Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic Going F2P

This was hardly unexpected, especially with EA officially reporting that the Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) has fallen below one million subscribers, but SWTOR is going to free to play entirely this fall. Back in June SWTOR had already gone partially free to play, with up to level 15 free in a sort of trial version, but this version is quite a bit different. Once it goes F2P you will be able to access all eight classes up to level fifty, with some restrictions for end-game content, plus there will be a new type of currency for in-game purchases. You can still play the game the good old fashioned monthly subscription way and if you choose to do that you will get a monthly stipend of Cartel Coins, the new in-game currency, that you will use for customizing gear. On top of all of this SWTOR will soon be lowering its purchase price to $14.99. Check out all of the details here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

ARMA 2: Army of the Czech Republic

I was under the impression that nothing else would be coming out for ARMA 2 before ARMA 3 comes out in 2013, but here we are with a new DLC being released today that looks to be almost size-able as the expansion Operation Arrowhead. Army of the Czech Republic is only a DLC, not a standalone expansion, but ti does add a new singleplayer campaign, new units, new vehicles, new maps and some new multiplayer modes, all for the odd price of $12. You probably haven't heard about it yet because most people play ARMA 2 through Steam and it doesn't come out on Steam until August sometime, but it is out today through Bohemia Interactive's store. Take a look at what this DLC contains.

Orcs Must Die! 2 Review

Many people may argue that Orcs Must Die! 2 is merely Orcs Must Die! 1.5, which has some validity to it, but Robot Entertainment has listened to what their fans have wanted and delivered an improved, smoother and versatile tower defense action game. This may not feel like a new game, but is a better experience than the first game, an experience that keeps you wanting to do just one more level, unlock one more trap and defend one more rift. Sure, you can probably already tell that I like this game and have had a great time with it so far, but don't let that deter you from reading about why I believe it is worthy of your fifteen dollars and of your time. Before I go into all of that, let me give a brief overview of the game and if you know all of that already then just skip on over the next paragraph.

The first Orcs Must Die! came out in 2011, only a year ago, and it is a singleplayer game that gives you control of an unnamed war mage that must defend the magic rifts from legions of orcs. You do this by putting down many different types of traps, using spells, wielding ranged and melee weapons, and by summoning guardians to your side. You can also upgrade all of your traps with skulls, which were basically upgrade points. You earn skulls based on your performance on any given level. Orcs Must Die! 2 improves upon all of that by adding more traps, more customization options for every spell, trap and guardian, and by allowing you to customize your character for the first time. Most importantly though, you can now play through the game with a friend and it is a blast. Orcs Must Die! 2 (OMD2) officially comes out today, July 30th, on Steam only and for PC.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dragon's Dogma Review

This odd mix of Monster Hunter, Devil May Cry and your typical open world RPG was released back in May on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, since then I have put in fifty hours and experienced the majority of what it has to offer. I was initially interested in Dragon's Dogma because you could climb giants, scale dragons and fight enemies of grand scale in epic battles with a party by your side, a party that can learn tactics against every enemy in the game. This is the first attempt by Capcom, to my knowledge, to try to do a RPG of this scale and in they did a pretty decent job at tackling this type of game, but there is plenty to like and dislike about the game.

One of the most enjoyable parts of Dragon's Dogma is the combat. It is smooth, satisfying and well done. Smaller enemies are a more typical affair, but even they have different weaknesses and strengths. It is exhilarating when you are fighting a huge enemy for the first time, like a dragon or golem, and trying to figure out how to kill it, especially when none of your party members have any knowledge about how to kill it. Being able to climb up the tail of a dragon as it flies through a forest breathing fire down onto your panicking allies is fun, to say the least. Large enemies are a lot more complex than the smaller enemies and can be mutilated in many different ways. For instance, cyclops can be armored and you need to knock off their armor in order to hit that specific body part. You can also stab them in the hands and make them drop their clubs, hit them in the eye for extreme damage or attack their tusks to make them panic. While all of those different ways to attack a cyclops do specific things, like more damage or changing the stance of the cyclops, they also each drop specific items, which you use to upgrade your equipment.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Castle Story Kickstarter

I don't know if I've ever seen a Kickstarter blow up this fast, maybe Wasteland 2 or Double Fine Adventure, but the Castle Story Kickstarter has only been going for four of five hours and they have already exceeded their goal of $100,000. People care, I care, and you might care to if you enjoy the idea of building your own castle in a free form way that lets you customize every detail. You have to mine for materials and you also have to defend your castle from rock people, but even in its prototype stage Castle Story looks exciting. It reinvigorates the same part of me that Gnomoria does, or Dwarf Fortress or Minecraft. It asks me if I love to build and create and then gives me the means to do so on a large island. The game is coming to PC and Mac and being developed by Sauropod Studios. Take a look at the Kickstarter video and then I'll say a little bit more about it.


