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The DTOID Show: Mass Effect 4, Source 2, & Adam Sessler


Plus: Stop cursing on the cyberwebs, CoDBloppers!
Nov 12
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! We're back with another steaming pile of gaming news for your brain-holes! A new Mass Effect game is in the works, and the exciting part is that it's gonna be running Frostbite 2. Black Ops II comes out tomorro...
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Gabe Newell confirms upcoming Source 2 engine


But won't talk about Half-Life 3
Nov 12
// Dale North
A group of lucky 4chan members visited Valve HQ recently (what?!) and they tried to get some questions in on upcoming projects during their visit.  I'm glad that someone asked about those hints to a Source 2 engine that ...

Impressions: Black Mesa is awesome

Sep 15 // Joshua Derocher
While the new visuals are nice, the worst thing about the old game is the sound. When people talk to you, it sounds like they are trapped in a digitized static machine on a planet filled with static monsters. It's pretty bad. Now the dialog is clean and rerecorded. The delivery and inflection matches the original so well that it's uncanny. The gameplay is updated slightly as well. I would have never noticed if I hadn't gone back and played the old game right before playing the remake. It's just enough subtle tweaking to make the controls feel fresh. Old shooters just have this weird feeling where you feel more like a floating camera and less like you are walking around in the world. Black Mesa feels like a modern game. Don't read into this as they changed everything and made it totally different. It's true to what the game is and it doesn't change how Half-Life plays; it just changes how it feels. I'm guessing that 80% of the people who play this won't even notice any difference in the controls.   The only flaw I've noticed so far is that the loading times can be very slow at points. It's not game breaking, but it is annoying. Hopefully this is something that can be addressed in the future. You can grab the game for yourself for free right here. Black Mesa has also been Greenlit on Steam, so it might be available soon from there as well. Stay tuned for a full review early next week!
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Black Mesa is now available, I am playing it, and I can tell you that it's awesome. It is an amazing recreation of the original Half-Life with updated graphics and sounds. We'll have a review up soon. In the meantime, here's...

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Hints at Valve's Source 2 engine found in Filmmaker code


Aug 06
// Dale North
Deep in the code of Valve's Source Filmmaker software, references to what may be the company's next-generation game engine are made. The folks at Valvetime spotted multiple references to something called the "Source...

