s also a life simulator, in case you were wondering, and it’s pretty much turn-based. More Jones in the Fast Lane or Alter Ego than The Sims really, as each day consists of two turns and you (well the in-game you) can do one thing each turn, be it working, shopping, socializing, drinking, studying, reading or anything else you’d fancy. There are quite literally hundreds of options. And believe me, you’ll try to explore them all. Kudos is really addictive. REALLY addictive. Adding insult to injury it’s also constantly reminding you how miserably your -actual and very real- life is being managed, especially while playing the addictive Kudos. Oh, and you can’t actually lead the life of Stalin or Cicciolina. Damn!

The eye-candy side of the game is definitely simple, but -face it- that’s also the case with Football Manager, and no one complained. Still, the graphics are simple, the few animations quite excellent (love the flies really -almost thought they were real for a moment) and the sound of the whole thing quite decent. Have a look at this lovely gameplay video/trailer and you’ll figure quite a few things out:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9-lIXwIiz8[/youtube]

That’s an (eight) out of (ten). And you should really try it. At least for a while. You’ll definitely be hooked.

The Alienware M11x r2 Review

Alienware M11x r2

Let me start by saying this review is more for the casual gamer meaning it will not be filled with charts and graphs and a ton of numbers that most would not understand. There are a ton of super technical reviews on the Alienware M11x r2 that provide every benchmark number and rating score you will ever need, this, is for the rest of us.

Why purchase a gaming laptop?

For the causal gamer one might wonder why you need a gaming laptop. My answer would be that you don’t, but the great thing about gaming laptops is they have the power for everything else you would need to do so why not have the ability to play games as well?

Far too often, we as computer shoppers select a low cost laptop to save money knowing we want one that we will not have to replace within a year and one we secretly wish we could play games on. Perhaps paying $1500 plus for a gaming laptop would not be for us, but at $1000 you are not too far away from laptops you find even on sites like Tech Bargains.

If you know you like to game and especially if you like MMO’s then having the ability to pull out a gaming laptop and play those games anywhere is well worth the price.

Alienware M11x r2

Price

Most reviews do not start with the price, but this is not like most reviews. The M11x can be purchased starting at $1000 on the Alienware website. At the price you can get more than enough to run most of the games a causal gamer would playing including FPS, RTS and MMO games.

The Outside

Do looks matter? Sure, they do just ask Apple, the Alienware M11x does look sleek, like a stealth bomber. The all black styling of the laptop goes well with almost any décor and let’s face it, it looks good either at home or out in public. I have had a number of people comment on the system specifically the neon-like light coming from all over it.

Speaking of lighting there are several zones of the computer that light up from the keyboard to the grills on the front and the little Alienware heads. The great this is using a program built in called Alienware FX, you can change all the colors to what suits you and you can even mix and match them for a funky clown look if you wish.

Outside Details

Let us go into some specifics about the outside. First off, the laptop weights about 4.4 pounds and while that may seem heavy to some in the day of the iPad it is still pretty light. There are three USB 2.0 ports, to connect things like mice, a HDMI and Display Port to connect a monitor, FireWire and a headphone jack for audio privacy. There is also a place for a special Kensington lock, which you buy separately so you can lock your laptop to a desk or somewhere else it cannot be stolen from.

Alienware M11x r2

The Inside

As said, there can be debates on which processor works best with this program or that game, but for the purpose of this review we will keep it simple. For the$1000 version of the M11x you get the Intel Core i5 1.4GHz processor. From what I have found using it, it does the job for the games I play and the programs I use, but I will go into that shortly.

Next you have the memory which at that price you receive 4GB’s. If you really get into gaming big time and you want the newest game on the highest setting then people will tell you to go with an 8GB or higher system. I personally do not have that on my desktop and do fine and with 4GB you have more than enough RAM for most any task you will be doing gaming or otherwise.

As for hard drive space, that decision is made based on how much you store and install. At the $1000 price, you get 320GB’s, which is a lot of space. Considering you have a desktop at home, you most likely do not need all this space.  Even if you do not and the laptop is your sole computer, unless you install every game and have a music and video collection out of this world then you should be fine. However, Alienware offers more hard drive options that offer more space.

Video is of course very important not only because of games, but everything visual on your system. Here it can get tricky because there are desktops and even some laptops that offer dual video cards in SLI and all kinds of options. The video card on the $1000 system is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M and I have found it works great for the games I play and for watching video in high def.

The rest

There are other things of note that come with the M11x like its wireless network card, which is necessary for gaming on the go. The system also has a standard network port to plug it in at home, the office, and school or where have you. The operating system is Windows 7 home premium 64-bit, which I have used on my desktop for quite some time. I personally think this is the third best O/S behind Win 95 SE and Win XP, so you should not have any trouble here.

Alienware M11x r2

Usage

This is what matters, but it is also, where it depends on what you do. First off, let us talk battery life, with the 8-cell battery under normal usage I have found you get a little over 5 hours of battery life, but if you are playing games, it will be less than that.

As for gaming itself, I tried the Alienware M11x in the game World of Warcraft in its native resolution of 1366×768 and was able to run the game with full graphical features with no issues even in heavy populated zones. Perhaps the key is the smaller screen, which is 11.6 inches, which can seem small when you have a user interface with a ton of icons, but I found I was able to get used to it.

In a game like Everquest 2 that uses more CPU power, I also received good frame rates even in open zones. Now I was not able to max everything out in EQ2 specially the shadows, but I was able to crank up the texture models and general graphics to make the game look great and playable even in a raid.

Other games I have played include Fallout 3, which ran fine, a number of Steam games and emulators since I am a classic gamer. I also played StarCraft 2, which ran fine. I also run various programs like Ventrilo for communication and Digsby, which is an all in one instant messaging client. I also run Firefox with four or more windows open at the same time to check websites and information, all while playing a game usually in windowed mode.

As for sound, it sounds much better than your normal laptop, but we have to be honest that even though it has internal Hi-Def 5.1 audio it does not match what you get out of a good pair of PC speakers. What I found that worked for me was the volume does get high which was an issue on other laptops. Music and games as well as movies will sound good coming out of the M11x and even in a loud room, the speakers are loud enough so you can hear it from the highs to the lows, bass and treble.

The keyboard feels good and types well even when you are slamming the keys crying for a heal. I never liked the touchpad, but this one is built well and does not easily activate when the heel of my hand brushes against it, still, I perfect a USB or wireless mouse.

As for warranty, you receive a 1-year plan, which provides hardware support, and of course phone tech support. I cannot say much here because I have not had a need to use it yet.

Overall

I personally like this system, I am sure there are things that could be better, but for most of us this system will perfectly fit your need for work, school and gaming. The laptop itself feels sturdy and well build and the cool look is a nice touch, but most important is the price and how it performance and it does both well.

I you have questions on the m11x r2 from Alienware leave a comment and I will answer them.

 

Fallen Earth Q&A

Fallen Earth logo

Fallen Earth Q&A

Tired of swords and sorcery, of level and faction grinds, of dragons and dungeons, well welcome to the apocalypse. Fallen earth combines the depth of a role-playing game with the action of a first-person shooter all set against a post-apocalyptic earth in the year 2156. This online game brings you all the things you like about MMO’s like player advancement, gear and weapons, crafting and clans and kept out the things people hate like grinding for gear and long boring raids.

Recently Fallen Earth released their state of the game address discussing such issues as PVP, new contact and end game raids. Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Marie Croall, Senior Game Designer on Fallen Earth about the game and the coming changes.