Everyone who contributes to the Kickstarter, any of the pledge levels, get the beta, which is essentially the game. The beta is their way of giving you the game early on and letting you experience it and shape it as it develops, like Minecraft, Starfarer and many other indie games. The demo shown in the above video is their prototype and if you back the game for $25, the second tier, then you get access to that right after the Kickstarter ends. The prototype won't be updated, but it will give you something to mess with until the beta comes along. If you want some more gameplay of Castle Story then check out their gameplay video below, which was rather popular, but remember it is an earlier version then the one in the video. Thanks for checking it out. 
Kickstarter Page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/902505202/castle-story

-Written by Sean Cargle

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Walking Dead on the iOS

It has come and it is apparently a good port. They have released the first episode of The Walking Dead game on iPhone and iPad, which is called The Walking Dead: The Game on the App store. The first episode costs $4.99 and you can purchase the rest of episodes for $14.99, which is a total of $20, five dollars less than the PC and console version. The game is still supposed to look rather good, according to Kotaku, and requires the iPad 2 or iPhone4. You can still expect the same game and the same story from the PC and console versions. It is a rather good game by the way, at least so far. Check out my review of episode one or episode two, but it's great to see a good game moving on over to a platform that should work well with a point and click adventure game. Thanks for reading.
AppStore: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/walking-dead-the-game

-Written by Sean Cargle

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

It has been a good while since there has been news about the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition, but now they have all of the details and the release date of September 2012. The Enhanced Edition will be adding new adventures, three new characters, over 400 improvements, support for wide screen, support for high resolutions, improved multiplayer support and more. This release is just for Baldur's Gate 1, which includes the whole game and the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion. They will also eventually be doing a similar release for Baldur's Gate 2. This first release will be for iPad, PC and Mac, with an Android version coming later on. Here are the prices:

PC version: $19.99
iPad Version: $9.99
Mac Version: $19.99

All three versions contain the same new content and improvements, but there are obviously some differences based on the platform. You can find out any extra information about the Enhanced Edition over at the Overhaul Games website. I can't personally tell a whole lot from the screenshots for the game, but all of the improvements sound very useful and I can't wait to take another dive into one of my favorite RPG's of all time. Thanks for reading.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Orcs Must Die! 2 Demo

Surprise surprise, a demo for Orcs Must Die! 2 has popped up on Steam today and it was rather hidden. I was only aware of it because Robot Entertainment sent me an email about the demo, while Steam doesn't have it in the demos section yet. The demo lets you play through the first two levels of the game, with each character, and you can also presumably play it cooperatively. I don't have anyone on my friends list to try out that option yet, they are all at work, but in the game there is an option to invite someone from your friends list into your party, so it does seem like the demo allows to play singleplayer and multiplayer. Each character has different starting weapons and traps, but otherwise they have the same options for unlocking new traps and weapons. Here is the some gameplay of the demo, but if you want try it yourself then head on over to the Orcs Must Die! 2 Steam Page and download it. The game will be releasing on July 30th on PC and we will absolutely be reviewing it. Thanks for checking it out.
Main Website: http://www.robotentertainment.com/games/omd2

-Written by Sean Cargle

Escape is Always an Option

One more look at powers, one more look at the brutality and one more look at the world of Dishonored. Bethesda released a new trailer for the game today that shows off three different ways to escape from a place called Boyle Mansion. It is easy to three all three as a bit showy, especially the possession part when they possess a fish for no apparent reason, but it is still an impressive way to show off the game. If you want some details about other portions of Dishonored check out my post about it from E3. The game will be coming out October 9th in North America and the 12th in Europe. It will be releasing on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Now, take a look at Dishonored - Daring Escapes.
Main Website: http://www.dishonored.com/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