Review: Revelations 2012

Jun 26 // Jim Sterling
Revelations 2012 (PC)Developer: Dark Artz EntertainmentPublisher:  Dark Artz EntertainmentReleased: April 23, 2012MSRP: $9.99Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI) Usually, I am against comparing games to movies, as I feel the two mediums deserve enough respect to stand apart and be defined by what they are within their art form. In the case of Revelations, however, I feel it pertinent to mention the "mockbuster" genre of films. A mockbuster is a type of film designed to cash in on a popular movie by reproducing it as cheaply and quickly as possible -- often releasing ahead of the authentic experience (a film designed to resemble Pixar's Brave is already on Netflix). These movies are not parodies, existing instead to trick the unwary with names and art just similar enough to the real McCoy to confuse -- films such as The Da Vinci Treasure, Snakes on a Train, or Almighty Thor. These films can also be squirted out to exploit a certain social or cultural interest, with a variety of movies currently capitalizing on the "2012 = end of the world" phenomenon. This is where Revelations 2012 comes in.  Just like these movies, Revelations is cheaply produced, poorly written, and exists solely to make money. Like these movies, "2012" has been shoveled into the name, invoking the Mayan prophecy that has so fascinated those desperate to believe they're part of the last generation on Earth. Also, like these films, anybody with a gullible streak could easily be tricked into thinking they're buying something genuine, provided they are incredibly impulsive.  2012 is indeed based upon the prophecy that the world will end, except the general implication seems to be that the Mayans are still around, glad about it, and are actively trying to help it happen. They may not be Mayans though, and could very well be some other tribal race of offensively stereotypical witch doctors and spear-throwers. I'll admit that the hick providing the opening exposition was too boring to listen to. In any case, people in the jungle are doing bad things, so it's up to your gang of characters to stop them -- and nobody's going to argue with a quartet with faces that constantly look as if they're in the middle of taking an excessively scratchy poo.  At its core, the game takes its cues from Left 4 Dead. Actually, that deserves rephrasing -- it IS Left 4 Dead, except bad. The core game has clearly been ripped wholesale from Valve, with the graphics replaced and the weapons reduced to a single magical wristband with different firing modes. It even reuses fonts, imagery, and the entire end-of-level score tallies from Valve's game, only very slightly modified in a thinly-veiled attempt to look original.  A four-player, cooperative, first-person shooter, Revelations pits a team against hordes and hordes of tribal opponents who serve as the stand-in for Valve's zombies. As with Left 4 Dead, there are common enemies and a collection of "special" foes with unique attributes and thicker skins. The idea of being incapacitated has been removed, presumably because it was too much effort to implement, so the "special" enemies mostly fire projectiles or summon creatures, remaining otherwise hard to distinguish from the crowds. You "eat" hearts to regain life, and players who lose all their health will need to be revived by an active character.  As noted, there is only one weapon in the game -- a serpentine wristband that each character awkwardly holds in front of them, arm perfectly straight and rigid like that of a cartoon stick-person. Interestingly, the game's default controls have absolutely no fire button mapped. You can click the left mouse button all day long and nothing will happen. You have to go into the options and manually set the fire button, which has helpfully been left empty while the LMB sits idle. Once that's configured, you can scroll through a small handful of fire modes, ranging from regular weak fire to lance-style sniper fire and short-range scatter shots. This game is terrible.  Each of the levels drag on far too long and mostly revolve around running across large maps, picking up items, and booking it to a poorly marked goal. Enemies flood in with little rhyme or reason, and absolutely no intelligence to speak of. The core mechanics of Left 4 Dead are simple but elegant, yet Revelations reduces it to a remedial degree, and still manages to make a sloppy mess out of it. From traps that cannot be avoided and will hold you in place until you die, to ledges that will be slipped off and even minor falls dealing considerable damage, the whole game reeks of something that nobody even tried to balance or make sensible. Why would they? The makers really didn't care about anything other than scamming money.  At this juncture I would like to bring up the most noteworthy aspect of Revelations 2012: the fact that the central premise seems to be four white people storming into foreign countries and slaughtering masses of primitive brown people. I am not going to say what that implies, what the developers were trying to say, or whether or not anybody should feel awkward. I would merely like to state, without comment, that Revelations 2012 is about four white people killing the piss out of brown people. Brown people who, naturally, wear bones and dance ritualistically around big fires all day long.  It goes without saying that 2012 is an ugly game, with feature-less chunks of stuff being used to represent characters, surfaces, and a vast array of straw huts. The sound is an absolute mess, with menu and game volumes hilariously out of sync, and various sounds buried so deep in the mix that they're barely audible. This is a blessing in the case of the voice overs, which are unsurprisingly irritating and sometimes disturbing. Quite why the possibly-British-possibly-Australian man keeps having a profound orgasm every time he regains health is a mystery best left submerged.  Although it's a cooperative game, nobody is playing it, with anybody unfortunate enough to purchase the thing taking any losses on the chin and bailing long ago. Players will be stuck with the allied A.I., which will jump into traps, stand in the way of bullets, and will often stand behind the player before aggressively opening fire on him or her. To their credit, they will drop anything to revive the player character, but outside of that, they're painful to play with.  I managed to suffer two hours of Revelations 2012 before calling it a day, but I can't imagine anybody being masochistic enough to invest more than ten minutes of their own private time. This product would be asking too much of a precious commodity even if it were free, but the fact that the "developers" of this garbage would even dream of asking money goes beyond insulting and inhabits a special plane of disgusting behavior that as yet does not have an adequate descriptor. At least, not one suitable in its tastefulness to facilitate widespread industry use. I have reviewed a lot of bad games in my five years working for Destructoid, but I can safely say, without doubt, that an all-new personal low has been encountered.  We usually refrain from swearing in our reviews, but I must emphatically say that Revelations 2012 is the worst piece of fucking shit I have played on the job, and they can stick that on Metacritic. 
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Revelations 2012 first came to my attention when a random Twitter pal recommended it, presumably under the impression that I would find something to love in the same way I regularly watch Alien Resurrection and enjoy every sh...

