Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cubemen Overview

Anyone who has ever read any of my work that has anything to do with tower defense games should be well aware that I am quite fond of the genre, but after playing so many TD games, like many others, I am looking for something different. Cubemen is an indie TD game that is in alpha development right now for PC and it's not your normal TD game. In this game you have some real time strategy thrown into that TD. It's not an entirely new concept but I do like how it is developing in Cubemen. In this game you can play a typical TD mode but you can also do Two Way Tower Defense, which has you simultaneously trying to defend and attack. In Two Way TD you do not have any towers, just Cubemen that march to your orders, whether you are telling them to attack or defend areas. The game is currently available for Pre-Order through the ever growing Desura for $4.99, it will be going up to $10 (it's full price) at some point in the future. Cubemen just recently released it's alpha 0.93 version and once it gets to 1.0 it will enter beta. There currently isn't any kind of demo available to the public, but if you do pre-order you get access to the game consistently as it gets developed.  If you want to check out more do check out the Desura page or their main page. Enough talk, watch this video and check out how the game looks.
Main Website: http://cubementd.com/

Personally I don't think there is enough gameplay available to be viewed or information, yet, but it may become something more tangible in the near future. Thanks for reading and I will be back tomorrow. Hoping to get up my Oil Rush review very soon. 

-Written by Sean Cargle

The Humble Android Bundle

Have you got one of those nifty phones that often make me want to give up iPhone for? I am speaking of the Android and the crew at Humble Bundle have decided to make a bundle specifically for the Android. It is the first time, to my knowledge, of the Humble Bundle being for anything other than PC. PC and Mac gamers do not despair all four of these games are for PC, Mac, Linux and Android. I love the Humble Bundles and everything they do for charity, Childs Play specifically, and also for handing out great games for cheap prices. This time we have Anomaly Warzone Earth, Osmos, Edge and World of Goo. World of Goo is only available if you pay the average price though, which at the moment is $5.80 (looks like this Bundle is doing very well already). If you want to see if the games are compatible for your Android phone they have demos for you try here. For anyone who wants some background on those four games read on for videos and impressions (I've actually played three of the four games). Everyone else just head on over to Humble Bundle page below and get on it!
Humble Bundle Page: http://www.humblebundle.com/

Monday, January 30, 2012

Renegade X - Operation: Black Dawn

I've been playing the standalone First Person/Third Person shooter Renegade X over the last two days and it ended up leaving me pleased. Sure the game has some mediocre animations, voice acting and a very arcadey feel to gameplay, but once you embrace all of that it becomes a lot more fun. The one thing I could not embrace was the voice acting though, it almost always through me off and it left me puzzled as I heard random NPC's with better voice acting that the main characters, but like someone pointed out to me the voice acting may be intentionally cheesy and over the top. I wrote about Renegade X earlier this month when I was watching the release trailer in uneasy anticipation. It came out on the 28th for all to play and for free. The game was made by Totem Arts who based the game off the fairly awful Command & Conquer Renegade, but they replicated the C&C in Renegade X very well and with some surprisingly good graphics. If you don't want to read anything I have to say and are already sold then head on over to the Renegade X Indie DB page to download the game. For everyone else I will spend the rest of this discussing my impressions and what the game is about. There is also a multiplayer version of this game coming out sometime in the future.

Noxious Released

Noxious Release Build
I don't know about you, but that screenshot really makes me think of Dead Space but with a much lighter atmosphere. Noxious is a game made by a small group of developers for Full Sail University and it was made in five months with an engine that they made themselves. The game is about you, a scientist, getting trapped in a research facility that went into lockdown as a result of test subjects getting loose. It sounds like a basic idea and gameplay also looks pretty simple, but it is certainly an impressive effort for a bunch of students to make a game from scratch in five months that looks this solid. I haven't tried it yet, it's downloading as I type this, but it is available for free at their MODDB Page. Will add some opinions of the game once I try it out, but for now take a look at this video and thanks for reading. 

Noxious Release Build - Mod DB

If you missed the link above here is their main page: http://www.moddb.com/games/noxious
-Written by Sean Cargle

Introducing Vessel

Vessel Screenshots
There are plenty of single player platforming PC games out there, but Vessel make's itself unique by basing everything on water and liquids. That may sound uninteresting but when you see how they use liquids then you may be slightly intrigued. In Vessel you control an inventor, M. Arkwright, who created the liquid automation FLURO. FLURO are beings made of liquid that help humans along with many tasks and jobs. They never tire, they are easily replaced and they are easily made. In the game you use FLURO to get you through puzzles and there are many different types of FLURO to master. You can store the many different types of FLURO in order to use them again at anytime, as long as you have the right resources available to make them. For instance for the blue FLURO you have to create them from a special designed tree that grows them. They look like giant humanoid-ish puddles of water that move and think on their own, usually helping you get through areas but some are only interested in their base instincts, which you can use to your advantage. The game is made by Strange Loop Games and it will be coming out on Steam, among other places, on March 1st. Soon after the PC release they will be working on getting the game to consoles as well. Check out this recently released trailer and see the great art style, interesting gameplay and fitting music of Vessel.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unstoppable Gorg PC Review

At first Unstoppable Gorg looks like a brand new type of tower defense with it's unique orbital system and its  in game research and income ideas. It also has a great deal of atmospheric storyline that feels exactly like an old cheesy sci-fi movie. The game is also quite lengthy, with a twenty one mission long campaign that can be played on four different difficulties (all of which have different medals, encyclopedia entries and research tokens to earn), an arcade mode and a challenge mode. Everything is not great with Unstoppable Gorg though, but it does have some great ideas and enjoyable concepts. If you want to check it out they recently added a demo to Steam, or you may find it on this post.  First and foremost, some basic information.

Basic Information 
Developer: Futuremark Games Studios
Platform: PC/Mac and Xbox 360 in the future
Release Date: January 19th 2012
Genre: Tower Defense
Price: $10 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Gameplay

Back in October they revealed that Mass Effect 3 will be having a multiplayer that coincides with the single player campaign, but doesn't detract from the campaign and is purely optional. There is quite a bit of information about it, seen here, but we have yet to see it in action. It should be clear that the mass effect multiplayer is almost purely action, which people keep complaining about and expecting the multiplayer to have rpg elements, but it looks to be a fun add-on onto the exciting singleplayer campaign. Check out the new gameplay trailer and if you want information on how multiplayer will work check out the FAQ from my first post about multiplayer. We should be getting a demo for Mass Effect 3 sometime in the beginning of February and the game itself comes out on March 6th for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
Main Website: http://masseffect.bioware.com/

-Written by Sean Cargle

January iPhone Review Round-Up

It's been quite some time since the last iPhone Review Round-Up, but this time around I'm here to review Jelly Defense, Hero Academy, and Triple Town. All of which are compatible to the 3G version of the iPhone and newer models.