COH 2: ColdTech Revealed

I've gushed about Company of Heroes far too many times here, or maybe not enough, but either way it should be evident that I'm ecstatic that Relic has decided to slow down on the Dawn of War games and make a sequel to Company of Heroes. They announced Company of Heroes 2 back in May and since then they have revealed plenty of details about the new setting to many different press websites and magazines, but today they publicly revealed ColdTech. It is a new technology that is part of their Essence 3.0 engine that will visually and mechanically alter the game. With it they are trying to represent the extreme cold that many soldiers had to fight in during World War II on the eastern front. Infantry units in the game, when exposed to the cold winter, will freeze and die under the extreme conditions, especially if their is a blizzard.

Left 4 Dead 2 - Cold Stream

I don't know if we ever written about Left 4 Dead 1 or 2 here, but I have been an adamant fan of the series since its inception. Left 4 Dead 2 has been out on PC for years and they are still releasing new content for the game. The modding community has always been very active for source games and Left 4 Dead is no exception. Cold Stream is one of the more popular community made campaigns and it is the highlight of the Left 4 Dead 2 release today. This release adds three more recreated campaigns from Left 4 Dead 1: Death Tool, Dead Air and Blood Harvest, while also adding the Cold Stream campaign and a new one called Crash Course. All of these campaigns will feature the full set of mutations and will automatically update for PC and Mac. It has not been released for Xbox 360 yet, but they are working on it and claim it will be coming out sometime soon.

There is also some additional Left 4 Dead 2 on top of all of this. I recently wrote about Steam and Linux, and today they are confirming today that Left 4 Dead 2 will be the first Valve game coming to Linux. They have also revealed that Left 4 Dead 2 is now added to the Source Film Maker. There were already some Left 4 Dead 2 assets put into the film maker by the community, but this will officially add it all in there. This was all announced in conjunction with the Steam sale of L4D2 for $5, which will end on Thursday the 26th. Thanks for checking this all out and for more take a look at the original post by Valve. It's been a long time since I've played Left 4 Dead 2 and I'm excited for a reason to come back to it.

-Written by Sean Cargle

July iPhone Review Round-Up

It is the time once again to do our monthly iPhone reviews. This month we have the adaption of Summoner Wars for iOS, the space strategy game Strikefleet Omega and the arcade game Burnout: Crash!. Last month we had reviews for Wings of Valor, Neuroshima Hex, Majesty, Crow, Defender Chronicles II and Dungeon Village, check those out here. If you have any questions about any of the games or any suggestions please leave me some comments. First up, Summoner Wars.

Summoner Wars by Playdek
There are many board game and card game adaptions on the iPhone, but Summoner Wars is one of the best I've seen so far. This is a rather popular card game that lets you pick a race specific deck and battle against other players or AI in one versus one games. You can customize your deck with various units and there is a bit of depth when it comes to that, but not an excessive amount like many other card games. You move your units across across a board in an attempt to kill the enemy Summoner. There is a bit of luck in each game, especially since everything relies on dice rolls, but it is mostly about strategy and picking the right decks to combat the strategy of other players. It has a tutorial and it does take a little while to get used to everything in the game, especially since every unit/card in the game has specific traits or abilities, but the curve is far lighter than every other card game I've played on the iPhone. Take a look at this video before I go into anymore details.

A Sale for Console Gamers

Best Buy is doing a rather surprising sale for console games and it has some impressive deals. The Steam sale just ended for PC gamers and most people now own more games than they have time to play, but now console gamers are getting a little bit of love. Best Buy has about 141 game related products on sale, but I will list the most notable ones I can find below. All of these can be shipped or picked up at the store and I should note that they have some extra deals if you are picking up at the store, like $10 off a total purchase of $50 or more. Take a look.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Star Command Part 2

Earlier this year we saw a promising Kickstarter for a Star Trek-ish space management game called Star Command, but it was for the iPhone. That Kickstarter was successfully funded and it should be coming on iOS late this summer. Originally I saw the developers talking about a new Kickstarter for their game and I was a bit offended. They had not planned for the costs of everything,  like shipping costs for hundreds of shirts, and it seemed wrong to start another Kickstarter just because they messed up. Little did I know this second Kickstarter would be about a PC/Mac version of Star Command, which will port over the game to PC/Mac and add a lot of new content to the game. The game is all about exploring, fighting aliens, developing your crew and designing your ship. Check out this new Kickstarter video, which is a wonderful homage to William Shatner.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The First Playlist

I am starting a weekly video called The Playlist. Every week I am going to be showing off what I have been playing, assuming I am able to obtain gameplay footage of it, and some short impressions and explanations about each game. I ram-shackled together the first Playlist, for today, and I will do a new one every Friday. This first one contains Dear Esther, Saints Row The Third, Starfarer, Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai and L.A. Noire. Let me know what you think and take a look. Have a great weekend everyone.


