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The next Men of War goes to Vietnam


Jun 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Vietnam is the new go to war for videogames to cash in on real life wars! 1C Company is well aware of that and that's where one of their next RTS games, Men of War: Vietnam, will take place. Players will be in control of mult...
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Russian spies invade America in Death to Spies 3


Jun 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Death to Spies 3 is the latest in the stealth espionage series by developer Haggard Games. The new game is set during the Cold War era and will follow the three spies -- Strogov, Viktor and Olga -- as they make their way thro...
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Captain Blood is like God of War but with pirates


Jun 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Really, the title of this post is the best way to describe Captain Blood. Not to say the game is anywhere near as good as the God of War series, but the mechanics are along the same lines. You'll be playing as a pirate who u...
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Star Wolves 3 getting an expansion with Ashes of Victory


Jun 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
1C Company and developer Elite Games Team is set to bring out the latest expansion to Star Wolves 3 with Ashes of Victory later this year for the PC. This stand-alone add-on brings with it over 110 stellar systems which break...
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You can't blame Sony for thinking about its marketing ahead of time, but I'm sure they probably didn't expect this.  Pictures taken from the set of the upcoming film action/sci-fi film Battle: Los Angeles reveal a b...

Preview: Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

Jun 29 // Ben Perlee
Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (PC)Developer: 1C: Ino-CoPublisher: 1C Company To be released: Fall 2009Ok, so how does Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim actually work? Well, it’s a whole lot like the original Majesty, but considering hardly anybody even knows of that game, much less how it played, I’m going to have to give you a run down. The basic goal is to fulfill mission objectives and make money. However, you can’t just crank out heroes and fighters  and send them out to battle . No no no! Sure, you can train the guys (and gals), but they won’t actually do too much once trained and on the battlefield. These lazy social parasites will just stand around, doing little, until they know they can get a mission that ends in cold hard gold. Sure, rangers, for example, will still explore, but they will be that much more willing once there's cash on the line. So with that, you’ve got to set bounties and rewards on freaking everything. Go set 500 gold on an exploration goal, and some of your rogues will go out and explore an area. Afraid your tavern will be attacked by skeletons, bears, and rats (oh my)? Put a defensive bounty on the tavern, and your archers will protect the tavern for the cash. And then, of course, there is your bread and butter, actual hits placed on enemies. Every single baddie you come across can have a bounty placed on their head, and they gain all sorts of sudden value due to your aggressive reward systemAnd that reward system is looks to be pretty important, as, if you don’t put a high enough bounty, your fighters will flat out ignore it. You’re just going to have a bad time. Finding the right balance is important, as paying out too much is wasteful, and not paying enough means nobody is going to fight. Even getting them to go out and explore is important, as the heroes will find gold loot sitting out on the field, or gain extra from kills. Once they have all that extra gold, they need to spend it, so building taverns and market places means that you get all that money back, and then some, which means you can build even more stuff. Place that blacksmith over there, upgrade your weapons and spells! It’s all good once the cash starts coming in. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this game feels like a bizarre mash-up of a tower defense game (building and protecting towns, as well as sending out warriors), My Life as a King (Building buildings and setting rewards for completion of missions) and a tycoon game like Roller Coaster Tycoon (the three-quarter view, the menus, and goal of making money). If the original Majesty says anything about this, it looks like this system works pretty well, and that hopefully Majesty 2 can upgrade in all the right places. Graphically, from what I saw, Majesty 2 looks like a fairly normal, maybe generic fantasy game. However, Majesty 2 is obviously aimed toward a more casual market, and the game seems to aim graphically for that as well. I mean, most people cannot run a high level game, and Majesty 2 isn’t trying to be a high level game. Ultimately, I will say that as far as games went at Another Night in Moscow, I would say that Majesty 2 was the most interesting game of the night. It’s a really interesting take on a fairly standard videogame trope. If 1C Company can make sure that the game is fine-tuned and smartly designed, they could have a great game here.
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If there is one complaint I have about the RTS genre, it s that is be a bit too…involved. I mean, there is no lazy way to play StarCraft or Command and Conquer. You’ve got to actually devote energy and involvemen...

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Find out what it's like to be a trucker in Rig'n'Roll


Jun 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
"Players will step into the shoes of a young man in the year 2024 as he arrives in California to pursue his dreams of road domination and capture the Californian cargo transportation market. There are miles of highways t...

Preview: Captain Blood

Jun 29 // Ben Perlee
Captain Blood (Xbox 360, PC)Developer: SeaWolfPublisher: 1C CompanyTo be released: 2009In Captain Blood, you control the namesake anti-hero as he does piraty things. There are actually two different modes on display in the game. The first is the hack-n-slash portion of the game, where you run around as Blood and attack with strong and light attacks that can form into combos, rolls for avoiding enemies, and you shoot dudes in the face with an old time gun. Topping things off is a berserk mode which presumable allows you to deal out extra damage during battles.This portion of the game right now is a little problematic. The right analog stick controls the rolling action, but this creates a nasty situation of no camera control.  This would be fine if the levels were perfectly designed, but chains, explosions, smoke, and cannons across the levels would get in the way of the action. This is especially apparent in one level where Blood is tasked with running from cannon to cannon on his ship to blast an incoming fleet of ships. This worked fine most of the time, but there would be moments where the reticule showing where the cannon ball would land is completely hidden by…the cannon. Ugh.Another problem with this hack-n-slash portion of the game is that the levels were frustratingly difficult. Other journalists from at the event, myself included, struggled to defeat the boss battle on display. Gun toting enemies would shoot Blood from the other side of the arena, interrupting attack animations and quickly draining the health bar. We all ended up skipping the level.The second major mode in the game is a ship mode, placing the control of the actual ship. Different from the cannon mode I had mentioned, you’ll be sailing about to destroy other ships in a more cohesive manner. Here is where you are going to take control of dealing with wind and weather conditions, and setting up your ship for your men to deal with the cannon fire.One facet that holds a lot of promise is the graphics. Captain Blood is vivid and tropical with a level of non-realism that seems to fall between the lines of Treasure Island and the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The water looks great, and the ship animations seem to work pretty well as well. For example, I love how if you misfire a cannon, and clip a sail, that sail will be torn from the masts and flop around in the wind. It looks like developer SeaWolf is putting a lot of effort in making sure the ships break apart like a real ship would.The characters themselves fall in line for a fairly unrealistic representation; however, the stylized models will probably lend themselves better to the slightly unreal swashbuckling action of the game.Ultimately, I feel that Captain Blood was one of the more interesting games of the night. It needs a fair amount of work (find a way to add camera control, please SeaWolf. Oh, and make sure the difficulty isn’t unfair), but the basic game is in place, and even though I was playing a pre-Alpha build, I found the game to be fun. Besides, isn’t that the point of a pirate game?
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Another night in Moscow was an interesting event. While many of the games were decidedly Russian in nature and narrative (where’s looking at Men of War: Red Tide and Death to Spies: Moment of Truth), quite a few of the ...