Hero Academy by Robot Entertainment
If you are a PC or Xbox 360 gamer you might recognize that name, it is the same developers that created Orcs Must Die! and Age of Empires Online, among other things. Hero Academy is a turn based multiplayer strategy game for the iPhone. The way it plays out will be familiar for anyone who is used to games like Kings Bounty or Heroes of Might and Magic series, but I purely mean that in how battle plays out, it doesn't have a campaign or anything like that. This game is 100% about one on one battles of wit, luck and strategy. You control individual units, like the Human basic warrior, mage, hunter and priest, all of which have different stats and unique abilities. There is also an army of Dark Elves that you may play, who are a bit more complicated and have some less generic classes, like monk and necromancer. The game is very well done and each army has it's own unique strengths, while they both feel balanced. You also get various items that you may use, like a helmet that increases someone armor or a fireball that may be used once to hit everything in a 5x5 area. Every game comes down to planning and tactics. There is a very useful help tool that you can use to look at any character, item or object to see everything about it. It is essential to use this tool to plan out attacks, among many other things. The multiplayer is also done very well, allowing you to play up to forty games at once with other players. Hero Academy is free, but there are quite a few optional things you can purchase, the most worthy of which is the Dark Elf army, which is normally $2 but often on sale for $1. I didn't think you could make a competitive turn based strategy work so well for an iPhone, but Hero Academy showed me that you definitely can. Check out this video to get an idea of how the game looks and plays.
Main Website: http://www.robotentertainment.com/games/heroacademy

Violent Score: 4.5 (out of 5) 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

King Arthur II Demo Impressions

I am here to discuss the demo for the real time strategy rpg King Arthur II. If you recall the first game of the series, King Arthur, was met with many positive reviews for it's interesting take on the RTS formula. Gameplay wise it looks a lot of Total War game, graphically and how it controls, but the controls have never been that smooth. The first game came out in 2009 and the sequel is looking to hit the PC world tomorrow on January 27th for $40. They released a demo today all over the internet and you may find all that information on this forum post over at Paradox Interactive Forums. They have the demo available there from various places and it's about 2 gigabytes, but I'm not really sure why it's so big, seeing as how it is so short. It is pretty gorgeous though and maybe that's the reason why. The demo is very short so I don't have that many impressions, but onto the breach once more my friends.

Gettysburg: Armored Warfare Overview

Have you ever imagined what would happen if you took the Civil War setting and added in futuristic technology, made it into a real time strategy and made it multiplayer focused with up to sixty four players? Well I sure hadn't, but it looks like a delicious mix of some interesting idea's and concepts. This game is made by one single developer, who created the whole game and all the code for it, which is amazing considering how it doesn't look awful graphically and it supports up to sixty two players online. It was so impressive that Paradox Interactive picked it up and is now publishing it.  The game let's you customize your armies and send them to battle in typical RTS modes like deathmatch or a control point based objective mode. The game will also be coming with a full editor and I have no idea how this one man, Danny Green, managed to get of all this done. The game is being made for PC specifically and it is going to be free to play or $10 (there is discrepancy about this). It will be taking the normal units of the Civil War, like gunpowder cannons and infantrymen, and adding onto it Zepellins, artillery tanks, normal tanks, gatling gun soldiers and much more.

The Witcher 2 Xbox 360 Trailer

Just wanted to share this since it's a pretty fantastic trailer. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is finally coming out on Xbox 360 on April 17th, something that I hope people are clamoring for since CD Projekt Red has worked pretty hard on porting the game to the Xbox 360. If you have played the PC version and have ever wondered about Letho's previous assassination before King Damavend, then check this out. You can check out my original review here, for the PC version. For the love of god though, Mature Content Warning!! This trailer is chalked full of fantastically well done violent combat.

Get More: GameTrailers.com, The Witcher 2 - Exclusive Console Release Date Announcement Trailer HD, PC Games, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Thanks for the heads up Kotaku.

-Written Sean Cargle

Dungeon Defenders New Class and Updates

I have always been a fan of Dungeon Defenders, but I've always wanted to see some new classes and new modes to give the game some variety. The variety is coming in the forum of modding tools, which I talked about before here, and through the Mines of Etheria. The Mines change up the gameplay a lot by having you attack the Etheria Crystals of enemies, no longer will you be on the defense. This map is part of the Assault Map Pack that will be highlighting this new mode with a bunch of new maps. These are both screenshots from the Miners of Etheria that show off the new objectives and the new gameplay constraints of having lives and being timed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blizzcon 2012 Cancelled

2012 Battle.net World Championship Event
Blizzcon used to be huge, it probably still is, but this year you will not get a chance to throw hundreds of dollars at it in order to attend it. Blizzard Entertainment wrote today, "We're also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into players’ hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, we’ve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013." The good news from that is it looks like they we may be seeing all of three of those in 2012, and we damn well better see Diablo III released this year.  With this post they also announced that they are going to do a 2012 Battle.net World Championship Event. It is going to take place in Asia near the end of 2012 and the main focus will be Starcraft II and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship tournaments. This is one of those events that is going to be filled with professional gamers, especially with the promise of cash rewards. Personally, I don't particularly care about any of that, except I do have a slight interest in Diablo III. That's about all the news for this, head on over to their original post over at battle.net to check out the full context. Today is heavy day for me school wise, but I am working on a few reviews. I will try to at least get one other post up today, hopefully a substantial one of some kind, but if not I will be back at full steam tomorrow night. Thanks for reading everyone, thanks for breaking our record by getting us over 14,000 hits this month so far.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hack, Slash, Loot Impressions

Do you like Rogue Likes?? No? Why the hell not?! Anyways, this is a new Rogue-Like RPG that has graced the world of PC, Mac and Linux. It released a couple of days ago and it came with a hefty demo. Hack, Slash, Loot feels different than other Rogue-Like RPG's when it comes to loot, quests and your hero. The loot is different than most rpg's of the genre because of how random it is and how much of a variety there. You can find anything from a divine spear to a wooden practice sword, all items have a great deal randomness when it comes to their quality. When you start a game you immediately pick a quest, each of which changes things up a little bit but not so much in the beginning of the game. All the quest's in the demo are basically go kill this great enemy, none of which I have managed to get to yet. The way your hero is handled is a bit different because of how your stats work. You have melee, ranged, defense, magic and health. All of which can only be augmented by equipment or permanently increased from scrolls or potions. There are also some random things that will increase these stats, for example I had a divine spear that increased a random stat every time I killed an enemy. Most every other aspect of the game seems pretty typical for a Rogue-Like, like no saving, healing only from potions/scrolls, dangerous altars that you may pray to and random variables from potions/scrolls, meaning they could hurt you or help you, but in this game they usually seem to help.

