Giant guardians, colorful characters, and destructible terrain rule this weeks podcast. Jason McMaster sits down with Carter McBee, the Gameplay Designer on Gigantic – a new 5v5 team-based battle arena.
OnLive is shutting down. The cloud gaming company will be turning off their servers and closing down the streaming service on April 30th. According to the announcement, all data, including user accounts, subscriptions, and game saves will be deleted when the company turns off the lights. No refunds will be available for any game purchases, hardware, or services. Gamers that purchased Steam games from OnLive will still be able to play those games with Valve’s software, but the ability to stream them through OnLive will not be possible.
When OnLive launched in 2009, the streaming service was tied to its unique micro-console hardware. That business model never caught on despite promotions to give the hardware away. The company shifted its strategy to just offering the game streaming service in 2012, with no proprietary hardware, but with the PC space being dominated by Steam and other digital storefronts, the writing was on the wall. The company struggled through layoffs and survived with angel investment funding, but attempts to pivot to a pure software service failed.
Sony has purchased the patents that OnLive held. Although neither company has disclosed the details of the sale, the purchase fits into Sony’s broader strategy for game streaming. In 2012, Sony bought cloud computing company Gaikai and currently uses its technology to power the PlayStation Now and Remote Play features of their PlayStation ecosystem.
Up until this point Bloodborne has been a fairly straightforward monster hunting tale. Possible vampires and werewolves have fallen to our swords. We have banished witches and snakes from world of Yharnam. As we make our way from the Forbidden Woods where we killed the Shadow of Yharnam to the shores of a lake where a deserted observatory sits a remarkable shift in tone occurs. Suddenly we’ve gone from slaying werebeasts in cathedrals to exterminating mystical spiders trapped in a lake. Where did this come from? Why are we doing this? And who is that lady in white?
After the jump, is Bloodborne the best eldritch horror game ever made? Continue reading →
Dirt 3 no longer uses Games For Windows Live. Codemasters announced that they have removed GFWL from the game and converted the title to use Steamworks. As an added bonus, everyone’s copy has been upgraded for free to the Complete Edition which includes all previously released DLC. Owners of the game on Steam can check out their newly upgraded version now. Gamers that own a retail copy of Dirt 3, or a digital download from another source, should be able to enter their “CD key” (yikes) into Steam and grab the GFWL-less copy as well.
People always say that a change in scenery can be therapeutic. After the frustration Vicar Amelia brought on, it was with some relief that I left the claustrophobic streets of Yharnam and move into the next major areas which revolve around dark, oppressive forests. The next two bosses were far more trivial than the areas that lead to their lairs, a welcome change for me. It was amongst the witches and tombstones of Hemwick Charnel Lane that I faced my first invader.
After the jump, snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes? Continue reading →
Battlelore, the charming Days of Wonder fantasy take on Memoir ’44 that was transferred to Fantasy Flight and reissued as a second edition, is now digital. And boy does it look great. Lively graphics and animation, smooth execution of the boardgame rules, and a breezy but thorough interface. It’s even got multiplayer support. This looks like exactly what you’d want in a boardgame port!
After the jump, not so fast. Continue reading →
Superhot, the time-stuttering shooter, is now in Quake. Stand motionless, and everything is a black and white and red still life. Move, and the world of Quake erupts around you in gunfire, grenades, and rockets. Each level becomes a staccato puzzle of violence. Do you sprint forward and damn the monsters, or creep up to see the slow-motion firefights? “Superqot” is a free download on the Superhot site.
It was fifteen hours into Bloodborne that I hit my first wall. The Cleric Beast, Papa G (I love the communities nicknames for Father Gascoigne), and the Blood Starved Beast had all fallen one after another, each with some element of challenge, but nothing close to inducing a controller-breaking rage. But as I made my way up the steps of the Grand Cathedral and watched the cutscene for Vicar Amelia, I had no idea that my idyllic stroll through Yharnam was about to be rudely cut short.
After the jump, who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Continue reading →
Go to Google Maps right now. See that little image of Pac-Man in the lower left corner. Click it. Say goodbye to your work day. Google released their April Fools’ Day treat a little early, but if you don’t tell your boss, I won’t tell mine.
Those aren’t glitches. The super-powered punches and kicks you see in the video are benefits of contaminated batches of Antizin, the anti-zombie drug in Dying Light. As a special event for April Fools’ Day, players will receive mega-boosts to the their melee attacks throughout the day. The effect will only last for the holiday, so be sure to use your powers wisely. Punch everything!
All undelivered Antizin crates have been destroyed, and we would like to assure the survivors that untainted drops will resume as of April 2nd. We urge all the survivors to use extreme care when exhibiting symptoms of the contaminated Antizin injections.
According to Techland, players have already killed 378 million zombies in Dying Light.
If you catch tonight’s episode of Better Call Saul, you’ll certainly remember the “Pimento” scene. But did you note the familiar voice or the vaguely familiar face? Steven Ogg, the voice actor and obvious visual inspiration for Trevor in Grand Theft Auto V, shows up in a small but memorable role, pretty much playing Trevor.
The Washington Post has a collection of social media tweets and videos from an incident in Nepal in which a rhino wandered into a city. The above image is from this Tweet, which raises the question, “Who in his right mind is going to stand close enough to a rampaging rhinoceros to get that picture?” Unfortunately, unlike similar incidents in Far Cry 4, someone was actually killed by the rhino.
The really frustrating games are the ones like Etherium that show promise and then squander that promise. If Etherium was simply bad, I couldn’t care less about it’s foibles. But because it’s a smart take on real time strategy games, the problems that undermine it are all the more frustrating. This could have been a contender. This should have been a contender! Instead, it’s a tantaziling glimpse at a good game we could have played.
After the jump, when is an AI too good? Continue reading →
The combat systems in the Dark Souls games have always been a point of contention. While I enjoyed much of the combat in Dark Souls, it was incredibly easy to find certain tools and cheese bosses or enemies to death. Self-proclaimed masochists would play the game with a two-handed weapon and no shields or other challenge builds in order to push them further and reduce the relative ease that certain weapons and armor provided. Dark Souls 2 brought positives to the combat system, but was plagued by lackluster hitboxes, overzealous latency correction, and the ability to circle strafe enemies to death.
After the jump, how does Bloodborne compare? Continue reading →
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege made a big splash at last year’s E3. Unlike other cops versus criminals shooters, Ubisoft’s take on the idea included ways to breach though walls and doors that actually seemed to matter. Players weren’t just tossing grenades to blow up walls or scooting into destructible hotspot patches, they were making their entry points into levels based on tactical needs. Terrorists holding a hostage in the bedroom? Blast through the adjoining study or blow through the floor of the attic and drop in! On the other side, if you think there are too many ways to gain entry to your hidey-hole, block the windows and doorways and set up your temporary barricade.
The Operators, the good guys of Rainbow Six Siege, get the highlight today. The multi-national force is made up of twenty personalities with their own specialties and skills, and one “blank slate” Recruit that allows players to customize their own character. That’s a lot of command voice yelling and breaching.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is coming this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.