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Take to the skies in IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey


Jun 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is another World War II game by way of 1C Company. This one, however, is flight combat game and looks beautiful. I got to play the game developed by Gaijin Entertainment last Friday, but I'm hold...

Preview: King's Bounty: Armored Princess

Jun 29 // Ben Perlee
King's Bounty: Armored Princess (PC)Developer: Katauri InteractivePublisher: 1C CompanyTo be released: 2009[embed]137873:20285[/embed] First of all, King’s Bounty: Armored Princess tells the story of Princess Amelie, a warrior princess brought forth into the dream world of Teana, starting out on the continent of Rhea. It is here that the player starts running about and finding out why Amelie is in this universe. Seems people are getting sucked into the world and not knowing quite why. Anyway, this overworld is a very crowded place, with lots of bad guys to fight, shops to shop at, and people to talk to.I mention crowded, because it is. Between all of the trees and buildings and stuff, it can be a little tricky to get around, but when you unlock the Pegasus ability (which is unlocked from the beginning in my demo build), things get a little easier to get around. In positive, I do have to say it is refreshing to play an RPG where an overworld is packed with things to do, as opposed to fast stretches of space padded out with random battles. So this facet could be convenient or irritating, but it’s too early to tell.Besides running around and shopping, talking to fighters to join with you, having painters paint your pet  dragon, or picking up gold and runes, the actual battles are probably the most interesting portion of the game. What happens is that Princess Amelie, even though she is decked out in knightly garb and assigned classes such as mage or paladin, she doesn’t actually fight in the battle. Yes, while she can send out magical spells, which is where her own class takes into effect determining how much of certain reserves of mana and stuff she has, the real action takes place on a grid with a squad of fighters. You can only have a few with you at a time, but holy knights, support mages, robotic guns, griffins, snakes, and a whole lot more can be recruited to fight for you. They are shuffled about in a hex-based grid system depending on the fight, and it is here that you move the characters around to fight. It actually feels very much like a tighter scale tactical RPG, with fields being fairly small, which is good for a small 5 on 5 battle. In addition to the fighters on the field and Amilie’s magic, she has a small pet dragon (looking just like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch) that can do extra attacks and summons around the field. You can have him bring you new fighters with the help of a dropped egg, or he can come forth with a slamming attack. Also, he sits around watching the battle while eating apples, which is adorable. Apparently, the dragon aspect of the game is going to be fairly important, so if you like having cute little pets in games, this is probably a plus.Graphically, the game seems to be on par with many games set in colorful fantasy universes. I’m talking a little bit better than WoW quality, and the character design looks to be pretty great, straddling the line between “cool” and “fun”.  Music seems to be a good mix of epic fantasy scores and while the game doesn’t have any voice acting, the NPCs good naturedly make jokes, so it’s nice to see another game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.Finally, I have to mention the 3D. While I was way into it at the beginning of the night, actually sitting down to play it was problematic, as I got very very nauseous once those glasses got on. Ok, it might have been the Russian cuisine that I was sampling for the first time, or the vodka they wanted us to try (it was Kirkland’s from Costco), but with that game in 3D, my eyes wouldn’t focus on anything, sending my stomach into all sorts of nasty loops. When I figured out how the 3D was working, yes, it looked very cool, but for the few minutes I could handle playing, I struggled clicking on the right areas to do what I want. This would have probably been the right time to use the auto-battle mode, a handy button that lets your battles play out for you. Really though, no sort of graphical filtering should make playing a game more difficult, so I can see this remaining a novelty.
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You know, during Another Night in Moscow, there was one game that immediately attracted my attention: King’s Bounty: Armored Princess. First of all, there was something really was off about it, especially in its prese...

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Men of War: Red Tide takes you back to WWII, again


Jun 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Men of War: Red Tide is the stand-alone expansion to the original Men of War for the PC. The expansion will introduce a new story, new units, new upgrades, new weapons and there will be over 20 missions for the player to expe...
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Learn medieval Russian battle history in XIII Century! Woo!


Jun 29
// Ben Perlee
It was an interesting gaming situation, sitting down to play a RTS in the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, eating very Slavic food (caviar and pickled asparagus) and trying to keep up with an amazingly complex game. And th...
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Murder ze Nazis in Death to Spies: Moment of Truth


Jun 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Death to Spies: Moment of Truth is the upcoming sequel to the original stealth action game from developer Haggard Games. The game follows Semion Strogov, a captain in the Soviet counterintelligence service, SMERSH. SMERSH, by...

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