The Serious Sam Lightning Pack

IndieRoyale has come again with a new bundle but this time it is all based around the Serious Sam series. This one contains four Serious Sam games and one extra that is a 8-bit top down "demake" of Serious Sam.  The current price of the Bundle is $4.22 and there is 90 hours left on this bundle. ALl of these games are DRM-free and most of them are available on Steam. Now onto the descriptions of each game in the bundle, but if you wish to skip that then just head on over to the IndieRoyale website and check it out.

Indie Royale

Monday, January 23, 2012

Oil Rush Hits This Wednesday, the 25th

I can already see the questions..what is Oil Rush? Well I wrote about it once before, which you may peruse here if you wish, and it looks rather delightful. That is if you enjoy the concept of a RTS based on ocean Warfare and oil domination. I am currently working on a review of the game, thanks to the kind folks at Unigine Corp. I also have some gameplay of the first mission from the game, which explains a bit how the game works and the basic concepts, but I've already gotten two levels past that and it's already introduced quite a bit more, so don't you go and think that it is a very simple RTS. The game will be coming out on the 25th for Mac, PC and Linux, all of which will have the price of $20. Eventually it will be on Steam and Desura, but for now it's just a direct download. Check out the website for more and I will be back later this week with a review or impressions, or both. Thanks for reading and check out the tutorial video.
Main Website: http://oilrush-game.com/
*Added a second video from later on in the game. 

*UPDATE 1/25/12 
It was released today on Steam and through the main website, on Steam it is $18 instead of $20 for the time being, check it out: http://store.steampowered.com/app/200390/?snr=1_4_4__101_2

-Written by Sean Cargle

Skyrim Update News and Beta Release

Feels like the fans and lovers of Skyrim have been waiting an epicly long time for that 1.4 patch and the Creation Kit, but alas it is finally upon your doorstep. Well it's on your doorstep if you are willing to take the risk and rewards of opting in to test out the beta version of the 1.4 patch. By the way, if you don't know what Skryim is I of course am referring to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which we reviewed for PC here. Anyways, Bethesda has released a bunch of new information on the 1.4 patch and creation, the newest of which is about the beta, so let me delve into that first.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Miner Wars

Miner Wars Picture 126

I'm not really sure how I've never talked about this splendid open world sci-fi game but now I am here to share all I've learned and read about it. First and foremost, Miner Wars is two separate games. The game they are working on in earnest right now is the single player campaign, that version is called Miner Wars 2081. In 2081 you will be able to play through a long single player story with friends or by yourself, plus there will also be competitive multiplayer.  There is also a MMO version of the game that may already be in development but it is coming after Miner Wars 2081. The game has been in development since 2002, originally just by Marek Rosa, the founder and CEO of Keen Software House. The game began development in full in 2009 and now there is thirty plus core developers working on it. Miner Wars 2081 will be available sometime during the first half of 2012, while the Miner Wars MMO is slated for release at the end of 2012 or early 2013. You can download and play the public build of Miner Wars 2081 right now, but it merely shows off the technical aspects of the game, there isn't any actual story or scenario included in it yet. You can mess around with the editor in the public build though. There are about 14,000 people who have already pre-ordered the game and they get their hands on a more up to date version of the game. The game is about giving you a huge solar system to travel through, destructible environments, being able mine and explore, various types of upgradable ships, complex space dungeons, factions to join or fight, plenty to loot, a full scale editor to create levels with and absolutely tons to do.

A Few Cube World Updates

It's been a short while since I first talked about Cube World and did an overview. Since then Wollay has shown several new updates, specifically the jungle, architecture (in regards to construction) and some caves and quests. Also, no new news on any chances of a demo nor a release date. It is good to see that the game is still being worked on in a regular pace despite that Wollay was hired by Mojang Entertainment.

The first type of housing that Wollay has created is just a framework, but there will be different types of houses that you can create later on. Other than the basic framework below he is also planning to add Dwarven and Elven architecture, any of which you can combine with other types. You will be able to build an extensive home and fill it with treasures and trophies that you will acquire during the course of adventuring. He isn't sure yet how he wants people to find crafting materials and is looking for some suggestions on the forums, but so far there is already 100+ suggestions. Here is a couple screenshots showing off the house creation.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Game of Dwarves First Trailer

Does A Game of Dwarves equal a super user friendly version of Dwarf Fortress? Definitely not, at least not literally, but it is something that seems to be after the same ideas and focuses on base building, finding treasures and unleashing unforetold monsters upon your base. This game was announced sometime ago and it is being made by Paradox Interactive, the same developers that made the Heats of Iron series, King Arthur, Sengoku and so many other games. They aren't really know for this type of game, sure most of their games have to do with management but it's usually more the management of nations or cities, not the close up style we see in A Games of Dwarves. This game is still pretty early on in production but we do have some details. Each individual Dwarf will be able to level up and earn new skills, which can turn them into a master craftsmen or a master warrior. Every level will be randomly generated and the farther you dig the better buildings and equipment you can make, but of course the farther you dig the better chances of unleashing some awful enemies. That's about all the information there is for now but check out the first trailer and keep your eyes on this game. I wish this was a PC indie game so I could pre-order and get in on it right now. Thanks to Rock Paper Shotgun for the heads up on everything about this game.
Main Website: http://www.paradoxplaza.com/games/a-game-of-dwarves

-Written by Sean Cargle

Friday, January 20, 2012

RAGE PC Review

The first time I played RAGE it was the demo on Xbox 360 and I hated it. When I finally got the game for PC during the Steam Holiday Sale I wasn't to eager to play it, but it ended up providing more enjoyment than I was expecting. Before I start going into the review in full here is some basic information about the game.

