At the end of 2011's December, Bioware released their long-awaited addition to the MMORPG world with Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). In addition to the usual MMO elements we've come to expect in these games, Bioware promised heavy focus on "the 4th Pillar" in MMOs: Story. Backed with EA's financial strength and Bioware's undoubted talent at bringing in-depth and personal storylines to their players, SWTOR was gearing up to look like an attractive proposition. It has now been five full months since release - so how well has Bioware delivered on their promises? And perhaps more pertinently, how well has TOR lived up to the massive (and dangerous) hype prior to launch?


Warlock - Master of the Arcane Review

in Games
Published May 30, 2012 at 5:46 am

Warlock - Master of the Arcane is an intriguing amalgamation of Disciples, Magic: The Gathering (I'm going somewhere with this), Heroes, and the Civilization series; the game combines powerful, player-cast sorcery with standard turn-based global domination, adding a bit of unique strategy to the mix in a number of ways (including multiple worlds per game, different unit races, and special upgrades - all discussed below).


There's something to be said about being able to survive the howling winds of Windhelm with nothing but a loin cloth and cold iron sword; Dovahkiin is not only Dragonborn, he is -- for playability purposes, of course -- resistant to all types of weather and hunger. After our previous graphics and content overhaul (which will be updated soon, no doubt), we thought it was time to venture into the world of hardcore survival mods for some seriously challenging gameplay.


What Peripherals Say About Gaming Style

By Published May 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

There are a lot of ways to measure a gamer's personal style: Kill-to-Death ratios, class choices, progression, the ability to endure 60 hours of clicking, and -- naturally -- gaming peripherals. Nothing speaks more to gaming finesse than arming oneself with the latest, most expensive keyboard, a 7.1, nay, 19.5 surround-sound headset, a 17-button mouse, and a comfortable chair. The same can be said for those making use of creaky, yellowed, fuzzy keyboards and mice from the 90s (which, allegedly, are no longer considered to be "10 years ago.")

pierpheral-kb2One of the most expensive keyboards out there. Good news: The price was dropped to 60,000 rubles.

What sort of stereotypes arise from categories of peripherals, then? After our gaming personalities article, we figured it was time to delve a bit deeper into archetypal gaming traits. Everyone needs some narcissism now and then.

In-Depth Diablo 3 Analysis & Review

in Games
Published May 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

Ah, fresh meat. No, wait...

When Blizzard held the 2008 fan convention in Paris, I stood up early each day to gorge myself on the daily-shifting artwork that heralded some grand revelation or announcement that was soon-to-come. I frothed over these teasers, engaging in active study – even going so far as to maintain active threads that served as a condensed source of speculation, debates, and upvoted opinions by prominent members of the relevant online gaming communities. StarCraft 2 was at that point already a year in the (official) making, so what else could be there? World of Warcraft is always in constant development, so that seemed unlikely.


"I have to kill the injured -- how could I kill my own wife?" pleaded Haedrig, the town's stereotypical blacksmith whom I'd just met -- his voice was melancholic and filled with fear; his wife, having been injured by one of the interloping zombies, was now condemned to death to prevent spread of the disease. My character interjected: "She'd want you to do it. Here, I'll help you." Well, that's probably not what I'd say to someone I'd just met -- especially when I don't know Haedrig's wife in the slightest. I feared the response I would receive, wondering how my character could be so pompous and socially inept. Luckily, Haedrig was just as bad: "OK! Follow me!"


Delving back into the reaches of the past, among a clutter of Age of Empires and Command & Conquer boxes, I found my original Diablo discs. Upon this discovery, I was instantly flooded with key moments in Diablo -- almost as if my virtual life had flashed before my eyes. Working with Brandon "Tribar" Jones on GN, we were able to ascertain some of the most memorable moments in Diablo 1 and Diablo 2, including cut scenes and certain painful moments.


Video games and plants have a long, intertwined, rich history together. Actually, that’s a lie. Almost everyone would probably agree that they are completely unrelated entities altogether, and that would be mostly true; however, video games and plants do share some interesting properties that plants have had 475 million years to perfect, while video games in comparison have only had about 30 years. So to help video games evolve and become a richer medium, here is a plant’s guide to growing a better game:


Talking to ambitious, talented, indie developers is always a humbling experience: It takes a lot of love, skill, luck, and other impossibly complex factors to complete and produce a successful game – whether that’s defined as “millions in sales,” or, in the case of M3CH developer Small Impact, “just enough to eat.”


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