-Written by Sean Cargle

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First Look: The War Z

Today Arktos Entertainment and Hammerpoint Interactive announced The War Z, a zombie survival MMO that will put up to two hundred and fifty players in a large area and let them try to survive. Before you say Day Z is better or write it off as a Day Z clone, you should take a look all of the details. They are both zombie games, for sure, but otherwise they are very different. The War Z is indeed an MMO and it will be exclusively for PC. You will be able to play the game in normal mode, where death is merely a setback and you don't permanently die, or in hardcore mode, where your character will permanently die if you are killed. There are strong RPG elements like quests and experience/leveling. Each map will be between 200 and 400 square kilo-meters, which is about 250 miles at max, and players will be able to cooperate or kill each other. It isn't going to be as much of an open sandbox world as Day Z, mainly because there will be safe settlements where players can buy or sell items and leave notes for other players, but it still looks like it has a lot to offer.

Here is the initial list of the features in The War Z:

  • Survival Horror MMO with entire game world build around a Zombie Apocalypse
  • Two modes of play: Normal (downed characters can be revived after “cool down” period) and Hardcore (death will be permanent)
  • Ability to switch between first-person (FPS) and third-person (TPS) perspectives
  • Huge maps ranging between 200 and 400 square kilometers
  • Meld of PvE (player versus environment) and PvP (player versus player) gameplay
  • Unique social elements, including bounties, rewards, help requests, trap setting, etc.
  • Safe Settlements: safe cities within the world where players can purchase, sell and store items as well as post notes for other players
  • Single purchase, downloadable client with ability to play full game without subscriptions or requiring in-game transactions
  • Full developer support with regularly scheduled, free content updates
  • Dedicated public servers as well as private servers that can be completely self-managed in game client

Battlefield 3 Armored Kill

Armored Kill is the next map pack/DLC for Battlefield 3 and it is set to release in September. It is essentially the opposite of the recently released Close Quarters DLC, where all the maps were about infantry combat in tight corridors on small maps. Armored Kill is all about huge open maps that let you fight in air vehicles, ground vehicles and infantry. There will be new vehicles, like artillery, and other content, like new assignments, on top of the new maps. They are also adding a new vehicle orientated mode called Tank Superiority. I am very excited about Armored Kill and mainly because of the map sizes. For the first time DICE has recognized that none of the maps in BF3 are even close to the size of classics like El Alamein and Fushe Pass. Before I go any farther check out the newly released Armored Kill trailer.


That trailer is unfortunately pretty short, but on the Battlefield 3 blog they have a bit of extra information about Armored Kill. It is known, but they reiterate the point that one of the maps in Armored Kill is supposed to be the largest map ever in the Battlefield series. The map they show off on this blog is that very map and it is called Bandar Desert. It is going to be roughly double the size of Caspian Border, the largest BF3 map at the moment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Endless Space Review

I haven't played that many 4x strategy games and I'm barely familiar with the term, but I have played an immense amount of strategy games and you can see Endless Space being influenced by many classics, like the Galactic Civilization series. Endless Space is a 4x turn based strategy game that puts a heavy focus on exploration, diplomacy, economy and war, but don't expect something combat focused like Sins of a Solar Empire or Freespace, this game is more focused on building your empire. You have eight different races to choose from, all of which have their traits, bonuses and negatives, and you can play the game singleplayer or multiplayer. Each race also has a massive tech tree, most of which is the same between all races, but each tree has unique technology specific to each race. There isn't a story based campaign in Endless Space and it is just big open sandbox style game that lets you customize everything. It came out on July 4th, exclusively on Steam and PC, and costs $30. The game can be played solo or with many other players online. For a general preview of the game watch this video, but the rest of this post will be focused on reviewing the different portions of the game.