Basic Info
  Developer: id Software
  Genre: Non-Linear Story Based FPS
  Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3 
  Release Date: October 4th, 2011
  Base Price: $29.99

If you somehow have no idea what RAGE is about here is a one sentence description. It is post apocalyptic first person shooter that puts you into the shoes of a resistance fighter that is attempting to bring down the Authority, a repressive technologically advanced military power that pretty much runs everything. When I started the game and awoke from the ark, vaults that were made to shield people from the destruction of the world (just like Fallout), I was surprised by how good the game looked. The brightly white clouds in the sky didn't seem like something that should exist in a post apocalyptic world, but the sky was gorgeous and all the terrain around me was worth taking a lingering look. After I got over that I decided to start looking around the first tiny town that game immediately puts you into and the first character you see happens to be voiced by John Goodman. One of my biggest complaints about the graphics is how unimportant items, like non-collectible items hanging out on shelves, are very low resolution in comparison to the rest of the game. It's a game where little details look awful but when you get to a big area or look at some character models then you will likely be impressed. The beginning of this game is pretty boring but it starts getting good once you get access to the first large area of the wasteland and once you get your first car.

The Darkness II Demo Impressions

The Darkness II follows up the original game and according to my wonderful friend Wikipedia the game takes place two years after the first game. I haven't played the first game, which came out in 2007, nor do I know much about it, so expect these impressions to be comparison free. The fairly large demo, which came out on Xbox Live a couple days ago, starts you out in a room with your hands being nailed to a cross. There is a device of some kind that is drawing the darkness out of you and there is a creepy hobbling man taunting you at every turn. The graphics are pretty decent, definitely upper scale but the way characters are designed doesn't look particularly current gen. After the whole torture scene it jumps back to a memory of where you were first attacked inside a restaurant. You play a man named Jackie who is a gangster of some kind. The restaurant erupts in violence all of a sudden and you get dragged out by a friend while you gun down a bunch of a well armed unidentified enemies. When it looks like you are about to die from an explosion inside a kitchen then the monster inside of you takes over. When you awake you have two tentacles coming out from your left and right side, tentacles that you control. When you are just shooting people the game feels like just some shooter, like Bodycount or Black but once you start using your inhuman powers then it get's a bit more interesting and a hell of a lot more violent.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monaco Full Level Playthrough

For the first time ever the developers for Monaco have released a full gameplay playthrough of one of their levels. I previously had talked about Monaco, for the first on Violent Gamer, back at the end of December, which you may look at here for a general overview of the game and some gameplay videos. Quick overview for anyone who doesn't wanna read through all that. Monaco is a heist game that is designed to play cooperatively and it puts each player into the role of a specific class as you travel through levels trying to escape from guards and steal items of value. This playthrough is from the level Casino Heist and the two classes being shown off are The Hacker and The Pickpocket. The game will be coming out sometime for PC, Mac and consoles (probably XBLA or PSN). This video is fairly confusing but watch it all the way through, looks to provide some great and frantic cooperative experiences.
Main Website: http://www.pocketwatchgames.com/Monaco/

That's it for this one! Thanks for checking it out. Also, thanks to Rock Paper Shotgun for alerting me of the video's existence. They are champions of video game journalism. Be back with more soon I hope. 

-Written by Sean Cargle

The Vague Future of The Old Republic

Today they have put a new video for Star Wars The Old Republic and it very vaguely outlines what the near future holds for The Old Republic community. It almost seems like a quick video they put together to try to stop some people from jumping ship after they destroyed some of the level fifty content with the most recent patch. Sure they have already released a patch to fix the problems but gamers are still complaining about it like no ones business. I haven't yet reached the level fifty area that people are freaking about, the planet Ilum, so I don't have first hand experience with the problems of yesterday, but it's only been one day and people are seriously threatening to cancel their account because a patch messed something up...well that's just idiotic. The response from Bioware is almost as idiotic though. Check out this new video and tell me, those of you who play the game, if there is anything about this that tells you anything significant?

Sure new UI is good, same with guild banks, a new PVP world and implementing legacy skills, but other than that it's just all talk and most of that has been talked about before. I really enjoy this game and I don't plan to cancel my subscription anytime soon but this whole thing is just stupid. If they are going to show an actual video detailing what is to come in future updates then actually show  something! And it shouldn't be as a response to a bunch of whiney gamers who cannot handle one single day of problems. Have none of them every played games like Battlefield or Everquest where a single patch has messed up the game to the point where it wouldn't start for days if not weeks? Well that's all for now, I will be certain to bring you some real news on SWTOR updates when it surfaces. Thanks for reading, up next Monaco Gameplay.
Original Post: http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20120119

-Written by Sean Cargle

Resident Evil 6 Announced

Many saw this day coming when they started teasing the possibility of Resident Evil 6 at various places but now it is here! Today they have spawned from the depths of a hell a Resident Evil 6 Youtube page and Facebook page. With this we have a announcement trailer and a tiny bit of information. First the boring stuff: the game is going to be released on November 20th 2012, presumably on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC but it hasn't been confirmed or even suggested yet. The tiny bit of story they give us is this,
" It has been ten years since the incident at Raccoon City and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place. Raccoon City survivor and personal friend of the President, Leon S. Kennedy, arrives to find the President transformed beyond recognition by a bioterrorist attack. Leon is forced to make the hardest decision he has ever made. At the same, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance Member, Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of a bioterrorist attack. "
The video also shows much of this information, like Chris Redfield and Leon in action. The announcment video also hints that Leon's part of the story may be a more of a horror story than an action story, but it kind of crushed my hopes of that when it showed Leon sliding through zombies shooting them with his pistols like he is Chow Yun-Fat from Hardboiled.  Chris's storyline looks to be all action. Is it so bad that I want Resident Evil to return to a slower paced game that requires conservation of ammo and doesn't involve killing zombies like they are flies? We will see how it looks once they give us some real gameplay to stare at but for now check out at the announcment trailer and if you want any more information check out those links in the first sentence. Thanks for reading, up next... I don't know yet... but something is coming! Also, thanks to Kotaku for the heads up.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Fallen Enchantress Beta Starts

