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Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014

  

BAFTA Winners

The winners of BAFTA's British Academy Games Awards have been announced, with Naughty Dog's The Last of Us taking Game of the Year honors. Here's the list off all the winners courtesy of VG247:

  • Game of the Year: The Last of Us
  • Action and Adventure: The Last of Us
  • British Game: Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Original Music: BioShock Infinite
  • Story: The Last of Us
  • Strategy and Simulation: Papers, Please
  • Artistic Achievement: Tearaway
  • Audio Achievement: The Last of Us
  • Sports: FIFA 14
  • Family: Tearaway
  • Game Innovation: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
  • Mobile & Handheld: Tearaway
  • Ones to Watch: Size DOES Matter
  • Game Design: Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Multiplayer: Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Debut Game: Gone Home
  • Performer: Ashley Johnson – The Last of Us

Unreal Engine 4 in a Browser

The Mozilla blog offers a trailer showing off a sneak peek of a couple of Unreal Engine 4 demos running in Firefox with no plug-ins as a glimpse at the future of web-based gaming, saying this works at near letter quality "near native speeds." Here's a bit:

Mozilla and Epic Games have showed the power of the Web as a platform for gaming by porting Unreal Engine 3 to the Web and showcasing Epic Citadel, using asm.js, a supercharged subset of JavaScript pioneered by Mozilla. In less than 12 months, optimizations have increased the performance of Web applications using asm.js from 40% to within 67% of native, and we expect it to get even faster. This performance opens up new opportunities for giving users an astonishing and delightful experience, from within their choice of Web browser. Any modern browser can run asm.js content, but specific optimizations currently present only in Firefox, ensure the most consistent and smooth experience.

“This technology has reached a point where games users can jump into via a Web link are now almost indistinguishable from ones they might have had to wait to download and install,” said Brendan Eich, CTO and SVP of Engineering at Mozilla. “Using Emscripten to cross-compile C and C++ into asm.js, developers can run their games at near-native speeds, so they can approach the Web as they would any other platform.”

Wargame Red Dragon Preorders Get Beta Access

Focus Home Interactive announces they are now accepting preorders for Wargame Red Dragon, the installment in Eugen Systems' real-time strategy series that's expected next month. Preorders are offered on Steam, where word is participants will get access to the game's closed multiplayer beta test "in the next few days." They are also offering a 25% loyalty discount to those who own Wargame AirLand Battle. The news is punctuated by the release of a new trailer with a cinematic depiction of a naval battle involving lots of aircraft. Here's word on that:

To celebrate this event, Wargame Red Dragon is presenting a thrilling visual event with an explosive Naval Trailer, where you can witness one of the great new features in the game, the naval forces, engaging in ferocious clashes in the biggest and most impressive naval battle ever seen in a video game!

This stunning new Wargame Red Dragon video therefore reveals its very first naval battle with a wave of massive destroyers, explosions, smoking cannons and warships sent to the bottom of the ocean; a taste of the skirmishes you'll soon experience for real in the Early Access version! More than just extra units, the naval forces in Red Dragon lend a fresh strategic depth to the game, unlocking tactical opportunities for any commanders smart enough to exploit their power to the max, notably on the game maps specifically created for them.

Continue here to read the full story.

GameRanger Passes 5M Users

GameRanger announces that five million gamers have registered for this service providing support for multiplayer play in over 600 PC games. Here's what they have to say about the milestone:

GameRanger, the PC online gaming service, today announced that five million users have signed up and created multiplayer profiles to play their games online with friends.

GameRanger provides multiplayer for over 600 PC games. Many of these games either had their original servers shut down ("end-of-life") or had massive networking problems with their existing systems.

More recently, GameRanger has become a popular solution for game developers distributing their games across multiple online stores without being locked into a multiplayer "walled-garden" on a single store. GameRanger allows friends to play each other, while still having freedom to choose where they buy their games.

"When you've bought a game you love, you should be able to keep playing it with your friends regardless of how many others are still playing," said Scott Kevill, president of GameRanger Technologies. "Server shutdowns, 'sunsetting' and 'kill-switches' are the dark side of multiplayer gaming."

GameRanger keeps multiplayer games alive by reversing the multiplayer decline and creating thriving communities.

GameRanger runs on Windows XP or later and is available as a free download from http://www.GameRanger.com

On Sale

  • The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Long Live the Queen on GOG.com. Save 60%.
  • Summoner on Steam. Save 20%.

