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Sunset Overdrive

Insomniac: 'No plans for Sunset Overdrive on PS4'


'Ratchet could end up on Xbox one day'
Oct 03
// Chris Carter
After petitions, clamoring, and general unrest from PlayStation fans, Insomniac has taken to the web to explain that Sunset Overdrive is still very much an Xbox One exclusive. To clarify, Insomniac's Tim Salvitti states, "Pet...
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The classes and jobs of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn


New images and info
Apr 19
// Dale North
Square Enix has shared a massive info and picture dump for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Head over to the official site and check out the Armoury tab to find both the Jobs and Classes sections of the site. From there you...

Preview: Three 1C Company games worthy of a gander

Mar 19 // Ryan Perez
Men of War: Condemned Heroes, King's Bounty: Warriors of the North, Royal Quest (PC)Developer: 1C-SoftClub, Katauri InteractivePublisher: 1C CompanyRelease: TBA 2012 Men of War: Condemned Heroes It seems like everyone with a gun is "of" something these days. The interesting thing about this particular WW2 strategy game is that your troops are members of what were known as "penal battalions." Apparently, whenever Russian soldiers faced a court-martial, they were aften relocated into these particular battalions and sent on some of the most hazardous missions that our Russian allies had ever seen. Admirably enough, even members of these arguably punishing squads were deemed heroes within the war. So Men of War surprisingly features a controversial subject from Russian WW2 history. I've read about strapping bombs to dogs and training them to "find food" beneath tanks, but this one certainly tops my list of intriguing WW2 trivia. All of the missions players embark on are based on historical reference, which should make some of these soldiers' no-win scenarios even more interesting and inspirational. Too few games feature this sort of attention to non-fiction, so titles like Men of War: Condemned Heroes have their own appeal over the competition, from my point of view. As for the gameplay: It's what you'd expect from a tactical strategy game. Players are given a set amount of troops, and are tasked with accomplishing particular goals and objectives.  The graphics are on par with most other games in the genre, and the combat has some admirable depth to it (even giving players the choice between context-specific squad formations). The Men of War series is a pretty successful franchise for 1C, so check out Condemned Heroes if you dig strategy and are curious about the Russian side of the Great Patriotic War. King's Bounty: Warriors of the North I can't say I've had many chances in my life to play strategy-based RPGs. The genre doesn't exactly top the charts, after all. That hasn't stopped companies like 1C from trying to grasp a bit of that audience with the King's Bounty series, which is actually one of their top-selling franchises. Warriors of the North takes the genre into a European direction, featuring Nordic and Saxon-based armies -- everything from Vikings to, well, more Vikings. Players build armies that move around the continent (map) independently and engage in turn-based battles with other armies. Each battle consists of a grid where combatants move their units around to destroy each other. It's that simple. Those who are fans of strategic RPGs will feel right at home with King's Bounty. You build bases, upgrade troops, maintain morale, and basically wipe the other player off the map. Considering the raping and pillaging that Vikings often did, some might consider this a "game for the whole family." One thing grandma would definitely like is how you can summon a valykrie to destroy your enemies. A f*ckin' valkyrie! Royal Quest If there's one genre that the free-to-play market has plenty of, it's MMOs. They are easy to monetize and last about as long as people are willing to play them. For companies that are anxious to make some decent profit, never-ending games with microtransactions are like foreclosed homes to a Wall Street banker. I present to you: Royal Quest. To be fair, Royal Quest may look a bit on the cheap side, but it features plenty of variety that often make these F2P games worth trying out. Players choose one of three class types (melee, ranged gunman, or magic user) and embark on a journey of leveling, looting and lollygagging with other players. If you're at all familiar with MMOs and point-and-click RPGs -- I'm assuming most of you are -- then Royal Quest will be familiar territory. The game is simple, but it does have a decent emount of content that keeps it interesting. Players can expect no shortage of items and gear to add to their characters. Even gameplay has some nifty elements to it, such as certain enemies requiring specific element-based attacks to be defeated (i.e. fire monsters requiring water). Overall, Royal Quest seems like a decent diversion, wrapped up in a friendly, free-to-play package. 1C games might not be the topic of most conversations among gamers, but they do retain enough fun to generate an audience worth noting. 1C is technically the largest publishing company in the world (by product volume), and the company even has its own retail chain in Russia. So if you're curious about how these games have retained such a substancial constituency, try them out for yourself when they release later this year.
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[UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that factual errors have been made with regards to this preview, and that only one of 1C's titles, Royal Quest, will be free to play, whereas the other two mentioned titles will b...

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As promised, Rockstar Games is delivering our first look at Max Payne 3 today.  After a long silence, this is our first glimpse at the game in action -- the publisher maintains that this is all in-game footage. As with ...


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Resident Evil 4, Code Veronica HD out in September


Jul 25
// Nick Chester
[Update 2: Capcom has since clarified and corrected GameSpot's original report -- there are no current plans to bring these titles to retail. Make sure you've got the bandwidth then, I guess.] [Update: As reader JawMuncher po...
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Men of War: Condemned Heroes saves you from the gulag


Jul 08
// Alasdair Duncan
If you like your real-time strategy games to have a historical basis and a distinctly Eastern European flavor, then developer 1C has got you covered. Men of War: Condemned Heroes will be the next installment of its popular WW...