Review: Nuclear Dawn

Oct 10 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]213336:41203[/embed] Nuclear Dawn (PC [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: InterWave StudiosPublisher: InterWave StudiosReleased: September 26, 2011 / XBLA: TBAMSRP: $24.99There are few genres that haven’t been Frankensteined together, at this point, especially in regards to First-Person Shooters. This year alone we have seen FPS games spliced with elements of arcade shooters, Tower Defense Games, and even Tony Hawk Pro Skater. So, it’s almost surprising that more developers haven’t built upon the FPS/RTS-framework that Natural Selection and Battlefield 2 created years ago. With Savage 2 being criminally overlooked (despite going free-to-play) and Battlefield 3 doing away with the commander feature, it’s great to see a relatively new developer InterWave Studios (known for Half-Life 2 mod Insurgency) bold enough to attempt the format.If you’ve played a Battlefield or Team Fortress game, you’ll feel comfortable jumping into Nuclear Dawn as a foot soldier. You kill the enemy team, take resource points, and try your hardest to destroy their base. The difference in Nuclear Dawn is that the base and maps are a bit more elaborate. Bases have all the typical buildings you’d expect to find in an RTS: armory, headquarters and building to spawn troops. A match ends when a team destroys the opposing team's Command Bunker, which houses the team’s commander. Much like Natural Selection, a match will depend primarily on the strength of the commander. At the beginning of a match, each player can volunteer to be in charge of building and orders. Unlike Battlefield 2, priority is not given to the highest ranked player. Instead, Nuclear Dawn uses a lottery system. Once elected, the commander will spawn and move into the Command Bunker. Once logged into the building’s computer, he will have the ability to create buildings, send orders to the team’s squads, and, most importantly, expand the team’s powerline.In order to create turrets and ammo/health supply stations, a commander must make a telephone line-like chain of Relay Towers. Since you can only build within their radius, it’s important to build them as far out as you can. Most matches will end with a team building its Relay-chain into the other team’s base, setting up turrets within spawn points. Sure, it sucks when you spawn to a wall of chaingun and rocket turrets, but it’s incredibly gratifying to be on the other side. The quality of a Nuclear Dawn match is always dependant on the strength of the commander. If you have a level 60 (max level) veteran at the helm, you’ll have an incredible team experience unlike anything else. When there is good communication between teammates and the commander, the game realizes its true potential and becomes an organic RTS-like experience. Instead of clicking on A.I. units that say stalk phrases, you’ll be relying on human players who have unpredictable responses. On the other hand, a newbie for a commander can be incredibly frustrating. You can vote on mutiny after a couple minutes into a match, but it’s always too late. This all being said, an incompetent team can also limit a commander's ability since nothing can be done without resources.It’s unfortunate that InterWave hasn’t implemented a rating system like the one found in Savage 2. Sometimes you’ll get a commander with unbelievable capabilities who you want to give 5-stars, while other times you’ll have a clown in control that you wish to give 1-star. Without a proper rating system, finding a good commander will always be a crapshoot. Right now, new players are joining the game and learning the role of commander the hard way. Personally, I thought every commander was crap until I took the role for myself and realized how difficult it can be. Once I did that, I stopped applying to be commander and left the role open for those more suited. I expect this will become more common in time, leaving room for newbies to grow into experts or stay on the battlefield. Like Savage 2, I imagine the community will rebuild itself and mature. Even during the limited time I've been playing (a week), I’ve seen players improve a lot at both commanding and playing on the field. Thankfully, the battle to be fought on the ground can be fun even when matches become hopeless. The game has a very well balanced class-based system that mirrors the one in Team Fortress 2. You have the heavy with a chaingun, spy that can one-hit kill, medic, and so on. All the weapons feel great and all the abilities are essential to smart play. Is there a distant resource point you want to capture? Play as an Assassin who has great speed and an awesome Crysis-like cloak ability. Are enemy turrets keeping you from progressing? Throw an Engineer’s EMP grenade. To really do some damage, however, you’ll need your commander to make tech upgrades back at your team’s base. Once research is done, you can play as a heavy siege class and a soldier with a powerful grenade launcher. Without these unlocked, it’s hard to compete for resource points later in a match.Resource points are the focus of the game, so it’s disappointing to see that they aren’t properly balanced. Each map has three types of resource points of varying rewards. The emphasis is always on capturing the primary resource, which gives the most building materials. As a result, the start of every match is a race to the primary resource. As of this review, it seems 99-percent of matches are won by holding it. I have played the game 10+ hours and haven’t seen a single match won by dominating ALL of the other resources. It’s frustrating. If the primary resources were designed to give less materials, we’d be seeing a lot more interesting matches and strategies at play. Right now, the most interesting matches are the ones where the primary resource is contested until a matches’ end (a very rare scenario).Along with Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2, Nuclear Dawn proves that the Source engine isn’t outdated just yet. The tech may not compare to Battlefield 3, but the character design, detailed levels, and scale is impressive. I can’t think of another Source engine that has as many explosions and buildings on screen at one time. The scale of the game is much smaller than Battlefield, but much more expansive than Natural Selection. It reaches a happy medium between the two, but the best maps are the smallest. Perhaps the addition of vehicles will change this in time. Although the game is no longer in beta, players should approach the game as if that isn’t the case. With only six maps and many features left to be implemented in the future (vehicles, more weapons, secondary resource points that grant special abilities), Nuclear Dawn feels pretty bare in its present state. That being said, I am not reviewing the game based on what it can be. I am rating the game based on what it currently is -- and it’s pretty freaking cool. Once you get past the steep learning curve, play (read: screw up) one game in the commander seat, and learn the maps, you’ll have a great time with Nuclear Dawn. It’s a refreshing, unique experience that exists as an excellent alternative to all the other team-based FPSs that seem to blend together.  When you have two pro-commanders outsmarting each other along with two teams putting on constant pressure, Nuclear Dawn blossoms into an exhilarating mulitplayer experience. Right now, it’s rare to see this happens. With improved communication tools -- instead of relying on voice chat, give commanders icons and options that can convey their orders (visualize “I need three Engineers at this spot”) -- a rating system for commanders, and balanced resource points, Nuclear Dawn can become a online favorite that could survive for years. My biggest concern is the player-base. Right now, the game’s forums are dead and new players seem to only be trickling in. The best matches involving the most complex strategies will undoubtedly be clan games, but Nuclear Dawn is fun even when approached casually. You even get all the xp, unlockable perks, and other stuff you expect from modern shooters, except here they don’t get in the way of the core game. If InterWave manage to grow alongside the community, Nuclear Dawn could become the most important FPS game to arrive in a long time. Right now, it’s a welcome replacement for Team Fortress 2 and stopgap until Natural Selection 2. Nothing would excite me more than to see Nuclear Dawn grow and mature into something more. Even in its current, less-than-ideal state, I can say I haven’t had this much fun with a FPS in some time. [8.0]
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I’d say I’m not biased one way or another, but I’d be lying: I had to delete Team Fortress 2 from my hard drive in order to make room for Nuclear Dawn. It’s a fitting trade-off, since they are both t...