Evening Interviews

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Into the Black

WildStar in June

Publisher NCSOFT and developer Carbine Studios announce a June 3rd worldwide release date for WildStar, their upcoming science fiction-themed MMO action/adventure. They also announce they will begin accepting preorders next week on this page, making this the announcement of pre-preorders. Word is player who preorder get "headstart, beta access, and A FREAKING ROCKET HOUSE." This preorder trailer shows off exactly what a freaking rocket house looks like. They also announce the conclusion of the NDA for beta testers, so we can expect previews of the game soon. Continue here to read the full story.

Watch Dogs Minimum PC Specs

Jonathan Morin tweets the minimum requirements for the Windows edition of Watch Dogs, the sandbox action game also known as Watch_Dogs (thanks CVG). He also adds that players going beyond this minimum will be rewarded, saying: "PC on very high setting is REALLY stunning if you ask me. As for density it [is] also very high of course." Here are the specifications:

IntelCore 2 Quad Q8400 2.66Ghz or AMDPhenom II X4 940 3.0Ghz,
6GB RAM, 1024 VRAM DirectX 11 Shader 5.0
SCard: DirectX9
25 GB

Defiance DLC Adds $77 Gun Kit

Trion has released a new Gunslinger Trials DLC for Defiance, their MMO shooter, saying this adds new co-op arenas and will allow players to "reap rewards from the most powerful weapons manufacturer on Earth" (thanks conal5). A thread on the game's forums has expressions of outrage from players over those weapon rewards, as the DLC adds a Legendary Weapon Kit many some transforms the game into a pay-to-win affair. The kit costs 8,000 bits, which according to the Defiance Wiki, translates to about $77.00 in real cash. There is a response from Trion's community team in this thread justifying the move based on the prices of other items in the game, and noting that purchasable lock-boxes have been offered from the start. They also offer some insight into plans for the next DLC which will increase players' chances of earning top gear:

We continue to evolve each player's ability to play Defiance how they want. With our fifth DLC we're creating a way for players to earn a special currency which will allow them to purchase top-tier gear by facing more challenging content, allowing another way for players to mitigate RNG.

With the Legendary Weapon Kit, we enable players who wish to play with a fully-modded legendary weapon to do so at a premium price. They could acquire similar items through gathering keycodes and faction rep, but this bypasses the significant time and risk involved in that process.

Titanfall PC Connection Issues Fixed

A Titanfall Help Page on the EA website intends to help players having problems with Titanfall, Respawn's just-released mech shooter. This was set up because a number of players were encountering an "error 503" on the PC edition of the game, however they report the issues underlying this error have been resolved, saying: "Update, 3/12, 5:45AM PST: Titanfall's earlier connectivity issues have now been resolved, and you shouldn't have any problem getting into the game. Thanks for sticking with us during this downtime."

Burden Announced

A Burden website is online, revealing plans for an unusual tower defense game in the works at indie developer PixelPickle Games. Burden takes place on the back of a giant mechanical "beast," rambling across a war-torn land, and the plan is to unveil this via Steam Early Access within the next two months. Here's a reveal trailer showing how this works, and here's a description:

Burden is a game of tactical tower defense on multiple simultaneous battlefronts. The player must place shields and artillery towers on the exterior of their colossus whilst also juggling defences on multiple nodes - critical locations on the beast which enemies will attempt to board and penetrate.

Mhoroa, a civilisation built on the exploitation of an ancient resource, finds itself facing extinction as the land tears itself apart . A handful engineers follow a message in their dreams and discover the Colossi - giant beast-like machines built by their ancestors and thought to be a myth. Taking these beasts to annointed locations will save the land, but their fellow countrymen react in fear and take up arms to kill the colossi. Now they must fight through their own people in order to save them.

The game is broken into chapters, each of which is an epic journey on a different colossus. Within each chapter the player will face major foes blocking their progress across the land and many waves of enemies boarding the beast. Success depends on smart strategy and quick management of the battle as it unfolds on multiple fronts.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - TowerFall Ascension

The TowerFall website now offers TowerFall Ascension, a Windows and PlayStation 4 game where players have shootouts with old-fashioned bows and arrows over old-fashioned local multiplayer. In fact, there's a lengthy editorial on Polygon by the developer of a different upcoming game which also only supports local multiplayer on why the game doesn't have online play, citing two factors: game design and lag. Here's a cinematic trailer, and here's word on the game:

TowerFall is an archery combat platformer for up to 4 players. It's a local party game centering around hilarious, intense versus matches. The core mechanics are simple and accessible, but combat is fast and fierce. It's best played competitively with friends, cross-legged on the floor within punching distance of each other.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

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Game Reviews

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