Krater Video Review

The squad based action RPG Krater has been out for a little over a month now and since then they have released tons of patches. I originally delayed reviewing Krater since everyone was reviewing the state of the game at release and Fatshark has fixed up many of the problems that people originally had with the game. I made a video review in order to show off various parts of the game and explain what it has to offer. Krater is out for PC only, Mac release sometime this month, and available through Steam. It is normally $15, but it is currently on sale for $11.24. Check out the video and thanks for reading.
Main Website: http://www.kratergame.com/
Steam Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/42170/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Mutants and Airplanes

The last time we got to check out Metro: Last Light was at E3 2011, but this year they had a much larger demo to show off at E3 2012. They have released the full footage of that demo and it is thirteen minutes long. The demo shows off a romp through post-apocalyptic Russia, with mutant animals all over the place and dead bodies littering every area they explore. The game is developed by 4A Games and Published by THQ. If you cannot tell from the name, Metro: Last light it is the sequel to 2010's Metro 2033, which was a linear story based first person shooter. Last Light is going to be following suite, which initially made me think the game was destined to be hated by me, but it actually looks rather good. The graphics are fantastic, the hit boxes are impressive and the environments will shame other first person shooters. The game doesn't come out till 2013, but it could turn out to be hugely popular. Without further ado, here is the video and I hope you enjoy it.
Main Website: http://www.enterthemetro.com/us/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Steam and Linux

For years there has been talk of Steam coming to Linux. They have been testing Ubuntu, one of the Linux operating systems, for a few source games over the last several years and have been met with success. The first game they successfully brought over to Linux was Left 4 Dead 2, but it had been a small team working on that. Since that success Valve got a bit more interested and have started some news projects, like getting Steam onto Linux with full functionality, getting L4D2 to run at a high frame rate on Ubuntu and porting more Valve titles. They chose to do all of this on Ubuntu because it is very popular among Linux users and good for gaming. All of that isn't huge news, but the most important thing to note is that Valve has set up a Valve Linux blog and will be updating that regularly with their progress. Keep an eye on it.
Valve Linux Blog: http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/

-Written by Sean Cargle


The last time Fornite surfaced was at the 2011 Video Game Awards in December and all we had then was a trailer. Over the last seven months Epic Games has kept a tight lid on Fornite and has revealed nothing about it. The first trailer for the game was cinematic and only revealed that it is a zombie game, of sorts, and involves survivors building a fort. The survivors scavenge by day to find materials and defend at night. Other than those two tid bits of basic information we have had nothing on Fornite, until last week, when Epic Games revealed a little bit more, but mostly just the first in-game screenshots. If you didn't see the trailer for Fornite you might expect this to be another dark and bloody title by Epic Games, but it certainly is a much lighter take. Check out the first screenshot.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Prison Architect At Rezzed

Introversions's Prison Architect was announced last November for PC and since then there has been very little new information about the game, until now. At Rezzed, the indie game show in England last week, Introversion had a very long presentation and they talked about their previous projects before Prison Architect and why they were put aside in order to work on Prison Architect. They also explained how much of the technology they have developed over the years has been utilized in Prison Architect. The game they want to make is one that lets you build and manage a prison in interesting and enjoyable ways. Sure you are managing a prison and not a theme park, so it may not sound all that exciting, but Prison Architect is looking to be the first game in a long time to tackle the management simulation genre in exciting new ways. Take a look at the first trailer for Prison Architect from last November.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Borderlands 2 Impressions

Everyone loves Borderlands right? Well, surprisingly not. The first Borderlands did really well, especially on PC due to the co-op based sales that sold four packs of the game for the price of two copies, but people still have legitimate gripes about the game due to its lackluster singleplayer mode. However, for anyone who enjoys shooters with rpg mechanics, like random loot and leveling, and likes to play games with a few friends then Borderlands is fantastic. Borderlands 2 is still focusing on delivering a stellar cooperative experience, but they are also trying to improve the story sections of the game in order to appease people who found that portion of the first game to be lackluster.