Let’s begin with the basics for those who may not be familiar with Fallen Earth. The game is a hybrid of First Person Shooters and Role Playing Games, can you tell us about this combined dynamic?

 

Marie Croall: All of our weapons use a reticle that you need to have on your target in order to hit them, once you hit them we resolve damage based on stats, skills and resists.

 

 

So in a nutshell, the Shiva virus began to spread across the world and nuclear war broke out leaving a wasteland, sounds like the perfect setting for a story. Can you tell us about the world players will find themselves in?

 

Marie Croall: Fallen Earth takes place 150 years in the future; humanity has just gotten to the point where they are starting to rebuild when clones (players) start showing up. To some, the clones are the solution to all their problems, but to others the clones represent something to be feared or worse – exploited.

 

There are factions the players can join, each one showing how different mindsets handle the fall of civilization: There are the CHOTA—wasteland barbarians dedicated to returning to the “old ways,”  Enforcers—descendants of military and police forces trying to keep up  traditions, Techs—scientists, scholars and engineers, Lightbearers – spiritual healers trying to calm the warring world, Travelers—racketeers and con men out for their own profit and the Vista—guerilla warriors bent on stopping the exploitation of  the healing Earth.

 

Each faction has its own allies and enemies, but there is no guarantee that any member will be friendly. Clones have to watch their backs pretty closely in FE.

 

 

Now some fans liken the world to Fallout. We know post-apocalyptic lands are not owned by any one game, but were there any influences on Fallen Earth from Fallout or other post-apocalyptic games?

 

Marie Croall: We’re all huge fans of the Fallout games, but most of our inspiration came from post-apoc and dystopian books and films.  It’s a genre we’re all very much into and favorites range from “A Boy and His Dog” and “Road Warrior” to “Six String Samurai.”  We’re also pretty addicted to the Post-apoc shows on the History and Discovery channels.  “Life After People” and “The Colony” are two of the more entertaining ones.

 

 

 

Can you give us a breakdown of customization and progression in Fallen Earth?

 

Marie Croall: We are a classless system. As the player gains experience they gain AP which they can put into any of the attributes or skills.  At level 15, players can select a faction, start participating in Conflict towns and begin to develop mutation lines if they choose.

We have a fairly extensive crafting system—about 95% of items are crafted. Scavenging and exploration are large parts of the world and the player experience.

 

Now the world is open and as far as PVP, there are arenas or you can flag yourself PVP and fight other flagged players, is that correct?

 

Marie Croall: There are actually three different ways you can participate in PvP. You can flag yourself for world PVP at all times, you can enter Blood Sports or you can enter an open PvP zone out in the world.  The open world PvP zones are usually found with conflict towns (settlements players can fight to control for their faction), or Faction Control Points. Taking a town generates merchants and questors specific to the controlling faction, gaining control of the Faction Control Points gives a buff to faction members.

 

What would you say is the learning curve to play Fallen Earth; do you have to be a MMO or FPS pro?

 

Marie Croall: There is a bit of a learning curve, but we’ve worked very hard to make sure that the game is challenging rather than frustrating.  Our player base has MMO players, FPS players and those who are new to both genres.

 

Fallen Earth - Gameplay Screenshot

Can you tell us a little about Terminal Woods?

 

Marie Croall: Terminal Woods is a bit of a bridge between Kaibab and Alpha County. It’s got quite a bit of mission content and introduces players to the Scavenger Bosses—group encounters that players will be able to craft a lure for the Boss. Rewards from the bosses can be used to upgrade existing gear.

Can you give us a hint about some of the long-term projects you plan to add in Alpha County?

 

Marie Croall: We’ve got quite a few new features coming. Progress Towns, settlements that players can build and defend, World Events and a crafting augmentation system are some of the new features we will be adding.  We will also be expanding our skills set with two new skill lines for players to add to their builds.

How important has feedback from the community been to the Fallen Earth team?

 

Marie Croall: We work very hard at reaching out to our players, getting their feedback and incorporating it in a way that works for our design and for the benefit of the community as a whole.

 

Can you tell us about Blood Sports and the changes you are working on?

 

Marie Croall: The changes we are implementing for Blood Sports revolve around fixing stability and team creation bugs.

 

About raid content, in your state of the game address you talked about not wanting the have people grind raid instances for gear, what would be a raid style that you feel would fit with Fallen Earth?

Marie Croall: Although we want to maintain the strategic element to battles. we will be focusing on smaller team size  and goals that fit well with the existing Fallen Earth systems.  It’s important to provide compelling motivation.

 

Can you give us a bit more info on the large-scale instance you are working on to be release post Alpha County?

 

Marie Croall: I can show you some concept art, but further info gets a bit spoiler-y.

 

What are some of the classic games the Fallen Earth team likes to play?

 

Marie Croall: While not all of these may be classics in a traditional sense, our list includes: D&DDonkey Kong,  Final Fantasy Tactics,  Super Mario, Madden Football, Russian roulette, Planescape: Torment, Ultima games, Diablo, not to mention board game nights that include Dominion, Carcassone, Infinite City, Dungeon Lords, Cash & Guns, Civilization, and Castle Ravenloft.

There you have it. If you are looking for a new experience in the MMO world then Fallen Earth is right up your alley. You can pick up Fallen Earth using their Online Download for about twenty bucks. The subscription fee for Fallen Earth is $14.99 monthly.

Check out our Gamer Profiles on some of the Fallen Earth team members:

Jessica Harper

Marie Croall

 

 

The Daily Vid: Battlefield 3 Teaser Trailer

Battlefield 3 Teaser Trailer Billboard and Logo

Battlefield 3 is the true successor to Battlefield 2. Beyond our signature multiplayer, EA has also included a full single-player campaign and a co-op campaign — all straight out of the box. As for fan favorite features, how does the return of jets, prone, and 64-player multiplayer (on PC) sound? All this built with our powerful new game engine Frostbite 2, which you’ll hear and see a lot of in the months leading up to launch.

Picture of the Day: Rage

Rage Logo
Rage Logo

Today’s picture of the day comes from the anticipated shooter from ID Software, Rage. Rage is an FPS set in a not too distant future of earth shortly after an asteroid had impacted earth. You emerge from the rubble to find humanity fighting to survive and rebuild as they deal with gangs, mutants and more, kind of sounds like Fallout meets Deep Impact.

Rage is set to be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in North America on September 13, 2011.

Things you do in MMOs you wouldn’t do otherwise

mmorpg demotivational poster
mmorpg demotivational poster

Things you do in MMOs you wouldn’t do otherwise

We are all gamers here and we know there are a lot of things gamers do in their lives that “normal” or non-gamers don’t or wouldn’t do like camping outside of a Gamestop or EB Games for Halo. However, when you toss in the MMO world there are some things that even your most sunless gamer wouldn’t do.

Leave Ventrilo on all night

I may be wrong and maybe one of you Count strike or FPS ninja’s will correct me, but leaving Ventrilo on all night listening to people talk about any old thing seems so MMO. I admit I have done this while writing or working on something. It is worse when you forgot to turn Ventrilo off an in the middle of the night some dickbag screams into the channel. One time I heard a guy talking with his girlfriend for hours about how he can split his time between, work, school, sex and World of Warcraft. I found it funny he didn’t say “girlfriend” or “relationship” instead he said sex.

How many of you have listened in on a raid that you weren’t on? I have to tell you I doubt you listen in to a FPS Vent channel when not playing, that is totally MMO.