Unlike it was previously suggested, the Elemental War of Magic: Fallen Enchantress beta that started today is not an "open" beta, it is merely open to those who pre-ordered the game. I'm not sure if that can technically call this phase of the beta a public beta if the only people who can get into are pre-orders, but in the next couple of weeks they will be letting many others into the beta. I must also make clear that this beta is currently only for those who pre-ordered from Stardock, not from anywhere else yet. If you own the original game you will be getting in the beta in those couple of weeks and eventually the beta will become quite literally an open beta for anyone who is interested. One rare thing about the beta is that there is Non-Disclosure Agreement, meaning if you write about games or like to discuss them then you may say whatever you want about the beta or even show off screenshots and videos. For those of you who have the game pre-ordered, I doubt you are reading this but you may download the beta from Stardock and it should be listed in your account. The beta will give you access to the full tutorial as well as a sandbox of the game. There are also no modding tools available in the beta, why I have to even say there aren't modding tools I don't know but people asked about it on their forums so why not. You can find the full post beta post here and a guide for new players here. Here are some new screenshots released with the post and thanks for reading. Resident Evil Six Announcement up next.
Main Website: http://www.elementalgame.com/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lord of the Rings: War in the North Review

I've always been excited about the possibility of running around Middle Earth and punching some hobbits in their tiny little faces and splattering some orcs beneath my axe. Unfortunately you don't get to punch any hobbits in this game but there are more than enough orcs to make up for that. When I first heard of Snowblind Studios Lord of the Rings: War in the North I was very excited, especially since they had plenty of experience doing hack and slash games. I figured this sounds great, a new Lord of the Rings game that puts you into the shoes of three characters with a full story that involves characters from the movies/books but still focuses on new locations, enemies and allies. On top of those exciting possibilities there is also the pleasing idea of a hack and slash game with a heavy rpg emphasis that has a focus on loot, customization, co-op, skills and combat. War In the North was on the way to being the great co-op hack and slash that I thought it might be, but there are so many partial successes and let downs. Despite that this game still has merit and it is possible to enjoy the experience quite a bit.

I Am Alive: A Focus on Survival

Rarely do games seem to shy away from action or killing "enemies", but I Am Alive does so in various ways. This game puts you into a post apocalyptic world, one which you learn a little about through the game but never learn the whole truth of, merely a perspective from the main character. You have to survive in this harsh and desolate world, if not for yourself then for your daughter. Ammo and weapons are scarce, other survivors are rare and everyone is out for themselves. In the game you will be able to stealthy slit the throat of enemies, gun down people or engage in melee combat, but it is designed in a way that gives you the choice, unlike many other games. You can choose to intimidate enemies, fight them or flat out avoid them all together. Check out some of the ways you can deal with other survivors in this new video.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dear Esther Approaches Release

Today Dear Esther has appeared on Steam and with that a release date of February 14th. This game is a professionally made adventure game made with the source engine. The game was recently up for a whole slew of awards on IndieDB, of which it had four nominations but didn't end up taking any wins. The game is known for it's absolutely gorgeous and atmospheric maps plus it's uncommon idea of an adventure game about a man lost on a deserted island that may be filled with ghosts. The game is a remake of the fairly popular Dear Esther modification that came out in 2008. The game was picked up by Robert Briscoe, who is a professional game artist that has worked on Mirror's Edge, Half Life 2 and Nuclear Dawn.

Kingdom of Amalur Demo Impressions

The Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning Demo hit XBLA, PSN and PC today. It is 2 gigabytes large and they have created one of the most thoroughly thought out demo's I've ever seen. I've played the demo through once on PC and Xbox 360, both of which have pretty different controls and seem to fit each platform quite well. I must say that after a second playthrough the PC version does not feel nearly as fluid as the console version did and many of the menu's seem to be ports of the console menu's. The demo seems to give you full access to the game with regards to skills, levels, equipment, crafting, quests and the roles. The only restraint it has, the restraint that is to thank for giving you so much content to experience, is a timer. Once you get out into the open world the game will give you a forty five minute time limit, but one that encourages you to play the game at your own pace. This timer does not count down if you are in menu's or in conversations, one of the many things this demo does right.

New Dead Island DLC On The Way

Unlike the first Dead Island DLC, Bloodbath Arena, this new one actually sounds a little bit unique. The DLC is called Ryder White and if you beat the game I'm sorry you went through that whole thing but you will also recognize Ryder White as the name of the nemesis of the game's four main characters, the man you fight at the end. This DLC will put you into the shoes of Ryder White and will allow you to play him through his perspective. There will be several hours of a new single player campaign that will take you through parts of his story and shows what made him into the man you experience through the original game. The DLC will be coming out on February 1st, on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. There isn't an official price listed by them yet, but Kotaku is reporting that it will be $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points.

Several hours of gameplay for $10 doesn't sound like a very good deal, but if you really enjoyed the campaign story of Dead Island then this looks to be something worthwhile. You can check out more information on the game on their facebook page or main website. Also, if you are looking for some context on the game you can check out my Dead Island PC Review.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Safety Instructions, Making me Furious

No I'm not talking about something unrelated to gaming, this is a game all about safety instructions aboard an airplane. It is a web game and it is a typing game, but it is a very fun and unique experience. It is also very hard, painfully so, but it's the kind of challenge that just pushes you to keep trying. The game starts out easy, if you start it on easy difficulty by selecting that your not "bad" at these kind of things. Once you beat it you may think that it's a fairly simple and easy game that slightly challenges your typing skills, well try it on next highest difficult by saying your "good" when given the option at the beginning. Good not only gives you bigger sentences to deal with but it also adds new scenes and darker humor. The easiest difficult gives you sentences that seem like you are just typing out the instructions from a safety booklet on airline, while the medium difficulty adds some personal thoughts on the part of the person you are trying to save, dark and hilarious thoughts. Once, or if, you beat "good" mode then you unlock the nightmare difficulty. Here is an example of a sentence from nightmare difficulty. Green letters is how far I got before the time ran out or I incorrectly typed a letter in the sentence.