Adam and I played Borderlands 2 twice at the E3 and the first experience left us with a sour taste in our mouths. We first played it in the Microsoft section of the showfloor on one of the booths, on Xbox 360. The demo there was a open area and it just kind of threw you in without any story or customize options. We spent the majority of the demo there wandering around looking for ammo since the players before us left us both with empty guns. This demo also made the game out to be very ugly, graphically. The textures were bad, the terrain was clipping and the once pleasant graphical style looked very dated. However, the next day we got into a semi-private demo of Borderlands 2 that let us both play through a single story in the game.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare News

Do you remember PAX East in April? Well that was the last time we heard from Torn Banner Studios about Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. I was honestly getting a bit worried that something bad had happened during development, but yesterday they put up a lovely new video and made me once again excited for this first person medieval hack fest. It is one of the few games out there that is really trying to tackle medieval combat in an intelligent way with their stamina based system that requires players to know their weapon and how to use it effectively, especially when it comes to blocking and stamina. The game also has real objectives that sound absolutely splendid, like knocking down the front door of a castle with a battering ram. They are trying to do this all with a multiplayer focus and if they can pull it off then it will be a very unique game. To take a look at all of our previous coverage of Chivalry, head to to this post.

The new video for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a developer blog and it shows off a bit of new content, plus  it has one of the developers explaining how they are tackling combat. Last time we saw gameplay the melee combat didn't have very good hit detection, flow or animations, but this new video shows a good deal of improvement with all three of those. Along with this video is the announcement that they are nearing the end of development and they are starting to market the game as much as they can. If you want to talk to the developers or other fans head on over to the Chivalry Forums. Without further ado here is the video and thanks for checking it out. As Chivalry nears release I hope we get to see a lot more about it.
Main Website: http://www.chivalrythegame.com/blog/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Steam Summer Sale

It has begun! If your a PC gamer you probably have already seen the sale or read about it on every single other website that is even the slightest bit gaming related, but if you haven't seen it let me show off what the sales are for day 1 and give a few recommendations. Unlike last year, this sale is only a sale, there are no achievements to earn for free games or coupons, but they haven't added badges. Badges seem to be the same thing as achievements, but aren't tied to a specific game. I know the way they did it last year was a bit odd, especially with most people not earning a single game and ending up with mostly just crap coupons, but I'm sad to see them not doing anything as interesting as last year.

Just a bit of information before we get onto the sales. The sale will run from July 12th until July 22nd. The Steam Summer Sale consists of daily deals, publisher deals, community choice deals and regular deals. The daily deals are the best sales Steam has to offer and they make any game 50-75% off, even new games. The publisher deals will be on sale the whole ten days and they offer entire collections of games for 50% off or more. The community choice deals change every eight hours and they let you the Steam Community vote for one game to go on sale, for 60-75% off, every eight hours. For this first eight hours it is between The Witcher 2, Saints Row The Third and Batman: Arkham City. Now onto the sales.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Coma: A Mind Adventure

First person puzzle games are pretty rare and I haven't seen one this gorgeous since Myst, but this one has interesting gameplay mechanics and gorgeous environments. In Coma you are controlling someone that has been in a car accident and is in a deep coma. Everything in this PC/Mac game is part of that and your character must come to accept something in his subconscious in order to escape the coma. To do this you have to go through many different environments and solve puzzles using the climate and weather. All you will be able to do as the player is change the weather and climate, but every environment reacts differently to those changes. There will also be more challenging puzzles that involve entities, like using the weather or climate to defeat a colossus. There will also be a narration going through the game, similar to Dear Esther, but it won't be helping you with puzzles or anything. Check out this new trailer for the game and see how it looks.

Minecraft 1.3

It's been quite a long time since anyone was excited about Minecraft for PC, but we should never forget that it is still a great game and that it is still in development. Mojang, Jens/Jeb, recently put a post about the upcoming Minecraft 1.3 update, which is rather large. It is going to be coming out on August 1st and it is adding some big features like adventure mode, trading, writing in books, some new biomes, temples, desert villages, new types of ores and many improvements. The new adventure mode is beginning of something interesting, but it is still very barebones and doesn't change much yet.