Sit staring at the ground in a game for 12+ hours

This goes back to the days of Everquest when you would have to find some item or another on the ground and since it was a random spawn and anyone could ninja it from you. There was no choice but to sit there staring at the ground with your finger on the mouse button as if you were playing family feud. The worst was when you thought your item spawned and it turned out to be some graphic glitch or when you had to go to the bathroom fearing it would spawn while you were gone.

Turn down a woman

No, I don’t mean telling your girlfriend to watch another season of Sex in the City while you make your final push toward level 85. I am talking about rejecting any female in a MMO that you haven’t verified is really a woman. Unfortunately too many gamers have made playing a girl character look bad by doing awful things to get in groups, guilds and just begging for gold or loot. Now in games like World of Warcraft you just can’t trust a woman and for the most part will stay away unless boobage is confirmed.

Spent more time dancing in game than out

In City of Heroes one of the things to do was to make a level 1 character in the craziest costume you could and hang in the center of Atlas Park and dance. Dancing became so popular in COH that they created clubs where people could dance, but strangely they were hardly used. I guess when your superhero can pull a boom box from thin air on command who needs a club. If your girl ever wants to go dancing you can get her a copy and take her to Pocket D.

Understand Economics

You have student loans, credit card debt and no savings and yet in the MMO world you are Bill Gates. Sure, there are some in RPG land that overspend and can’t afford that damn new flying mount requirement, but for most of us we know how to make and spend money. Not only can we control our personal finances in game, but we can also control the auction house knowing when to sell, when not to sell and when to be an undercutting asshat. Remember when your teacher taught you about supply and demand, of course you don’t, but you’re using it now, congrats.

In which world are you better?

The world of MMO’s has defiantly had an impact on us all for better and for worse. There are tons of things we do in MMO’s that we never did in life or other games before. So how about you, what have you done?

My Introduction within the Sausage Fest!

Jesus and the sausage fest
Jesus and the sausage fest

Let me introduce myself then, I’m your average obsessive PC gamer, drinks too much red bull and spends countless hours playing the latest FPS or mucking around in some MMORPG with friends.

I’m also a female gamer, but I’m not here to preach about girl power and whether we kick the asses of boys or not. I play for fun and while I am rather competitive I’m not out to spear-head the whole girl gamers are the best propaganda, we all share a common interest, which is gaming right?.

While I love me some console gaming, my real love is all on the PC, back when Counter Strike first came out. I played it religiously, to the point where I’d get my mom to drop me off at some random tiny little comic book store that had like six PC’s in this tiny little backroom where we’d spend hours playing DE_Dust and sweating like pigs while we screamed and flailed every time one of us got a kill on the other and my male friends would shout “Get back to the kitchen” and I’d laugh (as if we haven’t heard that one before).

I was also a huge fan of Quake, Medal of Honor, UT2004 , Shadowbane and countless other games along the way, though thankfully after a few years went by I managed to find a local LAN party where instead of a tiny little backroom filled with sweaty gamers, it turned into a much larger room with more people to play with/against, though it turned out to be just as sweaty sometimes, but a hell of a lot of fun.

But I will admit I’m not all killing and PVP. I did at one time go through a DDR phase, stomping around like an idiot at Dave & Busters which looked nothing like dancing to Japanese songs I didn’t even understand. I was also the proud owner of like twelve tamagotchi’s on my keychain and even played the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game. (I was 16, but when I realized at a local tournament that I was playing against 9 year old boys and I was actually beaten by an 11 year old one, I decided it was not the game for me, and I felt pretty stupid too).

I owned about six different Pikachu plushies and played both Pokemon Red and Blue religiously on my Gameboy. I love all the Sonic games and have clocked in countless hours on old school Tekken and loads of other games that would pretty much take a long while to list really.

While yes, I am indeed the proud owner of a set of ovaries, it doesn’t mean I’m out there licking controllers or obsessing over Farmville (which I have actually tried to play, but I’ll leave that for another time!)

For the moment, I’m playing it up on Call of Duty: Black ops, Borderlands, L4D2 and even some WoW since Cataclysm is coming out soonish, and while I’ll gladly say I’ll kick your ass in some of those I listed, I’m not saying it because I’m a female gamer, I’ll say it because I’m just your average obsessive gamer with the common goal to pew pew it up.

Unreal Tournament Music

Unreal Tournament Music

In the late 90s people in the FPS camp were divided between the people who liked Quake 3 and those who preferred Unreal Tournament. I was one of the ones that fell into the Unreal Tournament camp.

Unreal Tournament 99 Menu screen

I found the gameplay faster than Quake 3, along with the game having much better colors, a more efficient engine, and completely blowing it away as far as music went. Quake 3 was butt ugly and UT99 had a palette of bright colors instead. UT99 ran so well on so many machines that is was what I used as a benchmark to get people to buy my custom-built computers. It sold me the most computers back in those days other than Everquest 1.

Getting to the music it was all tracker music and having grown up playing Amiga, it felt right at home with the fast action that was usual in old Amiga games. Even the samples used in the songs seemed perfectly picked. The music is so classic for this game that even in the later sequels to Unreal Tournament the music is mainly remixes of the old tracks. The songs range from adventurous space sounding songs to epic industrial rock songs that will get your blood pumping and go hand in hand with the brutal carnage of the game.

My kudos to Alexander “Siren” Brandon, Michiel “M.C.A.” van den Bos, Andrew “Necros” Sega, Dan “Basehead” Gardopée, Tero “Teque” Kostermaa, Kai-Eerik “Nitro” Komppa, and Peter “Skaven” Hajba for creating yet another favorite soundtrack in one of my favorite games of all time! Enjoy and go blow stuff up!

Nikolaus Gebhardt: Ambiera

Ambiera Software Development logo
Ambiera Software Development logo

Name: Nikolaus Gebhardt

Company: Ambiera

Profession: Software Engineer

Favorite Classig Game: Wolfenstein

Quote: Back then, Wolfenstein was one of the first games with ‘real’ 3D graphics, although today this is only considered 2D. I was amazed by that technology, and played though the game countless of nights. When I finished it, I started creating levels and modifications for it, which maybe lead me to working in the game industry.


Games Coming Out For PC On November 2010

Archon Classic
Archon Classic

Archon Classic, November 2 2010

If you’ve never played Archon for the c64 then you’re probably missing out on the original hardcore pvp game based on chess and fantasy wars. I am totally getting this! Actually I just bought it on Steam and I hate Steam. Here is the link.

Call of Duty: Black Ops, November 9 2010

The CoD franchise is going strong and this seems like another solid title for FPS fans.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, November 16 2010

This franchise is the same thing over and over again. Kind of bored of it and how unrealistic they are. Do any of the things in these games and end up arrested or dead in real life. I’d rather play more serious racing games.

Create, November 16 2010

Kind of neat to see EA try to release a puzzle game. Let’s see how this venture goes for them. Seems like a variation on Gary’s Mod.

GAMES COMING OUT FOR CONSOLES: NOV 9TH 2010

Call of duty Black Ops release date
Call of duty Black Ops release date

You’re finally coming down from the sugar high ready to get back to gaming, so, let’s get to it. We are in a lull period between holidays and it seems with the election the push of top games have been lessened. This week will be the shortest console preview in Obsolete Gamers short history as only one game gets the nod for purchase.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

First let me start by saying that I was not happy with many of Activision’s decisions involving the COD franchise, especially when it game to network and multiplayer support. In addition I was not pleased that the common wisdom of pushing out a Call of Duty game in one form or another every year was now a company requirement. There have been debates across the internet questioning if Call of Duty is the best modern warfare game out there with games like Medal of Honor stepping it up. However, if there is one thing that’s for certain it’s that they know how to get you hype for a game from its trailers to the information I have read on the game.