I did eventually beat that awful difficulty and it felt great to conquer such a challenge. If you play this game on nightmare difficulty and have no issues what so ever well then I kind of loathe you a little. The nightmare difficulty adds a ton of new scenes, most of which have fairly dark humor, and some interesting situations where you will lose if you succeed and succeed if you fail. This is a fairly short game depending on how quick and accurate your typing is but it is pretty great, check it out. You can play it online here. It is made by Pippinbarr Games. Thanks for reading.
Main Website: http://www.pippinbarr.com/games/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Catching up on Blockade Runner

It's been quite sometime since I've written about this fantastic indie game that many have called Minecraft in space. The last time I wrote about Blockade Runner was giving a general overview of the game, feel free to check that out here, but for this post I would like to discuss what has been going on with the game and how far they have come since then. When I first wrote about Blockade Runner it was at week eleven in development, now it is at week twenty six. Back then you could create space ships with a ton of various tools, but it was a fairly small amount of options compared to how it is now. You could also fire at other ships and mess around with "combat" but there still isn't any multiplayer so it's really just testing everything out. Now ships have armored platting, a couple different types, and actually take visual damage when being fired up. There also a ton of new 3d graphics and sound effects, plus there are rotating turret pads, remote control tools, improved menu options, a bunch of lighting options, increased details in generals and tons of fixes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Red Orchestra 2 SDK Tools Released

Feel like modding one of the newest WWII first person shooters, well Red Orchestra 2 has released their modding tools to anyone who owns the game. There has been a limited SDK available to modders for a while but this new version is a full set of mod tools. The tools have the possibilities for anything from custom maps to total conversions. There are already three mods that have been working on total conversions for RO2. The first of which is Rising Storm, which is a pacific war mod that has some support from Tripwire Interactive.
Check out the one video of that here.

There is also In Country Vietnam and Iron Europe, two other mods that have been in development for a while but do not have much completed yet other than models. To check out the modding community head on over to the Tripwire modding forums. Red Orchestra 2 is available only on Steam and you can find it in the tools tab if you already own the game. 
Steam Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/35450/
MODDB SDK Announcement

-Written by Sean Cargle

Asura's Wrath Demo Impressions

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Capcom took one of their crazy over the top action games and mixed it with Dragonball Z? Well Asura's Wrath seem's to be a good representation of what that might look like. The game is all about Asura, who was once a great general for the gods, but then he was framed for the Emperor's death and falls to Earth. Once on Earth he is eventually awakened by a mountain girl and then he wages a war against the gods who framed him. That is the story that is based on Asian Mythology, but the game is mixed with that and Science Fiction. There are great gods to battle but there are also great pieces of technology that you are confronted with, like giant flying war machines. The demo let's you play through two parts of the game, one fairly early on and the other from a far later segment of the game. I'm unaware of if the whole game is like the demo, but each chapter is basically a very long epic boss battle with various challenges and scenes.The game makes you use of quick time events during each chapter that allow you to unleash your rage to glorious effect.  If you like games all about rage and revenge overcoming all odds then you will enjoy the general storyline of Asura's Wrath, but if you are fans of other Capcom games, like the Devil May Cry series, then don't expect to this be even slightly similar.

Image from ASURA'S WRATH

From what I can glean, from the demo and general information, the game does not have any kind of exploration...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Final Fantasy XII-2 Demo Impressions

I must immediately warn that I never played Final Fantasy XII, sure I heard a ton about the game, enough to know that I didn't want to invest time into it, but I know nothing about the actual storyline or many of the systems. After playing the two hour demo for XII-2, for PS3, I must say that I came away fairly pleased with the experience. All the awful things I heard about the original Final Fantasy XII don't seem to carry over, at least blatantly, to the sequel. If your like me and you've heard many awful things about the first game then let me iterate what some of those are and how they compare to this demo. The first game was apparently full of tightly linear areas, it also had a very long and typically boring Japanese RPG story, it had a new leveling system (one of the few things people didn't hate), it used an automated mode to handle the actions of your party (much like Final Fantasy 12), there were no true city areas in the game, the graphics were gorgeous and the game was very repetitive. I must say that it's probably a tinsy bit hard to make a RPG not repetitive, but most of those complaints seem pretty valid compared to previous Final Fantasy games. You can see that the sequel is indeed still gorgeous to look at.

Resident Evil: ORC Multiplayer Modes

I wanted to type out Operation Racoon City but that would have made one gigantic title. Adam and I were lucky enough to play this game on one of the last days of E3 last year and we happened to be in the last group that got to play on that day. We played a four player cooperative game with two other press members while there was a announcer running around and providing some often entertaining commentary on how we were all doing. The game had a very arcade feel to it that provided anything but realistic combat, but it was well done and made for some fun cooperative gameplay. Sure the demo we played had some stiff animations, less than smooth controls, and some odd hit detection, but it had a lot of potential to be as fun as say Left 4 Dead. One big difference between this zombie co-op game and many others is that Operation Racoon City also has several other types of multiplayer modes, most of which are competitive. One of the things we saw in the demo but didn't get to fully experience was this idea that there is a Stars team, out to save people and are the "good guys", and a Umbrella team that is out to complete their mission by whatever means necessary. We played the Umbrella team and that meant not caring at all about civilians. Each team has, at the very least, four members that you can choose from, each of which have their own unique weapons and abilities. The level we were playing took us into this area shown before, a garage full of Lickers. You also fight zombies, other Umbrella soldiers and infected giants.

SWTOR Video to Accompany That Update

This video kind of sort of shows off the new flashpoint called Rise of The Rakghouls. You can find the patch notes and more information on my previous post. The update will be coming out next week. For a Q&A on the state of the game and the upcoming patch head on over to Rock Paper Shotgun for their exclusive interview with Bioware's James Ohlen. Thanks for reading, be back with some real news shortly.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Amy XBLA Impressions

Let's start with what makes up this downloadable game..
-Melee combat 
-Awful voice acting 
-Typical zombie storyline 
-Poor controls 
-Stiff animations
-Lots of dark areas 
-Annoyingly little girl that you have to escort

Sounds like a blast yeah? Well it is...just kidding it's not. This game came out on XBLA and PSN today, both with trials/demos and I played through the fairly lengthy demo. It will also come out on PC eventually as well, Steam according to the website. You know it's bad when the first thing you see is a cutscene that is skipping because of framerate issues. This game is all about a little girl, Amy, that has some kind of special powers, seemingly, and a zombie outbreak that conveniently erupts in the city you are just arriving at. In this city the virus is spreading at an alarming rate to everything, plants, animals, people but Amy. You control her caregiver named Lana and she is susceptible to the virus and Amy protects her from the virus somehow. Throughout the game Lana becomes more and more infected from the virus, changing her look eventually.

