Starcraft2

A bit of surprise news from Blizzcon, Starcraft 2 will be released as three standalone titles, but not how you’d expect.  The campaign for each race will be its own title, which seems a bit cheap, but each one will have close to 30 missions and will be pretty well polished (or so they reckon).

The multiplayer looks like it’ll be the same for each one, and each should have cross-compatibility with each of its counterparts.

Check out Gameriot and Games On Net for their coverage.

The three instalments are titled (at this stage)  Terrans: Wings of LibertyZerg: Heart of the Swarm, and Protoss: Legacy of the Void.

One of the stars of this latest batch of big-name MMORPGs is Games Workshops’ Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. While it was criticised early on in its beta days for being too much like the current MMO king, World of Warcraft, it’s since been treated to more detailed models and a darker, less cartoonish art style.

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While all MMOs have World of Warcraft to contend with, Warhammer is really up against it in providing points of distinction, since the Warcraft games have borrowed very heavily from the Warhammer universe for inspiration. As Warhammer Online currently stands, that fact is still very obvious. Many aspects of the game will be familiar to players of Warcraft games, especially the earlier ones.

After my first few hours of play I was calling Warhammer Online “World of Warhammer”, but I quickly found that I was missing the point. While the basic questing and grinding initially feels much like WoW, Mystic have streamlined the process a lot. To many players, it smacks of “dumbing down” the questing experience. To me it means I no longer have to alt-tab to my browser to look up info on thottbot.com (a WoW player’s best friend).

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It’s in many ways the ultimate Sim game.  Sim Everything, as it was originally to be called.  Will Wright’s mastergame.

Spore’s gameplay scope is massive.  You start out controlling a single-celled organism, swimming around in the primordial ooze, and shepherd your species through several levels of evolution until you become a fully-fledged spacefaring race, and ultimately colonise the galaxy.

To achieve its varied goals, Spore is split into five distinct phases; each with its own unique gameplay elements.

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Space SiegeSpace Siege – a scifi successor to the Dungeon Siege action RPGs – has been released by Gas Powered Games, with Chris Taylor’s involvement being heavily pimped.

There’s been no confirmation of console versions as of yet, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one make the platform jump to take on the likes of Too Human.

It’s due for release here on the 22nd, with most vendors offering preorders.

A demo is also available. It’s well worth a look if this sort of thing is in any way your cup of tea.

There were 6 entrants in the PC World case modding comp at this year’s xLAN.

click for full sizeTwo were standard fare: Shiny bits in shiny cases, with water cooling and all the toys. Another was an impressively garish Worms themed case. The real standouts though, were the Spongebob Squarepants case, an impressive Steampunk brass, wood and clockwork overclocked quad core beast, and an entire Toyota MR2, complete with dash-mounted touch screen, and a high powered wireless lan antenna with a range of over a kilometre.

Gameplanet’s Dan Cheer, aka Jon Valjean, won the overall prize for his 25kg handcrafted steampunk masterpiece.  Karlo Dunatov won craziest mod, and Matthew Foot takes home the honours for best engineered.

More photos after the break.

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Somewhat.

trogdor

After winning the winners’ bracket for Project Gotham Racing 4 at Xlan, Wugga was the favourite going into the final. He was ultimately pipped in the double elimination match by the losers’ bracket winner, finishing second overall.

His effort in the Virtua Fighter 5 competition started poorly, but he went on to win the losers’ bracket and advance to the final. In a surprise reversal, he managed the beat the winners’ bracket leader and take out the final.

Wugga will carry on to Singapore, and ultimately the grand final in Cologne, Germany.

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For the second World of Warcraft expansion, Blizzard are accepting applications from players, rather than inviting randoms like they did for The Burning Crusade.  The so-called opt-in started late last week, so if you’re a WoW player and want an early look at the upcoming expansion content, get over to the beta opt-in page and sign up.

Now, I’m a recovered WoW addict, but the forthcoming Death Knight hero class is oh-so fricken tempting…

With Diablo 3’s existence (if not its release date) confirmed, the intertubes have been becoming clogged with discussion on this new iteration of Blizzard’s classic action RPGs.  Just not how I’d expected.  Fans are having massive arguments on message boards around the world about the quality of the graphics in the videos and screenshots released thus far.

There are even photoshopped versions of official screenshots showing how it “should” be done.  Never mind that the title is still at least a year away from release, and that all the old school Diablo and Diablo 2 players appear to be looking back at those games through rose-tinted glasse…  er…  brown and grey tinted glasses, at any rate.

The complaints are that Diablo 3 is too bright, cartoony, and overall WoWish.  I feel they’d have to scale the happy tree of hippy elves a fair bit higher to approach the levels of happy-go-lucky gnome-bopping that’s prevalent in World of Warcraft, but that hasn’t stopped Diablo fans from going fairly batshit in their condemnation of the latest instalment.  There’s even a petition, as reported by Kotaku.
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I imagine the Vodafone head office was a tense place to work yesterday.  With some of the most extortionate iPhone pricing in the world announced, and an impending interview on Campbell Live, who would draw the short straw?  Who would have to face John Campbell and be torn to shreds on television for the overpriced plans?

It was Mark Rushworth who drew the short straw.  He turned up to Campbell Live with a grim face, a clenched jaw, like a soldier marching to war; determined to do his duty, hoping but not expecting to survive.

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With anticipation for Maxis’ new “Sim-Everything” – a game humbly entitled Spore – reaching new levels of absurd, EA has given gamers an interim fix in the form of the Spore Creature Creator.
It’s an editor that allows you to create your own creature out of a myriad of different parts, each with its own levels of customisation. It’s possible to create almost any kind of creature you can imagine, and the intertubes have disgorged many critters that most of us would never have thought of.

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Trogdor the Burninator

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