Jungle Temple

There is a bit going on with multiplayer in the 1.3 update. Multiplayer is getting a bunch of fixes and singleplayer is pretty much going to disappear. They are trying to make it so singleplayer and multilplayer are connected, so they can easily update and fix things just in one version, not two, but this does mean that singleplayer is going to be a bit harder to run. A good thing about all this is the ability to share single player worlds with friends who are on the same local network. You will also be able to do console commands in singleplayer, but only if you enable them. Something about all of that does make me a bit nervous, honestly makes me think of Diablo 3, but hopefully it isn't quite as obtrusive.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Steam Greenlight

If you are a PC gamer and like to invest in indie games, or at least take notice of them, then you are likely well aware that Steam is pretty odd when it comes to accepting indie games. There have been many games that were really solid, like Space Pirates and Zombies, that had a really hard time getting onto Steam, while many others haven't been able to get into there at all. The reasoning for this stingy-ness is to control the quality of games on Steam, but when you see games like Revelations 2012 getting through then it really makes one question why so many games of higher quality don't get accepted. Steam Greenlight is going to change all that.

 With Steam Greenlight some of the control is going to be put into the hands of the Steam community. Greenlight is going to be system that lets the community vote on what game they want to be accepted into Steam. Developers will submit their game to the system and then the community will be able to rate that game. The game will have it's own page and the developer can put on screenshots, videos and as much information as they want. Valve will look at the games and reach out to the developers if they see a decent amount of interest in the game. The games won't be required to have a specific amount of votes, they just mainly want to see if their is a real desire from the community to see that game on Steam. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Look at Survarium

Not too long ago, many PC gamers cried out in pain when it was revealed that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 had been cancelled and the developer, GSC Game World, had gone under. Out of that wreckage came out Survarium, a free to play MMO first person shooter set in a post apocalyptic world that looks fairly STALKER-ish. The new company working on this, Vostok Games, is made up of many of the old GSC Game World developers that worked on the STALKER series and they are obviously bringing over some similar ideas to Survarium. When I wrote about it before they didn't have a lot of information on the game, it had just been announced, but today they have put up their first in-game screenshots of the game. They also have a new developer diary talking about storyline, game components, atmosphere, characters and the in-game modes. Check out that developer diary and then take a look at the other three screenshots.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Starved For Help Review

Starved For Help is the second episode of the five part series of the Telltale Game's The Walking Dead adventure games for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. This episode is all about food and survival, but it still has a heavy focus on choices, not combat, and putting you into challenging situations that force you to decide quickly and face major consequences. You continue the story of Lee Everett, a man in Georgia who has inadvertently returned to his home town in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. The story you play is designed for mature audiences and questions you in ways you may not expect for a game about zombies, especially when lives are on the line. Just like the first game you can still expect to see characters brought to life through excellent animations and voice acting. Just like my review of the first episode, I will be keeping this one spoiler free. If you are looking for information on pricing and availability or an overview on the game check out that review.

The Promise of Final Fantasy XIII-3: Hopes and Dreams

It is the characters that make the XIII story so memorable.

Welcome to the third installment in Violent Gamer’s ongoing “The Promise of Final Fantasy XIII-3” series.  In the last installment (which you can find here), I wrote about the main reasons why I think Final Fantasy XIII-3 should be made – chiefly, that there is still no end to the XIII story.  There is a very large fanbase for the Final Fantasy XIII games, and ultimately we care too much about Lightning and her friends to not see their story until the end.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Endless Space Released

I don't know how this happened, but I've never actually written about Endless Space here. I've been playing this 4x turn based strategy game since it has been in alpha, but I somehow managed to do a couple of videos about it and never wrote about it, apologies. Endless Space is developed by Amplitude Studios and it was released yesterday, July 4th, for PC and for $30. It is a game all about exploring a customize-able galaxy and trying to survive again pirates and other races. You choose from one of eight races and start out with one planet, a colony ship and a scout ship. You then move out to new star systems, find new planets to colonize and build your empire into something powerful, which doesn't necessarily have to do with military strength. You can win a game by conquering all other races, becoming the scientific leaders of the universe or by convincing everyone to be your friends and live peacefully. Take a look at the launch trailer then let me explain the game a bit more.