Review: LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean

May 10 // Ian Bonds
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Xbox 360 [reviewed], Playstation 3, Wii, PSP, DS, 3DS, PC)Developer: Traveler's TalesPublisher: Disney Interactive GamesReleased: May 10, 2011MSRP: $49.99By now, I'm sure you're familiar with the LEGO games, where they take a popular franchise and stylize it as LEGOs. The characters are LEGO figures and everything in the game world -- from vehicles, buildings, plant life, and more -- are built out of LEGO blocks. Conveniently, they've just released a LEGO series in the toy line based on the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but honestly, they didn't have to.  When I was a kid, my favorite LEGO toys were the "Pirate" series.  I'd spend hours trying to build the ships and position the figures to match the picture on the front of the box. Yeah, that's right, I had no friends... why do you ask?This latest LEGO title takes all four of the Pirates films, including the forthcoming On Stranger Tides, and splits them into memorable, five chapter game sequences. (Well, six if you count the super secret hidden missions... oooh!) The formula is familiar, but once again TT Games has injected its bottomless supply of charm and whimsy into the characters and world to bring it all together. It helps that the characters they've adapted are already charismatic, which only serves to amplify the silliness of the game. I'm sure the recipe wouldn't work as well with LEGO Requiem For A Dream or LEGO Ishtar, no matter how many times I demand they make them. The LEGO humor is especially prevalent here, which is nice considering the last LEGO title (LEGO Star Wars III) was surprisingly humorless; the fun of the Pirates movies is only enhanced in its non-verbal retelling by each LEGO character. In fact, despite his dialogue is only grunts and hums, you'd swear Captain Jack Sparrow was actually voiced by Johnny Depp, which says quite a bit for the character adaptations. However, in the face of all the cool movie backdrops and improved graphics (keeping a similar pseudo-CG look to the last LEGO title), it does run into the same issues from the previous games. Mission objectives aren't clearly defined, and you'll often find yourself running around a level trying to figure out just what to do next. Also, while its intention may be helpful, the dynamic split screen that starts once the characters start to wander away from each other only serves to cause confusion, as invariably, one player's screen reduces in size and the view becomes obscured by the other player's end of the quest. One of the new features for the Pirates game also serves to be one of its frustrations. Jack's famous compass (which normally directs the wielder to whatever he or she most desires) is used to find eight hidden "treasures" in each level. Once selected, Jack will wander around, following tracks that appear to lead him to whatever is hidden in that particular area. The only problem is, sometimes it's not nearby. See, the treasures only show up on the compass when Jack is near them, but some treasures will show up when you're near... but not near enough. For example, when trying to find a trapped crab, the tracks led into the water, and an arrow appeared to pointed my attention upwards. Upon further investigation, I couldn't swim anywhere near where it was assumed the treasure was. After dying a number of times, I gave up and moved on to the next screen of the level. There, I discovered the treasure was on the opposite side of the dock, blocking my path on the previous screen. The treasure was only accessible once I ventured further into the level, despite it showing up on the compass on an earlier screen.All that aside, it's still a fun game. Well, if you haven't gotten tired of the same LEGO trappings, that is. There's still an insane number of characters to collect, secrets to find, and cheats to unlock. There actually seems to be more puzzles in each level this time around, as you build different objects to create passage through a hidden cave, or flag down a passing ship, for example.  And while the split screen isn't perfect, there is a small amount of joy to be derived from working together with a partner in co-op to finish the puzzles without tearing your hair out. Still, no online co-op... again. There's not a whole lot else that can be said for the game, though. It's a LEGO title, and if you've liked the previous games, it's just as fun, but it's also just as frustrating. If you're not a fan, this game won't turn you. The charm of the franchise it's based on has some pull, but it may not be enough to convert the non-fans into believers. It is cool to see what mishaps Captain Jack and crew will get into in the new film before it's released. But by the same token, it's almost hard to tell what they adapted for the LEGO style of comedy, and which is actually in the upcoming movie. LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't break any new ground that hasn't been explored in any LEGO game before, and will probably be just the same as any forthcoming LEGO title, as well.
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Traveler's Tales has once again taken a popular film franchise and those colorful Danish building blocks, and thrown them into a videogame blender. This time, its dart board of pop-culture has Disney's Pirates of the Carib...

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Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom expansion announced


Nov 16
// Maurice Tan
I'm meltiiiiiiiiiiing! If that doesn't mean anything to you, then you probably never played the original Majesty or its sequel. Which is a shame, because it's the only hands-off high fantasy parody RTS out there. In a nutshe...
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1C Company brings screenshots of Theatre of War 2: Korea


Jun 07
// Ben Perlee
You know, it's true, for every ten titles of World War II, there is maybe a couple modern fictional military shooters, four "pseudo-realistic" future titles, maybe a Desert Storm game, and if a publisher is feeling particular...
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King's Bounty: Crossworlds expansion oozes bounty


Jun 07
// Ben Perlee
For those who picked up last year's King's Bounty: Armored Princess found a great strategy game with a fairly strong legacy, if not the most mainstream appeal. However, 1C Company has found enough of a core base tha...
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At the recent 1C event at the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, we saw a return of some older titles just about to make their debut. However, one of the new titles brought forth was Off-Road Drive. Developed by 1C-Avalon an...

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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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