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E.Y.E has a silly name, but looks pretty good!


Jul 27
// Jim Sterling
StreumOnStudio’s Source-driven shooter E.Y.E may have a ludicrous name, but this cyberpunk-flavored shooter with roleplaying features might be a surprising little indie hit. We have two new trailers for the game (yanke...
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Indie-developer FPS/RPG E.Y.E. is something to watch


Oct 20
// Brad Nicholson
French indie developer Streum on Studio is still working on E.Y.E., an FPS/RPG hybrid built with the innards of the Source engine. A little bit Deus Ex with a splash of System Shock and perhaps even F.E.A.R., the title aims t...
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Indie Nation: Research and Development


Jul 19
// Anthony Burch
Our "Indie Nation" series highlights kickass independent games.Here is everything you need to know about Research and Development:- You can download it here  - Despite being a mod, it is better than the entiret...
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Indie Nation: Handle With Care


Jul 18
// Anthony Burch
Our "Indie Nation" series highlights interesting games from the world of independents.Handle With Care, the sequel to Polaris and second game in Robert Yang's Radiator series, came out yesterday. It's interesti...
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Indie Nation: Polaris


Jun 19
// Anthony Burch
Half-Life 2's Source engine may well be one of the most reliably satisfying pieces of technology in the modern gaming world. It gave us gravity guns, zombie hordes, portal physics -- and now, of all things, a stargazing simul...
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Bring me Salvation: New Source-powered shooter coming to PC/360