Black Market HD Impressions

This is another space game that is all about trading, mining, questing and space combat. You can play the games story mode or play it entirely in a free roaming mode. Both modes let you pick up missions from various space stations all over the universe but the free roaming mode doesn't have the story missions to pull you along. To understand the game you should play the story mode, since it introduces you gently to a seemingly odd system. From the start Black Market HD looks like it will have a steep learning curve but instead it is actually one of the more basic space games I've seen. Trading is fairly simple, prices vary from each space station and you have a cargo space that can only hold a certain amount, and mining is handled through sending drones to planets, that is all. If you are looking for something with the depth of E.V.E. Online then forget it, but this game does present everything in a way that is easy to understand. Combat is also handled in a very basic way that should be quick to learn for anyone who is familiar with PC gaming in general. Black Market HD is fun and it is "free", but technically the free version is a limited version of the full game. The limited version does still have a lot to do and a decent level cap. The galaxy is huge, enemies are many, missions are everywhere.

 As you progress through Black Market HD you level up, buy better equipment for your ship and do jobs for anyone who offers them. This game does give you choices though, you don't have to jobs for anyone nor do you have to stay silent through shady jobs, you can inquire and you can question many of the npc's in the game.

Kingdom of Amalur Demo Hits Next Week

EA has confirmed through numerous websites and Xbox Lives Major Nelson that there will be a Kingdom of Amalur Demo arriving on January 17th on Xbox Live. It hasn't been confirmed when the demo will hit PS3 and PC, but on the Kingdoms of Amalur Website and Facebook page they are claiming that it will come out on all platforms at once. The real interesting thing about this demo is that playing this free demo will unlock items in Mass Effect 3. The two items you unlock are a piece of armor for installing the demo and the Chakram Launcher for completing the demo. You can also unlock Shepherds Battle armor for Kingdoms of Amalur if you pre-order the game. What's even more interesting is that you can unlock items for Kingdom of Amalur by playing the Mass Effect 3 demo later this month. The Mass Effect 3 demo is undated, but will be sometime in January as well. By the way, if you have no idea what Kingdom of Amalur is then I refer you to my overview article from November.

I may just love this idea. They are rewarding you for playing something that is free with free items, sounds like a good idea PR wise. They have a fairly lengthy FAQ, here, about the demo and game if you want to read more about it. Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning will be coming out on February 7th on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, while Mass Effect 3 will be coming out on the same platforms on March 6th. Keep your eyes peeled for those demos and you can be certain that I will be writing a demo impressions on both of those when the time comes. For now, check out one of the newest Kingdom of Amalur trailers.

Kingdom of Amalur Main Website: http://reckoning.amalur.com/en
ME3 Main Website: http://masseffect.bioware.com/me3/home/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

X:COM Enemy Unknown First Details

I recently brought up the new XCOM when it was announced by Game Informer less than a week ago. I also talked about how it will be modeled after the original games, you can check out that short post here. Yesterday Game Informer had a new article about XCOM and they revealed the first screenshots plus they had a short Q&A with themselves where they revealed a bunch of information about the game. There is some truly worrisome information that had been brought up in that interview but first check out the first ingame screenshot. Presumably the game hasn't gotten past the alpha or beta stage yet so don't be as harsh as I want to be with the screenshot, especially the odd looking identical people at the forefront of the shot.

If you can't tell from that screenshot those are Xbox 360 controls displayed, but they had already announced that they had planned for the game to come out on consoles and PC. The odd thing about it is that they didn't release a screenshot of a PC version first, the platform they are known for and the platform that XCOM is known for, and it is also odd that the point of view is so close while the original games all had a top down view. There is also a possible screenshot, or design shot, of how a XCOM base will look. That shot is also quite a bit different than anything from the original game, but it seems to have more favorable possibilities than how the ingame missions look so far.

XCOM was a great series and I will always be worried about someone recreating or re-imagining the game in less than complementary ways, but at least this XCOM has a greatly larger chance of being fantastic than the FPS XCOM that barely resembles the series. To clarify, the FPS XCOM could be a great game on it's own, as a FPS, but not a great XCOM game since it barely follows anything that made the original games great. XCOM Enemy Unknown does a lot to follow the original series. Game Informer talks about turn based and real time strategies and what they reveal is comforting, they insist that this XCOM will be sticking to the old school turn based formula. They also talk about how the global view will present very similar options to the original games, like researching technologies, intercepting UFO's with jets, train soldiers, manage your base and send your transport ship bring the fight to aliens on the ground level. That all sounds good and all but here comes the bad, which may not be bad for certain. Game Informer clearly states that the game will be "dumbed down" to an extent because it is being made for consoles as well, removing large amounts of micromanaging and streamlining aspects of the game. If that doesn't sound bad to you then you must really like it when companies do what they do to games like Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2, Final Fantasy 13, Fable, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Thief 2 and so many others. Despite my concerns this game still can be great and Game Informer insists that it still looks awesome. They are promising to have a continuously flow of content on XCOM all month and I will report back next time they have something significant, but for now head on over to Game Informer to check out the short article yourself. Thanks for reading.
Main Website: http://www.xcom.com/enemyunknown/index.html

All screenshots and new information is from the Game Informer article below. 
Source: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/09/first-screens-and-details-of-xcom-enemy-unknown.aspx

-Written by Sean Cargle

Ludum Dare Results

The Ludum Dare competition has ended and with that we have a whole slew of winners for various different categories. If you've never heard of the competition let me give a brief summary. Ludum Dare is a challenge to developers, by their lonesome, to create the best game they can, within a theme, in forty-eight or seventy-two hours. They have held twenty two competitions since 2002 and often gets hundreds of entries, this year it had eight hundred and ninety-one entries. The competition often gets entries from students, industry professionals and enthusiasts. This year the theme was Alone and they have five winners for each of these categories: Overall, Fun, Innovation, Theme, Community, Graphics, Audio, Humor, Mood and Coolness. There are also "Jam" versions of each of those categories which means that they had seventy-two hours to create a game instead of forty eight and are hence put into their own category. There are no prizes for the competition, merely the developers finished product and a claim to some level of victory. There are a ton of games to go through and try, many of which can be played straight from the web through Unity or Java, but many of the games also allow you to download them for PC, Linux, Mac or you may even download the source code. Check out all the top five winners for each category here and I will go through several of my favorite games from the winners. There is also a list of the top 25 and the top 50 of each category.

My favorites...