Call of Duty Black Ops adds a little something new with the good parts of something old. The over the top firefights are still there (for better or worse) and you have new features such as varied weapon modes. Anyone who knows the term Black Ops knows it means covert top secret missions, normally where if you are caught you are out of luck. In this installment the game takes place in various time periods and locations from Russia to Vietnam and more.

The single player mode has been enhanced with small things done within missions like controlling troop movements from a plane high above the earth and it really matters where you send them. Also little things like the banter between the NPC’s and your player who actually have a voice and opinions and uses them.

Variety is the spice of life and what has made Call of Duty so much fun for me was the various ways you completed your mission and Black Ops continues giving you more, even more than Modern Warfare 2. In the single player you will find a mixture of stealth using the element of surprise to make your way through the enemy’s base. You can snipe your enemy from far away or move in for the silent kill using your knife or the crossbow.

On other missions you have the run and gun that Call of Duty is known for, repelling from Helicopters in a hot zone and calling in airstrikes on buildings just across from your position is a staple. Sure, the fighting might not be realistic, but when you breach a building and see the slow motion camera kick in before firing an explosive arrow into the gut of the bad guys you we be glad realism was checked at the door.

Single player is great and all but it is multiplayer that can determine whether a game will be a hit or a quick rent and beat. Treyarch has kept many of the multiplayer aspects from Call of Duty that we like and add in a few new things and one of the coolest ones is the wager match.

Anyone who has played the newer Call of Duty games knows you level up using experience points and there are tree’s you use to unlock new weapons and accessories. While the EXP leveling system is still there you also earn CP which is the equivalent to cash. In some matches you earn CP and XP and in others you earn only one or the other. So let’s say you have a lot of CP but not enough XP to buy that new gun, well now you can purchase it using CP. Now you might ask, how do you end up with way more CP than XP? Well, one way is the wager matches.

In wager matches you can enter into specific maps where you bet your CP points on who will be the winner. The winners are the top three people in the game but everyone has to bet. One can either quickly win or lose CP but at least you can’t lose XP. The match types for wager matches are pretty cool to including a game called One in the Chamber, where you only have three lives and one bullet. You have to kill someone to get their gun and hope he didn’t waste his ammo. In another match you start with a handgun but as you kill someone with it you get another gun. There are 20 total guns and you have to kill your opponent with each to progress, but here’s the kicker. If you are knifed you lose a level and the gun that goes with it which will make for some interesting online games I can imagine.

Now for you newbies to Call of Duty this might seem overwhelming but fear not because in Black Ops you can train against the AI in multiplayer tactics to learn how not to get owned. You can go up against the computer in various scenarios to give you a feeling for the game. Now of course there is no substitute for a human player but at least this lets you get your feet wet before your head does.

Once you are out in the field you can view how you did in the theater. For Halo fans you will be used to this section. The game automatically records your game and you can decide to keep it to see how you did and what you did wrong as well us upload and share footage with your friends and enemies alike.

Speaking of enemies, you can make custom emblems and logos within Black Ops and place them on your gun for the world to see. It’s a pretty good customizer too so you can make clan symbols or just something to make you stand out in a crowd of bodies. Also, you can even customize your reticle so when you kill someone and they view your screen they can remember it’s you and maybe get some revenge.

Of course there will be a ton of new multiplayer maps from various missions you’ve played as well as multiplayer only maps. You will also get a number of new weapons to use including shotguns, crossbows and even a user guided missile.

Overall from what I have heard, read and watched it looks as if Call of Duty Black Ops will be a pretty good game. Honestly if you are a fan of the franchise it is a must have and the additions to multiplayer will give it a longevity that is important to many gamers in hard economic times. If you need a break from Halo but want that same high paced action on planet earth then COD is your game. You can pick up Call of Duty Black Ops pretty much everywhere on November 9th.

See you next week!

GAMES COMING OUT FOR CONSOLES: NOV 2nd 2010

vote McCain Obama Super Mario Bros
vote McCain Obama Super Mario Bros

Hey, its election time and you have the awesome choice between spineless yes men and tea baggers, why not skip all that and play some video games instead. Okay, fine. MTV told me to rock the vote so how about you game the vote. While you are out picking up these games stop over at your local voting station and get your democracy on.

God of War: The Ghost of Sparta

I have a love hate relationship with the PlayStation portable. I like the games and all, but why all the remakes and such like Final Fantasy and Parasite Eve being PSP only? Oh, well in GOW Sparta we follow the events of our hero between the story from GOW 1 and GOW2. This story takes place during Kratos visit to Atlantis and if it wasn’t sunk before we now know how it got that way. The game is the second to find its way onto the PSP and has all the brutality it did before and stunning visuals to boot. One thing we know for sure, he really dislikes King Midas.

Golden Eye 007 – Wii

Hey, pop quiz, how do you get people to keep playing the Wii, answer, you remake games that were awesome on previous consoles. Yes, my Wii hate runs read, but my love for Golden Eye never dies. It was one the best console shooters of all time and even ranks up high for all-time best FPS shooters. Now those of you with the Wii gathering dust have a reason to celebrate as a remake of this classic is coming to you Nov 2nd.

Now the game is new meaning new graphics and even a new bond as you play as Daniel Craig, but all the classic gameplay that made it great is still there. You can still decide how you want to finish missions going in Rambo style or playing it like Bond really would being stealthy and cool. Multiplayer is back with a four person split screen tons of modes and support for the Wii and classic remote, nunchuk and even the zapper. Will I be buying a Wii to play this, no. Will I get my friend to buy it and camp his house, yes.

What about the Kinect Games?

Yeah, about that, as I said this list is for games I would buy and this week these two are the only ones I would consider. However there is also the new Sonic Free Riders and Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 that look good. However, I need to be a little more hash and this week you only get two from me. Next, week we will be back for our countdown to black Friday report so stay tuned and until then keep the spending to a minimum.

Juan Benito: Joystick Labs

Joystick Labs logo

Name: Juan Benito

Company: Joystick Labs

Profession: Creative Director

Favorite Classic Game: Quake

Quote: Awesome 3D + Tight Controls (Mouselook) + Internet Matchmaking + Clans = My First Awesome Online Multiplayer Experience!


Halo Reach: Deliver Hope Trailer

Halo Reach Gold
Halo Reach Gold

Whether you like the Halo series or not (really, who doesn’t like it) you will like this trailer. You might have seen shorter versions of the live action trailer titled “Deliver Hope” but now you can see the full version. It is incredibly well done showcasing some great action sequences and a music score that even gives the ol’ heart strings a tug.

And as a bonus, just because we like you, check out the awesome spartan shots!

Halo OST

Halo OST

Reach is almost in our reach and to celebrate the pending release Obsolete Gamer wanted to take you back to the original Halo soundtrack. Composed and produced by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori it was released in the summer of 2002.

Halo OST

It is an awesome soundtrack that featured a wide range of musical styles and really gets you into the game.

Obsolete Gamers asks that you support great composers; you can purchase the full Halo OST here.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

PVP vs non-pvp PVE
PVP vs non-pvp PVE

Player versus Player and Player versus Environment was the topic for this week’s show. We were happy to have our good friend Edwin in the studio with us and had a great conversation via Skype with longtime Obsolete Gamer fan, Liz Poisonkiss.

