Archived News:

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Always-on DRM?

This Russian report seems to indicate that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 may require a persistent internet connection to play. Here is a rough machine translation of the answer to a question about DRM in GSC Game World's upcoming first-person shooter sequel: "Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. We need constant access to the Internet. Will finish the text information, code and maximum game. Software piracy hurts us to beat, we fight with him, but in moderation. If people can not buy a licensed version, it is to our advantage, so he bought a pirate, and then wanted to buy a license. In Ukraine, there are different products that people love so much that he buys a license in principle. We want to create just such a product." Thanks RPS via Kotaku Aus/GSC.

Tribes Ascend Beta Next Month

This trailer offers an audio interview with Hi-Rez Studios about Tribes Ascend, their upcoming continuation of the TRIBES series of multiplayer shooters (thanks Evan). This includes word on closed beta testing, as here is what Todd Harris has to say about their plans:
We have a date, you heard it here first. The team is working hard for closed beta to start on Friday, November 4th, so, a few weeks away. We plan on announcing that more broadly next week, and as you may have known if you've been following us, we wanted to start in September originally, that was kind of our original plan, but there were a few adjustments that we wanted to make before beta.

Specifically, some things we've been working on are character progression elements, those were things that weren't in alpha, but will be in beta, we'll maybe get into details on some of those later, and secondly, with the changes or improvements based on feedback from the alpha testing group...Disc jump strength was one, some challenge that people had in chasing down flag cappers which is a big part of the game, basically ability to quickly gain momentum from a standstill, and even overall speed of the game."

Dungeon Defenders Pre-Purchases; Valve Bonuses

Steam now offers pre-purchases of Dungeon Defenders, an advance commitment that carries a 10% discount over the full price of Trendy Entertainment's action/strategy game. This also includes some Steam-specific bonuses of Valve-centric items. Here's word:

  • The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device for the Huntress hero class. Constantly consuming energy when active, this device allows it’s user to open portals from one location to another and can be used to greatly extend a trap’s range, quickly teleport across the map, or confound enemies!
  • Four Team Fortress 2 Familiars:
    • The Heavy: Uses his Gatling gun to shoot at enemies from afar.
    • The Engineer: Repairs groups of nearby towers while you’re on the offensive.
    • The Medic: Heals a group of nearby allies amidst battle.
    • The Pyro: Uses a flame-thrower to set your foes on fire.

Op Ed - Rage: When game journalists stop being polite and start getting real.
The harsh reaction to the interview in the comments really shocked me, but it probably shouldn’t have. The games community is so used to reading rote interviews. These questions and answers usually only end up serving the developers, and they don’t offer gamers anything of substance. So when a media outlet asks, "Okay, id, you've spoken a great deal publicly about how unique and your game is. Are you prepared to speak intelligently at length about why that is, precisely?" and they’re met with such a negative response, can anyone really afford to be surprised by the PR fluff that appears on so many video-game websites?

Just Adventure - Patience, the Forgotten Virtue or, No Help Wanted.
I know I'm going to sound like a spoilsport in saying this, but, uh, you know, the whole point of a game is to be challenging. If there's nothing to puzzle over, there's no puzzle. One could argue that getting stuck is the whole raison d'etre of an adventure. The "fun" is supposed to come from solving the difficulties you encounter, not in petitioning the publisher for a patch to skip over them. Without snags, an adventure game is just a mindless joyride, an amusement park in megabytes. That said, I think that's what more and more people want in an "adventure." They want a pretty grand tour of some fabulous land. For them, puzzles in an adventure game are like a series of toll gates on a road-trip vacation.

Saturday Screenshots

Saturday Consolidation

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We have some mutants gathering for a late-season cookout today, probably the last major workout for the man-stove before the winter sets in. On the menu are chicken wings, ribs, burgers, and sausage & peppers, with the challenge of the day being getting the ribs done properly in a timely manner at a lower temperature before doing the burgers, which require more heat.

Well Grilled Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Warpy 2.
Monster Arena.
Links: The 5 Most Overused Jokes On the Internet. I never use any four of those.
Stories: Woman wants male stripper for her 100th birthday party, gets one.
Beards and hair shorn in Amish-on-Amish attacks.
Science: Double Impact: Did 2 Giant Collisions Turn Uranus on Its Side? Damn near killed 'em.
Images: Preparing For Your Paradise Apocalypse.
Special Order FAIL.
Fighting Diabetes FAIL.
Media: GLaDOS Meets Siri of the Day.
Stephen Colbert's Tribute to Steve Jobs. Thanks nin.
Spider Tap Dance.
The Funnies: The Gaming Circle Of Strife.
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