More Friends Than You Can Count

About halfway through June the modders at Just Cause 2 Multiplayer, JC2 MP, revealed that they have still been working on the mod and it is now closer to release than ever. They have run into plenty of setbacks, like the world being empty and AI not working, but they have managed to do some fantastic things. The last time I posted JC2 MP they had just done some private multiplayer tests and posted some videos of it all, but since then they have done large public tests with 215 + players. If you want to join in on the multiplayer extravaganza you can do so as long as you keep an eye on their Facebook or Twitter page. It would also help if you actually owned Just Cause 2 for PC. They just did a test yesterday and they are planning to do another one this weekend. Now I leave you with one of the many videos from one of their recent playtests.
Main Website: http://www.jc-mp.com/

-Written by Sean Cargle

Mount and Blade Pirates

The Mount & Blade series for PC is one that is hard to get into, especially with its lackluster graphics and tough learning curve, but I'll be damned if they don't offer one of the best sandbox experiences out there. Few other games start you as nothing and let you develop into anything from a brutal mercenary to the leader of your own kingdom. They also tackled medieval politics in an interesting way by giving you so many options when dealing with the many different warring factions around the map, much of which relied on building influence with individuals. The series has brought three games so far, and one DLC, and now the developers who made Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, Snowbird Game Studios, are cooking up a new Mount & Blade and this one will be all about battling enemy galleons in the Caribbean. It doesn't have a name yet, but I expect I'm sure we can expect it to be pirate or nautical themed.

If you didn't notice, this Mount & Blade isn't made by the original developers, Taleworlds Entertainment, who made Mount & Blade and Warband, which happen to be my favorite games of the series. They are off working on some kind of Mount & Blade 2, but until then we have this pirated themed adventure to look forward to. It will feature:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hero Academy for Steam

One of my favorite iPhone strategy games is now coming to Steam. It is a game that is turn based and similar to the combat from the Heroes of Might & Magic series, but it is entirely player versus player multiplayer and it is only one versus one. Each game has you trying to destroy the other teams crystals, or you can go defensive and try to outlast their entire deck of units, enhancements and spells. It is a good game, pretty balanced and is designed really well, especially since you can take a turn then go on with your day and come back to it at anytime. Check out my review of the iPhone version, but for the rest of this post I will be focusing on new version for Steam.

The iPhone version of Hero Academy was free, but they released new teams over time and each of those cost a bit of money. For the PC/Steam version of Hero Academy, still being developed by Robot Entertainment, they are going to do that a little bit different. Hero Academy will have a base price, like most games, and it will start you with two teams: The Team Fortress 2 team and the Council team. Additionally, if you have already own Hero Academy for iOS and have purchased any teams on there then they will transfer over to the Steam version as long as you use the same account. Furthermore, the two versions of the Hero Academy will be cross platform. I've yet to see anyone actually do cross platform correctly so I'm super excited to see how this is going to work. If you don't know what I mean by cross platform let me clarify, it means that if you play the Steam version of Hero Academy you will be able to play against a friend on the iPhone or iPad version. All versions of the game will be open to each other. Also, if you purchase a new team on the Steam version it will be available in your iOS version as well, assuming you use the same account for both.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Total War: Rome II Confirmed

You know when something shows up in an upcoming magazine it is all but confirmed, like I talked about in my previous post about Rome II, but today Creative Assembly has confirmed and revealed a great detail about Rome II. They did it all in anticipation of Rezzed, the new indie games show in England that is going to be on July 6th and 7th. There be a bit more coming from that show later in the week, but for now we have plenty to talk about with Rome II.

The Total War series, which Rome II is part of, are a series of real time strategy games that have taken PC gamers through many different war-like periods of history, like Medieval Europe, Colonial America, feudal Japan and more. The newest games in the series are Shogun 2, Empire and Medieval II. If you would like to know more about their newest game, Shogun 2, check out my review here, but for the rest of this I will be focusing on Rome II.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Amazon Summer Sale

Every PC gamer out there is writhing around in pain as we all wait for the unannounced Steam Summer Sale, but Amazon is about to show us all that other digital distributors can present some pretty impressive offerings. Starting today, July 1st, Amazon is starting their summer sale and with that we have about twenty-five games on sale for some really low prices. Leading the sale will be Max Payne 3 and Spec Ops: The Line, both of which are very new, Steam activate-able and 50% off. Speaking of Steam, the large majority of the games on this sale are Steam active-able, but I will list them all and let you know exactly which ones are and aren't. Most the games are on sale until around July 14th, but a few of them are only 50% off for a few days. Let me show you the list and give a few short recommendations, plus links to videos if you want to see any of these games in action. All of this is courtesy of NeoGaf and Tony the Amazon video game representative over there.