We started off with a recap of last week’s show which featured MMO’s and then moved into our Facebook fanpage question of the week which asked which our fans preferred to play PVE or PVP type games. From there we talked about our Insider Discussion question of the week which asked our panel which had a bigger impact on PC gaming RTS or FPS games.

From there we dove right into the main topic discussing the differences between a FPS mindset playing games such as Quake 2 and the strategy side of RTS games such as the original Warcraft game. Edwin also talked about his online Street Fighter games and said that he preferred to play again a human which we all agreed.

We premiered a new feature on OGS called Skype with a fan where we talk with people who have participated on our Facebook page and Forums and our first guest was longtime fan Liz. Who shared her thoughts on being a gamer girl, fps versus rts and pvp versus pve.

In our final segment Ignacio, Edwin and I discussed our various experiences in PVP from MMO’s to X-box live to arcades. Overall we had a good discussion about an important subject in the world of gaming. So give us a listen and we will be back next week with a brand new show.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Episode 7

Which genre had a bigger impact to PC gaming RTS or FPS games?

Panel Discussion microphones
Panel Discussion microphones

What pulled you into PC gaming was it the fact that a new type of gameplay was created that just couldn’t be found on console systems? For many PC gaming took time to get into not only because of the cost of the systems, but that some of them took work to get running. However, the rewards were great for those who ventured into the world of PC gaming and through today some feel consoles are killing the PC gaming market (besides MMO’s) there are still millions of PC gamers out there.

If you look past the MMO’s and Flash games what would you find on these systems. Which would you find more of FPS, First Person Shooter Games or RTS, Real Time Strategy Games? Obviously with the recent release of Star Craft II I am sure you will see a Battlenet icon on many gamer’s task bars, but overall, who had the bigger impact on the PC gaming world?

In my opinion it is FPS games and this is coming from someone who loved to play RTS games and even turn based games. For me it was games like Wolfenstein, Rise of the Triad and of course Doom that had me going to Egghead software to slam three hundred dollars on the table for a Western Digital 750mb hard drive to build my first custom rig.

When I went to my first LAN party here in Florida it was the guys from Red-Eye that showed me how to use mouse look in order to properly use the hook in Lithium Quake 2. Now don’t get me wrong, StarCraft, Warcraft, Total Annihilation were also a big part of our LAN gaming, but it was games like Tribes, Duke Nukem, Shogo and Doom 2 that ruled our playtime.

We asked our panel of industry insiders their opinion on the question.

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

I would have to go with FPS. Granted in the PC platform, RTS is bigger than it is on other platforms like the consoles. But even so I’d go with FPS having a bigger impact.

Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote:

In my opinion, Starcraft on RTS, and Quake on FPS.

Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

I’d say RTS. Where FPS had a huge impact on hardware and game design. I think RTS brought a ton of previous non-gamers to the table for the first time and kept them there.

Danny Greig from XGEN Studios wrote:

I would say the FPS has had a larger impact on PC gaming but not by much. Doom/Doom 2 and Quake had just too much impact on PC gaming to ignore; I don’t think any RTS has had the impact of those games.  Blizzard has basically owned and dominated the RTS genre which has had a very large impact on the PC gaming industry but falls just short of what the FPS has done in my opinion.

Jason Shankel from Stupid Fun Club wrote:

In terms of technology and broadening the appeal of the PC as a platform for gamers, I’d have to go with FPS.  In the early days, FPS highlighted the power of the PC as a gaming platform with superior performance to consoles.  There simply was no other way to play DOOM or Quake except on a PC.  The RTS on the other hand highlighted the power of the keyboard and mouse as an input control, but was not fundamentally limited to the PC.  It would have been possible to play Dune II on a console.

In terms of creating a genre that is uniquely PC, I’d have to go with RTS.  Today, consoles perform roughly as well as PCs and there are many shooters available on console.  And even though FPS controls are still superior on a PC, FPS is certainly no longer a PC-only genre.  Yet no one has really cracked the RTS nut on consoles.  With no technological barriers to clear,  RTS is a genre that’s simply best played sitting up with a keyboard and mouse, not reclining with a console controller.

If I have to pick one answer, I’m going with RTS.  The FPS made a bigger initial splash, but the RTS has endured as a uniquely PC genre and thus had a longer lasting impact on that platform.

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

I’d say first person shooters.  They survived longer as a genre, and people talk about Quake and Doom a lot more than they do Starcraft (I).   Me, I’m not a fan of the FPS genre.  I think there are more first person shooters as there are Phil Collins ballads… and they are largely just as indistinguishable from one another 🙂 .

Gary Manica from Smashing Ideas wrote:

Easy answer for me.  I want to say RTS games because I prefer them, but realistically they don’t come close to FPS games to me.

FPS games in general have been one of the (if not the biggest) pushers of hardware development on a PC for many years running.  Dev houses constantly refine massive engine libraries to push more and more polygons and maintain the minimum framerate that crazy FPS players demand.   Engines like CryEngine, Unreal, Source, idTech, etc provide a platform for, and push developers (hardware and software) to really go above and beyond while being able to use a mostly pre-built framework.  The tech they build in these engines has been filtering down to other gaming genres for decades now.  And there is a reason that other genres are adopting FPS aspects to them.

There are many instances of amazing RTS games out there, with a lot of really good ideas.  But I don’t think they affect the industry as a whole to the scale FPS games do.

So what is your take? Let us know your answer by posting in our forums below. See you next week.

NEXUIZ TO BE POWERED BY CryENGINE 3

Cry Engine 3 logo
Cry Engine 3 logo

Denver, CO USA – July 13th, 2010: Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) and IllFonic, LLC announced today that IllFonic has licensed CryENGINE 3 for Nexuiz, their upcoming XBLA and PSN cult futuristic Arena First-Person Shooter dropping this Winter. CryENGINE®3 has allowed the IllFonic development team to achieve their vision for Nexuiz that will push the limits of what gamers can expect from an AAA digital downloadable title.

“IllFonic firmly believes in bringing the consumer the highest quality games at an affordable price through downloadable distribution channels”, said Charles Brungardt, President of IllFonic. “Switching to CryENGINE 3 has helped us stay true to our vision and build the Nexuiz arenas the way we see it without any limitations.  We are incredibly proud that Nexuiz will be the first downloadable title developed on CryENGINE 3.”

“We’re delighted to have Illfonic join our community of licensees”, said Carl Jones, Director of CryENGINE Global Business Development.  “It’s exciting to see a passionate group like Kedhrin and Charles’ team working with CryENGINE 3 on such a cool title.  Nexuiz is going to deliver a game style that will be a blast for the console audience, matched with the best graphics possible on the consoles.  We’re delighted to offer our engine to teams for XBLA and PSN titles so that gamers can enjoy the quality that CryENGINE 3 can provide, as soon as possible.  Our real-time multiplatform pipeline, Live Create, is highly suited to prototyping and delivering quality for games with shorter development cycles; and you get all the benefits of the AAA features of the engine.  Nexuiz is going to be a lot of fun and we’re glad Illfonic have chosen CryENGINE 3 to deliver it in style.”

“When we were strolling around GDC 2010’s floor we stopped by the Crytek booth. I watched someone show off a few features of CryENGINE 3. Right then and there, I knew I had to have it.  It’s powerful, fast and easy to use,” said Kedhrin Gonzalez, Creative Director of IllFonic. “Crytek has been awesome to work with providing excellent support in a relationship that has really benefited us.”

