NEW YORK — March 25, 2013 — Paradox Interactive, a publisher of games and a manufacturer of flammable nightwear, today unveiled the existence of Magicka: Wizard Wars, a player-versus-player (PvP)-focused multiplayer game based on their celebrated slapstick sorcery franchise. Magicka: Wizard Wars, a team-based, fast-paced, two-faced, post-haste, four-on-four twitch action-PvP title, mixes Magicka’s hallmark dynamic spellcasting and absurd pop-culture humor with new hardcore game mechanics and a focus on competitive play.
This game will be the first title developed by Paradox North, a new studio within Paradox Interactive comprised of industry veterans with extensive experience in game creation and wizard staff repair. The development team at Paradox North is composed of former members of reputable Stockholm-based development studios both AAA and indie, and they all look really nice in robes.
In Magicka: Wizard Wars, two teams of four wizards each will go head-to-lightning-bolt on the field of battle, wielding a wealth of magic spells as players adapt their tactics on the fly in response to their opponents. In true Magicka fashion, victory will go to the team whose wizards can combine the craftiest casts – and who can avoid the most friendly fire. With short battles, persistent character progression, and plenty of laughter, Magicka: Wizard Wars is perfect for a few quick games to unwind after work – or a forty-hour binge over the weekend. Paradox promises not to judge.
A new trailer for Magicka: Wizard Wars reveals what happens to our robed heroes when winter is coming (the game may or may not arrive in winter).
Gazillion Entertainment announces Marvel Heroes will launch for Windows on June 4th, though participants in their Founder's Program will be entitled to early access on May 28th as one of the perks they will receive in the free-to-play superhero MMORPG (an OS X version of the game will launch at a later date). "When we started working on Marvel Heroes we knew exactly what we wanted to make – an unrivaled multiplayer free-to-play action-RPG experience that allowed gamers and comic fans to play as their favorite Super Heroes," said David Brevik, President and Chief Operating Officer, Gazillion Entertainment. "This is an incredibly exciting day for all of us at Gazillion and we can’t wait to let gamers experience the Marvel Heroes world and our fresh take on the massively multiplayer online genre." Starter, Premium, and Ultimate Founder's Packs are being sold on the game's website through June 3rd, and purchase of a Premium or Ultimate pack also includes immediate access to the game's closed beta. To celebrate the news, a new "Villains" trailer shows off the threats faced by the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and... Rocket Raccoon? Continue here to read the full story.
BioWare announces that the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion for Star Wars The Old Republic will launch in all territories on April 14th, though those who participated in their preorder program that ended in January will receive five days of early access (they are still offering preorder incentives, but early access is no longer one of them). They also offer a new Making of Rise of the Hutt Cartel Part 2: Conflict on Makeb video. Update: Corrected an error in the original post saying this announcement came from SOE. Apologies for such a silly mistake.
Irrational Games offers the BioShock Infinite Launch Trailer to celebrate tomorrow's release of their first-person shooter prequel. Word is: "Watch the mysterious and powerful Songbird pursue Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth, who are trying to make a desperate escape from the sky-city of Columbia." Continue here to read the full story.
Here we have the first gameplay trailer from Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, showing off action from Ubisoft's upcoming stealth/action sequel. Here's the very simple description: "In the Gameplay Reveal Trailer for Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, embark on a treacherous journey as Captain Edward Kenway, a pirate trained by assassins, and relive the truly explosive events that defined the Golden Age of Pirates." Continue here to read the full story.
GamesIndustry International - Review Embargoes: The Subtle Straitjacket. I'm certainly not suggesting that the press should give the finger to publishers and run amok, but that the overly chummy relationship between the two sides of the fence often masks a prickly undercurrent, an innate distrust, that serves neither party all that well. We're not writing for an ignorant audience. Our readers know about embargoes, they often know when those embargoes are, and the very mechanical routine of it all provides fertile soil for rumour and conspiracy to take root. A late embargo means the game is crap and the publisher is protecting its pre-orders. Positive reviews delivered on-time are viewed with suspicion. If abiding by the rules benefits nobody, then the rules need to change.