A game that is purely about exploration is damn near always a win in my book, especially when it's done in an enjoyable manner with some attractive but old school graphics. This game you can only download, no web version, but it won a bronze medal for coolness and placed as #34 for overall best game. Give it a shot, even for a few minutes, but the game is quite difficult.
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=491

Abandoned is a simple puzzle game that puts you in control of a person aboard a space station who just awoke from some kind of cryogenic freeze. You find that the space station is abandoned and there is no where to go. The levels get difficulty fairly fast but the game isn't that long, much like many of the Ludum Dare entries. This one you can play on the web here. It won a silver award for overall and a bronze for fun, plus it placed fairly high in several other categories. Check it out if you like puzzle games and space environments.
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=1527

Enola is a creepy atmospheric exploration game, with no enemies and merely things to discover about the place you are in. It is first person and won top prizes, gold medals, in mood and theme. It didn't do so well in the fun category, meaning that it probably isn't that fun to play, but it helps a lot if you manage to thoroughly enjoy the environment. If you like games like Silent Hill or Clock Tower you should find some level of enjoyment from Enola. There is no web version but you can download the windows or source version. 
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=7350

Lost is a side scrolling platformer that puts in the shoes of a lonesome cat. There is very little to the game since it is all about getting back home and it doesn't even have a proper ending yet, but it has some of the best graphics of all of the entries, plus it was rated as number twenty-one in the best games overall. The game works well and it's a bit of simple fun, it does help that it reminds me a bit of how Swords and Sorcery EP looks. It only has options to download for windows and it's source version. 
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=2290

Locked Away
Locked away is a platformer with only three levels but it has some very interesting graphics and it placed in the top five in the fun category. It has such an old school look to it and the biggest complaint about the game is that it only has three levels. Do check this one out, it looks to be one of the best of of all the entries. This one is Windows and Linux only, no web version, but there is a source version as well. 
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=1534

Last Breath 
This might be my favorite out of all of the games that I've tried. It is a very sad game, one about a dog getting hit by a car and finding it's way to heaven. Sounds a little lame, but it's got simple platforming complemented by an interesting challenge that presents itself as the dog's shadow. If you like platforming at all check it out. It is very short and can be played on your browser here. This game won a gold medal in graphics (first place) and a bronze medal (third place) overall.
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=2982

Frostbite is a side scrolling platformer/shooter that is about a post apocalyptic soldier in a watchtower who starts seeing things in the middle of nuclear winter. This is one of the few games that actually has a gameplay video, which you can watch below, and it looks fairly simple, like most of these games, but it has some interesting ideas and mechanics. This game happened to win the best overall game and placed ninth place in fun and six place in mood. What all of that means is that this game is worth some time and can be enjoyable for all sorts of gamers, do check it out. It's only available as a download for windows, plus it has the source available. 
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=7981

The last game on my list is another platformer but this one is also a puzzle game. It is a fairly short game and gets tough, but the idea behind it feels surprisingly fresh. It won top awards for fun, innovation, coolness, overall and theme. It is a Jam game though, meaning it was made in seventy-two hours. This game is very easy to play since it is hosted at Kongregate and Wanderlands. Check it out!! 
LD Page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?uid=8643

Those are only the games that I found interesting and enjoyable, there are hundreds more to check out and they are all free. Sure none of these games are likely to last very long but there are some cool ideas that should be interesting. For more check out there main page or my links above at the beginning. Thanks for checking out this post and hopefully some of these indie games. 
Ludum Dare: http://www.ludumdare.com/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, January 9, 2012

Elemental War of Magic: Fallen Enchantress

Do you remember the promising Elemental War of Magic? It was a fantasy turn based strategy game that looked great but was released as a buggy incomplete mess that was to become a great failure of Stardock Entertainment. They had apologized for it continuously and offered a great deal of support to those who had purchased the game and their fans, something which they should be complemented for, and are now working on a proper sequel called Fallen Enchantress. Both games should be familiar looking to anyone who grew up playing Age of Wonders, Kings Bounty or Heroes of Might & Magic, it is a similar type of game but with it's own personality and unique features. Check out this video to see how the first game looked, gameplay wise. I should note that the first game is now up to version 1.4 and that many people actually enjoy that version of the game quite a bit.

There is a lengthy developer journal over at their website that is talking about how the Fallen Enchantress beta is coming along. The lead developer for the game is/was one of the main developer from the popular Fall From Heaven mod and is currently working on making the game stable and perform well on all types of machines. Having not played Elemental War of Magic I cannot say that the game looks better than the first but it does still look appealing, hell it always looked appealing, but the myriad of bugs and performance issues from the first game beat that excitement out of me. With Fallen Enchantress there is nothing to squash my hope away and the game looks to have some interesting features. You have character creation in the beginning and the game randomly generates a back story based on your leader and faction choices. Here is and example they showed off of the someone from character creation.

The game still has the cartoon like look that is appealing to me but is probably a bit off putting to people who prefer more realistic looking graphics. The world map looks pretty similar to the original game except with some new additions and zooming options, plus some new ways to view the economy. The combat system also looks just like the first game except now combat is based on initiative. Now you might have a really fast unit that can take several actions before a really slow enemy unit might get one. To balance this out there is a counter system that lets some units retaliate against enemy units when they are attacked. This all should sound very familiar to anyone who has played any of the aforementioned games, as it is a common system. On the other hand the one unit taking several actions before an enemy unit gets one on isn't very common though, most of these types of games go one and one. Just like most of these types of games magic plays an important role in the battle and determining who is victorious.

With the maps and units they have added tool tips to damn near everything to make it easier to understand everything. You can now zoom out to this cloth map, which looks nice and gives an easy overview of the area.

They have also changed the tech trees to make them a little easier to use. They used to have a ton of options, too many options apparently but now they have refined them into something that a little more manageable. They have also spent a lot of time working on AI, because unlike most turn based games you do not have to watch the AI movie in between turns, instead when you hit end turn it almost immediately goes to the next turn and all the AI actions take place in the background. I personally like seeing what the AI is doing and determining when they might move against me based on their movements, but if they do this right by making it so you don't feel at a loss then it could be quite nice for the games pacing. The last bit of news on about how the game is coming along is about the beta. Sometime this month anyone who purchased Elemental War of Magic will be getting an email from the developers telling them about the beta. On January 19th the beta will be released to all who own the first game and on January 26th it will enter an open beta that is available to everyone. If you bought Elemental War of Magic before March 2012 you will also get Fallen Enchantress for free and if you purchased it anytime after that you will get an unspecified discount. To read more about it check out their forum post below. Check out this new developer video going over a few things on the world map. Thanks for reading and I sure hope that Fallen Enchantress turns out way better than the first game.
Dev Post: http://forums.elementalgame.com/414567
Main Website: http://www.elementalgame.com/

*All information taken from the main website and forum post. 
-Written by Sean Cargle