Nexuiz is a fast paced Arena first-person shooter with competitive game play built specifically for consoles. Featuring the innovative mutator system, players progress through the ranks opening up new mutators that allow players to alter the rules for each match. On launch, Nexuiz will feature multiplayer modes including Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flagcomplete with full competitive leader boards designed for social networking. New games modes, models, and maps will be available as downloadable content post launch.

Nexuiz is set in a galactic war fueled for centuries by the Kavussari and Forsellians. Over time the two races entered into treaties with the Herald Accord, a union between different cultures in the galaxy. Even though peace settled across their planets, the seething hatred between the races kept the fire of war simmering under the fragile truce. Sensing their newest members could spread war throughout the galaxy; the Herald Accord gave the Kavussari and Forsellians a choice. Pit their warriors against each other in the arena rather than on the fields of war, or face total annihilation. The Nexuiz was formed, a series of battle arenas on the home planets of the Kavussari, Forsellian and the desolate planet of Atavirta.

IllFonic will be showcasing Nexuiz using CryENGINE 3 at this year’s PAX Prime in Seattle, WA, on September 3-5.

For more information on Nexuiz, go to www.nexuiz.com or www.illfonic.com.

 

About IllFonic:

IllFonic, LLC, was founded in 2007 by musician Raphael Saadiq, engineer Chuck Brungardt, and game designer Kedhrin Gonzalez.  IllFonic is committed to delivering AAA games digitally to consoles and PC at an affordable price. IllFonic utilizes many avenues in pop culture to cross brand its products in film, television, sports, music, and clothing. With offices in Los Angeles and Denver, IllFonic has built a team of artists, developers, producers, and musicians that believe providing fun game-play means conveying the highest level of visual awe, an immersive environment and a sick soundtrack. For more information on the company, go to www.illfonic.com.

About Crytek:

Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) is one of the world’s leading independent development studios for interactive entertainment. It is based in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and has additional studios in Kiev (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary), Sofia (Bulgaria), Seoul (South Korea) and Nottingham (UK). Crytek is dedicated to creating exceptionally high-quality video games for next-generation consoles and PC, powered by their proprietary cutting-edge 3D-Game-Technology, CryENGINE®. Since its foundation in 1999, Crytek has created the multi-award winning PC titles Far Cry®, Crysis® (awarded best PC Game of E3 2007 and Best Technology at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards) and Crysis Warhead® (awarded Best Graphics Technology at IGN Best of 2008 Awards).

SteelSeries – Pro Gaming Laser Mouse & Pad

SteelSeries logo
SteelSeries logo

I’m going to change things up a bit. Everyone has a way of doing a review or talking about something they used or liked and though there is a formula for doing so I say the heck with that. I will just tell you what I got, how I used it and what I think, simple enough?

I got my hand on the Steelseries XAI laser mouse and the 9HD mouse pad or gaming surface. Now right off the bat I realized I liked the thin flat mouse pads better because I don’t feel as if my hand and wrist are any higher off the desk than it should be. Also for curved desks it can prevent you from being pinched by the mouse pad which for some reason has happened to me a bunch of times.

SteelSeries 9HD mousepad
SteelSeries 9HD mousepad

Even though the pad is very thin it is well constructed the hard plastic is smooth on the top and has great grip on the bottom. Now the 9HD has thousands of light reflecting points and what this does is insure that if you flail your mouse around like a child thrown into the pool for the first time you don’t lose your tracking on screen. Ever see some World of Warcraft plays spaz out while PVP’ing, this is why having that and a wide surface is important.

Now let’s talk about the mouse. First off like the mouse pad the XAI is constructed very well. The mouse has a good size and weight and feels like it can take a pounding. It has seven programmable buttons for you MMO and RTS gamers and you can even download profiles used by pro gamers so you can use their setup. The size is just about perfect so if you have large hands or small ones you can still use this mouse without issue and with its slip resistant covering you won’t have your mouse flying out of your hand in the middle of a battle.

Left or right handed it doesn’t matter thanks to the ambidextrous shape. It feels comfortable on the hand which is important for long gaming sessions. One of the really cool things is the LCD menu system on the bottom of the mouse. You can configure your XAI for aim, report rate, speed and even hardware acceleration. Right above the scroll wheel you can toggle between two customizable CPI settings for adjustments on the fly. Even the mouse cord is braded so it does not tangle and it’s long enough for those keeping their desktop under their desk.

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

In the real world, or at least in mine I found the XAI to work well be it surfing, FPS, RTS or MMO’s. I think the key is it functions well out of the box even if you don’t do any custom setting, but if you want to get specific it has the means to do so that makes it good for gamers of all sorts. I personally needed a mouse that moved fast and glided well across the pad and the XAI combined with the 9HD does just that. From twitch moves in first person shooters to click fests in W.O.W the combo worked well for me.

You can check out more on the XAI gaming mouse and 9HD mouse pad on the Steelseries website.

Here are the specs:

Specifications for SteelSeries Xai Laser:

– Frames per second: 12.000

– Inches per second: 150+

– Megapixels per second: 10.8

– Counts per inch: 100 – 5.001 (one CPI Steps)

– Max. Acceleration: 30 G

– Sensor data path: True 16 bit

– Lift distance: ~1mm (auto-adjusting)

– Buttons: 8

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

– Cord: 2 m / 6,5 ft (braided to improve durability)

– Polling: 125 – 1000 Hz (1Hz increments)

– Gold-plated USB connector

– Measurements: 125,5 x 68,3 x 38,7 mm / 4,94 x 2,69 x 1,52 in

– CPI high/low indicator

– SteelSeries FreeMove Technology

– SteelSeries ExactSens Technology

– SteelSeries ExactRate Technology

– SteelSeries ExactAim Technology

– On mouse acceleration Technology

– On mouse LCD display for tweaking above technologies thru menu system

– Large pressure points that reduce friction for optimized glide

– Driverless, plug-and-play feature for LAN gamers

– Built-in memory for 5 profiles

– Operating systems: Win 2000/XP/Vista/7 / Mac OSX

*Configuration software only available for Windows operating systems

Steelseries XAI laser mouse
Steelseries XAI laser mouse

– Material: Hard plastic

– Surface treatment: Heat

– Dimensions: 270 x 320 x 2 mm / 10,7 x 12,7 x 0,08 in

– Size: Medium

– Glide: Rough

– Compatibility: Optical, laser, ball

Global Agenda: Free Trial

Global Agenda logo
Global Agenda logo

Its one thing to get something for free it’s another if what you are getting also happens to be awesome. The high-action FPS MMO Global Agenda is now offering a free trial. All you have to do is head on over to their free trial page and download the game.

What is Global Agenda?

Global Agenda is a massively-multiplayer online third-person shooter video game developed by Hi-Rez Studios. It uses the Unreal engine and is unique because it offers a onetime fee and monthly subscription option. What this means is you can purchase the game and play it on your PC alone and with others that have purchased the game or you can add a monthly subscription to gain access to additional features.

Now the game itself has a Planetside slash Tribes feel. Known as a TPS or third person shooter your main task is advancing your agency (guild) and improving your character. You do this by leveling up; gearing your character and killing other NPC’s and rival agencies.

In the wake of severe global disaster, the political face of 22nd century earth has changed and player-created factions scheme against each other for power. Traditional full-scale wars are a thing of the past, factions must rely on covert agencies, teams of elite special operatives able to seize and defend key facilities. The future of humanity is their battleground, where knowledge is power, technology is a race, and everyone has an agenda.