CCP announces EVE Online: Odyssey, the 19th(!) expansion for EVE Online, their pan-galactic MMORPG, saying this will launch on June 4th. They offer details for now on this page, and say they plan on revealing more in one month at the EVE Online Fanfest 2013 which can be attended live in Reykjavík, Iceland, or virtually over that series of tubes we familiarly call a series of tubes. Here's an overview of Odyssey:
EVE Online's nineteenth free expansion, Odyssey, offers new tools for exploring the stars, challenges you to breach the unknown for adventure and rewards, and to face what lies on the other side. A re-imagined scanning system, intuitive navigation and new exploration modules will aid you as you search the heavens for your next conquest. Some will encounter sites never discovered before, and others will be confronted with intriguing tests of skill and resolve. Ample rewards await those that return from their journeys with ships intact.
GameTrailers now offers a teaser video for an Unreal Engine 4 demo from GDC, and word is we can expect a fuller version on Friday. It's hard to imagine a lesser version, as this runs all of 11 seconds, but at least the unskippable ad that preceded it only ran 30 seconds.
The GeForce Website now offers new version 314.22 WHQL-certified GeForce drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards, saying these are "an essential update for all GeForce GTX systems," highlighting a 71% performance improvement for Tomb Raider and a 41% improvement for BioShock Infinite, Irrational's shooter that's due for release tomorrow. These also provide performance improvements for Civilization V, Sniper Elite V2, and Sleeping Dogs as well as new SLI profiles and 3D Vision profiles for several games and an NVIDIA Control Panel Ambient Occlusion profile for BioShock Infinite.
The unfortunate inequitable review embargo for BioShock Infinite has expired, and viewpoints on Irrational Games' shooter prequel can now compete with each other for supremacy, just as Andrew Ryan would have wanted. Metacritic currently shows the game with 31 positive critic's reviews and a 95 metascore, which is in the rarified air of the best reviewed games of all time, including the original BioShock, which is one of seven PC games with a metascore of 96. As of now there are no user reviews, as the game is not due until tomorrow.
PC Gamer has comments from BioWare's Casey Hudson at PAX East, where he spoke of the future of the Mass Effect series and also revealed plans for an entirely new fictional universe they are creating for a new game series. He spoke of the "new way for you to explore the whole universe in Mass Effect" being worked on at BioWare Montreal for the next installment in that franchise. As for Mass Effect originators BioWare Edmonton, he explains they are working on the new series: "We are developing a whole new fictional universe at BioWare for myself and Preston [Watamaniuk, Mass Effect's lead designer]. That’s kind of our next thing," Hudson said. "We’re focusing on building something new the way we did at the very beginning on Mass Effect."
Q-Games announces PixelJunk, Inc., is the title of the upcoming new iteration of their PixelJunk platformer series, saying this has been in development for year now under the working title PixelJunk 1-6, and announcing they also plan to release Linux and OS X versions following the game's release on Steam later this year. Here is a gameplay teaser trailer and are some screenshots, and you can keep up with the latest on this project on the PixelJunk 1-6 Blog. Here's word on the trailer: "Along with the new name, Q-Games is excited to release the first gameplay trailer for PixelJunk Inc. In this trailer, the first of many introductions to the different aspects of PixelJunk Inc. and this new PixelJunk world, gamers get a peek at two intrepid explorers building the foundation of their interstellar Soup Co. empire. Watch as their brothy empire rises from the humble beginnings of base creation and farming ingredients, and revel in their triumph as they create the foundation of their very first soup factory. Finally, watch them reap the rewards gained from serving up a payload full of interstellar bouillabaisse into the cosmos!" Continue here to read the full story.
A new GfK Chart-Track Chart shows the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending March 23rd. The new Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II falls to number two as the new SimCity returns to the top spot. On the all platforms chart Gears of War: Judgment debuts at number one and Walking Dead: Survival Instinct joins the chart at number three.
I've noticed a new bit of spam in my junk filter: Offers of free bible verses though the email. The return address? God. Just don't even know what to say about that. Speaking of which, happy Passover to all who are celebrating, as that gets underway at Sundown today. Today also kicks off the Game Developer's Conference, so we'll probably see some news come out of San Francisco. Oh yeah, and it's still not spring. I hate you Mr. Groundhog!