Mar 11
// Jim Sterling
I think the best thing about the screenshots for Black Wing Foundation's new shooter Salvation is that they all look exactly the same, just in different places. Generic man with gun standing in dark city, generic man with gun...
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Orange Box games added to Source SDK


Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
Bring on the mods! Valve has announced that the Source SDK now supports The Orange Box. You know what that means, right? It means that new content Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal will be here soon enough...
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No Portal planned for Wii, says Valve


Oct 30
// Nick Chester
I don't know what it is with you people. You think any game that involves aiming, shooting, swinging, shuffling, kicking, punching, poking, or pulling would be great on the Wii. So when rumors spread across the Internet that ...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: general tips


Oct 10
// Anthony Burch
Welcome to the last entry in our "blah blah blah Team Fortress 2 blah" daily series. The Orange Box came out today, so if you can be arsed to read this, I shall be truly surprised.Having tackled every class individ...
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The Demoman from Team Fortress 2 is a Black Scottish cyclops!


Oct 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest in the Team Fortress 2 "Meet the" series introduces us to the Demoman. Out of all the videos released so far, I have to say this is my favorite one yet. There's nothing like listening to a drunken Scotsma...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Spy


Oct 09
// Anthony Burch
This is our second-to-last "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2" article, and that can only mean one thing; The Orange Box comes out tomorrow. Thus far, we've tackled every class but one -- the Spy. My ...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Medic


Oct 08
// Anthony Burch
This is part seven of ten in our series, "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2" -- yet, interestingly enough, it is the only installment which opens with a selection from a recent Doctor Who episode ins...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Pyro


Oct 07
// Anthony Burch
We're up to part seven of our ten-part series, "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2." Three days until The Orange Box, bay-bay.Today's article examines the Pyro, a class which has been the subject of co...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Demoman


Oct 06
// Anthony Burch
Hey, look -- it's part eight of ten in our series, "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2," wherein we dispense advice of questionable worth and validity for each day leading up to the release of The Oran...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Heavy Weapons Guy


Oct 05
// Anthony Burch
Still your hearts, my handsome gals -- we're halfway through our ten-part "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2" series. You know what that means; only five more days until The Orange Box! Today, we highlight the Heavy Weapons Guy, a character who literally needs no introduction.So, I won't write one. 
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Sniper


Oct 04
// Anthony Burch
Welcome to part four of ten in our "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2" series, which started this Monday and will end on October 10th with the release of The Orange Box. The Sniper is perhaps the...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Soldier


Oct 03
// Anthony Burch
Booyah -- it's part three of ten in our series, "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2," started Monday and leading up to the official release of The Orange Box.Today, we look at the soldier: an all-purpo...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Engineer


Oct 02
// Anthony Burch
Part two of our ten-part "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2" series (starting yesterday, and working up to the official launch of The Orange Box) tackles the Engineer.A truly indispensable member of t...
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How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2: the Scout


Oct 01
// Anthony Burch
Welcome, one and all, to the first installment of our ten-part "How to not look like an idiot in Team Fortress 2" series. Starting today, and working up to the official launch of The Orange Box, we'll be dishing out...
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E3 2007: Turtle Rock shows off Left 4 Dead


Jul 13
// Joseph Leray
Oh, Kevin Perreira, how I envy thee! He and the rest of the G4 crew got a chance to sit down with Michael Booth, founder of Turtle Rock studios, and look at the upcoming zombie FPS, Left 4 Dead. Unfortunately, the interview d...
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No duh: The Crossing coming to Xbox 360


Feb 15
// Nick Chester
It seems Arkane studios are looking to bring their Source engine-powered first person shooter, The Crossing, to the Xbox 360. The folks over at French gaming site, Factor News, spotted a job opening today for programmers to h...
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Left 4 Dead trailer: Source Engine zombie goodness


Jan 10
// Nick Chester
Industry fad or not, I can't seem get enough of games with zombies in them. From Dead Rising to the Nintendo Entertainment System's (not so) classic Zombie Nation, whether I get to control a zombie or I just hack the ...
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You've never seen infestation quite like this before


Dec 01
// Jordan Devore
Unknown Worlds just released a video showing off their new bacterial infestation feature that will hopefully make it to Natural Selection 2. In the original Natural Selection, they used completely static infestation, but th...

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