Now keep in mind this is a trail so you don’t get everything you would if you purchased the game. Here is the rundown from their website:

You can play the Global Agenda Trial as much as you like but you are only getting a taste of the game, and some features are not available in the trial version.

Buying the game one time unlocks most multi-player shooter components of the game, with no subscription required ever. An optional subscription package, called Conquest, unlocks additional MMO features, including the Alliance vs Alliance gameplay for on-going territory control. Conquest is free for all purchasers until Version 1.3: Sandstorm is released.

Now if you download the game and decide to keep it you can purchase the full version on Steam and unlock the following.nd Level 15, unlocking additional devices and skill points.

  1. Use the Auction House to sell and purchase items.
  2. Access high-end PvE content.
  3. Ability to choose your PvP match type.
  4. Receive higher login priority (as a trial member, you may not be able to play if other players have a higher login priority than you).
  5. Join an Agency.
  6. Use in-game mail to send items, credits and messages to other players.
  7. Use voice chat.
  8. Play the subscription-based Conquest content free until the end of April, 2010.
  9. …and more

In addition, if you purchase today, you receive the ability to play the optional Global Agenda Conquest subscription content free until the end of April, 2010. This includes the Alliance vs Alliance Gameplay for on-going territory control.

So what are you waiting for, go get your trial now!

Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament 3 Box Cover
Unreal Tournament 3 Box Cover

Unreal Tournament 3 review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“One of the greatest, fastest FPS games out there”

Overall Score:
9 out of 10

Overview & my history with this game:

Unreal Tournament 3 (UT3) is based on the 3rd generation Unreal engine, hence the title. The gameplay of all the Unreal Tournament games are based upon speed, skill, and pure reaction. I could see people getting fatigued from playing this game, maybe explaining why it’s not as popular as some current first person shooter games.

There are many different game modes, which keep the game fun and entertaining. The game modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag (CTF), Vehicle Capture The Flag, Warfare, Greed, and Betrayal. Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are all about killing enemies, whether as a free-for-all or as a cohesive team. The Capture The Flag modes are about doing whatever you can to enter the enemy base, steal their flag, while making sure they don’t take your flag. You can only score if your flag is planted in your base. Warfare is about assaulting the enemy base and trying to destroy their generator/strategic objective. Greed is about collecting enemy’s skulls for points. Betrayal is a mix of Team Deathmatch and screwing your team mates over (and THEN trying to survive).

The story of the game is pretty generic and what does it really matter since this is designed to be a carnage-fest anyways. Story goes something along the lines that these megacorps that run everything decided to hold contests to determine disputes (like the original Rollerball movie) and also to have it as a show (generate revenue from the show, advertising, bets, whatever). The single player has its own story where your group of mercenaries get hired/screwed by the corps/military to deal with some alien problems. Anyways, let’s get back to the meat of the game, not the b-movie storyline. 😀

You can play the single player campaign, which is like the training tutorial for the real game: competing online against other players. The game uses Gamespy to connect with other players, which to me is not the best system for connectivity, but one has to live with it. A really annoying thing I found with the UT3 Gamespy component is that if you forget your password, you’re pretty much screwed. When you reset your password at the Gamespy website, it only resets your password for entering that website, which has nothing to do with the password you setup for your UT3 account. So my warning is that you write that password down somewhere and never ever lose it, or you will have to buy another copy of the game, like I did.

Continued from Unreal Tournament 2004, UT3 has vehicles, except the ones in UT3 are much sicker than the ones in UT2004. There are some alien vehicles that are a lot like vehicles and robots from movies like War of the Worlds but with much deadlier death rays.

What’s different in UT3 from the previous games is that the speed has gone up and they added a hover board like the ones in Back to the Future 2. You use the hover boards to move faster while you are trying to get to a combat zone but they do make you much more vulnerable to damage.

UT3 is available on PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. The PC version is by far the fastest and you can’t play cross-platform against each other. They are allegedly releasing UT3 also on Mac OS X and Linux but that has yet to happen.

As far as I go, UT3 is one of a handful of FPS games that I regularly play. The Unreal Tournament games since UT99 have always helped me sell a lot of computers. For many years I used them to showcase the systems I built especially since they are designed to run on most gaming hardware and they scale insanely well along with superior components.

Check out this video so you see how hectic the action in this game is:

Fun Factor & Replayability:

Games that inspire and cause epilepsy are a lot of fun to me. So are games that will make you think that you will die at any second but give you enough of a time window to react and counter an enemy if you’re good enough.

I’ve been playing UT since 1999 and I still fire it up often when I need my speed FPS fix. I can’t say that about every FPS game and overall UT is my favorite as far as replayability goes.

Ever since the first game people have been modding the living hell out of these games and creating their own maps. Having a lot of maps is important for an FPS game. They keep the game fresh. It’s almost as important as having new tracks made for a racing game (one of the things that makes a game like Trackmania a classic).

I just have played so much of this game that I give Fun Factor and Replayability both a score of 8 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

UT3 is one of the hardest games out there. It is probably too hard for most players, even for FPS junkies. Most gamers these days are used to easy games so they will probably play this game a little bit and then claim “Oh it sucks” when it’s their lack of skill that sucks.

The game offers a wide variety of difficulties for the bots and single player mode but the real challenge comes in trying to dominate human opponents. It takes a lot of training and losses to become good enough these days to rank high against a group of players.

Because of the variety of difficulties, I give Difficulty Versatility a score of 10 out of 10 because you can customize it really accurately. Difficulty itself is challenging as all hell and that’s a great thing, in the settings I play it at. The A.I. for the bots if tuned correctly will play like a really good player. That’s impressive. Difficulty I also give a score of 10 out of 10. If playing online is too hard, I would say keep it up as much as you can, if not train in single player until you gain enough skill.

Value:

The best price at the time of this writing I found is on Impulse which sells the game for $11.99.

To me that’s a really good price for an FPS game that’s a classic that will give you at least 100-1000 hours of gameplay. Value gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Sound:

The sounds are a very important part of this game. The weapons all have their own unique sound and they are important because they can help you identify what the enemy around the corner might be carrying so you can switch to a weapon (if you’re quick enough) to counter their attack.

The characters in the game have a lot of taunts and insults which help add to the aggressive nature of this game. “Die bitch!” is a very common thing to hear.

I also love the announcer shouting stuff based on how often you kill things: “multi-kill!”, “monster-kill!”, “dominating!”, “head-shot!” It reminds me always of the announcer from Mortal Kombat.

Let’s just say that this is a game which is very loud and is meant to be played at very high volumes. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

The Unreal Tournament games have some of the unique music in FPS games I’ve heard. They remind me a lot of the music from amiga games, especially UT99 that had music by Skaven. The music in UT3 was composed by Rom Di Prisco & Jesper Kyd Skylab. Some of the songs are remixes of the music from the previous games, which is all great. Some songs will get your adrenaline pumping right away, and others will be more chilled but can still create enough beats to make you want to keep running and shooting.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

The music for all the UT games are among some of my favorite songs for video games in general. I listen to them often, even while working. Music gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

UT3 is extremely stable. I have yet to have this game crash on me since I bought it the first day it came out. You can alt-tab to your heart’s content as much as you want and the game will respond well to it. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are pretty much the same as all the previous versions except that they added the key for you to pop out your hover board. To me, these controls are standard and not complicated at all. You can customize the reaction of doing double-taps, mouse sensitivity, etc. which is vital. Controls get a score of 10 out of 10.

Unreal Tournament 3 Eye Candy
Unreal Tournament 3 Eye Candy

Graphics & Performance:

Like all Unreal games, the game engine is simply amazing offering both jaw-dropping graphics and flawless performance. UT3 continues with the reputation and legacy of the previous games in that when it comes out it becomes the standard for graphics in gaming. Since the game engine is fast as hell, as well as beautiful, it sets the new standard for what we expect games to look like.

Although I heard that the UT engines are getting more expensive over time, a lot of game developers buy the rights to use the engine for their latest game. I wish Epic Games would still let people use their earlier engines, especially UT99 for a lower cost as this would allow much smaller game studios to still put out great games that might not be able to because of licensing costs.

I vow down to all Unreal Tournament games in terms of graphics and performance, especially. Graphics and Performance get a score of 10 out of 10.

Conclusion:

If you like the speed of the previous Unreal games but want something faster, along the lines of the Descent games and the original Aliens vs Predator, UT3 is for you.

Rise of the Triad

Rise of the Triad box
Rise of the Triad box

Rise of the Triad

When I built my 486 with the help of my cousin (he did 99% of it) there were three games he told me to install right away one of them was Rise of the Triad. I had already played Doom and Wolfenstein so when I got my hands on ROTT I was hooked.

ROTT came out in 1995 and was developed by 3D Realms, the story initially was going to be a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D, you can pretty much tell this by the way the game plays and looks. It does have a Wolfenstein feel to be sure which is why so many people liked it.

Like Wolfenstein, ROTT was pretty much killing hordes of enemies and collecting keys to advance, but it was the little things that made the game fun for me. Some of the cools things about ROTT were the fact that you could pick a specific character from the start which had little differences like one would move slowly, but have a lot of health and another would be quick, but squishy.

ROTT had various weapons as well including pistols, machine guns, missile launchers and magic weapons. Of course one of the coolest things was blasting an enemy into chunks and watching eyeballs fly everywhere, now that’s gaming!

Rise of the Triad screenshot
Rise of the Triad screenshot

Another cool addition was the several power-ups in the game such as God Mode, which would make you invincible and Mercury Mode that allowed you to fly. There was also the Dog Mode  that yes, turned you into a dog and my favorite, Shrooms Mode which involved flashing lights and a spinning screen.

The environment was also different than games before it. You had push-able walls and a ton of stuff could be destroyed like plants and sometimes destroying them opened a secret passage and sometimes it was just for relieving stress.

Rise of the Triad screenshot
Rise of the Triad screenshot

There were also a ton of traps all over the place like spin-blades which would quickly lower your health and flame-jets to set your night on fire. What was cool was the enemies were susceptible to the traps as well so you could lead them into them.

One of the coolest things was the use of jump pads. They were devices on the ground that would propel you into the air when you stepped on them. You could just stand on them to fly up into the air or you ran and jumped on them to catapult you diagonally. This was necessary later on to get to many places in the game.

Rise of the Triad screenshot
Rise of the Triad screenshot

In Rise of the triad you played a member of the team known as the H.U.N.T. (High-risk United Nations Task-force). Your mission was on the island of San Nicolas to investigate cult activity at an ancient monastery. After your boat is destroyed you have to fight your way to the monastery and stop the cults plot to destroy Los Angeles.

The game was not easy, even though you had access to guns and missiles and flamethrowers so did the enemies and they loved to use them. The bosses were no joke either; you had to learn about each ones ability and sometimes the most powerful weapon in your arsenal was not the one to use against a boss.

Finally there was multiplayer which wasn’t anything special, but it was fun using the special weapons and power-ups in multiplayer mode. It wasn’t just Deathmatch, you could also play a capture the flag mode and a tag mode.

Rise of the Traid is one of those games you had to play if you were a true FPS gamer. It had the look, the gameplay and the violence that every growing gamer needs. If you haven’t played it before or just wish to reminisce you can pick up a copy from GOG.com. *The GOG.com version comes with a 30-page manual, game soundtrack and the bonus game levels.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Trailer

Battlefield Bad Company 2 logo
Battlefield Bad Company 2 logo

So did you like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? Well if you did or did not Bad Company 2 from the makers of Battlefield have launched a pretty awesome game. The style is a little more arcade than realistic, but it is fun as hell with pretty much everything you see able to be destroyed, its an action freaks wet dream. But hey, don’t take my word for it, check out this trailer from Our YouTube page.

Get ready for the most spectacular FPS multiplayer experience ever! Battlefield Bad Company 2™ brings the spectacular Battlefield gameplay to the forefront of next-gen consoles and PC – featuring best-in-class vehicular combat set across 8 huge sandbox maps each with a different tactical focus. New vehicles like the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and the UH-60 transport helicopter allow for all-new multiplayer tactics in the warzone, extensive tuning ensures that this will be the most satisfying vehicle combat experience to date.

Halo Reach Multiplayer Trailer

Halo Reach logo
Halo Reach logo

Anticipation and Halo go hand in hand and Reach, the newest Halo game has gamers on the edge of their seats waiting for release. In the Trailer Theater we bring you the Halo: Reach Multi-player trailer.

The Halo: Reach multiplayer beta madness doesnt drop into Xbox LIVE until May 3rd, 2010, but youre gonna need to be up to speed before you get your boots in the mud. Check out the world premiere footage of the Reachs multiplayer Alpha in action and get a glimpse at whats on tap for the upcoming public Beta. You can take it for a test spin yourself in May using your copy of Halo 3: ODST to gain access.

Games coming out February and March 2010

aliens vs predator new
aliens vs predator new

Games coming out February and March 2010

A lot of big games have been coming out this early 2010. More great games are coming out soon as well. The following are the ones that I like for the next 2 months:

Aliens vs Predator, February 16 for PC

Napoleon: Total War, February 23 for PC

Supreme Commander 2, March 2 for PC

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, March 2 for PC

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising, March 11 for PC

Assassin’s Creed 2, March 16 for PC

Metro 2033, March 16 for PC

Let’s talk a little bit about them.

Aliens vs Predator
The original AVP is one of my favorite FPS games of all time. It’s actually quite scary and FAST as all hell. The new game is a remake of that game and looks to be done as its spiritual successor.

Napoleon: Total War
The Total War series is always great for (most) war gamers. I look forward to yet another title to this great series.

Supreme Commander 2
Supreme Commander 1 among my friends is known for how badly it killed their systems. I hope 2 is optimized for performance and continues the brilliant interface that part 1 had for handling your big armies. I hope they kept the awesome zoom GUI.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
I wonder how strong this game will be. Can it compete with everybody out there playing Modern Warfare 2?

Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2 Chaos Rising
The Dawn of War series I always love. They are the RTS games I usually play the most. I’ve been looking forward to this expansion for a while. Now that more of my friends got DoW 2 I have more people to play with and the game needs more content/factions, so keep them coming Relic/THQ.

Assassin’s Creed 2
Finally! I keep hearing how good this is from my console gamers. (ahem) Well maybe it will be like with Mass Effect 1 where the PC version turns out to be superior later. Either way, I will still play the living hell out of this game, at least until I destroy it.

Metro 2033
This game reminds me of a mix of the game Stalker, the movie Fatherland, and the game Iron Storm. Looks nice!

Steam Sale – both Far Cry games

Far Cry
Far Cry

Steam Sale – both Far Cry games

This week both Far Cry 1 and 2 are on sale through Steam. Far Cry is selling for $4.99 and Far Cry 2 is selling for $9.99. Part 1 is worth picking up for that price. I have yet to play part 2 and I’ve heard mixed things about it from some friends.

The link to the Steam Sale is the following: http://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=far+cry